Federal Register Vol. 82, No.133,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 133 (July 13, 2017)

Page Range32227-32445
FR Document

82_FR_133
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 32322 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
82 FR 32381 - Sunshine Act Meeting; National Science BoardPDF
82 FR 32303 - Oklahoma: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program RevisionsPDF
82 FR 32304 - Louisiana: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program RevisionsPDF
82 FR 32359 - Public Water Supply Supervision Program; Program Revision for the State of AlaskaPDF
82 FR 32359 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
82 FR 32287 - Approval and Promulgation; State of Utah; Salt Lake County and Utah County Nonattainment Area Coarse Particulate Matter State Implementation Plan Revisions to Control Measures for Point SourcesPDF
82 FR 32301 - Approval and Promulgation of Plans for Designated Facilities; New Jersey; Delegation of AuthorityPDF
82 FR 32282 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Utah; General Burning Rule RevisionsPDF
82 FR 32362 - Federal Management Regulation; Effective Federal Warehousing-Notification, Federal Warehousing and Storage of AssetsPDF
82 FR 32305 - Washington: Proposed Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program RevisionsPDF
82 FR 32357 - Notice of EPA's Action To Postpone the Effective Date of the EPA Region 1 Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permits for Stormwater Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in MassachusettsPDF
82 FR 32242 - Safety Zone; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone-Miesfeld's Lakeshore Weekend Fireworks; Sheboygan WIPDF
82 FR 32346 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application Package for Renewal of the Disaster Response Cooperative Agreement (DRCA)PDF
82 FR 32436 - U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on Private International Law (ACPIL): Public Meeting on Family LawPDF
82 FR 32322 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 32325 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Annual Wholesale Trade SurveyPDF
82 FR 32281 - Transactions Involving the Transfer of No Net ValuePDF
82 FR 32431 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 32437 - Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board (PRB) and Executive Resources Board (ERB) MembershipPDF
82 FR 32329 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery ProgramPDF
82 FR 32326 - National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction MeetingsPDF
82 FR 32376 - Softwood Lumber from Canada; Scheduling of the Final Phase of Countervailing Duty and Antidumping Duty InvestigationsPDF
82 FR 32437 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Richard BundyPDF
82 FR 32344 - Receipt of ApplicationPDF
82 FR 32361 - Open Commission Meeting, Thursday, July 13 2017PDF
82 FR 32263 - Administrative Leave, Investigative Leave, Notice Leave, and Weather and Safety LeavePDF
82 FR 32381 - NASA Advisory Council; Ad Hoc Task Force on STEM Education MeetingPDF
82 FR 32441 - Proposed Information Collections; Comment Request (No. 65)PDF
82 FR 32431 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of OklahomaPDF
82 FR 32325 - Certain In-Shell (Raw) Pistachios From the Islamic Republic of Iran: Continuation of Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
82 FR 32355 - North Table Mountain Water and Sanitation District; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
82 FR 32366 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 32370 - Patient Safety Organizations: Voluntary Relinquishment From the Catholic Health Initiatives Patient Safety Organization, LLCPDF
82 FR 32368 - Supplemental Evidence and Data Request on Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation Patients: A Systematic Review UpdatePDF
82 FR 32381 - Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 32330 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Site Characterization Surveys off the Coast of New YorkPDF
82 FR 32247 - Safety Zone; Cleveland Parade of Lights Boat Parade; Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OHPDF
82 FR 32444 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Vetbiz Vendor Information Pages Verification ProgramPDF
82 FR 32318 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for the Biological Control of Swallow-WortsPDF
82 FR 32317 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for Release of Three Parasitoids for Biological Control of the Lily Leaf BeetlePDF
82 FR 32294 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Louisiana; Regional Haze State Implementation PlanPDF
82 FR 32284 - Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Arkansas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation Plan; Revision of Federal Implementation PlanPDF
82 FR 32244 - Safety Zone; Oswego County Paddlefest; Oswego River, Oswego, NYPDF
82 FR 32362 - RESTORE Act-Draft 2017 Funded Priorities List: Comprehensive Commitment and Planning SupportPDF
82 FR 32439 - Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers; Application for Exemption; Rail Delivery Services (RDS); CorrectionPDF
82 FR 32246 - Safety Zone; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone-Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club Evening on the Bay FireworksPDF
82 FR 32378 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Firearms Transaction Record/Registro de Transaccíon de Armas (ATF Form 4473) (5300.9)PDF
82 FR 32262 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
82 FR 32241 - Special Local Regulation; Wheeling Dragon Boat Race, Ohio River Miles 90.4-91.5PDF
82 FR 32439 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 32372 - Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 32316 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 32349 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request for Supplemental InformationPDF
82 FR 32242 - Safety Zone; Cleveland Triathlon Swim Event; Lake Erie, Cleveland, OHPDF
82 FR 32350 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; 2017-18 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study Administrative Collection (NPSAS:18-AC)PDF
82 FR 32353 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017) Main Study Base Year (MS1), Operational Field Test First Follow-up (OFT2), and Tracking and Recruitment for Main Study First Follow-up (MS2)PDF
82 FR 32351 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)PDF
82 FR 32356 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 32347 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 32374 - Foreign Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Applications for PermitPDF
82 FR 32382 - Lost Creek ISR, LLC, Lost Creek Uranium In-Situ Recovery Project, Sweetwater County, WyomingPDF
82 FR 32399 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Order Approving Proposed Rule Changes, as Modified by Amendments No. 1, To Adopt the Clearing Agency Policy on Capital Requirements and the Clearing Agency Capital Replenishment PlanPDF
82 FR 32396 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Changes, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Amending NYSE Rule 36 and NYSE MKT Rule 36-Equities To Permit Exchange Floor Brokers To Use Non-Exchange Provided Telephones on the FloorPDF
82 FR 32413 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Listed Company Manual To Adopt Initial and Continued Listing Standards for Subscription ReceiptsPDF
82 FR 32417 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Modify the DTC Settlement Service Guide in Order To Enhance the Memo Segregation Function in Connection With Deliveries Processed at DTC Related to the Direct Registration SystemPDF
82 FR 32419 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Consolidated Registration Rules, Restructure the Representative-Level Qualification Examination Program, Allow Permissive Registration, Establish Exam Waiver Process for Persons Working for Financial Services Affiliate of Member, and Amend the Continuing Education RequirementsPDF
82 FR 32386 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Adopt a New Extended Life Priority Order Attribute Under Rule 4703, and To Make Related Changes to Rules 4702, 4752, 4753, 4754, and 4757PDF
82 FR 32406 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Require Agents To Use the Automated Tender Offer Program To Process Consent Solicitations for Book-Entry Only SecuritiesPDF
82 FR 32409 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Establish Ports and Gateways That Members Use To Connect to the ExchangePDF
82 FR 32392 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the SPY Pilot ProgramPDF
82 FR 32415 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the SPY Pilot ProgramPDF
82 FR 32402 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend IM-3120-2 to Rule 3120 To Extend the Pilot Program That Eliminated the Position Limits for Options on SPDR S&P 500 ETF (“SPY”) (“SPY Pilot Program”)PDF
82 FR 32404 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the SPY Pilot ProgramPDF
82 FR 32394 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the SPY Pilot ProgramPDF
82 FR 32348 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 32357 - Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process: Walden Hydro, LLCPDF
82 FR 32356 - Nogales Transmission, L.L.C.; Nogales Frontier Operations, L.L.C.; Notice of Supplement To Petiton for Declaratory OrderPDF
82 FR 32354 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
82 FR 32354 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 32349 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 32377 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
82 FR 32437 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
82 FR 32371 - Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and DentistryPDF
82 FR 32345 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
82 FR 32256 - Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care FacilitiesPDF
82 FR 32260 - Review of Foreign Ownership Policies for Broadcast, Common Carrier and Aeronautical Radio LicenseesPDF
82 FR 32372 - Office of the Secretary Amended; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 32372 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 32371 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 32328 - Marine Mammals; File No. 21059PDF
82 FR 32379 - Minimum Scheme Requirements To Certify Criminal Justice Restraints Described in NIJ Standard 1001.00PDF
82 FR 32438 - Approval of Noise Compatibility Program for Akron-Canton Airport, North Canton, OhioPDF
82 FR 32443 - Open Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing MechanismsPDF
82 FR 32328 - Marine Mammals; File No. 20556PDF
82 FR 32444 - Departmental Offices; Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited To Secure U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration BondsPDF
82 FR 32386 - Product Change-Parcel Select Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 32373 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act Reporting RequirementsPDF
82 FR 32318 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Program Regulations-Reporting and Recordkeeping BurdenPDF
82 FR 32344 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 32312 - World Trade Center Health Program; Petitions 016 and 017-Parkinson's Disease and Parkinsonism, Including Manganese-Induced Parkinsonism; Finding of Insufficient EvidencePDF
82 FR 32232 - Electronic Information for Cargo Exported From the United States; Technical AmendmentsPDF
82 FR 32230 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
82 FR 32228 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
82 FR 32227 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Central Air Conditioners and Heat PumpsPDF

Issue

82 133 Thursday, July 13, 2017 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32366-32368 2017-14703 Patient Safety Organizations; Delistings: Catholic Health Initiatives Patient Safety Organization, LLC, 32370-32371 2017-14702 Requests for Supplemental Evidence and Data Submissions: Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation Patients: Systematic Review Update, 32368-32370 2017-14701 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32316-32317 2017-14681
Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32441-32443 2017-14710 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Biological Control of Swallow-Worts, 32318 2017-14695 Release of Three Parasitoids for Biological Control of Lily Leaf Beetle, 32317-32318 2017-14694 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32322-32324 2017-14726 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual Wholesale Trade Survey, 32325 2017-14724 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities, 32256-32260 2017-14646 Chemical Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 32322 2017-14864 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Miesfeld's Lakeshore Weekend Fireworks, Sheboygan, WI, 32242 2017-14729 Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone—Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club Evening on Bay Fireworks, 32246-32247 2017-14688 Cleveland Parade of Lights Boat Parade, Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OH, 32247-32249 2017-14697 Cleveland Triathlon Swim Event, Lake Erie, Cleveland, OH, 32242-32244 2017-14679 Oswego County Paddlefest, Oswego River, Oswego, NY, 32244-32246 2017-14691 Special Local Regulations: Wheeling Dragon Boat Race, Ohio River Miles 90.4-91.5, 32241-32242 2017-14684 NOTICES Meetings: Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee, 32372-32373 2017-14682 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32345-32346 2017-14647 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application Package for Renewal of Disaster Response Cooperative Agreement, 32346-32347 2017-14728 Defense Department Defense Department See

Navy Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32347-32349 2017-14658 2017-14674
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: 2017-18 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study Administrative Collection, 32350-32351 2017-14678 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, 32351-32353 2017-14676 Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 Main Study Base Year, Operational Field Test First Follow-up, and Tracking and Recruitment for Main Study First Follow-up, 32353-32354 2017-14677 William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request for Supplemental Information, 32349-32350 2017-14680 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

RULES Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps, 32227-32228 2017-14473
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions; Final Authorizations: Louisiana, 32253-32256 2017-14766 Oklahoma, 32249-32253 2017-14774 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Arkansas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation Plan; Revision of Federal Implementation Plan, 32284-32287 2017-14692 Louisiana; Regional Haze State Implementation Plan, 32294-32301 2017-14693 Utah; General Burning Rule Revisions, 32282-32284 2017-14739 Utah; Salt Lake County and Utah County Nonattainment Area Coarse Particulate Matter State Implementation Plan Revisions to Control Measures for Point Sources, 32287-32294 2017-14748 Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Programs: Washington; Revisions, 32305-32312 2017-14733 Designated Facilities State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: New Jersey; Delegation of Authority, 32301-32303 2017-14744 State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions; Final Authorizations: Louisiana, 32304 2017-14764 Oklahoma, 32303-32304 2017-14773 NOTICES National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permits: Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts; Postponement of Effective Date, 32357-32359 2017-14731 Privacy Act; System of Records, 32359-32361 2017-14749 Public Water Supply Supervision Program; Revisions: Alaska, 32359 2017-14758 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments, 32228-32232 2017-14519 2017-14521 NOTICES Noise Compatibility Programs: Akron-Canton Airport, North Canton, OH, 32438-32439 2017-14637 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries, 32437-32438 2017-14649 2017-14715 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Review of Foreign Ownership Policies for Broadcast, Common Carrier and Aeronautical Radio Licensees, 32260-32261 2017-14644 NOTICES Meetings: Open Commission, 32361-32362 2017-14713 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 32354-32357 2017-14652 2017-14653 2017-14675 Declaratory Orders; Petitions: Nogales Transmission, LLC; Nogales Frontier Operations, LLC, 32356 2017-14654 License Applications: Walden Hydro, LLC, 32357 2017-14656 Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facilities: North Table Mountain Water and Sanitation District, 32355-32356 2017-14705 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Hours of Service of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Rail Delivery Services; Correction, 32439 2017-14689 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32439-32440 2017-14683 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Permit Applications: Foreign Endangered and Threatened Species, 32374-32376 2017-14673 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Farmers' Market Nutrition Program Program Regulations: Reporting and Record-keeping Burden, 32318-32322 2017-14623 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Federal Management Regulations: Effective Federal Warehousing—Notification, Federal Warehousing and Storage of Assets, 32362 2017-14736 Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council NOTICES Draft 2017 Funded Priorities List: Comprehensive Commitment and Planning Support, 32362-32366 2017-14690 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

PROPOSED RULES World Trade Center Health Program: Parkinson's Disease and Parkinsonism, Including Manganese-Induced Parkinsonism; Petitions 016 and 017 for Additions of Health Conditions: Finding of Insufficient Evidence, 32312-32315 2017-14559
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Charter Renewals: Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry, 32371 2017-14648 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act Reporting Requirements, 32373-32374 2017-14626 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service PROPOSED RULES Transactions Involving Transfer of No Net Value, 32281-32282 2017-14723 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain In-Shell (Raw) Pistachios from Islamic Republic of Iran, 32325-32326 2017-14707 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Recombinant Factor IX Products, 32377-32378 2017-14650 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Softwood Lumber from Canada, 32376-32377 2017-14718 Justice Department Justice Department See

Justice Programs Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Firearms Transaction Record/Registro de Transaccion de Armas, 32378-32379 2017-14687
Justice Programs Justice Programs Office NOTICES Minimum Scheme Requirements to Certify Criminal Justice Restraints, 32379-32381 2017-14638 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: Ad Hoc Task Force on STEM Education, 32381 2017-14711 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction, 32326-32328 2017-14719 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 32371-32372 2017-14641 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 32372 2017-14642 Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women, 32372 2017-14643 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Sablefish in Bering Sea Subarea of Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 32262 2017-14686 NOTICES Fisheries of Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery Program, 32329-32330 2017-14720 Meetings: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 32344 2017-14622 Permit Applications: Marine Mammals; File No. 21006, 32344-32345 2017-14714 Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 20556, 32328-32329 2017-14635 Marine Mammals; File No. 21059, 32328 2017-14640 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Site Characterization Surveys off Coast of New York, 32330-32344 2017-14699 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education, 32381 2017-14700 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 32381-32382 2017-14779 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32349 2017-14651 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES License Amendment Applications: Lost Creek ISR, LLC, Lost Creek Uranium In-Situ Recovery Project Sweetwater County, WY, 32382-32386 2017-14672 Personnel Personnel Management Office PROPOSED RULES Administrative Leave, Investigative Leave, Notice Leave, and Weather and Safety Leave, 32263-32281 2017-14712 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Parcel Select Negotiated Service Agreement, 32386 2017-14633 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BOX Options Exchange, LLC, 32402-32404 2017-14661 Depository Trust Co., 32406-32409, 32417-32419 2017-14665 2017-14668 Depository Trust Co.; National Securities Clearing Corp.; Fixed Income Clearing Corp., 32399-32402 2017-14671 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 32419-32431 2017-14667 NASDAQ BX, Inc., 32415-32417 2017-14662 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 32392-32394, 32409-32413 2017-14663 2017-14664 NASDAQ PHLX, LLC, 32404-32406 2017-14660 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 32386-32392, 32394-32396 2017-14659 2017-14666 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 32413-32415 2017-14669 New York Stock Exchange, LLC; NYSE MKT, LLC, 32396-32399 2017-14670 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Major Disaster Declarations: Oklahoma, 32431 2017-14708 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32431-32436 2017-14722 State Department State Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Private International Law, 32436-32437 2017-14727 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board and Executive Resources Board Membership, 32437 2017-14721 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited to Secure U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration Bonds, 32444 2017-14634 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing Mechanisms, 32443-32444 2017-14636
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection RULES Electronic Information for Cargo Exported from United States; Technical Amendments, 32232-32241 2017-14549 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Vetbiz Vendor Information Pages Verification Program, 32444-32445 2017-14696 Reader Aids

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82 133 Thursday, July 13, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Parts 429 and 430 [EERE-2016-BT-TP-0029] RIN 1904-AD71 Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps AGENCY:

Office of the General Counsel, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Notification of administrative stay.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Energy (DOE) has postponed the effectiveness of certain provisions of a final rule, published in the Federal Register on January 5, 2017, that amends the test procedure and specific certification, compliance, and enforcement provisions for central air conditioners and heat pumps. Specifically, DOE postponed the effectiveness of two provisions of a recently issued rule that require outdoor unit models to be tested under the outdoor unit with no match if they meet either of the two following conditions: The outdoor unit is approved for use with a refrigerant that has a 95 °F midpoint saturation absolute pressure that is +/− 18 percent of the 95 °F saturation absolute pressure for HCFC-22; or the unit is shipped requiring the addition of more than two pounds of refrigerant to meet the charge required for testing under the rule and the factory charge is not equal to or greater than 70% of the outdoor unit internal volume times the liquid density of refrigerant at 95 °F.

DATES:

As of July 3, 2017, the effectiveness of certain provisions of 10 CFR 429.16(a)(3)(i) was postponed under 5 U.S.C. 705.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Pete Cochran, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Phone: (202) 586-9496. Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On January 5, 2017, DOE published a final rule (January 2017 final rule) amending the test procedure and certification, compliance, and enforcement provisions for central air conditioners and heat pumps (CAC/HP). 82 FR 1426. Among other changes, the January 2017 final rule added a paragraph at 10 CFR 429.16(a)(3)(i) that requires, among other things: (1) If any of the refrigerants approved for use with an outdoor unit model is HCFC-22 or has a 95 °F midpoint saturation absolute pressure that is +/− 18 percent of the 95 °F saturation absolute pressure for HCFC-22, or if there are no refrigerants designated as approved for use, a manufacturer to determine represented values (including SEER, EER, HSPF, SEER2, EER2, HSPF2, PW, OFF, cooling capacity, and heating capacity, as applicable) for, at a minimum, an outdoor unit with no match; and (2) if a model of outdoor unit is not charged with a specified refrigerant from the point of manufacture or if the unit is shipped requiring the addition of more than two pounds of refrigerant to meet the charge required for testing per section 2.2.5 of appendix M or appendix M1 (unless either (a) the factory charge is equal to or greater than 70% of the outdoor unit internal volume times the liquid density of refrigerant at 95 °F or (b) an A2L refrigerant is approved for use and listed in the certification report), a manufacturer to determine represented values (including SEER, EER, HSPF, SEER2, EER2, HSPF2, PW, OFF, cooling capacity, and heating capacity, as applicable) for, at a minimum, an outdoor unit with no match.

The original effective date of the January 2017 final rule was February 6, 2017. Subsequently, DOE delayed the effective date of the January 2017 final rule until March 21, 2017 (82 FR 8985), and then further delayed the effective date until July 5, 2017 (82 FR 14425; 82 FR 15457).

On March 3, 2017, Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) filed a petition for review of the January 2017 final rule in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. JCI manufactures outdoor units with an approved refrigerant that has a 95 °F midpoint saturation absolute pressure that is +/− 18 percent of the 95 °F saturation absolute pressure for HCFC-22. These same models are also shipped requiring the addition of more than two pounds of refrigerant to meet the charge required for testing per section 2.2.5 of appendix M or appendix M1, and the factory charge is not equal to or greater than 70% of the outdoor unit internal volume times the liquid density of refrigerant at 95 °F. Thus, under either of the two provisions at 10 CFR 429.16(a)(3)(i), these models would need to be tested as outdoor units with no match under appendix M or M1.

On May 31, 2017, JCI requested that DOE grant it an administrative stay pending judicial review of two elements of the January 2017 final rule challenged in the Seventh Circuit case: The requirements that a manufacturer determine represented values (including SEER, EER, HSPF, SEER2, EER2, HSPF2, PW, OFF, cooling capacity, and heating capacity, as applicable) for, at a minimum, an outdoor unit with no match, when testing outdoor unit models that are either: (1) Approved for a refrigerant that has a 95 °F midpoint saturation absolute pressure that is +/− 18 percent of the 95 °F saturation absolute pressure for HCFC-22; or (2) shipped requiring the addition of more than two pounds of refrigerant to meet the charge required for testing per section 2.2.5 of appendix M or Appendix M1, and the factory charge is not equal to or greater than 70% of the outdoor unit internal volume times the liquid density of refrigerant at 95 °F. On June 6, 2017, JCI requested that DOE hold its stay request in abeyance, noting that DOE's June 2, 2017, grant of an 180-day extension of the date by which JCI must comply with the two provisions specified above obviated the need for an immediate grant of an administrative stay.

Administrative Stay and Effectiveness

Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 705), “[w]hen an agency finds that justice so requires, it may postpone the effective date of action taken by it, pending judicial review.” The result of the issuance of a stay is to leave in place the status quo.

DOE has determined that, during the pendency of the lawsuit brought by JCI, it is in the interests of justice to postpone the effectiveness of the provisions of the January 2017 final rule that require a manufacturer to determine represented values (including SEER, EER, HSPF, SEER2, EER2, HSPF2, PW, OFF, cooling capacity, and heating capacity, as applicable) for, at a minimum, an outdoor unit with no match, when testing outdoor unit models that are either: (1) Approved for a refrigerant that has a 95 °F midpoint saturation absolute pressure that is +/− 18 percent of the 95 °F saturation absolute pressure for HCFC-22; or (2) shipped requiring the addition of more than two pounds of refrigerant to meet the charge required for testing per section 2.2.5 of appendix M or appendix M1, and the factory charge is not equal to or greater than 70% of the outdoor unit internal volume times the liquid density of refrigerant at 95 °F. DOE has determined to postpone the effectivenes of these provisions based on JCI's submissions to DOE that raise concerns about significant potential impacts on JCI, and further to ensure all manufacturers of central air conditioners and heat pumps have the same relief granted to JCI.

Issued in Washington, DC, on July 3, 2017. George Fibbe, Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, Regulation and Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2017-14473 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31139; Amdt. No. 3751] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule establishes, amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

DATES:

This rule is effective July 13, 2017. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of July 13, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Availability of matters incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

For Examination

1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

4. 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.

Availability

All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas J. Nichols, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420), Flight Technologies and Programs Divisions, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd. Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125) Telephone: (405) 954-4164.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule amends Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 97 (14 CFR part 97), by establishing, amending, suspending, or removes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP and its associated Takeoff Minimums or ODP for an identified airport is listed on FAA form documents which are incorporated by reference in this amendment under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR part § 97.20. The applicable FAA forms are FAA Forms 8260-3, 8260-4, 8260-5, 8260-15A, and 8260-15B when required by an entry on 8260-15A.

The large number of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums or ODPs, but instead refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP listed on FAA form documents is unnecessary. This amendment provides the affected CFR sections and specifies the types of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure, and the amendment number.

Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

The Rule

This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP as Amended in the transmittal. Some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and textual ODP amendments may have been issued previously by the FAA in a Flight Data Center (FDC) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

The circumstances that created the need for some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments may require making them effective in less than 30 days. For the remaining SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, an effective date at least 30 days after publication is provided.

Further, the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied to the conditions existing or anticipated at the affected airports. Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), good cause exists for making some SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Issued in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2017. John S. Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, part 97 (14 CFR part 97) is amended by establishing, amending, suspending, or removing Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and/or Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: Effective 20 July 2017 Boca Raton, FL, Boca Raton, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 23, Amdt 1A Boca Raton, FL, Boca Raton, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 23, Orig-A Orlando, FL, Orlando Sanford Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 27R, Amdt 4 Orlando, FL, Orlando Sanford Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27R, Amdt 4 Poughkeepsie, NY, Hudson Valley Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Orig-E Logan, WV, Logan County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Amdt 1 Logan, WV, Logan County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1 Effective 17 August 2017 Nondalton, AK, Nondalton, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Orig-B Platinum, AK, Platinum, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Amdt 2 Platinum, AK, Platinum, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Wrangell, AK, Wrangell, LDA-C, Amdt 8A Wrangell, AK, Wrangell, LDA-D, Amdt 7A Wrangell, AK, Wrangell, LEVEL ISLAND THREE, Graphic DP Montgomery, AL, Montgomery Rgnl (Dannelly Field), ILS OR LOC RWY 10, Amdt 24 Rogers, AR, Rogers Executive—Carter Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 20, Amdt 4 Rogers, AR, Rogers Executive—Carter Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Amdt 1 Phoenix, AZ, Phoenix Deer Valley, RNAV (GPS) RWY 7R, Amdt 1A Columbia, CA, Columbia, FICHU TWO, Graphic DP Columbia, CA, Columbia, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig-B Columbia, CA, Columbia, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 14 South Lake Tahoe, CA, Lake Tahoe, LDA/DME 2 RWY 18, Amdt 1B, CANCELED Wray, CO, Wray Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 1B Palatka, FL, Palatka Muni—Lt Kay Larkin Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Orig-B Punta Gorda, FL, Punta Gorda, RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Amdt 2 Blakely, GA, Early County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Amdt 2A Blakely, GA, Early County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Amdt 2A Butler, GA, Butler Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1A Louisville, GA, Louisville Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig Louisville, GA, Louisville Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig Louisville, GA, Louisville Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Thomasville, GA, Thomasville Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Orig Tifton, GA, Henry Tift Myers, ILS OR LOC RWY 34, Amdt 2A Tifton, GA, Henry Tift Myers, RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Orig-A Tifton, GA, Henry Tift Myers, RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Amdt 1A Tifton, GA, Henry Tift Myers, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 6A Valdosta, GA, Valdosta Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 2A Ames, IA, Ames Muni, ILS OR LOC RWY 1, Amdt 3 Fort Madison, IA, Fort Madison Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig-B Fort Madison, IA, Fort Madison Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig-C Peoria, IL, Mount Hawley Auxiliary, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 2 Indianapolis, IN, Indy South Greenwood, RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 2 Kokomo, IN, Kokomo Muni, VOR RWY 32, Amdt 21 Marlette, MI, Marlette, RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Amdt 1B Marlette, MI, Marlette, RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Orig-B Marlette, MI, Marlette, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 1B Ontonagon, MI, Ontonagon County—Schuster Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig Ontonagon, MI, Ontonagon County—Schuster Field, RNAV (GPS)-A, Orig-A, CANCELED Longville, MN, Longville Muni, NDB RWY 31, Amdt 1 Longville, MN, Longville Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig St Paul, MN, St Paul Downtown Holman Fld, ILS OR LOC RWY 14, Amdt 2 St Paul, MN, St Paul Downtown Holman Fld, ILS OR LOC RWY 32, Amdt 6 St Paul, MN, St Paul Downtown Holman Fld, NDB RWY 31, Amdt 9 St Paul, MN, St Paul Downtown Holman Fld, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Amdt 1B St Paul, MN, St Paul Downtown Holman Fld, RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Amdt 1 St Paul, MN, St Paul Downtown Holman Fld, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 8A Joplin, MO, Joplin Rgnl, ILS OR LOC/NDB RWY 13, Orig-C Joplin, MO, Joplin Rgnl, LOC BC RWY 31, Amdt 21D West Plains, MO, West Plains Muni, VOR RWY 36, Amdt 1, CANCELED Columbus, MS, Columbus-Lowndes County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1 Columbus, MS, Columbus-Lowndes County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 1 Columbus, MS, Columbus-Lowndes County, VOR-A, Amdt 14 Hattiesburg, MS, Hattiesburg-Laurel Rgnl, ILS OR LOC RWY 18, Amdt 7B Pascagoula, MS, Trent Lott Intl, VOR-A, Amdt 1B, CANCELED Roanoke Rapids, NC, Halifax-Northampton Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Amdt 2 Roanoke Rapids, NC, Halifax-Northampton Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Amdt 2 Roanoke Rapids, NC, Halifax-Northampton Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Roanoke Rapids, NC, Halifax-Northampton Rgnl, VOR RWY 2, Amdt 1 Salisbury, NC, Mid-Carolina Rgnl, ILS OR LOC RWY 20, Amdt 1B Salisbury, NC, Mid-Carolina Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Amdt 1B Salisbury, NC, Mid-Carolina Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Amdt 1B Salisbury, NC, Mid-Carolina Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2A Seward, NE, Seward Muni, NDB RWY 16, Orig, CANCELED Seward, NE, Seward Muni, NDB RWY 34, Orig-A, CANCELED Winnemucca, NV, Winnemucca Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-A New York, NY, LaGuardia, COPTER RNAV (GPS) 250, Orig-B New York, NY, Long Island Mac Arthur, RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 3 Stormville, NY, Stormville, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig, SUSPEND Stormville, NY, Stormville, VOR OR GPS-A, Amdt 4A, SUSPEND Cambridge, OH, Cambridge Muni, LOC/DME RWY 22, Amdt 1C, CANCELED East Liverpool, OH, Columbia County, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2A Millersburg, OH, Holmes County, VOR-A, Amdt 7, CANCELED Ada, OK, Ada Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1 Ada, OK, Ada Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 1 Ada, OK, Ada Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 4 Ada, OK, Ada Rgnl, VOR RWY 18, Amdt 2 Burns Flat, OK, Clinton-Sherman, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17R, Amdt 1A Burns Flat, OK, Clinton-Sherman, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35L, Amdt 1A Burns Flat, OK, Clinton-Sherman, VOR RWY 35L, Amdt 12A Lawton, OK, Lawton-Fort Sill Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 1 Medford, OR, Rogue Valley Intl—Medford, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 14, Amdt 1A Kingstree, SC, Williamsburg Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig Kingstree, SC, Williamsburg Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Amdt 1 Kingstree, SC, Williamsburg Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Lake City, SC, Lake City Muni CJ Evans Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Orig-A Jasper, TN, Marion County-Brown Field, NDB RWY 4, Amdt 5A, CANCELED Rogersville, TN, Hawkins County, GPS RWY 7, Orig-B, CANCELED Rogersville, TN, Hawkins County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Orig Rogersville, TN, Hawkins County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Orig Dallas, TX, Dallas Love Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 17 Lakeway, TX, Lakeway Airpark, RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Amdt 1B Nephi, UT, Nephi Muni, NEPHI TWO, Graphic DP Renton, WA, Renton Muni, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 16, Amdt 5 Renton, WA, Renton Muni, RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 16, Amdt 3 Mosinee, WI, Central Wisconsin, ILS OR LOC RWY 8, Amdt 14 Mosinee, WI, Central Wisconsin, ILS OR LOC RWY 35, Amdt 3 Mosinee, WI, Central Wisconsin, RNAV (GPS) RWY 8, Amdt 1C Mosinee, WI, Central Wisconsin, RNAV (GPS) RWY 26, Amdt 1C Mosinee, WI, Central Wisconsin, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 2
[FR Doc. 2017-14519 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31141; Amdt. No. 3753] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule establishes, amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

DATES:

This rule is effective July 13, 2017. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of July 13, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Availability of matters incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

For Examination

1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

4. 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.

Availability

All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas J. Nichols, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420), Flight Technologies and Programs Divisions, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125) Telephone: (405) 954-4164.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule amends Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 97 (14 CFR part 97), by establishing, amending, suspending, or removes SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPs. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP and its associated Takeoff Minimums or ODP for an identified airport is listed on FAA form documents which are incorporated by reference in this amendment under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR part 97.20. The applicable FAA forms are FAA Forms 8260-3, 8260-4, 8260-5, 8260-15A, and 8260-15B when required by an entry on 8260-15A.

The large number of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums or ODPs, but instead refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP listed on FAA form documents is unnecessary. This amendment provides the affected CFR sections and specifies the types of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure, and the amendment number.

Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPs as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

The Rule

This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP as Amended in the transmittal. Some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and textual ODP amendments may have been issued previously by the FAA in a Flight Data Center (FDC) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

The circumstances that created the need for some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments may require making them effective in less than 30 days. For the remaining SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, an effective date at least 30 days after publication is provided.

Further, the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied to the conditions existing or anticipated at the affected airports. Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), good cause exists for making some SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Issued in Washington, DC, on June 16, 2017. John S. Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, part 97 (14 CFR part 97) is amended by establishing, amending, suspending, or removing Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and/or Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: Effective 20 July 2017 Bridgeport, CT, Igor I Sikorsky Memorial, RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 1A Lakeland, FL, Lakeland Linder Rgnl, ILS OR LOC RWY 9, Orig-B Lakeland, FL, Lakeland Linder Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Orig-E Lakeland, FL, Lakeland Linder Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Amdt 2C Lakeland, FL, Lakeland Linder Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Orig-C Lakeland, FL, Lakeland Linder Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 2B Lakeland, FL, Lakeland Linder Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1A Lakeland, FL, Lakeland Linder Rgnl, VOR RWY 9, Amdt 4D Lakeland, FL, Lakeland Linder Rgnl, VOR RWY 27, Amdt 7G Effective 17 August 2017 Huntsville, AL, Huntsville Executive Airport Tom Sharp Jr Fld, ILS OR LOC RWY 18, Amdt 1B Chico, CA, Chico Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31R, Orig-B Livermore, CA, Livermore Muni, ILS RWY 25R, Amdt 8 Livermore, CA, Livermore Muni, LOC RWY 25R, Orig Colorado Springs, CO, City of Colorado Springs Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 12A Orlando, FL, Orlando Sanford Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 27R, Amdt 4 Orlando, FL, Orlando Sanford Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27R, Amdt 4 Muscatine, IA, Muscatine Muni, VOR RWY 6, Orig-D, CANCELED Lewiston, ID, Lewiston-Nez Perce County, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 8, Amdt 2B Lewiston, ID, Lewiston-Nez Perce County, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 26, Orig-B Lewiston, ID, Lewiston-Nez Perce County, RNAV (RNP) RWY 30, Orig-C Lewiston, ID, Lewiston-Nez Perce County, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 26, Orig-B Lafayette, IN, Purdue University, ILS OR LOC RWY 10, Amdt 11B Pikeville, KY, Pike County-Hatcher Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 27, Amdt 2 Pikeville, KY, Pike County-Hatcher Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Amdt 2 Pikeville, KY, Pike County-Hatcher Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 2 Worcester, MA, Worcester Rgnl, ILS OR LOC RWY 11, Amdt 24 Worcester, MA, Worcester Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Amdt 2 Worcester, MA, Worcester Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 2 Eastport, ME, Eastport Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Amdt 1 Eastport, ME, Eastport Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Amdt 1 Fosston, MN, Fosston Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Orig-C Fosston, MN, Fosston Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Orig-C Mora, MN, Mora Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig-A Park Rapids, MN, Park Rapids Muni-Konshok Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig-C Sidney, MT, Sidney-Richland Rgnl, NDB RWY 19, Amdt 5 Sidney, MT, Sidney-Richland Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 2 Sidney, MT, Sidney-Richland Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 2 Sidney, MT, Sidney-Richland Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 6 Beaufort, NC, Michael J Smith Field, NDB RWY 14, Amdt 1A, CANCELED Salisbury, NC, Mid-Carolina Rgnl, NDB RWY 20, Amdt 1B Garrison, ND, Garrison Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Amdt 1 Garrison, ND, Garrison Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 1 Albuquerque, NM, Albuquerque Intl Sunport, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 26, Amdt 2 Tonopah, NV, Tonopah, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Dansville, NY, Dansville Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig-A Dansville, NY, Dansville Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Orig, CANCELED Anderson, SC, Anderson Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 23, Amdt 1 Clark, SD, Clark County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig Clark, SD, Clark County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig Clark, SD, Clark County, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Madison, SD, Madison Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Orig-B Rapid City, SD, Rapid City Rgnl, ILS OR LOC RWY 32, Amdt 21 Rapid City, SD, Rapid City Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Amdt 2 Memphis, TN, Memphis Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 4A Austin, TX, Austin Executive, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig-A Austin, TX, San Marcos Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2B Georgetown, TX, Georgetown Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1A Lago Vista, TX, Lago Vista TX—Rusty Allen, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1A Mason, TX, Mason County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Orig-C Mason, TX, Mason County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Orig-C Mason, TX, Mason County, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Mason, TX, Mason County, VOR-A, Amdt 4B Taylor, TX, Taylor Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1A Cedar City, UT, Cedar City Rgnl, ILS OR LOC RWY 20, Amdt 4B Cedar City, UT, Cedar City Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 3A Salt Lake City, UT, Salt Lake City Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 11A Minocqua-Woodruff, WI, Lakeland/Noble F Lee Memorial Field, LOC RWY 36, Amdt 1A Minocqua-Woodruff, WI, Lakeland/Noble F Lee Memorial Field, NDB RWY 28, Amdt 12A Minocqua-Woodruff, WI, Lakeland/Noble F Lee Memorial Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Orig-A Minocqua-Woodruff, WI, Lakeland/Noble F Lee Memorial Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Orig-A
[FR Doc. 2017-14521 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection 19 CFR Parts 4, 10, 18, 113, 122, 123, 141, 191, and 192 [CBP Dec. 17-06] Electronic Information for Cargo Exported From the United States; Technical Amendments AGENCY:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule amends U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulations regarding the requirements to provide data for certain exported cargo to conform to current requirements. Various CBP regulations regarding exported cargo refer to outdated regulations or requirements of the U.S. Census Bureau, including the requirement to submit a paper Shipper's Export Declaration (SED). The U.S. Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) have been amended to eliminate the SED and to require that the information that was previously provided on the paper SED be filed electronically through the Automated Export System. This rule amends the CBP regulations to incorporate the current requirements. The rule also makes related conforming changes as well as non-substantive editorial and nomenclature changes.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on July 13, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert C. Rawls, Branch Chief, Outbound Enforcement and Policy Branch, Cargo and Conveyance Security, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, (202) 344-2847.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background and Purpose

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) periodically reviews its regulations to ensure that they are up to date. As explained below, various provisions of the CBP regulations contain references to certain U.S. Census Bureau (Census Bureau) requirements and regulations which are out of date. CBP is updating the regulations so that they conform to current requirements.

In 2008, 2013, and 2016, the Census Bureau issued amendments to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) codified at 15 CFR part 30 that require exporters to use the Automated Export System (AES) to file export commodity and transportation information, known as Electronic Export Information (EEI), directly with CBP and the Census Bureau.1 The amendments concurrently eliminated the use of the Shipper's Export Declaration (SED), the paper form previously used by exporters to report export information.2 The amendments also revised some terminology and clarified some requirements. Because various CBP regulations refer to AES as a voluntary program, and refer to the SED and other outdated provisions and terminology in the FTR, it is necessary to amend the CBP regulations so that they are consistent with current requirements.

1 In 2002, Congress passed the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (the “FRAA”), Public Law 107-228, 116 Stat. 1350 (September 30, 2002). Section 1404 of the FRAA mandates that the Census Bureau, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Treasury, publish regulations implementing the requirement to file export information through AES for all shipments where an SED was required. On June 2, 2008, the Census Bureau published a final rule in the Federal Register (73 FR 31548) (“the 2008 Census Bureau rule”) creating the FTR, which required export information for which an SED was previously required to be filed to be from then on filed through AES for most exports. That final rule did not require the use of AES to report export data for used self-propelled vehicles and temporary exports. On March 14, 2013, the Census Bureau published a final rule in the Federal Register (78 FR 16366) (“the 2013 Census Bureau rule”) that expanded the requirement for exporters to use AES to include shipments of used self-propelled vehicles and temporary exports. On November 13, 2013, the Census Bureau published a notice in the Federal Register (78 FR 67928) delaying the effective date of this final rule until April 5, 2014. On April 19, 2017, the Census Bureau published a final rule in the Federal Register (82 FR 18383) amending the FTR to reflect new export reporting requirements, which, among other things, redesignated Appendix D as Appendix B.

2 On June 29, 2008, CBP published a general notice in the Federal Register (73 FR 32466) to inform the public that CBP would enforce compliance with the regulations pertaining to the mandatory, pre-departure electronic filing of export information through AES starting on September 30, 2008.

It should be noted that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through CBP, collects certain export information under its own authority pursuant to section 343(a) of the Trade Act of 2002, Public Law 107-210, 116 Stat. 981 (August 6, 2002), as amended, which mandates that the Secretary of Homeland Security collect information pertaining to cargo before the cargo is either brought into or sent from the United States by any mode of commercial transportation (sea, air, rail or truck). See 19 U.S.C. 2071 note. The cargo information required is that which is reasonably necessary to enable high-risk shipments to be identified for purposes of ensuring cargo safety and security pursuant to those laws enforced and administered by CBP.3 The advance reporting requirements pertaining to exported cargo are set forth in 19 CFR part 192. These part 192 regulations make various references to the SED and other outdated Census Bureau requirements.

3 On December 5, 2003, CBP published a final rule in the Federal Register (68 FR 68140) that amended the CBP regulations to require the submission of electronic information pertaining to cargo before the arrival or departure of that cargo from the United States by any mode of commercial transportation pursuant to section 343(a) of the Trade Act of 2002, as amended by the Maritime Security Act (19 U.S.C. 2071 note). See 19 CFR 4.7, 4.7a (vessel); 122.48a (air); 123.91 (rail); 123.92 (truck); 192.14 (exported cargo).

II. Explanation of Amendments

CBP has determined that it is necessary to update parts 4, 10, 18, 113, 122, 123, 141, 191 and 192 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR parts 4, 10, 18, 113, 122, 123, 141, 191 and 192) to conform them to the Census Bureau's FTR. Accordingly, this rule amends the CBP regulations by incorporating current requirements for the filing of EEI in AES, deleting references to the SED, updating outdated terminology and by making other conforming changes. These changes are discussed in more detail below.

A. 19 CFR Part 4

Sections 4.61, 4.63, 4.75, 4.76, 4.81, 4.84 and 4.87 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 4.61, 4.63, 4.75, 4.76, 4.81, 4.84 and 4.87) set forth various requirements pertaining to the exportation of cargo from the United States by vessel. These sections refer to the terms “shipper's export declarations”, “export declarations”, “paper SEDs”, and “cargo information”. Pursuant to the Census Bureau's FTR, SEDs are no longer accepted and exporters must file their export information as EEI through AES. Accordingly, CBP is replacing references to these terms with “Electronic Export Information (EEI)” or “EEI”, as appropriate.

Under the FTR, when an export transaction is exempt or excluded from the requirement to file EEI, or when the EEI has not yet been filed in AES, the exporter must report to CBP the EEI exemption or exclusion legend that indicates the basis for not filing EEI, or must report the EEI filing citation (known as the “proof of filing citation” in the Census Bureau's FTR) to indicate that the EEI has been accepted or the post departure filing citation to indicate that EEI will be filed in AES. Therefore, where appropriate, CBP is replacing the references to the “shipper's export declarations” with “EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends”.

Section 4.63 concerns the outward cargo declaration for vessels. Paragraph (b) provides that if EEI is not required for a shipment, a notation must be made on the outward cargo declaration describing the basis for the exemption. The Census Bureau's FTR, however, requires notations for both exemptions and exclusions. See 15 CFR 30.7, 30.45. Therefore, CBP is making a conforming change to § 4.63 to also require a notation describing the basis for an exclusion from filing EEI, if applicable. In addition, the last sentence of paragraph (b) provides that shipments that are exempt from the requirement to file EEI based on value or destination are not required to make reference to the applicable section in the Census Bureau's regulations on its outward cargo declaration. The Census Bureau's FTR, however, requires an annotation of the appropriate exemption legend on such documents, regardless of the type of exemption. See 15 CFR 30.45. Accordingly, CBP is making a conforming revision to § 4.63 by removing the last sentence of paragraph (b).

Section 4.76 sets forth procedures and responsibilities of carriers filing outbound vessel manifest information via the AES. As a result of the elimination of the SED and the new requirement to file EEI electronically, certain procedural language in § 4.76 must be updated. In paragraph (b), the second to last sentence provides that where paper SEDs have been submitted by exporters prior to departure, participant carriers will be responsible for submitting those SEDs to Customs within four (4) business days after the departure of the vessel from each port, unless a different time required is specified by § 4.75 or § 4.84. Because EEI has replaced paper SEDs, exporters are now required to submit to CBP a vessel manifest annotated with proof of EEI filing (as demonstrated by an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) issued by AES upon filing) rather than a paper SED. Therefore, CBP is revising this sentence to read: When the exporter submits Electronic Export Information (EEI) prior to departure, carriers will be responsible for annotating the manifest with the Internal Transaction Number (ITN) without change and submitting the manifest to CBP within four (4) business days after the departure of the vessel from each port unless a different time requirement is specified in § 4.75 or § 4.84. Additionally, CBP is removing the last sentence of § 4.76(b) regarding an alternative procedure for the filing of the paper SED. This procedure is no longer applicable in an environment where paper SEDs are not accepted.

CBP is also amending various sections throughout part 4 to update outdated terminology. These sections are amended by replacing outdated references to “Customs” or “Customs Service” with “CBP”. These amendments are consistent with the transfer of the legacy U.S. Customs Service of the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003 and the subsequent renaming of the agency as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) by DHS on March 31, 2007. See 72 FR 20131 (April 23, 2007); 75 FR 12445 (March 16, 2010); see also U.S. Customs and Border Protection Authorization Act, Public Law 114-125, 130 Stat. 199 (19 U.S.C. 4301 note), enacted February 24, 2016.

CBP is also updating § 4.76(b) which refers to the “AES Trade Interface Requirements (AESTIR) handbook”. The AESTIR handbook is no longer published by CBP. The performance requirements and operational standards required to file EEI are collectively referred to as the AES Trade Interface Requirements and is available on CBP's Web site. Therefore, CBP is removing the word “handbook”. Also in § 4.76(b), CBP is updating CBP's Web site address.

CBP is amending various sections throughout part 4 that refer to the “Census Regulations”, “Bureau of Census Regulations”, “regulations of the Bureau of the Census”, or “Bureau of Trade Census Foreign Trade Statistics (FTSR)”. The 2008 Census Bureau rule mandating the use of AES for all shipments requiring an SED also renamed the regulations under title 15 of the CFR, part 30. They are now referred to as the “Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR)”. Accordingly, CBP is replacing references to “Census Regulations”, “Bureau of Census Regulations”, “regulations of the Bureau of the Census”, or “Bureau of Trade Census Foreign Trade Statistics (FTSR)” with “Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations”.

CBP is amending various sections in part 4 to correct certain outdated citations to the United States Code (U.S.C.) and the CFR. Section 4.61(c) is amended to correct “46 U.S.C. App. 97” to “46 U.S.C. 60106”, “46 U.S.C. App. 98” to “46 U.S.C. 60109”, and “Payment of State and Federal fees and fees due the Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States (46 U.S.C. App. 100)” to “Payment of all legal fees that have accrued on the vessel (46 U.S.C. 60107)”. Section 4.75(a) is amended to correct “46 U.S.C. 91” to “46 U.S.C. 60105.” 4 Section 4.61(e) is amended to correct a typographical error. Specifically, the citation in “22 U.S.C. 454a” is changed to “22 U.S.C. 454(a)”. Sections 4.63, 4.75 and 4.76 contain outdated references to 15 CFR part 30 as a result of the Census Bureau's reorganization of the FTR and are amended to cite to the correct provisions in 15 CFR part 30.

4 Section 9 of the Merchant Marine Laws Codification, 109 Pub. L. 304, 120 Stat. 1485 (Oct. 6, 2006) redesignated these sections. The revisions incorporate the redesignations.

CBP is also making certain minor changes in part 4 for clarity and for consistency, including replacing the references to “Form 1302-A” with “Form 1302A” for consistency with CBP's current usage on its forms and replacing the term “port” with “port of lading”. “Port of lading” is the nomenclature used for the sea port where the cargo is loaded on a vessel. Using this term rather than simply “port” clarifies that these regulations are referring to the “port of lading” rather than the “port of discharge,” where the cargo would be unloaded. For stylistic reasons, CBP is also replacing references to “shall” with “must” or “will”, as appropriate.

B. 19 CFR Part 10

Section 10.41b of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 10.41b) concerns the requirements for clearance of serially numbered substantial holders or outer containers. Paragraph (g)(2) provides that nothing in the procedure described by § 10.41b will be deemed to affect the requirements of the Department of Commerce on exportation with respect to the filing of “ `Shipper's Export Declaration,' Form 7525V”. CBP is replacing this reference with “Electronic Export Information (EEI)” to conform to the revised FTR.

C. 19 CFR Part 18

Sections 18.42 and 18.43 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 18.42 and 18.43) set forth exportation requirements for merchandise exported under cover of a TIR (Transport International Routier) carnet. Section 18.42 covers the requirements for direct exportation and section 18.43 covers the requirements for indirect exportation. In these sections, CBP is replacing references to “export declarations” with “Electronic Export Information (EEI)” to conform to the revised FTR. CBP is also replacing references to “Bureau of the Census” with “Census Bureau” for consistency with other CBP regulations. For stylistic reasons, CBP is also replacing references to “shall” with “must” or “will”, as appropriate.

D. 19 CFR Part 113

Section 113.64 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 113.64) sets forth international carrier bond conditions. Paragraph (i) relates to the agreement by carriers to deliver export documents to CBP and provides for the payment of liquidated damages if the agreement is not adhered to. The specified liquidated damage amounts reflect the amounts in the former Census Bureau regulation, § 30.24(a), later redesignated § 30.47(b). These amounts were increased by the 2008 Census Bureau rule. CBP is changing the specified liquidated damages amounts to conform to the Census Bureau's FTR.

E. 19 CFR Part 122

Sections 122.71, 122.72, 122.73, 122.74, 122.75, 122.76, and 122.79 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 122.71, 122.72, 122.73, 122.74, 122.75, 122.76, and 122.79) set forth departure clearance requirements for aircraft, as well as electronic manifest requirements for passengers, crew members, and non-crew members onboard commercial aircraft departing from the United States. Section 122.143 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 122.143) concerns flights from the U.S. to the U.S. Virgin Islands. In these sections, CBP is replacing references to “shipper's export declarations” or variations thereof with “Electronic Export Information (EEI)” or “EEI”, as appropriate. In certain cases, however, CBP is replacing the references to the “shipper's export declarations” or variations thereof with “Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends” or variations thereof, when the context of the reference indicates that the exporter may file with CBP the EEI exemption or exclusion legend when an export transaction is exempt or excluded from the requirement or when EEI has not yet been filed in AES.

Section 122.74 sets forth the conditions under which an aircraft bound for a foreign location may receive permission by CBP to depart before a complete manifest or all required EEI have been filed. In addition to the revisions described in the paragraph above, CBP is amending this section to eliminate the hanging text following paragraph (b)(2). CBP is revising paragraph (b) to move the hanging text to the introductory paragraph of paragraph (b) to improve clarity.

Section 122.75 sets forth the requirements for a complete air cargo manifest. Paragraph (a)(2) specifies the procedures applicable to direct departures of shipments requiring a shipper's export declaration. CBP is amending this paragraph so that it conforms to the Census Bureau's FTR requirements. Specifically, CBP is revising the language in paragraph (a)(2) to allow the “EEI filing citation” to be listed on the air cargo manifest in the column for air waybill numbers instead of “the number of each declaration”. CBP is also revising paragraph (a)(2) to require the statement “Electronic Information Annotated” to appear on the manifest instead of “Cargo as per Export Declarations Attached”.

CBP is also making other non-substantive changes to sections in part 122. In various sections throughout part 122, CBP is replacing outdated references to “Customs” with “CBP”. In § 122.143(b), CBP is replacing a reference to “Bureau of the Census” with “Census Bureau” for consistency and a reference to “Bureau of the Census regulations” with “Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations” or variations thereof to conform with the revised Census Bureau's FTR. In § 122.143(b)(2), CBP is updating an outdated citation to the FTR. CBP is also making certain minor changes in part 122 for clarity and/or for consistency, including replacing references to “U.S.” to “United States” when not used as a modifier to conform to the U.S. Government Printing Office's Style Manual. For stylistic reasons, CBP is also replacing references to “shall” with “must” or “will”, as appropriate.

F. 19 CFR Part 123

Section 123.28 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 123.28) concerns merchandise remaining in or exported to Canada or Mexico. In paragraph (a), CBP is replacing an outdated reference to “U.S. Customs” with “CBP”. In paragraph (b), CBP is replacing a reference to “shipper's export declaration” with “Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing citation, exclusions, and/or exemption legends” to conform to the revised FTR. For stylistic reasons, CBP is also replacing references to “shall” with “must” or “will”, as appropriate.

G. 19 CFR Part 141

Section 141.43 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 141.43) concerns delegation to subagents. CBP is revising the phrase “executing shippers' export declarations” to read “filing Electronic Export Information (EEI)” to conform to the revised FTR.

H. 19 CFR Part 191

Section 191.51 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 191.51) pertains to the completion of drawback claims. In paragraph (c)(3), CBP is replacing references to “Shipper's Export Declaration(s) (SEDs)” and “SED” with “Electronic Export Information (EEI)” and “EEI”, respectively, to conform to the revised FTR. For stylistic reasons, CBP is also replacing references to “shall” with “must” or “will”, as appropriate. CBP is also making a few editorial changes.

I. 19 CFR Part 192

Sections 192.0, 192.11, 192.12, 192.13, and 192.14 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR 192.0, 192.11, 192.12, 192.13, and 192.14) concern export control, including the filing of export information through AES.

Section 192.0 sets forth the scope of the regulations in part 192. CBP is amending this section to replace outdated references to “Customs” with “CBP”. CBP is also revising an outdated citation to the “Census Regulations at part 30, subpart E (15 CFR part 30, subpart E)” to read “Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) of the Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce, at part 30, subpart A (15 CFR part 30, subpart A)”.

