Federal Register Vol. 82, No.127,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 127 (July 5, 2017)

Page Range30947-31239
FR Document

82_FR_127
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 30997 - Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Dental CategoryPDF
82 FR 31239 - Delegation of Authority Under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998PDF
82 FR 31237 - Delegation of Authority Under the Department of State Authorities Act, Fiscal Year 2017PDF
82 FR 31087 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
82 FR 31063 - The Presidential Commission on Election Integrity (PCEI); Upcoming Public Advisory MeetingPDF
82 FR 31130 - Transamerica ETF Trust, et al.PDF
82 FR 30975 - Program Integrity: Gainful EmploymentPDF
82 FR 31080 - Sunshine Act Meeting; National Science BoardPDF
82 FR 30990 - Oxirane, 2-methyl, Polymer With Oxirane, Hydrogen Sulfate, Ammonium Salt and Potassium Salt; Tolerance ExemptionPDF
82 FR 30979 - Flubendiamide; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
82 FR 30982 - Indaziflam; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
82 FR 30993 - Titanium Dioxide; Exemption From the Requirement of a TolerancePDF
82 FR 31055 - Registration Review Proposed Interim Decisions for Aliphatic Esters, Mepiquat Chloride and Mepiquat Pentaborate, Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol, Triethylene Glycol, Bromuconazole, and Case Closures for ADAO, DMHMP, and Nuosept 145; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 30987 - Pyroxsulam; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
82 FR 31056 - Pesticide Emergency Exemptions; Agency Decisions and State and Federal Agency Crisis DeclarationsPDF
82 FR 31058 - Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide RegistrationsPDF
82 FR 31060 - Certain New Chemicals or Significant New Uses; Statements of Findings for March 2017PDF
82 FR 31052 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 31053 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 31066 - Notice of Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Quarterly Business MeetingPDF
82 FR 31048 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys in the Atlantic OceanPDF
82 FR 31134 - Public HearingPDF
82 FR 31069 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Vehicle Safety Communications 6 ConsortiumPDF
82 FR 31069 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-UHD Alliance, Inc.PDF
82 FR 31048 - Notice of Public Meeting on Voluntary Initiatives To Combat Infringement of Intellectual Property in the Online Environment; CancellationPDF
82 FR 31069 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Vehicle Safety Communications 7 ConsortiumPDF
82 FR 31070 - Phong Tran, M.D.; Decision and OrderPDF
82 FR 31087 - In the Matter of Somascan IncorporatedPDF
82 FR 31036 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Nanticoke River, Seaford, DEPDF
82 FR 31108 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 31061 - Notice of Agreement FiledPDF
82 FR 31121 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 31117 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 31106 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 31050 - Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville II LLC; Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement NationsPDF
82 FR 31039 - Adoption of RecommendationsPDF
82 FR 31068 - Gray Portland Cement and Cement Clinker From Japan; DeterminationPDF
82 FR 31067 - Tapered Roller Bearings From Korea; Institution of Antidumping Duty Investigation and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase InvestigationPDF
82 FR 31045 - 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft From Canada: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
82 FR 31045 - Certain Tool Chests and Cabinets From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
82 FR 31046 - Brass Sheet and Strip From France, Germany, Italy, and Japan: Final Results of the Expedited Fourth Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
82 FR 31061 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 31044 - Foreign-Trade Zone 283-West Tennessee Area Application for Subzone, MTD Consumer Group Inc., Martin, TennesseePDF
82 FR 31044 - Foreign-Trade Zone 29-Louisville, Kentucky; Application for Subzone Expansion; Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc.; Berea, KentuckyPDF
82 FR 31044 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 265-Conroe, Texas; Authorization of Production Activity; Bauer Manufacturing LLC dba NEORig; (Stationary Oil/Gas Drilling Rigs); Conroe, TexasPDF
82 FR 30955 - Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan EnginesPDF
82 FR 30967 - Certifications and Exemptions Under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972PDF
82 FR 31049 - 2017 Public Interface Control Working Group and Forum for the NAVSTAR GPS Public DocumentsPDF
82 FR 30968 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Rio Vista, CAPDF
82 FR 31043 - Notice of Request for Revision of Currently Approved Information CollectionsPDF
82 FR 30997 - Offers of Financial AssistancePDF
82 FR 31135 - Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Department of Transportation's Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (INFRA Grants) for Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018PDF
82 FR 31068 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
82 FR 31132 - Interest RatesPDF
82 FR 31009 - 2018-2020 Enterprise Housing GoalsPDF
82 FR 31065 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program, OMB No. 0915-0387-ExtensionPDF
82 FR 31077 - Special Technical Committee on Civil Disturbance Unit Personal Protective EquipmentPDF
82 FR 31078 - State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Policy Advisory Committee (SLTPS-PAC)PDF
82 FR 31035 - Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws; Notice of Opportunity for Oral Presentation of CommentsPDF
82 FR 30969 - Safety Zones; Annual Fireworks Events in the Captain of the Port Buffalo ZonePDF
82 FR 31047 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Office of Education Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship ProgramPDF
82 FR 31064 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 31042 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 31132 - Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for the State of ARKANSASPDF
82 FR 30973 - Safety Zone; Cleveland Metroparks 100 Year Anniversary Fireworks Display; Lake Erie, Cleveland, OHPDF
82 FR 30969 - Safety Zone; Tchefuncte River, Madisonville, LAPDF
82 FR 31063 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
82 FR 31076 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comments Requested; Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative before the Board of Immigration AppealsPDF
82 FR 31076 - Agency Information Collection Activities: New Information Collection Instrument: Diversity in Law Enforcement Recruitment SurveyPDF
82 FR 31051 - Bayshore Solar C, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 31054 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
82 FR 31053 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 31077 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Oil Pollution ActPDF
82 FR 31051 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 31132 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 31109 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Advance Notice Concerning the Adoption of a New Stock Options and Futures Settlement Agreement Between The Options Clearing Corporation and the National Securities Clearing CorporationPDF
82 FR 31123 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Advance Notice To Adopt a New Stock Options and Futures Settlement Agreement With The Options Clearing CorporationPDF
82 FR 31118 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendments No. 1, 2, and 3, To Allow the Exchange To Trade, Pursuant to Unlisted Trading Privileges, any NMS Stock Listed on Another National Securities Exchange; Establish Rules for the Trading Pursuant to UTP of Exchange-Traded Products; and Adopt New Equity Trading Rules Relating To Trading Halts of Securities Traded Pursuant to UTP on the Pillar PlatformPDF
82 FR 31121 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Notice of Proposed Rule Change, Security-Based Swap Submission, or Advance Notice Relating to the ICC Clearing Rules and the ICC Treasury Operations Policies and ProceduresPDF
82 FR 31066 - National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 31062 - Announcement of Financial Sector LiabilitiesPDF
82 FR 31049 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Master Generic Plan for Customer Surveys and Focus GroupsPDF
82 FR 30971 - Safety Zones Within the Captain of the Port New Orleans Zone, New Orleans to Baton Rouge, LAPDF
82 FR 30966 - Indemnification of Federal Trade Commission EmployeesPDF
82 FR 31154 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Multiple Departmental Office Information RequestsPDF
82 FR 31079 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 31153 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Submission for OMB Review; Assessment of FeesPDF
82 FR 31131 - Office of the National Ombudsman; Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to Small Business Regional Regulatory Fairness BoardsPDF
82 FR 31151 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Comment Request; OCC Guidelines Establishing Heightened Standards for Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal BranchesPDF
82 FR 31107 - New Postal ProductsPDF
82 FR 30976 - Air Plan Approval and Designation of Areas; KY; Redesignation of the Kentucky Portion of the Cincinnati-Hamilton 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area to AttainmentPDF
82 FR 30964 - Amendment of Class D and E Airspace; Tucson, AZPDF
82 FR 31033 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Prineville, ORPDF
82 FR 31034 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Sunriver, ORPDF
82 FR 31031 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace, Big Timber, MTPDF
82 FR 31030 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Bend, ORPDF
82 FR 31190 - Medicare Program; End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals With Acute Kidney Injury, and End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive ProgramPDF
82 FR 31089 - Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards ConsiderationsPDF
82 FR 30947 - Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); CorrectionPDF
82 FR 30958 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 30961 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 30949 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 30953 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 31158 - Medicaid/CHIP Program; Medicaid Program and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); Changes to the Medicaid Eligibility Quality Control and Payment Error Rate Measurement Programs in Response to the Affordable Care ActPDF
82 FR 31080 - Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards InformationPDF

Issue

82 127 Wednesday, July 5, 2017 Contents Administrative Administrative Conference of the United States NOTICES Adoption of Recommendations, 31039-31042 2017-14060 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Foreign Agricultural Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 31042-31043 2017-14031
AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Meetings: 2017 Public Interface Control Working Group and Forum for Navstar GPS Public Documents, 31049 2017-14048 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes under National Cooperative Research and Production Act: UHD Alliance, Inc., 31069-31070 2017-14073 Vehicle Safety Communications 6 Consortium, 31069 2017-14074 Vehicle Safety Communications 7 Consortium, 31069 2017-14071 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection RULES 2013 Mortgage Rules under Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z): Amendments; Correction, 30947-30949 2017-13796 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 31063-31064 2017-14027 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicaid/CHIP Program: Medicaid Program and Children's Health Insurance Program; Changes to Medicaid Eligibility Quality Control and Payment Error Rate Measurement Programs in Response to Affordable Care Act, 31158-31188 2017-13710 PROPOSED RULES Medicare Program: End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Payment for Renal Dialysis Services Furnished to Individuals with Acute Kidney Injury, and End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program, 31190-31233 2017-13908 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 31064-31065 2017-14032 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Sacramento River, Rio Vista, CA, 30968-30969 2017-14047 Safety Zones: Annual Fireworks Events in Captain of the Port Buffalo Zone, 30969 2017-14034 Cleveland Metroparks 100 Year Anniversary Fireworks Display; Lake Erie, Cleveland, OH, 30973-30975 2017-14029 Safety Zones within Captain of the Port New Orleans Zone, New Orleans to Baton Rouge, LA, 30971-30973 2017-14009 Tchefuncte River, Madisonville, LA, 30969-30971 2017-14028 PROPOSED RULES Drawbridge Operations: Nanticoke River, Seaford, DE, 31036-31038 2017-14068 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Assessment of Fees, 31153-31154 2017-14002 OCC Guidelines Establishing Heightened Standards for Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches, 31151-31153 2017-14000 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission PROPOSED RULES Safety Standards: Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws: Opportunity for Oral Presentation of Comments, 31035-31036 2017-14035 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Navy Department

Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Decisions and Orders: Phong Tran, M.D., 31070-31075 2017-14070 Education Department Education Department RULES Program Integrity: Gainful Employment, 30975-30976 2017-14186 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Master Generic Plan for Customer Surveys and Focus Groups, 31049-31050 2017-14010 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Applications to Export Liquefied Natural Gas: Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville II, LLC, 31050-31051 2017-14061
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: KY; Redesignation of Kentucky Portion of Cincinnati-Hamilton 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area to Attainment, 30976-30979 2017-13994 Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for Dental Category, 30997 C2--2017--12338 Pesticide Tolerances: Flubendiamide, 30979-30982 2017-14108 Indaziflam, 30982-30987 2017-14107 Pyroxsulam, 30987-30990 2017-14091 Tolerance Exemptions: Oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt, 30990-30993 2017-14111 Titanium dioxide, 30993-30997 2017-14099 NOTICES Certain New Chemicals or Significant New Uses: Statements of Findings for March 2017, 31060-31061 2017-14084 Pesticide Emergency Exemptions: Agency Decisions and State and Federal Agency Crisis Declarations, 31056-31058 2017-14089 Pesticide Product Registrations: Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide Registrations, 31058-31060 2017-14088 Registration Reviews: Aliphatic Esters, Mepiquat Chloride and Mepiquat Pentaborate, Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol, Triethylene Glycol, Bromuconazole, and Case Closures for ADAO, DMHMP, and Nuosept 145, 31055-31056 2017-14096 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 30949-30953, 30958-30961 2017-13759 2017-13763 Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan Engines, 30955-30958 2017-14050 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 30953-30955, 30961-30964 2017-13757 2017-13761 Class D and E Airspace; Amendments: Tucson, AZ, 30964-30965 2017-13989 PROPOSED RULES Amendment of Class E Airspace: Bend, OR, 31030-31031 2017-13984 Class E Airspace, Amendments: Prineville, OR, 31033-31034 2017-13987 Sunriver, OR, 31034-31035 2017-13986 Class E Airspace; Establishments: Big Timber, MT, 31031-31033 2017-13985 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 31051-31055 2017-14019 2017-14021 2017-14022 2017-14081 2017-14082 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Bayshore Solar C, LLC, 31051 2017-14023 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 31061 2017-14066 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Financial Sector Liabilities, 31062-31063 2017-14011 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 31061-31062 2017-14054 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission RULES Indemnification of Federal Trade Commission Employees, 30966-30967 2017-14008 Foreign Agricultural Foreign Agricultural Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 31043-31044 2017-14045 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Bauer Manufacturing, LLC dba NEORig, Foreign-Trade Zone 265, Conroe, TX, 31044 2017-14051 Subzone Applications: MTD Consumer Group Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 283, West Tennessee Area, 31044-31045 2017-14053 Subzone Expansions; Applications: Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc., Berea, KY; Foreign-Trade Zone 29, Louisville, KY, 31044 2017-14052 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, 31063 2017-14210 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

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program, 31065-31066 2017-14038 Historic Historic Preservation, Advisory Council NOTICES Meetings: Quarterly Business Meeting, 31066-31067 2017-14080 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Information Information Security Oversight Office NOTICES Meetings: State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Policy Advisory Committee, 31078-31079 2017-14036 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada, 31045 2017-14057 Brass Sheet and Strip from France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, 31046-31047 2017-14055 Certain Tool Chests and Cabinets from the People's Republic of China, 31045-31046 2017-14056 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain X-Ray Breast Imaging Devices and Components Thereof, 31068-31069 2017-14041 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Gray Portland Cement and Cement Clinker from Japan, 31068 2017-14059 Tapered Roller Bearings from Korea, 31067 2017-14058 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

See

Drug Enforcement Administration

See

Justice Programs Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Diversity in Law Enforcement Recruitment Survey, 31076 2017-14024 Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative Before Board of Immigration Appeals, 31076-31077 2017-14025 Proposed Consent Decrees under Oil Pollution Act, 31077 2017-14020
Justice Programs Justice Programs Office NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Special Technical Committee on Civil Disturbance Unit Personal Protective Equipment, 31077-31078 2017-14037 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration See

Information Security Oversight Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 31079-31080 2017-14003
National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Institute of Mental Health, 31066 2017-14012 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program, 31047 2017-14033 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Geophysical Surveys in Atlantic Ocean, 31048 2017-14077 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 31080 2017-14168 Navy Navy Department RULES Certifications and Exemptions under 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 30967-30968 2017-14049 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Facility Operating and Combined Licenses: Applications and Amendments Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations, etc., 31089-31106 2017-13804 Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information, etc., 31080-31087 2017-13112 Imposition Orders: Somascan Inc., 31087-31089 2017-14069 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, 31106-31107 2017-14062 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 31087 2017-14226 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Meetings: Voluntary Initiatives to Combat Infringement of Intellectual Property in Online Environment; Cancellation, 31048 2017-14072 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 31107-31108 2017-13996 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Defense and National Security: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998; Delegation of Authority (Memorandum of June 29, 2017), 31239 2017-14253 Department of State Authorities Act, Fiscal Year 2017; Delegation of Authority (Memorandum of June 29, 2017), 31235-31237 2017-14252 Railroad Retirement Railroad Retirement Board NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 31108-31109 2017-14067 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 31117-31118, 31121 2017-14064 2017-14065 Applications: Transamerica ETF Trust, et al., 31130-31131 2017-14196 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: ICE Clear Credit, LLC, 31121-31123 2017-14013 National Securities Clearing Corp., 31123-31130 2017-14015 NYSE MKT, LLC, 31118-31121 2017-14014 Options Clearing Corp., 31109-31117 2017-14016 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Interest Rates, 31132 2017-14040 Major Disaster Declarations: Arkansas; Amendment 1, 31132 2017-14030 Requests for Nominations: Small Business Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards, 31131-31132 2017-14001 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 31132-31134 2017-14018 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board RULES Offers of Financial Assistance, 30997-31008 2017-14044 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Meetings: Public Hearing, 31134-31135 2017-14076 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

NOTICES Funding Opportunities: Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (INFRA Grants) for Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018, 31135-31151 2017-14042
Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 31154-31155 2017-14005
Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 31158-31188 2017-13710 Part III Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 31190-31233 2017-13908 Part IV Presidential Documents, 31235-31237, 31239 2017-14253 2017-14252 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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82 127 Wednesday, July 5, 2017 Rules and Regulations BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Parts 1024 and 1026 [Docket No. CFPB-2014-0033] RIN 3170-AA74 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); Correction AGENCY:

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION:

Final rule; Official Interpretation; Correction.

SUMMARY:

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is making several corrections to the final rule it issued in August 2016 (2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule) amending certain of the Bureau's mortgage servicing rules. First, the Bureau is correcting two typographical errors relating to the early intervention requirements. Second, the Bureau is making corrections relating to the effective date of official commentary relating to servicers' ability to remove certain language in periodic statement sample forms as an option when, for example, communicating with confirmed successors in interest; sample periodic statement forms that servicers may use for certain consumers in bankruptcy; and official commentary relating to the bankruptcy periodic statement exemptions and modified statements. The corrected effective date for the sample periodic statement forms and commentary will be April 19, 2018. Third, the Bureau is amending the Bureau's authority citation for Regulation Z.

DATES:

This correction is effective October 19, 2017. The effective date of amendatory instructions 24.d at 81 FR 72390 and 25.d.ii, vii through xvi, xix, xx, and xxi through xxiv at 81 FR 72396 is being corrected from October 19, 2017, to April 19, 2018.

Pursuant to this correction, beginning April 19, 2018: proper use of the sample forms in appendices H-30(E) and H-30(F) will comply with the form and layout requirements of 12 CFR 1026.41(c) and (d); and compliance with comment 41(c)-5 of 12 CFR 1026.41(c) and commentary to 12 CFR 1026.41(e)(5) and (f) is required.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

On August 4, 2016, the Bureau issued the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule amending certain of the Bureau's mortgage servicing rules.1 The amendments cover nine major topics and focus primarily on clarifying, revising, or amending provisions regarding force-placed insurance notices, policies and procedures, early intervention, and loss mitigation requirements under Regulation X's servicing provisions; and prompt crediting and periodic statement requirements under Regulation Z's servicing provisions. The amendments also address proper compliance regarding certain servicing requirements when a person is a potential or confirmed successor in interest, is a debtor in bankruptcy, or sends a cease communication request under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Bureau makes the following corrections to the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule.

1See 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).

A. Regulation X Model Clause MS-4(D)—Typographical Error

Model clause MS-4(D) in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule contains a typographical error. It provides, in part, “We have a right to invoke foreclosure based on the terms of your mortgage contact.” The Bureau intended the sentence to read, “We have a right to invoke foreclosure based on the terms of your mortgage contract.” The Bureau is correcting this typographical error.

Comment 39(d)(2)-1—Typographical Error

Regulation X comment 39(d)(2)-1 in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule discuses a servicer's obligations relating to the written early intervention notice, generally required under § 1024.39(b), when the borrower has provided a notice under section 805(c) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and while any borrower on the mortgage loan is a debtor in bankruptcy under title 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The comment refers to an example in comment 39(c)(1)(ii)-1.ii but should have referenced comment 39(c)(1)(ii)-2.ii. The relevant example is set forth in comment 39(c)(1)(ii)-2.ii. The Bureau is correcting this typographical error.

B. Regulation Z Effective Date Stated in the Amendatory Instruction Relating to Comment 41(c)-5 in Regulation Z

The Bureau is correcting the amendatory instruction for comment 41(c)-5 in Regulation Z. Comment 41(c)-5 relates to servicers' ability to remove language from sample periodic statement forms that could suggest liability under the mortgage loan agreement if such language is not applicable, for example, in the case of a confirmed successor in interest who is not liable on the mortgage loan obligation.2 Although the Bureau specified an effective date for this comment of April 19, 2018, in the DATES section of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Rule, it did not do so in the relevant amendatory instruction. The Bureau corrects this error and applies an effective date of April 19, 2018, to comment 41(c)-5.

2 81 FR 72300.

Effective Date for Sample Periodic Statement Forms and Commentary Relating to Bankruptcy Periodic Statements

The Bureau is correcting the effective date of the (1) sample periodic statement forms that servicers may use for consumers in bankruptcy to ensure compliance with Regulation Z § 1026.41, and (2) commentary to Regulation Z § 1026.41(e) and (f) relating to the bankruptcy periodic statement exemption and modified statements. In the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule, the Bureau finalized rules relating to a servicer's obligation to provide a periodic statement to certain consumers in bankruptcy. First, it amended § 1026.41(e)(5) and associated commentary generally to limit the circumstances in which a servicer is exempt from periodic statement requirements with respect to a consumer who is a debtor in bankruptcy or has discharged personal liability for a mortgage loan through bankruptcy.3 Second, it amended § 1026.41(f) and associated commentary generally to allow servicers to make various clarifications and modifications to the periodic statement requirements with respect to consumers in bankruptcy or who have discharged personal liability for a mortgage through bankruptcy.4 Third, it issued sample forms for periodic statements for certain consumers in bankruptcy.5

3 81 FR 72310-11.

4 81 FR 72330.

5 81 FR 72348.

The Bureau intended all of these amendments relating to the bankruptcy periodic statement exemptions and modified statements to take effect on April 19, 2018, 18 months after publication in the Federal Register.6 Although the Bureau specified an 18-month implementation period for the regulatory text of § 1026.41(e)(5) and (f), it specified only a 12-month implementation period for the commentary to those provisions and the bankruptcy periodic statement sample forms in appendices H-30(E) and H-30(F). The Bureau corrects this error and applies an effective date of April 19, 2018, to the commentary to § 1026.41(e)(5) and (f) and the sample forms in appendices H-30(E) and H-30(F).

6 81 FR 72349.

Authority Citation for Regulation Z To Include 12 U.S.C. 3353

The Bureau is correcting an omission in the authority citation in the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule. The Bureau did not include 12 U.S.C. 3353 in the authority citation for amendments to Regulation Z. The Bureau is correcting the authority citation to part 1026 to include the citation to 12 U.S.C. 3353.

II. Regulatory Requirements

The Bureau finds that there is good cause to publish these corrections without seeking public comment.7 Public comment is unnecessary because the Bureau is correcting inadvertent, technical errors about which there is minimal, if any, basis for substantive disagreement. Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not require an initial or final regulatory flexibility analysis.8 The Bureau has determined that these corrections do 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.

7See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).

8 5 U.S.C. 603(a) and 604(a).

List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 1024

Condominiums, Consumer protection, Housing, Insurance, Mortgages, Mortgagees, Mortgage servicing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1026

Advertising, Appraisal, Appraiser, Banking, Banks, Consumer protection, Credit, Credit unions, Mortgages, National banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Truth in lending.

Correction

For the reasons set forth above, the Bureau makes the following corrections to the final rule FR Doc. No. 2016-18901, published on October 19, 2016, at 81 FR 72160:

1. On page 72376, in the third column, under amendatory instruction 16, revise added MS-4(D) to read as follows: Appendix MS-4 to Part 1024—Model Clauses for the Written Early Intervention Notice MS-4(D)—Written Early Intervention Notice for Servicers Subject to FDCPA (§ 1024.39(d)(2)(iii))

This is a legally required notice. We are sending this notice to you because you are behind on your mortgage payment. We want to notify you of possible ways to avoid losing your home. We have a right to invoke foreclosure based on the terms of your mortgage contract. Please read this letter carefully.

2. On page 72382, in the third column, under amendatory instruction 17.g.vii, revise added paragraph 1 under added heading Paragraph 39(d)(2) to read as follows:

1. Borrowers in bankruptcy. To the extent the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (15 U.S.C. 1692 et seq.) applies to a servicer's communications with a borrower and the borrower has provided a notification pursuant to FDCPA section 805(c) notifying the servicer that the borrower refuses to pay a debt or that the borrower wishes the servicer to cease communications, with regard to that mortgage loan, § 1024.39(d)(2) exempts a servicer from providing the written notice required by § 1024.39(d) while any borrower on the mortgage loan is also a debtor in bankruptcy under title 11 of the United States Code. For an example, see comment 39(c)(1)(ii)-2.ii.

3. Revise amendatory instruction 18 and its regulatory text appearing on page 72388, first column, to read as follows:

“18. The authority citation for part 1026 is revised to read as follows:

Authority:

12 U.S.C. 2601, 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 3353, 5511, 5512, 5532, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.”

4. Revise amendatory instruction 24.d appearing on page 72390, third column, to read as follows:

“d. Effective April 19, 2018, adding H-30(E) and H-30(F).”

5. Revise amendatory instruction 25.d.ii appearing on page 72396, first column, to read as follows:

“ii. Effective April 19, 2018, under 41(c) Form of the periodic statement, paragraph 5 is added.”

6. Revise amendatory instructions 25.d.vii through xvi and 25.d.xix and xx, appearing on page 72396, first column, to read as follows:

“vii. Effective April 19, 2018, after the entry for 41(d)(8), the heading 41(e) Exemptions is added.”

“viii. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading for 41(e)(5) is revised, and under that heading paragraphs 1 through 3 are revised, and paragraph 4 is added.”

“ix. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(e)(5)(i) Exemption is added, and paragraph 1 under that heading is added.”

“x. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading Paragraph 41(e)(5)(i)(B)(2) is added, and paragraph 1 under that heading is added.”

“xi. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading Paragraph 41(e)(5)(i)(B)(4) is added, and paragraph 1 under that heading is added.”

“xii. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(e)(5)(ii) Reaffirmation or consumer request to receive statement or coupon book is added, and paragraph 1 under that heading is added.”

“xiii. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(e)(5)(iv) Timing of compliance following transition is added.”

“xiv. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(e)(5)(iv)(A) Triggering events for transitioning to modified or unmodified statement or coupon book is added, and paragraphs 1 and 2 under that heading are added.”

“xv. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(e)(5)(iv)(B) Transitional single-billing-cycle exemption is added, and paragraph 1 under that heading is added.”

“xvi. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(e)(5)(iv)(C) Timing of first modified or unmodified statement or coupon book after transition is added, and paragraphs 1 through 3 under that heading are added.”

“xix. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(f) Modified periodic statements and coupon books for certain consumers in bankruptcy is added, and paragraphs 1 through 6 under that heading are added.”

“xx. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(f)(3) Chapter 12 and chapter 13 consumers is added, and paragraphs 1 through 3 under that heading are added.”

7. Revise amendatory instructions 25.d.xxi through xxiv, appearing on page 72396, second column, to read as follows:

“xxi. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(f)(3)(ii) Amount due is added, and paragraph 1 under that heading is added.”

“xxii. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(f)(3)(iii) Explanation of amount due is added, and paragraph 1 under that heading is added.”

“xxiii. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(f)(3)(v) Pre-petition arrearage is added, and paragraph 1 under that heading is added.”

“xxiv. Effective April 19, 2018, the heading 41(f)(4) Multiple obligors is added, and paragraphs 1 and 2 under that heading are added.”

Dated: June 26, 2017. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2017-13796 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9071; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-019-AD; Amendment 39-18942; AD 2017-13-12] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A318 and A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH), which indicates that the main landing gear (MLG) does not comply with certification specifications, which could result in a locking failure of the MLG side stay. This AD requires modification or replacement of certain MLG side stay assemblies. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 9, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 9, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

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

For Messier-Dowty service information identified in this final rule, contact Messier-Dowty: Messier Services Americas, Customer Support Center, 45360 Severn Way, Sterling, VA 20166-8910; telephone: 703-450-8233; fax: 703-404-1621; Internet: https://techpubs.services/messier-dowty.com.

You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9071.

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-2016-9071; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A318 and A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2016 (81 FR 62035). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH which indicates that the MLG does not comply with certification specifications, which could result in a locking failure of the MLG side stay. The NPRM proposed to require modification or replacement of certain MLG side stay assemblies. We are issuing this AD to prevent possible collapse of the MLG during takeoff and landing.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2016-0018R1, dated September 14, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A318 and A319 series airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

During studies for a new landing gear design, it was discovered that the single-locked upper and lower cardan joints of the Main Landing Gear (MLG) do not comply with the certification specifications of (CS, formerly [Joint Aviation Requirements] JAR) Part 25.607.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to MLG side stay locking failure that, during take-off and landing, may result in damage to the aeroplane and detrimental effect on safe flight.

To address this potential unsafe condition, the MLG manufacturer developed a modification to change the single-locked MLG joint into a double-locked one. This modification is available for in-service application through Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (MBD) Service Bulletin (SB) 200-32-315 or SB 201-32-63, or Airbus SB A320-32-1429.

For the reasons described above, EASA issued AD 2016-0018 to require modification or replacement of the MLG side stay assemblies, introducing the double locking of the MLG upper and lower cardan joints.

Following new engineering evaluation, this [EASA] AD is revised to extend the compliance time. This revised [EASA] AD also clarifies the affected Part Number (P/N) references in Appendix 1 by adding Notes, and introduces some editorial changes without affecting the requirements.

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-2016-9071.

Comments

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

Support for the NPRM

Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), American Airlines (AAL), and Allegiant Air (Allegiant) expressed support for the NPRM.

Requests To Extend Compliance Time for the Proposed Modification/Replacement

Air France, AAL, Delta Airlines (DAL), and Virgin America (Virgin) commented that EASA has released EASA AD 2016-0018R1, dated September 14, 2016 (“EASA AD 2016-0018R1”). The commenters pointed out that EASA AD 2016-0018R1 extends the compliance time for the modification or replacement from 66 months to 120 months following a new engineering evaluation. Air France and Virgin America (Virgin) requested that the FAA refer to EASA AD 2016-0018R1. DAL also asserts that the extension would enable operators to accomplish the modification during MLG overhauls with no impact on airline operations.

We agree with the commenters' requests to extend the compliance time for the modification or replacement. We have determined that, based on the new engineering evaluation, extending the compliance time will not adversely affect safety, and will provide operators more flexibility regarding where and when they accomplish the required actions. We have revised paragraph (g) of this AD to specify a compliance time of within 120 months after the effective date of this AD.

Requests To Refer to Updated Service Information

Allegiant and DAL requested that we revise the NPRM to refer to Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 01, dated February 29, 2016 (“Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 01”). The commenters explained that Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 01, contains corrected part numbers for certain MLG side stay assemblies.

We agree with the commenters for the reasons provided. We have revised this AD to refer to Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 01. We have also revised this AD to provide credit for actions done before the effective date of this AD, if those actions were done using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, dated September 10, 2015.

Request To Change Tracking Method of Completed Modification

AAL requested that we revise the NPRM to require the manufacturer to change its method of adding a modification strike to track accomplishment of the proposed modification. AAL suggested that the manufacturer develop a new part number for easier tracking of a completed modification.

We disagree with the commenter's request. We have determined that the actions required by this AD, as specified in the service information, adequately address the unsafe condition. We have not revised this AD in this regard. However, if the manufacturer revises the service information in the future, operators may request approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided adequate data are provided to substantiate that the AMOC provides an acceptable level of safety.

Request To Postpone Release of This AD

Allegiant requested that this AD be postponed until Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 02, is published. Allegiant stated that Revision 02 will incorporate updated information described in Airbus Operators Information Transmission (OIT) 16-0028, Revision 01, dated May 26, 2016. Allegiant pointed out that the Airbus OIT explains that there could be difficulties with accomplishing the required actions “on-wing,” and that Airbus recommends postponing accomplishment of the required actions. Allegiant asserts that Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 02, is intended to provide an airplane jacking procedure that could allow modification of the MLG while it is attached to the airplane.

We partially agree with the commenter's request. We do not agree to delay issuance of this final rule. We have coordinated this issue with Airbus, and Airbus does not recommend postponing accomplishment of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 01, altogether. Airbus does recommend that operators planning to do the modification/replacement “on wing” postpone accomplishment until the jacking procedure is provided. Airbus also recommends that the modification/replacement be accomplished when the airplane is “in shop” for scheduled MLG overhaul.

Operators are not required to accomplish the required modification “on wing.” We have revised paragraph (g)(1) of this AD to clarify that the modification may be done “off wing,” provided the modified MLG is reinstalled on the airplane. Additionally, as previously explained, we have extended the compliance time in this AD, effectively doubling the time in which operators have to accomplish the required actions.

Request To Change Applicability From Airplane Model to MLG Component

DAL requested that we revise the proposed applicability to apply to the MLG side stays instead of the airplane model. DAL pointed out that the MLG side stays are tracked independently from the airframe because of the 10-year overhaul requirement for the landing gear. DAL reasons that compliance could then be tracked at the component level, simplifying compliance.

We disagree with the commenter's request. Not all U.S. operators may track the MLG parts using a method similar to that used by DAL. Therefore, while the requested change might simplify compliance tracking for DAL, it might complicate compliance tracking for other operators. We have not revised this AD in this regard.

Request To Remove Statement Regarding Method of Repair

DAL requested that we revise the proposed AD to remove the statement regarding the method of replacement specified in paragraph (g)(2) of the proposed AD. Instead, DAL recommended allowing operators to replace the MLG side stays using normal airplane maintenance manual (AMM) procedures. DAL explains that the AMM procedures include both pre- and post-modification procedures as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 01. However, DAL pointed out that, as of the effective date of this AD, paragraph (i) of the proposed AD states that only post-modification MLG side stays may be installed, so only the post-modification AMM procedures will apply. The pre-modification procedures will be removed from the AMM, and there will be no risk of de-modifying the MLG side stay.

We disagree with the commenter's request. AMMs are customizable documents that may be used for compliance with paragraph (g)(2) of this AD only with an approved method of compliance. Operators may request that their AMM be revised to show only the post-modification MLG configuration for installing new MLG side stays, or request an AMOC to use another acceptable method for installing the MLG side stays. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We have reviewed the following service information.

• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 01, dated February 29, 2016.

• Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Service Bulletin 200-32-315, dated April 24, 2015.

• Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Service Bulletin 201-32-63, dated April 24, 2015.

The service information describes procedures for modifying the MLG side stay assembly. The Messier-Bugatti-Dowty 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.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 959 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Replacement or modification 9 work-hour × $85 per hour = $765 $14,104 $14,869 $14,259,371
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-13-12 Airbus: Amendment 39-18942; Docket No. FAA-2016-9071; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-019-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 9, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

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

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

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

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

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

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing Gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder, which indicates that the main landing gear (MLG) does not comply with certification specifications, which could result in a locking failure of the MLG side stay. We are issuing this AD to prevent possible collapse of the MLG during takeoff and landing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Modification or Replacement

    Within 120 months after the effective date of this AD, accomplish the action specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Modify each MLG side stay assembly having a part number listed in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 01, dated February 29, 2016, and the service information specified in paragraph (g)(1)(i) or (g)(1)(ii) of this AD, as applicable. The modification may be done “off wing,” provided the modified MLG is reinstalled on the airplane.

    (i) For Model A318 series airplanes; Model A319 series airplanes; and Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes: Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Service Bulletin 200-32-315, dated April 24, 2015.

    (ii) For Model A321 series airplanes: Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Service Bulletin 201-32-63, dated April 24, 2015.

    (2) Replace the MLG side stay assembly with a side stay assembly that has been modified in accordance with paragraph (g)(1) of this AD. Do the replacement 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).

    Note 1 to paragraph (g)(2) of this AD:

    Additional guidance for the replacement can be found in Chapter 32 of the Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Aircraft Maintenance Manual.

    Figure 1 to Paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of This AD—Affected MLG Side Stay Assemblies Models Affected part Nos.
  • (P/N)
  • Strike No.
  • not cancelled
  • A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes 201166001-xxx 1 12 A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; and 201166002-xxx 1 12 A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes 201166003-xxx 1 12 201166004-xxx 1 12 201166005-xxx 1 12 201166006-xxx 1 12 201166007-xxx 1 12 201166008-xxx 1 12 201166009-xxx 1 12 201166010-xxx 1 12 201166011-xxx 1 12 201166012-xxx 1 12 201166013-000 through 201166013-030 inclusive 2 12 201166014-000 through 201166014-030 inclusive 2 12 A321-111, -112, and -131 airplanes 201390001-000 through 201390001-040 inclusive 2
  • 201390002-000 through 201390002-040 inclusive 2
  • 15
  • 15
  • 201527001-000 through 201527001-025 inclusive 2
  • 201527002-000 through 201527002-025 inclusive 2
  • 15
  • 15
  • A321-211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes 201524001-000 through 201524001-035 inclusive 2
  • 201524002-000 through 201524002-035 inclusive 2
  • 15
  • 15
  • 201660001-000 through 201660001-030 inclusive 2
  • 201660002-000 through 201660002-030 inclusive 2
  • 15
  • 15
  • 1 The `xxx' used in this figure can be any 3-digit combination. 2 Units having a P/N with no dash number after the first 9 digits are also affected. Units having a P/N with the first 9 digits and a dash number higher than those listed, are not affected by the requirements of this AD.
    (h) Unaffected Airplanes

    An airplane on which Airbus Modification (Mod) 156646, Airbus Mod 161202, or Airbus Mod 161346 has been embodied in production is not affected by the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, provided it is determined that no part having a part number identified in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, has been installed on that airplane since the date of issuance of the original certificate of airworthiness or the original export certificate of airworthiness. A review of the airplane maintenance records is acceptable to make this determination, provided that these records are accurate and can be relied upon to conclusively make that determination.

    (i) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, do not install on any airplane, an MLG side stay assembly having a part number, with the strike number not cancelled, as identified in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, unless it has been modified in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, dated September 10, 2015.

    (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 the 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 EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

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

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2016-0018R1, dated September 14, 2016, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9071.

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

    (3) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (m)(3), (m)(4), and (m)(5) of this AD.

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1429, Revision 01, dated February 29, 2016.

    (ii) Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Service Bulletin 200-32-315, dated April 24, 2015.

    (iii) Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Service Bulletin 201-32-63, dated April 24, 2015.

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

    (4) For Messier-Dowty service information identified in this AD, contact Messier-Dowty: Messier Services Americas, Customer Support Center, 45360 Severn Way, Sterling, VA 20166-8910; telephone: 703-450-8233; fax: 703-404-1621; Internet: https://techpubs.services/messier-dowty.com.

    (5) 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.

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 19, 2017. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13759 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9384; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-154-AD; Amendment 39-18944; AD 2017-13-14] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 777-300ER series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that certain galley tripod mount assemblies were not connected to the tie rods in the overhead support structure. This AD requires an inspection of certain galleys for the presence of the hardware that connects the tripod mount assembly to the tie rods in the overhead support structure, and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 9, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, 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-2016-9384.

    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-2016-9384; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Allison Buss, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6495; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 777-300ER series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 17, 2016 (81 FR 81021) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report that the T53 and T52 tie rods to the tripod mount assembly in the A2 and A3 galleys were found unattached during a routine production inspection of certain airplanes before delivery. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection of A2 and A3 galleys for the presence of the hardware that connects the tripod mount assembly to the tie rods in the overhead support structure, and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct an unconnected galley tripod mount assembly to the tie rods in the overhead support structure, which can cause a galley to come loose under a high dynamic load, causing a risk of serious injury to passengers and the blocking of evacuation routes.

    Comments

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

    Request To Clarify the Inspection Type

    Boeing, Air New-Zealand (ANZ), and American Airlines (AA) requested that we clarify whether the required inspection type is general visual or detailed. The commenters noted that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016, requires a general visual inspection, while the proposed AD would require a detailed inspection. ANZ inquired whether the detailed inspection was an additional requirement or a terminology correction. Boeing requested that we remove the detailed inspection description in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD and replace it with a description of a general visual inspection.

    We agree to clarify the inspection type required by this AD. A general visual inspection is intended to detect obvious irregularities; in this case, the irregularity to be detected—a missing pin or bolt assembly that connects the tripod mount assembly to the applicable tie rod—may not be obvious. A detailed inspection is therefore most appropriate for this situation. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Allow an Alternative Part

    AA requested that the proposed AD allow the use of a specific alternative washer. AA provided no justification for this request.

    We infer that AA considers the use of alternative parts prohibited. To clarify, substitutions are allowed under paragraph 3.A., Note 4., of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016. Therefore, we have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Add a Corrective Action

    AA requested that Boeing update Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016, to add a corrective action if the hardware is missing. AA stated that the service information specifies to confirm the presence or absence of hardware, but gives no corrective action if the hardware is missing.

    We do not control service bulletin changes, and we also disagree with AA's characterization of the required actions. The service information specifies inspecting to “make sure the hardware (i.e., pin assembly or bolt assembly) that connects the tripod mount assembly to the T53 tie rod is installed.” While investigating this issue, Boeing found that the hardware was present, but not installed. Boeing has confirmed that the service information does not need to include corrective actions to address missing hardware. The hardware should be present. If it is not, operators should install the correct hardware. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016. The service information describes procedures for doing an inspection of the area above the A2 and A3 galleys to make sure the hardware (i.e., pin assembly or bolt assembly) that connects the tripod mount assembly to the applicable T53 and T52 tie rods is installed, and corrective actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 4 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $340

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

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-13-14 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18944; Docket No. FAA-2016-9384; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-154-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 9, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 777-300ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report that certain galley tripod mount assemblies were not attached to the tie rods in the overhead support structure. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct an unconnected galley tripod mount assembly to the tie rods in the overhead support structure, which can cause a galley to come loose under a high dynamic load, causing a risk of serious injury to passengers and the blocking of evacuation routes.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection and Corrective Actions

    Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD: Do a detailed inspection of the area above the A2 and A3 galleys to make sure the hardware (i.e., pin assembly or bolt assembly) that connects the tripod mount assembly to the applicable T53 and T52 tie rods is installed, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (h) Definition of Detailed Inspection

    For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is an intensive examination of a specific item, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at an intensity deemed appropriate. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be necessary. Surface cleaning and elaborate procedures may be required.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Allison Buss, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6495; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-25A0677, dated April 25, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) 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.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 22, 2017. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13757 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0187; Directorate Identifier 2017-NE-08-AD; Amendment 39-18893; AD 2017-10-19] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Trent 1000-A2, Trent 1000-C2, Trent 1000-D2, Trent 1000-E2, Trent 1000-G2, Trent 1000-H2, Trent 1000-J2, Trent 1000-K2, and Trent 1000-L2 turbofan engines. This AD requires initial and repetitive on-wing inspections of affected intermediate pressure compressor (IPC) rotor seals. This AD was prompted by a failure of the IPC rotor seal. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective July 20, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of July 20, 2017.

    We must receive comments on this AD by August 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Rolls-Royce plc, Corporate Communications, P.O. Box 31, Derby, England, DE24 8BJ; phone: 011-44-1332-242424; fax: 011-44-1332-249936; email: http://www.rolls-royce.com/contact/civil_team.jsp; Internet: https://customers.rolls-royce.com/public/rollsroycecare. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0187.

    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-2017-0187; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI), regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The 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:

    Robert Green, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-0187; Directorate Identifier 2017-NE-08-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD 2017-0017, dated February 1, 2017 (referred to hereinafter as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    Recently, a low speed abort (60 to 65 knots) occurred on take-off on a Trent 1000-powered Boeing 787 aeroplane. The pilot performed a commanded engine shutdown and the aeroplane safely returned to the gate. Following investigation, failure and release of the intermediate pressure compressor (IPC) rotor seal was confirmed as having caused this event. RR have confirmed that other IPC rotor seals, Part Number (P/N) KH19098, have been found with cracking at the seal head. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to engine power loss, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

    You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0187.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    RR has issued Alert Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) Trent 1000 72-AJ467, Revision 1, dated February 13, 2017; and NMSB Trent 1000 72-J353, Revision 1, dated November 24, 2016. The Alert NMSB describes procedures for initial and repetitive inspections of affected IPC rotor seal. The NMSB describes procedures for in-shop inspections of affected IPC rotor seals. 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 AD

    This product has been approved by EASA, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the European Community, EASA has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. This AD requires initial and repetitive inspections of affected IPC rotor seal for cracks.

    FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    No domestic operators use this product. Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 0 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection of IPC rotor seal 12.5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,062.50 $0 $1,062.50 $0
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this AD:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-10-19 Rolls-Royce plc: Amendment 39-18893; Docket No. FAA-2017-0187; Directorate Identifier 2017-NE-08-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 20, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Trent 1000-A2, Trent 1000-C2, Trent 1000-D2, Trent 1000-E2, Trent 1000-G2, Trent 1000-H2, Trent 1000-J2, Trent 1000-K2, and Trent 1000-L2 turbofan engines with intermediate pressure compressor (IPC) rotor seal, part number (P/N) KH19098, installed.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) 7230, Turbine Engine, Compressor Section.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by failure of the IPC rotor seal. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the IPC rotor seal, loss of engine thrust control, and reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) Perform an on-wing borescope inspection (BSI) of the IPC rotor seal using paragraph 3, Accomplishment Instructions, of RR Alert Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) Trent 1000 72-AJ467, Revision 1, dated February 13, 2017 as follows:

    (i) For engines with an IPC rotor seal with 300 flight cycles (FC) or more before August 2017, perform a BSI before August 2017.

    (ii) For engines with an IPC rotor seal with less than 300 FC before August 2017, perform a BSI before the IPC rotor seal accumulates 300 FC.

    (2) Depending on the findings of the inspection(s) required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, repeat the on-wing BSI at intervals not to exceed those specified in Figures 2 or 4 of RR Alert NMSB Trent 1000 72-AJ467, Revision 1, dated February 13, 2017.

    (3) An in-shop inspection in accordance with paragraph 3, Accomplishment Instructions, of RR NMSB Trent 1000 72-J353, Revision 1, dated November 24, 2016, may be substituted for an on-wing BSI as required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this AD, within the compliance times specified.

    (4) After the effective date of this AD, do not operate an aircraft, having two engines installed that are both subject to the 20 FC IPC rotor seal re-inspection interval specified in Figure 4 of RR Alert NMSB Trent 1000 72-AJ467, Revision 1, dated February 13, 2017.

    (5) If, during an on-wing inspection as required by paragraphs (g)(1) or (2) of this AD, or an in-shop inspection as specified in paragraph (g)(3) of this AD, any crack is found on the rear face of the affected IPC rotor seal that is at or beyond the reject limits specified in Figure 4 of RR Alert NMSB Trent 1000 72-AJ467, Revision 1, dated February 13, 2017, replace the IPC rotor seal with a part eligible for installation, before next flight.

    (6) Replacing the IPC rotor seal on an engine, as required by paragraph (g)(5) of this AD, is not terminating action for the inspections required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this AD for that engine.

    (7) No reports requested in any of the Alert NMSBs that are referenced in paragraphs (g)(1), (2), and (3) of this AD are required by this AD.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    You may take credit for inspections and corrective action that are required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if you performed these actions and corrective action before the effective date of this AD, using RR Alert NMSB Trent 1000 72-AJ467, Initial Issue, dated November 9. 2016; or RR NMSB Trent 1000 72-J353, Initial Issue, dated August 25, 2016, or Revision 1, dated November 24, 2016.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Robert Green, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) Refer to MCAI AD 2017-0017, dated February 1, 2017, for more information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2017-0187.

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) Trent 1000 72-J353, Revision 1, dated November 24, 2016.

    (ii) RR Alert NMSB Trent 1000 72-AJ467, Revision 1, dated February 13, 2017.

    (3) For RR service information identified in this AD, contact Rolls-Royce plc, Corporate Communications, P.O. Box 31, Derby, England, DE24 8BJ; phone: 011-44-1332-242424; fax: 011-44-1332-249936; email: http://www.rolls-royce.com/contact/civil_team.jsp; Internet: https://customers.rolls-royce.com/public/rollsroycecare.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

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

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on May 11, 2017. Robert J. Ganley, Acting Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14050 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-0461; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-159-AD; Amendment 39-18937; AD 2017-13-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that a main landing gear (MLG) door could not be closed due to rupture of the actuator fitting. This AD requires repetitive inspections for cracking of the MLG door actuator fitting and its components, and corrective actions if necessary. This AD also requires eventual replacement of all affected MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings, which would terminate the repetitive inspections. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 9, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-0461.

    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-2016-0461; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on April 7, 2017 (82 FR 16948) (“the SNPRM”). We preceded the SNPRM with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that published in the Federal Register on January 28, 2016 (81 FR 4901) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections for cracking of the MLG door actuator fitting and its components, and corrective actions if necessary. The NPRM also proposed to require eventual replacement of all affected MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings, which would terminate the repetitive inspections. The NPRM was prompted by a report that an MLG door could not be closed due to rupture of the actuator fitting. The SNPRM proposed to revise the NPRM by reducing the compliance time for replacing the MLG actuator fitting and removing an inspection requirement for certain airplanes. We are issuing this AD to prevent rupture of the door actuator fittings, which could result in detachment of an MLG door and subsequent exterior damage and consequent reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0182, dated September 13, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    On one A320 aeroplane, it was reported that one of the main landing gear (MLG) doors could not be closed. Investigations revealed the rupture of the actuator fitting at the actuator attachment area on the door side. The MLG door is attached to the aeroplane by 2 (two) hinge fittings.

    This condition, if not corrected, could, under certain circumstances, lead to detachment of a MLG door from the aeroplane, possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane, and/or injury to persons on the ground.

    Prompted by these findings, [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued * * * [an AD] * * *, to require a MLG door actuator fitting inspection for cracks and to check the grain direction on a batch of aeroplanes. Subsequently, DGAC France issued * * * [an AD], retaining the requirements of DGAC France AD * * *, which was superseded, to require an inspection of the lower part of the MLG door actuator fitting.

    After that [DGAC] AD was issued, additional investigations revealed that damage could also appear on the nerve area [of the forward monoblock fitting], in the upper part of the MLG door actuator fitting in the area of the hinge.

    Consequently, DGAC France issued F-2003-434, dated December 10, 2003 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/F-2003-454] (EASA approval 2003-1436), retaining the requirements of [a] DGAC France AD * * *, which was superseded, to require additional repetitive inspections. That [DGAC] AD also included an optional terminating action, by replacing the MLG door actuator fittings in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A320-52-1073.

    After DGAC France AD F-2003-434 was issued, in the framework of the extended service goal campaign, it was decided to make replacement of the MLG door actuator fittings a required modification. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2014-0166 * * *, retaining the requirements of DGAC France AD F-2003-434, which was superseded, and requiring replacement of the MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings, which constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections.

    After EASA AD 2014-0166 [corresponding to the NPRM] was issued, errors were identified in the compliance time definitions. Replacement of the MLG door actuator fittings was required “before exceeding 48,000 flight cycles (FC) or 96,000 flight hours (FH), whichever occurs later since aeroplane first flight”, which should have been “whichever occurs first”. Furthermore, since the MLG door is an interchangeable part, the compliance time must be defined as FC/FH accumulated by the MLG door. Furthermore, it was discovered that one of the required inspection[s] is applicable only to a batch of MLG door fittings.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0166, which is superseded, but requires accomplishment of the terminating action within more stringent compliance times, and reduce[s] the applicability of one of the required inspection[s].

    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-2016-0461.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comments received. United Airlines and commenter Lisa Stamps supported the SNPRM.

    Clarification of Provisions for Excluded Airplanes

    In paragraph (l)(1) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM), we inadvertently omitted wording related to the prohibition on installing certain MLG door actuator fittings on modified airplanes, which is identified in step 10 of the EASA AD. We have added that provision to paragraph (l)(1) of this AD.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued the following service information:

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 04, dated August 10, 1999.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 05, dated September 28, 2006.

    This service information describes procedures for replacement of MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings. These documents are distinct due to editorial revisions.

    Airbus has also issued the following service information:

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52A1086, Revision 01, dated September 10, 1999. This service information describes procedures for high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking of the MLG door fittings, and low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspections to determine grain direction of raw material of each actuator fitting.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1096, Revision 02, dated July 12, 2006. This service information describes procedures for HFEC inspections of both hinge and nerve areas of the MLG doors for cracking.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 71 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it takes about 136 work-hours per product to comply with the requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $6,258 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost for the actions required by this AD on U.S. operators to be $1,265,078, or $17,818 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-13-07 Airbus: Amendment 39-18937; Docket No. FAA-2016-0461; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-159-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 9, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

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

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

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

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

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 52, Doors.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that a main landing gear (MLG) door could not be closed due to rupture of the actuator fitting. Later reports indicated that the forward monoblock fitting of the MLG door actuator (referred to as the nerve area) could be damaged after rupture of the actuator fitting. We are issuing this AD to prevent rupture of the door actuator fittings, which could result in detachment of an MLG door and subsequent exterior damage and consequent reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections of MLG Door Actuator Fittings

    For airplanes equipped with MLG door actuator fittings having part number (P/N) D52880224000 or P/N D52880224001 that were installed before the first flight of the airplane on MLG doors identified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD: Within 500 flight hours since the most recent high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection done as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52A1086, Revision 01, dated September 10, 1999, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, perform an HFEC inspection for cracking of the MLG door fittings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52A1086, Revision 01, dated September 10, 1999. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 500 flight hours, except as provided by paragraphs (i), (j), and (k) of this AD.

    (1) Left-hand MLG doors with serial numbers (S/Ns) 1206 through 1237 inclusive, 1239 through 1247 inclusive, and 1249 through 1251 inclusive.

    (2) Right-hand MLG doors with S/Ns 1208 through 1239 inclusive, 1241 through 1249 inclusive, and 1251.

    (h) Repetitive Inspections of MLG Hinge and Nerve Areas

    For airplanes equipped with MLG door actuator fittings having P/N D52880224000, P/N D52880224001, P/N D52880235000, or P/N D52880235001 that were installed before the first flight of the airplane on MLG doors identified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD: Within 400 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, or before the accumulation of 9,000 total flight cycles since first flight of the airplane, whichever occurs later, perform an HFEC inspection of both hinge and nerve areas of the MLG doors for cracking, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1096, Revision 02, dated July 12, 2006. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 800 flight cycles, except as provided by paragraphs (i)(1), (j), and (k) of this AD.

    (1) Left-hand MLG doors with S/Ns 1206 through 1510 inclusive, 1548, 1564, and 2000 through 2065 inclusive.

    (2) Right-hand MLG doors with S/Ns 1208 through 1519 inclusive, 1551, and 2000 through 2065 inclusive.

    (i) Inspections/Corrective Actions

    (1) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD: Before further flight, replace the affected MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 05, dated September 28, 2006. Accomplishing this replacement terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    (2) If, during any HFEC inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no crack is found: Before further flight, perform a low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspection to determine the grain direction of the raw material of each MLG actuator fitting, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52A1086, Revision 01, dated September 10, 1999.

    (i) If the grain direction of the raw material is correct, the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD may be terminated.

    (ii) If the grain direction of the raw material is incorrect, repeat the HFEC inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD at the time specified in paragraph (g) of this AD. Replacement of the MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings as specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (i)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (j) MLG Door Actuator Fitting Replacement

    For airplanes equipped with any MLG door actuator fitting having P/N D52880102000, P/N D52880102001, P/N D52880220000, P/N D52880220001, P/N D52880224000, P/N D52880224001, P/N D52880235000, or P/N D52880235001: At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD, replace the MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 05, dated September 28, 2006. Accomplishing this replacement terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    (1) Before the accumulation of 48,000 total flight cycles or 96,000 total flight hours on the MLG door, whichever occurs first.

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

    (k) Optional Terminating Action

    Replacement of the MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 04, dated August 10, 1999; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 05, dated September 28, 2006; terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    (l) Airplanes Excluded From Certain AD Requirements

    (1) For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 24903, or Airbus Modification 25372, or Airbus Modification 36979 has been embodied in production, no action is required by this AD, provided that no MLG door actuator fitting having any part number identified in paragraph (j) of this AD has been reinstalled on the airplane since first flight; except the requirements of paragraph (m) of this AD remain applicable to post-mod 24903, post-mod 25372 and post-mod 36979 airplanes.

    (2) Modification of an airplane by installing a version (P/N) of the MLG door actuator fitting approved after the effective date of this AD is acceptable for compliance with the requirements in paragraph (j) of this AD, provided the conditions specified in paragraphs (l)(2)(i) and (l)(2)(ii) are met.

    (i) The MLG door actuator fitting (P/N) must be 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).

    (ii) The modification must be accomplished in accordance with instructions approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (m) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install an MLG door actuator fitting having any part number identified in paragraph (j) of this AD on any airplane.

    (n) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to the person identified in paragraph (o)(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 EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (o) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0182, dated September 13, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-0461.

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

    (p) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 04, dated August 10, 1999.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 05, dated September 28, 2006.

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52A1086, Revision 01, dated September 10, 1999.

    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1096, Revision 02, dated July 12, 2006.

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

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 19, 2017. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13763 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0126; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-211-AD; Amendment 39-18943; AD 2017-13-13] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of frame web cracking at certain locations. This AD requires repetitive inspections in certain locations of the frame web, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 9, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 9, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.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. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0126.

    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-2017-0126; 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 final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Galib Abumeri, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5324; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2017 (82 FR 12303) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of frame web cracking at the station (STA) 344 system penetration holes between stringer S-22L and stringer S-24L. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections in certain locations of the frame web, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct frame web cracking, which could grow in size until frames sever. Multiple adjacent severed frames, or a severed frame near cracks in the chem-milled fuselage skin, could result in uncontrolled decompression of the airplane.

    Comments

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

    Request To Change Inspection and Corrective Actions for Group 1 Airplanes

    Boeing requested that we change the language in paragraph (g) of the proposed AD to remove a reference to Parts 2 and 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016. Boeing noted that Group 1 airplanes are those that have exceeded their limit of validity, and that the inspections are not applicable to those airplanes. Boeing stated that it believes the intent of paragraph (g) of the proposed AD is for the operator to obtain maintenance actions in accordance with a method approved by the FAA. Boeing further pointed out that the language in paragraph (g) of the proposed AD allows operators to perform inspections in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016, rather than in accordance with paragraph (j) of the proposed AD (obtaining an alternative method of compliance).

