Federal Register Vol. 82, No.125,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 125 (June 30, 2017)

Page Range29699-30719
FR Document

82_FR_125
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 29883 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Applications for Food and Drug Administration Approval To Market a New DrugPDF
82 FR 29761 - Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles-Phase 2PDF
82 FR 30711 - To Modify Duty-Free Treatment Under the Generalized System of Preferences and for Other PurposesPDF
82 FR 29827 - Welded ASTM A-312 Stainless Steel Pipe From South Korea and Taiwan: Continuation of Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
82 FR 29739 - Safety Zone; Delaware River, Philadelphia, PAPDF
82 FR 29730 - Guidelines for the Streamlined Process of Applying for Recognition of Section 501(c)(3) StatusPDF
82 FR 29800 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJPDF
82 FR 29751 - Safety Zone; Navy Underwater Detonation (UNDET) Exercise, Apra Outer Harbor, GUPDF
82 FR 29754 - Safety Zone; Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Sausalito, San Francisco Bay, Sausalito, CAPDF
82 FR 29747 - Safety Zone; Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Martinez, Carquinez Strait, Martinez, CAPDF
82 FR 29740 - Safety Zone; Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Pittsburg, Suisun Bay, Pittsburg, CAPDF
82 FR 29753 - Safety Zone; Fourth of July Fireworks, Glenbrook NVPDF
82 FR 29738 - Safety Zone; City of Richmond Fourth of July Fireworks Display, San Francisco Bay, Richmond, CAPDF
82 FR 29911 - Kansas; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 29748 - Safety Zone; Independence Day Fireworks, Kings Beach, CAPDF
82 FR 29746 - Safety Zone; Fourth of July Fireworks Display, Tahoe City, CAPDF
82 FR 29748 - Safety Zone; Delta Independence Day Celebration FireworksPDF
82 FR 29740 - Safety Zone; Execpro Services Fourth of July Fireworks, Incline Village, NVPDF
82 FR 29864 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 29852 - Procurement List; Additions and DeletionsPDF
82 FR 29973 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Repatriation/Emergency Medical and Dietary Assistance Loan ApplicationPDF
82 FR 29852 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and DeletionPDF
82 FR 29859 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 29808 - Periodic ReportingPDF
82 FR 29714 - Modernization of the Customs Brokers ExaminationPDF
82 FR 29982 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel MARIE KNIGHT; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
82 FR 29910 - Delay of Effective Date for the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Becoming the Sole CBP-Authorized Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) System for Processing Electronic Drawback and Duty Deferral Entry and Entry Summary FilingsPDF
82 FR 29981 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel MARBELLA; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
82 FR 29910 - Delayed Effective Date for Modifications of the National Customs Automation Program Tests Regarding Reconciliation, Post-Summary Corrections, and Periodic Monthly StatementsPDF
82 FR 29836 - Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Thailand: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
82 FR 29828 - Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationsPDF
82 FR 29981 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel GATO GORDO; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
82 FR 29948 - Notice of Submission for Approval: Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF 85)PDF
82 FR 29950 - Hispanic Council on Federal EmploymentPDF
82 FR 29980 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel FRIDAY; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
82 FR 29983 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel HYP NAUTIC; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
82 FR 29804 - Exemptions To Permit Circumvention of Access Controls on Copyrighted WorksPDF
82 FR 29975 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request To Release Airport Property at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth, TexasPDF
82 FR 29982 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel PRINCESS DONNA; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
82 FR 29974 - Receipt of Noise Compatibility Program and Request for Review for Hawthorne Municipal Airport, Hawthorne, CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 29979 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel SEA RAVEN; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
82 FR 29975 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Charm City HelicoptersPDF
82 FR 29980 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel TRAVELER; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
82 FR 29858 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Savannah River SitePDF
82 FR 29858 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, PaducahPDF
82 FR 29699 - Prevailing Rate SystemsPDF
82 FR 29780 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Consumer Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers, and FreezersPDF
82 FR 29714 - Control Policy: End-User and End-Use BasedPDF
82 FR 29755 - Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities and Preschool Grants for Children With Disabilities Program; Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers With DisabilitiesPDF
82 FR 29713 - Policy Guidance on Supervisory and Enforcement Priorities Regarding Early Compliance With the 2016 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)PDF
82 FR 29934 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Concrete and Masonry Construction StandardPDF
82 FR 29934 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Disclosures to Workers Under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection ActPDF
82 FR 29825 - Notice of Availability of a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Non-Contiguous Region of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband NetworkPDF
82 FR 29833 - Certain Softwood Lumber Products From Canada: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
82 FR 29826 - Stainless Steel Bar From Spain: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016PDF
82 FR 29827 - Certain Hardwood Plywood Products From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value InvestigationPDF
82 FR 29840 - Honey From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Results of Review and Notice of Amended Final Results of Review Pursuant to Court DecisionPDF
82 FR 29855 - Notice of Public Meetings for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Navy Atlantic Fleet Training and TestingPDF
82 FR 29861 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 29861 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Savings and Loan Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 29973 - E.O. 13224 Designation of Mohammad Yusuf Shah, aka Mohd Yusuf Shah, aka Mohammad Yousuf Shah, aka Mohd Yousuf Shah, aka Mohd Yosuf Shah, aka Mohammed Yusaf Shah, aka Syed Mohammed Yusuf Shah, aka Syed Salahuddin, aka Syed Salahudin, aka Sayeed Salahudeen, aka Peer Sahib, aka Salauddin as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
82 FR 29864 - Medicare Program; Meeting of the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee-August 30, 2017PDF
82 FR 29863 - Medicaid Program: Zika Health Care Services Program-Round 2PDF
82 FR 29822 - Notice of Availability of an Evaluation of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease Status of JapanPDF
82 FR 29823 - Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Animals and Poultry, Animal and Poultry Products, Certain Animal Embryos, Semen, and Zoological AnimalsPDF
82 FR 29822 - Determination of Total Amounts of Fiscal Year 2018 WTO Tariff-Rate Quotas for Raw Cane Sugar and Certain Sugars, Syrups and MolassesPDF
82 FR 29795 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 29843 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 29846 - Community Broadband WorkshopPDF
82 FR 29846 - Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 29845 - Multistakeholder Process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and PatchingPDF
82 FR 30004 - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 29792 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 29856 - Privacy Act of 1974; Matching ProgramPDF
82 FR 29971 - Privacy Act; System of Records: AmendmentsPDF
82 FR 29916 - Receipt of Application for Incidental Take Permit; Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Curletti Farm Employee Housing Project, Santa Barbara County, CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 29847 - Patent and Trademark Public Advisory CommitteesPDF
82 FR 29970 - Privacy Act; System of RecordsPDF
82 FR 29749 - Safety Zone; Severn River, Sherwood Forest, MDPDF
82 FR 29739 - Safety Zones; Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety ZonesPDF
82 FR 29770 - Transition Progress Report Form and Filing Requirements for Stations Not Eligible for Reimbursement From the TV Broadcast Relocation FundPDF
82 FR 29918 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Mexican Wolf Draft Recovery Plan, First RevisionPDF
82 FR 29914 - Proposed Programmatic Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Louisiana Pinesnake in LouisianaPDF
82 FR 29916 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 5-Year Status Reviews of 23 Southeastern SpeciesPDF
82 FR 29786 - Airworthiness Directives; 328 Support Services GmbH (Type Certificate Previously Held by AvCraft Aerospace GmbH; Fairchild Dornier GmbH; Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH) AirplanesPDF
82 FR 29789 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 29909 - National Boating Safety Advisory Council; VacanciesPDF
82 FR 29737 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lewis Creek Channel, Chincoteague, VAPDF
82 FR 29932 - Certain Radio Frequency Identification (“RFID”) Products and Components Thereof; Notice of Request for Statements on the Public InterestPDF
82 FR 29772 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region; Amendment 36PDF
82 FR 29933 - Employment and Training Administration Program Year (PY) 2017; Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Section 167, National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) AllocationsPDF
82 FR 29972 - Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of IDAHOPDF
82 FR 29972 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of TENNESSEEPDF
82 FR 29821 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 29976 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 29736 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Swinomish Channel, Whitmarsh, WAPDF
82 FR 29922 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Human Remains Repository, Department of Anthropology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WYPDF
82 FR 29921 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Oberlin College, Oberlin, OHPDF
82 FR 29927 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: Arkansas Archeological Survey, Fayetteville, ARPDF
82 FR 29923 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Texas State University, Center for Archaeological Studies and Department of Anthropology, San Marcos, TXPDF
82 FR 29920 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, Ganado, AZPDF
82 FR 29929 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Roger Williams Park, Providence RIPDF
82 FR 29926 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Deschutes National Forest, Bend, ORPDF
82 FR 29928 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Anthropology, Amherst, MAPDF
82 FR 29924 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Barry M. Goldwater Range East, 56th Range Management Office, Luke Air Force Base, AZPDF
82 FR 29861 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
82 FR 29909 - Center for Mental Health Services; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 29974 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
82 FR 30006 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Gravesite Reservation QuestionnairePDF
82 FR 30004 - Agency Information Collection Activity: General Release for Medical Provider Information to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Authorization and Consent To Release Information to the Department of Veterans AffairsPDF
82 FR 30006 - Agency Information Collection Activity under OMB Review: Board of Veterans' Appeals Voice of the Veteran Appellant Satisfaction SurveyPDF
82 FR 30004 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Evidence for Transfer Entitlement of Education Benefits (CFR 21.7080)PDF
82 FR 30005 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed LoansPDF
82 FR 30007 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Notice to Department of Veterans Affairs of Veteran or Beneficiary Incarcerated in Penal InstitutionPDF
82 FR 29866 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 29854 - TRICARE; Calendar Year 2018 TRICARE Young Adult Program Premium UpdatePDF
82 FR 29912 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection: Petition To Remove the Conditions on ResidencePDF
82 FR 29984 - Funding Opportunity Title: Notice of Funds Availability Inviting Applications for the Fiscal Year 2017 Funding Round of the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF)PDF
82 FR 29976 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
82 FR 29886 - Authorizations of Emergency Use of In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Detection of Zika Virus; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 29811 - Blue Alert EAS Event CodePDF
82 FR 29913 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection: Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act, Form I-864; Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, Form I-864A; EZ Affidavit of Support Under Section 213 of the Act, I-864EZ; Intending Immigrant's Affidavit of Support Exemption, I-864WPDF
82 FR 29848 - International Design Applications (Hague Agreement)PDF
82 FR 29931 - Raw In-Shell Pistachios From IranPDF
82 FR 29841 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Listing and Recovery Priority GuidelinesPDF
82 FR 29964 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Non-Priority Customer License SurchargePDF
82 FR 29968 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Non-Priority Customer License SurchargePDF
82 FR 29953 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; OneChicago, LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Implement Four Decimal Pricing for Outright Transactions in Single Stock FuturesPDF
82 FR 29966 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Require Listed Companies To Provide Advance Notice of Dividend Announcements to the ExchangePDF
82 FR 29951 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend MIAX Options Rules 307, Position Limits, and 309, Exercise Limits, To Extend the SPY Pilot ProgramPDF
82 FR 29962 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Fee SchedulePDF
82 FR 29956 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Reporting of Certain ATS Transactions in U.S. Treasury SecuritiesPDF
82 FR 29960 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Extend a Pilot Program That Eliminates Position and Exercise Limits for Physically-Settled SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (“SPY”) OptionsPDF
82 FR 29842 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Pacific Right WhalePDF
82 FR 29911 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Federal Emergency Management Agency Programs Customer Satisfaction SurveysPDF
82 FR 29907 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 29908 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 29906 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 29907 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 29908 - National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 29908 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 29907 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 29854 - Defense Science Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 29950 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 29950 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 29810 - Petition for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking ProceedingPDF
82 FR 29860 - Second Meeting of the Broadband Deployment Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 29930 - Certain Liquid Crystal Ewriters and Components Thereof; Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Terminating the Last Remaining Respondent Based on Withdrawal of the Complaint; Request for Written Submissions on Remedy, the Public Interest, and BondingPDF
82 FR 29776 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual SpecificationsPDF
82 FR 29738 - Safety Zones; Annual Firework Displays Within the Captain of the Port, Puget SoundPDF
82 FR 29778 - Pacific Island Fisheries; 2017-18 Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 BottomfishPDF
82 FR 29753 - Safety Zone; Commencement Bay, Tacoma, WAPDF
82 FR 29809 - National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan National Priorities List: Partial Deletion of the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund SitePDF
82 FR 29764 - National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; National Priorities List: Partial Deletion of the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund SitePDF
82 FR 29824 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Alaska Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 29995 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive OrdersPDF
82 FR 29883 - Revocation of Authorization of Emergency Use of an In Vitro Diagnostic Device for Detection of Zika VirusPDF
82 FR 29867 - Authorization of Emergency Use of an Injectable Treatment for Nerve Agent or Certain Insecticide (Organophosphorus and/or Carbamate) Poisoning; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 29860 - Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, State of IdahoPDF
82 FR 29844 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meetings; CancellationPDF
82 FR 30636 - Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Revised Format for Materials Incorporated by ReferencePDF
82 FR 29859 - Notice of Meeting of the EPA Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC)PDF
82 FR 29741 - Safety Zone: Vengeance Sunken Barge, San Francisco, CAPDF
82 FR 29747 - Safety Zone; Red, White, and Tahoe Blue Fireworks, Incline Village, NVPDF
82 FR 29710 - Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation AdjustmentPDF
82 FR 29711 - Revisions to the Freedom of Information Act RegulationPDF
82 FR 29699 - Safe HarborPDF
82 FR 29935 - Request for Comment Regarding Revised Overhead Transfer Rate MethodologyPDF
82 FR 29719 - Regulations Regarding Withholding of Tax on Certain U.S. Source Income Paid to Foreign Persons, Information Reporting and Backup Withholding on Payments Made to Certain U.S. Persons, and Portfolio Interest Treatment; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 29728 - Regulations Relating to Information Reporting by Foreign Financial Institutions and Withholding on Certain Payments to Foreign Financial Institutions and Other Foreign Entities; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 29733 - Regulations Relating to Information Reporting by Foreign Financial Institutions and Withholding on Certain Payments to Foreign Financial Institutions and Other Foreign Entities; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 30003 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Signing Authority for Corporate and LLC OfficialsPDF
82 FR 29999 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Multiple IRS Information Collection RequestsPDF
82 FR 30003 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Multiple Bureau of the Fiscal Service Information Collection RequestsPDF
82 FR 29798 - Waiver of Flight Termination Receiver Qualification by Similarity DeficienciesPDF
82 FR 29735 - Special Local Regulation; Washburn Board Across the Bay, Lake Superior; Chequamegon Bay, WIPDF
82 FR 30682 - Revision of Fee Schedules; Fee Recovery for Fiscal Year 2017PDF
82 FR 29743 - Safety Zone; United Illuminating Company, Housatonic River Crossing Project; Milford and Stratford, CTPDF
82 FR 29809 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and Town of Mammoth LakesPDF
82 FR 29762 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and the Town of Mammoth LakesPDF
82 FR 30502 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Population of Grizzly Bears From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened WildlifePDF
82 FR 30010 - Medicare Program; CY 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment ProgramPDF
82 FR 29734 - Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Formula Grant ProgramPDF
82 FR 29769 - Updating Competitive Bidding RulesPDF

Issue

82 125 Friday, June 30, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29821-29822 2017-13747 Determination of Total Amounts of Fiscal Year 2018 WTO Tariff-Rate Quotas for Raw Cane Sugar and Certain Sugars, Syrups and Molasses, 29822 2017-13781
Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Importation of Animals and Poultry, Animal and Poultry Products, Certain Animal Embryos, Semen, and Zoological Animals, 29823-29824 2017-13782 Evaluation of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease Status of Japan, 29822-29823 2017-13783 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection RULES Supervisory and Enforcement Priorities Regarding Early Compliance With the 2016 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act Policy Guidance, 29713-29714 2017-13799 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29861-29863 2017-13735 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services PROPOSED RULES Medicare Program: CY 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment Program, 30010-30500 2017-13010 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29864 2017-13835 Medicaid Program: Zika Health Care Services Program—Round 2, 29863-29864 2017-13784 Meetings: Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee, 29864-29866 2017-13785 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29866-29867 2017-13726 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Alaska Advisory Committee, 29824-29825 2017-13674 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Lewis Creek Channel, Chincoteague, VA, 29737-29738 2017-13753 Swinomish Channel, Whitmarsh, WA, 29736-29737 2017-13745 Safety Zones: Annual Firework Displays Within the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound, 29738 2017-13682 City of Richmond Fourth of July Fireworks Display, San Francisco Bay, Richmond, CA, 29738-29739 2017-13841 Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones, 29739-29740 2017-13766 Commencement Bay, Tacoma, WA, 29753-29754 2017-13680 Delaware River, Philadelphia, PA, 29739 2017-13917 Delta Independence Day Celebration Fireworks, 29748-29749 2017-13837 Execpro Services Fourth of July Fireworks, Incline Village, NV, 29740-29741 2017-13836 Fourth of July Fireworks Display, Tahoe City, CA, 29746 2017-13838 Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Martinez, Carquinez Strait, Martinez, CA, 29747 2017-13851 Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Pittsburg, Suisun Bay, Pittsburg, CA, 29740 2017-13848 Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Sausalito, San Francisco Bay, Sausalito, CA, 29754 2017-13852 Fourth of July Fireworks, Glenbrook, NV, 29753 2017-13844 Independence Day Fireworks, Kings Beach, CA, 29748 2017-13839 Navy Underwater Detonation Exercise, Apra Outer Harbor, GU, 29751-29753 2017-13853 Red, White, and Tahoe Blue Fireworks, Incline Village, NV, 29747-29748 2017-13647 Severn River, Sherwood Forest, MD, 29749-29751 2017-13767 United Illuminating Company, Housatonic River Crossing Project, Milford and Stratford, CT, 29743-29746 2017-13330 Vengeance Sunken Barge, San Francisco, CA, 29741-29743 2017-13648 Special Local Regulations: Washburn Board Across the Bay, Lake Superior; Chequamegon Bay, WI, 29735-29736 2017-13559 PROPOSED RULES Drawbridge Operations: Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ, 29800-29804 2017-13857 NOTICES Requests for Membership Applications: National Boating Safety Advisory Council; Vacancies, 29909-29910 2017-13754 Commerce Commerce Department See

First Responder Network Authority

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29843-29844 2017-13778
Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 29852-29854 2017-13832 2017-13834 Community Development Community Development Financial Institutions Fund NOTICES Funding Availability: 2017 Funding Round of the Capital Magnet Fund, 29984-29995 2017-13722 Copyright Office Copyright Office, Library of Congress PROPOSED RULES Exemptions To Permit Circumvention of Access Controls on Copyrighted Works, 29804-29808 2017-13815 Defense Department Defense Department See

Navy Department

NOTICES Meetings: Defense Science Board, 29854-29855 2017-13691 TRICARE: Calendar Year 2018 TRICARE Young Adult Program Premium Update, 29854 2017-13725
Education Department Education Department RULES Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities and Preschool Grants for Children With Disabilities Program: Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities, 29755-29761 2017-13801 NOTICES Privacy Act; Computer Matching Program, 29856-29858 2017-13772 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Funding Availability: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; , National Farmworker Jobs Program Allocations, 29933 2017-13750 Energy Department Energy Department PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Consumer Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers, and Freezers, 29780-29786 2017-13803 NOTICES Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah, 29858 2017-13806 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Savannah River Site, 29858-29859 2017-13807 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Air Plan Revisions, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and the Town of Mammoth Lakes, 29762-29764 2017-13196 Illinois; Revised Format for Materials, 30636-30680 2017-13659 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards: Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles; Phase 2, 29761-29762 C1--2016--21203 National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; National Priorities List: Partial Deletion of the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site, 29764-29769 2017-13678 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Air Plan Revisions, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and Town of Mammoth Lakes, 29809 2017-13197 National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; National Priorities List: Partial Deletion of the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site, 29809-29810 2017-13679 NOTICES Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, Idaho, 29860 2017-13663 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 29859 2017-13831 Meetings: Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee, 29859 2017-13656 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: 328 Support Services GmbH (Type Certificate Previously Held by AvCraft Aerospace GmbH; Fairchild Dornier GmbH; Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH) Airplanes, 29786-29789 2017-13756 Airbus Airplanes, 29789-29792, 29795-29798 2017-13755 2017-13780 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 29792-29795 2017-13773 Waiver of Flight Termination Receiver Qualification by Similarity Deficiencies, 29798-29800 2017-13567 NOTICES Airport Property Releases: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, DFW, TX, 29975-29976 2017-13814 Exemption Petitions; Summaries, 29974-29975 2017-13733 Noise Compatibility Programs: Hawthorne Municipal Airport, Hawthorne, CA, 29974 2017-13812 Petitions for Exemption; Summaries: Charm City Helicopters, 29975 2017-13810 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries, 29976 2017-13721 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Transition Progress Report Form and Filing Requirements for Stations Not Eligible for Reimbursement From the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund, 29770-29772 2017-13765 Updating Competitive Bidding Rules, 29769-29770 2017-12954 PROPOSED RULES Blue Alert Emergency Alert System Event Code, 29811-29820 2017-13718 Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding, 29810-29811 2017-13688 NOTICES Meetings: Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, 29860-29861 2017-13687 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Emergency Management Agency Programs Customer Satisfaction Surveys, 29911-29912 2017-13699 Major Disaster Declarations: Kansas; Amendment No. 1, 29911 2017-13840 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29976-29979 2017-13746 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 29861 2017-13788 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Savings and Loan Holding Companies, 29861 2017-13787 FIRSTNET First Responder Network Authority NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Non-Contiguous Region of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, 29825-29826 2017-13795 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Removing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Population of Grizzly Bears from the Federal List, 30502-30633 2017-13160 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: 5-Year Status Reviews of 23 Southeastern Species, 29916-29918 2017-13758 Mexican Wolf Draft Recovery Plan, First Revision, 29918-29920 2017-13762 Incidental Take Permits; Applications: Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Curletti Farm Employee Housing Project, Santa Barbara County, CA, 29916 2017-13770 Permit Applications: Proposed Programmatic Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Louisiana Pinesnake in Louisiana, 29914-29915 2017-13760 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Applications for Food and Drug Administration Approval to Market a New Drug, 29883 C1--2017--10818 Emergency Use; Authorizations: In Vitro Diagnostic Device for Detection of Zika Virus; Revocation, 29883-29886 2017-13666 In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Detection of Zika Virus, 29886-29906 2017-13720 Injectable Treatment for Nerve Agent or Certain Insecticide (Organophosphorus and/or Carbamate) Poisoning, 29867-29883 2017-13664 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 29995-29999 2017-13673 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Control Policy: End-user and End-use Based; CFR Correction, 29714 2017-13802 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Regulations Regarding Withholding of Tax on Certain U.S. Source Income Paid to Foreign Persons, Information Reporting and Backup Withholding on Payments Made to Certain U.S. Persons, and Portfolio Interest Treatment; Correction, 29719-29728 2017-13634 Regulations Relating to Information Reporting by Foreign Financial Institutions and Withholding on Certain Payments to Foreign Financial Institutions and Other Foreign Entities; Correction, 29728-29730, 29733-29734 2017-13631 2017-13632 Streamlined Process of Applying for Recognition of Section 501(c)(3) Status, 29730-29733 2017-13866 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Hardwood Plywood Products From the People's Republic of China, 29827 2017-13792 Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Thailand, 29836-29840 2017-13824 Honey From the People's Republic of China, 29840-29841 2017-13791 Stainless Steel Bar From Spain, 29826-29827 2017-13793 Welded ASTM A-312 Stainless Steel Pipe From South Korea and Taiwan, 29827-29828 2017-13988 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Softwood Lumber Products From Canada, 29833-29836 2017-13794 Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations: Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand, 29828-29833 2017-13823 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Liquid Crystal Ewriters and Components Thereof, 29930-29931 2017-13686 Certain Radio Frequency Identification Products and Components Thereof, 29932 2017-13752 Raw In-Shell Pistachios From Iran, 29931-29932 2017-13715 Justice Department Justice Department RULES Formula Grant Program: Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, 29734-29735 2017-12984 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Concrete and Masonry Construction Standard, 29934 2017-13798 Disclosures to Workers Under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, 29934-29935 2017-13797
Library Library of Congress See

Copyright Office, Library of Congress

Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Requests for Administrative Waivers of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel FRIDAY, 29980 2017-13817 Vessel GATO GORDO, 29981 2017-13822 Vessel HYP NAUTIC, 29983-29984 2017-13816 Vessel MARBELLA, 29981-29982 2017-13826 Vessel MARIE KNIGHT, 29982-29983 2017-13828 Vessel PRINCESS DONNA, 29982 2017-13813 Vessel SEA RAVEN, 29979-29980 2017-13811 Vessel TRAVELER, 29980-29981 2017-13809 National Credit National Credit Union Administration RULES Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment, 29710-29711 2017-13643 Freedom of Information Act, 29711-29713 2017-13640 Safe Harbor, 29699-29710 2017-13636 NOTICES Overhead Transfer Rate Methodology Revisions: Proposed Changes, 29935-29948 2017-13635 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration RULES Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards: Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles; Phase 2, 29761-29762 C1--2016--21203 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 29907-29909 2017-13692 2017-13693 National Human Genome Research Institute, 29908 2017-13694 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 29907 2017-13695 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 29907 2017-13698 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 29906, 29908 2017-13696 2017-13697 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region; Amendment 36, 29772-29776 2017-13751 Fisheries Off West Coast States: Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications, 29776-29778 2017-13685 Pacific Island Fisheries: 2017-18 Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7, 29778-29779 2017-13681 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Pacific Right Whale, 29842 2017-13701 Listing and Recovery Priority Guidelines, 29841-29842 2017-13714 Meetings: Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review; Cancellation, 29844-29845 2017-13662 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, Ganado, AZ, 29920-29921 2017-13740 Human Remains Repository, Department of Anthropology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, 29922-29923 2017-13744 Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Roger Williams Park, Providence RI, 29929-29930 2017-13739 Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, 29921-29922 2017-13743 Texas State University, Center for Archaeological Studies and Department of Anthropology, San Marcos, TX, 29923-29924 2017-13741 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Deschutes National Forest, Bend, OR, 29926-29927 2017-13738 U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Barry M. Goldwater Range East, 56th Range Management Office, Luke Air Force Base, AZ, 29924-29926 2017-13736 University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Anthropology, Amherst, MA, 29928-29929 2017-13737 Repatriation of Cultural Items: Arkansas Archeological Survey, Fayetteville, AR, 29927-29928 2017-13742 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Non-Contiguous Region of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, 29825-29826 2017-13795 Meetings: Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, 29846-29847 2017-13776 Community Broadband Workshop, 29846 2017-13777 Multistakeholder Process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching, 29845-29846 2017-13775 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Navy Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing; Public Meetings, 29855-29856 2017-13790 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES Fee Schedules: Fee Recovery for Fiscal Year 2017, 30682-30708 2017-13520 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: International Design Applications (Hague Agreement), 29848-29852 2017-13716 Requests for Nominations: Public Advisory Committees, 29847-29848 2017-13769 Personnel Personnel Management Office RULES Prevailing Rate Systems; CFR Correction, 29699 2017-13805 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions, 29948-29950 2017-13819 Meetings: Hispanic Council on Federal Employment, 29950 2017-13818 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Periodic Reporting, 29808-29809 2017-13830 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 29950 2017-13689 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 29950-29951 2017-13690 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Trade: Generalized System of Preferences; Duty-Free Treatment Modifications (Proc. 9625), 30709-30719 2017-14063 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 29960-29962 2017-13702 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 29956-29960 2017-13703 Miami International Securities Exchange LLC, 29951-29952, 29962-29963 2017-13704 2017-13705 Nasdaq GEMX, LLC, 29968-29970 2017-13708 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 29964-29966 2017-13709 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 29966-29968 2017-13706 OneChicago, LLC, 29953-29956 2017-13707 Selective Selective Service System NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 29970-29972 2017-13768 2017-13771 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Major Disaster Declarations: Idaho, 29972-29973 2017-13749 Tennessee, 29972 2017-13748 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Repatriation/Emergency Medical and Dietary Assistance Loan Application, 29973-29974 2017-13833 Designations as Global Terrorists: Mohammad Yusuf Shah, aka Mohd Yusuf Shah, aka Mohammad Yousuf Shah, aka Mohd Yousuf Shah, aka Mohd Yosuf Shah, aka Mohammed Yusaf Shah, aka Syed Mohammed Yusuf Shah, aka Syed Salahuddin, aka Syed Salahudin, aka Sayeed Salahudeen, aka Peer Sahib, aka Salauddin, 29973 2017-13786 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Center for Mental Health Services, 29909 2017-13734 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29999-30003 2017-13593 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Multiple Bureau of the Fiscal Service Information Collection Requests, 30003 2017-13592 Signing Authority for Corporate and LLC Officials, 30003-30004 2017-13594
U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 29913-29914 2017-13717 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, 29912-29913 2017-13724 Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection RULES Modernization of the Customs Brokers Examination, 29714-29719 2017-13829 NOTICES Automated Commercial Environments: Sole CBP-Authorized Electronic Data Interchange System for Processing Electronic Drawback and Duty Deferral Entry and Entry Summary Filings, 29910 2017-13827 National Customs Automation Program Tests: Reconciliation, Post-Summary Corrections, and Periodic Monthly Statements, 29910-29911 2017-13825 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Board of Veterans' Appeals Voice of the Veteran Appellant Satisfaction Survey, 30006 2017-13730 Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed Loans, 30005-30006 2017-13728 Evidence for Transfer Entitlement of Education Benefits, 30004-30005 2017-13729 General Release for Medical Provider Information to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Authorization and Consent To Release Information to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 30004 2017-13731 Gravesite Reservation Questionnaire, 30006 2017-13732 Notice to Department of Veterans Affairs of Veteran or Beneficiary Incarcerated in Penal Institution, 30007 2017-13727 Meetings: Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, 30004 2017-13774 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 30010-30500 2017-13010 Part III Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 30502-30633 2017-13160 Part IV Environmental Protection Agency, 30636-30680 2017-13659 Part V Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 30682-30708 2017-13520 Part VI Presidential Documents, 30709-30719 2017-14063 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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82 125 Friday, June 30, 2017 Rules and Regulations OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR Part 532 Prevailing Rate Systems CFR Correction

In Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 1 to 699, revised as of January 1, 2017, on page 464, in Part 532, Subpart B, Appendix C, under MINNESOTA, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Area of Application. Survey area plus:, Minnesota:, the first occurrence of “Freeborn” is replaced with “Fillmore”.

[FR Doc. 2017-13805 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 709 RIN 3133-AE41 Safe Harbor AGENCY:

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The NCUA Board (“Board”) is issuing this final rule to amend its regulations regarding the treatment by the Board, as liquidating agent or conservator (“liquidating agent” or “conservator,” respectively) of a federally insured credit union (“FICU”), of financial assets transferred by the credit union in connection with a securitization or a participation. The final rule replaces NCUA's current safe harbor for financial assets transferred in connection with securitizations and participations in which the financial assets were transferred in compliance with the existing regulation, and defines the conditions for safe harbor protection for securitizations and participations for which transfers of financial assets would be made after the effective date of this rule.

DATES:

The effective date for this rule is July 31, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Nilles, Senior Capital Markets Specialist, Office of Examination and Insurance, at (703) 518-1174; or John H. Brolin, Senior Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, at (703) 518-6438; National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

In 2000, when it adopted a regulation codified at 12 CFR 709.10,1 the Board clarified the scope of its statutory authority as conservator or liquidating agent to disaffirm or repudiate contracts of an FICU with respect to transfers of financial assets by a FICU in connection with a securitization or participation. Current § 709.10 provides that a conservator or liquidating agent will not use its statutory authority to disaffirm or repudiate contracts to reclaim, recover, or recharacterize as property of a FICU or the liquidation estate any financial assets transferred by the FICU in connection with a securitization or in the form of a participation, provided that such transfer meets all conditions for sale accounting treatment under generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”).2 Current § 709.10 also provides a “safe harbor” by confirming “legal isolation” if all other standards for off balance sheet accounting treatment, along with some additional conditions focusing on the enforceability of the transaction, were met by the transfer in connection with a securitization or a participation. Satisfaction of “legal isolation” is vital to securitization transactions because of the risk that the pool of financial assets transferred into the securitization trust could be recovered in bankruptcy or in a credit union liquidation. Generally, to satisfy the legal isolation condition, the transferred financial assets must have been presumptively placed beyond the reach of the transferor, its creditors, a bankruptcy trustee, or in the case of a FICU, NCUA as conservator or liquidating agent. Thus, current § 709.10 addresses only purported sales which meet the conditions for off balance sheet accounting treatment under GAAP. The implementation of accounting rules since 2000, however, has created uncertainty for loan participation and potential securitization participants.

1 65 FR 55442 (Sept. 14, 2000).

2 In the Proposal, NCUA stated that the agency had not previously stated that federal credit unions (“FCUs”) have the authority to issue asset-backed securities (“ABS”) and that its understanding was that no FCU had done so. NCUA also does not believe that any federally insured, state-chartered credit unions (“FISCUs”) have issued ABS. Therefore, the securitization aspect of the 2000 Rule has not been applied. In connection with this final rule updating the 2000 Rule, the Office of General Counsel recently published a legal opinion letter on NCUA's Web site, which finds that the securitization of assets is a power incidental to the operation of FCUs. Accordingly, if an FCU (or a FISCU if permitted by state law) issues ABS, these amendments to § 709.10 are necessary to preserve the safe harbor for investors.

A. Modifications to GAAP Accounting Standards

In 2009, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) finalized modifications to GAAP through Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 166, (now codified in FASB Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 860, Transfers and Servicing) and Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 167 (now codified in FASB ASC Topic 810, Consolidation) (together, the “2009 GAAP Modifications”). The 2009 GAAP Modifications made changes that affect whether a special purpose entity (“SPE”) must be consolidated for financial reporting purposes, thereby subjecting many SPEs to GAAP consolidation requirements. These accounting changes could require a FICU to consolidate an issuing entity to which financial assets have been transferred for securitization on to its balance sheet for financial reporting purposes primarily because an affiliate of the FICU retains control over the financial assets. Given the 2009 GAAP Modifications, legal and accounting treatment of a transaction may no longer be aligned. As a result, the safe harbor provision of the 2000 Rule may not apply to a transfer in connection with a securitization that does not qualify for off balance sheet accounting treatment.

FASB ASC Topic 860 also affects the treatment of participation interests transferred by a FICU, in that it defines participating interests as pari-passu, pro-rata interests in financial assets, and subjects the sale of a participation interest to the same conditions as the sale of financial assets. FASB ASC Topic 860 provides that transfers of participation interests that do not qualify for sale treatment will be viewed as secured borrowings. While the GAAP modifications have some effect on participations, most participations are likely to continue to meet the conditions for sale accounting treatment under GAAP.

B. FCU Act Changes

In 2005, Congress enacted Section 207(c)(13)(C) 3 of the Federal Credit Union Act (the “FCU Act”).4 This paragraph generally provides that no person may exercise any right or power to terminate, accelerate, or declare a default under a contract to which the FCU is a party, or obtain possession of or exercise control over any property of the FCU, or affect any contractual rights of the FCU, without the consent of the conservator or liquidating agent, as appropriate, during the 45-day period beginning on the date of the appointment of the conservator or the 90-day period beginning on the date of the appointment of the liquidating agent. If a securitization is treated as a secured borrowing, section 207(c)(13)(C) could prevent the investors from recovering monies due to them for up to 90 days. Consequently, securitized assets that remain property of the FCU (but subject to a security interest) would be subject to the stay, raising concerns that any attempt by securitization investors to exercise remedies with respect to the FCU's assets could be delayed. During the stay, interest and principal on the securitized debt could remain unpaid. This 90-day delay could cause substantial downgrades in the ratings provided on existing securitizations and could prevent planned securitizations for multiple asset classes, such as credit cards, automobile loans, and other credits, from being brought to market.

3 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(13)(C).

4 12 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.

C. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

In response to the changes outlined above, on June 26, 2014, the Board issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (Proposal) to revise the agency's safe harbor provisions.5 The Proposal was prompted in part by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC's) decision in 2010 to issue a final rule to resolve the issues raised by the 2009 GAAP modifications and parallel 2005 changes to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.6 To avoid unnecessary complexity and assure loan participants and securitization investors, the Proposal was modeled on the FDIC's safe harbor rule, which is codified at 12 CFR 360.6, Treatment of Financial Assets Transferred in Connection with a Securitization or Participation.

5 79 FR 36252 (June 26, 2014).

6 75 FR 60287 (Sept. 30, 2010).

The Proposal sought to address concerns of securitization investors and loan participants regarding the impact of the 2009 GAAP Modifications on the eligibility of transfers of financial assets for safe harbor protection by clarifying the position of the conservator or liquidating agent under established law. Under section 207(c)(12) of the FCU Act, the conservator or liquidating agent cannot use its statutory power to repudiate or disaffirm contracts to avoid a legally enforceable and perfected security interest in transferred financial assets “except where such an interest is taken in contemplation of the credit union's insolvency or with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud the credit union or the creditors of such credit union.” 7 This provision applies whether or not a securitization or participation transaction meets the conditions for sale accounting. The Proposal sought to clarify that, prior to any monetary default or repudiation, the conservator or liquidating agent would consent to the making of required payments of principal and interest and other amounts due on the securitized obligations during the statutory stay period.

7 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(12).

In addition, the Proposal stated that, if the conservator or liquidating agent decides to repudiate the securitization transaction, the payment of repudiation damages in an amount equal to the par value of the outstanding obligations on the date of liquidation will discharge the lien on the securitization assets.

Following issuance of NCUA's Proposal, the FDIC issued two additional rules revising its securitization safe harbor rule to (1) be consistent with regulations required under Section 15G of the Securities and Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq. pursuant to section 941(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; 8 and (2) clarify that the documents governing a securitization transaction need not require an action prohibited under Regulation X (12 CFR part 1024).9 The Board has reviewed these changes and believes they are within the scope of the Proposal; consistent with current accepted standards and practices within the securitization industry; and uncontroversial enough in nature so that the public would not reasonably benefit from being given an additional opportunity to provide comments on these minor changes. Accordingly, the Board has amended the original proposed language to incorporate those conforming amendments into § 709.10(b)(5)(i) and (b)(3)(ii)(A) of this final rule. The amendments are discussed in more detail below.

8 80 FR 73087 (Nov. 24, 2015).

9 81 FR 41422 (June 27, 2016).

II. Comments on the Proposal

NCUA received seven comments on the Proposal to continue the safe harbor for financial assets transferred in connection with securitizations and participations in which the financial assets transferred in connection with the securitization. All the commenters supported the Proposal, stating that investors would have no interest in pursuing securitizations without the safe harbor protections. Two commenters, however, did question the proposed limit of six tranches in a securitization. One commenter also questioned the proposed limits on external credit enhancements. These comments are discussed in more detail below. Based on the rationale previously set forth, the commenters overwhelming support, and for the reasons explained in more detail below, the Board has decided to finalize the Proposal with only the slight modification mentioned above to § 709.10(b)(5)(i).

III. Final Rule A. General Considerations

Consistent with the Proposal, this final rule replaces current § 709.10 of NCUA's regulations. Section 709.10(a) of the rule sets forth definitions of terms used in the rule. It retains many of the definitions used in the current § 709.10(a), but modifies or adds definitions to the extent necessary to accurately reflect current industry practice in securitizations. Pursuant to these definitions, the safe harbor does not apply to certain government sponsored enterprises (“Specified GSEs”), affiliates of certain such enterprises, or any entity established or guaranteed by those GSEs. In addition, the rule is not intended to apply to the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”) or Ginnie Mae-guaranteed securitizations. When Ginnie Mae guarantees a security, the mortgages backing the security are assigned to Ginnie Mae, an entity owned entirely by the United States government. Ginnie Mae's statute contains broad authority to enforce its contract with the lender/issuer and its ownership rights in the mortgages backing Ginnie Mae-guaranteed securities. In the event that an entity otherwise subject to the rule issues both guaranteed and non-guaranteed securitizations, the securitizations guaranteed by a Specified GSE are not subject to the rule.

Section 709.10(b) of this final rule imposes conditions to the availability of the safe harbor for transfers of financial assets to an issuing entity in connection with a securitization. These conditions make a clear distinction between the conditions imposed on residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) from those imposed on securitizations for other asset classes. In the context of a conservatorship or liquidation, the conditions applicable to all securitizations will improve overall transparency and clarity through disclosure and documentation requirements, along with ensuring effective incentives for prudent lending by requiring that the payment of principal and interest be based primarily on the performance of the financial assets and by requiring retention of a share of the credit risk in the securitized loans.

The conditions applicable to RMBS are more detailed and include additional capital structure, disclosure, documentation and compensation requirements, as well as a requirement for the establishment of a reserve fund. These requirements are intended to address the factors that caused significant losses in RMBS securitization structures as demonstrated in the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Confidence can be restored in RMBS markets only through greater transparency and other structures that support sustainable mortgage origination practices and require increased disclosures. These standards respond to investor demands for greater transparency and alignment of the interests of parties to the securitization. In addition, they are generally consistent with industry efforts, while taking into account legislative and regulatory initiatives.

B. Capital Structure and Financial Assets

The benefits of this final rule should be available only to securitizations that are readily understood by the market, increase liquidity of the financial assets, and reduce consumer costs. Consistent with the Security and Exchange Commission's (“SEC's”) Regulation AB, the documents governing the securitization must provide financial asset level disclosure as appropriate to the securitized financial assets for any re-securitizations (securitizations supported by other securitization obligations). These disclosures must include full disclosure of the obligations, including the structure and the assets supporting each of the underlying securitization obligations, and not just the obligations that are transferred in the re-securitization. This requirement applies to all re-securitizations, including static re-securitizations as well as managed collateralized debt obligations.

All securitizations. Consistent with the Proposal, this final rule provides that securitizations that are unfunded or synthetic transactions are not eligible for expedited consent. To support sound lending, the documents governing all securitizations must require that payments of principal and interest on the obligations be primarily dependent on the performance of the financial assets supporting the securitization and that such payments not be contingent on market or credit events that are independent of the assets supporting the securitization, except for interest rate or currency mismatches between the financial assets and the obligations to investors.

RMBS only. In formulating the rule, the Board sought to permit innovation and accommodate financing needs, and thus attempted to strike a balance between permitting multi-tranche structures for RMBS transactions and promoting readily understandable securitization structures and limiting overleveraging of residential mortgage assets.

For RMBS only, the Proposal limited the capital structure of the securitization to six or fewer tranches to discourage complex and opaque structures. The most senior tranche could include time-based sequential pay or planned amortization and companion sub-tranches, which are not viewed as separate tranches for the purpose of the six tranche requirement. This condition would not have prevented an issuer from creating the economic equivalent of multiple tranches by re-securitizing one or more tranches, so long as they meet the conditions set forth in the rule, including adequate disclosure in connection with the re-securitization. In addition, RMBS could not include leveraged tranches that introduced market risks (such as leveraged super senior tranches). Although the financial assets transferred into an RMBS would have been permitted to benefit from asset level credit support, such as guarantees (including guarantees provided by governmental agencies, private companies, or government-sponsored enterprises), co-signers, or insurance, the RMBS could not benefit from external credit support at the issuing entity or pool level. The Proposal intended that guarantees permitted at the asset level include guarantees of payment or collection, but not credit default swaps or similar items. The temporary payment of principal and interest, however, could be supported by liquidity facilities. These conditions were designed to limit both the complexity and the leverage of an RMBS and therefore the systemic risks introduced by them in the market. In addition, the Proposal provided that the securitization obligations could be enhanced by credit support or guarantees provided by Specified GSEs. However, as noted in the discussion on the definitions in the Proposal, a securitization that was wholly guaranteed by a Specified GSE would not have been subject to the rule and thus would not have been eligible for the safe harbor.

Public Comments on the Proposal

Two commenters expressed concern that codifying a limit of six credit tranches in a securitization may have the unintended consequence of limiting a FCU's ability to access the market or issuing a securitization at the best possible price. The commenter recommended that, because there is no empirical evidence that structures with more than six tranches create materially more risk than those with less than six, the Board should eliminate this requirement from the safe harbor. In addition, one commenter urged elimination of the prohibition on external credit enhancements for RMBS.

Discussion

The Board disagrees with the commenter's recommendations. As previously stated, the rule was intentionally modeled on § 360.6 of the FDIC's regulations to encourage a market for securitization participants and help assure investors. The limiting language in § 709.10(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) of the Proposal is nearly identical 10 to the language in § 360.6(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) of FDIC's regulation. Retaining the six credit tranche limitation and the prohibition on external credit enhancements will not disadvantage FICUs relative to banks, and will help limit the complexity of assigning a value to securities in the event of liquidation. Accordingly, the Board has decided to retain the proposed language in §§ 709.10(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) in the final rule without change.

10 The text of the provision in NCUA's rule uses the word “must” instead of the word “shall,” which is used in the FDIC rule, the provisions are otherwise identical. No material difference is intended by the use of the word must instead of the word shall in NCUA's rule.

C. Disclosure

For all securitizations, disclosure serves as an effective tool for increasing the demand for high quality financial assets and thereby establishing incentives for robust financial asset underwriting and origination practices. Consistent with the Proposal, this final rule increases transparency in securitizations by enabling investors to decide whether to invest in a securitization based on full information with respect to the quality of the asset pool and thereby provide additional liquidity only for sustainable origination practices.

The data must enable investors to analyze the credit quality for the specific asset classes that are being securitized. The documents governing securitizations must, at a minimum, require disclosure for all issuances to include the types of information required under current Regulation AB or any successor disclosure requirements with the level of specificity that applies to public issuances, even if the obligations are issued in a private placement or are not otherwise required to be registered.

The documents governing securitizations that qualify under the rule must require disclosure of the structure of the securitization and the credit and payment performance of the obligations, including the relevant capital or tranche structure and any liquidity facilities and credit enhancements. The disclosure must be required to include the priority of payments and any specific subordination features, as well as any waterfall triggers or priority of payment reversal features. The disclosure at issuance must include the representations and warranties made with respect to the financial assets and the remedies for breach of such representations and warranties, including any relevant timeline for cure or repurchase of financial assets, and policies governing delinquencies, servicer advances, loss mitigation and write offs of financial assets. The documents must also require that periodic reports provided to investors include the credit performance of the obligations and financial assets, including periodic and cumulative financial asset performance data, modification data, substitution and removal of financial assets, servicer advances, losses that were allocated to each tranche and remaining balance of financial assets supporting each tranche as well as the percentage coverage for each tranche in relation to the securitization as a whole. Where appropriate for the type of financial assets included in the pool, reports must also include asset level information that may be relevant to investors (e.g., changes in occupancy, loan delinquencies, defaults, etc.). NCUA recognizes that for certain asset classes, such as credit card receivables, the disclosure of asset level information is less informative and, thus, will not be required.

The securitization documents must also require disclosure to investors of the nature and amount of compensation paid to any mortgage or other broker, the servicer(s), rating agency or third-party advisor, and the originator or sponsor, and the extent to which any risk of loss on the underlying financial assets is retained by any of them for such securitization. The documents must require disclosure of changes to this information while obligations are outstanding. This disclosure should enable investors to assess potential conflicts of interests and how the compensation structure affects the quality of the assets securitized or the securitization as a whole.

For RMBS, consistent with the Proposal, this final rule requires the sponsor to disclose loan level data as to the financial assets securing the mortgage loans, such as loan type, loan structure, maturity, interest rate and location of property. Sponsors of securitizations of residential mortgages will be required to affirm compliance in all material respects with applicable statutory and regulatory standards for origination of mortgage loans. None of the disclosure conditions should be construed as requiring the disclosure of personally identifiable information of obligors or information that would violate applicable privacy laws. The rule requires sponsors to disclose a third-party due diligence report on compliance with standards and representations and warranties made about the financial assets.

Finally, this final rule, consistent with the Proposal, specifies that the securitization documents require disclosure by servicers of any ownership interest of the servicer or any affiliate of the servicer in other whole loans secured by the same real property that secures a loan included in the financial asset pool. This provision does not require disclosure of interests held by servicers or their affiliates in the securitization securities. This provision is intended to give investors information to evaluate potential servicer conflicts of interest that might impede the servicer's actions to maximize value for the benefit of investors.

D. Documentation and Recordkeeping

For all securitizations, this final rule, consistent with the Proposal, requires operative agreements to use available standardized documentation for each available asset class. It is not possible to define in advance when use of standardized documentation will be appropriate, but when there is general market use of a form of documentation for a particular asset class, or where a trade group has formulated standardized documentation generally accepted by the industry, such documentation must be used.

Consistent with the Proposal, the rule also requires that securitization documents define the contractual rights and responsibilities of the parties, including but not limited to representations and warranties, ongoing disclosure requirements and any measures to avoid conflicts of interest. The documents are required to provide authority for the parties to fulfill their rights and responsibilities under the securitization contracts.

Consistent with the Proposal, additional conditions apply to RMBS to address a significant issue that has been demonstrated in the mortgage crisis by requiring that servicers have authority to mitigate losses on mortgage loans consistent with maximizing net present value of the mortgages. Therefore, for RMBS, contractual provisions in the servicing agreement must provide servicers with authority to modify loans to address reasonably foreseeable defaults and to take other action to maximize the value and minimize losses on the securitized financial assets. The documents must require servicers to apply industry best practices related to asset management and servicing.

The RMBS documents may not give control of servicing discretion to a particular class of investors. The documents must require that the servicer act for the benefit of all investors rather than for the benefit of any particular class of investors. Consistent with the forgoing, the documents must require the servicer to commence action to mitigate losses no later than ninety days after an asset first becomes delinquent unless all delinquencies on such an asset have been cured. A servicer must be required to maintain sufficient records of its actions to permit appropriate review of its actions.

In January 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) adopted mortgage loan servicing requirements that became effective on January 10, 2014. One of the requirements, set forth in Subpart C to Regulation X, at 12 CFR 1024.41, generally prohibits a servicer from commencing a foreclosure unless the borrower's mortgage loan obligation is more than 120 days delinquent. This section of Regulation X also provides additional rules that, among other things, require a lender to further delay foreclosure if the borrower submits a loss mitigation application before the lender has commenced the foreclosure process, and requires a lender to delay a foreclosure for which it has commenced the foreclosure process if a borrower has submitted a complete loss mitigation application more than 37 days before a foreclosure sale.11

11See 12 CFR 1024.41(f) and (g).

In response to this change, the Board is now making minor amendments in this final rule to clarify that the 90-day loss mitigation requirement does not conflict with the foreclosure commencement delays mandated by the CFPB under Regulation X. In particular, § 709.10(b)(3)(ii)(A) retains the original language proposed, but now includes additional language stating that the loss mitigation action requirement thereunder “will not be deemed to require that the documents include any provision concerning loss mitigation that requires any action that may conflict with the requirements of Regulation X. . . .”

In addition, NCUA believes that a prolonged period of servicer advances in a market downturn misaligns servicer incentives with those of the RMBS investors. Servicing advances also serve to aggravate liquidity concerns, exposing the market to greater systemic risk. Occasional advances for late payments, however, are beneficial to ensure that investors are paid in a timely manner. To that end, consistent with the Proposal, the servicing agreement for RMBS must not require the primary servicer to advance delinquent payments of principal and interest by borrowers for more than three payment periods unless financing or reimbursement facilities to fund or reimburse the primary servicers are available. However, such facilities shall not be dependent for repayment on foreclosure proceeds.

E. Compensation

Consistent with the Proposal, the compensation requirements of this final rule apply only to RMBS. Due to the demonstrated issues in the compensation incentives in RMBS, the rule seeks to realign compensation to parties involved in the rating and servicing of residential mortgage securitizations.

The securitization documents are required to provide that any fees payable credit rating agencies or similar third-party evaluation companies must be payable in part over the five-year period after the initial issuance of the obligations based on the performance of surveillance services and the performance of the financial assets, with no more than 60% of the total estimated compensation due at closing. Thus, payments to rating agencies must be based on the actual performance of the financial assets, not their ratings.

A second area of concern is aligning incentives for proper servicing of the mortgage loans. Therefore, the documents must require that compensation to servicers must include incentives for servicing, including payment for loan restructuring or other loss mitigation activities, which maximizes the net present value of the financial assets in the RMBS.

F. Origination and Retention Requirements

As discussed above and consistent with the Proposal, this final rule imposes conditions addressing origination and retention requirements for all securitizations to provide further incentives for quality origination practices. Because the regulations required under Section 15G of the Securities Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq., added by Section 941(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act have now gone into effect,12 the Board has amended this final rule to eliminate the references to the retention requirements for securities issued prior to the effective dates of that rulemaking. Accordingly, the final rule now provides that for any securitization, the documents creating the securitization shall require retention of an economic interest in the credit risk of the financial assets in accordance with the regulations required under Section 15G of the Securities Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq., added by Section 941(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, including restrictions on sale, pledging and hedging set forth therein.

12 79 FR 77602 (Dec. 24, 2014) (Providing that the effective dates for under the Section 15G Regulations is December 24, 2015 for residential mortgage securitizations and December 24, 2016 for all other securitizations.).

The Board continues to believe that requiring the sponsor to retain an economic interest in the credit risk relating to each credit tranche or in a representative sample of financial assets will help ensure quality origination practices. A risk retention requirement that did not cover all types of exposure would not be sufficient to create an incentive for quality underwriting at all levels of the securitization. The recent economic crisis made clear that, if quality underwriting is to be assured, it will require true risk retention by sponsors, and that the existence of representations and warranties or regulatory standards for underwriting will not alone be sufficient.

G. Additional Conditions

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(c) of this final rule includes general conditions for securitizations and the transfer of financial assets. These conditions also include requirements that are consistent with good financial institution practices.

The transaction should be an arms-length, bona fide securitization transaction and the documents must limit sales to credit union service organizations in which the sponsor credit union has an interest (other than a wholly-owned credit union service organization consolidated for accounting and capital purposes with the credit union), and insiders of the sponsor. The securitization agreements must be in writing, approved by the board of directors of the credit union or its loan committee (as reflected in the minutes of a meeting of the board of directors or committee), and have been, continuously, from the time of execution, in the official record of the credit union. The securitization must have been entered into in the ordinary course of business, not in contemplation of insolvency and with no intent to hinder, delay or defraud the credit union or its creditors.

The rule applies only to transfers made for adequate consideration. The transfer and/or security interest need to be properly perfected under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) or applicable state law. NCUA anticipates that it will be difficult to determine whether a transfer complying with the rule is a sale or a security interest, and therefore expects that a security interest will be properly perfected under the UCC, either directly or as a backup.

The governing documents must require that the sponsor separately identify in its financial asset data bases the financial assets transferred into a securitization and maintain an electronic or paper copy of the closing documents in a readily accessible form, and that the sponsor maintain a current list of all of its outstanding securitizations and issuing entities, and the most recent SEC Form 10-K or other periodic financial report for each securitization and issuing entity. The documents must also provide that if acting as servicer, custodian or paying agent, the sponsor is not permitted to commingle amounts received with respect to the financial assets with its own assets except for the time necessary to clear payments received, and in event for more than two business days. The documents must require the sponsor to make these records available to NCUA promptly upon request. This requirement will facilitate the timely fulfillment of the conservator's or liquidating agent's responsibilities upon appointment and will expedite the conservator's or liquidating agent's analysis of securitization assets. This will also facilitate the conservator's or liquidating agent's analysis of the credit union's assets and determination of which assets have been securitized and are therefore potentially eligible for expedited access by investors.

In addition, the rule requires that the transfer of financial assets and the duties of the sponsor as transferor be evidenced by an agreement separate from the agreement governing the sponsor's duties, if any, as servicer, custodian, paying agent, credit support provider or in any capacity other than transferor.

H. The Safe Harbor

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(d)(1) of the rule continues the safe harbor provision that was provided by the 2000 Rule with respect to participations so long as the participation satisfies the conditions for sale accounting treatment set forth by generally accepted accounting principles. In addition, last-in first-out participations are specifically included in the safe harbor, provided that they satisfy requirements for sale accounting treatment other than the pari-passu, proportionate interest requirement that is not satisfied solely as a result of the last-in first-out structure.

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(d)(2) of the Rule addresses transfers of financial assets made in connection with a securitization for which transfers of financial assets are made after the effective date of this rule or securitizations from a master trust or revolving trust established after the date of adoption of this rule, that (in each case) satisfy the conditions for sale accounting treatment under GAAP in effect for reporting periods after November 15, 2009. For such securitizations, NCUA as conservator or liquidating agent will not, in the exercise of its statutory authority to disaffirm or repudiate contracts, reclaim, recover, or recharacterize as property of the institution or the liquidation estate any such transferred financial assets, provided that such securitizations comply with the conditions set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of the rule.

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(d)(3) of the Rule addresses transfers of financial assets in connection with a securitization for which transfers of financial assets were made after the effective date of this rule or securitizations from a master trust or revolving trust established after the date of adoption of the rule, that (in each case) satisfy the conditions set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c), but where the transfer does not satisfy the conditions for sale accounting treatment under GAAP in effect for reporting periods after November 15, 2009.

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(d)(3)(i) provides that if the conservator or liquidating agent is in monetary default due to its failure to pay or apply collections from the financial assets received by it in accordance with the securitization documents, and remains in monetary default for ten business days after actual delivery of a written notice to the conservator or liquidating agent requesting exercise of contractual rights because of such default, the conservator or liquidating agent consents to the exercise of such contractual rights, including any rights to obtain possession of the financial assets or the exercise of self-help remedies as a secured creditor, provided that no involvement of the conservator or liquidating agent is required, other than consents, waivers or the execution of transfer documents reasonably requested in the ordinary course of business in order facilitate the exercise of such contractual rights. This paragraph also provides that the consent to the exercise of such contractual rights shall serve as full satisfaction for all amounts due.

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(d)(3)(ii) provides that, if the conservator or liquidating agent gives a written notice of repudiation of the securitization agreement pursuant to which assets were transferred and does not pay the damages due by reason of such repudiation within ten business days following the effective date of the notice, the conservator or liquidating agent consents to the exercise of any contractual rights, including any rights to obtain possession of the financial assets or the exercise of self-help remedies as a secured creditor, provided that no involvement of the conservator or liquidating agent is required other than consents, waivers or the execution of transfer documents reasonably requested in the ordinary course of business in order facilitate the exercise of such contractual rights. Paragraph 3(d)(ii) also provides that the damages due for these purposes shall be an amount equal to the par value of the obligations outstanding on the date of liquidation less any payments of principal received by the investors through the date of repudiation, plus unpaid, accrued interest through the date of repudiation to the extent actually received through payments on the financial assets received through the date of repudiation, and that upon receipt of such payment all liens on the financial assets created pursuant to the securitization documents shall be released.

In computing amounts payable as repudiation damages, consistent with the FCU Act, the conservator or liquidating agent will not give effect to any provisions of the securitization documents increasing the amount payable based on the appointment of as the conservator or liquidating agent.13 The rule clarifies that repudiation damages will be equal to the par value of the obligations as of the date of liquidation, less payments of principal received by the investors to the date of repudiation, plus unpaid, accrued interest through the date of repudiation to the extent actually received through payments on the financial assets received through the date of repudiation. The rule also provides that the conservator or liquidating agent consents to the exercise of remedies by investors, including self-help remedies as secured creditors, in the event that NCUA repudiates a securitization transfer agreement and does not pay damages in such amount within ten business days following the effective date of notice of repudiation. Thus, if NCUA repudiates and the investors are not paid the par value of the securitization obligations, plus unpaid, accrued interest through the date of repudiation to the extent actually received through payments on the financial assets received through the date of repudiation, they will be permitted to obtain the asset pool. Accordingly, exercise by the conservator or the liquidating agent of its repudiation rights will not expose investors to market value risks relating to the asset pool.

13 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(13).

I. Consent to Certain Payments and Servicing

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(e) provides that prior to repudiation or, in the case of monetary default, prior to the effectiveness of the consent referred to in § 709.10(d)(3)(i), the conservator or liquidating agent consents to the making of, or if acting as servicer agrees to make, required payments to the investors during the stay period imposed by 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(13)(C). The rule also provides that the conservator or liquidating agent consents to any servicing activity required in furtherance of the securitization (subject to its rights to repudiate the servicing agreements), in connection with securitizations that meet the conditions set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of § 709.10 of the rule.

J. Miscellaneous

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(f) requires that any party requesting consent pursuant to paragraph (d)(3), provide notice to the conservator or liquidating agent, together with a statement of the basis upon which the request is made, together with copies of all documentation supporting the request. This includes a copy of the applicable agreements (such as the transfer agreement and the security agreement) and of any applicable notices under the agreements.

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(g) provides that the conservator or liquidating agent will not seek to avoid an otherwise legally enforceable agreement that is executed by a FICU in connection with a securitization solely because the agreement does not meet the “contemporaneous” requirement of 12 U.S.C. 1787(b)(9) and 1788(a)(3).

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(h) of the rule provides that the consents set forth in the rule will not act to waive or relinquish any rights granted to NCUA, the conservator, or the liquidating agent, in any capacity, pursuant to any other applicable law or any agreement or contract except as specifically set forth in the rule, and nothing contained in the section will alter the claims priority of the securitized obligations.

Consistent with the Proposal, § 709.10(i) provides that except as specifically set forth in the rule, the rule does not authorize, and shall not be construed as authorizing the attachment of any involuntary lien upon the property of the conservator or liquidating agent. The rule should not be construed as waiving, limiting or otherwise affecting the rights or powers of NCUA, the conservator, or the liquidating agent to take any action or to exercise any power not specifically mentioned, including but not limited to any rights, powers or remedies of the conservator or the liquidating agent regarding transfers taken in contemplation of the FICU's insolvency or with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud the FICU, or the creditors of such FICU, or that is a fraudulent transfer under applicable law.

The right to consent under 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(13)(C) may not be assigned or transferred to any purchaser of property from a conservator or liquidating agent, other than to a conservator or bridge credit union. The rule can be repealed by NCUA upon 30 days' notice provided in the Federal Register, but any repeal will not apply to any issuance that complied with the rule before such repeal.

III. Regulatory Procedures 1. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires NCUA to prepare an analysis of any significant economic impact any proposed regulation may have on a substantial number of small entities (primarily those under $100 million in assets).14 The final rule will apply only to the largest credit unions, as they are the only ones with the infrastructure and resources to securitize assets. Accordingly, the Board certifies it will not have an economic impact on any small credit unions.

14 5 U.S.C. 603(a); 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(1).

2. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency by rule creates a new paperwork burden on regulated entities or increases an existing burden.15 For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the form of a reporting or recordkeeping requirement, both referred to as information collections. The changes to part 709 impose new information collection requirements.

15 44 U.S.C. 3507(d); 5 CFR part 1320.

Estimated PRA Burden: The information collection requirements are related to federal security filings. As discussed above, because this final rule is based on 12 CFR 360.6, the NCUA has also based its information collection requirements on the information collection estimates provided under that regulation. According, NCUA's burden estimates for the applications are as follows:

1. 10K Annual Report

Non Reg AB Compliant:

Estimated Number of Respondents: 2.

Affected Public: NCUA-insured credit unions.

Frequency of Response: 1 time per year.

Average Time per Response: 27 hours.

Estimated Annual Burden: 54 hours.

Reg AB Compliant:

Estimated Number of Respondents: 2.

Affected Public: NCUA-insured credit unions.

Frequency of Response: 1 time per year.

Average Time per Response: 4.5 hours.

Estimated Annual Burden: 9 hours.