Section 192.11 sets forth a description of AES. CBP is revising this section to conform to the definition of AES contained in the revised FTR, codified at 15 CFR 30.1(c). The changes generally reflect that AES is no longer a voluntary program, and that EEI must be filed through AES. CBP is also updating the citation to the Census Bureau regulations so that it references the proper section in the FTR that describes the procedures for obtaining certification as an AES filer and for applying for authorization to file on a post-departure basis.

Section 192.12 sets forth the criteria for the denial of applications requesting AES post-departure (Option 4) filing status and appeal procedures and § 192.13 sets forth the reasons why CBP may revoke a participant's AES post-departure filing and the revocation and appeal procedures. CBP is currently working on substantive revisions to these sections (which will include the appropriate technical amendments) and is therefore not amending these sections at this time.

Section 192.14 sets forth the procedures for filing EEI required in advance of departure. CBP is making revisions to this section to conform to the electronic filing requirements of EEI contained in the revised FTR. Throughout § 192.14, CBP is adding references to the “authorized filing agent of the Foreign Principal Party in Interest (FPPI)” (or “FPPI's authorized filing agent”) where appropriate to clarify that this party, in addition to the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) or its authorized agent, is authorized to file any required EEI under 15 CFR 30.2. CBP is also replacing all references to “cargo information” or variations thereof with “Electronic Export Information (EEI)” or “EEI”, as appropriate.

In the heading for § 192.14(b), CBP is replacing “Presentation of data” with “Transmission of data” to reflect the electronic submission of export information. In paragraph (b)(1), regarding the time for transmission of the data, CBP is updating the heading and contents to conform to the FTR. The heading is changed from “Time for presenting data” to “Time for transmission of EEI” and the paragraph now conforms to the requirements of the Census Bureau's FTR, specifying that the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must “have received the AES Internal Transaction Number (ITN)” for outbound cargo no later than the time specified in the subsequent paragraphs. In paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (b)(1)(iv), which specify the relevant time frames for the USPPI or the authorized agent to transmit the data for vessel, air, truck and rail cargo, respectively, CBP is rewording these provisions to conform to the FTR by requiring the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent to “provide the EEI filing citation (the ITN), exclusion, and/or exemption legend to the exporting carrier” no later than the time specified in that paragraph. In new paragraph (b)(1)(v), CBP is providing the applicable time frame for the transmission of EEI for shipments of used self-propelled vehicles to conform with § 30.4(b)(5) of the Census Bureau's FTR (15 CFR 30.4). Finally, in new paragraph (b)(1)(vi), CBP is providing the public with a reference to the applicable sections of the Census Bureau's FTR that provide time frames for the transmission of EEI for cargo shipped by pipeline.

In paragraph (b)(2) of § 192.14, CBP is making certain revisions for clarity and to remove outdated language. Among other things, CBP is removing the sentence that references “[p]aragraph (e)” because paragraph (e) of § 192.14 was removed in a prior amendment to the regulation. In paragraph (b)(3), CBP is renaming the heading “System verification of data acceptance” to “System verification of data acceptance or rejection” to better describe the content of the paragraph, replacing certain outdated language, and revising the description of the ITN.

In paragraph (c) of § 192.14, CBP is changing the heading “Information required” to “EEI required” to clarify that all the information listed in paragraph (c) is required EEI.

In paragraph (c)(1) of § 192.14, CBP is changing the heading “Currently collected commodity data” to “Commodity data” to be more concise. CBP is removing the first two sentences of this paragraph because the reference to the SED is outdated and these sentences are redundant and unnecessary. CBP is replacing the phrase “export cargo data elements” with “commodity data elements” for consistency with the heading. CBP is also updating citations to the revised FTR.

In paragraph (c)(2) of § 192.14, under the heading “Transportation data”, CBP is revising outdated language to clarify that these data elements must be reported electronically through the approved system and can be found in § 30.6 of the Census Bureau's FTR.

In paragraph (c)(3) of § 192.14, CBP is replacing the phrase “outbound carrier” with “exporting carrier” for clarity. CBP is also revising the sentence requiring the exporter to furnish proof to the exporting carrier of an “electronic filing citation (the ITN), low-risk exporter citation (currently, the Option 4 filing citation), or exemption statement” to read “EEI filing citation (the ITN), post-departure citation, AES downtime filing citation (when allowed), exclusion, and/or exemption legends (see paragraph (d) of this section)”. This revision is necessary to include a greater range of EEI filing citation, exclusion and/or exemption legends that may be furnished to the exporting carrier and that are acceptable to CBP under Appendix B to the Census Bureau's FTR (15 CFR part 30, Appendix B). The last sentence of paragraph (c)(3) is revised similarly to include the citations and legends referenced above and also to update the reference to the revised FTR.

In paragraphs (c)(4), (c)(5) and (d) of § 192.14, CBP is revising certain language and terminology for consistency and clarity. Among other changes, CBP is replacing the phrase “exemption statement” with “exemption legend”; “Bureau of Census” with “Census Bureau”; and “departed” with “been exported” in reference to high risk cargo that has been transported from the United States. CBP also added relevant citations to the sections in the Census Bureau's FTR providing exemptions from reporting requirements for export cargo.

III. Statutory and Regulatory Requirements A. Administrative Procedure Act

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), CBP has determined for good cause that it would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest to delay publication of this rule in final form pending an opportunity for public comment because the technical amendments set forth in this document merely conform the CBP regulations to existing law and regulations. In addition, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), CBP has determined that there is good cause for this final rule to become effective immediately upon publication for the same reasons.

B. Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771

Executive Orders 12866 (“Regulatory Planning and Review”) and 13563 (“Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”) direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. Executive Order 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) directs agencies to reduce regulation and control regulatory costs and provides that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.”

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, OMB has not reviewed it. As this rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771, Titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs'” (April 5, 2017).

This final rule is a technical amendment and as previously discussed, it amends outdated CBP regulations to incorporate the current requirements. The final rule also makes related conforming changes as well as non-substantive editorial and nomenclature changes. CBP does not believe this rule imposes additional costs on industry or government.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

Because this document is not subject to the notice and public procedure requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553, it is not subject to the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

IV. Signing Authority

This document is limited to technical corrections of the CBP regulations. Accordingly, it is being signed under the authority of 19 CFR 0.1(b)(1).

List of Subjects 19 CFR Part 4

Customs duties and inspection, Exports, Freight, Harbors, Maritime carriers, Oil pollution, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vessels.

19 CFR Part 10

Bonds, Caribbean Basin initiative, Customs duties and inspection, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Trade agreements.

19 CFR Part 18

Common carriers, Customs duties and inspection, Exports, Freight, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds.

19 CFR Part 113

Common carriers, Customs duties and inspection, Exports, Freight, Laboratories, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds.

19 CFR Part 122

Administrative practice and procedure, Air carriers, Aircraft, Airports, Alcohol and alcoholic beverages, Cigars and cigarettes, Cuba, Customs duties and inspection, Drug traffic control, Freight, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures.

19 CFR Part 123

Canada, Customs duties and inspection, Freight, International boundaries, Mexico, Motor carriers, Railroads, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vessels.

19 CFR Part 141

Customs duties and inspection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

19 CFR Part 191

Alcohol and alcoholic beverages, Claims, Customs duties and inspection, Exports, Foreign trade zones, Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba, Packaging and containers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Trade agreements.

19 CFR Part 192

Aircraft, Exports, Motor vehicles, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vessels.

Amendments to the CBP Regulations

For the reasons set forth above, parts 4, 10, 18, 113, 122, 123, 141, 191, and 192 of the CBP regulations (19 CFR parts 4, 10, 18, 113, 122, 123, 141, 191, and 192) are amended as set forth below.

PART 4—VESSELS IN FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC TRADES 1. The general authority citation for part 4 and the specific authority citation for §§ 4.75 and 4.84 continue to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1431, 1433, 1434, 1624, 2071 note; 46 U.S.C. 501, 60105.

Section 4.75 also issued under 46 U.S.C. 60105;

Section 4.84 also issued under 46 U.S.C. 12118;

§ 4.61 [Amended]
2. Amend § 4.61 as follows: a. In paragraph (a), remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”. b. In paragraph (b), remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”. c. In paragraph (c)(2), remove the words “shippers export declarations” and add in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI)”. d. In paragraph (c)(6), remove the citation “46 U.S.C. App. 97” and add in its place “46 U.S.C. 60106”. e. In paragraph (c)(12), remove the citation “46 U.S.C. App. 98” and add in its place “46 U.S.C. 60109”. f. In paragraph (c)(18), remove the words “Payment of State and Federal fees and fees due the Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States (46 U.S.C. App. 100)” and add in their place “Payment of all legal fees that have accrued on the vessel (46 U.S.C. 60107)”. g. In paragraph (e), remove “22 U.S.C. 454a” and add in its place “22 U.S.C. 454(a)”. 3. Amend § 4.63 as follows: a. The section heading is revised. b. In paragraph (a) introductory text, remove the word “Customs” and add in its place “CBP”; and remove the word “shall” and add in its place “will”. c. In paragraph (a)(1), remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”; and remove the words “export declarations” and add in their place “EEI”; and remove the reference to “1302-A” and add in its place “1302A”. d. Revise paragraph (b). e. In paragraph (c) introductory text, remove the word “shall” and add in its place “must”; remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”; and remove all references to “1302-A” and add in their place “1302A”. f. In paragraph (d), remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”; and remove all references to “1302-A” and add in their place “1302A”. g. In paragraph (e), remove the first reference to “Customs” and add in its place “CBP”; remove the reference to “1302-A” and add in its place “1302A”; remove the word “shall” and add in its place “must”; and remove the second reference to “Customs” and add in its place “customs”. h. In paragraph (f), remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”; remove the word “shall” and add in its place “will”; and remove the reference to “1302-A” and add in its place “1302A”.

The revisions read as follows:

§ 4.63 Outward cargo declaration; Electronic Export Information (EEI).

(b) Except as hereafter stated, the Internal Transaction Number (ITN) of the Electronic Export Information (EEI) covering each shipment for which EEI is required must be shown on the Cargo Declaration Outward With Commercial Forms, CBP Form 1302A, in the marginal column headed “B/L No.” If EEI is not required for a shipment, a notation must be made on the Cargo Declaration Outward With Commercial Forms (CBP Form 1302A) describing the basis for the exemption or exclusion using the reference number found in the Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations (see 15 CFR part 30, Appendix B) where the particular exemption or exclusion is provided.

4. Amend § 4.75 as follows: a. The section heading, paragraphs (a) and (b) are revised. b. In paragraph (c), revise the introductory text preceding the list of countries.

The revisions read as follows:

§ 4.75 Incomplete manifest; incomplete or missing Electronic Export Information (EEI); bond.

(a) Pro forma manifest. Except as provided for in § 4.75(c), if a master desiring to clear his vessel for a foreign port does not have available for filing with the CBP port director a complete Cargo Declaration Outward with Commercial Forms, CBP Form 1302A (see § 4.63) in accordance with 46 U.S.C. 60105, or all required EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends (see 15 CFR 30.47), the CBP port director may accept in lieu thereof an incomplete manifest (referred to as a pro forma manifest) on the Vessel Entrance or Clearance Statement, CBP Form 1300, if there is on file in his office a bond on CBP Form 301, containing the bond conditions set forth in § 113.64 of this chapter relating to international carriers, executed by the vessel owner or other person as attorney in fact of the vessel owner. The “Incomplete Manifest for Export” box in item 17 of the Vessel Entrance or Clearance Statement form must be checked.

(b) Time in which to file complete manifest and EEI. Not later than the fourth business day after clearance from each port of lading in the vessel's itinerary, the master, or the vessel's agent on behalf of the master, must submit to the director of each port a complete Cargo Declaration Outward with Commercial Forms, CBP Form 1302A, in accordance with § 4.63, of the cargo laden at such port together with all required EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends for such cargo and a Vessel Entrance or Clearance Statement, CBP Form 1300. The statutory grace period of four (4) days for filing the complete manifest and missing EEI begins to run on the first day (exclusive of any day on which the U.S. port of lading is not open for marine business) following the date on which clearance is granted.

(c) Countries for which vessels may not be cleared until complete manifests and EEI are filed. To aid CBP in the enforcement of export laws and regulations, no vessel will be cleared for any port in the following countries until a complete outward foreign manifest and all required EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends have been filed with the port director:

5. Amend § 4.76 as follows: a. In paragraph (a), remove the citation “15 CFR 30.60” and add in its place “15 CFR 30.5”; and remove the words “Census Regulations” and add in their place “Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations”. b. Revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 4.76 Procedures and responsibilities of carriers filing outbound vessel manifest information via the AES.

(b) Responsibilities. The performance requirements and operational standards and procedures for electronic submission of outbound vessel manifest information are detailed in the AES Trade Interface Requirements (AESTIR) available on the CBP Web site, http://www.cbp.gov. Carriers and their agents are responsible for reporting accurate and timely information and for responding to all notifications concerning the status of their transmissions and the detention and release of freight in accordance with the procedures set forth in the AESTIR. CBP will send messages to participant carriers regarding the accuracy of their transmissions. Carriers and their agents are required to comply with the recordkeeping requirements contained at § 30.10 of the Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations (15 CFR 30.10) and any other applicable recordkeeping requirements. When the exporter submits Electronic Export Information (EEI) prior to departure, carriers will be responsible for annotating the manifest with the Internal Transaction Number (ITN) without change and submitting the manifest to CBP within four (4) business days after the departure of the vessel from each port unless a different time requirement is specified in § 4.75 or § 4.84.

§ 4.81 [Amended]
6. Amend paragraph (g)(2) of § 4.81 by removing all references to “Customs” and adding in their place “CBP”; and removing the words “shipper's export declarations” and adding in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI)”.
§ 4.84 [Amended]
7. Amend § 4.84 as follows: a. In paragraph (a), remove the references to “shall” and add in their place “will”; and remove the words “shipper's export declarations” and add in their place “the filing of Electronic Export Information (EEI)”. b. In paragraph (c)(1): i. Remove all references to “shall” and add in their place “will”; ii. Remove the words “regulations of the Bureau of the Census” and add in their place “the Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations”; iii. Remove the words “Shipper's Export Declarations” and add in their place “EEI”; iv. Remove the citation “15 CFR 30.24” and add in its place “15 CFR 30.47”; v. Remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”; and vi. Remove all references to “export declarations” and add in their place “EEI”. c. In paragraph (c)(2): i. Remove the references to “shall” in the first and second sentences and add in their place “must”; and remove the reference to “shall” in the third sentence and add in its place “will”; ii. Remove the words “regulations of the Bureau of the Census” and add in their place “the Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations”; iii. Remove all references to “Shipper's Export Declarations” and add in their place “EEI”; iv. Remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”; v. Remove the citation to “15 CFR 30.24” and add in its place “15 CFR 30.47”; and vi. Remove the words “export declarations” and add in their place “EEI”. d. In paragraph (d): i. Remove the first and second references to “shall” in the first sentence and add in their place “must”; ii. Remove the third reference to “shall” in the first sentence and add in its place “will”; iii. Remove the first reference to “shall” in the second sentence and add in its place “must”; and remove the second reference to “shall” in the second sentence and add in its place “will”; and iv. Remove the word “Customs” and add in its place “CBP”.
§ 4.87 [Amended]
8. Amend § 4.87 as follows: a. In paragraph (b), remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”; and remove the reference to “1302-A” and add in its place “1302A”. b. In paragraph (c), remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”. c. In paragraph (d), remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”. d. In paragraph (f): i. Remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”; ii. Remove the reference to “1302-A” and add in its place “1302A”; and iii. Remove the words “shipper's export declarations” and add in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends”. e. In paragraph (g): i. Remove the word “Customs” and add in its place “CBP”; ii. Remove the reference “1302-A” and add in its place “1302A”; and iii. Remove the words “export declarations” and add in their place “EEI”. PART 10—ARTICLES CONDITIONALLY FREE, SUBJECT TO A REDUCED RATE, ETC. 9. The general authority citation for part 10 continues to read as follows: Authority:

19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1321, 1481, 1484, 1498, 1508, 1623, 1624, 3314.

§ 10.41b [Amended]
10. Amend paragraph (g)(2) of § 10.41b by removing the words “Shipper's Export Declaration,” “Form 7525-V” and adding in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI)”. PART 18—TRANSPORTATION IN BOND AND MERCHANDISE IN TRANSIT 11. The general authority citation for part 18 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States), 1551, 1552, 1553, 1623, 1624.

§ 18.42 [Amended]
12. Amend § 18.42 as follows: i. Remove the words “export declarations” and add in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI)”; ii. Remove the words “Bureau of the Census” and add in their place “Census Bureau”; iii. Remove all references to “shall” in the first and second sentence and add in their place “must”; and iv. Remove all references to “shall” in the third sentence through the remainder of the paragraph and add in their place “will”.
§ 18.43 [Amended]
13. Amend paragraph (a) of § 18.43 by removing the words “export declarations” and adding in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI)”; removing the word “shall” and adding in its place “must”; and removing the words “Bureau of the Census” and adding in their place “Census Bureau”. PART 113—CBP BONDS 14. The general authority citation for part 113 continues to read as follows: Authority:

19 U.S.C. 66, 1623, 1624.

§ 113.64 [Amended]
15. Amend paragraph (i) of § 113.64 by removing the words “$50 per day for the first 3 days, and $100 per day thereafter, up to $1,000 in total” and adding in their place “$1,100 for each day's delinquency beyond the prescribed period, but not more than $10,000 per violation”. PART 122—AIR COMMERCE REGULATIONS 16. The general authority citation for part 122 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 58b, 66, 1431, 1433, 1436, 1448, 1459, 1590, 1594, 1623, 1624, 1644, 1644a, 2071 note.

§ 122.71 [Amended]
17. Amend § 122.71 as follows: a. In paragraph (a)(1)(ii), remove the words “Shipper's Export Declarations are” and add in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI) is”. b. In paragraph (a)(2), remove the word “shall” and add in its place “must”; and remove the word “Customs” and add in its place “CBP”. c. In paragraph (b), remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”.
§ 122.72 [Amended]
18. Amend § 122.72 by removing the words “Shipper's Export Declarations” and adding in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI)”; and removing the word “shall” and adding in its place “must”.
§ 122.73 [Amended]
19. Amend § 122.73 as follows: a. In paragraph (a)(1), remove the word “Customs” and add in its place “CBP” and remove all references to “shall” and add in their place “must”. b. In paragraph (a)(2), remove the word “Customs” and add in its place “CBP”; and remove the word “shall” and add in its place “must”. c. In paragraph (a)(3), remove the word “Customs” and add in its place “CBP”; and remove the word “shall” and add in its place “will”. d. In paragraph (b)(1) remove the word “Customs” and add in its place “CBP”; and remove all references to the word “shall” and add in their place “must”. e. In paragraph (b)(2) introductory text, remove all references to “shall” and add in their place “must”. f. In paragraph (b)(2)(i), remove the words “Shipper's Export Declarations” and add in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends”. 20. Amend § 122.74 as follows: a. In paragraph (a)(1), remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”; and remove the words “Shipper's Export Declarations” and add in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI)”. b. In paragraph (a)(2), remove all references to “Shipper's Export Declarations” and add in their place “EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends”; remove the abbreviation “U.S.” and add in its place “United States”; remove all references to “shall” and add in their place “must”; and remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”. c. Revise paragraph (b) introductory text and paragraph (b)(2). d. Designate the undesignated paragraph following paragraph (b)(2) as “Note to paragraph (b)”. e. In paragraph (c)(1), remove the words “Shipper's Export Declarations” and add in their place “EEI”; and remove the word “shall” and add in its place “must”. f. In paragraph (c)(2), remove all references to “Shipper's Export Declarations shall” and add in their place “EEI must”. g. In paragraph (c)(3), remove the words “Shipper's Export Declarations shall” and add in their place “EEI must”.

The revisions read as follows:

§ 122.74 Incomplete (pro forma) manifest.

(b) Exceptions. In the following circumstances, an incomplete manifest will not be accepted and a complete air cargo manifest and all required EEI must be filed with the port director before the aircraft will be cleared:

(2) If the aircraft is departing on a flight from the U.S. directly or indirectly to a foreign country listed in § 4.75 of this chapter.

21. Amend § 122.75 as follows: a. In paragraph (a) introductory text, remove all references to “shall” and add in their place “must”; and remove the words “a Shipper's Export Declaration” and add in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing citations, exemptions, and/or exclusion legends”. b. Revise paragraph (a)(2). c. In paragraph (b)(1), remove the words “Attached Shipper's Export Declarations” and add in their place “The annotated EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends”. d. In paragraph (b)(2), remove the word “shall” and add in its place “must”; remove the words “Shipper's Export Declarations” and add in their place “EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends”; and remove the words “Attached Shipper's Export Declarations” and add in their place “The annotated EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends”.

The revision reads as follows:

§ 122.75 Complete manifest.

(a) * * *

(2) Direct departure. With regard to direct departures of shipments requiring EEI, each EEI filing citation must be listed on the air cargo manifest in the column for air waybill numbers. The statement “Electronic Information Annotated” must appear on the manifest if this is done.

22. Amend § 122.76 as follows: a. Revise the heading of the section and paragraph (a). b. In paragraph (b), remove the word “shall” and add in its place “must”; and remove the word “Customs” and add in its place “CBP”.

The revisions read as follows:

§ 122.76 Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends and inspection certificates.

(a) Electronic Export Information (EEI)—(1) Other than shipments to Puerto Rico. For shipments other than to Puerto Rico, at the time of clearance, the aircraft commander or agent must file with the CBP port director of the departure airport any EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends required by the Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) (see 15 CFR part 30).

(2) Shipments to Puerto Rico. For flights carrying shipments to Puerto Rico from the United States, the aircraft commander or agent must file any EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends required by the Census Bureau's FTR (see 15 CFR part 30) upon arrival in Puerto Rico with the CBP port director there.

23. Revise § 122.79 to read as follows:
§ 122.79 Shipments to U.S. possessions.

(a) Other than Puerto Rico. An air cargo manifest must be filed for aircraft transporting cargo between the United States and U.S. possessions. Electronic Export Information (EEI) is not required for shipments from the United States or Puerto Rico to the U.S. possessions, except to the U.S. Virgin Islands or from a U.S. possession and destined to the United States, Puerto Rico, or another U.S. possession.

(b) Puerto Rico. When an aircraft carries merchandise on a direct flight from the United States to Puerto Rico, any required air cargo manifest or EEI filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends, must be filed with the appropriate port director Puerto Rico.

§ 122.143 [Amended]
24. Amend § 122.143 as follows: a. In paragraph (b) introductory text, remove the words “Bureau of the Census” in the heading and add in their place “Census Bureau”; remove the words “Bureau of the Census regulations” in the text and add in their place “Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations”; and remove the word “shall” and add in its place “will”. b. In paragraph (b)(1), remove the words “Shipper's Export Declarations” and add in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI)”. c. In paragraph (b)(2), remove the citation “15 CFR 30.24” and add in its place “15 CFR 30.47”; and remove the words “Shipper's Export Declarations are” and add in their place “EEI is”. PART 123—CBP RELATIONS WITH CANADA AND MEXICO 25. The general authority citation for part 123 and the specific authority citation for § 123.28 continue to read as follows: Authority:

19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1431, 1433, 1436, 1448, 1624, 2071 note.

Sections 123.21-123.23, 123.25-123.29, 123.41, 123.51 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1554.

§ 123.28 [Amended]
26. Amend § 123.28 as follows: a. In paragraph (a), remove all references to “shall” and add in their place “must”; and remove the words “U.S. Customs” and add in their place “CBP”. b. In paragraph (b), remove references to “shall” in the first and second sentence and add in their place “will”; remove the words “shipper's export declaration” and add in their place “Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing citations, exclusions, and/or exemption legends”; and remove the word “shall” in the third sentence and add in its place “must”. PART 141—ENTRY OF MERCHANDISE 27. The general authority citation for part 141 continues to read as follows: Authority:

19 U.S.C. 66, 1448, 1484, 1498, 1624.

§ 141.43 [Amended]
28. Amend paragraph (a) of § 141.43 by removing the words “executing shippers' export declarations” and adding in their place “filing Electronic Export Information (EEI)”. PART 191—DRAWBACK 29. The general authority citation for part 191 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States), 1313, 1624;

30. Revise paragraph (c)(3) of § 191.51 to read as follows:
§ 191.51 Completion of drawback claims.

(c) * * *

(3) Exports. For exports, the HTSUSA number(s) or Schedule B commodity classification number(s) must be from the Electronic Export Information (EEI), when required. If no EEI is required (see, e.g., 15 CFR 30.58), the claimant must provide the Schedule B commodity classification number(s) or HTSUSA number(s) that the exporter would have set forth in the EEI, but for the exemption from the requirement to file EEI.

PART 192—EXPORT CONTROL 31. The authority citation for part 192 continues to read as follows: Authority:

19 U.S.C. 66, 1624, 1646c. Subpart A also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1627a, 1646a, 1646b; subpart B also issued under 13 U.S.C. 303; 19 U.S.C. 2071 note; 46 U.S.C. 91.

§ 192.0 [Amended]
32. Amend § 192.0 as follows: a. Remove all references to “Customs” and add in their place “CBP”. b. Remove the words “Census Regulations at part 30, subpart E (15 CFR part 30, subpart E)” and add in their place “Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) of the Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce, at part 30, subpart A (15 CFR part 30, subpart A)”. 33. Revise § 192.11 to read as follows:
§ 192.11 Description of the AES.

The Automated Export System (AES) is the information system for collecting Electronic Export Information (EEI) from persons exporting goods from the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands; between Puerto Rico and the United States; and to the U.S. Virgin Islands from the United States or Puerto Rico. Pursuant to the Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), all commodity export information for which EEI is required must be filed through the AES. This system is the CBP-approved electronic data interchange system used for purposes of filing EEI as required by § 192.14. AES is also the system by which certain sea carriers may report required outbound vessel information electronically (see, §§ 4.63, 4.75, and 4.76 of this chapter). Eligibility and application procedures are found in the General Requirements section of the FTR, codified at 15 CFR part 30, subpart A. The Census Bureau's FTR (15 CFR part 30, subpart A) provides that exporters may choose to submit export information through AES by any one of three electronic filing options available. Only Option 4, the complete post-departure submission of export information, requires prior approval by participating agencies before it can be used by AES participants.

34. Revise § 192.14 to read as follows:
§ 192.14 Electronic information for outward cargo required in advance of departure.

(a) General requirement. Pursuant to section 343(a), Trade Act of 2002, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2071 note), for any commercial cargo that is to be exported from the United States by vessel, aircraft, rail, or truck, unless exempted under paragraph (d) of this section, the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI), the USPPI's authorized agent, or the authorized filing agent of the Foreign Principal Party in Interest (FPPI) must electronically transmit for receipt by CBP, no later than the time period specified in paragraph (b) of this section, certain Electronic Export Information (EEI), as enumerated in paragraph (c) of this section. Specifically, to effect the advance electronic transmission of the required cargo information to CBP, the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must use a CBP-approved electronic data interchange system (currently, the Automated Export System (AES)).

(b) Transmission of data—(1) Time for transmission of EEI. The USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must electronically transmit the EEI required by § 30.6 of the Census Bureau's FTR (15 CFR 30.6) and have received the AES Internal Transaction Number (ITN) (see paragraph (b)(3) of this section) for outbound cargo no later than the time period specified as follows:

(i) For vessel cargo, the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must provide the EEI filing citation (the ITN), exclusion, and/or exemption legend to the exporting carrier no later than 24 hours prior to loading cargo on the vessel at the U.S. port of lading;

(ii) For air cargo, including cargo being transported by air express couriers, the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must provide the EEI filing citation (the ITN), exclusion, and/or exemption legend to the exporting carrier no later than 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the aircraft from the U.S. port of export;

(iii) For truck cargo, including cargo departing by express consignment courier, the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must provide the EEI filing citation (the ITN), exclusion, and/or exemption legend to the exporting carrier no later than 1 hour prior to the arrival of the truck at the border;

(iv) For rail cargo, the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must provide the EEI filing citation (the ITN), exclusion, and/or exemption legend to the exporting carrier no later than 2 hours prior to the arrival of the train at the border;

(v) For shipments of used self-propelled vehicles as defined in § 192.1, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must provide the EEI filing citation (the ITN), exclusion, and/or exemption legend to the exporting carrier at least 72 hours prior to export; and

(vi) For cargo shipped by pipeline, the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent should refer to § 30.4 of the Census Bureau's FTR (15 CFR 30.4, 30.46) for applicable time frames for the transmission of EEI.

(2) Applicability of time frames. The time periods in paragraph (b)(1) of this section for reporting required EEI to CBP for outward vessel, air, truck, or rail cargo only apply to shipments without an export license, license exemption, or license exception that require full predeparture reporting of shipment data, in order to comply with the advance cargo information filing requirements under section 343(a), Trade Act of 2002, as amended. Requirements placed on exports controlled by other government agencies will remain in force unless changed by the agency having the regulatory authority to do so. CBP will also continue to require 72-hour advance notice for used vehicle exports pursuant to § 192.2(c)(1) and (c)(2)(i). The USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent should refer to the relevant titles of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for pre-filing requirements of other government agencies. In particular, for the advance reporting requirements for exports of U.S. Munitions List items, see the U.S. Department of State's International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 CFR parts 120 through 130).

(3) System verification of data acceptance or rejection. Once the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent has transmitted the EEI required under paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section, and AES has received and accepted this data, AES will generate and transmit to the party that filed the EEI a confirmation number, the Internal Transaction Number (ITN), assigned to that shipment confirming acceptance of the EEI transmission. When the submission is not accepted, a rejection message will be transmitted to the filer.

(c) EEI required—(1) Commodity data. The commodity data elements that are required to be reported electronically through the approved system are found in § 30.6 of the Census Bureau's FTR (15 CFR 30.6).

(2) Transportation data. The following transportation data elements are also required to be reported electronically through the approved system. These data elements are also found in § 30.6 of the Census Bureau's FTR (30 CFR 30.6):

(i) Method of transportation (the method of transportation is defined as that by which the goods are exported or shipped (vessel, air, rail, or truck));

(ii) Carrier identification (for vessel, rail and truck shipments, the unique carrier identifier is the 4-character Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC); for aircraft, the carrier identifier is the 2- or 3-character International Air Transport Association (IATA) code);

(iii) Conveyance name (the conveyance name is the name of the carrier; for sea carriers, this is the name of the vessel; for others, the carrier name);

(iv) Country of ultimate destination (this is the country as known to the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent at the time of exportation, where the cargo is to be consumed or further processed or manufactured; this country would be identified by the 2-character International Standards Organization (ISO) code for the country of ultimate destination);

(v) Date of export (the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must report the date the cargo is scheduled to leave the United States for all modes of transportation; if the actual date is not known, the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must report the best estimate as to the time of departure); and

(vi) Port of export (the port where the outbound cargo departs from the United States is designated by its unique code, as set forth in Annex C, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS); the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must report the port of exportation as known when the USPPI, USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent tenders the cargo to the outbound carrier; should the carrier export the cargo from a different port and the carrier so informs the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent, the port of exportation must be corrected by the filer in AES.).

(3) Proof of electronic filing; exemption from filing. The USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must furnish to the exporting carrier a proof of EEI filing citation (the ITN), post-departure filing citation, AES downtime filing citation (when allowed), and the exclusion, and/or exemption legends (see paragraph (d) of this section) for annotation on the carrier's outward manifest, waybill, or other export documentation covering the cargo to be shipped. The proof of EEI filing citation (the ITN), post-departure filing citation, AES downtime filing citation, exclusion, and/or exemption legend must conform to the approved EEI filing citation, exclusion, and/or exemption legend formats in Appendix B to the Census Bureau's FTR (15 CFR part 30, Appendix B).

(4) Carrier responsibility—(i) Loading of cargo. The carrier may not load cargo without first receiving from the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent either the related electronic filing citation as prescribed under paragraph (c)(3) of this section, or an appropriate exemption legend for the cargo as specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(ii) High-risk cargo. For cargo that CBP has identified as potentially high-risk, the carrier, after being duly notified by CBP, will be responsible for delivering the cargo for inspection/examination. When cargo identified as high risk has already been exported, CBP may demand that the export carrier redeliver the cargo in accordance with the terms of its international carrier bond (see § 113.64(k)(2) of this chapter).

(5) USPPI receipt of information believed to be accurate. When the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent electronically presenting the cargo information required in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section receives any of this information from another party, CBP will take into consideration how, in accordance with ordinary commercial practices, the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent acquired this information, and whether and how the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent is able to verify this information. When the USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent is not reasonably able to verify any information received, CBP will permit this party to electronically present the information on the basis of what it reasonably believes to be true.

(d) Exemptions from reporting; Census exemptions or exclusions applicable. The USPPI, the USPPI's authorized agent, or the FPPI's authorized filing agent must furnish to the outbound carrier an appropriate exemption or exclusion legend for any export shipment laden that is not subject to predeparture electronic information filing under this section. The exemption or exclusion legend must conform to the proper format approved by the Census Bureau (see 15 CFR part 30, Appendix B). Any exemptions or exclusions from reporting requirements for export cargo are enumerated in §§ 30.2 and 30.35 through 30.40 of the Census Bureau's FTR (15 CFR 30.2 and 30.35 through 30.40). These exemptions or exclusions under §§ 30.2 and 30.35 through 30.40 of the Census Bureau's FTR are equally applicable under this section.

Dated: July 5, 2017. Kevin K. McAleenan, Acting Commissioner.
[FR Doc. 2017-14549 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0463] Special Local Regulation; Wheeling Dragon Boat Race, Ohio River Miles 90.4-91.5 AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce a special local regulation during the Wheeling Dragon Boat Race on the Ohio River, from miles 90.4 to 91.5, for all navigable waters of the river. This regulation is needed to protect vessels transiting the area and event spectators from the hazards associated with the Wheeling Dragon Boat Race. During the enforcement period, entry into, transiting, or anchoring in the regulated area is prohibited to all vessels not registered with the sponsor as participants or official patrol vessels, unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh (COTP) or a designated representative.

DATES:

The regulations in the first table in 33 CFR 100.801, No. 30 will be enforced from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., August 26, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email MST2 Charles Morris, Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 412-221-0807, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Coast Guard will enforce special local regulations for the annual Wheeling Dragon Boat Race in the first table of 33 CFR 100.801, No. 30 from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., August 26, 2017. Entry into the regulated area is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh (COTP) or a designated representative. Persons or vessels desiring to enter into or pass through the area must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP or designated representative.

This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 100.801 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via Local Notice to Mariners and updates via Marine Information Broadcasts.

Dated: July 7, 2017. L. Mcclain, Jr., Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh.
[FR Doc. 2017-14684 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0536] Safety Zone; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone-Miesfeld's Lakeshore Weekend Fireworks; Sheboygan WI AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Miesfeld's Lakeshore Weekend fireworks display on Lake Michigan and Sheboygan Harbor, Wisconsin in the vicinity of the south pier, from 9 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 28, 2017. This action is necessary and intended to ensure safety of life on navigable waters immediately prior to, during, and after the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated on-scene representative.

DATES:

The regulations in 33 CFR 165.929 will be enforced for safety zone (e)(49), Table 165.929, from 9 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 28, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, call or email MST1 Kaleena Carpino, Marine Event Coordinator, Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, WI; telephone (414) 747-7148, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Coast Guard will enforce the Miesfeld's Lakeshore Weekend fireworks display safety zone listed as item (e)(49) in Table 165.929 of 33 CFR 165.929 from 9 p.m. through 10 p.m. on July 28, 2017. Section 165.929 lists many annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone; this event is listed in the annual section, however it will occur on a different date than listed this year. It is listed in 33 CFR 165.929 to be held on July 29th, but will be held July 28th at the request of the event organizer. This safety zone will encompass all waters of Menominee River within the arc of a circle with a 800-foot radius from the approximate position 43°44.917′ N., 087°41.967′ W. (NAD 83).

Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a representative may be contacted via Channel 16, VHF-FM.

This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.929, Safety Zones; Annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone, and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide the maritime community with advance notification for the enforcement of this zone via Broadcast Notice to Mariners or Local Notice to Mariners. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a representative may be contacted at 414-747-7182 or via Channel 16, VHF-FM.

Dated: July 6, 2017. A.B. Cocanour, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.
[FR Doc. 2017-14729 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0580] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Cleveland Triathlon Swim Event; 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 North Coast Harbor, Cleveland, OH during the Cleveland Triathlon swim event on July 23, 2017. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from the navigational hazards associated with the large scale swimming event. 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 5:45 a.m. through 10:00 a.m. on July 23, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0580 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. The event sponsor did not submit notice to the Coast Guard with sufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Delaying this rulemaking to allow for a comment period to run would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest by inhibiting the Coast Guard's ability to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with this large scale swimming event in the Eastern Basin.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this temporary rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the rule's objectives of ensuring safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels near the Cleveland Triathlon.

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 a large scale swimming event on a navigable waterway will pose a significant risk to participants and the boating public. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone during the Cleveland Triathlon.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from 5:45 a.m. through 10 a.m. on July 23, 2017. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters within 100 feet of a line starting at position 41°30′34.6″ N., 081°41′51.3″ W. extending in a straight line to the East Basin Breakwall at position 41°30′51.8″ N., 081°42′08.5″ W. (NAD 83). 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 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule 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.

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 approximately 4 hours 15 minutes that will prohibit entry within all navigable waters in the vicinity of the swimmers participating in the Cleveland Triathlon. 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 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.T09-0580 to read as follows:
§ 165.T09-0580 Safety Zone; Cleveland Triathlon; Lake Erie, Cleveland, OH.

(a) Location. This zone will encompass all U.S. waterways of Lake Erie at North Coast Harbor, Cleveland, OH within 100 feet of a line starting at position 41°30′34.6″ N., 081°41′51.3″ W. extending in a straight line to the East Basin Breakwall at position 41°30′51.8″ N., 081°42′08.5″ W. (NAD 83).

(b) Effective and enforcement period. This regulation is effective and will be enforced on July 23, 2017, from 5:45 a.m. until 10 a.m.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, 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: July 7, 2017. J.S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
[FR Doc. 2017-14679 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0666] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Oswego County Paddlefest; Oswego River, Oswego, NY AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the Oswego River, Oswego, NY. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from portions of the Oswego River during the Oswego County Paddlefest on July 22, 2017. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with a large scale paddle event. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Buffalo.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 7:45 a.m. to 5:15 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-2017-0666 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about this rulemaking, call or email LT Michael Collet, Chief of Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo; telephone 716-843-9322, 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. The event sponsor did not submit notice to the Coast Guard with sufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Delaying the effective date of this rule to wait for a comment period to run would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest by inhibiting the Coast Guard's ability to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with a large scale paddle event.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this temporary rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the rule's objectives of ensuring safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels near the paddle event.

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 (COTP) has determined that a large scale paddle event presents significant risks to public safety and property. Such hazards include a large number of paddle craft transiting a relatively narrow river. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the paddle event is taking place.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a moving safety zone on July 22, 2017 from 7:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. The safety zone will encompass all waters of the Oswego River and Oswego Harbor contained within a 150 foot radius around groups of participant paddle craft starting at position 43°20′05.3″ N., 076°24′58.8″ W. and traveling northwest to position 43°27′44.2″ N. 076°30′54.9″ W. (NAD 83).

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 only be enforced in the vicinity of paddle craft groups and has been designed to allow vessels to transit around it. Thus, restrictions on vessel movement within the particular areas 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 it is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule establishes a temporary safety zone. It is categorically excluded under section 2.B.2, figure 2-1, paragraph 34(g) of the Instruction, which pertains to establishment of safety zones. 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 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.T09-0666 to read as follows:
§ 165.T09-0666 Safety Zone; Oswego County Paddlefest, Oswego River, Oswego, NY.

(a) Location. The safety zone will encompass all waters of the Oswego River and Oswego Harbor contained within a 150 foot radius around groups of participant paddle craft starting at position 43°20′08″ N., 076°24′58″ W. and traveling northwest to position 43°27′44.2″ N., 076°30′54.9″ W. (NAD 83).

(b) Enforcement period. This regulation will be enforced on July 22, 2017 7:45 a.m. until 5:15 p.m.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, 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 must 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: July 6, 2017. J.S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
[FR Doc. 2017-14691 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0631] Safety Zone; Annual Events Requiring Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan Zone-Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club Evening on the Bay Fireworks AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club Evening on the Bay Fireworks on the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal in Sturgeon Bay, WI from 8:30 p.m. through 10:30 p.m. on August 12, 2017. This action is necessary and intended to ensure safety of life on navigable waters immediately prior to, during, and after the fireworks display. During the enforcement period, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated on-scene representative.

DATES:

The regulations in 33 CFR 165.929 will be enforced for the safety zone listed in item (f)(4) of Table 165.929 from 8:30 p.m. through 10:30 p.m. on August 12, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email marine event coordinator, MST1 Kaleena Carpino, Prevention Department, Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, WI; telephone (414) 747-7148, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Coast Guard will enforce the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club Evening on the Bay Fireworks safety zone listed as item (f)(4) in Table 165.929 of 33 CFR 165.929 from 8:30 p.m. through 10:30 p.m. on August 12, 2017 on all waters of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal within the arc of a circle with a 500-foot radius from a center point launch position at 44°49.297′ N., 087°21.447′ W. (NAD 83).

Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a representative may be contacted at 414-747-7182 or via Channel 16, VHF-FM.

This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.929, Safety Zones; Annual events requiring safety zones in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone, and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this publication in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide the maritime community with advance notification for the enforcement of this safety zone via Broadcast Notice to Mariners or Local Notice to Mariners. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a representative may be contacted at 414-747-7182 or via Channel 16, VHF-FM.

Dated: July 6, 2017. A.B. Cocanour, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.
[FR Doc. 2017-14688 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0482] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Cleveland Parade of Lights Boat Parade; Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OH AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a moving safety zone for certain waters of the Cuyahoga River. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on these navigable waters in the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OH during the Cleveland Parade of Lights on July 22, 2017. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from the potential hazards created by 60 vessels transiting in the river with lights not normally used for marine traffic navigation lights. 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 10:00 p.m. through 11:30 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-2017-0482 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. The event sponsor did not submit notice to the Coast Guard with sufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Delaying the effective date of this rule to wait for a comment period to run would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest by inhibiting the Coast Guard's ability to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with a boat parade.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this temporary rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the rule's objectives of ensuring safety of life on the navigable waters and protection of persons and vessels near the boat parade.

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 60 vessels displaying lights that are not used for navigation will be a safety concern for other vessels underway. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone during the Cleveland Parade of Lights.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from 10 p.m. through 11:30 p.m. on July 22, 2017. The moving safety zone will encompass all waters within 25 feet of the vessels participating in the Cleveland Parade of Lights in the Cuyahoga River. The safety zone will move with participating vessels as they transit from the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in the vicinity of position 41°29′59″ N., 081°43′31″ W., to Merwin's Wharf in the vicinity of 41°29′23″ N., 081°42′16″ W., and returning to the mouth of the Old River at 41°29′55″ N., 081°42′18″ W. (NAD 83). 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 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule 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.

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 and a half hours that will prohibit entry within a small area of the Cuyahoga River. 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 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.T09-0482 to read as follows:
§ 165.T09-0482 Moving Safety Zone; Cleveland Parade of Lights Boat Parade; Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OH.

(a) Location. The moving safety zone will encompass all waters within 25 feet of the vessels participating in the Cleveland Parade of Lights in the Cuyahoga River. The safety zone will move with participating vessels as they transit from the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in the vicinity of position 41°29′59″ N., 081°43′31″ W., to Merwin's Wharf in the vicinity of 41°29′23″ N., 081°42′16″ W., and returning to the mouth of the Old River at 41°29′55″ N., 081°42′18″ W. (NAD 83).

(b) Effective and enforcement period. This regulation is effective and will be enforced on July 22, 2017 from 10 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, 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: July 6, 2017. J.S. Dufresne, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Buffalo.
[FR Doc. 2017-14697 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R06-RCRA-2016-0344; FRL-9962-39-Region 6] Oklahoma: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revision AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The State of Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for final authorization of the changes to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA has determined that these changes satisfy all requirements needed to qualify for final authorization, and is authorizing the State's changes through this direct final action. In the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register, EPA is also publishing a separate document that serves as the proposal to authorize these changes. EPA believes this action is not controversial and does not expect comments that oppose it. Unless EPA receives written comments which oppose this authorization during the comment period, the decision to authorize Oklahoma's changes to its hazardous waste program will take effect. If EPA receives comments that oppose this action, EPA will publish a document in the Federal Register withdrawing this direct final rule before it takes effect, and the separate document in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register will serve as the proposal to authorize the changes.

DATES:

This final authorization is effective on September 11, 2017 unless the EPA receives adverse written comment by August 14, 2017. If the EPA receives such comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of this direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that this authorization will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments by one of the following methods:

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

Email: [email protected]

Fax: (214) 665-6762 (prior to faxing, please notify Alima Patterson at (214) 665-8533).

Mail: Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, RCRA Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas Texas 75202-2733.

Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver your comments to Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, RCRA Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas Texas 75202-2733.

Instructions: EPA must receive your comments by August 14, 2017. Direct your comments to Docket ID Number EPA-R06-RCRA-2016-0344. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov, or email. The Federal http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. (For additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.regulations.gov).

Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov, or in hard copy.

You can view and copy Oklahoma's application and associated publicly available materials from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following locations: Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, 707 North Robinson, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101-1677, (405) 702-7180 and EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, phone number (214) 665-8533. Interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least two weeks in advance.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Alima Patterson, Region 6, Regional Authorization Coordinator, Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, (214) 665-8533, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas Texas 75202-2733, and Email address [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Why are revisions to State programs necessary?

States which have received final authorization from the EPA under RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), must maintain a hazardous waste program that is equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the Federal program. As the Federal program changes, States must change their programs and ask the EPA to authorize the changes. Changes to State programs may be necessary when Federal or State statutory or regulatory authority is modified or when certain other changes occur. Most commonly, States must change their programs because of changes to the EPA's regulations in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 124, 260 through 266, 268, 270, 273, and 279.

New Federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by Federal regulations that the EPA promulgates pursuant to the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA) take effect in authorized States at the same time that they take effect in unauthorized States. Thus, the EPA will implement those requirements and prohibitions in the State of Oklahoma, including the issuance of new permits implementing those requirements, until the State is granted authorization to do so.

B. What decisions has the EPA made in this rule?

On November 1, 2015, the ODEQ submitted a final complete program revision application seeking authorization of changes to its hazardous waste program that correspond to Federal rules promulgated between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 (RCRA Cluster XXIII). The EPA concludes that Oklahoma's application to revise its authorized program meets all of of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA. Therefore, we grant ODEQ final authorization to operate its hazardous waste program with the changes described in the authorization application. ODEQ has responsibility for permitting treatment, storage, and disposal facilities within its borders. Also, section 10211(a) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005 (“SAFETEA”), Public Law 109-59, 119 Statute 1144 (August 10, 2005) provides the State of Oklahoma opportunity to request approval from EPA to administer RCRA Subtitle C in Indian Country and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its revised program application, subject to the limitations of the (HSWA). New Federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by Federal regulations that the EPA promulgates under the authority of HSWA take effect in authorized States before they are authorized for the requirements. Thus, the EPA will implement those requirements and prohibitions in Oklahoma including issuing permits, until the State is granted authorization to do so.

C. What is the effect of this authorization decision?

The effect of this decision is that a facility in Oklahoma subject to RCRA will now have to comply with the authorized State requirements instead of the equivalent Federal requirements in order to comply with RCRA. ODEQ has enforcement responsibilities under its State hazardous waste program for violations of such program, but the EPA retains its authority under RCRA sections 3007, 3008, 3013, and 7003, which include, among others, authority to:

• Do inspections, and require monitoring, tests, analyses, or reports;

• enforce RCRA requirements and suspend or revoke permits, and

• take enforcement actions after notice to and consultation with the State.

This action does not impose additional requirements on the regulated community because the regulations for which ODEQ is being authorized by this direct action is already effective under State law, and are not changed by this action.

D. Why wasn't there a proposed rule before this direct final rule?

The EPA did not publish a proposal before this rule because we view this as a routine program change and do not expect comments that oppose this approval. We are providing an opportunity for public comment now. In addition to this rule, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, we are publishing a separate document that proposes to authorize the State program changes.

E. What happens if the EPA receives comments that oppose this action?

If the EPA receives comments that oppose this authorization, we will withdraw this rule by publishing a document in the Federal Register before the rule becomes effective. The EPA will base any further decision on the authorization of the State program changes on the proposal mentioned in the previous paragraph. We will then address all public comments in a later final rule. You may not have another opportunity to comment. If you want to comment on this authorization, you must do so at this time. If we receive comments that oppose only the authorization of a particular change to the State hazardous waste program, we will withdraw only that part of this rule, but the authorization of the program changes that the comments do not oppose will become effective on the date specified in this document. The Federal Register withdrawal document will specify which part of the authorization will become effective, and which part is being withdrawn.

F. For what has Oklahoma previously been authorized?

ODEQ initially received final authorization on January 10, 1985 (49 FR 50362-50363), published December 27, 1984, to implement its base hazardous waste management program. We authorized the following revisions: ODEQ received authorization for revisions to its program with publication dates: April 17, 1990 (55 FR 14280-14282), effective June 18, 1990; September 26, 1990 (55 FR 39274), effective November 27, 1990; April 2, 1991 (56 FR 13411-13413), effective June 3, 1991; September 20, 1991 (56 FR 47675-47677), effective November 19, 1991; September 29, 1993 (58 FR 50854-50856), effective November 29, 1993; October 12, 1993 (58 FR 52679-52682), effective December 13, 1993; October 7, 1994 (59 FR 51116-51122), effective December 21, 1994; January 11, 1995 (60 FR 2699-2702), effective April 27, 1995; October 9, 1996 (61 FR 52884-52886), effective December 23, 1996; Technical Correction March 14, 1997 (62 FR 12100-12101), effective March 14, 1997; September 22, 1998 (63 FR 50528-50531), effective November 23, 1998; March 29, 2000 (65 FR 16528-16532), effective May 30, 2000; May 10, 2000 (65 FR 29981-29985), effective June 10, 2000; January 2, 2001 (66 FR 28-33), effective March 5, 2001; April 9, 2003 (68 FR 17308-17311), effective June 9, 2003; February 4, 2009 (74 FR 5994-6001), effective April 6, 2009; April 6, 2011 (76 FR 18927-18930), effective June 6, 2011; March 15, 2012 (77 FR 15273-15276), effective May 14, 2012; May 29, 2013 (78 FR 32161-32165), effective July 29, 2013; and August 29, 2014 (79 FR 51497-51500), effective October 28, 2014. The authorized Oklahoma RCRA program was incorporated by reference into the CFR published on October 12, 1993 (58 FR 52679-52682), effective December 13, 1993; April 30, 1998 (63 FR 23673-23678), effective July 14, 1998; August 26, 1999 (64 FR 46567-46571), effective October 25, 1999; August 27, 2003 (68 FR 51488-51492), effective October 27, 2003; June 28, 2010 (75 FR 36546-36550), effective August 27, 2010; May 17, 2012 (77 FR 29231-29235), effective July 16, 2012; August 7, 2012, (77 FR 46964-46968), effective October 9, 2012; and July 1, 2014 (79 FR 37226-37230), effective September 2, 2014. On November 1, 2015, ODEQ submitted a final complete program revision application seeking authorization of its program revision in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21.

The Oklahoma Hazardous Waste Management Act (OHWMA) provides the ODEQ with the authority to administer the State Program, including the statutory and regulatory provisions necessary to administer the provisions of RCRA Cluster XXIII, and designates the ODEQ as the State agency to cooperate and share information with EPA for purpose of hazardous waste regulation. The Oklahoma Environmental Quality Code (“Code”), at 27A O.S. Section 2-7-101 et seq. establishes the statutory authority to administer the Hazardous waste management program under RCRA Subtitle C. The State regulations to manage the Hazardous waste management program is at Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) Title 252:205-3-2. One minor change occurred in the State Program, wherein the ODEQ revoked a portion of OAC 252:205 Subchapter 19, in order to make the existing state rules consistent with changes to the Oklahoma Statutes. 27A O.S. § 2-7-118(B) and (C) were revoked during the first Regular Session of the 54th Oklahoma Legislature. This statute prohibited, as a form of recycling, the burning of hazardous waste with a low heating value, or the blending of low-Btu fuel with other materials or wastes to create a hazardous waste fuel. The revocation of OAC 252:205-19-5 was proposed to reflect that deletion and to conform the state rules to the Oklahoma Statutes. These changes were neither more nor less stringent than the existing federal rules and, therefore, had no substantive impact on the hazardous waste program implemented by the Department of Environmental Quality.

The Oklahoma Legislature in April of 2015 amended the OHWMA by passing 27A O.S. § 2-7-116(H), which clarified that the temporary staging of hazardous waste in a permitted hazardous waste unit while the waste was undergoing analysis to determine that the waste is acceptable for disposal does not constitute disposal of the waste. This new provision, effecting what constitutes disposal in Oklahoma, has not been submitted for EPA review and we are taking no action on it in this rulemaking.

The ODEQ adopted applicable federal hazardous waste regulations as amended through July 1, 2014. The regulatory amendment implementing this adoption by reference has an effective date of September 15, 2015. The provisions for which the State of Oklahoma is seeking authorization are documented in the Regulatory Documentation For Federal Provisions For Which The State Of Oklahoma Is Seeking Authorization, Federal Final Rules Published Between July 1, 2013 Through June 30, 2014, RCRA CLUSTER XXIII, prepared on May 14, 2015.

The ODEQ incorporates the Federal Regulations by reference and there have been no changes in State or Federal laws or regulations that have diminished the ODEQ's ability to adopt the Federal regulations by reference. The Federal hazardous waste regulations are adopted by reference by the ODEQ at OAC 252:205, Subchapter 3. The ODEQ does not adopt Federal regulations prospectively.