    We agree with the commenter's request for the reasons provided. We have revised paragraph (g) of this AD to clarify the appropriate actions for Group 1 airplanes.

    Request To Correct a Service Bulletin Number

    Boeing requested that we change two sentences in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD that refer to “Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A1354.” Boeing noted that the correct service bulletin number is “737-53A1354.”

    We agree with the commenter's request and have revised paragraph (h) of this AD accordingly.

    Request To Revise the Proposed AD To Provide Credit for Removal of the 1-Inch Diameter Hole at STA 336 or STA 344

    Boeing requested that we add a paragraph to the proposed AD to provide credit for previous actions to remove the 1-inch diameter hole at STA 336 or STA 344. Boeing noted that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016, provides an exception for the Part 2 high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of repaired locations, provided the repair is the corrective action for the crack condition, is approved by the Boeing Organization Designation Authorization (ODA), and does not re-install any open hole. Boeing added that the proposed AD does not include such language.

    We disagree with the request to revise this AD because it is not necessary. Paragraph (h) of this AD specifies to do the applicable inspections and related investigated and corrective actions in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016. The service information already contains the criteria and language proposed by Boeing within the required for compliance (RC) steps in the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information. Therefore, this language does not need to be repeated in this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Revise the Proposed AD To Provide Credit for Repairs of the Open Hole at STA 328

    Boeing requested that we add a paragraph to the proposed AD to provide credit for previous actions to repair any cracks at STA 328. Boeing noted that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016, states that Part 3 HFEC inspections are not required for the STA 328 frame if STA 328 was repaired in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1323. Boeing added that the proposed AD does not include such language.

    We disagree with the request to revise this AD because it is not necessary. Paragraph (h) of this AD specifies to do the applicable inspections and related investigated and corrective actions in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016. The service information already contains the criteria and language proposed by Boeing within the RC steps in the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information. Therefore, this language does not need to be repeated in this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Revise the Proposed AD To Provide Credit for Repairs That Remove or Plug an Open Hole Between Stringers S-20R and S-22R in the STA 328 Frame Web

    Boeing requested that we add a paragraph to the proposed AD to provide credit for previous actions to plug or remove any open hole between stringers S-20R and S-22R in the STA 328 frame web. Boeing noted that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016, states that Part 3 HFEC inspections are not required at an open hole in the STA 328 frame web if there is an installed repair that plugs or removes the open hole between stringers S-20R and S-22R, and the repair was approved by the Boeing ODA. Boeing added that the proposed AD does not include such language.

    We disagree with the request to revise this AD because it is not necessary. Paragraph (h) of the proposed AD specifies to do the applicable inspections and related investigated and corrective actions in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016. The service information already contains the criteria and language proposed by Boeing within the RC steps in the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information. Therefore, this language does not need to be repeated in this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Change Compliance Times

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) requested that we change the compliance times for the initial HFEC inspections required by paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (i.e., before 35,000 total flight cycles or within 4,500 flight cycles) to match the compliance times specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1323, dated December 6, 2013, (i.e., for Group 2-5 airplanes with less than 28,300 total flight cycles, before the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles or within 2,200 flight cycles). EASA claimed that it would be desirable to match the compliance times, as they are both addressing the same root problem in the same area, using the same inspection type. EASA noted that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1323, dated December 6, 2013, is referenced in an FAA NPRM, Docket No. FAA-2014-0346 (we note that the final rule has been published: AD 2015-23-08, Amendment 39-18324 (80 FR 73949, November 27, 2015)).

    We disagree with the commenter's request. The HFEC inspections for the right side frames included in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016, were added based on analysis, not reported cracking. Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016 covers specific areas not included in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1323, dated December 6, 2013. Since there have been no reports of cracking in the applicable inspection areas on the right side of the airplane, there is no technical justification to lower the initial inspection times in this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Effects of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

    Aviation Partners Boeing stated that accomplishing the supplemental type certificate (STC) ST01219SE does not affect the actions specified in the NPRM.

    We concur with the commenter. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of the proposed AD as paragraph (c)(1) of this AD and added paragraph (c)(2) to this AD to state that installation of STC ST01219SE does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016. The service information describes procedures for repetitive HFEC, detailed, and general visual inspections in certain locations of the frame web. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 82 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • HFEC, detailed, and general visual inspections 114 work-hours × $85 per hour = $9,690 per inspection cycle $0 $9,690 per inspection cycle $794,580 per inspection cycle.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-13-13 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18943; Docket No. FAA-2017-0126; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-211-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 9, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    (1) This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016.

    (2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of frame web cracking at station (STA) 344 system penetration holes between stringer S-22L and stringer S-24L. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such cracking, which could grow in size until frames sever. Multiple adjacent severed frames, or a severed frame near cracks in the chem-milled fuselage skin, could result in uncontrolled decompression of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Group 1 Airplanes: Inspections and Corrective Actions

    For airplanes identified as Group 1 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016: Within 120 days after the effective date of this AD, accomplish actions to correct the unsafe condition (e.g. inspections, repairs, and corrective actions), using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (h) Group 2 Airplanes: Repetitive Inspections and Corrective Actions

    For airplanes identified as Group 2 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016: At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016, except as required by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD: Do the inspections specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016, except as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (1) Do high frequency eddy current (HFEC), detailed, and general visual inspections for cracking of the left side section 41 lower lobe frames, between STA 268.25 and STA 360.

    (2) Do detailed and general visual inspections for cracking of the right side section 41 lower lobe frames, between STA 268.25 and STA 360.

    (3) Do an HFEC inspection for cracking of the right side STA 312, STA 328, and STA 344, section 41 lower lobe frames.

    (i) Service Information Exceptions

    (1) Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016, specifies a compliance time “after the original date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions, and specifies that action as Required for Compliance (RC), this AD requires repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) Except as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (j)(4)(i) and (j)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Galib Abumeri, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5324; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1354, dated December 2, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) 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 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 21, 2017. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13761 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0218; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-4] Amendment of Class D and E Airspace; Tucson, AZ AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule, technical amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This action amends the legal description of the Class E airspace designated as an extension, at Ryan Field, Tucson, AZ, eliminating the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) part-time status. This action also updates the geographic coordinates of this airport in the associated Class D and E airspace areas to match the FAA's current aeronautical database. This action does not affect the charted boundaries or operating requirements of the airspace.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert LaPlante, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4566.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it removes NOTAM part-time information for Class E airspace designated as an extension, and amends the geographic coordinates in the associated Class D and E airspace for Ryan Field, Tucson, AZ.

    History

    The FAA Aeronautical Information Services branch found the Class E airspace designated as an extension, for Ryan Field, Tucson, AZ, as published in FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, does not require part time status. Also, after a review, the FAA found the geographic coordinates referenced in the airspace legal descriptions under Class D and Class E airspace for Ryan Field, Tucson, AZ, do not match the FAA's current aeronautical database. This action makes these updates.

    Additionally, an editorial change is made to the Class D and Class E airspace legal descriptions replacing Airport/Facility Directory with the term Chart Supplement.

    Class D and Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11A dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class D and Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Rule

    This action amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by eliminating the following language from the legal description of Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class D at Ryan Field, Tucson, AZ, “This Class E airspace is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory”. Also, this action updates the geographic coordinates of Ryan Field airport in the associated Class D and Class E airspace areas for the airport to match the FAA's current aeronautical database. Lastly, this action replaces the outdated term Airport/Facility Directory with the term Chart Supplement in the Class D and E airspace legal descriptions.

    This action is an administrative change and does not affect the boundaries, altitudes, or operating requirements of the airspace, therefore, notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) is unnecessary.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. AWP AZ D Tucson-Ryan Field, AZ [Amended] Tucson-Ryan Field, AZ (Lat. 32°08′32″ N., long. 111°10′28″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface up to but not including 4,200 feet MSL within a 4-mile radius of Tucson-Ryan Field. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. AWP AZ E2 Tucson-Ryan Field, AZ [Amended] Tucson-Ryan Field, AZ (Lat. 32°08′32″ N., long. 111°10′28″ W.)

    Within a 4-mile radius of Tucson-Ryan Field. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area. AWP AZ E4 Tucson-Ryan Field, AZ [Amended] Tucson-Ryan Field, AZ (Lat. 32°08′32″ N., long. 111°10′28″ W.) Ryan NDB (Lat. 32°08′20″ N., long. 111°09′41″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within 1.8 miles each side of the Tucson-Ryan Runway 6 Localizer extending from the 4-mile radius of Tucson-Ryan Field to 6.1 miles southwest of the airport, and within 1.8 miles each side of the 317° bearing from the Ryan NDB extending from the 4-mile radius of Tucson-Ryan Field to 6.1 miles northwest of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on June 26, 2017. Sam S.L. Shrimpton, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13989 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 1 Indemnification of Federal Trade Commission Employees AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Trade Commission is publishing a policy that permits indemnification of FTC employees in appropriate circumstances, as determined by the Commission or the Commission's designee, for claims made against them as a result of actions taken by them in the scope of their employment.

    DATES:

    These amendments are effective July 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David C. Shonka, Acting General Counsel, (202) 326-2222, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Presently, the FTC does not have a policy to indemnify its employees who are sued in their individual capacities and who suffer an adverse judgment as a result of conduct taken within the scope of their employment; nor does the FTC have a policy to settle these claims with agency funds. Lawsuits against federal employees in their personal capacities have proliferated since the Supreme Court's decision in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). This decision held that personal damage awards against a federal employee are permitted when, in the course of his or her employment, the federal employee is found to have violated an individual's constitutional rights. Although the Federal Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act of 1988, Public Law 100-694, prohibits personal actions against Federal employees for common law torts committed while acting within the scope of their employment, that Act does not apply to suits against federal employees for violation of the Constitution or federal statutes.

    The FTC believes that actions against its employees in their personal capacities and the potential for a judgment against agency employees hinder the agency's effectiveness as a law enforcement agency. The FTC's ability to effectively protect consumers and promote competition depends upon the willingness of its employees to pursue investigations and litigation. Uncertainty regarding what conduct may lead to a personal liability claim resulting in a monetary judgment tends to intimidate employees, stifle creativity and initiative, and limit decisive action. Thus, the threat of personal liability against an employee for a decision made or action taken as part of official duties can adversely affect the FTC's achievement of its mission. The adoption of a policy to permit indemnification would help alleviate these problems and afford FTC employees the same protection now given to other federal employees in several other government agencies, including the Agency for International Development, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Department of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, and the Department of Justice.

    The FTC's policy permits, but does not require, the agency to indemnify a FTC employee who suffers an adverse verdict, judgment, or other monetary award, provided that the actions giving rise to the judgment were taken within the scope of employment, and that such indemnification is in the interest of the FTC, as determined by the Commission or the Commission's designee. The policy also allows the agency to settle a claim brought against an employee in his or her individual capacity by the payment of funds, upon a similar determination by the Commission or the Commission's designee. Generally, the FTC will not entertain a request either to indemnify or to pay to settle a personal damage claim against an employee before entry of an adverse verdict, judgment, or monetary award. However, in certain cases, the Commission or its designee, may determine that exceptional circumstances justify the earlier indemnification or payment of a settlement amount. This policy is applicable to actions pending against FTC employees as of its effective date, as well as to actions commenced after that date.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Commission certifies that these new regulations, which deal solely with internal policies governing FTC personnel, do not require an initial or final regulatory analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act because they will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. See 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The regulations adopted herein do not contain information collection requirements within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    The indemnification policy is published in final form without the opportunity for public notice and comment because it is a general statement of policy relating to FTC management and personnel. See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2),(b).

    List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 1

    Administrative practice and procedure, Government employees, Indemnity payments.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Federal Trade Commission amends part 1, title 16, of the Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 1—GENERAL PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sec. 6, 38 Stat. 721 (15 U.S.C. 46), unless otherwise noted.

    §§ 1.125 through 1.129 [Added and Reserved]
    2. In subpart Q, add and reserve §§ 1.125 through 1.129. 3. Add subpart R to read as follows: Subpart R—Policy With Regard to Indemnification of FTC Employees Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 46.

    § 1.130 Policy on employee indemnification.

    (a) The Commission may indemnify, in whole or in part, its employees (which for the purpose of this regulation includes former employees) for any verdict, judgment, or other monetary award which is rendered against any such employee, provided that the conduct giving rise to the verdict, judgment, or award was taken within the scope of his or her employment with the Federal Trade Commission and that such indemnification is in the interest of the Federal Trade Commission, as determined as a matter of discretion by the Commission, or its designee.

    (b) The Commission may settle or compromise a personal damage claim against its employee by the payment of available funds, at any time, provided the alleged conduct giving rise to the personal damage claim was taken within the scope of employment and that such settlement or compromise is in the interest of the Federal Trade Commission, as determined as a matter of discretion by the Commission, or its designee.

    (c) Absent exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Commission or its designee, the Commission will not entertain a request either to agree to indemnify or to settle a personal damage claim before entry of an adverse verdict, judgment, or monetary award.

    (d) When an employee of the Federal Trade Commission becomes aware that an action may be or has been filed against the employee in his or her individual capacity as a result of conduct taken within the scope of his or her employment, the employee shall immediately notify his or her supervisor that such an action is pending or threatened. The supervisor shall promptly thereafter notify the Office of the General Counsel. Employees may be authorized to receive legal representation by the Department of Justice in accordance with 28 CFR 50.15.

    (e)(1) The employee may, thereafter, request either:

    (i) Indemnification to satisfy a verdict, judgment or award entered against the employee; or

    (ii) Payment to satisfy the requirements of a settlement proposal.

    (2) The employee shall submit a written request, with documentation including copies of the verdict, judgment, award, or settlement proposal, as appropriate, to the head of his or her division or office, who thereupon shall submit to the General Counsel, in a timely manner, a recommended disposition of the request. The General Counsel may also seek the views of the Department of Justice. The failure of an employee to provide notification under paragraph (d) of this section or make a request under this paragraph (e) shall not impair the agency's ability to provide indemnification or payment under this section if it determines it is appropriate to do so.

    (f) Any amount paid under this section either to indemnify a Federal Trade Commission employee or to settle a personal damage claim shall be contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds of the Federal Trade Commission.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14008 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy 32 CFR Part 706 Certifications and Exemptions Under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy (DoN) is amending its certifications and exemptions under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72 COLREGS), to reflect that the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (DAJAG) (Admiralty and Maritime Law) has determined that USS RALPH JOHNSON (DDG 114) is a vessel of the Navy which, due to its special construction and purpose, cannot fully comply with certain provisions of the 72 COLREGS without interfering with its special function as a naval ship. The intended effect of this rule is to warn mariners in waters where 72 COLREGS apply.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective July 5, 2017 and is applicable beginning June 23, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lieutenant Commander Kyle Fralick, (Admiralty and Maritime Law), Office of the Judge Advocate General, Department of the Navy, 1322 Patterson Ave. SE., Suite 3000, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066, telephone 202-685-5040.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the authority granted in 33 U.S.C. 1605, the DoN amends 32 CFR part 706.

    This amendment provides notice that the DAJAG (Admiralty and Maritime Law), under authority delegated by the Secretary of the Navy, has certified that USS RALPH JOHNSON (DDG 114) is a vessel of the Navy which, due to its special construction and purpose, cannot fully comply with the following specific provisions of 72 COLREGS without interfering with its special function as a naval ship: Annex I, paragraph 3(a), pertaining to the location of the forward masthead light in the forward quarter of the ship, and the horizontal distance between the forward and after masthead lights; Annex I, paragraph 3(c), pertaining to placement of task lights not less than two meters from the fore and aft centerline of the ship in the athwartship direction; Annex I, paragraph 2(f)(i), pertaining to the placement of the masthead light or lights above and clear of all other lights and obstructions; and Annex I, paragraph 2(f)(ii), pertaining to the vertical placement of task lights. The DAJAG (Admiralty and Maritime Law) has also certified that the lights involved are located in closest possible compliance with the applicable 72 COLREGS requirements.

    Moreover, it has been determined, in accordance with 32 CFR parts 296 and 701, that publication of this amendment for public comment prior to adoption is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to public interest since it is based on technical findings that the placement of lights on this vessel in a manner differently from that prescribed herein will adversely affect the vessel's ability to perform its military functions.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 706

    Marine safety, Navigation (water), Vessels.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the DoN amends part 706 of title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 706—CERTIFICATIONS AND EXEMPTIONS UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA, 1972 1. The authority citation for part 706 continues to read: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1605.

    2. Section 706.2 is amended by: a. In Table Four, paragraph 15, adding, in alpha numerical order, by vessel number, an entry for USS RALPH JOHNSON (DDG 114); and b. In Table Five, by adding, in alpha numerical order, by vessel number, an entry for USS RALPH JOHNSON (DDG 114).

    The additions read as follows:

    § 706.2 Certifications of the Secretary of the Navy under Executive Order 11964 and 33 U.S.C. 1605. Table Four

    15. * * *

    Vessel No. Horizontal distance
  • from the fore and
  • aft centerline of
  • the vessel in the
  • athwartship
  • direction
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * USS Ralph Johnson DDG 114 1.90 meters. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Table Five Vessel No. Masthead
  • lights not
  • over all
  • other lights
  • and
  • obstructions
  • annex I,
  • sec. 2(f)
  • Forward
  • masthead
  • light not in
  • forward
  • quarter
  • of ship.
  • annex I,
  • sec. 3(a)
  • After
  • masthead
  • light less
  • than 1/2
  • ship's length
  • aft of
  • forward
  • masthead
  • light.
  • annex I,
  • sec. 3(a)
  • Percentage
  • horizontal
  • separation
  • attained
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * USS Ralph Johnson DDG 114 X X X 14.5 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Approved: June 23, 2017. A.S. Janin, Captain, JAGC, U.S. Navy, Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate, General (Admiralty and Maritime Law). Dated: June 28, 2017. A.M. Nichols, Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14049 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0510] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Rio Vista, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation; modification.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has modified a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Rio Vista Drawbridge across Sacramento River, mile 12.8, at Rio Vista, CA. The modified deviation extends the period the bridge may open with one hour advance notice and is necessary to allow the bridge owner to make necessary emergency repairs to the bridge.

    DATES:

    This modified deviation is effective without actual notice from July 5, 2017 through 4 a.m. on July 15, 2017. For the purposes of enforcement actual notice will be used from June 28, 2017 until July 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2017-0510], 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 Carl T. Hausner, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510-437-3516; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 15, 2017, the Coast Guard published a temporary deviation entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Rio Vista, California” in the Federal Register (82 FR 27423). That temporary deviation, from 7 p.m. on June 16, 2017 to 4 a.m. on July 1, 2017, allows the drawspan to open on one hour advance notice at three specified time periods. The bridge owner, California Department of Transportation, has requested a modification of the currently published deviation to extend from 4 a.m. on July 1, 2017 to 4 a.m. on July 15, 2017 in order to complete the necessary repairs to the bridge deck.

    The Rio Vista Drawbridge, mile 12.8, across the Sacramento River, has a vertical clearance of 18 feet above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. In accordance with 33 CFR 117.5, the draw opens on signal. Navigation on the waterway is commercial, search and rescue, law enforcement, and recreational.

    The drawspan will require a one hour advance notice at one specified period: From 6 p.m. on July 14, 2017 to 4 a.m. on July 15, 2017. A one hour advance notice will give enough time for the contractor to clear away equipment and workers before the drawspan can safely open for transiting vessels. Scaffolding will be installed below the bridge deck from July 1, 2017 through July 15, 2017, reducing the vertical clearance by 4 feet, and will extend from the west tower 48 feet into the navigational channel. This temporary deviation modification has been coordinated with the waterway users. No objections to the proposed temporary deviation modification were raised.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies with one hour advance notice. There is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. 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 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 28, 2017. C.T. Hausner, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14047 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0438] Safety Zones; Annual Fireworks Events in the Captain of the Port Buffalo Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a safety zone for the Sheffield Lake Fireworks, on Lake Erie and the Sheffield Lake boat ramp from 9:30 p.m. through 11 p.m. on Friday, July 14, 2017. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life and property on navigable waters during this event. Our regulation for Annual Fireworks Events in the Captain of the Port Buffalo Zone identifies the safety zone for this event. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter the respective safety zone without the permission of the Captain of the Port Buffalo.

    DATES:

    The regulation in 33 CFR 165.939(a)(27) will be enforced from 9:30 p.m. through 11 p.m. on July 14, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, call or email LT Ryan Junod, Coast Guard; telephone 216-937-0124, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Safety Zones; Annual Fireworks Events in the Captain of the Port Buffalo Zone listed in 33 CFR 165.939 for the following event:

    Sheffield Lake Fireworks, Sheffield Lake, OH: The safety zone listed in 33 CFR 165.939(a)(27) will be enforced from 9:30 p.m. through 11 p.m. on July 14, 2017. The safety zone will encompass all navigable waters of Lake Erie and Sheffield Lake Boat ramp within a 350 foot radius of land position 41°29′27.65″ N., 082°6′47.71″ W. (NAD 83) at Sheffield Lake Boat Ramp in Sheffield Lake, OH. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life and property on navigable waters during this event. Pursuant to 33 CFR 165.23, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within these safety zones during an enforcement period is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated representative. Those seeking permission to enter one of these safety zones may request permission from the Captain of Port Buffalo via channel 16, VHF-FM. Vessels and persons granted permission to enter this safety zone shall obey the directions of the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated representative. While within the safety zone, all vessels shall operate at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course.

    This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.939 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 these enforcement periods via Broadcast Notice to Mariners and Local Notice to Mariners. If the Captain of the Port Buffalo determines that this safety zone need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, he or she may use a Broadcast Notice to Mariners to grant general permission to enter the respective safety zone.

    Dated: June 27, 2017. J.S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14034 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0578] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Tchefuncte River, Madisonville, LA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within one-half mile of a barge positioned in the Tchefuncte River, in the vicinity of Madisonville, LA. The safety zone is needed to protect persons, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created by a barge-based fireworks display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port New Orleans or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 8 p.m. through 9 p.m. on July 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0578 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 Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Howard Vacco, Sector New Orleans, at (504) 365-2281 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. It is impracticable to publish an NPRM because we must establish this safety zone by July 4, 2017 and we lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the rule. It is also contrary to the public interest as it would delay the safety measures necessary to protect life and property from the possible hazards associated with the fireworks display launched from the waterway. The impacts on navigation are expected to be minimal as the safety zone will only be in effect for a short duration of one hour. The Coast Guard will notify the public and maritime community that the safety zone will be in effect and of its enforcement periods via Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) and Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB).

    We are issuing this rule, and 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. Delaying the effective date to provide a full 30 days' notice is contrary to public interest because immediate action is needed to protect persons and vessels from safety hazards associated with the fireworks display over this navigable waterway.

    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 New Orleans (COTP) has determined that potential hazards, associated with a fireworks display from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 4, 2017, will be a safety concern for persons and vessels within a one-half mile radius of the launch point barge at approximately 30°24′11.63″ N., 090°09′17.39″ W. This rule is needed to protect persons, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the display takes place.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 4, 2017. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters within a one-half mile radius of a fireworks barge anchored in the river at approximately 30°24′11.63″ N., 090°09′17.39″ W. The duration of the safety zone is intended to protect persons, vessels, and the marine environment from the hazards associated with a fireworks display. No vessel or person 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 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, duration, and time-of-year of the safety zone. This safety zone will impact a small designated area of the Tchefuncte River for one hour. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM Channel 16 about the zone, and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 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 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 establishing a temporary safety zone lasting one hour that will prohibit entry within a one-half mile radius of a fireworks barge on the Tchefuncte River at approximately 30°24′11.63″ N. 090°09′17.39″ W. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A Record of Environmental Considerations (REC) 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

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T08-0578 to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-0578 Safety Zones; Tchefuncte River; Madisonville, LA.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Tchefuncte River, Madisonville, LA within a one-half mile radius of a barge anchored at approximately 30°24′11.63″ N. 090°09′17.39″ W.

    (b) Effective period. This rule is effective on July 4, 2017, from 8 p.m. through 9 p.m.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port New Orleans (COTP) or designated representative. A designated representative is a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard assigned to units under the operational control of U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.

    (2) Vessels requiring entry into this safety zone must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. They may be contacted on VHF-FM Channel 16 or 67.

    (3) Persons and vessels permitted to enter this safety zone must transit at their slowest safe speed and comply with all lawful directions issued by the COTP or the designated representative.

    (d) Information broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through Broadcast Notices to Mariners of any changes in the planned schedule.

    Dated: June 28, 2017. W.R. Arguin, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New Orleans
    [FR Doc. 2017-14028 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0388] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones Within the Captain of the Port New Orleans Zone, New Orleans to Baton Rouge, LA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing temporary safety zones for multiple locations and dates within the Captain of the Port New Orleans (COTP Zone). These safety zones are necessary to provide for the safety of life and protection of vessels from potential hazards associated with fireworks displays on navigable waterways. Entry into these zones is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port New Orleans (COTP) or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from July 5, 2017 through July 14, 2017. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 8:00 p.m. through 10:00 p.m. each day from July 1, 2017 through July 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0388 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 Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Howard Vacco, Sector New Orleans, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 504-365-2281, email [email protected]

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

    The Coast Guard is establishing four temporary safety zones within the COTP New Orleans Zone (COTP Zone) for the following planned fireworks displays.

    1. Mandeville City 4th of July Celebration Fireworks are scheduled from 8:45 p.m. through 9:45 p.m. on July 1, 2017. The fireworks barge will be positioned on Lake Pontchartrain, in vicinity of 30°21′12.0″ N. and 090°04′28.9″ W.

    2. L'Auberge Casino 4th of July Celebration Fireworks are scheduled from 8:45 p.m. through 9:45 p.m. on July 2, 2017. The fireworks barge will be positioned in the Lower Mississippi River at Mile Marker 217.0 above Head of Passes.

    3. St. John the Baptist Parish 4th of July Celebration Fireworks are scheduled from 8:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. on July 3, 2017. The fireworks barge will be positioned in the Lower Mississippi River at Mile Marker 138.0 above Head of Passes.

    4. BBC Beach Body special event fireworks are scheduled from 10:30 p.m. through 11:15 p.m. on July 14, 2017. The fireworks barge will be positioned in the Lower Mississippi River at Mile Marker 96.2 above Head of Passes.

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because publishing an NPRM would be impracticable and against public interest. We must establish this safety zone by July 1, 2017 and lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the rule. The NPRM process would delay the establishment of these safety zones until after the scheduled dates of the fireworks displays and jeopardize public safety.

    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 the rule would not be effective until after the scheduled displays occur.

    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 New Orleans (COPT) has determined that these safety zones are necessary to provide for the safety of life and to protect property due to the potential hazards associated with barge-based fireworks displays taking place on these navigable waterways. The Coast Guard will notify the public and maritime community of the proposed safety zones and their respective enforcement periods via Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM).

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes four temporary safety zones within the COTP Zone on several dates and in different locations. Each safety zone will be enforced on the respective dates listed above and in the regulatory text provided at the end of this document. Each safety zone is limited to a duration of one hour, and will occur during the evening on the dates of July 1, July 2, July 3, and July 14, 2017. Entry into these safety zones is prohibited unless permission has been granted by the COTP or a designated representative.

    The COTP will inform the public through Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) of the enforcement period for each safety zone as well as any changes in the planned schedule. Inquiries may be made with the Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Command Center regarding the status of the safety zone by telephone at 504-365-2200.

    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, duration, and time-of-year of the safety zone. Three of the safety zones will be no greater than 1 mile in length and will restrict navigation on the Lower Mississippi River for no longer than one hour each. The remaining safety zones will be established on Lake Pontchartrain, extending a 600 foot radius from position 30°21′12.0″ N. and 090°04′28.9″ W. and will restrict navigation for no longer than one hour. Due to the limited scope and short duration of each safety zone, the impact on routine navigation is expected to be minimal. Additionally, notice of the safety zones or any changes in the planned schedule will be made via Broadcast Notice to Mariners. Entry into the safety zones may be requested from the COTP or a designated representative and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 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 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 four temporary safety zones within the COTP Zone on four separate days. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.1D. 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

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T08-0388 to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-0388 Safety Zones; Safety Zones within Captain of the Port New Orleans Zone, New Orleans to Baton Rouge, LA.

    (a) Safety Zones. The following areas are safety zones:

    (1) Mandeville City 4th of July Celebration, Mandeville, LA.

    (i) Location. All navigable waters of Lake Pontchartrain extending in a 600 foot radius from position 30°21′12.0″ N. and 090°04′28.9″ W., Mandeville, LA.

    (ii) Effective period. This section will be effective from 8:45 p.m. through 9:45 p.m. on July 1, 2017.

    (2) L'Auberge Casino Independence Day fireworks display, Baton Rouge, LA.

    (i) Location. All navigable waters of the Lower Mississippi River from mile marker 216.5 to mile marker 217.5 above Head of Passes, Baton Rouge, LA.

    (ii) Effective period. This section will be effective from 8:45 p.m. through 9:45 p.m. on July 2, 2017.

    (3) St. John the Baptist Parish Independence Day fireworks display, LaPlace, LA.

    (i) Location. All navigable waters of the Lower Mississippi River from mile marker 137.5 to mile marker 138.5 above Head of Passes, LaPlace, LA.

    (ii) Effective period. This section will be effective from 8:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. on July 3, 2017.

    (4) Team Beachbody Coach Summit fireworks display, New Orleans, LA.

    (i) Location. All waters of the Lower Mississippi River from mile marker 95.7 to mile marker 96.7 above Head of Passes, New Orleans, LA.

    (ii) Effective period. This section will be effective from 10:30 p.m. through 11:15 p.m. on July 14, 2017.

    (b) Definitions. As used in this section, a designated representative means a commissioned officer, warrant officer, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard assigned under the operational control of USCG Sector New Orleans.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into these safety zones is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port New Orleans (COTP) or a designated representative. For each event, the COTP designated representative will be announced via Marine Safety Information Bulletin and Notice to Mariners.

    (2) Vessels seeking entry into these safety zones must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. They may be contacted via the U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Command Center, via VHF-FM Channel 16 or by telephone at 504-365-2200.

    (3) Persons and vessels permitted to enter these safety zones must transit at the slowest safe speed and comply with all lawful directions issued by the COTP or designated representative.

    (d) Information broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through Broadcast Notice to Mariners of any changes to the enforcement periods for the safety zones.

    Dated: June 28, 2017. W.R. Arguin, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New Orleans.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14009 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0481] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Cleveland Metroparks 100 Year Anniversary Fireworks Display; Lake Erie, Cleveland, OH AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters of Lake Erie at Edgewater Park, Cleveland, OH. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from a portion of Lake Erie during the Cleveland Metroparks 100 Year Anniversary fireworks display. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from the potential hazards associated with a fireworks display. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Buffalo.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 9:25 p.m. through 10:25 p.m. on July 22, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0481 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 LT Ryan Junod, Chief of Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Cleveland; telephone 216-937-0124, email [email protected]

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the event sponsor did not submit notice to the Coast Guard with sufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Thus, delaying the effective date of this rule to wait for a comment period to run would be contrary to the public interest by inhibiting the Coast Guard's ability to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with a maritime 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 Captain of the Port Buffalo, NY (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with vessels in the vicinity of firework displays on July 22, 2017 will be a safety concern for vessels and spectators within a 700 foot radius of the launch point of the fireworks. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the fireworks display is happening.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone from 9:25 p.m. through 10:25 p.m. on July 22, 2017. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters within 700 feet of the launch point of the fireworks display. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port or his designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

    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.

    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.”

    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.

    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 conclude that this rule is not a significant regulatory action because we anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced for a relatively short time. Also, the safety zone is designed to minimize its impact on navigable waters. Furthermore, the safety zone has been designed to allow vessels to transit around it. Thus, restrictions on vessel movement within that particular area are expected to be minimal. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 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 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 one hour that will prohibit entry within 700 feet of the launch area for the fireworks display. 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 in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble.

    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, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 165.T09-0481 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0481 Safety Zone; Cleveland Metroparks 100 Year Anniversary Fireworks Display; Lake Erie, Cleveland, OH.

    (a) Location. This zone will encompass all U.S. waterways within a 700 foot radius of the fireworks launch site located at position 41°29′32.61″ N., 081°44′37.69″ W., Cleveland, OH (NAD 83).

    (b) Effective and Enforcement Period. This regulation is effective and will be enforced on July 22, 2017 from 9:25 p.m. until 10:25 p.m.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative.

    (2) This safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his designated on-scene representative.

    (3) The “on-scene representative” of the Captain of the Port Buffalo is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been designated by the Captain of the Port Buffalo to act on his behalf.

    (4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone shall contact the Captain of the Port Buffalo or his on-scene representative to obtain permission to do so. The Captain of the Port Buffalo or his on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port Buffalo, or his on-scene representative.

    Dated: June 27, 2017. J.S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14029 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Part 668 [Docket ID ED-2017-OPE-0090] Program Integrity: Gainful Employment AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of applicable dates; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    On January 6 and January 19, 2017, the Department announced dates by which institutions subject to the Department's gainful employment (GE) regulations must comply with certain provisions of the GE regulations relating to the submission of alternate earnings appeals and disclosure requirements. On March 6, 2017, the Department announced that it was allowing additional time, until July 1, 2017, to comply with those provisions. On June 15, 2017, the Department announced its intention to negotiate issues related to gainful employment. This document announces that the Department allows additional time, until July 1, 2018, for institutions to comply with certain disclosure requirements in the GE regulations and invites comment on this action. The Department also extends the deadline for all programs to file alternate earnings appeals in light of the Court Order in American Association of Cosmetology Schools v. DeVos, Civil Action No. 17-0263, D.D.C. June 28, 2017 (Court Order). We will issue a Federal Register notice to specifically implement the Court Order, including establishing new deadlines, and anticipate doing so within 30 days from the publication date of this notice. We do not change the July 1, 2017, deadline for the requirement to provide a completed disclosure template, or a link thereto, on GE program Web pages.

    DATES:

    The Department is allowing additional time—until July 1, 2018—for institutions to comply with 34 CFR 668.412(d) and (e). We must receive your comments on or before August 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via U.S. mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under “Are you new to this site?”

    U.S. Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments, address them to Scott Filter, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Room 6W253, Washington, DC 20202.

    Privacy Note: The Department's policy for comments received from members of the public (including comments submitted by mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery) is to make these submissions available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available on the internet.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott Filter, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW., Room 6W253, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-7249 or by email at: [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:

    On January 6 and January 19, 2017, the Department announced dates by which institutions subject to the Department's GE regulations must comply with certain provisions of the GE regulations relating to the submission of alternate earnings appeals and disclosure requirements. On March 6, 2017, the Department announced that it was allowing additional time, until July 1, 2017, to comply with those provisions. On June 16, 2017, the Department announced its intention to negotiate issues related to gainful employment.

    Consistent with the Department's March 6, 2017 announcement, by July 1, 2017, institutions must comply with the requirement in 34 CFR 668.412(c) to provide a completed disclosure template, or a link thereto, on its GE program Web pages. The revised template is available for use at https://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/negreg-summerfall.html. The Department believes that it should evaluate the utility of these disclosures to students and the implementation of this requirement prior to requiring institutions to include the disclosure template, or a link thereto, in their GE program promotional materials and to directly distribute the disclosure template to prospective students under 34 CFR 668.412(d) and (e). Moreover, the Department expects to further review these requirements as part of its review of the GE regulations and their implementation, including through negotiated rulemaking. Accordingly, the Department is allowing institutions additional time—until July 1, 2018—to comply with the provisions in 34 CFR 668.412(d) and (e).

    The Department also extends the deadline for all programs to file alternate earnings appeals in light of the Court Order. We will issue a Federal Register notice to specifically implement the Court Order, including establishing new deadlines, and anticipate doing so within 30 days from the publication date of this notice.

    We are inviting your comments on this action. We will consider these comments in determining whether to take any future action in connection with the implementation of the disclosure requirements.

    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 this 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 of this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: June 30, 2017. Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14186 Filed 6-30-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0601; FRL-9964-41-Region 4] Air Plan Approval and Designation of Areas; KY; Redesignation of the Kentucky Portion of the Cincinnati-Hamilton 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area to Attainment AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On August 26, 2016, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, through the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Division for Air Quality (DAQ), submitted a request for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redesignate the Kentucky portion of the tri-state Cincinnati-Hamilton, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area (hereinafter referred to as the “Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area” or “Area”) to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and to approve the portions of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision containing a maintenance plan and base year emissions inventory for the Area. EPA is taking final action to approve the Commonwealth's base year emissions inventory for the Kentucky portion of the Area; to approve the Commonwealth's plan for maintaining attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the Area, including motor vehicle emission budgets (MVEBs) for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) for the years 2020 and 2030 for the Kentucky portion of the Area; and to redesignate the Kentucky portion of the Area to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Through separate actions, EPA has approved the redesignation requests and maintenance plans for both the Ohio and Indiana portions of the Area.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective July 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0601. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Wong, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Richard Wong may be reached by phone at (404) 562-8726 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. What is the background for EPA's proposed actions?

    Effective July 20, 2012, EPA designated areas as unclassifiable/attainment or nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS that was promulgated on March 27, 2008. See 77 FR 30088 (May 21, 2012). The Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area was designated as nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and classified as a marginal nonattainment area.1 On May 4, 2016 (81 FR 26697), EPA issued a determination that the Area had attained the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. On August 26, 2016, Kentucky requested that EPA redesignate the Area to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and submitted a SIP revision containing the Commonwealth's plan for maintaining attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone standard in the Area through 2030, including 2020 and 2030 MVEBs for NOX and VOC for the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area. In addition, the Commonwealth requested approval of the base year emissions inventory for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS pursuant to CAA section 182(a)(1).

    1 The Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area is composed of portions of Boone, Campbell, and Kenton Counties in Kentucky; Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, and Warren Counties in Ohio; and a portion of Dearborn County in Indiana.

    In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on May 1, 2017 (82 FR 20297), EPA proposed to approve the base year emissions inventory; to approve the maintenance plan, including the 2020 and 2030 MVEBs for NOX and VOC, and incorporate the plan into the Kentucky SIP; and to redesignate the Area to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. In that notice, EPA also notified the public of the status of the Agency's adequacy determination for the NOX and VOC MVEBs for the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area. No adverse comments were received on the May 1, 2017, proposed rulemaking. The details of Kentucky's submittal and the rationale for EPA's actions are further explained in the NPRM.

    II. Final Action

    EPA is taking three separate, but related, final actions. First, EPA is approving the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS base year emissions inventory for the Kentucky portion of the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area as meeting the requirements of CAA section 182(a)(1) and incorporating it into the SIP. Approval of the base year emissions inventory is a prerequisite to redesignating an ozone nonattainment area to attainment.

    Second, EPA is approving the maintenance plan for the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area, including the NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2020 and 2030, as meeting the requirements of CAA section 175A and incorporating it into the Kentucky SIP. The maintenance plan demonstrates that the Area will continue to maintain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS through 2030, and the MVEBs meet all of the adequacy criteria contained in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4) and (5).

    Third, EPA is approving Kentucky's redesignation request for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area pursuant to CAA section 107(d)(3)(E). Approval of the redesignation request changes the official designation of the portions of Boone County, Campbell County, and Kenton County in the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS from nonattainment to attainment, as found at 40 CFR part 81.

    EPA is also notifying the public that EPA finds the newly-established NOX and VOC MVEBs for the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area adequate for the purpose of transportation conformity. Within 24 months from this final rule, the transportation partners will need to demonstrate conformity to the new NOX and VOC MVEBs pursuant to 40 CFR 93.104(e).

    EPA has determined that these actions are effective immediately upon publication under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) and (d)(3). The purpose of the 30-day waiting period prescribed in section 553(d) is to give affected parties a reasonable time to adjust their behavior and prepare before the final rule takes effect. Section 553(d)(1) allows an effective date less than 30 days after publication if a substantive rule “relieves a restriction.” These actions qualify for the exception under section 553(d)(1) because they relieve the State of various requirements for the Area. Furthermore, section 553(d)(3) allows an effective date less than 30 days after publication “as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.” EPA finds good cause to make these actions effective immediately pursuant to section 553(d)(3) because they do not create any new regulatory requirements such that affected parties would need time to prepare before the actions take effect.

    III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, redesignation of an area to attainment and the accompanying approval of a maintenance plan under section 107(d)(3)(E) are actions that affect the status of a geographical area and do not impose any additional regulatory requirements on sources beyond those imposed by state law. A redesignation to attainment does not in and of itself create any new requirements, but rather results in the applicability of requirements contained in the CAA for areas that have been redesignated to attainment. Moreover, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. See 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, these actions merely approve state law as meeting federal requirements and do not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For this reason, these actions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • are not significant regulatory actions subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

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

    • will not have disproportionate human health or environmental effects under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 5, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control.

    Dated: June 16, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR parts 52 and 81 are amended as follows:

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

    42.U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart S—Kentucky
    2. Section 52.920(e) is amended by adding new entries for “2008 8-hour ozone Maintenance Plan for the Kentucky portion of the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area” and “2008 8-hour ozone base year emissions inventory for the Kentucky portion of the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.920 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Kentucky Non-Regulatory Provisions Name of non-regulatory SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State
  • submittal date/effective date
  • EPA approval date Explanations
    *         *         *         *         *         *          2008 8-hour ozone Maintenance Plan for the Kentucky portion of the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area Portions of Boone (2000 Census tracts: 702, 703.05, 703.06, 703.07, 703.08, 703.09, 704.01, 704.02, 705.01, 705.02, 706.01, 706.03, 706.04), Campbell (2000 Census tracts: 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 512, 513, 519.01, 519.03, 519.04, 520.01, 520.02, 521, 522, 523.01, 523.02, 524, 525, 526, 528, 529, 530, 531), and Kenton (2000 Census tracts: 603, 607, 609, 610, 611, 612, 613, 614, 616, 636.03, 636.04, 636.05, 636.06, 638, 640, 641, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649, 650, 651, 652, 653, 654, 655.01, 655.02, 656, 657, 658, 659, 668, 669, 670, 671) Counties, KY 8/26/2016 7/5/2017
  • [Insert citation of publication]
  • 2008 8-hour ozone base year emissions inventory for the Kentucky portion of the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN Area Portions of Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties in Kentucky 8/26/2016 7/5/2017
  • [Insert citation of publication]
  • 182(a)(1) base-year emissions inventory
    PART 81—DESIGNATION OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES 3. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    4. In § 81.318, the table entitled “Kentucky-2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS (Primary and secondary)” is amended by revising the entries for “Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN” to read as follows:
    § 81.318 Kentucky. Kentucky—2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS [Primary and secondary] Designated area Designation Date 1 Type Classification Date 1 Type Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN: 2 7/5/2017 Attainment Boone County (part) Attainment 2000 Census tracts: 702, 703.05, 703.06, 703.07, 703.08, 703.09, 704.01, 704.02, 705.01, 705.02, 706.01, 706.03, 706.04. Campbell County (part) Attainment 2000 Census tracts: 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 512, 513, 519.01, 519.03, 519.04, 520.01, 520.02, 521, 522, 523.01, 523.02, 524, 525, 526, 528, 529, 530, 531. Kenton County (part) Attainment 2000 Census tracts: 603, 607, 609, 610, 611, 612, 613, 614, 616, 636.03, 636.04, 636.05, 636.06, 638, 640, 641, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649, 650, 651, 652, 653, 654, 655.01, 655.02, 656, 657, 658, 659, 668, 669, 670, 671.    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 This date is July 20, 2012, unless otherwise noted. 2 Excludes Indian country located in each area, unless otherwise noted.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13994 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0099; FRL-9962-13] Flubendiamide; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes a tolerance for residues of flubendiamide in or on tea at 50 parts per million (ppm). Nichino America, Inc. requested this tolerance under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective July 5, 2017. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 5, 2017, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0099, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0099 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before September 5, 2017. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0099, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of August 12, 2016 (81 FR 53379) (FRL-9949-53), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announced the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 6E8463) by Nichino America, Inc., 4550 New Linden Hill Road, Suite 501, Wilmington, DE 19808-2951. This petition requested that 40 CFR 180.639 be amended by establishing an import tolerance for residues of flubendiamide, N2-[1,1-dimethyl-2-(methylsulfonyl)ethyl-3-iodo-N1-[2-methyl-4-[1,2,2,2-tetrafluoro-1-(trifluoromethyl)ethyl]phenyl]-1,2-benzenedicarboxamide, in or on the processed commodity of dried tea at 60 parts per million (ppm). This document referenced a summary of a petition prepared by Nichino America, Inc., the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. This tolerance was requested to cover residues of flubendiamide in or on tea resulting from uses of this pesticide on tea outside the United States; there is no current U.S. registration for use of flubendiamide on tea. In order to harmonize with Codex, EPA is establishing a tolerance for residues of flubendiamide in or on tea at 50 ppm. The available residue data supports this tolerance level. A revised Section F was submitted by Nichino America, Inc. to support this change to the petitioned-for tolerance. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

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

    In the Federal Register of December 12, 2012 (77 FR 73940) (FRL-9373-3), EPA amended tolerances for residues of flubendiamide in or on apple, wet pomace and fruit, pome, group 11. EPA is relying upon significant portions of those risk assessments and the corresponding findings made in the December 12, 2012 Federal Register document in support of this action for the following reasons. The toxicity profile of flubendiamide has not changed. Much of the exposure profiled remains the same as well because there is no U.S. registration associated with the tea use (i.e., the estimated drinking water exposures reported in 2012 are not expected to change nor is there any need to conduct a residential exposure assessment due to the lack of proposed or existing residential uses for flubendiamide). The Agency did take into consideration the potential additional dietary exposure to flubendiamide as a result of residues in or on imported tea. Aggregating that exposure with the dietary exposure estimated in the December 2012 tolerance assessment resulted in no change to the acute dietary exposure (3.1% of the aPAD for the general U.S. population and 5.5% of the aPAD for children 1-2 years old, the most highly exposed population subgroup) and only a 1% change in the chronic dietary risk (21% of the cPAD) for the general U.S. population and an increase of 9% in the chronic dietary risk (67% of the cPAD) for children 1-2 years old, the most highly exposed population subgroup. The Agency's findings concerning cumulative effects and the children's safety factor as reflected in the December 2012 tolerance rulemaking are also relied upon in this action.

    Based upon the risk assessments supporting the December 12, 2012 Federal Register document, the findings therein, and the updated risk assessment accounting for the residues of flubendiamide on imported tea, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to flubendiamide residues.

    For a detailed discussion of the aggregate risk assessments and determination of safety for these tolerances, please refer to the December 12, 2012, Federal Register document and its supporting documents, available at http://www.regulations.gov in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0099. Further information about EPA's determination that an updated risk assessment was not necessary may be found in the document, “Flubendiamide: Human Health Risk Assessment for the Petition for a Tolerance Without U.S. Registration for Residues in/on Tea.” in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0099.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An independently validated liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) method, Method 00816/M002, was previously submitted for the determination of residues of in/on samples of plant commodities. The validated limit of quantitation (LOQ) is 0.01 ppm for each analyte in each matrix.

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level. There is currently a Codex MRL for tea established at 50 ppm; therefore, the U.S. EPA is establishing a tolerance on tea at the same level to harmonize with Codex.

    C. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerance

    If only dried tea data are submitted for imported tea (data in/on the RAC are not required for imported tea) and the tolerance level based on these data is also meant to cover for detectable residues in instant tea (may be demonstrated by data depicting detectable residues in brewed tea), then the correct commodity definition for tolerance setting should be “tea” to cover incurred residues in or on all tea commodities and eliminate any regulatory ambiguity. In order to harmonize with Codex, EPA is establishing a tolerance for residues of flubendiamide in or on tea at 50 ppm. The available residue data supports this tolerance level. A revised Section F was submitted by Nichino America, Inc. to support this change to the petitioned-for tolerance.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, a tolerance is established for residues of flubendiamide, N2-[1,1-dimethyl-2-(methylsulfonyl)ethyl-3-iodo-N1-[2-methyl-4-[1,2,2,2-tetrafluoro-1-(trifluoromethyl)ethyl]phenyl]-1,2-benzenedicarboxamide, in or on tea at 50 ppm. At this time, there is no U.S. registration for use of flubendiamide on tea.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: May 23, 2017. Donna S. Davis, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.639, add alphabetically the entry “Tea” to the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.639 Flubendiamide; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Commodity Parts per million *    *    *    *    * Tea 1 50 *    *    *    *    * 1 There are no U.S. registrations as of July 5, 2017, for use of flubendiamide on tea.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14108 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0166; FRL-9962-61] Indaziflam; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective July 5, 2017. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 5, 2017, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0166, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0166 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before September 5, 2017. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0166, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of May 19, 2016 (81 FR 31581) (FRL-9946-02), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 6E8452) by IR-4, Rutgers University, 500 College Rd. East, Suite 201 W, Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.653 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the herbicide indaziflam (N-[(1R,2S)-2,3-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-1H-inden-1-yl]-6-(1-fluoroethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine) in or on bushberry, subgroup 13-07B at 0.01 parts per million (ppm); caneberry, subgroup 13-07A at 0.01 ppm; coffee, green bean at 0.01 ppm; fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F at 0.01 ppm; hop, dried cones at 0.03 ppm; fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 0.01 ppm; and nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.01 ppm. Additionally, the petition requested that tolerances be established for the crops in the proposed crop subgroup 23A (small fruit, edible peel subgroup) at 0.01 ppm, including acerola; African plum; agritos, almondette; appleberry; arbutus berry; bayberry, red; bignay; breadnut; cabeluda; carandas-plum; Ceylon iron wood; Ceylon olive; cherry-of-the-Rio-Grande; Chinese olive, black; Chinese olive, white; chirauli-nut; cocoplum; desert-date; false sandalwood; fragrant manjack; gooseberry, Abyssinian; gooseberry, Ceylon; gooseberry, otaheite; governor's plum; grumichama; guabiroba; guava berry; guava, Brazilian; guava, Costa Rican; guayabillo; illawarra plum; Indian-plum; Jamaica-cherry; jambolan; kaffir-plum; kakadu plum; kapundung; karnada; lemon aspen; mombin, yellow; monos plum; mountain cherry; olive; persimmon, black; pitomba; plum-of-Martinique; rukam; rumberry; sea grape; sete-capotes; silver aspen; water apple; water pear; water berry; and wax jambu.

    Upon establishment of the tolerances referenced above, IR-4 requested to remove existing tolerances in 40 CFR 180.653 for residues of the herbicide indaziflam (N-[(1R,2S)-2,3-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-1H-inden-1-yl]-6-(1-fluoroethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine) in or on fruit, stone, group 12 at 0.01 ppm; nut, tree, group 14 at 0.01 ppm; grape at 0.01 ppm; and pistachio at 0.01 ppm. That May 19, 2016 document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Bayer CropScience, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to these comments is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA has modified the level at which the tolerance is being established for hops. Other tolerances being established vary from the petition requests in minor ways. These differences and the reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.D.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

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

    A. Toxicological Profile

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

    The nervous system is the major target for toxicity in rats and dogs. Evidence of neurotoxicity (e.g., decreased motor activity, clinical signs, and/or neuropathology) was observed in both species throughout the database, which included the dog subchronic and chronic toxicity studies; the rat acute, subchronic, and developmental neurotoxicity studies; the rat two-generation reproduction study; the rat chronic toxicity study; and the rat combined carcinogenicity/chronic toxicity study. In repeated-dose studies, the dog was the more sensitive species, showing the lowest no-observed-adverse-effect-levels (NOAELs) and lowest-observed-adverse-effect-levels (LOAELs) among all available studies, based on neuropathology (degenerative nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord, and sciatic nerve). At higher doses, three dogs in the subchronic study were prematurely terminated due to excessive clinical signs including ataxia, tremors, decreased pupil response, seizures, and other findings.

    In the rat, a marginal decrease in motor/locomotor activity was observed in females in the acute neurotoxicity study. Decreases in motor/locomotor activity were also seen in the subchronic neurotoxicity study in females and in the developmental neurotoxicity study in male offspring at post-natal day (PND) 21. Clinical signs of neurotoxicity were observed in the acute, subchronic, and developmental neurotoxicity studies and consisted primarily of tremors, changes in activity and reactivity, repetitive chewing, dilated pupils, and oral, perianal, and nasal staining. Similar clinical signs of neurotoxicity were observed in the 2-generation reproduction study, the rat chronic toxicity study, and the combined rat carcinogenicity/chronic toxicity study. Neuropathology findings were also observed in the rat manifested as focal/multifocal vacuolation of the median eminence of the brain and the pituitary pars nervosa and degenerative nerve fibers in the gasserian ganglion, sciatic nerve, and tibial nerve. Evidence of neurotoxicity was not seen in the mouse.

    Other organs affected by indaziflam in mice and rats included the kidney, liver, thyroid, stomach, seminal vesicles, and ovaries. Effects on the kidney were observed following chronic exposure in rats and mice while effects on the liver were observed following chronic exposure in the rat. Effects on the thyroid were only observed in multiple dose rat studies and usually in the male only. Increased thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) measured at 3 and 14 weeks in the 90-day and 1-year studies showed an increase in males at week 3. Histopathological alterations (thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy at 90 days and 1 year, as well as colloid alterations at chronic exposure times) were observed, but no increases in thyroid weight were noted. Thyroid histopathology was observed at a lower dose in the two-year study, compared to the 90-day and 1-year studies. Chronic exposures also led to atrophied or small seminal vesicles in male rats and glandular erosion/necrosis in the stomach and blood-filled ovarian cysts/follicles in female mice. However, these effects occurred at higher doses than those at which neurotoxicity was observed in the dog. In rats, effects observed on the liver, thyroid, kidney, and seminal vesicles occurred at doses that were similar to or higher than those that produced neurotoxicity. Decreased body weight gain was also observed in most studies following exposure to indaziflam. There was no evidence of immunotoxicity in the available studies, which included a guideline immunotoxicity study in the rat. No systemic effects were observed in the rat following a 28-day dermal exposure period.

    No evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility was seen in developmental toxicity studies in rats and rabbits, a developmental neurotoxicity study in rats, or in a reproduction study in rats. In the rat developmental toxicity study, decreased fetal weight was observed in the presence of maternal effects that included decreased body weight gain and food consumption. No developmental effects were observed in rabbits up to maternally toxic dose levels. Decreased pup weight and delays in sexual maturation (preputial separation in males and vaginal patency in females) were observed in offspring in the rat two-generation reproductive toxicity study, along with clinical signs of toxicity, at a dose causing parental toxicity that included coarse tremors, renal toxicity and decreased weight gain. In the rat developmental neurotoxicity study, transiently decreased motor activity (PND 21 only) in male offspring was observed and was considered a potential neurotoxic effect. It was observed at a dose that also caused clinical signs of neurotoxicity along with decreased body weight in maternal animals.

    Indaziflam showed no evidence of carcinogenicity in the two-year dietary rat and mouse bioassays. All genotoxicity studies that were conducted on indaziflam were negative.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by indaziflam as well as the NOAEL and the LOAEL from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in the document titled “Indaziflam—Aggregate Human Health Risk Assessment of Proposed New Uses, Crop Group Conversions, and Expansions from Representative Commodities to Crop Groups” on page 28 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0466.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

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

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for indaziflam used for human risk assessment is discussed in Unit III.B. of the final rule published in the Federal Register of January 29, 2014 (79 FR 4624) (FRL-9903-88).

    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to indaziflam, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing indaziflam tolerances in 40 CFR 180.653. EPA assessed dietary exposures from indaziflam in food as follows:

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

    Such effects were identified for indaziflam. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used food consumption information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America, (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, the acute dietary risk assessment was based on tolerance-level residues and 100 percent crop treated (PCT).

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the food consumption data from the USDA's 2003-2008 NHANES/WWEIA. As to residue levels in food, the chronic dietary risk assessment was based on tolerance-level residues and 100 PCT.

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

    iv. Anticipated residue and PCT information. EPA did not use anticipated residue or PCT information in the dietary assessment for indaziflam. Tolerance-level residues and 100 PCT were assumed for all food commodities.

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

    Based on the Pesticide in Water Calculator (PWC) and the Tier 1 Rice model, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of indaziflam for acute exposures are estimated to be 84 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 3.7 ppb for ground water, and for chronic exposures are estimated to be 26 ppb for surface water and 3.7 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For the acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 84 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water. For the chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 26 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

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

    Indaziflam is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: Turf, gardens, and trees. EPA assessed residential exposure using the following assumptions: Short-term dermal and inhalation handler exposure is expected for adults as a result of applying products containing indaziflam to lawns/turf and gardens/trees using a variety of application equipment. Short-term post-application dermal exposure is expected for adults, children 11<16, and children 6<11 years old as a result of playing, mowing and/or golfing on treated turf. Short-term dermal and incidental oral exposure (hand to mouth, object to mouth, incidental soil ingestion) is expected for children 1<2 years old as a result from playing on treated turf/lawns. Lastly, short-term post-application dermal exposure is expected for adults and children 6<11 years old as result of application to gardens and trees. The Agency selected only the most conservative, or worst case, residential adult and child scenarios to be included in the aggregate estimates, based on the lowest overall MOE (i.e., highest risk estimates). The worst case residential exposure scenario for both adults and children resulted from short-term dermal and incidental oral (for children only) post-application exposure to treated turf. Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/standard-operating-procedures-residential-pesticide.

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

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

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

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

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. No evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility was seen in developmental toxicity studies in rats and rabbits, a developmental neurotoxicity study in rats, or in a reproduction study in rats. In the rat developmental toxicity study, decreased fetal weight was observed in the presence of maternal effects that included decreased body weight gain and food consumption. No developmental effects were observed in rabbits up to maternally toxic dose levels. Decreased pup weight and delays in sexual maturation (preputial separation in males and vaginal patency in females) were observed in offspring in the rat two-generation reproductive toxicity study, along with clinical signs of toxicity, at a dose causing parental toxicity that included coarse tremors, renal toxicity and decreased weight gain. In the developmental neurotoxicity study, transiently decreased motor activity (PND 21 only) in male offspring was observed and was considered a potential neurotoxic effect. It was observed at a dose that also caused clinical signs of neurotoxicity along with decreased body weight in maternal animals.