2. 8K Annual Report

Non Reg AB Compliant:

Estimated Number of Respondents: 2.

Affected Public: NCUA-insured credit unions.

Frequency of Response: 2 time per year.

Average Time per Response: 27 hours.

Estimated Annual Burden: 108 hours.

Reg AB Compliant:

Estimated Number of Respondents: 2.

Affected Public: NCUA-insured credit unions.

Frequency of Response: 2 time per year.

Average Time per Response: 4.5 hours.

Estimated Annual Burden: 18 hours.

3. 10D Annual Report

Non Reg AB Compliant:

Estimated Number of Respondents: 2.

Affected Public: NCUA-insured credit unions.

Frequency of Response: 5 time per year.

Average Time per Response: 27 hours.

Estimated Annual Burden: 270 hours.

Reg AB Compliant:

Estimated Number of Respondents: 2.

Affected Public: NCUA-insured credit unions.

Frequency of Response: 5 time per year.

Average Time per Response: 4.5 hours.

Estimated Annual Burden: 45 hours.

4. 12b-25 Notification

Estimated Number of Respondents: 2.

Affected Public: NCUA-insured credit unions.

Frequency of Response: 2 time per year.

Average Time per Response: 2.5 hours.

Estimated Annual Burden: 10 hours.

3. Executive Order 13132

Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order to adhere to fundamental federalism principles. This final rule does not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. NCUA has therefore determined that this final does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

4. Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

NCUA has determined that this rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999, Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998).

5. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act Fairness Act

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121) (SBREFA) provides generally for congressional review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in instances where NCUA issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of the Administrative Procedure Act.16 NCUA does not believe this final rule is a “major rule” within the meaning of the relevant sections of SBREFA. As required by SBREFA, NCUA has filed the appropriate reports so that this final rule may be reviewed.

16 5 U.S.C. 551.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 709

Credit unions, Liquidations.

By the National Credit Union Administration Board, on June 23, 2017. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

For the reasons discussed above, the National Credit Union Administration amends 12 CFR part 709 as follows:

PART 709—INVOLUNTARY LIQUIDATION OF FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS AND ADJUDICATION OF CREDITOR CLAIMS INVOLVING FEDERALLY INSURED CREDIT UNIONS IN LIQUIDATION 1. The authority citation for part 709 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1757, 1766, 1767, 1786(h), 1787, 1789, 1789a.

2. Revise § 709.10 to read as follows:
§ 709.10 Treatment of financial assets transferred in connection with a securitization or participation.

(a) Definitions.

Financial asset means cash or a contract or instrument that conveys to one entity a contractual right to receive cash or another financial instrument from another entity.

Investor means a person or entity that owns an obligation issued by an issuing entity.

Issuing entity means an entity that owns a financial asset or financial assets transferred by the sponsor and issues obligations supported by such asset or assets. Issuing entities may include, but are not limited to, corporations, partnerships, trusts, and limited liability companies and are commonly referred to as special purpose vehicles or special purpose entities. To the extent a securitization is structured as a multi-step transfer, the term issuing entity would include both the issuer of the obligations and any intermediate entities that may be a transferee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Specified GSE or an entity established or guaranteed by a Specified GSE does not constitute an issuing entity.

Monetary default means a default in the payment of principal or interest when due following the expiration of any cure period.

Obligation means a debt or equity (or mixed) beneficial interest or security that is primarily serviced by the cash flows of one or more financial assets or financial asset pools, either fixed or revolving, that by their terms convert into cash within a finite time period, or upon the disposition of the underlying financial assets, and by any rights or other assets designed to assure the servicing or timely distributions of proceeds to the security holders issued by an issuing entity. The term may include beneficial interests in a grantor trust, common law trust or similar issuing entity to the extent that such interests satisfy the criteria set forth in the preceding sentence, but does not include LLC interests, partnership interests, common or preferred equity, or similar instruments evidencing ownership of the issuing entity.

Participation means the transfer or assignment of an undivided interest in all or part of a financial asset, that has all of the characteristics of a “participating interest,” from a seller, known as the “lead,” to a buyer, known as the “participant,” without recourse to the lead, pursuant to an agreement between the lead and the participant. “Without recourse” means that the participation is not subject to any agreement that requires the lead to repurchase the participant's interest or to otherwise compensate the participant upon the borrower's default on the underlying obligation.

Securitization means the issuance by an issuing entity of obligations for which the investors are relying on the cash flow or market value characteristics and the credit quality of transferred financial assets (together with any external credit support permitted by this section) to repay the obligations.

Servicer means any entity responsible for the management or collection of some or all of the financial assets on behalf of the issuing entity or making allocations or distributions to holders of the obligations, including reporting on the overall cash flow and credit characteristics of the financial assets supporting the securitization to enable the issuing entity to make payments to investors on the obligations. The term “servicer” does not include a trustee for the issuing entity or the holders of obligations that makes allocations or distributions to holders of the obligations if the trustee receives such allocations or distributions from a servicer and the trustee does not otherwise perform the functions of a servicer.

Specified GSE means each of the following:

(1) The Federal National Mortgage Association and any affiliate thereof;

(2) Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation and any affiliate thereof;

(3) The Government National Mortgage Association; and

(4) Any Federal or State sponsored mortgage finance agency.

Sponsor means a person or entity that organizes and initiates a securitization by transferring financial assets, either directly or indirectly, including through an affiliate, to an issuing entity, whether or not such person owns an interest in the issuing entity or owns any of the obligations issued by the issuing entity.

Transfer means:

(1) The conveyance of a financial asset or financial assets to an issuing entity; or

(2) The creation of a security interest in such asset or assets for the benefit of the issuing entity.

(b) Coverage. This section applies to securitizations that meet the following criteria:

(1) Capital structure and financial assets. The documents creating the securitization must define the payment structure and capital structure of the transaction.

(i) Requirements applicable to all securitizations. (A) The securitization may not consist of re-securitizations of obligations or collateralized debt obligations unless the documents creating the securitization require that disclosures required in paragraph (b)(2) of this section are made available to investors for the underlying assets supporting the securitization at initiation and while obligations are outstanding; and

(B) The documents creating the securitization must require that payment of principal and interest on the securitization obligation will be primarily based on the performance of financial assets that are transferred to the issuing entity and, except for interest rate or currency mismatches between the financial assets and the obligations, will not be contingent on market or credit events that are independent of such financial assets. The securitization may not be an unfunded securitization or a synthetic transaction.

(ii) Requirements applicable only to securitizations in which the financial assets include any residential mortgage loans. (A) The capital structure of the securitization must be limited to no more than six credit tranches and cannot include “sub-tranches,” grantor trusts or other structures. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the most senior credit tranche may include time-based sequential pay or planned amortization and companion sub-tranches; and

(B) The credit quality of the obligations cannot be enhanced at the issuing entity or pool level through external credit support or guarantees. However, the credit quality of the obligations may be enhanced by credit support or guarantees provided by Specified GSEs and the temporary payment of principal and/or interest may be supported by liquidity facilities, including facilities designed to permit the temporary payment of interest following appointment of the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent. Individual financial assets transferred into a securitization may be guaranteed, insured, or otherwise benefit from credit support at the loan level through mortgage and similar insurance or guarantees, including by private companies, agencies or other governmental entities, or government-sponsored enterprises, and/or through co-signers or other guarantees.

(2) Disclosures. The documents must require that the sponsor, issuing entity, and/or servicer, as appropriate, will make available to investors, information describing the financial assets, obligations, capital structure, compensation of relevant parties, and relevant historical performance data set forth in this paragraph (b)(2).

(i) Requirements applicable to all securitizations. (A) The documents must require that, on or prior to issuance of obligations and at the time of delivery of any periodic distribution report and, in any event, at least once per calendar quarter, while obligations are outstanding, information about the obligations and the securitized financial assets will be disclosed to all potential investors at the financial asset or pool level and security level, as appropriate for the financial assets, to enable evaluation and analysis of the credit risk and performance of the obligations and financial assets. The documents must require that such information and its disclosure, at a minimum, complies with the requirements of Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation AB, or any successor disclosure requirements for public issuances, even if the obligations are issued in a private placement or are not otherwise required to be registered. Information that is unknown or not available to the sponsor or the issuer after reasonable investigation may be omitted if the issuer includes a statement in the offering documents disclosing that the specific information is otherwise unavailable.

(B) The documents must require that, on or prior to issuance of obligations, the structure of the securitization and the credit and payment performance of the obligations will be disclosed, including the capital or tranche structure, the priority of payments, and specific subordination features; representations and warranties made with respect to the financial assets, the remedies for, and the time permitted for cure of any breach of representations and warranties, including the repurchase of financial assets, if applicable; liquidity facilities and any credit enhancements permitted by this rule, any waterfall triggers, or priority of payment reversal features; and policies governing delinquencies, servicer advances, loss mitigation, and write-offs of financial assets.

(C) The documents must require that while obligations are outstanding, the issuing entity will provide to investors information with respect to the credit performance of the obligations and the financial assets, including periodic and cumulative financial asset performance data, delinquency and modification data for the financial assets, substitutions and removal of financial assets, servicer advances, as well as losses that were allocated to such tranche and remaining balance of financial assets supporting such tranche, if applicable, and the percentage of each tranche in relation to the securitization as a whole.

(D) In connection with the issuance of obligations, the documents must disclose the nature and amount of compensation paid to the originator, sponsor, rating agency or third-party advisor, any mortgage or other broker, and the servicer(s), and the extent to which any risk of loss on the underlying assets is retained by any of them for such securitization be disclosed. The securitization documents must require the issuer to provide to investors while obligations are outstanding any changes to such information and the amount and nature of payments of any deferred compensation or similar arrangements to any of the parties.

(ii) Requirements applicable only to securitizations in which the financial assets include any residential mortgage loans. (A) Prior to issuance of obligations, sponsors must disclose loan level information about the financial assets including, but not limited to, loan type, loan structure (for example, fixed or adjustable, resets, interest rate caps, balloon payments, etc.), maturity, interest rate and/or Annual Percentage Rate, and location of the property.

(B) Prior to issuance of obligations, sponsors must affirm compliance in all material respects with applicable statutory and regulatory standards for the underwriting and origination of residential mortgage loans. Sponsors must disclose a third-party due diligence report on compliance with such standards and the representations and warranties made with respect to the financial assets.

(C) The documents must require that prior to issuance of obligations and while obligations are outstanding, servicers will disclose any ownership interest by the servicer or an affiliate of the servicer in other whole loans secured by the same real property that secures a loan included in the financial asset pool. The ownership of an obligation, as defined in this regulation, does not constitute an ownership interest requiring disclosure.

(3) Documentation and recordkeeping. The documents creating the securitization must specify the respective contractual rights and responsibilities of all parties and include the requirements described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section and use as appropriate any available standardized documentation for each different asset class.

(i) Requirements applicable to all securitizations. The documents must define the contractual rights and responsibilities of the parties, including but not limited to representations and warranties and ongoing disclosure requirements, and any measures to avoid conflicts of interest; and provide authority for the parties, including but not limited to the originator, sponsor, servicer, and investors, to fulfill their respective duties and exercise their rights under the contracts and clearly distinguish between any multiple roles performed by any party.

(ii) Requirements applicable only to securitizations in which the financial assets include any residential mortgage loans. (A) Servicing and other agreements must provide servicers with authority, subject to contractual oversight by any master servicer or oversight advisor, if any, to mitigate losses on financial assets consistent with maximizing the net present value of the financial asset. Servicers shall have the authority to modify assets to address reasonably foreseeable default, and to take other action to maximize the value and minimize losses on the securitized financial assets. The documents shall require that the servicers apply industry best practices for asset management and servicing. The documents shall require the servicer to act for the benefit of all investors, and not for the benefit of any particular class of investors, that the servicer maintain records of its actions to permit full review by the trustee or other representative of the investors and that the servicer must commence action to mitigate losses no later than ninety (90) days after an asset first becomes delinquent unless all delinquencies have been cured, provided that this requirement will not be deemed to require that the documents include any provision concerning loss mitigation that requires any action that may conflict with the requirements of Regulation X (12 CFR part 1024), as Regulation X may be amended or modified from time to time.

(B) The servicing agreement may not require a primary servicer to advance delinquent payments of principal and interest for more than three payment periods, unless financing or reimbursement facilities are available, which may include, but are not limited to, the obligations of the master servicer or issuing entity to fund or reimburse the primary servicer, or alternative reimbursement facilities. Such “financing or reimbursement facilities” under this paragraph may not be dependent for repayment on foreclosure proceeds.

(4) Compensation. The following requirements apply only to securitizations in which the financial assets include any residential mortgage loans. Compensation to parties involved in the securitization of such financial assets must be structured to provide incentives for sustainable credit and the long-term performance of the financial assets and securitization as follows:

(i) The documents must require that any fees or other compensation for services payable to credit rating agencies or similar third-party evaluation companies are payable, in part, over the five-year period after the first issuance of the obligations based on the performance of surveillance services and the performance of the financial assets, with no more than sixty percent of the total estimated compensation due at closing; and

(ii) The documents must provide that compensation to servicers will include incentives for servicing, including payment for loan restructuring or other loss mitigation activities, which maximizes the net present value of the financial assets. Such incentives may include payments for specific services, and actual expenses, to maximize the net present value or a structure of incentive fees to maximize the net present value, or any combination of the foregoing that provides such incentives.

(5) Origination and retention requirements—(i) Requirements applicable to all securitizations. For any securitization, the documents creating the securitization shall require retention of an economic interest in the credit risk of the financial assets in accordance with the regulations required under Section 15G of the Securities Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq., added by Section 941(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, including restrictions on sale, pledging and hedging set forth therein.

(ii) Requirements applicable only to securitizations in which the financial assets include any residential mortgage loans. (A) The documents must require the establishment of a reserve fund equal to at least five (5) percent of the cash proceeds of the securitization payable to the sponsor to cover the repurchase of any financial assets required for breach of representations and warranties. The balance of such fund, if any, must be released to the sponsor one year after the date of issuance.

(B) The documents must include a representation that the assets were originated in all material respects in compliance with statutory, regulatory, and originator underwriting standards in effect at the time of origination. The documents must include a representation that the mortgages included in the securitization were underwritten at the fully indexed rate, based upon the borrowers' ability to repay the mortgage according to its terms, and rely on documented income and comply with all existing all laws, rules, regulations, and guidance governing the underwriting of residential mortgages by federally insured credit unions.

(c) Other requirements. (1) The transaction should be an arms-length, bona fide securitization transaction. The documents must require that the obligations issued in a securitization shall not be predominantly sold to a credit union service organization in which the sponsor credit union has an interest (other than a wholly-owned credit union service organization consolidated for accounting and capital purposes with the credit union) or insider of the sponsor;

(2) The securitization agreements are in writing, approved by the board of directors of the credit union or its loan committee (as reflected in the minutes of a meeting of the board of directors or committee), and have been, continuously, from the time of execution in the official record of the credit union;

(3) The securitization was entered into in the ordinary course of business, not in contemplation of insolvency and with no intent to hinder, delay, or defraud the credit union or its creditors;

(4) The transfer was made for adequate consideration;

(5) The transfer and/or security interest was properly perfected under the UCC or applicable state law;

(6) The transfer and duties of the sponsor as transferor must be evidenced in a separate agreement from its duties, if any, as servicer, custodian, paying agent, credit support provider, or in any capacity other than the transferor; and

(7) The documents must require that the sponsor separately identify in its financial asset data bases the financial assets transferred into any securitization and maintain (i) an electronic or paper copy of the closing documents for each securitization in a readily accessible form, (ii) a current list of all of its outstanding securitizations and the respective issuing entities, and (iii) the most recent Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K, if applicable, or other periodic financial report for each securitization and issuing entity. The documents must provide that to the extent serving as servicer, custodian, or paying agent for the securitization, the sponsor may not comingle amounts received with respect to the financial assets with its own assets except for the time, not to exceed two business days, necessary to clear any payments received. The documents must require that the sponsor will make these records readily available for review by NCUA promptly upon written request.

(d) Safe harbor—(1) Participations. With respect to transfers of financial assets made in connection with participations, the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent will not, in the exercise of its statutory authority to disaffirm or repudiate contracts, reclaim, recover, or recharacterize as property of the credit union or the liquidation estate any such transferred financial assets, provided that such transfer satisfies the conditions for sale accounting treatment under generally accepted accounting principles, except for the “legal isolation” condition that is addressed by this section. The foregoing sentence applies to a last-in, first-out participation, provided that the transfer of a portion of the financial asset satisfies the conditions for sale accounting treatment under generally accepted accounting principles that would have applied to such portion if it had met the definition of a “participating interest,” except for the “legal isolation” condition that is addressed by this section.

(2) For securitizations meeting sale accounting requirements. With respect to any securitization for which transfers of financial assets were made after adoption of this rule, or from a master trust or revolving trust established after adoption of this rule, and which complies with the requirements applicable to that securitization as set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent will not, in the exercise of its statutory authority to disaffirm or repudiate contracts, reclaim, recover, or recharacterize as property of the credit union or the liquidation estate such transferred financial assets, provided that such transfer satisfies the conditions for sale accounting treatment under generally accepted accounting principles in effect for reporting periods after November 15, 2009, except for the “legal isolation” condition that is addressed by this paragraph (d)(2).

(3) For securitizations not meeting sale accounting requirements. With respect to any securitization for which transfers of financial assets were made after adoption of this rule, or from a master trust or revolving trust established after adoption of this rule, and which complies with the requirements applicable to that securitization as set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, but where the transfer does not satisfy the conditions for sale accounting treatment set forth by generally accepted accounting principles in effect for reporting periods after November 15, 2009, the following conditions apply:

(i) Monetary default. If, at any time after appointment, the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent is in a monetary default under a securitization due to its failure to pay or apply collections from the financial assets received by it in accordance with the securitization documents, whether as servicer or otherwise, and remains in monetary default for ten business days after actual delivery of a written notice to the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section requesting the exercise of contractual rights because of such monetary default, the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent hereby consents pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(13)(C) to the exercise of any contractual rights in accordance with the documents governing such securitization, including but not limited to taking possession of the financial assets and exercising self-help remedies as a secured creditor under the transfer agreements, provided no involvement of the conservator or liquidating agent is required other than such consents, waivers, or execution of transfer documents as may be reasonably requested in the ordinary course of business in order to facilitate the exercise of such contractual rights. Such consent does not waive or otherwise deprive the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent or its assignees of any seller's interest or other obligation or interest issued by the issuing entity and held by the conservator or liquidating agent or its assignees, but shall serve as full satisfaction of the obligations of the insured credit union in conservatorship or liquidation and the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent for all amounts due.

(ii) Repudiation. If the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent provides a written notice of repudiation of the securitization agreement pursuant to which the financial assets were transferred, and does not pay damages, defined in this paragraph, within ten business days following the effective date of the notice, the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent hereby consents pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(13)(C) to the exercise of any contractual rights in accordance with the documents governing such securitization, including but not limited to taking possession of the financial assets and exercising self-help remedies as a secured creditor under the transfer agreements, provided no involvement of the conservator or liquidating agent is required other than such consents, waivers, or execution of transfer documents as may be reasonably requested in the ordinary course of business in order to facilitate the exercise of such contractual rights. For purposes of this paragraph, the damages due will be in an amount equal to the par value of the obligations outstanding on the date of appointment of the conservator or liquidating agent, less any payments of principal received by the investors through the date of repudiation, plus unpaid, accrued interest through the date of repudiation in accordance with the contract documents to the extent actually received through payments on the financial assets received through the date of repudiation. Upon payment of such repudiation damages, all liens or claims on the financial assets created pursuant to the securitization documents shall be released. Such consent does not waive or otherwise deprive the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent or its assignees of any seller's interest or other obligation or interest issued by the issuing entity and held by the conservator or liquidating agent or its assignees, but serves as full satisfaction of the obligations of the insured credit union in conservatorship or liquidation and the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent for all amounts due.

(iii) Effect of repudiation. If the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent repudiates or disaffirms a securitization agreement, it will not assert that any interest payments made to investors in accordance with the securitization documents before any such repudiation or disaffirmance remain the property of the conservatorship or liquidation.

(e) Consent to certain actions. Prior to repudiation or, in the case of a monetary default referred to in paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section, prior to the effectiveness of the consent referred to therein, the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent consents pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(13)(C) to the making of, or if serving as servicer, does make, the payments to the investors to the extent actually received through payments on the financial assets (but in the case of repudiation, only to the extent supported by payments on the financial assets received through the date of the giving of notice of repudiation) in accordance with the securitization documents, and, subject to the conservator's or liquidating agent's rights to repudiate such agreements, consents to any servicing activity required in furtherance of the securitization or, if acting as servicer, the conservator or liquidating agent performs such servicing activities in accordance with the terms of the applicable servicing agreements, with respect to the financial assets included in securitizations that meet the requirements applicable to that securitization as set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.

(f) Notice for consent. Any party requesting the NCUA Board's consent as conservator or liquidating agent under 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(13)(C) pursuant to paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section must provide notice to the President, NCUA Asset Management & Assistance Center, 4807 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 5100, Austin TX 78759-8490, and a statement of the basis upon which such request is made, and copies of all documentation supporting such request, including without limitation a copy of the applicable agreements and of any applicable notices under the contract.

(g) Contemporaneous requirement. The NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent will not seek to avoid an otherwise legally enforceable agreement that is executed by an insured credit union in connection with a securitization or in the form of a participation solely because the agreement does not meet the “contemporaneous” requirement of 12 U.S.C. 1787(b)(9) and 1788(a)(3).

(h) Limitations. The consents set forth in this section do not act to waive or relinquish any rights granted to NCUA in any capacity, including the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent, pursuant to any other applicable law or any agreement or contract except as specifically set forth herein. Nothing contained in this section alters the claims priority of the securitized obligations.

(i) No waiver. This section does not authorize the attachment of any involuntary lien upon the property of the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent. Nor does this section waive, limit, or otherwise affect the rights or powers of NCUA in any capacity, including the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent, to take any action or to exercise any power not specifically mentioned, including but not limited to any rights, powers or remedies of the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent regarding transfers or other conveyances taken in contemplation of the credit union's insolvency or with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud the credit union or the creditors of such credit union, or that is a fraudulent transfer under applicable law.

(j) No assignment. The right to consent under 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(13)(C) may not be assigned or transferred to any purchaser of property from the NCUA Board as conservator or liquidating agent, other than to a conservator or bridge credit union.

(k) Repeal. This section may be repealed by NCUA upon 30 days' notice provided in the Federal Register, but any repeal does not apply to any issuance made in accordance with this section before such repeal.

[FR Doc. 2017-13636 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 747 RIN 3133-AE67 Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment AGENCY:

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

On January 23, 2017, the NCUA Board (Board) published an interim final rule amending its regulations to adjust the maximum amount of each civil monetary penalty (CMP) within its jurisdiction to account for inflation. This action, including the amount of the adjustments, is required under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 and the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. This rule finalizes those amendments.

DATES:

Effective June 30, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ian Marenna, Senior Trial Attorney, at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, or telephone: (703) 518-6540.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background II. Regulatory Procedures I. Background

The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 1 (DCIA) amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 2 (FCPIA Act) to require every federal agency to enact regulations that adjust each CMP provided by law under its jurisdiction by the rate of inflation at least once every four years. In November 2015, Congress further amended the CMP inflation requirements in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015,3 which contains the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 amendments).4 This legislation provides for an initial “catch-up” adjustment of CMPs in 2016, followed by annual inflation adjustments starting in 2017.

1 Public Law 104-134, section 31001(s), 110 Stat. 1321-373 (Apr. 26, 1996). The law is codified at 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

2 Public Law 101-410, 104 Stat. 890 (Oct. 5, 1990), also codified at 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

3 Public Law 114-74, 129 Stat. 584 (Nov. 2, 2015).

4 129 Stat. 599.

On January 23, 2017, in compliance with the 2015 amendments, the Board published the annual inflation adjustments for 2017 in an interim final rule with a request for comments in the Federal Register.5 In calculating the adjustments, the Board reviewed and applied government-wide guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).6 In accordance with the procedures and calculations prescribed by the 2015 amendments and OMB's guidance, the Board adjusted the maximum level of each of the CMPs that NCUA has authority to assess. NCUA is not, however, required to assess at the new maximum levels and retains discretion to assess at lower levels, as it has done historically.7

5 82 FR 7637 (Jan. 23, 2017).

6 Office of Management and Budget, Implementation of the 2017 Annual Adjustment Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, M-17-11 (Dec. 16, 2016).

7 82 FR 7637, 7639 (Jan. 23, 2017).

The interim final rule became effective on January 23, 2017. The Board received no comments on the rule. Accordingly, this final rule confirms the adjustments made in the interim final rule without change.

II. Regulatory Procedures

Section III of the Supplementary Information in the January 2017 interim final rule sets forth the Board's analyses under the Administrative Procedure Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), Executive Order 13132, and the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act.8 Because the final rule confirms the interim final rule and does not alter the substance of the analyses and determinations accompanying the interim final rule, the Board continues to rely on those analyses and determinations for purposes of this rulemaking. The Board notes that OMB determined that the interim final rule is not a “major rule” within the meaning of SBREFA.

8See 82 FR 7640.

By the National Credit Union Administration Board on June 23, 2017. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board. For the reasons stated above, the interim final rule amending 12 CFR part 747, published at 82 FR 7637 (Jan. 23, 2017) is adopted as a final rule without change.
[FR Doc. 2017-13643 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 792 RIN 3133-AD44 Revisions to the Freedom of Information Act Regulation AGENCY:

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The NCUA Board (Board) is finalizing its interim final rule amending its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulation. The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 amended the FOIA and required agencies to review their FOIA regulations and issue certain amendments by December 27, 2016. The amendments included revised procedures for disclosing records under the FOIA, assessing fees, and notifying requestors of options for resolving disputes through the NCUA FOIA Public Liaison and the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) within the National Archives and Records Administration. The interim final rule became effective on December 22, 2016. This rulemaking finalizes the interim rule with minor edits for consistency and clarification.

DATES:

Effective June 30, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Regina Metz, Senior Staff Attorney, or Linda Dent, Associate General Counsel, Administrative Law Section, Office of General Counsel, at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3428, or telephone: (703) 518-6540.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

On December 22, 2016, NCUA published an interim final rule 1 to revise its FOIA regulation at part 792, subpart A of the agency's regulations 2 in accordance with new requirements under the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016.3 The interim final rule became effective on December 22, 2016. The NCUA accepted public comments, however, until January 23, 2017.

1 81 FR 93792 (Dec 22, 2016).

2 12 CFR part 792.

3 Public Law 114-185, 130 Stat. 538.

The interim final rule revised procedures for the disclosure of records, including procedures for engaging in dispute resolution through the FOIA Public Liaison and the OGIS. The revisions were necessary to comply with amendments to the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. NCUA is issuing this rulemaking to finalize the interim rule with minor wording changes for consistency and clarification.

II. Summary of Public Comments and Final Rule

NCUA received two comments on the interim final rule. One was from a trade organization and one was from an institute. One comment was fully supportive of the Act, noting that the interim rule met all the technical statutory requirements. The comment, however, also urged the NCUA to exceed the requirements and continue to adopt a presumption of openness. NCUA's longstanding FOIA practices include a presumption of openness which will continue under the final rule.

In addition, the commenter believes the NCUA should post every FOIA response to its Web site. The FOIA and the interim final rule, in section 792.03(c), already provide that NCUA must post on its Web site records released in response to a FOIA request that are either: Likely to be the subject of subsequent requests because of the nature of their subject matter; or records that have been requested three or more times. NCUA generally exceeds these requirements, posting on its FOIA page records requested more than once and considering each record requested for possible routine Web site posting. As every record requested, however, is not of interest to the general public, NCUA is adopting this section in the final rule without change.

The other commenter requested that NCUA revise its definition of “representative of the news media” in § 792.20 to be consistent with the FOIA at 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(ii) and also to consider additional technical matters. As a change to this definition and the other issue raised were not included in the interim final rule, NCUA will address this in an upcoming technical amendment rule. The final rule does contain minor changes to wording for consistency and clarification.

III. Regulatory Procedures A. Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995,4 the Board has reviewed the final rule and determined it does not contain or modify a collection of information subject to the PRA. The PRA applies to rulemakings in which an agency by rule creates a new paperwork burden on regulated entities or increases an existing burden. For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the form of a reporting or recordkeeping requirement, both referred to as information collections. Information collected as part of an affidavit, oath, affirmation, certification, receipt, changes of address, consent, or acknowledgment, however, is not considered an information collection for purposes of the PRA.

4 44 U.S.C. 3506; 5 CFR part 1320 Appendix A.1.

This category is limited to those disclosures that require persons to provide or display only facts necessary to identify themselves. For example, they entail no burden other than that necessary to identify the respondent, the date, the respondent's address, and the nature of the instrument. “Nature of the instrument” refers to a respondent's request for materials, such as publications or other information from an agency. To facilitate such requests for information from an agency, an agency may ask requesters to describe the material or information sought in detail sufficient to describe the individual desires.

The final rule implements the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 by amending the agency's FOIA regulations. Because the only paperwork burden in this final rule relates to activities that are not considered to be information collections, NCUA has determined that this rule is exempt from the requirements of the PRA.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires NCUA to prepare an analysis to describe any significant economic impact a rule may have on a substantial number of small credit unions (those under $100 million in assets). This final rule does not impose any requirements on federally insured credit unions. Therefore, it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. Because this final rule would affect few, if any, small entities, the Board certifies that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on small entities.

C. Executive Order 13132

Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. In adherence to fundamental federalism principles, NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order. The final rule would not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the connection between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. NCUA has determined that this final rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

D. The Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999—Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

NCUA has determined that this final rule would not affect family well-being within the meaning of section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999.5

5 Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681.

E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) provides generally for congressional review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in instances where the Board issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of the APA. The Board submitted the rule to the Office of Management and Budget. It determined the rule is not a “major rule” within the meaning of the relevant sections of SBREFA.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 792

Administrative practice and procedure, Credit unions, Freedom of Information, Information, Privacy, Records, System of records.

By the National Credit Union Administration Board on June 22, 2017. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

For the reasons stated above, the National Credit Union Administration adopts the interim rule published December 22, 2016, at 81 FR 93792, as final with the following changes:

PART 792—REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND PRIVACY ACT, AND BY SUBPOENA; SECURITY PROCEDURES FOR CLASSIFIED INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for part 792 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, 552b; 12 U.S.C. 1752a(d), 1766, 1789, 1795f; E.O. 12600, 52 FR 23781, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p.235; E.O. 13526, 75 FR 707, 2009 Comp. p.298.

2. In § 792.02, revise the introductory text and paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 792.02 What records does NCUA make available to the public for inspection and copying?

Except for records that are exempt from public disclosure under FOIA as amended (5 U.S.C. 552) or are promptly published and copies are available for purchase, NCUA routinely makes the following five types of records available for you to inspect and copy and in an electronic format:

(d) Copies of all records, regardless of form or format, which have been released after March 31, 1997, in response to a FOIA request and which, because of the nature of their subject matter, NCUA determines have been or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests; or records that have been requested three (3) or more times; and

3. In § 792.03, revise the introductory text and paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 792.03 How will I know which records to request?

NCUA maintains current indices providing identifying information for the public for any matter referred to in § 792.02, issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1967. The listing of material in an index is for the convenience of possible users and does not constitute a determination that all of the items listed will be disclosed. NCUA has determined that publication of the indices is unnecessary and impractical. You may obtain copies of indices by making a request to the NCUA, Office of General Counsel, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2387, Attn: FOIA Officer or as indicated on the NCUA Web site at www.ncua.gov. The indices are available for public inspection and copying, provided at their duplication cost, and in an electronic format. The indices are:

(c) Popular FOIA Index: Records released in response to a FOIA request, that NCUA determines are likely to be the subject of subsequent requests because of the nature of their subject matter, or records that have been requested three (3) or more times. The Popular FOIA Index is available on the NCUA Web site.

4. In § 792.10, revise paragraph (e) to read as follows:
§ 792.10 What will NCUA do with my request?

(e) Upon a determination by the appropriate Information Center to comply with your initial request for records, the records will be made promptly available to you. NCUA will also advise you of the right to seek assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison. If we notify you of a denial of your request, we will include the reason for the denial. NCUA will also advise you of the right to utilize dispute resolution services offered by the FOIA Public Liaison and the Office of Government Information Services.

5. In § 792.11, revise paragraph (a)(5) to read as follows:
§ 792.11 What kinds of records are exempt from public disclosure?

(a) * * *

(5) Inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters which would not be available by law to a private party in litigation with NCUA. This exemption preserves the existing freedom of NCUA officials and employees to engage in full and frank written or taped communications with each other and with officials and employees of other agencies. It includes, but is not limited to, inter-agency and intra-agency reports, memoranda, letters, correspondence, work papers, and minutes of meetings, as well as staff papers prepared for use within NCUA or in concert with other governmental agencies. In applying this exemption, the NCUA will not withhold records based on the deliberative process privilege if the records were created 25 years or more before the date on which the records were requested.

6. In § 792.15, revise paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
§ 792.15 How long will it take to process my request?

(b) * * *

(2) Such alternative time period as mutually agreed by you and the Information Office, when NCUA notifies you that the request cannot be processed in the specified time limit. In such cases, NCUA will make available its FOIA Public Liaison and notify you of the right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services.

7. In § 792.16, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 792.16 What unusual circumstances can delay NCUA's response?

(c) If NCUA sends you an extension notice, it will also advise you that you can either limit the scope of your request so that it can be processed within the statutory time limit or agree to an alternative time frame for processing your request. In such cases, NCUA will make available its FOIA Public Liaison and notify you of the right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services.

8. Revise § 792.17 to read as follows:
§ 792.17 What can I do if the time limit passes and I still have not received a response?

(a) If NCUA does not comply with the time limits under § 792.15, or as extended under § 792.16, you do not have to pay search fees; requesters qualifying for free search fees will not have to pay duplication fees. However, if NCUA has extended the time limits under § 792.16 and must review more than 5,000 pages to respond to the request, NCUA may charge you search fees (or for requesters qualifying for free search fees, duplication fees), if NCUA has discussed with you via written mail, electronic mail, or telephone (or made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how you could effectively limit the scope of the request.

(b) You can seek assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison or dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services. You also can file suit against NCUA because you will be deemed to have exhausted your administrative remedies if NCUA fails to comply with the time limit provisions of this subpart. If NCUA can show that exceptional circumstances exist and that it is exercising due diligence in responding to your request, the court may retain jurisdiction and allow NCUA to complete its review of the records. You may have to pay search or duplication fees if a court has determined that exceptional circumstances exist and has extended the time limits for NCUA's response by a court order. In determining whether exceptional circumstances exist, the court may consider your refusal to modify the scope of your request or arrange an alternative time frame for processing after being given the opportunity to do so by NCUA, when it notifies you of the existence of unusual circumstances as set forth in § 792.16.

9. In § 792.28, revise the introductory text to read as follows:
§ 792.28 What if I am not satisfied with the response I receive?

If you are not satisfied with NCUA's response to your request, you can seek dispute resolution services from the FOIA Public Liaison and the Office of Government Information Services, and you can file an administrative appeal. Your appeal must be in writing and must be filed within 90 days from receipt of the initial determination (in cases of denials of the entire request or denials of a fee waiver or reduction), or from receipt of any records being made available pursuant to the initial determination (in cases of partial denials). In the response to your initial request, the Freedom of Information Act Officer or the Inspector General (or designee), will notify you that you may appeal any adverse determination to the Office of General Counsel. The General Counsel, or designee, as set forth in this paragraph, will:

[FR Doc. 2017-13640 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Parts 1024 and 1026 [Docket No. CFPB-2017-0016] Policy Guidance on Supervisory and Enforcement Priorities Regarding Early Compliance With the 2016 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) AGENCY:

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION:

Policy guidance.

SUMMARY:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) is issuing policy guidance on its supervisory and enforcement priorities regarding early compliance with the final rule it issued in August 2016 (2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule) amending certain of the Bureau's mortgage servicing rules.

DATES:

The Bureau released this Policy Guidance on its Web site on June 27, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joel L. Singerman, Counsel, or Laura A. Johnson, Senior Counsel, Office of Regulations, at 202-435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Summary

On August 4, 2016, the Bureau issued the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule clarifying, revising, or amending certain of the Bureau's mortgage servicing rules.1 Each of the changes will take effect on either Thursday, October 19, 2017, or Thursday, April 19, 2018.2 The Bureau has heard concerns that these midweek effective dates for the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule could create operational challenges for servicers. The Bureau understands that, for many servicers, the Thursday effective dates could afford less than a full day—from the close of business overnight on each of the preceding Wednesdays—to update and test systems in order to be compliant with the 2016 amendments. If servicers do not have sufficient time to complete these tasks, their systems may be more likely to produce errors, which could expose servicers and consumers to risk. Industry participants have notified the Bureau that implementing the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule during the weekend, with early compliance beginning on the Monday before each of the respective Thursday effective dates, would address these concerns.

1 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z), 81 FR 72160 (Oct. 19, 2016).

2See id. at 72160, 72349-50.

The Bureau understands industry's concerns and believes that, in the context of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, servicers and consumers are likely to benefit if servicers have the weekend immediately before each of the effective dates to update and test their systems. The Bureau does not, therefore, intend to take supervisory or enforcement action for violations of existing Regulation X or Regulation Z resulting from a servicer's compliance with the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule occurring up to three days before the applicable effective dates. For these purposes, “up to three days before the applicable effective dates” means, for the amendments that will take effect on Thursday, October 19, 2017, the period of Monday, October 16, through Wednesday, October 18, 2017; and, for the amendments that will take effect on Thursday, April 19, 2018, the period of Monday, April 16, through Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

II. Regulatory Requirements

This Policy Guidance is a non-binding general statement of policy articulating considerations relevant to the Bureau's exercise of its supervisory and enforcement authority. It is therefore exempt from notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b). Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not require an initial or final regulatory flexibility analysis. 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a). The Bureau has determined that this Policy Guidance does not impose any new or revise any existing recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirements on covered entities or members of the public that would be collections of information requiring OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

Dated: June 26, 2017. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2017-13799 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-25-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 744 Control Policy: End-User and End-Use Based CFR Correction In Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 300 to 799, revised as of January 1, 2017, on page 498, in supplement number 4 to part 744, under United Arab Emirates, remove the entry for “Indira Mirchandani”. [FR Doc. 2017-13802 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection 19 CFR Part 111 [Docket No. USCBP-2016-0059; CBP Dec. No. 17-05] RIN 1651-AB07 Modernization of the Customs Brokers Examination AGENCY:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This document adopts as a final rule, with changes, the amendments proposed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations concerning the customs broker's examination provisions. Specifically, this rule transitions the examination to a computer automated customs broker examination, adjusts the dates of the examination to account for the fiscal year transition period and payment schedule requirements, and increases the examination fee to cover the cost of delivering the exam.

DATES:

Effective July 31, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Julia Peterson, Chief, Broker Management Branch, Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, (202) 863-6601, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

Section 641 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1641), provides, among other things, that a person (an individual, corporation, association, or partnership) must hold a valid customs broker's license and permit in order to transact customs business on behalf of others, sets forth standards for the issuance of a broker's license and permit, and provides for disciplinary action against brokers that have engaged in specific infractions. This section also provides that an examination may be conducted to assess an applicant's qualifications for a license.

The regulations issued under the authority of section 641 are set forth in title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 111 (19 CFR part 111). Part 111 sets forth the regulations regarding, among other things, the licensing of, and granting of permits to, persons desiring to transact customs business as customs brokers. These regulations also include the qualifications required of applicants and the procedures for applying for licenses and permits, including examination procedures and requirements.

Currently, a customs broker's examination consists of a paper test booklet and a scannable answer sheet which is administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). CBP supplements OPM's resources by providing CBP officials to proctor the examination and space to conduct the examination. There is a $200 fee to take the examination. This fee, which has not changed since 2000, currently does not cover the administrative costs of the paper-based examination as the costs of administering the examination have increased. At the same time that CBP is looking to update its fee to reflect the costs of administering the exam, OPM has informed CBP that it will no longer administer the paper-based examination and it is shifting all the examinations it administers to an electronic format.

On September 14, 2016, CBP published a document in the Federal Register (81 FR 63149) proposing to amend title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (“19 CFR”) to modernize the customs broker's examination provisions. Specifically, CBP proposed amending the customs broker's examination provisions, which are contained in 19 CFR part 111, to permit automation of the examination. CBP proposed removing references to the “written” examination to accommodate the transition from the paper and pencil format to an electronic format; and proposed removing the requirement that CBP grade the examinations to permit officials at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or OPM contractors to grade the examinations. CBP proposed removing the reference to “Headquarters” to allow CBP offices nationwide to assist in preparing the examination. CBP also proposed moving the examination dates to the fourth Monday in April and October to allow more time between the start of the federal fiscal year and the October examination date. To cover the costs of administering the examination, plus the cost of automating the examination, CBP proposed to increase the fee. CBP proposed removing the special examination provision because it was unnecessary. Finally, to better reflect CBP's organizational structure, CBP proposed updating the information on whom to contact when an applicant either would miss an examination, or would file an appeal of examination results. CBP proposed these changes to benefit both applicants and CBP. For applicants, automation would standardize the testing environment and equipment for all examinations, and provide earlier notification of test scores. For CBP, automation would provide for a more efficient use of CBP staff and administrative resources. The notice of proposed rulemaking requested public comments. The public comment period closed on November 14, 2016.

Discussion of Comments

Eight comments were received in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking.

Comment: Six commenters sought clarification about the transition from a paper and pencil format to computer automated examinations as described in the proposed rule. Three of them requested an additional explanation of how the removal of “written” from the description of the examination in the proposed regulations determined the examination format. One commenter suggested replacing “written” with another term, such as “multiple choice,” to describe the exact examination format in the regulations.

CBP Response: CBP disagrees that the regulations need to define a specific form of examination. CBP is removing the term “written” to describe the examination from the regulation to provide flexibility in the transition from the paper and pen format to delivering the examination via computer. For that reason, CBP is not limiting the examination format by including specific parameters, such as “multiple choice.” CBP understands the applicants' desire for transparency on the type of question (e.g. multiple choice, true/false, essay) that will appear on the examination; therefore, CBP will provide guidance to the public on CBP.gov prior to the administration of the electronic examination.

Comment: Several commenters raised specific questions about the process of taking the new electronic examination. Commenters asked whether applicants could choose a testing site; whether applicants could bring electronic reference materials to the site, and, if not, whether they would have sufficient space to use their paper reference materials and receive scrap paper for solving problems; whether they could change their answers during the allotted time; whether they could skip questions and return to them later; and whether the computer program would track skipped questions for the examinee. Commenters also asked whether CBP would have a contingency plan for technical difficulties, whether CBP was going to test the automated examination program before requiring it nationwide, whether it would provide a practice test, when it would provide the answer key, and when it would provide the results to the applicants.

CBP Response: CBP understands the concerns about a new examination format; thus CBP will provide guidance to the public on CBP.gov prior to the administration of the electronic examination.

The selection of an examination location depends on the information in the application. Applicants select their business port when they register for the customs broker's examination; CBP assigns the applicants to the exam locations closest to their selected port. With the examination location notification, CBP will provide the applicant with contingency plans for system failures, power outages, and other site-related breakdowns or emergencies. The examination sites themselves will offer ample room for hard copies of reference material, and the guidance on CBP.gov will describe the permitted reference materials. Applicants will receive scrap paper at examination sites. The examination sites, however, will provide access to only one computer monitor per examinee: Applicants will not have access to a second monitor or be permitted to access reference materials on-line.

The electronic examination itself will allow applicants to skip answers, to return to skipped or completed answers, and to change their answers during the examination period. After the broker's examination development team completes its testing of the electronic examination, CBP will provide a link to a sample practice examination so that applicants can familiarize themselves with the format and how to navigate within the examination. The guidance CBP will provide on CBP.gov will include information on how and when CBP anticipates it will provide a copy of the examination and its answer key. CBP will post the examination online at CBP.gov after the completion of all the examinations at all examination locations. CBP will post the examination answer key on CBP.gov after it vets the examination results.

Comment: Several commenters questioned the examination fee increase to $390, or requested more information about the basis for the increase in the fee. They compared the new fee to other licensing fees, and the increase in the examination fee to increases resulting from inflation or changes in the cost of living since 2000; and stated that the fee would be expensive for individuals beginning their trade careers. Com­ment­ers questioned how automation could be so expensive when it would save administrative resources.

CBP Response: CBP appreciates that the fee may be expensive for some individuals but CBP disagrees that its examination fee increase is too high as it is set to cover CBP's costs to provide the exam under the new exam process. The fee is not being changed merely to adjust the existing fee for inflation, or to bring it in line with licensing fees for exams in unrelated fields, but to reflect CBP's costs of providing the exam. The Office of Personnel Management has informed CBP that it will soon no longer administer the current paper based examination. Instead, the exam will now be electronic and provided at private testing centers. While the automation itself saves money by reducing the time spent preparing and grading the exam, the need to rent testing centers with professional proctors will increase the overall exam costs. The increase in costs over time due to inflation, coupled with the need to change to an all-electronic exam administered at private testing centers, makes it necessary to increase the customs broker exam fee from $200 to $390 for CBP to recover all of its costs to administer the customs broker exam.

Comment: Commenters said that an individual's brokerage does not always reimburse for the cost of the exam and that $390 would be a large expense for individuals.

CBP Response: CBP acknowledges that not all brokerages reimburse their employees for the cost of the exam and some only reimburse their employees when they pass the exam. This is consistent with the analysis that indicates only that there is some portion of brokerages who do reimburse their employees and that there are brokers who are sole proprietors. This discussion takes place in the Regulatory Flexibility Act section of this document, which analyzes the impact on small entities. Small entities, as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, includes small businesses but does not include individuals (other than sole proprietors). Therefore, the cost to individuals was not analyzed in this section. For an analysis of the costs of this rule to all parties, see the Executive Orders 13563, 12866, and 13771 and Regulatory Flexibility Act sections in this notice.

Comment: Several commenters requested additional information on what costs were covered by the fee.

CBP Response: As requested, CBP has revised the administrative costs section in the fee study to include a more detailed description of what is included in the costs for informational purposes. Exam administration costs are the costs associated with administering the customs broker license exam. CBP contracts with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to administer the exam. The contracted services include, but are not limited to: The development of the exam onto an electronic platform, the renting of testing locations, the providing of equipment and proctors, the grading of the exam, the mailing of individual score sheets to each examinee, and the providing to CBP of an array of exam metrics including distractor analysis and frequency distribution. The fee study documenting the proposed fee changes, entitled “Customs Broker License Examination Fee Study,” has been included in the docket of this rulemaking (Docket No. USCBP-2016-0059). As stated in the fee study, there were two inputs to determining the new examination fee—the costs to both CBP and OPM and the number of examinees. The cost of administering the examination is increasing to $390 because CBP now has to hire professional proctors and rent out formal testing centers instead of using port staff to proctor the exam and port facilities to administer the exam.

Comment: Several commenters objected to eliminating the special examination provision, mentioned CBP had applied the provision in 2001, and requested that it remain, in case of extenuating circumstances or unforeseen emergencies.

CBP Response: CBP agrees and will retain the special examination provision at 19 CFR 111.13(c) with changes to reflect that the special examination will also be modernized to allow for electronic testing. In addition, CBP changed the provision to require that special examination requests be submitted to the Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade.

Comment: Although no one objected to moving the customs broker's examination dates later in April and October, several commenters suggested that neither Monday nor Friday were ideal dates for business reasons.

CBP Response: CBP agrees that moving the exam administration date to the fourth Wednesday in October and in April would be beneficial. Accordingly, CBP changed the administration date from the fourth Monday to the fourth Wednesday in 19 CFR 111.13(b).

Conclusion

Accordingly, after review of the comments and further consideration, CBP has decided to adopt as final, with the changes discussed above, and grammatical corrections, the proposed rule published in the Federal Register (81 FR 63149) on September 14, 2016. Specifically, the final rule will change the examination dates to the fourth Wednesday in April and October (not the fourth Monday); and, will retain the special examination provision with changes in § 111.13(c) (19 CFR 111.13(c)).

Executive Orders 13563, 12866, and 13771

Executive Orders 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). Executive Order 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, 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 “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (April 5, 2017).

1. Purpose of the Rule

Customs brokers are private individuals and/or business entities (partnerships, associations or corporations) that are regulated and empowered by CBP to assist importers and exporters in meeting federal requirements governing imports and exports. Customs brokers have an enormous responsibility to their clients and to CBP that requires them to properly prepare importation and exportation documentation, file these documents timely and accurately, classify and value goods properly, pay duties and fees, and safeguard their clients' information.

CBP currently licenses brokers who meet a certain set criteria. One criterion is that each prospective broker must first pass a broker license exam. CBP's current paper-based examination method will soon no longer be available and so CBP is shifting to an all-electronic exam. The all-electronic exam has benefits to both CBP and the trade, such as a faster processing time, which lets examinees know their results more quickly and efficiently, and a significant reduction in administrative duties for CBP employees. However, administering this new electronic exam is also more expensive. Additionally, the current $200 fee does not cover the costs of the current paper exam. CBP is therefore increasing the examination fee from $200 to $390 in order to fully cover all of CBP's costs of administering the broker examination.

CBP is also changing the date of the semi-annual customs broker exam from the first Monday in October and April to the fourth Wednesday in October and April for easier administration.

2. Background

It is CBP's responsibility to ensure that only qualified individuals and business entities can perform customs business on another party's behalf. The first step in meeting the eligibility requirements for a customs broker license requires an individual to pass the customs broker license examination. Currently paper-based, the customs broker examination is an open-book examination consisting of 80 multiple-choice questions.

An individual currently must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible to take the customs broker examination:

• Be a U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age; 1

1 Although U.S. citizens at least 18 years old may take the broker license exam, a U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years old to apply to become a licensed customs broker. An individual has three years, from the time the individual takes the customs broker exam, to apply to become a licensed customs broker.

• Not be an employee of the U.S. federal government; and

• Pay a $200 examination fee.

The customs broker examination is offered semi-annually, in April and October, and an examinee has four and a half (4.5) hours to complete it. Based on prior year exams from 2004 to 2013, CBP estimates that there will be approximately 2,600 examinees per year, or 1,300 examinees per session. Currently the broker exam is given at 50 testing locations around the country. CBP anticipates that changing the exam format from paper-based to electronic would result in no change in the number of testing locations in the country; the only change would be the type of testing location. The exam is currently administered at hotels and ports throughout the country. In the future, the exam will instead be held at privately operated formal testing locations.

Beginning in October 2017, the current paper testing option will no longer be available and the broker examination will be fully electronic. Despite the higher costs of an electronic exam, it has many favorable features which would benefit both CBP and the examinees, including shorter wait times for examinees to get their test results and a reduction in the time CBP staff spends on administrative matters related to the exam, such as arranging facility space for and proctoring the exam, fielding questions from examinees and mailing test result notices.

3. Costs

As discussed above, CBP currently charges a $200 fee for the customs broker license examination. This fee is used to offset the costs associated with providing the services necessary to operate the customs broker license examination. Based on a recently completed fee study entitled, “Customs Broker License Examination Fee Study,” CBP has determined that these fees are no longer sufficient to cover its costs.2 Currently, examinees go to either a port or to a rented event space in a hotel to take the paper exam with a 35-page test booklet and a scannable answer sheet, which must subsequently be collected and graded. The new all-electronic version of the exam will be administered entirely on a computer where the examinees answer the questions directly on the screen and the exam is graded automatically. As the electronic exam uses all private facilities with professional proctors, this automated method will be more expensive than the paper exam. Furthermore, the current fee is not enough to cover even the current costs of administering the exam. Exam administration costs include the development of the exam in an electronic platform, the renting of testing locations, the providing of equipment and proctors, the grading of the exam, the mailing of individual score sheets to each examinee, and the providing to CBP of an array of exam metrics including distractor analysis and frequency distribution. As stated above, the current $200 fee has not been changed since 2000. According to data provided by CBP's Broker Management Branch, administrative and testing costs have increased since the fee was last changed. This increase in administrative fees coupled with switching to an all-electronic exam administered at private testing centers, makes it necessary to increase the customs broker exam fee from $200 to $390 for CBP to recover all of its costs to administer the customs broker exam.

2 The fee study is included in the docket of this rulemaking (Docket No. USCBP-2016-0059).

CBP has determined that the fee of $390 is necessary to recover the costs associated with administering the customs broker license examination once the exam is made electronic. The customs broker examination is an established service provided by CBP that already requires a fee payment. Absent this rule, CBP would be operating the exam at a loss and this fee is intended to offset that loss. As such, a change in the fee is not a net cost to society, but rather a transfer payment from test takers to the government.3 CBP does recognize, however, that the fee change may have a distributional impact on prospective customs brokers. In order to inform stakeholders of all potential effects of the final rule, CBP has analyzed the distributional effects of the final rule in section “5. Dis­tribu­tional Impact.”

3 Transfer payments are monetary payments from one group to another that do not affect total resources available to society. See OMB Circular A-4.

4. Benefits

As discussed above, CBP is increasing the customs broker license examination fee from $200 to $390. The broker exam fee was last changed in 2000 when it was reduced from $300 to the current fee of $200. The lower cost paper-based examination that is currently being administered is being replaced by an all-electronic exam in an effort to fully modernize the customs broker testing procedure. This fee increase will allow CBP to fully recover all of its costs, including those to provide a fully electronic version of the customs broker examination beginning in October 2017. As discussed above, the fee increase is neither a cost nor a benefit of this rule since the broker exam fee is already an established fee. Thus, the fee increase is considered a transfer payment. As stated above, in order to inform stakeholders of all potential effects of the final rule, CBP has analyzed the distributional effects of the final rule in section “5. Dis­tribu­tional Impact.”

In addition to increasing the examination fee, CBP is changing the date the examination is given from the first Monday in October and April to the fourth Wednesday in October and April. Administering the examination on the first Monday in October is administratively difficult because it is too close to the conclusion of the Federal Government's fiscal year at the end of September. With this rule's changes, CBP and the examinees will benefit through greater predictability in years where federal budgets are uncertain.

5. Distributional Impact

Under the final rule, the customs broker license examination fee will increase from $200 to $390 in order for CBP to fully recover all of its costs to administer the broker examination. As noted above, these costs are increasing due to a shift in the administration of the exam that will go into effect beginning with the October 2017 exam.

The customs broker license examination fee will cost individuals an additional $190 when they register to take the customs broker license examination. As discussed above, CBP estimates that there will be 2,600 examinees per year (1,300 per session) who will take the customs broker license examination. Using this estimate and the additional cost that each examinee will incur, CBP estimates that the fee increase will result in a transfer payment to the government of approximately $494,000 per year (2,600 examinees per year * $190 proposed fee increase = $494,000).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

This section examines the impact of the rule on small entities as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA). A small entity may be a small business (defined as any independently owned and operated business not dominant in its field that qualifies as a small business per the Small Business Act); a small not-for-profit organization; or a small governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer than 50,000 people).

The final rule will apply to all prospective brokers who take the broker exam. The fee is paid by the individual taking the broker exam and individuals are not considered small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. However, some of these individuals are sole proprietors or may be reimbursed for this expense by their brokerage, so we consider the impact on these entities. The U.S. Census Bureau categorizes customs brokers (as well as freight forwarders and marine shipping agents) under the North American Industry Classification (NAICS) code 488510. As shown in Exhibit 1 below, approximately 96 percent of business entities in this NAICS code are small. As this rule will affect any prospective broker or his/her employer, regardless of its size, this rule has an impact on a substantial number of small entities.

The direct impact of this rule on each individual customs broker examinee, or his/her employer, is the fee increase of $190. To assess whether this is a significant impact, we examine the annual revenue for customs brokers. The U.S. Census Bureau categorizes customs brokers under the NAICS code 488510. In addition to customs brokers, this NAICS code also includes freight forwarders and marine shipping agents.4 The Small Business Administration (SBA) publishes size standards that determine the criteria for being considered a small entity for the purposes of this analysis. The SBA considers a business entity classified under the 488510 NAICS code as small if it has less than $15 million in annual receipts. We obtained the number of firms in each revenue category provided by the U.S. Census Bureau (see Exhibit 1 below). To estimate the average revenue of all firms under this NAICS code, we first assumed that each firm in each revenue category had receipts of the midpoint of the range. For example, we assumed that the 4,354 firms with annual receipts of between $100,000 and $499,000 had average receipts of $300,000. We then used the number of firms in each category to calculate the weighted average revenue across all small firms. Using this method, we estimate that the weighted average revenue for small businesses in this NAICS code is $1,496,197. The $190 increase in the broker exam fee, then, represents 0.01 percent of the weighted average annual revenue for brokers. CBP does not consider 0.01 percent of revenue per exam to be a significant impact. Accordingly, CBP certifies that this rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

4http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=488510&search=2012%20NAICS%20Search.

Exhibit 1—Business Entity Data for NAICS Code 488510 Annual receipts
  • ($)
  • (Midpoint)
  • Number of firms Small
    <100,000 (50,000) 1,834 Yes. 100,000-499,999 (300,000) 4,354 Yes. 500,000-999,999 (750,000) 2,040 Yes. 1,000,000-2,499,999 (1,750,000) 2,300 Yes. 2,500,000-4,999,999 (3,750,000) 1,087 Yes. 5,000,000-7,499,999 (6,250,000) 427 Yes. 7,500,000-9,999,999 (8,750,000) 242 Yes. 10,000,000-14,999,999 (12,500,000) 233 Yes. >15,000,000 548 No. Total 13,065 96 Percent are Small (12,517/13,065). Source: U.S. Census Bureau.
    Signing Authority

    This document is being issued in accordance with 19 CFR 0.2(a), which provides that the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to CBP regulations that are not related to customs revenue functions was transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to section 403(l) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Accordingly, this final rule to amend such regulations may be signed by the Secretary of Homeland Security (or his delegate).

    List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Brokers, Customs duties and inspection, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Amendments to the CBP Regulations

    For the reasons given above, part 111 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR part 111) is amended as set forth below:

    PART 111—CUSTOMS BROKERS 1. The authority citation for part 111 continue to read as follows: Authority:

    19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States), 1624, 1641.

    Section 111.3 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1484, 1498;

    Section 111.96 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 58c, 31 U.S.C. 9701.

    § 111.11 [Amended]
    2. In § 111.11, paragraph (a)(4) is amended by removing the words “a written” and adding in its place the word “an”.
    § 111.12 [Amended]
    3. In § 111.12, paragraph (a) is amended by removing the word “written” from the two places that it appears in the fifth and sixth sentences.
    § 111.13 [Amended]
    4. In § 111.13: a. The section heading is revised; b. Paragraph (a) is amended by: 1. Removing the word “written” in the first sentence; 2. Removing the words “and graded at” in the second sentence and adding in their place the word “by”; and 3. Removing the phrase “Headquarters, Washington, DC” from the second sentence; c. Paragraphs (b) through (d) and (f) are revised.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 111.13 Examination for individual license.

    (b) Basic requirements, date, and place of examination. In order to be eligible to take the examination, an individual must on the date of examination be a citizen of the United States who has attained the age of 18 years and who is not an officer or employee of the United States Government. CBP will publish a notice announcing each examination on its Web site. Examinations will be given on the fourth Wednesday in April and October unless the regularly scheduled examination date conflicts with a national holiday, religious observance, or other foreseeable event and the agency publishes in the Federal Register an appropriate notice of a change in the examination date. An individual who intends to take the examination must complete the electronic application at least 30 calendar days prior to the scheduled examination date and must remit the $390 examination fee prescribed in § 111.96(a) at that time. CBP will give notice of the exact time and place for the examination.

    (c) Special examination. If a partnership, association, or corporation loses the required member or officer having an individual broker's license (see § 111.11(b) and (c)(2)) and its license would be revoked by operation of law under the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1641(b)(5) and § 111.45(a) before the next scheduled examination, CBP may authorize a special examination for a prospective applicant for an individual license who would serve as the required licensed member or officer. CBP may also authorize a special examination for an individual for purposes of continuing the business of a sole proprietorship broker. A special examination for an individual may also be authorized by CBP if a brokerage firm loses the individual broker who was exercising responsible supervision and control over an office in another district (see § 111.19(d)) and the permit for that additional district would be revoked by operation of law under the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1641(c)(3) and § 111.45(b) before the next scheduled examination. A request for a special examination must be submitted to the Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade, in writing and must describe the circumstances giving rise to the need for the examination. If the request is granted, the Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade or his/her designee, will notify the prospective examinee of the exact time and place for the examination. If the individual attains a passing grade on the special examination, the application for the license may be submitted in accordance with § 111.12. The examinee will be responsible for all additional costs incurred by CBP in preparing and administering the special examination that exceed the $390 examination fee prescribed in § 111.96(a), and those additional costs must be reimbursed to CBP before the examination is given.

    (d) Failure to appear for examination. If a prospective examinee advises the Office of Trade at the Headquarters of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Attn: Broker Management Branch, electronically in a manner specified by CBP at least 2 working days prior to the date of a regularly scheduled examination that he will not appear for the examination, CBP will refund the $390 examination fee referred to in paragraph (b) of this section. No refund of the examination fee or additional reimbursed costs will be made in the case of a special written examination provided for under paragraph (c) of this section.

    (f) Appeal of failing grade on examination. If an examinee fails to attain a passing grade on the examination taken under this section, the examinee may challenge that result by filing a written appeal with the Office of Trade at the Headquarters of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Attn: Broker Management Branch, within 60 calendar days after the date of the written notice provided for in paragraph (e) of this section. CBP will provide to the examinee written notice of the decision on the appeal. If the CBP decision on the appeal affirms the result of the examination, the examinee may request review of the decision on the appeal by writing to the Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, within 60 calendar days after the date of the notice on that decision.

    § 111.96 [Amended]
    5. In § 111.96: a. Paragraph (a) is amended by removing the word “written” from the second sentence and removing the phrase “$200 examination fee” in the second sentence and adding in its place the phrase “$390 examination fee”; and b. Paragraph (e) is amended by removing the words “United States Customs Service” and adding in their place the words “U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or paid by other CBP-approved payment method”. Dated: June 27, 2017. Elaine C. Duke, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13829 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9808] RIN 1545-BL17 RIN 1545-BN74 Regulations Regarding Withholding of Tax on Certain U.S. Source Income Paid to Foreign Persons, Information Reporting and Backup Withholding on Payments Made to Certain U.S. Persons, and Portfolio Interest Treatment; Correction AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains corrections to final and temporary regulations (TD 9808), which were published in the Federal Register on Friday, January 6, 2017 (82 FR 2046). These regulations are related to withholding of tax on certain U.S. source income paid to foreign persons, information reporting and backup withholding with respect to payments made to certain U.S. persons, and portfolio interest paid to nonresident alien individuals and foreign corporations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: These corrections are effective June 30, 2017.

    Applicability Date: The corrections to §§ 1.1441-0; 1.1441-1(b)(7)(ii)(B), (e)(3)(iv)(B) and (C), (e)(4)(ii)(B)(11), (e)(4)(ix)(D), (e)(5)(ii) through (e)(5)(ii)(B), (e)(5)(ii)(D) through (e)(5)(v)(B)(3), (e)(5)(v)(B)(5) through (e)(5)(v)(D), and (f) through (f)(4); 1.1441-1T; 1.1441-3(d)(1); 1.1441-4; 1.6045-1(m)(2)(ii) and (n)(12)(ii); and 1.6049-5(c)(1) through (c)(4) are applicable on January 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nancy Lee, (202) 317-6942 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The final and temporary regulations that are the subject of these corrections are §§ 1.1441-0, 1.1441-1, 1.1441-1T, 1.1441-3, 1.1441-4, 1.6045-1, and 1.6049-5, promulgated under sections 1441, 6045, 6049, and 7805 of the Internal Revenue Code. These regulations affect persons making payments of U.S. source income to foreign persons and persons making payments to certain U.S. persons subject to reporting and backup withholding.