The State Hazardous waste management program (“State Program”) now has in place, the statutory authority and regulations for all required components of federal regulations adopted in Checklists 229, 230, 231 and 232 in RCRA Cluster XXIII. These statutory and regulatory provisions were developed to ensure the State program is equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the Federal Hazardous waste management program.

The Environmental Quality Act, at 27A O.S. Section 1-3-101(E), grants the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) authority to regulate certain aspects of the oil and gas production and transportation industry in Oklahoma, including certain wastes generated by pipelines, bulk fuel sales terminals and certain tank farms, as well as, underground storage tanks. To clarify areas of environmental jurisdiction, the ODEQ and OCC developed an ODEQ/OCC Jurisdictional Guidance Document to identify respective areas of jurisdiction. The current ODEQ/OCC jurisdictional Guidance Document was amended and signed on January 27, 1999. The revisions to the State Program necessary to administer Cluster XXIII will not affect the jurisdictional authorities of the ODEQ or OCC.

The ODEQ adopted RCRA Cluster XXIII applicable federal hazardous waste regulations as amended July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, and became effective on September 15, 2015. The rules were also codified at OAC 252 Chapter 205.

Pursuant to OAC 252:205-3-2, the State's incorporation of Federal regulations does not incorporate prospectively future changes to the incorporated sections of the 40 CFR, and no other Oklahoma law or regulation reduces the scope of coverage or otherwise affects the authority provided by these incorporated-by-reference provisions. Further, Oklahoma interprets these incorporated provisions to provide identical authority to the Federal provisions. Thus, OAC Title 252, Chapter 205 provides equivalent and no less stringent authority than the Federal Subtitle C program in effect July 1, 2014. The State of Oklahoma incorporates by reference the provisions of 40 CFR part 124 that are required by 40 CFR 271.14 (with the addition of 40 CFR 124.19(a) through (c), 124.19(e), 124.31, 124.32, 124.33 and subpart G); 40 CFR parts 260 through 268 [with the exception of 260.21, 262 subparts E and H, 264.1(f), 264.1(g)(12), 264.149, 264.150, 264.301(1), 264.1030(d), 264.1050(g), 264.1080(e), 264.1080(f), 264.1080(g), 265.1(c)(4), 265.1(g)(12), 265.149, 265.150, 265.1030(c), 265.1050(f) 265.1080(e), 265.1080(f), 265.1080(g), 268.5, 268.6, 268.13, 268.42(b), and 268.44(a) through (g)]; 40 CFR part 270 [with the exception of 270.1(c)(2)(ix) and 270.14(b)(18)]; 40 CFR part 273; and 40 CFR part 279.

The ODEQ is the lead Department to cooperate and share information with the EPA for purpose of hazardous waste regulation.

Pursuant to 27A O.S. Section 2-7-104, the Executive Director has created the Land Protection Division (LPD) to be responsible for implementing the State Program. The LPD is staffed with personnel that have the technical background and expertise to effectively implement the provisions of the State program Subtitle C Hazardous waste management program.

G. What changes are we authorizing with this action?

On November 1, 2015, the ODEQ submitted final complete program applications seeking authorization of their changes in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21. We now make an immediate final decision, subject to receipt of written comments that oppose this action that the ODEQ's hazardous waste program revision satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for final authorization. The ODEQ revisions consist of regulations which specifically govern Federal hazardous waste revisions promulgated between July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 (RCRA Cluster XXIII). The ODEQ requirements are included in a chart within this document.

Description of federal requirement (include checklist #, if relevant) Federal Register date and page (and/or RCRA statutory authority Analogous state authority 1. Conditional Exclusions for Solvent Contaminated Wipes (Checklist 229) 78 FR 46448-46485 July 31, 2013; effective January 31, 2014 Oklahoma Statutes Title 27A Section 2-7-101 et seq., Oklahoma Hazardous Waste Management Act, as amended November 13, 2014, Oklahoma Administrative Code, Title 252, Chapter 205, effective September 15, 2015. 2. Conditional Exclusion for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Streams in Geologic Sequestration Activities (Checklist 230) 79 FR 350-364 January 3, 2014; effective March 4, 2014 Oklahoma Statutes Title 27A Section 2-7-101 et seq., Oklahoma Hazardous Waste Management Act, as amended November 13, 2014, Oklahoma Administrative Code, Title 252, Chapter 205, effective September 15, 2015. 3. Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System; Final Rule (Checklist 231) 79 FR 7518-7563 February 7, 2014; effective August 6, 2014 Oklahoma Statutes Title 27A Section 2-7-101 et seq., Oklahoma Hazardous Waste Management Act, as amended November 13, 2014, Oklahoma Administrative Code, Title 252, Chapter 205, effective September 15, 2015. 4. Revisions to the Export Provisions of the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Rule (Checklist 232 79 FR 36220-36231 June 26, 2014; effective December 26, 2014 Oklahoma Statutes Title 27A Section 2-7-101 et seq., Oklahoma Hazardous Waste Management Act, as amended November 13, 2014, Oklahoma Administrative Code, Title 252, Chapter 205, effective September 15, 2015. H. Where are the revised State rules different from the Federal rules?

There are no State requirements that are more stringent or broader in scope than the Federal requirements.

I. Who handles permits after the authorization takes effect?

ODEQ will issue permits for all the provisions for which it is authorized and will administer the permits it issues. The EPA will continue to administer any RCRA hazardous waste permits or portions of permits which we issued prior to the effective date of this authorization. We will not issue any more new permits or new portions of permits for the provisions listed in the Table in this document after the effective date of this authorization. The EPA will continue to implement and issue permits for HSWA requirements for which Oklahoma is not yet authorized.

J. How does this action affect Indian country (8 U.S.C. 1151) in Oklahoma?

Section 8 U.S.C. 1151 does not affect the State of Oklahoma because under section 10211(a) of the SAFETEA, Public Law 109-59, 119 Statute 1144 (August 10, 2005) provides the State of Oklahoma opportunity to request approval from EPA to administer RCRA Subtitle C in Indian Country and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its revised program application, subject to the limitations of the HSWA.

K. What is codification and is the EPA codifying Oklahoma's hazardous waste program as authorized in this rule?

Codification is the process of placing the State's statutes and regulations that comprise the State's authorized hazardous waste program into the CFR. We do this by referencing the authorized State rules in 40 CFR part 272. We reserve the amendment of 40 CFR part 272, subpart LL for this authorization of ODEQ's program changes until a later date. In this authorization application the EPA is not codifying the rules documented in this Federal Register document.

I. Administrative Requirements

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this action from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), and therefore this action is not subject to review by OMB. The reference to Executive Order 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011) is also exempt from review under Executive orders 12866 (56 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). This action authorizes State requirements for the purpose of RCRA 3006 and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. Accordingly, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this action authorizes preexisting requirements under State law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by State law, it does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4). For the same reason, this action also does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Tribal governments, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), because it merely authorizes State requirements as part of the State RCRA hazardous waste program without altering the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established by RCRA. This action also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant and it does not make decisions based on environmental health or safety risks. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001)) because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

Under RCRA 3006(b), the EPA grants a State's application for authorization as long as the State meets the criteria required by RCRA. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for the EPA, when it reviews a State authorization application to require the use of any particular voluntary consensus standard in place of another standard that otherwise satisfies the requirements of RCRA. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. As required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in issuing this rule, the EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct. The EPA has complied with Executive Order 12630 (53 FR 8859, March 15, 1988) by examining the takings implications of the rule in accordance with the “Attorney General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings” issued under the Executive Order. This rule does not impose information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. The EPA will submit a report containing this document 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 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). This action will be effective September 11, 2017.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 271

Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Hazardous waste, Hazardous waste transportation, Indian lands, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Authority:

This action is issued under the authority of sections 2002(a), 3006, and 7004(b) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended 42 U.S.C. 6912(a), 6926, 6974(b).

Dated: April 24, 2017. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
[FR Doc. 2017-14774 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R06-RCRA-2016-0558; FRL-9962-37-Region 6] Louisiana: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revision AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The State of Louisiana has applied to the EPA for final authorization of the changes to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The EPA has determined that these changes satisfy all requirements needed to qualify for final authorization, and is authorizing the State's changes through this direct final action. The EPA is publishing this rule to authorize the changes without a prior proposal because we believe this action is not controversial and do not expect comments that oppose it. Unless we receive written comments which oppose this authorization during the comment period, the decision to authorize Louisiana's changes to its hazardous waste program will take effect. If we receive comments that oppose this action, we will publish a document in the Federal Register withdrawing this rule before it takes effect, and a separate document in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register will serve as a proposal to authorize the changes.

DATES:

This final authorization will become effective on September 11, 2017 unless the EPA receives adverse written comment by August 14, 2017. If the EPA receives such comment, it will publish a timely withdrawal of this direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that this authorization will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments by one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

Email: [email protected]

Fax: (214) 665-2182 (prior to faxing, please notify Alima Patterson at (214) 665-8533).

Mail: Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, RCRA Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas Texas 75202-2733.

Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver your comments to Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, RCRA Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas Texas 75202-2733.

Instructions: EPA must receive your comments by August 14, 2017. Direct your comments to Docket ID Number EPA-R06-RCRA-2016-0558. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through regulations.gov, or email. The Federal regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. (For additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm).

Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g. CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov, or Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, 602 N. Fifth Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70884-2178, phone number (225) 219-3559 and EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, phone number (214) 665-8533. Interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least two weeks in advance.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, RCRA Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, (214) 665-8533, EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, and email address [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Why are revisions to State programs necessary?

States which have received final authorization from the EPA under RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), must maintain a hazardous waste program that is equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the Federal program. As the Federal program changes, States must change their programs and ask the EPA to authorize the changes. Changes to State programs may be necessary when Federal or State statutory or regulatory authority is modified or when certain other changes occur.

Most commonly, States must change their programs because of changes to the EPA's regulations in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 124, 260 through 268, 270, 273, and 279.

B. What decisions have the EPA made in this rule?

On August 5, 2016, the State of Louisiana submitted a final complete program revision application seeking authorization of changes to its hazardous waste program that correspond to certain Federal rules promulgated between February 14, 2014 and June 26, 2014, RCRA Cluster XXIII (Checklists 231 and 232). The EPA concludes that Louisiana's application to revise its authorized program meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA, as set forth in RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), and 40 CFR part 271. Therefore, the EPA grants Louisiana final authorization to operate its hazardous waste program with the changes described in the authorization application, and as outlined below in Section G of this document. The State of Louisiana has responsibility for permitting treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) within its borders (except in Indian Country) and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its revised program application, subject to the limitations of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA), as discussed above. New Federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by Federal regulations that the EPA promulgates under the authority of HSWA take effect in authorized States before they are authorized for the requirements. Thus, the EPA will implement those requirements and prohibitions in Louisiana, including issuing permits, until the State is granted authorization to do so.

C. What is the effect of today's authorization decision?

The effect of this decision is that a facility in Louisiana subject to RCRA will now have to comply with the authorized State requirements instead of the equivalent Federal requirements in order to comply with RCRA. Louisiana has enforcement responsibilities under its State hazardous waste program for violations of such program, but the EPA retains its authority under RCRA sections 3007, 3008, 3013, and 7003, which include, among others, authority to:

• Do inspections, and require monitoring, tests, analyses, or reports;

• enforce RCRA requirements and suspend or revoke permits, and

• take enforcement actions after notice to and consultation with the State.

This action does not impose additional requirements on the regulated community because the regulations for which Louisiana is being authorized by today's action are already effective under State law, and are not changed by today's action.

D. Why is EPA using a direct final rule?

Along with this direct final rule, the EPA is publishing a separate document in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register that serves as the proposal to authorize these State program changes. The EPA did not publish a proposal before this rule, because EPA views this as a routine program change and do not expect comments. The EPA also views the Louisiana program revisions as noncontroversial action and anticipates no adverse comment.

EPA is providing an opportunity for public comment now, as described in Section E of this document.

E. What happens if the EPA receives comments that oppose this action?

If EPA receives comments that oppose this authorization, EPA will withdraw this direct final rule by publishing a document in the Federal Register before the rule becomes effective. The EPA will base any further decision on the authorization of the State program changes on the proposal mentioned in the previous section, after considering all comments received during the comment period. EPA will then address all public comments in a later final rule. You may not have another opportunity to comment. If you want to comment on this authorization, you must do so at this time.

If EPA receives comments that oppose only the authorization of a particular change to the State hazardous waste program, EPA will withdraw only that part of this rule, but the authorization of the program changes that the comments do not oppose will become effective on the date specified in this document. The Federal Register withdrawal document will specify which part of the authorization will become effective, and which part is being withdrawn.

F. For what has Louisiana previously been authorized?

The State of Louisiana initially received final authorization on February 7, 1985, (50 FR 3348), to implement its base Hazardous Waste Management Program. We granted authorization for changes to their program on November 28, 1989 (54 FR 48889), effective January 29, 1990; August 26, 1991 (56 FR 41958), as corrected October 15, 1991 (56 FR 51762), effective October 25, 1991; November 7, 1994 (59 FR 55368), effective January 23, 1995 (Note: on January 23, 1995 (60 FR 4380), the EPA responded to public adverse comments and affirmed the effective date for the November 7, 1994 final rule). Then on April 11, 1995 (60 FR 18360), the EPA also made administrative corrections for the January 23, 1995 Federal Register document; December 23, 1994 (59 FR 66200), effective March 8, 1995; October 17, 1995 (60 FR 53704), effective January 2, 1996; March 28, 1996 (61 FR 13777), effective June 11, 1996; December 29, 1997 (62 FR 67572), effective March 16, 1998; October 23, 1998 (63 FR 56830), effective December 22, 1998; August 25, 1999 (64 FR 46302), effective October 25, 1999; September 2, 1999 (64 FR 48099), effective November 1, 1999; February 28, 2000 (65 FR 10411), effective April 28, 2000; January 2, 2001 (66 FR 23), effective March 5, 2001; December 9, 2003 (68 FR 68526), effective February 9, 2004; June 10, 2005 (70 FR 33852), effective August 9, 2005; November 13, 2006 (71 FR 66116), effective January 12, 2007; August 16, 2007 (72 FR 45905), effective October 15, 2007; May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23645), effective July 20, 2009; June 24, 2011 (76 FR 122), effective August 23, 2011; June 28, 2012 (77 FR 38530), effective August 27, 2012 and September 14, 2015 (80 FR 55032), effective November 14, 2015. On August 5, 2016, Louisiana applied for approval of its program revisions for specific rules in RCRA Clusters XXIII, in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21(b)(3).

Since 1979, through the Environmental Affairs Act, Act 449 enabled the Office of Environmental Affairs within the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, as well as, the Environmental Control Commission to conduct an effective program designed to regulate those who generate, transport, treat, store, dispose or recycle hazardous waste. During the 1983 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, Act 97 was adopted, which amended and reenacted La. R. S. 30:1051 et seq. as the Environmental Quality Act, renaming the Environmental Affairs Act (Act 1938 of 1979). This Act created Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), including provisions for new offices within this new Department of Environmental Quality. Act 97 also transferred the duties and responsibilities previously delegated to the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Environmental Affairs to the new Department. The LDEQ has lead agency jurisdictional authority for administering the RCRA Subtitle C program in Louisiana. Also, the LDEQ is designated to facilitate communication between the EPA and the State. During the 1999 Regular Session of Louisiana Legislature, Act 303 revised the La. R. S. 30:2011 et seq., allowing LDEQ to reengineer the Department to perform more efficiently and to meet its strategic goals.

It is the intention of the State, through this application, to demonstrate its equivalence and consistency with the federal statutory tests, which are outlined in the United States EPA regulatory requirements under 40 CFR part 271 for final authorization. The submittal of this application is in keeping with the spirit and intent of RCRA, which provides equivalent States the opportunity to apply for final delegation to operate all aspects of their hazardous waste management programs in lieu of the federal government. The Louisiana Environmental Quality Act authorizes the State's program, Subtitle II of Title 30 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes. The State's program is equivalent and consistent with the federal program, as outlined in revision checklists 231 and 232, which were adopted and became effective on April 20, 2016.

G. What changes are the EPA authorizing with today's action?

On August 5, 2016, Louisiana submitted a final complete program revision application seeking authorization for their changes in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21. We now make an immediate final decision, subject to receipt of written comments that oppose this action, that Louisiana's hazardous waste program revision satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for Final authorization. Therefore, we grant the State of Louisiana Final authorization for the following changes. The State of Louisiana's program revisions consist of regulations which specifically govern Revision Checklists 231 and 232 in RCRA Cluster XXIII as documented in this Federal Register document.

Description of Federal requirement (include checklist number, if relevant) Federal Register date and page (and/or RCRA statutory authority) Analogous state authority 1. Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Rule. (Checklist 231) 79 FR 7518-7563 February 7, 2014 Environmental Regulatory Code, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, ERC Title 33, Part V. Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Subpart 1. Section 109. Electronic Manifest or e-Manifest. Note: States cannot receive authorization to implement EPA's national e-Manifest system. Therefore, States must not replace language referring to “EPA” with State terms; 109. Electronic, Manifest System or e-Manifest System, 107. User of the electronic manifest system, 1107.A.9, 1107.A.9.a-9.b, 1107.F, 1107.F.1, 1107.F.1.a-1..d, 1107.F.2-7, 1107.G, 1107.G.1, 1107.G.1, 1107.G.1.a-b, 1307.A, 1307.A, 1307.A.1-2, 1301.A, 1307.1, 1307.I.1-5, 1307.J, 1307.K, 1307.K.1-4, 1307.L, 1307.M, 1307.N, 1307.N.1, 1516.B.1, 1516.B.1.a, 1516.B.b, 1516.B1.c-d, 1516.B.1.f, 1516.F, 1516.F.1, 1516.F.2-5, 1516.G, 1516.H, 1516.H.1, 1516.H.2-4, 1516.1, 1516.J, 1516.K, 1516.B.1, 1516.B.1.a-e, 1516.B.1.f, 1516.F, 1516.F.1-5, 1516.G, 1516.H, 1516.H.1, 1516-K 1516.H.2-4 and 1516.I, as amended effective April 20, 2016. 2. Revisions to the Export Provisions of the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Rule. (Checklist 232) 79 FR 36330-36231 June 26, 2014 Environmental Regulatory Code, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, ERC Title 33, Part V. Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials Subpart 1. Section 109. CRT Exporter, 4911.A.5.a.i.(f) note LDEQ has adopted the entire rule language of 40 CFR part 261.3(a)(5) which has been incorporated by reference; 4911.A.5.a.ii.x, 4911.A.5.a.ii.x.(a)-c, 4911.A.5.a.ii.xi, 4915, 4915.A, 4915.A.1, 4915.A.1.a-h, 4915.A.2 and 4915.B, as amended effective April 20, 2016. H. Where are the revised State rules different from the Federal rules?

The State of Louisiana regulations listed in this Federal Register document are equivalent and consistent with the Federal regulations adopted and are in effect April 20, 2016. There are no provisions that are more stringent or broader in scope.

I. Electronic Manifest Provisions That Are Non-Delegable to States

The Federal Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Rule (79 FR 7518; February 7, 2014) contains several provisions which are non-delegable to States. Specifically, States cannot receive authorization to establish a Federal user under the electronic manifest requirements, nor can States receive authorization for the electronic signature requirements, resulting in the States' inability to implement the provisions listed below. However, EPA strongly recommends States adopt these provisions while retaining the EPA rule language unchanged; Louisiana has adopted the Electronic Manifest Rule using this approach. The non-delegable provisions and provisions where States must retain references to “EPA” are: 40 CFR 260.10 “electronic manifest”, “electronic manifest system”, “use of the electronic manifest system”; 262.24(g); 262.25; 263.20(a)(2); 262.20(a)(3)(ii); 263.20(a)(8); 264.71(a)(2)(v); 264.71(j); 265.71(a)(2)(v); and 265.71(j).

J. Who handles permits after the authorization takes effect?

The State of Louisiana will issue permits for all the provisions for which it is authorized and will administer the permits it issues. The EPA will continue to administer any RCRA hazardous waste permits or portions of permits which we issued prior to the effective date of this authorization. EPA will not issue any more new permits or new portions of permits for the provisions listed in the chart in this document after the effective date of this authorization. The EPA will continue to implement and issue permits for HSWA requirements for which LDEQ is not yet authorized.

K. How does today's action affect Indian Country (18 U.S.C. 1151) in Louisiana?

Louisiana is not authorized to carry out its Hazardous Waste Program in Indian Country within the State. This authority remains with EPA. Therefore, this action has no effect in Indian Country.

L. What is codification and is the EPA codifying Louisiana's hazardous waste program as authorized in this rule?

Codification is the process of placing the State's statutes and regulations that comprise the State's authorized hazardous waste program into the CFR. We do this by referencing the authorized State rules in 40 CFR part 272. We reserve the amendment of 40 CFR part 272 subpart T for this authorization of Louisiana's program changes until a later date. In this authorization application, the EPA is not codifying the rules documented in this Federal Register notice.

M. Administrative Requirements

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this action (RCRA State Authorization) from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011). Therefore, this action is not subject to review by OMB. This action authorizes State requirements for the purpose of RCRA 3006 and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. Accordingly, this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this action authorizes pre-existing requirements under State law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by State law, it does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4). For the same reason, this action also does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Tribal governments, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), because it merely authorizes State requirements as part of the State RCRA hazardous waste program without altering the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established by RCRA. This action also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant and it does not make decisions based on environmental health or safety risks. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355 May 22, 2001), because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

Under RCRA 3006(b), the EPA grants a State's application for authorization, as long as the State meets the criteria required by RCRA. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for the EPA, when it reviews a State authorization application, to require the use of any particular voluntary consensus standard in place of another standard that otherwise satisfies the requirements of RCRA. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. As required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in issuing this rule, the EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct. The EPA has complied with Executive Order 12630 (53 FR 8859, March 15, 1988) by examining the takings implications of the rule in accordance with the “Attorney General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings” issued under the Executive Order. This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. It's main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. Because this rule authorizes pre-existing State rules which are at least equivalent to, and no less stringent than existing federal requirements, and impose no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law, and there are no anticipated significant adverse human health or environmental effects, the rule is not subject to Executive Order 12898.

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. The EPA will submit a report containing this document 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 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). This action nevertheless will be effective September 11, 2017.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 271

Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Hazardous waste, Hazardous waste transportation, Indian lands, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Authority:

This action is issued under the authority of sections 2002(a), 3006, and 7004(b) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended 42 U.S.C. 6912(a), 6926, 6974(b).

Dated: April 24, 2017. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
[FR Doc. 2017-14766 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Parts 405, 409, 431, 447, 482, 483, 485, 488, and 489 [CMS-3260-F2] RIN-0938-AR61 Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

ACTION:

Final rule; correction and correcting amendment.

SUMMARY:

In the October 4, 2016 issue of the Federal Register, we published a final rule revising the requirements that Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The effective date was November 28, 2016. This document corrects technical and typographical errors identified in the October 4, 2016 final rule.

DATES:

This document is effective July 13, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ronisha Blackstone, (410) 786-6882.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

In FR Doc. 2016-23503 which appeared in the October 4, 2016 Federal Register (81 FR 68688), entitled “Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities,” there were technical and typographical errors that are identified and corrected in the Implementation Timeframe table of the preamble and in the regulations text of this document.

II. Summary of Errors A. Summary of Errors in the Preamble

We inadvertently made technical and typographical errors in the preamble as follows:

On page 68725, fourth full paragraph of the second column, we inadvertently referenced proposed § 482.11 instead of proposed § 483.11.

On page 68729, second paragraph of the third column, we inadvertently referenced § 482.15(a) instead of § 483.15(a).

On page 68736, second full paragraph of the second column, we inadvertently referenced § 482.20(k)(4) instead of § 483.20(k)(4).

Under the Implementation Timeframe table we made technical and typographical errors as follows:

On page 68696, under § 483.12, we inadvertently referenced the “Coordination with QAPI Plan” instead of the “Coordination with QAPI Program.” We are correcting this error to clarify that the Coordination with QAPI Program will be implemented in Phase 3.

On page 68697, we inadvertently designated existing requirements at § 483.45(e)(1) and (2) to be implemented in the second phase of the implementation schedule. Requirements at § 483.45(e)(1) and (2) are redesignations and do not reflect a change in policy. We indicated in the final rule (81 FR 68696) that the first phase of implementation will include those requirements that were unchanged or received only minor modification. Therefore, we are correcting the exceptions to the Phase 1 implementation deadlines to specify that the requirements at § 483.45(e)(3), (4), and (5) Psychotropic drugs will be implemented in Phase 2.

On page 68697, we inadvertently designated existing requirements at § 483.75(g)(2)(i) and (ii) to be implemented in the third phase of the implementation schedule. Requirements at § 483.75(g)(2)(i) and (ii) are redesignations and do not reflect a change in policy. We indicated in the final rule (81 FR 68696) that the first phase of implementation will include those requirements that were unchanged or received only minor modification. Therefore, we are correcting the exceptions to the Phase 3 implementation deadlines under “§ 483.75—Quality assurance and performance improvement” by replacing the paragraph designation (g)(1) with (g), subparagraph designation (iv) with (g)(1)(iv), and clarifying that (g)(2)(iii) will also be implemented in Phase 3. Also, we are correcting the acronym “ICPO” to read “IP.”

B. Summary of Errors in the Regulations Text

On page 68847, we inadvertently omitted a conforming change to revise cross-references to part 483 found in part 409. Sections 409.20 and 409.26 include incorrect cross-references to § 483.75(n). We inadvertently did not update these cross-references. Therefore, we are revising § 409.20 and § 409.26 to correct the cross-reference by replacing § 483.75(n) with § 483.70(j).

On page 68847, we made technical errors in the regulations text for § 482.58. We inadvertently used the cross-references from the proposed rule “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities” (80 FR 42246) rather than the final rule. We are revising § 482.58 to correct the cross-references. As we noted in the proposed rule, the revised citations correspond to cross-references previously set out at § 482.58 and make no substantive policy changes.

On page 68848, we made technical errors in the regulations text of § 483.5. We inadvertently omitted a conforming change to revise cross-references in the definitions of “composite distinct part” and “distinct part.” We are revising the definition of “composite distinct part” and the definition for “distinct part.” We made no substantive changes.

On page 68854, we inadvertently designated a cross-reference at § 483.10(i)(4), and on pages 68856 and 68857, we inadvertently designated cross-references at § 483.15(a) through (d).

On page 68856, we made a technical error in the regulations text of § 483.15(c)(2)(iii)(F). We inadvertently omitted the apostrophe from the word “resident's.”

On page 68863, we made a technical error in the amendatory instruction for § 483.45. We set out the regulatory text for paragraph (c)(5) but inadvertently omitted the instruction to add paragraph (c)(5) as a new paragraph. We are revising § 483.45 by adding an instruction to add paragraph (c)(5).

On page 68863, we made a technical error in the regulations text of § 483.50(a)(2)(iii). We inadvertently misspelled the word “assistance.”

On page 68865, we made a technical error in the amendatory instruction for § 483.70(i), in which we inadvertently omitted the instruction to revise the paragraph heading for paragraph (i). We are inserting this instruction in this final rule.

On page 68868, we made a technical error in the regulations text for § 483.75(g)(1)(iv). In the preamble of the final rule (81 FR 68812), we indicated that in § 483.80(b) we were changing our use of “infection control and prevention officer (ICPO)” to “infection preventionist (IP).” Section 483.75(g)(1)(iv) also uses the term “infection control and prevention officer.” We are revising § 483.75(g)(1)(iv) by replacing the phrase “infection control and prevention officer” with “infection preventionist.”

On page 68869, we made a technical error in the regulations text for § 483.85(b). We incorrectly indicated that the operating organization for each facility must have in operation a compliance and ethics program by November 28, 2017. In the final rule (81 FR 68697) we indicated that all the requirements in § 483.85 would be implemented in Phase 3 (November 28, 2019). Therefore, we are revising paragraph § 483.85(b) to accurately indicate that the operating organization for each facility must have in operation a compliance and ethics program by November 28, 2019 and removing the reference to November 28, 2017.

On page 68870, we made technical errors in the regulations text for § 483.90. We incorrectly designated paragraph § 483.90(d) as (c), which resulted in the omission of existing requirements at § 483.90(c) in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). We are revising § 483.90 to correctly designate the paragraphs in this section and add the omitted requirements.

On page 68871, we made a technical error in the amendatory instruction for § 485.635. We incorrectly revised the cross-reference to § 483.25(i) in § 485.635(a)(3)(vii). We are revising § 485.635 to correct the cross-reference by replacing the reference to “§ 483.25(d)(8)” with “§ 483.25(g.)”

On page 68871, we made technical errors in the regulations text for § 485.645. We inadvertently used the cross-references from the proposed rule “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities (80 FR 42269) rather than the final rule. We are revising § 485.645 to correct the cross-references. As we noted in the proposed rule, the revised citations correspond to cross-references previously set out at § 485.645 and make no substantive policy changes.

On page 68871, we made a technical error in the regulations text for § 488.56. Section 488.56(b) and (b)(2) include incorrect cross-references to § 488.75(i). We inadvertently did not update these cross-references. Therefore, we are revising § 488.56 to correct the cross-reference by replacing § 488.75(i) with § 483.70(h).

III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking and Delay in Effective Date

We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of the finding and the reasons therefore in the rule.

Section 553(d) of the APA ordinarily requires a 30-day delay in effective date of final rules after the date of their publication in the Federal Register. This 30-day delay in effective date can be waived, however, if an agency finds for good cause that the delay is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and the agency incorporates a statement of the findings and its reasons in the rule issued.

Our revisions to the requirements for Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities found in part 483 subpart B have previously been subjected to notice and comment procedures. These corrections are consistent with the discussion of the policy in the October 2016 final rule and do not make substantive changes to this policy. This correcting amendment merely corrects technical errors in the regulations text of the October 2016 final rule and makes no substantive policy changes. As a result, this correcting amendment is intended to ensure that the October 2016 final rule accurately reflects the policy adopted in the final rule. Therefore, we find that undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate these corrections into the final rule is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest.

For the same reasons, we are also waiving the 30-day delay in effective date for this correcting amendment. We believe that it is in the public interest to ensure that the October 2016 final rule accurately reflect our revisions to the requirements for LTC facilities. Delaying the effective date of these corrections would be contrary to the public interest. Therefore, we also find good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effective date.

IV. Correction of Errors in the Preamble

a. On page 68725, in second column; in the fourth paragraph, line 21 remove “482.11” and add in its place “483.11”.

b. On page 68729, in the third column; in the second paragraph, line 11 remove “482.15(a)” and add in its place “483.15(a)”.

c. On page 68736, in the second column; in the second paragraph, line 58 remove ” 482.20(k)(4)” and add in its place “483.20(k)(4)”.

d. On page 68696, in the table under the “Implementation deadline” heading, second column, in the second bullet, after the word “QAPI,” remove the word “Plan” and add “Program” in its place.

e. On page 68697, in the table under the “Implementation deadline” heading, second column—

1. In the sixth bullet, remove the phrase “(e) Psychotropic drugs—Implemented in Phase 2” and add “(e)(3), (4), and (5) Psychotropic drugs—Implemented in Phase 2” in its place.

2. In the sixteenth bullet—

A. Remove the reference to “(g)(1)” and add “(g)” in its place.

B. Remove the phrase “with the exception of subparagraph (iv), the addition of the ICPO, which will be implemented in Phase 3” and add “with the exception of aragraphs (g)(1)(iv) (the addition of the IP) and (g)(2)(iii) (regarding the use of QAPI data), which will be implemented in Phase 3”.

C. Remove the acronym “ICPO” and add “IP” in its place.

List of Subjects 42 CFR Part 409

Health facilities, Medicare.

42 CFR Part 482

Grant programs—health, Hospitals, Medicaid, Medicare, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

42 CFR Part 483

Grant programs—health, Health facilities, Health professions, Health records, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing homes, Nutrition, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Safety.

42 CFR Part 485

Grant programs—health, Health facilities, Medicaid, Medicare, Privacy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

42 CFR Part 488

Administrative practice and procedure, Health facilities, Medicare, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services amends 42 CFR chapter IV as set forth below:

PART 409—HOSPITAL INSURANCE BENEFITS 1. The authority citation for part 409 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 1102 and 1871 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1302 and 1395hh).

§ 409.20 [Amended]
2. In § 409.20, amend paragraph (a)(6) by removing the cross-reference “§ 483.75(n)” and adding in its place “§ 483.70(j)”.
§ 409.26 [Amended]
3. In § 409.26, amend paragraph (a)(1) by removing the cross-reference “§ 483.75(n)” and adding in its place “§ 483.70(j)”. PART 482—CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION FOR HOSPITALS 4. The authority citation for part 482 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 1102, 1871 and 1881 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1302, 1395hh, and 1395rr), unless otherwise noted.

5. In § 482.58 revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 482.58 Special requirements for hospital providers of long-term care services (“swing-beds”)

(b) Skilled nursing facility services. The facility is substantially in compliance with the following skilled nursing facility requirements contained in subpart B of part 483 of this chapter.

(1) Resident rights (§ 483.10(b)(7), (c)(1), (c)(2)(iii), (c)(6), (d), (e)(2), (e)(4), (f)(4)(ii), (f)(4)(iii), (f)(9), (h), (g)(8), (g)(17), and (g)(18) introductory text.

(2) Admission, transfer, and discharge rights (§ 483.5 definition of transfer and discharge, § 483.15(c)(1), (c)(2)(i), (c)(2)(ii), (c)(3), (c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(7)).

(3) Freedom from abuse, neglect, and exploitation (§ 483.12(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3)(i), (a)(3)(ii), (a)(4), (b)(1), (b)(2), (c)).

(4) Patient activities (§ 483.24(c)).

(5) Social services (§ 483.40(d) and 483.70(p)).

(6) Discharge planning (§ 483.20(e)).

(7) Specialized rehabilitative services (§ 483.65).

(8) Dental services (§ 483.55).

PART 483—REQUIREMENTS FOR STATES AND LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES 6. The authority citation for part 483 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 1102, 1128I and 1871 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1302, 1320a-7j, 1395hh and 1396r).

7. In § 483.5, amend the definition of “Composite distinct part” by revising paragraph (2) introductory text and amend the definition of “Distinct part” by revising paragraph (1) to read as follows:
§ 483.5 Definitions.

Composite distinct part—* * *

(2) Requirements. In addition to meeting the requirements of specified in the definition of “distinct part” of this section, a composite distinct part must meet all of the following requirements:

Distinct part—(1) Definition. A distinct part SNF or NF is physically distinguishable from the larger institution or institutional complex that houses it, meets the requirements of this paragraph and of paragraph (2) of this definition, and meets the applicable statutory requirements for SNFs or NFs in sections 1819 or 1919 of the Act, respectively. A distinct part SNF or NF may comprise one or more buildings or designated parts of buildings (that is, wings, wards, or floors) that are: In the same physical area immediately adjacent to the institution's main buildings; other areas and structures that are not strictly contiguous with the main buildings but are located within close proximity to the main buildings; and any other areas that CMS determines on an individual basis, to be part of the institution's campus. A distinct part must include all of the beds within the designated area, and cannot consist of a random collection of individual rooms or beds that are scattered throughout the physical plant. The term “distinct part” also includes a composite distinct part that meets the additional requirements specified in the definition of “composite distinct part” of this section.

§ 483.10 [Amended]
8. In § 483.10, amend paragraph (i)(4) by removing the reference “§ 483.90(d)(2)(iv)” and adding in its place “§ 483.90(e)(2)(iv)”.
§ 483.15 [Amended]
9. In § 483.15— a. Amend paragraph (a)(7) by removing the reference “paragraph (b)(10)” and adding in its place “paragraph (c)(9)”. b. Amend paragraph (b)(2) by removing the reference to “§ 483.10(g)(3)” and adding in its place “§ 483.10(g)(18)(i)”. c. Amend paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(B) by removing the reference “paragraph (b)(1)(i)(C) or (D)” and adding in its place “paragraph (c)(1)(i)(C) or (D)”. d. Amend paragraph (c)(2)(iii)(F) by removing the word “residents” and adding in its place “resident's”. e. Amend paragraph (c)(3)(iii) by removing the reference to “paragraph (b)(5)” and adding in its place “paragraph (c)(5)”. f. Amend paragraph (c)(4)(i) by removing the reference “paragraphs (b)(4)(ii) and (b)(8)” and adding in its place “paragraphs (c)(4)(ii) and (8)”. g. Amend paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(A) by removing the reference to “paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(C)” and adding in its place “paragraph (c)(1)(i)(C)”. h. Amend paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(B) by removing the reference to “paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(D)” and adding in its place “paragraph (c)(1)(i)(D)”. i. Amend paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(C) by removing the reference “paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(B)” and adding in its place “paragraph (c)(1)(i)(B)”. j. Amend paragraph (c)(4)(ii)(D) by removing the reference “paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(A)” and adding in its place “paragraph (c)(1)(i)(A)”. k. Amend paragraph (c)(5) introductory text by removing the reference “paragraph (b)(3)” and adding in its place “paragraph (c)(3)”. l. Amend paragraph (d)(1)(iii) by removing the reference “paragraph (c)(3)” and adding in its place “paragraph (e)(1)”. m. Amend paragraph (d)(1)(iv) by removing the reference “paragraph (c)(3)” and adding in its place “paragraph (e)(1)”. n. Amend paragraph (d)(2) by removing the reference “paragraph (c)(1)” and adding in its place “paragraph (d)(1)”. 10. In § 483.45 add paragraph (c)(5) to read as follows:
§ 483.45 Pharmacy services.

(c) * * *

(5) The facility must develop and maintain policies and procedures for the monthly drug regimen review that include, but are not limited to, time frames for the different steps in the process and steps the pharmacist must take when he or she identifies an irregularity that requires urgent action to protect the resident.

§ 483.50 [Amended]
11. In § 483.50, amend paragraph (a)(2)(iii) by removing the word “asistance” and adding in its place “assistance”. 12. In § 483.70 revise the heading to paragraph (i) to read as follows:
§ 483.70 Administration.

(i) Medical records. * * *

§ 483.75 [Amended]
13. In § 483.75, amend paragraph (g)(1)(iv) by removing the phrase “infection control and prevention officer” and adding in its place “infection preventionist”. 14. In § 483.85 revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 483.85 Compliance and ethics program.

(b) General rule. Beginning November 28, 2019, the operating organization for each facility must have in operation a compliance and ethics program (as defined in paragraph (a) of this section) that meets the requirements of this section.

15. In § 483.90 revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 483.90 Physical environment.

(c) Emergency power. (1) An emergency electrical power system must supply power adequate at least for lighting all entrances and exits; equipment to maintain the fire detection, alarm, and extinguishing systems; and life support systems in the event the normal electrical supply is interrupted.

(2) When life support systems are used, the facility must provide emergency electrical power with an emergency generator (as defined in NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities) that is located on the premises.

PART 485—CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION: SPECIALIZED PROVIDERS 16. The authority citation for part 485 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 1102 and 1871 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1302 and 1395(hh)).

§ 485.635 [Amended]
17. In § 485.635, amend paragraph (a)(3)(vii) by removing the reference to “§ 483.25(d)(8)” and adding in its place “§ 483.25(g)”. 18. In § 485.645— a. Revise paragraph (d)(1). b. Remove paragraph (d)(2). c. Redesignate paragraphs (d)(3) through (10) as paragraphs (d)(2) through (9), respectively. d. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (d)(2) through (9).

The revisions read as follows:

§ 485.645 Special requirements for CAH providers of long-term care services (“swing-beds”)

(d) * * *

(1) Resident rights (§ 483.10(b)(7), (c)(1), (c)(2)(iii), (c)(6), (d), (e)(2), (e)(4), (f)(4)(ii), (f)(4)(iii), (f)(9), (g)(8), (g)(17), (g)(18) introductory text, (h) of this chapter).

(2) Admission, transfer, and discharge rights (§ 483.5 definition of transfer & discharge, § 483.15(c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), (c)(4), (c)(5), (c)(7), (c)(8), and (c)(9) of this chapter).

(3) Freedom from abuse, neglect and exploitation (§ 483.12(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3)(i), (a)(3)(ii), (a)(4), (b)(1), (b)(2), (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this chapter).

(4) Patient activities (§ 483.24(c) of this chapter), except that the services may be directed either by a qualified professional meeting the requirements of § 483.24(c)(2), or by an individual on the facility staff who is designated as the activities director and who serves in consultation with a therapeutic recreation specialist, occupational therapist, or other professional with experience or education in recreational therapy.

(5) Social services (§ 483.40(d) and § 483.70(p) of this chapter).

(6) Comprehensive assessment, comprehensive care plan, and discharge planning (§ 483.20(b), and § 483.21(b) and (c)(2) of this chapter), except that the CAH is not required to use the resident assessment instrument (RAI) specified by the State that is required under § 483.20(b), or to comply with the requirements for frequency, scope, and number of assessments prescribed in § 413.343(b) of this chapter).

(7) Specialized rehabilitative services (§ 483.65 of this chapter).

(8) Dental services (§ 483.55 of this chapter).

(9) Nutrition (§ 483.25(g)(1) and (g)(2) of this chapter).

PART 488—SURVEY, CERTIFICATION, AND ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES 19. The authority citation for part 488 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 1102, 1128l, 1864, 1865, 1871 and 1875 of the Social Security Act, unless otherwise noted (42 U.S.C 1302, 1320a-7j, 1395aa, 1395bb, 1395hh) and 1395ll.

§ 488.56 [Amended]
20. In § 488.56 amend paragraphs (b) introductory text and (b)(2) by removing the reference “§ 488.75(i)” and adding in its place “§ 483.70(h)”. Dated: June 30, 2017. Thomas E. Price Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
[FR Doc. 2017-14646 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 1, 25, 73, and 74 [GN Docket No. 15-236; DA 17-562] Review of Foreign Ownership Policies for Broadcast, Common Carrier and Aeronautical Radio Licensees AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule; dismissal of petition for reconsideration.

SUMMARY:

In this Order on Reconsideration, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) dismisses a petition for reconsideration filed in this rulemaking proceeding by William J. Kirsch. This action was taken on delegated authority jointly by the Acting Chief, International Bureau, and the Chief, Media Bureau.

DATES:

July 13, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gabrielle Kim or Francis Gutierrez, Telecommunications and Analysis Division, International Bureau, FCC, (202) 418-1480 or via email to [email protected], [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This is a summary of the Commission's Order on Reconsideration in GN Docket No. 15-236, DA 17-562, adopted and released on June 8, 2017. The full text of the Order on Reconsideration is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities, send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY). The document also is available for download over the Internet at http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0608/DA-17-562A1.pdf.

Synopsis

1. In the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order, 81 FR 86586, the Commission modified the foreign ownership filing and review process for broadcast licensees by extending the streamlined procedures developed for foreign ownership reviews for common carrier and certain aeronautical licensees under section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Act”), to the broadcast context with certain limited exceptions. The Commission also reformed the methodology used by both common carrier and broadcast licensees that are, or are controlled by, U.S. public companies to assess compliance with the foreign ownership restrictions in section 310(b)(3) and 310(b)(4) of the Act, respectively. In response, a petition for reconsideration (Petition) was filed by William J. Kirsch (Petitioner) asserting that the Commission did not address the concerns he had raised earlier in the proceeding in response to the 2015 Foreign Ownership NPRM, 80 FR 68815.

2. The Order on Reconsideration dismisses the Petition because it does not meet the requirements of section 1.429 of the Commission's rules and plainly does not warrant consideration by the Commission. More specifically, the Petition fails to state with particularity the respects in which the Petitioner believes the action taken by the Commission in the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order should be changed; relies on arguments that the Commission fully considered and rejected; relates to matters outside the scope of the proceeding; and fails to identify any material error, omission, or reason warranting reconsideration. This action was taken by the International Bureau and the Media Bureau pursuant to delegated authority under section 1.429(l) of the Commission's rules.

3. The Order on Reconsideration finds the Petition fails to state with particularity the respects in which Petitioner believes the Commission's action in the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order should be changed. The Order on Reconsideration notes that the Petition only consists of generalized claims and requests and offers no evidence or analysis to support the assertions. To the extent the Petition's assertions can be construed as requesting that the Commission adopt a reciprocity standard in the broadcast context, the Petition does not explain with any specificity how the Commission would make changes to implement such a reciprocity standard. Nor does it address how the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order changes existing Commission policy and precedent with respect to the agency's evaluation of foreign ownership of broadcast licensees in this respect, which requires the Commission to assess, in each particular case, whether the foreign interests presented for approval by the licensee are in the public interest consistent with section 310(b)(4), and accords deference to the expertise of the relevant Executive Branch agencies relating to trade policy as well as national security, law enforcement, and foreign policy matters. In sum, the Petition does not identify particular procedures adopted in the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order that Petitioner believes should be changed or explain with specificity how Petitioner believes the Commission should implement any such changes.

4. The Order on Reconsideration also finds that the Petition raises no relevant new arguments and merely echoes Petitioner's earlier arguments, made in response to the 2015 Foreign Ownership NPRM, that taking the proposed action would raise trade concerns contrary to the public interest. The Commission, however, addressed this issue in the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order, finding that the relevant Executive Branch agencies will continue to review foreign ownership petitions for declaratory ruling filed pursuant to section 310(b)(4) of the Act, where appropriate, and advise the Commission of any national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, or trade policy concerns. The Commission found that this review process will continue to address concerns raised by a particular foreign investment in the broadcasting context, and specifically Petitioner's concerns about what it characterizes as a “unilateral trade concession.” In extending the procedures applicable to common carrier licensees to broadcast licensees, the Commission concluded that the streamlined common carrier procedures for reviewing foreign ownership petitions create an efficient process that benefits filers without harm to the public. These changes in procedure were not intended to have any substantive effect on Executive Branch agency review of these petitions, and there is no reason to believe that the Commission's action in the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order will in fact have any such effect. And Petitioner has suggested nothing that indicates otherwise.

5. In sum, the Commission fully considered Petitioner's earlier arguments and explained in the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order the reasons for the Commission's decisions. Moreover, to the extent they can be discerned, Petitioner's real concerns appear to be about the substantive evaluation of foreign ownership in broadcasting as it may relate to trade policy. The 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order, however, only streamlined the procedures for seeking an evaluation. It did not address the substantive criteria for the evaluation. The Petition, therefore, also warrants dismissal for relating to matters outside the scope of the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order.

6. The Petition also fails to demonstrate any material error, omission, or reason warranting reconsideration of the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order. The Petition does not identify any basis in the statute or relevant authority that would prohibit the Commission from adopting the streamlined procedures. As discussed, Petitioner's generalized claims and requests throughout the Petition are unsupported by evidence or analysis. To the extent Petitioner repeats earlier arguments that the Commission fully considered and rejected, and raises no relevant new arguments that warrant consideration, the Order on Reconsideration finds that the Petition fails to identify any material error, omission, or reason warranting reconsideration of the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order.

7. Finally, the Order on Reconsideration notes that Petitioner's ex parte submission does not cure the Petition's deficiencies. (Petitioner sent “Reply Comments” via email to a number of recipients, including members of the Commission. The Commission treated these “Reply Comments” as an ex parte submission for the purpose of enabling full consideration of the record. However, Petitioner's “Reply Comments” to the Petition were not properly filed in accordance with the Commission's rules.) Petitioner's ex parte submission does not state with particularity the respects in which Petitioner believes the Commission's action in the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order should be changed; relies on arguments that the Commission fully considered and rejected in the 2016 Foreign Ownership Report and Order; and fails to identify any material error, omission, or reason warranting reconsideration. (To the extent Petitioner raises issues related to other matters he has pending before the Commission, those matters were not addressed in the Order on Reconsideration.) Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, the Petition is dismissed pursuant to section 1.429 of the Commission's rules.

Ordering Clauses

8. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to sections 5(c) and 405 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 155(c), 405, and sections 0.51, 0.61, 0.261, 0.283, 1.429(c), and 1.429(l) of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 0.51, 0.61, 0.261, 0.283, 1.429(c), 1.429(l), the Petition for Reconsideration filed by William J. Kirsch in this proceeding is dismissed.

9. It is further ordered that, pursuant to section 1.103 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.103, this Order is effective upon release. Applications for review under section 1.115 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.115, may be filed within thirty days of the date of public notice of this Order.

Federal Communications Commission. Troy Tanner, Deputy Chief, International Bureau.
[FR Doc. 2017-14644 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985-7181-02] RIN 0648-XF537 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sablefish in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is prohibiting retention of sablefish by non-CDQ vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary because the 2017 sablefish initial total allowable catch (ITAC) in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI has been reached.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 10, 2017, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

The 2017 non-CDQ sablefish trawl ITAC in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI is 541 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2017 non-CDQ sablefish trawl ITAC in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI has been reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that sablefish caught with non-CDQ vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI be treated as prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b).

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay prohibiting retention of sablefish by non-CDQ vessels using trawl gear in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of July 6, 2017.

The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

This action is required by §§ 679.20 and 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: July 10, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-14686 Filed 7-10-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
82 133 Thursday, July 13, 2017 Proposed Rules OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR PART 630 RIN 3206-AN49 Administrative Leave, Investigative Leave, Notice Leave, and Weather and Safety Leave AGENCY:

Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Personnel Management proposes to issue new regulations on the granting and recording of administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, and weather and safety leave. The Administrative Leave Act of 2016 created these new categories of statutorily authorized paid leave and established parameters for their use by Federal agencies. The regulations will provide a framework for agency compliance with the new statutory requirements.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before August 14, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by RIN 3206-AN49 using one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Email: [email protected]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kurt Springmann or Julie Ohr by email at [email protected] or by telephone at (202) 606-2858.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing proposed regulations to implement the Administrative Leave Act of 2016, enacted under section 1138 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (Pub. L. 114-328, 130 Stat. 2000, December 23, 2016). The Administrative Leave Act of 2016, hereafter referred to as “the Act,” added three new sections in title 5 of the U.S. Code that provide for specific categories of paid leave and requirements that shall apply to each: § 6329a Regarding administrative leave; § 6329b regarding investigative leave and notice leave; and § 6329c regarding weather and safety leave.

Background

Prior to passage of the Act, agencies granted paid excused absences (often called “administrative leave”) to employees based on the broad management authority in 5 U.S.C. 301-302, which allows heads of agencies to prescribe regulations for the government of their organizations. This authority does not expressly address excused absence and thus does not set parameters on its use. However, some direction on use of the excused absence authority was provided in Comptroller General decisions and in OPM guidance.

In the sense of Congress provisions in section 1138(b) of the Act, Congress expressed the need for legislation to address concerns that usage of administrative leave had sometimes exceeded reasonable amounts and resulted in significant costs to the Government. Congress wanted agencies to (1) use administrative leave sparingly and reasonably, (2) consider alternatives to use of administrative leave when employees are under investigation, and (3) act expeditiously to conclude investigations and either return the employee to duty or take an appropriate personnel action. Congress also wanted agencies to keep accurate records regarding the use of administrative leave for various purposes.

In drafting the Act, Congress considered an October 2014 report entitled “Federal Paid Administrative Leave,” which was prepared by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). (See GAO Report 15-79.) At the request of Congress, GAO examined the paid administrative leave policies at selected Federal agencies, reviewed practices in recording and reporting of paid administrative leave, and described categories of purposes for which large amounts of paid administrative leave have been charged. GAO found that agency policies on administrative leave varied and that some employees were on administrative leave for long periods (primarily due to extended personnel investigations), which had significant cost implications. GAO also found problems in agencies' recording and reporting practices with respect to administrative leave. The GAO report was cited in Congressional committee reports on draft bills addressing the use of administrative leave for Federal employees. (See House Report 114-520, August 25, 2016, accompanying H.R. 4359 and Senate Report 114-292, July 6, 2016, accompanying S. 2450.) Those committee reports also include useful background information on the development of legislation that eventually culminated in the passage of the Administrative Leave Act of 2016.

New Subparts in 5 CFR Part 630

In this proposed regulation, OPM proposes to add three new subparts to 5 CFR part 630 that correspond to the three new statutory sections in 5 U.S.C. chapter 63: Subpart N, Administrative Leave (implementing 5 U.S.C. 6329a); Subpart O, Investigative Leave and Notice Leave (implementing 5 U.S.C. 6329b); and Subpart P, Weather and Safety Leave (implementing 5 U.S.C. 6329c).

Administrative leave is permitted—at an agency's discretion but subject to statutory and regulatory requirements—when an agency determines that no other paid leave is available under other law. Under § 6329a(b)(1), an agency may place an employee on administrative leave for no more than 10 total workdays in any given calendar year.

Investigative leave and notice leave are permitted—at an agency's discretion but subject to statutory and regulatory requirements—when an agency determines that an employee must be removed from the workplace while under investigation or during a notice period (i.e., the period after the employee has received a proposed notice of adverse action before a final decision is made and takes effect). These two types of leave may be used only when an authorized agency official determines, through evaluation of baseline factors, that the continued presence of the employee in the workplace may pose a threat to the employee or others, result in the destruction of evidence relevant to an investigation, result in loss of or damage to Government property, or otherwise jeopardize legitimate Government interests. Before using these two types of leave, agencies must consider options to avoid or minimize the use of paid leave, such as changing the employee's duties or work location. Use of investigative leave is subject to time limitations and special approvals for extensions.

Weather and safety leave is permitted—at an agency's discretion but subject to statutory and regulatory requirements, agency policies, and lawful collective bargaining provisions—when an agency determines that employees cannot safely travel to and from, or perform work at, their normal worksite, a telework site, or other approved location because of severe weather or other emergency situations. There are no time limitations with respect to this type of leave.

Both the law and the proposed regulations address recordkeeping and reporting requirements with which agencies must comply. Agencies must keep separate records on each type of leave: Administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, and weather and safety leave.

In the latter portion of this Supplementary Information, we present a section-by-section explanation for the regulations in each subpart (N, O, and P).