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

    i. The toxicity database for indaziflam is complete.

    ii. Evidence of neurotoxicity was observed in dogs and rats throughout the database, which included the dog subchronic toxicity study, the rat subchronic toxicity, the rat acute, subchronic, and developmental neurotoxicity screening batteries, the rat two-generation reproduction study, the rat chronic toxicity study, and the rat combined carcinogenicity/chronic toxicity study. Evidence of neurotoxicity was manifested as neuropathology in dogs and as decreased motor activity and clinical signs (e.g., tremors) in rats. Evidence of neurotoxicity was the most consistent effect (seen in dogs and rats), the most sensitive toxicological finding (based on neuropathology in dogs), and the basis for the risk assessment. The endpoints selected for risk assessment are based on and protective of the neurotoxic effects seen in the guideline studies.

    iii. No developmental effects were observed in rabbits up to maternally toxic dose levels. Offspring effects in the developmental neurotoxicity study in rats and multi-generation toxicity studies only occurred in the presence of maternal toxicity and were not considered more severe than the parental effects. In addition, clear NOAELs/LOAELs were identified for these studies. Therefore, EPA concluded that there is no evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility to rat or rabbit fetuses exposed in utero and/or postnatally to indaziflam.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The dietary food exposure assessments were performed based on 100 PCT and tolerance-level residues. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to indaziflam in drinking water. EPA used similarly conservative assumptions to assess post-application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by indaziflam.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

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

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to indaziflam will occupy 19% of the aPAD for all infants <1-year-old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to indaziflam from food and water will utilize 8% of the cPAD for all infants <1-year-old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation in Unit III.C.3., regarding residential use patterns, chronic residential exposure to residues of indaziflam is not expected.

    3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

    Indaziflam is currently registered for uses that could result in short-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with short-term residential exposures to indaziflam.

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs of 1400 for adults and 580 for children. Because EPA's level of concern for indaziflam is a MOE of 100 or below, these MOEs are not of concern.

    4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

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

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

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

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodology (liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection [LC/MS/MS] method (DH-003-P07-02) for fruit and nut tree matrices for indaziflam and FDAT) is available to enforce the tolerance expression. The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    B. International Residue Limits

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

    The Codex has not established any MRLs for indaziflam.

    C. Response to Comments

    Two comments were received in response to the Notice of Filing. The first comment was in support of the petition. The second comment was against the petition and stated in part that “this product should not get approval” and that “no residue should be permitted on any food or other plant.” The Agency recognizes that some individuals believe that pesticides should be banned on agricultural crops; however, the existing legal framework provided by section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) states that tolerances may be set when persons seeking such tolerances or exemptions have demonstrated that the pesticide meets the safety standard imposed by that statute. EPA has assessed the effects of this chemical on human health and determined that aggregate exposure to it will be safe. The comment provides no information to support a different conclusion.

    D. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    For hops, the proposed tolerance level of 0.03 ppm was based on residues from 4 field trials at levels below the level of quantitation (LOQ) (<0.01), and a residue of 0.02 ppm from one trial (13-QC06), being entered into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tolerance calculation procedure. However, the FDAT (metabolite) portion of the residue from Trial 13-QC06 was not converted to parent equivalents by the petitioner. When this is converted, the combined residue is 0.033 ppm, and the result of the OECD tolerance calculation procedure is 0.06 ppm. Therefore, the tolerance level being established in/on hops, dried cones is 0.06 ppm.

    The petition requested that a tolerance be established for “coffee, green bean”. Since a tolerance already exists for that commodity at the level requested but with a notation that there are no U.S. registrations for use of indaziflam on coffee, the Agency is simply removing the footnote in 40 CFR 180.653 that states there are no U.S. registrations for coffee.

    Lastly, the petition sought the establishment of tolerances covering all the crops listed in the proposed crop group 23A. Since the crop group has been established for tropical and subtropical, small fruit, edible peel subgroup 23A, EPA is establishing the crop subgroup tolerance rather than individual tolerances for each of the named commodities.

    Although not requested, EPA is also removing the existing tolerance for “olive” because it is superseded by the new crop subgroup 23A tolerance.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of indaziflam, N-[(1R,2S)-2,3-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-1H-inden-1-yl]-6-(1-fluoroethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the following: Bushberry subgroup 13-07B at 0.01 ppm; caneberry subgroup 13-07A at 0.01 ppm; fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F at 0.01 ppm; fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 0.01 ppm; fruit, tropical and subtropical, small fruit, edible peel, subgroup 23A at 0.01 ppm; hop, dried cones at 0.06 ppm; and nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.01 ppm.

    Additionally, the footnote is removed from the existing tolerance for “coffee, green bean” and the following existing tolerances are removed as unnecessary since they are superseded by the newly established tolerances: Fruit, stone, group 12; grape; nut, tree, group 14; olive; and pistachio.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: June 12, 2017. Michael L. Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In the table in paragraph (a) of § 180.653; a. Add alphabetically the entries “Bushberry subgroup 13-07B”; “Caneberry subgroup 13-07A”; “Fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F”; “Fruit, stone, group 12-12”; “Fruit, tropical and subtropical, small fruit, edible peel, subgroup 23A”; “Hop, dried cones”; and “Nut, tree, group 14-12”; b. Remove the footnote 1 from the entry for “Coffee, green bean”; and c. Remove the entries for “Fruit, stone, group 12”; “Grape”; “Nut, tree, group 14”; “Olive”; and “Pistachio”.

    The additions read as follows:

    § 180.653 Indaziflam; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per million *         *         *         *         *         *         * Bushberry subgroup 13-07B 0.01 Caneberry subgroup 13-07A 0.01 Coffee, green bean 0.01 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F 0.01 Fruit, stone, group 12-12 0.01 Fruit, tropical and subtropical, small fruit, edible peel, subgroup 23A 0.01 Hop, dried cones 0.06 Nut, tree, group 14-12 0.01 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-14107 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0066; FRL-9962-60] Pyroxsulam; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of pyroxsulam in or on teff, grain; teff, forage; teff, hay; and teff, straw. Dow AgroSciences LLC requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective July 5, 2017. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 5, 2017, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0066, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0066 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before September 5, 2017. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0066, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets. II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of March 16, 2016 (81 FR 14030) (FRL-9942-86), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 5E8439) by Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.638 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the herbicide pyroxsulam, N-(5,7-dimethoxy[1,2,4]triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-2-yl)-2-methoxy-4-(trifluoromethyl)-3-pyridinesulfonamide, in or on teff, grain at 0.01 parts per million (ppm); teff, forage 0.06 ppm; teff, hay 0.01 ppm; and teff, straw 0.03 ppm. The published notice of filing (NOF) mistakenly listed the following incorrect tolerances for residues of pyroxsulam in or on the cereal crops: teff at 0.06 parts per million (ppm); teff, forage at 0.01 ppm; teff, grain at 0.03 ppm; teff, hay at 0.01 ppm; and teff, straw at 0.01 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition containing the correct tolerance amounts prepared by Dow AgroSciences LLC, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to these comments is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure, consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2).

    In the Federal Register of February 27, 2008 (73 FR 10402) (FRL-8349-9), EPA established tolerances for residues of pyroxsulam in or on wheat, forage; wheat, grain; wheat, hay; and wheat, straw at the same levels as those requested for residues in or on corresponding teff commodities. Since these wheat tolerances were established in 2008, the toxicological profile and the endpoints for assessment have not changed. Moreover, as explained below, EPA has concluded that the new tolerances for teff commodities does not alter the previous conclusions about the potential aggregate exposure to pyroxsulam residues.

    Although teff residue data were not submitted with this petition, EPA concluded that the level of pyroxsulam residues on teff commodities would be the same or similar to the level of pyroxsulam residues on wheat commodities, based on the similarity in application rates. Furthermore, EPA concluded that because teff is a likely substitute for wheat products, there would be no additional exposure to pyroxsulam residues beyond what was previously assessed to support the wheat tolerances. Finally, because there is no corresponding request for a U.S. registration allowing use of pyroxsulam on teff, there are no additional drinking water or residential exposures beyond previous assessments.

    Based on this assessment of potential exposure from use of pyroxsulam on teff and the findings supporting the February 27, 2008 tolerances established for wheat commodities, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to pyroxsulam residues.

    For a detailed discussion of the aggregate risk assessments and determination of safety for the proposed tolerances, please refer to the February 27, 2008 Federal Register document and its supporting documents as well as Human Health Risk Assessments D431295, D. Dotson, 3/25/2016 and D439358, D. Dotson, 4/21/2017 available at http://www.regulations.gov in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0785.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An adequate enforcement methodology, Method GRM 04.17, an Liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) method, is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

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

    B. International Residue Limits

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

    The Codex has not established a MRL for pyroxsulam.

    C. Response to Comments

    EPA received two comments to the published Notice of Filing. Both comments stated, in part and without any supporting information, that EPA should deny this petition because it is a harmful and toxic chemical with no benefits. The Agency recognizes that some individuals believe that pesticides should be banned on agricultural crops. The existing legal framework provided by section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), however, states that tolerances may be set when persons seeking such tolerances or exemptions have demonstrated that the pesticide meets the safety standard imposed by that statute. EPA has assessed the effects of this chemical on human health and determined that aggregate exposure to it will be safe. These comments provide no information to support an alternative conclusion.

    D. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    EPA is revising the tolerance expression to clarify (1) that, as provided in FFDCA section 408(a)(3), the tolerance covers metabolites and degradates of pyroxsulam not specifically mentioned; and (2) that compliance with the specified tolerance levels is to be determined by measuring only the specific compounds mentioned in the tolerance expression.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of pyroxsulam, N-(5,7-dimethoxy[1,2,4]triazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-2-yl)-2-methoxy-4-(trifluoromethyl)-3-pyridinesulfonamide, in or on teff, forage 0.06 ppm; teff, grain at 0.01 ppm; teff, hay 0.01 ppm; and teff, straw at 0.03 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: May 19, 2017. Daniel Rosenblatt, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.638: a. Revise paragraph (a) introductory text; and b. Add alphabetically the commodities “teff, forage”; “teff, grain”; “teff, hay”; and “teff, straw”; and footnote 1 to the table in paragraph (a).

    The revision and additoins read as follows:

    § 180.638 Pyroxsulam; tolerances for residues.

    (a) General. Tolerances are established for residues of pyroxsulam, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities listed in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only pyroxsulam, N-(5,7-dimethoxy[l, 2,4]triazolo[l, 5-a]pyrimidin-2-yl)-2-methoxy-4-(trifluoromethyl)-3-pyridinesulfonamide, in or on the commodity.

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Teff, forage 1 0.06 Teff, grain 1 0.01 Teff, hay 1 0.01 Teff, straw 1 0.03 *    *    *    *    *     1 There are no U.S. registrations on teff as of May 8, 2017.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14091 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0780; FRL-9962-19] Oxirane, 2-methyl, Polymer With Oxirane, Hydrogen Sulfate, Ammonium Salt and Potassium Salt; Tolerance Exemption AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, potassium salt; when used as an inert ingredient in a pesticide chemical formulation. Clariant Corporation, submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, potassium salt on food or feed commodities.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective July 5, 2017. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 5, 2017, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0780, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

    C. Can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0780 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before September 5, 2017. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0780, by one of the following methods.

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

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

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

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

    II. Background and Statutory Findings

    In the Federal Register of April 10, 2017 (82 FR 17175) (FRL-9959-61), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408, 21 U.S.C. 346a, announcing the receipt of a pesticide petition (PP IN-11004) filed by Clariant Corporation, 4000 Monroe Road, Charlotte NC 28205. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.960 be amended by establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, potassium salt; CAS Nos. 57608-14-7 and 1838191-48-2, respectively. That document included a summary of the petition prepared by the petitioner and solicited comments on the petitioner's request. The Agency did not receive any comments.

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

    III. Risk Assessment and Statutory Findings

    EPA establishes exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance only in those cases where it can be shown that the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide chemical residues under reasonably foreseeable circumstances will pose no appreciable risks to human health. In order to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide inert ingredients, the Agency considers the toxicity of the inert in conjunction with possible exposure to residues of the inert ingredient through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as a result of pesticide use in residential settings. If EPA is able to determine that a finite tolerance is not necessary to ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the inert ingredient, an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance may be established.

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action and considered its validity, completeness and reliability and the relationship of this information to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children. In the case of certain chemical substances that are defined as polymers, the Agency has established a set of criteria to identify categories of polymers expected to present minimal or no risk. The definition of a polymer is given in 40 CFR 723.250(b) and the exclusion criteria for identifying these low-risk polymers are described in 40 CFR 723.250(d). Oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt conforms to the definition of a polymer given in 40 CFR 723.250(b) and meets the following criteria that are used to identify low-risk polymers.

    1. The polymers are not a cationic polymer nor is it reasonably anticipated to become a cationic polymer in a natural aquatic environment.

    2. The polymers do contain as an integral part of its composition the atomic elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

    3. The polymers do not contain as an integral part of their composition, except as impurities, any element other than those listed in 40 CFR 723.250(d)(2)(ii).

    4. The polymers are neither designed nor can it be reasonably anticipated to substantially degrade, decompose, or depolymerize.

    5. The polymers are manufactured or imported from monomers and/or reactants that are already included on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory or manufactured under an applicable TSCA section 5 exemption.

    6. The polymers are not a water absorbing polymer with a number average molecular weight (MW) greater than or equal to 10,000 daltons.

    7. The polymers do not contain certain perfluoroalkyl moieties consisting of a CF3- or longer chain length as specified in 40 CFR 723.250(d)(6).

    Additionally, the polymers also meet as required the following exemption criteria specified in 40 CFR 723.250(e).

    8. The polymers', oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt, number average MW of 1800 and 2100, respectively, are greater than 1,000 and less than 10,000 daltons. The polymers contain less than 10% oligomeric material below MW 500 and less than 25% oligomeric material below MW 1,000, and the polymers do not contain any reactive functional groups.

    Thus, oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt meet the criteria for a polymer to be considered low risk under 40 CFR 723.250. Based on its conformance to the criteria in this unit, no mammalian toxicity is anticipated from dietary, inhalation, or dermal exposure to oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt.

    IV. Aggregate Exposures

    For the purposes of assessing potential exposure under this exemption, EPA considered that oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt could be present in all raw and processed agricultural commodities and drinking water, and that non-occupational non-dietary exposure was possible. The number average MW of oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt are 1800 and 2100 daltons, respectively. Generally, a polymer of this size would be poorly absorbed through the intact gastrointestinal tract or through intact human skin. Since oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt conform to the criteria that identify a low-risk polymer, there are no concerns for risks associated with any potential exposure scenarios that are reasonably foreseeable. The Agency has determined that tolerances are not necessary to protect the public health.

    V. Cumulative Effects From Substances With a Common Mechanism of Toxicity

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

    EPA has not found oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt do not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt do not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

    VI. Additional Safety Factor for the Protection of Infants and Children

    Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the data base unless EPA concludes that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. Due to the expected low toxicity of oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt, EPA has not used a safety factor analysis to assess the risk. For the same reasons the additional tenfold safety factor is unnecessary.

    VII. Determination of Safety

    Based on the conformance to the criteria used to identify a low-risk polymer, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm to the U.S. population, including infants and children, from aggregate exposure to residues of oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt.

    VIII. Other Considerations A. Existing Exemptions From a Tolerance

    There are no existing tolerances for oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt.

    B. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An analytical method is not required for enforcement purposes since the Agency is establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance without any numerical limitation.

    C. International Residue Limits

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

    The Codex has not established a MRL for oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt.

    IX. Conclusion

    Accordingly, EPA finds that exempting residues of oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt and potassium salt from the requirement of a tolerance will be safe.

    X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    XI. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: May 18, 2017. Donna Davis, Acting Associate Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.960, add alphabetically the polymers “Oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt; average molecular weight (in amu), 1800” and “Oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, potassium salt; average molecular weight (in amu), 2100” to the table to read as follows:
    §  180.960 Polymers; exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance. Polymer CAS No. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, ammonium salt; average molecular weight (in amu), 1800 57608-14-7 Oxirane, 2-methyl, polymer with oxirane, hydrogen sulfate, potassium salt; average molecular weight (in amu), 2100 1838191-48-2 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-14111 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0252; FRL-9961-82] Titanium Dioxide; Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of titanium dioxide (CAS Reg. No. 13463-67-7) in honey when used as an inert ingredient (colorant) at a concentration of not more than 0.1% by weight in pesticide formulations intended for varroa mite control around bee hives. Bayer Healthcare, LLC submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting establishment of an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of titanium dioxide resulting from this use.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective July 5, 2017. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 5, 2017, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0252, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0252 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before September 5, 2017. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0252, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    II. Petition for Exemption

    In the Federal Register of July 20, 2016 (81 FR 47150) (FRL-9948-45), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408, 21 U.S.C. 346a, announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP IN-10888) by Technology Sciences Group Inc., on behalf of Bayer HealthCare, LLC, P.O. Box 390, Shawnee Mission, KS 66201. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.910 be amended by establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of titanium dioxide (CAS Reg. No. 13463-67-7) in honey when used as an inert ingredient (colorant) at a concentration not more than 0.1% by weight in pesticide formulations intended for varroa mite control around bee hives. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Technology Sciences Group Inc., the petitioner, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA is establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance in 40 CFR 180.1195, instead of 40 CFR 180.910 as requested. Exemptions under section 180.910 cover residues applied to growing crops and raw agricultural crops after harvest. Because the petitioner requested an exemption to cover residues only in honey resulting specifically from the use in hives, the Agency has determined that the broader exemption in section 180.910 is not appropriate. For ease of reference, the Agency is establishing this exemption in section 180.1195, which contains other limited exemptions for residues of titanium dioxide.

    III. Inert Ingredient Definition

    Inert ingredients are all ingredients that are not active ingredients as defined in 40 CFR 153.125 and include, but are not limited to, the following types of ingredients (except when they have a pesticidal efficacy of their own): Solvents such as alcohols and hydrocarbons; surfactants such as polyoxyethylene polymers and fatty acids; carriers such as clay and diatomaceous earth; thickeners such as carrageenan and modified cellulose; wetting, spreading, and dispersing agents; propellants in aerosol dispensers; microencapsulating agents; and emulsifiers. The term “inert” is not intended to imply nontoxicity; the ingredient may or may not be chemically active. Generally, EPA has exempted inert ingredients from the requirement of a tolerance based on the low toxicity of the individual inert ingredients.

    IV. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

    EPA establishes exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance only in those cases where it can be clearly demonstrated that the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide chemical residues under reasonably foreseeable circumstances will pose no appreciable risks to human health. In order to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide inert ingredients, the Agency considers the toxicity of the inert in conjunction with possible exposure to residues of the inert ingredient through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as a result of pesticide use in residential settings. If EPA is able to determine that a finite tolerance is not necessary to ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the inert ingredient, an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance may be established.

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

    A. Toxicological Profile

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

    The available toxicity studies on titanium dioxide via the oral route of exposure clearly demonstrate a lack of toxicity. The several studies in mice, rats, dogs, cats, rabbits and other species of varying durations do not indicate toxicity, even at very high doses (e.g. 50,000 ppm or 2,500 mg/kg/day dietary exposure for two years in rats). There are no studies on the dermal toxicity of titanium dioxide and there is no expected toxicity via the dermal route of exposure because as an insoluble solid material, titanium dioxide is not absorbed via the skin.

    The available inhalation studies indicate that the primary toxicity of titanium dioxide is due to deposition of the inhaled particles. Although these studies suggest equivocal evidence of carcinogenicity due to prolonged exposure to titanium dioxide particles, EPA has determined that carcinogenicity is not a concern from exposure to titanium dioxide when used as an inert ingredient in pesticide formulations based on the following: First, tumors were only observed in two of the available studies and only in one species. In one study, those tumors were only observed in rats continually exposed to ultrafine particles of titanium dioxide. In the second study, tumors were only observed from exposure to fine particles of titanium dioxide at extremely high concentrations (250 mg/m3), in which the animals experienced overloading of lung clearance, with chronic inflammation resulting in lung tumors. All but one of the tumors in the second study were subsequently reclassified as non-neoplastic or non-cancerous in nature. No tumors were observed in studies involving mice.

    The titanium dioxide used in pesticide formulations is considered pigmentary grade, not ultrafine or nanoscale. Consequently, the tumors observed from exposure to ultrafine particles of titanium dioxide are not relevant for assessing exposure to the type of titanium dioxide used in pesticide formulations. Following the reclassification of the tumors observed in the second inhalation study, EPA does not consider these effects to be strong evidence of carcinogenicity from exposure to fine-particle-size titanium dioxide. Even assuming the study indicates the potential for carcinogenicity, EPA does not expect any reasonably foreseeable uses of titanium dioxide in pesticide formulations that might result in residential exposures to approach the levels of exposure necessary to elicit the effects seen in the available inhalation study. The levels at which effects were observed in that study greatly exceed any reasonable dose for toxicity testing and any likely residential exposure levels. Moreover, when used as an inert in pesticide formulations, titanium dioxide will be bound to other materials, which means there will not be significant inhalation exposure to titanium dioxide particles themselves.

    This position is consistent with the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety's (NIOSH) recent assessment that ultrafine but not fine titanium dioxide would be considered a “potential occupational carcinogen”. The NIOSH Current Intelligence Bulletin “Occupational Exposure to Titanium Dioxide” concludes that “[t]he lung tumors observed in rats after exposure to 250 mg/m3 of fine TiO 2 [titanium dioxide] were the basis for the original NIOSH designation of TiO 2 [titanium dioxide] as a “potential occupational carcinogen.” However, because this dose is considered to be significantly higher than currently accepted inhalation toxicology practice, NIOSH concluded that the response at such a high dose should not be used in making its hazard identification.” NIOSH concluded that the data is insufficient to classify fine titanium dioxide as a potential occupational carcinogen.

    Because the predominant form of titanium dioxide used commercially, and the form used as an inert ingredient in pesticide formulations is pigment grade, which is not in the ultrafine or nanoscale particle size range but rather in the fine particle size range, EPA concludes that carcinogenicity is not a concern from exposure to titanium dioxide resulting from its use as an inert ingredient in pesticides.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by titanium dioxide as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies are discussed in the final rule published in the Federal Register of July 27, 2012 (77 FR 44151) (FRL-9354-6) and in the Agency's risk assessment which can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document Titanium Dioxide; Human Health Risk Assessment and Ecological Effects Assessment to Support Proposed Exemption from the Requirement of a Tolerance When used as an Inert Ingredient in Pesticide Formulations in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0252.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

    Because the available data indicate no toxicity via the oral route of exposure, no endpoint of concern for that route of exposure has been identified in the available database. This conclusion is in agreement with the conclusion of the World Health Organization (WHO) Committee on Food Coloring Materials that no Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) need be set for the use of titanium dioxide based on the range of acute, sub-acute, and chronic toxicity assays, all showing low mammalian toxicity. Similarly, no significant toxicity of titanium dioxide is expected via the dermal route of exposure, so no endpoint was identified.

    Because the effects seen in inhalation studies occurred at doses above the levels at which pesticide exposure is expected and for particle sizes that are different from the size of titanium dioxide used in pesticide formulations, the Agency has concluded that those risks are not relevant for assessing risk from pesticide exposure and therefore, did not identify an endpoint for assessing inhalation exposure risk.

    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to titanium dioxide, EPA considered exposure under the proposed exemption from the requirement of a tolerance and all other existing exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of titanium dioxide. EPA assessed dietary exposures from titanium dioxide in food as follows:

    Residues of titanium dioxide are exempt from the requirement of a tolerance when used as an inert ingredient in many different circumstances: When used in pesticide formulations applied to growing crops (40 CFR 180.920); when used in pesticide formulations applied to animals (40 CFR 180.930); when used as a ultraviolet (UV) protectant in microencapsulated formulations of the insecticide lambda-cyhalothrin at no more than 3.0% by weight (40 CFR 180.1195); and when used as a UV stabilizer in pesticide formulations of napropamide at no more than 5% of the product formulation (40 CFR 180.1195). Titanium dioxide is also approved for use as a colorant in food (21 CFR 73.575); in drugs (21 CFR 73.1575); and in cosmetics (21 CFR 73.2575 and 73.3126).

    Although dietary exposure may be expected from use of titanium dioxide in pesticide formulations applied to bee hives and on other crops (as well as from other non-pesticidal sources), a quantitative exposure assessment for titanium dioxide was not conducted because no endpoint of concern was identified in the database.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. Since a hazard endpoint of concern was not identified for the acute and chronic dietary assessment, a quantitative dietary exposure risk assessment for drinking water was not conducted, although exposures from drinking water may be expected from use on food crops.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., textiles (clothing and diapers), carpets, swimming pools, and hard surface disinfection on walls, floors, tables).

    Titanium dioxide may be used in non-pesticide products such as paints, printing inks, paper and plastic products around the home. Additionally titanium dioxide may be used as an inert ingredient in pesticides that include residential uses, however based on the discussion in Unit IV.B., a quantitative residential exposure assessment for titanium dioxide was not conducted.

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

    Because titanium dioxide does not have a toxic mode of action or a mechanism of toxicity, this provision does not apply.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

    Due to titanium dioxide's low potential hazard and the lack of a hazard endpoint, it was determined that a quantitative risk assessment using safety factors applied to a point of departure protective of an identified hazard endpoint is not appropriate for titanium dioxide. For the same reasons that a quantitative risk assessment based on a safety factor approach is not appropriate for titanium dioxide, an FQPA SF is not needed to protect the safety of infants and children.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

    Taking into consideration all available information on titanium dioxide, EPA has determined that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm to any population subgroup will result from aggregate exposure to titanium dioxide under reasonable foreseeable circumstances. Therefore, the establishment of an exemption from tolerance under 40 CFR 180.1195 for residues in honey of titanium dioxide, when used as an inert ingredient (colorant) in pesticide formulations intended for varroa mite control around bee hives at a maximum concentration of 0.1% by weight, is safe under FFDCA section 408.

    V. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Although EPA is establishing a limitation on the amount of titanium dioxide that may be used in pesticide formulations, an analytical enforcement methodology is not necessary for this exemption from the requirement of tolerance. The limitation will be enforced through the pesticide registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 U.S.C. 136 et seq. EPA will not register any pesticide for sale or distribution for use in beehives with concentrations of titanium dioxide exceeding 0.1% by weight of the formulation.

    VI. Conclusions

    Therefore, an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance is established under 40 CFR 180.1195 for titanium dioxide (CAS Reg. No. 13463-67-7) when used as an inert ingredient (colorant) in pesticide formulations intended for varroa mite control around bee hives at a maximum concentration of 0.1% by weight in the pesticide formulation.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    VIII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: May 8, 2017. Michael L. Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. Section 180.1195 is revised to read as follows:
    § 180.1195 Titanium dioxide.

    (a) Titanium dioxide (CAS Reg. No. 13463-67-7) is exempted from the requirement of a tolerance for residues in or on growing crops, when used as an inert ingredient (UV protectant) in microencapsulated formulations of the insecticide lambda cyhalothrin at no more than 3.0% by weight of the formulation and as an inert ingredient (UV stabilizer) at no more than 5% in pesticide formulations containing the active ingredient napropamide.

    (b) Residues of titanium dioxide (CAS Reg. No. 13463-67-7) in honey are exempted from the requirement of a tolerance, when used as an inert ingredient (colorant) in pesticide formulations intended for varroa mite control around bee hives at no more than 0.1% by weight in the pesticide formulation.

    [FR Doc. 2017-14099 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 441 [EPA-HQ-OW-2014-0693; FRL-9957-10-OW] RIN 2040-AF26 Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Dental Category Correction

    In rule document C1-2017-12338, beginning on page 28777, in the issue of Monday, June 26, 2017 make the following corrections:

    § 441.30 Pretreatment standards for existing sources (PSES) [Corrected]

    1. On page 28777, in the second column, “§ 441.20 General definitions [Corrected]” should read “§ 441.30 Pretreatment standards for existing sources (PSES) [Corrected]”.

    2. On page 28777, in the second column, “the 18th line of paragraph (iii)” should read “in the 9th line of paragraph (iii)”.

    [FR Doc. C2-2017-12338 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD 49 CFR Part 1152 [Docket No. EP 729] Offers of Financial Assistance AGENCY:

    Surface Transportation Board.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Surface Transportation Board (Board or STB) adopts changes to its rules pertaining to Offers of Financial Assistance to improve the process and protect it against abuse.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on July 29, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Information or questions regarding this final rule should reference Docket No. EP 729 and be in writing addressed to: Chief, Section of Administration, Office of Proceedings, Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jonathon Binet, (202) 245-0368. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the ICC Termination Act of 1995, Public Law 104-88, 109 Stat. 803 (1995) (ICCTA), Congress revised the process for filing Offers of Financial Assistance (OFAs) for continued rail service, codified at 49 U.S.C. 10904. Under the OFA process, as implemented in the Board's regulations at 49 CFR 1152.27, financially responsible parties may offer to temporarily subsidize continued rail service over a line on which a carrier seeks to abandon or discontinue service, or offer to purchase a line and provide continued rail service on a line that a carrier seeks to abandon.

    Upon request, the abandoning or discontinuing carrier must provide certain information required under 49 U.S.C. 10904(b) and 49 CFR 1152.27(a) to a party that is considering making an OFA. A party that decides to make an OFA (the offeror) must submit the OFA to the Board, including the information specified in 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(1)(ii). If the Board determines that the OFA is made by a “financially responsible” person, the abandonment or discontinuance authority is postponed to allow the parties to negotiate a sale or subsidy arrangement. 49 U.S.C. 10904(d)(2); 49 CFR 1152.27(e). If the parties cannot agree to the terms of a sale or subsidy, they may request that the Board set binding terms under 49 U.S.C. 10904(f)(1). After the Board has set the terms, the offeror can accept the terms or withdraw the OFA. When the operation of a line is subsidized to prevent abandonment or discontinuance of service, it may only be subsidized for up to one year, unless the parties mutually agree otherwise. 49 U.S.C. 10904(f)(4)(b). When a line is purchased pursuant to an OFA, the buyer must provide common carrier service over the line for a minimum of two years and may not resell the line (except to the carrier from which the line was purchased) for five years after the purchase. 49 U.S.C. 10904(f)(4)(A); 49 CFR 1152.27(i)(2).

    On May 26, 2015, Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) filed a petition to institute a rulemaking proceeding to address abuses of Board processes. In particular, NSR sought to have the Board establish new rules regarding the OFA process. NSR proposed that the Board establish new rules creating: A pre-approval process for filings submitted by parties deemed abusive filers; financial responsibility presumptions; and additional financial responsibility certifications. In a decision served on September 23, 2015, the Board denied NSR's petition, stating that the Board would instead seek to address the concerns raised in the petition through increased enforcement of existing rules and by instituting an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to consider possible changes to the OFA process. Pet. of Norfolk S. Ry. to Institute a Rulemaking Proceeding to Address Abuses of Board Processes (NSR Petition), EP 727, slip op. at 4 (STB served Sept. 23, 2015).

    The Board issued an ANPRM on December 14, 2015. In that ANPRM, the Board explained that its experiences have shown that there are areas where clarifications and revisions could enhance the OFA process and protect it against abuse. Accordingly, the Board requested public comments on whether and how to improve any aspect of the OFA process, including enhancing its transparency and ensuring that it is invoked only to further its statutory purpose of preserving lines for continued rail service. The Board also specifically requested comments on: Ensuring offerors are financially responsible; addressing issues related to the continuation of rail service; and clarifying the identities of potential offerors.

    On September 30, 2016, the Board issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), addressing the comments on the ANPRM and proposing specific amendments to its regulations at 49 CFR 1152.27 based on those comments. The Board proposed four amendments intended to clarify the requirement that OFA offerors be financially responsible and to require offerors to provide additional evidence of financial responsibility to the Board; one amendment intended to require that potential offerors demonstrate the continued need for rail service over the line sought to be acquired; and three amendments intended to clarify the identity of offerors in OFAs.

    The Board sought comments on the proposed regulations by December 5, 2016, and replies by January 3, 2017. The Board received comments from six parties: The Association of American Railroads (AAR); the Army's Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (Army); the City of Jersey City, New Jersey (Jersey City); 212 Marin Boulevard, LLC, 247 Manila Avenue, LLC, 280 Erie Street, LLC, 317 Jersey Avenue, LLC, 354 Cole Street, LLC, 389 Monmouth Street, LLC, 415 Brunswick Street, LLC, and 446 Newark Avenue, LLC (filing collectively as the LLCs); NSR; and Mr. James Riffin (Riffin). AAR, the LLCs, and Jersey City also filed reply comments.

    Below the Board addresses the comments and suggestions submitted by parties in response to the NPRM, including discussion of clarifications and modifications being adopted in the final rule based on the comments. Even if not specifically discussed here, the Board has carefully reviewed all comments on the NPRM and has taken each comment into account in developing the final rule. The text of the final rule is below.

    Most parties commenting on the NPRM were supportive of the Board's proposals, suggesting certain modifications to and clarifications of the Board's proposals. (See Army NPRM Comments 1; Riffin NPRM Comments 1; NSR NPRM Comments 9; AAR NPRM Comments 12; LLCs NPRM Comments 2.) One commenter suggested the changes proposed in the NPRM were insufficient to deter abuse of the OFA process and were “misfocused.” (See Jersey City NPRM Comments 2, 7-9.)

    Financial Responsibility. As noted, the Board made four proposals in the NPRM intended to clarify the requirement that OFA offerors be financially responsible and to require offerors to provide additional evidence of financial responsibility to the Board. First, the Board proposed to further define financial responsibility in its regulations by including examples of the kinds of evidence the Board would and would not accept to demonstrate financial responsibility. Second, the Board proposed to require notices of intent to file an OFA (NOIs) in all abandonment or discontinuance proceedings. Third, the Board proposed to require a showing of preliminary financial responsibility with the filing of an NOI, based on a calculation using the information contained in the carrier's filing and other publicly-available information. And fourth, the Board proposed to require an offeror to demonstrate in its OFA that the offeror has placed in escrow 10% of the preliminary financial responsibility amount calculated at the NOI stage.

    Examples of evidence of financial responsibility. In the NPRM, the Board proposed as examples of documentation that it would accept as evidence of financial responsibility at 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(1)(iv)(B) to include income statements, balance sheets, letters of credit, profit and loss statements, account statements, financing commitments, and evidence of adequate insurance or ability to obtain adequate insurance. Offers of Financial Assistance (NPRM), EP 729, slip op. at 14 (STB served Sept. 30, 2016). In response, Riffin commented that the Board should clarify that “account statements” means “financial institution account statements,” and that the Board should revise the proposed regulations to allow as evidence of financial responsibility lines of credit that provide “access to cash upon demand,” verified statements of the dollar value of cash, stocks and bonds, and “substantial quantities of precious metals.” (Riffin NPRM Comments 1-2.)

    The Board finds Riffin's suggested clarification of “financial institution account statements” is overly restrictive, as it is possible that potential offerors, particularly governmental offerors, may have funds in accounts other than financial institution accounts. Additionally, as stated in response to Riffin's comments on the ANPRM, the Board does not believe that some of the examples of the types of assets Riffin proposes to include in the regulations would sufficiently show an offeror's financial ability to purchase and operate, or subsidize, a railroad, which is the purpose of an OFA. See NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 3. Specifically, non-liquid assets (such as precious metals) and lines of credit that provide “access to cash upon demand” like credit cards are problematic as evidence of an offeror's continuing financial ability to actually operate or subsidize a rail line as the OFA process requires. Credit card lines of credit tend to be temporary and are for relatively limited amounts, while non-liquid assets are not easily accessible by an offeror and may fluctuate in value. By contrast, the examples of assets the Board is including in the regulations, such as income statements and letters of credit,1 do not suffer from these problems and provide evidence of an offeror's long-term and ongoing ability to finance the actual operation or subsidy of a rail line. The Board therefore declines to adopt Riffin's proposed changes.

    1 A letter of credit from a bank functions more like a guarantee of payment for a specific purchasing transaction, while a line of credit (such as a credit card or home equity line) is a borrowing limit from a financial institution.

    As for stocks and bonds, which are relatively liquid assets, we find that these may be presented by an offeror in conjunction with other evidence of financial responsibility, and will be considered by the Board on a case-by-case basis, as will evidence of cash on hand. Because these will be considered on a case-by-case basis the Board does not find it necessary to include these examples in the regulations.

    Notice of Intent filing. The Board proposed to require NOIs as a preliminary step in all OFA cases, with potential offerors being presumed preliminarily financially responsible if the Board does not issue a decision within 10 days of receiving an NOI. In response, AAR commented that the Board should require that a decision be issued on all NOIs, not just when the Board is rejecting an NOI or seeking more information. (AAR NPRM Comments 5.) AAR proposes that the Board could delegate the authority for issuing this decision to the Director of the Office of Proceedings and argues that a decision should be issued in all cases because “the proposed rule would inappropriately create legal obligations on railroads [to provide valuation information] as a result of government inaction.” (AAR NPRM Comments 5.) The LLCs commented in support of AAR's proposal. (LLCs NPRM Reply Comments 2.)

    The Board disagrees with AAR's characterization of this proposal as creating legal obligations on railroads because of government inaction. In fact, no additional obligation is created for carriers by this proposed change. Under 49 CFR 1152.27(a), carriers are currently required to provide certain valuation information “promptly upon request” to any party considering filing an OFA. The only requirement potential offerors must currently meet to obtain this information is to request it. The changes proposed in the NPRM that would apply to potential offerors would give the Board a basis on which to relieve railroads of their legal obligations to provide valuation information to potential offerors in certain cases. But the failure of the Board to issue a decision on the filing of an NOI would not impose on a railroad any burden it would not already have under the rules as they currently exist.

    The Board proposed those changes, which would require a potential offeror to make an initial showing of preliminary financial responsibility before the carrier's obligation to turn over the valuation information outlined in section 1152.27(a) upon request is triggered, because the current approach requiring carriers to provide this information to any interested party upon request, is vulnerable to abuse and has led to significant delay in the past. Carriers receiving requests they do not believe to be legitimate have refused to respond, or only belatedly responded, to interested parties with the required information, delaying the OFA process. Those interested parties have then at times had to ask the Board to issue a decision requiring the carrier to provide the information, which requires the Board to adjudicate disputes about the legitimacy of a party's interest in an OFA at an early stage of the process. The new proposal should make this process more efficient and effective by requiring some initial information from potential offerors before carriers must provide them with valuation information, which in turn will encourage carriers to respond more promptly to requests for that information. Setting a defined time period after the filing of an NOI when the potential offeror is considered preliminarily financially responsible, rather than requiring the Board to issue a decision to that effect, is part of that efficiency. The Board does not agree that it is necessary for a decision to be issued in these instances, even if that authority were delegated, and therefore declines to impose such a requirement.

    Regarding the Board's proposed changes to the NOI process, Riffin suggested that the failure to file an NOI should not bar a timely OFA, arguing that restricting OFAs to entities that have filed timely NOIs would contravene the language of 49 U.S.C. 10904. Instead, Riffin suggested that NOIs should be optional in all cases, though he suggests that if a NOI is late-filed, the OFA filing deadline not be tolled. (Riffin NPRM Comments 2-3.) In response to this suggestion, AAR commented that Riffin's proposal would ignore the stated intent of the rulemaking and that the Board has authority to issue regulations consistent with the rail transportation policy (RTP) at 49 U.S.C. 10101. (AAR NPRM Reply Comments 2-3.) Similarly, the LLCs commented that Riffin's approach would “run directly counter to the purpose of avoiding abuse.” (LLCs NPRM Reply Comments 7.)

    The Board does not believe Riffin's proposed changes to the NOI process are necessary, but instead agrees with AAR and the LLCs that adopting Riffin's proposed changes would be contrary to the purpose of this rulemaking. As discussed in the NPRM, the purpose of requiring NOIs in all cases is to make the OFA process more efficient by providing carriers with earlier notice that parties may be interested in purchasing or subsidizing service over rail lines that may otherwise be abandoned or discontinued and providing identifying information about those parties. See NPRM, EP 729, slip op at 15. Additionally, as AAR states, these new requirements would not contravene the language of 49 U.S.C. 10904—nothing in that provision bars NOIs. In fact, the new requirements are consistent with the RTP. See, e.g., 49 U.S.C. 10101(2) (minimizing the need for federal regulatory control over the rail transportation system); 10101(3) (promoting a safe and efficient rail transportation system); 10101(4) (ensuring the development and continuation of a sound rail transportation system); 10101(9) (encouraging honest and efficient management of railroads).

    Preliminary showing of financial responsibility. In the NPRM, the Board proposed that a potential offeror be required to make a preliminary financial responsibility showing as part of the NOI, based on a calculation using information contained in the carrier's filing and publicly-available information. For a potential OFA to subsidize service, the Board proposed this calculation be a standard per-mile per-year maintenance cost, set by the Board at $4,000, multiplied by the length of the rail line in miles. For a potential OFA to purchase a line, the Board proposed this calculation be the sum of (a) the current rail steel scrap price per ton, multiplied by an assumed track weight of 132 tons-per-track-mile, multiplied by the total track length in miles, plus (b) the $4,000 minimum maintenance cost per mile described above, multiplied by the total track length in miles, multiplied by two, because an OFA purchaser is responsible for operating the acquired line for at least two years. Commenters generally supported the proposal to require this preliminary showing, while also suggesting some changes to the proposed calculations.

    Criticisms of, and suggested changes to, the formula. Riffin suggested several minor clarifications to the calculations. He suggested that the Board specify whether the Board intended long tons, short tons, or metric tons be used in the regulations. (Riffin NPRM Comments 3.) The calculation in the NPRM used a 2,000 pound per ton weight to convert 264,000 pounds to 132 tons, and thus the Board intended short tons to be used in the calculation. NPRM, EP 729, slip op at 17 n.8. However, the Board will clarify the regulations by modifying the language in 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(1)(ii), as shown below, to include a weight of rail in both short tons and long tons. This will allow a potential offeror to use either measurement in its calculation, depending on whether the scrap rail cost it uses, discussed further below, is in short tons or long tons.

    Riffin also commented that the final rule should address situations where there is no track left on a line subject to an OFA, suggesting that in such cases potential offerors should either calculate the track value at zero or show themselves financially responsible for 132 tons of track (i.e., that offerors show themselves financially responsible to acquire one mile of track). (Riffin NPRM Comments 3-4.) Riffin suggested the Board adopt the latter option, as he argues this would at least show that a potential offeror has sufficient funds to re-install some of the track infrastructure. (Riffin NPRM Comments 4.) Jersey City commented that, because the Board's formula assumes track exists, it is “wholly arbitrary” in cases where railroads “have engaged in illegal de facto abandonments.” (Jersey City NPRM Comments 12.)

    The Board will clarify 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(1)(ii) to provide that the length of the line listed in the carrier's abandonment or discontinuance filing (or the length the potential offeror seeks to purchase, as discussed further below) should be used in the calculation in place of the actual length of track. This language is reflected in below. Because this preliminary calculation is intended to identify an estimated theoretical base cost to the potential offeror to subsidize or purchase and operate a rail line, using the length of the line is an appropriate and non-arbitrary way to address situations even where there is no track left on the line, because the purpose of an OFA is to enable the provision of rail service. A party that cannot make the preliminary financial responsibility showing discussed here would not be able to replace the missing track needed to provide rail service, thus defeating the purpose of an OFA. Moreover, the preliminary financial responsibility calculation is intended to be a conservative estimate of what financial resources may be necessary for an OFA, not a valuation of the line.

    Riffin further commented that the rule should address when a potential offeror does not want to subsidize or acquire the entire line. He suggests that, in such cases, offerors should calculate the track length that they wish to subsidize or acquire. (Riffin NPRM Comments 4.) This is already allowed under the Board's regulations, and the changes to 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(1)(ii) proposed in the NPRM included a requirement that potential offerors demonstrate that they are financially responsible “for the calculated preliminary financial responsibility amount of the rail line they seek to subsidize or purchase.” However, as noted, the Board will further clarify here that when a potential offeror seeks to subsidize or acquire only a portion of the line (which the Board's regulations already permit), the offeror should use the length of line it seeks to acquire or subsidize in its preliminary financial responsibility calculation, rather than the length of the entire line subject to the proceeding. To further clarify this in the regulations, the Board will remove the word “total” from the description of the calculation contained in 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(1)(ii).

    Riffin also suggested that more clarity is needed regarding the steel prices to be used in the preliminary financial responsibility calculation, suggesting that the Board identify the specific Web sites the Board has in mind as sources of scrap steel prices, and that the Board indicate specifically the type of steel being priced, as there are multiple categories of scrap steel. (Riffin NPRM Comments 4.) Jersey City commented that its counsel is “unaware of any reliable generally available sites on the web to price rail steel,” and that, if the Board is going to adopt a requirement related to rail steel prices, it should publish its own steel price for purposes of this calculation, or identify acceptable Web sites and receive public comment on those Web sites. (Jersey City NPRM Comments 11.)

    The Board declines to publish its own steel price for purposes of this calculation, as this step is not necessary. A quote from a scrap dealer or a verified statement of a quote received telephonically, dated within 30 days of the submission of the notice of intent as required by this rule, would be acceptable sources for a scrap steel price for purposes of the preliminary calculation. If submitted as a verified statement, the potential offeror should describe the source of the quote, the price quoted, and the date of the conversation. In addition, though the Board does not endorse any specific Web site or source for scrap prices, there are both paid subscription services and free internet services that may also provide such prices.

    Regarding the type of steel being priced, the Board declines to more specifically identify the category of scrap steel that a potential offeror should use in its calculation beyond what is already in the regulations: Rail steel scrap. While there are multiple categories of scrap steel, different scrap dealers may use different classifications of the sub-categories of rail scrap steel. The Board declines to be more specific in order to allow a potential offeror to use the available sub-category of rail scrap steel it finds most appropriate. As noted, the Board has not devised the formula to be a precise calculation of the value of the track assets. Accordingly, it is not essential that the category of steel that is used in the calculation be any one specific sub-category.

    NSR and AAR both commented suggesting that the Board revise its proposed maintenance cost per mile and weight of rail in the preliminary calculation, respectively. NSR suggested that the Board should either evaluate current maintenance costs across the national rail system to determine a system-wide average, or use at least $5,000 per mile, rather than the $4,000 proposed in the NPRM. (NSR NPRM Comments 3-4. See also AAR NPRM Comments 8 n.4 (suggesting that the Board's $4,000 proposed maintenance cost is below averages the Board has relied on in past proceedings).) NSR argues this is necessary “so as not to unintentionally encourage parties that clearly lack the financial capabilities to consummate an OFA.” NSR also commented that the Board should update the maintenance cost number annually for inflation. (NSR NPRM Comments 3-4.) AAR similarly suggested that the Board should modify the weight of the rail used in the calculation to 115 pounds per yard (or 202.4 tons), which “reflect[s] the predominant weight of rail currently in the national rail network and likely to be subject to the OFA process in the future.” (AAR NPRM Comments 8-9.)

    The Board declines to adopt these suggestions. Using a system-wide average for either or both of the per-mile per-year maintenance cost or the weight of the rail in the preliminary calculations could result in an overstated preliminary financial responsibility amount in some cases. This is particularly likely for rail lines subject to discontinuance or abandonment, which often have not been regularly used or highly maintained due to low traffic volumes, and may be composed of older rail materials. As the Board stated in the NPRM, the purpose of this calculation is not to attempt to estimate the eventual offer price of the line, but to discourage abuse of the OFA process by requiring a reasonable initial showing of financial capacity and interest. See NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 18. For similar reasons, the Board finds it unnecessary to update the maintenance cost number annually for inflation. This number is intended to be a simple number for potential offerors to input into the overall calculation to arrive at an intentionally low-end estimate of the financial resources needed to subsidize or acquire the line. Thus, indexing this number for inflation would needlessly complicate this early step of the OFA process. Rather than updating it annually for inflation, the Board will issue a decision updating this number as needed in the future to prevent abuse of this process.

    Jersey City asserted that the Board's formula for the preliminary financial responsibility calculation is “totally arbitrary,” arguing that there are many additional factors upon which salvage value depends, like transportation costs and the costs to remove bridges, that the Board has not considered in its proposed calculation, and that these factors also vary widely across the country. (Jersey City NPRM Comments 10.) Jersey City also argues that the proposed formula will “vastly overstate salvage value for any line that has substantial bridges,” as bridges can be costlier to salvage than the value of the steel they contain. (Jersey City NPRM Comments 12.) The LLCs also suggested modifications to the formula, suggesting that the formula should be modified to include the estimated cost of replacing any rail or infrastructure that has been removed from the line, and that would be reasonably required to carry freight on the line. (LLCs NPRM Comments 3-4.)

    The Board declines to adopt these suggestions. As stated above, this calculation is not intended to result in an approximation of what an eventual offer will be, and it is not intended to consider every factor that may affect the cost of subsidizing or purchasing a line. Nor is it intended to identify the salvage cost of the line. The purpose of this calculation is to identify a conservative, low-end base number from which to determine a potential offeror's preliminary level of financial responsibility. As such, the Board believes this calculation properly balances the need to consider multiple factors with the need for a calculation simple enough that any potential offeror can participate in this process.

    Certification and retroactivity. The LLCs also suggested that the submitted cost calculation should be certified by a licensed professional engineer experienced in railroad construction and that the Board should include language in the regulations requiring the preliminary financial responsibility showing to be made for all OFAs filed after the adoption of the rule, even if an NOI was filed prior to the adoption of the rule. (LLCs NPRM Comments 3, 5, 10-11.) The Board will not adopt either of these suggestions. The purpose of laying out a clear formula in the regulations and requiring a potential offeror to submit evidence supporting its calculation is to enable any potential offeror to use the formula to participate in the OFA process, and to allow the Board to easily assess the resulting calculation. Requiring a potential offeror to have its calculation certified by a licensed professional engineer experienced in railroad construction would unnecessarily complicate the preliminary financial responsibility process, with little benefit to the integrity of the process. Additionally, requiring the preliminary financial responsibility showing to be made for offers filed after the adoption of the rule, even where a NOI was filed before the adoption of the rule, would be inappropriate. The preliminary financial responsibility calculation is a change to the NOI stage of the OFA process, and the Board will not retroactively impose this new requirement on NOIs filed before the effective date of this rule.

    Escrow requirement. As noted, the Board proposed to require an offeror to demonstrate in its OFA that the offeror has placed in escrow 10% of the preliminary financial responsibility amount calculated at the NOI stage. The Army commented that federal government entities should be exempt from this proposed requirement. (Army NPRM Comments 1.) The Army argued that this requirement would be inordinately burdensome on government entities due to the appropriations process, and therefore suggests that section 1152.27(c)(iv)(D) apply only to an offeror that is a “non-government entity.” (Army NPRM Comments 3.) The LLCs, in response, argue that only federal government entities and state transportation agencies, not all governmental entities, should be exempt from the escrow requirement, because they are “clearly responsible.” (LLCs NPRM Reply Comments 6.) Jersey City also commented that “it is difficult to understand what purpose [the escrow requirement] serves” because it does not apply at the NOI stage, it is unlikely to deter abuse of the OFA process, and the Board's filing fees for OFAs are a more effective deterrent. (Jersey City NPRM Comments 12-13). Jersey City also argued that state and local governments frequently have hearing and budgeting requirements that would prevent them from being able to comply with the escrow requirement within the required time frame. For these reasons, it argued that the escrow requirement should not apply to these entities. (Jersey City NPRM Comments 12-13. See also Jersey City NPRM Reply Comments 18.) In response, AAR argued that Jersey City's comments mischaracterize the proposed escrow requirement and that the requirement should apply to state and local government entities because many of them obtain waivers of the Board's filing fees, and thus those fees are not acting as deterrents for those entities. (AAR NPRM Reply Comments 4.)

    Upon review of the comments on the NPRM, the Board will exempt all governmental entities from the proposed escrow requirement, as reflected in the changes to 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(1)(iv)(D) in below. The Board agrees with the Army that this requirement is likely to be burdensome on the federal government because of the appropriations process, and the similar argument made by Jersey City that the hearing and budgeting requirements of state and local governments may cause this requirement to be unnecessarily burdensome on those entities as well. Additionally, the Board believes there is a low likelihood that this exclusion for governmental entities will lead to abuse because, as discussed in the NPRM, the presumption that governmental entities are financially responsible remains rebuttable, acting as a check on those entities. See NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 5, 18. See also Ind. Sw. Ry.—Aban. Exemption—in Posey & Vanderburgh Ctys., Ind. (Ind. Sw. Ry. Apr. 2011), AB 1065X, slip op. at 5 (STB served Apr. 8, 2011) (finding government entity was not financially responsible, dismissing its OFA, and stating that the presumption that government entities are financially responsible, “although entitled to significant weight, is not conclusive”). Accordingly, governmental entities will be required under this final rule to submit NOIs, but will not be required to complete the preliminary financial responsibility calculation or make the preliminary financial responsibility showing with an NOI, see NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 5, 18, or submit evidence with their offer that they have placed 10% of that calculated preliminary financial responsibility amount in escrow.

    Additionally, the Board disagrees with Jersey City's statements that the escrow requirement is unlikely to deter abuse of the OFA process overall, and as discussed in the NPRM, the Board believes that this requirement allows an offeror to make a concrete showing that its offer and interest in a line are legitimate. See NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 18.

    In addition to its other comments related to the escrow requirement, Jersey City also asserted that this requirement amounts to an effort to re-impose an arbitrary version of the “bona fide” requirement, a showing that used to be statutorily required but was removed by the passage of ICCTA. (Jersey City NPRM Reply Comments 18.) Under the bona fide requirement, the Board was required to find that an OFA was reasonable in relation to the likely value of the line, in addition to finding the offeror financially responsible. Contrary to Jersey City's assertion, the Board's escrow account proposal is not a re-imposition of that requirement. The Board is simply requiring an offeror to make a minimal showing of financial responsibility before initiating the OFA process. The Board clearly has authority under 49 U.S.C. 1321(a) to issue regulations to administer the OFA process under 49 U.S.C. 10904, including the requirement that an offeror be a “financially responsible person.” As noted, the preliminary financial responsibility amount is likely to be less than the eventual offer. A party that cannot place even 10% of this already conservative amount in escrow at the OFA stage is, in the Board's view, not likely to be found a “financially responsible person.” Accordingly, the escrow requirement, along with the other requirements that will be implemented under this final rule, will ensure that the Board carries out the OFA process effectively and efficiently.

    Other Financial Responsibility Comments. In addition to responding to the specific proposals contained in the NPRM, commenters also suggested other changes to the Board's financial responsibility requirements. NSR proposed eliminating the presumption of financial responsibility that currently exists for state and municipal government entities. Instead, NSR proposes requiring those entities to satisfy the preliminary financial responsibility showing. (NSR NPRM Comments 2.) NSR argues that this would be appropriate because many municipalities have filed for bankruptcy since 2010, and that this would be a reasonable burden given that governmental entities would already be required to file NOIs and comply with the escrow requirement under this rule. (NSR NPRM Comments 5.) The LLCs also suggested the elimination of the presumption of financial responsibility for all government entities other than the federal government, state transportation agencies, and other government agencies “specifically created for the purpose of conducting rail freight operations.” (LLCs NPRM Comments 6-7.) The LLCs suggest that these entities, along with providing evidence of financial responsibility, should be required to submit evidence of “legal authorization to acquire the line, assume common carrier obligations, and available public financing for the specific operation and maintenance of any line” sought to be acquired to “weed out OFA abuse motivated by local political considerations and other improper motives.” (LLCs NPRM Comments 7, 9.)

    The Board declines to eliminate the presumption of financial responsibility for governmental entities. As discussed above, carriers already have recourse in situations where governmental entities are not financially responsible in that the governmental entities' presumption is rebuttable. See Ind. Sw. Ry. Apr. 2011, AB 1065X, slip op. at 5 (finding government entity was not financially responsible and dismissing its OFA). Moreover, situations such as the one that NSR and the LLCs are concerned about, in which the governmental entity turns out to not be financially responsible, are rare.2 Accordingly, it is appropriate to continue to address governmental entities that may not be financially responsible on a case-by-case basis. This final rule effectively balances the need for information about an offeror with the unique appropriations issues governmental entities may face in the OFA process.

    2 In addition, NSR's argument that requiring governmental entities to demonstrate that they are financial responsible is not burdensome because they must also comply with the Board's escrow account requirement is moot, given that the Board is also finding that governmental entities should be exempted from the escrow account requirement.

    The Board also declines to require governmental entities to provide evidence of the additional authorizations suggested by the LLCs. To the extent a governmental entity's legal authorization to submit an OFA is disputed, a party is free to raise that during the OFA process, at which point the Board would take that into consideration. However, the Board has not been presented on a regular basis with situations where governmental entities have filed OFAs yet lacked the proper authority to do so. The Board therefore does not find it necessary to have regulations specifically requiring these showings from governmental entities.

    The LLCs also proposed several changes to the offer stage of the process, including requiring offerors to identify all real property and other assets to be acquired from the carrier and any additional property or assets required to reinstitute rail service on the line. (LLCs NPRM Comments 11.) They also suggested that the Board include in the regulations a statement that the Board “will not approve an offer that is contingent, or dependent for its implementation on the acquisition of property or other assets from anyone other than the applicant for abandonment without a clear showing that all steps necessary to provide rail service as a common carrier can be accomplished within a reasonable time.” (LLCs NPRM Comments 11.) The LLCs argue that these additions are necessary “to address the full scope of the [offeror's] proposal to provide rail service,” and to make clear to offerors that OFA procedures are limited to the property and assets of the applicant for discontinuance or abandonment, and cannot be used “to give an offeror more than can be obtained from the railroad seeking abandonment.” (LLCs NPRM Comments 12.) The LLCs also suggest requiring an offeror (or in the case of a legal entity, an officer of the offeror with authority to bind the entity) to include in its offer a certification under penalty of perjury that the offer is made in good faith for the purpose of operating rail service on the line; that it is not made for any non-rail purpose; that the person certifying the offer is authorized to do so; and that the contents of the offer are true and correct. (LLCs NPRM Comments 12-13.)