    Need for Correction

    As published, the final regulations contain a number of items that need to be corrected or clarified. Several portions of TD 9808 could not be incorporated due to inaccurate amendatory instructions. Most of the correcting amendments to TD 9808 are needed to clarify or correct the results of these inaccurate amendatory instructions. The correcting amendments also include the addition, deletion, or modification of regulatory language to clarify the relevant provisions to meet their intended purposes, specifically to make a conforming change to the entry in the table of contents (§ 1.1441-0) for § 1.1441-1(e)(4)(ix); to correct typographical errors in §§ 1.1441-1(e)(4)(ix)(D), 1.1441-1T(c)(3)(ii), and 1.1441-3(d)(1); to clarify that allowances for electronic signatures in § 1.1441-1T(e)(4)(i)(B) and use of third party repository in § 1.1441-1T(e)(4)(iv)(E) are limited to Forms W-8; to remove an obsolete cross-reference to § 1.1441-4(h); and to return § 1.6045-1(m)(2)(ii) and (n)(12)(ii) to the way those provisions read prior to unnecessary revisions in TD 9808.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Correction of Publication

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.1441-0 is amended by adding an entry for § 1.1441-1(e)(4)(viii)(C); revising the entries for § 1.1441-1(e)(4)(ix), (e)(5)(v)(A), (f), and (f)(2); and removing the entries for § 1.1441-1(f)(2)(i) and (ii).

    The addition and revisions read as follows:

    § 1.1441-0 Outline of regulation provisions for section 1441.
    § 1.1441-1 Requirement for the deduction and withholding of tax on payments to foreign persons.

    (e) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (viii) * * *

    (C) Reliance on a prior version of a withholding certificate.

    (ix) Certificates to be furnished to withholding agent for each obligation unless exception applies.

    (5) * * *

    (v) * * *

    (A) In general.

    (f) Effective/applicability date.

    (2) Lack of documentation for past years.

    Par. 3. Section 1.1441-1 is amended by: 1. Adding paragraph (b)(7)(ii)(B); 2. Adding paragraphs (e)(3)(iv)(B) and (C); 3. Revising paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(B)(11); 4. Revising the last sentence of paragraph (e)(4)(ix)(D); 5. Revising paragraphs (e)(5)(ii) introductory text through (e)(5)(ii)(B); 6. Removing paragraph (e)(5)(ii)(C) and redesignating paragraph (e)(5)(ii)(D) as new paragraph (e)(5)(ii)(C); 7. Adding new paragraph (e)(5)(ii)(D) and removing paragraph (e)(5)(ii)(E); 8. Revising paragraphs (e)(5)(iii) through (e)(5)(v)(B)(3); 9. Adding paragraph (e)(5)(v)(B)(5) through (e)(5)(v)(D); and 10. Revising the heading of paragraph (f), and paragraphs (f)(1) through (4).

    The addition and revisions read as follows:

    § 1.1441-1 Requirement for the deduction and withholding of tax on payments to foreign persons.

    (b) * * *

    (7) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (B) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1T(b)(7)(ii)(B).

    (e) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (iv) * * *

    (B) General requirements. A withholding statement must be provided prior to the payment of a reportable amount and must contain the information specified in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C) of this section. The statement must be updated as often as required to keep the information in the withholding statement correct prior to each subsequent payment. The withholding statement forms an integral part of the withholding certificate provided under paragraph (e)(3)(iii) of this section, and the penalties of perjury statement provided on the withholding certificate shall apply to the withholding statement. The withholding statement may be provided in any manner the nonqualified intermediary and the withholding agent mutually agree, including electronically. If the withholding statement is provided electronically as part of a system established by the withholding agent or nonqualified intermediary to provide the statement, however, there must be sufficient safeguards to ensure that the information received by the withholding agent is the information sent by the nonqualified intermediary and all occasions of user access that result in the submission or modification of the withholding statement information must be recorded. In addition, the electronic system must be capable of providing a hard copy of all withholding statements provided by the nonqualified intermediary. A withholding statement may otherwise be transmitted by a nonqualified intermediary via email or facsimile to a withholding agent under the requirements specified in paragraph (e)(4)(iv)(D) of this section (substituting the term withholding statement for the term Form W-8 or the term document, as applicable). A withholding agent will be liable for tax, interest, and penalties in accordance with paragraph (b)(7) of this section to the extent it does not follow the presumption rules of paragraph (b)(3) of this section or §§ 1.1441-5(d) and (e)(6), and 1.6049-5(d) for any payment of a reportable amount, or portion thereof, for which it does not have a valid withholding statement prior to making a payment. A withholding agent may not treat as valid an allocation of a payment to a chapter 4 withholding rate pool of U.S. payees described in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(A) of this section or an allocation of a payment to a chapter 4 withholding rate pool of recalcitrant account holders described in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C)(2) of this section unless the withholding agent identifies the nonqualified intermediary maintaining the account (as described in § 1.1471-5(b)(5)) as a participating FFI (including a reporting Model 2 FFI) or registered deemed-compliant FFI (including a reporting Model 1 FFI) by applying the rules of § 1.1471-3(d)(4). Additionally, in the case of a withholdable payment that is an amount subject to withholding made on or after April 1, 2017, a withholding agent may not treat as valid an allocation of the payment to a chapter 4 withholding rate pool of U.S. payees unless the nonqualified intermediary identifies the pool of U.S. payees as one described in § 1.1471-3(c)(3)(iii)(B)(2)(iii) (or by describing such payees consistent with the description provided in § 1.1471-3(c)(3)(ii)(B)(2)(iii)).

    (C) Content of withholding statement. The withholding statement provided by a nonqualified intermediary must contain the information required by this paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C).

    (1) In general. Except as otherwise provided by paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C)(2) and (3) of this section), the withholding statement provided by a nonqualified intermediary must contain the information required by this paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C)(1).

    (i) Except as otherwise provided in (e)(3)(iv)(A) of this section (which excludes reporting of information with respect to certain U.S. persons on the withholding statement), the withholding statement must contain the name, address, TIN (if any), and the type of documentation (documentary evidence, Form W-9, or type of Form W-8) for every person from whom documentation has been received by the nonqualified intermediary and provided to the withholding agent and whether that person is a U.S. exempt recipient, a U.S. non-exempt recipient, or a foreign person. See paragraphs (c)(2), (20), and (21) of this section for the definitions of foreign person, U.S. exempt recipient, and U.S. non-exempt recipient. In the case of a foreign person, the statement must indicate whether the foreign person is a beneficial owner or an intermediary, flow-through entity, U.S. branch, or territory financial institution described in paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section and include the type of recipient, based on recipient codes applicable for chapter 3 purposes used for filing Forms 1042-S, if the foreign person is a recipient as defined in § 1.1461-1(c)(1)(ii).

    (ii) The withholding statement must allocate each payment, by income type, to every payee required to be reported on the withholding statement for whom documentation has been provided (including U.S. exempt recipients except as provided in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(A) of this section). Any payment that cannot be reliably associated with valid documentation from a payee shall be treated as made to an unknown payee in accordance with the presumption rules of paragraph (b) of this section and §§ 1.1441-5(d) and (e)(6) and 1.6049-5(d). For this purpose, a type of income is determined by the types of income required to be reported on Forms 1042-S or 1099, as appropriate. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, deposit interest (including original issue discount) described in section 871(i)(2)(A) or 881(d) and interest or original issue discount on short-term obligations as described in section 871(g)(1)(B) or 881(e) is only required to be allocated to the extent it is required to be reported on Form 1099 or Form 1042-S. See § 1.6049-8 (regarding reporting of bank deposit interest to certain foreign persons). If a payee receives income through another nonqualified intermediary, flow-through entity, or U.S. branch or territory financial institution described in paragraph (e)(2)(iv) of this section (other than a U.S. branch or territory financial institution treated as a U.S. person), the withholding statement must also state, with respect to the payee, the name, address, and TIN, if known, of the other nonqualified intermediary or U.S. branch from which the payee directly receives the payment or the flow-through entity in which the payee has a direct ownership interest. If another nonqualified intermediary, flow-through entity, or U.S. branch fails to allocate a payment, the name of the nonqualified intermediary, flow-through entity, or U.S. branch that failed to allocate the payment shall be provided with respect to such payment.

    (iii) If a payee is identified as a foreign person, the nonqualified intermediary must specify the rate of withholding to which the payee is subject, the payee's country of residence and, if a reduced rate of withholding is claimed, the basis for that reduced rate (e.g., treaty benefit, portfolio interest, exempt under section 501(c)(3), 892, or 895). The allocation statement must also include the TINs of those foreign persons for whom such a number is required under paragraph (e)(4)(vii) of this section or § 1.1441-6(b)(1) (regarding claims for treaty benefits for which a TIN is provided unless a foreign tax identifying number described in § 1.1441-6(b)(1) is provided). In the case of a claim of treaty benefits, the nonqualified intermediary's withholding statement must also state whether the limitation on benefits and section 894 statements required by § 1.1441-6(c)(5) have been provided, if required, in the beneficial owner's Form W-8 or associated with such owner's documentary evidence.

    (iv) The withholding statement must also contain any other information the withholding agent reasonably requests in order to fulfill its obligations under chapter 3 and chapter 61 of the Code, and section 3406.

    (2) Nonqualified intermediary withholding statement for withholdable payments. This paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C)(2) modifies the requirements of a withholding statement described in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C)(1) of this section that is provided by a nonqualified intermediary with respect to a reportable amount that is a withholdable payment. For such a payment, the requirements applicable to a withholding statement described in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(A) through (e)(3)(iv)(C)(1) of this section shall apply, except that—

    (i) The withholding statement must include the chapter 4 status (using the applicable status code used for filing Form 1042-S) and GIIN (when required for chapter 4 purposes under § 1.1471-3(d)) of each other intermediary or flow-through entity that is a foreign person and that receives the payment, excluding an intermediary or flow- through entity that is an account holder of or interest holder in a withholding foreign partnership, withholding foreign trust, or intermediary acting as a qualified intermediary for the payment;

    (ii) If the nonqualified intermediary that is a participating FFI or registered deemed-compliant FFI provides a withholding statement described in § 1.1471-3(c)(3)(iii)(B)(2) (describing an FFI withholding statement), the withholding statement may include chapter 4 withholding rate pools with respect to the portions of the payment allocated to nonparticipating FFIs and recalcitrant account holders (to the extent permitted on an FFI withholding statement described in that paragraph) in lieu of providing specific payee information with respect to such persons on the statement (including persons subject to chapter 4 withholding) as described in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C)(1) of this section;

    (iii) If the nonqualified intermediary provides a withholding statement described in § 1.1471-3(c)(3)(iii)(B)(3) (describing a chapter 4 withholding statement), the withholding statement may include chapter 4 withholding rate pools with respect to the portions of the payment allocated to nonparticipating FFIs; and

    (iv) For a payment allocated to a payee that is a foreign person (other than a person included in a chapter 4 withholding rate pool described in paragraphs (e)(3)(iv)(C)(2)(ii) and (iii) of this section) that is reported on a withholding statement described in § 1.1471-3(c)(3)(iii)(B)(2) or (3), the withholding statement must include the chapter 4 status of the payee (unless an exception applies for purposes of providing such status under chapter 4) and, for a payee other than an individual, the recipient code for chapter 4 purposes used for filing Form 1042-S; and

    (v) To the extent that a withholdable payment is not reportable on a Form 1042-S, Form 1099 under the rules of chapter 61, or Form 8966 “FATCA Report,” no allocation of the payment is required on the withholding statement.

    (3) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1T(e)(3)(iv)(C)(3).

    ( 4 ) Example.

    This example illustrates the principles of paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C) of this section. WA makes a withholdable payment of U.S. source dividends to NQI, a nonqualified intermediary. NQI provides WA with a valid intermediary withholding certificate under paragraph (e)(3)(iii) of this section that includes NQI's certification of its status for chapter 4 purposes as a participating FFI. NQI provides a withholding statement on which NQI allocates 20% of the payment to a chapter 4 withholding rate pool of recalcitrant account holders of NQI for purposes of chapter 4 and allocates 80% of the payment equally to A and B, individuals that are account holders of NQI. NQI also provides WA with valid beneficial owner withholding certificates from A and B establishing their status as foreign persons entitled to a 15% rate of withholding under an applicable income tax treaty. Because NQI has certified its status as a participating FFI, withholding under chapter 4 is not required with respect to NQI. See § 1.1471-2(a)(4). Based on the documentation NQI provided to WA with respect to A and B, WA can reliably associate the payment with valid documentation on the portion of the payment allocated to them and, because the payment is a withholdable payment, may rely on the allocation of the payment for NQI's recalcitrant account holders in a chapter 4 withholding rate pool in lieu of payee information with respect to such account holders. See paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C)(2) of this section for the special rules for a withholding statement provided by a nonqualified intermediary for a withholdable payment. Also see § 1.1471-2(a) for WA's withholding requirements under chapter 4 with respect to the portion of the payment allocated to NQI's recalcitrant account holders and § 1.1441-3(a)(2) for coordinating withholding under chapter 3 for payments to which withholding is applied under chapter 4.

    (4) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (B) * * *

    (11) Documentary evidence that is not generally renewed or amended (such as a certificate of incorporation).

    (ix) * * *

    (D) * * * See § 1.1471-3(c)(9)(v) for a similar reliance rule that applies for purposes of chapter 4.

    (5) * * *

    (ii) Definition of qualified intermediary. With respect to a payment to a foreign person, the term qualified intermediary means a person that is a party to a withholding agreement with the IRS where such person is—

    (A) A foreign financial institution that is a participating FFI (including a reporting Model 2 FFI), a registered deemed-compliant FFI (including a reporting Model 1 FFI), an FFI treated as a deemed-compliant FFI under an applicable IGA that is subject to due diligence and reporting requirements with respect to its U.S. accounts similar to those applicable to a registered deemed-compliant FFI under § 1.1471-5(f)(1), excluding a U.S. branch of any of the foregoing entities, or any other category of FFI identified in a qualified intermediary withholding agreement as eligible to act as a qualified intermediary;

    (B) A foreign branch or office of a U.S. financial institution or a foreign branch or office of a U.S. clearing organization that is either a reporting Model 1 FFI or agrees to the reporting requirements applicable to a participating FFI with respect to its U.S. accounts;

    (D) Any other person acceptable to the IRS.

    (iii) Withholding agreement—(A) In general. The IRS may, upon request, enter into a withholding agreement with a foreign person described in paragraph (e)(5)(ii) of this section pursuant to such procedures as the IRS may prescribe in published guidance (see § 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter). Under the withholding agreement, a qualified intermediary shall generally be subject to the applicable withholding and reporting provisions applicable to withholding agents and payors under chapters 3, 4, and 61 of the Code, section 3406, the regulations under those provisions, and other withholding provisions of the Code, except to the extent provided under the agreement.

    (B) Terms of the withholding agreement. The withholding agreement shall specify the obligations of the qualified intermediary under chapters 3 and 4 including, for a qualified intermediary that is an FFI, the documentation, withholding, and reporting obligations required of a participating FFI or registered deemed-compliant FFI (including a reporting Model 1 FFI as defined in § 1.1471-1(b)(114)) with respect to each branch of the qualified intermediary other than a U.S. branch that is treated as a U.S. person under paragraph (b)(2)(iv)(A) of this section. The withholding agreement will specify the type of certifications and documentation upon which the qualified intermediary may rely to ascertain the classification (e.g., corporation or partnership), status (i.e., U.S. or foreign and chapter 4 status) of beneficial owners and payees who receive reportable amounts, reportable payments, and withholdable payments collected by the qualified intermediary for purposes of chapters 3, 4, and 61, section 3406, and, if necessary, entitlement to the benefits of a reduced rate under an income tax treaty. The withholding agreement shall specify if, and to what extent, the qualified intermediary may assume primary withholding responsibility in accordance with paragraph (e)(5)(iv) of this section. It shall also specify the extent to which applicable return filing and information reporting requirements are modified so that, in appropriate cases, the qualified intermediary may report payments to the IRS on an aggregated basis, without having to disclose the identity of beneficial owners and payees. However, the qualified intermediary may be required to provide to the IRS the name and address of those foreign customers who benefit from a reduced rate under an income tax treaty pursuant to the withholding agreement for purposes of verifying entitlement to such benefits, particularly under an applicable limitation on benefits provision. Under the withholding agreement, a qualified intermediary may agree to act as an acceptance agent to perform the duties described in § 301.6109-1(d)(3)(iv)(A) of this chapter. The withholding agreement may specify the manner in which applicable procedures for adjustments for underwithholding and overwithholding, including refund procedures, apply to qualified intermediaries and the extent to which applicable procedures may be modified. In particular, a withholding agreement may allow a qualified intermediary to claim refunds of overwithheld amounts. In addition, the withholding agreement shall specify the manner in which the IRS will verify compliance with the agreement, including the time and manner for which a qualified intermediary will be required to certify to the IRS regarding its compliance with the withholding agreement (including its performance of a periodic review) and the types of information required to be disclosed as part of the certification. In appropriate cases, the IRS may require review procedures be performed by an approved reviewer (in addition to those performed as part of the periodic review) and may conduct a review of the reviewer's findings. The withholding agreement may include provisions for the assessment and collection of tax in the event that failure to comply with the terms of the withholding agreement results in the failure by the withholding agent or the qualified intermediary to withhold and deposit the required amount of tax. Further, the withholding agreement may specify the procedures by which amounts withheld are to be deposited, if different from the deposit procedures under the Code and applicable regulations. To determine whether to enter a withholding agreement and the terms of any particular withholding agreement, the IRS will consider the type of local know-your-customer laws and practices to which the entity is subject (if the entity is an FFI), as well as the extent and nature of supervisory and regulatory control exercised under the laws of the foreign country over the foreign entity.

    (iv) Assignment of primary withholding responsibility. Any person (whether a U.S. person or a foreign person) who meets the definition of a withholding agent under § 1.1441-7(a) (for payments subject to chapter 3 withholding) and § 1.1473-1(d) (for withholdable payments) is required to withhold and deposit any amount withheld under §§ 1.1461-1(a) and 1.1474-1(b) and to make the returns prescribed by §§ 1.1461-1(b) and (c), and by 1.1474-1(c), and (d). Under its qualified intermediary withholding agreement, a qualified intermediary may, however, inform a withholding agent from which it receives a payment that it will assume the primary obligation to withhold, deposit, and report amounts under chapters 3 and 4 of the Code and/or under chapter 61 and section 3406 of the Code. For assuming withholding obligations as described in the previous sentence, a qualified intermediary that assumes primary withholding responsibility for payments made to an account under chapter 3 is also required to assume primary withholding responsibility under chapter 4 for payments made to the account that are withholdable payments. Additionally, a qualified intermediary may represent that it assumes chapter 61 reporting and section 3406 obligations for a payment when the qualified intermediary meets the requirements of § 1.6049-4(c)(4)(i) or (ii) for the payment. If a withholding agent makes a payment of an amount subject to withholding under chapter 3, a reportable payment (as defined in section 3406(b)), or a withholdable payment to a qualified intermediary that represents to the withholding agent that it has assumed primary withholding responsibility for the payment, the withholding agent is not required to withhold on the payment. The withholding agent is not required to determine that the qualified intermediary actually performs its primary withholding responsibilities. A qualified intermediary that assumes primary withholding responsibility under chapters 3 and 4 or primary reporting and backup withholding responsibility under chapter 61 and section 3406 is not required to assume primary withholding responsibility for all accounts it has with a withholding agent but must assume primary withholding responsibility for all payments made to any one account that it has with the withholding agent.

    (v) Withholding statement—(A) In general. A qualified intermediary must provide each withholding agent from which it receives reportable amounts as a qualified intermediary with a written statement (the withholding statement) containing the information specified in paragraph (e)(5)(v)(B) of this section. A withholding statement is not required, however, if all of the information a withholding agent needs to fulfill its withholding and reporting requirements is contained in the withholding certificate. The qualified intermediary withholding agreement will require the qualified intermediary to include information in its withholding statement relating to withholdable payments for purposes of withholding under chapter 4 as described in paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C)(2) of this section. The withholding statement forms an integral part of the qualified intermediary's qualified intermediary withholding certificate, and the penalties of perjury statement provided on the withholding certificate shall apply to the withholding statement as well. The withholding statement may be provided in any manner, and in any form, to which qualified intermediary and the withholding agent mutually agree, including electronically. If the withholding statement is provided electronically, the statement must satisfy the requirements described in paragraph (e)(3)(iv) of this section (applicable to a withholding statement provided by a nonqualified intermediary). The withholding statement shall be updated as often as necessary for the withholding agent to meet its reporting and withholding obligations under chapters 3, 4, and 61 and section 3406. For purposes of this section, a withholding agent will be liable for tax, interest, and penalties in accordance with paragraph (b)(7) of this section to the extent it does not follow the presumption rules of paragraph (b)(3) of this section, §§ 1.1441-5(d) and (e)(6), and 1.6049-5(d) for a payment, or portion thereof, for which it does not have a valid withholding statement prior to making a payment.

    (B) Content of withholding statement. The withholding statement must contain sufficient information for a withholding agent to apply the correct rate of withholding on payments from the accounts identified on the statement and to properly report such payments on Forms 1042-S and Forms 1099, as applicable. The withholding statement must—

    (1) Designate those accounts for which the qualified intermediary acts as a qualified intermediary;

    (2) Designate those accounts for which qualified intermediary assumes primary withholding responsibility under chapter 3 and chapter 4 of the Code and/or primary reporting and backup withholding responsibility under chapter 61 and section 3406;

    (3) If applicable, designate those accounts for which the qualified intermediary is acting as a qualified securities lender with respect to a substitute dividend paid in a securities lending or similar transaction;

    (5) Provide information regarding withholding rate pools, as described in paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C) of this section.

    (C) Withholding rate pools—(1) In general. Except to the extent it has assumed both primary withholding responsibility under chapters 3 and 4 of the Code and primary Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding responsibility under chapter 61 and section 3406 with respect to a payment, a qualified intermediary shall provide as part of its withholding statement the chapter 3 withholding rate pool information that is required for the withholding agent to meet its withholding and reporting obligations under chapters 3 and 61 of the Code and section 3406. See, however, paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C)(2) of this section for when a qualified intermediary may provide a chapter 4 withholding rate pool (as described in paragraph (c)(48) of this section) with respect to a payment that is a withholdable payment. A chapter 3 withholding rate pool is a payment of a single type of income, determined in accordance with the categories of income reported on Form 1042-S, that is subject to a single rate of withholding paid to a payee that is a foreign person and for which withholding under chapter 4 does not apply. A chapter 3 withholding rate pool may be established by any reasonable method on which the qualified intermediary and a withholding agent agree (e.g., by establishing a separate account for a single chapter 3 withholding rate pool, or by dividing a payment made to a single account into portions allocable to each chapter 3 withholding rate pool). A qualified intermediary may include a separate pool for account holders that are U.S. exempt recipients or may include such accounts in a chapter 3 withholding rate pool to which withholding does not apply. The withholding statement must identify the chapter 4 exemption code (as provided in the instructions to Form 1042-S) applicable to the chapter 3 withholding rate pools contained on the withholding statement. To the extent a qualified intermediary does not assume primary Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding responsibility under chapter 61 and section 3406, a qualified intermediary's withholding statement must establish a separate withholding rate pool for each U.S. non-exempt recipient account holder that the qualified intermediary has disclosed to the withholding agent unless the qualified intermediary uses the alternative procedures in paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C)(3) of this section or the account holder is a payee that the qualified intermediary is permitted to include in a chapter 4 withholding rate pool of U.S. payees. A qualified intermediary that is a participating FFI or registered deemed- compliant FFI may include a chapter 4 withholding rate pool of U.S. payees on a withholding statement by applying the rules under paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(A) of this section (by substituting “qualified intermediary” for “nonqualified intermediary”) with respect to an account that it maintains (as described in § 1.1471-5(b)(5)) for the payee of the payment. A qualified intermediary shall determine withholding rate pools based on valid documentation that it obtains under its withholding agreement with the IRS, or if a payment cannot be reliably associated with valid documentation, under the applicable presumption rules. If a qualified intermediary has an account holder that is another intermediary (whether a qualified intermediary or a nonqualified intermediary) or a flow- through entity, the qualified intermediary may combine the account holder information provided by the other intermediary or flow-through entity with the qualified intermediary's direct account holder information to determine the qualified intermediary's chapter 3 withholding rate pools and each of the qualified intermediary's chapter 4 withholding rate pools to the extent provided in its withholding agreement with the IRS.

    (2) Withholding rate pool requirements for a withholdable payment. This paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C)(2) modifies the requirements of a withholding statement described in paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C)(1) of this section provided by a qualified intermediary with respect to a withholdable payment (including a reportable amount that is a withholdable payment). For such a payment, the regulations applicable to a withholding statement described in paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C)(1) of this section shall apply, except that—

    (i) If the qualified intermediary provides a withholding statement described in § 1.1471-3(c)(3)(iii)(B)(2) (describing an FFI withholding statement), the withholding statement may include a chapter 4 withholding rate pool with respect to the portion of the payment allocated to a single pool of recalcitrant account holders (without the need to subdivide into the pools described in § 1.1471-4(d)(6)), including both account holders of the qualified intermediary and of any participating FFI, registered deemed-compliant FFI, or other qualified intermediary for whom the first-mentioned qualified intermediary receives the payment, and nonparticipating FFIs (to the extent permitted) in lieu of reporting chapter 3 withholding rate pools with respect to such persons as described in paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C)(1) of this section); or

    (ii) If the qualified intermediary provides a withholding statement described in § 1.1471-3(c)(3)(iii)(B)(3) (describing a chapter 4 withholding statement), the withholding statement may include a chapter 4 withholding rate pool with respect to the portion of the payment allocated to nonparticipating FFIs.

    (3) Alternative procedure for U.S. non-exempt recipients. If permitted under its withholding agreement with the IRS, a qualified intermediary may, by mutual agreement with a withholding agent, establish a single zero withholding rate pool that includes U.S. non-exempt recipient account holders for whom the qualified intermediary has provided Forms W-9 prior to the withholding agent paying any reportable payments, as defined in the qualified intermediary withholding agreement, and foreign persons for which no withholding is required under chapters 3 and 4, and may include payments allocated to a chapter 4 withholding rate pool of U.S. payees. In such a case, the qualified intermediary may also establish a separate withholding rate pool (subject to 28-percent withholding, or other applicable statutory back-up withholding tax rate) that includes only U.S. non-exempt recipient account holders for whom a qualified intermediary has not provided Forms W-9 prior to the withholding agent paying any reportable payments. If a qualified intermediary chooses the alternative procedure of this paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C)(3), the qualified intermediary must provide the information required by its withholding agreement to the withholding agent no later than January 15 of the year following the year in which the payments are paid. Failure to provide such information will result in the application of penalties to the qualified intermediary under sections 6721 and 6722, as well as any other applicable penalties, and may result in the termination of the qualified intermediary's withholding agreement with the IRS. A withholding agent shall not be liable for tax, interest, or penalties for failure to backup withhold or report information under chapter 61 of the Code due solely to the errors or omissions of the qualified intermediary. If a qualified intermediary fails to provide the allocation information required by this paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C)(3), with respect to U.S. non-exempt recipients, the withholding agent shall report the unallocated amount paid from the withholding rate pool to an unknown recipient, or otherwise in accordance with the appropriate Form 1099 and the instructions accompanying the form.

    ( D ) Example.

    The following example illustrates the application of paragraph (e)(5)(v)(C) of this section for a qualified intermediary providing chapter 4 withholding rate pools on an FFI withholding statement provided to a withholding agent. WA makes a payment of U.S. source interest that is a withholdable payment to QI, a qualified intermediary that is an FFI and a non-U.S. payor (as defined in § 1.6049-5(c)(5)), and A and B are account holders of QI (as defined under § 1.1471-5(a)) and are both U.S. non-exempt recipients (as defined in paragraph (c)(21) of this section). Ten percent of the payment is attributable to both A and B. A has provided WA with a Form W-9, but B has not provided WA with a Form W-9. QI assumes primary withholding responsibility under chapters 3 and 4 with respect to the payment, 80 percent of which is allocable to foreign payees who are account holders other than A and B. As a participating FFI, QI is required to report with respect to its U.S. accounts under § 1.1471-4(d) (as incorporated into its qualified intermediary agreement). Provided that QI reports A's account as a U.S. account under the requirements referenced in the preceding sentence, QI is not required to provide WA with a Form W-9 from A and may instead include A in a chapter 4 withholding rate pool of U.S. payees, allocating 10% of the payment to this pool. See § 1.6049-4(c)(4)(iii) concerning when reporting under section 6049 for a payment of interest is not required when an FFI that is a non-U.S. payor reports an account holder receiving the payment under its chapter 4 requirements. With respect to B, the interest payment is subject to backup withholding under section 3406. Because B is a recalcitrant account holder of QI for withholdable payments and because QI assumes primary chapter 4 withholding responsibility, however, QI may include the portion of the payment allocated to B with the remaining 80% of the payment for which QI assumes primary withholding responsibility. WA can reliably associate the full amount of the payment based on the withholding statement and does so regardless of whether WA knows B is a U.S. non-exempt recipient that is receiving a portion of the payment. See § 31.3406(g)-1(e) (providing exemption to backup withholding when withholding was applied under chapter 4).

    (f) Effective/applicability date—(1) In general. Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (e)(4)(ix)(D), (f)(2), and (f)(3) of this section, this section applies to payments made on or after January 6, 2017. (For payments made after June 30, 2014 (except for payments to which paragraph (e)(4)(ix)(D) applies, in which case, substitute March 5, 2014, for June 30, 2014), and before January 6, 2017, see this section as in effect and contained in 26 CFR part 1, as revised April 1, 2016. For payments made after December 31, 2000, and before July 1, 2014, see this section as in effect and contained in 26 CFR part 1, as revised April 1, 2013.)

    (2) Lack of documentation for past years. A taxpayer may elect to apply the provisions of paragraphs (b)(7)(i)(B), (ii), and (iii) of this section, dealing with liability for failure to obtain documentation timely, to all of its open tax years, including tax years that are currently under examination by the IRS. The election is made by simply taking action under those provisions in the same manner as the taxpayer would take action for payments made after December 31, 2000.

    (3) Section 871(m) transactions. Paragraphs (b)(4)(xxi), (b)(4)(xxiii), (e)(3)(ii)(E), and (e)(6) of this section apply to payments made on or after September 18, 2015.

    (4) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1T(f)(4).

    Par. 4. Section 1.1441-1T is revised to read as follows:
    § 1.1441-1T Requirement for the deduction and withholding of tax on payments to foreign persons (temporary).

    (a) through (b)(7)(ii)(A) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(a) through (b)(7)(ii)(A).

    (B) Special rules for establishing that income is effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business. A withholding certificate received after the date of payment to claim under § 1.1441-4(a)(1) that income is effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business will be considered effective as of the date of the payment if the certificate contains a signed affidavit (either at the bottom of the form or on an attached page) that states that the information and representations contained on the certificate were accurate as of the time of the payment. The signed affidavit must also state that the beneficial owner has included the income on its U.S. income tax return for the taxable year in which it is required to report the income or, alternatively, that the beneficial owner intends to include the income on a U.S. income tax return for the taxable year in which it is required to report the income and the due date for filing such return (including any applicable extensions) is after the date on which the affidavit is signed. A certificate received within 30 days after the date of the payment will not be considered to be unreliable solely because it does not contain the affidavit described in the preceding sentences.

    (b)(7)(iii) through (c)(2)(i) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(b)(7)(iii) through (c)(2)(i).

    (ii) Dual residents. Individuals will not be treated as U.S. persons for purposes of this section for a taxable year or any portion of a taxable year for which they are a dual resident taxpayer (within the meaning of § 301.7701(b)-7(a)(1) of this chapter) who is treated as a nonresident alien pursuant to § 301.7701(b)-7(a)(1) of this chapter for purposes of computing their U.S. tax liability.

    (c)(3) through (c)(3)(i) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(c)(3) through (c)(3)(i).

    (ii) Nonresident alien individual. The term nonresident alien individual means persons described in section 7701(b)(1)(B), alien individuals who are treated as nonresident aliens pursuant to § 301.7701(b)-7 of this chapter for purposes of computing their U.S. tax liability, or an alien individual who is a resident of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or American Samoa as determined under § 301.7701(b)-1(d) of this chapter. An alien individual who has made an election under section 6013(g) or (h) to be treated as a resident of the United States is nevertheless treated as a nonresident alien individual for purposes of withholding under chapter 3 of the Code and the regulations thereunder.

    (c)(4) through (c)(38)(i) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(c)(4) through (c)(38)(i).

    (ii) Hold mail instruction. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (i) of this section, an address that is subject to a hold mail instruction can be used as a permanent residence address if the person has also provided the withholding agent with documentary evidence establishing residence in the country in which the person claims to be a resident for tax purposes. If, after a withholding certificate is provided, a person's permanent residence address is subsequently subject to a hold mail instruction, this is a change in circumstances requiring the person to provide the documentary evidence described in this paragraph (c)(38)(ii) in order to use the address as a permanent residence address.

    (c)(39) through (e)(2)(ii)(A) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(c)(39) through (e)(2)(ii)(A).

    (B) Requirement to collect foreign TIN and date of birth beginning January 1, 2017. Beginning January 1, 2017, a beneficial owner withholding certificate provided to document an account that is maintained at a U.S. branch or office of a financial institution is required to contain the account holder's foreign TIN and, in the case of an individual account holder, the account holder's date of birth in order for the withholding agent to treat such withholding certificate as valid under paragraph (e)(2) of this section. For withholding certificates associated with payments made on or after January 1, 2018, if an account holder does not have a foreign TIN, the account holder is required to provide a reasonable explanation for its absence (e.g., the country of residence does not provide TINs) in order for the withholding certificate not to be considered invalid as a result of the application of this paragraph (e)(2)(ii)(B). A withholding certificate that does not contain the account holder's date of birth will not be considered invalid as a result of the application of this paragraph (e)(2)(ii)(B) if the withholding agent has the account holder's date of birth information in its files.

    (e)(3) through (e)(3)(iv)(C)(2) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(e)(3) through (e)(3)(iv)(C)(2).

    (3) Alternative withholding statement. In lieu of a withholding statement containing all of the information described in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C)(1) of this section, a withholding agent may accept from a nonqualified intermediary a withholding statement that meets all of the requirements of this paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C)(3) with respect to a payment. This alternative withholding statement may only be provided by a nonqualified intermediary that provides the withholding agent with the withholding certificates from the beneficial owners (i.e., not documentary evidence) before the payment is made.

    (i) The withholding statement is not required to contain information that is also included on a withholding certificate (e.g., name, address, TIN (if any), chapter 4 status, GIIN (if any)). The withholding statement is also not required to specify the rate of withholding to which each foreign payee is subject, provided that all of the information necessary to make such determination is provided on the withholding certificate. A withholding agent that uses an alternative withholding statement may not apply a different rate from that which the withholding agent may reasonably conclude from the information on the withholding certificate.

    (ii) The withholding statement must allocate the payment to every payee required to be reported as described in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(C)(1)(ii) of this section.

    (iii) The withholding statement must also contain any other information the withholding agent reasonably requests in order to fulfill its obligations under chapters 3, 4, and 61 of the Code, and section 3406.

    (iv) The withholding statement must contain a representation from the nonqualified intermediary that the information on the withholding certificates is not inconsistent with any other account information the nonqualified intermediary has for the beneficial owners for determining the rate of withholding with respect to each payee.

    (e)(3)(iv)(C)(4) through (e)(4)(i)(A) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(e)(3)(iv)(C)(4) through (e)(4)(i)(A).

    (B) Electronic signatures. A withholding agent, regardless of whether the withholding agent has established an electronic system pursuant to paragraph (e)(4)(iv)(A) or (e)(4)(iv)(C) of this section, may accept a withholding certificate (other than a Form W-9) with an electronic signature, provided the electronic signature meets the requirements of paragraph (e)(4)(iv)(B)(3)(ii) of this section. In addition, the withholding certificate must reasonably demonstrate to the withholding agent that the form has been electronically signed by the recipient identified on the form (or a person authorized to sign for the person identified on the form). For example, a withholding agent may treat as validly signed a withholding certificate that has, in the signature block, the name of the person authorized to sign, a time and date stamp, and a statement that the certificate has been electronically signed. However, a withholding agent may not treat a withholding certificate with a typed name in the signature line and no other information as validly signed.

    (e)(4)(ii) through (e)(4)(ii)(A)(1) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(e)(4)(ii) through (e)(4)(ii)(A)(1).

    (2) Documentary evidence for treaty claims and treaty statements. Documentary evidence described in § 1.1441-6(c)(3) or (4) and a statement regarding entitlement to treaty benefits described in § 1.1441-6(c)(5)(i) (treaty statement) shall remain valid until the last day of the third calendar year following the year in which the documentary evidence is provided to the withholding agent except as provided in paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(B) of this section. Notwithstanding the validity period prescribed in this paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(A)(2), a treaty statement will cease to be valid if a change in circumstances makes the information on the statement unreliable or incorrect. For accounts opened and treaty statements obtained prior to January 6, 2017, the treaty statement will expire January 1, 2019.

    (e)(4)(ii)(B) through (e)(4)(iv)(B)(4) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(e)(4)(ii)(B) through (e)(4)(iv)(B)(4).

    (C) Form 8233. A withholding agent may establish a system for a beneficial owner or payee to provide Form 8233 electronically, provided the system meets the requirements of paragraph (e)(4)(iv)(B)(1) through (4) of this section (replacing “Form W-8” with “Form 8233” each place it appears).

    (D) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(e)(4)(iv)(D).

    (E) Third party repositories. A withholding certificate (other than a Form W-9) will be considered furnished for purposes of this section (including paragraph (e)(1)(ii)(A)(1) of this section) by the person providing the certificate, and a withholding agent may rely on an otherwise valid withholding certificate received electronically from a third party repository, if the withholding certificate was uploaded or provided to a third party repository and there are processes in place to ensure that the withholding certificate can be reliably associated with a specific request from the withholding agent and a specific authorization from the person providing the certificate (or an agent of the person providing the certificate) for the withholding agent making the request to receive the withholding certificate. Each request and authorization must be associated with a specific payment, and, as applicable, a specific obligation maintained by a withholding agent. A third party repository may also be used for withholding statements, and a withholding agent may also rely on an otherwise valid withholding statement, if the intermediary providing the withholding certificates and withholding statement through the repository provides an updated withholding statement in the event of any change in the information previously provided (e.g., a change in the composition of a partnership or a change in the allocation of payments to the partners) and ensures there are processes in place to update withholding agents when there is a new withholding statement (and withholding certificates, as necessary) in the event of any change that would affect the validity of the prior withholding certificates or withholding statement. A third party repository, for purposes of this paragraph, is an entity that maintains withholding certificates (including certificates accompanied by withholding statements) but is not an agent of the applicable withholding agent or the person providing the certificate. The following examples illustrate the provisions of this paragraph (e)(4)(iv)(E):

    Example 1.

    A, a foreign corporation, completes a Form W-8BEN-E and a Form W-8ECI and uploads the forms to X, a third party repository (X is an entity that maintains withholding certificates on an electronic data aggregation site). WA, a withholding agent, enters into a contract with A under which it will make payments to A of U.S. source FDAP that are not effectively connected with A's conduct of a trade or business in the United States. X is not an agent of WA or A. Prior to receiving a payment, A sends WA an email with a link that authorizes WA to access A's Form W-8BEN-E on X's system. The link does not authorize WA to access A's Form W-8ECI. X's system meets the requirements of a third party repository, and WA can treat the Form W-8BEN-E as furnished by A.

    Example 2.

    The facts are the same as Example 1 of this paragraph (e)(4)(iv)(E), and WA and A enter into a second contract under which WA will make payments to A that are effectively connected with A's conduct of a trade or business in the United States. A sends WA an email with a link that gives WA access to A's Form W-8ECI on X's system. The link in this second email does not give WA access to A's Form W-8BEN-E. A's email also clearly indicates that the link is associated with payments received under the second contract. X's system meets the requirements of a third party repository, and WA can treat the Form W-8ECI as furnished by A.

    Example 3.

    FP is a foreign partnership that is acting on behalf of its partners, A and B, who are both foreign individuals. FP completes a Form W-8IMY and uploads it to X, a third party repository. FP also uploads Forms W-8BEN from both A and B and a valid withholding statement allocating 50% of the payment to A and 50% to B. WA is a withholding agent that makes payments to FP as an intermediary for A and B. FP sends WA an email with a link to its Form W-8IMY on X's system. The link also provides WA access to FP's withholding statement and A's and B's Forms W-8BEN. FP also has processes in place that ensure it will provide a new withholding statement or withholding certificate to X's repository in the event of a change in the information previously provided that affects the validity of the withholding statement and that ensure it will update WA if there is a new withholding statement. X's system meets the requirements of a third party repository, and WA can treat the Form W-8IMY (and withholding statement) as furnished by FP. In addition, because FP is acting as an agent of A and B, the beneficial owners, WA can treat the Forms W-8BEN for A and B as furnished by A and B.

    (e)(4)(v) through (f)(3) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.1441-1(e)(4)(v) through (f)(3).

    (4) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to payments made on or after January 6, 2017.

    (g) Expiration date. The applicability of this section expires on December 30, 2019.

    § 1.1441-3 [Amended]
    Par. 5. Section 1.1441-3 is amended by removing the second instance of the word “is” in the last sentence of paragraph (d)(1).
    § 1.1441-4 [Amended]
    Par. 6. Section 1.1441-4 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (h). Par. 7. Section 1.6045-1 is amended by revising paragraphs (m)(2)(ii) and (n)(12)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 1.6045-1 Returns of information of brokers and barter exchanges.

    (m) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Delayed effective date for certain options—(A) Notwithstanding paragraph (m)(2)(i) of this section, if an option, stock right, or warrant is issued as part of an investment unit described in § 1.1273-2(h), paragraph (m) of this section applies to the option, stock right, or warrant if it is acquired on or after January 1, 2016.

    (B) Notwithstanding paragraph (m)(2)(i) of this section, if the property referenced by an option (that is, the property underlying the option) is a debt instrument that is issued by a non-U.S. person or that provides for one or more payments denominated in, or determined by reference to, a currency other than the U.S. dollar, paragraph (m) of this section applies to the option if it is granted or acquired on or after January 1, 2016.

    (n) * * *

    (12) * * *

    (ii) Effective/applicability date. Paragraph (n)(12)(i) of this section applies to a debt instrument described in paragraph (n)(12)(i)(A) or (B) of this section that is acquired on or after February 18, 2016. However, a broker may rely on paragraph (n)(12)(i) of this section for a debt instrument described in paragraph (n)(12)(i)(A) or (B) of this section acquired before February 18, 2016.

    Par. 8. Section 1.6049-5 is amended by revising paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) to read as follows:
    § 1.6049-5 Interest and original issue discount subject to reporting after December 31, 1982.

    (c) * * *

    (1) Documentary evidence for offshore obligations and certain other obligations—(i) A payor may rely on documentary evidence described in § 1.1471-3(c)(5)(i) instead of a beneficial owner withholding certificate described in § 1.1441-1(e)(2)(i) in the case of an amount paid outside the United States (as described in paragraph (e) of this section) with respect to an offshore obligation, or, in the case of broker proceeds described in § 1.6045-1(c)(2), to the extent provided in § 1.6045-1(g)(1)(i). For purposes of this section, the term offshore obligation means—

    (A) An account maintained at an office or branch of a bank or other financial institution located outside the United States; or

    (B) An obligation as defined in § 1.6049-4(f)(3) (other than an account described in paragraph (c)(1)(i)(A) of this section), contract, or other instrument with respect to which the payor is either engaged in business as a broker or dealer in securities or a financial institution (as defined in § 1.1471-5(e)) that engages in significant activities at an office or branch located outside the United States. For purposes of the preceding sentence, an office or branch of such payor shall be considered to engage in significant activities with respect to an obligation when it participates materially and actively in negotiating the obligation under the principles described in § 1.864-4(c)(5)(iii) (substituting the term “obligation” for the term “stock or security”).

    (ii) A payor may rely on documentary evidence if the payor has established procedures to obtain, review, and maintain documentary evidence sufficient to establish the identity of the payee and the status of that person as a foreign person; and the payor obtains, reviews, and maintains such documentary evidence in accordance with those procedures. A payor maintains the documents reviewed for purposes of this paragraph (c)(1) by retaining an original, certified copy, or photocopy (including a microfiche, electronic scan, or similar means of electronic storage) of the documents reviewed for as long as it may be relevant to the determination of the payor's obligation to report under § 1.6049-4 and this section and noting in its records the date on which the document was received and reviewed. Documentary evidence furnished for a payment of an amount subject to withholding under chapter 3 of the Code or that is a chapter 4 reportable amount under § 1.1474-1(d)(2) must contain all of the information that is necessary to complete a Form 1042-S for that payment. See §§ 1.1471-3(c) and 1.1471-4(c) for additional documentation requirements to identify a payee or account holder for chapter 4 purposes that may apply in addition to the requirements under paragraph (c) of this section.

    (iii) Even if an account or obligation (as defined in § 1.6049-4(f)(3)) is not maintained outside the United States (maintained in the United States), a payor may rely on documentary evidence associated with a withholding certificate described in § 1.1441-1(e)(3)(iii) with respect to the persons for whom an entity acting as an intermediary collects the payment. A payor may also rely on documentary evidence associated with a flow-through withholding certificate for payments treated as made to foreign partners of a nonwithholding foreign partnership, as defined in § 1.1441-1(c)(28), the foreign beneficiaries of a foreign simple trust, as defined in § 1.1441-1(c)(24), or foreign owners of a foreign grantor trust, as defined in § 1.1441-1(c)(26), even though the partnership or trust account is an obligation maintained in the United States.

    (iv) For accounts opened on or after July 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2015, and for obligations entered into on or after July 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2015, a payor may continue to apply the rules of § 1.6049-5(c)(1) and (c)(4) as in effect and contained in 26 CFR part 1 revised April 1, 2013, rather than this paragraph (c)(1) and paragraph (c)(4) of this section. A payor that applies the rules of § 1.6049-5(c)(1) and (c)(4) as in effect and contained in 26 CFR part 1 revised April 1, 2013, to an account or obligation must also apply § 1.1441-6(c)(2) (to the extent applicable) and § 1.6049-5(e) both as in effect and contained in 26 CFR part 1 revised April, 2013, with respect to the account or obligation.

    (2) Other applicable rules. The provisions of § 1.1441-1(e)(4)(i) through (xii) (regarding who may sign a certificate, validity period of certificates and documentary evidence, retention of certificates, reliance rules, etc.) shall apply (by substituting the term “payor” for the term “withholding agent” and disregarding the fact that the provisions under § 1.1441-1(e)(4) only apply to amounts subject to withholding under chapter 3 of the Code) to withholding certificates and documentary evidence furnished for purposes of this section. See § 1.1441-1(b)(2)(vii) for provisions dealing with reliable association of a payment with documentation.

    (3) Standards of knowledge. A payor may not rely on a withholding certificate or documentary evidence described in paragraph (c)(1) or (4) of this section if it has actual knowledge or reason to know that any information or certification stated in the certificate or documentary evidence is unreliable. A payor has reason to know that information or certifications are unreliable only if the payor would have reason to know under the provisions of § 1.1441-7(b)(2) and (3) that the information and certifications provided on the certificate or in the documentary evidence are unreliable or, in the case of a Form W-9 (or an acceptable substitute), it cannot reasonably rely on the documentation as set forth in § 31.3406(h)-3(e) of this chapter (see the information and certification described in § 31.3406(h)-3(e)(2)(i) through (iv) of this chapter that are required in order for a payor reasonably to rely on a Form W-9). The provisions of § 1.1441-7(b)(2) and (3) shall apply for purposes of this paragraph (c)(3) irrespective of the type of income to which § 1.1441-7(b)(2) is otherwise limited. The exemptions from reporting described in paragraphs (b)(10) and (11) of this section shall not apply if the payor has actual knowledge that the payee is a U.S. person who is not an exempt recipient.

    (4) Special documentation rules for certain payments. This paragraph (c)(4) modifies the provisions of paragraph (c)(1) of this section for payments of amounts that are not subject to withholding under chapter 3 of the Code, other than amounts described in paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section (dealing with U.S. short-term OID and U.S. source deposit interest described in section 871(i)(2)(A) or 881(d)(3)). Amounts are not subject to withholding under chapter 3 of the Code if they are not included in the definition of amounts subject to withholding under § 1.1441-2(a) (e.g., deposit interest with foreign branches of U.S. banks, foreign source income, or broker proceeds). A payor may rely upon documentation in lieu of documentary evidence (as described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section) or a written statement (as defined in § 1.1471-1(b)(150)) or another statement to the extent permitted in paragraphs (c)(4)(i) through (iii) of this section, until the payor knows or has reason to know of a change in circumstance that makes the documentation unreliable or incorrect (as defined in § 1.1441-1(e)) when the payor does not have customer information for the payee that includes any of the U.S. indicia described in § 1.1471-3(c)(6)(ii)(C)(1). Further, a payor may maintain such documentation or documentary evidence as required in paragraph (c)(4)(iv) of this section.

    (i) Statement in lieu of documentary evidence with respect to accounts. If under the local laws, regulations, or practices of a country in which an account is maintained, it is not customary to obtain documentary evidence described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section with respect to the type of account, the payor may, instead of obtaining a beneficial owner withholding certificate described in § 1.1441-1(e)(2)(i) or documentary evidence described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, establish a payee's foreign status based on the statement described in this paragraph (c)(4)(i) (or such substitute statement as the Internal Revenue Service may prescribe) made on an account opening form. However, see, also § 1.1471-4(c) or an applicable IGA for additional documentation requirements that may apply to a participating FFI (including a reporting Model 2 FFI) for determining the status of its account holders for chapter 4 purposes. The statement referred to in this paragraph (c)(4)(i) must appear near the signature line and must state, “By opening this account and signing below, the account owner represents and warrants that he/she/it is not a U.S. person for purposes of U.S. Federal income tax and that he/she/it is not acting for, or on behalf of, a U.S. person. A false statement or misrepresentation of tax status by a U.S. person could lead to penalties under U.S. law. If your tax status changes and you become a U.S. citizen or a resident, you must notify us within 30 days.” Additionally, a payor may, instead of obtaining a beneficial owner withholding certificate described in § 1.1441-1(e)(2)(i) or § 1.1471-3(c)(3)(ii) or documentary evidence described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, establish a payee's foreign status based on a written statement described in paragraph § 1.1471-1(b)(150) to the extent a payor uses such written statement to establish a payee's chapter 4 status and is permitted to use the written statement under § 1.1471-3(d) (by substituting the term “payor” for the term “withholding agent”) without any other documentary evidence.

    (ii) Documentation under IGA. A payor that is a reporting Model 1 FFI or reporting Model 2 FFI may rely upon documentation or information establishing a payee's status that is permitted under an applicable IGA for determining whether the account of the payee is other than a U.S. account and regardless of whether such documentation or certification is described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section or § 1.1441-1(e)(2).

    (iii) Maintenance of documentation and written statement. A payor maintains documentation if it either maintains the documentary evidence as described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section or retains a record of the documentary evidence reviewed if the payor is not required to retain copies of the documentation pursuant to the payor's AML due diligence (as defined in § 1.1471-1(b)(4)). A payor retains a record of documentary evidence reviewed by noting in its records the type of documentation reviewed, the date the document was reviewed, the document's identification number (if any), and whether such documentation contained any U.S. indicia described in § 1.1441-7(b)(8). Any statement described in paragraph (c)(4)(i) of this section, must be retained in accordance with § 1.1471-3(c)(6)(iii).

    Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2017-13634 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9809] RIN 1545-BL72 RIN 1545-BN79 Regulations Relating to Information Reporting by Foreign Financial Institutions and Withholding on Certain Payments to Foreign Financial Institutions and Other Foreign Entities; Correction AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains corrections to final and temporary regulations (TD 9809) that were published in the Federal Register on Friday, January 6, 2017 (82 FR 2124). The final and temporary regulations under chapter 4 of the Subtitle A (sections 1471 through 1474) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Code) relate to information reporting by foreign financial institutions (FFIs) with respect to U.S. accounts and withholding on certain payments to FFIs and other foreign entities.

    DATES:

    These corrections are effective June 30, 2017 and are applicable beginning January 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kamela Nelan at (202) 317-6942 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The final and temporary regulations (TD 9809) that are the subject of this correction are under sections 1471 through 1474 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Need for Correction

    As published, the final and temporary regulations (TD 9809) contain errors which may prove to be misleading and need to be clarified. Some portions of TD 9809 could not be incorporated due to inaccurate amendatory instructions. Several of the correcting amendments to TD 9809 are needed to clarify or correct the results of inaccurate amendatory instructions. These correcting amendments also include the addition, deletion, or modification of regulatory language to clarify the relevant provisions to meet their intended purposes or for consistency with other related provisions of these regulations. The addition of final regulatory language includes language that was inadvertently removed in a prior amendment to the final regulations.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Correction of Publication

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.1471-1T is amended by revising the third sentence of paragraph (b)(99) to read as follows:
    § 1.1471-1T Scope of chapter 4 and definitions (temporary).

    (b) * * *

    (99) * * * An address that is provided subject to instructions to hold all mail to that address must be accompanied by certain documentary evidence described in § 1.1441-1(c)(38)(ii). * * *

    Par. 3. Section 1.1471-2 is amended by revising the third sentence of paragraph (a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 1.1471-2 Requirement to deduct and withhold tax on withholdable payments to certain FFIs.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) * * * Further, a withholding agent is not required to withhold on a payment that it can reliably associate with documentation indicating that the payee is a U.S. branch treated as a U.S. person (as defined in § 1.1471-1(b)(135)) or is a U.S. branch of an FFI that is not treated as a U.S. person but that applies the rules described in § 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(C). * * *

    Par. 4. Section 1.1471-3 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:
    § 1.1471-3 Identification of payee.

    (b) * * *

    (3) Determination of whether the payment is made to a QI, WP, or WT. A withholding agent may treat the person who receives a payment as a QI, WP, or WT if the withholding agent can reliably associate the payment with a valid Form W-8IMY, as described in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section, that indicates that the person who receives the payment is a QI, WP, or WT, provides the person's QI-EIN, WP-EIN, or WT-EIN, and the person's GIIN, if applicable.

    Par. 5. Section 1.1471-4 is amended by revising paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(E) and adding a heading to paragraph (d)(7) to read as follows:
    § 1.1471-4 FFI agreement.

    (d) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (E) Such other information as is otherwise required to be reported under this paragraph (d)(3) or in the form described in paragraph (d)(3)(v) of this section and its accompanying instructions.

    (7) Special reporting rules with respect to the 2014 and 2015 calendar years

    Par. 6. Section 1.1471-4T is amended by revising paragraph (d)(2)(ii)(G) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 1.1471-4T FFI agreement (temporary).

    (d) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (G) Combined reporting on Form 8966 following merger or bulk acquisition. If a participating FFI (successor) acquires accounts of another participating FFI (predecessor) in a merger or bulk acquisition of accounts, the successor may assume the predecessor's obligations to report the acquired accounts under paragraph (d) of this section with respect the calendar year in which the merger or acquisition occurs (acquisition year), provided that the requirements in paragraphs (d)(2)(ii)(G)(1) through (4) of this section are satisfied. If the requirements of paragraphs (d)(2)(ii)(G)(1) through (4) of this section are not satisfied, both the predecessor and the successor are required to report the acquired accounts for the portion of the acquisition year that it maintains the account.

    Par. 7. Section 1.1471-5 is amended by adding paragraph (f)(1)(i)(F)(3)(viii) and revising paragraph (f)(2)(iii)(C) to read as follows:
    § 1.1471-5 Definitions applicable to section 1471.

    (f) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (F) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (viii) Has not had its status as a sponsoring entity revoked.

    (2) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (C) Twenty or fewer individuals own all of the debt and equity interests in the FFI (disregarding debt interests owned by U.S. financial institutions, participating FFIs, registered deemed-compliant FFIs, and certified deemed-compliant FFIs and equity interests owned by an entity if that entity owns 100 percent of the equity interests in the FFI and is itself a sponsored FFI under this paragraph (f)(2)(iii)).

    Par. 8. Section 1.1474-1 is amended by: 1. Revising paragraphs (d)(4)(i)(C)(2) and (3). 2. Adding paragraph (d)(4)(ii)(C). 3. Revising the heading of paragraph (d)(4)(iii), and paragraphs (d)(4)(iii)(A) and (B).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 1.1474-1 Liability for withheld tax and withholding agent reporting.

    (d) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (C) * * *

    (2) If the U.S. branch of an FFI is not treated as a U.S. person and applies the rules described in § 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(C) and provides the withholding agent with a withholding certificate that transmits information regarding its reporting pools referenced in paragraph (d)(4)(i)(B) of this section or information regarding each recipient that is an account holder or payee of the U.S. branch, the withholding agent must complete a separate Form 1042-S issued to the U.S. branch for each such pool to the extent required on the form and its accompanying instructions or must complete a separate Form 1042-S issued to each recipient whose documentation is associated with the U.S. branch's withholding certificate as described in paragraph (d)(4)(ii)(A) of this section and report the U.S. branch as an entity not treated as a recipient; or

    (3) If the U.S. branch of an FFI is not treated as a U.S. person and applies the rules described in § 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(C) to the extent it fails to provide sufficient information regarding its account holders or payees, the withholding agent shall report the recipient of the payment as an unknown recipient to the extent recipient information is not provided and report the U.S. branch as provided in paragraph (d)(4)(ii)(A) of this section for an entity not treated as a recipient.

    (ii) * * *

    (C) Disregarded entities. If a U.S. withholding agent makes a payment to a disregarded entity and receives a valid withholding certificate or other documentary evidence from the person that is the single owner of such disregarded entity, the withholding agent must file a Form 1042-S treating the single owner as the recipient in accordance with the instructions to the Form 1042-S.

    (iii) Reporting by participating FFIs and deemed-compliant FFIs (including QIs, WPs, and WTs) and U.S. branches of FFIs not treated as U.S. persons—(A) In general. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(4)(iii)(B) (relating to NQIs, NWPs, NWTs, and FFIs electing under section 1471(b)(3)) and § 1.1471-4(d)(2)(ii)(F) (relating to transitional payee-specific reporting for payments to nonparticipating FFIs), a participating FFI or deemed-compliant FFI (including a QI, WP, or WT), and a U.S. branch of an FFI that is not treated as a U.S. person that applies the rules described in § 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(C) that makes a payment that is a chapter 4 reportable amount to a recalcitrant account holder or nonparticipating FFI must complete a Form 1042-S to report such payments. A participating FFI or registered deemed-compliant FFI (including a QI, WP, or WT), and a U.S. branch of an FFI that is not treated as a U.S. person that applies the rules described in § 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(C) may report in pools consisting of its recalcitrant account holders and payees that are nonparticipating FFIs. With respect to recalcitrant account holders, the FFI may report in pools consisting of recalcitrant account holders within a particular status described in § 1.1471-4(d)(6) and within a particular income code. Except as otherwise provided in § 1.1471-4(d)(2)(ii)(F), with respect to payees that are nonparticipating FFIs, the FFI may report in pools consisting of one or more nonparticipating FFIs that fall within a particular income code and within a particular status code described in the instructions to Form 1042-S. Alternatively, a participating FFI or registered deemed-compliant FFI (including a QI, WP, or WT) and a U.S. branch of an FFI that is not treated as a U.S. person that applies the rules described in § 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(C) may (and a certified deemed-compliant FFI is required to) perform payee-specific reporting to report a chapter 4 reportable amount paid to a recalcitrant account holder or a nonparticipating FFI when withholding was applied (or should have applied) to the payment.

    (B) Special reporting requirements of participating FFIs, deemed-compliant FFIs, FFIs that make an election under section 1471(b)(3), and U.S. branches of FFIs not treated as U.S. persons. Except as otherwise provided in § 1.1471-4(d)(2)(ii)(F), a participating FFI or deemed-compliant FFI that is an NQI, NWP, or NWT, and a U.S. branch of an FFI that is not treated as a U.S. person that applies the rules described in § 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(C) or an FFI that has made an election under section 1471(b)(3) and has provided sufficient information to its withholding agent to withhold and report the payment is not required to report the payment on Form 1042-S as described in paragraph (d)(4)(iii)(A) of this section if the payment is made to a nonparticipating FFI or recalcitrant account holder and its withholding agent has withheld the correct amount of tax on such payment and correctly reported the payment on a Form 1042-S. Such FFI or branch is required to report a payment, however, when the FFI knows, or has reason to know, that less than the required amount has been withheld by the withholding agent on the payment or the withholding agent has not correctly reported the payment on Form 1042-S. In such case, the FFI or branch must report on Form 1042-S to the extent required under paragraph (d)(4)(iii)(A) of this section. See, however, § 1.1471-4(d)(6) for the requirement to report certain aggregate information regarding accounts held by recalcitrant account holders on Form 8966, “FATCA Report,” regardless of whether withholdable payments are made to such accounts.

    Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2017-13632 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9819] RIN 1545-BM06 Guidelines for the Streamlined Process of Applying for Recognition of Section 501(c)(3) Status AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulations and removal of temporary regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations that allow the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to adopt a streamlined application process that eligible organizations may use to apply for recognition of tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). The final regulations affect organizations seeking recognition of tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: These regulations are effective on June 30, 2017.

    Applicability Dates: For dates of applicability, see §§ 1.501(a)-1(f), 1.501(c)(3)-1(h), and 1.508-1(c).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter A. Holiat at (202) 317-5800 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Since 1969, section 508 of the Code has required an organization seeking tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3), as a condition of its exemption, to notify the Secretary of the Treasury (or his delegate) that it is applying for recognition of exempt status in the manner prescribed in regulations, unless it is specifically excepted from the requirement. Longstanding regulations under §§ 1.501(a)-1, 1.501(c)(3)-1, and 1.508-1 had required all organizations applying for recognition of section 501(c)(3) exempt status to submit a properly completed and executed Form 1023, “Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,” (see § 1.508-1(a)(2) as contained in 26 CFR part 1, revised April 1, 2014) and to submit with, and as part of, the application, a detailed statement of its proposed activities (see §§ 1.501(a)-1(b)(1)(iii) and 1.501(c)(3)-1(b)(1)(v) as contained in 26 CFR part 1, revised April 1, 2014). Detailed procedures for applying for recognition of exemption are included in annual revenue procedures and in the instructions for Form 1023. See § 601.601(d)(2)(i)(b).

    On July 2, 2014, final and temporary regulations (TD 9674) authorizing the Commissioner to adopt a streamlined application process that eligible organizations may use to apply for recognition of tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) were published in the Federal Register (79 FR 37630). The final and temporary regulations were effective and applicable on July 1, 2014. The 2014 final regulations removed and reserved certain paragraphs of the longstanding final regulations addressed by corresponding paragraphs of the new temporary regulations. Under the temporary regulations, the IRS instituted the streamlined application process on Form 1023-EZ, “Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,” the detailed procedures for which have been provided in annual revenue procedures, most recently in Rev. Proc. 2017-5, 2017-1 IRB 230, and in the instructions for Form 1023-EZ.