Effective Date

The Act directs OPM to prescribe (i.e., publish) regulations to carry out the new statutes on administrative leave, investigative leave, notice leave, and weather and safety leave no later than 270 calendar days after the Act's enactment on December 23, 2016—i.e., September 19, 2017. (See 5 U.S.C. 6329a(c)(1), 6329b(h)(1), and section 6329c(d).) The Act further directs that agencies “revise and implement the internal policies of the agency” to meet the statutory requirements pertaining to administrative leave, investigative leave, and notice leave no later than 270 calendar days after the date on which OPM issues its regulations. (See 5 U.S.C. 6329a(c)(2) and 6329b(h)(2).) There is no similar agency implementation provision in the law governing weather and safety leave.

When OPM issues final regulations, we intend to specify that the regulations for subparts N and O (dealing with administrative leave and investigative/notice leave, respectively) will take effect 270 days after publication by specifying a separate “implementation date.” Consistent with the statutory provisions, agencies will have 270 calendar days following the date of publication of the final regulations to revise and implement internal policies to meet the new requirements. That will give agencies time to develop internal policies and procedures, including necessary changes in recordkeeping and reporting systems. OPM intends to further specify that subpart P (dealing with weather and safety leave) will take effect 30 days after the date of publication of the final regulations. However, we expect to delay enforcing the requirement that agencies separately report weather and safety leave to OPM until the 270th day following publication of the final regulations.

Amendment to Annual and Sick Leave Regulations

In OPM's regulations dealing with general provisions for annual and sick leave (5 CFR subpart B), we propose to remove the second sentence in § 630.206(a), which reads: “If an employee is unavoidably or necessarily absent for less than one hour, or tardy, the agency, for adequate reason, may excuse him without charge to leave.” This regulation was not an authority for creating a type of paid time off, but merely recognized the existence of agency authority to provide brief periods of excused absence under Comptroller General decisions.

Now that OPM has authority to regulate the use of administrative leave under 5 U.S.C. 6329a, it is more appropriate for this particular application of administrative leave to be covered under the new regulations. We would expect administrative leave under 5 U.S.C. 6329a to be used rarely, if at all, for the purpose of excusing a tardy employee. We note that weather and safety leave under 5 U.S.C. 6329c may appropriately be used so that, due to weather or other emergency conditions, an agency may allow employees to have a delayed arrival to avoid unsafe travel conditions.

Subpart N—Administrative Leave § 630.1401—Purpose and Applicability

Section 630.1401 addresses the purpose of the proposed regulations on administrative leave—i.e., to implement 5 U.S.C. 6329a. It also notes OPM's authority to prescribe regulations to carry out the new statutory provisions, including the appropriate uses and the proper recording of administrative leave. Additionally, this section provides that subpart N applies to employees, as defined at 5 U.S.C. 2105, who are employed in executive branch agencies, but does not apply to intermittent employees.

§ 630.1402—Definitions

Section 630.1402 provides definitions of terms for purposes of subpart N. Explanations regarding certain definitions are provided below.

We define administrative leave to mean paid leave authorized at the discretion of an agency that is provided without loss or reduction in pay, other leave, or service credit and that is exclusive of leave authorized under any other provision of statute or Presidential directive. Thus, for example, a back pay correction may provide for retroactive pay for a nonduty period when a separation is later found to be erroneous. Such a granting of retroactive pay is not a granting of administrative leave under 5 U.S.C. 6329a, since it is authorized under the back pay law and regulations. Also, the 5 days of excused absence granted by the Presidential memorandum of November 14, 2003, for employees returning from active military duty is not considered administrative leave under this subpart. We also clarify that administrative leave excludes periods when the employee is engaged in activities that qualify as official hours of work, such as attendance at an agency town hall meeting.

We provide that the term agency refers to an executive agency of the Federal Government. As required by 5 U.S.C. 6329a(a)(2)(c), the General Accountability Office is excluded from this definition, and thus from coverage by subpart N. When used in the context of an agency making determinations or taking actions, “agency” refers to the agency head or management officials who are authorized (including by delegation) to make a given determination or take a given action.

We define employee as an individual who is covered by subpart N as described in § 630.1401(b) and (c). As provided in that section and in 5 U.S.C. 6329a(a)(3)(A), “employee” has the meaning used in 5 U.S.C. 2105. As provided in 5 U.S.C. 6329a(a)(3)(B), intermittent employees who do not have an established regular tour of duty during the administrative workweek are excluded from the definition of “employee,” and therefore are not covered by the provisions of subpart N. While not expressly addressed in the proposed regulations, we note that certain Presidential appointees in the executive branch are exempt from the leave system under 5 U.S.C. 6301(2)(x)-(xii) and are entitled to pay solely because of their status as officers. Such officers are not placed in leave status for any purpose; thus, subparts N, O, and P do not apply to such officers.

We define head of the agency to mean the head of an agency or a designated representative of such agency head who is (1) an agency headquarters-level official reporting directly to the agency head or a deputy agency head and (2) the sole such representative for the entire agency. This term is used in § 630.1403(a)(5)(i) and (b)(4).

We define Presidential directive to mean an Executive order, Presidential memorandum, or official written statement by the President in which the President specifically directs agency heads to provide employees with a paid excused absence under a specified set of conditions. This excludes a Presidential action that (1) merely encourages agency heads to use an agency head authority (e.g., section 6329a) to grant a paid excused absence under certain conditions or (2) leaves them with discretion regarding whether to grant excused absence in a particular scenario or discretion regarding the amount of excused absence to be granted in a particular scenario.

§ 630.1403—Principles and Prohibitions

This section sets out the general principles and prohibited uses of the administrative leave authority under 5 U.S.C. 6329a and subpart N. In developing the general principles, OPM took into account past OPM policy and guidance as well as Comptroller General decisions regarding the use of general administrative leave. In paragraph (a)(1), we list three conditions. To justify any use of administrative leave, one of these conditions must be met. The first condition is that an agency may grant administrative leave when the absence directly relates to the mission of the agency. For example, an agency could grant administrative leave to an employee to attend a professional meeting or perform certain volunteer work when these relate to the agency's mission.

The second condition permits an agency to grant administrative leave when the absence is for an activity officially sponsored or sanctioned by the agency. For example, an agency may grant administrative leave to permit employees to participate in an American Red Cross blood donation drive being conducted in an agency facility.

The third condition permits an agency to grant administrative leave when the agency determines that the absence would be in the interest of the agency or the Government as a whole. For instance, an agency may grant administrative leave to allow an employee to participate in employee wellness or health promotion events (e.g., influenza vaccinations, health screenings, or health education forums) or to ensure that an employee has the opportunity to vote. Also, an agency may grant administrative leave to cover brief periods of tardiness or to provide for early dismissal when it is determined to be in the interest of the agency.

Section 630.1403(a)(5) provides that a determination that an absence satisfies one of the three conditions in § 630.1403(a)(1) must be (1) permitted under policies established by the head of the agency; and (2) reviewed and approved by an official of the agency who is (or is acting) at a higher level than the official making the determination (unless the determination is made by the head or acting head of the agency). The first requirement ensures that agency heads are accountable for adopting policies to ensure appropriate use of administrative leave, consistent with OPM regulations. The second requirement—that administrative leave be approved only after second-level review—should help prevent inappropriate uses and ensure that administrative leave is used sparingly.

Section 630.1403(a)(2) states the principle that administrative leave is not an employee entitlement, but is granted sparingly at the discretion of the agency. Accordingly, employees are not entitled to a certain number of administrative leave hours or days during any specified period, whether biweekly, monthly, or annually.

Section 630.1403(a)(3) states the principle that the appropriate use of administrative leave is for brief periods of time. In most instances, this will be no longer than 1 day; however, exceptions may be approved. For example, an exception is made for times when an employee is subject to an investigation and his or her retention in duty status is inconsistent with the best interests of the Government. In this case, the agency—prior to placing an employee on investigative leave under subpart O of these regulations—must charge administrative leave until expiration of the 10-workday limit described in 5 U.S.C. 6329a(b)(1) and § 630.1404. (See also 5 U.S.C. 6329b(b)(3)(A).)

Section 630.1403(a)(4) states the principle that administrative leave may not be established as an ongoing or recurring entitlement. Accordingly, an agency may not provide a recurring entitlement to administrative leave, for example, on an employee's birthday or on a day following a Thursday holiday. However, an agency may grant administrative leave on an ad hoc basis for an activity or event that may be ongoing or recurring and is in the Government's interest (e.g., influenza vaccinations or blood donation drives).

In addition to the general principles, § 630.1403(b) describes specific prohibited uses of administrative leave. Section 630.1403(b)(1) provides that agencies are prohibited from using administrative leave to mark the memory of a deceased Federal official, which is consistent with the principle underlying the statutory bar in 5 U.S.C. 6105 prohibiting closure of agencies to mark the memory of a deceased Federal official. We note, however, that section 6105 does not constrain the President from exercising his or her authority in 5 U.S.C. 6103(b) to declare a holiday by Executive order in connection with the death of a President. If the President provides excused absence for Federal employees to commemorate the service of a deceased former President, such excused absence is not a granting of administrative leave under 5 U.S.C. 6329a or subpart N, since it is granted under a Presidential directive and is also authorized as a holiday under 5 U.S.C. 6103(b). (The definition of “administrative leave” under § 630.1402 excludes paid leave authorized under Presidential directives.)

Section 630.1403(b)(2) prohibits agencies from granting administrative leave to permit an employee to participate in an event for his or her personal benefit or the benefit of an outside organization, unless the participation would satisfy one of the conditions in § 630.1403(a)(1). To permit employees to participate in these events, agencies alternatively may approve employees' requests to adjust their work schedules or to use annual leave, leave without pay, compensatory time off, credit hours, or other earned time off.

Section 630.1403(b)(3) prohibits agencies from granting administrative leave as a reward to recognize the performance or contributions of employees. The proper personnel authorities for recognizing the performance or contributions of employees are cash awards and time-off awards. This prohibition does not affect employee attendance at agency awards ceremonies, since such attendance is considered to be on-duty time in direct support of the agency mission.

Section 630.1403(b)(4) prevents agencies from granting administrative leave to allow employees to engage in volunteer work or other civic activity that is not officially sponsored or sanctioned by the head of the agency, based on the agency's mission or Governmentwide interests. This prohibition bars agencies from providing administrative leave for volunteer and other activities that do not benefit the agency or serve a Governmentwide interest. A Governmentwide interest is generally documented through a statement of support by the President or the OPM Director. For employees who wish to participate in volunteer activities during basic working hours, agencies alternatively may permit work schedule adjustments or approve use of annual leave, compensatory time off, credit hours, or other earned time off, or may allow employees to take leave without pay. For long-term volunteer work, agencies may approve part-time or job sharing schedules.

§ 630.1404—Calendar Year Limitation

Section 630.1404 addresses the 10-workday calendar year limitation on use of administrative leave imposed by 5 U.S.C. 6329a(b)(1). Paragraph (a) states the limitation and notes that the 10-day limitation carries over when an employee transfers to another covered agency or separates and is reemployed by a covered agency within the same calendar year. For example, if an employee has been granted 6 workdays of administrative leave at one agency and then transfers to another agency, the employee may be granted only 4 more workdays of administrative leave by the gaining agency during the remainder of the calendar year.

Section 630.1404(b) provides for the conversion of the 10-workday calendar year limitation to an aggregate limit on hours in order to facilitate application of the limit to employees on different work schedules. For full-time employees who are not on an uncommon tour of duty under § 630.210, the 10-workday limitation is converted to an 80-hour limitation. For full-time employees with an uncommon tour of duty, the converted calendar year limitation equals the number of hours in the biweekly uncommon tour of duty, averaged as necessary. For example, for an employee with an uncommon tour of 144 hours biweekly, the 10-workday limitation equates to 144 hours. (Note that the regular 80-hour calendar limit multiplied by 144/80 equals 144 hours.) For a part-time employee, the calendar year limitation is prorated based on the number of hours in the employee's tour of duty consistent with the proration of annual and sick leave required by 5 U.S.C. 6302(c). For example, the 10-workday limitation for a half-time employee equates to 40 hours, since 80 hours times 40/80 equals 40 hours.

Section 630.1404(c) provides that the calendar year limitation applies only to administrative leave. The limitation does not apply to investigative leave and notice leave provided under subpart O, weather and safety leave provided under subpart P, or leave provided under other statute or a Presidential directive.

Section 630.1404(d) provides that, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 6329b(b)(3)(A), if an employee under investigation must be placed on leave and that employee has not yet reached the 10-workday calendar year limitation, administrative leave under subpart N must first be used instead of investigative leave. This is because investigative leave under subpart O may not be used until the employee has exhausted the 10-workday limitation.

Section 630.1404(e) prohibits agencies from granting additional administrative leave until the next calendar year when an employee reaches the calendar year limit. If an employee has reached his or her calendar year limit and a situation arises where the employee might have been granted administrative leave but for the limit, the employee must continue to work or use other appropriate leave (e.g., annual leave), time off, or leave without pay. When an employee is not able to work and is not willing or able to use paid leave or time off, the agency must place the employee in an appropriate type of nonpay status.

§ 630.1405—Administration of Administrative Leave

Section 630.1405(a) provides that the minimum charge increment (fraction of an hour) for administrative leave is the same as the agency uses for annual and sick leave.

Section 630.1405(b) states that administrative leave may be granted only for hours within an employee's tour of duty established for the purposes of charging annual and sick leave, which for full-time employees is either the 40-hour basic workweek, the basic work requirement for employees on a flexible or compressed work schedule, or an uncommon tour of duty pursuant to § 630.210.

Section 630.1405(c) states that agencies may authorize or require administrative leave for a single employee or a category of employees. It also notes that employees do not have an entitlement to administrative leave and, in particular, are not entitled to receive the full calendar year limit each year. Employees receive only the amount of administrative leave granted by the agency, which may be less (but can never be more) than the calendar year limit. This paragraph also notes that employees do not have a right to refuse administrative leave when the agency requires its use.

§ 630.1406—Records and Reporting

This section provides the recordkeeping and reporting requirements regarding administrative leave. Paragraph (a) requires agencies to accurately record use of administrative leave for each employee under two categories—administrative leave used for the purposes of an investigation and administrative leave used for all other purposes. Paragraph (b) requires that agency data systems and data reports submitted to OPM record administrative leave authorized under 5 U.S.C. 6329a and subpart N of these regulations separately from other types of leave and in the two categories noted above. This section also states that agencies must provide information on the granting of administrative leave to the Government Accountability Office as that office requires.

§ 630.1407—Separation or Transfer

Under § 630.1407, agencies must certify, in a manner prescribed by OPM, the number of hours used by an employee in the two administrative leave categories during the current calendar year when the employee transfers to another agency or separates. The employee does not receive a new calendar year limitation upon (1) transfer to another agency or (2) reemployment by a covered agency after a separation within the same calendar year. Thus, the gaining agency must apply the hours reported by the losing agency to the employee's current calendar year limitation.

Subpart O—Investigative Leave and Notice Leave § 630.1501—Purpose and Applicability

Section 630.1501(a) states the purpose of subpart O—i.e., to implement 5 U.S.C. 6329b, which allows an agency to provide a separate type of paid leave for employees who are the subject of an investigation or in a notice period. These two new categories are to be known as “investigative leave” and “notice leave.” Section 630.1501(a) notes that OPM has authority to prescribe implementing regulations under 5 U.S.C. 6329b(h)(1).

Section 630.1501(b) states this subpart applies to an employee as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105 who is employed in an agency, excluding an Inspector General or an intermittent employee who, by definition, does not have an established regular tour of duty during the administrative workweek. This subpart does not apply to employees who are exempt from 5 U.S.C. chapter 63, such as employees of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees. (Specific laws in title 49 provide that most title 5 provisions, including chapter 63, do not apply to FAA and TSA employees. See 49 U.S.C. 114(n) and 40122(g)(2).)

Section 630.1501(c) explains this subpart applies to certain employees covered by a special personnel authority in title 38, United States Code, even though that authority would normally allow those employees to be exempted from title 5 leave provisions.

§ 630.1502—Definitions

Section 630.1502 provides definitions of various terms. The definitions align with definitions found in the law. Explanations regarding certain definitions are provided below.

We are defining the term investigation to mean an inquiry regarding an employee. Examples of an inquiry may include: (1) An employee's alleged misconduct that could result in an adverse action as described in 5 CFR part 752 or similar authority; (2) security concerns, including (but not limited to) whether the employee should retain eligibility for logical access to agency facilities and systems under the standards established by Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12 and guidance issued pursuant to that directive; or (3) other matters that could lead to disciplinary action.

We are defining the term investigative entity consistent with the statutory definition in 5 U.S.C. 6329b(a)(6); however, we are adding language to make clear that an internal investigative unit may be composed of one or more persons, such as supervisors, managers, human resources practitioners, personnel security office staff, workplace violence prevention team members, or other agency representatives.

In the definition of the term notice period, we have clarified when the notice period ends. For an employee with respect to whom an adverse action is being taken, the notice period ends on the effective date of the adverse action. For an employee for whom an adverse action is not being taken, the notice period ends on the date on which the agency notifies the employee that no adverse action will be taken.

We are providing a definition of participating in a telework program, which term is used in § 630.1503(c)(1)(iii). An employee is considered to be participating in a telework program if the employee is eligible to telework and has an established arrangement with his or her agency under which the employee is approved to participate in the agency telework program, including on a routine or situational basis. Thus, an employee who teleworks on a situational basis is considered to be continuously participating in a telework program even if there are extended periods during which the employee does not perform telework.

We are providing a definition of telework site, which is defined as a location where an employee is authorized to perform telework as described in 5 U.S.C. chapter 65, such as an employee's home.

§ 630.1503—Authority and Requirements for Investigative Leave and Notice Leave

Separate from the administrative leave authorized by 5 U.S.C. 6329a and subpart N, new § 630.1503 establishes two new forms of paid leave on which agencies may place employees who are under investigation or who have received a notice of a proposed adverse action. These two new categories are to be known as “investigative leave” under § 630.1503(a)(1) and “notice leave” under § 630.1503(a)(2). Investigative leave and notice leave are not employee entitlements. Instead they are intended to provide the employing agency with the means of removing an employee from the workplace and keeping the employee away from the workplace while the agency investigates the employee or during the notice period of a proposed adverse action against that employee (or both). The default situation should be that an employee who is being investigated or against whom an adverse action has been proposed will remain in a duty status in his or her regular position during the investigation or notice period. Investigative leave or notice leave should be applied only when the agency makes the required determination that the employee must be removed from the workplace during a period of investigation or during a notice period in order to protect agency facilities or systems, the Federal workforce, or the public from harm. In these circumstances, after the required consideration of other options, an agency may place an employee on investigative leave or notice leave. An agency may also consider requiring an employee who is otherwise telework-eligible and who is currently (or recently) participating in the agency telework program to telework from home or another approved location as an alternative to investigative leave. (Any such assessment, however, will need to take into account whether the employee should retain eligibility for logical access to agency systems under the standards established by Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12 and guidance issued pursuant to that directive).

Section 630.1503(a)(1) states one of the conditions that must be met before an employee may be placed on investigative leave—namely, that the employee is “the subject of an investigation.”

Section 630.1503(a)(2)(i) authorizes notice leave when an employee is in a notice period. An employee who has not received an advance notice of proposed adverse action under 5 CFR chapter 752 may not be provided notice leave. Section 630.1503(a)(2)(ii) authorizes notice leave, following a placement of an employee on investigative leave, which may be provided after the last day of the period of investigative leave if the agency proposes an adverse action against the employee under 5 CFR chapter 752 or similar authority. This means investigative leave and notice leave may be used consecutively in some instances. Agencies should be mindful, however, of any internal procedures related to the preparation and approval of a proposed adverse action before it is issued. If the agency determines that the employee continues to meet the criteria of § 630.1503(b)(1) and one or more of the options in § 630.1503(b)(2) is not appropriate, the agency may not transition the employee from investigative leave to notice leave until such time as it has issued the notice of proposed adverse action.

Section 630.1503(b) sets forth the limited circumstances under which an agency may place an employee on investigative leave or notice leave, consistent with the statutory requirements in 5 U.S.C. 6329b(b)(2). First, as provided in paragraph (b)(1), the agency has to make a determination that the continued presence of the employee in the workplace while under investigation or in a notice period may pose a threat to the employee or others, result in the destruction of evidence relevant to an investigation, result in loss or damage to Government property, or otherwise jeopardize legitimate Government interests. (See 5 U.S.C. 6329b(b)(2)(A).) This determination is accomplished through an assessment of baseline factors.

Second, as provided in paragraph (b)(2), the agency must consider required options instead of the use of investigative leave or notice leave.

The baseline factors referenced in § 630.1503(b)(1) are identified in § 630.1503(e), but are described at this point in the section-by-section review of the regulations given their essentiality in making a determination under paragraph (b)(1) regarding whether an employee's continued presence in the workplace is appropriate. Under 5 U.S.C. 6329b(h)(1)(C), OPM is required to prescribe regulations regarding baseline factors. The baseline factors the agency must consider when making a determination under paragraph (b)(1) are: (1) The nature and severity of the employee's exhibited or alleged behavior, (2) the nature of the agency's or employee's work and the ability of the agency to accomplish its mission, and (3) other impacts of the employee's continued presence in the workplace detrimental to legitimate Government interests, including (but not limited to) whether the employee will pose an unacceptable risk to (i) the life, safety, or health of employees, contractors, vendors or visitors to a Federal facility; (ii) the Government's physical assets or information systems; (iii) personal property; (iv) records, including classified, privileged, proprietary, financial or medical records; or (v) the privacy of the individuals whose data the Government holds in its systems.

The baseline factors are to be used as a starting point when determining whether an employee should be placed on investigative leave or notice leave. Each baseline factor should be considered. Agencies should exercise independent, reasonable judgment in evaluating each particular situation. Agencies should consult with their human resources office or their general counsel, or both, to the extent appropriate, before placing an employee on investigative leave or notice leave.

Nature and severity of the employee's exhibited or alleged behavior.

An agency may determine investigative leave and/or notice leave is necessary because of the nature and severity of the employee's exhibited or alleged behavior. The behavior could be the basis for the investigation and/or be the reason for the proposed adverse action. In some cases, however, the behavior may be exhibited during or following an investigation or proposed adverse action. The nature and severity of the behavior may be in the form of danger to the employee or others, or to Government networks, systems, or property.

Examples of possible threats include direct or veiled threats of harm, belligerence, harassing, bullying, or other inappropriate and aggressive behavior. The employee may have made statements and/or engaged in behaviors that have intimidated other employees or management may have determined that statements or behaviors, because of their disturbing nature, have disrupted the workplace. The behavior may be directed at another individual or may involve physical damage to or destruction of Government property or the misuse of agency systems or the data they contain; it could also involve a plan to commit, threat to commit, or attempt to commit such conduct. Examples include but are not limited to assaulting a co-worker, supervisor, or agency client; menacing conduct, such as destruction of furniture or other action that puts another individual in reasonable fear of immediate bodily injury. The nature and severity of the employee's exhibited or alleged behavior may involve agency computer systems and other technologies, as well as data handling and access. Examples could include attempting to gain or actually obtaining unauthorized access to systems disbursing money or to classified information. When appropriate, agencies should work closely with their information systems management and/or cyber security advisors to identify patterns of behavior that may indicate the potential for malicious activity on information systems. The agency should identify any relationship between the perceived threat and the technology that may be vulnerable. These considerations relate to the agency's responsibility to determine internal security practices, which includes developing policies and practices designed to safeguard personnel, property or operations, as well as developing a plan to prevent damage to or loss of agency property.

Nature of the work and the ability of the agency to accomplish its mission.

In determining whether to place an employee on investigative leave and/or notice leave, it is important to consider the relationship between the employee's behavior and his or her ability to perform work successfully and without unreasonable risk to the agency during the investigation or notice period and accomplish his or her duties satisfactorily. Among the considerations would be the nature of the employee's duties, the employee's job level, and/or whether the employee has a supervisory or fiduciary role. An employee's contact with the public and the prominence of his or her position are additional considerations that an agency may evaluate in relationship with the alleged misconduct.

Other impacts detrimental to legitimate Government interests, including whether the employee will pose an unacceptable risk to (1) the life, safety, or health of employees, contractors, vendors or visitors to a Federal facility; (2) the Government's physical assets or information systems; (3) personal property; (4) records, including classified, privileged, proprietary, financial or medical records; or (5) the privacy of the individuals whose data the Government holds in its systems.

This factor represents a broad category that agencies may apply given their individual missions. This could include a range of workplace behaviors and actions that could impede the normal course of work, or have a harmful effect on the safety and order of the workplace. Possible aspects the agency may wish to review in this regard include the extent to which the employee's presence in the workplace or access to agency systems may impair or disrupt agency operations, place systems at risk, harm public confidence in the agency, or otherwise have a detrimental impact on legitimate Government interests. It is advisable for agencies to consult with their legal counsel to determine what situations and circumstances would be detrimental to legitimate Government interests in light of other authorities such as HSPD 12. Differences in agency mission or agency practice, or other internal regulations, may affect this determination.

When considering these baseline factors, agencies should evaluate the duration of the risk; the nature and severity of the potential harm; how likely it is that the potential harm will occur; and how imminent the potential harm is. The agency may not arbitrarily place individuals on investigative leave or notice leave based upon fear of a future risk without engaging in an individualized assessment that establishes that there is a significant risk of substantial harm that cannot be eliminated or reduced by other means.

Section 630.1503(b)(2) requires that the agency consider other options where appropriate to minimize the amount of investigative leave or notice leave provided to an employee, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 6329b(b)(2)(B). Thus, if the agency makes a determination that the continued presence of the employee in the workplace during an investigation of the employee or while the employee is in a notice period meets the criteria of § 630.1503(b)(1), the agency must also consider certain options before placing the employee on investigative leave or notice leave. The options that must be considered are: (1) Assigning the employee to duties in which the employee is no longer a threat, (2) allowing the employee to voluntarily take another type of leave, (3) carrying the employee in absent without leave status if the employee is absent from duty without approval, and (4) curtailing the notice period, consistent with chapter 75 of title 5 of the U.S. Code and OPM regulations thereunder. The agency may elect to implement one or a combination of these options. Consideration of these options is consistent with adverse action procedures in 5 CFR 752.404(b)(3).

An agency needs to assess whether one or more of the options required to be considered is or are appropriate, and, if so, which is the most appropriate to address concerns about the continued presence of the employee in the workplace and to resolve the safety or security issue(s) presented by the employee. The manager should work closely with the agency's human resources advisors during the process of reviewing the options for consideration. The agency must determine that none of the options is appropriate before placing an employee on investigative leave or notice leave. In addition, agencies may require an employee who is telework-eligible—and has, in fact, been teleworking from home or another approved location—to telework as an alternative to placing the employee on investigative leave if telework will adequately reduce or eliminate the potential for harm.

Section 630.1503(b)(2)(i) sets forth the option of keeping the employee in a duty status by assigning the employee to duties in which the employee does not pose a threat. The duties should be at the same grade level as the employee's current position. The change in duties may also involve a change in the location where the employee works, subject to limitations related to the local commuting area. In considering this alternative in lieu of investigative leave, an agency may consider requiring an employee who participates in a telework program to perform duties from a telework site, as provided in § 630.1503(c). Assigning the employee to other duties (such as a detail assignment) or limiting the employee's access to intranet systems may enable the agency to maintain the safety and security of the workplace while continuing to benefit from the employee's skillset and abilities to further the agency's mission.

Section 630.1503(b)(2)(ii) sets forth the option of allowing the employee to voluntarily take leave (paid or unpaid) or other forms of paid time off, as appropriate under the rules governing each category of leave or paid time off. An employee who is under investigation or in a notice period may elect to take annual leave, sick leave (as appropriate), restored annual leave, or any leave earned under subchapter I of chapter 63, of the United States Code. The employee may also elect to use other paid time off in order to remain in a pay status, including paid time off that is about to expire, such as compensatory time off earned through overtime work, compensatory time off for travel, and credit hours under a flexible work schedule, as appropriate. An employee may elect to take leave or other paid time off for which the employee is eligible on an intermittent basis, as appropriate, during a period of investigative leave or notice leave.

Agencies may not require employees to take accrued leave or other time off as a substitute for investigative leave or notice leave, and may deny employee requests to use advanced leave.

Section 630.1503(b)(2)(iii) sets forth the option of carrying the employee in an absent without leave (AWOL) status, if the employee is absent from duty without approval. If the employee returns to a duty status, the AWOL would end. The agency could then place the employee on investigative leave or notice leave, as appropriate, only after the agency has analyzed the remaining considerations discussed in this section.

Section 630.1503(b)(2)(iv) sets forth the option of curtailing an employee's notice period if there is reasonable cause to believe the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed. Under 5 CFR 752.404(d), this same option of curtailing the notice period is provided as an exception to the requirement for a 30 days' advance written notice period. Thus, this exception would shorten the length of the notice period, but the notice period would still not end until the adverse action is effectuated or until the employee is notified that no adverse action will be taken.

Section 630.1503(c) regulates that an agency may require an employee who is already a participant in the agency telework program, to perform duties similar to the duties that the employee performs at the normal worksite through telework as an alternative to placing an employee on investigative leave. This option to require telework is consistent with 5 U.S.C. 6502(c). (Section 6502(c) expressly links to the investigative leave law in 5 U.S.C. 6329b.

Section 6329b also includes references to section 6502(c) in subsections (d)(1)(E) and (f)(1)(F). Thus, OPM is incorporating provisions that implement the section 6502(c) requirements as part of its regulations of section 6329b.) An agency may require an employee to perform telework if the requirement for the employee to telework would not pose a threat to the employee or others, result in the destruction of evidence relevant to an investigation, result in loss of or damage to Government property, or otherwise jeopardize legitimate Government interests. Furthermore, the agency must determine that (1) the employee is eligible to telework under the eligibility conditions found in 5 U.S.C. 6502(a) and (b) and (2) and is actually participating in the agency telework program and it would be appropriate for the employee to perform his or her duties through telework.

Under subsection (c) of 5 U.S.C. 6502, an agency may require telework in lieu of investigative leave if the employee is “eligible to telework under subsections (a) and (b)” of that section.

Section 6502(a) is titled “Telework Eligibility” and requires agencies to establish policies related to telework eligibility, subject to certain limitations in section 6502(a)(2). Section 6502(b) is titled “Participation,” but includes eligibility conditions in paragraph (b)(4). Paragraph (b)(4) states that, except in emergency conditions, telework shall not apply to any employee whose official duties require on a daily basis (every workday) (1) direct handling of secure materials that are inappropriate for telework or (2) on-site activity that cannot be handled at another location. OPM considers the requirement in section 6502(b)(2) to have a written telework agreement to be a procedural requirement related to participation, not an eligibility requirement.

However, based on our understanding of the intent of Congress, we are regulating that the authority to require telework under section 6502(c) applies only to an employee who has been a participant in the telework program during any portion of the 30-day period immediately preceding the commencement of investigative leave (or the commencement of required telework in lieu of the commencement of such leave). Any existing telework agreement will be superseded as necessary in order to comply with an agency's action to require telework under section 6502(c) and § 630.1503(c).

An agency requiring an employee to perform duties through telework is obligated to provide the employee appropriate work assignments and equipment. An agency may determine it is not appropriate for the employee to telework because it would require the employee to access agency files or to contact agency personnel, directly handle secure materials, or perform official duties that cannot be performed at an alternative worksite.

An employee who is required to telework should be issued a notification indicating that he or she is being directed to telework, and the notification should clarify that any telework agreement is superseded as necessary. Further, the notification should identify expectations and requirements during the period of required telework.

A telework-eligible employee required by an agency to telework under these conditions may be granted leave or other paid time off, as appropriate. An employee who refuses to telework when required by the agency under these conditions and is absent from telework duty without approval may be placed in AWOL status, consistent with agency policies.

Section 630.1503(d)(1) authorizes an agency to return an employee to duty at any time if the agency reassesses its determination to place the employee on investigative leave or notice leave. It also provides that an employee on investigative leave or notice leave must be prepared to report to work at any time during the employee's regularly scheduled tour of duty or must obtain approval of leave to eliminate the possible obligation to report to work if the employee believes that he or she would be unable to report promptly if called. While investigative leave is approved in increments of up to 30 workdays (see § 550.1504(b), (f), and (g)), an employee may be required to return to duty before an employee has reached the applicable 30-workday limit.

Section 630.1503(d)(2) applies to an employee on investigative leave. An agency may reassess its determination that the employee must be removed from the workplace based on the criteria in § 630.1503(b)(1) and its determination that the options in § 630.1503(b)(2) of this section are not appropriate. An agency may also reassess its previous determination to require or not require telework under paragraph (c) of this section.

Section 630.1503(d)(3) applies to an employee on notice leave. An agency may reassess its determination that the employee must be removed from the workplace based on the criteria in § 630.1503(b)(1) and its determination that the options in § 630.1503(b)(2) of this section are not appropriate.

Section 630.1503(d)(4) provides that, while an employee is on investigative leave or notice leave, the employee has an obligation to report promptly to an approved duty location if directed by his or her supervisor. Any failure to so report may be recorded as absent without leave, which can lead to disciplinary action. An employee who anticipates that he or she may be unavailable to report to duty promptly must request scheduled leave or paid time off in advance, in lieu of investigative leave. Given these regulatory requirements, an agency may consider adding language regarding these requirements in the notification regarding the employee's placement on investigative leave.

Section 630.1503(e) describes the baseline factors to be used in making a determination under § 630.1503(b)(1). (See the detailed description of those factors under the discussion of § 630.1503(b)(1) above.)

Section 630.1503(f) provides that agencies must use the same minimum charge increments for investigative and notice leave as it does for annual and sick leave under § 630.206.

§ 630.1504—Administration of Investigative Leave

Section 630.1504 explains that an employee under investigation will remain in a duty status, except when the agency determines that the employee's continued presence in the workplace meets the criteria described in § 630.1503(b)(1) and that none of the options under § 603.1503(b)(2) are appropriate.

Section 630.1504(a) explains that investigative leave may not commence until the employee's use of administrative leave under subpart N has reached the 10-workday calendar year limitation described in 5 U.S.C. 6329a(b)(1) and § 630.1404, as converted to hours under § 630.1404(b), and the agency determines that further investigation of the employee is necessary. The agency may conduct its investigation during the period of administrative leave provided under subpart N.

The limitation of 10 workdays of administrative leave under subpart N is a calendar year aggregate limit. If the 10-workday limit is reached in the calendar year in which the employee is placed on investigative leave, the period of investigative leave may continue into the next calendar year without the employee having to exhaust the 10 workdays of administrative leave permitted for use in the next calendar year. In other words, once triggered and commenced, investigative leave would continue as long as permitted without needing to again meet the requirement to exhaust 10-workday limit on administrative leave in a later calendar year. Agencies are expected to expeditiously work to resolve investigations so that the employee can return to duty or the agency can initiate an appropriate personnel action. If an agency determines that continued investigation of the employee is necessary after the 10-workday limitation of administrative leave has been reached, it must follow the procedures outlined in § 630.1503(b)—i.e., threat determination and consideration of options—before placing the employee on investigative leave for up to 30 workdays.

Section 630.1504(b) provides that an agency may place the employee in an initial period of investigative leave under § 630.1503(a)(1) for a period of not more than 30 workdays. An employee may be placed on investigative leave intermittently. In other words, a period of investigative leave may be interrupted by (1) on-duty service performed under paragraph (b)(2)(i) or (c) of § 630.1503, (2) leave or paid time off in lieu of such service under paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of § 630.1503, or (3) AWOL under paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of § 630.1503.

Section 630.1504(c) requires an agency to provide an employee a written explanation of his or her placement on investigative leave. The written explanation must describe the limitations on the leave placement, including the limitation on the duration of the investigative leave, and include notice that, at the conclusion of the period of investigative leave, the agency must take an action under § 630.1504(d). Furthermore, the agency must include notice that placement on investigative leave for 70 workdays or more is considered a “personnel action” in applying the prohibited personnel practices provisions at 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)-(9).

Section 630.1504(d) provides that, not later than the day after the last day of an initial or extended period of investigative leave, an agency must take action to return the employee to regular duty status, take one or more of the actions under § 630.1503(b)(2), propose an adverse action against the employee as provided under law, or extend the period of investigative leave under § 630.1504(f) and (g). The requirement for agencies to take action at the conclusion of the period of investigative leave holds agencies accountable for the amount of paid leave provided to an employee under investigation for alleged misconduct and prevents situations where employees remain on paid leave for long periods of time without active investigation.

Section 630.1504(e) states that an investigation of an employee may continue after the expiration of the initial 30-workday period of investigative leave. Many factors and variables can require longer than 30 workdays for an agency to conduct an investigation, including but not limited to the nature and complexity of the issue(s), the number of witnesses, the availability of witnesses, and the coordination with other offices who have relevant evidence. If an agency requires more than 30 workdays to conduct its investigation, an extension may be approved by an authorized official. An employee under investigation is not required to be placed on investigative leave; therefore, the investigation may continue even if the employee is returned to regular duty status and is no longer on investigative leave. An agency may extend the period of investigative leave after the initial 30-workday period of investigative leave ends by following the procedures outlined in § 630.1504(f) and (g).

Section 630.1504(f)(1) allows an agency to extend the period of investigative leave for the employee—using increments of 30 workdays for each extension—when approved by the appropriate agency official upon determination that further time is required to conduct a full and fair investigation. It is conceivable that some investigations will be more involved and complex than others and require more than a 30-workday period of investigation; therefore, agencies must have the ability to extend an employee's period of investigative leave.

Section 630.1504(f)(2) provides that the total period of the extension of investigative leave under § 630.1504(f) may not exceed 90 workdays, which translates into 3 incremental extensions of 30 workdays. This 90-day limit applies to extensions of investigative leave associated with a single initial period of investigative leave. In practice, this means that an employee must first exhaust his or her 10 workdays of administrative leave under 5 U.S.C. 6329a, before the agency may provide an initial period of investigative leave for 30 workdays under § 630.1503(a)(1). If there is a continued need to keep the employee on investigative leave, an authorized official may approve extension of investigative leave in increments of 30 workdays, not to exceed a total 90 workdays for the extensions under § 630.1504(f).

Section 630.1504(f)(3)(i) permits an incremental 30-workday extension under paragraph (f)(1) only if the agency makes a written determination reaffirming that the employee must be removed from the workplace based on the criteria in § 630.1503(b)(1) and that the options in § 630.1503(b)(2) are not appropriate. In other words, the same criteria used for an initial placement on investigative leave must be used in approving any extension.

Section 630.1504(f)(3)(ii) provides that an incremental extension of investigative leave under paragraph (f)(1) of this section is permitted only if approved by the Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) of an agency (i.e., a CHCO designated or appointed under 5 U.S.C. 1401, or an equivalent officer), or the designee of the CHCO, after consulting with the investigator responsible for conducting the investigation of the employee. The CHCO approval provides fairness, transparency, and accountability while allowing agency management to be actively involved in the decision to extend investigative leave. Agencies will be responsible for identifying the factors the CHCO or designee must consider in granting an extension of investigative leave and reflecting those considerations in the agency's internal policies. Requests for extensions of investigative leave should be used sparingly (e.g., to accommodate complex investigative processes), and the CHCO or designee must act in a timely manner on such requests for an extension. Agencies should not submit automatic requests for extensions.

Section 630.1504(f)(3)(iii) provides that, in the case of an employee of an Office of Inspector General, an incremental extension under § 630.1504(f)(1) is permitted only if approved by the Inspector General or designee (rather than the CHCO or designee) after consulting with the investigator responsible for conducting the investigation of the employee. However, as an alternative, the Inspector General may request that the head of the agency designate an official of the agency within which the Office of Inspector General is located to approve an extension of investigative leave for employees in that office.

Section 630.1504(f)(4) requires that in delegating authority to a designated official to approve an incremental extension as described in § 630.1504(f)(3) of this section, an agency must pay heed to the designation guidance issued by the CHCO Council under 5 U.S.C. 6329b(c)(3), except that, in the case of approvals for an employee of an Office of Inspector General (OIG), an agency must pay heed to the designation guidance issued by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency under 5 U.S.C. 6329b(c)(4)(B). Adherence to this designation guidance ensures that the designee authorized to approve an extension of investigative leave is at a sufficiently high level within the OIG or the agency, as applicable, to make an impartial and independent determination regarding the extension. Agencies should be aware, however, that this involvement could potentially disqualify the individual from serving as the deciding official in any subsequent adverse action.

Section 630.1504(g) provides that after reaching the maximum number of extensions of investigative leave under § 630.1504(f), an official authorized to approve an extension under § 630.1504(f)(3) may approve further incremental extensions of investigative leave for periods of 30 workdays for each extension. Those approvals must be based on the same criteria used to approve the initial period of investigative leave and the extensions under § 630.1504(f). While agencies must be allowed to take the time needed to conduct a full and fair investigation of the employee, agencies are not permitted to keep an employee on investigative leave indefinitely. Therefore, not later than 5 business days after granting each further extension of investigative leave, the agency must submit a report documenting the further extension of investigative leave to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, along with any other committees of jurisdiction.

The agency report must contain: (1) The title, position, office or agency subcomponent, job series, pay grade, and salary of the employee; (2) a description of the duties of the employee; (3) the reason the employee was placed on investigative leave; (4) an explanation as to why the employee meets the criteria described in § 630.1503(b)(1) and why the agency is not able to temporarily reassign the employee to different duties within the agency under § 630.1503(b)(2); (5) in the case of an employee required to telework under 5 U.S.C. 6502(c) during the investigation, the reasons that the agency required the employee to telework and the duration of the teleworking requirement; (6) the status of the investigation of the employee; (7) the certification by an investigative entity that additional time is needed to complete the investigation of the employee and an estimate of the amount of time that is necessary to complete the investigation of the employee; and (8) in the case of a completed investigation of the employee, the results of the investigation and the reason the employee remains on investigative leave. While not required to be included in the report, agencies should be prepared to explain their decision not to require a telework-eligible employee to telework during the period of investigation.

Section 630.1504(h) provides an agency may not further extend a period of investigative leave of an employee on or after the date that is 30 calendar days after the completion of the investigation of the employee by an investigative entity. After investigative leave is ended, the agency must take action under § 630.1504(d).

Section 630.1504(i) explains that, pursuant to new 5 U.S.C. 6329b(g), and for purposes of 5 U.S.C. chapter 12, subchapter II, and section 1221, and recourse to the Office of Special Counsel, placement on investigative leave under this subpart for a period of 70 workdays or more shall be considered a personnel action in applying the prohibited personnel practices provisions at 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8) or (9). Previously, an employee had no means to contest an agency decision to place him or her on administrative leave for a reason proscribed at 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8) or (9), given that the employee continued to receive pay. This provision provides independent review for employees who have been on investigative leave for at least 70 workdays and who allege conduct prohibited under 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8) or (9). Consistent with current case law, the placement on investigative leave or notice leave is not an adverse action.

Section 630.1504(j) explains the conversion of workdays to hours applicable in this subpart. The limitations based on workdays (i.e., the 30-workday increments in paragraphs (b), (f), and (g) of this section and the 70-workday limit in paragraph (i) of this section) must be converted to hours, taking into account the different workdays that can apply to employees under different work schedules.

Section 630.1504(j)(1) applies to a full-time employee (including an employee on a regular 40-hour basic workweek or a flexible or compressed work schedule under 5 U.S.C. chapter 61, subchapter II, but excluding an employee on an uncommon tour of duty). Based on an 8-hour workday, the 30-workday increment is converted to 240 hours. The 30-workday increment is the equivalent of 6 calendar weeks of investigative leave. The 70-workday limit is converted to 560 hours.

Section 630.1504(j)(2) applies to a full-time employee with an uncommon tour of duty under § 630.210. The 30-workday increment is converted to three times the number of hours in the biweekly uncommon tour of duty (or the average biweekly hours for uncommon tours for which the biweekly hours vary over an established cycle). The 30-workday increment is the equivalent of 6 calendar weeks of investigative leave. The 70-workday limit is converted to a number of hours derived by multiplying the hours equivalent of 30 workdays (for a given uncommon tour) times the ratio of 70 divided by 30.

Section 630.1504(j)(3) applies to a part-time employee. The calendar year limit is prorated based on the number of hours in the officially scheduled part-time tour of duty established for purposes of charging leave when absent (e.g., for a part-time employee who has an officially scheduled half-time tour of 40 hours in a biweekly pay period, the 30-workday increment is converted to 120 hours, which is half of 240 hours (the 30-workday increment for full-time employees)). The proration is consistent with the proration of annual and sick leave required under 5 U.S.C. 6302(c).

§ 630.1505—Administration of Notice Leave

Section 630.1505(a) provides that notice leave may commence only after an employee has received written notice of a proposed adverse action. There is no requirement that the employee exhaust his or her 10 workdays of administrative leave under 5 U.S.C. 6329a(b) and § 630.1405 before the employee may be placed on notice leave.

Section 630.1505(b) provides that the placement of an employee on notice leave shall be for a period not longer than the duration of the notice period.

Section 630.1505(c) provides that, if an agency places an employee on notice leave, the agency must provide the employee a written explanation regarding the placement of the employee on notice leave. The written explanation must provide information on the employee's notice period and include a statement that the notice leave will be provided only during the notice period.

§ 630.1506—Records and Reporting

Section 630.1506(a) requires an agency to maintain an accurate record of the placement of an employee on investigative leave or notice leave by the agency. The specific information that must be kept in agency records is identified, consistent with the requirements in 5 U.S.C. 6329b(f). OPM may add additional recordkeeping requirements as it deems appropriate.

Section 630.1506(b)(1) requires an agency to make a record kept under § 630.1506(a) available, upon request, to any committee of jurisdiction, to OPM, to the Government Accountability Office, and as otherwise required by law. However, § 630.1506(b)(2) provides that any action to make a record available is subject to other applicable laws, Executive orders, and regulations governing the dissemination of sensitive information related to national security, foreign relations, or law enforcement matters.

Section 630.1506(c)(1) requires agencies to properly record the granting of investigative leave and notice leave. In agency data systems and in data reports submitted to OPM, an agency must record investigative leave and notice leave under 5 U.S.C. 6329b and this subpart as categories of leave separate from other types of leave. The leave must be recorded as either investigative leave or notice leave, as applicable.

GAO found in its 2014 report that agency policies on paid administrative leave differ across agencies, including the way agencies record paid administrative leave. These proposed regulations provide clear guidance on the use of administrative leave, which, in turn, will promote more consistent recording and documentation of various categories of administrative leave. In order to accurately measure the use of paid administrative leave across Federal agencies, agencies must have a consistent method of documenting the use of administrative leave. Specifically, agencies must properly record administrative leave and distinguish it from leave that is otherwise authorized by other statutory provisions, such as military leave, bone marrow/organ donor leave, and court leave. Without proper recording of leave taken, it is difficult to determine how much administrative leave is actually being used and to hold agencies accountable for its use.

Therefore, for recording purposes, OPM is creating two new categories to record leave granted under 5 U.S.C. 6329b: (1) Investigative leave and (2) notice leave. Investigative leave and notice leave must be recorded on an hourly basis (i.e., hours or fractions of an hour), not to exceed the limitations outlined in § 630.1504.

Section 630.1506(c)(2) requires agencies to provide information to the Government Accountability Office as that office requires in order to submit reports to specified Congressional committees required under section 1138(d)(2) of Public Law 114-328. These reports must be submitted not later than 5 years after December 23, 2016, and every 5 years thereafter.

Subpart P—Weather and Safety Leave § 630.1601—Purpose and Applicability

Section 630.1601(a) addresses the purpose of the proposed regulations on weather and safety leave—i.e., to implement 5 U.S.C. 6329c, which created a new category of paid leave that applies when weather and safety conditions prevent employees from safely traveling to or safely performing work at an approved location due to an act of God, a terrorist attack or other applicable conditions. Unlike the previous administrative leave used for weather-related incidents, OPM now has the authority to prescribe regulations to carry out the new statutory provisions, including the appropriate uses and the proper recording of weather and safety leave. Additionally, § 630.1601(b) provides that subpart P applies to employees, as defined at 5 U.S.C. 2105, who are employed in executive branch agencies, but does not apply to intermittent employees.

§ 630.1602—Definitions

Section 630.1602 provides definitions of various terms used in subpart P. The definitions align with the definitions found in the law.

The statute at 5 U.S.C. 6329c(b)(1) uses the term “act of God.” We define act of God for purposes of subpart P as an act of nature such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, snowstorms, and avalanches. While this definition covers only natural disasters, weather and safety leave may also be authorized for other conditions that prevent employees from safely traveling to or safely performing work at an approved location (for example, agency-specific emergencies such as a building fire, power outage, or burst water pipes).

The statute at 5 U.S.C. 6329c(a)(1) defines “agency” as an Executive agency of the Federal Government as described in 5 U.S.C. 105, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, but excluding the Government Accountability Office. The definition of agency in § 630.1602 follows the statutory definition except that we did not note the inclusion of the Department of Veterans Affairs since that agency is already included by way of 5 U.S.C. 105. We also state that when “agency” is used in the context of an agency making determinations or taking actions, it means the agency head or management officials who are authorized (including by delegation) to make a given determination or take a given action.

We define employee as an individual who is covered by subpart P, as provided in § 630.1601(b) and (c).

We define participating in a telework program to refer to a telework-eligible employee who has an established arrangement with his or her agency under which the employee is approved to participate in the agency telework program, including on a routine or situational basis. Thus, an employee who teleworks on a situational basis is considered to be continuously participating in a telework program even if there are extended periods during which the employee does not perform telework. This term is used in § 630.1605(a).

We define telework site as a location where an employee is authorized to perform telework as authorized under 5 U.S.C. chapter 65, such as an employee's home.

We define weather and safety leave as paid leave provided under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 6329c and subpart P.

§ 630.1603—Authorization

Section 630.1603 addresses the conditions under which an agency may authorize weather and safety leave—i.e., a severe weather event or other emergency that prevents an employee from safely traveling to or safely performing work at an approved work location.

§ 630.1604—OPM and Agency Responsibilities

Section 630.1604(a) addresses OPM's responsibility to prescribe regulations and guidance related to the appropriate use of weather and safety leave, including guidance on dismissal/closure policies and procedures related to such leave. Such guidance will deal not only with when it is appropriate to provide weather and safety leave, but also when other workplace flexibility options (including other leave, telework, and flexible work schedules) should be utilized instead of weather and safety leave. In the past, OPM has issued dismissal/closure policies and procedures focused on the Washington, DC, area where OPM, through longstanding practice, has exercised responsibility for issuing operating status announcements in emergency situations. (This responsibility involves taking the lead in coordinating with municipal and regional officials—e.g., National Weather Service, the District of Columbia, suburban governments, Departments of Transportation, public transportation providers, public utilities, and law enforcement. This coordination is designed to avoid dramatic disruptions of the highway and mass transit systems.) After issuing final regulations on weather and safety leave, OPM intends to issue Governmentwide guidance on dismissal/closure policies and procedures to assist agencies in complying with the weather and safety leave regulations and to promote the use of consistent terminology throughout the Government.

Also, § 630.1604(a) states that when OPM issues any operating status announcement for the Washington, DC, area, the specific policies and procedures communicated with that announcement must be consistent with OPM regulations and Governmentwide guidance on closures and dismissals.

Section 630.1604(b) describes agency responsibilities to (1) establish policies and procedures related to weather and safety leave that are consistent with OPM regulations and guidance and (2) use terminology required by OPM-issued Governmentwide guidance for any operating status announcements issued by an agency (for a specific location).

§ 630.1605—Telework and Emergency Employees

Section 630.1605 provides exclusions to the granting of weather and safety leave when an employee is eligible for and participating in an agency telework program or is designated as an “emergency employee.”

Telework employees

Section 630.1605(a)(1) states that agencies may not grant weather and safety leave to employees who are participating in a telework program and who are not prevented from safely working at an approved telework site. This implements the statutory provision at 5 U.S.C. 6329c(b) that prescribes that weather and safety leave may be provided when employees are prevented from safely traveling to or safely performing work “at an [i.e., any] approved location.” Employees who are eligible to telework are typically not prevented from performing work at their approved telework site (e.g., home) because they are not required to work at their regular worksites. Accordingly, when employees have the ability to telework, they are not considered to be prevented from performing work at an approved location. This regulatory condition for the granting of weather and safety leave is not contingent on the condition being included in the employee's telework agreement.

Section 630.1605(a)(2) permits exceptions to the bar on granting weather/safety leave for teleworkers when, in the agency's judgment, the employee was not able to prepare for teleworking and is otherwise not able to perform productive work at the telework site (e.g., due to lack of portable work or equipment problems). An agency may permit an exception to the bar on granting weather/safety leave for teleworkers when an employee is prepared to telework but is prevented from safely doing so by conditions applicable to the telework site. However, the agency may decide not to approve weather and safety leave to an employee who can safely travel to or safely perform work at a regular worksite even if it is a scheduled telework day for the employee.

Section 630.1605(a)(3) requires the agency to evaluate whether the weather or safety conditions could be reasonably anticipated and whether the employee took reasonable steps (within the employee's control) to prepare for telework (such as by bringing any needed equipment and work home). If the employee failed to make the necessary preparations, the agency may not grant weather and safety leave. In this case, the employee's only options would be to use other appropriate paid leave or paid time off, or leave without pay.

Emergency employees

Section 630.1605(b) provides that agencies may designate emergency employees as necessary for critical agency operations and for whom the general granting of weather and safety leave generally does not apply. Agencies may designate different emergency employees for the various emergencies that may occur, but should designate these employees well in advance of the possible emergencies, to the extent practicable. Emergency employees are expected to report to the agency-designated worksite unless the agency determines that it is unsafe to do so, in which case the agency may allow the employee to telework or work at another location. An agency may also determine that the circumstances justify granting weather and safety leave to emergency employees.

§ 630.1606—Administration of Weather and Safety Leave

Section 630.1606(a) provides that the minimum charge increment for weather and safety leave is the same as the agency uses for annual and sick leave.

Section 630.1606(b) states that weather and safety leave may be granted only for hours within an employee's tour of duty established for the purposes of charging annual and sick leave, which for full-time employees is either the 40-hour basic workweek, the basic work requirement for employees on a flexible or compressed work schedule, or an uncommon tour of duty under § 630.210.