    The Board does not find it necessary to adopt the LLCs' proposed changes to the offer process. With regard to requiring offerors to identify real property and other assets to be acquired from the applicant for discontinuance or abandonment, or to reinstitute rail service, any acquisition of assets other than the line itself is outside of the OFA purchase process, and thus would not properly be included in the Board's regulations. Additionally, the Board already has the authority to reject an OFA when an offeror fails to demonstrate its ability to provide rail service as part of the Board's determination of financial responsibility at the offer stage.3 Accordingly, the Board finds it unnecessary to include a requirement in these regulations that an offeror make a clear showing of its ability to complete all steps necessary to provide service, as the LLCs have suggested. The LLCs' suggested certifications to be included with an offer are also unnecessary. The Board's existing Rules of Practice direct “all persons appearing in proceedings before it to conform, as nearly as possible, to the standards of ethical conduct required of practice before the courts of the United States.” 49 CFR 1103.11 (emphasis added). By presenting a pleading, written motion, or other paper to a federal court, and by extension, to the Board, “an attorney or unrepresented party is certifying that to the best of the person's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances,” the document “is not being presented for an improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation,” and that the factual contentions contained therein “have evidentiary support.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b)(1), (3). The Board does not believe that requiring a separate certification as proposed by the LLCs would act as any more effective a deterrent for abuse of the OFA process than these existing requirements.

    3Consol. Rail Corp.—Aban. Exemption—in Phila., Pa., AB 167 (Sub-No. 1191X) et al., slip op. at 8 (STB served Oct. 26, 2012) (affirming Director's decision to reject an OFA because offeror did not have funds to both acquire the line and to rehabilitate the line and install safety equipment).

    In reply comments to the NPRM, AAR requested that the Board clarify that the preliminary financial responsibility requirement at the NOI stage is separate and distinct from the already existing financial responsibility determination at the offer stage. (AAR NPRM Reply Comments 3.) AAR made this request in response to a statement apparently made by Riffin in a court proceeding not involving the Board that

    the STB, in its EP 729 Decision, did not make it more difficult to prosecute an OFA in the 1189X proceeding [Consol. Rail Corp.—Aban. Exemption—in Hudson Cty., N.J., Docket No. AB 167 (1189X) et al.]. The STB actually made it easier. (By eliminating its prior precedent requiring `operation' of a line for two years.) Now one only has to demonstrate the financial ability to maintain a line for two years, at the minimal cost of $4,000 a year per mile of line.4

    4 Jersey City provided this quotation but did not submit a copy of the court pleading it quotes from with its comments. Riffin did not respond to Jersey City's comments.

    (Jersey City NPRM Comments 3-4.)

    Based on this alleged quote from a court filing by Riffin, he appears to be conflating the preliminary financial responsibility requirement with the existing requirement in 49 U.S.C. 10904(d) and 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(1)(ii)(B) that an offeror be financially responsible for the full amount of its offer when it files an OFA. The Board clarifies here that the addition of the preliminary financial responsibility requirement to the Board's regulations does not eliminate or change the existing requirement at the OFA stage that an offeror show themselves to be financially responsible for the full amount of its offer, and this final rule does not alter existing Board precedent regarding what constitutes financial responsibility or how the Board will evaluate an OFA after one is submitted.

    Continuation of Rail Service. In the NPRM, the Board proposed to codify prior precedent requiring all offerors to demonstrate the need for and feasibility of continued rail service on the line and proposed to list in the regulations the following four examples of how an offeror may demonstrate that need: (1) Evidence of a demonstrable commercial need for service (as reflected by support from shippers or receivers on the line or other evidence of an immediate and significant commercial need); (2) evidence of community support for continued rail service; (3) evidence that acquisition of freight operating rights would not interfere with current and planned transit services; and (4) evidence that continued service is operationally feasible. These criteria were laid out by the Board in Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority—Abandonment Exemption—in Los Angeles County, California (LACMTA), AB 409 (Sub-No. 5X), slip op. at 3 (STB served June 16, 2008).

    In response to the Board's proposal, commenters expressed differing opinions about whether the Board should require all four elements of the LACMTA criteria to be met for offerors to make the showing of a continued need for rail service, or whether offerors should only be required to meet one element of the criteria. Riffin commented that the offerors should only be required to meet one of the four criteria, suggesting that the Board add language to the regulations “to indicate that no one criteri[on] is dominant” and that “the STB will `balance' the four criteria.” (Riffin NPRM Comments 5.) In response, the LLCs commented that “satisfying only one criterion is a meaningless exercise.” (LLCs NPRM Reply Comments 8.) Similarly, NSR commented that the Board should “require offerors to satisfy the LACMTA criteria in full in order to demonstrate a continued need for rail service,” arguing that the criteria “are not meant to operate in a piecemeal fashion,” and that “it is only the sum of the LACMTA criteria that allows the STB to make a reasoned decision as to whether there is a continued need for rail service.” (NSR NPRM Comments 6.) NSR, with the LLCs' support, also argues that “the LACMTA criteria themselves are broadly worded to provide offerors with some degree of flexibility in what is required to demonstrate a continued need for rail service.” (NSR NPRM Comments 6; LLCs NPRM Reply Comments 5.)

    Consistent with prior precedent, the Board's final rule will require that all offerors will be required to show a continued need for rail service. The criteria the Board laid out in LACMTA, AB 409 (Sub-No. 5X), are included in the regulations as examples of the types of evidence that offerors should present to the Board to illustrate a continued need for rail service, not requirements. Offerors will not be strictly required to meet any one of (or all) the criteria to show a continued need for rail service. The LACMTA criteria are intended to provide guidance to offerors as to the types of evidence the Board will examine when considering this element of an OFA. Although the Board agrees with NSR and the LLCs that an OFA proponent must make a strong showing of need, in conducting this evaluation, the Board will look at the totality of the circumstances to determine whether there is a continued need for rail service on the line. Because the regulations the Board proposed in the NPRM already state that the LACMTA criteria are included as examples, NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 26, additional changes to the regulations are not necessary.

    In the NPRM's discussion of this proposed requirement, the Board stated that “where there has been no service for at least two years, an offeror would need to present concrete evidence of a continued need for rail service.” NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 19. AAR states that it understands this language to mean that there will be “heightened scrutiny on claims that there is continued need for rail service in out-of-service exemption proceedings, not that particular and specific evidence would not be required in other proceedings,” and suggests that the Board clarify that all offerors are required to show specific evidence of a continued need for rail service, not only offerors in two year out-of-service notice of exemption cases. (AAR NPRM Comments 6.) NSR also argued that the Board should clarify this statement by explicitly incorporating a heightened burden in the regulations for two-year out-of-service exemption proceedings. (NSR NPRM Comments 7.) The LLCs commented in support of NSR's proposal. (LLCs NPRM Reply Comments 5.)

    The Board declines to adopt NSR's suggestion of a higher standard for notice of exemption proceedings and clarifies that it will not apply a heightened scrutiny standard to the continuation of service element of OFAs in those proceedings. In making the statement that “where there has been no service for at least two years, an offeror would need to present concrete evidence of a continued need for rail service,” the Board did not intend to imply a higher burden for notice of exemption proceedings or a lower burden for other proceedings. See NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 19 (stating that “the burden on the offeror to show the continued need for rail service would remain the same as in other proceedings.”). Rather, the Board simply intended to point out that an offeror is likely to have a more difficult time showing a continued need for service over a line where there has not been service in at least two years. All offerors in all OFA proceedings will be required to show specific and concrete evidence of a continued need for rail service to make the showing required by this rule, and in all proceedings the Board will consider the totality of circumstances in evaluating the evidence submitted by offerors.

    As with the escrow account requirement, Jersey City opposes the proposed requirement that offerors demonstrate a continued need for rail service generally, on the ground that this showing amounts to a requirement that OFAs be bona fide, which conflicts with Congress' intent in removing such a requirement in ICCTA. (Jersey City NPRM Comments 14.) AAR argues that Jersey City is confusing “the requirement that an offer be for continued rail service” with “the requirement, omitted in [ICCTA] that the Board find an OFA to be bona fide before proceeding.” (AAR NPRM Reply Comments 3.) The LLCs commented that Jersey City is incorrect in its assertion that the Board's proposal to require a showing of a continued need for rail service amounts to a bona fide requirement. (LLCs NPRM Reply Comments 12-13.) The LLCs argue that in fact this proposal is consistent with current law and Board precedent. (LLCs NPRM Reply Comments 13-15.)

    As discussed above, existing Board precedent requires that an OFA be for continued rail service. See, e.g., LACMTA, AB 409 (Sub-No. 5X), slip op. at 3. The proposal in the NPRM did not create an additional requirement, but simply proposed to formally codify the existing continued-rail-service requirement in the Board's regulations, so that the Board can ensure that it is addressed in all OFAs. See NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 19. Additionally, although the Board, when it adopted regulations implementing ICCTA, indicated the statute as revised removed the requirement that an offer be “bona fide,” Aban. & Discontinuance of Rail Lines & Rail Transp. Under 49 U.S.C. 10903, EP 537, slip op. at 15 (STB served Dec. 24, 1996), the continued-rail-service requirement is consistent with the statute. Section 10904(b)(1) and (3) of title 49 require a carrier applying for abandonment or discontinuance authority to provide financial information to a potential offeror related to the continued operation of the line, and 49 U.S.C. 10904(d) requires an offeror to prove itself financially responsible for the amount of its offer, which under 49 U.S.C. 10904(c) shall be based on the financial information provided by the carrier or shall explain the basis of any disparity between the offer and the information provided by the carrier. Indeed, after adopting its post-ICCTA regulations, the Board later concluded that an OFA nevertheless must be for continued rail service. Roaring Fork R.R. Holding Auth.—Aban.—in Garfield, Eagle, & Pitkin Ctys., Colo., AB 547X, slip op. at 4 (STB served May 21, 1999) (finding that “[t]he OFA process is designed for the purpose of continuing to provide freight rail service,” and that “an offeror must be able to demonstrate that its OFA is for continued rail freight service.”). That determination has been judicially affirmed. See, e.g., Kulmer v. STB, 236 F.3d 1255, 1256-57 (10th Cir. 2001); Redmond-Issaquah R.R. Pres. Ass'n v. STB, 223 F.3d 1057, 1061-63 (9th Cir. 2000). The Board therefore disagrees with Jersey City's assertion that this continued-rail-service requirement contravenes Congressional intent under ICCTA.

    Jersey City further commented that the requirement to show a continued need for rail service should not apply to OFAs filed by governmental entities. In particular, Jersey City argues that governmental entities should not be required to show non-interference with transit projects or community support, because “[w]hen a government files an OFA, the OFA embodies the public project.” (Jersey City NPRM Comments 14.) It also notes that the Board did not specifically identify any instances in which governmental entities have abused the OFA process. (Id.) Jersey City further argues that to apply the LACMTA criteria to governmental entities would also be a departure from previous Board precedent, because applying these criteria to governmental OFAs would “amount to substituting the STB's planning judgments for those of local and state governments,” even though the Board's predecessor, the Interstate Commerce Commission, stated in a 1991 decision that it is not a planning agency. (Jersey City NPRM Comments 15-16.) Jersey City does, however, support “requiring private parties invoking the OFA process to show an overriding freight rail need when their OFA will interfere with a public project of any sort.” (Jersey City NPRM Comments 9.) AAR commented in response that Jersey City's statements that the NPRM amounts to substituting the Board's planning judgments for those of state and local governments are incorrect. (AAR NPRM Reply Comments 4.) Instead, AAR argues, “the NPRM reflects the limited jurisdiction of the STB to impose restrictions on the use of private property by railroads.” (AAR NPRM Reply Comments 4.) The LLCs also commented in response to Jersey City that governmental entities should be required to make the showing of a continued need for service, and that the Board's proposal does not “usurp the function of local governments' control over land use matters.” (LLCs NPRM Reply Comments 17.)

    The Board disagrees with Jersey City's suggestion that governmental entities should not be required to show a continued need for rail service because an OFA by a governmental entity “embodies the public project.” Congress did not give the Board unfettered authority in administering abandonments to force the sale of a rail line for any public purpose.5 The purpose of the OFA process is not to preserve rail corridors for any public use or to assist with non-rail public projects, but rather, as explained above, to ensure continued rail service.

    5 Indeed, even the Board's public use provision at 49 U.S.C. 10905 does not provide for the forced sale of a rail line for non-rail public purposes. Instead, that section contains a process by which an abandoning carrier can be required to postpone for 180 days disposal of the properties it seeks to abandon so that parties may negotiate with the carrier for the possible disposition of the property for some other public purpose.

    Nor is the Board persuaded by Jersey City's argument that to consider the LACMTA criteria when governmental entities file OFAs would be to substitute the Board's planning judgments for those of local governmental entities. The LACMTA criteria are not general planning criteria—they are all rail-oriented. As noted, the requirement that the OFA be for continued rail service already exists and has been judicially affirmed, and the LACMTA criteria are merely a means for the Board to determine if that standard has been met. Moreover, a determination by the Board regarding whether there is a need for continued rail service does not necessarily create a conflict with a local entity's planning; applying the LACMTA criteria when government entities file OFAs leaves the planning authority of state and local governmental entities intact but properly subject to Congress's terms for a forced sale under 49 U.S.C. 10904.

    The Board has authority under 49 U.S.C. 1321(a) to issue these regulations to carry out the OFA process. While Jersey City points out that the Board has not identified any instances in which governmental entities have abused the OFA process, it is not necessary for the Board to have done so to make these changes to our regulations. The purpose of this proceeding is not only to protect the OFA process from abuse, but, after 20 years of experience, to identify ways in which the Board can improve the OFA process. The Board believes the continued-rail-service requirement, along with the other changes contained in this final rule, will improve the OFA process overall, including when the potential offeror is a governmental entity.

    Finally, Jersey City also commented that “the showings that the agency proposes as a precondition for rail use appear all to deal solely with freight,” which it argues is problematic because the proposed language does not acknowledge that the OFA process may be used for passenger rail purposes. (Jersey City NPRM Comments 17-18.) But as the Board discussed in the NPRM, “ `nothing in section 10904 precludes a line from being acquired under the OFA procedures to provide combined passenger/freight service and indeed there are situations where . . . it is the inclusion of passenger operations that would seem to make it financially viable for an operator to offer continued (or restored) freight service.' ” NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 13, quoting Trinidad Ry.—Acquis. & Operation Exemption—in Las Animas Cty., Colo., AB 573X et al., slip op. at 8 (STB served Aug. 13, 2001). See also Union Pac. R.R.—Aban. Exemption—in Rio Grande & Mineral Ctys., Colo., AB 33 (Sub-No. 132X), slip op. at 3 (STB served Apr. 22, 1999). Thus, as explained in these prior Board decisions, even if the OFA process is used primarily for passenger rail purposes, the carrier acquiring the line must still be willing to provide freight rail service over the line for two years. Moreover, as discussed above, the LACMTA criteria are included as examples of the types of evidence the Board will look for when considering the totality of the circumstances surrounding the continued need for rail service, not specific requirements; offerors will not be strictly required to meet any one of (or all) the criteria to show a continued need for rail service.

    Identity of the Offeror. The Board proposed to require an offeror or an offeror's representative to provide a mailing address and other contact information, and to require an offeror that is a legal entity to provide its full legal name, state of organization or incorporation, and a description of the ownership of the entity. In addition, for multiple parties filing one OFA, the Board proposed requiring that the parties provide clear identification of which entity or individual would assume the common carrier obligation and clear identification of how the parties would allocate financing and, if purchased, the operation of the line.

    NSR expressed support for the Board's proposals to require this identifying information, saying that it is important for the Board and carriers receiving OFAs to be able to identify the party or parties involved. (NSR NPRM Comments 7.) The LLCs commented that, in addition to the information proposed in the NPRM, the Board should also require a legal entity to provide a certificate of good standing from its state of incorporation and, where necessary, a certification that it is authorized to do business in the state or states where the rail line subject to an OFA is located. (LLCs NPRM Reply Comments 2-3.) The Board's purpose for requiring the additional information proposed is to assist the Board and carriers in identifying the parties involved in an OFA. However, the Board believes that requiring certifications of good standing or authorizations to do business from an offeror would go beyond that purpose, and thus the Board will not adopt the LLCs' proposal here. To the extent that the LLCs are concerned about potential offerors being in good standing, these concerns should be addressed by the fact that the Board will now require potential offerors to demonstrate preliminary financial responsibility and a continued need for rail service.

    Other Comments. Parties also commented on other ways to prevent abuse of the OFA process, and on the OFA process and this proceeding generally. NSR commented that it continues to strongly support increased enforcement of 49 CFR 1104.8, which allows the Board to strike irrelevant or immaterial pleadings. (NSR NPRM Comments 1.) AAR similarly suggested that in addition to adopting the changes proposed in this proceeding the Board “should also vigilantly enforce its existing rules to protect against abuse of the OFA process.” (AAR NPRM Comments 12.) In denying NSR's 2015 petition to institute a rulemaking proceeding to address abuses of Board processes, the Board stated that, in addition to instituting this OFA rulemaking proceeding, it would increase enforcement of 49 CFR 1104.8. NSR Petition, EP 727, slip op. at 4. The Board has done so. See, e.g., Riffin—Pet. for Declaratory Order, FD 36078, slip op. 5 (STB served Apr. 27, 2017); Norfolk S. Ry. Co.—Acquis. & Operation—Certain Rail Lines of the Del. & Hudson Ry., FD 35873, slip op. at 5-6 (STB served Oct. 18, 2016); R. J. Corman R.R./Allentown Lines, Inc.—Aban. Exemption—in Lehigh Cty., Pa., AB 550 (Sub-No. 3X), slip op. at 1-2 (STB served Nov. 25, 2015). The Board restated this commitment in the NPRM. NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 9. In this decision, the Board again reiterates its commitment to increasing enforcement of 49 CFR 1104.8 to prevent abuse of the OFA process and the Board's processes generally.

    Jersey City commented that it believes the chief abuses of the OFA process are delay and the use of OFAs to prevent public projects. (Jersey City NPRM Reply Comments 8, 11.) With regard to delays in the OFA process, Jersey City argues that the proper remedy is “for the agency to adhere to the statutory and regulatory deadlines.” (Jersey City NPRM Comments 8. See also Jersey City NPRM Reply Comments 9.) Where delay is caused by railroads not making financial information promptly available to potential offerors, Jersey City suggests the Board should consider sanctioning such carriers, “including barring the carrier from relying on information it does not promptly provide, or dismissing the proceeding in appropriate cases.” (Jersey City NPRM Reply Comments 11.)

    In addition, Jersey City suggests that the Board's focus in addressing abuse of the OFA process should be protecting public projects, even when those public projects are not rail projects. (Jersey City NPRM Comments 9.) Jersey City argues that “the only real `abuse' of the OFA statute that merits examination for possible new regulations is situations in which this Board's OFA remedy is invoked to prevent or to inhibit a public project.” (Jersey City NPRM Reply Comments 15.) Instead of the Board's proposed rule, Jersey City proposes that any offeror filing an OFA “aimed at thwarting public projects” should be required to show “an overriding public need for rail service.” (Jersey City NPRM Reply Comments 19. See also Jersey City NPRM Comments 14, 19.) In response to Jersey City's comments, AAR argues that “states and municipalities have no right to railroad rights of way for public projects, absent a desire and ability to obtain the line for continued rail service.” (AAR NPRM Reply Comments 4.)

    The Board is aware that the OFA process has been inefficient in some past cases. The proposals adopted in this final rule and discussed above, however, are geared to address delays associated with the OFA process. For example, requiring all offerors to file NOIs and make a preliminary financial responsibility showing should prompt rail carriers to assemble and provide the required valuation information more quickly for OFAs. The Board notes, however, that the OFA process is intended to promote continued rail service. See Roaring Fork R.R. Holding Auth., AB 547X, slip op. at 4. See also Kulmer, 236 F.3d at 1256-57; Redmond-Issaquah R.R. Preservation Ass'n, 223 F.3d at 1061-63. The Board, therefore, rejects Jersey City's repeated suggestion that the OFA process may be invoked for public projects unrelated to the continuation of rail service.

    To the extent that Jersey City is concerned that public projects may be thwarted by abuse of the OFA process, the regulations proposed here should help in that regard, as they will ensure that OFAs are being sought for a legitimate need for continued rail service and by parties that possess the means to acquire the line. However, to the extent Jersey City is arguing that even OFAs that do not abuse the process (i.e., OFAs intended for continued rail service) should not be able to thwart public projects, the Board rejects that argument. The aim of the OFA statute is to preserve rail service where possible, see Redmond-Issaquah R.R. Preservation Ass'n, 223 F.3d at 1061, and as a result, the Board will grant exemptions from the OFA provisions for a valid public purpose only when there is no overriding public need for continued freight rail service. See, e.g., Kessler v. STB, 635 F.3d 1, 5 (D.C. Cir. 2011).6

    6 Accordingly, carriers that believe that an OFA would needlessly interfere with a public project can seek an OFA exemption, and, as the Board explained in the NPRM, it will address these requests on a case-by-case basis. See NPRM, EP 729, slip op. at 11.

    In addition to its comments discussed above regarding the escrow requirement and the requirement to show a continued need for rail service, Jersey City also generally states throughout its comments that it believes the Board's proposals are “difficult to square with past precedent,” referring to ICCTA's removal of the requirement that an OFA be “bona fide” from 49 U.S.C. 10904. (Jersey City NPRM Comments 5. See also Jersey City NPRM Reply Comments 4-7 (“Some of the proposals . . . appear to be outside the Board's power given Congressional omission of the bona fide requirement.”).) Jersey City argues that “the law has not changed to permit the agency as a general matter to apply new requirements to potential offerants wholesale.” (Jersey City NPRM Comments 6.) As noted elsewhere in this final rule, contrary to Jersey City's assertion, the Board's proposals are not a re-imposition of the bona fide requirement, nor are they in conflict with Congressional intent under ICCTA. The Board has authority under 49 U.S.C. 1321(a) to issue regulations to carry out its statutory obligations, including its obligations to carry out the OFA process under 49 U.S.C. 10904. The requirements under this final rule will ensure that the Board can meet those obligations effectively and efficiently, and will ensure that OFAs are initiated for continued rail service—which is the statutory objective embodied in 49 U.S.C. 10904. Moreover, as discussed throughout this proceeding, the Board does not believe these changes to the regulations will be unnecessarily burdensome on potential participants in the OFA process. Rather, the Board believes that these requirements will benefit participants in the OFA process by improving the efficiency, transparency, and reliability of the OFA process.

    The final rule is set forth in full below. This action is categorically excluded from environmental review under 49 CFR 1105.6(c).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, generally requires a description and analysis of new rules that would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In drafting a rule, an agency is required to: (1) Assess the effect that its regulation will have on small entities; (2) analyze effective alternatives that may minimize a regulation's impact; and (3) make the analysis available for public comment. Sections 601-604. In its final rule, the agency must either include a final regulatory flexibility analysis, section 603(a), or certify that the final rule would not have a “significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.” section 605(b). The impact must be a direct impact on small entities “whose conduct is circumscribed or mandated” by the rule. White Eagle Coop. v. Conner, 553 F.3d 467, 480 (7th Cir. 2009).

    In the NPRM, the Board stated that it was possible that the proposed rule could have a significant economic impact on certain small entities,7 and issued an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and request for comments in order to explore further the impact, if any, of the proposed rule on small rail carriers. The Board did not receive any comments regarding the IRFA. The Board now publishes this final regulatory flexibility analysis.

    7 Effective June 30, 2016, for the purpose of RFA analysis, the Board defines a “small business” as only including those rail carriers classified as Class III rail carriers under 49 CFR 1201.1-1. See Small Entity Size Standards Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, EP 719 (STB served June 30, 2016) (with Board Member Begeman dissenting). Class III carriers have annual operating revenues of $20 million or less in 1991 dollars, or $35,809,698 or less when adjusted for inflation using 2016 data. Class II rail carriers have annual operating revenues of less than $250 million in 1991 dollars or less than $447,621,226 when adjusted for inflation using 2016 data. The Board calculates the revenue deflator factor annually and publishes the railroad revenue thresholds on its Web site. 49 CFR 1201.1-1.

    Description of the reasons why the action by the agency is being considered.

    On May 26, 2015, NSR filed a petition to institute a rulemaking proceeding to address abuses of Board processes. In a decision served on September 23, 2015, the Board denied NSR's petition but stated it would institute a separate rulemaking proceeding to examine the OFA process. On December 14, 2015, the Board instituted this proceeding, issuing an ANPRM requesting comments from the public and stating that, based on NSR's petition and on the Board's experiences with OFAs under 49 U.S.C. 10904 (as revised by ICCTA in 1995), there are areas where clarifications and revisions to the Board's OFA process could enhance the process and protect it against abuse. On September 30, 2016, the Board issued an NPRM proposing specific changes to the OFA process. Those changes proposed in the NPRM, with the modifications discussed above, are adopted in this final rule.

    Succinct statement of the objectives of, and legal basis for, the final rule.

    The objectives of this rule are to revise the Board's outdated regulations regarding the OFA process and make changes to streamline the OFA process and protect it from abuse. The Board believes the changes detailed in this final rule achieve this by ensuring that parties that seek to acquire lines through the OFA process satisfy the requirement that they be “financially responsible persons” and that OFA sales promote the statutory purpose of preserving rail service. The legal basis for the final rule is 49 U.S.C. 1321.

    Description of, and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities to which the final rule will apply.

    The rule will apply to all entities making OFAs to subsidize or purchase rail lines subject to abandonment or discontinuance under the Board's regulations. In the past 20 years since ICCTA was enacted, the Board has received approximately 100 OFAs, or an average of five per year. Of those, the Board estimates that about 80, or 80%, were filed by small entities. Over the last six years, the Board has received six OFAs, or an average of one per year. Of those, the Board estimates that about four, or 66%, were filed by small entities. The majority of these small entities have been small businesses, including shippers and Class III railroads, but this has also included small governmental jurisdictions and small nonprofits. The Board therefore estimates that this rule may affect up to four small entities per year.8

    8 The Board does not mean to suggest that four small entities per year by itself constitutes a “substantial number” under the RFA. However, because a high percentage of OFAs are filed by small entities, and out of an abundance of caution, the Board provides this RFA analysis.

    Description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the final rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities that will be subject to the requirement and the types of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or record.

    The final rule will require additional information from entities interested in or submitting OFAs at two stages. First, an entity will have to file a notice of intent (NOI) soon after the railroad files for abandonment or discontinuance authority (the NOI stage). Second, entities will have to provide new information when the actual offer is submitted (the offer stage), which occurs soon after the railroad has obtained abandonment or discontinuance authority from the Board. The Board is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) for these requirements through a revision to a broader, existing OMB-approved collection.

    At the NOI stage, a potential offeror will be required to submit an NOI in all notice of exemption, petition for exemption, and application proceedings, rather than only in notice of exemption proceedings as was previously required. This NOI will be a notice to the Board and the carrier involved in the proceeding that a party is interested in making an OFA to subsidize or purchase the rail line. A potential offeror will also be required to calculate a preliminary financial responsibility amount for the line using information contained in the carrier's filing and other publicly available information, and provide to the Board evidence of its financial responsibility at that level. This calculation will require research on the part of the potential offeror to determine the current scrap price of steel, which is publicly-available at no cost: Under the final rule potential offerors may obtain a quote from a scrap dealer or a recent scrap price from a free internet source, as explained above in the discussion of comments on the Board's proposed formula for determining preliminary financial responsibility. This calculation will not require professional expertise, however, as it is intended to be relatively simple.

    At the offer stage, an offeror will be required to provide additional relevant identifying information depending on whether the offeror is an individual, a legal entity, or multiple parties seeking to submit a joint OFA. An offeror will also be required to address the continued need for rail service in its offer, to place 10% of the minimum subsidy or purchase price of the line (taken from the calculation done at the NOI stage) in an escrow account, and to provide evidence with its offer that it has completed the escrow requirement.

    All small entities participating in the OFA process will be subject to these requirements, other than small governmental entities, which are exempt from some financial responsibility requirements.9 As discussed above, in the past these small entities have included small businesses, Class III railroads, and small nonprofits. Many, but not all, entities participating in the OFA process are represented by legal counsel, though such representation is not required. These new requirements may take additional time, as detailed in the Paperwork Reduction Act analysis in the NPRM, but the Board does not believe they will require additional professional expertise beyond that already required by the OFA process.

    9 In response to comments regarding the ability of government entities to comply with the escrow requirement, as discussed above this final rule exempts all government entities from placing 10% of the preliminary financial responsibility amount in escrow, as otherwise required by the final rule. This exemption includes any government entities that may qualify as small entities under the RFA. Governmental entities, including those that are small entities, are also exempt from conducting the preliminary financial responsibility calculation and providing evidence of their financial responsibility at the NOI stage.

    The Board estimates these new requirements will add a total annual hour burden of 42 hours and no total annual “non-hour burden” cost under the Paperwork Reduction Act, as detailed in the NPRM.

    Identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the final rule.

    The Board is unaware of any duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting federal rules.

    Description of any significant alternatives to the final rule that accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and that minimize any significant economic impact of the rule on small entities, including alternatives considered, such as: (1) Establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) use of performance rather than design standards; (4) any exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for such small entities.

    Under the final rule, offerors and potential offerors participating in the OFA process will be required to submit additional information as described above at the NOI stage and at the offer stage of the process. The Board considered alternatives to several of the requirements proposed in the NPRM. One alternative to the NOI requirements that was considered was to exempt small entities from the preliminary financial responsibility showing. An alternative to the escrow requirement that was considered was to require small entities to place a smaller percentage of the of the minimum subsidy or purchase price of the line in escrow, or to exempt small entities from the escrow requirement altogether. But because many of the problems with OFAs have involved parties that could be classified as small entities, selecting these alternatives would have defeated the purpose of the rule.

    Indeed, exempting small entities from compliance with the rule would have significantly weakened the effect of the rule because, as discussed above, approximately 66% to 80% of OFAs, depending on sample size, are filed by small entities. The Board also considered taking no action to revise the OFA regulations, but this would not have allowed the Board to meet its objectives of improving the OFA process and protecting it from abuse.

    A copy of this decision will be served upon the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington, DC 20416.

    Paperwork Reduction Act. In this proceeding, the Board is modifying an existing collection of information that is currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) through January 31, 2019, under OMB Control No. 2140-0022. In the NPRM, the Board sought comments pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, and OMB regulations at 5 CFR 1320.11 regarding: (1) Whether the collection of information associated with the proposed changes to the OFA regulations is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Board's burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, when appropriate. No comments were received pertaining to the collection of this information under the PRA.

    This modification to an existing collection will be submitted to OMB for review as required under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), and 5 CFR 1320.11.

    It is ordered:

    1. The Board adopts the final rule as set forth in this decision. Notice of the adopted rule will be published in the Federal Register.

    2. This decision is effective 30 days after the day of service.

    3. A copy of this decision will be served upon the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 1152

    Administrative practice and procedure, Railroads, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Uniform System of Accounts.

    Decided: June 28, 2017.

    By the Board, Board Member Begeman, Elliott, and Miller.

    Kenyatta Clay, Clearance Clerk.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Surface Transportation Board amends title 49, chapter X, subchapter B, part 1152 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 1152—ABANDONMENT AND DISCONTINUANCE OF RAIL LINES AND RAIL TRANSPORTATION UNDER 49 U.S.C. 10903 1. The authority citation for part 1152 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    11 U.S.C. 1170; 16 U.S.C. 1247(d) and 1248; 45 U.S.C. 744; and 49 U.S.C. 1301, 1321(a), 10502, 10903-10905, and 11161.

    2. Amend § 1152.27 as follows: a. In paragraph (a) introductory text, add the words “that has proven itself preliminarily financially responsible under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section” after the word “service”. b. Redesignate paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (ii) as paragraphs (c)(1)(iii) and (iv) and add new paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (ii). c. Revise newly redesignated paragraph (c)(1)(iv)(B), and add new paragraphs (c)(1)(iv)(D), (E), (F), (G), and (H). d. In paragraph (c)(2)(i), add the words “and demonstrating that they are preliminarily financially responsible as described in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section” after the words “(i.e., subsidy or purchase)”. e. In paragraph (c)(2)(iii), remove “(c)(1)(ii)” and add in its place “(c)(1)(iv)”. f. In paragraph (d), remove “or a formal expression of intent under paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section indicating an intent to offer financial assistance” and add in its place “, or satisfaction of the preliminary financial responsibility requirement under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section”. g. In paragraph (e)(1), remove “(c)(1)(i)(C)” and add in its place “(c)(1)(iii)(C)”. h. In paragraph (e)(2), remove “(c)(1)(i)(C)” and add in its place “(c)(1)(iii)(C)”.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 1152.27 Financial assistance procedures.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) Expression of intent to file offer. Persons with a potential interest in providing financial assistance must, no later than 45 days after the Federal Register publication described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section or no later than 10 days after the Federal Register publication described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, submit to the carrier and the Board a formal expression of their intent to file an offer of financial assistance, indicating the type of financial assistance they wish to provide (i.e., subsidy or purchase) and demonstrating that they are preliminarily financially responsible as described in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section. Such submissions are subject to the filing requirements of § 1152.25(d)(1) through (d)(3).

    (ii) Preliminary financial responsibility. Persons submitting an expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance as described in paragraph (c)(1)(i) or paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section must demonstrate that they are financially responsible, under the definition set forth in paragraph (c)(1)(iv)(B) of this section, for the calculated preliminary financial responsibility amount of the rail line they seek to subsidize or purchase. If they seek to subsidize, the preliminary financial responsibility amount shall be $4,000 (representing a standard annual per-mile maintenance cost) times the number of miles of track. If they seek to purchase, the preliminary financial responsibility amount shall be the sum of the rail steel scrap price per ton (dated within 30 days of the submission of the expression of intent), times 132 short tons per track mile or 117.857 long tons per track mile, times the length of the line in miles, plus $4,000 times the number of miles of track times two. Persons submitting an expression of intent must provide evidentiary support for their calculations. If the Board does not issue a decision regarding the preliminary financial responsibility demonstration within 10 days of receipt of the expression of intent, the party submitting the expression of intent will be presumed to be preliminarily financially responsible and, upon request, the applicant must provide the information required under paragraph (a) of this section. This presumption does not create a presumption that the party will be financially responsible for an offer submitted under paragraph (c)(1)(iv) of this section.

    (iv) * * *

    (B) Demonstrate that the offeror is financially responsible; that is, that it has or within a reasonable time will have the financial resources to fulfill proposed contractual obligations. Examples of documentation the Board will accept as evidence of financial responsibility include income statements, balance sheets, letters of credit, profit and loss statements, account statements, financing commitments, and evidence of adequate insurance or ability to obtain adequate insurance. Examples of documentation the Board will not accept as evidence of financial responsibility include the ability to borrow money on credit cards and evidence of non-liquid assets an offeror intends to use as collateral. Governmental entities will be presumed to be financially responsible;

    (D) Demonstrate that the offeror has placed in escrow with a reputable financial institution funds equaling 10% of the preliminary financial responsibility amount calculated pursuant to paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section. Governmental entities are exempt from this requirement;

    (E) Demonstrate that there is a continued need for rail service on the line, or portion of the line, in question. Examples of evidence to be provided include: Evidence of a demonstrable commercial need for service (as reflected by support from shippers or receivers on the line or other evidence of an immediate and significant commercial need); evidence of community support for continued rail service; evidence that acquisition of freight operating rights would not interfere with current and planned transit services; and evidence that continued service is operationally feasible;

    (F) Identify the offeror and provide a mailing address, either business or personal, and other contact information including phone number and email address as available, for the offeror or a representative;

    (G) If the offeror is a legal entity, include the entity's full name, state of organization or incorporation, and a description of the ownership of the entity; and

    (H) If multiple parties seek to make a single offer of financial assistance, clearly identify which entity or individual will assume the common carrier obligation if the offer is successful, and clearly describe how the parties will allocate responsibility for financing the subsidy or purchase of the line and, if purchased, the operation of the line.

    [FR Doc. 2017-14044 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915-01-P
    82 127 Wednesday, July 5, 2017 Proposed Rules FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Part 1282 RIN 2590-AA81 2018-2020 Enterprise Housing Goals AGENCY:

    Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is issuing a proposed rule with request for comments on the housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) for 2018 through 2020. The Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (the Safety and Soundness Act) requires FHFA to establish annual housing goals for mortgages purchased by the Enterprises. The housing goals include separate categories for single-family and multifamily mortgages on housing that is affordable to low-income and very low-income families, among other categories.

    The existing housing goals for the Enterprises include benchmark levels for each housing goal through the end of 2017. This proposed rule would establish benchmark levels for each of the housing goals and subgoals for 2018 through 2020. In addition, the proposed rule would make a number of clarifying and conforming changes, including revisions to the requirements for the housing plan that an Enterprise may be required to submit in response to a failure to achieve one or more of the housing goals.

    DATES:

    FHFA will accept written comments on the proposed rule on or before September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit your comments on the proposed rule, identified by regulatory information number (RIN) 2590-AA81, by any one of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: www.fhfa.gov/open-for-comment-or-input.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. If you submit your comment to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, please also send it by email to FHFA at [email protected] to ensure timely receipt by FHFA. Include the following information in the subject line of your submission: Comments/RIN 2590-AA81.

    Hand Delivered/Courier: The hand delivery address is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA81, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. Deliver the package at the Seventh Street entrance Guard Desk, First Floor, on business days between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    U.S. Mail, United Parcel Service, Federal Express, or Other Mail Service: The mailing address for comments is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA81, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. Please note that all mail sent to FHFA via U.S. Mail is routed through a national irradiation facility, a process that may delay delivery by approximately two weeks.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ted Wartell, Manager, Housing & Community Investment, Division of Housing Mission and Goals, at (202) 649-3157. This is not a toll-free number. The mailing address is: Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf is (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Comments

    FHFA invites comments on all aspects of the proposed rule and will take all comments into consideration before issuing the final rule. Copies of all comments will be posted without change, including any personal information you provide such as your name, address, email address, and telephone number, on the FHFA Web site at http://www.fhfa.gov. In addition, copies of all comments received will be available for examination by the public on business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. To make an appointment to inspect comments, please call the Office of General Counsel at (202) 649-3804.

    Commenters are encouraged to review and comment on all aspects of the proposed rule, including the single-family benchmark levels, the multifamily benchmark levels, and other changes to the regulation.

    II. Background A. Statutory and Regulatory Background for the Existing Housing Goals

    The Safety and Soundness Act requires FHFA to establish annual housing goals for several categories of both single-family and multifamily mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.1 The annual housing goals are one measure of the extent to which the Enterprises are meeting their public purposes, which include “an affirmative obligation to facilitate the financing of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families in a manner consistent with their overall public purposes, while maintaining a strong financial condition and a reasonable economic return.” 2

    1See 12 U.S.C. 4561(a).

    2See 12 U.S.C. 4501(7).

    The housing goals provisions of the Safety and Soundness Act were substantially revised in 2008 with the enactment of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which amended the Safety and Soundness Act.3 Under this revised structure, FHFA established housing goals for the Enterprises for 2010 and 2011 in a final rule published on September 14, 2010.4 FHFA established housing goals levels for the Enterprises for 2012 through 2014 in a final rule published on November 13, 2012.5 In a final rule published on September 3, 2015, FHFA announced the housing goals for the Enterprises for 2015 through 2017, including a new small multifamily low-income housing subgoal.6

    3 Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110-289, 122 Stat. 2654 (July 30, 2008).

    4See 75 FR 55892.

    5See 77 FR 67535.

    6See 80 FR 53392.

    Single-family goals. The single-family goals defined under the Safety and Soundness Act include separate categories for home purchase mortgages for low-income families, very low-income families, and families that reside in low-income areas. Performance on the single-family home purchase goals is measured as the percentage of the total home purchase mortgages purchased by an Enterprise each year that qualify for each goal or subgoal. There is also a separate goal for refinancing mortgages for low-income families, and performance on the refinancing goal is determined in a similar way.

    Under the Safety and Soundness Act, the single-family housing goals are limited to mortgages on owner-occupied housing with one to four units total. The single-family goals cover conventional, conforming mortgages, defined as mortgages that are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or another government agency and with principal balances that do not exceed the loan limits for Enterprise mortgages.

    Two-part approach. The performance of the Enterprises on the housing goals is evaluated using a two-part approach, which compares the goal-qualifying share of the Enterprise's mortgage purchases to two separate measures: A benchmark level and a market level. FHFA considered alternatives to this method in the 2015-2017 housing goals rulemaking and determined that the two-part approach continued to be the most appropriate method for evaluating performance on the single-family goals. FHFA is proposing to continue that approach in this rule.

    In order to meet a single-family housing goal or subgoal, the percentage of mortgage purchases by an Enterprise that meet each goal or subgoal must exceed either the benchmark level or the market level for that year. The benchmark level is set prospectively by rulemaking based on various factors, including FHFA's forecast of the goal-qualifying share of the overall market. The market level is determined retrospectively each year, based on the actual goal-qualifying share of the overall market as measured by FHFA based on Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data for that year. The overall mortgage market that FHFA uses for both the prospective market forecasts and the retrospective market measurement consists of all single-family owner-occupied conventional conforming mortgages that would be eligible for purchase by either Enterprise. It includes loans actually purchased by the Enterprises as well as comparable loans held in a lender's portfolio. It also includes comparable loans that are part of a private label security (PLS), although very few such securities have been issued for conventional conforming mortgages since 2008.

    While both the benchmark and the retrospective market measure are designed to measure the current year's mortgage originations, the performance of the Enterprises on the housing goals includes all Enterprise purchases in that year, regardless of the year in which the loan was originated. This provides housing goals credit when the Enterprises acquire qualified seasoned loans. (Seasoned loans are loans that were originated in prior years and acquired by the Enterprise in the current year.) The Enterprises' acquisition of seasoned loans provides an important source of liquidity for this market segment.

    Recent changes to the HMDA regulations will result in the HMDA data covering a greater portion of the single-family mortgage market.7 The changes will also provide more detailed information about the loans included in the HMDA data. The changes to the HMDA regulations generally take effect at the start of 2018, so the new, more detailed information will not be available until after the 2018 performance year.

    7See Home Mortgage Disclosure Act final rule, 80 FR 66128 (Oct. 28, 2015).

    For example, the Enterprise housing goals currently count all loans purchased by an Enterprise with original principal balances that are within the conforming loan limits. The conforming loan limits are different for single-family properties depending on the number of units in the property. However, the definition of the retrospective market excludes all loans with original principal balances above the conforming loan limits for single unit properties because the current HMDA data do not identify the number of units for each loan. Starting with the new HMDA data reported, it will be possible to identify the number of units for each loan. This may allow FHFA to revise the definition of the retrospective market to exclude only those loans above the conforming loan limits applicable to the size of the property, instead of excluding all loans above the conforming loan limit applicable to a single unit property.

    FHFA has considered the possible impact that certain changes to the HMDA regulations may have on the Enterprise housing goals. However, at this time the impact that such changes might have on the retrospective measure of the market is uncertain. FHFA is not proposing to make any changes to the Enterprise housing goals in anticipation of the upcoming changes to the HMDA data. FHFA will assess the impact of the changes and, if necessary, may propose changes to the housing goals regulation at a later date.

    Multifamily goals. The multifamily goals defined under the Safety and Soundness Act include separate categories for mortgages on multifamily properties (properties with five or more units) with rental units affordable to low-income families and on multifamily properties with rental units affordable to very low-income families, as well as a small multifamily low-income subgoal for properties with 5-50 units. The multifamily goals established by FHFA in 2010, 2012, and 2015 evaluated the performance of the Enterprises based on numeric targets, not percentages, for the number of affordable units in properties backed by mortgages purchased by an Enterprise. FHFA has not established a retrospective market level measure for the multifamily goals and subgoals, due in part to a lack of comprehensive data about the multifamily market such as that provided by HMDA for single-family mortgages. As a result, FHFA currently measures Enterprise multifamily goals performance against the benchmark levels only. The expanded HMDA fields that will be available for the 2018 performance year are expected to include information on the number of units for each multifamily loan and should be helpful in evaluating performance for this market segment.

    B. Adjusting the Housing Goals

    Under the housing goals regulation first established by FHFA in 2010, as well as under this proposed rule, FHFA may reduce the benchmark levels for any of the single-family or multifamily housing goals in a particular year without going through notice and comment rulemaking based on a determination by FHFA that (1) market and economic conditions or the financial condition of the Enterprise require a reduction, or (2) “efforts to meet the goal or subgoal would result in the constraint of liquidity, over-investment in certain market segments, or other consequences contrary to the intent of the Safety and Soundness Act or the purposes of the Charter Acts.” 8 The proposal also takes into account the possibility that achievement of a particular housing goal may or may not have been feasible for the Enterprise. If FHFA determines that a housing goal was not feasible for the Enterprise to achieve, then the regulation provides for no further enforcement of that housing goal for that year.9

    8 12 CFR 1282.14(d).

    9 12 CFR 1282.21(a).

    If, after publication of a final rule establishing the housing goals for 2018 through 2020, FHFA determines that any of the single-family or multifamily housing goals should be adjusted in light of market conditions, to ensure the safety and soundness of the Enterprises, or for any other reason, FHFA will take steps as necessary and appropriate to adjust that goal. Such steps could include adjusting the benchmark levels through the processes in the existing regulation or establishing revised housing goal levels through notice and comment rulemaking.

    C. Housing Goals Under Conservatorship

    On September 6, 2008, FHFA placed each Enterprise into conservatorship. Although the Enterprises remain in conservatorship at this time, they continue to have the mission of supporting a stable and liquid national market for residential mortgage financing. FHFA has continued to establish annual housing goals for the Enterprises and to assess their performance under the housing goals each year during conservatorship.

    III. Summary of Proposed Rule A. Benchmark Levels for the Single-Family Housing Goals

    This proposed rule would establish the benchmark levels for the single-family housing goals and subgoal for 2018-2020 as follows:

    Goal Criteria Current
  • benchmark
  • level for
  • 2015-2017
  • Proposed
  • benchmark
  • level for
  • 2018-2020
  • Low-Income Home Purchase Goal Home purchase mortgages on single-family, owner-occupied properties with borrowers with incomes no greater than 80 percent of area median income 24 percent 24 percent. Very Low-Income Home Purchase Goal Home purchase mortgages on single-family, owner-occupied properties with borrowers with incomes no greater than 50 percent of area median income 6 percent 6 percent. Low-Income Areas Home Purchase Subgoal Home purchase mortgages on single-family, owner-occupied properties with: • Borrowers in census tracts with tract median income of no greater than 80 percent of area median income; or 14 percent 15 percent. • Borrowers with income no greater than 100 percent of area median income in census tracts where (i) tract income is less than 100 percent of area median income, and (ii) minorities comprise at least 30 percent of the tract population Low-Income Refinancing Goal Refinancing mortgages on single-family, owner-occupied properties with borrowers with incomes no greater than 80 percent of area median income 21 percent 21 percent.
    B. Multifamily Housing Goal Levels

    The proposed rule would establish the levels for the multifamily goal and subgoals for 2018-2020 as follows:

    Goal Criteria Current
  • goal level
  • for 2017
  • Proposed
  • goal level
  • for 2018-2020
  • Low-Income Goal Units affordable to families with incomes no greater than 80 percent of area median income in multifamily rental properties with mortgages purchased by an Enterprise 300,000 units 315,000 units. Very Low-Income Subgoal Units affordable to families with incomes no greater than 50 percent of area median income in multifamily rental properties with mortgages purchased by an Enterprise 60,000 units 60,000 units. Low-Income Small Multifamily Subgoal Units affordable to families with incomes no greater than 80 percent of area median income in small multifamily rental properties (5 to 50 units) with mortgages purchased by an Enterprise 10,000 units 10,000 units.
    C. Other Proposed Changes

    The proposed rule would make changes and clarifications to the existing rules, including minor technical changes to some regulatory definitions. The proposed rule also would revise the requirements applicable to the housing plan an Enterprise may be required to submit based on a failure to achieve one or more of the housing goals.

    IV. Single-Family Housing Goals

    This proposed rule sets out FHFA's views about benchmark levels for the single-family housing goals from 2018-2020. In making this proposal, FHFA has considered the required statutory factors described below. FHFA's analysis and goal setting process includes developing market forecast models for each of the single-family housing goals, as well as considering a number of other variables that impact affordable homeownership. Many of these variables indicate that low-income and very low-income households are facing, and will continue to face, difficulties in achieving homeownership or in refinancing an existing mortgage. These factors, such as rising property values and stagnant household incomes, also impact the Enterprises' ability to meet their mission and facilitate affordable homeownership for low-income and very low-income households. Nevertheless, FHFA expects and encourages the Enterprises to work toward meeting their housing goal requirements in a safe and sound manner. This may include steps the Enterprises take to fulfill FHFA's access to credit expectations expressed in the most recent Conservatorship Scorecard, which requires the Enterprises to undertake a number of research and related efforts including the development of pilots and initiatives.10

    10 See 2017 Scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Common Securitization Solutions, December 2016, available at https://www.fhfa.gov/AboutUs/Reports/ReportDocuments/2017-Scorecard-for-Fannie-Mae-Freddie-Mac-and-CSS.pdf.

    A. Setting the Single-Family Housing Goal Levels

    FHFA process for setting the single-family benchmark levels. Section 1332(e)(2) of the Safety and Soundness Act requires FHFA to consider the following seven factors in setting the single-family housing goals:

    1. National housing needs;

    2. Economic, housing, and demographic conditions, including expected market developments;

    3. The performance and effort of the Enterprises toward achieving the housing goals in previous years;

    4. The ability of the Enterprises to lead the industry in making mortgage credit available;

    5. Such other reliable mortgage data as may be available;

    6. The size of the purchase money conventional mortgage market, or refinance conventional mortgage market, as applicable, serving each of the types of families described, relative to the size of the overall purchase money mortgage market or the overall refinance mortgage market, respectively; and

    7. The need to maintain the sound financial condition of the Enterprises.11

    11 12 U.S.C. 4562(e)(2).

    FHFA has considered each of these seven statutory factors in setting the proposed benchmark levels for each of the single-family housing goals and subgoal.

    Recognizing that some of the factors required by statute to be considered can be readily captured using reliable data series while others cannot, FHFA implemented the following approach: FHFA's statistical market models considered factors that are captured through well-known and established data series and these are then used to generate a point forecast for each goal as well as a confidence interval for the point forecast. FHFA then considered the remaining statutory factors, as well as other relevant policy factors, in selecting the specific point forecast within the confidence interval as the proposed benchmark level. FHFA's market forecast models incorporate four of the seven statutory factors: national housing needs; economic, housing, and demographic conditions; other reliable mortgage data; and the size of the purchase money conventional mortgage market or refinance conventional mortgage market for each single-family housing goal. The market forecast models generate a point estimate, as well as a confidence interval. FHFA then considered the remaining three statutory factors (historical performance and effort of the Enterprises toward achieving the housing goal; ability of the Enterprises to lead the industry in making mortgage credit available; and need to maintain the sound financial condition of the Enterprises), as well as other relevant policy factors in selecting the specific point forecast within the confidence interval as the proposed benchmark level for the goal period.

    Market forecast models. The purpose of FHFA's market forecast models is to forecast the market share of the goal-qualifying mortgage originations in the market for the 2018-2020 period. The models are intended to generate reliable forecasts rather than to test various economic hypotheses about the housing market or to explain the relationship between variables. Following standard practice among forecasters and economists at other federal agencies, FHFA estimated a reduced-form equation for each of the housing goals and fit an Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (or ARIMA) model to each goal share. The models look at the statistical relationship between (a) the historical market share for each single-family housing goal or subgoal, as calculated from monthly HMDA data, and (b) the historical values for various factors that may influence the market shares, e.g. interest rates, inflation, house prices, home sales, the unemployment rate, and other factors. The models then project the future value of the affordable market share using forecast values of the model inputs. Separate models were developed for each of the single-family housing goals and subgoals.

    FHFA has employed similar models in past housing goals rulemakings to generate market forecasts. The models were developed using monthly series generated from HMDA and other data sources, and the resulting monthly forecasts were then averaged into an annual forecast for each of the three years in the goal period. The models rely on 12 years of HMDA data, from 2004 to 2015, the latest year for which HMDA data are available. Additional discussion of the market forecast models can be found in a research paper, available at http://www.fhfa.gov/PolicyProgramsResearch/Research/. 12

    12 Details on FHFA's single-family market models will be available in the technical paper “The Size of the Affordable Mortgage Market: 2018-2020 Enterprise Single-Family Housing Goals.”

    In the final rule establishing the housing goals for 2015-2017, FHFA stated that it would engage directly with commenters to obtain detailed feedback on FHFA's econometric models for the housing goals. Throughout 2016, FHFA met with industry modeling experts about potential improvements to the econometric models. Considering input received, FHFA has revised the market forecast models to include better specifications and new variables for all goal-qualifying shares, while still following and adhering to generally accepted practices and standards adopted by economists, including those at other federal agencies. During the model development process, FHFA grouped factors that are expected by housing market economists to have an impact on the market share of affordable housing into seven broad categories. For each category of variables, many variables were tested but only retained when they exhibited predictive power. The new set of models includes new driver variables that reflect factors that impact the affordable housing market—for example, household debt service ratio, labor force participation rate, and underwriting standards.

    As is the case with any forecasting model, the accuracy of the forecast will vary depending on the accuracy of the inputs to the model and the length of the forecast period. FHFA has attempted to minimize the first variable by using third party forecasts published by Moody's and other accredited mortgage market forecasters. The second variable is harder to address. The proposed rule relies on the most up-to-date data available as of December 2016, and uses forecasted input values for 2017 to produce the forecasts for 2018-2020. The confidence intervals for the benchmark levels become wider as the forecast period lengthens. In other words, it becomes more likely that the actual market levels will be different from the forecasts the farther into the future the forecasts attempt to make predictions. Predicting four years out is not the usual practice in forecasting. A number of industry forecasters, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), do not publish forecasts beyond two years because accuracy of forecasts decreases substantially beyond a two year period.

    Market outlook. There are many factors that impact the affordable housing market as a whole, and changes to any one of them may significantly impact the ability of the Enterprises to meet the goals. In developing our market models, FHFA used Moody's forecasts, where available, as the source for macroeconomic variables.13 In cases where Moody's forecasts were not available (for example, the share of government-guaranteed home purchases and the share of government-guaranteed refinances), FHFA generated and tested its own forecasts.14 Elements that impact the models and the determination of benchmark levels are discussed below.

    13 The macroeconomic outlook described here is based on Moody's and other forecasts as of September 2016.

    14 This refers to the mortgages insured/guaranteed by government agencies such as the FHA, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Rural Housing Service (RHS).

    Interest rates are arguably one of the most important variables in determining the trajectory of the mortgage market. The Federal Reserve launched its interest rate normalization process in December 2015 with a 0.25-percentage point increase. At the July 2016 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), policymakers indicated their commitment to a low federal funds rate for the time being, signaling a pause in the interest rate normalization path. However, there is broad consensus among economists that the Federal Reserve will resume rate hikes if the economy performs as expected. Based on Moody's January 2017 forecast, mortgage interest rates—in particular the 30-year fixed rate, which is closely tied to the federal funds rate and the 10-year Treasury note yield—are projected to rise gradually from the current historic low of 3.6 percent in 2016 to 5.5 percent by 2020.

    The unemployment rate has steadily fallen over the last few years and according to Moody's is expected to remain at 4.7 percent over the next four years, given expected growth of the economy at the modest range of 1.5 to 2.9 percent per year (January 2017 forecast). Moody's also forecasts a modest increase in per capita disposable nominal income growth—from $43,100 in 2016 to $50,300 in 2020. Moody's estimates that the inflation rate will remain flat at 2.0 percent throughout the same period, although this also depends on Federal Reserve policy.

    Industry analysts generally expect the overall housing market to continue its recovery, although the growth of house prices may slow down, assuming continued increases in interest rates. According to Moody's forecast (as of January 2017) based on FHFA's purchase-only House Price Index (HPI), house prices are expected to increase at the annual rates of 3.9, 1.8, and 2.0 percent in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.

    The expected increase in mortgage interest rates and house prices will likely impact the ability of low- and very low-income households to purchase homes. Housing affordability, as measured by Moody's forecast of the National Association of Realtors' Housing Affordability Index, is projected to decline from an index value of 162.2 in 2016 to 152.5 in 2020. Low interest rates coupled with rising house prices usually create incentives for homeowners to refinance, and the refinance share of overall mortgage originations increased from 39.9 percent in 2014 to 50 percent in 2016. However, assuming that interest rates rise in the near future, the refinance rate is expected to fall below 21.4 percent by 2019, according to the Moody's forecast.

    Additional factors reflecting affordability challenges in the single-family market. While FHFA's models can address and forecast many of the statutory factors that can make affordability for single-family homeownership more challenging for low-income and very low-income households, including increasing interest rates and rising property values, some factors are not captured in the models. FHFA, therefore, considers additional factors when selecting the benchmark point within the model-generated confidence interval for each of the single-family housing goals. Some of these factors may affect a subset of the market rather than the market as a whole. Some of these additional factors include an uneven economic recovery, stagnant wages even where unemployment is decreasing, demographic trends, and the Enterprises' share of the mortgage market. Variability in these factors can also have substantial impacts on the ability of the Enterprises to meet housing goals. Consequently, as discussed further below, FHFA will carefully monitor these factors and consider the potential impact of market shifts or larger trends on the ability of the Enterprises to achieve the housing goals.