    Also on July 2, 2014, a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-110948-14) cross-referencing the temporary regulations and soliciting public comments and requests for a hearing was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 37697). No comments responding to the notice of proposed rulemaking were received, and no public hearing was requested or held. The IRS continues to consider improvements to Form 1023-EZ based on its own experience and informal comments received from the public and other stakeholders on the form, including whether to require applicants to submit a brief statement of actual or proposed activities. Because the proposed regulations contemplate that guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin may prescribe the information required of Form 1023-EZ filers, including regarding their proposed activities, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS have concluded that the proposed regulations are sufficiently flexible to allow such a revision to the Form 1023-EZ at a future date, as resources permit. Accordingly, this Treasury decision adopts as final regulations, without substantive change, the proposed regulations set forth in the 2014 notice of proposed rulemaking and removes the corresponding temporary regulations.

    Explanation of Provisions

    The Treasury Department and the IRS have considered how the process of meeting the notice requirement of section 508 in seeking recognition of tax-exempt status may be made more efficient for certain smaller organizations. The IRS developed Form 1023-EZ to provide a simplified application form that relies more heavily on attestations by the organization that it meets the section 501(c)(3) organizational and operational requirements, which are explained in the accompanying form instructions. The new form was made available for use by eligible small organizations in July 2014, following the issuance of the temporary regulations and a revenue procedure describing the streamlined application process. The streamlined application process generally allows eligible small organizations to receive IRS determinations of tax-exempt status more quickly and allows the IRS to focus resources on more complex exemption applications and on compliance programs. This Treasury decision adopts the 2014 proposed regulations by amending §§ 1.501(a)-1, 1.501(c)(3)-1, and 1.508-1 to authorize the continued use of the IRS' streamlined process by eligible organizations to meet the notice requirements of section 508.

    Specifically, this Treasury decision amends §§ 1.501(a)-1 and 1.501(c)(3)-1, as in effect before July 2, 2014, to authorize the Treasury Department and the IRS to modify, by applicable regulations or other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, the requirement that an organization applying for section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status provide a detailed statement of its proposed activities. This document also amends the § 1.501(a)-1 provisions relating to the Commissioner's ability to revoke a determination because of a change in the law or regulations, or for other good cause, to reference the Commissioner's authority to retroactively revoke a determination under section 7805(b). No substantive change is intended by this amendment. This Treasury decision also amends the requirement in § 1.501(a)-1(b)(3) that an organization claiming to be exempted from filing annual returns file a statement supporting its claim with and as a part of its application. As amended, § 1.501(a)-1(b)(3) allows an organization to file the statement either in its application, or in a manner prescribed in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. See Rev. Proc. 2017-5 for rules for filing this statement on Form 8940, “Request for Miscellaneous Determinations.”

    In addition, this document amends § 1.508-1 to provide that eligible organizations may use Form 1023-EZ to notify the Commissioner of their applications for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3). This Treasury decision also amends §§ 1.501(a)-1 and 1.508-1 to state that the office to which applications should be submitted will be published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin or instructions to the Form 1023 or Form 1023-EZ.

    Finally, this Treasury decision incorporates minor revisions within the portions of §§ 1.501(a)-1, 1.501(c)(3)-1, and 1.508-1 that are otherwise being amended. In § 1.501(a)-1(a)(2), the reference to “internal revenue district” is removed because such reference has been made obsolete by the enactment of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Public Law 105-206, 112 Stat. 685. References to a district director in §§ 1.501(a)-1, 1.501(c)(3)-1, and 1.508-1 are also modified as appropriate, as those positions no longer exist within the IRS. Similarly, references to obsolete due dates for filing notices described in section 508 and related transition relief provisions that are no longer relevant have been removed from §§ 1.508-1(a)(2)(i) and (b)(2)(iv). In addition, § 1.508-1(b)(2)(v) has been revised to remove a reference to the instructions for Form 4653, which is no longer in use.

    Effective/Applicability Dates

    The temporary regulations have applied since July 1, 2014, and this Treasury decision adopts the proposed regulations that cross-referenced the text of those temporary regulations without substantive change. Thus, the final regulations apply on and after July 1, 2014.

    Statement of Availability of IRS Documents

    Rev. Proc. 2017-5 is published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin and is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov.

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including these, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory impact assessment is not required. It is hereby certified that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Although this rule may affect a substantial number of eligible small entities that choose to use Form 1023-EZ to apply for recognition of tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3), the Form 1023-EZ streamlines the application process, thereby reducing the economic impact on these entities. This rule merely permits use of the streamlined form of application available to satisfy the notice requirements under section 508(a). Therefore, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required. Pursuant to section 7805(f), the temporary and proposed regulations preceding these final regulations were submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small business and no comments were received.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these regulations is Peter A. Holiat of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt and Government Entities). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.501(a)-1 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(2), (b)(1), (b)(3), and (f) to read as follows:
    § 1.501(a)-1 Exemption from taxation.

    (a) * * *

    (2) An organization, other than an employees' trust described in section 401(a), is not exempt from tax merely because it is not organized and operated for profit. In order to establish its exemption, it is necessary that every such organization claiming exemption file an application form as set forth below with the appropriate office as designated by the Commissioner in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, forms, or instructions to the applicable forms. Subject only to the Commissioner's inherent power to revoke rulings, including with retroactive effect as permitted under section 7805(b), because of a change in the law or regulations or for other good cause, an organization that has been determined by the Commissioner (or previously by a district director) to be exempt under section 501(a) or the corresponding provision of prior law may rely upon such determination so long as there are no substantial changes in the organization's character, purposes, or methods of operation. An organization that has been determined to be exempt under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 or prior law is not required to secure a new determination of exemption merely because of the enactment of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 unless affected by substantive changes in law made by such Code.

    (b) Additional proof by particular classes of organizations—(1) Unless otherwise prescribed by applicable regulations or other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, organizations mentioned below shall submit with and as a part of their applications the following information:

    (i) Mutual insurance companies shall submit copies of the policies or certificates of membership issued by them.

    (ii) In the case of title holding companies described in section 501(c)(2), if the organization for which title is held has not been specifically notified in writing by the Internal Revenue Service that it is held to be exempt under section 501(a), the title holding company shall submit the information indicated herein as necessary for a determination of the status of the organization for which title is held.

    (iii) An organization described in section 501(c)(3) shall submit with, and as a part of, an application filed after July 26, 1959, a detailed statement of its proposed activities.

    (3) An organization claiming to be specifically exempted by section 6033(a) from filing annual returns shall submit with and as a part of its application (or in such other manner as is prescribed in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin) a statement of all the facts on which it bases its claim.

    (f) Effective/applicability date. Paragraphs (a)(2), (b)(1), and (b)(3) of this section apply on and after July 1, 2014.

    Section 1.501(a)-1T [Removed].
    Par. 3. Section 1.501(a)-1T is removed. Par. 4. Section 1.501(c)(3)-1 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(1)(v), (b)(6), and (h) to read as follows:
    § 1.501(c)(3)-1 Organizations organized and operated for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (v) Unless otherwise prescribed by applicable regulations or other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, an organization must, in order to establish its exemption, submit a detailed statement of its proposed activities with and as a part of its application for exemption (see § 1.501(a)-1(b)).

    (6) Applicability of the organizational test. A determination by the Commissioner that an organization is described in section 501(c)(3) and exempt under section 501(a) will not be granted after July 26, 1959, regardless of when the application is filed, unless such organization meets the organizational test prescribed by this paragraph (b). If, before July 27, 1959, an organization has been determined by the Commissioner or district director to be exempt as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) or in a corresponding provision of prior law and such determination has not been revoked before such date, the fact that such organization does not meet the organizational test prescribed by this paragraph (b) shall not be a basis for revoking such determination. Accordingly, an organization that has been determined to be exempt before July 27, 1959, and which does not seek a new determination of exemption is not required to amend its articles of organization to conform to the rules of this paragraph (b), but any organization that seeks a determination of exemption after July 26, 1959, must have articles of organization that meet the rules of this paragraph (b). For the rules relating to whether an organization determined to be exempt before July 27, 1959, is organized exclusively for one or more exempt purposes, see 26 CFR (1939) 39.101(6)-1 (Regulations 118) as made applicable to the Code by Treasury Decision 6091, approved August 16, 1954 (19 FR 5167; 1954-2 CB 47).

    (h) Effective/applicability date. Paragraphs (b)(1)(v) and (b)(6) of this section apply on and after July 1, 2014.

    Section 1.501(c)(3)-1T [Removed].
    Par. 5. Section 1.501(c)(3)-1T is removed. Par. 6. Section 1.508-1 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(2)(i), (a)(2)(ii), (b)(2)(iv), (b)(2)(v), and (c) to read as follows:
    § 1.508-1 Notices.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Filing of notice—(i) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, except as provided in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, an organization seeking exemption under section 501(c)(3) must file the notice described in section 508(a) within 15 months from the end of the month in which the organization was organized. Such notice is filed by submitting a properly completed and executed Form 1023 (or, if applicable, Form 1023-EZ) exemption application. Notice should be filed with the appropriate office as designated by the Commissioner in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, forms, or instructions to the applicable forms. A request for extension of time for the filing of such notice should be submitted to such appropriate office. Such request may be granted if it demonstrates that additional time is required.

    (ii) Although the information required by either Form 1023 or Form 1023-EZ must be submitted to satisfy the notice required by this section, the failure to supply, within the required time, all of the information required to complete such form is not alone sufficient to deny exemption from the date of organization to the date such complete information for such form is submitted by the organization. If the information that is submitted within the required time is incomplete, and the organization supplies the necessary additional information requested by the Commissioner within the additional time period allowed, the original notice will be considered timely.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iv) Any organization filing notice under this paragraph (b)(2)(iv) shall file its notice by submitting a properly completed and executed Form 1023 (or, if applicable, Form 1023-EZ) and providing information that it is not a private foundation. The organization shall also submit all information required by the regulations under section 170 or 509 (whichever is applicable) necessary to establish recognition of its classification as an organization described in section 509(a)(1), (2), (3), or (4). The notice required by this paragraph (b)(2)(iv) should be filed with the appropriate office as designated by the Commissioner in guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, forms, or instructions to the applicable forms.

    (v) An extension of time for the filing of a notice under this paragraph (b)(2) may be granted by the office with which the notice is filed upon timely request by the organization, if the organization demonstrates that additional time is required.

    (c) Effective/applicability date. Paragraphs (a)(2)(i), (a)(2)(ii), (b)(2)(iv), and (b)(2)(v) of this section apply on and after July 1, 2014.

    Section 1.508-1T [Removed].

    Par. 7. Section 1.508-1T is removed.

    Kirsten B. Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: June 9, 2017. Thomas West, Tax Legislative Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13866 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Parts 1 and 301 [TD 9809] RIN 1545-BL72 RIN 1545-BN79 Regulations Relating to Information Reporting by Foreign Financial Institutions and Withholding on Certain Payments to Foreign Financial Institutions and Other Foreign Entities; Correction AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final and temporary regulations; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains a correction to final and temporary regulations (TD 9809) that were published in the Federal Register on Friday, January 6, 2017 (82 FR 2124). The final and temporary regulations under chapter 4 of Subtitle A (sections 1471 through 1474) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Code) relate to information reporting by foreign financial institutions (FFIs) with respect to U.S. accounts and withholding on certain payments to FFIs and other foreign entities.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective June 30, 2017 and is applicable beginning January 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kamela Nelan at (202) 317-6942 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The final and temporary regulations (TD 9809) that are subject of this correction are under sections 1471 through 1474 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Need for Correction

    As published, the final and temporary regulations (TD 9809) contain an error that proves to be misleading and is in need of clarification.

    Correction of Publication

    Accordingly, the final and temporary regulations (TD 9809) that are the subject of FR Doc. 2016-31601 are corrected as follows:

    On page 2192, column 1, under the title heading PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION, the first line, the language “Par. 23. Need Authority” is corrected to read “Par. 23. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *.”

    Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2017-13631 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 28 CFR Part 31 [Docket No. OJP (OJJDP) 1737] RIN 1121-AA83 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Formula Grant Program AGENCY:

    Office of Justice Programs.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correcting amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (“OJJDP”) of the Office of Justice Programs (“OJP”) published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2017, a partial Final Rule amending the formula grant program (“Formula Grant Program”) regulation. This technical correction corrects inaccurate citations to sections of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (the “Act”) in the partial Final Rule.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective June 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory Thompson, Senior Advisor, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, at 202-307-5911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The OJJDP Formula Grant Program is authorized by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (“JJDPA”), which authorizes OJJDP to provide an annual grant to each State to improve its juvenile justice system and to support juvenile delinquency prevention programs. The partial Final Rule that OJJDP published on January 17, and which took effect on March 21, 2017, amends the implementing regulations for the Formula Grant Program found at 28 CFR part 31. In particular, § 31.303(f)(5) amends States' reporting requirements in several aspects. This technical correction simply corrects inaccurate references to sections of the Act cited in the partial Final Rule.

    How This Document Complies With the Federal Administrative Requirements for Rulemaking A. Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

    This technical correction has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” section 1(b), The Principles of Regulation, and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” section 1, General Principles of Regulation. This technical correction is limited to amending the citations to sections of the Act and, therefore, is not a “regulation” or “rule” as defined by that Executive Order.

    B. Executive Order 13132

    This technical correction to the partial Final Rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” OJP has determined that this technical correction does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

    C. Executive Order 12988

    This technical correction to the partial Final Rule meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform.”

    D. Administrative Procedures Act

    This technical correction simply corrects citations to sections of the Act in the partial Final Rule published on January 17, 2017 and, accordingly, OJP finds it unnecessary to publish this technical correction for public notice and comment. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b). Similarly, because delaying the effective date of this technical correction would serve no purpose, OJP also finds good cause to make this rule technical correction effective upon publication. See 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    E. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    OJP, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), has reviewed this technical correction and, by approving it, certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it simply makes a technical correction to the partial Final Rule published on January 17, 2017. Further, a Regulatory Flexibility analysis is not required for this technical correction because OJP was not required to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for this matter. See 5 U.S.C. 604.

    F. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This technical correction is not a major rule as defined by section 251 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, 5 U.S.C. 804. This technical correction will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.

    G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This technical correction was not preceded by a published notice of proposed rulemaking; will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year; will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments; and does not contain significant intergovernmental mandates. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1535.

    H. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This technical correction does not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521.

    List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 31

    Authority and Issuance.

    PART 31—OJJDP GRANT PROGRAMS 1. The authority citation for 28 CFR part 31 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 5611(b); 42 U.S.C. 5631-5633.

    Subpart A—Formula Grants
    § 31.303 [Amended]
    2. In § 31.303(f)(5), remove the words “42 U.S.C. 5633(a)(12), (13), and (14)” and add in their place “42 U.S.C. 5633(a)(11), (12), and (13)”. Dated: June 12, 2017. Alan R. Hanson, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-12984 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0169] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Washburn Board Across the Bay, Lake Superior; Chequamegon Bay, WI AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will establish a permanent special local regulation on Lake Superior within Chequamegon Bay for the annual Washburn Board Across the Bay racing event. This annual event historically occurs within the last 2 weeks of July and lasts for 1 day. This action is necessary to safeguard the participants and spectators on the water in a portion of Chequamegon Bay between Washburn, WI and Ashland, WI. This regulation would functionally restrict all vessel speeds while within a designated no-wake zone, unless otherwise specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Duluth or a designated representative. The area forming the subject of this permanent special local regulation is described below.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0169 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this rulemaking, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade John Mack, Waterways management, MSU Duluth, Coast Guard; telephone 218-725-3818, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations

    COTP Captain of the Port, Duluth

    CFR Code of Federal Regulations

    DHS Department of Homeland Security

    FR Federal Register

    NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking

    § Section

    U.S.C. United States Code

    II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    On March 30, 2017 the Coast Guard published an NPRM in the Federal Register (82 FR 15660) entitled “Special Local Regulation; Washburn Board Across the Bay, Lake Superior; Chequamegon Bay, WI.” The NPRM proposed to establish a no-wake zone within Chequamegon Bay on an annual basis during the Washburn Board Across the Bay paddle craft event, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this paddle craft event. The aforementioned NPRM was open for comment for 30 days in which no comments were received.

    III. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    As noted above, we received no comments on our NPRM published on March 30, 2017. There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM. This rule will create a permanent special local regulation in Chequamegon Bay for the annual Washburn Board Across the Bay racing event that historically takes place in the third or fourth week of July. The no-wake zone will be enforced on all vessels entering into 100 yards of either side of an imaginary line beginning in Washburn, WI at position 46°36′52″ N., 090°54′24″ W.; thence southwest to position 46°38′44″ N., 090°54′50″ W.; thence southeast to position 46°37′02″ N., 090°50′20″ W.; and ending southwest at position 46°36′12″ N., 090°51′51″ W. All vessels transiting through the no-wake zone will be required to travel at an appropriate rate of speed that does not create a wake except as may be permitted by the COTP or a designated representative. The precise times and date of enforcement for this special local regulation will be determined annually.

    The COTP, Duluth, will use all appropriate means to notify the public when the special local regulation in this rule will be enforced. Such means may include publication in the Federal Register a Notice of Enforcement, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and Local Notice to Mariners. The regulatory text appears at the end of this document.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    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).

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the Special Local Regulation. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit through the no-wake zone which will be 200 yards wide and will impact only a small designated area of Lake Superior in Chequamegon Bay between Washburn, WI and Ashland, WI during a time of year when commercial vessel traffic is normally low. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit through the no-wake zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule will have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this 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. 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 would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a no-wake zone being enforced for no more than 5 hours along a prescribed route between Washburn & Ashland, Wisconsin. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration and Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    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 100

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

    PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for Part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1233

    2. Add § 100. 169 to read as follows:
    § 100. 169 Special Local Regulation; Washburn Board Across the Bay, Lake Superior; Chequamegon Bay, WI.

    (a) Location. All waters of Chequamegon Bay within 100 yards of either side of an imaginary line beginning in Washburn, WI at position 46°36′52″ N., 090°54′24″ W.; thence southwest to position 46°38′44″ N., 090°54′50″ W.; thence southeast to position 46°37′02″ N., 090°50′20″ W.; and ending southwest at position 46°36′12″ N., 090°51′51″ W.

    (b) Effective period. This annual event historically occurs within the third or fourth week of July. The COTP, Duluth, will announce enforcement dates via Notice of Enforcement, Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, on-scene designated representatives, or other forms of outreach.

    (c) Regulations. Vessels transiting within the regulated area shall travel at a no-wake speed except as may be permitted by the COTP, Duluth or a designated on-scene representative. Additionally, vessels shall yield right-of-way for event participants and event safety craft and shall follow directions given by event representatives during the event.

    Dated: May 26, 2017. E.E. Williams, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Duluth.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13559 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0470] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Swinomish Channel, Whitmarsh, WA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company (BNSF) Railroad Swing Span Drawbridge 12A across Swinomish Channel, mile 8.4, near Whitmarsh, WA. This deviation is necessary to accommodate replacement of the bridge protective fendering system. The deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position at various times based on low tide predictions; and also allows the swing span to not completely open at various times detained herein.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on July 1, 2017 to 6 p.m. on November 30, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2017-0470] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Steven Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District; telephone 206-220-7282, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    BNSF (bridge owner) has requested the BNSF Railroad Swing Span Drawbridge 12 be allowed to close the span, and need not open to marine traffic to facilitate fender replacements. The BNSF Railroad Swing Span Drawbridge 12A crosses the Swinomish channel, mile 8.4, near Whitmarsh, WA. The swing span provides 8 feet of vertical clearance in the closed-to-navigation position, and 100 feet of horizontal clearance in the open-to-navigation position. The span provides unlimited vertical clearance in the open-to-navigation position. Vertical and horizontal clearances are referenced to mean high-water elevation.

    The closures of the BNSF Railroad Swing Span Drawbridge for the fender replacements will depend on the tidal status of the river, which means that work (and closure), will occur on different times on different days. The specific times of the bridge closures will be published in the weekly Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners. BNSF work requires the swing span to be in the closed-to-navigation position when the ebb tide height reaches plus three feet above Mean Tide Level, and open the span when the flood tide height reaches plus three feet above Mean Tide Level. The deviation period allows the subject bridge to be in the closed-to-navigation position from 6 a.m. on July 1, 2017 to 6 p.m. on November 30, 2017, when the river is a plus three foot ebb tide, and open the bridge span on a plus three foot flood tide Monday through Saturday. However, if the project gets delayed, work on Sundays will be required.

    The swing span at various times will only be able to open to 97 percent. This reduces the horizontal navigation clearance by five feet—from 100 feet to 95 feet. The five feet of horizontal clearance is needed to position work barges at various locations to replace fenders.

    During the dates and times of the deviation, the drawbridge will not be able to operate according to the normal operating schedule. This drawbridge normally operates in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5. The subject bridge is normally maintained in the open-to-navigation position. The bridge shall operate in accordance to 33 CFR 117.5 at all other times. Waterway usage on the Swinomish Channel includes commercial tugs and barges, U.S. Coast Guard vessels, and large to small pleasure craft. The Coast Guard provided notice of this deviation to local mariners via the Local Notice Mariners and emails. One objection was submitted to the Coast Guard, and requested bridge closure times be posted in the Local Notice to Mariners. As stated herein, specific times will be published in the weekly Local Notice to Mariners.

    Vessels will not be able to pass through the swing span via the marked navigation channel during the closure times. Working barges will be positioned in the channel at the bridge during the closed-to-navigation periods preventing safe passage. An alternate route is via the southern Swinomish Channel using Skagit Bay. The bridge will not be able to open for vessels responding to emergencies during the stated closure times. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: June 23, 2017. Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13745 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0365] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lewis Creek Channel, Chincoteague, VA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the SR 175 Bridge that carries the SR 175 across the Lewis Creek Channel, mile 0.0, at Chincoteague, VA. The deviation is necessary to facilitate the Annual Pony Run. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    The deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on Wednesday July 26, 2017, through 5 p.m. on Thursday July 27, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2017-0365] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Michael Thorogood, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard, telephone 757-398-6557, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Virginia Department of Transportation, owner and operator of the SR 175 Bridge that carries the SR 175 Bridge across the Lewis Creek Channel, mile 0.0, at Chincoteague, VA, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations to ensure the safety of the increased volumes of spectators that will be attending Annual Pony Run on Wednesday July 26, 2017, and Thursday July 27, 2017. This bridge is a bascule span drawbridge with a vertical clearance of 15 feet above mean high water in the closed position and unlimited vertical clearance in the open position. The current operating regulation is set out in 33 CFR 117.5. Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will be maintained in the closed-to-navigation position from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday July 26, 2017 and Thursday July 27, 2017.

    The Lewis Creek Channel is used by recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully considered the nature and volume of vessel traffic on the waterway in publishing this temporary deviation.

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

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

    Dated: June 26, 2017. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13753 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0617] Safety Zones; Annual Firework Displays Within the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce five safety zones for annual firework displays in the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound Zone during the dates and times noted under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. This action is necessary to prevent injury and to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the firework displays. During the enforcement periods, entry into, transit through, mooring, or anchoring within these safety zones is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound or their Designated Representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1332 will be enforced for the five safety zones listed under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION from 5 p.m. on July 4, 2017, through 1 a.m. on July 5, 2017 during the dates and times specified.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email Petty Officer Zachary Spence, Sector Puget Sound Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone 206-217-6051, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce regulations for the following five safety zones established for Annual Fireworks Displays within the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound Area of Responsibility in 33 CFR 165.1332 during the dates and times noted in the table below.

    The following safety zones will be enforced from 5 p.m. on July 4, 2017, through 1 a.m. on July 5, 2017:

    Event name Location Latitude Longitude Tacoma Freedom Fair Commencement Bay 47°17.103′ N. 122°28.410′ W. Friday Harbor Independence Friday Harbor 48°32.255′ N. 123°0.654.033′ W. Three Tree Point Community Fireworks Three Tree Point 47°27.033′ N. 122°23.15′ W. Everett 4th of July Port Gardner 48°0.672′ N. 122°13.391′ W. Seattle Seafair Lake Washington 47° 34.333′ N. 122° 16.017′ W.

    The special requirements listed in 33 CFR 165.1332(b) apply to the activation and enforcement of these safety zones. All vessel operators who desire to enter the safety zone must obtain permission from the Captain of the Port or their Designated Representative by contacting the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC) on VHF Ch 13 or Ch 16 or via telephone at (206) 217-6002.

    The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1332 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to the publication of this document in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advanced notification of enforcement of these safety zones via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts on the day of the events.

    Dated: June 26, 2017. L.A. Sturgis, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Puget Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13682 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0613] Safety Zone; City of Richmond Fourth of July Fireworks Display, San Francisco Bay, Richmond, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the annual City of Richmond Fourth of July Fireworks Display in the Captain of the Port, San Francisco area of responsibility during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 9, will be enforced from 8 a.m. on July 1, 2017 to 10 p.m. on July 3, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, 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:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a 100 foot safety zone around the fireworks barge during the loading, transit, and arrival of the fireworks barge from the loading location to the display location and until the start of the fireworks display. From 8 a.m. on July 1, 2017 until 5 p.m. on July 3, 2017, the fireworks barge will be loading pyrotechnics from Pier 50 in San Francisco, CA. The fireworks barge will remain at the loading location until its transit to the display location. From 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on July 3, 2017, the loaded fireworks barge will transit from Pier 50 to the launch site in Richmond Marina in approximate position 37°54′40″ N., 122°21′05″ W. (NAD 83) where it will remain until the conclusion of the fireworks display. Upon the commencement of the 20-minute fireworks display, scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. on July 3, 2017, the safety zone will increase in size and encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius 560 feet in Richmond Marina in approximate position 37°54′40″ N., 122°21′05″ W. (NAD 83) for the Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Richmond in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 9. This safety zone will be in effect from 8 a.m. on July 1, 2017 until 10 p.m. on July 3, 2017.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1191, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM. Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so. This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1191 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the safety zone and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners.

    If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 4, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13841 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0589] Safety Zone; Delaware River, Philadelphia, PA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone regulation for an annual fireworks event on the Delaware River, Philadelphia, PA from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on June 30, 2017 and July 1, 2017. Enforcement of this safety zone is necessary and intended to ensure safety of life on navigable waters immediately prior to, during, and immediately after these fireworks events. During the enforcement periods, no vessel may transit this regulated area without approval from the Captain of the Port or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.506 will be enforced from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on June 30, 2017 and July 1, 2017, for the safety zone listed in the Table to § 165.506, line (a.)(16).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, you may call or email MST2 Amanda Boone, Sector Delaware Bay Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 215-271-4889, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    From 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on June 30, 2017 and July 1, 2017, the Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone regulation listed in the Table to 33 CFR 165.506 (a.)(16) that takes place on the Delaware River, Philadelphia, PA. This action is being taken to enhance the safety of life on navigable waterways during the fireworks display.

    Coast Guard regulations for recurring firework events in Captain of the Port Delaware Bay Zone, are published in § 165.506, Safety Zones; Fireworks Displays within the Fifth Coast Guard District, which specifies the location of the regulated area for this safety zone as all waters of Delaware River, adjacent to Penns Landing, Philadelphia, PA, bounded from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the south by a line running east to west from points along the shoreline at latitude 39°56′31.2″ N., longitude 075°08′28.1″ W.; thence west to latitude 39°56′29.1″ N., longitude 075°07′56.5″ W., and bounded on the north where the Benjamin Franklin Bridge crosses the Delaware River.

    As specified in §  165.506, during the enforcement period, no vessel or person may enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Delaware Bay or a designated representative. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP, designated representative or Patrol Commander.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.506 and 33 U.S.C. 1233. The Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advanced notice of enforcement of regulation by Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM), Local Notice to Mariners and on-scene actual notice by designated representative. In the event Captain of the Port Delaware Bay determines that it's not necessary to enforce the regulated area for the entire duration of the enforcement period, a BNM will be issued to authorize general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: Jun 27, 2017. Scott E. Anderson, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Delaware Bay.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13917 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0539] Safety Zones; Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce several recurring safety zones on navigable waterways within Sector Ohio Valley. This regulatory action is necessary to provide for the safety of life and protection of vessels from the hazards associated with fireworks displays, festivals, and events. During the enforcement period, entry into these safety zones is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Ohio Valley (COTP) or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.801, Table 1, will be enforced for the safety zones within Sector Ohio Valley as identified in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email Petty Officer James Robinson, Sector Ohio Valley, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 502-779-5347, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones in 33 CFR 165.801, Table 1, lines 13, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 50, and 69 as follows:

    Line 13, Riverview Park Independence Festival, from 9:30 p.m. through 11 p.m. on July 1, 2017; Line 17, Louisville Bats Firework Show, from 9 p.m. through 11 p.m. on July 4, 2017; Line 19, All American 4th of July, from 9 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 4, 2017; Line 21, Spirit of Freedom Fireworks, from 9 p.m. through 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017; Line 22, Lighting up the Cumberlands Fireworks, from 9 p.m. through 9:30 p.m. on July 1, 2017; Line 23, Knoxville July 4th Fireworks, from 9:40 p.m. through 10:10 p.m. on July 4, 2017; Line 24, Music City July 4th, from 9 p.m. through 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017; Line 25, Grand Harbor Marina July 4th Celebration, from 10 p.m. through 10:20 p.m. on July 1, 2017; Line 26, City of Bellevue, KY/Bellevue Beach Park Concert Fireworks, from 9 p.m. through 11 p.m. on July 08, 2017; Line 27, Cincinnati Bell, WEBN, and Proctor Riverfest, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on September 3, 2017; Line 29, City of Point Pleasant/Point Pleasant Sternwheel Fireworks, from 9:30 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 1, 2017; Line 50, Evansville Freedom Celebration, from 9:45 p.m. through 10:15 p.m. on July 4, 2017; and Line 69, Newburgh Fireworks Display, from 9:45 p.m. through 10:10 p.m. on July 1, 2017. The regulations for the Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones, § 165.801, Table 1, specifies the locations of these safety zones. As specified in § 165.23, during the enforcement period, no vessel may transit these safety zones without approval from the Captain of the Port Ohio Valley (COTP) or a designated representative. Sector Ohio Valley may be contacted on VHF-FM radio channel 16 or phone at 1-800-253-7465.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.801 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via Local Notice to Mariners and updates via Marine Information Broadcasts.

    Dated: June 26, 2017. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Ohio Valley.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13766 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0606] Safety Zone; Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Pittsburg, Suisun Bay, Pittsburg, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the City of Pittsburg Fourth of July Fireworks display, in the Captain of the Port, San Francisco area of responsibility during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 13 will be enforced from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, 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:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone established in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 13 on July 4, 2017. Upon commencement of the 20 minute fireworks display, scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017, the safety zone will encompass the navigable waters surrounding the land based launch site on the Pittsburg Marina Pier in approximate position 38°02′32″ N., 121°53′19″ W. (NAD 83). Upon the conclusion of the fireworks display the safety zone shall terminate. This safety zone will be in effect from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1191, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM. Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1191 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notification in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the safety zone and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners.

    If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notification, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 4, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13848 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0610] Safety Zone; Execpro Services Fourth of July Fireworks, Incline Village, NV AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the annual Execpro Services Fourth of July Fireworks Display in the Captain of the Port, San Francisco area of responsibility during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 28, will be enforced from 6 a.m. on July 1, 2017 to 10:30 p.m. on July 3, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, 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:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a 100 foot safety zone around the fireworks barge during the loading, transit, and arrival of the fireworks barge from the loading location to the display location and until the start of the fireworks display. From 6 a.m. on July 1, 2017 until 8 a.m. on July 1, 2017, the fireworks barge will be loading pyrotechnics Obexers Marina in Homewood, CA. The fireworks barge will remain at the loading location until its transit to the display location. From approximately 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on July 1, 2017, the loaded fireworks barge will transit from Obexers Marina to the launch site off-shore from Incline Village, NV in approximate position 39°13′54″ N., 119°56′25″ W. (NAD 83) where it will remain until the conclusion of the fireworks display. Upon the commencement of the 24-minute fireworks display, scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. on July 3, 2017, the safety zone will increase in size and encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius 1,000 feet, off-shore from Incline Village, NV, in approximate position 39°13′54″ N., 119°56′25″ W. (NAD 83) for the Execpro Services Fourth of July Fireworks in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 28. This safety zone will be in effect from 6 a.m. on July 1, 2017 until 10:30 p.m. on July 3, 2017.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1191, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM.

    Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1191 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). In addition to this notification in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the safety zone and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners.

    If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 1, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13836 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0310] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone: Vengeance Sunken Barge, San Francisco, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone in support of the environmental and salvage response operation to the sunken barge Vengeance in the San Francisco Bay, east of Yerba Buena Island and north of the Oakland Outer Harbor Entrance Channel near Oakland, CA. All vessel traffic is prohibited from transiting the area to allow safe response operations to be conducted. All vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or remaining in the safety zone without permission of the Captain of the Port or their designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from June 30, 2017 until July 31, 2017. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from June 1, 2017 until June 30, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2017-0310. To view these documents 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 Marcia Medina, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco; telephone (415) 399-7443 or email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations APA Administrative Procedures Act CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NAD North American Datum of 1983 NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary 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 due to the emergent nature of the environmental and salvage response to be conducted on the barge Vengeance.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The Coast Guard finds that it is impracticable to provide notice and receive comment due to the emergent nature of the environmental and salvage response to be conducted on the barge Vengeance.

    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; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to establish safety zones.

    The sunken barge Vengeance creates a significant underwater hazard to navigation to vessels transiting the San Francisco Bay. The response operations are complex in nature and involve multiple vessels. These operations, when conducted in close proximity to transiting vessels, create unpredictable hazards, hence necessitating a safety zone restricting all vessel traffic within this impacted area until environmental response operations are complete. This safety zone establishes a temporary restricted area on the navigable waters of the San Francisco Bay, east of Yerba Buena Island and north of Oakland Outer Harbor Entrance Channel within the following points: 37°48.549′ N. 122°20.891′ W., 37°48.498′ N. 122°21.134′ W., 37°48.346′ N. 122°21.068′ W., and 37°48.461′ N. 122°20.782′ W. (NAD 83). This restricted area applies to all vessels transiting the specified area.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    The Coast Guard or a designated representative will enforce a safety zone in navigable waters of the San Francisco Bay, east of Yerba Buena Island and north of Oakland Outer Harbor Entrance Channel within the following points: 37°48.549′ N. 122°20.891′ W., 37°48.498′ N. 122°21.134′ W., 37°48.346′ N. 122°21.068′ W., and 37°48.461′ N. 122°20.782′ W. (NAD 83).

    This safety zone is effective from June 1, 2017 through on July 31, 2017 or as announced via Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    The effect of the temporary safety zone will be to restrict navigation in the vicinity of the sunken barge Vengeance until the environmental and salvage response operations are complete. Except for persons or vessels authorized by the Captain of the Port or a designated representative, no vessel may enter or remain in the restricted area. These regulations are needed to keep vessels safely outside of the response zone until environmental and salvage response operations are complete.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive order related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    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 zone is limited in duration, and is limited to a narrowly tailored geographic area. In addition, although this rule restricts access to the waters encompassed by the safety zone, the effect of this rule will not be significant because it is outside of the Oakland Outer Harbor Entrance Channel and will be notified via public Broadcast Notice to Mariners to ensure the safety zone will result in minimum impact. The entities most likely to be affected are waterfront facilities, commercial vessels, and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities.

    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 the following entities, some of which may be small entities: Owners and operators of waterfront facilities, commercial vessels, and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities and sightseeing, if these facilities or vessels are in the vicinity of the safety zone at times when this zone is being enforced. This rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: (i) This rule will encompass only a small portion of the waterway for a limited period of time, (ii) vessel traffic can transit safely around the safety zone, and (iii) the maritime public will be advised in advance of this safety zone 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 an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone of limited size and duration. This rule 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. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 165.T11-857 to read as follows:
    § 165.T11-857 Safety Zone; Vengeance Sunken Barge, San Francisco, CA.

    (a) Location. This temporary safety zone is established in the navigable waters of San Francisco Bay, east of Yerba Buena Island and north of Oakland Outer Harbor Entrance Channel within the following points: 37°48.549′ N. 122°20.891′ W., 37°48.498′ N. 122°21.134′ W., 37°48.346′ N. 122°21.068′ W., and 37°48.461′ N. 122°20.782′ W. (NAD 83).

    (b) Enforcement period. The zone described in paragraph (a) of this section will be enforced from June 1, 2017 through July 31, 2017 or as announced via Broadcast Notice to Mariner. The Captain of the Port San Francisco (COTP) will notify the maritime community of any changes to this enforcement period 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 zone.

    (d) Regulations. (1) Under the general regulations in 33 CFR part 165, subpart C, entry into, transiting or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or a designated representative.

    (2) The safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the COTP or a designated representative.

    (3) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone must contact the COTP or a designated representative to obtain permission to do so. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP or a designated representative. Persons and vessels may request permission to enter the safety zone through the 24-hour Command Center at telephone (415) 399-3547 or on VHF channel 16.

    Dated: June 1, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13648 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0825] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; United Illuminating Company, Housatonic River Crossing Project; Milford and Stratford, CT AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is amending a temporary safety zone on the Housatonic River near Milford and Stratford, CT. Amending the safety zone is necessary to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created by the United Illuminating Company Housatonic River Crossing Project. This regulation prohibits entry of vessels or people into the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Long Island Sound. The safety zone will only be enforced during cable pulling operations or other instances which may create a hazard to navigation.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from June 30, 2017 through August 31, 2017. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from June 12, 2017 through June 30, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0825 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, contact Petty Officer Katherine Linnick, Prevention Department, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, telephone (203) 468-4565, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register LIS Long Island Sound NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking NAD 83 North American Datum 1983 TFR Temporary final rule II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    This rulemaking amends a temporary safety zone for certain waters of the Housatonic River near Milford and Stratford, CT. Corresponding regulatory history is discussed below.

    On August 25, 2016, United Illuminating Company notified the Coast Guard that it would conduct a project involving the installation of new transmission conductors over the Housatonic River near Stratford and Milford, CT. On March 14, 2017, the Coast Guard published a NPRM entitled, “Safety Zone; United Illuminating Company Housatonic River Crossing Project; Housatonic River; Milford and Stratford, CT” in the Federal Register (80 FR 13572). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this transmission project. During the comment period that ended April 13, 2017, we received zero comments.

    On May 22, 2017, the Coast Guard published a TFR entitled, “Safety Zone; United Illuminating Company Housatonic River Crossing Project; Housatonic River; Milford and Stratford, CT” in the Federal Register (82 FR 23144). This project was schedule to be completed in two phases. The first phase involving the stringing of optical fiber ground wires on the North circuit of the project was scheduled to begin on April, 26, 2017 through May 4, 2017. The second phase involves the stringing of optical fiber ground wires on the South circuit from July 29, 2017 through August 3, 2017.

    On May 10, 2017, United Illuminating Company notified the Coast Guard that due to foul weather it was behind schedule and was unable to complete phase one as described in the above-mentioned TFR. The project is now scheduled to begin on June 12, 2017 and be completed by August 31, 2017. Due to fluctuations in the project's schedule, the safety zone is being amended to permit enforcement of the safety zone during re-scheduled cable installation operations or other instances which may cause a hazard to navigation. The COTP Long Island Sound (LIS) has determined that the potential hazards associated with the cable installation project could be a safety concern for anyone within the work area. The work area is between the eastern and western shores of the Housatonic River. The southern boundary of the work zone begins at the Metro-North Rail Bridge and extends north approximately 525 feet upstream.

    The Coast Guard is amending § 165.T01-0825 without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The late finalization of project details after weather delays did not give the Coast Guard enough time to publish an NPRM, take public comments regarding the amendments to § 165.T01-0825, and issue a new final rule before the rescheduled cable crossing operation is set to begin. It would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest to delay promulgating the amendments to this rule as it is necessary to protect the safety of the public and waterway users.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), and for the same reasons stated in the preceding paragraph, the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The legal basis for this temporary rule is 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP LIS has determined that potential hazards associated with the river cable crossing project starting on June 12, 2017 and continuing through August 31, 2017 will be a safety concern for anyone within the work zone. This rule is needed to protect people and vessels within the safety zone while the cable crossing project is completed.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule amends the temporary safety zone in § 165.T01-0825. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters of the Housatonic River near Milford and Stratford, CT contained within the following area: Beginning at a point on land in position at 41°12′17″ N., 073°06′40″ W. near the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike (I-95) Bridge; then northeast across the Housatonic River to a point on land in position at 41°12′20″ N., 073°06′29″ W. near the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike (I-95) Bridge; then northwest along the shoreline to a point on land in position at 41°12′25″ N., 073°06′31″ W.; then southwest across the Housatonic River to a point on land in position at 41°12′22″ N., 073°06′43″ W.; then southeast along the shoreline back to point of origin (NAD 83). All positions are approximate. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of people and vessels in these navigable waters during any instance that necessitates a temporary closure of the Housatonic River at the work site. The safety zone will only be enforced during cable installation operations or other instances, when they cause a hazard to navigation. During enforcement periods, no vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    The Coast Guard will notify the public and local mariners of this safety zone through appropriate means, which may include, but are not limited to, publication in the Federal Register, the Local Notice to Mariners, and Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel16 eight hours in advance of any scheduled enforcement period. The regulatory text we are enforcing appears at the end of this document.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, and duration of the safety zone which will affect a small, designated area of the Housatonic River for less than one hour at a time. It also may be enforced temporarily during the cable installation project if necessitated by an emergency. The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone, and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit this regulated area may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator. Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal 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 would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination 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 temporary rule involves a safety zone enforced for less than one hour at a time that would prohibit entry within the work zone during cable installation. It also may be enforced temporarily during the cable installation project if necessitated by an emergency, such as equipment falling from the towers into the Housatonic River. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) 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, Waterways.

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

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

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

    2. Revise § 165.T01-0825 to read as follows:
    § 165.T01-0825 Safety Zone; United Illuminating Company; Housatonic River Crossing Project; Milford and Stratford, CT.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Housatonic River near Milford and Stratford, CT contained within the following area; beginning at a point on land in position at 41°12′17″ N., 073°06′40″ W. near the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike (I-95) Bridge; then northeast across the Housatonic River to a point on land in position at 41°12′20″ N., 073°06′29″ W. near the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike (I-95) Bridge; then northwest along the shoreline to a point on land in position at 41°12′25″ N., 073°06′31″ W.; then southwest across the Housatonic River to a point on land in position at 41°12′22″ N., 073°06′43″ W.; then southeast along the shoreline back to point of origin (NAD 83). All positions are approximate.

    (b) Effective and enforcement period. This rule will be effective from 8:00 a.m. on June 12, 2017 to 6:00 p.m. on August 31, 2017, but will only be enforced during cable installation operations or other instances which may cause a hazard to navigation, when deemed necessary by the Captain of the Port (COTP), Sector Long Island Sound. The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 eight hours in advance to any scheduled period of enforcement or as soon as practicable in response to an emergency.

    (c) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section: A “designated representative” is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard who has been designated by the COTP, Sector Long Island Sound, to act on his or her behalf. The designated representative may be on an official patrol vessel or may be on shore and will communicate with vessels via VHF-FM radio or loudhailer. “Official patrol vessels” may consist of any Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, state, or local law enforcement vessels assigned or approved by the COTP, Sector Long Island Sound. In addition, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary may be present to inform vessel operators of this regulation. A “work vessel” is any vessel provided by United Illuminating Company for the Housatonic River Crossing Project and may be hailed via VHF channel 13 or 16.

    (d) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in § 165.23 apply.

    (2) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into or movement within this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP Long Island Sound.

    (3) Operators of vessels desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone should contact the COTP Long Island Sound at 203-468-4401 (Sector Long Island Sound Command Center) or the designated representative via VHF channel 16 to obtain permission to do so. Request to enter or operate in the safety zone must be made 24 hours in advanced of the planned undertaking.

    (4) Mariners are requested to proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made. Mariners are requested to cooperate with the United Illuminating Company work vessels for the safety of all concerned. The United Illuminating Company work vessels will be monitoring VHF channels 13 and 16. Mariners are requested to proceed with extreme caution and operate at their slowest safe speed as to not cause a wake.

    (5) Any vessel given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP Long Island Sound, or the designated on-scene representative.

    (6) Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light or other means, the operator of the vessel shall proceed as directed.

    Dated: June 8, 2017. A.E. Tucci, Captain, U. S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Long Island Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13330 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0608] Safety Zone; Fourth of July Fireworks Display, Tahoe City, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Fourth of July Fireworks Display, Tahoe City, CA in the Captain of the Port, San Francisco area of responsibility during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 15, will be enforced from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Christina Ramirez, Sector San Francisco Waterways Safety Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 415-399-2001, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone in navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius of 100 feet during the loading, transit, and arrival of the fireworks barge to the display location and until the start of the fireworks display. From 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. on July 4, 2017, the fireworks barge will be loading pyrotechnics at the Kings Beach Boat Ramp, in Kings Beach, CA. From approximately 10 a.m. to noon on July 4, 2017, the loaded fireworks barge will transit from the Kings Beach Boat Ramp to the launch site off of Commons Beach in Tahoe City, CA in approximate position 39°10′03″ N., 120°08′09″ W. (NAD 83) where it will remain until the commencement of the fireworks display. Upon the commencement of the 20 minute fireworks display, scheduled to begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017, the safety zone will increase in size to encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius 1,000 feet in approximate position 39°10′03″ N., 120°08′09″ W. (NAD 83) for the Fourth of July Fireworks, Tahoe City, CA in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 15. This safety zone will be in effect from 7 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017. Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1191, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM. Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so.

    This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1191 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the safety zone and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners. If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 25, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13838 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0607] Safety Zone; Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Martinez, Carquinez Strait, Martinez, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Fourth of July Fireworks display in the City of Martinez in the Captain of the Port, San Francisco area of responsibility during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 11 will be enforced from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, 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:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone established in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 11 on July 4, 2017. Upon commencement of the 20 minute fireworks display, scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017, the safety zone will encompass the navigable waters surrounding the land based launch site at Waterfront Park near Martinez, CA within a radius of 560 feet in approximate position 38°01′32″ N., 122°08′24″ W. (NAD 83) for the Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Martinez in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 11. Upon the conclusion of the fireworks display the safety zone shall terminate. This safety zone will be in effect from 9:30 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1191, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM. Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1191 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notification in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the safety zone and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners.

    If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notification, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 4, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13851 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0604] Safety Zone; Red, White, and Tahoe Blue Fireworks, Incline Village, NV AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Red, White, and Tahoe Blue Fireworks display in the Captain of the Port, San Francisco area of responsibility during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 19, will be enforced without actual notice from June 30, 2017, until July 4, 2017. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from June 28, 2017 through June 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Christina Ramirez, Sector San Francisco Waterways Safety Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 415-399-2001, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone in navigable waters around and under the fireworks barges within a radius of 100 feet during the loading of the fireworks barges at the display location and until the start of the fireworks display. From 12:20 p.m. on June 28, 2017 until 5 p.m. on July 4, 2017 the fireworks barges will be loaded in the vicinity of Incline Beach, near Incline Village, NV at approximate position 39°14′13″ N., 119°57′01″ W. (NAD 83) where they will remain until the commencement of the fireworks display. Upon the commencement of the 35-minute fireworks display, scheduled to start at approximately 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017, the safety zone will increase in size to encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barges within a radius of 1,000 feet at approximate position 39°14′13″ N., 119°57′01″ W. (NAD 83) for the Red, White, and Tahoe Blue Fireworks, Incline Village, NV in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 19. This safety zone will be in effect from 12:20 p.m. on June 28, 2017 until 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1191, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM. Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1191 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the safety zone and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners.

    If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 23, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13647 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0605] Safety Zone; Independence Day Fireworks, Kings Beach, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Independence Day Fireworks, Kings Beach, CA in the Captain of the Port, San Francisco area of responsibility during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, number 17, will be enforced from 7 a.m. through 10:30 p.m. on July 3, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Christina Ramirez, Sector San Francisco Waterways Safety Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 415-399-2001, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone in navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius of 100 feet during the loading, transit, and until the start of the fireworks display. From 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. on July 3, 2017, the fireworks barge will be loading pyrotechnics at the Kings Beach Boat Ramp in Kings Beach, CA. From approximately 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on July 3, 2017, the loaded barge will be towed from the Kings Beach Boat Ramp to the display location off of Kings Beach, CA in approximate position 39°13′59″ N., 120°01′37″ W. (NAD 83) where it will remain until the conclusion of the fireworks display. Upon the commencement of the 15 minute fireworks display, scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. on July 3, 2017, the safety zone will increase in size to encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius 1,000 feet in approximate position 39°13′59″ N., 120°01′37″ W. (NAD 83) for the Independence Day Fireworks, Kings Beach, CA in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 17. This safety zone will be in effect from 7 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. on July 3, 2017.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1191, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM. Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1191 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notification in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the safety zone and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners. If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notification, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 30, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13839 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0611] Safety Zone; Delta Independence Day Celebration Fireworks AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Delta Independence Day Celebration Fireworks in the Captain of the Port, San Francisco area of responsibility during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 14 will be enforced from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. July 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, 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:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a 100 foot safety zone around the fireworks barge during the loading, transit, and arrival of the fireworks barge to the display location and until the start of the fireworks display. From 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. on July 4, 2017, the fireworks barge will be loading off of Dutra Corporation Yard in Rio Vista, CA. From approximately 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 4, 2017 the loaded barge will transit from Dutra Corporation Yard to the launch site near Venice Island, CA in approximate position 38°03′21″ N., 121°32′03″ W. (NAD83). The fireworks barge will remain at launch site until the commencement of the fireworks display. Upon the commencement of the 20-minute fireworks display, scheduled to begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017, the safety zone will increase in size and encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius 1,000 feet in approximate position 38°03′21″ N., 121°32′03″ W. (NAD83) for the Delta Independence Day Celebration Fireworks in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 14. This safety zone will be in effect from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1191, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM. Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so.

    This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1191 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the safety zone and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners. If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 30, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13837 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0468] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Severn River, Sherwood Forest, MD AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for certain waters of the Severn River. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on the navigable waters of Sherwood Forest near Annapolis, MD, during a fireworks display on July 3, 2017. This action will prohibit persons and vessels from entering the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 8 p.m. on July 3, 2017, until 10:30 p.m. on July 7, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0468 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this rulemaking, call or email Mr. Ronald Houck, Sector Maryland-National Capital Region Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 410-576-2674, email [email protected]

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

    On December 29, 2016, the Sherwood Forest Club, Inc. of Sherwood Forest, MD notified the Coast Guard that from 9:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. on July 3, 2017, it will be conducting a fireworks display launched from the end of the Sherwood Forest Club main pier located adjacent to the Severn River, approximately 200 yards east of Brewer Pond in Sherwood Forest, MD. In the event of inclement weather, the fireworks display will be scheduled for July 7, 2017. In response, on April 6, 2017, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Special Local Regulations and Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events and Fireworks Displays Within the Fifth Coast Guard District” (82 FR 16746). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this fireworks display. During the comment period that ended May 8, 2017, we received two comments. While the Coast Guard has made the determination to issue a temporary final rule concerning this year's fireworks display, USCG still plans to issue a final rule in the future to cover this recurring event in future years.

    We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be contrary to public interest because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety hazards associated with a fireworks display.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP has determined that potential hazards associated with the fireworks to be used in this July 3, 2017 display will be a safety concern for anyone on the Severn River near the end of the Sherwood Forest Club main pier. The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and the navigable waters in the safety zone before, during, and after the scheduled event.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    As noted above, we received two comments on our NPRM published April 6, 2017. Both comments addressed issues not related to this rulemaking. Therefore, there are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM based on the comments received.

    Details of the event were provided to the Coast Guard on May 15, 2017, that allowed the COTP to reassess the potential hazards associated with the fireworks to be used in this July 3, 2017 display. The area of the safety zone at the fireworks discharge site located at end of the Sherwood Forest Club main pier, listed in the Table to 33 CFR 165.506 under Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region—COTP Zone as No. (b.)27, is reduced from a 200 yards radius to a 150 yards radius. As a result, there is one change in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM. The safety zone will be reduced in size from 200 yards from the center point located at 39°01′54.0″ N., longitude 076°32′41.8″ W. to a 150 yard radius.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around this safety zone which will impact a small designated area of the Severn River for 21/2 hours during the evening when vessel traffic is normally low. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule might 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. 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 would 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 would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    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 would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting approximately 21/2 hours that will prohibit entry within 150 yards of a fireworks discharge site at the end of the Sherwood Forest pier. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

    33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 19133 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 165.T05-0468 to read as follows:
    § 165.0468 Safety Zone; Severn River, Sherwood Forest, MD.

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section:

    Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region.

    Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region to assist in enforcing the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section.

    (b) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters of the Severn River, within a 150 yards radius of a fireworks discharge site located at the end of Sherwood Forest Club main pier in approximate position latitude 39°01′54.0″ N., longitude 076°32′41.8″ W., Sherwood Forest, MD. All coordinates refer to datum NAD 1983.

    (c) Regulations. The general safety zone regulations found in subpart C of this part apply to the safety zone created by this section.

    (1) All persons are required to comply with the general regulations governing safety zones found in § 165.23.

    (2) Entry into or remaining in this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. All vessels underway within this safety zone at the time it is implemented shall depart the safety zone.

    (3) Persons desiring to transit the area of the safety zone must first obtain authorization from the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or designated representative. To request permission to enter or transit the regulated area, the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, or other Federal, State, or local agency vessel, by siren, radio, flashing light or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. If permission is granted to enter the safety zone, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or designated representative and proceed as directed while in the zone.

    (4) Enforcement officials. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the safety zone by Federal, State, and local agencies.

    (d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 8 p.m. through 10:30 p.m. on July 3, 2017, and if necessary due to inclement weather, from 8 p.m. through 10:30 p.m. on July 7, 2017.

    Dated: June 22, 2017. M.W. Batchelder, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13767 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0502] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Navy Underwater Detonation (UNDET) Exercise, Apra Outer Harbor, GU AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within Apra Outer Harbor, Guam. The safety zone will encompass a U.S. Navy underwater detonation (UNDET) exercise. The Coast Guard believes this safety zone regulation is necessary to protect the public and exercise participants within the affected area from possible safety hazards associated with the exercise. This safety zone will impact a small designated area of navigable waters in Apra Harbor for 8 hours or less. With the exception of exercise participants, entry of vessels or persons into the zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Guam.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. on July 13th, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0502 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Petty Officer Robin Branch, Sector Guam, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (671) 355-4835, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive order FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    After the Coast Guard analyzed the scope and potential impacts associated with a temporary safety zone being established, 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.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to public interest. To delay implementation of the safety zone past the exercise date of July 13th, 2017 to publish and seek public comment is impracticable as it would unavoidably prevent the Coast Guard from ensuring the safety of the public and exercise participants from potential hazards associated with the exercise. It is for the same reason good cause exists under the public interest exception to the required public comment period. It is in the public's interest the safety zone be established prior to notice and comment to ensure the safety zone is in place for the UNDET exercise on July 13th, 2017.

    For the same reasons as noted above, we are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Due to the potential dangers associated with the UNDET exercise, delaying the effective period of this safety zone beyond July 13th, 2017 would be impracticable and contrary to public interest. The temporary final rule and resulting restricted navigation area established by this rulemaking relates to the establishment of the safety zone itself. It does not address or regulate the UNDET exercise. The U.S. Navy environmental impact statement and public involvement for the UNDET activity is available at http://mitt-eis.com/.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Guam concurs with the U.S. Navy that potential hazards associated with the UNDET exercise on July 13th, 2017 may be a safety concern for anyone within a 700-yard radius above and below the surface in the area of the operation. This rule is needed to protect the public, exercise participants and vessels in the navigable waters within the safety zone during the exercise. Mariners and divers approaching too close to such exercises could potentially be exposed to hazardous conditions or place the exercise participants at risk.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. on July 13th, 2017. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters within 700-yards above and below the surface of the water around the UNDET exercise. The duration of the zone is intended to protect the public, exercise participants and vessels in navigable waters during the exercise. No vessel or person, with the exception of exercise participants, will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location and duration of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around this safety zone which will impact a small designated area of waters in the outer harbor for 8 hours or less. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone. Further, the rule allows vessels and persons to seek permission to enter the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 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 E.O 13132.

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 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 an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that the establishment of a safety zone is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting up to eight hours that will prohibit entry within 700-yards above and below the surface of the UNDET exercise. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) supporting this determination 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 record-keeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T14-0502 to read as follows:
    165. T14-0502 Safety Zone; Navy UNDET Exercise, Apra Outer Harbor, GU.

    (a) Location. The following areas, within the Captain of the Port (COTP) Guam Zone (See 33 CFR 3.70-15), from the surface of the water to the ocean floor, are safety zones:

    Apra Outer Harbor, Guam July 13, 2017. All waters above and below the surface bounded by a circle with a 700-yard radius centered at 13 degrees 27 minutes 42 seconds North Latitude and 144 degrees 38 minutes 30 seconds East Longitude, (NAD 1983).

    (b) Effective period. This section is effective from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. on July 13th, 2017, unless canceled earlier by the COTP Guam.

    (c) Regulations. The general regulations governing safety zones contained in 33 CFR 165.23 apply. No vessels, with the exception of exercise participants may enter or transit the safety zone and no persons in the water, with the exception of exercise participants may enter or transit the safety zone unless authorized by the COTP Guam or a designated representative thereof.

    (d) Enforcement. Any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer, and any other COTP Guam representative permitted by law, may enforce this temporary safety zones.

    (e) Waiver. The COTP Guam may waive any of the requirements of this section for any person, vessel, or class of vessel upon finding that application of the safety zone is unnecessary or impractical for the purpose of maritime safety and security.

    (f) Penalties. Vessels or persons violating this rule are subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232 and 50 U.S.C. 192.

    Dated: June 8, 2017. James B. Pruett, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Guam.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13853 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0612] Safety Zone; Fourth of July Fireworks, Glenbrook NV AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Fourth of July Fireworks display in the Captain of the Port, San Francisco area of responsibility during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to protect the life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 16 will be enforced from 7 a.m. through 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, 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:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone in navigable waters around and under a fireworks barge within a radius of 100 feet during the loading of the fireworks barge and until the start of the fireworks display. From 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. on July 4, 2017, the fireworks barge will be loading pyrotechnics at the launch site in Glenbrook Bay in approximate position 39°05′18″ N., 119°56′34″ W. (NAD 83). The fireworks barge will remain at the launch site in Glenbrook Bay in approximate position 39°05′18″ N., 119°56′34″ W. (NAD 83) until the commencement of the fireworks display. Upon the commencement of the 20 minute fireworks display, scheduled to begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017, the safety zone will increase in size and encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius 1,000 feet in approximate position 39°05′18″ N., 119°56′34″ W. (NAD 83). Upon the conclusion of the fireworks display the safety zone shall terminate. This safety zone will be in effect from 7 a.m. until approximately 10:30 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1191, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM. Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1191 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notification in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the safety zone and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners.

    If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notification, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 23, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13844 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0616] Safety Zone; Commencement Bay, Tacoma, WA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone regulations for the Tacoma Freedom Fair Air Show on Commencement Bay from 1:30 p.m. July 4, 2017, until 12:30 a.m. on July 5, 2017. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of the public from inherent dangers associated with these annual aerial displays. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter or transit this safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or her designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1305 will be enforced from 1:30 p.m. July 4, 2017, until 12:30 a.m. on July 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, call or email Petty Officer Zachary Spence, Sector Puget Sound Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard; telephone (206) 217-6051, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone in 33 CFR 165.1305 from 1:30 p.m. July 4, 2017 until 12:30 a.m. July 5, 2017 unless canceled sooner by the Captain of the Port Puget Sound. It is necessary to start the safety zone 30 minutes sooner since the Tacoma Freedom Fair Air Show will begin at 1:30 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the air show.

    The safety zone resembles a rectangle protruding from the shoreline along Ruston Way and will be marked by the event sponsor. The specific coordinates of the safety zone location is listed in 33 CFR 165.1305.

    As specified in § 165.1305(c), during the enforcement period, no vessel may transit this regulated area without approval from the Captain of the Port Sector Puget Sound (COTP) or a COTP designated representative. The Captain of the Port may be assisted by other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1305 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advanced notification of the safety zone via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts on the day of the event. If the COTP determines that the safety zone need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice of enforcement, she may use a Broadcast Notice to Mariners to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: June 26, 2017. L.A. Sturgis, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Puget Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13680 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0609] Safety Zone; Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Sausalito, San Francisco Bay, Sausalito, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Sausalito in the Captain of the Port, San Francisco area of responsibility during the dates and times noted below. This action is necessary to protect life and property of the maritime public from the hazards associated with the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone, unless authorized by the Patrol Commander (PATCOM).

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 10 will be enforced from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, 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:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone extending around and under the fireworks barge within a radius of 100 feet during the loading, transit, and arrival of the fireworks barge to the display location until the start of the fireworks display.

    From 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on July 4, 2017, the fireworks barge will be loading pyrotechnics off of Pier 50 in San Francisco, CA. The fireworks barge will remain at the pier until its transit to the display location. From 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 4, 2017 the loaded fireworks barge will transit from Pier 50 to the launch site near Sausalito, CA in approximate position 37°51′31″ N., 122°28′28″ W. (NAD83) where it will remain until the conclusion of the scheduled fireworks display.

    Upon the commencement of the fireworks display at approximately 9:15 p.m. on July 4, 2017, the safety zone will increase in size and encompass the navigable waters around and under the fireworks barge within a radius of 1,000 feet in approximate position 37°51′31″ N., 122°28′28″ W. (NAD83) for the Fourth of July Fireworks, City of Sausalito in 33 CFR 165.1191, Table 1, Item number 10. This safety zone will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1191, unauthorized persons or vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the safety zone during all applicable effective dates and times, unless authorized to do so by the PATCOM. Additionally, each person who receives notice of a lawful order or direction issued by an official patrol vessel shall obey the order or direction. The PATCOM is empowered to forbid entry into and control the regulated area. The PATCOM shall be designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The PATCOM may, upon request, allow the transit of commercial vessels through regulated areas when it is safe to do so.

    This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.1191 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of the safety zone and its enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners.

    If the Captain of the Port determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 4, 2017. Anthony J. Ceraolo, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13852 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Parts 300 and 303 RIN 1820-AB74 Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities and Preschool Grants for Children With Disabilities Program; Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Final regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Education (Secretary) amends the regulations implementing Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These conforming changes are needed to implement statutory amendments made to the IDEA by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), enacted on December 10, 2015. These regulations remove and revise IDEA definitions based on changes made to the definitions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the ESSA, and also update several State eligibility requirements to reflect amendments to the IDEA made by the ESSA. They also update relevant cross-references in the IDEA regulations to sections of the ESEA to reflect changes made by the ESSA. These regulations also include several technical corrections to previously published IDEA Part B regulations.

    DATES:

    These final regulations are effective June 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Louise Dirrigl, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Room 5156, Washington, DC 20202-2641. Telephone: (202) 245-7324 or by email: [email protected] If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary

    Purpose of This Regulatory Action: Enacted December 10, 2015, the ESSA 1 reauthorized the ESEA, which provides Federal funds to improve elementary and secondary education in the Nation's public schools. The ESSA also made certain changes to sections 602 and 611 through 614 of the IDEA. Consequently, we are amending the IDEA regulations in parts 300 and 303 to reflect these changes.