Section 630.1606(c) states that agencies may not grant weather and safety leave for hours during which employees are on other preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or paid time off. It also provides that an agency should not approve an employee's request to cancel preapproved leave or paid time off if the agency determines that the request is primarily for the purpose of obtaining weather and safety leave.

§ 630.1607—Records and Reporting

This section provides the recordkeeping and reporting requirements regarding weather and safety leave. Agencies are required to keep accurate records on the number of weather and safety leave hours granted to employees and to report this data to OPM in the manner directed.

Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866

The Office of Management and Budget has reviewed this rule in accordance with E.O. 13563 and 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

I certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it will apply only to Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 630 Government employees. Office of Personnel Management. Kathleen M. McGettigan, Acting Director.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, OPM proposes to amend part 630 of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 630—ABSENCE AND LEAVE 1. The authority citation for part 630 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

Subparts A through E issued under 5 U.S.C. 6133(a) (read with 5 U.S.C. 6129), 6303(e) and (f), 6304(d)(2), 6306(b), 6308(a) and 6311; subpart F issued under 5 U.S.C. 6305(a) and 6311 and E.O. 11228, 30 FR 7739, 3 CFR, 1974 Comp., p. 163; subpart G issued under 5 U.S.C. 6305(c) and 6311; subpart H issued under 5 U.S.C. 6133(a) (read with 5 U.S.C. 6129) and 6326(b); subpart I issued under 5 U.S.C. 6332, 6334(c), 6336(a)(1) and (d), and 6340; subpart J issued under 5 U.S.C. 6340, 6363, 6365(d), 6367(e), 6373(a); subpart K issued under 5 U.S.C. 6391(g); subpart L issued under 5 U.S.C. 6383(f) and 6387; subpart M issued under Sec. 2(d), Pub. L. 114-75, 129 Stat. 641 (5 U.S.C. 6329 note); subpart N issued under 5 U.S.C. 6329a(c); subpart O issued under 5 U.S.C. 6329b(h); and subpart P issued under 5 U.S.C. 6329c(d).

Subpart B—Definitions and General Provisions for Annual and Sick Leave
§ 630.206 [Amended]
2. In § 630.206, remove the second sentence in paragraph (a). 3. Subpart N is added to read as follows: Subpart N—Administrative Leave Sec. 630.1401 Purpose and applicability. 630.1402 Definitions. 630.1403 Principles and prohibitions. 630.1404 Calendar year limitation. 630.1405 Administration of administrative leave. 630.1406 Records and reporting. 630.1407 Separation or transfer. Subpart N—Administrative Leave
§ 630.1401 Purpose and applicability.

(a) This subpart implements 5 U.S.C. 6329a, which allows an agency to provide a separate type of paid leave, on a limited basis, for general purposes not covered by other types of leave authorized by other provisions of law. Section 6329a(c) authorizes OPM to prescribe regulations to carry out the statutory provisions on administrative leave, including regulations on the appropriate uses and the proper recording of this leave.

(b) This subpart applies to an employee as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105 who is employed in an agency, but does not apply to an intermittent employee who, by definition, does not have an established regular tour of duty during the administrative workweek.

(c) As provided in 5 U.S.C. 6329a(d), this subpart applies to employees described in subsection (b) of 38 U.S.C. 7421, notwithstanding subsection (a) of that section.

§ 630.1402 Definitions.

In this subpart:

Administrative leave means paid leave authorized at the discretion of an agency under 5 U.S.C. 6329a (and not authorized under any other provision of statute or Presidential directive) to cover periods within an employee's tour of duty when the employee is not engaged in activities that qualify as official hours of work, which is provided without loss of or reduction in:

(1) Pay;

(2) Leave to which an employee is otherwise entitled under law; or

(3) Credit for time or service.

Agency means an Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, excluding the Government Accountability Office. When the term “agency” is used in the context of an agency making determinations or taking actions, it means the agency head or management officials who are authorized (including by delegation) to make the given determination or take the given action.

Employee means an individual who is covered by this subpart, as described in § 630.1401(b) and (c).

Head of the agency means the head of an agency or a designated representative of such agency head who is an agency headquarters-level official reporting directly to the agency head or a deputy agency head and who is the sole such representative for the entire agency.

OPM means the Office of Personnel Management.

Presidential directive means an Executive order, Presidential memorandum, or official written statement by the President in which the President specifically directs agency heads to provide employees with a paid excused absence under a specified set of conditions. This excludes a Presidential action that merely encourages agency heads to use an agency head authority (e.g., section 6329a) to grant a paid excused absence under specified conditions or that leaves the amount of excused absence to be granted in specified conditions subject to agency head discretion.

§ 630.1403 Principles and prohibitions.

(a) General principles. In granting administrative leave, an agency must adhere to the following general principles:

(1) Administrative leave may be granted (subject to the requirements of paragraph (a)(5) of this section) only when:

(i) The absence is directly related to the agency's mission;

(ii) The absence is officially sponsored or sanctioned by the agency; or

(iii) The absence is in the interest of the agency or of the Government as a whole.

(2) Administrative leave is not an entitlement, but is an agency discretionary authority that should be used sparingly, consistent with the sense of Congress expressed in section 1138(b)(2) of Public Law 114-328.

(3) Administrative leave is appropriately used for brief or short periods of time—usually for not more than 1 workday. An incidence of administrative leave lasting more than 1 workday may be approved when determined to be appropriate by an agency. For example, a longer period would be appropriate when the employee is subject to an investigation and his or her retention in duty status is inconsistent with the best interests of the Government, and investigative leave under subpart O of this part is not available because the 10-workday period described in 5 U.S.C. 6329a(b)(1) has not yet expired. (See 5 U.S.C. 6329b(b)(3)(A).)

(4) Administrative leave may not be established (via agency policy or negotiation) as an ongoing or recurring entitlement based on meeting a set of conditions.

(5) A determination that an absence satisfies one of the conditions in paragraph (a)(1) of this section must be:

(i) Permitted under policies established by the head of the agency; and

(ii) Reviewed and approved by an official of the agency who is (or is acting) at a higher level than the official making the determination—unless there is no higher-level official in the agency.

(b) Specific prohibited uses. An agency may not grant administrative leave—

(1) To mark the memory of a deceased former Federal official (see also 5 U.S.C. 6105);

(2) To participate in an event for the employee's personal benefit or the benefit of an outside organization unless the participation would satisfy one or more of the conditions in paragraph (a)(1) of this section;

(3) As a reward to recognize the performance or contributions of an employee or group of employees (i.e., in lieu of a cash award or a time-off award); or

(4) To engage in volunteer work or other civic activity that is not officially sponsored or sanctioned by the head of the agency, based on the agency's mission or Governmentwide interests.

§ 630.1404 Calendar year limitation.

(a) General. Under 5 U.S.C. 6329a(b), during any calendar year, an agency may place an employee on administrative leave for no more than 10 workdays. In applying this calendar year limitation, administrative leave used in different agencies must be aggregated. The limitation is not separately applied to each agency that employed the employee during the calendar year. (See also § 630.1407.)

(b) Conversion to a limitation on hours. This 10-workday calendar year limitation is converted to an aggregate limit on hours, taking into account the different workdays that can apply to employees under different work schedules, as follows:

(1) For a full-time employee (including an employee on a regular 40-hour basic workweek or a flexible or compressed work schedule under 5 U.S.C. chapter 61, subchapter II, but excluding an employee on an uncommon tour of duty), the calendar year limitation is 80 hours;

(2) For a full-time employee with an uncommon tour of duty under § 630.210, the calendar year limitation is equal to the number of hours in the biweekly uncommon tour of duty (or the average biweekly hours for uncommon tours for which the biweekly hours vary over an established cycle);

(3) For a part-time employee, the calendar year limit is prorated based on the number of hours in the officially scheduled part-time tour of duty established for purposes of charging leave when absent (e.g., for a part-time employee who has an officially scheduled half-time tour of 40 hours in a biweekly pay period, the calendar year limitation is 40 hours, which is half of the 80-hour limitation for full-time employees).

(c) Applicable hours. The calendar year limitation described in this section applies only to administrative leave authorized under this subpart.

(d) Use for investigations. If an employee is under an investigation that would result in placement on investigative leave under subpart O of this part but for the fact that the employee has not yet reached the calendar year limitation in this section, the agency must first use administrative leave for purposes of the investigation until the employee's calendar year limitation is reached, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 6329b(b)(3) and § 630.1504(a)(1).

(e) After limit is reached. When an employee reaches the calendar year limitation, an agency may not grant additional administrative leave during the remainder of that calendar year. If a situation arises where the employee might have been granted administrative leave under the agency's policies but for the limitation, the employee must instead continue to work or use other appropriate paid leave or time off or leave without pay. If an employee is not able to work and is not willing or able to use another type of paid leave or time off, an agency must place the employee in an appropriate type of nonpay status in order to comply with the calendar year limitation.

§ 630.1405 Administration of administrative leave.

(a) An agency must use the same minimum charge increments for administrative leave as it does for annual and sick leave under § 630.206.

(b) Employees may be granted administrative leave only for hours within the tour of duty established for purposes of charging annual and sick leave when absent. For full-time employees, that tour is the 40-hour basic workweek as defined in 5 CFR 610.102, the basic work requirement established for employees on a flexible or compressed work schedule as defined in 5 U.S.C. 6121(3), or an uncommon tour of duty under § 630.210.

(c) Agencies authorize, and may require, the use of administrative leave by an employee or a category of employees. Employees do not have an entitlement to use administrative leave or to exhaust the permissible 10 workdays per calendar year prescribed under § 630.1404, nor do they have a right to refuse administrative leave when the agency requires its use.

§ 630.1406 Records and reporting.

(a) Record of placement on leave. An agency must maintain an accurate record of the placement of an employee on administrative leave by recording leave in one of the following subcategories, as applicable in the case at hand:

(1) Administrative leave used for the purposes of an investigation (as described in § 630.1404(d)); or

(2) Administrative leave used for all other purposes.

(b) Reporting. (1) In agency data systems (including timekeeping systems) and in data reports submitted to OPM, an agency must record administrative leave under § 6329a and this subpart as categories of leave separate from other types of leave. Leave under § 6329a and this subpart must be recorded as either administrative leave used for the purposes of an investigation or administrative leave used for all other purposes, as applicable.

(2) Agencies must provide information to the Government Accountability Office as that office requires in order to submit reports to specified Congressional committees required under section 1138(d)(2) of Public Law 114-328, which reports must be submitted not later than 5 years after December 23, 2016, and every 5 years thereafter.

§ 630.1407 Separation or transfer.

When an employee transfers to another agency or separates from Federal service, the losing agency must certify, in a manner prescribed by OPM, the number of administrative leave hours used by an employee during the current calendar year under one of the two subcategories described in § 630.1406(a). Any agency that employs the employee in the same calendar year must apply the hours reported by a losing agency against the employee's current calendar year limitation under § 630.1404.

4. Subpart O is added to read as follows: Subpart O—Investigative Leave and Notice Leave Sec. 630.1501 Purpose and applicability. 630.1502 Definitions. 630.1503 Authority and requirements for investigative leave and notice leave. 630.1504 Administration of investigative leave. 630.1505 Administration of notice leave. 630.1506 Records and reporting. Subpart O—Investigative Leave and Notice Leave
§ 630.1501 Purpose and applicability.

(a) This subpart implements 5 U.S.C. 6329b, which allows an agency to provide separate types of paid leave for employees who are the subject of an investigation or in a notice period. OPM has authority to prescribe implementing regulations under 5 U.S.C. 6329b(h)(1).

(b) This subpart applies to an employee as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105 who is employed in an agency, excluding:

(1) An Inspector General; or

(2) An intermittent employee who, by definition, does not have an established regular tour of duty during the administrative workweek.

(c) As provided in 5 U.S.C. 6329b(i), this subpart applies to employees described in subsection (b) of 38 U.S.C. 7421, notwithstanding subsection (a) of that section.

§ 630.1502 Definitions.

In this subpart:

Agency means an Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, excluding the Government Accountability Office. When the term “agency” is used in the context of an agency making determinations or taking actions, it means the agency head or management officials who are authorized (including by delegation) to make the given determination or take the given action.

Chief Human Capital Officer or CHCO means the Chief Human Capital Officer of an agency designated or appointed under 5 U.S.C 1401, or the equivalent.

Committee of jurisdiction means, with respect to an agency, each committee of the Senate or House of Representatives with jurisdiction over the agency.

Employee means an individual who is covered by this subpart, as described in § 630.1501(b) and (c).

Investigation means inquiry regarding an employee involving such matters as—

(1) An employee's alleged misconduct that could result in an adverse action as described in 5 CFR part 752 or similar authority;

(2) Security concerns, including whether the employee should retain eligibility for logical access to agency facilities and systems under the standards established by Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12 and guidance issued pursuant to that directive; or

(3) Other matters that could lead to disciplinary action.

Investigative entity means:

(1) An internal investigative unit of an agency granting investigative leave under this subpart, which may be composed of one or more persons, such as supervisors, managers, human resources practitioners, personnel security office staff, workplace violence prevention team members, or other agency representatives;

(2) The Office of Inspector General of an agency granting investigative leave under this subpart;

(3) The Attorney General; or

(4) The Office of Special Counsel.

Investigative leave means leave in which an employee who is the subject of an investigation is placed, as authorized under 5 U.S.C. 6329b (and not authorized under any other provision of law), which is provided without loss of or reduction in:

(1) Pay;

(2) Leave to which an employee is otherwise entitled under law; or

(3) Credit for time or service.

Notice leave means leave in which an employee who is in a notice period is placed, as authorized under 5 U.S.C. 6329b (and not authorized under any other provision of law), which is provided without loss of or reduction in:

(1) Pay;

(2) Leave to which an employee is otherwise entitled under law; or

(3) Credit for time or service.

Notice period means a period beginning on the date on which an employee is provided notice, as required under law, of a proposed adverse action against the employee and ending—

(1) On the effective date of the adverse action; or

(2) On the date on which the agency notifies the employee that no adverse action will be taken.

OPM means the Office of Personnel Management.

Participating in a telework program means an employee is eligible to telework and has an established arrangement with his or her agency under which the employee is approved to participate in the agency telework program, including on a routine or situational basis. Such an employee who teleworks on a situational basis is considered to be continuously participating in a telework program even if there are extended periods during which the employee does not perform telework.

Telework site means a location where an employee is authorized to perform telework, as described in 5 U.S.C. chapter 65, such as an employee's home.

§ 630.1503 Authority and requirements for investigative leave and notice leave.

(a) Authority. An agency may, in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, place an employee on:

(1) Investigative leave, if the employee is the subject of an investigation; or

(2) Notice leave:

(i) If the employee is in a notice period; or

(ii) Following a placement on investigative leave if, not later than the day after the last day of the period of investigative leave:

(A) The agency proposes or initiates an adverse action against the employee; and

(B) The agency determines that the employee continues to meet one or more of the criteria described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(b) Required determinations. An agency may place an employee on investigative leave or notice leave only if the agency has:

(1) Determined, after consideration of the baseline factors specified in paragraph (e) of this section, that the continued presence of the employee in the workplace during an investigation of the employee or while the employee is in a notice period, as applicable, may:

(i) Pose a threat to the employee or others;

(ii) Result in the destruction of evidence relevant to an investigation;

(iii) Result in loss of or damage to Government property; or

(iv) Otherwise jeopardize legitimate Government interests; and

(2) Considered the following options (or a combination thereof):

(i) Keeping the employee in a duty status by assigning the employee to duties in which the employee no longer poses a threat, as described in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (iv) of this section;

(ii) Allowing the employee to voluntarily take leave (paid or unpaid) or paid time off, as appropriate under the rules governing each category of leave or paid time off;

(iii) Carrying the employee in absent without leave status, if the employee is absent from duty without approval; and

(iv) For an employee subject to a notice period, curtailing the notice period if there is reasonable cause to believe the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed, consistent with 5 CFR 752.404(d)(1); and

(3) Determined that none of the options under paragraph (b)(2) of this section is appropriate.

(c) Telework alternative for investigative leave. (1) Consistent with 5 U.S.C. 6502(c), if an agency would otherwise place an employee on investigative leave, the agency may require the employee to perform, at a telework site, duties similar to the duties that the employee normally performs if:

(i) The agency determines that such a requirement would not pose a threat, as described in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (iv) of this section;

(ii) The employee is eligible to telework under the eligibility conditions set forth in 5 U.S.C. 6502(a) and (b)(4);

(iii) The employee has been participating in a telework program under the agency telework policy during some portion of the 30-day period immediately preceding the commencement of investigative leave (or the commencement of required telework in lieu of such leave under this paragraph (c), if earlier); and

(iv) The agency determines that teleworking would be appropriate.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, an employee is considered to be eligible to telework if the agency determines the employee is eligible to telework under agency telework policies described in 5 U.S.C. 6502(a) and is not barred from teleworking under the eligibility conditions described in 5 U.S.C. 6502(b)(4). Any telework agreement established under 5 U.S.C. 6502(b)(2) must be superseded as necessary in order to comply with an agency's action to require telework under 5 U.S.C. 6502(c) and paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(3) If an employee who is required to telework under paragraph (c)(1) of this section is absent from telework duty without approval, an agency may place the employee in absent without leave status, consistent with agency policies.

(d) Reassessment and return to duty. (1) An employee may be returned to duty at any time if the agency reassesses its determination to place the employee on investigative leave or notice leave. An employee on investigative leave or notice leave must be prepared to report to work at any time during his or her regularly scheduled tour of duty or, if the employee anticipates a possible inability to report promptly, must obtain approval of leave in advance of the date or dates that the employee would not be available to report.

(2) For an employee on investigative leave, an agency may reassess its determination that the employee must be removed from the workplace based on the criteria in paragraph (b)(1) of this section and may reassess its determination that the options in paragraph (b)(2) of this section are not appropriate. An agency may reassess its previous determination to require or not require telework under paragraph (c) of this section.

(3) For an employee on notice leave, an agency may reassess its determination that the employee must be removed from the regular worksite based on the criteria in paragraph (b)(1) of this section and may reassess its determination that the options in paragraph (b)(2) of this section are not appropriate.

(4) When an employee is placed on investigative leave or notice leave, the employee must be available to report promptly to an approved duty location if directed by his or her supervisor. Any failure to so report may result in the employee being recorded as absent without leave, which can be the basis for disciplinary action. An employee who anticipates that he or she may be unavailable to report promptly must request scheduled leave or paid time off in advance, as provided under paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, to avoid being recorded as absent without leave.

(e) Baseline factors. In making a determination regarding the criteria listed under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, an agency must consider the following baseline factors:

(1) The nature and severity of the employee's exhibited or alleged behavior;

(2) The nature of the agency's or employee's work and the ability of the agency to accomplish its mission; and

(3) Other impacts of the employee's continued presence in the workplace detrimental to legitimate Government interests, including whether the employee will pose an unacceptable risk to:

(i) The life, safety, or health of employees, contractors, vendors or visitors to a Federal facility;

(ii) The Government's physical assets or information systems;

(iii) Personal property;

(iv) Records, including classified, privileged, proprietary, financial or medical records; or

(v) The privacy of the individuals whose data the Government holds in its systems.

(f) Minimum charge. An agency must use the same minimum charge increments for investigative and notice leave as it does for annual and sick leave under § 630.206.

(g) Tour of duty. Employees may be granted investigative leave or notice leave only for hours within the tour of duty established for purposes of charging annual and sick leave when absent. For full-time employees, that tour is the 40-hour basic workweek as defined in 5 CFR 610.102, the basic work requirement established for employees on a flexible or compressed work schedule as defined in 5 U.S.C. 6121(3), or an uncommon tour of duty under § 630.210.

§ 630.1504 Administration of investigative leave.

(a) Commencement. Investigative leave may not be commenced until:

(1) The employee's use of administrative leave under subpart N of this part has reached the 10-workday calendar year limitation described in 5 U.S.C. 6329a(b)(1) and § 630.1404, as converted to hours under § 630.1404(b); and

(2) The agency determines that further investigation of the employee is necessary.

(b) Duration. The agency may place the employee on investigative leave for an initial period of not more than 30 workdays per investigation. An employee may be placed on investigative leave intermittently—that is, a period of investigative leave may be interrupted by:

(1) On-duty service performed under § 630.1503(b)(2)(i) or (c);

(2) Leave or paid time off in lieu of such service under § 630.1503(b)(2)(ii); or

(3) Absence without leave under § 630.1503(b)(2)(iii).

(c) Written explanation of leave. If an agency places an employee on investigative leave, the agency must provide the employee a written explanation regarding the placement of the employee on investigative leave. The written explanation must:

(1) Describe the limitations of the leave placement, including the duration of leave;

(2) Include notice that, at the conclusion of the period of investigative leave, the agency must take an action under paragraph (d) of this section;

(3) Include notice that placement on investigative leave for 70 workdays or more is considered a “personnel action” for purposes of the Office of Special Counsel's authority to act, in applying the prohibited personnel practices provisions at 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)-(9) (see paragraph (i) of this section).

(d) Agency action. Not later than the day after the last day of an initial or extended period of investigative leave, an agency must:

(1) Return the employee to regular duty status;

(2) Take one or more of the actions under § 630.1503(b)(2);

(3) Propose or initiate an adverse action against the employee as provided under law; or

(4) Extend the period of investigative leave if permitted under paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section.

(e) Continued investigation. Investigation of an employee may continue after the expiration of the initial 30 workday period of investigative leave. Investigation of an employee may continue even if the employee is returned to regular duty status and is no longer on investigative leave.

(f) Extension of investigative leave—(1) Increments. An agency may extend the period of investigative leave using increments of up to 30 workdays for each extension when approved as described in paragraph (f)(3) of this section. The amount of investigative leave used under the final extension may be less than 30 workdays, as appropriate.

(2) Maximum number of extensions. Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, the total period of extended investigative leave (i.e., in addition to the initial 30-workday period of investigative leave) may not exceed 90 workdays (i.e., 3 incremental extensions of 30 workdays). This 90-day limit applies to extensions of investigative leave associated with a single initial period of investigative leave.

(3) Approval of extensions. (i) An incremental extension under paragraph (f)(1) of this section is permitted only if the agency makes a written determination reaffirming that the employee must be removed from the workplace based on the criteria in § 630.1503(b)(1) and that the options in § 630.1503(b)(2) are not appropriate.

(ii) Except as provided by paragraph (f)(3)(iii) of this section, an incremental extension under paragraph (f)(1) of this section is permitted only if approved by the CHCO of an agency, or the designee of the CHCO, after consulting with the investigator responsible for conducting the investigation of the employee.

(iii) In the case of an employee of an Office of Inspector General, an incremental extension under paragraph (f)(1) of this section is permitted only if approved (after consulting with the investigator responsible for conducting the investigation of the employee) by:

(A) The Inspector General or the designee of the Inspector General, rather than the CHCO or the designee of the CHCO; or

(B) An official of the agency designated by the head of the agency within which the Office of Inspector General is located, if the Inspector General requests the agency head make such a designation.

(4) Designation guidance. In delegating authority to a designated official to approve an incremental extension as described in paragraph (f)(3) of this section, a CHCO must pay heed to the designation guidance issued by the CHCO Council under 5 U.S.C. 6329b(c)(3), except that, in the case of approvals for an employee of an Office of Inspector General, an Inspector General must pay heed to the designation guidance issued by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency under 5 U.S.C. 6329b(c)(4)(B).

(g) Further extension of investigative leave. An official authorized under paragraph (f)(3) of this section to approve an incremental extension under paragraph (f)(1) of this section may approve further incremental extensions of 30 workdays (i.e., each extension is individually approved for up to 30 workdays) under this paragraph after an employee has reached the maximum number of extensions of investigative leave under paragraph (f)(2) of this section. An agency may further extend a period of investigative leave only if the agency makes a written determination reaffirming that the employee must be removed from the workplace based on the criteria in § 630.1503(b)(1) and that the options in § 630.1503(b)(2) are not appropriate. Not later than 5 business days after granting each further extension, the agency must submit (subject to § 630.1506(b)) to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, along with any other committees of jurisdiction, a report containing:

(1) The title, position, office or agency subcomponent, job series, pay grade, and salary of the employee;

(2) A description of the duties of the employee;

(3) The reason the employee was placed on investigative leave;

(4) An explanation as to why the employee meets the criteria described in § 630.1503(b)(1)(i) through (iv) and why the agency is not able to temporarily reassign the duties of the employee or detail the employee to another position within the agency;

(5) In the case of an employee required to telework under 5 U.S.C. 6502(c) during a period of investigation, the reasons that the agency required the employee to telework under that section and the duration of the teleworking requirement;

(6) The status of the investigation of the employee;

(7) A certification to the agency by an investigative entity stating that additional time is needed to complete the investigation of the employee and providing an estimate of the amount of time that is necessary to complete the investigation of the employee; and

(8) In the case of a completed investigation of the employee, the results of the investigation and the reason that the employee remains on investigative leave.

(h) Completed investigation. An agency may not further extend a period of investigative leave on or after the date that is 30 calendar days after the completion of the investigation of the employee by an investigative entity.

(i) Possible prohibited personnel action. For purposes of 5 U.S.C. chapter 12, subchapter II, and section 1221, placement on investigative leave under this subpart for a period of 70 workdays or more shall be considered a personnel action for purposes of the Office of Special Counsel in applying the prohibited personnel practices provisions at 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8) or (9).

(j) Conversion of workdays to hours. In applying this section, the limitations based on workdays (i.e., the 30-workday increments in paragraphs (b), (f), and (g) of this section and the 70-workday limit in paragraph (h) of this section) must be converted to hours, taking into account the different workdays that can apply to employees under different work schedules, as follows:

(1) For a full-time employee (including an employee on a regular 40-hour basic workweek or a flexible or compressed work schedule under 5 U.S.C. chapter 61, subchapter II, but excluding an employee on an uncommon tour of duty), the 30-workday increment is converted to 240 hours and the 70-workday limit is converted to 560 hours;

(2) For a full-time employee with an uncommon tour of duty under § 630.210, the 30-workday increment is converted to three times the number of hours in the biweekly uncommon tour of duty (or the average biweekly hours for uncommon tours for which the biweekly hours vary over an established cycle), and the 70-workday limit is converted to a number of hours derived by multiplying the hours equivalent of 30 workdays (for a given uncommon tour) times the ratio of 70 divided by 30;

(3) For a part-time employee, the calendar year limit is prorated based on the number of hours in the officially scheduled part-time tour of duty established for purposes of charging leave when absent (e.g., for a part-time employee who has an officially scheduled half-time tour of 40 hours in a biweekly pay period, the 30-workday increment is converted to 120 hours, which is half of 240 hours (the 30-workday increment for full-time employees)).

§ 630.1505 Administration of notice leave.

(a) Commencement. Notice leave may commence only after an employee has received written notice of a proposed adverse action. There is no requirement that the employee exhaust 10 workdays of administrative leave under 5 U.S.C. 6329a(b) and § 630.1404 before the employee may be placed on notice leave.

(b) Duration. Placement of an employee on notice leave shall be for a period not longer than the duration of the notice period.

(c) Written explanation of leave. If an agency places an employee on notice leave, the agency must provide the employee a written explanation regarding the placement of the employee on notice leave. The written explanation must provide information on the employee's notice period and include a statement that the notice leave will be provided only during the notice period.

§ 630.1506 Records and reporting.

(a) Record of placement on leave. An agency must maintain an accurate record of the placement of an employee on investigative leave or notice leave by the agency, including—

(1) The reasons for initial authorization of the investigative leave or notice leave, including the alleged action(s) of the employee that required investigation or issuance of a notice of a proposed adverse action;

(2) The basis for the determination made under § 630.1503(b)(1);

(3) An explanation of why an action under § 630.1503(b)(2) was not appropriate;

(4) The length of the period of investigative leave or notice leave;

(5) The amount of salary paid to the employee during the period of leave;

(6) The reasons for authorizing the leave, and if an extension of investigative leave was granted, the recommendation made by an investigator as part of the consultation required under § 630.1504(f)(3);

(7) Whether the employee was required to telework under § 630.1503(c) during the period of the investigation, including the reasons for requiring or not requiring the employee to telework;

(8) The action taken by the agency at the end of the period of leave, including, if applicable, the granting of any extension of a period of investigative leave under § 630.1504(f) or (g); and

(9) Any additional information OPM may require.

(b) Availability of records. (1) An agency must make a record kept under paragraph (a) of this section available upon request:

(i) To any committee of jurisdiction;

(ii) To OPM;

(iii) To the Government Accountability Office; and

(iv) As otherwise required by law.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(1) of this section and § 630.1504(g), the requirement that an agency make records and information on use of investigative leave or notice leave available to various entities is subject to applicable laws, Executive orders, and regulations governing the dissemination of sensitive information related to national security, foreign relations, or law enforcement matters (e.g., 50 U.S.C. 3024(i), (j), and (m) and Executive Orders 12968 and 13526).

(c) Reporting. (1) In agency data systems and in data reports submitted to OPM, an agency must record investigative leave and notice leave under § 6329b and this subpart as categories of leave separate from other types of leave. Leave under § 6329b and this subpart must be recorded as either investigative leave or notice leave, as applicable.

(2) Agencies must provide information to the Government Accountability Office as that office requires in order to submit reports to specified Congressional committees required under section 1138(d)(2) of Public Law 114-328, which reports must be submitted not later than 5 years after December 23, 2016, and every 5 years thereafter.

5. Subpart P is added to read as follows: Subpart P—Weather and Safety Leave Sec. 630.1601 Purpose and applicability. 630.1602 Definitions. 630.1603 Authorization. 630.1604 OPM and agency responsibilities. 630.1605 Telework and emergency employees. 630.1606 Administration of weather and safety leave. 630.1607 Records and reporting. Subpart P—Weather and Safety Leave
§ 630.1601 Purpose and applicability.

(a) This subpart implements 5 U.S.C. 6329c, which allows an agency to provide a separate type of paid leave when weather or other safety-related conditions prevent employees from safely traveling to or safely performing work at an approved location due to an act of God, terrorist attack, or other applicable condition. Section 6329c(d) provides OPM with authority to prescribe regulations to carry out the statutory provisions on weather and safety leave, including regulations on the appropriate uses and the proper recording of this leave.

(b) This subpart applies to an employee as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105 who is employed in an agency, but does not apply to an intermittent employee who, by definition, does not have an established regular tour of duty during the administrative workweek.

(c) As provided in 5 U.S.C. 6329c(e), this subpart applies to employees described in subsection (b) of 38 U.S.C. 7421, notwithstanding subsection (a) of that section.

§ 630.1602 Definitions.

In this subpart:

Act of God means an act of nature, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, snowstorms, and avalanches.

Agency means an Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, excluding the Government Accountability Office. When the term “agency” is used in the context of an agency making determinations or taking actions, it means the agency heads or management officials who are authorized (including by delegation) to make the given determination or take the given action.

Employee means an individual who is covered by this subpart, as described in § 630.1601(b) and (c).

OPM means the Office of Personnel Management.

Participating in a telework program means an employee is eligible to telework and has an established arrangement with his or her agency under which the employee is approved to participate in the agency telework program, including on a routine or situational basis. Such an employee who teleworks on a situational basis is considered to be continuously participating in a telework program even if there are extended periods during which the employee does not perform telework.

Telework site means a location where an employee is authorized to perform telework, as described in 5 U.S.C. chapter 65, such as an employee's home.

Weather and safety leave means paid leave provided under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 6329c.

§ 630.1603 Authorization.

Subject to other provisions of this subpart, an agency may grant weather and safety leave to employees if they are prevented from safely traveling to or safely performing work at a location approved by the agency due to:

(a) An act of God;

(b) A terrorist attack; or

(c) Another condition that prevents an employee or group of employees from safely traveling to or safely performing work at an approved location.

§ 630.1604 OPM and agency responsibilities.

(a) OPM is responsible for prescribing regulations and guidance related to the appropriate use of leave under this subpart and the proper recording of such leave, including OPM guidance on Governmentwide dismissal and closure policies and procedures that provides for use of consistent terminology in describing various operating status scenarios. In issuing any operating status announcements for the Washington, DC, area, OPM must ensure that the specific policies and procedures related to those announcements are consistent with the regulations in this subpart and with OPM's Governmentwide guidance.

(b) Employing agencies are responsible for:

(1) Establishing and applying policies and procedures related to use of leave under this subpart that are consistent with OPM regulations and guidance described in paragraph (a) of this section; and

(2) Ensuring that any agency-specific operating status announcements they issue (for a specific geographic location or area) use terminology required by OPM-issued Governmentwide guidance.

§ 630.1605 Telework and emergency employees.

(a) Telework employees. (1) Except as provided under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, employees who are participating in a telework program and are able to safely travel to and work at an approved telework site may not be granted leave under § 630.1603. Employees who are eligible to telework and participating in a telework program under applicable agency policies are typically able to safely perform work at their approved telework site (e.g., home), since they are not required to work at their regular worksite.

(2)(i) If, in the agency's judgment, the conditions in § 630.1603 could not reasonably be anticipated, an agency may approve leave under this subpart to the extent an employee was not able to prepare for telework as described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section and is otherwise unable to perform productive work at the telework site.

(ii) If an employee is prevented from safely working at the approved telework site due to circumstances, arising from one or more of the conditions in § 630.1603, applicable to the telework site, an agency may, at its discretion, provide leave under this subpart to the employee.

(iii) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section, an agency may decide not to approve leave under this subpart when the conditions in § 630.1603(a) do not prevent the employee from safely traveling to or safely performing work at a regular worksite, even if the affected day is a scheduled telework day.

(3) In making a determination under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an agency must evaluate whether any of the conditions in § 630.1603(a) of this section could be reasonably anticipated and whether the employee took reasonable steps (within the employee's control) to prepare to perform telework at the approved telework site. For example, if a significant snowstorm is predicted, the employee may need to prepare by taking home any equipment (e.g., laptop computer) and work needed for teleworking. To the extent that an employee is unable to perform work at a telework site because of failure to make necessary preparations for reasonably anticipated conditions, an agency may not approve weather and safety leave, and the employee would need to use other appropriate paid leave, paid time off, or leave without pay.

(b) Emergency employees. An agency may designate emergency employees who are critical to agency operations and for whom weather and safety leave may not be applicable. To the extent practicable, an agency should designate its emergency employees well in advance in anticipation of the possible occurrence of the conditions set forth in § 630.1603. If the agency wishes to provide for the possibility that an emergency employee could work from an approved telework site in lieu of traveling to the regular worksite in appropriate circumstances, an agency should encourage the employee to enter into a telework agreement providing for that contingency. An agency may designate different emergency employees for the different circumstances expected to arise from these conditions. Emergency employees must report to work at their regular worksite or another approved location as directed by the agency, unless—

(1) The agency determines that travel to or performing work at the worksite is unsafe for emergency employees, in which case the agency may require the employees to work at another location, including a telework site as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, as appropriate; or

(2) The agency determines that circumstances justify granting leave under this subpart to emergency employees.

§ 630.1606 Administration of weather and safety leave.

(a) An agency must use the same minimum charge increments for weather and safety leave as it does for annual and sick leave under § 630.206.

(b) Employees may be granted weather and safety leave only for hours within the tour of duty established for purposes of charging annual and sick leave when absent. For full-time employees, that tour is the 40-hour basic workweek as defined in 5 CFR 610.102, the basic work requirement established for employees on a flexible or compressed work schedule as defined in 5 U.S.C. 6121(3), or an uncommon tour of duty under § 630.210.

(c) Employees may not receive weather and safety leave for hours during which they are on other preapproved leave (paid or unpaid) or paid time off. Agencies should not approve weather and safety leave for an employee who, in the agency's judgment, is cancelling preapproved leave or paid time off, or changing a regular day off in a flexible or compressed work schedule, for the primary purpose of obtaining weather and safety leave.

§ 630.1607 Records and reporting.

(a) Record of placement on leave. An agency must maintain an accurate record of the placement of an employee on weather and safety leave.

(b) Reporting. In agency data systems (including timekeeping systems) and in data reports submitted to OPM, an agency must record weather and safety leave under § 6329c and this subpart as a category of leave separate from other types of leave.

[FR Doc. 2017-14712 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-39-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-139633-08] RIN 1545-BI18 Transactions Involving the Transfer of No Net Value AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Partial withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

This document withdraws the remaining part of a notice of proposed rulemaking containing proposed regulations that would have required an exchange or distribution of net value for certain corporate formations and reorganizations to qualify for nonrecognition treatment under the Internal Revenue Code (Code). Other parts of the notice of proposed rulemaking were previously adopted as final regulations. The proposed regulations being withdrawn also addressed the treatment of certain distributions not qualifying for tax-free treatment under section 332 of the Code. The proposed regulations being withdrawn would have affected corporations and their shareholders.

DATES:

As of July 13, 2017, the proposed revisions to § 1.332-2(b) and (e); the proposed addition of Example 2 to § 1.332-2(e); the proposed additions of § 1.351-1(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(1)(iv); the proposed addition of Example 4 to § 1.351-1(a)(2); the proposed amendments to § 1.368-1(a) and (b); the proposed addition of § 1.368-1(f); and the proposed revision to § 1.368-2(d)(1) in the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-163314-03) that was published in the Federal Register (70 FR 11903) on March 10, 2005 are withdrawn.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jean Broderick at (202) 317-6848 (not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On March 10, 2005, the Department of the Treasury (the Treasury Department) and the IRS published a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-163314-03) in the Federal Register (70 FR 11903) containing proposed regulations under sections 332, 351, and 368 (2005 Proposed Regulations). The 2005 Proposed Regulations generally would have provided that the non-recognition rules in subchapter C of chapter 1 of subtitle 1 of the Code do not apply unless there is an exchange (or, in the case of section 332, a distribution) of net value (the net value requirement). The 2005 Proposed Regulations also provided that section 332 would apply only if the recipient corporation receives some payment for each class of stock it owns in the liquidating corporation. Finally, the 2005 Proposed Regulations provided guidance on the circumstances in which (and the extent to which) creditors of a corporation are treated as proprietors of the corporation in determining whether continuity of interest is preserved in a potential reorganization (Creditor Continuity of Interest).

On December 12, 2008, the Treasury Department and the IRS adopted the Creditor Continuity of Interest provisions of the 2005 Proposed Regulations as final regulations (TD 9434) published in the Federal Register (73 FR 75566). Minor portions of the 2005 Proposed Regulations that reflected statutory changes to sections 332 and 351 were adopted as final regulations as part of a Treasury decision adopting final regulations under sections 334(b)(1)(B) and 362(e)(1) (TD 9759), published in the Federal Register (81 FR 17066) on March 28, 2016. The Treasury Department and the IRS have decided to withdraw the remainder of the 2005 Proposed Regulations.

The Treasury Department and the IRS are of the view that current law is sufficient to ensure that the reorganization provisions and section 351 are used to accomplish readjustments of continuing interests in property held in modified corporate form. With respect to section 332, the holdings of H.K. Porter Co. v. Commissioner, 87 T.C. 689 (1986), Spaulding Bakeries Inc. v. Commissioner, 27 T.C. 684 (1957), aff'd, 252 F.2d 293 (2d Cir., 1958), H.G. Hill Stores, Inc. v. Commissioner, 44 B.T.A. 1182 (1941), Rev. Rul. 2003-125, 2003-2 C.B. 1243, Rev. Rul. 68-602, 1968-2 C.B. 135, Rev. Rul. 68-359, 1968-2 C.B. 161, and Rev. Rul. 59-296, 1959-2 C.B. 87, continue to reflect the position of the Treasury Department and the IRS.

Drafting Information

The principal author of this withdrawal notice is Jean Broderick of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in its development.

List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Partial Withdrawal of Proposed Rulemaking

Accordingly, under the authority of 26 U.S.C. 7805, the Treasury Department and the IRS withdraw the proposed revisions to § 1.332-2(b) and (e); the proposed addition of Example 2 to § 1.332-2(e); the proposed additions of § 1.351-1(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(1)(iv); the proposed addition of Example 4 to § 1.351-1(a)(2); the proposed amendments to § 1.368-1(a) and (b); the proposed addition of § 1.368-1(f); and the proposed revision to § 1.368-2(d)(1) in the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-163314-03) that was published in the Federal Register (70 FR 11903) on March 10, 2005.

Kirsten B. Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner of Services and Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2017-14723 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0617; FRL-9964-72-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Utah; General Burning Rule Revisions AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing approval of State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by Utah on January 28, 2013, and July 8, 2015. In the letter accompanying the rule revisions sent to the EPA on July 8, 2015, the Governor stated that no further action is necessary on the January 28, 2013 submittal since it has been superseded. Upon consultation with Utah Department of Air Quality (DAQ) staff, the EPA was informed that this is not accurate. A clarifying letter was sent by the Governor of Utah on June 6, 2017 requesting that the EPA act on both SIP revisions. The submittals request SIP revisions to the State's General Burning rule; a repeal and reenactment of the General Burning rule with changes to applicability, timing, and duration of burning windows, and an amendment to exempt Native American ceremonial burning during restricted burning days.

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before August 14, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0617 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from www.regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Chris Dresser, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mail Code 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6385, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

1. Submitting Confidential Business Information (CBI). Do not submit CBI to the EPA through http://www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information on a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

2. Tips for preparing your comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

• Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register volume, date, and page number);

• Follow directions and organize your comments;

• Explain why you agree or disagree;

• Suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes;

• Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used;

• If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced;

• Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives;

• Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats; and,

• Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

II. Analysis of the State Submittal

On January 28, 2013, the State of Utah requested that the EPA approve a repeal and reenactment of R307-202, Emission Standards: General Burning. The rule was changed to add an “Applicability” section that clarifies that the rule only applies to incorporated communities under the authority of a county or municipal fire authority. Additionally, the 30-day burning windows allowing the burning of material covered under R307-202 were eliminated in the amendment because they were a source of localized air quality impairment. This request was made by several local fire chiefs with support from the Utah State Fire Marshal. Language was also added to the rule that states that no person shall burn under R307-202 when the director of the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) issues a public announcement of a mandatory no-burn period.

The changes made to R307-202 include the following five amendments:

(1) Fire marshals were previously permitted to establish a spring 30-day burn window between March 1 and May 30. The rule amendment expanded the spring burning window for the entire period from March 1 to May 30 for Washington, Kane, San Juan, Iron, Garfield, Beaver, Piute, Wayne, Grand, and Emery counties. The burn window was expanded because fire marshals reported adverse localized air quality conditions within the 30-day burn window because the window was actually compressed to a few days where the Clearing Index was over 500. The Utah DAQ relies on a metric called the Clearing Index, an Air Quality/Smoke Dispersal Index, to determine when ventilation and dispersion are adequate for general burning and as an input for other air quality decisions throughout Utah. Clearing Index values below 500 are considered poor ventilation and open burning is restricted under these conditions. Expanding the burn period provides added days where the Clearing Index is above 500, thereby improving air quality during the spring burn period.

(2) The spring 30-day burn window has been expanded to the entire burn window from March 30 to May 30 for the remaining portions of the state. The window expansion follows the same rational as item 1 above, that serves to improve air quality during spring burning. The calendar difference between southern and northern counties (covered in items 1 and 2, respectively) is due to climatic differences across the state.

(3) The fall burn window for counties that are in attainment of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM2.5 and/or PM10) were permitted to burn from September 15 to October 30. The burn window has been expanded from September 15 to November 15 because the frost dates for those counties are later than October 30. This window is however subject to annual approval by the State Forester.

(4) A new fall burn window has been established for counties that are in nonattainment for the NAAQS for particulate matter (PM2.5 and/or PM10) from September 15 to October 30. This period is before the inversion season in northern counties. The burn window was requested by fire marshals in affected counties. This window is however subject to annual approval by the State Forester.

(5) An applicability section was added clarifying that the rule applies to general burning within incorporated communities under the authority of a county or municipal fire authority. This new section was added to address comments received from the State Forester during the public comment period held by the State of Utah. The State Forester was concerned that the public would be confused regarding who has the authority to issue burn permits within different portions of the state. While statutory authority has not changed from when the rule was initially promulgated, this new section was only added for clarity purposes.

The proposed rule revisions capture Utah's restrictions and exemptions for open burning of pollutants to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA) NAAQS for PM2.5 and PM10 consistent with 40 CFR part 50. As part of the most recent January 28, 2013 submittal, Utah DAQ provide a demonstration that the changes made to the General Burning rule would not result in adverse air quality conditions; consistent with the requirements under Section 110(l) of the CAA. The EPA agrees with the analysis completed by Utah and that the rule changes submitted on January 28, 2013, will not adversely impact air quality. The EPA conducted a further review of the effect of an expanded burn window on resulting air quality in nonattainment areas and a copy of this analysis is included in the administrative record. The additional time periods available for burning include the full March 1 to May 30 period and an additional fall burn window of September 15 to October 30. Through a review of air quality and clearing index data from DAQ's Web site, the EPA finds that although elevated 24-hr PM2.5 and PM10 can occur during these periods, they do not typically occur on days where the clearing index is greater than 500. Elevated PM10 has been measured on days within the burn window with a clearing index above 500. However, these events are a result of high winds and resulting re-entrained dust impacting PM10 concentrations, conditions under which burn permits would not be issued due to safety concerns. Therefore, the EPA finds that it is unlikely burning would occur in the expanded burn window on days with elevated PM.

Additionally, on July 8, 2015, the State of Utah requested further revisions to R307-202 (Emission Standards: General Burning) that allows Native American tribes to conduct ceremonial burning during restricted burning days when conducted by a “Native American spiritual advisor” as defined by the rule. The Utah DAQ submitted a supplementary analysis to the EPA on May 9, 2017 demonstrating that the exemption allowing ceremonial burning during restricted burning days would not result in adverse air quality conditions consistent with the requirements under CAA Section 110(l). The analysis included a calculation of emissions associated with the expected frequency of ceremonial burning, volume of combustible material, and using the appropriate AP-42 emission factors. The emissions for PM2.5 and PM10 associated with ceremonial burning were estimated to be 0.012 tons per year. To give these values context, from the most recent NEI, emissions of total PM10 and PM2.5 for all sources in Salt Lake County in 2014 are 18,165 tons and 5,902 tons, respectively. The estimated impact of ceremonial burning is therefore less than 0.0001% of the total PM inventory, and therefore the EPA finds that this exemption would not result in adverse air quality.

III. The EPA's Proposed Action

The EPA is proposing to approve Utah's January 28, 2013 SIP submission, which repeals and reenacts the General Burning provisions in R307-202 with the amendments discussed in Section II. Additionally, the EPA is proposing approval of Utah's July 8, 2015 revisions, which exempts ceremonial burning conducted by a “Native American spiritual advisor” during restricted burn days.

IV. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

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

• Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, Oct. 4, 1993);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Dated: June 27, 2017. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.
[FR Doc. 2017-14739 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0189; FRL-9964-52-Region 6] Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Arkansas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation Plan; Revision of Federal Implementation Plan AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to revise the Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) that was published in the Federal Register on September 27, 2016, to address certain regional haze and visibility transport requirements under the Federal Clean Air Act (the Act, or CAA) for the State of Arkansas. The specific portions of the Arkansas Regional Haze FIP that the EPA is proposing to revise are the compliance dates for the nitrogen oxide (NOX) emission limits for the Entergy White Bluff Plant (White Bluff) Units 1 and 2, the Entergy Independence Plant (Independence) Units 1 and 2, and the American Electric Power (AEP) Flint Creek Unit 1. EPA is proposing to extend the compliance dates for the NOX emission limits for these five electric generating units (EGUs) by 21 months to January 27, 2020.

DATES:

Comments: Comments must be received on or before September 22, 2017.

Public Hearing: We are holding an information session—for the purpose of providing additional information and informal discussion for our proposal, and a public hearing—to accept oral comments into the record, as follows:

Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Time: Information Session: 2:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m.

Public hearing: 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. (including break from 5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Please see the ADDRESSES section for the location of the hearing in North Little Rock, AR.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0189, at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact Dayana Medina, (214) 665-7241; [email protected] For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

Hearing location: Arkansas Public Service Commission, Public Service Commission Building, 1000 Center Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-4314.

The public hearing will provide interested parties the opportunity to present information and opinions to us concerning our proposal. Interested parties may also submit written comments, as discussed in the proposal. Written statements and supporting information submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as any oral comments and supporting information presented at the public hearing. We will not respond to comments during the public hearings. When we publish our final action, we will provide written responses to all significant oral and written comments received on our proposal. To provide opportunities for questions and discussion, we will hold an information session prior to the public hearing. During the information session, EPA staff will be available to informally answer questions on our proposed action. Any comments made to EPA staff during an information session must still be provided orally during the public hearing, or formally in writing within 30 days after completion of the hearings, in order to be considered in the record. At the public hearings, the hearing officer may limit the time available for each commenter to address the proposal to three minutes or less if the hearing officer determines it to be appropriate. We will not be providing equipment for commenters to show overhead slides or make computerized slide presentations. Any person may provide written or oral comments and data pertaining to our proposal at the public hearings. Verbatim English language transcripts of the hearing and written statements will be included in the rulemaking docket.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dayana Medina, (214) 665-7241; [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean the EPA.

I. Background

On September 27, 2016, we published a rule titled “Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Arkansas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation Plan” (Arkansas Regional Haze FIP or FIP) addressing certain requirements of the Regional Haze Rule and interstate visibility transport.1 Among other things, the final FIP established NOX emission limits for White Bluff, Independence, and Flint Creek, and required compliance with these emission limits within 18 months of the effective date of our final action (i.e., April 27, 2018).

1 81 FR 66332; see also 81 FR 68319 (October 4, 2016) (correction).

The State of Arkansas, through the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), submitted a petition to the EPA dated November 22, 2016, seeking reconsideration and an administrative stay of specific portions of the final Arkansas Regional Haze FIP pursuant to section 307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA and section 705 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Petitions dated November 23, 2016, seeking reconsideration and administrative stay of the FIP were also submitted by Entergy Arkansas Inc., Entergy Mississippi Inc., and Entergy Power LLC (collectively “Entergy”) and the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), which are owners of Flint Creek, White Bluff, and Independence. The Energy and Environmental Alliance of Arkansas (EEAA), which is an ad-hoc association that has members who own or operate Flint Creek, White Bluff, and Independence, also submitted a petition dated November 28, 2016, seeking reconsideration and administrative stay of the FIP.2 The petitioners raised a number of issues, including EPA's decision to shorten the compliance dates for the NOX emission limits for Flint Creek, White Bluff, and Independence from the proposed 3 years to 18 months in the final FIP without specifically requesting comment on the shorter 18-month compliance dates. Entergy, AECC, and EEAA also stated in their petitions for reconsideration and administrative stay that the 18-month NOX compliance dates required by the FIP are infeasible and do not allow sufficient time for the owners and operators of the facilities to develop, plan, obtain prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permits, install, tune, and test the low NOX burner control equipment that is needed to comply with the NOX emission limits.

2 Please see the docket for this rulemaking for a copy of the petitions for reconsideration and administrative stay submitted by ADEQ, Entergy, AECC, and EEAA.

In a letter dated April 14, 2017, EPA announced the convening of a proceeding to reconsider the appropriate compliance dates for the NOX emission limits for Flint Creek, White Bluff, and Independence.3 EPA determined that the petitioners raised objections to the NOX compliance timeframes that were impracticable to raise during the comment period and that are of central relevance to the rule under 307(d)(7)(B) of the Clean Air Act (CAA). EPA also published a notice in the Federal Register on April 25, 2017, administratively staying the effectiveness of the 18-month NOX compliance dates in the FIP for a period of 90 days.4 In that action, we also stated that reconsideration would allow for additional public comment on the 18-month NOX compliance deadlines. We are proposing to revise the NOX compliance deadlines for the 5 affected units as part of the reconsideration process and requesting comment on our proposed decision to extend these dates by 21 months.

3 See letter dated April 14, 2017, regarding “Convening a Proceeding for Reconsideration of Final Rule, `Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Arkansas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation Plan,' published September 7, 2016. 81 FR 66332.” A copy of this letter is included in the docket, Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0189.

4 82 FR 18994.

We also note that in a letter dated June 7, 2017, the State committed to develop and submit to EPA this summer a Regional Haze SIP revision to replace our FIP, which would include NOX requirements for the EGUs. Our action today revising the compliance dates for NOX does not preclude the State from submitting and EPA acting on a SIP revision addressing that element. As we have previously stated,5 we remain committed to work with the State on a SIP revision that would replace our FIP. We are proposing a revision to our FIP at this time to address the impending April 27, 2018 NOX compliance deadlines required by the FIP for Flint Creek, White Bluff, and Independence, prior to the anticipated SIP submittal by the State and to provide the owners of the units with regulatory certainty regarding their compliance deadlines.

5 81 FR 66333.

II. Petitions for Reconsideration of the NOX Compliance Deadlines and EPA's Proposed Action

We have carefully reviewed and taken into consideration the petitions for reconsideration and administrative stay submitted by the State of Arkansas, Entergy, AECC, and EEAA regarding the 18-month compliance date for the NOX emission limits at Flint Creek Unit 1, White Bluff Units 1 and 2, and Independence Units 1 and 2. We have determined that the petitions for reconsideration raise certain arguments related to the 18-month NOX compliance dates that have merit, provide site-specific information regarding the infeasibility of an 18-month compliance date, and warrant proposing a revision to the FIP with regard to the 18-month NOX compliance deadlines.

The State of Arkansas, Entergy, AECC, and EEAA stated in their petitions that EPA proposed a 3-year NOX compliance deadline for the affected units and that we did not indicate in the proposed rulemaking that we were considering a shorter compliance date. Additionally, the petitioners stated that EPA failed to provide an opportunity to comment on the owners' ability to comply with a shortened compliance date. EEAA pointed out that if EPA would have afforded the owners and operators adequate notice and opportunity to comment on the shortened NOX compliance deadlines, they would have provided comment and supporting information concerning why an 18-month compliance deadline is inadequate. The petitioners also argued that because we did not provide notice and an opportunity to comment on shortened compliance deadlines, the 18-month NOX compliance deadlines are not a logical outgrowth of the FIP proposal.