    Throughout 2016, the economy and the housing market continued to recover from the financial crisis, but the recovery has been uneven across the country. In some areas, economic growth, job gains, and demand are outpacing housing supply, sparking rapidly rising property values, while other areas of the country have not regained pre-crisis home values and are not projected to do so in the near future.

    Trends in factors such as area median income (AMI) point to an uneven recovery. FHFA uses census-tract level AMIs published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to determine affordability for the Enterprise single-family and multifamily mortgage acquisitions. AMI is a measure of median family income derived from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). Since the 1990s, AMIs have been used widely by HUD, state housing finance agencies, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the U.S. Department of Treasury, and local governments across the nation to determine eligibility for various affordable housing and public assistance programs. The HUD-published AMIs are considered the standard benchmark in the affordable housing industry. HUD changed the methodology for determining AMIs in 2015 because of changes in the Census Bureau's data collection methodology and changes in the reporting schedules of the ACS data.

    AMI shifts reflect changes in borrower income levels at the census tract level. In general, a decrease in an area's AMI represents a decline in housing affordability in the area because the households will have relatively less income with which to purchase a home where property values have either remained the same or increased during the same time period.15 This can make it more challenging for the Enterprises to meet the housing goals. Conversely, increases in AMIs would make it easier for the Enterprises to meet the housing goals. Overall, while there are annual fluctuations in AMI, the trends over a longer period (for instance, over four years) indicate that the economy is recovering, albeit in an uneven manner. For instance, from 2014 to 2016, over 80 percent of census tracts experienced an AMI increase. Over the four-year period from 2012 to 2016, AMI increased in about 51 percent of census tracts. This unevenness of the economic recovery is particularly evident geographically. For instance, the census tracts that experienced more than a 10 percent decline in AMIs in 2016 are concentrated in the southern and midwestern regions of the country.

    15 The supply of single-family homes at the more affordable end of the market also impacts a low-income or very low-income household's ability to purchase a home. See The State of the Nation's Housing 2017, Joint Center on Housing Studies, June 2017.

    In addition to the uneven recovery reflected in changing AMI levels, many households have experienced stagnant wages or limited wage growth even though unemployment levels have decreased significantly since the peak of the financial crisis. Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau last year for the most recent year available reflected that while median household income increased by 5.2 percent in 2015, the first annual increase in median household income since 2007, median wages remained 1.6 percent lower than the median in 2007, the year before the most recent recession, and 2.4 percent lower than the median household income peak that occurred in 1999.16 Constrained wages, in addition to rising interest rates and increasing property values, could make it difficult for many low-income and very low-income households to achieve homeownership.

    16 See Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015, United States Census Bureau, September 2016 https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p60-256.pdf.

    Demographic changes, such as the housing patterns of millennials or the growth of minority households, also reflect challenges in the affordable homeownership market. The homeownership rate among millennials is lower than other demographic groups, but household formation will likely increase as this group ages. However, many millennials will face multiple challenges, including difficulty finding affordable homes to buy and building enough wealth for a down payment and closing costs, particularly in light of student loan and other debt burdens. In addition, another continuing demographic trend is the growth of minority households, which is projected to be over 70 percent of net household growth through 2025.17 In light of the fact that the median net worth of minority households has been historically low, building the necessary wealth to meet down payment and closing costs will likely also be a challenge for many of these new households. FHFA is committed to identifying new market conditions and challenges and working with the Enterprises to identify solutions to help meet these challenges. The effectiveness of these solutions, however, cannot be accounted for in a model.

    17 Daniel McCue, Christopher Herbert, Working Paper: Updated Household Projections, 2015-2035: Methodology and Results, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, December 2016.

    Another factor that can affect the Enterprises' ability to support affordable homeownership for low-income and very low-income households is the Enterprises' overall share of the mortgage market. The Enterprises' share of the market is continually subject to fluctuation. During the mortgage market bubble, the Enterprises' share of the market dropped to about 46 percent in the last quarter of 2005. The other significant low point occurred in 2008, when the Enterprises' acquisitions accounted for less than 45 percent of the mortgage market. Since then, the Enterprises' share has risen overall but declined slightly in recent years, accounting for about 52 percent of the market in 2015. As shown in Graph 1, over the same time period, the total government share of the mortgage market (including FHA, VA, and RHS) has been expanding. In 2015, the total government share accounted for 28 percent of overall mortgage originations, up from 24 percent in 2014. This is likely an impact of the FHA mortgage insurance premium reduction announced in January 2015. As seen in Graph 1, the increase in government share came from decreases in the other two segments.

    EP05JY17.010

    Both Enterprises' charter acts require that all mortgages the Enterprises acquire have mortgage insurance (or one of the other forms of credit enhancement specified in the charter acts) if the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for the loan at acquisition is greater than 80 percent. Private mortgage insurance rates are dependent on characteristics of the mortgage such as loan term, type of mortgage (purchase, type of refinance), LTV ratio, and credit score of the borrower. Lenders may also be able to negotiate and obtain lower private mortgage insurance directly from the mortgage insurer. Therefore, for certain market segments, the choice between government mortgage insurance or private mortgage insurance depends on the net impact of these factors.

    In recent years private mortgage insurance rates have increased relative to government mortgage insurance rates, but the increase has not been uniform across the credit score and LTV spectrum. Changes in the mortgage insurance market can impact the cost of mortgage insurance and, consequently, may influence whether the mortgage is originated with private mortgage insurance or with FHA insurance. For example, FHA decreased its rates for mortgage insurance from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent in January 2015. If FHA decreased or increased its mortgage insurance premiums, it would be reasonable to expect further shifts in the market that would not be uniform across the credit score and LTV spectrum. Reductions in the FHA insurance premium are likely to have two impacts on the conforming segment of the market: (1) The substitution effect—some borrowers will switch from private mortgage insurance to FHA insurance due to the lower premium rate; and (2) the expanded homeownership effect—new borrowers, especially those with lower credit scores seeking higher LTV loans, will enter the mortgage market because they are now able to meet the debt-to-income threshold due to the lower monthly mortgage payment. Analysis conducted by Federal Reserve Board staff indicates that both effects existed after the last FHA reduction.18 Increases in FHA premiums would likely result in reverse shifts.

    18 Bhutta, Neil and Ringo, Daniel (2016). “Changing FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums and the Effects on Lending,” FEDS Notes. Washington: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 29, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.17016/2380-7172.1843.

    As discussed above, multiple factors impact the Enterprises' ability to meet their mission and support affordable homeownership through the housing finance market. Nevertheless, FHFA expects the Enterprises to continue efforts in a safe and sound manner to support affordable homeownership under the single-family housing goals categories.

    B. Proposed Single-Family Benchmark Levels 1. Low-Income Home Purchase Goal

    The low-income home purchase goal is based on the percentage of all single-family, owner-occupied home purchase mortgages purchased by an Enterprise that are for low-income families, defined as families with incomes less than or equal to 80 percent of AMI. The proposed rule would set the annual low-income home purchase housing goal benchmark level for 2018-2020 at 24 percent, the same as the current 2015-2017 benchmark level. FHFA believes that, despite the various challenges to affordability highlighted above, the Enterprises will be able to take steps to maintain or increase their performance on this goal.

    Table 1—Enterprise Low-Income Home Purchase Goal Year Historical performance 2013 2014 2015 2016 Projected performance 2017 2018 2019 2020 Actual Market 24.0% 22.8% 23.6% Benchmark 23% 23% 24% 24% 24% Current Market Forecast 23.9% 24.9% 25.5% 24.0% 23.0% +/−2.5% +/−4.3% +/−5.6% +/−6.6% +/−7.4% Fannie Mae Performance: Low-Income Home Purchase Mortgages 193,712 177,846 188,891 221,249 Total Home Purchase Mortgages 814,137 757,870 802,432 964,847 Low-Income % of Home Purchase Mortgages 23.8% 23.5% 23.5% 22.9% Freddie Mac Performance: Low-Income Home Purchase Mortgages 93,478 108,948 129,455 153,435 Total Home Purchase Mortgages 429,158 519,731 579,340 644,991 Low-Income % of Home Purchase Mortgages 21.8% 21.0% 22.3% 23.8%

    As shown in Table 1, performance at both Enterprises has fallen short of the market in the low-income purchase goal almost every year since 2013 (with the exception of Fannie Mae in 2014), although the Enterprises have sometimes missed the market look-back goal only by one- or two-tenths of a percentage point. Performance at both Enterprises fell short of both the benchmark and the market level in 2015. The past performance of the Enterprises indicates that it has been difficult for the Enterprises to consistently lead this market segment in making credit available.

    From 2013 to 2014, the low-income home purchase market decreased from 24.0 percent to 22.8 percent. In 2015, the actual market rebounded to 23.6 percent. FHFA's current model forecasts that the market for this goal will increase slightly to 23.9 percent in 2016 and then to 24.9 percent in 2017. (Actual market levels for 2016 will not be available until HMDA data are published in September 2017.) Although the Enterprises have been challenged in meeting the percentage single-family housing goal levels in recent years, FHFA notes that each Enterprise has increased the number of single-family home purchase loans made to low-income households. Fannie Mae's eligible single-family loan purchases increased from 193,712 loans in 2013 to 221,249 in 2016. Freddie Mac's eligible single-family loan purchases increased from 93,478 in 2013 to 153,435 in 2016.

    From 2018 to 2020, the proposed goals period, the current forecast peaks at 25.5 percent in 2018, before decreasing to 24.0 percent in 2019 and 23.0 percent in 2020. The average of these projections is 24.1 percent. This forecast is based on the latest data available and will be updated before the release of the final housing goals rule. The confidence intervals for the 2018-2020 goal period are wide, but they will narrow before the final rule is published.

    FHFA is proposing a benchmark level for the low-income home purchase housing goal that is close to the market forecast, to encourage the Enterprises to continue to find ways to support lower income borrowers while not compromising safe and sound lending standards. FHFA notes that the proposed benchmark is close to the average of its market forecast for this goal. FHFA recognizes that there may be challenges to meeting this goal, including uneven growth in AMI and the relative affordability of private mortgage insurance, that may be beyond the control of the Enterprises and impact their ability to achieve these goals. FHFA will continue to monitor the Enterprises, both as regulator and as conservator, and if FHFA determines in later years that the benchmark level for the low-income home purchase housing goal is no longer feasible for the Enterprises to achieve in light of market conditions or for any other reason, FHFA can take appropriate steps to adjust the benchmark level.

    2. Very Low-Income Home Purchase Goal

    The very low-income home purchase goal is based on the percentage of all single-family, owner-occupied home purchase mortgages purchased by an Enterprise that are for very low-income families, defined as families with incomes less than or equal to 50 percent of the area median income. The proposed rule would set the annual very low-income home purchase housing goal benchmark level for 2018 through 2020 at 6 percent, also unchanged from the current 2015 to 2017 benchmark level.

    Table 2—Very Low-Income Home Purchase Goal Year Historical performance 2013 2014 2015 2016 Projected performance 2017 2018 2019 2020 Actual Market 6.3% 5.7% 5.8% Benchmark 7% 7% 6% 6% 6% Current Market Forecast 5.9% 6.4% 6.7% 6.3% 6.2% +/−0.8% +/−1.4% +/−1.8% +/−2.1% +/−2.4% Fannie Mae Performance: Very Low-Income Home Purchase Mortgages 48,810 42,872 45,022 49,852 Total Home Purchase Mortgages 814,137 757,870 802,432 964,847 Very Low-Income % of Home Purchase Mortgages 6.0% 5.7% 5.6% 5.2% Freddie Mac Performance: Very Low-Income Home Purchase Mortgages 23,705 25,232 31,146 36,838 Total Home Purchase Mortgages 429,158 519,731 579,340 644,991 Very Low-Income % of Home Purchase Mortgages 5.5% 4.9% 5.4% 5.7%

    Since 2013, the market for very low-income home purchase loans has also been declining, as reflected in HMDA data, although there was a slight uptick in 2015. FHFA has gradually lowered the benchmark for this goal from 8 percent in 2010 to 6 percent in 2015. Despite this reduction, the performance of both Enterprises has fallen below the benchmark and the market levels in each year since 2013. In addition, both Enterprises are projected to fall below the 6 percent benchmark level in 2016.

    FHFA market analysis reflects a relatively flat trend for this segment, at 5.7 percent in 2014 and 5.8 percent in 2015. FHFA's current model forecasted the market to increase slightly to 5.9 percent in 2016 and then to 6.4 percent in 2017. For the 2018-2020 goal period, FHFA's forecast indicates an increase to 6.7 percent in 2018, followed by declines to 6.3 percent and 6.2 percent in 2019 and 2020, respectively. As noted earlier, the confidence intervals widen as the forecast period lengthens, and will reduce somewhat as FHFA incorporates more information before publishing the final rule.

    Similar to the low-income home purchase goal, FHFA is proposing a benchmark level that is near the market forecast to encourage the Enterprises to continue their efforts to promote safe and sustainable lending to very low-income families. As noted in the low-income purchase goal discussion, FHFA believes that there are significant challenges to housing affordability that may be beyond the control of the Enterprises that could make the proposed benchmark a challenge for the Enterprises. As each Enterprise has been struggling to meet the current benchmark and market levels, the proposed benchmark will continue to encourage the Enterprise to safely and soundly innovate in this area. FHFA, as regulator and as conservator, will continue to monitor the Enterprises' performance, and if FHFA determines in later years that the benchmark level for the very low-income areas home purchase housing goal is no longer feasible for the Enterprises to achieve in light of market conditions or for any other reason, FHFA may take appropriate steps to adjust the benchmark level.

    3. Low-Income Areas Home Purchase Subgoal

    Background. The low-income areas home purchase subgoal is based on the percentage of all single-family, owner-occupied home purchase mortgages purchased by an Enterprise that are either: (1) For families in low-income areas, defined to include census tracts with median income less than or equal to 80 percent of AMI; or (2) for families with incomes less than or equal to AMI who reside in minority census tracts (defined as census tracts with a minority population of at least 30 percent and a tract median income of less than 100 percent of AMI). Borrowers could qualify under either or both conditions. As noted in Table 3, mortgages satisfying condition (1) above (borrowers in low-income areas) are almost typically double the share of mortgages satisfying condition (2) (moderate-income borrowers in minority census tracts). For example, in 2015, 12.2 percent of mortgages met only condition (1), 7.6 percent met only condition (2), and 4.6 percent of mortgages met both conditions.

    Table 3—Composition of Low-Income Areas Home Purchase Subgoal Based on HMDA Data Year Low-income
  • area goal
  • (%)
  • All low-
  • income areas
  • (%)
  • Low-income
  • census tracts
  • that are not
  • high minority
  • areas
  • (%)
  • High minority
  • areas that
  • are also
  • low-income
  • census tracts
  • (%)
  • High minority
  • areas that
  • are not
  • low-income
  • census tracts
  • (%)
  • All high
  • minority
  • areas
  • (%)
  • (A)
  • Grand Total
  • (B)
  • LI
  • (C)
  • LI, not HM
  • (D)
  • HM and LI
  • (E)
  • HM, not LI
  • (F)
  • HM
  • Distribution of HMDA Borrowers by Census Tract Location: 2004 16.8 13.3 8.1 5.3 3.5 8.7 2005 15.3 12.5 8.3 4.2 2.8 7.0 2006 15.8 13.1 8.9 4.3 2.7 6.9 2007 16.2 13.3 8.5 4.8 3.0 7.7 2008 14.3 11.6 7.4 4.2 2.7 6.9 2009 13.1 10.0 5.9 4.1 3.0 7.2 2010 12.1 9.2 5.6 3.6 2.9 6.5 2011 11.4 8.8 5.5 3.3 2.6 5.9 2012 13.5 10.3 6.0 4.3 3.2 7.5 2013 14.1 10.9 6.6 4.3 3.1 7.4 2014 15.0 12.0 7.5 4.6 3.0 7.5 2015 15.1 12.2 7.6 4.6 2.9 7.5 Enterprises' Performance: 2010 11.6 8.7 5.2 3.5 2.9 6.4 2011 10.7 8.1 5.1 3.1 2.6 5.7 2012 12.6 9.3 5.4 3.9 3.3 7.2 2013 13.4 10.2 6.2 4.0 3.2 7.2 2014 14.7 11.6 7.0 4.5 3.2 7.7 2015 15.1 12.1 7.4 4.6 3.0 7.7 Source: FHFA's tabulation of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Enterprises' data. Conventional conforming single-family owner-occupied 1st lien non-HOEPA originations.

    The forecast for this subgoal is obtained by generating separate forecasts for the two sub-populations (the low-income areas component and the high-minority income component). For this proposed rulemaking, FHFA has tested alternate model specifications for this subgoal and determined that aligning the overlapping portion with the low-income area component yields forecast estimates that are more precise (in terms of a narrower confidence interval).19

    19 Details are available in the market model paper, “The Size of the Affordable Mortgage Market: 2018-2020 Enterprise Single-Family Housing Goals,” available at http://www.fhfa.gov/PolicyProgramsResearch/Research/PaperDocuments/Market-Estimates_2018-2020.pdf.

    FHFA sought to understand how the markets in low-income areas and high minority census tracts have evolved in recent years and who was being served by the Enterprises' efforts in these areas. FHFA's analysis found that the mortgage market in both low-income areas and in high-minority census tracts has been moving towards borrowers with higher incomes in recent years. As noted in Table 4, HMDA data show that both the low-income areas and the high-minority areas have increasing shares of borrowers with incomes at or above 100 percent of AMI, although loans to borrowers with incomes over 100 percent of AMI do not qualify for the minority areas component of the goal. For instance, the share of loans made to borrowers with incomes less than 50 percent of AMI and residing in low-income areas decreased from 17.8 percent in 2010 to 14.1 percent in 2015, after peaking at 19 percent in 2012. Over the same period, the share of loans made to borrowers with incomes greater than 100 percent of AMI and residing in these low-income census tracts increased from 38.8 percent in 2010 to 42.1 percent in 2015, after dipping to 36.5 percent in 2012. Thus, borrowers with higher incomes have made up an increasing share of the mortgage market in the low-income areas. A similar trend exists among borrowers residing in high minority census tracts. While borrowers with incomes greater than 100 percent of AMI represented 42.5 percent of borrowers in these census tracts in 2010, the share increased to 49.2 percent in 2015.

    Table 4—Borrower Income Relative to AMI for Low-Income Areas Subgoal [HMDA] 2010
  • (%)
  • 2011
  • (%)
  • 2012
  • (%)
  • 2013
  • (%)
  • 2014
  • (%)
  • 2015
  • (%)
  • Borrowers Residing in Low-Income Census Tracts: Borrower Income ≤50% AMI 17.8 17.7 19.0 15.4 14.1 14.1 Borrower Income >50% and ≤60% AMI 9.6 9.0 10.5 9.8 9.3 9.3 Borrower Income >60% and ≤80% AMI 18.4 17.6 18.8 18.6 18.6 18.6 Borrower Income >80% and ≤100% AMI 14.3 13.9 13.9 14.7 14.9 14.9 Borrower Income >100% and ≤120% AMI 10.1 10.0 10.0 10.8 11.3 11.3 Borrower Income >120% AMI 28.7 30.5 26.5 29.3 30.9 30.8 Income Missing 1.0 1.4 1.3 1.3 0.9 1.0 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Borrowers Residing in High-Minority Census Tracts: Borrower Income ≤50% AMI 14.9 15.0 14.6 11.3 10.1 10.3 Borrower Income >50% and ≤60% AMI 9.0 8.7 9.1 8.1 7.6 7.6 Borrower Income >60% and ≤80% AMI 18.0 17.7 17.7 16.9 16.8 17.0 Borrower Income >80% and ≤100% AMI 14.6 14.3 14.1 14.7 14.8 14.9 Borrower Income >100% and ≤120% AMI 10.9 10.6 11.0 11.7 12.0 12.2 Borrower Income >120% AMI 31.6 32.4 32.3 36.0 37.8 37.0 Income Missing 1.0 1.3 1.3 1.4 0.9 1.0 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Definitions: Low-income census tracts = Census tracts with median income ≤80% Area Median Income (AMI). High-minority census tracts = Census tracts where (i) tract median income ≤100% Area Median Income (AMI); and (ii) minorities comprise at least 30 percent of the tract population. Source: FHFA's tabulation of HMDA data.

    The presence of higher income borrowers in lower income and higher minority areas may be a sign of economic diversity in those areas and may be related to the possibility of improved economic indicators for the community, but there is nevertheless some concern that such a trend could displace lower income households in these areas. Change in the mix of renters to owner-occupied households often precedes and accompanies these trends. FHFA is aware that this particular subgoal may encourage the Enterprises to focus on purchasing loans for higher income households in low-income and high-minority areas, and FHFA is also aware of concerns about the impact of rising housing costs on existing households in lower-income or higher-minority areas. FHFA welcomes input on all aspects of the low-income areas goal and subgoal, and in particular how best to satisfy the policy objectives of the various components of the goal and subgoal.

    Table 5 shows similar trends in Enterprise acquisitions of mortgages in low-income areas and high-minority areas. In 2015, 42.5 percent of Enterprise acquisitions were of loans made to borrowers with incomes greater than or equal to 100 percent of the AMI, up from 40.7 percent in 2010. Also in 2015, 48.3 percent of Enterprise acquisitions in high-minority census tracts were acquisitions of loans made to borrowers with incomes greater than or equal to 100 percent of AMI, up from 45.4 percent in 2010.

    Table 5—Borrower Income Relative to AMI for Low-Income Areas Subgoal [Enterprise Loans Only] 2010
  • (%)
  • 2011
  • (%)
  • 2012
  • (%)
  • 2013
  • (%)
  • 2014
  • (%)
  • 2015
  • (%)
  • Borrowers Residing in Low-Income Census Tracts: Borrower Income ≤50% AMI 16.7 16.3 18.2 14.5 13.4 13.4 Borrower Income >50% and ≤60% AMI 9.2 8.8 10.0 9.6 9.4 9.4 Borrower Income >60% and ≤80% AMI 18.4 17.5 18.6 18.6 19.0 19.1 Borrower Income >80% and ≤100% AMI 14.8 14.4 14.6 15.3 15.5 15.6 Borrower Income >100% and ≤120% AMI 10.8 10.9 10.8 11.5 11.7 11.8 Borrower Income >120% AMI 29.9 32.0 27.7 30.5 31.0 30.7 Income Missing 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Borrowers Residing in High-Minority Census Tracts: Borrower Income ≤50% AMI 13.3 12.9 15.2 11.5 10.3 10.3 Borrower Income >50% and ≤60% AMI 8.4 8.0 9.0 8.3 8.0 7.9 Borrower Income >60% and ≤80% AMI 17.7 16.9 18.0 17.7 17.7 17.7 Borrower Income >80% and ≤100% AMI 15.1 14.7 14.9 15.5 15.7 15.9 Borrower Income >100% and ≤120% AMI 11.6 11.4 11.5 12.4 12.6 12.8 Borrower Income >120% AMI 33.8 36.2 31.3 34.6 35.7 35.5 Income Missing 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Definitions: Low-income census tracts = Census tracts with median income ≤80% Area Median Income (AMI). High-minority census tracts = Census tracts where (i) tract median income ≤100% Area Median Income (AMI); and (ii) minorities comprise at least 30 percent of the tract population. Source: FHFA's tabulation of Enterprises' data.

    Proposed rule. The proposed rule would raise the annual low-income areas home purchase subgoal benchmark level for 2018 through 2020 to 15 percent from the 14 percent level set for the current goal period (2015-2017).

    Table 6—Low-Income Areas Home Purchase Subgoal Year Historical performance 2013 2014 2015 2016 Projected performance 2017 2018 2019 2020 Actual Market 14.2% 15.2% 15.2% Benchmark 11% 11% 14% 14% 14% Current Market Forecast 14.7% 15.6% 15.8% 16.1% 15.7% +/−1.2% +/−2.0% +/−2.6% +/−3.1% +/−3.5% Fannie Mae Performance: Low-Income Area Home Purchase Mortgages 86,430 91,691 99,723 n/a High-Minority Area Home Purchase Mortgages 27,425 25,650 25,349 n/a Subgoal-Qualifying Total Home Purchase Mortgages 113,855 117,341 125,072 156,441 Total Home Purchase Mortgages 814,137 757,870 802,432 964,847 Low-Income Area % of Home Purchase Mortgages 14.0% 15.5% 15.6% 16.2% Freddie Mac Performance: Low-Income Area Home Purchase Mortgages 40,444 55,987 67,172 n/a High-Minority Area Home Purchase Mortgages 12,177 14,808 16,601 n/a Subgoal-Qualifying Total Home Purchase Mortgages 52,621 70,795 83,773 100,608 Total Home Purchase Mortgages 429,158 519,731 579,340 644,991 Low-Income Area % of Home Purchase Mortgages 12.3% 13.6% 14.5% 15.6%

    Both Enterprises have met this subgoal every year since 2013, regularly exceeding both the market and the benchmark levels. Fannie Mae's performance exceeded both the market and the benchmark in 2014 and 2015, although its performance was lower than that of the market in 2013. From 2013 through 2015, Freddie Mac's performance exceeded the benchmark but was below the market level. FHFA's forecast indicates that the market will increase slightly in the coming years, reaching a maximum level of 16.1 in 2019.

    FHFA is proposing only a modest increase in the benchmark level that reflects the recent performance levels of the Enterprises while FHFA continues to evaluate whether the measure meets policy objectives. FHFA, as regulator and as conservator, will continue to monitor the Enterprises' performance, and if FHFA determines in later years that the benchmark level for the low-income areas home purchase housing subgoal is no longer feasible for the Enterprises to achieve in light of market conditions or for other reasons, FHFA may take appropriate steps to adjust the benchmark level.

    4. Low-Income Areas Home Purchase Goal

    The low-income areas home purchase goal covers the same categories as the low-income areas home purchase subgoal, but it also includes moderate income families in designated disaster areas. As a result, the low-income areas home purchase goal is based on the percentage of all single-family, owner-occupied home purchase mortgages purchased by an Enterprise that are: (1) For families in low-income areas, defined to include census tracts with median income less than or equal to 80 percent of AMI; (2) for families with incomes less than or equal to AMI who reside in minority census tracts (defined as census tracts with a minority population of at least 30 percent and a tract median income of less than 100 percent of AMI); or (3) for families with incomes less than or equal to 100 percent of AMI who reside in designated disaster areas.

    The low-income areas goal benchmark level is established by a two-step process. The first step is setting the benchmark level for the low-income areas subgoal, as established by this proposed rule. The second step is establishing an additional increment for mortgages to families located in federally-declared disaster areas with incomes less than or equal to AMI.20 Each year, FHFA sets the disaster area increment separately from this rule and notifies the Enterprises by letter of the benchmark level for that year. The proposed rule would set the annual low-income areas home purchase goal benchmark level for 2018 through 2020 at the subgoal benchmark level of 15 percent plus a disaster areas increment that FHFA will set separately each year.

    20 Disaster declarations are listed on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Web site at https://www.fema.gov/disasters.

    Table 7—Low-Income Areas Home Purchase Goal Year Historical performance 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Actual Market 24.0% 22.0% 23.2% 22.1% 22.1% 19.8% n/a Benchmark 24% 24% 20% 21% 18% 19% 17% Fannie Mae Performance: Subgoal-Qualifying Home Purchase Mortgages 59,281 54,285 83,202 113,855 117,341 125,072 156,441 Disaster Areas Home Purchase Mortgages 56,076 50,209 58,085 62,314 54,548 38,885 38,545 Goal-Qualifying Total Home Purchase Mortgages 115,357 104,494 141,287 176,169 171,889 163,957 194,986 Total Home Purchase Mortgages 479,200 467,066 633,627 814,137 757,870 802,432 964,847 Goal Performance 24.1% 22.4% 22.3% 21.6% 22.7% 20.4% 20.2% Freddie Mac Performance: Subgoal-Qualifying Home Purchase Mortgages 32,089 23,902 32,750 52,621 70,795 83,773 100,608 Disaster Areas Home Purchase Mortgages 38,898 26,232 26,486 33,123 33,923 26,411 27,709 Goal-Qualifying Total Home Purchase Mortgages 70,987 50,134 59,236 85,744 104,718 110,184 128,317 Total Home Purchase Mortgages 307,555 260,796 288,007 429,158 519,731 579,340 644,991 Goal Performance 23.1% 19.2% 20.6% 20.0% 20.1% 19.0% 19.9% 5. Low-Income Refinancing Goal

    The low-income refinancing goal is based on the percentage of all single-family, owner-occupied refinance mortgages purchased by an Enterprise that are for low-income families, defined as families with incomes less than or equal to 80 percent of AMI. The proposed rule would set the annual low-income refinancing housing goal benchmark level for 2018 through 2020 at 21 percent. While this proposed benchmark level is unchanged from the current 2015 to 2017 benchmark level, FHFA believes that this level will nevertheless be challenging for the Enterprises given the current level of interest rates (which are at historic low levels) and the likelihood of interest rate hikes. Because of the significant impacts interest rate changes have on this market, Enterprise and market performance on this goal are particularly susceptible to fluctuation. Moderation in the setting of this goal is also supported by the fact that many borrowers have already refinanced during the recent extended period of historically low interest rates.

    Table 8—Low-Income Refinancing Goal Year Historical performance 2013 2014 2015 2016 Projected performance 2017 2018 2019 2020 Actual Market 24.3% 25.0% 22.5% Benchmark 20% 20% 21% 21% 21% Current Market Forecast 21.1% 23.4% 24.3% 25.5% 24.8% +/−2.9% +/−4.9% +/−6.2% +/−7.3% +/−8.3% Fannie Mae Performance: Low-Income Refinance Mortgages 519,753 215,826 227,817 247,663 Total Refinance Mortgages 2,170,063 831,218 1,038,663 1,268,648 Low-Income % of Refinance Mortgages 24.0% 26.0% 21.9% 19.5% Low-Income HAMP Modification Mortgages 11,858 6,503 3,563 n/a Total HAMP Modification Mortgages 16,478 9,288 6,595 n/a Low-Income % of HAMP Modification Mortgages 72.0% 70.0% 54.0% n/a Low-Income Refinance & HAMP Modification Mortgages 531,611 222,329 231,380 n/a Total Refinance & HAMP Modification Mortgages 2,186,541 840,506 1,045,258 n/a Low-Income % of Refinance & HAMP Modification Mortgages 24.3% 26.5% 22.1% n/a Freddie Mac Performance: Low-Income Refinance Mortgages 306,205 131,921 179,530 174,664 Total Refinance Mortgages 1,309,435 514,936 795,936 830,824 Low-Income % of Refinance Mortgages 23.4% 25.6% 22.6% 21.0% Low-Income HAMP Modification Mortgages 14,757 6,795 3,064 n/a Total HAMP Modification Mortgages 21,599 10,335 4,433 n/a Low-Income % of HAMP Modification Mortgages 68.3% 65.7% 69.1% n/a Low-Income Refinance & HAMP Modification Mortgages 320,962 138,716 182,594 n/a Total Refinance & HAMP Modification Mortgages 1,331,034 525,271 800,369 n/a Low-Income % of Refinance & HAMP Modification Mortgages 24.1% 26.4% 22.8% n/a

    Both Enterprises have met this goal since 2013. The performance of the Enterprises on this goal has historically been very close to actual market levels. In 2014, when the market figure was at its highest point, both Enterprises met the goal and exceeded the market. In 2015, Freddie Mac exceeded the market and the benchmark level, and Fannie Mae exceeded the benchmark level.

    The low-income share of the refinance market as measured by HMDA data has changed dramatically in recent years, increasing from 20.2 percent in 2010 to a peak of 25.0 percent in 2014. FHFA's model for this goal forecasts that this market will decrease in 2016, with a sharp rise in 2017-2019, followed by slight moderation in 2020. However, the confidence intervals around the forecasts are very wide, reflecting the uncertainty about interest rates. Recent macroeconomic forecasts have predicted interest rate hikes that have not materialized.

    Since 2010 the low-income refinancing housing goal has included modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).21 HAMP modifications, however, are not included in the data used to calculate the market levels. Including HAMP modifications in the Enterprise performance numbers increases the measured performance of the Enterprises on the low-income refinancing housing goal because lower income borrowers make up a greater proportion of the borrowers receiving HAMP modifications than the low-income share of the overall refinancing mortgage market. However, HAMP modifications have been declining over time, and the program stopped taking applications at the end of 2016.22 The expiration of the HAMP program may make it slightly more difficult for the Enterprises to meet the low-income refinancing goal.

    21 The goal has included permanent HAMP modifications to low-income borrowers in the numerator and all HAMP permanent modifications in the denominator.

    22 The HAMP program expired at the end of 2016. There will be some HAMP modifications that will count toward the Enterprise housing goals in 2017 as applications that were initiated before the end of the program are converted to permanent modifications.

    FHFA, as regulator and conservator, will continue to monitor the Enterprises and if FHFA determines in later years that the benchmark level for the low-income refinancing housing goal needs to be revised, FHFA may take appropriate steps to adjust the benchmark level.

    V. Multifamily Housing Goals

    This proposed rule also sets out FHFA's views about benchmark levels for the multifamily housing goals from 2018-2020. FHFA has considered the required statutory factors described below. Despite the strength of the multifamily mortgage market, data indicates a continued supply gap of units affordable to lower-income households. However, FHFA expects and encourages the Enterprises to fully support affordable multifamily housing, in part by fulfilling the multifamily housing goals in a safe and sound manner.

    A. Factors Considered in Setting the Proposed Multifamily Housing Goal Levels

    In setting the proposed benchmark levels for the multifamily housing goals, FHFA has considered the statutory factors outlined in Section 1333(a)(4) of the Safety and Soundness Act. These factors include:

    1. National multifamily mortgage credit needs and the ability of the Enterprises to provide additional liquidity and stability for the multifamily mortgage market;

    2. The performance and effort of the Enterprises in making mortgage credit available for multifamily housing in previous years;

    3. The size of the multifamily mortgage market for housing affordable to low-income and very low-income families, including the size of the multifamily markets for housing of a smaller or limited size;

    4. The ability of the Enterprises to lead the market in making multifamily mortgage credit available, especially for multifamily housing affordable to low-income and very low-income families;

    5. The availability of public subsidies; and

    6. The need to maintain the sound financial condition of the Enterprises.23

    23 12 U.S.C. 4563(a)(4).

    Unlike the single-family housing goals, performance on the multifamily housing goals is measured solely against a benchmark level, without any retrospective market measure. The absence of a retrospective market measure for the multifamily housing goals results, in part, from the lack of comprehensive data about the multifamily mortgage market. Unlike the single-family market, for which HMDA provides a reasonably comprehensive dataset about single-family mortgage originations each year, the multifamily market (including the affordable multifamily market segment) has no comparable source. Consequently, it can be difficult to correlate different datasets that usually rely on different reporting formats. For example, some data are available by dollar volume while other data are available by unit production. 24

    24 CFPB is planning to collect and release additional data fields (including the number of units for each multifamily loan that is reported) beginning in 2018 that likely will be useful in creating a retrospective market measure for the multifamily market.

    Another difference between the single-family and multifamily goals is that there are separate single-family housing goals for home purchase and refinancing mortgages, while the multifamily goals include all Enterprise multifamily mortgage purchases, regardless of the purpose of the loan. In addition, unlike the single-family housing goals, the multifamily housing goals are measured based on the total volume of affordable multifamily mortgage purchases rather than on a percentage of multifamily mortgage purchases. The use of total volumes, which FHFA measures by the number of eligible units, rather than percentages of each Enterprises' overall multifamily purchases, requires that FHFA take into account the expected size of the overall multifamily mortgage market and the affordable share of the market, as well as the expected volume of the Enterprises' overall multifamily purchases and the affordable share of those purchases.

    The lack of comprehensive data for the multifamily mortgage market is even more acute with respect to the segments of the market that are targeted to low-income families, defined as families with incomes at or below 80 percent of AMI, and very low-income families, defined as families with incomes at or below 50 percent of AMI. As required by the Safety and Soundness Act, FHFA determines affordability of multifamily units based on a unit's rent and utility expenses not exceeding 30 percent of the area median income standard for low- and very low-income families.25 While much of the analysis that follows discusses trends in the overall multifamily mortgage market, FHFA recognizes that these general trends may not apply to the same extent to all segments of the multifamily market. Notwithstanding these challenges, FHFA has considered each of the required statutory factors (a number of which are related) as discussed below.

    25 12 U.S.C. 4563(c).

    Multifamily mortgage market. FHFA's consideration of the multifamily mortgage market addresses the size of and competition within the multifamily mortgage market, as well as the subset of the multifamily market affordable to low-income and very low-income families. In 2015, the multifamily mortgage origination market experienced remarkable growth—year-over-year origination volume grew 28 percent over the prior year to nearly $250 billion, fueled largely by a recovery in multifamily construction. The overall market grew modestly in 2016. Forecasts from various industry experts indicate that overall multifamily growth in mortgage market volumes and mortgage originations are expected to increase only modestly in 2017, both for refinancing activity and for financing new multifamily units, and remain level in 2018.

    According to the National Multifamily Housing Council's tabulation of American Community Survey microdata, in 2015 about 43 percent of renter households (18.7 million households) lived in multifamily properties, defined as structures with five or more rental units.26 More generally, the population of renters continued to grow from 35 million in 2005 to 44 million in 2015, an increase of about one quarter.27 This growth led to an increase in demand for rental units that has only partially been met by expansions in supply. Vacancy rates hit a 30-year low in 2016, and are especially low in lower-priced segments of the market, while climbing in the high-end segment of many markets.28 As a result of these factors, rents continued to rise nationally and outpaced inflation in 2016.29

    26 Accessed on 9/22/2016 at http://www.nmhc.org/Content.aspx?id=4708#Type_of_Structure.

    27 “America's Rental Housing: Expanding Options for Diverse and Growing Demand” Joint Center on Housing Studies of Harvard University, December 2015.

    28 “State of the Nation's Housing 2017,” Joint Center on Housing Studies of Harvard University, June 2017.

    29Id.

    Affordability in the multifamily market. There are several factors that make it difficult to accurately forecast the affordable share of the multifamily mortgage market. First, the portion of the overall multifamily mortgage market that provides housing units affordable to low-income and very low-income families varies from year to year. Second, competition between purchasers of mortgages within the multifamily market overall may differ from the competition within the affordable multifamily market segment. Finally, the volume for the affordable multifamily market segment will depend on the availability of affordable housing subsidies.

    Using the measure under which affordable rent and utilities do not exceed 30 percent of AMI, affordability for families living in rental units has decreased for many households in recent years. The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) 2016 State of the Nation's Housing Report notes some concerning trends in the supply of affordable multifamily units. For example, the report found that the majority of growth in the multifamily housing stock has been the result of new construction. Moreover, most of the new construction consists of apartments with fewer bedrooms and has been concentrated in urban areas with higher median rents. In the same report, JCHS also noted, “the steep rent for new units reflect rising land and development costs, which push multifamily construction to the high end of the market.” 30

    30 “The State of the Nation's Housing 2016,” Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, June 2016, available at http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/jchs_2016_state_of_the_nations_housing_lowres.pdf.

    JCHS has also noted the significant prevalence of cost-burdened renters. In 2015, nearly half of all tenants paid more than 30 percent of household income for rental housing, especially in high-cost urban markets where most renters reside and where Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have focused their multifamily lending. Among lower-income households, cost burdens are especially severe.31 In addition, a recent study showed that the median incomes of renter households have experienced slight declines in some large metropolitan areas in recent years, leading to increased cost burdens for these households.32

    31 “State of the Nation's Housing 2017,” Joint Center on Housing Studies of Harvard University, June 2017.

    32 “Renting in America's Largest Metropolitan Areas,” NYU Furman Center, March 2016.

    One source of growth in the stock of lower-rent apartments is “filtering,” a process by which existing units become more affordable as they age. However, in recent years, this downward filtering of rental units has occurred at a slow pace in most markets. Coupled with the permanent loss of affordable units, as these units fall into disrepair or units are demolished to create new higher-rent or higher-valued ownership units, this trend has severely limited the supply of lower rent units. As a result, there is an acute shortfall of affordable units for extremely low-income renters (earning up to 30 percent of AMI) and very low-income renters (earning up to 50 percent of AMI). This supply gap is especially wide in certain metropolitan areas in the southern and western United States.33

    33 “The Gap: The Affordable Housing Gap Analysis 2017,” National Low Income Housing Coalition, March 2017.

    The combination of the supply gap in affordable units which resulted in significant increases in rental rates, and the prevalence of cost-burdened renters resulting from largely flat real incomes has led to an erosion of affordability with fewer units qualifying for the housing goals.34 This challenge of affordability is also reflected in the falling share of low-income multifamily units financed by loans purchased by the Enterprises. While 77 percent of the multifamily units financed by Fannie Mae in 2011 were low-income, that ratio dropped steadily in the intervening years to 64 percent in 2016. At Freddie Mac, the low-income share also peaked in 2011 and 2012 at 79 percent, and decreased gradually to 68 percent in 2016. For the very low-income goal, the share at Fannie Mae peaked in 2012 at 22 percent before falling to 12 percent in 2016, and at Freddie Mac the share peaked at 17 percent in 2013 before falling to 12 percent in 2016.

    34 “State of the Nation's Housing 2017,” Joint Center on Housing Studies of Harvard University, June 2017.

    Small multifamily properties with 5 to 50 units are also an important source of affordable rental housing and represent approximately one-third of the affordable rental market. Because they have different operating and ownership characteristics than larger properties, small multifamily properties often have different financing needs. For example, small multifamily properties are more likely to be owned by an individual or small investor and less likely to be managed by a third party property management firm.35 Likewise, the affordability of small multifamily units means they generate less revenue per unit than larger properties. These factors can make financing more difficult to obtain for small multifamily property owners. While the volume of Enterprise-supported loans on small multifamily properties has been inconsistent in recent years, each Enterprise continues to refine its approach to serving this market.

    35 “2012 Rental Housing Finance Survey,” U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Tables 2b, 2c, 2d and 3.

    Availability of public subsidies. Multifamily housing assistance is primarily available in two forms—demand-side subsidies that either assist low-income tenants directly (e.g., Section 8 vouchers) or provide project-based rental assistance (Section 8 contracts), and supply-side subsidies that support the creation and preservation of affordable housing (e.g., public housing and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)). The availability of public subsidies impacts the overall affordable multifamily housing market, and changes to historic programs could significantly impact the ability of the Enterprises to meet the goals.

    Financing for affordable multifamily buildings—particularly those affordable to very low-income families—often uses an array of state and federal supply-side housing subsidies, such as LIHTC, tax-exempt bonds, project-based rental assistance, or soft subordinate financing.36 In recent years, competition for affordable housing subsidy has been intense and investor interest in tax credit equity projects of all types and in all markets has been strong, especially in markets in which bank investors are seeking to meet Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) goals. By contrast, in recent months, the subsidy provided by the LIHTC program has been volatile and much more uncertain, as policymakers consider a broader range of potential tax reform legislation that could adversely impact the LIHTC program.

    36 LIHTC is a supply-side subsidy created under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and is the main source of new affordable housing construction in the United States today. Tax credits are used for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and/or new construction of rental housing for low-income households. LIHTC has facilitated the creation or rehabilitation of approximately 2.4 million affordable units since inception in 1986.

    Subject to the continuing availability of these subsidies, there should continue to be opportunities in the multifamily market to provide permanent financing for properties with LIHTC during the 2018-2020 period. There should also be opportunities for market participants, including the Enterprises, to purchase mortgages that finance the preservation of existing affordable housing units (especially for restructurings of older properties that reach the end of their initial 15-year LIHTC compliance periods and for refinancing properties with expiring Section 8 rental assistance contracts).

    In recent years, demand-side public subsidies and the availability of public housing have not kept pace with the growing number of low-income and very low-income households in need of federal housing assistance. As a result, the number of renter households with “worst case needs” has grown to 8.19 million, an increase of one-third since 2005.37

    37 “Preview of 2015 Worst Case Housing Needs,” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, January 2017. Renters with worse case needs have very low incomes, lack housing assistance, and have either severe rent burdens or severely inadequate housing (or both).

    Role of the Enterprises. In setting the proposed multifamily housing goals, FHFA has considered the ability of the Enterprises to lead the market in making multifamily mortgage credit available. The share of the overall multifamily market purchased by the Enterprises increased in the years immediately following the financial crisis but has declined more recently in response to growing private sector participation. The Enterprise share of the multifamily origination market was approximately 70 percent of the market in 2008 and 2009 compared to 38 percent in 2015.38 The total share is expected to remain at around the 2015 level in 2016, 2017, and 2018 in light of the Scorecard cap imposed by FHFA in its role as conservator (discussed below).

    38 Urban Institute, “The GSEs' Shrinking Role in the Multifamily Market,” April 2015.

    Despite the Enterprises' reduced market share in the overall multifamily market, FHFA expects the Enterprises to continue to demonstrate leadership in multifamily affordable housing by providing liquidity and supporting housing for tenants at different income levels in various geographic markets and in various market segments.

    Conservatorship limits on multifamily mortgage purchases (Conservatorship Scorecard cap). As conservator of the Enterprises, FHFA has established a yearly cap in the Conservatorship Scorecard that limits the amount of conventional (market-rate) multifamily loans that each Enterprise can purchase. The multifamily lending cap is intended to further FHFA's conservatorship goal: Maintaining the presence of the Enterprises as a backstop for the multifamily finance market, while not impeding the participation of private capital. This target for the Enterprise share of the multifamily origination market reflect what is generally considered by the industry as an appropriate market share for the Enterprises during normal market conditions. The cap prevents the Enterprises from crowding out other capital sources and restrains the rapid growth of the Enterprises' multifamily businesses that started in 2011.39

    39 MBA, 2015 Annual Report on Multifamily Lending, October 2016.

    In 2015, FHFA established a cap of $30 billion on new conventional multifamily loan purchases for each Enterprise in response to increased participation in the market from private sector capital. In 2016, the cap was initially set at $30 billion, raised in May 2016 to $35 billion, and further increased to $36.5 billion in August, in response to growth of the overall multifamily origination market throughout the year. These increases maintained the Enterprises' current market share at about 40 percent. FHFA has announced that for 2017, the cap will remain at $36.5 billion.

    FHFA reviews the market size estimates quarterly, using current market data provided by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the MBA, and the National Multifamily Housing Council. If FHFA determines that the actual market size is greater than was projected, the agency will consider an approximate increase to the capped (conventional market-rate) category of the Conservatorship Scorecard for each Enterprise. In light of the need for market participants to plan sales of mortgages during long origination processes, if FHFA determines that the actual market size is smaller than projected, there will be no reduction to the capped volume for the current year from the amount initially established under the Conservatorship Scorecard.

    In order to encourage affordable lending activities, FHFA excludes many types of loans in underserved markets from the Conservatorship Scorecard cap on conventional loans. The Conservatorship Scorecard has no volume targets in the market segments excluded from the cap. There is significant overlap between the types of multifamily mortgages that are excluded from the Conservatorship Scorecard cap and the multifamily mortgages that contribute to the performance of the Enterprises under the affordable housing goals. The 2017 Conservatorship Scorecard excludes either the entirety of the loan amount or a pro rata share of the loan on the following categories: (1) Targeted affordable housing; (2) small multifamily properties; (3) blanket loans on manufactured housing communities; (4) blanket loans on senior housing and assisted living communities; (5) loans in rural areas; (6) loans to finance energy or water efficiency improvements; and (7) market rate affordable units in standard (60 percent AMI), high cost (80 percent AMI), and very high cost (100 percent AMI) markets. By excluding the underserved market categories from the cap, the Conservatorship Scorecard continues to encourage the Enterprises to support affordable housing in their purchases of multifamily mortgages.40

    40 For more information on the Conservatorship Scorecard, see https://www.fhfa.gov/AboutUs/Reports/ReportDocuments/2017-Scorecard-for-Fannie-Mae-Freddie-Mac-and-CSS.pdf.

    B. Proposed Multifamily Housing Goal Benchmark Levels

    In setting the proposed multifamily housing goals, FHFA encourages the Enterprises to provide liquidity and to support various multifamily finance market segments while doing so in a safe and sound manner. The Enterprises have served as a stabilizing force in the multifamily market in the years since the financial crisis. During the conservatorship period, the Enterprise portfolios of loans on multifamily affordable housing properties have experienced low levels of delinquency and default, similar to the performance of Enterprise loans on market rate properties. In light of this performance, the Enterprises should be able to sustain or increase their volume of purchases of loans on affordable multifamily housing properties without adversely impacting the Enterprises' safety and soundness or negatively affecting the performance of their total loan portfolios.

    FHFA continues to monitor the activities of the Enterprises, both in FHFA's capacity as regulator and as conservator. If necessary, FHFA will make appropriate changes in the multifamily housing goals to ensure the Enterprises' continued safety and soundness.

    The proposed rule establishes benchmark levels for the multifamily housing goals for the Enterprises. Before finalizing the benchmark levels for the low-income and very low-income multifamily goals in the final rule, FHFA will review any additional data that become available about the multifamily performance of the Enterprises in 2016, updated projections of the size of the multifamily market and affordable market share, and any public comments received on the proposed multifamily housing goals.

    1. Multifamily Low-Income Housing Goal

    The multifamily low-income housing goal is based on the total number of rental units in multifamily properties financed by mortgages purchased by the Enterprises that are affordable to low-income families, defined as families with incomes less than or equal to 80 percent of AMI.

    Table 9—Multifamily Low-Income Housing Goal Year Historical performance 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Fannie Mae Goal 285,000 265,000 250,000 300,000 300,000 Freddie Mac Goal 225,000 215,000 200,000 300,000 300,000 Fannie Mae Performance: Low-Income Multifamily Units 375,924 326,597 260,124 307,510 351,235 Total Multifamily Units 501,256 430,751 372,089 468,798 551,666 Low-Income % Total 75.0% 75.8% 69.9% 65.6% 63.7% Freddie Mac Performance: Low-Income Multifamily Units 298,529 254,628 273,807 379,043 407,340 Total Multifamily Units 377,522 341,921 366,377 514,275 597,033 Low-Income % of Total Units 79.1% 74.5% 74.7% 73.7% 68.2%

    From 2012 through 2016, both Enterprises exceeded their low-income multifamily goals. Prior to 2015, Fannie Mae had higher goals than Freddie Mac. For the 2015-2017 goal period, FHFA set the same goal level for both Enterprises for the first time, reflecting parity between Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae multifamily market share in terms of unit counts.

    In 2016, the goal for each Enterprise was 300,000 units. Fannie Mae purchased mortgages financing 351,235 low-income units, and Freddie Mac purchased mortgages financing 407,340 low-income units. While total volumes have increased, the share of low-income units financed at each Enterprise has been declining from peak levels in 2012.

    As noted above, the forecast for the multifamily originations market increases slightly and then levels off after 2017. The Conservatorship Scorecard cap for each Enterprise was raised from an initial $30 billion cap to $36.5 billion in August 2016 in response to growth of the multifamily origination market throughout the year. This change allowed the Enterprises to pursue purchases of a greater volume of multifamily originations and support the overall market and may seem to support an increase in the proposed goal levels for both Enterprises. However, the gap between the supply of low-income and very low-income units and the needs of low-income households, as described in the affordability discussion above, is expected to continue in the next goal period. Moreover, the forecast for the multifamily originations market for 2017 and 2018 is relatively flat, and securing housing subsidies will likely continue to be challenging. These trends suggest moderation in any increase in the proposed goal levels. Therefore, balancing these considerations, the proposed rule sets the annual low-income multifamily housing goal for each Enterprise at 315,000 units in each year from 2018 through 2020, a modest increase from the 300,000 unit goal for each Enterprise in 2015-2017.

    2. Multifamily Very Low-Income Housing Subgoal

    The multifamily very low-income housing subgoal includes units affordable to very low-income families, defined as families with incomes no greater than 50 percent of AMI.

    Table 10—Multifamily Very Low-Income Subgoal Year Historical performance 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Fannie Mae Goal 80,000 70,000 60,000 60,000 60,000 Freddie Mac Goal 59,000 50,000 40,000 60,000 60,000 Fannie Mae Performance: Very Low-Income Multifamily Units 108,878 78,071 60,542 69,078 65,445 Total Multifamily Units 501,256 430,751 372,089 468,798 551,666 Very Low-Income % of Total Units 21.7% 18.1% 16.3% 14.7% 11.9% Freddie Mac Performance: Very Low-Income Multifamily Units 60,084 56,752 48,689 76,935 73,032 Total Home Purchase Mortgages 377,522 341,921 366,377 514,275 597,033 Very Low-Income % of Total Units 15.9% 16.6% 13.3% 15.0% 12.2%

    From 2012 through 2016, both Enterprises met and exceeded their very low-income multifamily goals. In 2016, the goal for each Enterprise was 60,000 units. Fannie Mae purchased mortgages financing 65,445 very low-income units, while Freddie Mac purchased mortgages financing 73,032 very low-income units. Similar to the low-income multifamily goal, the share of very low-income units financed at each Enterprise has been declining in recent years.

    The market for very low-income multifamily housing faces even larger challenges than the market for low-income multifamily housing, given the need for lower rents—often requiring deeper subsidies—to make units affordable to these households. These factors suggest moderation in the setting of the very low-income multifamily subgoal for the Enterprises. Therefore, the proposed rule maintains the annual very low-income multifamily subgoal for each Enterprise at 60,000 units each year from 2018 through 2020.

    3. Small Multifamily Low-Income Housing Subgoal

    A small multifamily property is defined as a property with 5 to 50 units. The small multifamily low-income housing subgoal is based on the total number of units in small multifamily properties financed by mortgages purchased by the Enterprises that are affordable to low-income families, defined as families with incomes less than or equal to 80 percent of AMI.

    Table 11—Small Multifamily Low-Income Subgoal Year Historical performance 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Small Low-Income Multifamily Goal 6,000 8,000 Fannie Mae Performance: Small Low-Income Multifamily Units 16,801 13,827 6,732 6,731 9,310 Total Small Multifamily Units 26,479 21,764 11,880 11,198 15,230 Low-Income % of Total Small Multifamily Units 63.5% 63.5% 56.7% 60.1% 61.1% Freddie Mac Performance: Small Low-Income Multifamily Units 829 1,128 2,076 12,802 22,101 Total Small Multifamily Units 2,194 2,375 4,659 21,246 33,984 Low-Income % of Total Small Multifamily Units 37.8% 47.5% 44.6% 60.3% 65.0%

    This was a new subgoal created in the 2015-2017 goal period. The goal was set at 6,000 units in 2015, 8,000 units in 2016, and 10,000 units in 2017. In 2016, both Enterprises exceeded the goal of 8,000 units. Fannie Mae purchased mortgages financing 9,310 units, and Freddie Mac purchased mortgages financing 22,101 units.

    The proposed rule would set the annual small multifamily subgoal for each Enterprise at 10,000 units for each year from 2018 through 2020, the same as the 2017 goal. The Enterprises continue to innovate in their approaches to serving this market. FHFA is still monitoring the trends in this market segment as well as Enterprise performance for this new subgoal, and will consider all input in preparation of the final rule. However, FHFA is proposing to maintain the same benchmark level for 2018 through 2020 as the 2017 benchmark level for both Enterprises. Maintaining the current goal should continue to encourage the Enterprises' participation in this market and ensure the Enterprises have the expertise necessary to serve this market should private sources of financing become unable or unwilling to lend on small multifamily properties.

    VI. Section-by-Section Analysis of Other Proposed Changes

    The proposed rule would also revise other provisions of the housing goals regulation, as discussed below.

    A. Changes to Definitions—Proposed § 1282.1

    The proposed rule includes changes to definitions used in the current housing goals regulation. The proposed rule would revise the definitions of “median income,” “metropolitan area,” and “non-metropolitan area” and would remove the definition of “AHS.”

    1. Definition of “Median Income”

    The current regulation defines “median income” as the unadjusted median family income for an area as most recently determined by HUD. While this definition accurately identifies the source that FHFA uses to determine median incomes each year, the definition does not reflect the longstanding practice FHFA has followed in providing the Enterprises with the median incomes that the Enterprises must use each year. The proposed rule would revise the definition to be clear that the Enterprises are required to use the median incomes provided by FHFA each year in determining affordability for purposes of the housing goals.

    The proposed rule would also make two additional technical changes to the definition of “median income.” First, the proposed rule would add a reference to “non-metropolitan areas” in the definition because FHFA determines median incomes for both metropolitan areas and non-metropolitan areas each year. Second, the proposed rule would remove the word “family” in one place so that the term “median income” is used consistently throughout the regulation.

    The revised definition would read: “Median income means, with respect to an area, the unadjusted median family income for the area as determined by FHFA. FHFA will provide the Enterprises annually with information specifying how the median family income estimates for metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas are to be applied for purposes of determining median income.”

    2. Definitions of “Metropolitan Area” and “Non-Metropolitan Area”

    The proposed rule would revise the definitions of “metropolitan area” and “non-metropolitan area” to be consistent with each other and to reflect the proposed changes to the definition of “median income” discussed above.

    The current regulation defines both “metropolitan area” and “non-metropolitan area” based on the areas for which HUD defines median family incomes. The definition of “metropolitan area” refers to median family incomes “determined by HUD,” while the definition of “non-metropolitan area” refers to median family incomes “published annually by HUD.”

    To be consistent with the proposed changes to the definition of “median income,” the proposed rule would revise the definition of “metropolitan area” by replacing the phrase “for which median family income estimates are determined by HUD” with the phrase “for which median incomes are determined by FHFA.” For the same reason, the proposed rule would revise the definition of “non-metropolitan area” by replacing the phrase “for which median family income estimates are published annually by HUD” with the phrase “for which median incomes are determined by FHFA.”

    3. Definition of “AHS” (American Housing Survey)

    The proposed rule would remove the definition of “AHS” from § 1282.1 because the term is no longer used in the Enterprise housing goals regulation.