    1 Unless otherwise indicated, citations to the ESEA refer to the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA.

    Summary of the Major Provisions of This Regulatory Action: For the IDEA regulations in parts 300 and 303, these regulations:

    • Revise the definition of the term “charter school” in § 300.7 to update the statutory reference to the ESEA's amended definition of that term.

    • Remove the definition of the term “core academic subjects” in § 300.10, the definition of “highly qualified special education teachers” in § 300.18, and the definition of “scientifically based research” in §§ 300.35 and 303.32 because these terms have been removed from the ESEA.

    • Revise the term “Limited English proficient” in § 300.27 to reflect the revisions to the term “English learner” in section 8101 of the ESEA.

    • Revise § 300.102(a)(3)(iv) to incorporate the definition of “regular high school diploma” in section 8101(43) of the ESEA.

    • Move the qualification requirements for special education teachers from § 300.18(b)(1) and (2) to § 300.156(c).

    • Revise § 300.160(c) to reflect amendments made to the IDEA by the ESSA that clarify that guidelines and alternate assessments to measure academic progress under title I of the ESEA apply only to children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, whose achievement is measured against alternate academic achievement standards if a State has adopted such standards as permitted under section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA.

    • Revise paragraph (b)(4)(xi) of § 300.704 (State-level activities), regarding the provision of technical assistance to schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities or targeted support and improvement activities under section 1111(d) of the ESEA on the basis of consistent underperformance of the disaggregated subgroup of children with disabilities, to include direct student services described in section 1003A(c)(3) of the ESEA to children with disabilities.

    Part 300 Regulatory Changes Subpart A—General Definitions Used in This Part

    We are revising the definition of “charter school” in § 300.7 by removing the phrase “section 5210(1)” and replacing it with “section 4310(2).” We are revising the authority citation for § 300.7 by removing “20 U.S.C. 7221i(1)” and replacing it with “20 U.S.C. 7221i(2).”

    We are removing the definition of “core academic subjects” in § 300.10 and reserving § 300.10. This change is consistent with section 9215(ss)(1)(A) of the ESSA, which eliminated section 602(4) of the IDEA.

    Consistent with section 9215(ss)(1)(B) of the ESSA, we are revising the definition of “excess cost” in § 300.16. Specifically, we are revising the cross-reference to the ESEA in § 300.16(a)(3) to read “under part A of title III of the ESEA.”

    We are removing the definition of “highly qualified special education teachers” in § 300.18, consistent with section 9214(d)(1) of the ESSA, which eliminated section 602(10) of the IDEA, and we are reserving § 300.18. Consequently, we are removing the references to § 300.18 in §§ 300.138(a)(1) and 300.146(b) and adding a reference to § 300.156(c) in § 300.138(a)(1), as explained below. Based on the amendments made to the IDEA by section 9214(d)(2)(A) of the ESSA, as discussed in Subpart B, we are moving § 300.18(b)(1) and (2), regarding qualifications for special education teachers, to § 300.156(c). Consistent with changes made by section 9214(d)(2)(B) and (C) to section 612(a)(14)(D) and (E) of the IDEA, we are also removing references to the term “highly qualified” in § 300.156(d) and (e) and replacing them with references to personnel “who meet the applicable requirements described in paragraph (c) of this section.”

    Consistent with section 9215(ss)(1)(C) of the ESSA, which amended section 602(18) of the IDEA, we are revising the definition of “Limited English proficient” in § 300.27 to adopt the meaning given to the term “English learner” in section 8101 of the ESEA.

    Consistent with section 8002(1) of the ESEA, we are removing the definition of “scientifically based research” in § 300.35 because this definition has been removed from the ESEA. Section 300.35 is reserved. However, we are retaining references to “scientifically based research” in §§ 300.604(a)(1)(ii) and 300.704(b)(4)(xi), because these references were retained in sections 616(e)(1)(A)(ii) and 611(e)(2)(C)(xi), respectively.

    We are revising the following cross-references to definitions:

    • The cross-reference to the definition of “special education” in § 300.105(a)(1) is changed from § 300.36 to § 300.39, and from § 300.38 to § 300.39 in § 300.115(b)(1).

    • The cross-reference to the definition of “supplementary aids and services” in § 300.105(a)(3) is changed from § 300.38 to § 300.42, and from § 300.41 to § 300.42 in § 300.154(b)(1)(i).

    • The cross-reference to the definition of “transition services” in § 300.154(b)(1)(i) is changed from § 300.42 to § 300.43.

    Subpart B—State Eligibility Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) Requirements

    We are revising § 300.102(a)(3)(iv) to incorporate the definition of “regular high school diploma” currently included in section 8101(43) of the ESEA. The term means the standard high school diploma awarded to the preponderance of students in the State that is fully aligned with State standards, or a higher diploma, except that a regular high school diploma shall not be aligned to the alternate academic achievement standards described in section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA. A regular high school diploma does not include a recognized equivalent of a diploma, such as a general equivalency diploma, certificate of completion, certificate of attendance, or similar lesser credential. We are making this conforming change to ensure that “regular high school diploma” has the same meaning under the IDEA and the ESEA, and the definition is consistently applied under both programs. We are also updating the authority citation to reflect this change.

    Additional Eligibility Requirements

    Consistent with section 9214(d)(2)(A) of the ESSA, we are revising § 300.156(c) by removing the language indicating that each person employed as a public school special education teacher in the State must be highly qualified by the deadline established in section 1119(a)(2) of the ESEA. In its place at § 300.156(c), we are adding language from the current definition of “highly qualified” in § 300.18(b)(1). The revisions are needed to clarify that the IDEA, as amended by the ESSA, retains the same requirements as in current § 300.18(b)(1) governing the qualifications of special education teachers. Additionally, consistent with section 9214(d)(2)(A) of the ESSA, we are retaining the requirements in current § 300.18(b)(2), regarding participation in an alternate route to certification as a special educator. The retention of these requirements is consistent with amendments to section 612(a)(14)(C)(i) of the IDEA, which require that an alternate route to certification as a special educator meets the minimum requirements described in 34 CFR 200.56(a)(2)(ii), as such section was in effect on November 28, 2008. Because 34 CFR 200.56(a)(2)(ii), as in effect on November 28, 2008, included the language in current § 300.18(b)(2), we are moving the language in current § 300.18(b)(2) to new § 300.156(c)(2). Additionally, consistent with amendments to section 612(a)(14)(D) and (E) of the IDEA made by section 9214(d)(2)(B) and (C) of the ESSA, we are removing references to “highly qualified” in paragraphs (d) and (e) of § 300.156 and replacing them with references to personnel “who meet the applicable requirements described in paragraph (c) of this section.”

    Consistent with section 9215(ss)(3)(A) of the ESSA, which amended section 612(a)(15) of the IDEA (Performance goals and indicators), we are making the following changes to § 300.157. Consistent with section 9215(ss)(3)(A)(i) of the ESSA, which amended section 612(a)(15)(A)(ii) of the IDEA, we are replacing § 300.157(a)(2) in its entirety with the language “Are the same as the State's long-term goals and measurements of interim progress for children with disabilities under section 1111(c)(4)(A)(i) of the ESEA.” Consistent with amendments to section 612(a)(15)(B) made by section 9215(ss)(3)(A)(ii) of the ESSA, we are also revising § 300.157(b) by replacing the language “including measurable annual objectives for progress by children with disabilities under section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II)” with “including measurements of interim progress for children with disabilities under section 1111(c)(4)(A)(i).”

    We are making a number of amendments to §§ 300.160(c) through (f) to address amendments made by section 9215(ss)(3)(B) of the ESSA to section 612(a)(16)(C)(ii) of the IDEA, as well as changes made by the ESSA to section 1111(b)(2)(D) of the ESEA, which affect current (d), (e), and (f) of § 300.160. We are changing the title of § 300.160(c) from “Alternate Assessments” to “Alternate Assessments Aligned with Alternate Academic Achievement Standards for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities.” We are adding the phrase “children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities” in § 300.160(c)(1) with respect to State guidelines for participation in alternate assessments, because section 9215(ss)(3)(B) of the ESSA clarifies that the State guidelines referred to in section 612(a)(16)(C)(i) of the IDEA apply only to participation of children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards as permitted under section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA, if those children cannot take regular assessments, even with accommodations as indicated in their respective individualized education programs (IEPs).

    Consistent with section 9215(ss)(3)(B) of the ESSA, which amended section 612(a)(16)(C)(ii) of the IDEA, we are also reorganizing § 300.160(c)(2) for greater clarity and to ensure consistency with 34 CFR 200.6(c) of the regulations for title I, part A of the ESEA. These changes will clarify that if a State has adopted alternate academic achievement standards as permitted under section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA and 34 CFR 200.1(d) of the regulations for title I, part A of the ESEA, the State must conduct alternate assessments that measure the achievement of children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities against those standards. Consistent with amendments made to section 612(a)(16)(C)(ii) of the IDEA by section 9215(ss)(3)(B) of the ESSA, we are replacing the phrase “the State's challenging academic content standards and challenging student academic achievement standards” with “challenging State academic content standards under section 1111(b)(1) of the ESEA and alternate academic achievement standards under section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA.” Accordingly, § 300.160(c)(2)(iii) is removed, because the statutory amendments that form the basis for the above regulatory changes clarify that in assessing the academic progress of children with disabilities under title I, part A of the ESEA, the only alternate assessments permitted under the IDEA and title I of the ESEA are alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards for children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities under section 1111(b)(2)(D) of the ESEA. We are amending § 300.160(c)(3) by adding a reference to section 1111(b)(1)(E)(ii) of the ESEA and changing the title I, part A regulatory reference to § 200.6(c)(6) to reinforce that States are prohibited from adopting modified academic achievement standards or any other alternate academic achievement standards that do not meet the requirements in section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA for any students with disabilities under section 602(3) of the IDEA.

    Consistent with section 1111(b)(2)(D)(i)(II) of the ESEA, and 34 CFR 200.6(d)(2), we are amending § 300.160(d) (Explanation to IEP Teams). We are adding new § 300.160(d)(1) to read, “A State (or in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must provide to IEP teams a clear explanation of the differences between assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards and those based on alternate academic achievement standards, including any effects of State and local policies on a student's education resulting from taking an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards, such as how participation in such assessments may delay or otherwise affect the student from completing the requirements for a regular high school diploma.” Consistent with section 1111(b)(2)(D)(i)(VII) of the ESEA, and 34 CFR 200.6(d)(4), we have added new § 300.160(d)(2), which reads, “A State (or in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must not preclude a student with the most significant cognitive disabilities who takes an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards from attempting to complete the requirements for a regular high school diploma.” Even though this language is now reflected in 34 CFR 200.6(d)(2) and (4), we believe this is important information for IEP teams to have in ensuring that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities taking alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards receive the special education and related services that they need to enable them to be involved and make progress in the general education curriculum that is aligned with the State's challenging academic content standards for the grade in which the student is enrolled. Similarly, we believe it is important for parents to be fully informed of the possible implications of their child's participation in alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards. Therefore, consistent with section 1111(b)(2)(D)(i)(II) of the ESEA, and 34 CFR 200.6(d)(3), we have revised § 300.160(e) (Inform parents) to read, “A State (or in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must ensure that parents of students selected to be assessed using an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards under the State's guidelines referred to in paragraph (c)(1) are informed, consistent with § 200.2(e), that their child's achievement will be measured based on alternate academic achievement standards, and how participation in such assessments may delay or otherwise affect the student from completing the requirements for a regular high school diploma.” This revised language is also consistent with 34 CFR 200.6(d)(3), implementing title I, part A of the ESEA.

    Consistent with section 612(a)(16)(C) of the IDEA and section 1111(b)(1)(E)(ii) of the ESEA, we are revising § 300.160(f) to make clear that school year 2016-2017 is the last school year for which States may report on the participation and performance of children with disabilities taking alternate assessments based on grade-level achievement standards. We are also correcting an inadvertent error in § 300.160(f)(3), regarding participation in assessments, that was included in the August 21, 2015 regulations governing title I, part A of the ESEA. See Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged; Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities. 80 FR 50773. We are replacing school years prior to “2015-2016” with school years prior to “2016-2017.” This correction clarifies that school year 2015-2016, not school year 2014-2015, was the last school year in which States were permitted to administer alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards. We have also removed the words “if any” from § 300.160(f)(4), because the only alternate assessments that States may conduct to assess academic progress under title I of the ESEA are alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. We are also changing the words “based on” to “aligned with” in paragraphs (f)(3) and (4) of § 300.160 to be consistent with the language used elsewhere in § 300.160(c) referring to alternate assessments conducted under this section.

    Subpart C—Local Educational Agency Eligibility

    Consistent with section 9215(ss)(4) of the ESSA, which amended section 613(a)(3) of the IDEA, we are revising § 300.207, regarding personnel development, by removing the reference to “section 2122 of the ESEA” and replacing it with “section 2102(b) of the ESEA.”

    Subpart D—Evaluations, Eligibility Determinations, Individualized Education Programs, and Educational Placements

    Evaluations and Reevaluations

    Consistent with section 9215(ss)(5) of the ESSA, which amended section 614(b)(5)(A) of the IDEA, we are revising § 300.306(b)(1)(i), regarding determination of eligibility, by inserting the phrase “as such section was in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (December 9, 2015)” after “ESEA.” Development of IEP

    We are correcting an inadvertent error in § 300.324(d)(2)(ii) (Children with disabilities in adult prisons) by changing the least restrictive environment reference from § 300.112 to § 300.114.

    Subpart G—Authorization, Allotment, Use of Funds, and Authorization of Appropriations Allotments, Grants, and Use of Funds

    Consistent with section 9215(ss)(2)(A) and (B) of the ESSA, which amended section 611(e)(2)(C) and (e)(3)(C)(ii)(I)(bb) of the IDEA, we are making the following revisions. We are revising § 300.704(b)(4) (Other State-level activities) as follows:

    • Removing “section 6111 of the ESEA” from paragraph (x) and replacing it with “section 1201 of the ESEA.”

    • Revising paragraph (xi) regarding the provision of technical assistance to schools and LEAs by removing “including supplemental educational services as defined in section 1116(e) of the ESEA to children with disabilities, in schools or LEAs identified for improvement under section 1116 of the ESEA on the sole basis of the assessment results of the disaggregated subgroup of children with disabilities” and replacing it with “including direct student services described in section 1003A(c)(3) of the ESEA to children with disabilities, to schools or LEAs implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities or targeted support and improvement activities under section 1111(d) of the ESEA on the basis of consistent underperformance of the disaggregated subgroup of children with disabilities.”

    • Replacing the phrase “to meet or exceed the objectives established by the State under section 1111(b)(2)(G) of the ESEA” with “based on the challenging academic standards described in section 1111(b)(1) of the ESEA.”

    • Finally, we are revising § 300.704(c)(3)(i)(A)(2), regarding the LEA high cost fund, by changing the ESEA reference from section 9101 to section 8101.

    Part 303 Regulatory Changes Subpart A—General Definitions Used in This Part

    Consistent with section 8002(1) of the ESEA, we are removing the definition of “scientifically based research” from § 303.32, because this definition has been removed from the ESEA. Section 303.32 is reserved. The definition of “scientifically based research” was adopted in the 2011 regulations under Part C of the IDEA to cross-reference the same definition under the ESEA. However, the term “scientifically based research” is still retained and applies to § 303.112 of the Part C regulations regarding the State's responsibility to make early intervention services available under section 635(a)(2) of the IDEA. See 76 FR 60140, 60163-60164 (Sept. 28, 2011).

    Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771 Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—

    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);

    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;

    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order.

    This final regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

    Under Executive Order 13771, for each new regulation that the Department proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates that is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, it must identify two deregulatory actions. For Fiscal Year 2017, any new incremental costs associated with a new regulation must be fully offset by the elimination of existing costs through deregulatory actions. The final regulations are not a significant regulatory action. Therefore, the requirements of Executive Order 13771 do not apply.

    We have also reviewed these regulations under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency—

    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);

    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;

    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);

    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and

    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.

    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”

    We are issuing these final regulations only upon a reasoned determination that their benefits will justify their costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that these final regulations are consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.

    We also have determined that this regulatory action would not unduly interfere with State, local, and Tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.

    Potential Costs and Benefits

    Under Executive Order 12866, we have assessed the potential costs and benefits of this regulatory action and have determined that these regulations will not impose additional costs to States and LEAs or to the Federal government. These regulations do not impose additional costs or administrative burdens because States will be in the process of developing and revising their regulations implementing title I of the ESEA to conform with the changes made by the ESSA. We believe any additional costs imposed on States by these final regulations will be negligible, primarily because they reflect technical changes which do not impose additional burden. Moreover, we believe any costs will be significantly outweighed by the potential benefits of ensuring consistency among the implementation of the IDEA and ESSA requirements for children with disabilities.

    Waiver of Rulemaking and Delayed Effective Date

    Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553), the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations. However, the APA provides that an agency is not required to conduct notice- and-comment rulemaking when the agency, for good cause, finds that notice and public comment thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B)). There is good cause to waive rulemaking here as unnecessary.

    Rulemaking is “unnecessary” in those situations in which “the administrative rule is a routine determination, insignificant in nature and impact, and inconsequential to the industry and to the public.” Utility Solid Waste Activities Group v. EPA, 236 F.3d 749, 755 (D.C. Cir. 2001), quoting U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General's Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act 31 (1947) and South Carolina v. Block, 558 F. Supp. 1004, 1016 (D.S.C. 1983). These regulations implement the technical amendments made to the IDEA by the ESSA and include revisions made for consistency with the statute.

    The APA also generally requires that regulations be published at least 30 days before their effective date, unless the agency has good cause to implement its regulations sooner (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). Again, because these final regulations include only conforming changes and technical corrections, there is good cause to make them effective on the day they are published.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    These regulations do not contain any information collection requirements.

    Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. This document provides early notification of the Department's specific plans and actions for this program.

    Assessment of Educational Impact

    Based on our review, we have determined that these final regulations do not require transmission of information that any other agency or authority of the United States gathers or makes available.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    List of Subjects in 34 CFR Parts 300 and 303

    Administrative practice and procedure, Education of individuals with disabilities, Elementary and secondary education, Equal educational opportunity, Grant programs—education, Privacy, Private schools, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: June 27, 2017. Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Secretary amends parts 300 and 303 of title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 300—ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES 1. The authority citation for part 300 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1221e-3, 1406, 1411-1419, and 3474, unless otherwise noted.

    § 300.7 [Amended]
    2. Section 300.7 is amended by removing the phrase “section 5210(1)” and adding in its place “section 4310(2)” and by removing the authority citation “20 U.S.C. 7221i(1)” and adding in its place “20 U.S.C. 7221i(2)”.
    § 300.10 [Removed and Reserved]
    3. Remove and reserve § 300.10.
    § 300.16 [Amended]
    4. Section 300.16 is amended in paragraph (a)(3) by removing the words “Parts A and B” and adding in its place “Part A”.
    § 300.18 [Removed and Reserved]
    5. Remove and reserve § 300.18.
    § 300.27 [Amended]
    6. Section 300.27 is amended by removing the phrase “in section 9101(25) of the ESEA” and adding in its place “`English learner' in section 8101 of the ESEA”.
    § 300.35  [Removed and Reserved]
    7. Remove and reserve § 300.35. 8. Section 300.102 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(3)(iv) and by revising the authority citation to read as follows:
    § 300.102  Limitation—exception to FAPE for certain ages.

    (a)* * *

    (3)* * *

    (iv) As used in paragraphs (a)(3)(i) through (iii) of this section, the term regular high school diploma means the standard high school diploma awarded to the preponderance of students in the State that is fully aligned with State standards, or a higher diploma, except that a regular high school diploma shall not be aligned to the alternate academic achievement standards described in section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA. A regular high school diploma does not include a recognized equivalent of a diploma, such as a general equivalency diploma, certificate of completion, certificate of attendance, or similar lesser credential.

    Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(1)(B)-(C) and 7801(43).

    § 300.105  [Amended]
    9. Section 300.105 is amended: A. In paragraph (a)(1) by removing “§ 300.36” and adding in its place “§ 300.39”. B. In paragraph (a)(3) by removing “§ 300.38” and adding in its place “§ 300.42”.
    § 300.115  [Amended]
    10. Section 300.115 is amended in paragraph (b)(1) by removing “§ 300.38” and adding in its place “§ 300.39”.
    § 300.138  [Amended]
    11. Section 300.138 is amended in paragraph (a)(1) by removing the phrase “highly qualified special education teacher requirements of § 300.18” and adding in its place “special education teacher qualification requirements in § 300.156(c)”.
    § 300.146  [Amended]
    12. Section 300.146 is amended in paragraph (b) by removing “§ 300.18 and”.
    § 300.154 [Amended]
    13. Section 300.154 is amended in paragraph (b)(1)(i) by removing “§ 300.41” and “§ 300.42” and adding in their place “§ 300.42” and “§ 300.43”, respectively. 14. Section 300.156 is amended: A. By revising paragraph (c). B. In paragraph (d) by removing the term “highly qualified” and adding in its place “who meet the applicable requirements described in paragraph (c) of this section” after the word “personnel”. C. In paragraph (e) by removing the phrase “be highly qualified” and adding in its place “meet the applicable requirements described in paragraph (c) of this section”.

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 300.156  Personnel qualifications.

    (c) Qualifications for special education teachers. (1) The qualifications described in paragraph (a) of this section must ensure that each person employed as a public school special education teacher in the State who teaches in an elementary school, middle school, or secondary school—

    (i) Has obtained full State certification as a special education teacher (including certification obtained through an alternate route to certification as a special educator, if such alternate route meets minimum requirements described in 34 CFR 200.56(a)(2)(ii) as such section was in effect on November 28, 2008), or passed the State special education teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in the State as a special education teacher, except that when used with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school, the teacher must meet the certification or licensing requirements, if any, set forth in the State's public charter school law;

    (ii) Has not had special education certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and

    (iii) Holds at least a bachelor's degree.

    (2) A teacher will be considered to meet the standard in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section if that teacher is participating in an alternate route to special education certification program under which—

    (i) The teacher—

    (A) Receives high-quality professional development that is sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused in order to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction, before and while teaching;

    (B) Participates in a program of intensive supervision that consists of structured guidance and regular ongoing support for teachers or a teacher mentoring program;

    (C) Assumes functions as a teacher only for a specified period of time not to exceed three years; and

    (D) Demonstrates satisfactory progress toward full certification as prescribed by the State; and

    (ii) The State ensures, through its certification and licensure process, that the provisions in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section are met.

    15. Section 300.157 is amended: A. By revising paragraph (a)(2). B. In paragraph (b) by removing “including measurable annual objectives for progress by children with disabilities under section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II)” and adding in its place “including measurements of interim progress for children with disabilities under section 1111(c)(4)(A)(i)”.

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 300.157 Performance goals and indicators.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Are the same as the State's long-term goals and measurements of interim progress for children with disabilities under section 1111(c)(4)(A)(i) of the ESEA.

    16. Section 300.160 is amended by revising paragraphs (c) through (f) to read as follows:
    § 300.160 Participation in assessments.

    (c) Alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. (1) If a State has adopted alternate academic achievement standards for children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities as permitted in section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA, the State (or, in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must develop and implement alternate assessments and guidelines for the participation in alternate assessments of those children with disabilities who cannot participate in regular assessments, even with accommodations, as indicated in their respective IEPs, as provided in paragraph (a) of this section.

    (2) For assessing the academic progress of children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities under title I of the ESEA, the alternate assessments and guidelines in paragraph (c)(1) of this section must—

    (i) Be aligned with the challenging State academic content standards under section 1111(b)(1) of the ESEA and alternate academic achievement standards under section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA; and

    (ii) Measure the achievement of children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities against those standards.

    (3) Consistent with section 1111(b)(1)(E)(ii) of the ESEA and 34 CFR 200.6(c)(6), a State may not adopt modified academic achievement standards or any other alternate academic achievement standards that do not meet the requirements in section 1111(b)(1)(E) of the ESEA for any children with disabilities under section 602(3) of the IDEA.

    (d) Explanation to IEP Teams. A State (or in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must—

    (1) Provide to IEP teams a clear explanation of the differences between assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards and those based on alternate academic achievement standards, including any effects of State and local policies on a student's education resulting from taking an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards, such as how participation in such assessments may delay or otherwise affect the student from completing the requirements for a regular high school diploma; and

    (2) Not preclude a student with the most significant cognitive disabilities who takes an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards from attempting to complete the requirements for a regular high school diploma.

    (e) Inform parents. A State (or in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must ensure that parents of students selected to be assessed using an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards under the State's guidelines in paragraph (c)(1) of this section are informed, consistent with 34 CFR 200.2(e), that their child's achievement will be measured based on alternate academic achievement standards, and of how participation in such assessments may delay or otherwise affect the student from completing the requirements for a regular high school diploma.

    (f) Reports. An SEA (or, in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must make available to the public, and report to the public with the same frequency and in the same detail as it reports on the assessment of nondisabled children, the following:

    (1) The number of children with disabilities participating in regular assessments, and the number of those children who were provided accommodations (that did not result in an invalid score) in order to participate in those assessments.

    (2) The number of children with disabilities, if any, participating in alternate assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards in school years prior to 2017-2018.

    (3) The number of children with disabilities, if any, participating in alternate assessments aligned with modified academic achievement standards in school years prior to 2016-2017.

    (4) The number of children with disabilities who are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participating in alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards.

    (5) Compared with the achievement of all children, including children with disabilities, the performance results of children with disabilities on regular assessments, alternate assessments based on grade-level academic achievement standards (prior to 2017-2018), alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards (prior to 2016-2017), and alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards if—

    (i) The number of children participating in those assessments is sufficient to yield statistically reliable information; and

    (ii) Reporting that information will not reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student on those assessments.

    § 300.207 [Amended]
    17. Section 300.207 is amended by removing “section 2122 of the ESEA” and adding in its place “section 2102(b) of the ESEA”.
    § 300.306 [Amended]
    18. Section 300.306 is amended in paragraph (b)(1)(i) by adding the phrase “as such section was in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (December 9, 2015)” after “ESEA”.
    § 300.324 [Amended]
    19. Section 300.324 is amended in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) by removing “300.112” and adding in its place “300.114”. 20. Section 300.704 is amended: A. In paragraph (b)(4)(x) by removing “6111 of the ESEA” and adding in its place “1201 of the ESEA”. B. Revising paragraph (b)(4)(xi). C. In paragraph (c)(3)(i)(A)(2) by removing “section 9101” and adding in its place “section 8101”.

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 300.704 State-level activities.

    (b) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (xi) To provide technical assistance to schools and LEAs, and direct services, including direct student services described in section 1003A(c)(3) of the ESEA, to children with disabilities, in schools or LEAs implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities or targeted support and improvement activities under section 1111(d) of the ESEA on the basis of consistent underperformance of the disaggregated subgroup of children with disabilities, including providing professional development to special and regular education teachers who teach children with disabilities, based on scientifically based research to improve educational instruction, in order to improve academic achievement based on the challenging academic standards described in section 1111(b)(1) of the ESEA.

    PART 303—EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM FOR INFANTS AND TODDLERS WITH DISABILITIES 21. The authority citation for part 303 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1431 through 1444, unless otherwise noted.

    § 303.32 [Removed and Reserved]
    22. Remove and reserve § 303.32.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13801 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 9, 22, 85, 86, 600, 1033, 1036, 1037, 1039, 1042, 1043, 1065, 1066, and 1068 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 523, 534, 535, and 538 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0827; NHTSA-2014-0132; FRL-9950-25-OAR] RIN 2060-AS16; RIN 2127-AL52 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2 Correction In rule document 2016-21203, appearing on pages 73478-74274, in the issue of Tuesday, October 25, 2016, make the following corrections:
    § 1036.805 Symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms. [Corrected]
    1. On page 74044, in paragraph (b), the table should read as follows: Symbol Quantity Unit Unit symbol Unit in
  • terms of
  • SI base
  • units
  • a atomic hydrogen-to-carbon ratio mole per mole mol/mol 1. b atomic oxygen-to-carbon ratio mole per mole mol/mol 1. C d A drag area meter squared m2 m2. C rr coefficient of rolling resistance kilogram per metric ton kg/tonne 10 3. D distance miles or meters mi or m m. e mass weighted emission result grams/ton-mile g/ton-mi g/kg-km. Eff efficiency. E m mass-specific net energy content megajoules/kilogram MJ/kg m2·s 2. f n angular speed (shaft) revolutions per minute r/min π·30·s 1. i indexing variable. k a drive axle ratio. k topgear highest available transmission gear. m mass pound mass or kilogram lbm or kg kg. M molar mass gram per mole g/mol 10 3·kg·mol 1. M vehicle mass kilogram kg kg. M rotating inertial mass of rotating components kilogram kg kg. N total number in a series. P power kilowatt kW 103·m2·kg·s 3. T torque (moment of force) newton meter N·m m2·kg·s 2. t time second s s. Δt time interval, period, 1/frequency second s s. UF utility factor. v speed miles per hour or meters per second mi/hr or m/s m·s 1. W work kilowatt-hour kW·hr 3.6·m2·kg·s 1. w C carbon mass fraction gram/gram g/g 1. w CH4N2O urea mass fraction gram/gram g/g 1. x amount of substance mole fraction mole per mole mol/mol 1. x b brake energy fraction. x bl brake energy limit.
    § 1037.550 Powertrain testing. [Corrected]
    2. On page 74097, in the third column, TABLE 1 OF § 1037.550—STATISTICAL CRITERIA FOR VALIDATING DUTY CYCLES should read as follows: Table 1 of § 1037.550—Statistical Criteria for Validating Duty Cycles Parameter 1 Speed control Slope, a 1 0.990 ≤ a 1 ≤ 1.010. Absolute value of intercept, |a 0| ≤2.0% of maximum test speed. Standard error of estimate, SEE ≤2.0% of maximum test speed. Coefficient of determination, r 2 ≥0.990. 1 Determine values for specified parameters as described in 40 CFR 1065.514(e) by comparing measured and reference values for f nref,dyno.
    [FR Doc. C1-2016-21203 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0409; FRL-9955-67-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and the Town of Mammoth Lakes AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (GBUAPCD) and the Town of Mammoth Lakes portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern emissions of particulate matter (PM) from wood burning devices and road dust in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. We are approving local rules that regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on August 29, 2017 without further notice, unless the EPA receives adverse comments by July 31, 2017. If we receive such comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that this direct final rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0409 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to Andrew Steckel, Rulemaking Office Chief at [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be removed or edited from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, 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 the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christine Vineyard, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4125, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of these rules? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rules? II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rules? B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria? C. The EPA's Recommendations To Further Improve the Rules D. Public Comment and Final Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit?

    Table 1 lists the rules addressed by this action with the dates that they were adopted by the local agencies and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

    Table 1—Submitted Rules Local agency Rule No. Rule title Revised Submitted GBUAPCD 431 Particulate Matter (except paragraphs M and N) 05/05/14 11/06/14 Town of Mammoth Lakes 8.30 Particulate Emissions Regulations (except paragraphs 8.30.110 and 8.30.120) 06/04/14 11/06/14

    On December 11, 2014, the EPA determined that the submittal for GBUAPCD Rule 431 and Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code Chapter 8.30 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review.

    B. Are there other versions of these rules?

    We approved earlier versions of Rule 431 and Municipal Code Chapter 8.30 into the SIP on October 31, 2007 (72 FR 61526) and June 24, 1996 (61 FR 32341), respectively. The GBUAPCD and Town of Mammoth Lakes adopted revisions to the SIP-approved rules on May 5, 2014 and May 7, 2014 respectively, and CARB submitted them to us on November 6, 2014.

    C. What is the purpose of the submitted rules?

    PM, including PM equal to or less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10), contributes to effects that are harmful to human health and the environment, including premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, decreased lung function, visibility impairment, and damage to vegetation and ecosystems. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit regulations that control PM emissions. GBUAPCD Rule 431 (except paragraphs M and N) and Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code Chapter 8.30 (except paragraphs 8.30.110 and 8.30.120) were revised to be consistent with each other, and to enable the GBUAPCD to be able to enforce air quality regulations governing residential wood combustion and road dust in the Town of Mammoth Lakes.1 The EPA's technical support document (TSD) has more information about these rules.

    1 Rule 431 may apply to communities other than the Town of Mammoth Lakes within the Great Basin Unified Air Quality Control District if a community is designated a High Wood Smoke Area according to the procedures set forth in the Rule.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rules?

    SIP rules must be enforceable (see CAA section 110(a)(2)), must not interfere with applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or other CAA requirements (see CAA section 110(l)), and must not modify certain SIP control requirements in nonattainment areas without ensuring equivalent or greater emissions reductions (see CAA section 193).

    On October 5, 2015 (80 FR 60049), the EPA redesignated the Mammoth Lakes Planning Area to attainment of the 24-hour PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standard, pursuant to CAA section 107(d)(3)(D), and determined that the area met the requirements of CAA section 107(d)(3)(E). Accordingly, the Mammoth Lakes Planning Area is not subject to the nonattainment area requirement to implement either Reasonably Available Control Measures (RACM) or Best Available Control Measures (BACM) for PM10 and PM10 precursors in CAA section 189(b) and (e). Therefore, we are not evaluating GBUAPCD Rule 431 and Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code Chapter 8.30 for compliance with current RACM or BACM requirements with respect to PM10. Should a GBUAPCD nonattainment area take credit for Rule 431 in the future as part of meeting its CAA Part D requirements, then we will evaluate the rule for current RACM or BACM, as applicable, at that time.

    Guidance and policy documents that we use to evaluate enforceability, revision/relaxation and rule stringency requirements for the applicable criteria pollutants include the following:

    1. “State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,” (57 FR 13498, April 16, 1992 and 57 FR 18070, April 28, 1992). 2. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations,” (“the Bluebook,” U.S. EPA, May 25, 1988; revised January 11, 1990). 3. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies,” (“the Little Bluebook”, EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001). 4. “PM10 Guideline Document,” (EPA 452/R-93-008, April 1993). B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria?

    We believe these rules are consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability and SIP relaxations. The District is not including for SIP approval Rule 431 paragraphs M and N regarding fees and penalties, and similar provisions in Municipal Code Chapter 8.30, paragraphs 8.30.110 and 8.30.120. These paragraphs could lead to confusion with respect to similar federal requirements. The TSD has more information on our evaluation.

    C. The EPA's Recommendations To Further Improve the Rules

    The TSD describes additional rule revisions that we recommend for the next time the local agencies modify the rules.

    D. Public Comment and Final Action

    As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA is fully approving the submitted rules because we believe they fulfill all relevant requirements.2 We do not think anyone will object to this approval, so we are finalizing it without proposing it in advance. However, in the Proposed Rules section of this Federal Register, we are simultaneously proposing approval of the same submitted rules. If we receive adverse comments by July 31, 2017, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that the direct final approval will not take effect and we will address the comments in a subsequent final action based on the proposal. If we do not receive timely adverse comments, the direct final approval will be effective without further notice on August 29, 2017. This will incorporate these rules into the federally enforceable SIP.

    2 Upon the effective date of this final action, GBUAPCD Rule 431 (except paragraphs M and N) and Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code Chapter 8.30 (except paragraphs 8.30.110 and 8.30.120) would supersede existing GBUAPD 431 and Town of Mammoth Lakes 8.30, approved at 72 FR 61526 on October 31, 2007 and 61 FR 32341 on June 24, 1996, respectively in the applicable SIP.

    Please note that if the EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, the EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the 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 GBUAPCD Rule 431 (except paragraphs M and N) and Town of Mammoth Lakes Chapter 8.30 (except paragraphs 8.30.110 and 8.30.120), described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region IX Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    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 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, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, 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).

    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 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 29, 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 52

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

    Dated: November 14, 2016. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    Part 52, chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart F—California 2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(228)(i)(A)(1)(iii), (c)(350)(i)(A)(3), and (c)(457)(i)(I) to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan—in part.

    (c) * * *

    (228) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iii) Previously approved on October 2, 1991 in paragraph (c)(228)(i)(A)(1)(ii) of this section and now deleted with replacement in paragraph (c)(457)(i)(I)(2) of this section, Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code Chapter 8.30 dated October 2, 1991.

    (350) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) * * *

    (3) Previously approved on October 31, 2007 in paragraph (c)(350)(i)(A)(1) of this section and now deleted with replacement in paragraph (c)(457)(i)(I)(2) of this section, Rule 431, adopted on December 7, 1990 and revised on December 4, 2006.

    (457) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (I) Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District.

    (1) Rule 431, Particulate Emissions (except paragraphs M and N), revised May 5, 2014.

    (2) Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code Chapter 8.30, Particulate Emissions Regulations (except paragraphs 8.30.110 and 8.30.120), as adopted in Ordinance Number 14-06, June 4, 2014.

    Editorial note:

    This document was received for publication by the Office of the Federal Register on June 20, 2017.

    [FR Doc. 2017-13196 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 300 [EPA-HQ-SFUND-1990-0011; FRL-9963-95-Region 8] National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; National Priorities List: Partial Deletion of the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8 is publishing a direct final notice of Partial Deletion of the property currently owned by Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP, (formerly owned by KM Upstream LLC and hereinafter referred to as the former KMI Property), on the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Site (Site) from the National Priorities List (NPL). The Site is located in Natrona County, northeast of Casper, Wyoming. The NPL, promulgated pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, is an appendix of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution and Contingency Plan (NCP). This direct final partial deletion is being published by EPA with the concurrence of the State of Wyoming through the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) because EPA has determined that all appropriate response actions under CERCLA, other than maintenance of institutional controls and five-year reviews, have been completed for the former KMI source area and the resultant groundwater contamination. However, this deletion does not preclude future actions under Superfund.

    This partial deletion pertains to the former KMI Property. EPA is proposing to delete the entire former KMI Property from the NPL, including the groundwater (OU1) and the soil/former source area (OU2). The remaining areas and media of the Site for both OU1 and OU2 containing the volatile halogenated organic chemicals (VHOs) source soils and plume, which are attributable to the Dow Chemical Company/Dowell Schlumberger, Inc. (DOW/DSI) facility, will remain on the NPL and are not being considered for deletion as part of this action. However, this partial deletion does not preclude future actions under Superfund.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective August 29, 2017 unless EPA receives adverse comments by July 31, 2017. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final partial deletion in the Federal Register informing the public that the partial deletion will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-1990-0011, by one of the following methods:

    http://www.regulations.gov. Follow on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: Andrew Schmidt ([email protected]).

    Mail: Andrew Schmidt, Remedial Project Manager, 8EPR-SR, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202.

    Hand Delivery: Andrew Schmidt, Remedial Project Manager, 8EPR-SR, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202.

    Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-1990-0011. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The Web site, http://www.regulations.gov, is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at: U.S. EPA Region 8, Superfund Records Center & Technical Library, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202-1129.

    Viewing hours: 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, excluding holidays;

    Contact: Andrew Schmidt; (303) 312-6283; email: [email protected] and Natrona County Public Library, Reference Desk, 307 East 2nd Street, Casper, WY 82601-2593, (307) 237-4935.

    Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Schmidt, Remedial Project Manager, 8EPR-SR, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202-1129, (303) 312-6283, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. NPL Deletion Criteria III. Partial Deletion Procedures IV. Basis for Partial Site Deletion V. Partial Deletion Action I. Introduction

    EPA Region 8 is publishing this direct final notice of Partial Deletion for the former KMI Property of the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site (Site) from the National Priorities List (NPL). The former KMI Property includes areas of soil and groundwater formerly impacted by benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and total xylenes (collectively known as BTEX) contamination. A map and surveyed boundaries of the former KMI Property are included in the docket and at the information repositories listed above. The NPL constitutes Appendix B of 40 CFR part 300, which is the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), which EPA promulgated pursuant to Section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended. EPA maintains the NPL as the list of sites that appear to present a significant risk to public health, welfare, or the environment. Sites on the NPL may be the subject of remedial actions financed by the Hazardous Substance Superfund (Fund). This partial deletion of the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site is proposed in accordance with 40 CFR 300.425(e) and is consistent with the Notice of Policy Change: Partial Deletion of Sites Listed on the NPL, 60 FR 55466 (Nov. 1, 1995). As described in § 300.425(e)(3) of the NCP, a portion of a site deleted from the NPL remains eligible for Fund-financed remedial action if future conditions warrant such actions.

    Because EPA considers this action to be non-controversial and routine, this action will be effective August 29, 2017 unless EPA receives adverse comments by July 31, 2017. Along with this direct final Notice of Partial Deletion, EPA is co-publishing a Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion in the “Proposed Rules” section of the Federal Register. If adverse comments are received within the 30-day public comment period on this partial deletion action, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of this direct final Notice of Partial Deletion before the effective date of the partial deletion, and the partial deletion will not take effect. EPA will, as appropriate, prepare a response to comments and continue with the deletion process on the basis of the Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion and the comments already received. There will be no additional opportunity to comment.

    Section II of this document explains the criteria for deleting sites from the NPL. Section III discusses procedures that EPA is using for this action. Section IV discusses the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site and demonstrates how portions of the Site proposed for deletion meet the deletion criteria. Section V discusses EPA's action to partially delete the Site from the NPL unless adverse comments are received during the public comment period.

    II. NPL Deletion Criteria

    The NCP establishes the criteria that EPA uses to delete sites from the NPL. In accordance with 40 CFR Section 300.425(e), sites may be deleted from the NPL where no further response is appropriate. In making such a determination pursuant to 40 CFR 300.425(e), EPA will consider, in consultation with the state, whether any of the following criteria have been met:

    i. Responsible parties or other persons have implemented all appropriate response actions required;

    ii. All appropriate Fund-financed responses under CERCLA have been implemented, and no further response action by responsible parties is appropriate; or

    iii. The remedial investigation has shown that the release poses no significant threat to public health or the environment and, therefore, the taking of remedial measures is not appropriate.

    Pursuant to CERCLA section 121(c) and the NCP, EPA conducts five-year reviews to ensure the continued protectiveness of remedial actions where hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants remain at a site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. EPA conducts such five-year reviews even if a site is deleted from the NPL. EPA may initiate further action to ensure continued protectiveness at a deleted site if new information becomes available that indicates it is appropriate. Whenever there is a significant release from a site deleted from the NPL, the deleted site may be restored to the NPL without application of the hazard ranking system.

    III. Partial Deletion Procedures

    The following procedures apply to the deletion of the former KMI Property of the Site:

    1. EPA has consulted with the State of Wyoming prior to developing this direct final Notice of Partial Deletion and the Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion co-published in the “Proposed Rules” section of the Federal Register.

    2. EPA has provided the State 30 working days for review of this notice and the parallel Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion prior to their publication today. The State, through the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ), has concurred on the partial deletion of the Site from the NPL.

    3. Concurrent with the publication of this direct final Notice of Partial Deletion, a notice of the availability of the parallel Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion is being published in a major local newspaper, the Casper Star Tribune. The newspaper notice announces the 30-day public comment period concerning the Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion of the Site from the NPL.

    4. The EPA placed copies of documents supporting the partial deletion in the deletion docket and made these items available for public inspection and copying at the Site information repositories identified above.

    5. If adverse comments are received within the 30-day public comment period on this partial deletion action, EPA will publish a timely notice of withdrawal of this direct final Notice of Partial Deletion before its effective date and will prepare a response to comments and continue with the deletion process on the basis of the Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion and the comments already received.

    Deletion of a portion of a site from the NPL does not itself create, alter, or revoke any individual's rights or obligations. Deletion of a portion of a site from the NPL does not in any way alter EPA's right to take enforcement actions, as appropriate. The NPL is designed primarily for informational purposes and to assist EPA management. Section 300.425(e)(3) of the NCP states that the deletion of a site from the NPL does not preclude eligibility for further response actions, should future conditions warrant such actions.

    IV. Basis for Partial Site Deletion

    The following information provides EPA's rationale for deleting the former KMI Property from the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site.

    Site Background and History

    The Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site (Site), EPA ID No. WYD981546005, is located in Natrona County, Wyoming northeast of Casper, Wyoming and one mile east of Evansville. The Site is bordered on the north by the North Platte River, on the west by the Sinclair Refinery (formerly known as the Little America Refining Company or LARCO), on the south by U.S. Highway 20 and on the east by Mystery Bridge Road. The northern two thirds of the Site contain residential housing units built primarily between 1973 and 1983. The former KN Energy (KN) facility, now owned by Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP, formerly owned by KM Upstream LLC and referred to in this Notice of Partial Deletion as the former KMI Property, and the adjacent Dow Chemical Company and Dowell-Schlumberger, Inc (DOW/DSI) facilities comprise the southern third of the Site. Site investigations, initiated due to resident complaints of poor water and air quality, were completed in 1986 and 1987 and identified a BTEX plume originating from the former KMI Property and a volatile halogenated organic chemicals (VHOs) plume originating from the DOW/DSI property, moving northeast towards the North Platte River. The Site was proposed for listing on the National Priorities List June 24, 1988 (53 FR 23996, 23749-24010 (June 24, 1988)), and was listed on the National Priorities List on August 30, 1990 (55 FR 35508, 35419-35554 (August 30, 1990)). Potential releases at the Sinclair Refinery (formerly LARCO) facility are currently being addressed under a RCRA 3008(h) order.

    KM Upstream LLC and its predecessors have operated a natural gas fractionation, compression, cleaning, odorizing, and transmission plant at the Site since 1965. During the plant start-up, an underground pipe burst, injecting 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of absorption oil into the subsurface. Also, initially, an earthen flare pit was used to collect spent material generated by the facility. Absorption oil, emulsions, anti-foulants, and anti-corrosive agents, crude oil condensate, liquids accumulated in the flare stack, potassium hydroxide treated waste, and lubrication oils and blowdown materials from plant equipment were all possibly collected in the flare pit. In 1984, a concrete-lined flare pit was constructed and put into operation. Leaks from the earthen flare pit, the initial absorption oil spill, and a catchment area that collected surface water run-off are all believed to have contributed to the BTEX soil and groundwater impacts.

    The DOW/DSI facility has conducted oil and gas production enhancement services for the oil and gas industry since the 1950's. Contamination originating from the DOW/DSI facility is believed to have come from the truck wash water disposal system (believed to have contained chlorinated solvents) and the toluene storage area on the northern end of the facility.

    EPA is the lead agency for the Site, and WDEQ is the support agency. Pursuant to the 1991 Consent Decree, KN, its successor Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI), and DOW/DSI have jointly conducted and funded the remediation work at the Site. The former KMI Property is in continued operation as mid-stream gas processing facility.

    The Site was divided into two media-specific operable units (OUs). OU1 refers to the groundwater at the Site and OU2 refers to the source areas in the soil at the Site.

    Remedial Investigations and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) and Engineering Evaluations/Cost Analysis (EE/CA)

    Numerous studies and remedial investigations conducted within the Site have addressed the former KMI Property. In December 1987, KN and DOW/DSI entered into Administrative Orders on Consent (AOCs) to perform removal actions at their respective facilities. Based on the findings of the initial investigation, each PRP was required to prepare an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) of its property to document the extent and nature of the contaminants present and to support proposals of expedited removal actions. The AOC also required the two PRPs to perform a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) of the Brookhurst Subdivision site. The Mystery Bridge/U.S. Hwy 20 Superfund site includes the former KMI Property, the DOW/DSI property, several adjacent industrial properties, the Burlington Northern right-of-way and the Subdivision. The Brookhurst Subdivision RI/FS was submitted in June 1990 and concluded that two groundwater plumes originated from the industrial area, one from the DOW/DSI property containing VHOs and one from the former KMI Property contaminated with BTEX and suggested that the two plumes were not commingled.

    In early 1988, Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments were performed on the former KMI Property, focusing on the area around the flare pit. Based on the free product findings, a Phase III Environmental Site Assessment, including a soil vapor survey, was conducted in mid-1988 to identify the extent of impacts. The EPA developed site-specific soil action levels (SALs) in 1988 for the former KMI Property that were based on toxicity data current at the time including:

    • Benzene: 80 to 82 micrograms per kilogram (µg/kg) • Ethylbenzene: 182,000 to 325,000 µg/kg • Toluene: 71,000 to 107,000 µg/kg • Total Xylenes: 176,000 µg/kg

    In March 1989, the KN EE/CA was submitted to the EPA.

    Selected Remedy

    On July 14, 1989 the EPA signed an action memorandum, choosing the suggested response strategy outlined by the EE/CA. In November 1989, KN started the OU1 response actions, coupling a groundwater pump and treat system with a soil vapor extraction system, to remove BTEX contaminants in three phases: Soil vapor, floating product, and dissolved in groundwater. In September 1990, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) dividing the Site into two operable units: OU1, groundwater contaminant plumes, and OU2, contaminated soils which represent a source for the groundwater contamination. The 1990 ROD selected a remedial action for OU1, the groundwater, and deferred selection of the remedial action for OU2. The OU1 ROD set out the following remedial action objectives (RAOs) for the BTEX contamination:

    (1) Prevent ingestion of water containing benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, or xylene at concentrations that either (a) exceed MCLs or proposed MCLs, or (b) Present a total carcinogenic risk range greater than 1 × 10−4 to 1 × 10−6; and

    (2) Restore the alluvial aquifer to concentrations that both (a) meet the MCLs or proposed MCLs for benzene, toluene, ethylbezene, and xylene, and (b) Present a total carcinogenic risk range less than 1 × 10−4 to 1 × 10−6. The area of attainment included the entire BTEX groundwater plume.

    The applicable MCLs for BTEX were the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (40 CFR 141.61):

    • Benzene: 0.005 milligrams per liter (mg/L) • Ethylbenzene: 0.7 mg/L • Toluene: 1 mg/L • Total Xylenes 10 mg/L

    An institutional control to restrict the groundwater use was also included in the OU1 ROD. In October 1991, a Consent Decree, where parties agreed to implement the OU1 remedy, was signed between EPA, KN and DOW/DSI.

    Response Actions

    The KN OU1 remediation system operated from November 1989 to August 1996 and involved a pump-and-treat system, where the effluent was sent through an air stripper and a soil vapor extraction system. The clean effluent from the air stripper was returned to the subsurface. A groundwater monitoring plan (GWP) was developed in 1993 and specified that quarterly post-remedial action (RA) monitoring would begin after the remediation system was discontinued and 12 months of groundwater sampling results were below the MCLs.

    KMI assumed responsibility for KN's portion of the Site when KMI purchased KN in 1999. After a minimum of eight quarterly post-RA sampling events were conducted where the 90 percent one-tailed upper confidence limit (UCL90) concentrations for benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, and total xylenes were below the MCLs for each chemical, compliance with the RAOs for the BTEX groundwater plume was achieved. It was confirmed that the OU1 RAOs were achieved in 2010 and the results were recorded in the September 30, 2010 OU2 ROD.

    KN, KMI, and DOW each conducted work at the Site under an Administrative Order on Consent that addressed the contaminated soils on their respective properties. The OU2 ROD served to document that this previous work was completed and that this work cleaned up the DOW/DSI property and the KMI Property to levels safe for industrial use. Contaminants have been left above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure and it is acknowledged that land uses around these properties are transitioning from rural to residential and commercial. The OU2 ROD concluded that ICs were necessary for future protectiveness. Specifically for the former KMI Property, the RAOs specified in the OU2 ROD include:

    • Restricting the use of the KMI Property to industrial uses.

    • Controlling the handling of excavated soils on the KMI Property.

    The OU2 RAOs have been achieved through institutional controls placed on the former KMI Property and implemented through restrictive covenants within the deed transferring the KMI Property from KMI to KM Upstream LLC and, more recently, to Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP. The ground water institutional control from the OU1 ROD restricting ground water use except for sampling purposes at the former KMI Property was also implemented in 2010 as part of the restrictive covenants.

    Operation and Maintenance

    No operation and maintenance is required at the former KMI Property in addition to maintaining institutional controls.

    Five-Year Review

    Because the remedial action implemented for the former KMI Property results in contaminants remaining on site above concentrations that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure, continued five-year reviews will be necessary to ensure that the remedy is protective of human health and the environment. The Fourth Five-Year Review for the Site, noted that the pump and treat remedy, as selected in the ROD, was shutdown prior to meeting cleanup levels at the site. Proper documentation for the shutdown, and Agency approval was identified for the decision to turn of the pump and treat system, and can be found in the deletion docket.

    Community Involvement

    Public participation activities have been satisfied as required in CERCLA section 113(k), 42 U.S.C. 9613(k) and CERCLA section 117, 42 U.S.C. 9617. Documents in the partial deletion docket, which the EPA relied on for the partial deletion from the NPL, are available to the public in the information repositories, and a notice of availability of the Intent for Partial Deletion has been published in the Casper Star Tribune to satisfy public participation procedures required by 40 CFR 300.425(e)(4).

    Determination That the Criteria for Deletion Have Been Met

    For the former KMI Property of both OU1 and OU2, EPA and the WDEQ have determined that the responsible parties completed all appropriate response actions required by the OU1 and OU2 Records of Decision and the 1991 Consent Decree. Additionally, institutional controls are in place that will limit property use to industrial purposes only and will control the handling of excavated soils and restrict ground water use to sampling only without further approval from EPA or the State. EPA has consulted with the State on the proposed partial deletion of the former KMI Property from OU1 and OU2 from the NPL prior to developing this notice of Partial Deletion.

    Pursuant to CERCLA section 121(c) and the NCP, EPA will conduct the next five-year review by September 2019 to ensure the continued protectiveness of remedial actions where hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants remain at a site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure.

    V. Partial Deletion Action

    The EPA, with the concurrence of the State of Wyoming through WDEQ, has determined that all appropriate response actions under CERCLA, other than maintenance of institutional controls and five-year reviews, have been completed. Therefore, EPA is deleting the former KMI Property, including the groundwater from OU1 and the soils/source area from OU2 of the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site from the NPL.

    Because EPA considers this action to be noncontroversial and routine, EPA is taking it without prior publication. This action will be effective August 29, 2017 unless EPA receives adverse comments by July 31, 2017. If adverse comments are received within the 30-day public comment period, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of this direct final notice of partial deletion before the effective date of the partial deletion and it will not take effect. EPA will prepare a response to comments and continue with the deletion process on the basis of the notice of intent to partially delete and the comments already received. There will be no additional opportunity to comment.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Hazardous waste, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water supply.

    Dated: May 1, 2017. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8.

    For the reasons set out in this document, 40 CFR part 300 is amended as follows:

    PART 300—NATIONAL OIL AND HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES POLLUTION CONTINGENCY PLAN 1. The authority citation for part 300 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1321(c)(2); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923; 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193.

    2. Table 1 of Appendix B to part 300 is amended by revising the entry under “WY,” “Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20,” “Evansville” to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 300—National Priorities List Table 1—General Superfund Section State Site name City/county Notes (a) *         *         *         *         *         *         * WY Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Evansville/Natrona P (a) = Based on issuance of health advisory by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (if scored, HRS score need not be greater than or equal to 28.50). P = Sites with partial deletion(s).
    [FR Doc. 2017-13678 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 1 [GN Docket No. 12-268, WT Docket Nos. 14-70, 05-211, RM-11395; FCC 15-80] Updating Competitive Bidding Rules AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements associated with the FCC 15-80, Updating Part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules, published on September 18, 2015. This document is consistent with FCC 15-80, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing OMB approval and the effective date of changes to the forms.

    DATES:

    FCC 15-80 and the changes to FCC Form 603 and FCC Form 608 published at 80 FR 56764 will become effective on June 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cathy Williams by email at [email protected] and telephone at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that on June 8, 2017, OMB approved the information collection requirements, OMB Control Numbers 3060-0800 and 3060-1058, for changes to the FCC Forms 603 and 608.

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that on June 8, 2017, OMB approved changes to FCC Form 603 and FCC Form 608. In doing so, OMB approved changes to the information collection requirements of OMB Control Numbers 3060-0800 and 3060-1058. 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 3060-0800 and 3060-1058.

    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: 3060-0800.

    OMB Approval Date: June 8, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: June 30, 2020.

    Title: FCC Application for Assignments of Authorization and Transfers of Control: Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and/or Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

    Form Number: FCC Forms 603.

    Respondents: Individuals and households; Business or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions; and State, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 2,447 respondents and 2,447 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5-1.75 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement, on occasion reporting requirement and periodic reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 158, 161, 301, 303(r), 308, 309, 310 and 332.

    Total Annual Burden: 2,759 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $366,975.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: In general, there is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Yes.

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 603 is a multi-purpose form used to apply for approval of assignment or transfer of control of licenses in the wireless services. The data collected on this form is used by the FCC to determine whether the public interest would be served by approval of the requested assignment or transfer. This form is also used to notify the Commission of consummated assignments and transfers of wireless and/or public safety licenses that have previously been consented to by the Commission or for which notification but not prior consent is required. This form is used by applicants/licensees in the Advanced Wireless Services, Public Mobile Services, Personal Communications Services, General Wireless Communications Services, Private Land Mobile Radio Services, Broadcast Auxiliary Services, Broadband Radio Services, Educational Radio Services, Fixed Microwave Services, Maritime Services (excluding ships), and Aviation Services (excluding aircraft).

    The purpose of this form is to obtain information sufficient to identify the parties to the proposed assignment or transfer, establish the parties' basic eligibility and qualifications, classify the filing, and determine the nature of the proposed service. Various technical schedules are required along with the main form applicable to Auctioned Services, Partitioning and Disaggregation, Undefined Geographical Area Partitioning, Notification of Consummation or Request for Extension of Time for Consummation.

    The data collected on FCC Form 603 includes the FCC Registration Number (FRN), which serves as a “common link” for all filings an entity has with the FCC. The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 requires entities filing with the Commission use an FRN.

    The OMB approved revisions to the previously approved collection of information under OMB Control Number 3060-0800 to permit the collection of the additional information for Commission licenses and permits, pursuant to the rules and information collection requirements adopted by the Commission in the Part 1 R&O and the Mobile Spectrum Holdings R&O. As part of the collection, the Commission is seeking approval for the information collection and recordkeeping requirements associated with FCC Form 603.

    In addition, OMB approved various other, non-substantive editorial/consistency edits and updates to FCC Form 603 that corrected inconsistent capitalization of words and other typographical errors, and better align the text on the form with the text in the Commission rules both generally and in connection with recent non-substantive, organizational amendments to the Commission's rules. Also, in certain circumstances, the Commission requires the applicant to provide copies of their agreements. The Commission did not anticipate that these revisions will impact the collection filing burden. OMB therefore approved the FCC revision of its currently approved information collection on FCC Form 603 to revise FCC Form 603 accordingly.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1058.

    OMB Approval Date: June 8, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: June 30, 2020.

    Title: FCC Application or Notification for Spectrum Leasing Arrangement: Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and/or Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

    Form Number: FCC Form 608. Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions; and State, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 991 respondents; 991 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5-1 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement, on occasion reporting requirement and periodic reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 158, 161, 301, 303(r), 308, 309, 310 and 332.

    Total Annual Burden: 996 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $1,282,075.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: In general there is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 608 is a multipurpose form. It is used to provide notification or request approval for any spectrum leasing arrangement (“Leases”) entered into between an existing licensee (“Licensee”) in certain wireless services and a spectrum lessee (“Lessee”). This form also is required to notify or request approval for any spectrum subleasing arrangement (“Sublease”). The data collected on the form is used by the FCC to determine whether the public interest would be served by the Lease or Sublease. The form is also used to provide notification for any Private Commons Arrangement entered into between a Licensee, Lessee, or Sublessee and a class of third-party users (as defined in Section 1.9080 of the Commission's Rules).

    The OMB approved revisions to the previously approved collection of information under OMB Control Number 3060-1058 to permit the collection of the additional information for Commission licenses and permits, pursuant to the rules and information collection requirements adopted by the Commission in the Part 1 R&O and the Mobile Spectrum Holdings R&O. As part of the collection, the Commission is seeking approval for the information collection and recordkeeping requirements associated with FCC Form 608.

    In addition, OMB approved various other, non-substantive editorial/consistency edits and updates to FCC Form 608 that corrected inconsistent capitalization of words and other typographical errors, and better align the text on the form with the text in the Commission rules both generally and in connection with recent non-substantive, organizational amendments to the Commission's rules. Also, in certain circumstances, the Commission requires the applicant to provide copies of their agreements. The Commission did not anticipate that these revisions will impact the collection filing burden. OMB therefore approved the FCC revision of its currently approved information collection on FCC Form 608 to revise FCC Form 608 accordingly.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-12954 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 73 [MB Docket No. 16-306, GN Docket No. 12-268; DA 17-484] Transition Progress Report Form and Filing Requirements for Stations Not Eligible for Reimbursement From the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) describes the information that must be provided in periodic progress reports (FCC Form 2100—Schedule 387 (Transition Progress Report)) by full power and Class A television stations that are not eligible to receive payment of relocation expenses from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund in connection with their being assigned to a new channel through the Incentive Auction.

    DATES:

    Effective June 30, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joyce Bernstein, [email protected], (202) 418-1647, or Kevin Harding, [email protected], (202) 418-7077.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's document, DA 17-484, MB Docket No. 16-306, GN Docket No. 12-268, adopted and released May 18, 2017. The complete text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. The complete text of this document is also available for download at http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0518/DA-17-484A1.pdf.

    Synopsis

    The Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau (collectively, the Commission) previously determined that stations that are eligible for reimbursement from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund in connection with their being assigned to a new channel through the Incentive Auction must file reports showing how the disbursed funds have been spent and what portion of the stations' construction in complete, and sought comment on whether non-reimbursable stations should also file reports to show what portion of the stations' construction is complete. These Transition Progress Reports will help the Commission, broadcasters, those involved in construction of broadcast facilities, other interested parties, and the public to monitor the construction of stations.

    The Commission announces that each full power and Class A television station that will be changing channels during the post-incentive auction transition and is not eligible for reimbursement of its relocation costs from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund established by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 must follow the same progress reporting requirements as reimbursable stations and periodically file an FCC Form 2100—Schedule 387 (Transition Progress Report) that is attached as Appendix A to the Public Notice DA 17-34. The appendix is available at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-17-34A1.docx. Non-Reimbursable stations must file Transition Progress Reports using the Commission's electronic filing system starting with first full calendar quarter after close of the Incentive Auction, which occurred on April 13, 2017, and on a quarterly basis thereafter. In addition to these quarterly reports, Non-Reimbursable stations must file the reports: (1) 10 weeks before the end of their assigned construction deadline; (2) 10 days after they complete all work related to construction of their post-auction facilities; and (3) five days after they cease broadcasting on their pre-auction channel. Once a station has filed a Transition Progress Report certifying that it has completed all work related to construction of its post-auction facilities and has ceased operating on its pre-auction channel, it will no longer be required to file reports. The Commission will automatically line the Transition Progress Reports to non-reimbursable stations' online local public inspection file on the Commission's Web site.

    Some commenters proposed changes to questions in the Transition Progress Report Form adopted for reimbursable stations and certain filing procedures, which the Commission treated as requests for reconsideration and declined to adopt. The Commission declined to incorporate the response of “unknown at this time” into the form for each question, to change the wording of a question dealing with auxiliary antenna systems, to require a more detailed level of reporting with respect to a number of questions, to require reports to be filed on a less frequent basis, or to allow group owners to file a single report for all of their stations.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis: This document contains new or modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, has invited the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document in a separate Federal Register Notice, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, see 44 U.S.C. 3507.