We agree with the petitioners that our FIP proposal did not specifically state that we were soliciting public comment on shorter NOX compliance dates for the five units. We recognize that the wording in our proposed rulemaking was not clear with respect to this issue, but our intent was to solicit public comment on all aspects of our FIP proposal. This includes even those aspects of our FIP proposal for which we did not specifically state that we were soliciting public comment. However, in consideration of the petitioners' comments, we are proposing to extend the NOX compliance dates for the 5 affected units and providing notice and opportunity for public comment on the proposed revisions to the compliance dates. Other issues raised by the petitioners concerning the inadequacy of an 18-month NOX compliance deadline are discussed in the subsections that follow.

A. Petitioners' Claims Regarding the Infeasibility of 18-Month NOX Compliance Deadlines

Entergy's petition, which was incorporated by reference by both AECC and EEAA, asserted that the comments submitted by environmental groups,6 on which we based our decision to shorten the NOX compliance deadlines for the five units, relied on an expert report and a 10-year-old vendor association report that did not take into account site-specific considerations that could affect the installation and deployment time of low NOX burner controls.7 EEAA also asserted that the 10-year old vendor association report did not take into account permitting considerations, a company's internal project development and approval process, site-specific factors, or reliability concerns. Entergy and EEAA asserted that the 18-month compliance deadline for installation of the low NOX burner and separated overfire air equipment at White Bluff and Independence is not feasible because it does not allow the owners and operators sufficient time to prepare and submit an air permit application, obtain the permit through the public notice and participation process, comply with the affected companies' internal planning and prudence review procedures, complete a request for proposal process, select a vendor, procure equipment, schedule outages, install the control equipment, conduct equipment tuning and testing, and train staff on the operation of the control equipment. AECC also asserted in its petition that the 18-month NOX compliance deadlines for the five units are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to meet and are unprecedented.

6 See comments submitted by Earthjustice, National Parks Conservation Association, and Sierra Club, dated August 7, 2015, on the Arkansas Regional Haze FIP proposal. These comments can be found in Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0189.

7 AECC and EEAA's petitions address Flint Creek, White Bluff, and Independence. Entergy's petition focuses on White Bluff and Independence, but many of the arguments raised by Entergy are also applicable to Flint Creek.

Entergy and EEAA pointed out that the installation of the NOX control equipment requires that the company first develop a prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit application for each facility and submit to ADEQ. Entergy's petition explains that the processing of the permit application by ADEQ is expected to take no less than 6—8 months, but could take longer depending on a number of factors outside of the company's control. The State's permitting process involves a public notice and participation process, and the length of time it takes to issue the permit is dependent upon the volume and complexity of the comments received as well as on ADEQ's resources. Additionally, Entergy pointed out that any member of the public could appeal issuance of the final permit to the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission and, absent additional regulatory proceedings, could result in an automatic stay of the permit pending resolution of the appeal. Entergy stated in its petition that it has obtained the necessary PSD permit for installation of the NOX control equipment at White Bluff, but is still in the process of developing the PSD permit application for Independence.

Entergy and EEAA also explained in their petitions that the affected companies have internal planning procedures that affect their schedule for installation of the NOX controls. These internal planning procedures include risk and prudence reviews, as well as a process for obtaining competitive bids from multiple vendors. Entergy asserted that these internal planning procedures are in place to attempt to ensure cost recovery, and that circumventing these procedures places the owners at risk of making investments that the Arkansas Public Service Commission later determines are not in the public interest and therefore not eligible for cost recovery. Entergy explained that once a vendor is selected, the company must negotiate the final contract and that it would then take the vendor approximately 8 months to design and fabricate the equipment. Each unit will then have to be taken offline for approximately 6-7 weeks for installation of the control equipment. Entergy explained that after installation of the control equipment, the company must conduct boiler tuning, performance verification testing, a final phase of fine-tuning of the equipment, staff training, and must validate operating configurations to determine which combinations result in the best load profile. In its petition for reconsideration, Entergy stated that in light of these site-specific considerations, the owners and operators need 3 years to install the control equipment and comply with their NOX emission limits. Entergy and EEAA stated that requiring the affected units to comply with shorter NOX compliance deadlines would force the owners to undertake an accelerated schedule that involves non-compliance with company prudence procedures and increases the cost and financial risk incurred by the owners, with no guarantee that the units will actually be able to meet their NOX emission limits by the shorter compliance date.

AECC asserted in its petition that a 3-year NOX compliance deadline is as expeditiously as practicable for the affected units, especially taking into consideration that the four units at White Bluff and Independence are within the same regional transmission organization system that would be affected by outages related to installation of the NOX control equipment. AECC also asserted that a NOX compliance schedule less than 3 years would require an accelerated construction schedule such that the controls could not be optimally scheduled to minimize the cost of replacement energy and system reliability could potentially be compromised. EEAA expressed similar concerns, stating that an 18-month compliance schedule for the 5 affected units is inadequate for the installation of the controls, in particular when required for multiple units that represent a significant amount of baseload generating capacity within the State.

B. EPA's Assessment of Petitioners' Claims and EPA's Proposed Action

We agree with the petitioners that the comments submitted by environmental groups on which we based our decision to shorten the NOX compliance deadlines for the five units relied on an expert report and a 10-year-old vendor association report that did not take into account site-specific considerations that could affect the installation and deployment time of low NOX burner equipment. Since our proposed rulemaking did not specifically state a range of compliance dates that we were soliciting comment on for the NOX emission limits for the five units, we accept the owners' claims that they did not anticipate that we might finalize shorter compliance dates and therefore did not comment on site-specific factors that affect their ability to meet shorter compliance dates. We also acknowledge that the owners of the affected units raise a valid point that the compliance date needs to account for the PSD permitting process required for the installation of the NOX control equipment, including the possibility of delays in the regulatory permitting process that could affect the owners' ability to meet an 18-month compliance deadline.

We acknowledge that we were not aware of and thus could not take into consideration the companies' internal planning and prudence review procedures when we shortened the NOX compliance deadlines. We find that the steps and processes Entergy, AECC, and EEAA discussed in their petitions that must be taken by the owners and operators of the affected units in order to install and begin operating the NOX control equipment are reasonable and warrant proposing to extend the NOX compliance dates for the affected units. It is not our intent to require a compliance timeframe that could force the owners to expedite the planning, installation, and deployment of the NOX control equipment in such a way that would require omitting company planning procedures and other important processes the owners and operators have in place for projects such as this. We also believe it is prudent to establish compliance deadlines that allow the installation of the NOX controls to be optimally scheduled so as to not compromise system reliability, especially taking into consideration that four of the affected units are within the same regional transmission organization system. Entergy, AECC, and EEAA asserted that 3 years are needed to develop, plan, permit, install, tune, and test the equipment at the affected units, which is consistent with the compliance deadline we proposed in our April 8, 2015 FIP proposal.8 Additionally, as we noted in the “Background” section of this proposed rulemaking, we published a notice in the Federal Register on April 25, 2017, administratively staying the effectiveness of the 18-month NOX compliance deadlines in the FIP for a period of 90 days as part of our reconsideration process for the NOX compliance deadlines.9 To also account for the 90 day stay of the effectiveness of these NOX compliance deadlines, we are proposing to extend the NOX compliance deadlines for Flint Creek Unit 1, White Bluff Units 1 and 2, and Independence Units 1 and 2 by a total of 21 months to January 27, 2020. We believe this is consistent with the requirement under the CAA section 169A(b)(2) and (g)(4) and the Regional Haze Rule under section 51.308(e)(1)(iv) to install and operate BART as expeditiously as practicable, but in no event later than 5 years after approval of the implementation plan revision.

8 80 FR 18944.

9 82 FR 18994.

III. Summary of Proposed Action

After carefully considering the petitions for reconsideration of the NOX compliance deadlines submitted by Arkansas, Entergy, AECC, and EEAA, we are proposing to revise the Arkansas Regional Haze FIP by extending the NOX compliance deadlines for Flint Creek, White Bluff, and Independence. After carefully considering the information presented by the petitioners and to account for the 90 day stay of the effectiveness of these NOX compliance deadlines, we are proposing to extend the NOX compliance deadlines for Flint Creek Unit 1, White Bluff Units 1 and 2, and Independence Units 1 and 2 by a total of 21 months to January 27, 2020. Upon finalization of this proposed action, the reconsideration process for the 18-month NOX compliance deadlines will conclude.

The revisions to the Arkansas Regional Haze FIP we are proposing at this time are limited to the NOX compliance dates for the five aforementioned units. We are not proposing to revise any other portions of the FIP in this proposed action. As such, we are not accepting public comment at this time on any issues unrelated to the NOX compliance dates for these units. However, we note that the reconsideration process under CAA section 307(d)(7)(B) for other portions of the FIP, as discussed in our April 14, 2017 letter, is ongoing.10 If EPA determines through the ongoing reconsideration process that revisions to other parts of the FIP are warranted, we will propose such revisions in a future rulemaking action.

10 See letter dated April 14, 2017, regarding “Convening a Proceeding for Reconsideration of Final Rule, `Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Arkansas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation Plan,' published September 7, 2016. 81 FR 66332.” A copy of this letter is included in the docket, Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0189.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Best available retrofit technology, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Interstate transport of pollution, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Regional haze, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur dioxides, Visibility.

Dated: June 30, 2017. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.

Title 40, chapter I, of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be 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 E—Arkansas 2. Amend § 52.173 by revising (c) (7) and (25) to read as follows:
§ 52.173 Visibility protection.

(c) * * *

(c)(7) Compliance dates for AEP Flint Creek Unit 1 and Entergy White Bluff Units 1 and 2. The owner or operator of AEP Flint Creek Unit 1 must comply with the SO2 emission limit listed in paragraph (c)(6) of this section by April 27, 2018, and with the NOX emission limit listed in paragraph (c)(6) by January 27, 2020. The owner or operator of White Bluff Units 1 and 2 must comply with the SO2 emission limit listed in paragraph (c)(6) of this section by October 27, 2021, and must comply with the NOX emission limits listed in paragraph (c)(6) of this section by January 27, 2020.

(c)(25) Compliance dates for Entergy Independence Units 1 and 2. The owner or operator of each unit must comply with the SO2 emission limit in paragraph (c)(24) of this section by October 27, 2021, and with the NOX emission limits by January 27, 2020.

[FR Doc. 2017-14692 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2017-0298; FRL-9964-84-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation; State of Utah; Salt Lake County and Utah County Nonattainment Area Coarse Particulate Matter State Implementation Plan Revisions to Control Measures for Point Sources AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve certain state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by Utah on January 4, 2016, and certain revisions submitted on January 19, 2017, for the coarse particulate matter (PM10) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) in the Salt Lake County and Utah County PM10 nonattainment areas. The revisions that the EPA is proposing to approve are located in Utah Division of Administrative Rule (DAR) R307-110-17 and SIP Subsection IX.H.1-4, and establish emissions limits for PM10, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) for certain stationary sources in the nonattainment areas. These actions are being taken under section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before August 14, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2017-0298 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from www.regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

James Hou, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mail Code 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, 303-312-6210, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information

a. Submitting Confidential Business Information (CBI). Do not submit CBI to the EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

b. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

1. Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

2. Follow directions—The agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.

3. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

4. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

5. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

6. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

7. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

8. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

II. Background

Under the 1990 amendments to the CAA, Salt Lake and Utah Counties were designated nonattainment for PM10 and classified as moderate areas by operation of law as of November 15, 1990 (56 FR 56694, 56840; November 6, 1991). The air quality planning requirements for moderate PM10 nonattainment areas are set out in subparts 1 and 4, part D, Title I of the Act. As described in section 110 and 172 of the Act, areas designated nonattainment based on failure to meet the PM10 NAAQS are required to develop SIPs with sufficient control measures to expeditiously attain and maintain the NAAQS.

On July 8, 1994, the EPA approved the PM10 SIP for Salt Lake and Utah Counties (59 FR 35036). The SIP included a demonstration of attainment and various control measures, including emission limits at stationary sources. Because emissions of SO2 and NOX contribute significantly to the PM10 problem in the area, the SIP included limits on emissions of SO2 and NOX in addition to emissions of PM10.

On September 26, 1995, the EPA designated Ogden City as nonattainment for PM10 and classified the area as moderate under section 107(d)(3) of the Act (60 FR 38726; July 28, 1995). Subsequently, the EPA approved a clean data determination for the Ogden City nonattainment area on January 7, 2013 (78 FR 885), suspending obligations to submit certain requirements of part D, subparts 1 and 4 of the Act for so long as the area continues to attain.

On July 3, 2002 Utah submitted SIP revisions adopting rule R307-110-10, which incorporated revisions to portions of Utah's SIP Section IX, Part A, and rule R307-110-17, which incorporated revisions to portions of Utah's SIP Section IX Part H. These revisions were approved by the EPA on December 23, 2002 (67 FR 78181). The revisions to Utah's SIP Section IX Part H removed several stationary sources subject to reasonably available control technology (RACT) requirements from the initial list of RACT sources in the Utah County nonattainment area, based on SIP threshold limits for PM10, NOx, and SO2 of 100 tpy, 200 tpy, and 250 tpy, respectively. In doing so, the number of major stationary sources included in the SIP for the Utah County nonattainment area was reduced from 14 sources to 5 sources. Notably, one of the sources retained in Utah's 2002 SIP was Geneva Steel, which underwent a protracted closure and had largely ceased operations by 2004. In 2005, the PacifiCorp—Lake Side Power Plant was constructed on a portion of the former Geneva Steel facility, utilizing banked emission credits from Geneva Steel's closure.

On January 4, 2016, Utah submitted SIP revisions to R307-110-17 titled “Section IX, Control Measures for Area and Point Sources, Part H, Emission Limits” and revisions to Subsection IX.H.1-4. The titles for Subsection IX.H.1-4 include: (1) General Requirements: Control Measures for Area and Point Sources, Emission Limits and Operating Practices, PM10 Requirements; (2) Source Specific Emission Limitations in Salt Lake County PM10 Nonattainment/Maintenance Area; (3) Source Specific Emission Limitations in Utah County PM10 Nonattainment/Maintenance Area; and (4) Interim Emission Limits and Operating Practices. Additionally, on January 19, 2017, Utah submitted revisions to Subsection IX.H.1-4. Further discussion of the revisions to R307-110-17 and Subsection IX.H.1-4 can be found below.

III. EPA's Evaluation of Utah's SIP A. R307-110-17

1. Section R307-110-17 incorporates the amendments to Section IX.H into state rules, thereby making them effective as a matter of state law. This is a ministerial provision and does not by itself include any control measures.

B. Subsection IX.H.1-4

1. Subsection IX.H.1. General Requirements: Control Measures for Area and Point Sources, Emission Limits and Operating Practices, PM10 Requirements. This section establishes general requirements for record keeping, reporting, and monitoring for the stationary sources subject to emissions limits under subsections IX.H.2-4. Additionally, this section establishes general refinery requirements, addressing limitations on emitting units common to the refineries in the nonattainment areas. These general refinery requirements include limits at fluid catalytic cracking units, limits on refinery fuel gas, restrictions on liquid fuel oil consumption, requirement for sulfur removal units, and requirements for hydrocarbon flares.

2. Subsection IX.H.2. Source Specific Emission Limitations in Salt Lake County PM10 Nonattainment/Maintenance Area. This section establishes specific emission limitations for 14 sources. These sources are Big West Oil Refinery; Bountiful City Light and Power; Central Valley Reclamation Facility; Chevron Products Company; Hexcel Corporation; Holly Refining and Marketing Company; Kennecott Utah Copper (KUC): Bingham Canyon Mine; KUC: Copperton Concentrator; KUC: Power Plant and Tailings Impoundment; KUC: Smelter and Refinery; PacifiCorp Energy: Gadsby Power Plant; Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company; University of Utah; and West Valley Power Holdings, LLC. Major stationary sources were identified based on their potential to emit (PTE) of 100 tons per year (tpy) or more of PM10, NOx, or SO2. A summary of the current emission limits, for retained sources, is outlined in Table 1 below, and a summary of the proposed new emission limits is outlined in Table 2 below.

Table 1—Current Source Specific Emission Limitations in the Salt Lake County PM10 Nonattainment Area Source Pollutant Process unit Mass based
  • limits
  • Concentration based limits Alternative emission limits
    Amoco Oil Company 1 PM10
  • NOX
  • SO2
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • 113 tpy.
  • 688 tpy.
  • 2,013 tpy.
  • Bountiful City Light and Power PM10
  • NOX
  • SO2
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • 1.06 tpy.
  • 250 tpy.
  • 5.97.
  • Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility PM10
  • NOX
  • SO2
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • 0.67 tpy.
  • 203.7 tpy.
  • 3.95 tpy.
  • Chevron Products Company PM10
  • NOX
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • 175 tpy.
  • 1,022 tpy.
  • SO2 Facility Wide 2,578 tpy. Flying J 2 PM10 Facility Wide 22 tpy. NOX Facility Wide 278.7 tpy. SO2 Facility Wide 864.6 tpy. Hercules Aerospace Company—Plant #3 3 175 MMscf natural gas per year.
  • 10.8 MM pounds of carbon fiber produced per year.
  • Holly Refining and Marketing Company PM10
  • NOX
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • 0.416 tpd.
  • 2.09 tpd.
  • SO2 Facility Wide 0.31 tpd. Kennecott Utah Copper: Bingham Canyon Mine Maximum of 30,000 daily miles for waste haul trucks.
  • Fugitive road dust emission controls.
  • Kennecott Utah Copper: Power Plant PM10
  • NOX
  • Total Power Plant
  • Total Power Plant
  • 257 tpy.
  • 5085 tpy.
  • SO2 Total Power Plant 6219 tpy. Kennecott Utah Copper: Tailings Impoundment Fugitive dust maintenance program and mitigation procedures. Kennecott Utah Copper: Smelter PM10
  • SO2 (daily avg)
  • Main Stack
  • Main Stack
  • 400 lb/hr.
  • 5,700 lb/hr.
  • SO2 Acid Plant Tail Gas 1200 lb/hr 650 ppmvd. NOX Smelter Powerhouse 20.8 lb/hr 80/9 ppmdv. PM10 Rotary Concentrate Dryer Stack 4.2 lb/hr. NOX Rotary Concentrate Dryer Stack 7.1 lb/hr 67 ppmdv. Kennecott Utah Copper: Refinery PM10
  • SO2
  • Total Refinery
  • Total Refinery
  • 51.9 tpy.
  • 162.6 tpy.
  • NOX Total Refinery 121 tpy. University of Utah PM10 Source wide 74.3 tpy. NOX Source wide 245.8 tpy. SO2 Source wide 219.3 tpy. Utah Power and Light—Gadsby 4 PM10
  • NOX
  • Source Wide
  • Source wide
  • 61.3 tpy.
  • 2,983 tpy.
  • SO2 Source wide 67.7 tpy. 1 The Amoco Oil Company facility corresponds with the Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company in the proposed emission limits of Table 2. 2 The Flying J refinery corresponds with the Big West Oil facility in the proposed emission limits of Table 2. 3 The Hercules Aerospace Company—Plant #3 corresponds with the Hexcel Corporation in the proposed emission limits of Table 2. 4 Utah Power and Light—Gadsby, corresponds with PacifiCorp—Gadsby in the proposed emission limits of Table 2.
    Table 2—Proposed Source Specific Emission Limitations in the Salt Lake County PM10 Nonattainment Area Source Pollutant Process unit Mass based limits Concentration
  • based limits
  • Alternative
  • emission limits
  • Big West Oil PM10
  • NOX
  • SO2
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • 1.037 tons per day (tpd).
  • 0.8 tpd.
  • 0.6 tpd.
  • Bountiful City Light and Power NOX
  • NOX
  • GT#1
  • GT#2 and GT#3
  • 0.6 g NOX/kW-hr.
  • 7.5 lb NOX/hr.
  • Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility NOX Facility Wide 0.648 tpd. Chevron Products Company PM10
  • NOX
  • SO2
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • 0.715 tpd.
  • 2.1 tpd.
  • 1.05 tpd.
  • Hexcel Corporations 5.50 MMscf natural gas per day.
  • 0.061 MM pounds of carbon fiber produced per day.
  • Holly Refining and Marketing Company PM10
  • NOX
  • SO2
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • 0.416 tpd.
  • 2.09 tpd.
  • 0.31 tpd.
  • Kennecott Utah Copper: Bingham Canyon Mine Maximum of 30,000 miles for waste haul trucks per day.
  • Fugitive road dust emission control requirements.
  • Kennecott Copperton Concentrator Requirement to operate a gas scrubber operated in accordance with parametric monitoring. Kennecott Utah Copper: PM10 Power Plant Unit #5 18.8 lb/hr.  Power Plant and NOX Power Plant Unit #5 2.0 ppmdv (15% O2 dry).  Tailings Impoundment NOX Power Plant Unit #5 Startup/Shutdown 395 lb/hr. PM10 (Filterable) Units #1, #2, #3, and #4, Nov 1-Feb 28/29 0.004 grains/dscf. PM10 (Filterable + Condensable) Units #1,# 2, #3, and #4, Nov 1-Feb 28/29 0.03 grains/dscf. NOX Units #1,# 2, and #3, Nov 1-Feb 28/29 336 ppmdv (3% O2). NOX Unit #4, Nov 1-Feb 28/29 336 ppmdv (3% O2). PM10 (Filterable) Units #1,# 2, and #3, Mar 1-Oct 1 0.029 grains/dscf. PM10 (Filterable + Condensable) Units #1,# 2, and #3, Mar 1-Oct 1 0.29 grains/dscf. PM10 (Filterable) Unit #4, Mar 1-Oct 1 0.029 grains/dscf. NOX Units #1,# 2, and #3, Mar 1-Oct 1 426.5 ppmdv (3% O2) NOX Unit #4, Mar 1-Oct 1 384 ppmdv (3% O2) Kennecott Utah Copper: Smelter and Refinery PM10 (Filterable) Main Stack 89.5 lb/hr PM10 (Filterable + Condensable) Main Stack 439 lb/hr SO2 (3-hr rolling avg) Main Stack 552 lb/hr SO2 (daily avg) Main Stack 422 lb/hr NOX (daily avg) Main Stack 154 lb/hr NOX Refinery: Sum of 2 tank house boilers 9.5 lb/hr NOX Refinery: Combined Heat Plant 5.96 lb/hr NOX Molybdenum Autoclave Project: Combined Heat Plant 5.01 lb/hr PacifiCorp Energy: Gadsby Power Plant NOX Steam Unit #1 179 lb/hr NOX Steam Unit #2 204 lb/hr
  • NOX
  • Steam Unit #3 142 lb./hr (Nov 1-Feb 28/29)
    NOX Steam Unit #3 203 lb/hr (Mar 1-Oct 31) Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company PM10
  • NOX
  • Facility Wide
  • Facility Wide
  • 2.25 tpd.
  • 1.988 tpd.
  • SO2 Facility Wide 3.1 tpd. University of Utah NOX Boiler #3 9 ppmdv (3% O2 Dry). Boiler #4a & #4b 9 ppmdv (3% O2 Dry). Boiler #5a & #5b 9 ppmdv (3% O2 Dry). Turbine 9 ppmdv (3% O2 Dry). Turbine and WHRU Duct burner 15 ppmdv (3% O2 Dry). West Valley Power 5 NOX Sum of all five turbines 1,050 lb/day. 5 West Valley Power was not a listed source in the 1994 SIP for the Salt Lake County PM10 NAA.

    3. Subsection IX.H.3. Source Specific Emission Limitations in Utah County PM10 Nonattainment/Maintenance Area. This section establishes specific emission limitations for 6 sources. These sources are Brigham Young University (BYU); Geneva Nitrogen Inc.; PacifiCorp Energy: Lake Side Power Plant; Payson City Corporation: Payson City Power; Provo City Power: Power Plant; and Springville City Corporation: Whitehead Power Plant. Major stationary sources were identified based on their PTE of 100 tons per year (tpy) or more for PM10, NOX, and SO2. It is important to note that the SIP threshold of 100 tpy for all three pollutants is less than the previous SIP major stationary source thresholds Utah established in its 2002 SIP revision. The 2002 SIP revision had established major stationary source thresholds for PM10, NOX, and SO2 at 100 tpy, 200 tpy, and 250 tpy, respectively. By lowering the SIP threshold to 100 tpy for all three pollutants, three sources are now added into the SIP. These sources are BYU, Payson City Power and PacifiCorp Energy—Lake Side Power Plant. PacifiCorp Energy—Lake Side Power Plant sits on a portion of the former Geneva Steel site. A summary of the current emission limits, for retained sources, is outlined in Table 3 below, and a summary of the proposed new emission limits are outlined in Table 4 below.

    Table 3—Current Source Specific Emission Limitations in the Utah County PM10 Nonattainment Area Source Pollutant Process unit Mass based
  • limits
  • Concentration
  • based limits
  • Alternative
  • emission limits
  • Geneva Nitrogen Inc: Geneva Plant PM10 Prill Tower 0.24 tpd NOX Montecatini Plant 0.389 tpd NOX Weatherly Plant 0.233 tpd Provo City Power: Power Plant NOX All engines combined 2.45 tpd Springville City Corporation: Whitehead Power Plant NOX All engines combined 1.68 tpd
    Table 4—Proposed Source Specific Emission Limitations in the Utah County PM10 Nonattainment Area Source Pollutant Process unit Mass based
  • limits
  • Concentration
  • based limits
  • Alternative
  • emission limits
  • Brigham Young University NOX Unit #1 6 9.55 lb/hr 95 ppmdv (7% O2 Dry). NOX Unit #2 37.4 lb/hr 331 ppmdv (7% O2 Dry). SO2 Unit #2 56.0 lb/hr 597 ppmdv (7% O2 Dry). NOX Unit #3 37.4 lb/hr 331 ppmdv (7% O2 Dry). SO2 Unit #3 56.0 lb/hr 597 ppmdv (7% O2 Dry). NOX Unit #4 7 19.2 lb/hr 127 ppmdv (7% O2 Dry). NOX Unit #5 74.8 lb/hr 331 ppmdv (7% O2 Dry). SO2 Unit #5 112.07 lb/hr 597 ppmdv (7% O2 Dry). NOX Unit #6 7 19.2 lb/hr 127 ppmdv (7% O2 Dry). Geneva Nitrogen Inc.: Geneva Plant PM10 Prill Tower 0.236 tpd. PM2.5 Prill Tower 0.196 tpd. NOX Montecatini Plant 30.8 lb/hr. NOX Weatherly Plant 18.4 lb/hr. PacifiCorp Energy: Lakeside Power Plant NOX Block #1 Turbine/HRSG Stacks 14.9 lb/hr. NOX Block #2 Turbine/HRSG Stacks 18.1 lb/hr. Payson City Corporation: Payson City Power NOX All engines combined 1.54 tpd. Provo City Power: Power Plant NOX All engines combined 2.45 tpd. Springville City Corporation: Whitehead Power Plant NOX All engines combined 1.68 tpd. 6 The NOX limit for Unit #1 is 95 ppm (9.55 lb/hr) until it operates for more than 300 hours during a rolling 12-month period, then the limit will be 36 ppm (5.44 lb/hr). This will be accomplished through the installation of low NOX burners with Flue Gas Recirculation. 7 The NOX limit for Units #4 and #6 is 127 ppm (38.5 lb/hr) until December 31, 2018, at which time the limit will then be 36 ppm (19.2 lb/hr).

    4. Subsection IX.H.4. Interim Emission Limits and Operating Practices. R307-110-17 Section IX, Control Measures for Area and Point Sources, Part H, Emission Limits. This section establishes interim emission limits for sources whose new emission limits under Subsections IX.H.2 and 3 are based on controls that are not currently installed, with the provision that all necessary controls needed to meet the emission limits under Subsection IX.H.2 and IX.H.3 shall be installed by January 1, 2019. A summary of the proposed interim emission limits is outlined in Table 5 below.

    Table 5—Proposed Interim Emission Limits and Operating Practices Source Pollutant Process unit Mass based
  • limits
  • Concentration based
  • limits
  • Alternative emission
  • limits
  • Big West Oil PM10 Facility Wide 0.377 tpd Oct 1-March 31.
  • 0.407 tpd April 1-Sept 30
  • SO2 Facility Wide 2.764 tpd Oct 1-March 31.
  • 3.639 tpd April 1-Sept 30
  • NOX Facility Wide 1.027 tpd Oct 1-Mar 31.
  • 1.145 tpd Apr 1-Sep 30
  • Chevron Products Company PM10 Facility Wide 0.234 tpd. SO2 Facility Wide 0.5 tpd. NOX Facility Wide 2.52 tpd. Holly Refining and Marketing Company PM10 Facility Wide 0.44 tpd. SO2 Facility Wide 4.714 tpd. NOX Facility Wide 2.20 tpd. Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company PM10 Facility Wide 0.261 tpd. SO2 Facility Wide 3.699 tpd Nov 1-Feb 28/29.
  • 4.374 tpd Mar 1-Oct 31
  • NOX Facility Wide 1.988 tpd.
    IV. Consideration of Section 110(l) of the CAA

    Under section 110(l) of the CAA, the EPA cannot approve a SIP revision if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (RFP) toward attainment of the NAAQS, or any other applicable requirement of the Act. In addition, section 110(l) requires that each revision to an implementation plan submitted by a state shall be adopted by the state after reasonable notice and public hearing.

    The Utah SIP revisions that the EPA is proposing to approve do not interfere with any applicable requirements of the Act. The DAR section R307-110-17 and Subsection IX.H.1-4, submitted January 4, 2016, and January 19, 2017 are intended to strengthen the SIP. Therefore, CAA section 110(l) requirements are satisfied.

    Specifically, the proposed emission limits for the retained sources in the Salt Lake County nonattainment area will result in a reduction of PM10, SO2, and NOX emissions by 10.64 tpd, 12.87 tpd and 29.97 tpd, respectively, when compared to the limits established in the original PM10 SIP. Given the large net decrease in emissions from the retained major stationary sources in the Salt Lake County nonattainment area, the proposed action will enhance the area's ability to attain or maintain the NAAQS.

    The proposed emissions from Geneva Nitrogen, Provo City Power Plant, and the Springville City Corporation—Whitehead Power Plant are consistent with the 2002 SIP revisions for Utah County. Additionally, this proposed action adds three sources—BYU, Payson City Power and PacifiCorp Energy—Lake Side Power Plant. Both BYU and Payson City Power have been in existence since the original 1994 SIP, and BYU was initially included as a source in the original 1994 SIP, but was removed in 2002. The inclusion of these two sources do not reflect an increase in emissions into the Utah County nonattainment area airshed, but rather reflect a change in the approach of how stationary sources are included into the SIP. PacifiCorp Energy—Lake Side Power Plant is also being added into the SIP, but its addition does not reflect an emissions increase to the nonattainment area because the facility was required to use offsetting emissions, largely made available through the closure of the Geneva Steel facility. The closing of Geneva Steel resulted in the removal of approximately 1,700 tpy PM10, 1,400 tpy SO2, and 4,200 tpy NOX from the Utah County airshed. These emission reductions were banked and made available for purchase for future major source construction and modifications. In order to construct the Lakeside Power Plant, banked emission credits were purchased and used at an offset ratio of 1.2:1 (e.g. For every 1.0 tpy of emissions allowed at the Lakeside Power Plant, 1.2 tpy of banked emission credits must be spent from the Utah emissions credit offset registry.). In total the Lakeside Power Plant utilized banked emission credits for PM10, SO2, and NOX in the amounts of 257 tpy, 66 tpy, and 337 tpy, respectively. Given the offset ratio required for the construction of the Lakeside Power Plant, the inclusion of this source into the SIP does not result in any emissions increase to the Utah County airshed, and actually reflects a net decrease from the 2002 SIP. As a result of the decreased emissions from the closure of the Geneva Steel facility, and the offsetting ratio required to construct the Lake Side Power Plant, the proposed revision to the Utah County PM10 SIP will enhance the area's ability to attain or maintain the NAAQS.

    V. Summary of Proposed Action and Request for Public Comment

    The EPA is proposing approval and requesting public comment on revisions to Administrative Rule R307-110-17 and revisions to Subsection IX.H.1-4 as submitted by the State of Utah on January 4, 2016, and January 19, 2017. These revisions establish emissions limitations and related requirements for certain stationary sources of PM10, NOX and SO2, and will therefore serve to continue progress towards attainment and maintenance of the PM10 NAAQS in the nonattainment areas. The proposed revisions reflect more stringent emission levels for total emissions of PM10, SO2, and NOX for each of the affected facilities, as well as updates the inventory of major stationary sources to accurately reflect the current sources in both the Salt Lake County and Utah County nonattainment areas (e.g., removing sources which no longer exist, or are now covered under an area source rule). The updated list of sources and revised emission limits for the major stationary sources in the two nonattainment areas will serve to enhance both area's ability to attain or maintain the NAAQS.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the DAQ PM10 SIP revisions as discussed in section III of this preamble. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 8 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 30, 2017. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14748 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2017-0129; FRL-9964-20-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Louisiana; Regional Haze State Implementation Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve for the Entergy R. S. Nelson facility (Nelson) (1) a portion of a revision to the Louisiana Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted on February 20, 2017; and (2) a revision submitted for parallel processing on June 20, 2017, by the State of Louisiana through the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). Specifically, the EPA is proposing to approve these two revisions, which address the Best Available Retrofit Technology requirement of Regional Haze for Nelson for sulfur-dioxide (SO2) and particulate-matter (PM).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2017-0129, at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact Jennifer Huser, [email protected] For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Huser, 214-665-7347, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Jennifer Huser or Mr. Bill Deese at 214-665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background A. The Regional Haze Program B. Our Previous Actions and Our Proposed Action on Louisiana Regional Haze II. Our Evaluation of Louisiana's BART Analysis for Nelson A. Identification of Nelson as a BART-Eligible Source B. Evaluation of Whether Nelson Is Subject to BART 1. Visibility Impairment Threshold 2. CALPUFF Modeling to Screen Sources 3. Nelson is Subject to BART C. Reliance on CSAPR To Satisfy NOX BART D. Louisiana's Five-Factor Analyses for SO2 and PM BART for Nelson III. Proposed Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background A. The Regional Haze Program

    Regional haze is visibility impairment that is produced by a multitude of sources and activities that are located across a broad geographic area and emit fine particulates (PM2.5) (e.g., sulfates, nitrates, organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), and soil dust), and their precursors (e.g., sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and in some cases, ammonia (NH3) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)). Fine particle precursors react in the atmosphere to form PM2.5, which impairs visibility by scattering and absorbing light. Visibility impairment reduces the clarity, color, and visible distance that can be seen. PM2.5 can also cause serious adverse health effects and mortality in humans; it also contributes to environmental effects such as acid deposition and eutrophication.

    Data from the existing visibility monitoring network, “Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments” (IMPROVE), shows that visibility impairment caused by air pollution occurs virtually all the time at most national parks and wilderness areas. In 1999, the average visual range in many Class I areas (i.e., national parks and memorial parks, wilderness areas, and international parks meeting certain size criteria) in the western United States was 100-150 kilometers, or about one-half to two-thirds of the visual range that would exist without anthropogenic air pollution. In most of the eastern Class I areas of the United States, the average visual range was less than 30 kilometers, or about one-fifth of the visual range that would exist under estimated natural conditions. CAA programs have reduced some haze-causing pollution, lessening some visibility impairment and resulting in partially improved average visual ranges.

    CAA requirements to address the problem of visibility impairment continue to be implemented. In Section 169A of the 1977 Amendments to the CAA, Congress created a program for protecting visibility in the nation's national parks and wilderness areas. This section of the CAA establishes as a national goal the prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, man-made impairment of visibility in 156 national parks and wilderness areas designated as mandatory Class I Federal areas. On December 2, 1980, the EPA promulgated regulations to address visibility impairment in Class I areas that is “reasonably attributable” to a single source or small group of sources, i.e., “reasonably attributable visibility impairment.” These regulations represented the first phase in addressing visibility impairment. The EPA deferred action on regional haze that emanates from a variety of sources until monitoring, modeling, and scientific knowledge about the relationships between pollutants and visibility impairment were improved.

    Congress added section 169B to the CAA in 1990 to address regional haze issues, and the EPA promulgated regulations addressing regional haze in 1999. The Regional Haze Rule revised the existing visibility regulations to add provisions addressing regional haze impairment and established a comprehensive visibility protection program for Class I areas. The requirements for regional haze, found at 40 CFR 51.308 and 51.309, are included in our visibility protection regulations at 40 CFR 51.300-309. The requirement to submit a regional haze SIP applies to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. States were required to submit the first implementation plan addressing regional haze visibility impairment no later than December 17, 2007.

    Section 169A of the CAA directs states to evaluate the use of retrofit controls at certain larger, often under-controlled, older stationary sources in order to address visibility impacts from these sources. Specifically, section 169A(b)(2)(A) of the CAA requires states to revise their SIPs to contain such measures as may be necessary to make reasonable progress toward the natural visibility goal, including a requirement that certain categories of existing major stationary sources built between 1962 and 1977 procure, install, and operate the “Best Available Retrofit Technology” (BART). Larger “fossil-fuel fired steam electric plants” are one of these source categories. Under the Regional Haze Rule, states are directed to conduct BART determinations for “BART-eligible” sources that may be anticipated to cause or contribute to any visibility impairment in a Class I area. The evaluation of BART for electric generating units (EGUs) that are located at fossil-fuel fired power plants having a generating capacity in excess of 750 megawatts must follow the “Guidelines for BART Determinations Under the Regional Haze Rule” at appendix Y to 40 CFR part 51 (hereinafter referred to as the “BART Guidelines”). Rather than requiring source-specific BART controls, states also have the flexibility to adopt an emissions trading program or other alternative program as long as the alternative provides for greater progress towards improving visibility than BART.

    B. Our Previous Actions and Our Proposed Action on Louisiana Regional Haze

    On June 13, 2008, Louisiana submitted a SIP to address regional haze (2008 Louisiana Regional Haze SIP or 2008 SIP revision). We acted on that submittal in two separate actions. Our first action was a limited disapproval 1 because of deficiencies in the State's regional haze SIP submittal arising from the remand by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia of the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). Our second action was a partial limited approval/partial disapproval 2 because the 2008 SIP revision met some but not all of the applicable requirements of the CAA and our regulations as set forth in sections 169A and 169B of the CAA and 40 CFR 51.300-308, but as a whole, the 2008 SIP revision strengthened the SIP. On August 11, 2016, Louisiana submitted a SIP revision to address the deficiencies related to BART for four non-EGU facilities. We proposed to approve that revision on October 27, 2016.3

    1 77 FR 33642 (June 7, 2012).

    2 77 FR 39425 (July 3, 2012).

    3 81 FR 74750 (October 27, 2016).

    On February 10, 2017, Louisiana submitted a SIP revision intended to address the deficiencies related to BART for EGU sources (February 2017 Louisiana Regional Haze SIP or February 2017 SIP revision). We proposed approval of that SIP revision as it pertains to all of the BART-eligible EGUs in the State on May 19, 2017, except for Nelson, which we address herein.4

    4 82 FR 22936 (May 19, 2017).

    On June 20, 2017, Louisiana submitted a SIP revision with a request for parallel processing, specifically addressing the BART requirements for Nelson. (June 2017 Louisiana Regional Haze SIP or June 2017 SIP revision). This revision, along with the Nelson portion of the February 20, 2017 SIP revision, are the subject of this proposed action. Parallel processing of the June 2017 SIP revision means that, at the same time Louisiana is completing the corresponding public comment and rulemaking process at the state level, we are proposing action on it. Because Louisiana has not yet finalized the June 2017 SIP revision that we are parallel processing, we are proposing to approve this SIP revision in parallel with Louisiana's rulemaking activities. If changes are made to the State's proposed rule after the EPA's notice of proposed rulemaking, such changes must be acknowledged in the EPA's final rulemaking action. If the changes are significant, then the EPA may be obligated to withdraw our initial proposed action and re-propose. If there are no changes to the parallel-processed version, EPA would proceed with final rulemaking on the version finally adopted by Louisiana and submitted to EPA, as appropriate after consideration of public comments.

    II. Our Evaluation of Louisiana's BART Analysis for Nelson

    Nelson is located in Westlake, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The nearest Class I areas are Breton National Wilderness Area in Louisiana, located 264 miles east of the facility and Caney Creek Wilderness Area in Arkansas, located 286 miles north of the facility.

    A. Identification of Nelson as a BART-Eligible Source

    In our partial disapproval and partial limited approval of the 2008 Louisiana Regional Haze SIP, we approved the LDEQ's identification of 76 BART-eligible sources, which included Nelson.5 Nelson is a fossil-fuel steam electric power generating facility and operates three BART-eligible steam generating units: Unit 4, Unit 4 Auxiliary Boiler, and Unit 6.

    5 See 77 FR 11839 at 11848 (February 28, 2012).

    B. Evaluation of Whether Nelson Is Subject to BART

    Because Louisiana's 2008 Regional Haze SIP relied on CAIR as a BART alternative for EGUs, the submittal did not include a determination of which BART-eligible EGUs were subject to BART. On May 19, 2015, we sent a CAA Section 114 letter to the Nelson BART-eligible source in Louisiana. In that letter, we noted our understanding that the source was actively working with the LDEQ to develop a SIP. However, in order to be in a position to develop a FIP should that be necessary, we requested information regarding the BART-eligible sources, including Nelson. The Section 114 letter required the source to conduct modeling to determine if the source was subject to BART, and included a modeling protocol. The letter also requested that a BART analysis be performed in accordance with the BART Guidelines for Nelson if determined to be subject to BART. We worked closely with the BART-eligible facility and with the LDEQ to this end, and all the information we received from the facility was also sent to the LDEQ. As a result, the LDEQ submitted the February and June SIP revisions addressing BART for Nelson. The LDEQ provides a BART determination for each of the three units at the source for all visibility impairing pollutants except NOX.6 Once a list of BART-eligible sources still in operation within a state has been compiled, the state must determine whether to make BART determinations for all of them or to consider exempting some of them from BART because they are not reasonably anticipated to cause or contribute to any visibility impairment in a Class I area. The BART Guidelines present several options that rely on modeling analyses and/or emissions analyses to determine if a source is not reasonably anticipated to cause or contribute to visibility impairment in a Class I area. A source that is not reasonably anticipated to cause or contribute to any visibility impairment in a Class I area is not “subject to BART,” and for such sources, a state need not apply the five statutory factors to make a BART determination.7 Sources that are reasonably anticipated to cause or contribute to any visibility impairment in a Class I area are subject to BART.8 For each source subject to BART, 40 CFR 51.308(e)(1)(ii)(A) requires that the LDEQ identify the level of control representing BART after considering the factors set out in CAA section 169A(g)(2). To determine which sources are anticipated to contribute to visibility impairment, the BART Guidelines state “you can use CALPUFF or other appropriate model to estimate the visibility impacts from a single source at a Class I area.”9

    6 We have previously proposed approval of the portion of LDEQ's February 2017 revision that relies on CSAPR participation as an alternative to source-specific EGU BART for NOX, therefore, a source by source analysis for NOX is unnecessary. 82 FR 22936, at 22943.

    7 See 40 CFR part 51, Appendix Y, III, How to Identify Sources “Subject to BART”.

    8Id.

    9 See 40 CFR part 51, Appendix Y, III, How to Identify Sources “Subject to BART”.

    1. Visibility Impairment Threshold

    The preamble to the BART Guidelines advise that, “for purposes of determining which sources are subject to BART, States should consider a 1.0 deciview 10 change or more from an individual source to `cause' visibility impairment, and a change of 0.5 deciviews to `contribute' to impairment.” 11 They further advise that “States should have discretion to set an appropriate threshold depending on the facts of the situation,” and describes situations in which states may wish to exercise that discretion, mainly in situations in which a number of sources in an area are all contributing fairly equally to the visibility impairment of a Class I area. In Louisiana's 2008 Regional Haze SIP submittal, the LDEQ used a contribution threshold of 0.5 dv for determining which sources are subject to BART, and we approved this threshold in our previous action.12

    10 As we note in the Regional Haze Rule (64 FR 35725, July 1, 1999), the “deciview” or “dv” is an atmospheric haze index that expresses changes in visibility. This visibility metric expresses uniform changes in haziness in terms of common increments across the entire range of visibility conditions, from pristine to extremely hazy conditions.

    11 70 FR 39104, 39120 (July 6, 2005), [40 CFR part 51, Appendix Y].

    12 See, 77 FR 11839, 11849 (February 28, 2012).

    2. CALPUFF Modeling to Screen Sources

    The BART Guidelines recommend that the 24-hour average actual emission rate from the highest emitting day of the meteorological period be modeled, unless this rate reflects periods of start-up, shutdown, or malfunction. The maximum 24-hour emission rate (lb/hr) for NOX and SO2 from the baseline period (2000-2004) for the source is identified through a review of the daily emission data for each BART-eligible unit from the EPA's Air Markets Program Data.13 Because daily emissions are not available for PM, maximum 24-hr PM emissions are estimated based on permit limits, maximum heat input, and AP-42 factors, and/or stack testing. EPA conducted CALPUFF modeling and provided it to LDEQ to determine whether Nelson causes or contributes to visibility impairment in nearby Class I areas (see Appendix F of the June 2017 SIP revision). See the CALPUFF Modeling TSD for additional discussion on modeling protocol, model inputs, and model results for this portion of the screening analysis. The CALPUFF modeling establishes that Nelson's visibility impacts are above LDEQ's chosen threshold of 0.5 dv.

    13http://ampd.epa.gov/ampd/.

    3. Nelson Is Subject to BART

    The BART-eligible units at the Nelson facility have visibility impacts greater than 0.5 dv. Therefore, Nelson is subject to BART and must undergo a five-factor analysis. See our CALPUFF Modeling TSD for further information.

    We note that, in addition to CALPUFF modeling, Appendix D of the February 2017 SIP revision includes the results of CAMx modeling 14 performed by Trinity consultants for Entergy. This modeling purports to demonstrate that the baseline visibility impacts from Nelson 15 are significantly less than the 0.5 dv threshold. However, this modeling was not conducted in accordance with the BART Guidelines or a previous modeling protocol we developed for the use of CAMx modeling for BART screening,16 and does not properly assess maximum baseline impacts. Therefore, we agree with LDEQ's decision in the February 2017 SIP revision to not rely on this CAMx modeling.17 See the CAMx Modeling TSD for a detailed discussion. We also note that, for the largest emission sources in Louisiana, such as the Nelson facility, we performed our own CAMx modeling while following the BART Guidelines and the modeling protocol to provide additional information on visibility impacts and impairment and address possible concerns with utilizing CALPUFF to assess visibility impacts at Class I areas located at large distances from the emission sources. Our CAMx modeling indicates that Nelson has a maximum impact 18 of 2.22 dv at Caney Creek, with 31 days out of the 365 days modeled exceeding 0.5 dv, and 9 days exceeding 1.0 dv. See the CAMx Modeling TSD for additional information on the EPA's CAMx modeling protocol, inputs, and model results.

    14 CAMx Modeling Report, prepared for Entergy Services by Trinity Consultants, Inc. and All 4 Inc, October 14, 2016, included in Appendix D of the February 2017 Louisiana Regional Haze SIP submittal.

    15 Entergy's CAMx modeling included model results for Michoud, Little Gypsy, R.S. Nelson, Ninemile Point, Willow Glen, and Waterford.

    16 Texas was the only state that developed a modeling protocol, which EPA approved, to screen sources using CAMx. Texas had over 120 BART-eligible facilities located at a wide range of distances to the nearest class I areas in their original Regional Haze SIP. CAMx modeling was appropriate in that instance due to the distances between sources and Class I areas and the number of sources. Texas worked with EPA and FLM representatives to develop this modeling protocol, which proscribed how the modeling was to be performed and what metrics had to be evaluated for determining if a source screened out. See Guidance for the Application of the CAMx Hybrid Photochemical Grid Model to Assess Visibility Impacts of Texas BART Sources at Class I Areas, ENVIRON International, December 13, 2007, available in the docket for this action. EPA, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and FLM representatives verbally approved the approach in 2006 and in email exchange with TCEQ representatives in February 2007 (see email from Erik Snyder (EPA) to Greg Nudd of TCEQ Feb. 13, 2007 and response email from Greg Nudd to Erik Snyder Feb. 15, 2007, available in the docket for this action).

    17 See Response to Comments in Appendix A of the 2017 Louisiana Regional Haze SIP submittal.

    18 Maximum impact is defined as the maximum or1st high out of all modeled days (365 days in 2002).

    C. Reliance on CSAPR To Satisfy NOX BART

    Louisiana's February 2017 SIP revision relies on CSAPR as a BART alternative for NOX for EGUs. In our previous proposed approval of this February 2017 SIP revision,19 we proposed to find that the NOX BART requirements for all EGUs in Louisiana, including Nelson, will be satisfied by our determination and proposed for separate finalization that Louisiana's participation in CSAPR's ozone-season NOX program is a permissible alternative to source-specific NOX BART.20 We cannot finalize this portion of that proposed SIP approval action unless and until we finalize our separate proposed finding that CSAPR continues to provide for greater reasonable progress than BART 21 because finalization of that proposal provides the basis for Louisiana to rely on CSAPR participation as an alternative to source-specific EGU BART for NOX. If for some reason our proposed approval of LDEQ's reliance on CSAPR as a BART alternative cannot be finalized, source-by-source BART analyses for NOX will be required for all subject-to-BART EGUs in Louisiana, including Nelson.

    19 82 FR 22936.

    20Id, at 22943.

    21 81 FR 78954.

    D. Louisiana's Five-Factor Analyses for SO2 and PM BART for Nelson

    In determining BART, the state must consider the five statutory factors in section 169A of the CAA: (1) The costs of compliance; (2) the energy and non-air quality environmental impacts of compliance; (3) any existing pollution control technology in use at the source; (4) the remaining useful life of the source; and (5) the degree of improvement in visibility which may reasonably be anticipated to result from the use of such technology. See also 40 CFR 51.308(e)(1)(ii)(A). All units that are subject to BART must undergo a BART analysis. The BART Guidelines break the analysis down into five steps: 22

    22 70 FR 39103, 39164 (July 6, 2005) [40 CFR 51, App. Y].

    STEP 1—Identify All Available Retrofit Control Technologies,

    STEP 2—Eliminate Technically Infeasible Options,

    STEP 3—Evaluate Control Effectiveness of Remaining Control Technologies,

    STEP 4—Evaluate Impacts and Document the Results, and

    STEP 5—Evaluate Visibility Impacts.

    As mentioned previously, we disapproved portions of Louisiana's 2008 Regional Haze SIP due to the State's reliance on CAIR as an alternative to source-by-source BART for EGUs.23 Following our limited disapproval, LDEQ worked closely with Louisiana's BART eligible EGUs, including Nelson, and with us to revise its Regional Haze SIP, which resulted in the submittal of its February and June 2017 SIP revisions addressing BART for Nelson. Although the February 2017 SIP revision addressed Nelson, we did not propose to take action on the SO2 and PM BART for Nelson in our May 19, 2017 proposed approval.24 Louisiana's February 2017 SIP revision relies on CSAPR participation as an alternative to source-specific EGU BART for NOX. The June 2017 SIP revision includes additional information that the State used to evaluate BART for the Nelson facility. Nelson has three BART-eligible steam generating units: Unit 4, Unit 4 Auxiliary Boiler, and Unit 6.

    23 77 FR 33642.

    24 82 FR 22936.

    Unit 4 is permitted to combust natural gas, No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6 fuel oils, and refinery fuel gas. Unit 4 has a maximum heat-rated capacity of 5,400 MMBtu/hour and exhausts out of one stack. It has flue gas recirculation equipment installed for control of NOX emissions. The Unit 4 Auxiliary Boiler is permitted to burn natural gas and fuel oil.

    Unit 6 burns coal as its primary fuel and No. 2 and No. 4 fuel oils as secondary fuels. Unit 6 has a maximum heat-rated capacity of 6,216 MMBtu/hour and exhausts out of one stack. It has an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) with flue gas conditioning for control of PM emissions. Unit 6 has installed Separated Overfire Air Technology (SOFA) and a Low NOX Concentric Firing System (LNCFS) for NOX control. Entergy submitted a BART screening analysis to us and the LDEQ on August 31, 2015, and a BART five-factor analysis dated November 9, 2015, revised April 15, 2016, in response to an information request.25 These analyses were adopted and incorporated into Louisiana's February 2017 SIP revision (Appendix D). As part of our effort to assist the State, we submitted a draft analysis of Entergy's CALPUFF and CAMx modeling, our own draft CAMx and CALPUFF modeling, and our own draft cost analysis for Nelson to LDEQ. These analyses were adopted and incorporated into Louisiana's June 2017 SIP revision (Appendix F).

    25 Letter from Wren Stenger, Director, Multimedia Planning and Permitting Division, EPA Region 6, to Renee Masinter, Entergy Louisiana (May 19, 2015); letter from Wren Stenger to Paul Castanon, Entergy Gulf States (May 19, 2015; and letter from Wren Stenger to Marcus Brown, Entergy New Orleans (May 19, 2015).

    Unit 4 and Unit 4 Auxiliary Boiler

    These units are currently permitted to burn natural gas and fuel oil. However, Entergy has not burned fuel oil at either unit in several years. Further, Entergy has no current operational plans to burn fuel oil. The LDEQ did not conduct a five-factor BART analysis for these units. The preamble to the BART Guidelines states: 26

    26 70 FR 39116.

    Consistent with the CAA and the implementing regulations, States can adopt a more streamlined approach to making BART determinations where appropriate. Although BART determinations are based on the totality of circumstances in a given situation, such as the distance of the source from a Class I area, the type and amount of pollutant at issue, and the availability and cost of controls, it is clear that in some situations, one or more factors will clearly suggest an outcome. Thus, for example, a State need not undertake an exhaustive analysis of a source's impact on visibility resulting from relatively minor emissions of a pollutant where it is clear that controls would be costly and any improvements in visibility resulting from reductions in emissions of that pollutant would be negligible. In a scenario, for example, where a source emits thousands of tons of SO2 but less than one hundred tons of NOX, the State could easily conclude that requiring expensive controls to reduce NOX would not be appropriate.