    Prior to the 2015 amendments to the Enterprise housing goals regulation, the term “AHS” was used to specify the data source from which FHFA derives the utility allowances used to determine the total rent for a rental unit which, in turn, is used to determine the affordability of the unit when actual utility costs are not available. The 2015 amendments consolidated and simplified the definitions applicable to determining the total rent and eliminated the reference to AHS in the part of the definition related to utility allowances, providing FHFA with flexibility in how it determines the nationwide utility allowances. The current nationwide average utility allowances are still fixed numbers based on AHS data, but the regulation does not require FHFA to rely solely on AHS data to determine those utility allowances. The term “AHS” is not used anywhere else in the regulation, so the proposed rule would remove the definition from § 1282.1.

    B. Data Source for Estimating Affordability of Multifamily Rental Units—Proposed § 1282.15(e)(2)

    The proposed rule would revise § 1282.15(e)(2) to update the data source used by FHFA to estimate affordability where actual information about rental units in a multifamily property is not available.

    Section 1282.15(e) permits the Enterprises to use estimated affordability information to determine the affordability of multifamily rental units for up to 5 percent of the total multifamily rental units in properties securing mortgages purchased by the Enterprise each year when actual information about the units is not available. The estimations are based on the affordable percentage of all rental units in the census tract in which the property for which the Enterprise is estimating affordability is located.

    The current regulation provides that the affordable percentage of all rental units in the census tract will be determined by FHFA based on the most recent decennial census. However, the 2000 decennial census was the last decennial census that collected this information. The U.S. Census Bureau now collects this information through the ACS. Since 2011, FHFA has used the most recent data available from the ACS to determine the affordable percentage of rental units in a census tract for purposes of estimating affordability. The proposed rule would revise § 1282.15(e)(2) to reflect this change. To take into account possible future changes in how rental affordability data is collected, the revised sentence would not refer specifically to data derived from the ACS. Section 1282.15(e)(2) would be revised to replace the phrase “as determined by FHFA based on the most recent decennial census” with the phrase “as determined by FHFA.”

    C. Determination of Median Income for Certain Census Tracts—Proposed § 1282.15(g)(2)

    The proposed rule would revise § 1282.15(g) to remove paragraph (g)(2), an obsolete provision describing the method that the Enterprises were required to use to determine the median income for a census tract where the census tract was split between two areas with different median incomes.

    Current § 1282.15(g)(2) requires the Enterprises to use the method prescribed by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to determine the median income for certain census tracts that were split between two areas with different median incomes. This provision was put in place by the 1995 final rule published by HUD to establish the Enterprise housing goals under the Safety and Soundness Act.41

    41See 60 FR 61846 (Dec. 1, 1995).

    As discussed above regarding the definition of “median income,” the process of determining median incomes has changed over the years, so that the Enterprises are now required to use median incomes provided by FHFA each year when determining affordability for purposes of the housing goals. Because FHFA provides median incomes for every location in the United States, it is no longer necessary for the regulation to set forth a process for the Enterprises to use when it is not certain what the applicable median income would be for a particular location. Consequently, the proposed rule would remove § 1282.15(g)(2) from the regulation.

    D. Housing Plan Timing—Proposed § 1282.21(b)(3)

    The proposed rule would revise § 1282.21(b)(3) to provide the Director with discretion to determine the appropriate period of time that an Enterprise may be subject to a housing plan to address a failure to meet a housing goal.

    Section 1336 of the Safety and Soundness Act provides for the enforcement of the Enterprise housing goals. If FHFA determines that an Enterprise has failed to meet a housing goal and that achievement of the goal was feasible, FHFA may require the Enterprise to submit a housing plan describing the actions it will take “to achieve the goal for the next calendar year.” 42 The Safety and Soundness Act has similar provisions for requiring a housing plan if FHFA determines, during the year in question, that there is a substantial probability that an Enterprise will fail to meet a housing goal and that achievement of the goal is feasible. In such cases, the housing plan would describe the actions the Enterprise will take “to make such improvements and changes in its operations as are reasonable in the remainder of such year.” The current regulation generally mirrors the statutory language on the requirements for a housing plan, except that the regulation makes clear that the housing plan must also “[a]ddress any additional matters relevant to the plan as required, in writing, by the Director.” 43

    42See 12 U.S.C. 4566(c)(2).

    43See 12 CFR 1282.21(b).

    FHFA required an Enterprise to submit a housing plan for the first time in late 2015 in response to Freddie Mac's failure to achieve the single-family low-income and very low-income home purchase goals in 2014. FHFA required Freddie Mac to submit a housing plan setting out the steps Freddie Mac would take in 2016 and 2017 to achieve the two goals that it failed to achieve in 2013 and 2014. The requirement for the plan to address actions taken in both 2016 and 2017 was based on FHFA's authority under § 1282.21(b) to require a housing plan to address any additional matters required by the Director and was intended to address an issue of timing.

    FHFA's final determination on Freddie Mac's performance on the housing goals for 2014 was issued on December 17, 2015. As described in more detail below, that timing was driven by procedural steps required by the Safety and Soundness Act and FHFA's own regulation. If FHFA interpreted narrowly the statutory and regulatory provisions stating that the housing plan should address the steps the Enterprise would take in the following year, the housing plan itself would become irrelevant because the year it would cover would have ended before the housing plan was even submitted to FHFA.

    The extended time required to reach a final determination housing goals performance will occur every year as a result of the procedural steps required by the Safety and Soundness Act. Under those procedures, if FHFA determines that an Enterprise has failed to achieve a housing goal in a particular year, FHFA is first required to issue a preliminary determination that generally provides at least 30 days for the Enterprise to respond. FHFA must then consider any information submitted by the Enterprise before making a final determination on whether the Enterprise failed to meet the goal and whether achievement of the goal was feasible. If FHFA determines that the Enterprise should be required to submit a housing plan, the statute provides for up to 45 days for the Enterprise to submit its housing plan.44 FHFA must then evaluate the housing plan, generally within 30 days. The time necessary for FHFA's review and determination at each step of this procedural process is generally four to six months.

    44See 12 U.S.C. 4566(c)(3).

    These procedural steps cannot begin until FHFA has the information necessary to make a determination on whether the Enterprise has met the housing goals. The Enterprises are required to submit their official performance numbers to FHFA within 75 days after the end of the year, usually March 15 of the following year. Therefore, the earliest that FHFA would be able to approve a housing plan from an Enterprise would be mid-July of the year following the performance year. For the single-family housing goals, this time period is extended even further because the HMDA data necessary to determine if an Enterprise met the retrospective market measurement portion of the single-family housing goals are not available until September of the year following the performance year.

    Based on (1) FHFA's experience in overseeing the housing goals, in particular the experience in requiring Freddie Mac to submit a housing plan based on its failure to achieve certain housing goals in 2014, (2) the inherent conflict in the timeframes set out in the Safety and Soundness Act, and (3) the importance of ensuring that any housing plans are focused on sustainable improvements in Enterprise goals performance, FHFA is proposing to amend § 1282.21(b)(3) to state explicitly that a housing plan that is required based on an Enterprise's failure to achieve a housing goal will be required to address a time period determined by the Director. If FHFA requires an Enterprise to submit a housing plan, FHFA will notify the Enterprise of the applicable time period in FHFA's final determination on the performance of the Enterprise for a particular year.

    VII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The proposed rule would not contain any information collection requirement that would require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Therefore, FHFA has not submitted any information to OMB for review.

    VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that a regulation that has a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, small businesses, or small organizations must include an initial regulatory flexibility analysis describing the regulation's impact on small entities. Such an analysis need not be undertaken if the agency has certified that the regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). FHFA has considered the impact of the proposed rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The General Counsel of FHFA certifies that the proposed rule, if adopted as a final rule, is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the regulation applies to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are not small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1282

    Mortgages, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons stated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 4511, 4513 and 4526, FHFA proposes to amend part 1282 of Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    CHAPTER XII—FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY Subchapter E—Housing Goals and Mission PART 1282—ENTERPRISE HOUSING GOALS AND MISSION 1. The authority citation for part 1282 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 4501, 4502, 4511, 4513, 4526, 4561-4566.

    § 1282.1 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 1282.1 as follows: a. Remove the definition of “AHS”; and b. Revise the definitions of “Median income,” “Metropolitan area,” and “Non-metropolitan area.”

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 1282.1 Definitions.

    Median income means, with respect to an area, the unadjusted median family income for the area as determined by FHFA. FHFA will provide the Enterprises annually with information specifying how the median family income estimates for metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas are to be applied for purposes of determining median income.

    Metropolitan area means a metropolitan statistical area (MSA), or a portion of such an area, including Metropolitan Divisions, for which median incomes are determined by FHFA.

    Non-metropolitan area means a county, or a portion of a county, including those counties that comprise Micropolitan Statistical Areas, located outside any metropolitan area, for which median incomes are determined by FHFA.

    3. Revise § 1282.12 to read as follows:
    § 1282.12 Single-family housing goals.

    (a) Single-family housing goals. An Enterprise shall be in compliance with a single-family housing goal if its performance under the housing goal meets or exceeds either:

    (1) The share of the market that qualifies for the goal; or

    (2) The benchmark level for the goal.

    (b) Size of market. The size of the market for each goal shall be established annually by FHFA based on data reported pursuant to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for a given year. Unless otherwise adjusted by FHFA, the size of the market shall be determined based on the following criteria:

    (1) Only owner-occupied, conventional loans shall be considered;

    (2) Purchase money mortgages and refinancing mortgages shall only be counted for the applicable goal or goals;

    (3) All mortgages flagged as HOEPA loans or subordinate lien loans shall be excluded;

    (4) All mortgages with original principal balances above the conforming loan limits for single unit properties for the year being evaluated (rounded to the nearest $1,000) shall be excluded;

    (5) All mortgages with rate spreads of 150 basis points or more above the applicable average prime offer rate as reported in the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data shall be excluded; and

    (6) All mortgages that are missing information necessary to determine appropriate counting under the housing goals shall be excluded.

    (c) Low-income families housing goal. The percentage share of each Enterprise's total purchases of purchase money mortgages on owner-occupied single-family housing that consists of mortgages for low-income families shall meet or exceed either:

    (1) The share of such mortgages in the market as defined in paragraph (b) of this section in each year; or

    (2) The benchmark level, which for 2018, 2019 and 2020 shall be 24 percent of the total number of purchase money mortgages purchased by that Enterprise in each year that finance owner-occupied single-family properties.

    (d) Very low-income families housing goal. The percentage share of each Enterprise's total purchases of purchase money mortgages on owner-occupied single-family housing that consists of mortgages for very low-income families shall meet or exceed either:

    (1) The share of such mortgages in the market as defined in paragraph (b) of this section in each year; or

    (2) The benchmark level, which for 2018, 2019 and 2020 shall be 6 percent of the total number of purchase money mortgages purchased by that Enterprise in each year that finance owner-occupied single-family properties.

    (e) Low-income areas housing goal. The percentage share of each Enterprise's total purchases of purchase money mortgages on owner-occupied single-family housing that consists of mortgages for families in low-income areas shall meet or exceed either:

    (1) The share of such mortgages in the market as defined in paragraph (b) of this section in each year; or

    (2) A benchmark level which shall be set annually by FHFA notice based on the benchmark level for the low-income areas housing subgoal, plus an adjustment factor reflecting the additional incremental share of mortgages for moderate-income families in designated disaster areas in the most recent year for which such data is available.

    (f) Low-income areas housing subgoal. The percentage share of each Enterprise's total purchases of purchase money mortgages on owner-occupied single-family housing that consists of mortgages for families in low-income census tracts or for moderate-income families in minority census tracts shall meet or exceed either:

    (1) The share of such mortgages in the market as defined in paragraph (b) of this section in each year; or

    (2) The benchmark level, which for 2018, 2019 and 2020 shall be 15 percent of the total number of purchase money mortgages purchased by that Enterprise in each year that finance owner-occupied single-family properties.

    (g) Refinancing housing goal. The percentage share of each Enterprise's total purchases of refinancing mortgages on owner-occupied single-family housing that consists of refinancing mortgages for low-income families shall meet or exceed either:

    (1) The share of such mortgages in the market as defined in paragraph (b) of this section in each year; or

    (2) The benchmark level, which for 2018, 2019 and 2020 shall be 21 percent of the total number of refinancing mortgages purchased by that Enterprise in each year that finance owner-occupied single-family properties.

    4. Revise § 1282.13 to read as follows:
    § 1282.13 Multifamily special affordable housing goal and subgoals.

    (a) Multifamily housing goal and subgoals. An Enterprise shall be in compliance with a multifamily housing goal or subgoal if its performance under the housing goal or subgoal meets or exceeds the benchmark level for the goal or subgoal, respectively.

    (b) Multifamily low-income housing goal. The benchmark level for each Enterprise's purchases of mortgages on multifamily residential housing affordable to low-income families shall be at least 315,000 dwelling units affordable to low-income families in multifamily residential housing financed by mortgages purchased by the Enterprise in each year for 2018, 2019, and 2020.

    (c) Multifamily very low-income housing subgoal. The benchmark level for each Enterprise's purchases of mortgages on multifamily residential housing affordable to very low-income families shall be at least 60,000 dwelling units affordable to very low-income families in multifamily residential housing financed by mortgages purchased by the Enterprise in each year for 2018, 2019, and 2020.

    (d) Small multifamily low-income housing subgoal. The benchmark level for each Enterprise's purchases of mortgages on small multifamily properties affordable to low-income families shall be at least 10,000 dwelling units affordable to low-income families in small multifamily properties financed by mortgages purchased by the Enterprise in each year for 2018, 2019, and 2020.

    § 1282.15 [Amended]
    5. Amend § 1282.15 as follows: a. In paragraph (e)(2) remove the phrase “based on the most recent decennial census”; and b. Revise paragraph (g).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 1282.15 General counting requirements.

    (g) Application of median income. For purposes of determining an area's median income under §§ 1282.17 through 1282.19 and the definitions in § 1282.1, the area is:

    (1) The metropolitan area, if the property which is the subject of the mortgage is in a metropolitan area; and

    (2) In all other areas, the county in which the property is located, except that where the State non-metropolitan median income is higher than the county's median income, the area is the State non-metropolitan area.

    6. Amend § 1282.21 by revising paragraph (b)(3), to read as follows:
    § 1282.21 Housing plans.

    (b) * * *

    (3) Describe the specific actions that the Enterprise will take in a time period determined by the Director to improve the Enterprise's performance under the housing goal; and

    Dated: June 28, 2017. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14039 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0391; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-13] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Bend, OR AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Bend Municipal Airport, Bend, OR, to accommodate airspace redesign for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1-800-647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0391; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-13, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4511.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-0391/Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-13”. The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES; section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Bend Municipal Airport, Bend, OR. The airspace would remain within the 4.3 mile radius of Bend Municipal Airport, with the segments extending northwest and south of the airport enlarged to 7 miles wide (from 5.2 miles) extending to 8.5 miles northwest (from 6.5 miles), and 5.8 miles wide (from 2.9 miles) extending to 8.8 miles southeast of the airport (from 9.3 miles south of the airport).

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward from 700 feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth ANM OR E5 Bend, OR [Amended] Bend Municipal Airport, OR

    (Lat. 44°05′40″ N., long. 121°12′01″ W.)

    That airspace upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 4.3 mile radius of Bend Municipal Airport, and within the area bounded by a line starting at the point where a 300° bearing from the airport intersects the 4.3 mile radius from the airport to lat. 44°11′07″ N., long. 121°20′35″ W., to lat. 44°15′41″ N., long. 121°12′11″ W., to the point where a 054° bearing from the airport intersects the 4.3 mile radius from the airport, thence counter clockwise along the airport 4.3 mile radius to the point of beginning, and within 3.1 miles west and 2.8 miles east of a 167° bearing from the airport extending to 8.8 miles south of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on June 24, 2017. Sam S.L. Shrimpton, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13984 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0392; Airspace Docket No. 16-ANM-4] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace, Big Timber, MT AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Big Timber Airport, Big Timber, MT, to accommodate the development of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations under standard instrument approach and departure procedures at the airport, for the safety and management of aircraft within the National Airspace System.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1-800-647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0392; Airspace Docket No. 16-ANM-4, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4511.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-0392/Airspace Docket No. 16-ANM-4”. The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Big Timber, MT. Class E airspace would be established within an 8-mile radius of the Big Timber Airport with a 12-mile wide segment extending to 27.4 miles east of the airport, and a 7.6-mile wide segment extending to 12.5 miles west of the airport. This airspace is necessary to support IFR operations in standard instrument approach and departure procedures at the airport.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal would be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANM MT E5 Big Timber, MT [New] Big Timber Airport, MT

    (Lat. 45°48′23″ N., long. 109°58′42″ W.)

    That airspace upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 8-mile radius of Big Timber Airport, and within 8 miles north and 4 miles south of the 074° bearing from the airport extending to 27.4 miles east of the airport, and within 3.8 miles each side of a 253° bearing from the airport extending to 12.5 miles west of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on June 24, 2017. Sam S.L. Shrimpton, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13985 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0616; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-26] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Prineville, OR AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Prineville Airport, Prineville, OR, to accommodate airspace redesign for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1-800-647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0616; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-26, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4511.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-0616/Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-26”. The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Prineville Airport, Prineville, OR. Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface would be modified to within an 8-mile radius (from a 6.9-mile radius) of Prineville airport with a 4.2 mile (from 10 miles) wide segment extending to 11.4 miles (from 12.3 miles) west of the airport. Additionally, Class E airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface designated to Prineville Airport would be removed since this airspace area duplicates the larger Bend Class E en route airspace area.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANM OR E5 Prineville, OR [Amended] Prineville Airport, OR (Lat. 44°17′16″ N., long. 120°54′19″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 8-mile radius of Prineville Airport, and within 2.1 miles each side of a 288° bearing extending from the airport to 11.4 miles west of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on June 26, 2017. Sam S.L. Shrimpton, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13987 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0617; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-27] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Sunriver, OR AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Sunriver Airport, Sunriver, OR, to accommodate airspace redesign for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1-800-647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0617; Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-27, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Clark, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4511.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-0617/Airspace Docket No. 17-ANM-27”. The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Sunriver Airport, Sunriver, OR. The airspace would be modified to within 4 miles each side of a line extending from Sunriver Airport to 14.3 miles north of the airport, and within 2.5 miles each side of a line extending from the airport to 7 miles south of the airport. This action would slightly reduce the airspace area east and west of the airport due to the new airspace configuration.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANM OR E5 Sunriver, OR [Amended] Sunriver Airport, OR (Lat. 43°52′35″ N., long. 121°27′11″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within 4 miles each side of the 016° bearing extending from Sunriver Airport to 14.3 miles north of the airport, and within 2.5 miles each side of a 196° bearing from the airport extending to 7 miles south of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on June 24, 2017. Sam S.L. Shrimpton, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-13986 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 1245 [Docket No. CPSC-2011-0074] Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws; Notice of Opportunity for Oral Presentation of Comments AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of opportunity for oral presentation of comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC, Commission) announces that there will be an opportunity for interested persons to present oral comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) the Commission issued to address blade-contact injuries on table saws. The NPR proposed a standard that requires table saws limit the depth of cut to 3.5 millimeters when a test probe, acting as surrogate for a human body/finger, contacts the spinning blade at a radial approach rate of 1 meter per second (m/s). Any oral comments will be part of the rulemaking record.

    DATES:

    The meeting will begin at 10 a.m., August 9, 2017, in the Hearing Room, 4th Floor of the Bethesda Towers Building, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814. Requests to make oral presentations and the written text of any oral presentations must be received by the Office of the Secretary not later than 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on August 2, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be in the Hearing Room, 4th Floor of the Bethesda Towers Building, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814. Requests to make oral presentations, and texts of oral presentations, should be captioned: “Table Saws NPR; Oral Presentation” and submitted by email to [email protected], or mailed or delivered to the Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, not later than 5 p.m. EST on August 2, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information about the purpose or subject matter of this meeting, contact Caroleene Paul, Project Manager, Directorate for Engineering Sciences, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 Research Place, Rockville, MD 20850; telephone (301) 987-2225; [email protected] For information about the procedure to make an oral presentation, contact Rockelle Hammond, Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background

    On October 11, 2011, the Commission published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to consider whether there may be an unreasonable risk of blade-contact injuries associated with table saws. 76 FR 62678. On May 12, 2017, the Commission published an NPR finding preliminarily that there is an unreasonable risk of blade-contact injuries associated with table saws. 82 FR 22190. To address the risk, the NPR proposed a performance requirement for table saws that would limit the depth of cut to 3.5 mm or less, when a test probe, acting as surrogate for a human body/finger, contacts the spinning blade at a radial approach rate of 1 m/s. The proposed requirement would be issued under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). The NPR is available at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-05-12/pdf/2017-09098.pdf. The staff's briefing package is available at: https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Proposed%20Rule%20-%20Safety%20Standard%20for%20Blade-Contact%20Injuries%20on%20Table%20Saws%20-%20January%2017%202017.pdf.

    B. The Public Meeting

    The CPSA requires that the Commission provide an opportunity for the “oral presentation of data, views, or arguments,” in addition to written comments, when the Commission develops a consumer product safety standard. 15 U.S.C. 2058(d)(2). Thus, the Commission is providing this forum for oral presentations concerning the proposed standard addressing blade-contact injuries on table saws. See the information under the headings DATES and ADDRESSES at the beginning of this document for information on making requests to give oral presentations at the meeting.

    Participants should limit their presentations to approximately 10 minutes, exclusive of any periods of questioning by the Commissioners or CPSC staff. To prevent duplicative presentations, groups will be directed to designate a spokesperson. The Commission reserves the right to limit the time further for any presentation and impose restrictions to avoid excessive duplication of presentations, if necessary.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14035 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0162] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Nanticoke River, Seaford, DE AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to modify the operating schedule that governs the SR 13 Bridge across the Nanticoke River, mile 39.6, in Seaford, DE. This proposal will require the bridge to open on signal every Saturday and Sunday during the winter season, if at least 24 hours notice is given. This action is necessary to balance bridge operations and maintenance with the existing needs of navigation.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0162 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. Martin A. Bridges, Fifth Coast Guard District (dpb), at (757) 398-6422, 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 US 13 Bridge across the Nanticoke River, Mile 39.6, in Seaford, DE, owned and operated by the Delaware Department of Transportation, has a vertical clearance of three feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position. There is a monthly average of three bridge openings on Saturdays and Sundays, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., from November 1 through March 31, which 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 volume of vehicular traffic crossing the bridge. The current operating schedule is published in 33 CFR 117.243(b). The Coast Guard's authority to make a permanent change to a drawbridge operating schedule is contained in 33 CFR 117.8.

    The Nanticoke River is predominately used by recreational vessels and pleasure craft. Data contained in the bridge tender logs provided by the Delaware Department of Transportation documenting the three-year average number of bridge openings, maximum number of bridge openings, and weekend bridge openings between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., by month and overall for 2014 through 2016, is presented below.

    Month Average
  • openings
  • Maximum
  • openings
  • Proposed
  • weekends
  • average
  • openings
  • 7:30 a.m.-
  • 3:30 p.m.
  • January 11 31 3 February 1 3 1 March 21 53 4 April 72 91 N/A May 138 192 N/A June 150 168 N/A July 280 175 N/A August 198 223 N/A September 144 214 N/A October 51 66 N/A November 8 13 5 December 1 4 1 Monthly 89 223 3 Daily 3 7 <1

    This proposed modification of the operating schedule for the bridge is designed to balance bridge operations and maintenance with the existing needs of navigation.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Delaware Department of Transportation requested to modify the operating regulation for the bridge, due to the limited number of requested openings of the bridge on Saturday and Sunday, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., from November 1 through March 31, over approximately the past three years. The data presented in the table above demonstrates that the requested modification may be implemented with de minimis impact to navigation. The modification requested will require the bridge to open on signal on Saturday and Sunday; from 7:31 a.m. to 3:29 p.m., from November 1 through March 31, if at least 24 hours notice is given. All other provisions of 33 CFR 117.243(b) will remain the same.

    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.

    This is not considered a significant regulatory action. This determination is based on the findings that: (1) The potential impact is small, given the limited number of vessels requiring a bridge opening during the time frame of the proposed modification, and (2) vessels will be able to transit through the bridge during the time frame of the proposed modification, given the bridge will open on signal, if at least 24 hours notice is given.

    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. The potential impact to all vessels is small, given the limited number of vessels requiring a bridge opening during the time frame of the proposed modification. All vessels will be able to transit through the bridge during the time frame of the proposed modification, given the bridge will open on signal, if at least 24 hours notice is given.

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

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

    Also, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.l (series), which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32) (e), of the Instruction.

    Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32) (e), of the Instruction, a Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) and a Memorandum for the Record (MFR) are not required for this rule. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this notice and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise § 117.243(b) to read as follows:
    § 117.243 Nanticoke River.

    (b) The draw of the SR 13 Bridge, mile 39.6, in Seaford shall:

    (1) Open on signal, except from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., from April 1 through October 31; from November 1 through March 31, Monday to Friday and on Saturday and Sunday from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., if at least four hours notice is given.

    (2) Open on signal, on Saturday and Sunday, from 7:31 a.m. through 3:29 p.m., from November 1 through March 31, if at least 24 hours notice is given.

    Dated: June 21, 2017. M.L. Austin, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14068 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    82 127 Wednesday, July 5, 2017 Notices ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES Adoption of Recommendations AGENCY:

    Administrative Conference of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administrative Conference of the United States adopted two recommendations at its Sixty-seventh Plenary Session. The appended recommendations are titled: Adjudication Materials on Agency Web sites; and Negotiated Rulemaking and Other Options for Public Engagement.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For Recommendation 2017-1, Daniel Sheffner; and for Recommendation 2017-2, Cheryl Blake. For both of these actions the address and telephone number are: Administrative Conference of the United States, Suite 706 South, 1120 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036; Telephone 202-480-2080.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Administrative Conference Act, 5 U.S.C. 591-596, established the Administrative Conference of the United States. The Conference studies the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of the administrative procedures used by Federal agencies and makes recommendations to agencies, the President, Congress, and the Judicial Conference of the United States for procedural improvements (5 U.S.C. 594(1)). For further information about the Conference and its activities, see www.acus.gov. At its Sixty-seventh Plenary Session, held June 16, 2017, the Assembly of the Conference adopted two recommendations.

    Recommendation 2017-1, Adjudication Materials on Agency Web sites. This recommendation provides guidance regarding the online dissemination of administrative adjudication materials. It offers best practices and factors for agencies to consider as they seek to increase the accessibility of adjudication materials on their Web sites and maintain comprehensive, representative online collections of adjudication materials, consistent with the transparency objectives and privacy considerations of the Freedom of Information Act and other relevant laws and directives.

    Recommendation 2017-2, Negotiated Rulemaking and Other Options for Public Engagement. This recommendation offers best practices to agencies for choosing among several possible methods—among them negotiated rulemaking—for engaging the public in agency rulemakings. It also offers best practices to agencies that choose negotiated rulemaking on how to structure their processes to enhance the probability of success.

    The Appendix below sets forth the full texts of these two recommendations. The Conference will transmit them to affected agencies, Congress, and the Judicial Conference of the United States. The recommendations are not binding, so the entities to which they are addressed will make decisions on their implementation.

    The Conference based these recommendations on research reports that are posted at: https://www.acus.gov/67thPlenary.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. David M. Pritzker, Deputy General Counsel. APPENDIX—RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES Administrative Conference Recommendation 2017-1 Adjudication Materials on Agency Web Sites Adopted June 16, 2017

    In contrast to federal court records, which are available for download from the judiciary's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) program (for a fee), or records produced during notice-and-comment rulemaking, which are publicly disseminated on the rulemaking Web site www.regulations.gov, there exists no single, comprehensive online clearinghouse for the public hosting of decisions and other materials generated throughout the course of federal administrative adjudication.1 Instead, to the extent a particular adjudication record is digitally available, it is likely to be found on the relevant agency's Web site.

    1 The Administrative Conference currently takes no position in this recommendation as to whether there should be such a tool, but will consider whether the issue merits attention in the future. In the meantime, the research underlying this recommendation is limited to an examination of agencies' existing Web sites.

    This recommendation is confined to records issued or filed in adjudicative proceedings in which a statute, executive order, or regulation mandates an evidentiary hearing.2 Specifically, this recommendation applies to (a) “[a]djudication that is regulated by the procedural provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and usually presided over by an administrative law judge” and (b) “[a]djudication that consists of legally required evidentiary hearings that are not regulated by the APA's adjudication provisions in 5 U.S.C. 554 and 556-557 and that is presided over by adjudicators who are often called administrative judges.” 3

    2See Administrative Conference of the United States, Recommendation 2016-4, Evidentiary Hearings Not Required by the Administrative Procedure Act, 81 FR 94314 (Dec. 23, 2016).

    3Id. (referring to these two types of proceedings as “Type A” and “Type B” adjudication, respectively).

    Federal administrative adjudication affects an enormous number of individuals and businesses engaged in a range of regulated activities or dependent on any of the several government benefits programs. The many orders, opinions, pleadings, motions, briefs, petitions, and other records generated by agencies and parties involved in adjudication bespeak the procedural complexities and sophistication of many proceedings.

    Many federal laws and directives mandate or encourage the online disclosure of important government materials, including certain adjudication records. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires that agencies make available in an electronic format “final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases.” 4 The prevailing interpretation of this provision limits its ambit to “precedential” decisions.5 Nonetheless, other laws and policies, including most recently the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016,6 encourage more expansive online disclosure of federal records.7

    4 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2)(A).

    5See U.S. Dep't of Justice, Office of Information Policy, Guide to the Freedom of Information Act, Proactive Disclosures 10 (2009 ed.); U.S. Dep't of Justice, Attorney General's Memorandum on the Public Information Section of the Administrative Procedure Act, at 15 (Aug. 17, 1967).

    6 Public Law 114-185, 130 Stat. 538 (2016). The Act, for instance, amended the Federal Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 3101 et seq., by adding a requirement that agencies' records management programs provide “procedures for identifying records of general interest or use to the public that are appropriate for public disclosure, and for posting such records in a publicly accessible electronic format.” Id. § 3102(2).

    7See, e.g., Office of Mgmt. & Budget Circular A-130, § 5.e.2.a (directing agencies to publish “public information online in a manner that promotes analysis and reuse for the widest possible range of purposes, meaning that the information is publicly accessible, machine-readable, appropriately described, complete, and timely”).

    When, as is often the case, adjudicative proceedings involve the application of governmental power to resolve disputes involving private parties, the associated records are of public importance. Further, administrative adjudication records can serve as ready-made models for private parties (especially those who are self-represented) 8 in drafting their own materials and may provide insight into the relevant substantive law and procedural requirements. Easy availability of these materials can save staff time or money through a reduction in the volume of FOIA requests or printing costs, or an increase in the speed with which agency staff will be able to respond to remaining FOIA requests. In addition, there may also be more intangible benefits engendered by increased public trust and Web site user satisfaction.

    8 The Conference recently adopted a recommendation that offers best practices for agencies to consider in assisting self-represented parties in administrative hearings. See Administrative Conference of the United States, Recommendation 2016-6, Self-Represented Parties in Administrative Hearings, 81 FR 94319 (Dec. 23, 2016).

    In the absence of a comprehensive, government-wide platform akin to PACER or www.regulations.gov, agencies generally rely on their individual Web sites to comply with online transparency laws and initiatives, disclosing the binding orders, opinions, and, in some cases, supporting records produced during adjudicative proceedings. Some agencies host relatively accessible, comprehensive libraries of decisions and supporting adjudication materials. Not all agency Web sites, however, are equally navigable or robust. Additionally, in providing online access to adjudication materials, agencies utilize navigational and organizational tools and techniques in various ways.

    This recommendation offers best practices and factors for agencies to consider as they seek to increase the accessibility of adjudication materials on their Web sites and maintain comprehensive, representative online collections of adjudication materials, consistent with a balancing of the transparency objectives and privacy considerations of FOIA and other relevant laws and directives.9 It is drafted with recognition that all agencies are subject to unique programming and financial constraints, and that the distinctiveness of agencies' respective adjudicative schemes limits the development of workable standardized practices. To the extent agencies are required to expend additional resources in implementing this recommendation, any upfront costs incurred may be accompanied by offsetting benefits.

    9 For the report undergirding this recommendation, see Daniel J. Sheffner, Adjudication Materials on Agency Web sites (April 10, 2017) (report to the Admin. Conf. of the U.S.), available at https://www.acus.gov/report/adjudication-materials-agency-websites-final-report-0.

    Recommendation Affirmative Disclosure of Adjudication Materials

    1. Agencies should consider providing access on their Web sites to decisions and supporting materials (e.g., pleadings, motions, briefs) issued and filed in adjudicative proceedings in excess of the affirmative disclosure requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In determining which materials to disclose, agencies should ensure that they have implemented appropriate safeguards to protect relevant privacy interests implicated by the disclosure of adjudication materials. Agencies should also consider the following factors in deciding what to disclose:

    a. the interests of the public in gaining insight into the agency's adjudicative processes;

    b. the costs to the agency in disclosing adjudication materials in excess of FOIA's requirements;

    c. any offsetting benefits the agency may realize in disclosing these materials; and

    d. any other relevant considerations, such as agency-specific adjudicative practices.

    2. Agencies that adjudicate large volumes of cases that do not vary considerably in terms of their factual contexts or the legal analyses employed in their dispositions should consider disclosing on their Web sites a representative sampling of actual cases and associated adjudication materials.

    Access to Adjudication Materials

    3. Agencies that choose to post all or nearly all decisions and supporting materials filed in adjudicative proceedings should endeavor to group materials from the same proceedings together, for example, by providing a separate docket page for each adjudication.

    4. Subject to considerations of cost, agencies should endeavor to ensure that Web site users are able to locate adjudication materials easily by:

    a. displaying links to agency adjudication sections in readily accessible locations on the Web site;

    b. maintaining a search engine and a site map or index, or both, on or locatable from the homepage;

    c. offering relevant filtering and advanced search options in conjunction with their main search engines that allow users to specify with greater detail the records or types of records for which they are looking, such as options to sort, narrow, or filter searches by record type, action or case type, date, case number, party, or specific words or phrases; and

    d. offering general and advanced search and filtering options specifically within the sections of their Web sites that disclose adjudication materials to sort, narrow, or filter searches in the ways suggested in subparagraph (c).

    Administrative Conference Recommendation 2017-2 Negotiated Rulemaking and Other Options for Public Engagement Adopted June 16, 2017

    Since the enactment of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in 1946, public input has been an integral component of informal rulemaking. The public comment process gives agencies access to information that supports the development of quality rules and arguably enhances the democratic accountability of federal agency rulemaking. As early as the 1960s, however, many agencies reported that notice-and-comment rulemaking “had become increasingly adversarial and formalized.” 1

    1 Administrative Conference of the United States, Recommendation 85-5, Procedures for Negotiating Proposed Regulations, 50 FR 52893, 52895 (Dec. 27, 1985).

    Starting in the late 1970s, as legal reform advocates sought to expand the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to reduce the incidence of litigation in the civil courts, administrative law scholars began to consider whether importing ADR norms into the rulemaking process might promote a more constructive, collaborative dynamic between agencies and those persons interested in or affected by agency rules. Eventually, the Administrative Conference conducted a study and recommended an alternative procedure that came to be known as “negotiated rulemaking.” Negotiated rulemaking brings together an advisory committee 2 composed of representatives of identifiable affected interests,3 agency officials, and a “neutral” 4 trained in mediation and facilitation techniques who would meet to try to reach consensus on a proposed rule.5 The Administrative Conference twice issued recommendations supporting the use of negotiated rulemaking in appropriate circumstances. The first, Recommendation 82-4, Procedures for Negotiating Proposed Regulations, represented an early effort to articulate the steps agencies should take to use the process successfully.6 The second, Recommendation 85-5, which had the same title, identified suggested practices based on agency experience with negotiated rulemaking in the preceding years.7

    2 Negotiated rulemaking committees are advisory committees that must comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), unless otherwise provided by statute. 5 U.S.C. 565(a).

    3 The Negotiated Rulemaking Act provides that an agency, when determining the need for negotiated rulemaking, should among other factors consider whether “there are a limited number of identifiable interests that will be significantly affected by the rule.” Id. § 563(a)(2). The Act further defines an “interest” to mean “with respect to an issue or matter, multiple parties which have a similar point of view or which are likely to be affected in a similar manner.” Id. § 562(5).

    4 Here, a “neutral” refers to an expert with experience in ADR techniques who actively supports the negotiation and consensus-building process, without taking a position on the substantive outcome. Both convenors and facilitators are neutrals who may support the process at various stages. As defined by the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1996, a convenor is “a person who impartially assists an agency in determining whether establishment of a negotiated rulemaking committee is feasible and appropriate in a particular rulemaking,” whereas a facilitator is “a person who impartially aids in the discussions and negotiations among the members of a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop a proposed rule.” Id. § 562.

    5 In practice, negotiated rulemaking committees may work to reach consensus on the text of a proposed rule or may instead seek consensus on a term sheet or other document covering the major issues of the rulemaking. Although negotiated rulemaking committees meet to seek consensus on proposed rules, they may remain constituted until the promulgation of the final rule. Id. § 567. Some agencies have used committee meetings to obtain further feedback during the development of the final rule.

    6 Administrative Conference of the United States, Recommendation 82-4, Procedures for Negotiating Proposed Regulations, 47 FR 30701 (July 15, 1982). These recommendations were based on Professor Philip Harter's report to the Administrative Conference (Philip J. Harter, Negotiating Regulations: A Cure for Malaise, 71 Geo. L.J. 1 (1982)). The procedural steps proposed in Recommendation 82-4 formed the basis of the Negotiated Rulemaking Act.

    7 Recommendation 85-5, supra note 1. The present recommendation is intended to supplement, rather than supersede, the Conference's prior recommendations on negotiated rulemaking.

    Congress formally authorized the use of regulatory negotiation where it would enhance rulemaking by enacting the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990.8 Congress had found that traditional informal rulemaking “may discourage the affected parties from meeting and communicating with each other, and may cause parties with different interests to assume conflicting and antagonistic positions and to engage in expensive and time-consuming litigation.” 9 Congress found that negotiated rulemaking could “increase the acceptability and improve the substance of rules, making it less likely that the affected parties will resist enforcement or challenge such rules in court” and that negotiation could “shorten the amount of time needed to issue final rules.” 10

    8 Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, Public Law 101-648, 104 Stat. 4969 (codified as amended by Pub. L. 104-320, 110 Stat. 3870 (1996) at 5 U.S.C. 561-70).

    9 5 U.S.C. 561.

    10Id.

    Executive Order 12,866, signed by President Clinton and retained by subsequent presidents, directs agencies to “explore and, where appropriate, use consensual mechanisms for developing regulations, including negotiated rulemaking.” 11  In addition, Congress has occasionally mandated the use of negotiated rulemaking when passing new legislation that directs agencies to address certain problems.12  However, negotiated rulemaking was never designed to be used by agencies in the vast majority of agency rulemaking.13  By the early 2000s, negotiated rulemaking was being used less frequently than anticipated.14  Over the past few years, the process appears to have received a modest increase in attention and use by some agencies.

    11 Exec. Order 12866, § 6(a)(1), 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993). In addition, President Clinton directed each agency to identify at least one rulemaking to develop through negotiated rulemaking or to explain why negotiated rulemaking would not be feasible. See Presidential Memorandum for Exec. Dept's & Selected Agencies, Administrator, Office of Info. & Reg. Affairs, Negotiated Rulemaking (Sept. 30, 1993), available at http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/npr/library/direct/memos/2682.html.

    12 Cary Coglianese, Assessing Consensus: The Promise and Performance of Negotiated Rulemaking, 46 Duke L.J. 1255, 1256, 1268 (1997) [hereinafter Coglianese, Assessing Consensus]. Over a dozen such statutes were passed before 1997, including the Student Loan Reform Act of 1993 (Pub. L. 103-66, 4021, 107 Stat. 341, 353) and the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-330, 106(b), 110 Stat. 4016, 4029). Congress has continued to mandate that agencies use negotiated rulemaking under some programs. For a list of statutes mandating or strongly encouraging negotiated rulemaking, see Cary Coglianese, Is Consensus an Appropriate Basis for Regulatory Policy?, in Environmental Contracts: Comparative Approaches to Regulatory Innovation in the United States and Europe 93-113 (Eric Orts & Kurt Deketeaere eds., 2001). More recent examples include the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-458, 7212, 118 Stat. 3638, 2829) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148, 5602, 124 Stat. 119, 677). For a case study of the congressionally mandated use of negotiated rulemaking by the U.S. Department of Education, see Jeffrey S. Lubbers, Enhancing the Use of Negotiated Rulemaking by the U.S. Department of Education (Dec. 5, 2014), in Recalibrating Regulation of Colleges and Universities, Report of the Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education 90 (2015), available at http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/Regulations_Task_Force_Report_2015_FINAL.pdf.

    13 Coglianese, Assessing Consensus, supra note 12, at 1276.

    14 Documentation of the early use, decline, and recent uptick in the use of negotiated rulemaking can be found in Cheryl Blake & Reeve T. Bull, Negotiated Rulemaking (June 5, 2017), 3-12, available at https://www.acus.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Negotiated%20Rulemaking_Final%20Report_June%205%202017.pdf. See also Jeffrey S. Lubbers, Achieving Policymaking Consensus: The (Unfortunate) Waning of Negotiated Rulemaking, 49 S. Tex. L. Rev. 987, 1001 (2008); Peter H. Schuck & Steven Kochevar, Reg Neg Redux: The Career of a Procedural Reform, 15 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 417, 439 (2014); Reeve T. Bull, The Federal Advisory Committee Act: Issues and Proposed Reforms 52 & app. A (Sept. 12, 2011), available at https://www.acus.gov/sites/default/files/documents/COCG-Reeve-Bull-Draft-FACA-Report-9-12-11.pdf.

    In part, the infrequent use of negotiated rulemaking may be due to the availability of alternative public engagement options, such as advance notices of proposed rulemaking, requests for input, technical workshops, or listening sessions, that allow agencies to gain many of the benefits of direct feedback early in the policymaking process while retaining greater procedural flexibility. Indeed, such alternatives can effectively elicit public input while avoiding the delays and procedural complexities associated with chartering a negotiated rulemaking committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).15  In addition, over the years, some criticisms about the effectiveness of negotiated rulemaking in practice have been raised. For example, agencies need to ensure that representatives of affected interests can be selected in a way that does not give unequal power to one or more members.16  There are clearly instances in which negotiated rulemaking should not be used. Nevertheless, where an agency concludes that its goals would best be served by developing a consensus-based proposed rule—or where the relevant policy issues, or relationships with interested persons or groups, are suitably complex—negotiated rulemaking may very well be a worthwhile procedural option to consider.

    15 Agencies have cited FACA's chartering and other procedural requirements as a challenge to undertaking negotiated rulemaking. See Lubbers, supra note 14, at 1001; Blake & Bull, supra note 14, at 28-31. Of course, agencies should be aware that even alternative public input forums that are not formally designated as advisory committees could nevertheless become subject to FACA should the dynamic of any meetings with members of the public trend toward “group advice” rather than individual input. Blake & Bull, supra note 14, at 21.

    16 Blake & Bull, supra note 14, at 8-11.

    To guide agencies in choosing among the various kinds of public engagement methods they may use to meet their goals, and to offer suggestions on how agencies might enhance the probability of success when choosing to undertake negotiated rulemaking, the Administrative Conference recommends the considerations and practices outlined below.17  These recommendations begin with the initial choice agencies confront—namely selecting from among various public engagement options and deciding when to use negotiated rulemaking—before turning to recommendations for those occasions when agencies use negotiated rulemaking.

    17 When gathering input outside of the notice-and-comment process, agencies should consider the best practices outlined in Administrative Conference of the United States, Recommendation 2014-4, “Ex Parte” Communications in Informal Rulemaking, 79 FR 35988 (June 25, 2014).

    Recommendation Selecting the Optimal Approach to Public Engagement in Rulemaking

    1. Negotiated rulemaking is one option of several that agencies should consider when seeking input from interested persons on a contemplated rule. In addition to negotiated rulemaking, agencies should consider the full range of public engagement options to best meet their objectives. For example:

    a. Notice-and-comment rulemaking by itself is often effective to obtain documentary information and other input from a wide array of interested persons.

    b. When seeking to facilitate a two-way exchange of information or ideas, agencies should consider meeting with a variety of interested persons reflecting a balance of perspectives.

    c. In situations in which an agency is interested in input from various interested persons or entities but does not seek collective advice or a consensus position, the agency should consider gathering groups of interested persons to provide individual input through more than one public or private meeting, dialogue session, or other forum.

    d. Where an agency seeks collective advice, the agency should use an advisory committee, observing all applicable requirements prescribed by FACA.

    Deciding When To Use Negotiated Rulemaking

    2. An agency should consider using negotiated rulemaking when it determines that the procedure is in the public interest, will advance the agency's statutory objectives, and is consistent with the factors outlined in the Negotiated Rulemaking Act. Specifically, such factors include whether:

    • “there are a limited number of identifiable interests that will be significantly affected by the rule;” 18

    18 5 U.S.C. 563(a)(2).

    • “there is a reasonable likelihood that a committee can be convened with a balanced representation of persons who (a) can adequately represent the [identifiable and significantly affected] interests and (b) are willing to negotiate in good faith to reach a consensus on the proposed rule;” 19

    19Id. § 563(a)(3).

    • there is adequate time to complete negotiated rulemaking and the agency possesses the necessary resources to support the process; 20 and

    20See id. §§ 563(a)(4)-(6) (providing that “there is a reasonable likelihood that the committee will reach consensus on the proposed rule within a fixed period of time”; “the negotiated rulemaking procedure will not unreasonably delay the notice of proposed rulemaking and the issuance of the final rule”; and “the agency has adequate resources and is willing to commit such resources, including technical assistance, to the committee”).

    • “the agency, to the maximum extent possible consistent with the legal obligations of the agency, will use the consensus of the committee with respect to the proposed rule as the basis for the rule proposed by the agency for notice and comment.” 21

    21Id. § 563(a)(7).

    3. In light of the broad range of highly specific factors that need to be considered when determining whether to use negotiated rulemaking, the choice should generally reside within the agency's discretion.

    Structuring a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee To Maximize the Probability of Success

    4. As a general matter, agency officials should clearly define the charge of the negotiated rulemaking committee at the outset. This involves explicitly managing expectations and stating any constraints on the universe of options the committee is authorized to consider, including any legal prohibitions or non-negotiable policy positions of the agency. Agency officials should inform the committee members of the use to which the information they provide will be put and should notify them that negotiated rulemaking committee meetings will be made open to the public and documents submitted in connection therewith generally will be made available to the public.

    5. Agencies should appoint an official with sufficient authority to speak on behalf of the agency to attend all negotiated rulemaking committee meetings and to participate in them to the extent the agency deems suitable.

    6. Agencies should work with convenors or facilitators to define clearly the roles they should play in negotiated rulemakings.22 Generally, agencies should draw upon the convenor's expertise in selecting committee members, defining the issues the committee will address, and setting the goals for the committee's work. Similarly, agencies should use a facilitator to assist the negotiation impartially and to make that impartiality clear to the members of the committee.

    22 Notably, while such neutrals may be hired by an agency, they support the overall process impartially (rather than on behalf of, or in favor of, the agency). For more details on the roles of convenors and facilitators, see Recommendation 85-5, supra note 1, at recommendations 5-8 and the discussion in note 4, supra. The roles may be filled by the same person or by two different individuals, who may be agency employees or external professionals.

    7. Agencies should keep in mind the role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the rulemaking process when conducting negotiated rulemaking and inform committee members of that role. An agency should notify its OIRA desk officer of the opportunity to observe the committee meetings and, upon request, provide him or her with briefings on the meetings. An agency should also discuss whether or how the committee process might be used to support the development of the elements needed to comply with relevant analytical requirements, including the rule's regulatory impact analysis.

    Considerations Associated With FACA

    8. Congress should exempt negotiated rulemaking committees from FACA's chartering and reporting requirements.23 If Congress exempts negotiated rulemaking committees from FACA entirely, it should amend the Negotiated Rulemaking Act to require comparable transparency, such as by requiring that negotiated rulemaking committee meetings be noticed in advance and open to the public.

    23 Administrative Conference of the United States, Recommendation 2011-7, The Federal Advisory Committee Act—Issues and Proposed Reforms, 77 FR 2257 (Jan. 17, 2012).

    9. For greater flexibility within the framework of FACA, agencies should consider maintaining standing committees from which a negotiated rulemaking subcommittee or working group can be formed on an as-needed basis to obviate the need to charter a new committee each time the agency undertakes a negotiated rulemaking.24 Regardless of whether Congress exempts negotiated rulemaking from certain FACA requirements, agencies should strive to minimize unnecessary procedural burdens associated with the advisory committee process.

    24 Both the Department of Energy and Department of Transportation (Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Railroad Administration) have standing committees that at times have been used to support negotiated rulemaking or other rulemaking activities. When seeking to negotiate a proposed rule, these agencies will form subcommittees or working groups (sometimes wholly comprising standing committee members, while other times comprising both standing committee and new members). For more details on the structure of these arrangements and their potential benefits, see Blake & Bull, supra note 14, at 29-30. Note, however, that some components in the Department of Transportation do prepare FACA charters for each new negotiated rulemaking committee, rather than using the standing committee/subcommittee model just described.

    [FR Doc. 2017-14060 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6110-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request June 29, 2017.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by August 4, 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.

    Office of Procurement and Property Management

    Title: Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products.

    OMB Control Number: 0503-0020.

    Summary of Collection: Section 9002(h) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002, as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008 and the Agricultural Act of 2014, requires the Secretary of Agriculture to implement a voluntary labeling program that would enable qualifying biobased products to be certified with a “USDA Certified Biobased Product” label. The voluntary labeling program is required to be consistent, where possible, with the guidelines implementing the preferred procurement of biobased products by Federal agencies (referred to hereafter as the preferred procurement program), which is also authorized under section 9002 of FSRIA. Under the preferred procurement program, Federal agencies are required to purchase with certain exceptions, biobased products that are identified, by rulemaking, for preferred procurement. The BioPreferred Program is implemented by USDA's Office of Procurement and Property Management (OPPM).

    Need and Use of the Information: Under the voluntary labeling program, manufacturers and vendors must complete an application for each stand-alone biobased product or biobased product family for which they wish to use the label. The application process is electronic and is accessible through the voluntary labeling program Web site. In addition manufacturers and vendors whose applications have been conditionally approved must provide to OPPM certain information for posting by OPPM on the voluntary labeling program Web site. For each product approved by the Agency for use of the label, the manufacturer or vendor must keep that information for each certified product up-to-date. The information requested for inclusion in the application are: (1) Contact information (of the manufacturer or vendor and preparer of application) and (2) product identification information, including brand name(s), the applicable designated item category or categories or equivalent, and the biobased content of the product.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 150.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: Other (once).

    Total Burden Hours: 1,350.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14031 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-TX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Foreign Agricultural Service Notice of Request for Revision of Currently Approved Information Collections AGENCY:

    Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Foreign Agricultural Service's (FAS) intention to request a revision for currently approved information collections in support of the foreign donation of agricultural commodities under the section 416(b) program, the Food for Progress Program, and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    We invite you to submit comments as requested in this document. In your comment, include the volume, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail, hand delivery, or courier: Benjamin Muskovitz, Director, Food Assistance Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Stop 1034, Washington, DC 20250-1034;

    Email: [email protected]; or

    Telephone: (202) 720-0886.

    Comments will be available for inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov and at the mail address listed above between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

    Persons with disabilities who require an alternative means for communication of information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Benjamin Muskovitz, Director, Food Assistance Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Stop 1034, Washington, DC 20250-1034; or by email at [email protected]; or by telephone at (202) 720-0886.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Foreign Donation of Agricultural Commodities (section 416(b) and Food for Progress programs) and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.

    OMB Number: 0551-0035.

    Expiration Date of Approval: November 30, 2017.

    Type of Request: Revision of currently approved information collections.

    Abstract: Under the section 416(b) and Food for Progress programs (the “Foreign Donation Programs”) and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (“McGovern-Dole”) Program, information will be gathered from applicants desiring to receive federal awards under the programs to determine the viability of requests for resources to implement activities in foreign countries. Recipients of awards under the programs must submit compliance reports until activities carried out with donated commodities or funds, or local currencies generated from the sale of donated commodities, are completed. Recipients that use the services of freight forwarders must submit certifications from the freight forwarders regarding their activities and affiliations. Documents are used to develop effective grant and cooperative agreements for awards under the programs and assure that statutory requirements and objectives are met.

    Estimate of Burden: The public reporting burden for each respondent resulting from information collections under the Foreign Donation Programs or the McGovern-Dole Program varies in direct relation to the number and type of agreements entered into by such respondent. The estimated average reporting burden for the Foreign Donation Programs is 45.24 hours per response and for the McGovern-Dole Program is 45.24 hours per response.

    Respondents: Private voluntary organizations, cooperatives, foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, freight forwarders, ship owners and brokers, and survey companies.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 61 per annum.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 32 per annum.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden of Respondents: 88,308.5 hours.

    Request for comments: Send comments regarding (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Connie Ehrhart, the Agency Information Collection Coordinator, at (202) 690-1578 or email at [email protected]

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: June 15, 2017. Holly Higgins, Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14045 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-15-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 265—Conroe, Texas; Authorization of Production Activity; Bauer Manufacturing LLC dba NEORig; (Stationary Oil/Gas Drilling Rigs); Conroe, Texas

    On February 24, 2017, the City of Conroe, Texas, grantee of FTZ 265, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Bauer Manufacturing LLC dba NEORig, within Site 1, in Conroe, Texas.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (82 FR 12788-12789, March 7, 2017). On June 26, 2017, the applicant was notified of the FTZ Board's decision that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification was authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14051 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-101-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone 29—Louisville, Kentucky; Application for Subzone Expansion; Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc.; Berea, Kentucky

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Louisville & Jefferson County Riverport Authority, grantee of FTZ 29, requesting an expansion of Subzone 29F on behalf of Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc., in Berea, Kentucky. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on June 29, 2017.

    The subzone currently consists of the following sites in Harrodsburg, Kentucky: Site 1 (50 acres) 955 Warwick Road; Site 2 (1.56 acres) 601 Robinson Road; and, Site 3 (1.4 acres) 110 Morgan Soaper Road.

    The applicant is now requesting authority to include an additional site: Proposed Site 4 (20 acres), 1150 Mayde Road, Berea. No additional production authority is being requested at this time. As requested, the entire subzone would be subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 29.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Elizabeth Whiteman of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the Executive Secretary.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is August 14, 2017. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to August 29, 2017.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14052 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-99-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone 283—West Tennessee Area Application for Subzone, MTD Consumer Group Inc., Martin, Tennessee

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority, grantee of FTZ 283, requesting subzone status for the facility of MTD Consumer Group Inc. (MTD), located in Martin, Tennessee. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on June 29, 2017.

    The proposed subzone (89 acres) is located at 116, 136 and 181 Industrial Park Drive, Martin, Tennessee. A notification of proposed production activity has been submitted and is being processed under 15 CFR 400.37 (Doc. B-41-2017). The proposed subzone would be subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 283.

    In accordance with the Board's regulations, Kathleen Boyce of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the Executive Secretary.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is August 14, 2017. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to August 29, 2017.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Kathleen Boyce at [email protected] or (202) 482-1346.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14053 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-122-860] 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft From Canada: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective July 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Medley or Ross Belliveau, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4987, or (202) 482-4952, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On May 17, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated a countervailing duty investigation on 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada.1 Currently, the preliminary determination is due no later than July 21, 2017.

    1See 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 82 FR 24292 (May 26, 2017).

    Postponement of the Preliminary Determination

    Section 703(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), requires the Department to issue the preliminary determination in a countervailing duty investigation within 65 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation. However, section 703(c)(1) of the Act permits the Department to postpone the preliminary determination until no later than 130 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation if: (A) The petitioner 2 makes a timely request for a postponement; or (B) the Department concludes that the parties concerned are cooperating, that the investigation is extraordinarily complicated, and that additional time is necessary to make a preliminary determination. Under 19 CFR 351.205(e), the petitioner must submit a request for postponement 25 days or more before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination and must state the reasons for the request. The Department will grant the request unless it finds compelling reasons to deny the request.

    2 In this investigation, the petitioner is The Boeing Company.

    On June 26, 2017, the petitioner submitted a timely request that we postpone the preliminary CVD determination. In its request, the petitioner cited the number of subsidy programs provided by three different government entities, and the need for the Department to have sufficient time to investigate each of the alleged subsidies thoroughly.3 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.205(e), the petitioner has stated the reasons for requesting a postponement of the preliminary determination, and the Department finds no compelling reason to deny the request. Therefore, pursuant to section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act, we are extending the due date for the preliminary determination to no later than 130 days after the date on which this investigation was initiated, i.e., to September 25, 2017.4 Pursuant to section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(1), the deadline for the final determination will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determination.

    3See Letter from the petitioner, “100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada: Request to Postpone Preliminary Determination,” (June 26, 2017).

    4 The actual deadline is September 24, 2017, which is a Sunday. The Department's practice dictates that where a deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the appropriate deadline is the next business day. See Notice of Clarification: Application of “Next Business Day” Rule for Administrative Determination Deadlines Pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, As Amended, 70 FR 24533 (May 10, 2005).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 703(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(l).

    Dated: June 27, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14057 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-057] Certain Tool Chests and Cabinets From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective July 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Hermes Pinilla or Thomas Schauer, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-3477 or (202) 482-0410, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On May 1, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of imports of certain tool chests and cabinets (tool chests) from the People's Republic of China.1 Currently, the preliminary determination in this investigation is due no later than July 5, 2017.

    1See Certain Tool Chests and Cabinets from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 82 FR 21516 (May 9, 2017).