    The Commission will send a copy of the document, DA 17-484, in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    Appendix B: Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (“RFA”), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“IRFA”) was incorporated in the Transition Progress Report Public Notice. The Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau sought written public comments on the proposals in the Transition Progress Report Public Notice, including comment on the IRFA. Because we adopt filing requirements for stations in the Public Notice, we have included this Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“FRFA”), which conforms to the RFA.

    Need for, and Objectives of, the Rule Changes. The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) adopted a 39-month transition period during which television stations that are assigned to new channels in the incentive auction must construct their new facilities. The Commission determined that reassigned television stations that are eligible for reimbursement from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund are required, on a regular basis, to provide progress reports to the Commission showing how the disbursed funds have been spent and what portion of construction is complete. In the Transition Progress Report Public Notice, the Media Bureau adopted a form for such progress reports and set the filing deadlines for such reports. The Public Notice requires that that reassigned television stations that are not eligible for reimbursement from the TV Broadcast Relocation Fund (Non-Reimbursable Stations) provide the same progress reports to the Commission on the same schedule as that specified for stations eligible for reimbursement. The Transition Progress Report Form requires all reassigned stations to certify that certain steps toward construction of their post-auction channel either have been completed or are not required, and to identify potential problems which they believe may make it difficult for them to meet their construction deadlines. The information in the progress reports will be used by the Commission, stations, and other interested parties to monitor the status of reassigned stations' construction during the 39-month transition period.

    Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA. No formal comments were filed on the IRFA.

    Response to Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. No comments were filed on the IRFA by the Small Business Administration.

    Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will Apply. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA. Below, we provide a description of such small entities, as well as an estimate of the number of such small entities, where feasible.

    Television Broadcasting. This Economic Census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound.” These establishments also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA has created the following small business size standard for such businesses: those having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. The 2012 Economic Census reports that 751 firms in this category operated in that year. Of that number, 656 had annual receipts of $25,000,000 or less, 25 had annual receipts between $25,000,000 and $49,999,999 and 70 had annual receipts of $50,000,000 or more. Based on this data we therefore estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities under the applicable SBA size standard.

    The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,384. Of this total, 1,264 stations (or about 91 percent) had revenues of $38.5 million or less, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Television Database (BIA) on February 24, 2017, and therefore these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (NCE) television stations to be 394. Notwithstanding, the Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have access to information on the revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to determine how many such stations would qualify as small entities.

    We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included. Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, an element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive to that extent.

    Class A TV Stations. The same SBA definition that applies to television broadcast stations would apply to licensees of Class A television stations. As noted above, the SBA has created the following small business size standard for this category: Those having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed Class A television stations to be 417. Given the nature of these services, we will presume that these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements. The Public Notice adopted the following new reporting requirements. Non-Reimbursable Stations must file the Transition Progress Report on a quarterly basis, with the first Report being filed beginning for the first full quarter after the release of a public notice announcing the completion of the incentive auction. The deadline for filing the first Report is October 10, 2017. We further require that Non-Reimbursable Stations file Transition Progress Reports: (1) 10 weeks before the end of their assigned construction deadline; (2) 10 days after they complete all work related to construction of their post-auction facilities; and (3) five days after they cease broadcasting on their pre-auction channel. The Transition Progress Reports will be filed electronically using the Commission's electronic filing system, and the Commission will make the filings viewable in stations' online public inspection files. All reassigned stations are assigned to one of 10 Post-Auction Transition Plan Phase with construction deadline requirements ranging from November 30, 2018 to July 3, 2020. Once a station has ceased operating on its pre-auction channel, it no longer needs to file reports.

    Steps Taken to Minimize Significant Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standard; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.

    The reporting requirement adopted in the Public Notice will allow the Commission, broadcasters (including those filing the Reports), and other interested parties to more closely monitor the status of construction during the transition, and focus resources on ensuring successful completion of the transition by all reassigned stations and continuity of over-the-air television service. In addition, the burdens of the reporting requirements are minimal and we believe the benefits of the reporting requirements, which will facilitate the successful post-incentive auction transition, outweigh any burdens associated with compliance.

    Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rule. None.

    Report to Congress. The Commission will send a copy of the Public Notice, including this FRFA, in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. A copy (or summary thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.

    Report to Small Business Administration. The Commission will send a copy of the Public Notice, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    Federal Communications Commission. Thomas Horan, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13765 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 161020986-7352-02] RIN 0648-BG38 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region; Amendment 36 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues regulations to implement Amendment 36 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule modifies the FMP framework procedures to allow spawning special management zones (SMZs) to be established or modified through the framework process; establishes spawning SMZs off North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida; establishes transit and anchoring provisions in the spawning SMZs; and establishes a sunset provision for most of the spawning SMZs. This final rule also moves the boundary of the existing Charleston Deep Artificial Reef Marine Protected Area (MPA). The purpose of this final rule is to protect spawning snapper-grouper species and the habitat where they spawn, and to reduce bycatch and bycatch mortality for snapper-grouper species, including speckled hind and warsaw grouper.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic copies of Amendment 36 may be obtained from www.regulations.gov or the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. Amendment 36 includes an environmental assessment, Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis, regulatory impact review, and fishery impact statement.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Frank Helies, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The snapper-grouper fishery in the South Atlantic region is managed under the FMP and includes speckled hind and warsaw grouper, along with other snapper-grouper species. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented by NMFS through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    On January 4, 2017, NMFS published a notice of availability of Amendment 36 and requested public comment (82 FR 810). On January 18, 2017, NMFS published the proposed rule to implement Amendment 36 and requested public comment (82 FR 5512). The proposed rule and Amendment 36 outline the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule. A summary of the actions implemented by Amendment 36 and this final rule is provided below.

    Management Measures Contained in This Final Rule

    This final rule modifies the FMP framework procedures to allow spawning SMZs to be established or modified through the framework process; establishes spawning SMZs off North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida; establishes transit and anchoring provisions in the spawning SMZs; establishes a sunset provision for most of the spawning SMZs; and moves the existing Charleston Deep Artificial Reef MPA 1.4 mi (2.3 km) northwest to match the permitted site boundary.

    Modify the FMP Framework Procedures for Spawning SMZs

    The current FMP contains framework procedures to allow the Council to modify certain management measures, such as annual catch limits and other management measures, via an expedited process (see 50 CFR 622.194; 56 FR 56016, October 31, 1991). In Amendment 36 and this final rule, the Council has included changes to spawning SMZs, such as boundary modifications and the establishment or removal of spawning SMZs, under the framework process. For example, this final rule allows the Council to remove a spawning SMZ if monitoring efforts do not document evidence of spawning snapper-grouper species within the boundary. The revisions to the FMP framework procedures also allow the Council to remove the 10-year sunset provision for a spawning SMZ if monitoring efforts document snapper-grouper species' spawning inside a spawning SMZ. The Council decided that changing spawning SMZs through an expedited process can have beneficial biological and socio-economic impacts, especially if the changes respond to newer information, such as spawning locations for snapper-grouper species. The Council concluded that the framework process will allow adequate time for the public to comment on any proposed change related to a spawning SMZ.

    Establish Spawning SMZs Off North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida

    The Council is establishing five snapper-grouper spawning SMZs in the South Atlantic off North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. This final rule prohibits fishing for or harvest of snapper-grouper species year-round in the spawning SMZs. The final rule establishes other restrictions in the spawning SMZs, including transiting with snapper-grouper species on board and anchoring.

    The spawning SMZ off North Carolina is called South Cape Lookout (5.1 sq mi; 13.2 sq km). The final rule establishes three spawning SMZs off South Carolina that are called Devil's Hole/Georgetown Hole (3.03 sq mi; 7.8 sq km), Area 51 (approximately 3 sq mi; 7.8 sq km), and Area 53 (approximately 3 sq mi; 7.8 sq km). The spawning SMZ off the east coast of the Florida Keys is called Warsaw Hole/50 Fathom Hole (3.64 sq mi; 9.4 sq km).

    Another purpose of spawning SMZs is to reduce bycatch and bycatch mortality of snapper-grouper species, including speckled hind and warsaw grouper. Currently, retention of speckled hind and warsaw grouper is prohibited in Federal waters in the South Atlantic. Prohibiting the targeting or harvest of snapper-grouper species in specified areas where these species are known to occur and possibly spawn is expected to reduce encounters with these deep-water species and provide protection for reproduction. The Council concluded that protecting snapper-grouper species within the spawning SMZs could enhance the opportunity for these species to reproduce and introduce more eggs and larvae into the environment.

    Establish Transit and Anchoring Provisions in Spawning SMZs

    This final rule allows fishing vessels to transit through the spawning SMZs with snapper-grouper species on board only when fishing gear is properly stowed. “Properly stowed” means that trawl or try nets and the attached doors must be out of the water, but are not be required to be on deck or secured below deck. Terminal gear (hook, leader, sinker, flasher, or bait) used with automatic reels, bandit gear, buoy gear, handline, or rod and reel would have to be disconnected and stowed separately from such fishing gear and sinkers would have to be disconnected from down riggers and stowed separately. Except under the limited condition to possess snapper-grouper species while transiting a spawning SMZ with fishing gear properly stowed, vessels in the spawning SMZs are prohibited from fishing for, harvesting, or possessing snapper-grouper species year-round in these areas. Except for the Area 51 and Area 53 Spawning SMZs off South Carolina, persons on board a fishing vessel are not allowed to anchor, use an anchor or chain, or use a grapple and chain while in spawning SMZs. Fishermen continue to be allowed to troll for pelagic species such as dolphin, tuna, and billfish in spawning SMZs.

    Establish a Sunset Provision for Most Spawning SMZs

    This final rule implements a 10-year sunset provision for the establishment of the spawning SMZs, except for the Area 51 and Area 53 Spawning SMZs, which will remain in effect indefinitely. Therefore, except for Areas 51 and 53, the spawning SMZs and their associated management measures are effective for 10 years following the implementation of this final rule for Amendment 36. For the spawning SMZs and management measures subject to the sunset provision to extend beyond 10 years, the Council would need to take further action. The Council will regularly evaluate all of the spawning SMZs over the 10-year period.

    Move the Existing Charleston Deep Artificial Reef MPA

    This final rule moves the existing Charleston Deep Artificial Reef MPA 1.4 mi (2.3 km) northwest to match the boundary of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' permitted artificial reef area at that location. This final rule does not change the size of the existing MPA. The Council originally designated the current area as an artificial reef site in Amendment 14 to the FMP (74 FR 1621, January 13, 2009). The State of South Carolina has worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to modify the boundary of this site to include material recently sunk by the state in the area and requested that the Council shift their boundary of the existing Charleston Deep Artificial Reef MPA to match the new boundary of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' permitted artificial reef area.

    Management Measure Contained in Amendment 36 but Not Codified Through This Final Rule

    In addition to the management measures that this final rule implements, Amendment 36 includes an action to modify the SMZ procedures in the FMP to allow for the designation of spawning SMZs. The Council will be able to designate important spawning areas as spawning SMZs to provide additional protection to some existing Essential Fish Habitat-Habitat Areas of Particular Concern for snapper-grouper species. The Council concluded that designating areas as spawning SMZs is important to protect snapper-grouper species and habitat where snapper-grouper species spawn. Additionally, the Council concluded that designating the spawning SMZ sites through this final rule, and subsequent changes to regulations, would enhance reproduction for snapper-grouper species and thus increase the number of eggs and larvae that are produced by the species.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS received a total of 101 comments on the notice of availability and proposed rule for Amendment 36. The commenters included commercial, private recreational, and charter vessel fishing entities, as well as recreational divers, non-governmental organizations, and individuals from the general public. Comments both supported additional protections for spawning fish through implementation of spawning SMZs and opposed the implementation of any spatial closures in the South Atlantic. The majority of comments received from the public during the comment period were supportive of the actions in Amendment 36 to establish spawning SMZs to protect spawning snapper-grouper species. NMFS' responses to comments that specifically relate to the actions contained in Amendment 36 and the proposed rule are summarized below.

    Comment 1: NMFS should not establish additional fishing area closures to protect spawning fish. The data used to determine potential spawning SMZ sites are flawed and the sites were arbitrarily selected. Additionally, the science does not support the use of MPAs or similarly named spatial closures as a viable management option.

    Response: NMFS disagrees that the spawning SMZ sites were arbitrarily selected and that the data used are flawed. The Council used a variety of data sources to select spawning SMZ sites. Data sources included the Southeast Reef Fish Survey, habitat mapping research, and cooperative research projects that identified locations where snapper-grouper species occur, including spawning fish. In addition, multiple groups provided input on site selection to protect spawning fish while reducing social and economic impacts to fishermen. These groups included fishermen on the Council's MPA Expert Work Group and Snapper-Grouper Advisory Panel (Snapper-Grouper AP) who could be affected by the spawning SMZs. Finally, the Council evaluated comments and recommendations from the public during meetings such as public hearings and scoping meetings. The NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center reviewed the data and analyses contained in Amendment 36 and certified it to be based on the best scientific information available.

    NMFS disagrees that spatial closures are not a viable management option for protecting spawning snapper-grouper species. Areas closed to protect known spawning locations of fish species have been shown to provide positive biological and socio-economic benefits. The spawning SMZs implemented by this final rule are expected to result in additional protections for spawning snapper-grouper, while potentially providing positive economic effects by increasing future stock size and sustainability. Should monitoring efforts highlight the need for the adjustment of an area or the removal of a spawning SMZ if spawning snapper-grouper species are not documented in the area, this final rule will allow the Council to modify spawning SMZs. If the Council does not take any subsequent action to modify or renew the spawning SMZs, most of the spawning SMZs would expire automatically after the 10-year sunset provision in this final rule.

    Comment 2: NMFS is establishing spawning SMZs without any regard for the economic and social impacts on fishermen and coastal communities.

    Response: NMFS disagrees. The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS to consider and analyze the economic and social impacts of proposed management actions. Amendment 36 and this final rule recognize that negative short-term economic effects resulting from restrictions in fishing opportunities in the designated spawning SMZs may occur. The spawning SMZs are small (combined total area is 17.71 square miles) relative to all available fishing grounds in the South Atlantic, and the total estimated economic loss of ex-vessel revenue for the entire commercial sector is $1,605 annually. NMFS assumes that any reduction in ex-vessel revenue from this final rule would be minimized based on the small size of each spawning SMZ area and the high likelihood that commercial vessels would substitute landings of snapper-grouper species in other areas. Also, the allowance for transit and trolling for pelagic species could reduce economic impacts from this final rule to fishermen.

    Comment 3: The spawning SMZs should be closed to all fishing methods. Research has shown that snapper-grouper species, including warsaw grouper and speckled hind, can be harvested through the deployment of trolling gear. Allowing trolling of any kind could undermine the potential effectiveness of a spawning SMZ and would make enforcement of the provision that allows transiting with snapper-grouper species on board difficult.

    Response: Amendment 36 and this final rule allow fishermen to troll for pelagic species in the spawning SMZs but do not allow fishing vessels to have snapper-grouper species on board. The final rule allows fishing vessels to possess snapper-grouper species on board while in a spawning SMZ only if the vessel is transiting through the spawning SMZ directly and without stopping, and if fishing gear is appropriately stowed and unavailable for immediate use (e.g., terminal gear, like hooks and weights, must be disconnected and stowed separately from a rod and reel). Therefore, law enforcement would be able to determine the difference between fishing vessels that are trolling for pelagic species and fishing vessels that are transiting the spawning SMZs with snapper-grouper species on board through visual inspection of the gear and the species on board. The trolling and transit allowances were discussed by the Council and included in Amendment 36 as a way to reduce the economic and social impacts of spatial closures on the fishing community and address concerns about safety at-sea, respectively.

    Comment 4: Fishing for snapper-grouper species and anchoring in the spawning SMZs should be exempted for spear fishermen. Spear fishing is a selective gear type and large catches of snapper-grouper are not expected to occur through its use.

    Response: In all of the spawning SMZs implemented by this final rule, the fishing for, harvest, or possession (except while transiting through a spawning SMZ) of snapper-grouper species is prohibited year-round. While NMFS agrees that spear fishing is a selective fishing gear with lower bycatch potential compared to other fishing methods, spear fishing could remove larger fish that are important to spawning. Prohibiting spear fishing in spawning SMZs is expected to provide protection to spawning snapper-grouper species to meet the objectives of Amendment 36.

    Comment 5: Establishing Warsaw Hole as a spawning SMZ should be removed from consideration in Amendment 36. Fish caught in the Warsaw Hole and surrounding area (particularly greater amberjack) make up the majority of some fishermen's annual income in Key West, Florida, and fishing in the area results in little to no discards. Additionally, the majority of landings around Warsaw Hole occur north of 24°21′ N. lat., within the 1.8-square mile area included in another sub-alternative. However, if the Warsaw Hole Spawning SMZ must be established, the alternative consisting of a 0.9-square mile area is recommended over the preferred alternative of a 3.6-square mile area. The 0.9-square mile area would provide the least amount of negative economic impact to fishermen in Key West, Florida.

    Response: The Council's objective for the protection of Warsaw Hole is to implement a spawning SMZ that would maximize the probability that snapper-grouper species, including warsaw grouper and greater amberjack, reform spawning aggregations at this site while balancing both short and long-term social and economic impacts to fishermen. To accomplish this objective, the Council determined the spawning SMZ should cover the shelf edge around the hole where greater amberjack spawn. After evaluating a spawning SMZ of different sizes around Warsaw Hole, the Council concluded that the 3.6-square mile area for the Warsaw Hole Spawning SMZ best meets this objective.

    NMFS acknowledges that there may be short-term negative social and economic impacts from the spawning SMZ being implemented for Warsaw Hole. The Council considered these economic impacts but determined that the enhanced reproduction for snapper-grouper species and, subsequently, the increased the number of eggs and larvae that are produced as a result of this added protection, would be expected to result in long-term indirect economic benefits to commercial and recreational fishermen. In the end, the Council concluded that the 3.6-square mile area for the Warsaw Hole Spawning SMZ best meets the objectives of Amendment 36 by creating positive impacts, while balancing both short and long-term social and economic impacts.

    Comment 6: The Council should adopt the 3.6-square mile area as a spawning SMZ for Warsaw Hole and the 13.3-square mile area as a spawning SMZ for Daytona Steeples. These two alternatives together would provide the greatest amount of protection to spawning snapper-grouper species off Florida.

    Response: The Council selected the 3.6-square mile area around Warsaw Hole as the only spawning SMZ off Florida. Extensive input from the Council's Snapper-Grouper AP and the public indicated that there would be support for a spawning SMZ at Daytona Steeples if there were data on spawning snapper-grouper species or habitat in the area. The Council considered a spawning SMZ in the Daytona Steeples area but agreed with the Snapper-Grouper AP and public about the lack of available data on spawning snapper-grouper species or habitat and decided not to propose any spawning SMZ in the Daytona Steeples area.

    Comment 7: The details in the system management plan (SMP) for the spawning SMZs, such as cost, monitoring, and evaluation techniques, should have been fully developed before the proposed sites in Amendment 36 were presented to the Council.

    Response: The SMP for the spawning SMZs was developed in conjunction with Amendment 36 to outline the data and research needed to monitor and evaluate the spawning SMZs and guide researchers applying for project funding. The SMP outlines the estimated project costs for each study type to aid fishery managers in determining research priorities. The purpose of the SMP is not to outline the specific methods and costs. The Council acknowledged that the SMP will likely be modified over time as research projects are implemented. One of the primary tasks for the SMP was to recommend development of an advisory panel to the Council. The advisory panel would be used to further develop specific projects to monitor spawning SMZs.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator for the NMFS Southeast Region has determined that this final rule is consistent with Amendment 36, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws.

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, record-keeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced by this final rule.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. Public comments relating to socio-economic implications and potential impacts on small businesses are addressed in the responses to Comments 2, 3, and 4 in the Comments and Responses section of this final rule. No comments were received regarding the certification and NMFS has not received any new information that would affect its determination. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    Change to Codified Text From the Proposed Rule

    In this final rule, NMFS makes one change to the coordinates table for the Devil's Hole/Georgetown Hole Spawning SMZ. In the proposed rule, the coordinate points for this spawning SMZ were listed in a counter-clockwise order when plotted on a map or chart. The points for all other coordinate tables of the spawning SMZs in the proposed rule were listed in a clockwise order. This final rule revises the order of the coordinates for the Devil's Hole/Georgetown Hole Spawning SMZ to list them in a clockwise order, to be consistent with the other spawning SMZs in this final rule.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Fisheries, Fishing, Marine protected area, South Atlantic, Special management zone.

    Dated: June 27, 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 622 is amended as follows:

    PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 622.183, revise the table in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) and add paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:
    § 622.183 Area and seasonal closures.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (D) * * *

    Point North lat. West long. A 32°05.04′ 79°13.575′ B 32°09.65′ 79°09.2′ C 32°07.155′ 79°05.595′ D 32°02.36′ 79°09.975′ A 32°05.04′ 79°13.575′

    (2) Spawning SMZs. (i) Any fishing vessel in a spawning SMZ is prohibited to fish for or harvest species in the snapper-grouper fishery management unit year-round. For a fishing vessel to possess snapper-grouper species on board while in a spawning SMZ, the vessel must be in transit and fishing gear must be appropriately stowed, as specified in paragraph (a)(2)(vii) of this section. Except for spawning SMZs of Area 51 and Area 53, the spawning SMZs in this paragraph are effective until August 2, 2027. A person on board a fishing vessel may not anchor, use an anchor and chain, or use a grapple and chain while in the spawning SMZs specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. The anchoring prohibition does not apply to fishing vessels in the spawning SMZs of Area 51 and Area 53.

    (ii) South Cape Lookout Spawning SMZ is bounded by rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points:

    Point North lat. West long. A 33°53.040′ 76°28.617′ B 33°52.019′ 76°27.798′ C 33°49.946′ 76°30.627′ D 33°51.041′ 76°31.424′ A 33°53.040′ 76°28.617′

    (iii) Devil's Hole/Georgetown Hole Spawning SMZ is bounded by rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points:

    Point North lat. West long. A 32°34.311′ 78°34.996′ B 32°34.311′ 78°33.220′ C 32°32.748′ 78°33.220′ D 32°32.748′ 78°34.996′ A 32°34.311′ 78°34.996′

    (iv) Area 51 Spawning SMZ is bounded by rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points:

    Point North lat. West long. A 32°35.25′ 79°28.6′ B 32°35.25′ 79°27′ C 32°33.75′ 79°27′ D 32°33.75′ 79°28.6′ A 32°35.25′ 79°28.6′

    (v) Area 53 Spawning SMZ is bounded by rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points:

    Point North lat. West long. A 32°22.65′ 79°22.25′ B 32°22.65′ 79°20.5′ C 32°21.15′ 79°20.5′ D 32°21.15′ 79°22.25′ A 32°22.65′ 79°22.25′

    (vi) Warsaw Hole/50 Fathom Hole Spawning SMZ is bounded by rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points:

    Point North lat. West long. A 24°22.277′ 82°20.417′ B 24°22.277′ 82°18.215′ C 24°20.932′ 82°18.215′ D 24°20.932′ 82°20.417′ A 24°22.277′ 82°20.417′

    (vii) For the purpose of paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section, transit means direct, non-stop progression through the spawning SMZ. Fishing gear appropriately stowed means—

    (A) A longline may be left on the drum if all gangions and hooks are disconnected and stowed below deck. Hooks cannot be baited. All buoys must be disconnected from the gear; however, buoys may remain on deck.

    (B) Trawl doors and nets must be out of the water, but the doors are not required to be on deck or secured on or below deck.

    (C) A gillnet, stab net, or trammel net must be left on the drum. Any additional such nets not attached to the drum must be stowed below deck.

    (D) Terminal gear (i.e., hook, leader, sinker, flasher, or bait) used with an automatic reel, bandit gear, buoy gear, handline, or rod and reel must be disconnected and stowed separately from such fishing gear. Sinkers must be disconnected from the down rigger and stowed separately.

    (E) A crustacean trap, golden crab trap, or sea bass pot cannot be baited. All buoys must be disconnected from the gear; however, buoys may remain on deck.

    3. In § 622.194, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 622.194 Adjustment of management measures.

    (a) Biomass levels, age-structured analyses, target dates for rebuilding overfished species, MSY (or proxy), OY, ABC, TAC, quotas (including a quota of zero), annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), AMs, maximum fishing mortality threshold (MFMT), minimum stock size threshold (MSST), trip limits, bag limits, size limits, gear restrictions (ranging from regulation to complete prohibition), seasonal or area closures, fishing year, rebuilding plans, definitions of essential fish habitat, essential fish habitat, essential fish habitat HAPCs or Coral HAPCs, restrictions on gear and fishing activities applicable in essential fish habitat and essential fish habitat HAPCs, and establish or modify spawning SMZs.

    [FR Doc. 2017-13751 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 170320292-7580-02] RIN 0648-XF311 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues this rule to implement annual management measures and harvest specifications to establish the allowable catch levels (i.e., annual catch limit (ACL)/harvest guideline (HG)) for the northern subpopulation of Pacific sardine (hereafter, Pacific sardine), in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the Pacific coast for the fishing season of July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018. These specifications were determined according to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This action includes a prohibition on directed non-tribal Pacific sardine commercial fishing off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, which is required because the estimated 2017 biomass of Pacific sardine has dropped below the biomass threshold specified in the HG control rule. Under this action, Pacific sardine may still be harvested as part of either the live bait or tribal fishery, or as incidental catch in other fisheries; the incidental harvest of Pacific sardine would initially be limited to 40-percent by weight of all fish per trip when caught with other CPS or up to 2 metric tons (mt) when caught with non-CPS. The ACL for the 2017-2018 Pacific sardine fishing year is 8,000 mt. This action is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific sardine stock off the U.S. West Coast.

    DATES:

    Effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua Lindsay, West Coast Region, NMFS, (562) 980-4034, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the Pacific sardine fishery in the U.S. EEZ off the Pacific coast (California, Oregon, and Washington) in accordance with the CPS FMP. Annual specifications published in the Federal Register establish the allowable harvest levels (i.e., overfishing limit (OFL)/ACL/HG) for each Pacific sardine fishing year. The purpose of this final rule is to implement these annual catch reference points for the 2017-2018 fishing year. This final rule adopts, without changes, the catch levels and restrictions that NMFS proposed in the rule published on May 30, 2017 (82 FR 24656), including the OFL and an acceptable biological catch (ABC) that takes into consideration uncertainty surrounding the current estimate of biomass for Pacific sardine in the U.S. EEZ off the Pacific coast.

    The FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS to set these annual catch levels for the Pacific sardine fishery based on the annual specification framework and control rules in the FMP. These control rules include the HG control rule, which, in conjunction with the OFL and ABC rules in the FMP, are used to manage harvest levels for Pacific sardine, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. According to the FMP, the quota for the principal commercial fishery is determined using the FMP-specified HG formula. The HG formula in the CPS FMP is HG = [(Biomass − CUTOFF) * FRACTION * DISTRIBUTION] with the parameters described as follows:

    1. Biomass. The estimated stock biomass of Pacific sardine age one and above. For the 2017-2018 management season, this is 86,586 mt.

    2. CUTOFF. This is the biomass level below which no HG is set. The FMP established this level at 150,000 mt.

    3. DISTRIBUTION. The average portion of the Pacific sardine biomass estimated in the EEZ off the Pacific coast is 87 percent.

    4. FRACTION. The temperature-varying harvest fraction is the percentage of the biomass above 150,000 mt that may be harvested.

    As described above, the Pacific sardine HG control rule, the primary mechanism for setting the annual directed commercial fishery quota, includes a CUTOFF parameter, which has been set as a biomass level of 150,000 mt. This amount is subtracted from the annual biomass estimate before calculating the applicable HG for the fishing year. Since this year's biomass estimate is below that value, the formula results in an HG of zero, and no Pacific sardine are available for the primary commercial directed fishery during the 2017-2018 fishing season.

    At the April 2017 Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) meeting, the Council's Science and Statistical Committee (SSC) approved, and the Council adopted, the “Assessment of the Pacific Sardine Resource in 2017 for U.S. Management in 2017-2018,” which was prepared by NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center. The resulting Pacific sardine biomass estimate of 86,586 mt is the best available science for setting harvest specifications. Based on recommendations from its SSC and other advisory bodies, the Council recommended, and NMFS is implementing, an OFL of 16,957 mt, an ABC of 15,497 mt, and a prohibition on Pacific sardine catch, unless it is harvested as part of either the live bait or tribal fishery or incidental to other fisheries for the 2017-2018 Pacific sardine fishing year. As additional management measures, the Council also recommended, and NMFS is implementing through this action, an ACL of 8,000 mt and that the incidental catch of Pacific sardine in other CPS fisheries be managed with the following automatic inseason actions to reduce the potential for both targeting and discard of Pacific sardine:

    • An incidental per landing by weight allowance of 40 percent Pacific sardine in non-treaty CPS fisheries until a total of 2,000 mt of Pacific sardine are landed.

    • When 2,000 mt are landed, the incidental per landing allowance will be reduced to 20 percent until a total of 5,000 mt of Pacific sardine have been landed.

    • When 5,000 mt have been landed, the incidental per landing allowance will be reduced to 10 percent for the remainder of the 2017-2018 fishing year.

    Pacific sardine is known to comingle with other CPS stocks; thus, these incidental allowances are established to allow for the continued prosecution of these other important CPS fisheries and reduce the potential discard of sardine. Additionally, an incidental per landing allowance is allowed in non-CPS fisheries: Up to 2 mt may be landed per trip.

    The NMFS West Coast Regional Administrator will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the date of attainment of any of the incidental catch levels described above and subsequent changes to allowable incidental catch percentages. Additionally, to ensure that the regulated community is informed of any closure, NMFS will also make announcements through other means available, including fax, email, and mail to fishermen, processors, and state fishery management agencies.

    As explained in the proposed rule, the Quinault Indian Nation requested a set-aside for tribal harvest of 800 mt (the same amount that was requested and approved for 2016-2017). NMFS considered this request and, per this action, 800 mt of the 2017-2018 ACL are being set aside for tribal harvest.

    Detailed information on the fishery and the stock assessment are found in the report “Assessment of the Pacific Sardine Resource in 2017 for U.S. Management in 2017-2018” (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Comment and Response

    On May 30, 2017, NMFS published a proposed rule for this action and solicited public comments (82 FR 24656), with a public comment period that ended on June 14, 2017. NMFS received one comment letter—explained below—during the comment period. After consideration of the public comment, no changes were made from the proposed rule. For further background information on this action please refer to the preamble of the proposed rule. NMFS summarizes and responds below to the comment letter below.

    Comment: The commenter expressed support for the prohibition on directed commercial sardine fishing, but opposition to the proposed ACL level, and requested that NMFS instead set an ACL of no more than 2,000 mt to be divided among the live bait and tribal sectors, and to accommodate limited bycatch. The commenter expressed an opinion that the proposed ACL of 8,000 mt is contrary to the purpose of the CUTOFF and that only minimal incidental catch (i.e., 2,000 mt) should be allowed to prevent further depletion and support sardine recovery.

    In addition to commenting on the proposed rule, the bulk of the comment described various scientific papers and requested reconsideration of various aspects of sardine management including the Minimum Stock Size Threshold value as well as aspects of the harvest guideline control rule, including but not limited to the existing CUTOFF parameter and the DISTRIBUTION parameter. (These parameters, as well as other changes to the sardine harvest control rule and management are set in the CPS Plan and are beyond the scope of this rulemaking; therefore, they will not be addressed below.)

    Response: NMFS disagrees that the ACL implemented in this rule is not in line with the FMP or that it fails to prevent overfishing or “is excessive and risks further depletion and delayed recovery”. The ACL should be viewed in the context of the OFL for the northern subpopulation of Pacific Sardine of 16,957 mt and an ABC of 15,497 mt that takes into account scientific uncertainty surrounding the OFL. These harvest reference limits were recommended by the Council based on the control rules in the FMP and were endorsed by the Council's SSC. The commenter does not question that the OFL and ABC levels reflect the best available science. By definition, harvest up to the level of OFL or ABC would not constitute overfishing, and would not drive the stock towards an overfished state. This rule takes a conservative approach by limiting harvest levels by all sources to an ACL of 8,000 mt, which is well below both the OFL and ABC. All incidental catch, live bait harvest and tribal harvest of sardine will be managed to stay at or below the ACL, employing multiple safeguards to ensure the ACL will not be exceeded. In short, the management measures implemented by this rule are more than adequate to prevent exceeding the OFL. Additionally, even in the absence of any fishing mortality, unfavorable environmental conditions could keep the sardine population at a low level. Small pelagic species, such as sardine, undergo wide natural fluctuations in abundance, even in the absence of fishing, from environmental conditions external to fishing; therefore, it is highly unlikely that reducing the ACL from 8,000 mt to 2,000 mt would measurably affect long-term fluctuations in Pacific sardine abundance. Based on the recent stock assessments and NMFS research, low recent recruitments (i.e., the number of young fish maturing into the spawning population) is the primary cause of the current downward trend in overall population size. Recruitment is believed to be strongly related to environmental conditions, particularly, large-scale oceanographic phenomena.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the NMFS West Coast Regional Administrator, with the concurrence of the Assistant Administrator, has determined that this final rule is consistent with the CPS FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws.

    NMFS finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness for the establishment of these final harvest specifications for the 2017-2018 Pacific sardine fishing season. In accordance with the FMP, this rule was recommended by the Council at its meeting in April 2017, the contents of which were based on the best available new scientific information on the population status of Pacific sardine that became available at that time. Making these final specifications effective on July 1, 2017, is necessary for the conservation and management of the Pacific sardine resource. The FMP requires a prohibition on directed fishing for Pacific sardine for the 2017-2018 fishing year because the sardine biomass is below the CUTOFF. The purpose of the CUTOFF in the FMP—and prohibiting directed fishing when the biomass drops below this level—is to protect the stock when biomass is low and provide a buffer of spawning stock that is protected from fishing and available for use in rebuilding the stock. A delay in the effectiveness of this rule for a full 30 days would not allow the implementation of this prohibition prior to the expiration of the closure of the directed fishery on July 1, 2017, which was imposed under the 2016-2017 annual specifications.

    Delaying the effective date of this rule beyond July 1 would be contrary to the public interest because reducing Pacific sardine biomass beyond the limits set out in this action could decrease the sustainability of the Pacific sardine, as well as cause future harvest limits to be even lower under the harvest control rule, thereby reducing future profits of the fishery.

    These final specifications are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    This action does not contain a collection-of-information requirement for purposes of the Paper Reduction Act.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: June 26, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13685 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 170330338-7585-02] RIN 0648-XF335 Pacific Island Fisheries; 2017-18 Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measures; Main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 Bottomfish AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final specifications.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS specifies an annual catch limit (ACL) of 306,000 lb for Deep 7 bottomfish in the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) for the 2017-18 fishing year, which will begin on September 1, 2017, and end on August 31, 2018. If NMFS projects that the fishery will reach the ACL, NMFS would close the commercial and non-commercial fisheries for MHI Deep 7 bottomfish for the remainder of the fishing year as an accountability measure (AM). The ACL and AM support the long-term sustainability of Hawaii bottomfish.

    DATES:

    The final specifications are effective from July 31, 2017, through August 31, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian Archipelago are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel. 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or www.wpcouncil.org. Copies of the environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact for this action, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2017-0033, are available from www.regulations.gov, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd. Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Ellgen, NMFS PIR Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5173.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Through this action, NMFS is specifying an ACL of 306,000 lb of Deep 7 bottomfish in the MHI for the 2017-18 fishing year. The fishing year begins September 1, 2017, and ends on August 31, 2018. The Council recommended this ACL, based on the best available scientific, commercial, and other information, taking into account the associated risk of overfishing. The ACL of 306,000 lb for 2017-18 is 12,000 lb less than the ACL that NMFS specified for 2016-17 (82 FR 5429, January 18, 2017).

    The MHI Management Subarea is the portion of U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone around the Hawaiian Archipelago east of 161°20′ W. The Deep 7 bottomfish are onaga (Etelis coruscans), ehu (E. carbunculus), gindai (Pristipomoides zonatus), kalekale (P. sieboldii), opakapaka (P. filamentosus), lehi (Aphareus rutilans), and hapuupuu (Hyporthodus quernus).

    NMFS will monitor the fishery and, if we project that the fishery will reach the ACL before August 31, 2018, we would, as an AM authorized in 50 CFR 665.4(f), close the non-commercial and commercial fisheries for Deep 7 bottomfish in Federal waters through August 31, 2018. During a fishery closure for Deep 7 bottomfish, no person may fish for, possess, or sell any of these fish in the MHI Management Subarea. There is no prohibition on fishing for, possessing, or selling other (non-Deep 7) bottomfish during such a closure. All other management measures continue to apply in the MHI bottomfish fishery. If NMFS and the Council determine that the final 2017-18 Deep 7 bottomfish catch exceeds the ACL, NMFS would reduce the Deep 7 bottomfish ACL for 2018-19 by the amount of the overage.

    You may review additional background information on this action in the preamble to the proposed specifications (82 FR 24092; May 25, 2017); we do not repeat that information here.

    Comments and Responses

    The comment period for the proposed specifications ended on June 9, 2017. NMFS did not receive any comments.

    Changes From the Proposed Specifications

    There are no changes in the final specifications from the proposed specifications.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, NMFS PIR, determined that this action is necessary for the conservation and management of MHI Deep 7 bottomfish, and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed specification stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NMFS published the factual basis for the certification in the proposed specifications, and does not repeat it here. NMFS did not receive comments regarding this certification. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, and one was not prepared.

    This action is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: June 26, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13681 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 125 Friday, June 30, 2017 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Parts 429 and 430 [EERE-2017-BT-TP-0004] Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Consumer Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers, and Freezers AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Request for information (“RFI”).

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) is initiating a data collection process through this request for information to consider whether to amend DOE's test procedures for consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers. To inform interested parties and to facilitate this process, DOE has gathered data, identifying several issues associated with the currently applicable test procedures on which DOE is interested in receiving comment. The issues outlined in this document mainly concern testing products with newly-available features, the inclusion of automatic icemaker energy use, built-in product test configuration, any issues with the current test procedure that need to be addressed, and any additional topics that may inform DOE's decisions in a future test procedure rulemaking, including methods to reduce regulatory burden while ensuring the procedure's accuracy. DOE welcomes written comments from the public on any subject within the scope of this document (including topics not raised in this request for information).

    DATES:

    Written comments and information are requested and will be accepted on or before July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Alternatively, interested persons may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-2017-BT-TP-0004, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: To [email protected] Include the docket number EERE-2017-BT-TP-0004 in the subject line of the message.

    Postal Mail: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-6636. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 6th Floor, Washington, DC, 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-6636. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see section III of this document.

    Docket: The docket for this activity, which includes Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.

    The docket Web page can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2017-BT-TP-0004. The docket Web page will contain simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket. See section III for information on how to submit comments through http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Stephanie Johnson, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1943. Email: [email protected]

    Mr. Michael Kido, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-8145. Email: [email protected]

    For further information on how to submit a comment, review other public comments and the docket, or participate in the public meeting, contact the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program staff at (202) 586-6636 or by email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Introduction A. Authority and Background B. Rulemaking History II. Request for Information and Comments A. Features 1. Door-in-Door Designs 2. Display Screens and Connected Functions B. Icemaking Energy Consumption C. Built-In Test Configuration D. Test Procedure Clarifications 1. Thermocouple Configuration for Freezer Drawers 2. Definitions E. AHAM HRF-1 Standard F. Other Test Procedure Topics III. Public Participation I. Introduction

    Consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers are included in the list of “covered products” for which DOE is authorized to establish and amend energy conservation standards and test procedures. (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(1)) DOE's test procedures for consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers are prescribed at title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”) part 430, subpart B, appendices A and B (“Appendices A and B”). The following sections discuss DOE's authority to establish and amend test procedures for consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers, as well as relevant background information regarding DOE's consideration of test procedures for these products.

    A. Authority and Background

    The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (“EPCA” or “the Act”),1 Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6311-6317, as codified), among other things, authorizes DOE to regulate the energy efficiency of a number of consumer products and industrial equipment. Title III, part B 2 of EPCA established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, which sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency. These products include consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers, the subject of this request for information (RFI). (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(1))

    1 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 (EEIA 2015), Public Law 114-11 (April 30, 2015).

    2 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, part B was redesignated part A.

    Under EPCA, DOE's energy conservation program consists essentially of four parts: (1) Testing, (2) labeling, (3) Federal energy conservation standards, and (4) certification and enforcement procedures. Relevant provisions of the Act specifically include definitions (42 U.S.C. 6291), energy conservation standards (42 U.S.C. 6295), test procedures (42 U.S.C. 6293), labeling provisions (42 U.S.C. 6294), and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers (42 U.S.C. 6296).

    Federal energy efficiency requirements for covered products established under EPCA generally supersede State laws and regulations concerning energy conservation testing, labeling, and standards. (See 42 U.S.C. 6297) DOE may, however, grant waivers of Federal preemption for particular State laws or regulations, in accordance with the procedures and other provisions of EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6316(b)(2)(D))

    The Federal testing requirements consist of test procedures that manufacturers of covered products must use as the basis for: (1) Certifying to DOE that their products comply with the applicable energy conservation standards adopted pursuant to EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6295(s)), and (2) making representations about the efficiency of those consumer products (42 U.S.C. 6293(c)). Similarly, DOE must use these test procedures to determine whether the products comply with relevant standards promulgated under EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6295(s))

    Under 42 U.S.C. 6293, EPCA sets forth the criteria and procedures DOE must follow when prescribing or amending test procedures for covered products. EPCA requires that any test procedures prescribed or amended under this section be reasonably designed to produce test results which measure energy efficiency, energy use or estimated annual operating cost of a covered product during a representative average use cycle or period of use and not be unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3))

    In addition, if DOE determines that a test procedure amendment is warranted, it must publish proposed test procedures and offer the public an opportunity to present oral and written comments on them. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(2))

    EPCA also requires that, at least once every 7 years, DOE evaluate test procedures for each type of covered product, including consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers, to determine whether amended test procedures would more accurately or fully comply with the requirements for the test procedures to not be unduly burdensome to conduct and be reasonably designed to produce test results that reflect energy efficiency, energy use, and estimated operating costs during a representative average use cycle. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(1)(A)) If amended test procedures are appropriate, DOE must publish a final rule to incorporate the amendments. If DOE determines that test procedure revisions are not appropriate, DOE must publish its determination not to amend the test procedures. DOE is publishing this RFI to collect data and information to inform a potential test procedure rulemaking to satisfy the 7-year review requirement specified in EPCA, which requires that DOE publish, by April 21, 2021, either a final rule amending the test procedures or a determination that amended test procedures are not required. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(1)(A))

    B. Rulemaking History

    DOE's current test procedures for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers are the result of numerous evolutionary steps taken since DOE initially established its test procedures for these products in a final rule published in the Federal Register on September 14, 1977 (42 FR 46140). Industry representatives viewed these original test procedures as too complex and eventually developed alternative test procedures in conjunction with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) that were incorporated into the 1979 version of HRF-1, “Household Refrigerators, Combination Refrigerator-Freezers, and Household Freezers” (HRF-1-1979). Using this industry-created test procedure, DOE revised its test procedures on August 10, 1982 (47 FR 34517).

    On August 31, 1989, DOE amended the test procedure further when it published a final rule establishing test procedures for variable-defrost control refrigeration products, dual-compressor refrigerator-freezers, and freezers equipped with “quick-freeze” (54 FR 36238).

    DOE amended the test procedures again on March 7, 2003, by modifying the test period used for products equipped with long-time automatic defrost or variable defrost (68 FR 10957).

    On December 16, 2010, DOE made its most recent significant modifications to the test procedures when it published a final and interim final rule establishing the test procedures in Appendices A and B (75 FR 78810). That rule established a number of comprehensive changes to help improve the measurement of energy consumption of refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers. These changes included, among other things: (1) Adjusting the standardized compartment temperatures and volume-adjustment factors, (2) adding new methods for measuring compartment volumes, (3) modifying the long-time automatic defrost test procedure to measure all energy use associated with the defrost function, and (4) adding test procedures for products with a single compressor and multiple evaporators with separate active defrost cycles. Lastly, the interim final rule addressed icemaking energy use by including a fixed energy use adder for those products equipped with an automatic icemaker. Using available data submitted by the industry, this value was set at 84 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. Id. On January 25, 2012, DOE finalized the test procedures established in the interim final rule and incorporated additional amendments to improve test accuracy (77 FR 3559).

    On July 10, 2013, DOE proposed further amending the consumer refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedure to address products with multiple compressors and to allow an alternative method for measuring and calculating energy consumption for refrigerator-freezers and refrigerators with freezer compartments, (78 FR 41610, “2013 NOPR”). DOE also proposed to amend certain aspects of the consumer refrigerator, refrigerator-freezer, and freezer test procedures to ensure better accuracy and repeatability. Additionally, DOE solicited comment on a proposed automatic icemaker test procedure and on whether built-in products should be tested in a built-in configuration. Id. In response to the 2013 NOPR, interested parties requested that DOE grant more time to respond to the proposal for measuring energy use associated with icemaking and to DOE's request for comment regarding testing of built-in products in a built-in configuration. DOE granted the comment period extension request for these two topics (78 FR 53374, Aug. 29, 2013).

    On April 21, 2014, DOE published a final rule for the refrigerator, refrigerator-freezer, and freezer test procedures (the “2014 final rule”), (79 FR 22320). The amendments enacted by the 2014 final rule addressed products with multiple compressors and established an alternative method for measuring and calculating energy consumption for refrigerator-freezers and refrigerators with freezer compartments. The 2014 final rule also amended certain aspects of the test procedures to improve test accuracy and repeatability. To allow time to review comments and data received during the comment period extension, DOE did not address automatic ice making energy use or built-in testing configuration in the 2014 final rule. Id.

    On July 18, 2016, DOE published a final rule that established coverage and test procedures for a variety of refrigeration products collectively described as “miscellaneous refrigeration products” (“MREFs”), (81 FR 46768). Included within this category are refrigeration products that include one or more compartments that maintain higher temperatures than typical refrigerator compartments, such as wine chillers and beverage coolers. Additionally, the final rule amended Appendices A and B to include provisions for testing MREFs and to improve the clarity of certain existing test requirements. Id.

    II. Request for Information and Comments

    In the following sections, DOE has identified a variety of issues on which it seeks input to aid in the development of the technical and economic analyses regarding whether amended test procedures for consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers may be warranted. Specifically, DOE is requesting comment on any opportunities to streamline and simplify testing requirements for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers.

    Additionally, DOE welcomes comments on other issues relevant to the conduct of this rulemaking that may not specifically be identified in this document. In particular, DOE notes that under E.O. 13771, executive branch agencies such as DOE are directed to manage the costs associated with the imposition of expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations. See 82 FR 9339 (Feb. 3, 2017) (E.O. 13771 “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”). Pursuant to that executive order, DOE encourages the public to provide input on measures DOE could take to lower the cost of its regulations applicable to consumer refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers consistent with the requirements of EPCA.

    A. Features 1. Door-in-Door Designs

    DOE's test procedures for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers are intended to represent operation in typical room conditions with door openings by testing at an elevated ambient temperature with no door openings. 10 CFR 430.23(a)(7). The increased thermal load from the elevated ambient temperature is intended to represent the thermal load that would be associated with both door openings as cool cabinet air mixes with warmer ambient air and the loading of warmer items in the cabinet.

    DOE is aware of certain products available on the market that incorporate a door-in-door design. This feature allows the consumer to access items loaded in the door shelves without opening an interior door that encloses the inner cabinet. This feature prevents the majority of the cool cabinet air from escaping to the room and being replaced by warmer ambient air, as would be the case during a typical total door opening.

    Because the DOE test procedure requires testing with the cabinet doors remaining closed, it would not reflect the potential energy savings associated with door-in-door features during typical consumer operation with door openings.

    DOE requests comment on test methods for products with door-in-door designs that will yield accurate and repeatable results. Specifically, DOE seeks information on whether an alternate test method is appropriate or whether potential energy savings may be addressed with a calculation approach. DOE also seeks information regarding what steps, if any, manufacturers are taking to account for the energy use characteristics of products that use door-in-door designs. Further, DOE requests data, if any, on consumer use of the door-in-door feature, including how often the outer door is used in comparison to a total door opening, and the corresponding energy impacts of each type of door opening.

    2. Display Screens and Connected Functions

    Many refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers currently available on the market include user control panels or displays located on the front of the product. These features, which can control the products' function and provide additional user features, such as television or internet access, operate with many different control schemes, including activation by proximity sensors.

    The DOE test procedure, by referencing AHAM's 2008 version of “Energy and Internal Volume of Refrigerating Appliances” (HRF-1-2008), requires testing with customer-accessible features, not required for normal operation, which are electrically powered, manually initiated, and manually terminated, set at their lowest energy usage positions when adjustment is provided.

    However, by testing in this manner (i.e., setting consumer features in their lowest energy positions), the resulting measurements may not accurately represent actual consumer use. DOE requests information on how consumers typically use exterior display screens and control panels, when available. While any information would be welcome, DOE is particularly interested in any survey data that may yield insight into the manner and frequency with which consumers use these features. Additionally, DOE requests detailed feedback on the appropriate energy-related settings to use for these types of features during testing to best represent consumer use.

    Similarly, many products incorporating these more advanced user interfaces include internet connections to allow for additional functions. The product controls may consume different amounts of energy depending on whether the internet connection is enabled or disabled, and if enabled, whether it is connected to a network. DOE requests information (such as survey data) on whether consumers typically use an internet connection, when available, for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers. DOE also requests information on the potential energy impacts of the refrigeration products equipped with a connected configuration, and on the appropriate energy-related settings to use for testing.

    B. Icemaking Energy Consumption

    In 2010, DOE initiated a test procedure rulemaking to help address a variety of test procedure-related issues, including energy use associated with automatic icemaking. On May 27, 2010, DOE published a NOPR (the “2010 NOPR”) proposing to use a fixed value of 84 kWh per year to represent the energy use associated with automatic icemaking (75 FR 29824). The 2010 NOPR also indicated that DOE would consider adopting an approach based on testing to determine icemaking energy use if a suitable test procedure could be developed. Id. at 29846-29847. A broad group of interested parties submitted a joint comment supporting DOE's proposal to use a temporary fixed placeholder value to represent the energy use of automatic icemakers. The joint commenters also urged DOE to initiate a rulemaking no later than January 1, 2012, and publish a final rule no later than December 31, 2012, to amend the test procedures to incorporate a laboratory-based measurement of icemaking energy use. (Test Procedure for Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers, and Freezers, Docket Number EERE-2009-BT-TP-0003; Joint Comment, No. 20 at pp. 5-6)

    In January 2012, AHAM provided DOE with a draft test procedure that could be used to measure automatic icemaker energy usage. (AHAM Refrigerator, Refrigerator-Freezer and Freezer Ice Making Energy Test Procedure, Revision 1.0—12/14/11, No. 4) 3 AHAM then submitted a revised automatic icemaker test procedure on July 18, 2012. (AHAM Refrigerator, Refrigerator-Freezer and Freezer Ice Making Energy Test Procedure, Revision 2.0—7/10/12, No. 5) 4 In the subsequent 2013 NOPR, as mentioned in section I.B of this document, DOE proposed a method for measuring the energy usage associated with automatic icemaking based on the revised approach submitted by AHAM. See generally 78 FR 41618-41629. In response to the 2013 NOPR, AHAM submitted comments to DOE requesting that DOE grant its members more time to respond to the automatic icemaker testing proposal, which DOE granted (78 FR 53374, Aug. 29, 2013). In the 2014 final rule, DOE established the fixed value adder approach and stated that it would review comments received during the comment period extension to address the icemaking test procedure issue in a future notice. See 79 FR 22341-22342.

    3 Document No. 4 in Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-TP-0016, available for review at www.regulations.gov.

    4 Document No. 5 in Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-TP-0016, available for review at www.regulations.gov.

    A number of interested parties supported the development and adoption of a test procedure that measures the energy use of automatic icemaking. These commenters cited a number of reasons to justify a laboratory-based icemaker energy test procedure, including: (1) A direct laboratory test is more accurate and representative of actual icemaking energy use, and (2) the fixed adder approach would not reward improvements in icemaking efficiency or provide incentives to reduce icemaker energy consumption. (BSH Home Appliances Corporation, No. 21 at p. 1; 5 Joint Commenters,6 No. 42 at pp. 1-5; Samsung Electronics America, Inc., No. 39 at p. 2)

    5 A notation in the form “BSH Home Appliances Corporation, No. 21 at p. 1” identifies a written comment: (1) Made by BSH Home Appliances Corporation; (2) recorded in document number 21 that is filed in the docket of the test procedure rulemaking (Docket No. EERE-2009-BT-TP-0003) and available for review at www.regulations.gov; and (3) which appears on page 1 of document number 21.

    6 “Joint Commenters” refers to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Consumer Federation of America, National Consumer Law Center, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

    Other interested parties supported the adder approach, noting the significant test burden associated with the proposed icemaking test procedure and the limited opportunities to reduce icemaking energy consumption. (AHAM, No. 37 at p. 2-5; GE Appliances, No. 40 at p. 5; Sub-Zero Group, Inc., No. 36 at p. 2) Further, DOE received data indicating that consumers likely use less ice than assumed in calculating the 84 kWh/year adder. Interested parties commented that the updated consumer use data supported an adder as low as 28 kWh/year. (AHAM, No. 37 at pp. 2-6; GE Appliances, No. 40 at pp. 2-4; Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and Northwest Power & Conservation Council, No. 41 at p. 2)

    DOE welcomes additional feedback from interested parties on the most appropriate approach to account for icemaker energy use. DOE also requests any more recent consumer use data, if available, regarding ice consumption and automatic icemaker usage in consumer refrigerator-freezers and freezers. DOE also seeks input regarding whether retention of the current fixed adder approach should continue or whether an actual test procedure should replace it at this time. If DOE were to adopt a test procedure that measures icemaker energy use, DOE seeks input on which one to use, for example, the test proposed in the 2013 NOPR, and what specific technical issues it needs to consider if it were to propose such a rule for adoption. To this end, DOE is also interested in what impacts, if any, the adoption of an icemaking energy measurement test procedure would have on the measured energy use of a given product when compared to the fixed energy value adder approach used in the current test procedure.

    DOE is also aware of consumer products available on the market that use two automatic icemakers. Typically, these products are refrigerator-freezers with bottom-mounted freezers, with an icemaker in the freezer compartment and another contained in the through-the-door ice service in the fresh food compartment. The fresh food icemaker serves more frequent through-the-door ice service, while the freezer icemaker serves as an in-freezer storage container for infrequent bulk ice use.

    DOE requests information on whether products with multiple automatic icemakers should be tested differently than the more typical single automatic icemaker models—and if so, how. DOE seeks consumer use data for these products to inform whether a different energy use adder or test procedure would be appropriate for these dual-icemaker products.

    C. Built-In Test Configuration

    In the 2013 NOPR, DOE presented data indicating that testing in a built-in enclosure may affect energy consumption for certain configurations of built-in products. Specifically, those products that reject condenser heat at the back of the unit showed a potential increase in energy use when tested in an enclosure. DOE observed no significant change in energy use associated with the test configuration for those products that reject heat from the front of the unit. DOE requested comment on the appropriate test configuration for built-in refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers, (78 FR 46149-46150). Similar to the icemaking test issue, DOE provided additional time to comment on the built-in testing issue prior to the 2014 final rule, but did not address the issue in that rule.

    In the rulemaking leading to the 2014 final rule, DOE received multiple comments. Some commenters supported testing built-in products in an enclosure, as this would represent how the products are used in the field. (Joint Commenters, No. 42 at pp. 5-6; Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and Northwest Power & Conservation Council, No. 41 at p. 4) Others opposed the enclosure approach, noting the significant increase in test burden with little or no corresponding change in measured energy consumption. These interested parties also noted that for the products showing a difference in measured energy use between the freestanding and enclosure setups, the enclosure configuration that DOE used (based on Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 250, “Household Refrigerators and Freezers”) was not necessarily consistent with manufacturer installation instructions. (AHAM, No. 37 at pp. 16-17; BSH Home Appliances Corporation, No. 21 at p. 1; Liebherr-Canada, Ltd., No. 34 at pp. 1-4; Sub-Zero Group, Inc., No. 36 at p. 2).

    DOE continues to seek comment on the built-in testing issue, including consumer installation, test burden, and energy impacts. Among the issues of interest to DOE include whether testing a product in its built-in condition would generally be more representative of energy consumption of a product during its average use cycle or period of use and, if so, the extent to which testing in this condition would be expected to affect the measured energy use of these products, if any. DOE requests information on whether testing all built-in products in an enclosure is appropriate, or whether testing in an enclosure would affect the test results only for certain built-in product configurations, such as those that exhaust condenser heat from the rear of the product. DOE is also interested in detailed information on whether there would be a significant additional test burden resulting from a requirement that specifies these products be tested in a built-in condition—and if so, the nature and extent of that burden. Additionally, DOE is interested in whether alternative methods of assessing the energy consumption of built-in products during their average use cycle or period of use, such as through a calculation or adder approach, are feasible—and if so, what likely degree of accuracy could be obtained if such methods were used in lieu of testing in a built-in condition.

    D. Test Procedure Clarifications 1. Thermocouple Configuration for Freezer Drawers

    As discussed in section II.A.2 of this document, Appendices A and B incorporate by reference portions of HRF-1-2008 for testing requirements. Section 5.5.5.5 of HRF-1-2008 includes figures specifying thermocouple placement for a number of example fresh food and freezer compartment configurations. HRF-1-2008 also notes that in situations where the interior of a cabinet does not conform to the configurations shown in the example figures, measurements must be taken at locations chosen to represent approximately the entire cabinet.

    HRF-1-2008 provides a specific thermocouple location diagram for freezer compartments in refrigerator-freezers (type 6 in Figure 5-2). However, the diagram for this configuration is based on an upright, front-opening freezer compartment, and does not explicitly address drawer-type freezer compartments. Based on its experience testing these products at third-party test laboratories, DOE understands there may be confusion over which thermocouple layout is appropriate for drawer-type freezer compartments in refrigerator-freezers. DOE believes that sensor layout type 6 is appropriate for testing drawer freezer compartments in refrigerator-freezers. DOE requests feedback on whether this sensor layout or, alternatively, a different thermocouple configuration set forth in HRF-1-2008 or elsewhere, is appropriate for testing drawer freezer compartments.

    2. Definitions

    As discussed in the recent MREF test procedure final rule, DOE's test procedures in Appendices A and B frequently use the term “compartment” despite that term not being defined. While DOE considered the need for clarifying that term, it did not define it in that final rule. See 81 FR 46779.

    DOE is aware of only one specific definition for “compartment” in finalized international or industry test procedures—specifically, Australian/New Zealand testing standard AS/NZS 4474.1-2007. This procedure define a compartment as “an enclosed space within a refrigerating appliance, which is directly accessible through one or more external doors. A compartment may contain one or more sub-compartments and one or more convenience features.” AS/NZS 4474.1-2007 further defines a “sub-compartment” as “a permanent enclosed space within a compartment or sub-compartment which is designated as being a different type of food storage space (i.e., has a different compartment temperature range) from the compartment or sub-compartment within which it is located,” and “convenience features,” as enclosures or containers with temperature conditions which may or may not be different from the compartment within which they are located.

    However, DOE notes that the AS/NZS 4474.1-2007 approach is not fully consistent with all of the uses of the term “compartment” currently found in the DOE test procedures. In some cases, the term denotes all of the space within a refrigeration product that operates within a designated temperature range. In other cases, the term refers to specific enclosed spaces that operate within a designated temperature range. For example, Appendix A, section 5.1.3 uses the term in both ways, referring to individual fresh food compartment temperatures and volumes to calculate the overall fresh food compartment temperature.

    DOE requests information on whether the clarity of Appendices A and B would be improved by defining the term “compartment” and using the term consistently throughout the test procedures. If DOE were to define the term “compartment,” DOE seeks comment on what that definition should be—and whether a definition such as the one included in AS/NZS 4474.1-2007 would be sufficient to clearly define this term.

    DOE also notes that while Appendix A defines “cooler compartment,” it does not directly define related terms such as “fresh food compartment” or “freezer compartment”—although these definitions are in HFR-1-2008, which is incorporated by reference into Appendices A and B. 10 CFR 430.3. DOE requests comment on whether it should directly define these terms in Appendix A—and if so, how?

    DOE also welcomes feedback on the definitions of “refrigerators,” “refrigerator-freezers,” and “freezers” in 10 CFR 430.2. These definitions were most recently amended in DOE's final rule establishing coverage and test procedures for MREFs, (81 FR 46768). Prior to that final rule, DOE published a supplemental noticed of proposed determination (“SNOPD”) in which it proposed to amend these definitions. In that SNOPD, DOE noted that the refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer product definitions described a freezer compartment as a compartment designed for the freezing and storage of food at temperatures below 8 °F which may be adjusted by the user to a temperature of 0 °F or below, and proposed to amend the definitions to refer to a compartment capable of maintaining compartment temperatures of 0 °F or below, (81 FR 11454, 11460, March 4, 2016). However, because interested parties commented that the proposed amendments may affect the scope of the existing refrigerator, refrigerator-freezer, and freezer definitions (AHAM, MREF Coverage No. 24 at pp. 2-3; 7 Sub Zero, MREF Coverage No. 22 at pp. 1-2), DOE did not adopt these proposed modifications to the amended definitions. See 81 FR 46777.

    7 A notation in the form “AHAM, MREF Coverage No. 24 at pp. 2-3” identifies a written comment: (1) Made by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers; (2) recorded in document number 24 that is filed in the docket of the MREF coverage determination rulemaking (Docket No. EERE-2011-BT-DET-0072-0024) and available for review at www.regulations.gov; and (3) which appears on pages 2-3 of document number 24.

    The proposed amendments would have resolved an inconsistency between the definitions and the standardized compartment temperature specified in the test procedure. Specifically, while the 8 °F threshold for freezer compartments in the definitions for refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers is consistent with the fresh food compartment and freezer compartment definitions included in HRF-1-2008, Appendix A requires that freezer compartments in refrigerator-freezers be tested to a standardized compartment temperature of 0 °F. Under the existing requirements, a product would meet the refrigerator-freezer definition but would not receive an energy use rating under Appendix A if the freezer compartment is capable of achieving a temperature below 8 °F but above 0 °F.

    DOE requests feedback on whether it should address this potential definitional and testing issue, and if so, how. DOE also seeks information on how to best harmonize the refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer definitions with any potential updates to the fresh food and freezer compartment definitions.

    E. AHAM HRF-1 Standard

    As discussed in section II.A.2 of this document, the DOE test procedures incorporate by reference certain sections of the AHAM industry standard HRF-1-2008. DOE references HRF-1-2008 for definitions, installation and operating conditions, temperature measurements, and volume measurements. In August 2016, AHAM released an updated version of the HRF-1 standard, HRF-1-2016. Based on review of the newer standard, DOE notes that the majority of the updates from the 2008 standard are clarifications or other revisions that harmonize with DOE's test procedures. Accordingly, DOE does not expect that updating its references to HRF-1-2016 would substantively affect the test procedures in Appendices A and B.

    DOE requests feedback on whether its test procedures should incorporate by reference certain sections of the most current version of HRF-1, HRF-1-2016, rather than HRF-1-2008. DOE also requests whether any of the revisions between HRF-1-2008 and HRF-1-2016 would substantively affect the requirements currently incorporated by reference in Appendices A and B—and if so, how?