    The SO2 and PM emissions from gas-fired units are inherently low,27 so the installation of any additional PM or SO2 controls on this unit would likely achieve very small emissions reductions and have minimal visibility benefits.

    27 AP 42, Fifth Edition, Volume 1, Chapter 1: External Sources, Section 1.4, Natural Gas Combustion, available here: https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/chief/ap42/ch01/final/c01s04.pdf.

    To address SO2 and PM BART for Unit 4 and the Unit 4 Auxiliary boiler, the June 2017 SIP revision precludes fuel-oil combustion at these units. To make the prohibition on fuel-oil usage enforceable, Entergy and the LDEQ intend to enter an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC), included in the June 2017 SIP revision, that establishes the following requirement:

    Before fuel oil firing is allowed to take place at Unit 4, and the auxiliary boiler at the Facility, a revised BART determination must be promulgated for SO2 and PM for the fuel oil firing scenario through a FIP or an action by the LDEQ as a SIP revision and approved by the EPA such that the action will become federally enforceable.

    We propose to approve the AOC as sufficient to meet the SO2 and PM BART requirements for Unit 4 and the Unit 4 Auxiliary Boiler. If we finalize our approval of the AOC, it will become federally enforceable for purposes of regional haze.

    Unit 6 Identification of Controls

    In assessing SO2 BART in the February 2017 SIP revision (Appendix D), Entergy considered the five BART factors. In assessing feasible control technologies and their effectiveness, Entergy considered low-sulfur coal, Dry Sorbent Injection (DSI), an enhanced DSI system, dry scrubbing (spray dry absorption, or SDA), and wet scrubbing (wet flue gas desulfurization, or wet FGD).

    DSI is performed by injecting a dry reagent into the hot flue gas, which chemically reacts with SO2 and other gases to form a solid product that is subsequently captured by the particulate control device. We agree with the LDEQ that no technical feasibility concerns warrant removing these controls from consideration as potential BART options for Unit 6.

    SO2 scrubbing techniques utilize a large dedicated vessel in which the chemical reaction between the sorbent 28 and SO2 takes place either completely or in large part. In contrast to DSI systems, SO2 scrubbers add water to the sorbent when introduced to the flue gas. The two predominant types of SO2 scrubbing employed at coal-fired EGUs are limestone wet FGD and lime SDA. These controls are in wide use and have been retrofitted to a variety of boiler types and plant configurations. We agree with the LDEQ that no technical feasibility concerns warrant removing these controls from consideration as potential BART options for Unit 6.

    28 Limestone is the most common sorbent used in wet scrubbing, while lime is the most common sorbent used in dry scrubbing.

    Utilization of coal with a lower sulfur content will also result in a reduction in SO2 emissions. Thus, Entergy identified switching to a lower sulfur coal in order to meet an emission limit of 0.6 lb/MMBtu as a potential BART control option. We note that the BART Guidelines do not require states to consider fuel supply changes as a potential control option,29 but states are free to do so at their discretion.

    29 40 CFR part 51, Appendix Y, Section IV.D.1.5, “STEP 1: How do I identify all available retrofit emission control techniques?”

    Control-Effectiveness

    Entergy assessed SDA and wet FGD as being capable of achieving SO2 emission rates of 0.06 lb/MMBtu and 0.04 lb/MMBtu, respectively. As we discuss in the TSD, based on review of IPM documentation, industry publications, and real-world monitoring data, we agree with the LDEQ that 98% control efficiency for wet FGD and 95% control efficiency for SDA are reasonable assumptions and consistent with the emission rates identified by Entergy.

    Entergy determined that DSI could achieve an SO2 emission rate of 0.47 lb/MMBtu when coupled with the existing Unit 6 ESP and that enhanced DSI could achieve an SO2 emission rate of 0.19 lb/MMBtu when coupled with a new fabric filter. Finally, Entergy determined that switching to a lower sulfur coal could reduce the SO2 emission rate at Unit 6 to approximately 0.6 lb/MMBtu.

    Impact Analysis

    Entergy presented cost-effectiveness figures for each control they evaluated. Entergy estimated that the cost-effectiveness of switching to lower sulfur coal (LSC) would be $597/ton of emissions removed, the cost-effectiveness of DSI would be $5,590/ton, the cost-effectiveness of enhanced DSI would be $5,611/ton, the cost-effectiveness of SDA would be $4,536/ton, and the cost-effectiveness of wet FGD would be $4,413/ton. See Appendix D of the February 2017 Louisiana Regional Haze SIP. In general, Entergy's DSI and scrubber cost calculations were based on a propriety database, so we were unable to verify any of the company's costs. We solicit comment with respect to any information that would support or refute the undocumented costs in Entergy's evaluation. We also note that Entergy's control cost estimates included costs not allowed under our Control Cost Manual (e.g., escalation during construction and owner's costs).30 Entergy also assumed a contingency of 25%, which we note is unusually high. The lack of documentation aside, removing the disallowed costs and adjusting the contingency to a more reasonable value of 10% significantly improves (lower $/ton) Entergy's cost-effectiveness estimates. For instance, assuming the same SO2 baseline as we used in our analyses,31 Entergy's SDA cost-effectiveness would improve from a value of $5,094/ton to $4,154/ton.

    30 As noted in our letter to Kelly McQueen of Entergy on March 16, 2016, we requested documentation for the Nelson Unit 6 cost analyses. Entergy replied on April 15, 2016, but did not supply any additional site specific documentation.

    31 Our SO2 baseline, used in all of our cost-effectiveness calculations (including our adjustment of Entergy's cost analyses), was obtained from eliminating the max and min of the Nelson Unit 6 annual SO2 emissions from 2012-2016, and averaging the SO2 emissions from the remaining years.

    Regarding the cost to switch to lower sulfur coal, Entergy states that its $597/ton cost-effectiveness value is based on a lower sulfur coal premium of $0.50/ton, but Entergy does not provide any documentation to support this figure. We examined information regarding Entergy's coal purchases for Nelson Unit 6 from the Energy Information Administration. This information indicated that, although there is some variability in the data, the premium Entergy has historically paid for lower sulfur coal has averaged higher than $0.50/ton.32 We solicit comments on Entergy's $0.50/ton figure.

    32 We calculated a premium of $2.48 based on a review of coal purchase data for 2016 from EIA. See the TSD for additional information.

    Because of these issues, we developed our own control cost analyses, which we present in our TSD. Table 1 summarizes the results of our analyses. For our cost-effectiveness calculations, we used a SO2 baseline constructed from annual SO2 emissions from the 2012-2016 period.33 LDEQ incorporated our cost analysis into Appendix F of its June 2017 SIP revision along with Entergy's cost analysis.

    33 Our SO2 baseline, used in all of our cost-effectiveness calculations (including our adjustment of Entergy's cost analyses), was obtained from eliminating the max and min of the Nelson Unit 6 annual SO2 emissions from 2012-2016, and averaging the SO2 emissions from the remaining years.

    Table 1—Summary of EPA's Cost Analysis Unit Control Control level
  • (%)
  • SO2 reduction
  • (tpy)
  • 2016 Total annualized cost 2016 Cost-
  • effectiveness
  • ($/ton)
  • 2016
  • Incremental cost-
  • effectiveness
  • ($/ton) *
  • Nelson Unit 6 Low-Sulfur Coal 11.3 1,149 $3,397,281 $2,957 $2,957 DSI 50 5,082 18,180,195 3,578 3,759 SDA 92.11 9,361 25,332,736 2,706 1,671 Wet FGD 94.74 9,628 26,409,798 2,743 4,027 * For low-sulfur coal, the incremental $/ton is relative to use of coal typically used by the source in the past. For each remaining control, incremental $/ton is relative to the control in the row above.

    In assessing energy impacts, Entergy identified additional power requirements associated with operating DSI, SDA, and wet FGD. Documentation issues aside, these auxiliary-power costs were accounted for in the variable operating costs in the cost evaluation. Entergy did not identify any energy impacts associated with switching to a lower sulfur coal. We agree with LDEQ's identification of the energy impacts associated with each of the control options.

    In assessing non-air quality environmental impacts, Entergy noted that DSI, SDA, and wet FGD would add spent reagent to the waste stream generated by the facility. Entergy accounted for these waste-disposal costs in the variable operating costs in the cost evaluation. See our TSD for further information. Entergy did not identify any non-air quality environmental impacts associated with switching to a lower sulfur coal. We agree with LDEQ's identification of the non-air quality environmental impacts associated with each of the control options.

    In assessing remaining useful life, Entergy indicated this factor did not impact the evaluation of controls as there is no enforceable commitment in place to retire Unit 6. We agree with LDEQ that Entergy's use of a 30-year equipment life for the DSI, SDA, and wet FGD cost evaluations, which is consistent with the Control Cost Manual, was therefore appropriate.

    In assessing visibility impacts, Entergy evaluated the visibility impacts and potential benefits of each control option (See Appendix D for Entergy's visibility BART analysis for Nelson Unit 6). However, Entergy's CALPUFF modeling included errors in its estimates of sulfuric acid and PM emissions.34 EPA performed CALPUFF modeling to correct for these errors (See CALPUFF Modeling TSD). The LDEQ incorporated our modeling, among other things, into the June 2017 SIP revision (Appendix F) and considered it along with the visibility analysis developed by Entergy. As we discuss above and in the CAMx Modeling TSD, Entergy also provided additional screening modeling results using CAMx to support its conclusion that visibility impacts from Unit 6 are minimal. However, this modeling was not conducted in accordance with the BART Guidelines and does not properly assess maximum baseline impacts, so we consider this CAMx modeling provided by Entergy to be invalid for supporting a determination of minimal visibility impacts. We performed our own CAMx modeling that follows the BART Guidelines and uses appropriate techniques and metrics to provide additional information on visibility impacts and benefits and to address possible concerns with utilizing CALPUFF to assess visibility impacts at Class I areas located farther from the emission sources. The LDEQ also incorporated this information into the June 2017 SIP revision (Appendix F) and considered it along with the visibility analysis developed by Entergy.

    34 See the CALPUFF Modeling TSD for discussion of these errors and corrected values.

    EPA's CAMx modeling for Unit 6 directly evaluated the maximum baseline visibility impacts and potential benefits from DSI. In addition to the DSI modeled benefits, visibility benefits for SDA, wet FGD, and low-sulfur coal were estimated based on linear extrapolation for the average across the top ten impacted days using the modeled baseline and DSI visibility impacts, and estimated emission reductions. We note that the baseline emission rate modeled is based on 24-hr actual emissions during the baseline period (2000-2004), while the control scenario emission rates are based on anticipated 30-day emission rates, as noted in the table below. At a maximum heat input of 6,126 MMBtu/hr for the boiler, the baseline short-term emission rate is approximately 1.2 lb/MMBtu for the 2000-2004 baseline. The results of this modeling for the maximum-impact day and the average across the top ten most impacted baseline days are summarized in Table 2. We note that wet FGD is estimated to provide a very small visibility benefit over SDA on average across the top ten most impacted baseline days, so we do not show the results for wet FGD in this table. See the CAMx Modeling TSD for a full description of the modeling and model results.

    Table 2—Summary of EPA's Visibility Analysis (CAMx) Class I area Baseline
  • impact a (dv)
  • (maximum)
  • Baseline
  • Impact (dv)
  • (average for top ten impacted days)
  • Visibility
  • benefit of
  • controls over baseline (dv) maximum
  • impact
  • DSI b Visibility benefit of controls over baseline (dv) average for top ten
  • impacted days
  • Low-sulfur coal c DSI d SDA e
    Breton 0.599 0.314 0.250 0.133 0.165 0.266 Caney Creek 2.179 1.302 1.187 0.411 0.511 0.831 Mingo 1.468 0.785 0.370 0.215 0.265 0.430 Upper Buffalo 1.219 0.934 0.374 0.330 0.408 0.663 Hercules-Glade 1.287 0.777 0.473 0.273 0.338 0.548 Wichita Mountains 0.575 0.412 0.287 0.180 0.223 0.360 a 2000-2004 baseline. b DSI at 0.47 lb/MMBtu. c Low-Sulfur Coal benefit (at 0.6 lb/MMBtu, estimated based on linear extrapolation of baseline and DSI visibility impacts at each Class I area. d DSI at 0.47 lb/MMBtu. e SDA at 0.06 lb/MMBtu, estimated based on linear extrapolation of baseline and DSI visibility impacts at each Class I area.
    Louisiana's SO2 BART Determination for Nelson Unit 6

    The LDEQ weighed the statutory factors, reviewed Entergy's and EPA's information, and concluded that SO2 BART is an emission limit of 0.6 lbs/MMBtu based on a 30-day rolling average, consistent with the use of lower-sulfur coal. The LDEQ acknowledged that the visibility benefits of SDA and wet FGD are larger than those associated with lower-sulfur coal, but explained that lower-sulfur coal still achieves some visibility benefits and at a lower annual cost. The LDEQ also noted that SDA and wet FGD create additional waste due to spent reagent and have additional power demands to run the equipment.

    Louisiana's PM BART Determination for Nelson Unit 6

    The LDEQ noted that Nelson Unit 6 is currently equipped with an ESP to control PM emissions, the visibility impacts from PM emissions are small, and that any additional controls beyond the ESP would have minimal visibility benefits and would not be cost-effective. Therefore, the LDEQ determined that PM BART is an emission limit of 317.61 lb/hr, consistent with the use of the existing ESP.

    Our Review of Louisiana's BART Determination for Nelson Unit 6

    We propose to approve LDEQ's proposed finding in the June 2017 SIP revision that the visibility impacts from Unit 6's PM emissions are so minimal that any additional PM controls would result in very minimal visibility benefits that would not justify the cost of any upgrades and/or operational changes needed to achieve a more stringent emission limit. Unit 6 is currently equipped with an ESP for controlling PM emissions. The PM control efficiency of ESPs varies somewhat with the design of the ESP, the resistivity of the PM, and the maintenance of the ESP. We do not have information on the control efficiency of the ESP in use at Unit 6. However, reported control efficiencies for well-maintained ESPs typically range from greater than 99% to 99.9%.35 We consider this pertinent in concluding that the potential additional PM control that a baghouse could offer over an ESP would be very minimal and come at a very high cost.36 Also, our visibility modeling indicates that the impact from Unit 6's baseline PM emissions is very small, so the visibility improvement from replacing the ESP with a baghouse would be only a fraction of that small impact.37 As discussed above, states can adopt a more streamlined approach to making BART determinations where appropriate. We therefore propose to agree with Louisiana that no additional controls are required to satisfy PM BART. In the June 2017 SIP revision, the LDEQ and Entergy have proposed to enter into an AOC establishing an enforceable limit on PM10 consistent with current controls at 317.61 lb/hr on a 30-day rolling basis. We are proposing to approve this AOC if it is finalized without significant changes and included in the final submittal.

    35 EPA, “Air Pollution Control Technology Fact Sheet: Dry Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP)—Wire Plate Type,” EPA-452/F-03-028. Grieco, G., “Particulate Matter Control for Coal-fired Generating Units: Separating Perception from Fact,” apcmag.net, February, 2012. Moretti, A. L.; Jones, C. S., “Advanced Emissions Control Technologies for Coal-Fired Power Plants, Babcox and Wilcox Technical Paper BR-1886, Presented at Power-Gen Asia, Bangkok, Thailand, October 3-5, 2012.

    36 We do not discount the potential health benefits this additional control can have for ambient PM. However, the regional haze program is only concerned with improving the visibility at Class I areas.

    37 See the TSD for additional information.

    We are also proposing to approve the LDEQ's February 2017 SIP revision as revised by the LDEQ's June 2017 SIP revision that addresses BART for the Nelson facility, including the State's proposed finding that lower sulfur coal is the appropriate SO2 BART control for Unit 6. LDEQ has weighed the statutory factors and after a review of both Entergy's and EPA's information has concluded that BART is the emission limit of 0.6 lbs/MMBtu based on a 30-day rolling average as defined in the AOC. The LDEQ and Entergy have proposed to enter into an AOC establishing an enforceable limit of SO2 at 0.6 lbs/MMBtu on a 30-day rolling basis. The emission limit will become enforceable upon EPA's final approval of the SIP. We are proposing to approve this AOC if finalized without significant changes and if it is included in the final submittal.

    As the energy industry evolves, the LDEQ has committed to continue to work with EGUs throughout Louisiana to evaluate the operation of utilities. As such, the LDEQ will engage in discussions with Entergy about any potential changes in usage or emission rates at the Nelson facility. Any such changes will be considered for reasonable progress for future planning periods as appropriate.

    III. Proposed Action

    We are proposing to approve the remaining portion of the Louisiana's Regional Haze SIP revision submitted on February 10, 2017, related to the Entergy Nelson facility and the SIP revision submitted to the EPA for parallel processing on June 20, 2017 that establishes BART for the Nelson facility. We propose to approve the BART determination for Nelson Units 6 and 4 and Unit 4 auxiliary boiler, and the AOC that makes emission limits that represent BART permanent and enforceable for the purposes of regional haze. We solicit comment with respect to any information that would support or refute the undocumented costs in Entergy's evaluation for SO2 controls on Unit 6. Once we take final action on our proposed approval of Louisiana's 2016 SIP revision addressing non-EGU BART,38 our proposed approval addressing BART for all other BART-eligible EGUs 39 and this proposal to address SO2 and PM BART for the Nelson facility, we will have fulfilled all outstanding obligations with respect to the Louisiana regional haze program for the first planning period.

    38 81 FR 74750 (October 27, 2016).

    39 82 FR 22936 (May 19, 2017).

    The EPA has made the preliminary determination that the June 2017 SIP revision requested by the State to be parallel processed is in accordance with the CAA and consistent with the CAA and the EPA's policy and guidance. Therefore, the EPA is proposing action on the June 2017 SIP revision in parallel with the State's rulemaking process. After the State completes its rulemaking process, adopts its final regulations, and submits these final adopted regulations as a revision to the Louisiana SIP, the EPA will prepare a final action. If changes are made to the State's proposed rule after the EPA's notice of proposed rulemaking, such changes must be acknowledged in the EPA's final rulemaking action. If the changes are significant, then the EPA may be obligated to withdraw our initial proposed action and re-propose.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because this action does not involve technical standards; and

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur dioxides, Visibility, Interstate transport of pollution, Regional haze, Best available control technology.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 23, 2017. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14693 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 62 [EPA-R02-OAR-2017-0132, FRL-9962-42-Region 2] Approval and Promulgation of Plans for Designated Facilities; New Jersey; Delegation of Authority AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a request from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) for delegation of authority to implement and enforce the Federal plan for Sewage Sludge Incineration (SSI) units. On April 29, 2016 the EPA promulgated the Federal plan for SSI units to fulfill the requirements of sections 111(d)/129 of the Clean Air Act. The Federal plan addresses the implementation and enforcement of the emission guidelines applicable to existing SSI units located in areas not covered by an approved and currently effective state plan. The Federal plan imposes emission limits and other control requirements for existing affected SSI facilities which will reduce designated pollutants.

    On January 24, 2017, the NJDEP signed a Memorandum of Agreement which is intended to be the mechanism for the transfer of authority between the EPA and the NJDEP and defines the policies, responsibilities and procedures pursuant to the Federal plan for existing SSI units.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R02-OAR-2017-0132 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anthony (Ted) Gardella, Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866, at (212) 637-3892, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section is arranged as follows:

    Table of Contents I. What action is the EPA proposing? II. Why is the EPA proposing this action? III. What was submitted by the NJDEP and how did the EPA respond? IV. What are the Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements? V. What guidance did the EPA use to evaluate the NJDEP's delegation request? VI. What is the EPA's conclusion? VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What action is the EPA proposing?

    The EPA is proposing to approve the NJDEP's request for delegation of authority to implement and enforce a Federal plan and to adhere to the terms and conditions prescribed in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed between the EPA and the NJDEP, as further explained below. The NJDEP requested delegation of authority of the Federal plan for existing applicable Sewage Sludge Incineration (SSI) units constructed on or before October 14, 2010. See 40 CFR part 62, subpart LLL. The Federal plan was promulgated by the EPA to implement emission guidelines (see 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM) pursuant to sections 111(d) and 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The purpose of this delegation is to acknowledge the NJDEP's ability to implement a program and to transfer primary implementation and enforcement responsibility from the EPA to the NJDEP for existing applicable sources of SSI units. While the NJDEP is delegated the authority to implement and enforce the SSI Federal plan, nothing in the delegation agreement shall prohibit the EPA from enforcing the SSI Federal plan.

    II. Why is the EPA proposing this action?

    The EPA is proposing this action to:

    • Give the public the opportunity to submit comments on the EPA's proposed action, as discussed in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice;

    • Fulfill a goal of the CAA to place state governments in positions of leadership for air pollution prevention and control; and

    • Allow the NJDEP to implement and enforce a Federal plan promulgated by the EPA that implements emission guidelines pursuant to sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA.

    III. What was submitted by the NJDEP and how did the EPA respond?

    On October 12, 2016, the NJDEP submitted to the EPA a request for delegation of authority from the EPA to implement and enforce the Federal plan for existing SSI units. The EPA prepared the MOA that defines the policies, responsibilities, and procedures by which the Federal plan will be administered by both the NJDEP and the EPA, pursuant to 40 CFR part 62, subpart LLL for SSI units. The MOA is the mechanism for the transfer of responsibility from the EPA to the NJDEP.

    Both the EPA and the NJDEP signed the MOA in which the State agrees to the terms and conditions of the MOA and accepts responsibility to implement and enforce the policies, responsibilities and procedures of the SSI Federal plan. The transfer of authority to the NJDEP became effective upon signature by the NJDEP on January 24, 2017.

    IV. What are the CAA requirements?

    Sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA require states to submit plans to control certain pollutants (designated pollutants) at existing solid waste combustor facilities and municipal solid waste landfills (designated facilities) whenever standards of performance have been established under section 111(b) for new sources of the same type and the EPA has established emission guidelines (EG) for such existing sources. A designated pollutant is any pollutant for which no air quality criteria has been issued or which is not included on a list published under section 108(a) (national ambient air quality standards) or section 112 (hazardous air pollutants) of the CAA, but emissions of which would be subject to a standard of performance for new stationary sources under section 111(b). In addition, section 129 of the CAA also requires the EPA to promulgate EG for solid waste incineration units that emit specific air pollutants or a mixture of air pollutants. These pollutants include organics (dioxins and dibenzofurans), carbon monoxide, metals (cadmium, lead and mercury), acid gases (hydrogen chloride, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen), particulate matter and opacity (as appropriate).

    On March 21, 2011 (76 FR 15372), the EPA promulgated NSPS and EG for SSI units, 40 CFR part 60, subparts LLLL and MMMM, respectively. The designated facility to which the EG applies is existing SSI units, as stipulated in subpart MMMM, that commenced construction on or before October 14, 2010. See 40 CFR 60.5060 for details.

    Pursuant to section 129 of the CAA, state plan requirements must be “at least as protective” as the EG and become federally enforceable upon approval by the EPA. The procedures for adoption and submittal of state plans are codified in 40 CFR part 60, subpart B. For states that fail to submit a plan, the EPA is required to develop and implement a Federal plan within two years following promulgation of the EG. The EPA implementation and enforcement of the Federal plan is viewed as an interim measure until states assume their role as the preferred implementers of the EG requirements stipulated in the Federal plan. Accordingly, the EPA encourages states to develop their own plan, or request delegation of the Federal plan, as the NJDEP has done.

    V. What guidance did the EPA use to evaluate the NJDEP's delegation request?

    The EPA evaluated the NJDEP's request for delegation of the SSI Federal plan pursuant to the provisions of the SSI Federal plan and the EPA's Delegation Manual.1 Section 62.15865 of the SSI Federal plan establishes that a state may meet its CAA section 111(d)/129 obligations by submitting an acceptable written request for delegation of the Federal plan that includes the following requirements: (1) A demonstration of adequate resources and legal authority to administer and enforce the Federal plan; (2) an inventory of affected SSI units, an inventory of emissions from affected SSI units, and provisions for state progress reports (see items under § 60.5015(a)(1), (2) and (7) from the SSI EG); (3) certification that the hearing on the state delegation request, similar to the hearing for a state plan submittal, was held, a list of witnesses and their organizational affiliations, if any, appearing at the hearing, and a brief written summary of each presentation or written submission; and (4) a commitment to enter into a MOA with the Regional Administrator that sets forth the terms, conditions and effective date of the delegation and that serves as the mechanism for the transfer of authority. Under the EPA's Delegation Manual, item 7-139, the Regional Administrator is authorized to delegate implementation and enforcement of sections 111(d)/129 Federal plans to state environmental agencies. The requirements and limitations of a delegation agreement are defined in item 7-139. The Regional Administrator may consider delegating authority to implement and enforce Federal plans to a state provided the following conditions are met: (1) The state does not already have an EPA approved State plan; and (2) items (1) and (4) as described above from section 62.15865 of the SSI Federal plan.

    1 Section 7-139 of the EPA's Delegation Manual is entitled “Implementation and Enforcement of 111(d)(2) and 111(d)/129(b)(3) Federal Plans” and the reader may refer to it in the docket for this proposed rule at www.regulations.gov (see Docket ID Number EPA-R02-OAR-2017-0132.

    NJDEP has met all of the EPA's delegation requirements as described above. The reader may view the NJDEP's letter to the EPA requesting delegation and the MOA signed by both parties at www.regulations.gov, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R02-OAR-2017-0132.

    VI. What is the EPA's conclusion?

    The EPA has evaluated the NJDEP's submittal for consistency with the CAA, EPA regulations, and EPA policy. The NJDEP has met all the requirements of the EPA's guidance for obtaining delegation of authority to implement and enforce the SSI Federal plan. The NJDEP entered into a MOA with the EPA and it became effective on January 24, 2017. Accordingly, the EPA proposes to approve the NJDEP's request dated October 12, 2016 for delegation of authority of the Federal plan for existing SSI units. The EPA will continue to retain certain specific authorities reserved to the EPA in the SSI Federal plan and as indicated in the MOA (e.g., authority to approve major alternatives to test methods or monitoring, etc.).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a State plan submission that complies with the provisions of CAA sections 111(d) and 129(b)(2) and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7411(d) and 7429(b)(2); 40 CFR 62.02(a). Thus, in reviewing State plan submissions, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this proposed rulemaking action, pertaining to the NJDEP's section 111(d)/(129) request for delegation of authority to implement and enforce the Federal plan for existing SSI units, does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the NJDEP's section 111(d)/129 delegation request is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and the EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 62

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Administrative practice and procedure, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, waste treatment and disposal.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: April 28, 2017. Walter Mugdan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 2.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14744 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R06-RCRA-2016-0344; FRL-9962-38-Region 6 ] Oklahoma: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The State of Oklahoma has applied to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Final authorization of the changes to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA proposes to grant Final authorization to the State of Oklahoma. In the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register, EPA is authorizing the changes by an immediate final rule. EPA did not make a proposal prior to the direct final rule because we believe this action is not controversial and do not expect comments that oppose it. We have explained the reasons for this authorization in the preamble to the direct final rule. Unless we get written comments which oppose this authorization during the comment period, the direct final rule will become effective 60 days after publication and we will not take further action on this proposal. If we receive comments that oppose this action, we will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. We will then respond to public comments in a later final rule based on this proposal. You may not have another opportunity for comment. If you want to comment on this action, you must do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Send your written comments by August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit any comments identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-RCRA-2016-0344 by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail: Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas Texas 75202-2733.

    4. Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas Texas 75202-2733.

    Instructions: Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through regulations.gov, or email. Direct your comment to Docket No. EPA-R06-RCRA-2016-0344. The Federal regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. You can view and copy Oklahoma's application and associated publicly available materials from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following locations: Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, 707 North Robinson, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101-1677, (405) 702-7180. Interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least two weeks in advance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, RCRA Permits Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, (214) 665-8533) and Email address [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For additional information, please see the immediate final rule published in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: April 24, 2017. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14773 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R06-RCRA-2016-0558; FRL-9962-36-Region 6] Louisiana: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The State of Louisiana has applied to EPA for Final authorization of the changes to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA proposes to grant Final authorization to the State of Louisiana. In the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register, EPA is authorizing the changes by direct final rule. EPA did not make a proposal prior to the direct final rule because we believe this action is not controversial and do not expect comments that oppose it. We have explained the reasons for this authorization in the preamble to the direct final rule. Unless we get written comments which oppose this authorization during the comment period, the direct final rule will become effective 60 days after publication and we will not take further action on this proposal. If we receive comments that oppose this action, we will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. We will then respond to public comments in a later final rule based on this proposal. You may not have another opportunity for comment. If you want to comment on this action, you must do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Send your written comments by August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit any comments identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-RCRA-2016-0558, by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail: Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, RCRA Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    4. Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver your comments to Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, RCRA Permit Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    Instructions: Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through regulations.gov, or email. Direct your comment to Docket No. EPA-R06-RCRA-2016-0558. The Federal regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. You can view and copy Louisiana's application and associated publicly available materials from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following locations: Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, 602 N. Fifth Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70884-2178, phone number (225) 219-3559 and EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, phone number (214) 665-8533. Interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least two weeks in advance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alima Patterson, Regional Authorization Coordinator, RCRA Permits Section (6MM-RP), Multimedia Division, EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, (214) 665-8533 and email address [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For additional information, please see the direct final rule published in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: April 24, 2017. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14764 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R10-RCRA-2017-0285; FRL-9963-60-Region 10] Washington: Proposed Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Washington has applied to EPA for final authorization of certain changes to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended, (RCRA). The EPA has reviewed Washington's application, and we have determined that these changes satisfy all requirements needed to qualify for final authorization and are proposing to authorize the State's changes. The EPA seeks public comment prior to taking final action.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed rule must be received by August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-RCRA-2017-0285, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara McCullough, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, Office of Air and Waste (OAW-150), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, Washington 98101, phone number: (206) 553-2416, email: [email protected] or from the Washington State Department of Ecology, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, Washington 98503, contact: Robert Rieck, phone number: (360) 407-6751, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Why are revisions to State programs necessary?

    States that have received final authorization from the EPA pursuant to section 3006(b) of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), must maintain a hazardous waste program that is equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the Federal program. As the Federal program changes, states must change their programs and ask the EPA to authorize the changes. Changes to state programs may be necessary when federal or state statutory or regulatory authority is modified or when certain other changes occur. Most commonly, states must change their programs because of changes to the EPA's regulations in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 124, 260 through 266, 268, 270, 273, and 279.

    Washington State's hazardous waste management program was initially approved on January 30, 1986 and became effective on January 31, 1986. As explained in Section E below, it has been revised and reauthorized numerous times since then. On January 26, 2017, EPA received the State's most recent authorization revision application. This authorization revision application requests federal authorization for Washington's Rules and Standards for Hazardous Waste, effective as of December 31, 2014, and seeks to revise its federally-authorized hazardous waste management program to include Federal hazardous waste regulations promulgated through July 1, 2013.

    B. What decisions are proposed in this action?

    The EPA has reviewed Washington's application to revise its authorized program and proposes to determine that it meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA, as amended. Therefore, with respect to these revisions we are proposing to grant Washington final authorization to operate its hazardous waste program with the changes described in the authorization revision application. Washington will continue to have responsibility for permitting Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) within its borders (except in Indian country (18 U.S.C. 1151)) with the exception of the non-trust lands within the exterior boundaries of the Puyallup Indian Reservation (also referred to as the “1873 Survey Area” or “Survey Area”) located in Tacoma, Washington (see section “J” below for full description) and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its revised program application, subject to the limitations of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA). New Federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by Federal regulations that the EPA promulgates under the authority of HSWA, and which are not less stringent than existing requirements, take effect in authorized states before the states are authorized for the requirements. Thus, the EPA will implement those requirements and prohibitions in Washington, including issuing permits, until the State is granted authorization to do so.

    C. What is the effect of this proposed authorization decision?

    If Washington is authorized for these changes, a person in Washington subject to RCRA must comply with the authorized State requirements in lieu of the corresponding Federal requirements. Additionally, such persons will have to comply with any applicable Federal requirements, such as, HSWA regulations issued by the EPA for which the State has not received authorization, and RCRA requirements that are not supplanted by authorized State-issued requirements. Washington continues to have enforcement responsibilities under its State hazardous waste management program for violations of this program, but the EPA retains its authority under RCRA sections 3007, 3008, 3013, and 7003, which includes, among others, the authority to:

    • Conduct inspections;

    • Require monitoring, tests, analyses, or reports;

    • Suspend, terminate, modify or revoke permits;

    • Abate conditions that may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment; and

    • Enforce RCRA requirements and take enforcement actions regardless of whether the State has taken its own actions.

    The action to approve these revisions would not impose additional requirements on the regulated community because the regulations for which Washington has requested federal authorization are already effective under State law and are not changed by the act of authorization.

    D. What happens if the EPA receives comments on this action?

    If the EPA receives comments on this proposed action, we will address those comments in our final action. You may not have another opportunity to comment. If you want to comment on this proposed authorization, you must do so at this time.

    E. What has Washington previously been authorized for?

    Washington initially received final authorization on January 30, 1986, effective January 31, 1986 (51 FR 3782), to implement the State's hazardous waste management program. The EPA granted authorization for changes to Washington's program on September 22, 1987, effective on November 23, 1987 (52 FR 35556); August 17, 1990, effective October 16, 1990 (55 FR 33695); November 4, 1994, effective November 4, 1994 (59 FR 55322); February 29, 1996, effective April 29, 1996 (61 FR 7736); September 22, 1998, effective October 22, 1998 (63 FR 50531); October 12, 1999, effective January 11, 2000 (64 FR 55142); April 11, 2002, effective April 11, 2002 (67 FR 17636); April 14, 2006, effective June 13, 2006 (71 FR 19442); October 30, 2006 effective December 29, 2006 (71 FR 63253) and June 18, 2010 effective July 28, 2010 (75 FR 44144) .

    F. What changes are we proposing?

    The EPA is proposing to authorize revisions to Washington's authorized program described in Washington's official program revision application, submitted to the EPA on January 26, 2017 and deemed complete by the EPA on February 23, 2017. The EPA proposes to determine, subject to public review and comment, that Washington's hazardous waste management program revisions as described in the January 23, 2017 State's authorization revision application satisfy the requirements necessary to qualify for final authorization. Regulatory revisions that are less stringent than the Federal program requirements and those regulatory revisions that are broader in scope than the Federal program requirements are not authorized. Washington's authorized hazardous waste management program, as amended by these provisions, remains equivalent to, consistent with, and is no less stringent than the Federal RCRA program. Therefore, we are proposing to authorize the State for the following program changes as identified in Table 1 and Table 2 below.

    The provisions listed in Table 1 and Table 2 are from the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and are analogous to the RCRA regulations as indicated in the Tables. The RCRA regulations that the State incorporated by reference are those as published in 40 CFR parts 260 through 265, 268, 270, and 279, as of July 1, 2013, unless otherwise noted. Table 1 identifies new State rules that the EPA is authorizing as equivalent or more stringent than the Federal program. Table 2 identifies State-initiated changes to previously authorized State provisions. (Note: in Table 2 some State provisions have no direct Federal analog but are related to particular paragraphs, sections, or parts of the Federal hazardous waste regulations) The referenced analogous State authorities were State adopted and effective as of December 31, 2014.

    Table 1—Equivalent and More Stringent Analogues to the Federal Program Checklist 1 Federal requirements Federal Register Analogous State authority
  • (WAC 173-303- * * *)
  • 12 2 Satellite Accumulation 49 FR 49568, 12/20/1984 200(2). 174 Post-Closure Permit Requirement and Closure Process 63 FR 56710, 10/22/1998 645(1)(e); 800(12); 610(3)(a)(ix); 620(1)(d)(i); 610(3)(b)(ii)(D);
  • 610(8)(d)(ii)(D); 045(1); 400(3)(a); IBR 045(1); 800(2);
  • 806(4)(a); 806(4)(o).
  • 206 Nonwastewaters from Dyes and Pigments 70 FR 9138, 2/24/2005 071(3)(kk), 071(3)(kk)(i), 071(3)(kk)(ii), 071(3)(kk)(iii), 071(3)(kk)(iv), 071(3)(kk)(v); 9904, 9904(1), 9904(2), 9904(3), 9904(4), 9904(4)(a), 9904(4)(b), 9904(4)(b)(i), 9904(4)(b)(ii), 9904(4)(b)(iii), 9904(4)(b)(iv), 9904(4)(b)(iv)(A), 9904(4)(b)(iv)(B), 9904(4)(b)(iv)(C), 9904(4)(c), 9904(4)(c)(i), 9904(4)(c)(ii), 9904(4)(c)(iii), 9904(4)(c)(iii)(A), 9904(4)(c)(iii)(B), 9904(4)(c)(iii)(C), 9904(4)(c)(iii)(D), 9904(4)(c)(iv), 9904(4)(c)(iv)(A), 9904(4)(c)(iv)(B), 9904(4)(c)(v), 9904(4)(c)(vi), 9904(4)(c)(vii), 9904(4)(c)(viii), 9904(4)(c)(ix), 9904(4)(c)(x), 9904(4)(c)(x)(A), 9904(4)(c)(x)(B), 9904(4)(c)(x)(C), 9904(4)(c)(x)(D), 9904(4)(c)(xi), 9904(4)(c)(xi)(A), 9904(4)(c)(xi)(B), 9904(4)(c)(xi)(C), 9904(4)(d), 9904(4)(e); 082(4); 045(1); 9905; 140(2)(a) IBR; 045(1). 220 2 Academic Laboratories Generator Standards 73 FR 72912, 12/1/2008 070(7)(c)(vi), 070(7)(c)(vii); 170(7), 170(7)(a), 170(7)(b); 235, 235(1), 235(1)(a), 235(1)(b), 235(1)(c), 235(1)(d), 235(1)(e), 235(1)(f), 235(1)(g), 235(1)(h), 235(1)(i), 235(1)(j) and (k), 235(1)(l), 235(1)(m), 235(1)(n), 235(2), 235(2)(a), 235(2)(b); 225(3), 225(3)(a), 225(3)(b); 235(4), 235(4)(a), 235(4)(b), 235(4)(b)(i), 235(4)(b)(ii), 235(4)(b)(iii), 235(4)(b)(iv), 235(4)(b)(v), 235(4)(b)(vi), 235(4)(b)(vii), 235(4)(b)(viii), 235(4)(b)(ix), 235(4)(b)(x), 235(4)(b)(xi), 235(4)(c), 235(4)(d), 235(4)(e), 235(5)(a), 235(5)(b), 235(5)(b)(i), 235(5)(b)(ii), 235(5)(b)(iii), 235(5)(b)(iv), 235(5)(b)(v), 235(5)(b)(vi), 235(5)(b)(vii), 235(5)(b)(viii), 235(5)(b)(ix), 235(5)(b)(x), 235(5)(b)(xi), 235(5)(c), 235(6), 235(6), 235(7), 235(7), 235(7)(a), 235(7)(a)(i), 235(7)(a)(i)(A), 235(7)(a)(i)(C), 235(7)(a)(i)(B), 235(7)(a)(i)(C)(I), 235(7)(a)(i)(C)(II), 235(7)(a)(ii), 235(7)(a)(ii), 235(7)(a)(ii)(A), 235(7)(a)(ii)(B), 235(7)(a)(ii)(C), 235(7)(b), 235(7)(b)(i), 235(7)(b)(ii), 235(7)(b)(iii), 235(7)(b)(iii)(A), 235(7)(b)(iii)(B), 235(7)(b)(iii)(C), 235(7)(b)(iii)(C)(I), 235(7)(b)(iii)(C)(II), 235(8), 235(8), 235(8)(a), 235(8)(b), 235(8)(b)(i), 235(8)(b)(ii), 235(8)(b)(iii), 235(8)(b)(iv), 235(8)(b)(v), 235(8)(c), 235(8)(c)(i), 235(8)(c)(ii), 235(8)(c)(iii), 235(8)(c)(iv), 235(8)(d), 235(8)(d)(i), 235(8)(d)(ii), 235(9), 235(9)(a), 235(9)(a)(i), 235(9)(a)(ii), 235(9)(b), 235(9)(c), 235(9)(d), 235(9)(d)(i), 235(9)(d)(i)(A), 235(9)(d)(i)(B), 235(9)(d)(ii), 235(9)(d)(ii)(A), 235(9)(d)(ii)(B), 235(10), 235(10)(a), 235(10)(a)(i), 235(10)(a)(ii), 235(10)(a)(iii), 235(10)(b), 235(11), 235(11), 235(11)(a), 235(11)(b), 235(11)(b)(i), 235(11)(b)(ii), 235(11)(b)(iii), 235(11)(c), 235(11)(d), 235(11)(d)(i), 235(11)(d)(ii), 235(11)(e), 235(12), 235(12), 235(12)(a), 235(12)(b), 235(12)(c) except for “WAC 173-303-200(1)(b)(i)” citation, 235(12)(d), 235(12)(e), 235(12)(e)(i), 235(12)(e)(ii), 235(12)(e)(iii), 235(12)(e)(iv), 235(13), 235(13), 235(13)(a), 235(13)(b), 235(13)(c), 235(13)(d), 235(13)(e), 235(13)(e)(i), 235(13)(e)(ii), 235(13)(e)(iii), 235(13)(e)(iv), 235(14), 235(14)(a), 235(14)(a)(i), 235(14)(a)(ii), 235(14)(a)(iii) except for the phrase “, more than 2.2 pounds of WT01 EHW”, 235(14)(a)(iv), 235(14)(b), 235(14)(b)(i), 235(14)(b)(ii), 235(15), 235(15)(a), 235(15)(a)(i), 235(15)(a)(i)(A), 235(15)(a)(i)(B), 235(15)(a)(ii), 235(15)(b), 235(15)(b)(i), 235(15)(b)(ii), 235(15)(b)(iii), 235(15)(b)(iv), 235(15)(b)(iv)(A), 235(15)(b)(iv)(B), 235(15)(b)(iv)(B)(I), 235(15)(b)(iv)(B)(II), 235(15)(b)(v), 235(15)(b)(vi), 235(15)(b)(vi)(A), 235(15)(b)(vi)(B), 235(15)(b)(vii), 235(15)(b)(vii)(A), 235(15)(b)(vii)(B), 235(15)(b)(vii)(C), 235(15)(b)(vii)(D), 235(15)(c), 235(15)(d), 235(16), 235(16)(a), 235(16)(b), 235(17), 235(17)(a), 235(17)(b). 222 OECD Requirements; Export Shipments of Spent Lead-Acid Batteries 75 FR 1236, 1/8/2010 170(6); 230(1) IBR; 045(1); 240(11); 290(1)(b); 370(3), 370(7); 290(1)(b); 370(3), 370(7); 520(1)(a) and (b). 223 2 Hazardous Waste Technical Corrections and Clarifications 75 FR 12989, 1/18/2010 040 “New TSD facility” definition; 040 “Processed scrap metal” definition; 016 Table 1; 070(8)(a)(iii); 120(3), 120(3)(d); 090(7)(a)(viii); 9904; 9903; 082(4) IBR; 045(1); 180(3)(f), 180(3)(f)(i), 180(3)(f)(i)(A), 180(3)(f)(i)(B), 180(3)(f)(ii), 180(3)(f)(iii), 180(3)(f)(iv); 200(1)(b)(iv)(B), 200(1)(f), 200(1)(g) , 200(2)(a), 200(2)(b); 220(2)(e), 220(2)(e)(i), 220(2)(e)(ii)
  • 220(2)(e)(ii) Note; 230(2); 350(2); 370(5)(e)(vi), 370(5)(f)(i), 370(5)(f)(vii), 370(5)(f)(viii); 350(2); 360(2)(d)(ii); 370(5)(e)(vi), 370(5)(f)(i), 370(5)(f)(vii), 370(5)(f)(viii); 400(3)(a) IBR and 045(1); 505(1)(b)(i); 140(2)(a) IBR; 045(1); 810(8)(b).
  • 226 2 Academic Laboratories Generator Standards Technical Corrections 75 FR 79304, 12/20/2010 235(1), 235(1)(b), 235(7)(b)(iii)(A), 235(13)(e)(i), 235(15)(a)(i), 235(15)(b)(i). 227 Revision of the Land Disposal Treatment Standards for Carbamate Wastes 76 FR 34147, 6/13/2011 140(2)(a) IBR; 045(1). 228 2 Hazardous Waste Technical Corrections and Clarifications Rule 77 FR 22229, 4/13/2012 9904; 505(1)(b)(i). 1 The Checklist is a document that addresses the specific changes made to the Federal regulations by one or more related final rules published in the Federal Register. The EPA develops these checklists as tools to assist states in developing their authorization application and in documenting specific state regulations analogous to the Federal regulations. For more information, see the EPA's RCRA State Authorization Web site at https://www.epa.gov/rcra/state-authorization-under-resource-conservation-and-recovery-act-rcra#about. 2 State rule contains more stringent provisions. For identification of the more stringent State provisions refer to the authorization revision application's Attorney General Statement and Checklists found in the docket for this proposed rule. Some of the more stringent state provisions are discussed in Section G of this rule.
    Table 2—State Initiated Changes State Citation
  • WAC 173-303- * * *
  • Reason for Change: Analogous Federal 40 CFR
  • Citation
  • 040 “Enforceable document” definition internal citations corrected: WAC 173-303-610(1)(e); WAC 173-303-620(1)(d) 270.1(c)(7). 040 “Facility” definition internal citation corrected: RCW 70.105D.020(8) 260.10. 040 “Performance track member facility” obsolete definition deleted 260.10. 040 “Release” definition internal citation corrected: RCW 70.105D.020(32) 280.12 related. 045(1) Date of incorporation by reference updated No direct analog. 070(1)(b) Language revised for equivalence with federal rule 262.11. 072(1)(b) Internal citation corrected: “described in subsections (3) and (4) of this section.” 260.20. 110(3)(a) SW-846 reference information updated 260.11(c). 110(3)(c), 110(7) Updated Chemical Test Methods guidance and publication date Related to 260.11 and 40 CFR Appendix IX. 110(3)(g)(ix), 110(3)(h)(i), 110(3)(h)(vii) References to industry standards and codes updated 260.11(d) and (e). 170(3) Clarification that final facility standards are found in WAC 173-303-600 264.1(g)(3) related. 180(3)(c) Redundant manifest instructions deleted (Previous (d), (e) and (f) are renumbered to (c), (d) and (e)) 262.23 related. 200(1)(b)(iv) Requirement for independent qualified registered professional engineer (IQRPE) 262.34(a)(1)(iv)—more stringent State requirement. 200(1)(b)(iv)(B) Second sentence of this citation was relocated to new 200(1)(g) to clarify applicability to all generators 262.34(a)(1)(iv)(B). 200(2)(b), 200(3)(c) “Per waste stream” deleted for equivalence with federal rule 262.34(c). 200(4)(a)(iv)(A)(III) Reminder added that facilities use an IQRPE to certify containment building design 262.34(g)(4)(i)(C)—more stringent State requirement. 200(5) Requirements for National Environmental Performance Track Program deleted (Previous (6) is renumbered to (5)) 262.34(j), (k) and (l). 240(6) Editing correction 263.12 related—more stringent State requirement. 330(1)(d) Editing correction. The second sentence of previous (c)(ii) is changed to (d), and (d) renumbered to (e) 264.16(b). 370(1) “Owners and operators” clarified to mean the phrase applies only to permitted facilities and dangerous waste recyclers 264.70(a). 380(1)(r) New sub-section: Certificates of major tank system repair added for equivalence with federal rule 264.73(b)(19). 400(3)(c)(ii)(G) Enforceable documents in lieu of a post closure permit adopted 265.110(c), 265.118(c)(4) and 265.121. 400(3)(c)(xxii)(B) Reference to Performance Track member facilities deleted 265.1101(c)(4). 400(3)(c)(xxii)(B) Rule is modified to add IQRPE requirement. 265.1101(c)(3)(iii)—more stringent State requirement. 573(9)(b)(ii)(A) Corrected for equivalence with federal rule 273.13(c)(2)(i). 573(19)(b)(iv) and (v) References to thermostat universal waste are removed, including in the example calculation 273.32(b)(4) and (5)—more stringent State requirement 600(1) Edit to clarify which rules are the final facility standards 264.1(a). 600(2) Clarification on what types of facilities can accept dangerous waste from off-site sources 264.1(b). 610(4)(c) Internal citations corrected for equivalence with federal rule 264.113(c). 610(3)(a)(ix), 610(3)(b)(ii)(D), 610(8)(d)(ii)(D) Internal citation corrected 264.112(b)(8), 264.112(c)(2)(iv), 264.118(d)(2)(iv). 610(12)(f) Editing correction No direct analog. 620(1)(d)(i) Internal citation corrected 264.140(d)(1). 620(3)(a)(ii), 620(6)(a), 620(9)(a) Revise wording to be gender neutral 264.142(a)(2), 264.145, 264.148(a). 620(3)(a)(ii), 620(5)(a) Clarify that financial assurance cost estimates are performed by a third party 264.142(a)(2), 264.144(a)(1). 620(3)(a)(v), 620(4)(g), 620(6)(c) Clarify that net present value adjustments are not allowed 262.142(a), 264.142(a), 264.144(a). 620(4)(a)(vi), 620(4)(d)(iv), 620(6)(a)(vi) Clarify that financial test and the corporate guarantee are two separate but related options 264.143(f), 264.143(f), 264.145(f). 620(4)(d)(iv), 620(6)(a)(vi), 620(8)(a)(iv) Minimum tangible net worth raised to $25M 264.143(f)—more stringent State requirement.
  • 264.145(f)—more stringent State requirement.
  • 264.147(f)—more stringent State requirement.
  • 620(4)(d)(v), 620(6)(a)(vii) “Agreed upon Procedures” report can be used in place of a “Negative Assurance” report 264.143(f)(3)(iii), 264.143(f)(3)(iii). 620(8)(a)(i) Minimum financial assurance liability amounts increased. (Previous (i), (ii) and (iii) are renumbered to (ii), (iii) and (iv)) 264.147(a) and 264.147(b)—more stringent State requirements. 630(7)(d) Clarify that rule applies to TSD owners and operators, not generators 264.175(d)—more stringent State requirement. 640(2)(c)(v)(B) Note, 640(4)(i)(iii) Note, 640(9)(b) References to industry standards and codes updated 264.191(b)(5)(ii) Note, 264.193(i)(3) Note. 645(1)(e) Rule for enforceable documents in lieu of a post closure permit, (previous (e) became (f)) 264.90(e). 645(8)(c) Clarify rule applicability 264.97(c)—more stringent State requirement. 64620(5) New rules for corrective action financial assurance 264.101 related—more stringent State requirement. 64690 Facilities must use an IQRPE for staging pile design 264.554 IBR, 045(1)—more stringent State requirement. 650(4)(c) Facilities must use an IQRPE to certify dike integrity 254.226(c)—more stringent State requirement. 650(5)(d)(ii)(B) Facilities must use an IQRPE for impoundment design 254.227(d)(2)(ii)—more stringent State requirement. 650(6)(b)(ii) Internal citation corrected 264.228(b)(2). 665(2)(a)(i) Facilities must use an IQRPE to certify report on basis for landfill liner selection 264.301(a)(1)—more stringent State requirement. 800(2), 800(12), 806(4)(a), 806(4)(o) Rules for enforceable documents in lieu of a post closure permit 270.1(c) intro, 270.1(c)(7), 270.14(a), 270.28. 806(4)(d)(v) Facilities must use an IQRPE for certifying dike integrity 270.17(d)—more stringent State requirement. 806(4)(e)(iii)(A)(I) Reference to IQRPE requirement to certify waste pile liner selection 270.18(c)(1)(i)—more stringent State requirement. 806(4)(h)(ii)(A)(I) Reference to IQRPE requirement to certify landfill liner selection 270.21(b)(1)(i)—more stringent State requirement. 806(4)(j)(iv)(C), 806(4)(k)(v)(C) The word “design” is deleted after “basic control device” for equivalence with federal rule 270.24(d)(3), 270.25(e)(3). 806(4)(n) New facilities added to list of those able to burn hazardous waste 270.22 intro. 811 New Boiler and Industrial Furnace (BIF) facility types added to list 270.66 IBR 045(1). 830 Appendix I Permit modifications table New entry for “Burden Reduction” added 270.42 Appendix I—more stringent State requirement. 830 Appendix I, (F)(1)(c), (F)(4)(a), (G)(1)(e), (G)(5)(c), (H)(5)(C) Note added acknowledging non-existent RCRA section 270.42 Appendix I. 841 New Boiler and Industrial Furnace (BIF) facility types added to list 270.235(a)(1) intro IBR 045(1). 9903 Numerical P list 261.33. • P108 CAS number corrected (2 entries) • P114 Tetraethydithiopyrophosphate is replaced with Thallium(I) selinite • P115 Thiodiphosphoric acid, tetraethyl ester is replaced with Sulfuric acid, dithallium(1+) salt • P115 Plumbane, tetraethyl is replaced with Thallium(I) sulfate • P116 Tetraethyl lead is replaced with Hydrazinecarbothioamide • Correct errors with waste codes, CAS numbers and chemical names • P128 Mexacarbate CAS number corrected Alphabetical U list • U202 1,2-Benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one, 1,1-dioxide, & salts deleted * • U202 Saccharin, & salts deleted * • U227 waste code for 1,1,1-Trichloroethane is replaced with U226. Numerical U list • U202 1,2-Benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one, 1,1-dioxide, & salts deleted * • U202 Saccharin, & salts deleted * * These entries were deleted as part of State adoption of the December 17, 2010 75 FR 78918 EPA rule removing saccharin from the discarded chemicals list. Although these changes are not State-initiated, they are listed here because an EPA checklist was not available 9904(1) K181 K181 listing code codified 261.32(a) K181. 9904 K181 entry, 9904(1) K181(iv), 9904(4)(b), 9904(4)(c), 9904(4)(c)(i) and (ii) Four internal citations corrected 261.32(a) K181, 261.32(d)(2), 261.32(d)(3), 261.32(d)(3)(i) and (ii). 9904 K069 Administrative stay note added 261.32 K069.
    G. Where are the revised state rules different from the Federal rules?