    Postponement of Preliminary Determination

    Section 703(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (Act), requires the Department to issue the preliminary determination in a CVD investigation within 65 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation. However, if the petitioner makes a timely request for an extension of the period within which the determination must be made, section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act allows the Department to postpone making the preliminary determination until no later than 130 days after the date on which the administering authority initiated the investigation.

    On June 7, 2017, the petitioner 2 submitted a timely request, pursuant to section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act, that the Department postpone the preliminary determination in this CVD investigation.3 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.205(e), the petitioner stated the reasons for its request. Specifically, the petitioner states that additional time is necessary for the Department and interested parties to fully analyze all questionnaire responses and to issue supplemental questionnaires as necessary.4 The Department finds no compelling reason to deny the request. Therefore, pursuant to section 703(c)(1)(A) of the Act, the Department is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determination to no later than 130 days after the date on which this investigation was initiated, i.e., to September 8, 2017. Pursuant to section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(1), the deadline for the final determination will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determination.

    2 The petitioner is Waterloo Industries Inc.

    3See the petitioner's Letter dated June 7, 2017, requesting postponement of the preliminary determination.

    4Id.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 703(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).

    Dated: June 12, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14056 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-427-602; A-428-602; A-475-601; A-588-704] Brass Sheet and Strip From France, Germany, Italy, and Japan: Final Results of the Expedited Fourth Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of these sunset reviews, the Department of Commerce (the Department) finds that revocation of the antidumping duty (AD) orders on brass sheet and strip from France, Germany, Italy and Japan would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping. Further, the magnitude of the margins of dumping that are likely to prevail is identified in the “Final Results of Review” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective July 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aimee Phelan, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0697.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On March 6, 1987, the Department published the AD orders on brass sheet and strip from France and Italy.1 On May 21, 1991, the Department published the amended AD order with respect to brass sheet and strip from Italy.2 On January 9, 1987, the Department published the final determination of the less-than-fair value investigation with respect to brass sheet and strip from Germany and on September 23, 1987, the Department published the amended AD order with respect to imports of brass sheet and strip from Germany.3 On August 12, 1988, the Department issued an AD order on imports of brass sheet and strip from Japan.4 On March 3, 2017, the Department published the notice of initiation of the fourth sunset reviews of these AD orders on brass sheet and strip 5 from France, Germany, Italy, and Japan pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    1See Antidumping Duty Order: Brass Sheet and Strip from France, 52 FR 6995 (March 6, 1987); Antidumping Duty Order: Brass Sheet and Strip from Italy, 52 FR 6997 (March 6, 1987).

    2See Amendment to Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Amendment of Antidumping Duty Order in Accordance with Decision Upon Remand: Brass Sheet and Strip from Italy, 56 FR 23272 (May 21, 1991).

    3See Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value; Brass Sheet and Strip from the Federal Republic of Germany, 52 FR 822 (January 9, 1987), amended at Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Amendment to Antidumping Duty Order: Brass Sheet and Strip from the Federal Republic of Germany, 52 FR 35750 (September 23, 1987).

    4See Antidumping Duty Order of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Brass Sheet and Strip from Japan, 53 FR 30454 (August 12, 1988).

    5See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews, 82 FR 12438 (March 3, 2017) (Initiation).

    On March 17, 2017, the Department received a notice of intent to participate on behalf of Aurubis Buffalo, Inc., GBC Metals, LLC (doing business as, Olin Brass), Heyco Metals, Inc., PMX Industries, Inc. and Revere Copper Products, Inc. (collectively, the domestic interested parties) within the 15-day period specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i). The domestic interested parties claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act, as manufacturers, producers, or wholesalers in the United States of a domestic like product.

    On March 31, 2017, the Department received complete substantive responses to the Initiation from the domestic interested parties within the 30-day period, specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i).6 We received no substantive responses from respondent interested parties. As a result, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2), the Department conducted expedited (120-day) sunset reviews of the AD orders on brass sheet and strip from France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

    6See Letters from domestic interested parties regarding “Brass Sheet and Strip From France—Domestic Interested Parties' Substantive Response to Notice of Initiation,” dated March 31, 2017; “Brass Sheet and Strip From Germany—Domestic Interested Parties' Substantive Response to Notice of Initiation,” dated March 31, 2017; “Brass Sheet and Strip From Italy—Domestic Interested Parties' Substantive Response to Notice of Initiation,” dated March 31, 2017; and “Brass Sheet and Strip From Japan—Domestic Interested Parties' Substantive Response to Notice of Initiation,” dated March 31, 2017.

    Scope of the Orders

    The product covered by the orders is brass sheet and strip, other than leaded and tinned brass sheet and strip, from France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The chemical composition of the covered product is currently defined in the Copper Development Association (“C.D.A.”) 200 Series or the Unified Numbering System (“U.N.S.”) C2000. The orders do not cover products the chemical compositions of which are defined by other C.D.A. or U.N.S. series. In physical dimensions, the product covered by the orders has a solid rectangular cross section over 0.006 inches (0.15 millimeters) through 0.188 inches (4.8 millimeters) in finished thickness or gauge, regardless of width. Coiled, wound-on-reels (traverse wound), and cut-to-length products are included. The merchandise is currently classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) item numbers 7409.21.00 and 7409.29.00.

    Although the HTSUS item numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the orders remains dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in these sunset reviews, including the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping and the magnitude of the margins of dumping likely to prevail if the orders are revoked, are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.7 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn.

    7See Memorandum from Deputy Assistant Secretary Gary Taverman to Acting Assistant Secretary Ronald K. Lorentzen entitled, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Expedited Fourth Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Brass Sheet and Strip from France (A-427-602), Germany (A-428-602), Italy (A-475-601), and Japan (A-588-704)” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Final Results of Sunset Reviews

    Pursuant to sections 751(c)(1) and 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, the Department determines that revocation of the AD orders on brass sheet and strip from France, Germany, Italy, and Japan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping, and that the magnitude of the margins of dumping likely to prevail if the AD orders are revoked would be up to 42.24 percent, 55.60 percent, 22.00 percent, and 57.98 percent, respectively.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

    This notice serves as the only reminder to the parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of propriety information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing the final results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(5)(ii).

    Dated: June 28, 2017. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary For Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14055 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Office of Education Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Seaberry Nachbar, (831) 647-4204 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a current information collection.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) collects, evaluates and assesses student data and information for the purpose of selecting successful scholarship candidates, generating internal NOAA reports and articles to demonstrate the success of its program. The Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program is available to graduate students pursuing masters and doctoral degrees in the areas of marine biology, oceanography and maritime archaeology. The ONMS requires applicants to the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program to complete an application and to supply references (e.g., from academic professors and advisors) in support of the scholarship application. Scholarship recipients are required to conduct a pre- and post-evaluation of their studies through the scholarship program to gather information about the level of knowledge, skills and behavioral changes that take place with the students before and after their program participation. The evaluation results support ONMS performance measures.

    II. Method of Collection

    All forms are electronic, and the primary methods of submittal are email and Internet transmission. Approximately 1% of the application and reference forms may be mailed.

    III. Data

    OMB Number: 0648-0432.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a current information collection).

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 621.

    Estimated Time per Response: Dr. Nancy Foster application form: 8 hours; Letter of Recommendation: 45 minutes; Bio/Photograph Submission: 1 hour; Annual Report: 1 hour, 30 minutes; and Evaluation: 15 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,919.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $4,000 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14033 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE283 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys in the Atlantic Ocean AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed incidental harassment authorizations; extension of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 6, 2017, NMFS published a Federal Register notice of five proposed incidental harassment authorizations (IHAs), pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), to incidentally harass marine mammals during the conduct of geophysical survey activity in the Atlantic Ocean, with comments due by July 6, 2017. In response to requests to extend the public comment period, NMFS has extended the public comment period by an additional 15 calendar days. Comments are now due no later than July 21, 2017.

    DATES:

    The deadline for receipt of comments on the proposed IHA notice that was published on June 6, 2017 (82 FR 26244), is extended to July 21, 2017. NMFS must receive written comments and information on or before July 21, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to [email protected]

    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/oilgas.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    Information Solicited: NMFS is seeking public input on these requests for authorization as outlined below and request that interested persons submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning the applications. We will only consider comments that are relevant to marine mammal species that occur in U.S. waters of the Mid- and South Atlantic and the potential effects of geophysical survey activities on those species and their habitat.

    Comments indicating general support for or opposition to hydrocarbon exploration or any comments relating to hydrocarbon development (e.g., leasing, drilling) are not relevant to this request for comments and will not be considered. Comments should indicate whether they are general to the proposed authorizations described herein or are specific to one or more of the five proposed authorizations, and should be supported by data or literature citations as appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ben Laws, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability

    Electronic copies of the applications and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/oilgas.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    Background

    On June 6, 2017, NMFS published a notice of five proposed IHAs in response to five different requests for such authorization pursuant to MMPA section 101(a)(5)(D), with a 30-day public comment period (82 FR 26244). The 30-day public comment period on the proposed IHAs ends on July 6, 2017. Since then, NMFS has received multiple requests for extension of the public comment period. In consideration of these requests, NMFS has extended the comment period an additional 15 days, to July 21, 2017.

    NMFS refers readers to the June 6, 2017, Federal Register notice of the proposed IHAs and the accompanying analysis (82 FR 26244) for details and background information concerning the proposed actions, as this notice does not repeat the information.

    Request for Public Comments

    We request comment on our analyses, the draft authorizations, and any other aspect of our original Notice of Proposed IHAs for the proposed geophysical survey activities (82 FR 26244; June 6, 2017). Please include with your comments any supporting data or literature citations to help inform our final decision on the individual requests for MMPA authorization.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14077 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-C-2017-0024] Notice of Public Meeting on Voluntary Initiatives To Combat Infringement of Intellectual Property in the Online Environment; Cancellation AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of cancellation of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office published a notice in the Federal Register of June 22, 2017, concerning a public meeting on measuring the impact of voluntary initiatives undertaken to reduce intellectual property infringement, scheduled for July 17, 2017, at its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. This notice announces that the July 17, 2017 meeting has been cancelled.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information, please contact Peter Fowler, Charisma Hampton, or Nadine Herbert at the Office of Policy and International Affairs, by telephone at (571) 272-9300, or by email at [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] Please direct all media inquiries to the Office of the Chief Communications Officer, USPTO, at (571) 272-8400.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Joseph Matal, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14072 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force 2017 Public Interface Control Working Group and Forum for the NAVSTAR GPS Public Documents AGENCY:

    Global Positioning System Directorate (GPSD), Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice informs the public that the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Directorate will host the 2017 Public Interface Control Working Group and Open Public Forum on September 6-7, 2017 for the following NAVSTAR GPS public documents: IS-GPS-200 (Navigation User Interfaces), IS-GPS-705 (User Segment L5 Interfaces), ICD-GPS-240 (NAVSTAR GPS Control Segment to User Support Community Interfaces), and ICD-GPS-870 (NAVSTAR GPS Control Segment to User Support Community Interfaces). Additional logistical details can be found below.

    The purpose of this meeting is to update the public on GPS public document revisions and collect issues/comments for analysis and possible integration into future GPS public document revisions. All outstanding comments on the GPS public documents will be considered along with the comments received at this year's open forum in the next revision cycle. The 2017 Interface Control Working Group and Open Forum are open to the general public. For those who would like to attend and participate, we request that you register no later than August 30, 2017. Please send the registration information to [email protected], providing your name, organization, telephone number, email address, and country of citizenship.

    Comments will be collected, catalogued, and discussed as potential inclusions to the version following the current release. If accepted, these changes will be processed through the formal directorate change process for IS-GPS-200, IS-GPS-705, ICD-GPS-240, and ICD-GPS-870. All comments must be submitted in a Comments Resolution Matrix (CRM). This form along with current versions of the documents and the official meeting notice are posted at: http://www.gps.gov/technical/icwg/meetings/2017/.

    Please submit comments to the SMC/GPS Requirements (SMC/GPER) mailbox at [email protected] by August 10, 2017. Special topics may also be considered for the Public Open Forum. If you wish to present a special topic, please submit any materials to SMC/GPER no later than August 1, 2017. For more information, please contact 2Lt Irvin Vazquez at 310-653-4191 or Mr. Daniel Godwin at 310-653-3640.

    DATES:

    0830—1600 PST, September 6-7, 2017

    ADDRESSES:

    TASC/Engility, 100 N Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo, CA 90245, The Great Room.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    2Lt Irvin Vazquez ([email protected]/310-653-4191) or Capt Jenny Ji ([email protected]/310-653-3163)

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14048 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED-2017-ICCD-0093] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Master Generic Plan for Customer Surveys and Focus Groups AGENCY:

    Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2017-ICCD-0093. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 216-36, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Stephanie Valentine, 202-401-0526.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Master Generic Plan for Customer Surveys and Focus Groups.

    OMB Control Number: 1800-0011.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 451,216.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 115,344.

    Abstract: Surveys to be considered under this generic will only include those surveys that improve customer service or collect feedback about a service provided to individuals or entities directly served by ED. The results of these customer surveys will help ED managers plan and implement program improvements and other customer satisfaction initiatives. Focus groups that will be considered under the generic clearance will assess customer satisfaction with a direct service, or will be designed to inform a customer satisfaction survey ED is considering. Surveys that have the potential to influence policy will not be considered under this generic clearance.

    Dated: June 28, 2017. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14010 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [FE Docket No. 17-79-LNG] Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville II LLC; Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of receipt of an application (Application), filed on June 15, 2017, by Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville II LLC (Eagle Maxville), requesting long-term, multi-contract authorization to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a volume equivalent to 7.7 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, or approximately 0.01 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day (2.8 Bcf per year). Eagle Maxville seeks authorization to export this LNG from its LNG production and storage facility in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida (the Maxville Facility), which is anticipated to begin commercial operation in September 2017. Eagle Maxville requests authorization to export this LNG to countries with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy, including both countries with which the United States has entered into a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas (FTA countries) and all other countries (non-FTA countries). At the Maxville Facility, Eagle Maxville anticipates it will process domestically produced natural gas into LNG, temporarily store the produced LNG, and load the LNG into cryogenic transport trailers or approved ISO IMO7-TVAC-ASME LNG (ISO) containers for transportation by truck to port facilities for transfer into vessels or other ocean-going container ships. Eagle Maxville is requesting this authorization on its own behalf and as agent for other entities who hold title to the natural gas at the time of export. Eagle Maxville requests the authorization for a 20-year term to commence on the earlier date of the first export or five years from the date of a final order granting export authorization. Eagle Maxville filed the Application under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Additional details can be found in Eagle Maxville's Application, posted on the DOE/FE Web site at https://www.energy.gov/fe/downloads/eagle-lng-partners-jacksonville-ii-llc-fe-dkt-no-17-79-lng.

    Protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and written comments are invited.

    DATES:

    Protests, motions to intervene or notices of intervention, as applicable, requests for additional procedures, and written comments are to be filed using procedures detailed in the Public Comment Procedures section no later than 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, August 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic Filing by email: [email protected].

    Regular Mail: U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, P.O. Box 44375, Washington, DC 20026-4375.

    Hand Delivery or Private Delivery Services (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.): U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kyle W. Moorman or Larine Moore, U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-7970; (202) 586-9478. R.J. Colwell, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Electricity and Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 6D-033, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-8499.
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    DOE/FE Evaluation

    In the Application, Eagle Maxville requests authorization to export LNG from the Maxville Facility to both FTA countries and non-FTA countries. This Notice applies only to the portion of the Application requesting authority to export LNG to non-FTA countries pursuant to section 3(a) of the NGA, 15 U.S.C. 717b(a). DOE separately will review the portion of the Application requesting authority to export LNG to FTA countries pursuant to section 3(c) of the NGA, 15 U.S.C. 717b(c).

    In reviewing Eagle Maxwell's request for a non-FTA export authorization, DOE will consider any issues required by law or policy. DOE will consider domestic need for the natural gas, as well as any other issues determined to be appropriate, including whether the arrangement is consistent with DOE's policy of promoting competition in the marketplace by allowing commercial parties to freely negotiate their own trade arrangements. As part of this analysis, DOE will consider the following two studies examining the cumulative impacts of exporting domestically produced LNG:

    Effect of Increased Levels of Liquefied Natural Gas on U.S. Energy Markets, conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration upon DOE's request (2014 EIA LNG Export Study); 1 and

    1 The 2014 EIA LNG Export Study, published on Oct. 29, 2014, is available at: https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/fe/.

    The Macroeconomic Impact of Increasing U.S. LNG Exports, conducted jointly by the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and Oxford Economics, on behalf of DOE (2015 LNG Export Study).2

    2 The 2015 LNG Export Study, dated Oct. 29, 2015, is available at: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/12/f27/20151113_macro_impact_of_lng_exports_0.pdf.

    Additionally, DOE will consider the following environmental document: Addendum to Environmental Review Documents Concerning Exports of Natural Gas From the United States, 79 FR 48132 (Aug. 15, 2014).3 Parties that may oppose this Application should address these issues and documents in their comments and/or protests, as well as other issues deemed relevant to the non-FTA portion of the Application.

    3 The Addendum and related documents are available at: http://energy.gov/fe/draft-addendum-environmental-review-documents-concerning-exports-natural-gas-united-states.

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., requires DOE to give appropriate consideration to the environmental effects of its proposed decisions. In the Application, Eagle Maxville states that it has received all state and local permits required for construction and operation of the Maxville Facility (with the exception of a routine occupancy permit that Eagle Maxville anticipates will be issued in due course), and that all major construction has been completed.4 No final decision will be issued in this proceeding until DOE has met its environmental responsibilities.

    4 The status of the various environmental, land use, and safety-related permits required by the Maxville Facility are discussed in the Application on pages 7-8 and in Attachment 2.

    Public Comment Procedures

    In response to this Notice, any person may file a protest, comments, or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as applicable, regarding the non-FTA export portion of the Application. Interested persons will be provided 30 days from the date of publication of this Notice in which to submit comments, protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention.

    Any person wishing to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. The filing of comments or a protest with respect to the Application will not serve to make the commenter or protestant a party to the proceeding, although protests and comments received from persons who are not parties will be considered in determining the appropriate action to be taken on the Application. All protests, comments, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention must meet the requirements specified by the regulations in 10 CFR part 590.

    Filings may be submitted using one of the following methods: (1) Emailing the filing to [email protected], with FE Docket No. 17-79-LNG in the title line; (2) mailing an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation and International Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES; or (3) hand delivering an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation and International Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES. All filings must include a reference to FE Docket No. 17-79-LNG. PLEASE NOTE: If submitting a filing via email, please include all related documents and attachments (e.g., exhibits) in the original email correspondence. Please do not include any active hyperlinks or password protection in any of the documents or attachments related to the filing. All electronic filings submitted to DOE must follow these guidelines to ensure that all documents are filed in a timely manner. Any hardcopy filing submitted greater in length than 50 pages must also include, at the time of the filing, a digital copy on disk of the entire submission.

    A decisional record on the Application will be developed through responses to this Notice by parties, including the parties' written comments and replies thereto. Additional procedures will be used as necessary to achieve a complete understanding of the facts and issues. If an additional procedure is scheduled, notice will be provided to all parties. If no party requests additional procedures, a final Opinion and Order may be issued based on the official record, including the Application and responses filed by parties pursuant to this Notice, in accordance with 10 CFR 590.316.

    The Application is available for inspection and copying in the Office of Regulation and International Engagement docket room, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. The docket room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Application and any filed protests, motions to intervene or notice of interventions, and comments will also be available electronically by going to the following DOE/FE Web address: http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/gasregulation/index.html.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2017. John A. Anderson, Director, Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Oil and Natural Gas.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14061 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-1909-000] Bayshore Solar C, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Bayshore Solar C, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is July 17, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14023 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-841-000.

    Applicants: Black Hills Shoshone Pipeline, LLC.

    Description: Black Hills Shoshone Pipeline, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.203: Cost and Revenue Study—Re Docket No. CP15-32-000 and CP15-33-000.

    Filed Date: 06/26/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170626-5003.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-842-000.

    Applicants: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Replacement Ex As for N/C Agmts due to Meter Change to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/26/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170626-5007.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-843-000.

    Applicants: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Texas Gas Transmission, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Replacement Ex A for Neg Rate Agmt due to Meter Change to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/26/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170626-5008.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 27, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14019 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-848-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Midcontinent Express Pipeline LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Housekeeping Filing June 2017 to be effective 8/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5039.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-849-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP submits tariff filing per 154.204: Negotiated Rate—Chevron to ConocoPhillips—contract 8946463 to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5071.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-850-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Negotiated Rates—Cherokee AGL—Replacement Shippers—Jul 2017 to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5078.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-851-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP submits tariff filing per 154.204: Request for Service Waiver to be effective 8/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5123.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-852-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C. submits tariff filing per 154.601: Non-Conforming OPASA Update (APS) to be effective 8/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5130.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-853-000.

    Applicants: Big Sandy Pipeline, LLC.

    Description: Big Sandy Pipeline, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.403: Big Sandy EPC 2017 to be effective 8/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5141.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-854-000.

    Applicants: Sabine Pipe Line LLC.

    Description: Sabine Pipe Line LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Sabine Address Update Tariff Filing to be effective 6/28/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5167.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-855-000.

    Applicants: Chandeleur Pipe Line, LLC.

    Description: Chandeleur Pipe Line, LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Chandeleur Address Update Tariff Filing to be effective 6/28/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5171.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-856-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C. submits tariff filing per 154.601: Negotiated Rate Agreement Update (APS July 2017) to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5193.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-857-000.

    Applicants: ConocoPhillips Company.

    Description: Joint Petition of ConocoPhillips Company, et al. for Limited Waiver and Request for Expedited Action under RP17-857.

    Filed Date: 06/28/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5197.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, July 07, 2017.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14082 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-824-001.

    Applicants: Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company.

    Description: Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company submits tariff filing per 154.205(b): Amended Cash-Out Adjustment to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/27/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5068.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, July 06 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-844-000.

    Applicants: Southern LNG Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Southern LNG Company, L.L.C. submits tariff filing per 154.204: Housekeeping Filing to be effective 8/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/27/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5037.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-845-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America LLC submits tariff filing per 154.204: Negotiated Rate Filing—Tallgras Interstate Gas Transmission to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/27/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5046.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-846-000.

    Applicants: Cargill, Incorporated, Macquarie Energy LLC.

    Description: Joint Petition for Temporary Waiver of Capacity Release of Cargill, Incorporated, et al.

    Filed Date: 06/27/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5078.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 10, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-847-000.

    Applicants: Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company.

    Description: Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company submits tariff filing per 154.204: Cash Out Adjustment—Alternate Case to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 06/27/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5082.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, July 6, 2017.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14081 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2780-002.

    Applicants: TransCanada Power Marketing Ltd.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of TransCanada Power Marketing Ltd.

    Filed Date: 6/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5177.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-1850-007; ER11-1846-007; ER11-1847-007; ER11-1848-007; ER11-2598-010; ER13-1192-004.

    Applicants: Direct Energy Business, LLC, Direct Energy Business Marketing, LLC, Direct Energy Marketing Inc., Direct Energy Services, LLC, Gateway Energy Services Corporation, Energy America, LLC.

    Description: Northeast Region Triennial Report of the Direct Energy Sellers.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5080.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-2370-006.

    Applicants: Cambria CoGen Company.

    Description: Triennial MBR Report for the Northeast Region of Cambria CoGen Company.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5011.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1134-001.

    Applicants: TransCanada Power Marketing Ltd.

    Description: TransCanada Power Marketing Ltd. submits tariff filing per 385.602: Revised Electric Tariff Settlement Compliance Filing [ER08-462 and EL16-32] to be effective 2/5/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5079.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-161-017; ER10-2460-013; ER10-2461-014; ER10-2463-013; ER10-2466-014; ER11-2201-017; ER11-4029-013; ER12-1311-013; ER12-2068-013; ER12-682-014; ER13-17-011.

    Applicants: Bishop Hill Energy LLC, Blue Sky East, LLC, Canandaigua Power Partners, LLC, Erie Wind, LLC, Canandaigua Power Partners II, LLC, Evergreen Wind Power, LLC, Evergreen Wind Power III, LLC, Niagara Wind Power, LLC, Stetson Holdings, LLC, Stetson Wind II, LLC, Vermont Wind, LLC.

    Description: Market Power Update for the Northeast region of Bishop Hill Energy LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 6/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5185.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1370-001; ER10-2636-011; ER10-2638-009; ER16-2271-001; ER16-2549-001; ER16-581-002; ER16-582-002; ER16-806-002.

    Applicants: ENGIE Energy Marketing NA, Inc., ENGIE Portfolio Management, LLC, ENGIE Resources LLC, ENGIE Retail, LLC, Mt. Tom Generating Company, LLC, Pinetree Power-Tamworth, LLC, Waterbury Generation LLC, Nassau Energy, LLC.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for the Northeast Region of the ENGIE Northeast MBR Sellers under ER17-1370, et al.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5070.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1917-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., MidAmerican Energy Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2017-06-27_SA 3021 Upland Prairie-MidAmerican E&P (J455) to be effective 6/14/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1918-000.

    Applicants: TransCanada Power Marketing Ltd.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: TransCanada Power Marketing Ltd to be effective 6/28/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1919-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedule No. 217, Exhibit B.RVL to be effective 10/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170627-5167.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1920-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Michigan Electric Transmission Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2017-06-28_SA 3026 METC-City of Holland SIFA to be effective 8/31/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5019.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1921-000.

    Applicants: Castleton Energy Services, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Castleton Energy Services MBR Tariff Cancellation to be effective 6/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5043.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1922-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of Service Agreement No. 4333, Queue No. AA1-139 to be effective 6/6/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5063.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1923-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised SA Nos. 2274 and 2275—NITSAs among PJM and Allegheny Elec Cooperative to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5064.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14021 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-1586-006; ER12-2511-009; ER10-1630-006.

    Applicants: Big Sandy Peaker Plant, LLC, C.P. Crane LLC, Wolf Hills Energy, LLC.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for the Northeast Region of Big Sandy Peaker Plant, LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5147.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2627-011; ER10-2629.

    Applicants: FirstLight Hydro Generating Company, FirstLight Power Resources Management, LLC.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for the Northeast Region of FirstLight Hydro Generating Company, et al.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5142.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-1850-007.

    Applicants: Direct Energy Business, LLC.

    Description: Northeast Region Triennial Report of the Direct Energy Sellers.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5080.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1641-004.

    Applicants: Chestnut Flats Lessee, LLC.

    Description: Market-Based Triennial Review Filing: 2017 Triennial Market Power Update for Northeast Region—Chestnut Flats Lessee to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5173.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1370-001.

    Applicants: ENGIE Energy Marketing NA, Inc., ENGIE Portfolio Management, LLC, ENGIE Resources LLC, ENGIE Retail, LLC, Mt. Tom Generating Company, LLC, Pinetree Power-Tamworth, LLC, Waterbury Generation LLC, Nassau Energy, LLC.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for the Northeast Region of the ENGIE Northeast MBR Sellers.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5070.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1594-001.

    Applicants: Archer Energy, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amend Application for Market Based Rate Authority to be effective 7/15/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5122.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1924-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of Service Agreement No. 4656, Queue No. AA1-138 to be effective 6/6/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1925-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of Service Agreement No. 4645, Queue No. AA1-049/AA1-132 to be effective 6/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5099.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1926-000.

    Applicants: Entegra Power Services LLC.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Complete Cancellation of FERC Electric Tariff to be effective 6/29/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5106.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1927-000.

    Applicants: Grays Ferry Cogeneration Partnership.

    Description: Market-Based Triennial Review Filing: Northeast Triennial & Order No. 819 to be effective 6/29/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5120.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1928-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: AEPTX Notice of Succession Pt 1 of 2 over AEP Texas Central and North Companies to be effective 6/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5124.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1929-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: AEPTX Notice of Succession Pt 2 of 2 over AEP Texas Central and North Companies to be effective 6/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5126.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1930-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of Oklahoma.

    Description: Compliance filing: PSO CSW Operating Companies MBR Filing to be effective 6/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5134.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1931-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: AEPTX CSW Operating Companies MBR Concurrence to be effective 6/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5135.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1932-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Electric Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SWEPCO CSW Oper Cos MBR Concurrence Revision to be effective 6/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1933-000.

    Applicants: CSW Energy Services, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: CSW ES RS FERC No. 1 MBR Tariff DB Cancellation to be effective 6/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5139.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1934-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2881R4 City of Chanute, KS NITSA NOA to be effective 9/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5140.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF17-1135-000.

    Applicants: Prestage AgEnergy of NC, LLC.

    Description: Form 556 of Prestage AgEnergy of NC, LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170628-5087.

    Comments Due: None Applicable.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14022 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0729; FRL-9961-05] Registration Review Proposed Interim Decisions for Aliphatic Esters, Mepiquat Chloride and Mepiquat Pentaborate, Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol, Triethylene Glycol, Bromuconazole, and Case Closures for ADAO, DMHMP, and Nuosept 145; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability of EPA's proposed interim registration review decisions and opens a 60-day public comment period on the proposed interim decisions. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, that the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.

    This document also announces the closure of the registration review cases for Amines, C10-16-alkyldimethyl, N-oxides (ADAO) (Case 5003, and Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0616); 1H-Pyrazole-1-methanol, 3,5-dimethyl (DMHMP) (Case 5035, and Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0619); and Nuosept (Cosan) 145 (Case 3052, and Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0335) because all of the registrations in the U.S. have been cancelled.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by the docket identification (ID) number for the specific pesticide of interest provided in the table in Unit II, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For pesticide specific information, contact: The Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the table in Unit II.

    For general information on the registration review program, contact: Dana Friedman, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-8827; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the table in Unit II.

    B. What should I consider as i prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information on a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. What action is the agency taking?

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58, this notice announces the availability of EPA's proposed interim registration review decisions for the pesticides shown in the following table, and opens a 60-day public comment period on the proposed interim decisions.

    Table 1—Registration Review Proposed Interim Decisions Being Issued Registration review case name and No. Docket ID No. Chemical review manager and contact information Aliphatic Esters, Case 4005 EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0084 Brian Kettl, [email protected], 703-347-0535. Mepiquat Chloride and Mepiquat Pentaborate, Case 2375 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0083 Caitlin Newcamp, [email protected], 703-347-0325. Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol, Case 3126 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0218 Megan Block, [email protected], 703-347-0671. Triethylene Glycol, Case 3146 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0219 Megan Block, [email protected], 703-347-0671. Bromuconazole, Case 7035 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0535 Thomas Harty, [email protected], 703-347-0338.

    This document also announces the closure of the registration review case for Amines, C10-16-alkyldimethyl, N-oxides (ADAO) (Case 5003, and Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0616); 1H-Pyrazole-1-methanol, 3,5-dimethyl (DMHMP) (Case 5035, and Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0619); and Nuosept (Cosan) 145 (Case 3052, and Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0335) because all of the registrations in the U.S. have been cancelled.

    The registration review docket for a pesticide includes earlier documents related to the registration review case. For example, the review opened with a Preliminary Work Plan, for public comment. A Final Work Plan was placed in the docket following public comment on the Preliminary Work Plan.

    The documents in the dockets describe EPA's rationales for conducting additional risk assessments for the registration review of the pesticides included in the table in Unit II, as well as the Agency's subsequent risk findings and consideration of possible risk mitigation measures. These proposed interim registration review decisions are supported by the rationales included in those documents.

    Following public comment, the Agency will issue interim or final registration review decisions for the pesticides listed in the table in Unit II.

    The registration review program is being conducted under congressionally mandated time frames, and EPA recognizes the need both to make timely decisions and to involve the public. Section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 U.S.C. 136a(g)) required EPA to establish by regulation procedures for reviewing pesticide registrations, originally with a goal of reviewing each pesticide's registration every 15 years to ensure that a pesticide continues to meet the FIFRA standard for registration. The Agency's final rule to implement this program was issued in August 2006 and became effective in October 2006, and appears at 40 CFR part 155, subpart C. The Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2003 (PRIA) was amended and extended in September 2007. FIFRA, as amended by PRIA in 2007, requires EPA to complete registration review decisions by October 1, 2022, for all pesticides registered as of October 1, 2007.

    The registration review final rule at 40 CFR 155.58(a) provides for a minimum 60-day public comment period on all proposed interim registration review decisions. This comment period is intended to provide an opportunity for public input and a mechanism for initiating any necessary amendments to the proposed interim decision. All comments should be submitted using the methods in ADDRESSES, and must be received by EPA on or before the closing date. These comments will become part of the docket for the pesticides included in the table in Unit II. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments.

    The Agency will carefully consider all comments received by the closing date and may provide a “Response to Comments Memorandum” in the docket. The interim registration review decision will explain the effect that any comments had on the interim decision and provide the Agency's response to significant comments.

    Background on the registration review program is provided at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticide-reevaluation.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: May 23, 2017. Yu-Ting Guilaran, Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14096 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0009; FRL-9962-59] Pesticide Emergency Exemptions; Agency Decisions and State and Federal Agency Crisis Declarations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has granted emergency exemptions under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for use of pesticides as listed in this notice. The exemptions were granted during the period January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017 to control unforeseen pest outbreaks.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed at the end of the emergency exemption.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0009, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Background

    EPA has granted emergency exemptions to the following State and Federal agencies. The emergency exemptions may take the following form: Crisis, public health, quarantine, or specific.

    Under FIFRA section 18 (7 U.S.C. 136p), EPA can authorize the use of a pesticide when emergency conditions exist. Authorizations (commonly called emergency exemptions) are granted to State and Federal agencies and are of four types:

    1. A “specific exemption” authorizes use of a pesticide against specific pests on a limited acreage in a particular State. Most emergency exemptions are specific exemptions.

    2. “Quarantine” and “public health” exemptions are emergency exemptions issued for quarantine or public health purposes. These are rarely requested.

    3. A “crisis exemption” is initiated by a State or Federal agency (and is confirmed by EPA) when there is insufficient time to request and obtain EPA permission for use of a pesticide in an emergency.

    EPA may deny an emergency exemption: If the State or Federal agency cannot demonstrate that an emergency exists, if the use poses unacceptable risks to the environment, or if EPA cannot reach a conclusion that the proposed pesticide use is likely to result in “a reasonable certainty of no harm” to human health, including exposure of residues of the pesticide to infants and children.

    If the emergency use of the pesticide on a food or feed commodity would result in pesticide chemical residues, EPA establishes a time-limited tolerance meeting the “reasonable certainty of no harm standard” of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    In this document: EPA identifies the State or Federal agency granted the exemption, the type of exemption, the pesticide authorized and the pests, the crop or use for which authorized, number of acres (if applicable), and the duration of the exemption. EPA also gives the Federal Register citation for the time-limited tolerance, if any.

    III. Emergency Exemptions A. U.S. States and Territories Alabama

    Department of Agriculture and Industries

    Specific exemptions: EPA authorized the use of sulfoxaflor on a maximum of 45,000 acres of sorghum (grain and forage) to control sugarcane aphid. A time-limited tolerance in connection with this action has been established in 40 CFR 180.668(b); Effective April 9, 2017 to October 31, 2017.

    EPA authorized the use of sulfoxaflor on a maximum of 75,000 acres of cotton to control tarnished plant bugs. Tolerances in connection with a previous action have been established in 40 CFR 180.668(a); Effective June 1, 2017 to October 31, 2017.

    Arkansas State Plant Board

    Specific exemptions: EPA authorized the use of sulfoxaflor on a maximum of 420,000 acres of cotton to control tarnished plant bugs. Tolerances in connection with a previous action have been established in 40 CFR 180.668(a); Effective June 1, 2017 to October 31, 2017.

    EPA authorized the use of sulfoxaflor on a maximum of 50,000 acres of sorghum (grain and forage) to control sugarcane aphid. A time-limited tolerance in connection with this action has been established in 40 CFR 180.668(b); Effective April 9, 2017 to September 15, 2017.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

    Specific exemptions: EPA authorized the uses of streptomycin and oxytetracycline on a maximum of 388,534 acres of citrus to manage HLB or citrus greening disease caused by the bacteria, Candidatus Liberibacter Asiaticus. Time-limited tolerances in connection with these actions have been established at 40 CFR 180.337(b) (oxytetracycline) and 180.245(b) (streptomycin). Effective January 10, 2017 to December 31, 2017.

    EPA authorized the use of tolfenpyrad on a maximum of 51,600 acres of fruiting vegetables to control various thrips. A time-limited tolerance in connection with this action have been established in 40 CFR 180.675(b); Effective March 1, 2017 to March 1, 2018.

    Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry

    Specific exemptions: EPA authorized the use of sulfoxaflor on a maximum of 180,000 acres of sorghum (grain and forage) to control sugarcane aphid. A time-limited tolerance in connection with this action has been established in 40 CFR 180.668(b); Effective April 9, 2017 to November 30, 2017.

    EPA authorized the use of sulfoxaflor on a maximum of 175,000 acres of cotton to control tarnished plant bugs. Tolerances in connection with a previous action have been established in 40 CFR 180.668(a); Effective May 15, 2017 to October 31, 2017.

    Quarantine exemption: EPA authorized the use of triclopyr on a maximum of 382,467 acres of sugarcane to control Merrill's nightshade. A time-limited tolerance in connection with this action will be established in 40 CFR 180.417(b); Effective February 10, 2017 to May 31, 2020.

    Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

    Specific exemptions: EPA authorized the use of thiabendazole on mushroom spawn and supplement equivalent to a maximum of 83,750,000 square feet of crop to control Trichoderma green mold. A time-limited tolerance in connection with a previous action is established at 40 CFR 180.242(a); Effective March 17, 2017 to March 17, 2018.

    Texas Department of Agriculture

    Crisis exemption: On March 17, 2017, the Texas Department of Agriculture declared a crisis exemption to allow the use of tolfenpyrad on a maximum of 10,000 acres of dry bulb onions to control onion thrips. The need for this use is expected beyond the 15 days allowed under a crisis exemption, and a specific exemption request was submitted to the Agency. A time-limited tolerance in connection with this action will be established in 40 CFR 180.675(b); Effective March 14, 2017 to March 31, 2017.

    Specific exemptions: EPA authorized the use of sulfoxaflor on a maximum of 3,000,000 acres of sorghum (grain and forage) to control sugarcane aphid. A time-limited tolerance in connection with this action has been established in 40 CFR 180.668(b); Effective April 9, 2017 to November 30, 2017.

    EPA authorized the use of clothianidin on a maximum of 4,000 acres of immature citrus trees to manage the transmission of Huanglongbing (HLB) disease vectored by the Asian citrus psyllid. A time-limited tolerance in connection with this action was established in 40 CFR 180.668(b); Effective May 1, 2017 to May 1, 2018.

    B. Federal Department and Agency U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspector Service

    Quarantine exemptions: EPA authorized the use of methyl bromide on post-harvest unlabeled imported/domestic commodities to prevent the introduction/spread of any new or recently introduced foreign pest(s) to any U.S. geographical location; March 1, 2017 to March 1, 2020.

    EPA authorized the planting of 100% of cotton acreage to transgenic (Bt) cotton as a component of the Pink Bollworm (PBW) Eradication Program in the PBW eradication area of California. A potential maximum of an additional 1,600 acres could be planted to Bt cotton under this quarantine exemption. Effective: March 9, 2017 to March 9, 2020.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: May 26, 2017. Daniel Rosenblatt, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14089 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0014; FRL-9962-88] Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide Registrations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces EPA's order for the cancellations, voluntarily requested by the registrants and accepted by the Agency, of the products listed in Table 1 of Unit II., pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). This cancellation order follows a June 8, 2016 Federal Register Notice of Receipt of Requests from the registrants listed in Table 2 of Unit II. to voluntarily cancel these product registrations. In the June 8, 2016 notice, EPA indicated that it would issue an order implementing the cancellations, unless the Agency received substantive comments within the 180-day comment period that would merit its further review of these requests, or unless the registrants withdrew their requests. The Agency did not receive any comments on the notice. Further, the registrants did not withdraw their requests. Accordingly, EPA hereby issues in this notice a cancellation order granting the requested cancellations. Any distribution, sale, or use of the products subject to this cancellation order is permitted only in accordance with the terms of this order, including any existing stocks provisions.

    DATES:

    The cancellations are effective July 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Yanchulis, Information Technology and Resources Management Division (7502P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-0237; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-1014, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. What action is the agency taking?

    This notice announces the cancellations and/or amendment to terminate uses, as requested by registrants, of products registered under FIFRA section 3 (7 U.S.C. 136a). These registrations are listed in sequence by registration number in Table 1 and Table 2 of this unit. The following registration numbers that were listed in the Federal Register of June 8, 2016 (81 FR 36913) (FRL-9943-68) have already been cancelled in previous Federal Register notices: 81002-1 on September 18, 2015 (80 FR 56457); 9198-205 on October 3, 2016 (81 FR 68013); and 3525-71, 3525-91, 3525-96, 3525-109, CA-030012, MA-080001, OR-080035, OR-100010 and TX-100019 on March 22, 2017 (82 FR 14717).

    Table 1—Product Cancellations Registration No. Product name Chemical name 100-1244 Banner Dry Maxx Propiconazole. 10324-56 Maquat 256 Alkyl* dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride *(60%C14, 30%C16, 5%C18, 5%C12) and Alkyl* dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride *(68%C12, 32%C14). 35935-41 Dithiopyr Technical Dithiopyr. 35935-49 Dynamo Dithiopyr Technical Dithiopyr. 35935-75 Dithiopyr Technical Dithiopyr. 53883-207 Dithiopyr 0.13% Plus Fertilizer Dithiopyr. 53883-208 Dithiopyr 0.25% Plus Fertilizer Dithiopyr. 53883-209 Dithiopyr 0.172% Plus Fertilizer Dithiopyr. 53883-210 Dithiopyr 0.107% Plus Fertilizer Dithiopyr. 53883-211 Dithiopyr 0.06% Plus Fertilizer Dithiopyr. 53883-212 Dithiopyr 0.086% Plus Fertilizer Dithiopyr. 53883-213 Dithiopyr 0.1% Plus Fertilizer Dithiopyr. 53883-268 Dithiopyr Concentrate for Fertilizer Dithiopyr. 53883-311 Dithiopyr 0.13% Plus Fertilizer Dithiopyr. 66222-143 Alias 4F Flowable Insecticide Imidacloprid. AZ-080006 Brigade 2EC Insecticide/Miticide Bifenthrin. ND-110002 Moncut 70-DF Flutolanil. ND-130003 F7583-3 Herbicide S-Metolachlor and Sulfentrazone. OR-100003 TOPSIN M WSB Thiophanate-methyl. SD-130008 SC 547 Herbicide Tembotrione and Thiencarbazone-methyl. WA-090003 Topsin M 70WP Thiophanate-methyl. WA-930026 Rovral 4 Flowable Fungicide Iprodione. WA-940006 Rovral 4 Flowable Fungicide Iprodione. WA-960027 Rovral 4 Flowable Fungicide Iprodione. Table 2—Product Registration Amendments To Terminate One or More Uses Registration No. Product name Chemical name Uses to be deleted 524-475 Roundup Ultra Herbicide Glyphosate-isopropylammonium Seed production of creeping bentgrass with a Roundup Ready Gene.

    Table 3 of this unit includes the names and addresses of record for all registrants of the products in Table 1 of this unit, in sequence by EPA company number. This number corresponds to the first part of the EPA registration numbers of the products listed in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 3—Registrants of Cancelled Products EPA Company No. Company name and address 100 Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, PO Box 18300, Greensboro, NC 27419. 524 Monsanto Company, 1300 I Street, NW., Suite 450 East, Washington, DC 20005-7211. 10324 Mason Chemical Company, 723 W. Algonquin Road, Suite B, Arlington Heights, IL 60005. 35935 Nufarm Limited (Agent to Nufarm Americas, Inc.), 4020 Aerial Center Parkway, Suite 101, Morrisville, NC 27560. 53883 Control Solutions, Inc., 5903 Genoa-Red Bluff Road, Pasadena, TX 77507-1041. 66222 Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., 3120 Highwoods Blvd., Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27604. AZ-080006, ND-130003 FMC Corp., 1735 Market Street, Room 1971, Philadelphia, PA 19103. ND-110002 Gowan Company, P.O. Box 5569, Yuma, AZ 85366. OR-100003, WA-090003 Nippon Soda Co., Ltd., 88 Pine Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10005. SD-130008, WA-930026, WA-940006, WA-960027 Baryer Cropscience, LP, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, P.O. Box 12014, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. III. Summary of Public Comments Received and Agency Response to Comments

    During the public comment period provided, EPA received two general comments concerning the chemical, glyphosate. The Agency does not believe that the comments submitted during the comment periods merits further review or the denial of the requests for the voluntary cancellations of products listed in Table 1 of Unit II or the request for the amendment to terminate uses in Table 2 or Unit II.

    IV. Cancellation Order

    Pursuant to FIFRA section 6(f) (7 U.S.C. 136d(f)), EPA hereby approves the requested cancellations and/or amendment to terminate uses of the registrations identified in Table 1 and Table 2 of Unit II. Accordingly, the Agency hereby orders that the product registrations identified in Table 1 of Unit II. are canceled and/or amended to terminate the effective uses. The effective date of the cancellations that are the subject of this notice is July 5, 2017. Any distribution, sale, or use of existing stocks of the products identified in Table 1 of Unit II. in a manner inconsistent with any of the provisions for disposition of existing stocks set forth in Unit VI. will be a violation of FIFRA.

    V. What is the agency's authority for taking this action?

    Section 6(f)(1) of FIFRA (7 U.S.C. 136d(f)(1)) provides that a registrant of a pesticide product may at any time request that any of its pesticide registrations be canceled or amended to terminate one or more uses. FIFRA further provides that, before acting on the request, EPA must publish a notice of receipt of any such request in the Federal Register. Thereafter, following the public comment period, the EPA Administrator may approve such a request. The notice of receipt for this action was published for comment in the Federal Register of June 8, 2016 (81 FR 36913) (FRL-9943-68). The comment period closed on December 5, 2016.

    VI. Provisions for Disposition of Existing Stocks

    Existing stocks are those stocks of registered pesticide products which are currently in the United States and which were packaged, labeled, and released for shipment prior to the effective date of the cancellation action. The existing stocks provisions for the products subject to this order are as follows.

    The registrant(s) may continue to sell and distribute existing stocks of product(s) listed in Table 1 of Unit II. until July 5, 2018, which is 1 year after the publication of the Cancellation Order in the Federal Register. Thereafter, the registrants are prohibited from selling or distributing products listed in Table 1, except for export in accordance with FIFRA section 17 (7 U.S.C. 136o), or proper disposal. Persons other than the registrants may sell, distribute, or use existing stocks of products listed in Table 1 of Unit II. until existing stocks are exhausted, provided that such sale, distribution, or use is consistent with the terms of the previously approved labeling on, or that accompanied, the canceled products.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: May 25, 2017. Delores Barber, Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14088 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0141; FRL-9962-66] Certain New Chemicals or Significant New Uses; Statements of Findings for March 2017 AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Section 5(g) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires EPA to publish in the Federal Register a statement of its findings after its review of TSCA section 5(a) notices when EPA makes a finding that a new chemical substance or significant new use is not likely to present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. Such statements apply to premanufacture notices (PMNs), microbial commercial activity notices (MCANs), and significant new use notices (SNUNs) submitted to EPA under TSCA section 5. This document presents statements of findings made by EPA on TSCA section 5(a) notices during the period from March 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Greg Schweer, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-8469; email address: [email protected]

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    This action is directed to the public in general. As such, the Agency has not attempted to describe the specific entities that this action may apply to. Although others may be affected, this action applies directly to the submitters of the PMNs addressed in this action.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0141, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. What action is the agency taking?

    This document lists the statements of findings made by EPA after review of notices submitted under TSCA section 5(a) that certain new chemical substances or significant new uses are not likely to present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. This document presents statements of findings made by EPA during the period from March 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017.

    III. What is the agency's authority for taking this action?

    TSCA section 5(a)(3) requires EPA to review a TSCA section 5(a) notice and make one of the following specific findings:

    • The chemical substance or significant new use presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment;

    • The information available to EPA is insufficient to permit a reasoned evaluation of the health and environmental effects of the chemical substance or significant new use;

    • The information available to EPA is insufficient to permit a reasoned evaluation of the health and environmental effects and the chemical substance or significant new use may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment;

    • The chemical substance is or will be produced in substantial quantities, and such substance either enters or may reasonably be anticipated to enter the environment in substantial quantities or there is or may be significant or substantial human exposure to the substance; or

    • The chemical substance or significant new use is not likely to present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.

    Unreasonable risk findings must be made without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation identified as relevant under the conditions of use. The term “conditions of use” is defined in TSCA section 3 to mean “the circumstances, as determined by the Administrator, under which a chemical substance is intended, known, or reasonably foreseen to be manufactured, processed, distributed in commerce, used, or disposed of.”

    EPA is required under TSCA section 5(g) to publish in the Federal Register a statement of its findings after its review of a TSCA section 5(a) notice when EPA makes a finding that a new chemical substance or significant new use is not likely to present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. Such statements apply to PMNs, MCANs, and SNUNs submitted to EPA under TSCA section 5.

    Anyone who plans to manufacture (which includes import) a new chemical substance for a non-exempt commercial purpose and any manufacturer or processor wishing to engage in a use of a chemical substance designated by EPA as a significant new use must submit a notice to EPA at least 90 days before commencing manufacture of the new chemical substance or before engaging in the significant new use.

    The submitter of a notice to EPA for which EPA has made a finding of “not likely to present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment” may commence manufacture of the chemical substance or manufacture or processing for the significant new use notwithstanding any remaining portion of the applicable review period.

    IV. Statements of Administrator Findings Under TSCA Section 5(a)(3)(C)

    In this unit, EPA provides the following information (to the extent that such information is not claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI)) on the PMNs, MCANs and SNUNs for which, during this period, EPA has made findings under TSCA section 5(a)(3)(C) that the new chemical substances or significant new uses are not likely to present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment:

    • EPA case number assigned to the TSCA section 5(a) notice.

    • Chemical identity (generic name, if the specific name is claimed as CBI).

    • Web site link to EPA's decision document describing the basis of the “not likely to present an unreasonable risk” finding made by EPA under TSCA section 5(a)(3)(C).

    EPA Case Number: P-16-0592; Chemical identity: Fatty acids, C8-10, diesters with alpha.-hydro-.omega.-hydroxypoly(oxy-1,4-butanediyl); Web site link: https://www.epa.gov/reviewing-new-chemicals-under-toxic-substances-control-act-tsca/tsca-section-5a3c-determination-47.

    EPA Case Number: P-17-0008; Chemical identity: Modified 1,3-isobenzofurandione, polymer with 1,2-ethanediol, 2-ethyl-2-(alkoxyalkyl)-1,3-propanediol and 1,3-Isobenzofurandione, alkanoate (generic name); Web site link: https://www.epa.gov/reviewing-new-chemicals-under-toxic-substances-control-act-tsca/tsca-section-5a3c-determination-48.

    EPA Case Number: P-17-0014; Chemical identity: Fatty acids, C8-10, mixed esters with C18-unsatd. fatty acid dimers and alpha.-hydro-.omega.-hydroxypoly(oxy-1,4-butanediyl); Web site link: https://www.epa.gov/reviewing-new-chemicals-under-toxic-substances-control-act-tsca/tsca-section-5a3c-determination-49.

    EPA Case Number: P-17-0194; Chemical identity: Hydrogenated dihalo dialkyl diindolotriphenodioxazine, dihydrodisubstituted isoindolyl alkyl derivs (generic name); Web site link: https://www.epa.gov/reviewing-new-chemicals-under-toxic-substances-control-act-tsca/tsca-section-5a3c-determination-52.

    EPA Case Number: P-17-0214; Chemical identity: 2-Propenoic acid, polymer with alkene and alkenyl acetate, alkyl 2-alkyl isoalkyl esters (generic name); Web site link: https://www.epa.gov/reviewing-new-chemicals-under-toxic-substances-control-act-tsca/tsca-section-5a3c-determination-50.

    EPA Case Number: P-17-0215; Chemical identity: Copolymer of alpha-olefin and dibutyl maleate (generic name); Web site link: https://www.epa.gov/reviewing-new-chemicals-under-toxic-substances-control-act-tsca/tsca-section-5a3c-determination-51.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

    Dated: May 30, 2017. Greg Schweer, Chief, New Chemicals Management Branch, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14084 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreement Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreement under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreement to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. A copy of the agreement is available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202) 523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 011931-006.

    Title: CMA CGM/Marfret Vessel Sharing Agreement.

    Parties: CMA CGM S.A; and Compagnie Maritime Marfret S.A.

    Filing Party: Draughn B. Arbona, Esq.; Senior Counsel; CMA CGM (America), LLC., 5701 Lake Wright Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502-1868.

    Synopsis: The amendment would provide for ad hoc space charters from CMA CGM to Marfret in the event of service disruptions due to port omissions.

    Agreement No.: 012339-002.

    Title: Sealand/APL West Coast of Central America Slot Charter Agreement.

    Parties: APL Co. Pte Ltd/American President Lines, Ltd. (collectively “APL”); and Maersk Line A/S dba Sealand.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 Nineteenth Street NW., Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment revises Article 5.1 to change the amount of space being chartered.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14066 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than July 31, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Brendan S. Murrin, Assistant Vice President) 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. Kirkwood Bancorporation Co. Bismarck, North Dakota; to acquire up to 33 percent of the voting shares of Kirkwood Bancorporation of Nevada, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada, and thereby indirectly acquire shares of Kirkwood Bank of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, June 29, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14054 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM [Docket No. Op-1567] Announcement of Financial Sector Liabilities

    Section 622 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, implemented by the Board's Regulation XX, prohibits a merger or acquisition that would result in a financial company that controls more than 10 percent of the aggregate consolidated liabilities of all financial companies (“aggregate financial sector liabilities”). Specifically, an insured depository institution, a bank holding company, a savings and loan holding company, a foreign banking organization, any other company that controls an insured depository institution, and a nonbank financial company designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (each, a “financial company”) is prohibited from merging or consolidating with, acquiring all or substantially all of the assets of, or acquiring control of, another company if the resulting company's consolidated liabilities would exceed 10 percent of the aggregate financial sector liabilities.1

    1 12 U.S.C. 1852(a)(2), (b).

    Pursuant to Regulation XX, the Federal Reserve will publish the aggregate financial sector liabilities by July 1 of each year. Aggregate financial sector liabilities equals the average of the year-end financial sector liabilities figure (as of December 31) of each of the preceding two calendar years.

    For Further Information Contact:

    Sean Healey, Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 912-4611; Matthew Suntag, Senior Attorney, (202) 452-3694; for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, TTY (202) 263-4869.

    Aggregate Financial Sector Liabilities

    Aggregate financial sector liabilities is equal to $21,010,053,985,500.2 This measure is in effect from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

    2 This number reflects the average of the financial sector liabilities figure for the year ending December 31, 2015 ($21,940,911,695,000) and the year ending December 31, 2016 ($20,079,196,276,000). The decrease in liabilities between year-end 2015 and 2016 was primarily caused by the status change of General Electric Company and Metlife, Inc. As of year-end 2015, both companies met the definition of financial company under Regulation XX and were included in the financial sector liability calculation for that year. As of year-end 2016, neither General Electric Company nor Metlife, Inc. met the definition of financial company and, thus, both were excluded from the financial liability calculation. A further decrease in liabilities resulted from certain foreign banking organizations holding more risk-based capital against their U.S.-based assets in year-end 2016, compared to year-end 2015.

    Calculation Methodology

    Aggregate financial sector liabilities equals the average of the year-end financial sector liabilities figure (as of December 31) of each of the preceding two calendar years. The year-end financial sector liabilities figure equals the sum of the total consolidated liabilities of all top-tier U.S. financial companies and the U.S. liabilities of all top-tier foreign financial companies, calculated using the applicable methodology for each financial company, as set forth in Regulation XX and summarized below.

    Consolidated liabilities of a U.S. financial company that was subject to consolidated risk-based capital rules as of December 31 of the year being measured, equal the difference between its risk-weighted assets (as adjusted upward to reflect amounts that are deducted from regulatory capital elements pursuant to the Federal banking agencies' risk-based capital rules) and total regulatory capital, as calculated under the applicable risk-based capital rules. For the year ending on December 31, 2016, companies in this category include (with certain exceptions listed below) bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, and insured depository institutions. The Federal Reserve used information collected on the Consolidated Financial Statements for Holding Companies (FR Y-9C) and the Bank Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Report) to calculate liabilities of these institutions.

    Consolidated liabilities of a U.S. financial company not subject to consolidated risk-based capital rules as of December 31 of the year being measured, equal liabilities calculated in accordance with applicable accounting standards. For the year ending on December 31, 2016, companies in this category include nonbank financial companies supervised by the Board, bank holding companies and savings and loan holding companies subject to the Federal Reserve's Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement, savings and loan holding companies substantially engaged in insurance underwriting or commercial activities, and U.S. companies that control depository institutions but are not bank holding companies or savings and loan holding companies. “Applicable accounting standards” is defined as GAAP, or such other accounting standard or method of estimation that the Board determines is appropriate.3 The Federal Reserve used information collected on the FR Y-9C, the Parent Company Only Financial Statements for Small Holding Companies (FR Y-9SP), and the Financial Company Report of Consolidated Liabilities (FR XX-1) to calculate liabilities of these institutions.

    3 A financial company may request to use an accounting standard or method of estimation other than GAAP if it does not calculate its total consolidated assets or liabilities under GAAP for any regulatory purpose (including compliance with applicable securities laws). 12 CFR 251.3(e).

    Section 622 provides that the U.S. liabilities of a “foreign financial company” equal the risk-weighted assets and regulatory capital attributable to the company's “U.S. operations.” Under Regulation XX, liabilities of a foreign banking organization's U.S. operations are calculated using the risk-weighted asset methodology for subsidiaries subject to risk-based capital rules, plus the assets of all branches, agencies, and nonbank subsidiaries, calculated in accordance with applicable accounting standards. Liabilities attributable to the U.S. operations of a foreign financial company that is not a foreign banking organization are calculated in a similar manner to the method described for foreign banking organizations, but liabilities of a U.S. subsidiary not subject to risk-based capital rules are calculated based on the U.S. subsidiary's liabilities under applicable accounting standards. The Federal Reserve used information collected on the Capital and Asset Report for Foreign Banking Organizations (FR Y-7Q), the FR Y-9C and the FR XX-1 to calculate liabilities of these institutions.