    F. Other Test Procedure Topics

    In addition to the issues identified earlier in this document, DOE welcomes comment on any other aspect of the existing test procedures for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers not already addressed by the specific areas identified in this document. DOE particularly seeks information that would improve the repeatability, reproducibility, and consumer representativeness of the test procedures. DOE also requests information that would help DOE create a procedure that would limit manufacturer test burden through streamlining or simplifying testing requirements. Comments regarding repeatability and reproducibility are also welcome.

    DOE also requests feedback on any potential amendments to the existing test procedure that could be considered to address impacts on manufacturers, including small businesses. Regarding the Federal test method, DOE seeks comment on the degree to which the DOE test procedure should consider and be harmonized with the most recent relevant industry standards for consumer refrigerators, freezers, and refrigerator-freezers and whether there are any changes to the Federal test method that would provide additional benefits to the public.

    Additionally, DOE requests comment on whether the existing test procedures limit manufacturer's ability to provide additional features to consumers on refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers. DOE particularly seeks information on how the test procedures could be amended to reduce the cost of these new or additional features and make it more likely that such features are included on consumer refrigerators, freezers, and refrigerator-freezers.

    III. Submission of Comments

    DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by July 31, 2017, comments and information on matters addressed in this notice and on other matters relevant to DOE's consideration of amended test procedures for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers. After the close of the comment period, DOE will begin collecting data, conducting analyses, and reviewing the public comments, as needed. These actions will be taken to aid in the development of a test procedure NOPR for refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers if DOE determines that amended test procedures may be appropriate for these products.

    Submitting comments via http://www.regulations.gov. The http://www.regulations.gov Web page will require you to provide your name and contact information. Your contact information will be viewable to DOE Building Technologies staff only. Your contact information will not be publicly viewable except for your first and last names, organization name (if any), and submitter representative name (if any). If your comment is not processed properly because of technical difficulties, DOE will use this information to contact you. If DOE cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, DOE may not be able to consider your comment.

    However, your contact information will be publicly viewable if you include it in the comment or in any documents attached to your comment. Any information that you do not want to be publicly viewable should not be included in your comment, nor in any document attached to your comment. Persons viewing comments will see only first and last names, organization names, correspondence containing comments, and any documents submitted with the comments.

    Do not submit to http://www.regulations.gov information for which disclosure is restricted by statute, such as trade secrets and commercial or financial information (hereinafter referred to as Confidential Business Information (CBI)). Comments submitted through http://www.regulations.gov cannot be claimed as CBI. Comments received through the Web site will waive any CBI claims for the information submitted. For information on submitting CBI, see the Confidential Business Information section.

    DOE processes submissions made through http://www.regulations.gov before posting. Normally, comments will be posted within a few days of being submitted. However, if large volumes of comments are being processed simultaneously, your comment may not be viewable for up to several weeks. Please keep the comment tracking number that http://www.regulations.gov provides after you have successfully uploaded your comment.

    Submitting comments via email, hand delivery, or mail. Comments and documents submitted via email, hand delivery, or mail also will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov. If you do not want your personal contact information to be publicly viewable, do not include it in your comment or any accompanying documents. Instead, provide your contact information on a cover letter. Include your first and last names, email address, telephone number, and optional mailing address. The cover letter will not be publicly viewable as long as it does not include any comments.

    Include contact information each time you submit comments, data, documents, and other information to DOE. If you submit via mail or hand delivery, please provide all items on a CD, if feasible. It is not necessary to submit printed copies. No facsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.

    Comments, data, and other information submitted to DOE electronically should be provided in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format. Provide documents that are not secured, written in English and free of any defects or viruses. Documents should not contain special characters or any form of encryption and, if possible, they should carry the electronic signature of the author.

    Campaign form letters. Please submit campaign form letters by the originating organization in batches of between 50 to 500 form letters per PDF or as one form letter with a list of supporters' names compiled into one or more PDFs. This reduces comment processing and posting time.

    Confidential Business Information. According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via email, postal mail, or hand delivery two well-marked copies: one copy of the document marked confidential including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document marked “non-confidential” with the information believed to be confidential deleted. Submit these documents via email or on a CD, if feasible. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination.

    Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat submitted information as confidential include (1) a description of the items, (2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as confidential within the industry, (3) whether the information is generally known by or available from other sources, (4) whether the information has previously been made available to others without obligation concerning its confidentiality, (5) an explanation of the competitive injury to the submitting person which would result from public disclosure, (6) when such information might lose its confidential character due to the passage of time, and (7) why disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest.

    It is DOE's policy that all comments may be included in the public docket, without change and as received, including any personal information provided in the comments (except information deemed to be exempt from public disclosure).

    DOE considers public participation to be a very important part of the process for developing test procedures and energy conservation standards. DOE actively encourages the participation and interaction of the public during the comment period in each stage of the rulemaking process. Interactions with and between members of the public provide a balanced discussion of the issues and assist DOE in the rulemaking process. Anyone who wishes to be added to the DOE mailing list to receive future notices and information about this rulemaking should contact Appliance and Equipment Standards Program staff at (202) 586-6636 or via email at [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 23, 2017. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13803 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9568; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-150-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; 328 Support Services GmbH (Type Certificate Previously Held by AvCraft Aerospace GmbH; Fairchild Dornier GmbH; Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH) Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

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

    SUMMARY:

    We are revising an earlier proposal for an airworthiness directive (AD) for certain 328 Support Services GmbH Model 328-100 and Model 328-300 airplanes. This action revises the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) by expanding the applicability and making certain inspections repetitive. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. Since these actions impose an additional burden over those proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 11, 2017 (82 FR 3217), is reopened.

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

    For service information identified in this SNPRM, contact 328 Support Services GmbH, Global Support Center, P.O. Box 1252, D-82231 Wessling, Federal Republic of Germany; telephone +49 8153 88111 6666; fax +49 8153 88111 6565; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.328support.de. 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-2016-9568; 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:

    Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1175; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-9568; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-150-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain 328 Support Services GmbH Model 328-100 and Model 328-300 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 11, 2017 (82 FR 3217). The NPRM was prompted by reports of broken bonding wires of certain fuel line clamps. The NPRM proposed to require a one-time inspection of certain fuel line clamps for discrepancies, and replacement of any discrepant clamps.

    Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM, we have determined that repetitive inspections are necessary to address the unsafe condition and that additional airplanes are affected by the unsafe condition and must be added to the applicability.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2017-0016, dated January 31, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on all 328 Support Services GmbH Model 328-100 and Model 328-300 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Occurrences of broken bonding wires of the fuel line clamps have been reported on Dornier 328-100 and Dornier 328-300 aeroplanes equipped with fuel line clamps Part Number (P/N) 14C02-10A, or P/N 14C02-12A, or P/N 14C02-16A. The affected fuel line clamps have been installed in accordance with the instructions of Dornier 328 Service Bulletin (SB) SB-328-28-490 or SB-328J-28-241, as applicable, to reduce occurrences of fuel line chafing.

    The results of the investigation did not identify design deficiency or production failure of the fuel line clamps. It is assumed that the chafing and breaking of the bonding wires are caused either by excessive vibration, misalignment, excessive installation tolerances or mistakes on installation or a combination thereof.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to the loss of bonding function and, in combination with a lightning strike, create a source of ignition in a fuel tank, possibly resulting in a fire or explosion and consequent loss of the aeroplane.

    To address the unsafe condition, 328 Support Services issued Alert SB (ASB) ASB-328-28-041 (for Dornier 328-100) and ASB-328J-28-018 (for Dornier 328-300), providing inspection instructions.

    Consequently, EASA issued AD 2016-0169 [which corresponds to the NPRM] to require a one-time inspection of the fuel line clamps and, depending on findings, replacement. That [EASA] AD also required the reporting off all inspection results to the design approval holder.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, it was determined that repetitive inspections are necessary and 328 Support Services revised the applicable ASBs accordingly.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2016-0169, which is superseded, and requires repetitive inspections of all Hydraflow fuel line clamps [i.e., a general visual inspection of all Hydraflow fuel line clamps for worn and missing bonding wires; a general visual inspection of the jet pump outlet, connection part, and fuel lines for chafing marks; and a measurement of the depth of the chafing marks on affected parts] and continued reporting to the TC Holder.

    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-2016-9568.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    328 Support Services has issued Alert Service Bulletin ASB-328J-28-018, Revision 2, dated December 12, 2016; and Alert Service Bulletin ASB-328-28-041, Revision 2, dated December 12, 2016. The service information describes procedures for a general visual inspection of all Hydraflow fuel line clamps for worn and missing bonding wires; a general visual inspection of the jet pump outlet, connection part, and fuel lines for chafing marks; a measurement of the depth of the chafing marks, and replacement of affected parts. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Comments

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

    Request To Refer to Updated Service Information

    Two commenters, Patrick Brady and Christoph Thallmayr, requested that we revise the proposed AD to refer to the latest 328 Support Services Service Bulletins. The commenters stated that updated versions of the service information specify repetitive inspections at intervals of 2,500 flight hours. The commenters further noted that EASA issued an updated AD, which references the latest service information. Patrick Brady noted that the repetitive inspections could be scheduled with recurring “5A” inspections to ensure no additional downtime is needed.

    We agree with the request. We have revised this AD to refer to the updated service information and MCAI.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This SNPRM

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

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this SNPRM affects 25 airplanes of U.S. registry

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspections 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 per inspection cycle. $0 $680 per inspection cycle $17,000 per inspection cycle Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle 0 $85 per inspection cycle $2,125 per inspection cycle

    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 Up to 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 Up to $588 Up to $673. Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to 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 control number for the collection of information required by this proposed AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is 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.

    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): 328 Support Services GmbH (Type Certificate Previously Held by AvCraft Aerospace GmbH; Fairchild Dornier GmbH; Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH): Docket No. FAA-2016-9568; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-150-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 14, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to 328 Support Services GmbH (Type Certificate Previously Held by AvCraft Aerospace GmbH; Fairchild Dornier GmbH; Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH) airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Model 328-100 airplanes, all serial numbers.

    (2) Model 328-300 airplanes, all serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of broken bonding wires of certain fuel line clamps. We are issuing this AD to prevent the loss of bonding function, which, in combination with a lightning strike, could create a source of ignition in a fuel tank, possibly resulting in a fire or explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections

    Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, do a general visual inspection of all Hydraflow fuel line clamps for worn and missing bonding wires; do a general visual inspection of the jet pump outlet, connection part, and fuel lines for chafing marks; and for parts with chafing marks, before further flight, measure the depth of the chafing marks; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable. Repeat the inspections thereafter at intervals not to exceed 2,500 flight hours.

    (1) 328 Support Services GmbH Alert Service Bulletin ASB-328-28-041, Revision 2, dated December 12, 2016 (for Model 328-100 airplanes).

    (2) 328 Support Services GmbH Alert Service Bulletin ASB-328J-28-018, Revision 2, dated December 12, 2016 (for Model 328-300 airplanes).

    (h) Replacement of Parts

    (1) If any worn or missing bonding wires are found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, before further flight, replace all affected clamps, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (2) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any chafing depth is found that is more than the replacement limits specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable, before further flight, replace all affected parts, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (i) Reporting

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD, report the inspection results, positive or negative, to 328 Support Services, GmbH, Global Support Center, P.O. Box 1252, D-82231 Wessling, Federal Republic of Germany; fax +49 8153 88111 6565; email [email protected] The report must include findings on fuel line clamps, aircraft serial number, total flight hours, and total landings.

    (1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

    (2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the initial inspection, parts replacement, and initial report required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information specified in paragraphs (j)(1) through (j)(4) of this AD.

    (1) 328 Support Services GmbH Alert Service Bulletin ASB-328-28-041, dated June 14, 2016.

    (2) 328 Support Services GmbH Alert Service Bulletin ASB-328-041, Revision 1, dated October 13, 2016.

    (3) 328 Support Services GmbH Alert Service Bulletin ASB-328J-28-018, dated June 3, 2016.

    (4) 328 Support Services GmbH Alert Service Bulletin ASB-328J-28-018, Revision 1, dated October 13, 2016.

    (k) No Terminating Action

    Replacement of clamps as required by paragraph (h) of this AD does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD for that airplane.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (m)(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 the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or 328 Support Services GmbH's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Reporting Requirements: 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.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2017-0016, dated January 31, 2017, 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-2016-9568.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1175; fax 425-227-1149.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact 328 Support Services GmbH, Global Support Center, P.O. Box 1252, D-82231 Wessling, Federal Republic of Germany; telephone +49 8153 88111 6666; fax +49 8153 88111 6565; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.328support.de. 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 22, 2017. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13756 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0628; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-207-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 A310 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a revision of certain airworthiness limitation items (ALI) documents, which require more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate the maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. 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 SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    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-2017-0628; 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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-2017-0628; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-207-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 2016-0217, dated November 2, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A310 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The airworthiness limitations for Airbus A310 aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the Airbus A310 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) document(s). These instructions have been identified as mandatory actions for continued airworthiness.

    Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition.

    EASA previously issued [EASA] AD 2014-0124 (later revised) [which includes actions for Airbus A310 series airplanes; those actions are included in FAA AD 2013-13-13, Amendment 39-17501 (79 FR 48957, August 19, 2014) (“AD 2013-13-13”)], to require the actions as specified in Airbus A310 Airworthiness Limitation Item (ALI) Document at issue 08.

    Since EASA AD 2014-0124R1 was issued, Airbus replaced ALI Document issue 08 with A310 ALS Part 2 Revision 01 and then published the A310 ALS Part 2 Variation 1.1 and Variation 1.2, to introduce more restrictive maintenance requirements and/or airworthiness limitations.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains part of the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0124R1, which will be superseded, and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in Airbus A310 ALS Part 2 Revision 01, ALS Part 2 Variation 1.1 and ALS Part 2 Variation 1.2 (hereafter collectively referred to as `the ALS' in this [EASA] AD). The remaining requirements of EASA AD 2014-0124R1 are retained in [EASA] AD 2016-0218, applicable to A300-600 aeroplanes, published at the same time as this [EASA] AD.

    This NPRM would not supersede AD 2013-13-13. Rather, we have determined that a stand-alone AD would be more appropriate to address the changes in the MCAI. This NPRM would require revising the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate the maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. Accomplishment of the proposed actions would then terminate all requirements of AD 2013-13-13.

    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-2017-0628.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following service information:

    • Airbus A310 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), Part 2, “Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT—ALI),” Revision 01, dated August 7, 2015.

    • Airbus A310 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), Part 2, “Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT—ALI),” Variation 1.1, dated January 25, 2016.

    • Airbus A310 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), Part 2, “Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT—ALI),” Variation 1.2, dated July 22, 2016.

    The service information describes airworthiness limitations applicable to the DT—ALIs. These documents are distinct because they contain different tasks at different revision levels. 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 the same type design.

    This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new actions (e.g., inspections). Compliance with these actions is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by this proposed AD, the operator may not be able to accomplish the actions described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (j)(1) of this proposed AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required actions that will ensure the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 8 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
  • Maintenance Program Revision 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 None $85 $680
    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-2017-0628; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-207-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 14, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2013-13-13, Amendment 39-17501 (79 FR 48957, August 19, 2014) (“AD 2013-13-13”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a revision of certain airworthiness limitation items (ALI) documents, which require more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking, damage, or corrosion in principal structural elements, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Revision of Maintenance or Inspection Program

    Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the information specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD. The initial compliance times for doing the tasks is at the time specified in the service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD, or within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (1) Airbus A310 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), Part 2, “Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT—ALI),” Revision 01, dated August 7, 2015.

    (2) Airbus A310 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), Part 2, “Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT—ALI),” Variation 1.1, dated January 25, 2016.

    (3) Airbus A310 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), Part 2, “Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT-ALI),” Variation 1.2, dated July 22, 2016.

    (h) No Alternative Actions, and Intervals

    After the maintenance or inspection program has been revised as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections), or intervals, may be used unless the actions and/or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD.

    (i) Terminating Action for AD 2013-13-13

    Accomplishing the actions required by this AD terminates all requirements of AD 2013-13-13 for that airplane only.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, 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 International Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(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 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.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2016-0217, dated November 2, 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-2017-0628.

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

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. 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 22, 2017. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13755 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0629; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-184-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of fatigue cracking in the frame outboard chord and in the radius of the auxiliary chord at a certain area. This proposed AD would require inspections to detect this cracking, and corrective action if necessary. 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 Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0629.

    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-2017-0629; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-0629; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-184-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We have received reports indicating that fatigue cracking was found in the frame outboard chord at BS 727 and in the radius of the auxiliary chord at BS 727 and S-18A on certain airplanes. Cracks in the outboard chord were found on airplanes having between 20,000 and 85,000 flight cycles, and between 27,000 and 74,000 flight hours. Cracks in the radius of the auxiliary chord were found on airplanes having between 46,000 and 85,000 flight cycles, and between 41,000 and 64,000 flight hours. The cracks were caused by fatigue, and, for certain airplanes, the fretting of adjacent parts contributed to the initiation of the fatigue damage. This condition, if not corrected, could result in reduced structural integrity of the outboard chord and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane.

    Related Rulemaking

    On October 16, 2012, we issued AD 2012-23-04, Amendment 39-17260 (77 FR 69747, November 21, 2012) (“AD 2012-23-04”), applicable to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. That AD requires various inspections for cracks in the outboard chord of the frame at BS 727. That AD also requires inspections for cracks in the BS 727 frame outboard chord and the radius of the auxiliary chord, for certain airplanes. That AD was prompted by several reports of fatigue cracking in the frame outboard chord at BS 727 and in the radius of the auxiliary chord. The actions required by that AD are intended to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the outboard and auxiliary chords, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the outboard chord and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane.

    Since issuance of AD 2012-23-04, the FAA has found discrepancies in the requirements of that AD, as follows:

    • The optional terminating action specified in paragraph (r) of AD 2012-23-04 allows terminating action if the preventive modification is installed. However, Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, allows terminating action only if both the BS 727 outboard chord is replaced and the preventive modification is installed. Consequently, for airplanes having line numbers 1 through 999 inclusive on which the preventive modification may have been installed, the outboard chord may not have been replaced. Additionally, paragraph (r)(2) of AD 2012-23-04 specifies replacing only a cracked outboard chord; however, the intent was to require replacement of the outboard chord whether it was cracked or not. In light of these factors, there could be cracking in the auxiliary chord combined with cracking in the outboard chord. This cracking could progress undetected and result in the identified unsafe condition.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, contains instructions to determine whether the modification should be classified as interim or permanent; a one-time inspection is specified after the interim modification is done. The instructions specified in the previous service information did not contain this stipulation during installation of the preventive modification. Therefore, the modification could have resulted in edge margins in the frame outboard chord that would have been classified as interim had the modification been done in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006. Since neither Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, nor AD 2012-23-04 contained instructions to measure edge margins, it is possible that an edge margin condition exists, so the one-time follow-on inspection must be done.

    • Paragraph (r) of AD 2012-23-04 terminates the one-time inspection specified in Part 8 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, for airplanes that have the interim preventive modification installed. This inspection is referenced in paragraph (o) of AD 2012-23-04, and should not have been terminated. Paragraph (o) of AD 2012-23-04 was incorrectly included in the list of paragraphs with inspections that are terminated after accomplishing paragraph (r) of that AD.

    Therefore, since the discrepancies described previously provide inadvertent relief to operators, we find it necessary to issue additional, new AD rulemaking to provide additional inspection requirements. We have confirmed that the requirements of this AD correct those discrepancies and do not conflict with other requirements of AD 2012-23-04.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006. The service information describes procedures for inspections for cracks of the BS 727 frame outboard chord and in the radius of the auxiliary chord, and repair or replacement if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

    This AD corrects discrepancies in the requirements for certain airplanes identified in AD 2012-23-04. The FAA has considered that fact in determining whether to issue a new AD action or to supersede AD 2012-23-04. We have determined that a less burdensome approach is to issue a separate AD action applicable to the airplanes on which the discrepancies could have occurred. This proposed AD would not supersede AD 2012-23-04, and compliance with the requirements must continue for airplanes listed in the applicability of AD 2012-23-04. This proposed AD is a separate AD action, applicable only to the airplanes identified in paragraph (c) of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Affected
  • airplanes of
  • U.S. registry
  • Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators
    Detailed and High Frequency Eddy Current (HFEC) inspections 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 per inspection cycle 5 $510 $2,550 per inspection cycle. One-time follow-on HFEC inspection 9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765 5 765 $3,825. HFEC inspection 9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765 150 765 $114,750.

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

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Repair of cracking of the outboard chord frame 514 work-hours × $85 per hour = $43,690 $13,586 $57,276 Repair of cracking of the outboard chord 49 work-hours × $85 per hour = $4,165 4,255 8,420
    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): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2017-0629; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-184-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 14, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of fatigue cracking in the frame outboard chord and in the radius of the auxiliary chord at body station (BS) 727 and stringer (S) 18A. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the outboard and auxiliary chords, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the outboard chord and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections and Corrective Action

    For airplanes identified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Within 4,500 flight cycles or 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, do internal detailed and High Frequency Eddy Current (HFEC) inspections to detect cracks in the auxiliary chord radius, in accordance with Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006. If any crack is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD. Repeat the inspections thereafter at intervals not to exceed 15,000 flight cycles. Replacement of the outboard chord of the frame at BS 727 concurrently with the installation of the preventive modification of the outboard chord in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, terminates the repetitive inspections required by this paragraph.

    (h) Airplanes for Actions Specified in Paragraph (g) of This AD

    The actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD are required for airplanes that meet the criteria of paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), (h)(3), and (h)(4) of this AD.

    (1) Model 737-100, -200, and -200C series airplanes, line numbers 1 through 999 inclusive.

    (2) Airplanes identified as Groups 1, 2, and 3 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006.

    (3) Airplanes on which a preventive modification has been installed in accordance with the method specified in paragraph (h)(3)(i), (h)(3)(ii), or (h)(3)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006.

    (ii) Part II of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 1, dated May 25, 1995.

    (iii) Part II of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, dated June 30, 1994.

    (4) Airplanes on which the outboard chord has not been replaced in accordance with the method specified in paragraph (h)(4)(i), (h)(4)(ii), or (h)(4)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006.

    (ii) Part I of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 1, dated May 25, 1995.

    (iii) Part I of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, dated June 30, 1994.

    (i) Edge Margin Measurement, Related Investigative Actions, and Repair

    For Model 737-100, -200, and -200C series airplanes having line numbers 1 through 999 inclusive, identified as Groups 1 through 3 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, on which the preventive modification has been installed in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, dated June 30, 1994; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 1, dated May 25, 1995: Within 60,000 flight cycles after accomplishing the preventive modification, determine if the modification is classified as interim or permanent by using the edge margin measurement and repair classification specified in Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006. In lieu of measuring on the airplane, a review of engineering documentation may be used to classify the modification if the engineering documentation was completed at the time of the modification and has the edge margins recorded.

    (1) If the modification is classified as permanent, no further action is required by paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (2) If the modification is classified as interim: Within 60,000 flight cycles after accomplishment of the interim modification of the outboard chord of the frame at BS 727 at S-18A, but no earlier than 50,000 flight cycles after accomplishment of the modification, do a one-time follow-on open-hole eddy current inspection to detect cracks in the modified chord, in accordance with Part 8 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006. If any crack is found, before further flight, repair in accordance with Part 3 or Part 4, as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006; except, if the repairs cannot be installed using the identified procedures, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

    (j) Follow-On Inspection for Interim Modification and Repair

    For airplanes having line numbers 1 through 3132 inclusive, on which an interim modification of the BS 727 outboard chord as defined in Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, has been accomplished: Within 60,000 flight cycles after accomplishment of the interim modification of the outboard chord of the frame at BS 727 at S-18A, but no earlier than 50,000 flight cycles after accomplishment of the modification, do a one-time follow-on open-hole eddy current inspection to detect cracks in the modified chord, in accordance with Part 8 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006. If any crack is found during the inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, repair in accordance with Part 3 or Part 4, as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006; except, where the repairs cannot be installed using the procedures identified in this service bulletin, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

    (k) Exception to the Service Information

    Access and restoration procedures specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, are not required by this AD. Operators may do those actions following their approved maintenance procedures.

    (l) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (m) Related Information

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

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 22, 2017. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13773 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0627; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-037-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 A330-200 Freighter, -200, and -300 series airplanes; and Airbus Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA) might not function as intended after failure of the primary load path. This proposed AD would require repetitive detailed visual inspections for discrepancies of the THSA upper attachments and no-back housing. 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 SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; 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-2017-0627; 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:

    Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; 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-2017-0627; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-037-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 2017-0044, dated March 9, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter, -200 and -300 series airplanes; and Airbus Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer Actuator (THSA), as installed on A330 and A340 aeroplanes, was initially designed to stall when engaging on the upper secondary load path (SLP) after primary load path (PLP) failure. Such stall triggers system monitoring detection. New mission profile analysis revealed that in some cases, the THSA could be operated while engaged on the upper SLP without stalling [i.e., the THSA might not function as intended after failure of the primary load path]. The partial engagement of the SLP at upper attachment level does not trigger any indication to the flight crew.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to THSA upper attachment failure and consequent disconnection of the THSA from the aeroplane structure, possibly resulting in loss of control of the aeroplane.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive detailed [visual] inspections (DET) of the upper THSA attachments parts and the PLP and SLP fuselage attachment points, and, depending on findings (which include, but are not limited to, failure of the primary load path), accomplishment of applicable [additional inspections for discrepancies and] corrective action(s).

    The additional inspections include a detailed visual inspection for discrepancies of the upper attachment fitting of the airplane and a detailed visual inspection for discrepancies of the removed THSA. Corrective actions include repair and replacement of the THSA. 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-2017-0627.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following Airbus service information:

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 01, dated December 5, 2016.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A340-27-4203, Revision 01 dated December 5, 2016.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A340-27-5067, Revision 01 dated December 5, 2016.

    The service information describes procedures for detailed visual inspections for discrepancies of the THSA upper attachments and no-back housing, additional inspections for discrepancies, and corrective actions. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models. 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.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 102 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 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 per inspection cycle $0 $255 per inspection cycle $26,010

    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 this replacement.

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 $734,661 $736,361

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

    We 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-2017-0627; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-037-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 14, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342 and -343 airplanes; and Airbus Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 airplanes; certificated in any category, all manufacturer's serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA) might not function as intended after failure of the primary load path. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct discrepancies of the THSA upper attachments and no-back housing, which could lead to THSA upper attachment failure and consequent disconnection of the THSA from the airplane structure, possibly resulting in loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Detailed Visual Inspections

    Before exceeding the Threshold in Table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, as applicable, or within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later; and thereafter at intervals not to exceed the inspection interval values defined in Table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD; accomplish a detailed visual inspection for discrepancies of the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA) upper attachments and no-back housing, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 01, A340-27-4203, Revision 01, or A340-27-5067, Revision 01, all dated December 5, 2016, as applicable. Where the “Threshold” column of table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD specifies compliance times in “FH” (flight hours) or “FC” (flight cycles), those compliance times are flight hours or flight cycles since the first flight of the airplane, or since the last accomplishment of Airbus Model A330 or A340 Maintenance Review Board Report task 27.40.00/07, or since the last detailed visual inspection of the THSA done in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, A340-27-4203, or A340-27-5067, all dated July 1, 2016, as applicable.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (g) of This AD—THSA Upper Attachments/No-Back Housing Inspections Affected airplanes Compliance times
  • (whichever occurs first, flight hours (FH) or
  • flight cycles (FC))
  • Threshold Inspection interval
  • (not to exceed)
  • A330, A340-200 and A340-300 Before 4,000 FH or 1,000 FC 4,000 FH or 1,000 FC. A340-500 and A340-600 Before 4,000 FH or 800 FC 4,000 FH or 800 FC.
    (h) Additional Inspections and Corrective Actions

    (1) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any discrepancy identified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 01, A340-27-4203, Revision 01, or A340-27-5067, Revision 01, all dated December 5, 2016, as applicable, is detected, before further flight, remove the THSA, and accomplish a detailed visual inspection for discrepancies of the upper attachment fitting of the airplane and a detailed visual inspection for discrepancies of the removed THSA, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 01, A340-27-4203, Revision 01, or A340-27-5067, Revision 01, all dated December 5, 2016, as applicable. As an alternative to the removed THSA inspections required by this paragraph, before further flight, replace the THSA with a serviceable part (as defined in paragraph (i) of this AD).

    (2) If, during any inspection of the upper attachment fitting of the airplane required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, any discrepancy identified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 01, A340-27-4203, Revision 01, or A340-27-5067, Revision 01, all dated December 5, 2016, as applicable, is detected, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this AD.

    (3) If, during any inspection of the removed THSA required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, no discrepancy specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 01, A340-27-4203, Revision 01, or A340-27-5067, Revision 01, all dated December 5, 2016, as applicable, is detected, before further flight, reinstall the THSA, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 01, A340-27-4203, Revision 01, or A340-27-5067, Revision 01, all dated December 5, 2016, as applicable.

    (4) If, during any inspection of the removed THSA required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, any discrepancy specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 01, A340-27-4203, Revision 01, or A340-27-5067, Revision 01, all dated December 5, 2016, as applicable, is detected, before further flight, replace the THSA with a serviceable part (as defined in paragraph (i) of this AD), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 01, A340-27-4203, Revision 01, or A340-27-5067, Revision 01, all dated December 5, 2016, as applicable.

    (i) Definition of Serviceable THSA

    For the purpose of this AD, a serviceable THSA is a part that has accumulated less than 4,000 FH or 1,000 FC (for Airbus Model A330, A340-200, or A340-300 airplanes) or 4,000 FH or 800 FC (for Airbus Model A340-500 or A340-600 airplanes), whichever occurs first since the first flight of the airplane, or since the last overhaul of the THSA, or since the last detailed visual inspection of the THSA in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 01, A340-27-4203, Revision 01, or A340-27-5067, Revision 01, all dated December 5, 2016, as applicable.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g), (h)(1), (h)(3), and (h)(4) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information specified in paragraph (j)(1), (j)(2), or (j)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-27-3218, Revision 00, dated July 1, 2016.

    (2) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-27-4203, Revision 00, dated July 1, 2016.

    (3) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-27-5067, Revision 00, dated July, 1 2016.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2017-044, dated March 9, 2017, 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-2017-0627.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; fax 425-227-1149.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office-EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; 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 22, 2017. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13780 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 417 Waiver of Flight Termination Receiver Qualification by Similarity Deficiencies AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of waiver.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice concerns three petitions for waiver submitted to the FAA by Rocket Lab USA Inc. (RL) for the Flight Termination Receiver (FTR) Qualification by Similarity (QBS): A petition to waive the requirement that a component may be qualified based on similarity to a component that has already been qualified for use only if the environments encountered by the previously qualified component during its qualification or flight history were equal or more severe than the Rocket Lab qualification environments; a petition to waive the Electromagnetic Interference and Compatibility (EMI/EMC) on the same units; and a petition to waive the requirement that the same manufacturer must produce the qualified and the unqualified component in the same location using identical tools and manufacturing processes. The FAA grants these three petitions.

    DATES:

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 15, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this waiver, contact Michael Wiktowy, Licensing Program Lead, Commercial Space Transportation—Licensing and Evaluation Division, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-7287; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    RL submitted a petition to the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) requesting relief from regulatory requirements for a launch license for flight of Electron test flight missions from Mahia, New Zealand. Specifically, RL requested relief from 14 CFR E417.7(f)(2) and (5), Qualification Testing and Analysis by Similarity for the Flight Termination Receiver. For Qualification, the Flight Termination Receiver is required to meet Table E417.19-2, which states with note (5): “The same three sample components must undergo each test designated with an X. For a test designated with a quantity of less than three, each sample component tested must be one of the original three sample components.” For Qualification Testing and Analysis by Similarity, Part 417 Appendix E section 417.7(f) provides the requirements a launch operator must satisfy in order to qualify or re-qualify a flight termination system component's design through qualification by similarity to tests performed on identical or similar hardware. Section E417.7(f)(2) states that to qualify component “A” based on similarity to component “B”, that has already been qualified for use, a launch operator must demonstrate that the environment encountered by “B” must have been equal to or more severe than the qualification environments required for “A”. Specifically, RL used different components for the random vibration qualification test and the EMI/EMC qualification test instead of the original three qualification sample components used for the other tests under E417.7(f)(2). Section E417.7(f)(5) requires that the same manufacturer produce “A” and “B” in the same location using identical tools and manufacturing processes. Specifically, RL's sample “A” and “B” were manufactured at different locations with different manufacturing processes.

    The FAA licenses the launch of a launch vehicle and reentry of a reentry vehicle under authority granted to the Secretary of Transportation in the Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984, as amended and re-codified by 51 U.S.C. Subtitle V, chapter 509 (Chapter 509), and delegated to the FAA Administrator and the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, who exercises licensing authority under Chapter 509.

    RL is a private commercial space flight company. RL seeks to lower the cost and increase the frequency of access to space for small payloads, potentially expanding the opportunity for space services and research. RL's petition for waiver addresses all upcoming Electron test flights that RL plans to launch from the Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand. The Electron launch is the first planned test flight from the privately-owned Rocket Lab Launch Complex at Mahia Peninsula in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. The launch location is capable of hosting launches to the northeast, east, and south. The area within 20 NM surrounding the launch site is extremely remote, and has a low population density. The launch flight corridor will have minimal impact on air and marine traffic.

    Waiver Criteria

    Chapter 509 allows the FAA to waive a license requirement if the waiver (1) will not jeopardize public health and safety, safety of property; (2) will not jeopardize national security and foreign policy interests of the United States; and (3) will be in the public interest. See 51 U.S.C. 50905(b)(3) (2011); 14 CFR 404.5(b) (2011).

    Section E417.7(f)(2) and (5) Waiver Petition

    Section E417.7(f)(2) requires a launch operator wishing to qualify a component's design through qualification by similarity to tests performed on identical or similar hardware to demonstrate that the environments encountered by the component during its qualification or flight history were equal to or more severe than the qualification environments required for a component that has already been qualified for use. Section E417.7(f)(5) requires a launch operator qualifying a component's design as discussed above to demonstrate that the same manufacturer produced both the qualified component and the component the launch operator wishes to qualify in the same location using identical tools and manufacturing processes. For reasons described below, the FAA waives the requirements in section E417.7(f)(2) and (5) to allow RL to use components in its flight termination system that were qualified by similarity to more than one qualified component.

    In deciding whether or not to issue a waiver, the FAA had to analyze whether the waiver: (1) Would jeopardize public health and safety or safety of property; (2) would jeopardize national security and foreign policy interests of the United States; and (3) was in the public interest. See 51 U.S.C. 50905(b)(3); 14 CFR 404.5(b).

    i. Public Health and Safety and Safety of Property

    Part 417 contains requirements for qualification and acceptance testing of flight termination system components based on the approach used at the federal launch ranges. At federal launch ranges, flight termination system components are tested according to federal range-approved test procedures and requirements. Verification methods include test, analysis, and inspection. As an alternative to testing, components of an FTS are sometimes qualified by similarity. A component that has been qualified through testing for one launch vehicle may be approved for use on a different launch vehicle if it can be shown that the environments in which it must operate on the second vehicle are no harsher than those of the first. Also, with limited additional testing, the component may be qualified for a more severe environment. Although RL did not complete each of the qualification by similarity requirements for its flight termination receiver as required by the regulations, the failsafe design of the Electron's flight termination system combined with the remoteness of the operating area allow the FAA to find that RL's activities will not jeopardize public health and safety and safety of property.

    RL procured the Electron launch vehicle's flight termination receiver from Vendor A, who performed several qualification and delta qualification tests. A delta qualification test extends the tested environments to cover specific tests or levels that were not previously covered. RL submitted a Qualification by Similarity Analysis Report to the FAA, referencing three previous groups of similar flight termination receiver qualification and delta qualification tests performed by Vendor A. Group 1 was subjected to most of the qualification testing required by 14 CFR Table E417.19-2, with three exceptions: (a) Group 1 did not satisfy 14 CFR E417.7(f)(2) because the random vibration qualification environment encountered by Group 1 was not equal to or more severe than the random vibration qualification environment required for the Electron flight termination receivers, falling below for approximately 3.5% over the required 20 Hz to 2000 Hz test band; (b) Group 1 was not subjected to EMI/EMC testing; and (c) Group 1 did not meet the requirements of 14 CFR E417.7(f)(5) because it was not produced in the same manufacturing location using identical tools and manufacturing processes as the Rocket Lab Electron flight termination receivers. Group 1's deficiencies were mitigated by two subsequent delta qualification tests on 2 groups (referred to herein as Group 2 and Group 3) of similar receivers. Group 2 satisfied Electron's required random vibration qualification test levels for the entire required test band, and Group 2 was manufactured in the same location using identical tools and manufacturing processes as Electron flight termination receivers. Group 3 successfully passed EMI/EMC qualification testing.

    Group 1 also did not meet the requirements of 14 CFR E417.7(f)(5) because Group 1 was not produced in the same manufacturing location using identical tools and manufacturing processes as Group 2 and Electron flight termination receivers. Vendor A originally outsourced one of the flight termination receiver's printed circuit boards to another supplier. In late 2013, Vendor A upgraded its internal equipment and process, and assembled the printed circuit boards in-house. Group 1 and Group 3 were manufactured and qualification tested before this change in equipment and process, whereas Group 2 and Electron's flight termination receivers were assembled after the change. To verify that the equipment and process change did not invalidate previous qualification and delta qualification testing, Vendor A applied the same heritage process profile to the new equipment, retained heritage printed circuit board samples for periodic process control comparisons, and implemented periodic visual/x-ray inspections for consistency validation. Heritage and new equipment specifications were also assessed to compare their performance characteristics. White Sand Missile Range has reviewed and accepted this process change, for U.S. Government launch vehicle programs conducting launches from its launch range, based on improved reliability and quality of the process.

    The FAA waives the requirements of E417.7(f)(2) and (5) because the Electron has implemented a failsafe flight safety system design that would terminate thrust to the vehicle should both flight termination receivers fail or communication was lost with the ground station, and RL's operating area is remote enough that were it to experience a catastrophic failure, it would not jeopardize public health and safety and safety of property. The Electron test flight missions would occur from the isolated Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The area within 20 NM of Mahia Peninsula has a very low population density. The Electron flight corridor is over the broad ocean area with minimal impact on air and marine traffic. Consequence analysis showed that less than 1 in 100,000 casualties would be expected if the worst foreseeable vehicle response mode (i.e., where the vehicle guidance is assumed to fail in a manner that leads to an attempt to guide to erroneous, randomly located points) occurred at the worst flight time (relatively early in flight before the vehicle proceeds downrange) and the flight termination receiver failed to activate. Thus, the casualty expectation given the assumption of the worst possible failure would on average still produce significantly less casualties than the FAA's limit of 1 in 10,000, which does not assume failure but rather assigns realistic failure probabilities. Also, the flight termination receiver's failsafe feature will terminate thrust if there is a loss of power or Radio Frequency carrier or pilot tone signal, providing an additional safety margin. For these reasons, the FAA has determined that waiving sections E417.7(f)(2) and (5) for the Electron test flight missions from Mahia, New Zealand will not jeopardize public health and safety or safety of property.

    ii. National Security and Foreign Policy Implications

    The FAA has identified no national security or foreign policy implications associated with granting this waiver.

    iii. Public Interest

    The waiver is consistent with the public interest goals of Chapter 509 and the National Space Transportation Policy. Three of the public policy goals of Chapter 509 are: (1) To promote economic growth and entrepreneurial activity through use of the space environment; (2) to encourage the United States private sector to provide launch and reentry vehicles and associated services; and (3) to facilitate the strengthening and expansion of the United States space transportation infrastructure to support the full range of United States space-related activities. See 51 U.S.C. 50901(b)(1), (2), (4).

    RL seeks to lower the cost and increase the frequency of access to space for small payloads, potentially expanding the opportunity for space services and research. These activities will help to make the U.S. launch industry more competitive internationally. The National Space Transportation Policy states that strengthening U.S. competitiveness in the international launch market and improving the cost effectiveness of U.S. space transportation services are in the public interest:

    Maintaining an assured capability to meet United States Government needs, while also taking the necessary steps to strengthen U.S. competitiveness in the international commercial launch market, is important to ensuring that U.S. space transportation capabilities will be reliable, robust, safe, and affordable in the future. Among other steps, improving the cost effectiveness of U.S. space transportation services could help achieve this goal by allowing the United States Government to invest a greater share of its resources in other needs such as facilities modernization, technology advancement, scientific discovery, and national security. Further, a healthier, more competitive U.S. space transportation industry would facilitate new markets, encourage new industries, create high technology jobs, lead to greater economic growth and security, and would further the Nation's leadership role in space.

    More specifically, Rocket Lab will be carrying onboard the Electron launch vehicle on its inaugural launch a flight test experiment for NASA Kennedy Space Center which will improve public risk mitigation capabilities from an errant launch vehicle. This component is designed and manufactured by NASA KSC and is part of the independent safety system which will be installed on the launch vehicles. This safety system will be capable of determining if the flight of the launch vehicle will pose an unacceptable increased risk to the public based on mission rules designed for its unique vehicle and flight characteristics and programmed into the safety system and terminate the flight of such launch vehicle. This type of capability is in public interest because this safety system will allow for improved protection of the public from mishaps resulting from flight of errant launch vehicles.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 15, 2017. Kenneth Wong, Commercial Space Transportation, Licensing and Evaluation Division Manager.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13567 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0257] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to modify the operating regulation that governs the DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge across the Delaware River, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ. This proposed regulation will allow the bridge to be remotely operated from the Conrail South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ, instead of being operated by an on-site bridge tender. This regulation will not change the operating schedule of the bridge.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0257 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Fifth Coast Guard District (dpb); telephone (757) 398-6222, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge across the Delaware River, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ, owned and operated by Conrail Shared Assets, has a vertical clearance of 49 feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position. There is a daily average of 28 New Jersey Transit trains and eight Conrail freight trains that cross the bridge and a daily average of three bridge openings that allow one or more vessels to transit through the bridge during each opening. The bridge is normally maintained in the closed position due to the average daily number of trains crossing the bridge. The operating schedule is published in 33 CFR 117.716. This current operating schedule has been in effect since 1984 and will not change with the implementation of remote operation of the bridge. However, within this proposed operating schedule, § 117.716 will be restructured from its current configuration to clearly distinguish the remote operation of the DELAIR Memorial Railroad Bridge. This proposed operating regulation allows the bridge to be operated remotely from the bridge owner's South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ.

    The Delaware River is used by a variety of vessels, including deep draft commercial vessels, tug and barge traffic, recreational vessels, and public vessels, including military vessels of various sizes. The three-year average number of bridge openings and maximum number of bridge openings by month and overall for 2013 through 2015, as drawn from the data contained in the bridge tender logs, is presented below.

    Month Average
  • openings
  • Maximum
  • openings
  • January 73 88 February 54 56 March 80 94 April 55 68 May 60 67 June 60 71 July 122 162 August 112 138 September 143 201 October 109 117 November 100 116 December 100 122 Monthly 89 201 Daily 3 7

    The bridge owner and the maritime community have been working together since 2013 in an effort to incorporate sensors and other technologies into the bridge and the Conrail South Jersey dispatch center to allow for the safe and effective remote operation of the bridge.

    On April 12, 2017, the Coast Guard published a temporary deviation entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Pennsauken Township, NJ” in the Federal Register (82 FR 17561). This test deviation allows the bridge to be operated remotely from the bridge owner's South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ. This test deviation is effective from 8 a.m. on April 24, 2017, to 7:59 a.m. on October 21, 2017.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    This proposed operating regulation will allow the bridge to be operated remotely from the bridge owner's South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ. The remote operation system will include eight camera views (four marine and four rail), two forward-looking infrared equipped camera views (marine), marine radar, a dedicated telephone line for bridge operations, radio telephone on VHF-FM channels 13 and 16, and an automated identification system (AIS) transmitter to provide bridge status. The AIS transmitter has been installed on the New Jersey side of the bridge at the bridge and land intersection in approximate position 39°58′50.52″ N. (39.9807), 75°03′58.75″ W. (−75.06632). The AIS transmitter is assigned maritime mobile service identity (MMSI) number 993663001 and will provide the status of the bridge (open/closed/inoperative) via the name transmitted by the private aids to navigation as DELAIR BRG-OPEN (fully open and locked position, channel light green), DELAIR BRG-CLOSED (other than fully open, not inoperative), or DELAIR BRG-INOP (other than fully open, inoperative). The AIS transmitter will transmit the bridge status every two minutes and upon a change in the bridge status.

    The remote operation system is designed to provide equal or greater capabilities compared to the on-site bridge tender in visibility of the waterway and bridge and in signals (communications) via sound and visual signals and radio telephone (voice) via VHF-FM channels 13 and 16. The remote operation system also incorporates real-time bridge status via AIS signal to aid mariners in voyage planning and navigational decision-making, a dedicated telephone line (856) 231-2301 for bridge operations, and push-to-talk (PTT) capability on VHF-FM channel 13.

    The signals for the remote operation center or on-site bridge tender to respond to a sound signal for a bridge opening will include: (1) When the draw can be opened immediately—a sound signal of one prolonged blast followed by one short blast and illumination of a fixed white light not more than 30 seconds after the requesting signal, and (2) when the draw cannot be opened immediately—five short blasts sounded in rapid succession and illumination of a fixed red light not more 30 seconds after the vessel's opening signal. The signals for the remote operation center or on-site bridge tender to respond to a visual signal for a bridge opening will include: (1) When the draw can be opened immediately—illumination of a fixed white light not more than 30 seconds after the requesting signal, and (2) when the draw cannot be opened immediately—illumination of a fixed red light not more than 30 seconds after the vessel's opening signal. The fixed white light will remain illuminated until the bridge reaches the fully open position. The fixed white and red lights will be positioned on the east (New Jersey) bridge abutment adjacent to the navigation span.

    Vessels that require an opening shall continue to request an opening via the methods defined in 33 CFR 117.15(b) through (d) (sound or visual signals or radio telephone (VHF-FM) voice communications), via telephone at (856) 231-2301, or via push-to-talk (PTT) on VHF-FM channel 13. Vessels may push the PTT button five times while on VHF-FM channel 13 to request an opening.

    The remote operation system will be considered in a failed condition and qualified personnel will return and operate the bridge within 60 minutes if any of the following conditions are found: (1) The remote operation system becomes incapable of safely and effectively operating the bridge from the remote operation center, (2) visibility of the waterway or bridge is degraded to less than equal that of an on-site bridge tender (all eight camera views are required), (3) signals (communications) via sound or visual signals or radio telephone (voice) via VHF-FM channels 13 or 16 become inoperative, or (4) AIS becomes inoperative.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive Orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes and Executive Orders, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    The determination that this NPRM is not a significant regulatory action is based on the findings that: (1) Vessels will continue to transit the bridge in accordance with 33 CFR 117.716, (2) the remote operation system is designed to provide equal or greater capabilities compared to the on-site bridge tender, and (3) the bridge owner will be capable of restoring on-site operation of the bridge within 60 minutes if the remote operation system fails.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. There are no known adverse impacts to any entities related to this proposed rule, given no aspects of the remote operating system for the bridge will create any burdens on any entity as described in section IV.A above. The incorporation of the automated identification system (AIS) capability into the remote operation system is expected to aid mariners who have AIS capability or access to computer-based AIS data in safely navigating through the bridge by providing real-time bridge status.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies, and how, and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

    Also, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the federal government and Indian tribes. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally, such actions are categorically excluded from further review under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

    A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this rule. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this notice of proposed rulemaking and all public comments are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise § 117.716 to read as follows:
    §117.716 Delaware River.

    (a) The following apply to all drawbridges across the Delaware River:

    (1) The draws of railroad bridges need not be opened when there is a train in the bridge block approaching the bridge with the intention of crossing or within five minutes of the known time of the passage of a scheduled passenger train.

    (2) The opening of a bridge may not be delayed more than five minutes for a highway bridge or 10 minutes for a railroad bridge after the signal to open is given.

    (3) The owners of drawbridges shall provide and keep in good legible condition two board gages painted white with black figures not less than six inches high to indicate the vertical clearance under the closed draw at all stages of the tide. The gages shall be so placed on the bridge that they are plainly visible to operators of vessels approaching the bridge either up or downstream.

    (b) The draw of the Conrail Memorial Railroad Bridge, mile 104.6, at Pennsauken Township, NJ shall be operated as follows:

    (1) The bridge will be remotely operated from the Conrail South Jersey dispatch center in Mount Laurel, NJ unless the remote operation system is in a failed condition.

    (2) An AIS transmitter has been installed on the New Jersey side of the bridge at the bridge and land intersection in approximate position 39°58′50.52″ N. (39.9807), 75°03′58.75″ (-75.06632). The AIS transmitter is assigned maritime mobile service identity (MMSI) number 993663001. The status of the bridge (open/closed/inoperative) will be provided via the name transmitted by the AIS private aids to navigation as DELAIR BRG-OPEN (fully open and locked position, channel light green), DELAIR BRG-CLOSED (other than fully open, not inoperative), or DELAIR BRG-INOP (other than fully open, inoperative). The AIS transmitter will transmit the bridge status every two minutes and upon a change in the bridge status.

    (3) The remote operation system will be considered in a failed condition and qualified personnel will return and operate the bridge within 60 minutes if any of the following conditions are found:

    (i) The remote operation system becomes incapable of safely and effectively operating the bridge from the remote operation center; or

    (ii) Visibility of the waterway or bridge is degraded to less than equal that of an on-site bridge tender; or

    (iii) Signals (communications) via sound or visual signals or radio telephone (voice) via VHF-FM channels 13 or 16 become inoperative; or

    (iv) AIS becomes inoperative.

    (4) Vessels that require an opening shall continue to request an opening via the methods defined in § 117.15(b) through (d) (sound or visual signals or radio telephone (VHF-FM) voice communications), via telephone at (856) 231-2301, or via push-to-talk (PTT) on VHF-FM channel 13. Vessels may push the PTT button five times while on VHF-FM channel 13 to request an opening.

    (5) The signals for the remote operation center or on-site bridge tender to respond to a sound signal for a bridge opening include:

    (i) When the draw can be opened immediately—a sound signal of one prolonged blast followed by one short blast and illumination of a fixed white light not more than 30 seconds after the requesting signal; or

    (ii) When the draw cannot be opened immediately—five short blasts sounded in rapid succession and illumination of a fixed red light not more 30 seconds after the vessel's opening signal.

    (6) The signals for the remote operation center or on-site bridge tender to respond to a visual signal for a bridge opening include:

    (i) When the draw can be opened immediately—illumination of a fixed white light not more than 30 seconds after the requesting signal; or

    (ii) When the draw cannot be opened immediately—illumination of a fixed red light not more 30 seconds after the vessel's opening signal.

    (7) The fixed white light will remain illuminated until the bridge reaches the fully open position. The fixed white and red lights will be positioned on the east (New Jersey) bridge abutment adjacent to the navigation span.

    Dated: June 19, 2017. M.L. Austin, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13857 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Copyright Office 37 CFR Part 201 [Docket No. 2017-10] Exemptions To Permit Circumvention of Access Controls on Copyrighted Works AGENCY:

    U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

    ACTION:

    Notice of inquiry and request for petitions.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Copyright Office is initiating the seventh triennial rulemaking proceeding under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), concerning possible temporary exemptions to the DMCA's prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. In this proceeding, the Copyright Office is establishing a new, streamlined procedure for the renewal of exemptions that were granted during the sixth triennial rulemaking. If renewed, those current exemptions would remain in force for an additional three-year period (October 2018—October 2021). Members of the public seeking the renewal of current exemptions should submit petitions as described below; parties opposing such renewal will then have the opportunity to file comments in response. The Office is also accepting petitions for new exemptions to engage in activities not currently permitted by existing exemptions, which may include proposals that expand upon a current exemption. Those petitions, and any renewal petitions that are meaningfully opposed, will be considered pursuant to a more comprehensive rulemaking process similar to that used for the sixth rulemaking (i.e., three rounds of written comment, followed by public hearings).

    DATES:

    Written petitions for renewal of current exemptions must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 31, 2017. Written comments in response to any petitions for renewal must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 13, 2017. Written petitions for new exemptions must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 13, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written petitions for renewal of current exemptions must be completed using the form provided on the Office's Web site at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/renewal-petition.pdf. Written petitions proposing new exemptions must be completed using the form provided on the Office's Web site at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/new-petition.pdf. The Copyright Office is using the regulations.gov system for the submission and posting of public petitions and comments in this proceeding. All petitions and comments are therefore to be submitted electronically through regulations.gov. Specific instructions for submitting petitions and comments are available on the Copyright Office Web site at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018. If electronic submission is not feasible, please contact the Office using the contact information below for special instructions.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Regan A. Smith, Deputy General Counsel, by email at [email protected], Anna Chauvet, Assistant General Counsel, by email at [email protected], or Jason E. Sloan, Attorney-Advisor, by email at [email protected] Each can be contacted by telephone by calling (202) 707-8350.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Section 1201

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) 1 has played a pivotal role in the development of the modern digital economy. Enacted by Congress in 1998 to implement the United States' obligations under two international treaties,2 the DMCA was intended to foster the growth and development of a thriving, innovative, and flexible digital marketplace by making digital networks safe places to disseminate and use copyrighted materials.3 It did this by, among other things, ensuring adequate legal protections for copyrighted content to “support new ways of disseminating copyrighted materials to users, and to safeguard the availability of legitimate uses of those materials by individuals.” 4

    1 Public Law 105-304, 112 Stat. 2860 (1998).

    2 WIPO Copyright Treaty, Dec. 20, 1996, 36 I.L.M. 65 (1997); WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, Dec. 20, 1996, 36 I.L.M. 76 (1997).

    3See Staff of H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong., Section-by-Section Analysis of H.R. 2281 as Passed by the United States House of Representatives on August 4th, 1998, at 2, 6 (Comm. Print 1998) (“House Manager's Report”); H.R. Rep. No. 105-551, pt. 2, at 21, 23 (1998); H.R. Rep. No. 105-551, pt. 1, at 10 (1998); S. Rep. No. 105-190, at 1-2, 8-9 (1998).

    4 House Manager's Report at 6.

    These protections, codified in section 1201 of title 17, United States Code, as envisioned by Congress, seek to balance the interests of copyright owners and users, including the personal interests of consumers, in the digital environment.5 Section 1201 does this by protecting the use of technological measures (also called technological protection measures or TPMs) used by copyright owners to prevent unauthorized access to or use of their works.6 Section 1201 contains three separate protections for TPMs. First, it prohibits circumvention of technological measures employed by or on behalf of copyright owners to protect access to their works (also known as access controls). Access controls include, for example, a password requirement limiting access to a Web site to paying customers, or authentication codes in video game consoles to prevent the playing of pirated copies. Second, the statute prohibits trafficking in devices or services primarily designed to circumvent access controls. Finally, it prohibits trafficking in devices or services primarily designed to circumvent TPMs used to protect the copyright rights of the owner of a work (also known as copy controls). Copy controls protect against unauthorized uses of a copyrighted work once access has been lawfully obtained. They include, for example, technology preventing the copying of an e-book after it has been downloaded to a user's device. Because title 17 already forbids copyright infringement, there is no corresponding ban on the act of circumventing a copy control.7 These prohibitions supplement the preexisting rights of copyright owners under the Copyright Act of 1976 by establishing separate and distinct causes of action independent of any infringement of copyright.8

    5See H.R. Rep. No. 105-551, pt. 2, at 26.

    6 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)-(b).

    7 S. Rep. No. 105-190, at 12.

    8 U.S. Copyright Office, Section 1201 of Title 17, at i, iii, 43-45 (June 2017), https://www.copyright.gov/policy/1201/section-1201-full-report.pdf (“Section 1201 Study”).

    At the same time, section 1201 contains a number of discrete, statutory exemptions to these prohibitions, to avoid curtailing legitimate activities such as security testing, law enforcement activities, or the protection of personally identifying information.9 In addition, to accommodate changing marketplace realities and ensure that access to copyrighted works for lawful purposes is not unjustifiably diminished,10 the statute provides for a rulemaking proceeding whereby additional, temporary exemptions to the prohibition on circumventing access controls may be adopted by the Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights in consultation with the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information of the Department of Commerce.11 In contrast to the permanent exemptions set out by statute, exemptions adopted pursuant to the rulemaking must be reconsidered every three years.12 By statute, the triennial rulemaking process only addresses section 1201(a)(1)(A)'s prohibition on circumvention; the statute does not grant the authority to adopt exemptions to the anti-trafficking provisions of sections 1201(a)(2) or 1201(b).13

    9 17 U.S.C. 1201(d)-(j).

    10 H.R. Rep. No. 105-551, pt. 2, at 35-36.

    11 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(C); see also id. 1201(a)(1)(B)-(D).

    12Id. 1201(a)(1)(C).

    13Id. 1201(a)(1)(C), (a)(1)(E).

    In order for a temporary exemption from the prohibition on circumvention to be granted through the triennial rulemaking, it must be established that “persons who are users of a copyrighted work are, or are likely to be in the succeeding 3-year period, adversely affected by the prohibition . . . in their ability to make noninfringing uses under [title 17] of a particular class of copyrighted works.” 14 In evaluating the evidence, the statutory factors listed in section 1201(a)(1)(C) are weighed: “(i) the availability for use of copyrighted works; (ii) the availability for use of works for nonprofit archival, preservation, and educational purposes; (iii) the impact that the prohibition on the circumvention of technological measures applied to copyrighted works has on criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research; (iv) the effect of circumvention of technological measures on the market for or value of copyrighted works; and (v) such other factors as the Librarian considers appropriate.” 15 To assess whether the implementation of access controls impairs the ability of individuals to make noninfringing uses of copyrighted works, the Office solicits proposals from the public and develops a comprehensive administrative record using information submitted by interested parties, and the Register makes a recommendation to the Librarian concerning whether exemptions are warranted based on that record.

    14Id. 1201(a)(1)(C).

    15Id.

    II. Overview of the Rulemaking Process

    The rulemaking process for the seventh triennial proceeding will be generally similar to the process introduced in the sixth proceeding. The primary change from the last rulemaking is the addition of a new streamlined procedure through which members of the public may petition for current temporary exemptions that were granted during the sixth triennial rulemaking to remain in force for an additional three-year period (October 2018-October 2021).

    With this notice of inquiry, the Copyright Office is initiating the petition phase of the rulemaking, calling for the public to submit petitions both to renew current exemptions, as well as any comments in support of or opposition to such petitions, and to propose new exemptions. This two-track petition process is described below. After the close of the petition phase, the Office will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) to initiate the next phase of the rulemaking process, as described below.

    Video tutorials explaining section 1201 in general and the rulemaking process can be found on the Office's 1201 rulemaking Web page at https://www.copyright.gov/1201.

    III. Process for Seeking Renewal of Current Exemptions A. Background

    The Copyright Office recently published a comprehensive study of section 1201, including the process for adopting temporary exemptions. As part of the study, the Office solicited comments from the public and held roundtable discussions on whether the Office should adjust the rulemaking procedure to streamline the process for recommending readoption of previously adopted exemptions to the Librarian.16 Previously, the Office had “require[d] that a factual record to support an exemption be developed de novo each rulemaking,” meaning rulemaking participants could not merely rely on previously submitted evidence from prior proceedings, but had to provide new evidence every three years.17

    16 80 FR 81369, 81373 (Dec. 29, 2015); 81 FR 17206, 17206 (Mar. 28, 2016).

    17 Section 1201 Study at 130; see id. at 26-27.

    During the course of the study, a broad consensus of stakeholders requested that the Copyright Office change this approach and take steps within its regulatory authority to streamline the process for recommending the renewal of previously adopted exemptions to the Librarian.18 In the study, the Office concluded as a threshold matter that “the statute itself requires that exemptions cannot be renewed automatically, presumptively, or otherwise, without a fresh determination concerning the next three-year period. . . . [A] determination must be made specifically for each triennial period.” 19 The Office further determined, however, that “the statutory language appears to be broad enough to permit determinations to be based upon evidence drawn from prior proceedings, but only upon a conclusion that this evidence remains reliable to support granting an exemption in the current proceeding.” 20 The Office elaborated:

    18Id. at 127-28.

    19Id. at 142.

    20Id. at 143.

    Adopting an approach of de novo assessment of evidence—compared to de novo submission—would allow future rulemakings to consider the appropriate weight to afford to previously submitted evidence when evaluating renewal requests. The relatively quick three-year turnover of the exemptions was put in place by Congress to allow the rulemaking to be fully considered and fairly decided on the basis of real marketplace developments, and any streamlined process for recommending renewed exemptions must retain flexibility to accommodate changes in the marketplace that affect the required rulemaking analysis. But at the same time, where there is little evidence of marketplace or technological changes, the Office believes it is statutorily permissible to establish a framework that expedites the recommendation to renew perennially sought exemptions.21

    21Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

    While the study concluded that the Office has some regulatory flexibility as to how it could implement a streamlined process for evaluating exemption renewals, it announced that the Office intended to implement such a process for this seventh triennial rulemaking proceeding. As promised in the study, below the Office provides further details regarding the streamlined process.22

    22Id.

    B. Petitioning To Renew a Current Exemption

    Those seeking readoption of a current exemption, granted during the sixth rulemaking, may petition for renewal by submitting the Copyright Office's required fillable form, available on the Office's Web site at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/renewal-petition.pdf. This form is for renewal petitions only. The Office has a separate form, discussed below, for petitions for new exemptions.

    Scope of Renewal. Renewal may only be sought for current exemptions as they are currently formulated, without modification. This means that if a proponent seeks to engage in any activities not currently permitted by an existing exemption, a petition for a new exemption must be submitted. Where a petitioner seeks to engage in activities that expand upon a current exemption, the Office recommends that the petitioner submit both a petition to renew the current exemption, and, separately, a petition for a new exemption. In such cases, the petition for a new exemption need only discuss those issues relevant to the proposed expansion of the current exemption. If the Office recommends readoption of the current exemption, then only those discrete aspects relevant to the expansion will be subject to the more comprehensive rulemaking procedure described below.

    Automatic Reconsideration. If the Office declines to recommend renewal of a current exemption (as discussed below), the petition to renew will automatically be treated as a petition for a new exemption, and will be considered pursuant to the more comprehensive rulemaking proceeding. If a proponent has petitioned both for renewal and an expansion, and the Office declines to recommend renewal, the entire exemption (i.e., the current exemption along with the proposed expansion) will automatically be considered under the more comprehensive public proceeding.

    Petition Form and Contents. The petition to renew is a short form designed to let proponents identify themselves and the relevant exemption, and to make certain sworn statements to the Copyright Office concerning the existence of a continuing need and justification for the exemption. Use of the Office's prepared form is mandatory, and petitioners must follow the instructions contained in this notice and on the petition form. A separate petition form must be submitted for each current exemption for which renewal is sought. This is required for reasons of administrability and so that the basis for renewal set forth in each petition is clear as to which exemption it applies. While a single petition may not encompass more than one current exemption, the same party may submit multiple petitions.

    The petition form has four components:

    1. Petitioner identity and contact information. The form asks for each petitioner (i.e., the individual or entity seeking renewal) to provide its name and the name of its representative, if any, along with contact information. Any member of the public capable of making the sworn declaration discussed below may submit a petition for renewal, regardless of prior involvement with past rulemakings. Petitioners and/or their representatives should be reachable through the provided contact information for the duration of the rulemaking proceeding. Multiple petitioning parties may jointly file a single petition.