    The Board granted a request from one financial company to use an accounting standard or method of estimation other than GAAP to calculate liabilities. The requesting company is an insurance company that reports financial information under Statutory Accounting Principles (“SAP”). The Board approved a method of estimation for this company that is based on line items from SAP reports, with adjustments to reflect certain differences in accounting treatment between GAAP and SAP.

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, acting through the Director of Supervision and Regulation under delegated authority, June 28, 2017.

    Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14011 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MK-2017-01; Docket No. 2017-0002; Sequence 11] The Presidential Commission on Election Integrity (PCEI); Upcoming Public Advisory Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (Commission), a Federal Advisory Committee established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App., and Executive Order 13799, (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/05/16/2017-10003/establishment-of-presidential-advisory-commission-on-election-integrity) will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. This meeting will consist of a ceremonial swearing in of Commission members, introductions and statements from members, a discussion of the Commission's charge and objectives, possible comments or presentations from invited experts, and a discussion of next steps and related matters.

    DATES:

    Meeting Date: The first Commission meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, from 11:00 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) until no later than 5:00 p.m., EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Room 350, located at 1650 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20502. It will be open to the public through livestreaming on https://www.whitehouse.gov/live.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To obtain information about the Commission or to submit written comments for the Commission's consideration, contact the Commission's Designated Federal Officer, Andrew Kossack, via email at [email protected] or telephone at 202-456-3794. Please note the Commission may post written comments publicly, including names and contact information, in accordance with the provisions of FACA. There will not be oral comments from the public at this initial meeting.

    The Commission will provide individuals interested in providing oral comments the opportunity to do so at subsequent meetings. Requests to accommodate disabilities with respect to livestreaming or otherwise should also be sent to the email address listed above, preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting to allow time for processing.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission was established in accordance with E.O. 13799 of March 11, 2017, the Commission's charter, and the provisions of FACA. The Commission will, consistent with applicable law and E.O. 13799, study the registration and voting processes used in Federal elections. The Commission shall be solely advisory and shall submit a report to the President of the United States that identifies the following:

    a. Those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that enhance the American people's confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections;

    b. those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that undermine the American people's confidence in the integrity of voting processes used in Federal elections; and

    c. those vulnerabilities in voting systems and practices used for Federal elections that could lead to improper voter registrations and improper voting, including fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting.

    Dated: June 30, 2017. Jeffrey A. Koses, Director, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14210 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-61-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-17-1146] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Survey of Surveillance Records of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus from 1960 to Present (OMB Control Number 0920-1146, expiration date 11/30/2019)—Revision—National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The Zika virus response necessitates the collection of county and sub-county level records for Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus, the vectors of Zika virus. This information will be used to update species distribution maps for the United States and to develop a model aimed at identifying where these vectors can survive and reproduce. CDC is seeking to revise the collection approved under OMB Control number 0920-1146 for clearance to collect information for three years.

    In February 2016, OMB issued emergency clearance for a county-level survey of vector surveillance records for a limited number of years (2006-2015) (OMB Control No. 0920-1101, expiration date 8/31/2016). OMB then issued clearance for a follow-up information collection similar to the first (OMB Control No. 0920-1146, expiration date 11/30/2019) but expanded the years that were evaluated. The information collection in this request will be very similar of those surveys, but will collect these data monthly going forward.

    The previous two surveys aimed to describe the reported distribution of the Zika virus vectors Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus from 1960 until late 2016 at county and sub-county spatial scales. The 56 year data review was necessary because many recent records for these species of mosquitos were lacking, likely because from 2004-2015 most vector surveillance focused on vectors of West Nile virus (Culex spp.) rather than Zika vectors. The surveys yielded important data allowing CDC, states, and partners to understand the spread of these mosquitos in the U.S. as well as the environmental conditions necessary for them to survive. The surveys reviewed data records from 1960-2016 and resulted in a complete assessment of historical records of mosquito surveillance but were not designed to collect these types of data routinely over time.

    In this revision, we will also seek information on locations of the mosquito traps at sub-county spatial scales through an online data portal called MosquitoNET (https://www.cdc.gov/Arbonet/MosquitoNET) and will be expanded to include insecticide susceptibility and resistance data on local populations of mosquitos. Data will be collected monthly through the expiration date of this OMB approval. Such information will aid in (1) targeting vector control efforts to prevent mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the continental U.S. and (2) targeting future vector surveillance efforts. The resulting maps and models will inform the public and policy makers of the known distribution of these vectors, identify gaps in vector surveillance, and target allocation of surveillance and prevention resources.

    As part of the Zika response, efforts to identify Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in the continental U.S. were substantially enhanced during 2016 and funding will be provided to states to continue to enhance surveillance for these vectors through the longstanding Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Program that was expanded to now include mosquito surveillance.

    Respondents will include public health professionals who are recipients of ELC funding or their designated points of contact. The respondents will be contacted via ELC primary recipients and instructed to set up accounts on the MosquitoNET Web site via a simple process. Data collection from ELC recipients will then begin. In order to limit the burden of data entry on respondents who may be entering information for their state, they will have the option of submitting the data via email to CDC using an excel survey.

    This information collection request is authorized by Section 301 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 241). The total estimated annualized number of burden hours is 189. There will be no anticipated costs to respondents other than time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Public health professionals MosquitoNET entry of monthly surveillance records of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus 64 12 15/60
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14027 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

    Proposed Projects:

    Title: Revised ORR-5.

    OMB No.: 0970-0043.

    Description: The Refugee Data submission of Formula Funds Allocations (ORR-5); (0970-0043) is required by Immigration and Nationality Act as stated at Chapter 2 Refugee Assistance, (C)—submit to the Director, within a reasonable period of time after the end of each fiscal year, a report on the uses of funds provided under this chapter which the State is responsible for administering. ORR has added additional data fields to the existing tool/vehicle which is submitted by states and state replacement designees on an annual basis and elected to use 10/1 as the submission date that provides a reasonable period of time.

    Respondents: States, state replacement designees, District of Columbia.

    Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden
  • hours per
  • response
  • Total
  • burden
  • hours
  • Refugee Data Submission for Formula Funds Allocations 50 1 22 1,100
    Annual Burden Estimates

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW., Washington DC 20201. Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. Email address: [email protected] All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection.

    The Department specifically requests comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14032 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program, OMB No. 0915-0387—Extension AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, HRSA has submitted an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. OMB will accept comments from the public during the review and approval period.

    DATES:

    Comments on this ICR should be received no later than August 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, including the ICR Title, to the desk officer for HRSA, either by email to [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request a copy of the clearance requests submitted to OMB for review, email the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at [email protected] or call (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information request collection title for reference, in compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Information Collection Request Title: Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program, OMB No. 0915-0387 − Extension

    Abstract: This program is authorized by Title III, Public Health Service Act, Section 330A(g) (42 U.S.C. 254c(g)), as amended by Section 201, Public Law 107-251, and Section 4, Public Law 110-355. This authority directs the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to support grants that expand access to, coordinate, contain the cost of, and improve the quality of essential health care services, including preventive and emergency services, through the development of health care networks in rural and frontier areas and regions. The authority allows HRSA to provide funds to rural and frontier communities to support the direct delivery of health care and related services, expand existing services, or enhance health service delivery through education, promotion, and prevention programs.

    The purpose of the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant (Rural Quality) Program is to provide support to rural primary care providers for implementation of quality improvement activities. The program promotes the development of an evidence-based culture and delivery of coordinated care in the primary care setting. Additional objectives of the program include improved health outcomes for patients, enhanced chronic disease management, and better engagement of patients and their caregivers. Organizations participating in the program are required to use an evidence-based quality improvement model; develop, implement and assess effectiveness of quality improvement initiatives; and use health information technology (HIT) to collect and report data. HIT may include an electronic patient registry or an electronic health record, and is a critical component for improving quality and patient outcomes. With HIT, it is possible to generate timely and meaningful data, which helps providers track and plan care.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: FORHP collects this information to quantify the impact of grant funding on access to health care, quality of services, and improvement of health outcomes. FORHP uses the data for program improvement, and grantees use the data for performance tracking. No changes are proposed from the current data collection effort. A 60-day notice was published in the Federal Register (81 FR 95621, (December 28, 2016)). There were no public comments.

    Likely Respondents: Grantees of the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. Burden is decreasing from 480 to 256 hours due to a decrease in number of respondents, while the amount of time per respondent (8 hours) remains the same. The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden—Hours Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total
  • burden
  • hours
  • Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program Performance Improvement and Measurement System Measures 32 1 32 8 256 Total 32 32 256
    Jason E. Bennett, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14038 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and/or proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications and/or proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Mental Health Special Emphasis Panel Center for Genomic Studies on Mental Disorders (U24).

    Date: July 21, 2017.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications and/or proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: David M. Armstrong, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Division of Extramural Activities, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, Neuroscience Center/Room 6138/MSC 9608, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892-9608, 301-443-3534, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 93.242, Mental Health Research Grants; 93.281) Dated: June 28, 2017. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14012 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    ADVISORY COUNCIL ON HISTORIC PRESERVATION Notice of Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Quarterly Business Meeting AGENCY:

    Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Quarterly Business Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) will hold its next quarterly meeting on Friday, July 21, 2017. The meeting will be held in Room SR325 at the Russell Senate Office Building at Constitution and Delaware Avenues NE., Washington, DC, starting at 8:30 a.m. EST.

    DATES:

    The quarterly meeting will take place on Friday, July 21, 2017, starting at 8:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in Room SR325 at the Russell Senate Office Building at Constitution and Delaware Avenues NE., Washington, DC.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cindy Bienvenue, 202-517-0202, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation's diverse historic resources, and advises the President and the Congress on national historic preservation policy. The goal of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which established the ACHP in 1966, is to have federal agencies act as responsible stewards of our nation's resources when their actions affect historic properties. The ACHP is the only entity with the legal responsibility to encourage federal agencies to factor historic preservation into their decision making. For more information on the ACHP, please visit our Web site at www.achp.gov.

    The agenda for the upcoming quarterly meeting of the ACHP is the following:

    I. Chairman's Welcome II. Presentation of Joint ACHP-HUD Award III. Section 106 Issues A. Administration Infrastructure Initiatives B. ACHP Report to the President Pursuant to Executive Order 13287 C. Administration Regulatory and Organizational Reform Initiatives and Their Impact on Historic Preservation IV. Historic Preservation Policy and Programs A. Building a More Inclusive Preservation Program: Youth Initiatives B. Building a More Inclusive Preservation Program: Implementation of Recommendations C. ACHP Recommendations for the Future of the National Historic Preservation Program D. Historic Preservation Legislation in the 115th Congress V. New Business VI. Adjourn The meetings of the ACHP are open to the public. If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Cindy Bienvenue, 202-517-0202 or [email protected], at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. Authority:

    54 U.S.C. 304102.

    Dated: June 28, 2017. Javier E. Marques, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14080 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-K6-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-1380 (Preliminary)] Tapered Roller Bearings From Korea; Institution of Antidumping Duty Investigation and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase Investigation AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the institution of an investigation and commencement of preliminary phase antidumping duty investigation No. 731-TA-1380 (Preliminary) pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”) to determine whether there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury, or the establishment of an industry in the United States is materially retarded, by reason of imports of tapered roller bearings from Korea, provided for in subheadings 8482.20, 8482.91, and 8482.99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that are alleged to be sold in the United States at less than fair value.1 Unless the Department of Commerce extends the time for initiation, the Commission must reach a preliminary determination in antidumping duty investigations in 45 days, or in this case by August 14, 2017. The Commission's views must be transmitted to Commerce within five business days thereafter, or by August 21, 2017.

    1 Tapered roller bearings include finished cup and cone assemblies entering as a set, finished cone assemblies entering separately, and finished parts (cups, cones, and tapered rollers).

    DATES:

    Effective June 28, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Keysha Martinez (202-205-2136), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (https://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—This investigation is being instituted, pursuant to section 733(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1673b(a)), in response to a petition filed on June 28, 2017, by The Timken Company, North Canton, Ohio.

    For further information concerning the conduct of this investigation and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 207).

    Participation in the investigation and public service list.—Persons (other than petitioners) wishing to participate in the investigation as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in sections 201.11 and 207.10 of the Commission's rules, not later than seven days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Industrial users and (if the merchandise under investigation is sold at the retail level) representative consumer organizations have the right to appear as parties in Commission antidumping duty investigations. The Secretary will prepare a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to this investigation upon the expiration of the period for filing entries of appearance.

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and BPI service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI gathered in this investigation available to authorized applicants representing interested parties (as defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(9)) who are parties to the investigation under the APO issued in the investigation, provided that the application is made not later than seven days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Conference.—The Commission's Director of Investigations has scheduled a conference in connection with this investigation for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC. Requests to appear at the conference should be emailed to [email protected] and [email protected] (DO NOT FILE ON EDIS) on or before Monday, July 17, 2017. Parties in support of the imposition of antidumping duties in this investigation and parties in opposition to the imposition of such duties will each be collectively allocated one hour within which to make an oral presentation at the conference. A nonparty who has testimony that may aid the Commission's deliberations may request permission to present a short statement at the conference.

    Written submissions.—As provided in sections 201.8 and 207.15 of the Commission's rules, any person may submit to the Commission on or before July 24, 2017, a written brief containing information and arguments pertinent to the subject matter of the investigation. Parties may file written testimony in connection with their presentation at the conference. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's rules; any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's Handbook on E-Filing, available on the Commission's Web site at https://www.usitc.gov/secretary/documents/handbook_on_filing_procedures.pdf, elaborates upon the Commission's rules with respect to electronic filing.

    In accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the rules, each document filed by a party to the investigation must be served on all other parties to the investigation (as identified by either the public or BPI service list), and a certificate of service must be timely filed. The Secretary will not accept a document for filing without a certificate of service.

    Authority:

    This investigation is being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.12 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: June 29, 2017. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14058 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-461 (Fourth Review)] Gray Portland Cement and Cement Clinker From Japan; Determination

    On the basis of the record 1 developed in the subject five-year review, the United States International Trade Commission (“Commission”) determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), that revocation of the antidumping duty order on gray portland cement and cement clinker from Japan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.

    1 The record is defined in sec. 207.2(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 207.2(f)).

    Background

    The Commission, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)), instituted this review on November 1, 2016 (81 FR 75848) and determined on February 6, 2017 that it would conduct an expedited review (82 FR 12465, March 3, 2017).

    The Commission made this determination pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)). It completed and filed its determination in this review on June 29, 2017. The views of the Commission are contained in USITC Publication 4704 (June 2017), entitled Gray Portland Cement and Cement Clinker from Japan: Investigation No. 731-TA-461 (Fourth Review).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: June 29, 2017. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14059 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has received a complaint entitled Certain X-Ray Breast Imaging Devices and Components Thereof, DN 3233; the Commission is soliciting comments on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or complainant's filing pursuant to the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. The public version of the complaint can be accessed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov, and will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000.

    General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at https://www.usitc.gov . The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission has received a complaint and a submission pursuant to § 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure filed on behalf of Hologic, Inc. on June 28, 2017. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain x-ray breast imaging devices and components thereof. The complaint names as respondents FUJIFILM Corporation of Japan; FUJIFILM Medical Systems USA, Inc. of Stamford, CT; and FUJIFILM Techno Products Co., Ltd. of Japan. The complainant requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order, cease and desist orders, and impose a bond upon respondents' alleged infringing articles during the 60-day Presidential review period pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1337(j).

    Proposed respondents, other interested parties, and members of the public are invited to file comments, not to exceed five (5) pages in length, inclusive of attachments, on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or § 210.8(b) filing. Comments should address whether issuance of the relief specifically requested by the complainant in this investigation would affect the public health and welfare in the United States, competitive conditions in the United States economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, or United States consumers.

    In particular, the Commission is interested in comments that:

    (i) Explain how the articles potentially subject to the requested remedial orders are used in the United States;

    (ii) identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the United States relating to the requested remedial orders;

    (iii) identify like or directly competitive articles that complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the United States which could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

    (iv) indicate whether complainant, complainant's licensees, and/or third party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested exclusion order and/or a cease and desist order within a commercially reasonable time; and

    (v) explain how the requested remedial orders would impact United States consumers.

    Written submissions must be filed no later than by close of business, eight calendar days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. There will be further opportunities for comment on the public interest after the issuance of any final initial determination in this investigation.

    Persons filing written submissions must file the original document electronically on or before the deadlines stated above and submit 8 true paper copies to the Office of the Secretary by noon the next day pursuant to § 210.4(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.4(f)). Submissions should refer to the docket number (“Docket No. 3233”) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page. (See Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures, Electronic Filing Procedures 1 ). Persons with questions regarding filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    1 Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures: https://www.usitc.gov/documents/handbook_on_filing_procedures.pdf.

    Any person desiring to submit a document to the Commission in confidence must request confidential treatment. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All information, including confidential business information and documents for which confidential treatment is properly sought, submitted to the Commission for purposes of this Investigation may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel,2 solely for cybersecurity purposes. All nonconfidential written submissions will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Secretary and on EDIS.3

    2 All contract personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements.

    3 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): https://edis.usitc.gov.

    This action is taken under the authority of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and of §§ 201.10 and 210.8(c) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.10, 210.8(c)).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: June 29, 2017. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14041 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993—Vehicle Safety Communications 7 Consortium

    Notice is hereby given that, on May 31, 2017, pursuant to Section 6(a) of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, 15 U.S.C. 4301 et seq. (“the Act”), Vehicle Safety Communications 7 Consortium (“VSC7 Consortium”) has filed written notifications simultaneously with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission disclosing (1) the identities of the parties to the venture and (2) the nature and objectives of the venture. The notifications were filed for the purpose of invoking the Act's provisions limiting the recovery of antitrust plaintiffs to actual damages under specified circumstances.

    Pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act, the identities of the parties to the venture are: General Motors Holdings LLC, Warren, MI; Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI; Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Torrance, CA; Hyundia-Kia America Technical Center, Inc., Superior Township, MI; Mazda Motor of America, Inc., Farmington Hills, MI; Nissan Technical Center North America, Farmington Hills, MI; Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Plano, TX; and Volkswagen/Audi of America, Auburn Hills, MI. The general area of VSC7 Consortium's planned activity is collaboration to conduct or facilitate cooperative research, development, testing, and evaluation procedures to gain further knowledge and understanding of a security credential management system for use in a connected vehicle environment. VSC7 Consortium's objectives are to promote the interests of the automotive sector while maintaining impartiality, the independence of its members, and vendor neutrality.

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement, Antitrust Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14071 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE ;P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993—Vehicle Safety Communications 6 Consortium

    Notice is hereby given that, on May 31, 2017, pursuant to Section 6(a) of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, 15 U.S.C. 4301 et seq. (“the Act”), Vehicle Safety Communications 6 Consortium (“VSC6 Consortium”) has filed written notifications simultaneously with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission disclosing (1) the identities of the parties to the venture and (2) the nature and objectives of the venture. The notifications were filed for the purpose of invoking the Act's provisions limiting the recovery of antitrust plaintiffs to actual damages under specified circumstances.

    Pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act, the identities of the parties to the venture are: General Motors Holdings LLC, Warren, MI; Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI; Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Torrance, CA; Hyundia-Kia America Technical Center, Inc., Superior Township, MI; Nissan Technical Center North America, Farmington Hills, MI; and Volkswagen/Audi of America, Auburn Hills, MI.

    The general area of VSC6 Consortium's planned activity is collaboration to conduct or facilitate cooperative research, development, testing, and evaluation procedures to gain further knowledge and understanding of connected vehicle interactions and/or applications for vehicles that are intended to transform surface transportation safety, mobility, and environmental performance through a connected vehicle environment. VSC6 Consortium's objectives are to promote the interests of the automotive sector while maintaining impartiality, the independence of its members, and vendor neutrality.

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement, Antitrust Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14074 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993—UHD Alliance, Inc.

    Notice is hereby given that, on June 6, 2017, pursuant to Section 6(a) of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, 15 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq. (“the Act”), UHD Alliance, Inc. (“UHD Alliance”) filed written notifications simultaneously with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission disclosing changes in its membership. The notifications were filed for the purpose of extending the Act's provisions limiting the recovery of antitrust plaintiffs to actual damages under specified circumstances. Specifically, HP Inc., Houston, TX, and Tata Sky Limited, Mumbai, INDIA, have been added as parties to this venture. Also, The DIRECTV Group, Inc., El Segundo, CA; Arcelik AS Electronics Plant, Istanbul, TURKEY; DreamWorks Animation L.L.C., Glendale, CA; Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA; Tongfang Global, Ltd. (Seiki), Diamond Bar, CA; and Walt Disney Pictures, Burbank, CA, have been dropped as parties to this venture.

    No other changes have been made in either the membership or planned activity of the group research project. Membership in this group research project remains open, and UHD Alliance intends to file additional written notifications disclosing all changes in membership.

    On June 17, 2015, UHD Alliance filed its original notification pursuant to Section 6(a) of the Act. The Department of Justice published a notice in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on July 17, 2015 (80 FR 42537).

    The last notification was filed with the Department on March 9, 2017. A notice was published in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on April 10, 2017 (82 FR 17280).

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement, Antitrust Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14073 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. 16-31] Phong Tran, M.D.; Decision and Order

    On June 29, 2016, the Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration (hereinafter, DEA or Government), issued an Order to Show Cause to Phong Tran, M.D. (hereinafter, Respondent), the holder of 19 Certificates of Registration.1 Order to Show Cause, at 1-3. Citing 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a)(3), the Show Cause Order proposed the revocation of Respondent's 19 Certificates of Registration on the ground that Respondent does not have authority to dispense controlled substances in the State of California, the State in which he is registered. Id. at 4.

    1 The 19 Certificates of Registration referenced in the Order to Show Cause are: FT4325242 in Vista, California (expiration date: November 30, 2016); FT4123422 in Garden Grove, California (expiration date: November 30, 2016); FT4086888 in Chula Vista, California (expiration date: November 30, 2016); FT4086876 in Escondido, California (expiration date: November 30, 2016); FT4086698 in San Diego, California (expiration date: November 30, 2016); FT4086686 in San Bernardino, California (expiration date: November 30, 2016); FP4086864 in Long Beach, California (expiration date: November 30, 2016); FT4046707 in Van Nuys, California (expiration date: November 30, 2018); FT3965540 in Anaheim, California (expiration date: November 30, 2018); FT4046543 in Temecula, California (expiration date: November 30, 2018); BT3239945 in Westminster, California (expiration date: November 30, 2018); FT4083111 in Downey, California (expiration date: November 30, 2016); FT4932097 in Rialto, California (expiration date: November 30, 2017); FT4946957 in Indio, California (expiration date: November 30, 2017); FT4946971 in Palmdale, California (expiration date: November 30, 2017); FT4963117 in Pasadena, California (expiration date: November 30, 2017); FT4963129 in Pomona, California (expiration date: November 30, 2017); FT4963131 in Hemet, California (expiration date: November 30, 2017); and FT3933593 in San Bernardino, California (expiration date: November 30, 2018). Order to Show Cause, at 1-3.

    As the jurisdictional basis for the proceeding, the Show Cause Order alleged that each of Respondent's 19 Certificates of Registration “are current and unexpired.” Order to Show Cause, at 4. Respondent's registrations authorize him to dispense controlled substances in Schedules II through V. Government's Motion for Summary Disposition, Attachment 1, at 5-23.

    As the substantive grounds for the proceeding, the Show Cause Order alleged that on or about December 9, 2015, Respondent was criminally charged in the County of San Diego Superior Court (hereinafter, Superior Court) with 45 counts related to unlawful billing under the California Workers' Compensation System and that the charges were pending resolution. Id. at 4. The Show Cause Order further alleged that, in response to the criminal charges, the Medical Board of California (hereinafter, MBC) petitioned the Superior Court for an order suspending Respondent's medical license during the pendency of the criminal proceedings. Id. The Show Cause Order alleged that, on May 13, 2016, the Superior Court issued an Order granting the MBC's petition “and thereby . . . indefinitely suspended . . . [Respondent's] California medical license effective June 3, 2016.” Id. The Order to Show Cause alleged that Respondent's medical license remained suspended and, “therefore, DEA must revoke . . . [Respondent's] DEA . . . [registrations] based upon . . . [his] lack of authority to handle controlled substances in the State of California.” Id. (citing 21 U.S.C. 802(21), 823(f)(1), and 824(a)(3)).

    The Show Cause Order notified Respondent of his right to request a hearing on the allegations or to submit a written statement while waiving his right to a hearing, the procedure for electing either option, and the consequences for failing to elect either option. Id. at 4-5 (citing 21 CFR 1301.43). It also notified Respondent of his right to submit a corrective action plan. Id. at 5 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(c)(2)(C)).

    By letter dated August 25, 2016, Respondent requested a hearing stating that “Dr. Tran's medical license is still active and valid, and not suspended as alleged.” Hearing Request (August 25, 2016), at 1.

    On August 29, 2016, Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney, II (hereinafter, CALJ) issued an order setting September 9, 2016 as the date for the Government to submit evidence supporting the lack of state authority allegation and for any party's motion for summary disposition to be due. Order Directing the Filing of Proof of Service, Evidence of Lack of State Authority Allegation, and Briefing Schedule, at 2.2

    2 The Order also set the date and time for the Government to furnish proof of when it served the Order to Show Cause on Respondent. Id. at 1.

    On September 9, 2016, the Government filed its proof of service evidence and Motion for Summary Disposition. Government's Proof of Service Evidence and Motion for Summary Disposition (hereinafter, Government's Motion). The Government's Motion argued that Respondent was “without state authorization to handle controlled substances in California, and as [sic] result, is not entitled to maintain his DEA Certificates of Registration.” Id. at 1.

    As support for its Motion, the Government provided a sworn Certification by the Chief of DEA's Registration and Program Support Section concerning each of Respondent's DEA registrations in California. Government's Motion, at Attachment 1 (Certification of Registration History dated June 29, 2016). The Certification attached a copy of each of Respondent's DEA registrations. Id. at 5-23. The Government also provided the MBC's Notice “to recommend that the [Superior] Court issue an Order prohibiting . . . Phong Hung Tran, M.D. . . . from practicing or attempting to practice medicine as a physician in the State of California, as a condition of any bail or own recognizance release, during the pendency of . . . criminal proceedings.” Government's Motion, at Attachment 2 (Notice of PC23 Appearance and Recommendation at PC1275 Bail Hearing dated April 12, 2016) (hereinafter, MBC Notice), at 2. The Government's Motion also attached the MBC's brief in support of the MBC Notice. Government's Motion, at Attachment 3 (Memorandum in Support of Penal Code Section 23 Appearance and Recommendation to the Court dated April 12, 2016) (hereinafter, MBC Memorandum).

    Attached to the Government's Motion were two Orders of the Superior Court. The first Order concerned Respondent's Condition of Bail Release and the second denied reconsideration of the first Order. Government's Motion, Attachment 4 (Conditions of Bail Order dated May 13, 2016) (hereinafter, Conditions of Bail Order) and Government's Motion, Attachment 5, (Denial of Reconsideration of Conditions of Bail Order dated August 17, 2016). Also attached to the Government's Motion were a “Public Document List” and “Notification of Court Order” concerning Respondent's license from the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Government's Motion, Attachment 6. The September 8, 2016 Declaration of a DEA Diversion Investigator from the San Diego Field Division, also attached to the Government's Motion, described the status of Respondent's license as “indefinitely suspended” by the Superior Court. Government's Motion, Attachment 8 (Declaration of Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Investigator, dated September 8, 2016) (hereinafter DI Declaration), at 2.3

    3 The seventh attachment to the Government's Motion was a Declaration of a DEA Diversion Investigator from the Los Angeles Field Division concerning service of the Show Cause Order on Respondent.

    As further support for the Government's Motion, the Government provided the Declaration of a California Deputy Attorney General who represented the MBC. Government's Motion, Attachment 9 (hereinafter, MBC Attorney Declaration).4 The MBC Attorney Declaration's heading, “United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration,” and docket number, “16-31,” suggested that it was created specifically for this proceeding. Id. at 1.

    4 The MBC Attorney Declaration referenced five attachments. None, however, was provided.

    The last attachment to the Government's Motion was Respondent's request for a hearing. Government's Motion, Attachment 10 (Hearing Request dated August 25, 2016). Attached to the Hearing Request was a two-page printout from the California Department of Consumer Affairs (“https://www.breEZe.ca.gov”) titled “License Details” and dated August 25, 2016 (hereinafter, BreEZe License Details). The printout showed Respondent's license status as “License Renewed & Current” and secondary status as “Limits On Practice.” The document did not, however, state what limits were imposed on Respondent's practice.

    On September 27, 2016, Respondent filed his opposition to the Government's Motion (hereinafter, Respondent's Opposition). Attached to Respondent's Opposition were the transcripts of two Superior Court hearings. Respondent's Opposition, Exhibits 11 and 12 (Reporter's Transcript of Proceedings for the April 8, 2016 and May 13, 2016 hearings) (hereinafter, April Transcript and May Transcript, respectively).5

    5 The cover sheet for the May Transcript mistakenly attributed its contents to the hearing on April 8, 2016. The first page of the May transcript, however, noted the actual May date of the transcribed proceedings.

    Respondent stated that the MBC had not suspended his medical license. He asserted that, “The limitation on his practice arises from a Court Order issued by Judge Eyherabide on May 13, 2016, prohibiting respondent from practicing medicine during the pendency of his criminal matter as a condition of his bail.” Respondent's Opposition, at 1.

    By Order dated October 4, 2016, the CALJ denied the Government's Motion. Order Denying the Government's Motion for Summary Disposition (hereinafter, Order Denying Government's Motion). The Order stated that “the . . . [Superior Court] clearly imposed the prohibition on practice as a condition of bail release—not as a suspension or restriction on the Respondent's professional license itself.” Order Denying Government's Motion, at 5. The Order cited “[v]erification information available on the California Department of Consumer Affairs BreEZe Web site” as providing “further support for the proposition that the Superior Court's proscription against practicing medicine did not change . . . [Respondent's] medical licensure status.” Id. at 5-6 (footnote omitted). The Order concluded that, “Respondent (albeit at the peril of his release conditions) maintains the state authority requisite to retain his DEA . . . [registrations]” and “the Government has not met its burden to prove that the Respondent lacks state authority to handle controlled substances in California, the sole basis for its Motion.” Id. at 8. Thus, it denied the Government's Motion for Summary Disposition noting that “the Respondent has (inexplicably) not filed a motion for summary disposition.” Id. at 8 n.20.6

    6 The CALJ also granted leave to the Government, “to the extent it is inclined to do so,” to file and serve on Respondent a superseding Order to Show Cause no later than October 14, 2016 “to allow the Government to pursue administrative enforcement in these proceedings.” Id. at 8 n.21 (emphasis in original). By its filing dated October 14, 2016, the Government stated that it was not issuing a superseding Order to Show Cause concerning Respondent. Government's Notice Regarding the Filing of Superseding Order to Show Cause, at 1.

    On October 17, 2016, the CALJ conducted a status conference by telephone with the Government and counsel for Respondent. Order Granting Respondent's Request for a Continuance, at 1. During the status conference, counsel for Respondent sought, and was granted with the consent of the Government, a continuance until the afternoon of October 20, 2016 to file a motion for summary disposition. Id. at 1.

    By motion dated October 17, 2016, Respondent requested dismissal of the Order to Show Cause. Respondent's Motion for Summary Disposition (hereinafter, Respondent's Motion), at 1. Attached to the Respondent's Motion were the April and May Superior Court hearing transcripts, an updated but substantively identical version of the BreEZe License Details, and “License Details—Public Record Actions—Court Order” from the California Department of Consumer Affairs concerning Respondent's license (hereinafter, BreEZe License Details—Court Order). The “Description of Action” section of the BreEZe License Details—Court Order stated that the “Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, issued an Order . . . . Dr. Tran shall not practice medicine during the pendancy [sic] of this case beginning 06/03/16.”

    In further support of his Motion, Respondent stated that, “The Superior Court of California's Order of May 13, 2016 prohibited Respondent from practicing medicine as a condition of bail release pursuant to Penal Code § 1275, and not as a suspension or restriction on his professional medical license.” Respondent's Motion, at 1. Respondent's Motion also stated that “Respondent's professional medical license itself is currently active and is not restricted by the Court's Order,” and alleged that his medical license “entitles him to handle controlled substances in California.” Id.

    The Government opposed the Respondent's Motion. Government's Response to Respondent's Motion dated October 27, 2016 (hereinafter, Government's Opposition). In its Opposition, the Government admitted that “Respondent currently retains his state authority to practice medicine.” Id. at 2. Referencing the second prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3), the Government posited that “DEA is authorized to revoke a DEA . . . [registration] even `. . . where suspension or revocation of a practitioner's state license or registration has merely been recommended by state authority,' and that DEA is not `. . . required to await a final decision from the State before acting to revoke' ” a DEA registration. Id. at 2 (citing Joseph Giacchino, M.D., 76 FR 71,374 (2011)); see also id. at 4.

    The Government's Opposition further stated that “the State of California (on behalf of the Board) not only sought to have the criminal court suspend Respondent's medical license during pendency of criminal proceedings, but by the express wording of its April 12, 2016 court filing recommended that the court take this course of action.” 7 Id. at 6. The Government's Opposition concluded that “[t]he Board's recommendation of licensure suspension as a condition of bail clearly fits within the recommendation of `competent State authority' wording of section 824(a)(3).” Id.

    7 The Government's Opposition did not provide the page number on which this “express wording” appeared. I carefully reviewed the document the Government referenced multiple times and did not locate the “express wording.”

    On November 7, 2016, the CALJ granted the Respondent's Motion and recommended that the Government's petition for revocation of Respondent's certificates of registration be denied. Order Granting the Respondent's Motion for Summary Disposition (hereinafter, Order Granting Respondent's Motion), at 15. In the Order Granting Respondent's Motion, the CALJ, among other things, noted the Government's acknowledgement that Respondent had state authority to practice medicine, stated that the Order to Show Cause was insufficient to notice revocation of Respondent's registrations based on the second prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3), concluded that the “recommendation” in the second prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) relates only to a practitioner's DEA registration, and determined that the MBC had not recommended a “suspension” of Respondent's registrations. Id. at 3, 10, 12-13, and 13, respectively.

    On November 25, 2016, the Government filed Exceptions to the Order Granting Respondent's Motion. Government's Exceptions to Order Granting Summary Disposition Motion (hereinafter, Exceptions). In its Exceptions, the Government addressed whether the Order to Show Cause sufficiently noticed action against Respondent based on the second prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3),8 whether a prerequisite to invocation of the second prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) is a recommendation concerning a “DEA registration,” and whether the California State Medical Board recommended that the Superior Court “suspend” Respondent's medical license. Id. at 1-9.

    8 “. . . has had the suspension, revocation, or denial of his registration recommended by competent State authority . . .”

    On December 2, 2016, the record was forwarded to my Office for Final Agency Action. Having considered the record and the Order Granting Respondent's Motion in light of all relevant statutory, regulatory, and case law authorities, I conclude that there is no basis for revoking Respondent's registration on the record before me.9 Thus, I agree with the CALJ's ultimate conclusions that Respondent continues to have the State authority required for his registrations, and that the Government has not established the predicates under 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) to warrant revocation of Respondent's registrations.10

    9 It is noted, however, that the issuance of a new Order to Show Cause would be appropriate if the MBC were to suspend or revoke Respondent's state license, or if Respondent's plea to, or conviction of, criminal charges resulted in mandatory exclusion under 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7(a). Further, the issuance of a new Order to Show Cause based on 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(4) would be appropriate if properly supported by evidence, including evidence gleaned from the criminal proceedings against Respondent.

    10 This matter raises novel issues, and my analysis differs from the analysis in the Order Granting Respondent's Motion. Thus, I do not adopt the Order Granting Respondent's Motion.

    I make the following factual findings.

    Findings of Fact Respondent's DEA Registrations

    The Order to Show Cause alleged that Respondent has held 19 registrations, all with addresses in California. Order to Show Cause, at 1-3. Based on the evidence submitted by the Government, I find that at least one of Respondent's registrations, FT3933593 in San Bernardino, California (expiration date November 30, 2018), is currently active. Government's Motion, at Attachment 1, at 10.

    Indictment of Respondent

    On January 28, 2016, Respondent was criminally charged with 45 felony counts related to kickbacks, including 21 counts of workers' compensation fraud and 24 counts of insurance fraud. MBC Memorandum, at 2, 3; May Transcript, at 4-5, lines 23-2; DI Declaration, at 2. According to a State prosecutor, Respondent paid kickbacks for access to patients on a per patient basis. May Transcript, at 5, lines 12-28; at 6, lines 9-10; at 7, lines 24-26. At the May Superior Court hearing, the prosecutor represented that the individual to whom Respondent paid the kickbacks was a chiropractor working off Federal charges. Id. at 5, lines 12-20. One of Respondent's Physician's Assistants, the prosecutor further alleged, would see up to 100 patients a day, once a month, and provide the patients with prescription medications and compound creams. Id. at 6, lines 2-9. Respondent would bill the insurance companies for the visits and for the prescription medications and compound creams, according to the prosecutor. Id. at 6, lines 2-9, 16-25. The prosecutor explained that billing for compound creams was particularly lucrative because there was no limit on how much could be billed for a compound cream. Id. at 7, lines 1-20.

    The Evidence Offered by the Parties in Support of Their Respective Motions The Superior Court Hearing in April, 2016

    On April 8, 2016, the Superior Court held a hearing at the request of the MBC. Attendees included State prosecutors and attorneys for the MBC and Respondent. According to its attorney, the MBC “provided notice to Respondent back in February that they will be appearing at the . . . [California Penal Code] 23 to make a recommendation to provide information . . ., not to ask for suspension, but to place a condition on . . . [Respondent's] bail O.R. release.” 11 April Transcript, at 30, lines 21-28 (emphasis added). A prosecutor explained that the California Attorney General decided, on behalf of the MBC, that “this is so important to public safety that they are literally putting their reputation on the line.” Id. at 23, lines 19-22. According to the prosecutor, “the Medical Board is basically here telling you look, we may have to go through a certain number of procedures to do this, but we are asking you, in the interim, tell this individual not to practice medicine.” 12 Id. at 23, lines 22-26; see also id. at 30, lines 16-18 (Respondent's counsel stating that “the Medical Board has never once independently tried to suspend . . . [Respondent's] license.”).

    11 The MBC's February Notice to Respondent was not put in the record of this proceeding.

    California Penal Code 23 states, in pertinent part, “In any criminal proceeding against a person who has been issued a license to engage in a business or profession by a state agency pursuant to provisions of the Business and Professions Code . . ., the state agency which issued the license may voluntarily appear to furnish pertinent information, make recommendations regarding specific conditions of probation, or provide any other assistance necessary to promote the interests of justice and protect the interests of the public, or may be ordered by the court to do so, if the crime charged is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee.”

    “O.R. release” refers to a bail release on one's own recognizance.

    12 The prosecutor did not elaborate on what he meant by to do “this.”

    The Superior Court began the April 8, 2016 hearing by stating that “apparently there is a motion to continue.” Id. at 1, lines 22-23. One of Respondent's attorneys acknowledged the motion “due to the unavailability of . . . a witness allowed him to confront.” Id. at 1, lines 24-26. As the hearing proceeded, Respondent's counsel argued that his client was entitled to due process because placing a no-medical-practice bail condition on Respondent's medical license was tantamount to placing it under interim suspension. He stated that he brought a “motion” because “basically we are talking about an interim suspension, it's another way of saying . . . a restriction on someone's license, and . . . that . . . requires that the evidence . . . be shown through affidavit . . . that the . . . licensee [ ] have . . . an effective right to confront those evidence.” 13 Id. at 4-5, lines 28-14.

    13 The motion Respondent's counsel referenced was not put in the record of this proceeding.

    The Superior Court stated that a co-defendant of Respondent had previously raised the issue of “whether or not this court should or has the power to actually suspend” a doctor's medical license. Id. at 2, lines 7-8. The Court indicated the response it had given to the co-defendant:

    I am not the Medical Board. I am not an attorney licensing board, I am not a real estate licensing board. The way I have framed this, frankly, is whether or not as a condition, . . . if somebody has a fourth DUI, and is asking for their own recognizance, as a part of bail there are conditions, one, they can't drive . . . if they make bail or are released.

    Id. at 2, lines 16-25. At the hearing, the Superior Court consistently indicated that “the real issue here [ ] is whether or not, as a condition of Dr. Tran's O.R. release, . . . he should be practicing medicine, not that I would be suspending a license. I don't have any power to suspend a license.” Id. at 3, lines 4-8. Stating that “[t]here is no right to confront . . . for the Court considering safety purposes,” the Superior Court rejected the due process arguments of Respondent's counsel and invited them to appeal her ruling. Id. at 12, lines 2-4; see also id. at 7, lines 21-24; id. at 11, lines 24-25. Throughout the April hearing, the Superior Court continuously and consistently stated that she was not able to suspend a license, whether the license in question was a truck driver's license, a license to practice law, or a medical license. Id. at 3, lines 22-23; at 4, lines 22-23; at 6, lines 12-15; at 9, lines 7-8.

    The Superior Court explained the extent of her authority with an analogy to a person put on probation. She stated, “as a condition of probation, the Court can impose, you can't practice accounting, you can't drive a truck, you can't practice medicine . . . [and if] the person doesn't wish to accept it, they go to prison.” Id. at 9, lines 10-14. She provided another example:

    [E]ven if I was placing a person on probation, a lawyer, who committed fraud, I can't say and a condition of probation is I am taking away your license. I don't have a power to take away a license. The State Bar only has the power to take away a license. I can say as a condition of probation, you are not to practice law. He can still pay his Bar dues. It means when he's done with probation in two years, he's still a practicing attorney.

    Id. at 9, lines 15-23. The Superior Court reiterated that she was not able to “yank” a person's license and “[w]hether it's as a condition of bail, or probation, it's a condition one can accept or not accept.” Id. at 9, lines 24-26.

    In the criminal case against Respondent, according to the Superior Court, she was able to place a no-medical-practice condition on Respondent's own recognizance release and she continued the hearing to May 13, 2016 for the purpose of determining whether to do so. Id. at 29, lines 8-25; see also id. at 10, lines 9-12.

    Some statements at the April hearing suggested that the MBC had filed a pre-hearing statement recommending the suspension of Respondent's medical license. The Superior Court had stated, “Through the Attorney General's office, they 14 have requested, pursuant to Penal Code Section 23, to bring me the information . . . and in the moving papers everybody talks about whether or not this Court should or has the power to actually suspend Dr. Tran's license.” Id. at 2, lines 3-8; see also id. at 21, lines 21-27 (A prosecutor stating that “[c]ommonly these questions are initiated by a request by the Attorney General, a recommendation as it's termed, . . . to take some action on a person's license. Just to be clear, . . . we are not joining in the request that any action be taken on the defendant's license.”); May Transcript, at 2, lines 11-14 (Superior Court noting that “[t]here are numerous briefs here from the People” and Respondent's counsel suggesting that, “That's probably from the prior set of P[enal] C[ode] 23 brief [sic].”).

    14 The reference to “they” is not specified.

    Other statements tended to oppose that possibility. April Transcript, at 19-20, lines 26-3 (Superior Court stating that, under Penal Code section 23, the State agency that issued a license to a criminal defendant may voluntarily appear to “furnish pertinent information, make recommendation [sic], regarding specific conditions of probation”); id. at 30, lines 21-28 (MBC provided notice to Respondent of its appearance “to make a recommendation to provide information . . . not to ask for suspension, but to place a condition on his bail O.R. release.”).

    If there were any written submission by the MBC or a party in connection with the April Superior Court hearing recommending the suspension of Respondent's medical license or registration, it is not in the record before me.

    Thus, based on the evidence in the April Transcript, I conclude that the Superior Court did not suspend or revoke Respondent's California medical license at the Superior Court April hearing, and that the suspension, revocation, or denial of Respondent's medical license or registration was not recommended by competent California State authority in connection with the Superior Court April hearing.

    The Medical Board of California Notice and Memorandum

    In advance of the May Superior Court hearing, the MBC filed the MBC Notice and the MBC Memorandum. Supra. The MBC Notice stated, in pertinent part, that the MBC will appear before the Superior Court “to recommend that the Court issue an Order prohibiting . . . [Respondent] from practicing or attempting to practice medicine as a physician in the State of California, as a condition of any bail or own recognizance release, during the pendency of . . . [the] criminal proceedings.” MBC Notice, at 2. The MBC Notice explained the grounds for its recommendation, stating that “if allowed to continue to practice medicine as a physician, . . . [Respondent] poses a continuing danger to the public health, safety, and welfare.” Id. It referenced the Superior Court's statutory authority to consider public protection when imposing bail and own recognizance release conditions. Id. The MBC Notice did not state that the MBC was recommending the suspension, revocation, or denial of Respondent's medical license or registration.

    The MBC Memorandum made multiple points. First, it reiterated the MBC's recommendation to, and request of, the Superior Court that Respondent, “as a condition of any bail or own recognizance release, . . . be prohibited from practicing medicine until resolution of the . . . criminal proceedings.” MBC Memorandum, at 2; see also id. at 4, 8.

    Second, it stated that Respondent held a valid physician's license that “will expire on January 31, 2018, unless renewed.” Id. at 2. The MBC Memorandum further explained that Respondent's physician's license enabled Respondent “to provide medical services including issuing prescriptions for controlled substances to patients and conducting serious surgeries.” Id.

    Third, the MBC Memorandum stated that the MBC was responsible for enforcing the disciplinary and criminal provisions of the California Medical Practice Act, and that protecting the public was its highest priority in exercising its licensing, regulatory, and disciplinary functions. Id. at 3. It explained that it had the “power to suspend, revoke, or otherwise limit physicians and surgeons from practicing medicine for, among other things, unprofessional conduct and criminal convictions substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a physician and surgeon.” Id.

    Fourth, the MBC Memorandum cited California Penal Code § 23, supra, as authority for the MBC to appear in a criminal proceeding against a person to whom the MBC had issued a license to “furnish pertinent information, make recommendations regarding specific conditions of probation, or provide any other assistance necessary to promote the interests of justice and protect the interest of the public.” Id. at 4. It also cited California law to support the reasonableness of a bail condition prohibiting Respondent from practicing medicine during the pendency of the criminal case.15 MBC Memorandum, at 5-8.

    15 The MBC Memorandum cited Penal Code § 1275 (the public safety is the primary consideration for judges in setting, reducing, or denying bail) and California Penal Code § 1318 (interpreted to require defendants released on their own recognizance to promise to obey all reasonable conditions related to public safety).

    Fifth, the MBC Memorandum stated that, “The felony charges in this case are extremely serious and are substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a physician and surgeon.” Id. at 6; see also id. at 8. It stated that Respondent's alleged conduct “is not only unprofessional, but also dangerous, and evinces poor character, a lack of integrity and an inability or unwillingness to follow the law.” Id.

    Nowhere in the MBC Notice or the MBC Memorandum did the MBC recommend the suspension, revocation, or denial of Respondent's medical license or registration.

    The Superior Court Hearing in May, 2016

    On May 13, 2016, the Superior Court resumed the hearing it began in April. The May Transcript contained more information about the criminal charges against Respondent and the MBC's request of the Superior Court.

    The prosecutor stated that Respondent was indicted for giving kickbacks for access to patients and filing fraud-based insurance claims based on those kickbacks. May Transcript, at 4-7, 11-12. The attorney representing the MBC stated that, “[i]n setting[,] reducing[,] and denying bail, . . . [t]he public safety shall be the primary consideration.” Id. at 13, lines 22-28. He argued:

    When patients are sold for money, . . . [Respondent is] going after patients, patients aren't coming after him, to seek medical help. He's seeking patients to make money. When patients are sold as commodities, does that pose a risk . . . to the public? Patient care? And when their patient's safety is at risk, is that a risk of the public safety? Well of course it is, Your Honor.

    Id. at 14, lines 6-12. The MBC attorney asserted that “[t]his was one of the largest insurance and worker's compensation fraud cases in the history of this county . . . , a sophisticated large scale criminal enterprise.” Id. at 14, lines 24-28. He summarized what the MBC sought from the Superior Court when he stated, “We ask the Court, as a condition of bail, to prohibit . . . [Respondent] from practicing medicine during the pendency of this case.” Id. at 15, lines 22-24.

    The Superior Court ruled that “until the case is resolved, . . . [Respondent] not be allowed to practice medicine. . . . So that will be a condition of his continued bail.” Id. at 20, lines 11-14. On August 17, 2016, the Court denied Respondent's request for reconsideration of this ruling. Government's Motion, Attachment 5, supra.

    Thus, the Superior Court, at its May hearing, conditioned Respondent's own-recognizance bail release on his not practicing medicine. At the May hearing, the Superior Court did not suspend or revoke Respondent's California medical license, and no competent California State authority recommended the suspension, revocation, or denial of Respondent's medical license or registration.

    The MBC Attorney Declaration

    The MBC Attorney Declaration contained five numbered paragraphs. The first paragraph stated that its declarant worked in the California Attorney General's Health Quality Enforcement Unit. MBC Attorney Declaration, at 1. Its second paragraph stated that Respondent was charged with 45 counts of felony crimes related to workers' compensation and insurance fraud. Id. Its third paragraph stated that, in April of 2016, the MBC attorney declarant “voluntarily appeared” on behalf of the MBC and recommended that the Superior Court issue an order, as a condition of bail, prohibiting Respondent from practicing medicine during the pendency of the criminal proceedings. Id. The fourth paragraph stated that the Superior Court, “as a condition of bail, . . . issued an order prohibiting Dr. Tran from practicing medicine, effective June 3, 2016, during pendency of above criminal proceedings.” Id. at 2. The last paragraph stated that the Superior Court denied Respondent's request for modification and/or removal of the bail condition. Id. While the MBC Attorney Declaration stated that it was sworn under penalty of perjury, neither the day of its execution in September, 2016 nor the signature on it was visible. For these reasons, I cannot give any credit to the MBC Attorney Declaration.16

    16 Even if the date and signature on it were visible, the MBC Attorney Declaration contained no evidence tending to show that competent California State authority recommended the suspension, revocation, or denial of Respondent's medical license or registration.

    The Status of Respondent's California Medical License

    According to the evidence in the record, Respondent and the Government eventually agreed that Respondent's California medical license was current.17 Respondent's Motion, at 1 (“Respondent's professional medical license itself is currently active . . . .”); Government's Opposition, at 2 (“[T]his tribunal, as well as the Respondent in his pending summary disposition motion, have correctly pointed out that Respondent currently retains his state authority to practice medicine.”); see also id. at 5. Thus, there ended up being no dispute that Respondent's California medical license was current. As of the date of this Decision and Order, Respondent's California medical license is current; it has not been suspended or revoked.18

    17 California medical license number 74233.

    18 According to the Web site https://www.breEZe.ca.gov, Respondent's medical license has practice limits due to the Superior Court's imposition of an “own recognizance” bail condition.

    Discussion 19

    19 I need not address, and therefore decline to address, much of the content of the Recommended Decision, including most of the matters with which the Government took exception: Whether the Government sufficiently noticed action against Respondent based on the second prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) and whether a prerequisite for invocation of the second prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) is a recommendation concerning a “DEA registration.” I need not reach either of these matters because I find that the Government has not established that there was a suspension, revocation, or denial recommendation by competent State authority.

    Under Section 304 of the Controlled Substances Act (hereinafter, CSA), “[a] registration . . . to . . . dispense a controlled substance . . . may be . . . revoked by the Attorney General upon a finding that the registrant . . . has had his State license or registration suspended, revoked, or denied by competent State authority and is no longer authorized by State law to engage in the . . . dispensing of controlled substances . . . or has had the suspension, revocation, or denial of his registration recommended by competent State authority . . . .” 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3).

    Moreover, DEA has long held that the possession of authority to dispense controlled substances under the laws of the State in which a practitioner engages in professional practice is a fundamental condition for obtaining and maintaining a registration. This rule derives from the text of two provisions of the CSA. First, Congress defined “practitioner” to mean “a physician . . . or other person licensed, registered, or otherwise permitted . . . by the . . . jurisdiction in which he practices . . . to distribute, dispense, . . . [or] administer . . . a controlled substance in the course of professional practice . . . .” 21 U.S.C. 802(21). Second, in setting the requirements for obtaining a practitioner's registration, Congress directed that “[t]he Attorney General shall register practitioners . . . if the applicant is authorized to dispense . . . controlled substances under the laws of the State in which he practices.” 21 U.S.C. 823(f). Because Congress has clearly mandated that a practitioner possess state authority in order to be deemed a practitioner under the CSA, DEA has held repeatedly that revocation of a practitioner's registration is the appropriate sanction whenever a practitioner is no longer authorized to dispense controlled substances under the laws of the State in which he practices medicine. Frederick Marsh Blanton, 43 FR 27,616 (1978) (“State authorization to dispense or otherwise handle controlled substances is a prerequisite to the issuance and maintenance of a Federal controlled substances registration.”). See also James L. Hooper, 76 FR 71,371 (2011) (collecting cases), pet. for rev. denied, 481 Fed. Appx. 826 (4th Cir. 2012).

    Registrant's California Medical License Has Not Been Suspended or Revoked

    In this case, the Government and Respondent eventually agreed that Respondent's California medical license was neither suspended nor revoked. Respondent's Motion, 1 (“Respondent's professional medical license itself is currently active . . . .”); Government's Opposition, 2 (“[T]his tribunal, as well as the Respondent in his pending summary disposition motion, have correctly pointed out that Respondent currently retains his state authority to practice medicine.”); see also Government's Opposition, 5. Thus, there was no dispute between the parties concerning the status of Respondent's California medical license. I, therefore, conclude that the first prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) does not support revocation of any of Registrant's registrations.

    Competent State Authority Suspension or Revocation Recommendation

    The Government's Opposition argues that revocation of Respondent's registrations is appropriate under the second prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3). However, the Government cites no case interpreting that provision. Given the clear factual record before me, there is no need to opine on it, including on the requisite “recommendation” and whether “registration” refers to a State license/controlled substance registration or a DEA registration. In other words, the record simply contains no evidence that a “competent State authority” “recommended” the “suspension, revocation, or denial” of any “registration.” Supra.

    Having thoroughly examined all of the evidence in the record, including the evidence from the MBC, the Superior Court, and every attorney representing California, I found evidence only that the MBC recommended a no-medical-practice condition on Respondent's own recognizance bail release. While the record hints at the possibility that the MBC made a suspension or revocation recommendation, the record contains no evidence of such a recommendation.

    The evidence in the record is clear that the Superior Court did not believe she had authority to suspend or revoke a license of any sort, let alone a DEA registration, and that she did not intend her orders to do so. The evidence in the record is equally clear that neither the Superior Court, the prosecutor, nor the MBC attorney recommended any suspension, revocation, or denial of any registration. Finally, the Government did not cite any decision holding that a no-medical-practice bail condition constitutes a recommendation of suspension, revocation, or denial.

    In sum, viewing the evidence in the record in the light most favorable to the Government, the non-moving party, I find no evidence, let alone substantial evidence, that the factual predicates for applying either prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) have been established.20 Thus, in this case, the record does not support revocation of Respondent's registrations under either the first or second prong of 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3).

    20 Although the Government cited 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 21 U.S.C. 823(f)(1) in the Order to Show Cause, it did not squarely present, let alone develop, the theory that Respondent's registrations should be revoked based on 21 U.S.C. 823(f)(1) in conjunction with 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(4). Further, the cases the Government cited in the Order to Show Cause as providing “a summary of the legal basis for this action” did not rely on 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(4) and 823(f)(1) as legal bases.

    When invited by the CALJ to amend the Order to Show Cause, which included the possibility of developing a revocation theory under 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(4) and 21 U.S.C. 823(f)(1), the Government explicitly declined. Order Denying Government's Motion, at 8; Government's Notice Regarding the Filing of Superseding Order to Show Cause. As warranted with the passage of time and the garnering of relevant evidence, the Government is free to issue a new Order to Show Cause concerning Respondent's registrations based on appropriate legal authority. Supra.

    Order

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) and 28 CFR 0.100(b), I grant Respondent's Motion for Summary Disposition. I further order the dismissal of the Order to Show Cause. This order is effective August 4, 2017.

    Dated: June 24, 2017. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14070 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1103-NEW] Agency Information Collection Activities: New Information Collection Instrument: Diversity in Law Enforcement Recruitment Survey ACTION:

    30-Day Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection is a new instrument.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for an additional 30 days until September 5, 2017 after this notice is published in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact Lashon M. Hilliard, Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 145 N Street NE., Washington, DC 20530. Written comments and/or suggestions can also be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Department of Justice Desk Officer, Washington, DC 20530 or sent to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: New information collect.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Diversity in Law Enforcement Recruitment Survey.

    (3) The agency form number 1103-**** U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Primary: Law Enforcement Agencies and community partners.

    Abstract: The purpose of this project is to improve the practice of community policing throughout the United States by supporting the development of a series of tools that will allow law enforcement agencies to gain better insight into the depth and breadth of their community policing activities.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond/reply: It is estimated that approximately 1 respondent will respond with an average of 50 minutes per response.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated time burden is 50 hours.

    If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., Room 3E, Room 405A, Washington, DC 20530. Dated: June 29, 2017. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14024 Filed 7-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-AT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1125-0005] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comments Requested; Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative before the Board of Immigration Appeals AGENCY:

    Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    30-day Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on May 2, 2017, allowing for a 60 day comment period.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for an additional days until August 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact Jean King, General Counsel, USDOJ-EOIR-OGC, Suite 2600, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia, 20530; telephone: (703) 305-0470.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address