    2. Identification of the current exemption that is the subject of the petition. The form lists all current exemptions granted during the last rulemaking (codified at 37 CFR 201.40), with a check box next to each. The exemption for which renewal is sought is to be identified by marking the appropriate checkbox.

    3. Explanation of need for renewal. The petitioner must provide a brief explanation summarizing the basis for claiming a continuing need and justification for the exemption. The required showing is meant to be minimal. The Office anticipates that petitioners will provide a paragraph or two detailing this information, but there is no page limit. While it is permissible to attach supporting documentary evidence as exhibits to the petition, it is not necessary. The Office's petition form includes an example of what it regards as a sufficient explanation.

    4. Declaration and signature. One of the petitioners named in the petition must sign a declaration attesting to the continued need for the exemption and the truth of the explanation provided in support. Where the petitioner is an entity, the declaration must be signed by an individual at the organization having appropriate personal knowledge to make the declaration. The declaration may be signed electronically.

    For the attestation to be trustworthy and reliable, it is important that the petitioner make it based on his or her own personal knowledge and experience. This requirement should not be burdensome, as a broad range of individuals have a sufficient level of knowledge and experience. For example, a blind individual having difficulty finding and purchasing e-books with appropriate assistive technologies would have such personal knowledge and experience to make the declaration with regard to the assistive technology exemption; so would a relevant employee or volunteer at an organization like the American Foundation for the Blind, which advocates for the blind, visually impaired, and print disabled, is familiar with the needs of the community, and is well-versed specifically in the e-book accessibility issue. It would be improper, however, for a general member of the public to petition for renewal if he or she knows nothing more about matters concerning e-book accessibility other than what he or she might have read in a brief newspaper article, or simply opposes the use of digital rights management tools as a matter of general principle.

    The declaration also requires affirmation that, to the best of the petitioner's knowledge, there has not been any material change in the facts, law, or other circumstances set forth in the prior rulemaking record (available at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2015) that originally demonstrated the need for the selected exemption, such that renewal of the exemption would not be justified. By “material change,” the Office means such significant change in the underlying conditions that originally justified the exemption when it was first granted, such that the appropriateness of continuing the exemption for another three years based on that original justification is called into question. This attestation tells the Office that the prior rulemaking record from when the current exemption was originally granted is still ripe and applicable in considering whether or not the same exemption is appropriate for the subsequent triennial period. Only after finding the old record to still be germane can the Office rely upon it in deciding, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(C), whether to recommend renewal.

    C. Comments in Response to a Petition To Renew an Exemption

    Any interested party may respond to a petition to renew a current exemption by submitting comments. While the primary purpose of these comments is to allow for opposition to renewing the exemption, comments in support of renewal are also permitted. Although no form is being provided for such comments, the first page of any responsive comments must clearly identify which exemption's readoption is being supported or opposed. While participants may comment on more than one exemption, a single submission may not address more than one exemption. For example, a party that wishes to oppose the renewal of both the wireless device unlocking exemption and the jailbreaking exemption must file separate comments for each.23 The Office acknowledges that this format may require some parties to repeat certain general information (e.g., about their organization) across multiple submissions, but the Office believes that the administrative benefits of creating self-contained, separate records for each exemption will be worth the modest amount of added effort involved.

    23 Commenters may, however, respond to multiple petitions to renew the same exemption in a single submission. For instance, if the Office receives six petitions in favor of readopting the current wireless device unlocking exemption, a commenter can file a single comment that addresses points made in the six petitions. That comment, however, may not address petitions to readopt the jailbreaking exemption.

    Opposition to a renewal petition must be meaningful, such that, from the evidence provided, it would be reasonable for the Register to conclude that the prior rulemaking record and any further information provided in the renewal petition are insufficient to support recommending renewal of an exemption. For example, a change in case law might affect whether a particular use is noninfringing, new technological developments might affect the availability for use of copyrighted works, or new business models might affect the market for or value of copyrighted works. Such evidence could cause the Office to conclude that the prior evidentiary record is too stale to rely upon for an assessment affecting the subsequent three-year period. The Office may also consider whether opposition is meaningful only as to part of a current exemption.

    Unsupported conclusory opinion and speculation will not be enough for the Register to refuse to recommend renewing an exemption she would have otherwise recommended in the absence of any opposition, or subject consideration of this exemption to the more comprehensive rulemaking procedure.

    IV. Process for Seeking New Exemptions

    Those seeking to engage in activities not currently permitted by an existing exemption, including activities that expand upon a current exemption, may propose a new exemption by filing a petition using the Copyright Office's required fillable form, available on the Office's Web site at https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/new-petition.pdf. Use of the Office's prepared form is mandatory, and petitioners must follow the instructions contained in this notice and on the petition form. As in the sixth rulemaking, a separate petition must be filed for each proposed exemption. The Office anticipates that it will, once again, receive a significant number of submissions, and requiring separate submissions for each proposed exemption will help both participants and the Office keep better track of the record for each proposed exemption. Although a single petition may not encompass more than one proposed exemption, the same party may submit multiple petitions.

    The petition form has two components:

    1. Petitioner identity and contact information. The form asks for each petitioner (i.e., the individual or entity proposing the exemption) to provide its name and the name of its representative, if any, along with contact information. Petitioners and/or their representatives should be reachable through the provided contact information for the duration of the rulemaking proceeding. Multiple petitioning parties may jointly file a single petition.

    2. Description of the proposed exemption. At this stage, the Office is only asking petitioners to briefly explain the nature of the proposed new or expanded exemption. The information that would be most helpful to the Office includes the following, to the extent relevant: (1) The types of copyrighted works that need to be accessed; (2) the physical media or devices on which the works are stored or the services through which the works are accessed; (3) the purposes for which the works need to be accessed; (4) the types of users who want access; and (5) the barriers that currently exist or which are likely to exist in the near future preventing these users from obtaining access to the relevant copyrighted works.

    To be clear, petitioners need not propose precise regulatory language or fully define the contours of an exemption class in the petition. A short, plain statement describing the nature of the activities the petitioners wish to engage in will be sufficient. Although there is no page limit, the Office anticipates that petitioners will be able to adequately describe in plain terms the relevant information in a few sentences. The Office's petition form includes examples of what it regards as a sufficient description of a requested exemption.

    Nor does the Office intend for petitioners to deliver the complete legal and evidentiary basis for their proposals in the petition, and specifically requests that petitioners not do so. Rather, the sole purpose of the petition is to provide the Office with basic information about the uses of copyrighted works that are adversely affected by the prohibition on circumvention. The Office will then use that information to itself formulate categories of potential exemptions, and group similar proposals into those categories, for purposes of the next, more substantive, phase of the rulemaking beginning with the publication of the NPRM.

    Indeed, as during the last rulemaking, even the NPRM will not “put forward precise regulatory language for the proposed classes, because any specific language for exemptions that the Register ultimately recommends to the Librarian will necessarily depend on the full record developed during this rulemaking.” 24 Rather, the proposed categories of exemptions described in the NPRM will “represent only a starting point for further consideration in the rulemaking proceeding, and will be subject to further refinement based on the record.” 25 Thus, proponents will have the opportunity to further refine or expound upon their initial petitions during later phases of the rulemaking.

    24 79 FR 73856, 73859 (Dec. 12, 2014).

    25Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

    V. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    Following receipt of all petitions, as well as comments on petitions for renewal, the Office will evaluate the material received and will issue an NPRM addressing all of the potential exemptions to be considered in the seventh rulemaking.

    The NPRM will set forth which exemptions the Register will recommend for readoption, along with proposed regulatory language. The NPRM will also identify any exemptions the Register has declined to recommend for renewal under the streamlined process, after considering any opposition received. Those exemptions will instead be subject to the more comprehensive rulemaking procedure in order to build out the administrative record. The Register will not at the NPRM stage make a final determination to reject recommendation of any exemption that meets the threshold requirements of section 1201(a).26

    26See 79 FR 55687, 55692 (Sept. 17, 2014) (explaining that part of the purpose of providing the information in the petition phase is so the Office can “confirm that the threshold requirements of section 1201(a) can be met”); see also 79 FR at 73859 (noting that three petitions sought an exemption which could not be granted as a matter of law and declining to put them forward for comment).

    For current exemptions for which renewal was sought but which were not recommended for readoption through the streamlined process and all new exemptions, including proposals to expand current exemptions, the NPRM will group them appropriately, describe them, and initiate at least three rounds of public comment. As with the sixth rulemaking, the Office plans to consolidate or group related and/or overlapping proposed exemptions where possible to simplify the rulemaking process and encourage joint participation among parties with common interests (though such collaboration is not required). As in previous rulemakings, the exemptions as described in the NPRM will represent only a starting point for further consideration in the rulemaking proceeding, and will be subject to further refinement based on the record. The NPRM will provide guidance regarding specific areas of legal and factual interest for the Office with respect to each proposed exemption, and suggest particular types of evidence that participants may wish to submit for the record. It will also contain additional instructions and requirements for submitting comments and will detail the later phases of the rulemaking proceeding—i.e., public hearings, post-hearing questions, recommendation, and final rule—which will be similar to those of the sixth rulemaking.

    As noted in the Office's study, however, the Office intends to issue the NPRM at an earlier point than during the sixth rulemaking proceeding, to give all parties sufficient time to participate in the process. Publishing the NPRM earlier should better accommodate the academic calendar and allow for greater law student participation during the more substantive comment and public hearing phases of the proceeding—something many commenters suggested during the study.27 In addition, the Office will look for opportunities to preview regulatory language or ask additional post-hearing questions, where necessary to ensure sufficient stakeholder participation.28

    27See, e.g., Section 1201 Study Initial Reply Comments of International Documentary Association et al. at 3-4 (Apr. 1, 2016); Section 1201 Study Hearing Tr. at 132:10-133:17 (May 25, 2016) (McClure, American Foundation for the Blind); Section 1201 Study Hearing Tr. at 133:16-135:02 (May 19, 2016) (Decherney, University of Pennsylvania); Section 1201 Study Hearing Tr. at 108:13-109:05 (May 25, 2016) (Metalitz, Association of American Publishers, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., & Recording Industry Association of America); Section 1201 Study Additional Comments of American Association of Law Libraries at 3 (Oct. 27, 2016). Given the statutory deadline, it was necessary to also move up the petition phase to align the written comment and hearing phases with the academic calendar. The Office determined this to be the most optimal choice, particularly given that the petitions are meant to be simple and short filings, as discussed above. Nevertheless, after discussing the schedule with a number of academic clinics, we selected a longer period for the filing of initial petitions to better accommodate academic schedules.

    28 Section 1201 Study at 150-51.

    Dated: June 27, 2017. Sarang V. Damle, General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13815 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410-30-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION 39 CFR Part 3050 [Docket No. RM2017-7; Order No. 3982] Periodic Reporting AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent filing requesting that the Commission initiate an informal rulemaking proceeding to consider changes to an analytical method for use in periodic reporting (Proposal Three). This document informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: August 16, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Proposal Three III. Notice and Comment IV. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

    On June 22, 2017, the Postal Service filed a petition pursuant to 39 CFR 3050.11 requesting the Commission to initiate an informal rulemaking proceeding to consider proposed changes to an analytical method related to periodic reports.1 The Petition identifies the proposed analytical method changes filed in this docket as Proposal Three.

    1 Petition of the United States Postal Service Requesting Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider a Proposed Change in Analytical Principles (Proposal Three), June 22, 2017 (Petition).

    II. Proposal Three

    Background. The Postal Service currently uses statistical estimates in the Revenue, Pieces, and Weight (RPW) Report for mailpieces reported in the Retail Systems Software Business Partners (RSS BP) application and bearing contract postal unit metered postage. Petition at 1. The RSS BP is the electronic point-of-sale management system that the Postal Service provides to contract postal units. Id. at 4. The statistical estimates used in the RSS BP management system are produced by the Postal Service's Origin-Destination Information System—Revenue, Pieces, and Weight (ODIS-RPW) probability-based sampling system. Id. at 4, 5.

    Proposal. Proposal Three would change the methodology for measuring the national totals of revenue, pieces, and weight in the RPW Report for RSS BP mailpieces by replacing ODIS-RPW statistical sampling estimates with corresponding census data reported in the Postal Service's Retail Data Mart reporting system. Id. at 6. In support of Proposal Three, the Postal Service cites other proposals approved by the Commission which have replaced statistical estimates with census data. See id. at 3.

    Rationale and impact. The Postal Service states that the proposed change in methodology “provides a complete census source of transactional-level data of all RSS BP mailpieces and extra services.” Id. at 6. The Postal Service asserts that the use of census data would lead one to expect equal or improved data quality because census data, unlike ODIS-RPW statistical sampling data, does not have sampling error. Id. at 5. To illustrate the potential impact of switching from ODIS-RPW statistical estimates to census data, the Postal Service provides a comparison of results for the FY 2016 time period. Id. at 6-9.

    III. Notice and Comment

    The Commission establishes Docket No. RM2017-7 for consideration of matters raised by the Petition. More information on the Petition may be accessed via the Commission's Web site at http://www.prc.gov. Interested persons may submit comments on the Petition and Proposal Three no later than August 16, 2017. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Lyudmila Y. Bzhilyanskaya is designated as officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding.

    IV. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:

    1. The Commission establishes Docket No. RM2017-7 for consideration of the matters raised by the Petition of the United States Postal Service Requesting Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider a Proposed Change in Analytical Principles (Proposal Three), filed June 22, 2017.

    2. Comments by interested persons in this proceeding are due no later than August 16, 2017.

    3. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, the Commission appoints Lyudmila Y. Bzhilyanskaya to serve as an officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in this docket.

    4. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Stacy L. Ruble, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13830 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0409; FRL-9955-66-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and Town of Mammoth Lakes AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (GBUAPCD) and the Town of Mammoth Lakes portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern particulate matter (PM) emissions from wood burning devices and road dust in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. We are proposing to approve local rules to regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

    DATES:

    Any comments on this proposal must arrive by July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0409 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to Andrew Steckel, Rulemaking Office Chief at [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be removed or edited from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, 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 the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christine Vineyard, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4125, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to the EPA. This proposal addresses the following local rules:

    • GBUAPCD Rule 431, Particulate Matter (except paragraphs M and N).

    • Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code Chapter 8.30, Particulate Emissions Regulations (except paragraphs 8.30.110 and 8.30.120).

    In the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, we are approving these local rules in a direct final action without prior proposal because we believe these SIP revisions are not controversial. If we receive adverse comments, however, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule and address the comments in subsequent action based on this proposed rule. Please note that if we receive adverse comment on a particular rule, we may adopt as final the rule that is not the subject of an adverse comment.

    We do not plan to open a second comment period, so anyone interested in commenting should do so at this time. If we do not receive adverse comments, no further activity is planned. For further information, please see the direct final action.

    Dated: November 14, 2016. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX. Editorial note:

    This document was received for publication by the Office of the Federal Register on June 20, 2017.

    [FR Doc. 2017-13197 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 300 [EPA-HQ-SFUND-1990-0011; FRL-9963-94-Region 8] National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan National Priorities List: Partial Deletion of the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8 is issuing a notice of Intent to Partially Delete the property currently owned by Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP (formerly owned by KM Upstream LLC and hereinafter referred to as the former KMI Property), on the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Site (Site) from the National Priorities List (NPL). The Site is located in Natrona County, northeast of Casper, Wyoming. EPA requests public comment on this proposed action. The NPL, promulgated pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, is an appendix of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution and Contingency Plan (NCP). The EPA and the State of Wyoming, through the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ), have determined that all appropriate response actions, other than maintenance of institutional controls and five-year reviews, have been completed for the former KMI source area and the resultant groundwater contamination. However, this deletion does not preclude future actions under Superfund.

    This partial deletion pertains to the former KMI Property of OU1 and OU2 formerly containing the benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and total xylenes (collectively known as BTEX) groundwater plume and source soils, respectively. The remaining area and media of both OU1 and OU2 containing the volatile halogenated organic chemicals (VHOs) source soils and plume, which are attributable to the Dow Chemical Company/Dowell Schlumberger, Inc. (DOW/DSI) facility, will remain on the NPL and are not being considered for deletion as part of this action. A map and the description of the surveyed boundaries of the former KMI Property are included in the docket and at the information repositories listed below.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning this action must be received by July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID no. EPA-HQ-SFUND-1910-0011, by one of the following methods:

    http://www.regulations.gov. Follow on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: Andrew Schmidt ([email protected])

    Mail: Andrew Schmidt, Remedial Project Manager, 8EPR-SR, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202.

    Hand Delivery: Andrew Schmidt, Remedial Project Manager, 8EPR-SR, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202.

    Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID no. EPA-HQ-SFUND-1910-0011. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The Web site, http://www.regulations.gov, is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket

    All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at: U.S. EPA Region 8, Superfund Records Center & Technical Library, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202-1129.

    Viewing hours: 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, excluding holidays;

    Contact: Andrew Schmidt; (303) 312-6283; email: [email protected] and Natrona County Public Library, Reference Desk, 307 East 2nd Street, Casper, WY 82601-2593, (307) 777-7092.

    Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Schmidt, Remedial Project Manager, 8EPR-SR, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202-1129, (303) 312-6283, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the “Rules and Regulations” section of the Federal Register, we are publishing a direct final notice of Partial Deletion for the former KMI Property containing portions of Operable Unit 1 and 2, and the former BTEX impacted areas, of the Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 Superfund Site (Site) without prior notice of Intent for Partial Deletion because EPA views this as a noncontroversial revision and anticipates no adverse comment. We have explained our reasons for this partial deletion in the preamble to the direct final notice of Partial Deletion, and those reasons are incorporated herein. If we receive no adverse comment(s) on this partial deletion action, we will not take further action on this notice of Intent for Partial Deletion. If we receive adverse comment(s), we will withdraw the direct final notice of Partial Deletion based on this notice of Intent for Partial Deletion. We will, as appropriate, address all public comments in a subsequent final notice of Partial Deletion based on this notice of Intent for Partial Deletion. We will not institute a second comment period on this notice of Intent for Partial Deletion. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time.

    For additional information, see the direct final notice of Partial Deletion, located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Hazardous waste, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water supply.

    The authority citation for Part 300 is continues to read as follows:

    Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1321(c)(2); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923; 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193.

    Dated: May 1, 2017. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13679 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 1 and 20 [GN Docket No 13-111; Report No. 3079] Petition for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petition for Reconsideration.

    SUMMARY:

    A Petition for Reconsideration (Petition) has been filed in the Commission's rulemaking proceeding by Lee G. Petro, on behalf of The Wright Petitioners.

    DATES:

    Oppositions to the Petition must be filed on or before July 17, 2017. Replies to an opposition must be filed on or before July 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Conway, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, at (202) 418-2887 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's document, Report No. 3079, released June 22, 2017. The full text of the Petition is available for viewing and copying at the FCC Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. It also may be accessed online via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System at: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. The Commission will not send a Congressional Review Act (CRA) submission to Congress or the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the CRA, 5.U.S.C. because no rules are being adopted by the Commission.

    Subject: In the Matter of Promoting Technological Solutions to Combat Contraband Wireless Device Use in Correctional Facilities, FCC 17-25, published at 82 FR 22742, May 18, 2017, in GN Docket No. 13-111. This document is being published pursuant to 47 CFR 1.429(e). See also 47 CFR 1.4(b)(1) and 1.429(f), (g).

    Number of Petitions Filed: 1.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13688 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 11 [PS Docket No. 15-94; FCC-17-74] Blue Alert EAS Event Code AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) proposes to revise its rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to incorporate a new event code, “BLU”, for Blue Alerts. Adding this event code would allow alert originators to issue an alert whenever a law enforcement officer is injured or killed, missing in connection with their official duties, or if there is an imminent and credible threat to cause death or serious injury to law enforcement officers.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before July 31, 2017 and reply comments are due on or before August 29, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by PS Docket No. 15-94, by any of the following methods:

    Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although the Commission continues to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

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    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory Cooke, Deputy Division Chief, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-2351, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in PS Docket No. 15-94, FCC 17-74, adopted on June 22, 2017, and released on June 22, 2017. The full text of this is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-1257), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov. This document does not contain proposed information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any proposed information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

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

    Synopsis I. Introduction

    1. In this NPRM, we propose to revise the Federal Communications Commission's (Commission or FCC) Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules to adopt a new EAS event code that will allow the transmission of “Blue Alerts” to the public over the EAS. In doing so, we propose measures to advance the important public policy of protecting our nation's law enforcement officials through facilitating the apprehension of suspects who pose an imminent and credible threat to law enforcement officials and aiding search efforts to locate missing officers. Further, by initiating this proceeding, we also seek to promote the development of compatible and integrated Blue Alert plans throughout the United States, consistent with the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 (Blue Alert Act) and the need articulated by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS Office) of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish a dedicated EAS event code for Blue Alerts.

    II. Background

    2. The EAS. The EAS is a national public warning system through which broadcasters, cable systems, and other service providers (EAS Participants) deliver alerts to the public to warn them of impending emergencies and dangers to life and property. Although the primary purpose of the EAS is to equip the President with the capability to provide immediate communications and information to the general public during periods of national emergency, the EAS also is used by other federal agencies, such as the National Weather Service (NWS), to deliver weather-related alerts, as well as by state and local governments to distribute other alerts such as AMBER Alerts. EAS Participants are required to deliver Presidential alerts; delivery of all other alerts, including NWS weather alerts and state and local EAS alerts, is voluntary. EAS alerts are configured using the EAS Protocol, which utilizes fixed codes to identify the various elements of an EAS alert so that each alert can deliver accurate, secure, and geographically-targeted alerts to the public. Of particular relevance to this proceeding, the EAS Protocol utilizes a three-character “event code” to describe the nature of the alert (e.g., “CAE” signifies a Child Abduction Emergency, otherwise known as an AMBER Alert). EAS alerts are distributed in two ways: (1) Over-the-air, through a hierarchical, broadcast-based “daisy chain” distribution system, and (2) over the Internet, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), which simultaneously sends data-rich alerts in the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) format to various public alerting systems.

    3. Blue Alerts. The Blue Alert Act was enacted to encourage, enhance, and integrate the formation of voluntary “Blue Alert plans throughout the United States in order to disseminate information when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, is missing in connection with the officer's official duties, or an imminent and credible threat that an individual intends to cause the serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer is received, and for other purposes.” As required by the Blue Alert Act, DOJ has designated the COPS Office Director as the National Blue Alert Coordinator (National Blue Alert Coordinator). Accordingly, the National Blue Alert Coordinator has developed a set of voluntary guidelines (Blue Alert Guidelines) for states to use in developing their Blue Alert plans in a manner that will promote compatible and integrated Blue Alert plans throughout the United States.

    4. Blue Alerts may be initiated by a law enforcement agency having primary jurisdiction over the incident. The Blue Alert Guidelines provide three criteria for Blue Alert issuance, any one of which should be met before a Blue Alert is issued. First, an alert may be issued when “the agency confirms that a law enforcement officer has been killed, seriously injured, or attacked and with indications of death or serious injury.” Second, an alert may be issued in the event of a “threat to cause death or serious injury to a law enforcement officer.” Under this criterion, the agency initiating the Blue Alert should confirm that the threat is “imminent and credible,” and, to the extent the threat arises from the acts of a suspect, such suspect, “at the time of receipt of the threat,” should be “wanted by a law enforcement agency.” Third, where a law enforcement officer is reported missing, an agency may issue a Blue Alert if it concludes that “the law enforcement officer is missing in connection with the officer's official duties” and that “there is an indication of serious injury to or death of the law enforcement officer.” With respect to each of these three scenarios, the agency should not issue the Blue Alert unless “any suspect involved has not been apprehended” and “there is sufficient descriptive information of the suspect, including any vehicle and license tag information.” The Blue Alert Act also provides that an alert should be issued only in those areas most likely to result in the apprehension of the suspect, and that an alert should be suspended once the suspect is apprehended.

    5. Additionally, the National Blue Alert Coordinator is charged with cooperating with the Chairman of the FCC to carry out the Blue Alert Act. In its 2017 Report to Congress, the COPS Office noted that it has complied with this directive by establishing a point of contact with the FCC, and by commencing outreach efforts to pursue a dedicated EAS event code.

    III. Discussion

    6. We propose to revise the Commission's EAS rules to add a new “Blue Alert” event code to the EAS and thus “promote compatible and integrated Blue Alert plans throughout the United States” as called for in the Blue Alert Act. Several developments support taking this action today. The Blue Alert Act was adopted to help the states provide effective alerts to the public and law enforcement when police and other law enforcement officers are killed or in danger. In order to ensure that these state plans are compatible and integrated throughout the United States as envisioned by the Blue Alert Act, the Blue Alert Coordinator has made a series of recommendations to Congress. Among them, the Blue Alert Coordinator identified the need for a dedicated EAS event code for Blue Alerts and noted the alignment of the EAS with the implementation of the Blue Alert Act. We propose that by adopting a dedicated EAS event code to deliver Blue Alerts, our rules can help facilitate the delivery of Blue Alerts to the public in a uniform and consistent manner that promotes the compatible and integrated Blue Alert plans contemplated by the Blue Alert Act. We seek comment on this proposal below.

    7. We propose to amend Section 11.31(e) of the EAS rules to add a new “BLU” event code to the codes contained within the EAS Protocol. Consistent with the guidance issued by the National Blue Alert Coordinator, we anticipate this code would be used by alert originators to disseminate information related to (1) the serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, (2) an officer who is missing in connection with their official duties, or (3) an imminent and credible threat that an individual intends to cause serious injury to, or kill, a law enforcement officer. We also propose that such alerts would be confined to those areas most likely to facilitate capture of the suspect, and would be suspended when the suspect is apprehended. As with other non-Presidential alerts, carriage of Blue Alerts and use of the Blue Alert event code would be voluntary. We seek comment on this proposal.

    8. Efficacy of the EAS as a mechanism for delivering Blue Alerts. We seek comment on the efficacy of the EAS as a mechanism for the delivery of Blue Alerts. We note that, for over two decades, the EAS has proven to be an effective method of alerting the public and saving lives and property. EAS Participants continue to voluntarily transmit thousands of alerts and warnings annually regarding severe weather threats, child abductions, and other local emergencies.

    9. We seek comment on whether the current system could accommodate Blue Alerts as effectively as it does these other types of alerts. Are there constraints that would impede the ability of the EAS to contain the information required under the Blue Alert Guidelines? For example, EAS alerts are subject to a two-minute time limit. Can the information required by the Blue Alert Guidelines be communicated within a two-minute time frame? We note that EAS alerts delivered over the IPAWS can contain detailed text files, non-English alerts, or other content-rich data that is not available to EAS alerts delivered via the broadcast-based daisy chain. Do Blue Alerts contain extra text files or other data-rich content that would benefit from IPAWS' capabilities? Would it have a negative impact on the value of an EAS Blue Alert that such data-rich content may not be delivered to all EAS Participants, depending on whether they receive the alert through IPAWS or through the broadcast-based daisy chain?

    10. Further, EAS Alerts are limited to the geographic contours and service areas of broadcasters and cable service providers. In light of this, are EAS alerts suited to deliver Blue Alerts in a targeted geographic manner, consistent with the Blue Alert Act, which provides that Blue Alerts, to the maximum extent practicable, “be limited to the geographic areas most likely to facilitate the apprehension of the suspect involved or which the suspect could reasonably reach, which should not be limited to state lines”? Can EAS Participants distribute Blue Alerts to such smaller, more narrowly targeted geographic areas? We note that, in the future, if ATSC 3.0 DTV is approved by the Commission as proposed in the ATSC 3.0 NPRM, television broadcasters using ATSC 3.0 expect to have the capability of tailoring emergency alert information for specific geographic areas. In particular, what is the ability of small cable operator EAS Participants to limit the geographic area of a Blue Alert? To what extent do states use the EAS to send Blue Alerts? Do any states send Blue Alerts outside of the EAS structure? What has been their experience? Would the EAS serve as a more effective means of conveying the information required by the Blue Alert Guidelines?

    11. Implementation of Blue Alerts. We seek comment on whether—assuming that the EAS would be an efficient manner of distributing Blue Alerts—the establishment of a dedicated EAS event code would help to facilitate the implementation of the Blue Alert Guidelines in a compatible and integrated manner nationwide, as contemplated by the Blue Alert Act. The COPS Office states “a dedicated Blue Alert EAS event code would serve as the central and organizing element for Blue Alert plans coast-to-coast and greatly facilitate the work of the National Blue Alert Network.” We seek comment on this statement.

    12. As of November 2016, 27 states have implemented Blue Alert plans. We observe that states' implementation of Blue Alert plans vary. For example, Montana and Florida utilize the “Law Enforcement Emergency” (LEW) EAS event code to transmit Blue Alerts, whereas Washington is creating its own “Blue Alert System” for voluntary cooperation between law enforcement, and radio, television, cable, and satellite systems. To what extent do current state guidelines for delivering a Blue Alert differ from the Blue Alert Guidelines? Would a dedicated EAS event code help ensure that both Blue Alerts and related outreach are undertaken in a consistent manner nationally? We seek comment on the distribution methods states currently employ to deliver Blue Alerts. To the extent states use different distribution methods to deliver Blue Alerts, do these various distribution methods detract from the effectiveness of Blue Alerts? We seek comment on the experience of any states that have adopted Blue Alerts as part of their statewide alerting systems. We seek comment on whether the adoption of a dedicated EAS Blue Alert event code would encourage EAS Participants to deliver Blue Alerts.

    13. We additionally ask whether availability of a dedicated Blue Alert EAS event code would promote the adoption of additional Blue Alert systems throughout the nation. According to the COPS Office, a dedicated EAS event code would “facilitate and streamline the adoption of new Blue Alert plans throughout the nation and would help to integrate existing plans into a coordinated national framework.” As the National Blue Alert Coordinator noted in its 2016 Report to Congress, a majority of states and territories do not yet have Blue Alert systems. Would facilitating law enforcement agencies' ability to utilize existing EAS distribution networks alleviate much of the burden associated with designing and implementing Blue Alert systems and plans? Would the implementation of a dedicated Blue Alert EAS code encourage states that do not have Blue Alert plans to adopt, in whole or in part, existing procedures of states that have implemented Blue Alert plans? Has the lack of a dedicated Blue Alert EAS event code impeded adoption of Blue Alert plans? Further, would utilizing the nationwide EAS architecture help integrate existing plans into a coordinated national framework? In this regard, would integrating state Blue Alert plans into the EAS help individual states work together when suspects or threats cross state borders, as envisioned by the Blue Alert Act?

    14. Alternately, we seek comment on whether existing event codes are sufficient to convey Blue Alert information. According to the COPS Office, there is a lack of urgency associated with existing event codes, which do not “suggest immediate action on the part of broadcasters.” As noted above, at least two states utilize the “Law Enforcement Warning” (LEW) EAS code to transmit Blue Alerts. The COPS Office observes, however, that the LEW event code is used for events such as road closures and notifying drivers of hazardous road conditions and is not an effective means to transmit Blue Alerts. We seek comment on this observation. Is the use of LEW effective to provide information to help protect law enforcement officials? For what purposes is LEW otherwise used? Does utilizing an existing EAS code for a Blue Alert detract from the existing code's ability to serve its intended purpose? Without adoption of a Blue Alert code, would law enforcement agencies be hampered by being forced to use codes that do not directly apply to the situation, nor convey the necessary information? Further, would the use of existing EAS event codes to broadcast a Blue Alert create confusion? Do other event codes contain instructions that might confuse the public or direct the public to take unsafe actions in response to the underlying situation? For example, in the 2016 NWS Report and Order, the Commission adopted new dedicated event codes for certain weather events, noting that the existing TOR event code for tornados provided the public with incorrect guidance about what actions to take in response to hurricane-related weather events, such as storm surges. Is there a similar risk of confusion with using existing EAS event codes in lieu of a dedicated Blue Alert event code?

    15. Public Awareness and Outreach. We seek comment on how the public may respond to Blue Alert EAS codes. Would a dedicated Blue Alert EAS event code allow law enforcement to provide a warning that the public recognizes immediately as a Blue Alert, e.g., because Blue Alerts would be issued only under specific criteria that are nationally consistent? The COPS Office states that a dedicated EAS event code would “convey the appropriate sense of urgency” and “galvanize the public awareness necessary to protect law enforcement officers and the public from extremely dangerous offenders.” We seek comment on this position. Would a dedicated event code facilitate consistent and effective public outreach educating the public to recognize and respond to Blue Alerts?

    16. In this regard, we seek comment on what actions states have taken to educate the public on Blue Alerts and appropriate responses to Blue Alerts. For example, we note that the Blue Alert Foundation has prepared model Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for use by states to educate the public about Blue Alerts. Have states adopted these PSAs or other types of outreach to educate the public about Blue Alerts and appropriate responses to them? How often have Blue Alerts been activated and through what means or media have they been issued? How has the public reacted to Blue Alerts? In the past, the Commission has noted its concern that over-alerting or alerting to unaffected areas can lead to alert fatigue. Has public response indicated that is the case in connection with Blue Alerts? We encourage commenters to provide examples of all available public responses to Blue Alerts that have been delivered since the adoption of the Blue Alert Act and DOJ's Blue Alert Guidelines.

    17. Timeframe. We seek comment on the timeframe in which a dedicated Blue Alert EAS event code could be implemented. In the NWS Report and Order, the Commission required EAS equipment manufacturers to integrate the severe weather-related EAS event codes into equipment yet to be manufactured or sold, and to make necessary software upgrades available to EAS Participants, no later than six months from the effective date of the rules, reasoning that the prompt deployment of alerts using the new codes would be consistent with the safety of the public in affected areas. We believe that adding a Blue Alert EAS event code would trigger similar technical and public safety requirements regarding equipment readiness. We therefore propose that EAS equipment manufacturers should integrate the Blue Alert event code into equipment yet to be manufactured or sold, and make necessary software upgrades available to EAS Participants, no later than six months from the effective date of the rules. We seek comment on this proposal.

    18. With regard to EAS Participants, we note that in the NWS proceeding the Commission allowed EAS Participants to implement the new event codes on a voluntary basis. The Commission further noted that it has taken this approach when it has adopted other new EAS event codes in the past, and that the record did not reflect any basis to take a different approach. We therefore propose to take a similar approach here and would allow EAS Participants to upgrade their equipment (whether through new equipment that is programmed to contain the code or through implementing a software upgrade to install the code into equipment already in place) on a voluntary basis until such time as their equipment is replaced. We seek comment on our proposal. If commenters disagree with our analysis or proposed timeline, they should specify alternatives and the specific technical bases for such alternatives.

    19. Wireless Emergency Alerts. We note that along with the EAS, a primary public alert warning system regulated by the Commission is Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), a system that allows wireless providers (participating CMRS Providers) to voluntarily deliver critical warnings and information to Americans through their wireless phones. In its 2017 Report to Congress, the COPS Office notes that many Americans depend on both the EAS and WEA for public alerts and warnings. The COPS Office goes on to note its intent that Blue Alerts be delivered to the public over wireless devices as well as over the EAS. We note that EAS event codes are not required by the Commission's rules for a WEA message to be processed, but seek comment on whether the adoption of a dedicated EAS code for Blue Alerts would have any effect on WEA. For example, would the use of a Blue Alert EAS event code have any impact on how the IPAWS infrastructure and the networks of participating CMRS Providers would process a Blue Alert WEA? To what extent, if any, have states used WEA to deliver Blue Alerts to the public? Have such WEA messages been initiated by the use of existing EAS event codes?

    20. Would the adoption of a dedicated EAS event code help ensure that Blue Alerts issued over WEA are swiftly processed and delivered to the public? If we were to adopt a dedicated Blue Alert EAS event code, and the alert originator were to select “BLU” as the event code type, could this automatically prepopulate the WEA message—thereby saving critical seconds—with uniform language that might be applicable to all Blue Alerts (such as by automatically including alert message text saying “This is a Blue Alert for [area]”)? We assume that WEA Blue Alerts would be classified as either an Imminent Threat Alert or the newly adopted Public Safety Message, depending on the circumstances. We seek comment on this assumption, and ask whether alert initiators, Participating CMRS providers, or other WEA stakeholders believe it would be helpful to receive additional guidance or direction regarding how Blue Alerts should be classified for purposes of WEA. Are there other reasons adopting a dedicated EAS Blue Alert event code would facilitate or otherwise affect the delivery of Blue Alerts to the public over WEA?

    21. Costs and Benefits. We seek comment on the total costs and benefits associated with the proposed addition of Blue Alerts to the EAS. For those states that have adopted State Blue Alert Plans, have Blue Alerts been effective in protecting law enforcement officers and/or apprehending criminals? Would a dedicated EAS code produce a more efficient result than utilizing an existing event code or alternate delivery mechanism?

    22. In the background section of this NPRM, we describe how AMBER Alerts are a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. Would the adoption of a dedicated EAS event code help facilitate a similar partnership to promote the safety of law enforcement officers? Would Blue Alerts have a similar impact as AMBER Alerts? We seek comment on whether statistical information concerning AMBER Alerts is relevant to Blue Alerts. The DOJ reports that AMBER Alerts were directly responsible for recovering more than 25% of children reported missing in 2015. According to DOJ statistics, 868 children have been rescued due to Amber Alerts. In 2015 alone, 50 of the 153 recoveries were the direct result of Amber Alerts, constituting more than 25% of the recovered children reported missing that year. Is it reasonable to expect a similar success rate for EAS Blue Alerts? What is the expected reduction in time to find a lost or abducted child as a result of the introduction of the EAS Code for AMBER Alerts? Would a similar reduction of time occur with an EAS Blue Alert code?

    23. We seek comment on whether introducing a dedicated EAS event code would help save the lives of law enforcement officers or the public. We observe that 135 law enforcement officials were killed in 2016. The COPS Office argues that the EAS framework is a valuable resource that can “expedite information sharing and facilitate the quick apprehension of dangerous criminals who pose an immediate threat to law enforcement and communities they serve.” Would utilizing a dedicated event code facilitate faster information sharing and dissemination of information to the public? The COPS Office additionally argues that Blue Alerts can “provide instructions to keep innocent persons safe and information on what to do if a suspect is spotted.” Would a faster and more uniform means of disseminating Blue Alerts, such as through a dedicated EAS event code, save lives (whether directly as to law enforcement officials, or indirectly as to innocent bystanders that might be harmed by the same emergency)? To quantify the life-saving value of the EAS, we assign a dollar value to reductions in the risk of losing human lives, referred to as the “Value of a Statistical Life” (VSL). VSL describes “the additional cost that individuals would be willing to bear for improvements in safety (that is, reductions in risks) that, in the aggregate, reduce the expected number of fatalities by one.” We estimate that the dollar value of VSL in 2017 is approximately $9.6 million.

    24. We seek comment on the benefits of a dedicated EAS Blue Alert code with respect to potentially providing an additional path of communication to others who may be best positioned to provide assistance, including off-duty public safety officials and the media. EAS Blue Alerts also could quickly provide the media with information that they can disseminate to the public. In this regard, could EAS Blue Alerts lower the amount of time that police forces devote to alerting the media, allowing more time for personnel to devote to responding to the emergency? We seek comment on this category of benefits and cost reductions.

    25. We also seek comment on the costs of the proposed event code. In the NWS Report and Order, the Commission noted that the record indicated that the new severe weather-related codes could be implemented by EAS Participants via minimally burdensome and low-cost software downloads. Is the same true for the proposed Blue Alert event code? In the record of the NWS Report and Order, Monroe Electronics indicated that the new severe weather-related event codes could be implemented in its device models through a software update downloaded from its Web site, while Sage Alerting Systems indicated that end users could implement the proposed event codes in 10 minutes or less at no cost other than labor. In the NWS Report and Order, the Commission expected total costs for the codes adopted in that order would not exceed the one-time $3.5 million implementation cost ceiling. We believe that adopting a Blue Alert EAS event code presents similar technical issues to those raised in the NWS Order. Accordingly, we believe that the same costs would apply to the adoption of a Blue Alert EAS event code as applied to the severe weather event codes adopted in the NWS proceeding, and tentatively conclude that the costs for adding a dedicated Blue Alert EAS event code would not exceed the one-time $3.5 million implementation cost ceiling that the Commission expected in the NWS Report and Order. We seek comment on this analysis.

    26. We believe $3.5 million represents a conservative estimate because it assumes all 28,508 broadcasters and cable companies will spend the maximum of one hour downloading and installing a Blue Alert specific software update. We note that, as of July 30, 2016, EAS Participants were required to have equipment in place that would be capable, at the minimum, of being upgraded by software to accommodate EAS modifications like what we propose here. We also believe that the actual cost imposed will fall far below the $3.5 million cost ceiling, because it is premised on the assumption that downloading the software updates will take one hour, whereas Sage estimated in the NWS Report and Order that a similar download and installation would take ten minutes. Further, we see no reason why the Blue Alert event code could not be bundled with a general software upgrade that EAS Participants would otherwise install anyway, during the regular course of business. We tentatively conclude that the installation costs imposed on EAS Participants, together with the software update costs incurred by equipment manufacturers, would be far below the $3.5 million ceiling estimated in the NWS Report and Order. We seek comment on our tentative conclusions. We also seek comment on the cost to EAS equipment manufacturers of creating software updates, testing these updates, supplying them to their customers, and providing any related customer support. We recognize that potential costs also may include management oversight software updates.

    27. The COPS Office observes that a dedicated event code would convey the necessary sense of urgency and galvanize the public awareness necessary to protect law enforcement and the public from dangerous offenders, avoid utilizing existing codes which are used for mundane informational purposes, facilitate the adoption of new Blue Alert plans and integrate existing plans into a cohesive framework, and serve as a central and organizing element for Blue Alert plans nationally. We acknowledge DOJ's guidance and expertise as to the potential benefits of Blue Alerts, and combine that with our own analysis to support the tentative conclusion that the benefits of the proposed event code will outweigh its costs. We seek comment on this tentative conclusion.

    28. Finally, are there costs or benefits that should be considered that are not captured in the above discussion? Are there alternative or additional approaches that could increase benefits and/or reduce costs? We seek comment on whether there are alternative or additional measures that the Commission could take to improve the introduction of Blue Alerts over the EAS, in order to promote the important public policy objective of protecting our nation's law enforcement officials.

    IV. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    29. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA) the Commission has prepared this present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules proposed in this NPRM. Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments in the NPRM. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA). In addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.

    A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    30. In this NPRM, the Commission proposes adding a new Emergency Alert System (EAS) Event Code, covering Blue Alerts (“Blue Alert Warning”). The Blue Alert Act charges the Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS Office) with identifying policies and procedures for disseminating Blue Alerts to the public that are effective, and can be implemented with no additional cost. Blue Alert carriage and use of the Blue Alert event code would be voluntary. In its 2016 Report to Congress, the COPS Office identified a dedicated EAS event code for Blue Alerts as a means of disseminating Blue Alerts to the public, and a necessary element to align the EAS with implementation of the Blue Alert Act overall. EAS Participants who decide to carry the Blue Alert would be able to accommodate the new code with a software upgrade of equipment already in place but not yet capable of handling these codes (any new equipment allowed under existing rules is either similarly upgradeable or will already be programmed to handle the code). In this NPRM, we seek comment on whether adding a “Blue Alert” code to the EAS would serve the public interest by furthering the goal of the Blue Alert Act by disseminating information to the public that protects law enforcement officials and the public at large.

    B. Legal Basis

    31. Authority for the actions proposed in this NPRM may be found in sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 624(g), 706, and 715 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 544(g), 606, and 615.

    C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which Rules Will Apply

    32. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of, the number of small entities that may be affected by the rules adopted herein. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A “small business concern” is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Below, we describe and estimate the number of small entity licensees that may be affected by the adopted rules.

    33. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental Jurisdictions. Our action may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards that could be directly affected herein. First, while there are industry specific size standards for small businesses that are used in the regulatory flexibility analysis, according to data from the SBA's Office of Advocacy, in general, a small business is an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. These types of small businesses represent 99.9% of all businesses in the United States, which translates to 28.8 million businesses. Next, the type of small entity described as a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” Nationwide, as of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,215 small organizations. Finally, the small entity described as a “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” U.S. Census Bureau data published in 2012 indicate that there were 89,476 local governmental jurisdictions in the United States. We estimate that, of this total, as many as 88,761 entities may qualify as “small governmental jurisdictions.” Thus, we estimate that most governmental jurisdictions are small.

    34. Radio Stations. This Economic Census category comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Programming may originate in the station's own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA has established a small business size standard for this category as firms having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 shows that 2,849 radio station firms operated during that year. Of that number, 2,806 operated with annual receipts of less than $25 million per year, 17 with annual receipts between $25 million and $49,999,999 million and 26 with annual receipts of $50 million or more. Therefore, based on the SBA's size standard, the majority of such entities are small entities.

    35. According to Commission staff review of the BIA Publications, Inc. Master Access Radio Analyzer Database as of June 2, 2016, about 11,386 (or about 99.9 percent) of 11,395 commercial radio stations had revenues of $38.5 million or less and thus qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial radio stations to be 11,415. We note that the Commission also has estimated the number of licensed NCE radio stations to be 4,101. Nevertheless, the Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have access to information on the revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to determine how many such stations would qualify as small entities.

    36. We also note that in assessing whether a business entity qualifies as small under the above definition, business control affiliations must be included. The Commission's estimate therefore likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by its action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, to be determined a “small business,” an entity may not be dominant in its field of operation. We further note, that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities, and the estimate of small businesses to which these rules may apply does not exclude any radio station from the definition of a small business on these basis; thus, our estimate of small businesses may be over-inclusive.

    37. FM Translator Stations and Low-Power FM Stations. FM translators and Low Power FM Stations are classified in the category of Radio Stations and are assigned the same NAICs Code as licensees of radio stations. This U.S. industry, Radio Stations, comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Programming may originate in their own studios, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA has established a small business size standard which consists of all radio stations whose annual receipts are $38.5 million dollars or less. U.S. Census data for 2012 indicate that 2,849 radio station firms operated during that year. Of that number, 2,806 operated with annual receipts of less than $25 million per year, 17 with annual receipts between $25 million and $49,999,999 million and 26 with annual receipts of $50 million or more. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, we conclude that the majority of FM Translator Stations and Low Power FM Stations are small.

    38. Television Broadcasting. This Economic Census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound.” These establishments operate television broadcast studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public. These establishments also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which, in turn, broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. Programming may originate in their own studios, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA has created the following small business size standard for such businesses: those having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. The 2012 Economic Census reports that 751 firms in this category operated in that year. Of that number, 656 had annual receipts of $25,000,000 or less, 25 had annual receipts between $25,000,000 and $49,999,999, and 70 had annual receipts of $50,000,000 or more. Based on this data, we therefore estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities under the applicable SBA size standard.

    39. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,384. Of this total, 1,264 stations (or about 91 percent) had revenues of $38.5 million or less, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Television Database (BIA) on February 24, 2017, and, therefore, these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (NCE) television stations to be 394. Notwithstanding, the Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have access to information on the revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to determine how many such stations would qualify as small entities.

    40. We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as “small” under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included. Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, another element of the definition of “small business” requires that an entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television broadcast station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and therefore is possibly over-inclusive.

    41. Cable and Other Subscription Programming. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating studios and facilities for the broadcasting of programs on a subscription or fee basis. The broadcast programming is typically narrowcast in nature (e.g., limited format, such as news, sports, education, or youth-oriented). These establishments produce programming in their own facilities or acquire programming from external sources. The programming material is usually delivered to a third party, such as cable systems or direct-to-home satellite systems, for transmission to viewers. The SBA size standard for this industry establishes as small any company in this category which receives annual receipts of $38.5 million or less. Based on U.S. Census data for 2012, in that year 725 establishments operated for the entire year. Of that number, 488 operated with annual receipts of $10 million a year or less and 237 establishments operated with annual receipts of $10 million or more. Based on this data, the Commission estimates that the majority of establishments operating in this industry are small.

    42. Cable System Operators (Rate Regulation Standard). The Commission has developed its own small business size standards for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide. Industry data indicate that there are currently 4,600 active cable systems in the United States. Of this total, all but nine cable operators nationwide are small under the 400,000-subscriber size standard. In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Current Commission records show 4,600 cable systems nationwide. Of this total, 3,900 cable systems have fewer than 15,000 subscribers, and 700 systems have 15,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard as well, we estimate that most cable systems are small entities.

    43. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than one percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000 are approximately 52,403,705 cable video subscribers in the United States today. Accordingly, an operator serving fewer than 524,037 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate. Based on available data, we find that all but nine incumbent cable operators are small entities under this size standard. We note that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million. Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000, we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

    44. Custom Computer Programming Services. This industry is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in writing, modifying, testing, and supporting software to meet the needs of a particular customer. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is annual gross receipts of $27.5 million or less. According to data from the 2012 U.S. Census, there were 47,918 establishments engaged in this business in 2012. Of these, 45,786 had annual gross receipts of less than $10,000,000. Another 2,132 establishments had gross receipts of $10,000,000 or more. Based on this data, the Commission concludes that the majority of the businesses engaged in this industry are small.

    45. Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: Transmitting and receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment. The Small Business Administration has established a size standard for this industry of 1,250 or fewer employees. U.S. Census data for 2012 shows that 841 establishments operated in this industry in that year. Of that number, 828 establishments operated with fewer than 1,000 employees, 7 establishments operated with between 1,000 and 2,499 employees and 6 establishments operated with 2,500 or more employees. Based on this data, we conclude that a majority of manufacturers in this industry are small.

    46. Satellite Telecommunications. This category comprises firms “primarily engaged in providing telecommunications services to other establishments in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries by forwarding and receiving communications signals via a system of satellites or reselling satellite telecommunications.” The category has a small business size standard of $32.5 million or less in average annual receipts, under SBA rules. For this category, U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012 shows that there were a total of 333 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 299 firms had annual receipts of less than $25 million. Consequently, we estimate that the majority of satellite telecommunications providers are small entities.

    47. Software Publishers. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in computer software publishing or publishing and reproduction. Establishments in this industry carry out operations necessary for producing and distributing computer software, such as designing, providing documentation, assisting in installation, and providing support services to software purchasers. These establishments may design, develop, and publish, or publish only. The SBA has established a size standard for this industry of annual receipts of $38.5 million per year. U.S. Census data for 2012 indicates that 5,079 firms operated in that year. Of that number, 4,697 firms had annual receipts of $25 million or less. Based on that data, we conclude that a majority of firms in this industry are small.

    48. All Other Telecommunications Providers. The “All Other Telecommunications” category is comprised of establishments that are primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving telecommunications from, satellite systems. Establishments providing Internet services or voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services via client-supplied telecommunications connections are also included in this industry. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for “All Other Telecommunications,” which consists of all such firms with gross annual receipts of $32.5 million or less. For this category, U.S. Census data for 2012 shows that there were 1,442 firms that operated for the entire year. Of these firms, a total of 1,400 had gross annual receipts of less than $25 million. Thus, a majority of “All Other Telecommunications” firms potentially affected by the rules adopted can be considered small.

    49. Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service. Broadband Radio Service systems, previously referred to as Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) systems, and “wireless cable,” transmit video programming to subscribers and provide two-way high speed data operations using the microwave frequencies of the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) (previously referred to as the Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS)).

    50. BRS. In connection with the 1996 BRS auction, the Commission established a small business size standard as an entity that had annual average gross revenues of no more than $40 million in the previous three calendar years. The BRS auctions resulted in 67 successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs). Of the 67 auction winners, 61 met the definition of a small business. BRS also includes licensees of stations authorized prior to the auction. At this time, we estimate that of the 61 small business BRS auction winners, 48 remain small business licensees. In addition to the 48 small businesses that hold BTA authorizations, there are approximately 392 incumbent BRS licensees that are considered small entities. After adding the number of small business auction licensees to the number of incumbent licensees not already counted, we find that there are currently approximately 440 BRS licensees that are defined as small businesses under either the SBA or the Commission's rules.

    51. In 2009, the Commission conducted Auction 86, the sale of 78 licenses in the BRS areas. The Commission offered three levels of bidding credits: (i) A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $15 million and do not exceed $40 million for the preceding three years (small business) received a 15 percent discount on its winning bid; (ii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $3 million and do not exceed $15 million for the preceding three years (very small business) received a 25 percent discount on its winning bid; and (iii) a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $3 million for the preceding three years (entrepreneur) received a 35 percent discount on its winning bid. Auction 86 concluded in 2009 with the sale of 61 licenses. Of the ten winning bidders, two bidders that claimed small business status won 4 licenses; one bidder that claimed very small business status won three licenses; and two bidders that claimed entrepreneur status won six licenses.

    52. EBS. The SBA's Cable Television Distribution Services small business size standard is applicable to EBS. There are presently 2,436 EBS licensees. All but 100 of these licenses are held by educational institutions. Educational institutions are included in this analysis as small entities. Thus, we estimate that at least 2,336 licensees are small businesses. Since 2007, Cable Television Distribution Services have been defined within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Wired Telecommunications Carriers are comprised of establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services; wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband Internet services.” The SBA's small business size standard for this category is all such firms having 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census data for 2012 shows that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small. In addition to Census data, the Commission's internal records indicate that as of September 2014, there are 2,207 active EBS licenses. The Commission estimates that of these 2,207 licenses, the majority are held by non-profit educational institutions and school districts, which are by statute defined as small businesses.

    53. Direct Broadcast Satellite (“DBS”) Service. DBS service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic “dish” antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS is now included in SBA's economic census category “Wired Telecommunications Carriers.” The Wired Telecommunications Carriers industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry. The SBA determines that a wireline business is small if it has fewer than 1500 employees. U.S. Census data for 2012 indicates that 3,117 wireline companies were operational during that year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Based on that data, we conclude that the majority of wireline firms are small under the applicable standard. However, currently only two entities provide DBS service, which requires a great deal of capital for operation: DIRECTV (owned by AT&T) and DISH Network. DIRECTV and DISH Network each report annual revenues that are in excess of the threshold for a small business. Accordingly, we must conclude that internally developed FCC data are persuasive that, in general, DBS service is provided only by large firms.

    54. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The U.S. Census Bureau defines this industry as “establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired communications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution, and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.” The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which consists of all such companies having 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census data for 2012 shows that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small.

    55. Wireless Communications Service. This service can be used for fixed, mobile, radiolocation, and digital audio broadcasting satellite uses. The Commission established small business size standards for the wireless communications services (WCS) auction. A “small business” is an entity with average gross revenues of $40 million for each of the three preceding years, and a “very small business” is an entity with average gross revenues of $15 million for each of the three preceding years. The SBA has approved these small business size standards. The Commission auctioned geographic area licenses in the WCS service. In the auction, there were seven winning bidders that qualified as “very small business” entities, and one that qualified as a “small business” entity.

    56. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as cellular services, paging services, wireless internet access, and wireless video services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is that such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For this industry, U.S. Census data for 2012 show that there were 967 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 955 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees and 12 had employment of 1000 employees or more. Thus, under this category and the associated size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) are small entities.

    D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    57. None.

    E. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    58. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, specifically small business alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): “(1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) and exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.”

    59. The rule changes contemplated by the NPRM would implement certain EAS warning codes that are unique, and implemented by small entity and larger-sized regulated entities on a voluntary basis through equipment already in place (or a software upgrade thereof). The costs to EAS Participants associated with implementing the codes contained in the proposed rule changes are expected to be de minimis and limited to the cost of labor for downloading software updates, to the extent any updates are required at all. Nevertheless, we have invited comment on the costs associated with implementation of the proposed Blue Alert code in order to more fully understand the impact of the proposed action and assess whether any action is needed to assist small entities. Similarly, while we believe that the costs incurred by equipment manufacturers to write a few lines of code to implement the Blue Alert code will be minimal, we have also invited comments on the cost to EAS equipment manufacturers of creating software updates, testing these updates, supplying them to their customers, and providing any related customer support. Additionally, we have invited Commenters to propose steps that the Commission may take to further minimize any significant economic impact on small entities. When considering proposals made by other parties, commenters are invited to propose significant alternatives that serve the goals of these proposals.

    F. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

    60. None.

    V. Procedural Matters A. Ex Parte Rules

    61. The proceeding this NPRM initiates shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must: (1) List all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made; and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda, or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    62. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, the Commission has prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of the policies and rules addressed in this document. The IRFA is set forth in Appendix B. Written public comments are requested in the IRFA. These comments must be filed in accordance with the same filing deadlines as comments filed in response to this NPRM, as set forth on the first page of this document, and have a separate and distinct heading designating them as responses to the IRFA.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Analysis

    63. This document does not contain proposed information collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198.

    II. Ordering Clauses

    64. Accordingly, It is ordered that pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 624(g), 706, and 715 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(o), 301, 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 544(g), 606, and 615, this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is Adopted.

    65. It is Further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, Shall send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking including the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 11

    Emergency Alert System.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 11 as follows:

    PART 11—EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM (EAS) 1. The authority citation for part 11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 154 (i) and (o), 303(r), 544(g) and 606.

    2. Amend § 11.31 by adding entry of “Blue Alert” to the table in paragraphs (e) to read as follows:
    § 11.31 EAS protocol.

    (e) * * *

    Nature of activation Event codes *    *    *    *    * State and Local Codes (Optional): *    *    *    *    * Blue Alert BLU. *    *    *    *    *
    [FR Doc. 2017-13718 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    82 125 Friday, June 30, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request June 27, 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 required 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), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Farm Service Agency

    Title: Disaster Assistance—General (7 CFR part 1945-A).

    OMB Control Number: 0560-0170.

    Summary of Collection: The regulation at 7 CFR 759, defines the responsibilities of the Secretary of Agriculture in making disaster area determinations, the types of incidents that can result in a disaster area determination, and the factors used in making disaster area determinations. The determination of a disaster area is prerequisite to authorizing emergency (EM) loans to qualified farmers as outlined in 7 CFR 764. EM loan funds may be used to restore or replace essential property, pay all or part of production costs incurred by the farmer or rancher in the year of the disaster, pay for essential family living expenses, pay to reorganize the farming operation or refinance USDA and non-USDA creditors. The information collection occurs when the Secretary receives a letter from an individual farmer, local government officials, State Governor, State Agriculture Commissioners, State Secretaries of Agriculture, other State government officials, and Indian Tribal Council, requesting a Secretarial natural disaster determination. Supporting documentation of losses for all counties having disaster is provided by the County Emergency Boards in the form of a report entitled “Loss Assessment Report” (LAR).

    Need and Use of the Information: The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will collect the following information to determine if the county is eligible to qualify for a natural disaster designation: (1) The nature and extent of production losses; (2) the number of farmers who have sustained qualifying production losses; and (3) the number of farmers that have sustained qualifying production losses that other lenders in the county have indicated that they will not be in a position to finance. The collection of information is necessary to determine whether the counties did sustain sufficient production losses to qualify for a natural disaster designation. The information will be used by FSA to process request for Secretarial natural disaster designations.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 401.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 214.

    Farm Service Agency

    Title: Customer Data Worksheet Request for Business Partner Record Change.

    OMB Control Number: 0560-0265.

    Summary of Collection: Core Customer Data is required in order to identify USDA program participants and ensure that benefits are directed to the correct customer and respective Tax Identification Numbers. USDA requires this data to ensure that customers can be validated and also to provide a necessary basis for pursuing legal remedies in the event of error or fraud. There is no public law regarding the use or collection of Core Customer Data. The option to document and track Core Customer Data changes is necessary to ensure the integrity of the data and to provide the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources and Conservation Service and Rural Development a method of verifying the validity of the information, and provide a necessary basis for pursuing legal remedies when needed.

    Need and Use of the Information: Core Customer Data is necessary to input customer information for identity purposes and to provide a point of contact for the respective customer and a valid Tax Identification Number to direct program benefits to. The AD-2047 will be used to document Corel Customer Data changes and also to provide a method to identify who made applicable changes and when this was done. Failure to collect and timely maintain the data collected will result in erroneous/out dated point of contact information, which could result in program information and benefits being directed to incorrect recipients.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit; Farms.

    Number of Respondents: 56,926.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (when necessary).

    Total Burden Hours: 9,678.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13747 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Secretary Determination of Total Amounts of Fiscal Year 2018 WTO Tariff-Rate Quotas for Raw Cane Sugar and Certain Sugars, Syrups and Molasses AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (the Secretary) announces the establishment of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 (October 1, 2017-September 30, 2018) in-quota aggregate quantity of raw cane sugar at 1,117,195 metric tons raw value (MTRV), and the establishment of the FY 2018 in-quota aggregate quantity of certain sugars, syrups, and molasses (also referred to as refined sugar) at 182,000 MTRV.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Souleymane Diaby, Import Policies and Export Reporting Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., AgStop 1021, Washington, DC 20250-1021; by telephone (202) 720-2916; by fax (202) 720-0876; or by email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The provisions of paragraph (a)(i) of the Additional U.S. Note 5, Chapter 17 in the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) authorize the Secretary to establish the in-quota tariff-rate quota (TRQ) amounts (expressed in terms of raw value) for imports of raw cane sugar and certain sugars, syrups, and molasses that may be entered under the subheadings of the HTS subject to the lower tier of duties during each fiscal year. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for the allocation of these quantities among supplying countries and areas.

    Section 359(k) of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, requires that at the beginning of the quota year the Secretary of Agriculture establish the TRQs for raw cane sugar and refined sugars at the minimum levels necessary to comply with obligations under international trade agreements, with the exception of specialty sugar.

    Notice is hereby given that I have determined, in accordance with paragraph (a)(i) of the Additional U.S. Note 5, Chapter 17 in the HTS and section 359(k) of the 1938 Act, that an aggregate quantity of up to 1,117,195 MTRV of raw cane sugar may be entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption during FY 2018. This is the minimum amount to which the United States is committed under the WTO Uruguay Round Agreements. I have further determined that an aggregate quantity of 182,000 MTRV of sugars, syrups, and molasses may be entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption during FY 2018. This quantity includes the minimum amount to which the United States is committed under the WTO Uruguay Round Agreements, 22,000 MTRV, of which 20,344 MTRV is established for any sugars, syrups and molasses, and 1,656 MTRV is reserved for specialty sugar. An additional amount of 160,000 MTRV is added to the specialty sugar TRQ for a total of 161,656 MTRV.

    Because the specialty sugar TRQ is first-come, first-served, tranches are needed to allow for orderly marketing throughout the year. The FY 2018 specialty sugar TRQ will be opened in five tranches. The first tranche, totaling 1,656 MTRV, will open October 2, 2017. All specialty sugars are eligible for entry under this tranche. The second tranche will open on October 18, 2017, and be equal to 48,000 MTRV. The third tranche of 48,000 MTRV will open on January 23, 2018. The fourth and fifth tranches of 32,000 MTRV each will open on April 17, 2018, and July 17, 2018, respectively. The second, third, fourth, and fifth tranches will be reserved for organic sugar and other specialty sugars not currently produced commercially in the United States or reasonably available from domestic sources.

    * Conversion factor: 1 metric ton = 1.10231125 short tons.

    Dated: June 21, 2017. Jason Hafemeister, Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. Dated: June 22, 2017. Robert Johansson, Acting Under Secretary, Farm Production and Conservation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13781 Filed 6-29-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2016-0053] Notice of Availability of an Evaluation of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease Status of Japan AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that we are proposing to recognize Japan as being free of highly pathogenic avian influenza and Newcastle disease. This proposed recognition is based on a risk evaluation we have prepared in connection with this action, which we are making available for review and comment.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0053.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2016-0053, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0053 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Kelly Rhodes, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Regionalization Evaluation Services, National Import Export Services, VS, APHIS, USDA, 4700 River Road, Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; [email prote