    Under RCRA section 3009, the EPA may not authorize State rules that are less stringent than the Federal program. Any state rules that are less stringent do not supplant the Federal regulations. State rules that are broader in scope than the Federal program requirements are allowed but are not authorized. State rules that are equivalent to, and State rules that are more stringent than the Federal program may be authorized, in which case they are enforceable by the EPA.

    This section does not discuss all the program differences, because in most instances Washington writes its own version of the Federal hazardous waste rules. Persons must consult Tables 1 and 2, in Section F, for the specific State regulations that the EPA is proposing to authorize. This section discusses rules of particular interest where the EPA proposes to find that the State program is more stringent and will be authorized. Table 2 above indicates all the rules that the EPA determined to be more stringent than the federal rules. The section below also discusses an example of a rule where the State program is broader in scope and cannot be authorized. Certain portions of the Federal program are not delegable to the states because of the Federal government's special role in foreign policy matters and because of national concerns that arise with certain decisions. The EPA does not delegate import/export functions. Under RCRA regulations found in 40 CFR part 262, the EPA will continue to implement requirements for import/export functions. However, the State rules (WAC 173-303-230) reference the EPA's export and import requirements, and the State has amended these references to include those changes promulgated in the Federal Rule on Corrections to Errors in the Code of Federal Regulations (71 FR 40254, July, 7, 2006). Additional information regarding the EPA's analysis concerning the State's rules that are more stringent and/or broader in scope than the federal rules can be found in the docket.

    1. More Stringent

    States are allowed to seek authorization for state requirements that are more stringent than Federal requirements. The EPA has authority to authorize and enforce those parts of a state's program the EPA finds to be more stringent than the Federal program. This section does not discuss each more stringent finding made by the EPA, but persons can locate such findings by consulting Table 1 in Section F, and by reviewing the docket for these rules. This action proposes to authorize the State program for each more stringent requirement.

    a. Satellite Accumulation—On December 20, 1984 (49 FR 49568), the Federal Satellite Accumulation rule was promulgated. The State adopted a satellite accumulation rule in 1986 and adopted a revised rule on December 8, 1993. On December 18, 2014, the State adopted another revision to WAC 173-303-200(2) with all instances of “per waste stream” removed for consistency with the Federal rule at 40 CFR 262.34(c). The State rule has an additional provision for satellite accumulation requirements whereby the State can require additional management requirements on a case-by-case basis, which renders the State rule more stringent than the Federal rule. Additional details regarding the State's adoption of the revised satellite accumulation rule are available in the docket.

    b. Academic Laboratory Generator Standards—The State's Academic Laboratories Generator Standards contain more stringent requirements than the corresponding Federal rules (73 FR 72912, December 1, 2008).

    i. WAC 173-303-235(4)(a), (4)(b)(ii), (5)(a), and (5)(b)(ii), are more stringent because the State requires small quantity generators to obtain EPA/state identification numbers, whereas the Federal rules at 40 CFR 262.203(a) and (b)(ii) and 40 CFR 262.204(a) and (b)(2) exempt the comparable Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs).

    ii. WAC 173-303-235(4)(b) and (5)(b) are more stringent than 40 CFR 262.203(b) and 262.204(b) introductory paragraphs due to the State requirement for small quantity generators to complete the entire Washington State Dangerous Waste Site Identification form, whereas the Federal rules exempt CESQGs from filling in a site identification number.

    iii. WAC 173-303-235(7)(a)(i), 235(9)(d)(i)(A) and 235(9)(d)(ii)(A) require accumulation start dates and full container dates to be attached to the containers rather than, at a minimum, be associated with them as required by 40 CFR 262.206(a)(1) and 262.208(d)(1)(i).

    iv. WAC 173-303-235(14)(a)(iv) requires eligible academic entities to maintain records for five years after laboratory cleanouts rather than three years as required in 40 CFR 262.213(a)(4).

    On December 12, 2010 (75 FR 79304), the Federal Academic Laboratories Generator Standards Technical Corrections rules were promulgated. The State's rules at WAC 173-303-235(15)(a)(i) and (b)(i) are more stringent than the Federal rules because they require the accumulation date to appear on the container label, whereas the Federal rules at 40 CFR 262.214(a)(1) and (b)(1) allow the information to be associated with, but not necessarily placed on, the container. Additional details regarding the more stringent State provisions associated with the State's adoption of the Federal Academic Laboratories Generator Standards are available in the docket.

    c. Characteristic of Reactivity—On January 31, 1986 (51 FR 3782), the State received authorization for its dangerous waste identification rules including WAC 173-303-090(7) Characteristic of reactivity. On January 18, 2010 (75 FR 12989), the Federal rule at 40 CFR 261.23(a)(8) was revised to update the forbidden explosives regulation under 40 CFR 261.23 Characteristic of reactivity. The State revised the corresponding WAC 173-303-090(7)(a)(viii), but included Division 1.5 explosives (refer to the US Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Class 1 explosives chart) not included in the Federal rule. As a result, the State's rule is more stringent than the Federal rule. Additional details regarding the more stringent State provisions associated with forbidden explosives under the characteristic of reactivity rule are available in the docket.

    d. Exception Reporting—On January 18, 2010 (75 FR 12989), the Federal Hazardous Waste Technical Corrections and Clarifications rules were promulgated. Under 40 CFR 262.42(c)(2), the 35/45/60 day timeframes for exception reporting begin the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter forwarding the hazardous waste from the designated facility to the alternate facility. The State rule at WAC 173-303-220(2)(e)(ii) is more stringent because it does not have a 60-day window for Medium Quantity Generators (equivalent to Federal Small Quantity Generators) to submit exception reports to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Additional details regarding the more stringent State provisions associated with Exception reports are available in the docket.

    e. Independent Qualified Registered Professional Engineers—On December 18, 2014, the State adopted rule changes to require Independent Qualified Registered Professional Engineers (IQRPEs) to certify certain activities. The revised State rules at WAC 173-303-200(1)(b)(iv), 200(4)(a)(iv)(A)(III), 400(3)(c)(xxii)(B), 64690, 650(4)(c), 650(5)(d)(ii)(B), 665(2)(a)(i), 806(4)(d)(v), 806(4)(e)(iii)(A)(I), and 806(4)(h)(ii)(A)(I) are more stringent than corresponding Federal rules at 40 CFR 262.34(a)(1)(iv), 262.34(g)(4)(i)(C), 265.1101(c)(3)(iii), 264.554 (IBR, 045(1)), 264.226(c), 264.227(d)(2)(ii), 264.301(a)(1), 270.17(d), 270.18(c)(1)(i), and 270.21(b)(1)(i). Additional details regarding the more stringent State provisions associated with IQRPE requirements are available in the docket.

    2. Broader in Scope

    The State has added a time limit for special wastes that are stored at transfer stations under WAC 173-303-073(2)(e)(v) in this rule proposal. The federal rules do not regulate these special wastes which are state only wastes and defined at WAC 173-303-040; therefore, the regulation of these wastes is broader in scope than the federal rules. As noted above, broader in scope rules are not authorized by the EPA.

    H. Who issues permits after the authorization takes effect?

    Washington will continue to issue permits for all the provisions for which it is authorized and will administer the permits it issues. Permits issued by EPA prior to authorizing Washington for these revisions would continue in force until the effective date of the State's issuance or denial of a State hazardous waste management permit, at which time, the EPA would modify the existing EPA permit to expire at an earlier date, terminate the existing EPA permit, or allow the existing EPA permit to otherwise expire by its terms, except for those facilities located in Indian Country. The EPA will not issue new permits or new portions of permits for provisions for which Washington is authorized after the effective date of this authorization. The EPA will continue to implement and issue permits for HSWA requirements for which Washington is not yet authorized.

    I. What is codification and is the EPA codifying Washington's hazardous waste program as authorized in this proposed rule?

    Codification is the process of placing the State's statutes and regulations that comprise the State's authorized hazardous waste program into the Code of Federal Regulations. This is done by referencing the authorized State rules in 40 CFR part 272. The EPA is reserving the amendment of 40 CFR part 272, subpart WW for this authorization of Washington's program revisions until a later date.

    J. How does today's action affect Indian Country (18 U.S.C. 1151) in Washington?

    The EPA's proposed decision to authorize the Washington hazardous waste management program does not include any land that is, or becomes after the date of this authorization, “Indian Country,” as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151, with the exception of the non-trust lands within the exterior boundaries of the Puyallup Indian Reservation (also referred to as the “1873 Survey Area” or “Survey Area”) located in Tacoma, Washington. The EPA retains jurisdiction over “Indian Country”. Effective October 22, 1998 (63 FR 50531, September 22, 1998) the State of Washington was authorized to implement the State's federally-authorized hazardous waste management program on the non-trust lands within the 1873 Survey Area of the Puyallup Indian Reservation. The authorization did not extend to trust lands within the reservation. The EPA retains its authority to implement RCRA on trust lands and over Indians and Indian activities within the 1873 Survey Area.

    K. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This proposed rule seeks to revise the State of Washington's authorized hazardous waste management program pursuant to section 3006 of RCRA and imposes no requirements other than those currently imposed by State law. This proposed rule complies with applicable executive orders and statutory provisions as follows:

    1. Executive Order 12866

    Under Executive Order (EO) 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), the Agency must determine whether the regulatory action is “significant”, and therefore subject to OMB review and the requirements of the EO. The EO defines “significant regulatory action” as one that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect in a material way, the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the EO. The EPA has determined that this proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of EO 12866 and is therefore not subject to OMB review.

    2. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., because this proposed rule does not establish or modify any information or recordkeeping requirements for the regulated community and only seeks to authorize the pre-existing requirements under State law and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law.

    Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing, and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for the EPA's regulations in Title 40 of the CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    3. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), generally requires Federal agencies to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's proposed rule on small entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business defined by the Small Business Administration's size regulations at 13 CFR part 121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school district, or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. I certify that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the proposed rule will only have the effect of authorizing pre-existing requirements under State law and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. The EPA continues to be interested in the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities and welcomes comments on issues related to such impacts.

    4. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, the EPA generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures to State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. Before promulgating an EPA rule for which a written statement is needed, Section 205 of the UMRA generally requires the EPA to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, section 205 allows the EPA to adopt an alternative other than the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative if the Administrator publishes with the rule an explanation why the alternative was not adopted. Before the EPA establishes any regulatory requirements that may significantly or uniquely affect small governments, including tribal governments, it must have developed under Section 203 of the UMRA a small government agency plan. The plan must provide for notifying potentially affected small governments, enabling officials of affected small governments to have meaningful and timely input in the development of the EPA regulatory proposals with significant Federal intergovernmental mandates, and informing, educating, and advising small governments on compliance with the regulatory requirements. Today's proposed rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. It imposes no new enforceable duty on any State, local or tribal governments or the private sector. Similarly, the EPA has also determined that this proposed rule contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small government entities. Thus, today's proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of Sections 202 and 203 of the UMRA.

    5. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This proposed rule does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government, as specified in EO 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This rule proposes to authorize pre-existing State rules. Thus, EO 13132 does not apply to this proposed rule. In the spirit of EO 13132, and consistent with the EPA policy to promote communications between the EPA and State and local governments, the EPA specifically solicits comment on this proposed rule from State and local officials.

    6. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (59 FR 22951, November 9, 2000), requires the EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” This proposed rule does not have tribal implications, as specified in EO 13175 because the EPA retains its authority over Indian Country. Thus, EO 13175 does not apply to this proposed rule. The EPA specifically solicits additional comment on this proposed rule from tribal officials.

    7. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety risks, such that the analysis required under section 5-501 of the EO has the potential to influence the regulation. This action is not subject to EO 13045 because it proposes to approve a state program.

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

    This proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not a “significant regulatory action” as defined under EO 12866.

    9. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (“NTTAA”), (Pub. L. 104-113, 12(d)) (15 U.S.C. 272), directs the EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus bodies. The NTTAA directs the EPA to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. This proposed rulemaking does not involve technical standards. Therefore, the EPA is not considering the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

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

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. The EPA has determined that this proposed rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations. This proposed rule does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment because this rule proposes to authorize pre-existing State rules which are equivalent to, and no less stringent than existing federal requirements.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 271

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Hazardous materials transportation, Hazardous waste, Indians-lands, Intergovernmental relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    This proposed action is issued under the authority of sections 2002(a), 3006, and 7004(b) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6912(a), 6926, and 6974(b).

    Dated: May 31, 2017. Michelle Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14733 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 42 CFR Part 88 [NIOSH Docket 094] World Trade Center Health Program; Petitions 016 and 017—Parkinson's Disease and Parkinsonism, Including Manganese-Induced Parkinsonism; Finding of Insufficient Evidence AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Denial of petitions for addition of health conditions.

    SUMMARY:

    On February 22, 2017, the Administrator of the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program received a petition (Petition 016) to add Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism, to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions (List). On May 10, 2017, the Administrator received a second petition (Petition 017) to add the same health conditions to the List. Upon reviewing the scientific and medical literature, including information provided by the two petitioners, the Administrator has determined that the available evidence does not have the potential to provide a basis for a decision on whether to add Parkinson's disease and/or parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism, to the List. The Administrator also finds that insufficient evidence exists to request a recommendation of the WTC Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), to publish a proposed rule, or to publish a determination not to publish a proposed rule.

    DATES:

    The Administrator of the WTC Health Program is denying these petitions for the addition of health conditions as of July 13, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rachel Weiss, Program Analyst, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS: C-46, Cincinnati, OH 45226; telephone (855) 818-1629 (this is a toll-free number); email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents A. WTC Health Program Statutory Authority B. Petition 016 and Petition 017 C. Review of Scientific and Medical Information and Administrator Determination D. Administrator's Final Decision on Whether to Propose the Addition of Parkinson's Disease and/or Parkinsonism, Including Manganese-Induced Parkinsonism, to the List E. Approval to Submit Document to the Office of the Federal Register A. WTC Health Program Statutory Authority

    Title I of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-347, as amended by Pub. L. 114-113), added Title XXXIII to the Public Health Service (PHS) Act,1 establishing the WTC Health Program within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The WTC Health Program provides medical monitoring and treatment benefits to eligible firefighters and related personnel, law enforcement officers, and rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers who responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania (responders), and to eligible persons who were present in the dust or dust cloud on September 11, 2001, or who worked, resided, or attended school, childcare, or adult daycare in the New York City disaster area (survivors).

    1 Title XXXIII of the PHS Act is codified at 42 U.S.C. 300mm to 300mm-61. Those portions of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 found in Titles II and III of Public Law 111-347 do not pertain to the WTC Health Program and are codified elsewhere.

    All references to the Administrator of the WTC Health Program (Administrator) in this notice mean the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or his designee.

    Pursuant to section 3312(a)(6)(B) of the PHS Act, interested parties may petition the Administrator to add a health condition to the List in 42 CFR 88.15 (2017). Within 90 days after receipt of a petition to add a condition to the List, the Administrator must take one of the following four actions described in section 3312(a)(6)(B) of the PHS Act and 42 CFR 88.16(a)(2): (1) Request a recommendation of the STAC; (2) publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register to add such health condition; (3) publish in the Federal Register the Administrator's determination not to publish such a proposed rule and the basis for such determination; or (4) publish in the Federal Register a determination that insufficient evidence exists to take action under (1) through (3) above. In accordance with 42 CFR 88.16(a)(4), the Administrator may consider more than one petition simultaneously when the petitions propose the addition of the same health condition(s) and the required Federal Register notices may respond to more than one petition.

    In addition to the regulatory provisions, the WTC Health Program has developed policies to guide the review of submissions and petitions,2 as well as the analysis of evidence supporting the potential addition of a non-cancer health condition to the List.3 In accordance with the aforementioned non-cancer health condition addition policy, the Administrator directs the WTC Health Program to conduct a review of the scientific literature to determine if the available scientific information has the potential to provide a basis for a decision on whether to add the health condition to the List. The literature review includes a search for peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic studies (including direct observational studies in the case of health conditions such as injuries) about the health condition among 9/11-exposed populations. The Program evaluates the scientific quality limitations of each peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic study of the health condition identified in the literature search; the Program then compiles the scientific results of each study to assess whether a causal relationship between 9/11 exposures and the health condition is supported, and evaluates whether the results of the studies are representative of the 9/11-exposed population of responders and survivors. A health condition may be added to the List if peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic studies provide support that the health condition is substantially likely 4 to be causally associated with 9/11 exposures. If the evaluation of evidence provided in peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic studies of the health condition in 9/11 populations demonstrates a high, but not substantial likelihood of a causal association between the 9/11 exposures and the health condition, then the Administrator may consider additional highly relevant scientific evidence regarding exposures to 9/11 agents 5 from sources using non-9/11-exposed populations. If that additional assessment establishes that the health condition is substantially likely to be causally associated with 9/11 exposures among 9/11-exposed populations, the health condition may be added to the List.

    2See WTC Health Program [2014], Policy and Procedures for Handling Submissions and Petitions to Add a Health Condition to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions, May 14, http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/pdfs/WTCHPPPPetitionHandlingProcedures14May2014.pdf.

    3See WTC Health Program [2017], Policy and Procedures for Adding Non-Cancer Conditions to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions, February 14, https://www.cdc.gov/wtc/pdfs/WTCHP_PP_Adding_NonCancers_14_February_2017.pdf.

    4 The “substantially likely” standard is met when the scientific evidence, taken as a whole, demonstrates a strong relationship between the 9/11 exposures and the health condition.

    5 9/11 agents are chemical, physical, biological, or other agents or hazards reported in a published, peer-reviewed exposure assessment study of responders or survivors who were present in the New York City disaster area, at the Pentagon site, or at the Shanksville, Pennsylvania site, as those locations are defined in 42 CFR 88.1.

    B. Petition 016 and Petition 017

    A valid petition must include sufficient medical basis for the association between the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the health condition to be added; in accordance with WTC Health Program policy, reference to a peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic study about the health condition among 9/11-exposed populations or to clinical case reports of health conditions in WTC responders or survivors may demonstrate the required medical basis.6 Studies linking 9/11 agents to the petitioned health condition may also provide sufficient medical basis for a valid petition.

    6See supra note 2.

    On February 22, 2017, the Administrator received a petition (Petition 016) from a WTC responder who worked at Ground Zero, requesting the addition of “young onset Parkinson Disease” 7 and “Parkinsonia Syndrome” to the List. The petition included eight peer-reviewed, published studies and reviews of studies of parkinsonism associated with manganese exposure in non-9/11-exposed populations and laboratory animals, and mechanistic studies of manganese-induced parkinsonism, discussed below.8 The Program noted the various terms used to describe the health condition in the petition and the references included with the petition. The general term “Parkinsonism” refers to a category of neurological diseases exhibiting disturbance in the dopamine systems of the basal ganglia, which leads to the symptoms characterizing the disease: Tremors, slowness of movement, and stiffness. Classic (idiopathic) Parkinson's disease is the most common and treatable form of parkinsonism; non-idiopathic types are considered atypical and referred to by the more general term “parkinsonism.” One type of atypical parkinsonism, manganese-induced parkinsonism, has been found to be caused by elevated and prolonged exposure to manganese.9 The term “Parkinsonia Syndrome,” used by the petitioner, was likely intended to refer to “Parkinsonian syndrome,” a less-commonly used term for atypical parkinsonism.

    7 The diagnosis of young-onset Parkinson's disease is the same as typical Parkinson's disease, except for the age of the patient.

    8See Petition 016, WTC Health Program: Petitions Received, http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/received.html.

    9See Kwakye GF, Paoliello MMB, Mukhopadhyay S, et al. [2015], Manganese-Induced Parkinsonism and Parkinson's Disease: Shared and Distinguishable Features, Int J Environ Res Public Health 12(7):7519-7540).

    The first of the eight peer-reviewed, published studies provided in Petition 016, reference 1, “Manganese-Induced Parkinsonism Is Not Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease: Environmental and Genetic Evidence” by Guilarte et al. [2015],10 is a review of various peer-reviewed and published epidemiologic and animal studies highlighting the difference between manganese-induced parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease. Reference 2, “Manganese-Induced Parkinsonism and Parkinson's Disease: Shared and Distinguishable Features” by Kwakye et al. [2015],11 is also a review of peer-reviewed and published epidemiologic, animal, and mechanistic studies comparing characteristics of manganese-induced parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease. Reference 3, “Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Gene Methylation and Parkinsonism in Manganese-Exposed Welders” by Searles et al. [2015],12 is an epidemiologic study examining gene methylation of inducible nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme involved in inflammation, among manganese-exposed welders. Reference 4, “α-Synuclein Protects Against Manganese Neurotoxic Insult During the Early Stages of Exposure in a Dopaminergic Cell Model of Parkinson's Disease” by Harischandra et al. [2015],13 is an ex vivo laboratory study in rat cell lines exploring the effects of α-synuclein, a protein found in the brain, on manganese-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity. Reference 5, “SLC30A10 is a Cell Surface-Localized Manganese Efflux Transporter, and Parkinsonism-Causing Mutations Block its Intracellular Trafficking and Efflux Activity” by Leyva-Illades et al. [2014],14 is a mechanistic and functional cell culture study looking at the role of interactions between genetic and environmental factors in the development of parkinsonism. Reference 6, “Correlation Between the Biochemical Pathways Altered by Mutated Parkinson-Related Genes and Chronic Exposure to Manganese” by Roth [2014],15 is a review of peer-reviewed, published studies describing genes involved in the development of parkinsonism and illustrating how the proposed mechanism of each gene may relate to the onset and severity of manganese toxicity. Reference 7, “Manganese-Induced Atypical Parkinsonism is Associated with Altered Basal Ganglia Activity and Changes in Tissue Levels of Monoamines in the Rat” by Bouabid et al. [2014],16 is a study on changes to motor and non-motor functions and behavior, similar to those observed in parkinsonism, in manganese-exposed rats. Finally, reference 8, “Neurofunctional Dopaminergic Impairment in Elderly After Lifetime Exposure to Manganese” by Lucchini et al. [2014],17 is an epidemiologic study of the effects of manganese exposure due to emissions from nearby ferroalloy plants on the neurocognitive and motor functions of elderly study participants.

    10 Guilarte TR, Gonzales KK [2015], Manganese-Induced Parkinsonism is Not Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease: Environmental and Genetic Evidence, Toxicol Sci 146(2):204-212.

    11Supra note 9.

    12 Searles Nielsen S, Checkoway H, Criswell SR, et al. [2015], Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Gene Methylation and Parkinsonism in Manganese-Exposed Welders, Parkinsonism. Relat Disord 21(4):355-60.

    13 Harischandra DS, Jin H, Anantharam V, et al. [2015], α-Synuclein Protects Against Manganese Neurotoxic Insult During the Early Stages of Exposure in a Dopaminergic Cell Model of Parkinson's Disease, Toxicol Sci 143(2):454-468.

    14 Leyva-Illades D, Chen P, Zogzas CE, et al. [2014], SLC30A10 Is a Cell Surface-Localized Manganese Efflux Transporter, and Parkinsonism-Causing Mutations Block Its Intracellular Trafficking and Efflux Activity, J Neurosci 34(42):14079-14095.

    15 Roth, JA [2014], Correlation Between the Biochemical Pathways Altered by Mutated Parkinson-Related Genes and Chronic Exposure to Manganese, Neurotoxicology Sep;44:314-325.

    16 Bouabid S, Delaville C, De Deurwaerdère P, et al. [2014], Manganese-Induced Atypical Parkinsonism Is Associated With Altered Basal Ganglia Activity and Changes in Tissue Levels of Monoamines in the Rat, PLoS ONE 9(6):e98952.

    17 Lucchini RG, Guazzetti S, Zoni S, et al. [2014], Neurofunctional Dopaminergic Impairment in Elderly After Lifetime Exposure to Manganese, Neurotoxicology 0:309-17.

    The eight references offered as medical basis for Petition 016 suggested a potential association between exposure to the 9/11 agent manganese and manganese-induced parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease and established a sufficient medical basis to consider the submission a valid petition for manganese-induced parkinsonism. Although the petitioner requested the addition of “young onset Parkinson Disease” and “Parkinsonia Syndrome,” the medical basis provided by the petitioner primarily included studies concerning manganese-induced parkinsonism; therefore, the Administrator determined that the petitioner requested the addition of both Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism.

    On May 10, 2017, the Administrator received a petition from a WTC survivor (Petition 017), requesting the addition of “Parkinson's Disease” to the List. The petition referenced five peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic studies of heavy metal exposure, including manganese, and Parkinson's disease or parkinsonism in non-9/11-exposed populations.18

    18See Petition 017, WTC Health Program: Petitions Received, http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/received.html.

    The first of the five peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic studies provided in Petition 017, reference 1, “Increased Risk of Parkinsonism Associated With Welding Exposure” by Racette et al. [2012],19 examined the prevalence and clinical characteristics of parkinsonism among workers exposed to welding fumes. Reference 2, “Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Gene Methylation and Parkinsonism in Manganese-Exposed Welders” by Searles et al. [2015],20 was also cited as reference 3 in Petition 016, as discussed above. Reference 3, “Multiple Risk Factors for Parkinson's Disease” by Gorell et al. [2004],21 evaluated the contribution of various occupational, lifestyle, and genetic risk factors, including manganese exposure, to the development of Parkinson's disease. Reference 4, “Occupational Exposure to Manganese, Copper, Lead, Iron, Mercury and Zinc and the Risk of Parkinson's Disease” by Gorell et al. [1999],22 assessed the association between a variety of heavy metals and Parkinson's disease. Finally, reference 5, “Whole-Body Lifetime Occupational Lead Exposure and Risk of Parkinson's Disease” by Coon et al. [2006],23 evaluated the role of chronic lead exposure among individuals with Parkinson's disease.

    19 Racette BA, et al. [2012], Increased Risk of Parkinsonism Associated With Welding Exposure, Neurotoxicology 33(5):1356-1361.

    20Supra note 12.

    21 Gorell JM, et al. [2004], Multiple Risk Factors for Parkinson's Disease, J Neurol Sci 217(2):169-174.

    22 Gorell JM, et al. [1999], Occupational Exposure to Manganese, Copper, Lead, Iron, Mercury and Zinc and the Risk of Parkinson's Disease, Neurotoxicology 20(2-3):239-247.

    23 Coon S, Stark A, Peterson E, et al. [2006], Whole-Body Lifetime Occupational Lead Exposure and Risk of Parkinson's Disease, Environ Health Perspect Dec;114(12):1872-6.

    These five studies suggested a potential association between exposure to known 9/11 agents and Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism, and thus provided a sufficient medical basis to consider the submission a valid petition. Because the medical basis provided by the petitioner included studies concerning both Parkinson's disease and manganese-induced parkinsonism, the Administrator determined that the petitioner requested the addition of both Parkinson's disease and manganese-induced parkinsonism.

    Since the Administrator determined that the scope of both Petition 016 and Petition 017 include requests for the addition of Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism, the Administrator decided to exercise his discretion, as permitted by 42 CFR 88.16(a)(4), to combine consideration of the petitions and issue a single Federal Register notice.

    C. Review of Scientific and Medical Information and Administrator Determination

    In response to Petition 016 and Petition 017, and pursuant to the Program policy on the addition of non-cancer health conditions to the List,24 the Program conducted reviews of the scientific literature on Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism.25

    24Supra note 3.

    25 Databases searched include: Embase, NIOSHTIC-2, ProQuest Health & Safety, PsycINFO, PubMed, Scopus, Toxicology Abstracts, and TOXLINE.

    Neither the references provided in the petitions nor the literature search conducted by the Program identified any peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic studies of either Parkinson's disease or parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism, in 9/11-exposed populations. Since no peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic studies of Parkinson's disease or parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism, in 9/11 populations were identified, the Program was unable to conduct an evaluation of scientific evidence to determine the likelihood of a causal association between 9/11 exposures and the petitioned health conditions.

    D. Administrator's Final Decision on Whether To Propose the Addition of Parkinson's Disease and/or Manganese-Induced Parkinsonism to the List

    Because no peer-reviewed, published, epidemiologic studies of Parkinson's disease or parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism, in 9/11 populations were identified, the Administrator has determined that insufficient evidence is available to take further action at this time, including either proposing the addition of Parkinson's disease or parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism, to the List (pursuant to PHS Act, sec. 3312(a)(6)(B)(ii) and 42 CFR 88.16(a)(2)(ii)) or publishing a determination not to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register (pursuant to PHS Act, sec. 3312(a)(6)(B)(iii) and 42 CFR 88.16(a)(2)(iii)). The Administrator has also determined that requesting a recommendation from the STAC (pursuant to PHS Act, sec. 3312(a)(6)(B)(i) and 42 CFR 88.16(a)(2)(i)) is unwarranted.

    For the reasons discussed above, the Petition 016 and Petition 017 requests to add Parkinson's disease and/or parkinsonism, including manganese-induced parkinsonism, to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions are denied.

    E. Approval To Submit Document to the Office of the Federal Register

    The Secretary, HHS, or his designee, the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), authorized the undersigned, the Administrator of the WTC Health Program, to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication as an official document of the WTC Health Program. Anne Schuchat, M.D., Acting Director, CDC, and Acting Administrator, ATSDR, approved this document for publication on July 6, 2017.

    John Howard, Administrator, World Trade Center Health Program and Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14559 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    82 133 Thursday, July 13, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request July 10, 2017.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by August 14, 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.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: RUS Form 87, Request for Mail List Data.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0051.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is a credit agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The agency makes loans (direct and guaranteed) to finance electric and telecommunications facilities in rural areas in accordance with the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 as amended, (ReAct). RUS Electric Program provides support to the vast rural American electric infrastructure. RUS' Telecommunications Program makes loans to furnish and improve telephone services and other telecommunications purposes in rural areas.

    Need and Use of the Information: RUS will collect information using RUS Form 87, Request for Mail List Data. The information is used for the RUS Electric and Telephone programs to obtain the name and addresses of the borrowers' officers/board of directors and corporate officials, who are authorized to sign official documents and/or to make official representations concerning borrower operations and management. RUS uses the information to assure that (1) accurate, current, and verifiable information is available; (2) correspondence with borrowers is properly directed; and (3) the appropriate officials have signed the official documents submitted. Failure to collect information from borrowers could result in failure to protect the government's security interest when determining eligibility and administering loan programs.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 980.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 245.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: Technical Assistance Program, 7 CFR part 1775.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0112.

    Summary of Collection: Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT), 7 U.S.C. 1926, authorizes Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to make loans and grants to public agencies, American Indian tribes, and nonprofit corporations. The loans and grants fund the development of drinking water, wastewater, and solid waste disposal facilities in rural areas with populations of up to 10,000 residents. Nonprofit organizations receive Technical Assistance and Training (TAT) and Solid Waste Management (SWM) grants to help small rural communities or areas identify and solve problems relating to community drinking water, wastewater, or solid waste disposal systems. The technical assistance is intended to improve the management and operation of the systems and reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources. TAT and SWM are competitive grant programs administered by RUS.

    Need and Use of the Information: Nonprofit organizations applying for TAT and SWM grants must submit a pre-application, which includes an application form, narrative proposal, various other forms, certifications and supplemental information. RUS will collect information to determine applicant's eligibility, project feasibility, and the applicant's ability to meet the grant and regulatory requirements. RUS will review the information, evaluate it, and, if the applicant and project are eligible for further competition, invite the applicant to submit a formal application. Failure to collect proper information could result in improper determinations of eligibility, improper use of funds, or hindrances in making grants authorized by the TAT and SWM program.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Governments.

    Number of Respondents: 82.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Quarterly.

    Total Burden Hours: 6,369.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0134.

    Summary of Collection: Beginning in 2003 the Omnibus Appropriations Act (Public Law 108-7) provided grant funds in the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program budget, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 108-199) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (Public Law 108-447) provided additional funds for public broadcasting systems to meet the digital transition. As part of the nation's transition to digital television, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required all television broadcasters to initiate the broadcast of a digital television signal and to cease analog television broadcasts on February 18, 2009. While stations must broadcast its main transmitter signal in digital, many rural stations often have translators serving small or isolated areas and some of these have not completed the transition to digital or fully converted its production and studio equipment to digital. Because the FCC deadline did not apply to translators, they are allowed to continue broadcasting in analog. The digital transition also created some service gaps where households receiving an analog signal cannot receive a digital signal. For these reasons the grant program has continued past the FCC digital transition deadline until 2014. The Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program is no longer funded.

    Need and Use of the Information: There are past awardees that remain in the program and the Agency continues to collect information from them. Awardees still in the program must complete SF-475 “Federal Financial Report” to submit financial information and SF-270 “Request for Advance or Reimbursement” to request payments. If this information is not collected, there would be no basis advancing grant funds to the grant recipients or for ensuring that the project funding is used for intended purposes.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 15.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 1 hour place holder.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14681 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2017-0025] Availability of an Environmental Assessment for Release of Three Parasitoids for Biological Control of the Lily Leaf Beetle AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a draft environmental assessment relative to the release of three parasitoids, Diaparsis jucunda, Lemophagus errabundus, and Tetrastichus setifer for the biological control of the lily leaf beetle. The environmental assessment considers the effects of, and alternatives to, the field release of the parasitoids into the contiguous United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of infestations of lily leaf beetle. We are making the environmental assessment available to the public for review and comment.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0025.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2017-0025, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0025 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Colin D. Stewart, Assistant Director, Pests, Pathogens, and Biocontrol Permits Permitting and Compliance Coordination, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2327, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Lilies (Lillium spp.) and fritillaries (Fritillaria spp.) are prized for their blooms, whether the showy and enormous Asiatic hybrids or the subtle, fleeting flowers of fritillaries. The aesthetic value of lilies and fritillaries extends to wild lands, where the flowers are a significant visual feature during their bloom, adorning alpine ridges, swampy bottomlands, and desert shrublands alike. The lily leaf beetle, Lilioceris lilii (Coleptera: Chrysomelidae), an aggressive pest of lilies and fritillaries, has expanded its range rapidly over the past decade, and is now found in several northeastern and central States, across Canada, and in Washington State. Further expansion is expected based on its historical distribution in nearly all of Europe and parts of North Africa. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is proposing to release three insect parasitoid species for the biological control of the lily leaf beetle; none of these species have been previously released or established in Washington State. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to issue permits for the field release of the parasitoids Diaparsis jucunda, Lemophagus errabundus, and Tetrastichus setifer into the continental United States to reduce the severity of lily leaf beetle infestations.

    APHIS' review and analysis of the proposed action are documented in detail in a draft environmental assessment (EA) entitled “Field release of Diaparsis jucunda (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), Lemophagus errabundus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), and Tetrastichus setifer (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) for biological control of the lily leaf beetle, Lilioceris lilii (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in the Contiguous United States” (January 2017). We are making the EA available to the public for review and comment. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before the date listed under the heading DATES at the beginning of this notice.

    The EA may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the EA by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the title of the EA when requesting copies.

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

    Done in Washington, DC, this 7th day of July 2017. Michael C. Gregoire, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14694 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2017-0053] Availability of an Environmental Assessment for the Biological Control of Swallow-Worts AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a draft environmental assessment relative to the control of swallow-worts (Vincetoxicum nigrum and Vincetoxicum rossicum). The environmental assessment considers the effects of, and alternatives to, the field release of a leaf-feeding moth, Hypena opulenta, into the continental United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of swallow-wort infestations. We are making the environmental assessment available to the public for review and comment.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0053.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2017-0053, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0053 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Colin D. Stewart, Assistant Director, Pests, Pathogens, and Biocontrol Permits, Permitting and Compliance Coordination, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2327, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Two species of swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum nigrum and Vincetoxicum rossicum), native to Mediterranean regions of Europe (V. nigrum) and Ukraine and southeastern Russia (V. rossicum), were first documented in the United States in the late nineteenth century and are now widely distributed along the northeast Atlantic coast and in Ontario and Quebec in Canada, as well as in upper Midwestern regions of the United States. Swallow-worts are long-lived vines that overwinter as seeds or rootstalks, and they outcompete native plants for resources while often also forming dense monocultures in a variety of habitats. Swallow-wort invasions in primarily upland habitats including, but not restricted to, pastures, old fields, hillsides, shores, flood plains, roadsides, and forest margins, pose a major threat to native species diversity and ecosystem functioning and negatively affect farming practices, livestock, and ornamental landscapes. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to issue permits for the field release of a leaf-feeding moth, Hypena opulenta, into the continental United States to reduce the severity of swallow-wort infestations.

    APHIS' review and analysis of the proposed action are documented in detail in a draft environmental assessment (EA) entitled “Field release of the leaf-feeding moth, Hypena opulenta (Christoph) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), for classical biological control of swallow-worts, Vincetoxicum nigrum (L.) Moench and V. rossicum (Kleopow) Barbarich (Gentianales: Apocyanceae), in the contiguous United States” (June 2017). We are making this EA available to the public for review and comment. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before the date listed under the heading DATES at the beginning of this notice.

    The EA may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the EA by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the title of the EA when requesting copies.

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

    Done in Washington, DC, this 7th day of July 2017. Michael C. Gregoire, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14695 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Program Regulations—Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is a revision of a currently approved information collection for the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Regulations for the reporting and recordkeeping burden associated with the WIC FMNP Program regulations.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent to: Kurtria Watson, Chief, Policy Branch, Supplemental Food Programs Division, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 524, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Kurtria Watson at 703-305-2196 or via email to [email protected] Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Kurtria Watson at 703-605-4387.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Regulations—Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden.

    Form Number: N/A.

    OMB Number: 0584-0447.

    Expiration Date: November 30, 2017.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: The WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is associated with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as WIC. The WIC Program provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education at no cost to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding post-partum women, and to infants and children up to 5 years of age, who are found to be at nutritional risk. The purpose of the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is to provide fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables through farmers' markets and roadside stands to WIC participants, and to expand awareness and use of, and sales at, farmers' markets and roadside stands. Currently, FMNP operates through State health departments in 39 States, 6 Indian Tribal Organizations, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

    Section 17(m)(8) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. 1786(m)(8), and the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) regulations at 7 CFR part 248 require that certain program-related information be collected and that full and complete records concerning FMNP operations are maintained. The information reporting and recordkeeping burdens are necessary to ensure appropriate and efficient management of the FMNP program. These burden activities are covered by this Information Collection Request (ICR) which include requirements that involve the authorization and monitoring of State agencies; the certification of FMNP participants; the nutrition education that is provided to participants; farmer and market authorization, monitoring, and management; and financial and participation data (using FNS 683 B approved under OMB Control Number: 0584-0594, Expiration Date: 06/2019). State plans (using FNS 339 approved under OMB Control Number: 0584-0332, Expiration Date: 02/2019) are the principal source of information about how each State agency operates its FMNP program. Information collected from participants and local agencies is collected through State-developed forms or Management Information Systems. The information collected is used by the Department of Agriculture to manage, plan, evaluate, make decisions and report on FMNP program operations.

    Revisions in burden hours are due to program adjustments that primarily reflect expected changes in the number of Individuals/Household FMNP participants; this affected public was not included in the currently approved information collection request. The oversight is being remedied with this request and we are now including the burden on individuals/households. Additionally, there are changes to the number of FMNP authorized farmers and markets; and FMNP authorized State agencies who are participating in this program.

    The currently approved burden for this collection is 23,661. FNS is seeking 931,145, an increase of 907,484 burden hours. The currently approved total annual responses is 18,433.68. We are requesting 4,968,387 which is an increase of 4,949,953.35 total annual responses. The currently approved reporting burden is 23,331.98; we are requesting 517,177. This revision increased the reporting burden by 493,845 hours. The currently approved burden for recordkeeping is 329 and we are requesting 413,968. This increased the recordkeeping burden by 413,639, and increased the total approved reporting and recordkeeping burden by 907,484 hours.

    Affected Public: Respondents include State agencies, local agencies and Indian Tribal Organizations, Individuals/Households (participants), and authorized FMNP outlets (farmers, farmers' markets, roadside stands).

    Estimated Number of Respondents: The total estimated number of respondents is 1,660,227. This includes: State agencies (49), local agencies & Indian Tribal Organizations (980), Individuals/Households (1,646,589 participants), and authorized FMNP outlets (farmers, farmers' markets, roadside stands) (12,560).

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: The total estimated number of responses per respondent for this collection is 3.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: The total estimated number of annual responses for this collection is 4,968,387.

    Estimated Time per Response: The estimated time per response averages .19 hours for all participants. For the reporting burden, the estimated time of response varies from approximately 1 minute to 40 hours, while the estimated time of response for the recordkeeping burden varies from 15 minutes to 40 hours, depending on the respondent group.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: The estimated total annual burden on respondents for this collection is 931,145 hours. The reporting and recordkeeping burden is 517,177 and 413,968 hours, respectively.

    See the table below for the estimated total annual burden for each type of respondent.

    EN13JY17.000 EN13JY17.001 Dated: June 29, 2017. Jessica Shahin, Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14623 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    CHEMICAL SAFETY AND HAZARD INVESTIGATION BOARD Sunshine Act Meeting Time and Date:

    July 26, 2017, 1:00 p.m. EDT.

    Place:

    U.S. Chemical Safety Board, 1750 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 910, Washington, DC 20006.

    Status:

    Open to the public.

    Matters to be Considered:

    The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) will convene a public meeting on July 26, 2017, starting at 1:00 p.m. EDT in Washington, DC, at the CSB offices located at 1750 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 910. The Board Members will discuss open investigations, the status of audits from the Office of the Inspector General, financial and organizational updates, and a review of the agency's action plan. The Board will also discuss the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge investigation. An opportunity for public comment will be provided.

    Additional Information

    The meeting is free and open to the public. If you require a translator or interpreter, please notify the individual listed below as the Contact Person for Further Information, at least three business days prior to the meeting.

    A conference call line will be provided for those who cannot attend in person. Please use the following dial-in number to join the conference: (888) 466-9863 Confirmation Number 8812164#.

    The CSB is an independent, non-regulatory federal agency charged with investigating accidents and hazards that result, or may result, in the catastrophic release of extremely hazardous substances. The agency's Board Members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical incidents and hazards, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

    Public Comment

    The time provided for public statements will depend upon the number of people who wish to speak. Speakers should assume that their presentations will be limited to three minutes or less, but commenters may submit written statements for the record.

    Contact Person for Further Information:

    Hillary Cohen, Communications Manager, at [email protected] or (202) 446-8094. Further information about this public meeting can be found on the CSB Web site at: www.csb.gov.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Kara A. Wenzel, Acting General Counsel, Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14864 Filed 7-11-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6350-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE U.S. Census Bureau Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: 2018 End-to-End Census Test—Peak Operations.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-xxxx.

    Form Number(s):

    Questionnaires DH-1 DH-1(E/S) DH-1(UL) DH-1(E/S) UL DH-20 DH-20(S) DH-61(ICQ) Informational Copy DH-61(ICQ)(S) Informational Copy Questionnaire Cover Letters DH-16(L1) DH-16(L1)(E/S) DH-16(L2) DH-16(L2)(E/S) DH-16(L3) DH-16(L3)(E/S) DH-16(L4) DH-16(L4)(E/S) DH-17(L1) DH-17(L1)(E/S) Update Leave DH-16(L2)(UL) DH-16(L2)(UL)(E/S) Nonresponse Follow-Up DH-16(LN) DH-16(LN)(E/S) Postcards DH-9(P) DH-9(P)(E/S) DH-9(C) DH-9(C)(E/S) DH-9 DH-9(E/S) DH-9(AR)(E/S) Information Inserts DH-17(CQA) DH-17I(E/S) DH-17I(E/S)P1 Envelopes DH-5(E/S) DH-5(GQ) DH-5(eResponse) DH-6A(IN)(UL)(E/S) DH-6A(IN) DH-6A(IN)(E/S) DH-6B(IN)(E/S) DH-6A(1)(IN)(E/S) DH-8A DH-8A(E/S) DH-40 DH-40(S) DH-40(GQ) Brochures DH-1183 GQE DH-1184 SBE Group Quarters Facility Manager Letters DH-18(eResponse) DH-18(GQ) DH-30(L)(FM)(E/S) DH-30(L)(HC)(E/S) DH-30(L)(SH)(E/S) Confidentiality Notice DH-31(GQ)(E/S) DH-31(UL)(E/S) Field Materials DH-26(E/S) DH-28(E/S) DH-28(MU)(E/S) Re-Interview Form DH-941(GQE) Living Quarters Flashcard DH-1028.4 DH-1028.4(S) Enumeration Records Group Quarters Enumeration Record Regularly Scheduled Mobile Food Van Enumeration Record Shelter Enumeration Record Soup Kitchen Enumeration Record Targeted Non-Sheltered Outdoor Location Enumeration Record Group Quarters Advance Contact Call Scripts Soup Kitchen Non-SBE Group Quarters Emergency and Transitional Shelters Mobile Food Vans Group Quarters eResponse eResponse video script eResponse template Group Quarters Field Materials DH-116 DH-1054(GQE) DH-1054(SBE) DH-1055(GQE) DH-1059(SE) Field Enumeration Instrument Specifications Field Verification (FV) Non-Response Follow-up/Update Leave Follow-up (NRFU/ULF) Multi-Unit Manager Visit (MU) NRFU Re-interview (RI) Multi-Unit Manager Visit Re-interview (MU RI) Instrument Specifications Census Questionnaire Assistance Specifications Coverage Improvement Screenshots

    Type of Request: New Collection.

    Number of Respondents: 336,645.

    Average Hours Per Response: 10 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 55,886 hours.

    Test Site—Providence County, Rhode Island Operation or category Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated
  • time per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Total
  • burden
  • hours
  • Self-Response—Internet/Telephone/Paper 114,000 10 19,000 Nonresponse Follow-up 163,000 10 27,167 Nonresponse Follow-up Re-interview 16,300 10 2,717 Update Leave Production 2,000 5 167 Update Leave QC 300 5 25 GQ Advance Contact (facility) 500 10 83 GQ SBE—facility contact 40 10 7 GQ SBE—person contact 1,600 10 267 GQ Enumeration—facility contact 500 10 83 GQ Enumeration—person contact 28,000 10 4,667 Group Quarters QC 50 5 4 Non-ID Processing Phone Follow-up 115 5 10 Re-collect 4,600 10 767 Field Verification 140 2 5 Coverage Improvement 5,500 10 917 Totals 336,645 55,886

    Needs and Uses: During the years preceding the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will pursue its commitment to reduce the costs of conducting a decennial census while maintaining our commitment to quality. In 2018, the Census Bureau will be performing the 2018 End-to-End Census Test. This last major test before the 2020 Census is designed to (1) test and validate 2020 Census operations, procedures, systems, and field infrastructure to ensure proper integration and conformance with requirements, and (2) produce prototypes of geographic and data products.

    New approaches to the design of the 2020 Census are classified into four key innovation areas. These areas have been the subject of Census Bureau testing this decade to identify methodological improvements, technological advances, and possibilities for cost savings. One of these innovation areas is Optimizing Self-Response, which is focused on improving methods for increasing the number of people who take advantage of self-response options, including responding by internet. The 2018 End-to-End Census Test is designed to evaluate several strategies for optimizing self-response, including two contact strategies, either or both of which may be included in the design of the 2020 Census. Two of the other innovation areas—Utilizing Administrative Records and Third-Party Data and Reengineering Field Operations—will be incorporated into the functionality that will be tested in this test. In particular, this Peak Operations portion of the 2018 End-to-End Census Test will encompass operations and systems related to (1) Optimizing Self-Response, including contact strategies, questionnaire content, and language support; (2) Update Leave (UL), including technological and operational testing; (3) Nonresponse Follow-up (NRFU), including technological and operational improvements; and (4) Group Quarters (GQ), including technological and operational testing. The UL and GQ operations are being fielded for the first time this decade.

    The remaining innovation area—Reengineering Address Canvassing—contains innovations that have been tested in the 2016 Address Canvassing test and in the 2018 End-to-End Census Test Address Canvassing. The 2018 End-to-End Census Test Address Canvassing precedes the enumeration operations included in and creates the address list for this 2018 End-to-End Census Test Peak Operations test. The Address Canvassing portion of this test was described in an earlier Federal Register Notice and included in a different OMB clearance due to timing considerations.

    Optimizing Self-Response is focused on improving methods for increasing the number of people who take advantage of self-response options. The 2018 End-to-End Census Test will include two different mailing strategies to optimize the rate at which the public self-responds to the decennial census, thereby reducing costs of the 2020 Census by decreasing the workload for following up at nonresponding units.

    Internet First is the primary mail contact strategy proposed for the 2020 Census and has been used in Census Bureau research and testing efforts since 2012. (In previous tests, this strategy was called Internet Push.) This strategy includes the mailing of a letter encouraging respondents to complete the questionnaire online, two follow-up reminders, after which a paper questionnaire is mailed to nonresponding housing units. A final reminder postcard is the last mailing.

    Internet Choice includes a paper questionnaire in the first mailing, along with an invitation to complete the questionnaire online, providing a choice of internet or paper response from the beginning of the contact strategy. (Subsequent mailings are of the same number and type as the Internet First strategy.) This strategy is targeted to households in areas least likely to respond online, as indicated by a number of factors, including internet availability and historical census response rates.

    In addition, the 2018 End-to-End Census Test provides the Census Bureau with an opportunity to enhance the user experience, performance, and functionality of the internet self-response instrument.

    The Update Leave (UL) operation is designed for areas where the Census Bureau has concerns about accurate mail delivery and needs to determine the Census block location of each housing unit. The current design capitalizes on 2020 Census methodological improvements such as internet self-response and automated field operations. UL is conducted mostly in geographic areas that have one or more of the following characteristics:

    • Do not have city-style addresses like 123 Main Street.

    • Do not receive mail through city-style addresses.

    • Receive mail at post office boxes rather than at physical addresses.

    • Have unique challenges associated with accessibility, such as dirt roads or seasonal access.

    • Have recently been affected by natural disasters.

    • Have high concentrations of seasonally vacant housing.

    The following objectives are being tested for Update Leave:

    • Integrating listing operation and systems.

    • Testing the ability to link a questionnaire ID to an address.

    • Testing field supervisor to enumerator ratios.

    The 2018 End-to-End Census Test will allow the Census Bureau to continue to refine, optimize, and assess the operational procedures and technical design of the Nonresponse Follow-up (NRFU) operation. NRFU is a field operation for determining housing unit status (occupied, vacant, or delete) and for gathering the enumeration data at addresses for which no self-response was received. This test will build on the results of previous field tests this decade where the NRFU operation has been conducted. In particular, NRFU is now a fully automated operation, whereas it was performed using paper materials in the 2010 Census.

    The 2018 End-to-End Census Test will inform Census Bureau technological and operational planning and design for the enumeration of the population residing in group quarters (GQs). GQs are living quarters where people who are typically unrelated have group living arrangements and frequently are receiving some type of service. College/University student housing and nursing/skilled-nursing facilities are examples of GQs. To date, some small-scale testing has been done to test electronic transmission of GQ's enumeration responses. The 2018 End-to-End Census Test expands on these results to allow the opportunity to evaluate procedures and technologies for conducting GQ enumeration operations. The set of operations planned for GQ enumeration is GQ Advance Contact, Service-Based Enumeration, and, finally, GQ Enumeration. These operations have been used in previous censuses. The GQ Advance Contact is an operation where facility contact and planning data are collected, including the ability of the GQ facility to provide electronic records for the enumeration. Service-Based Enumeration has the objective of counting individuals who will not be enumerated at a living quarter but are receiving some type of service. The GQ Enumeration is the final stage of enumerating individuals residing at the GQ.

    The Census Bureau recognizes that the OMB is continuing to lead the discussion among federal agencies and other stakeholders on race/ethnicity from the perspective of data collection and dissemination guidance and standards, and that the final determination has not been made on the format of the race/ethnicity question for the 2020 Census. If it is determined that the combined race/ethnicity question format may be used for the 2020 Census (versus the separate race and Hispanic Origin questions used for the 2010 Census), it will be crucial for the Census Bureau to ensure that critical operations are fully prepared to go into production for the 2020 Census using the combined question.

    Therefore, the 2018 End-to-End Census Test data collection operations will use the combined race/ethnicity question version (which also includes a Middle Eastern or North African category) to further its analysis and understanding of mode differences for the race/ethnicity responses before deploying the 2020 Census questionnaire. Particular test objectives are:

    Internet Self-Response: Continue testing the combined race/ethnicity question under the further enhancements of the internet self-response instrument for the 2018 End-to-End Census Test in regards to user experience, performance, and functionality; and ensure that the resulting response data and Para data meet the requirements of follow-up and data processing operations.

    Nonresponse Follow-up: Continue testing the combined race/ethnicity question under the further enhancements of the field enumeration instrument; assess enumerators' experience with the field enumeration instrument and their navigation of the race/ethnicity question within the instrument. Input will be gathered during the post-operation field enumerator debriefing sessions.

    Update Leave and Group Quarters: Examine the 2018 End-to-End Census Test results by mode, including Update Leave and Group Quarters operations, which will be fielded for the first time this decade.

    The results of this test will inform the Census Bureau's final preparations in advance of the 2020 Census. In particular, conducting a live operation will ensure all the systems, instruments, and processes are functioning correctly or will provide indicators of what needs to be fixed. In addition, metrics collected during the operation will provide additional data to be used for budget and operational planning purposes.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Frequency: One time.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Sheleen Dumas, Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14726 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Annual Wholesale Trade Survey AGENCY:

    U.S. Census Bureau, 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:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before September 11, 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(s) and instructions should be directed to Susan Pozzanghera, Economy-Wide Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau, (301) 763-7169 or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Annual Wholesale Trade Survey (AWTS) covers employer firms with establishments located in the United States and classified in wholesale trade sector as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). This sector includes distributors, manufacturers' sales branches and offices, as well as agents and brokers.

    Firms are selected for this survey using a stratified random sample where strata are defined by type of operation, industry, and annual sales size. The sample is drawn from the Business Register (BR), which is the Census Bureau's master business list containing basic economic information for over 7.4 million employer businesses and over 22.5 million non-employer businesses.

    The BR obtains information using direct data collections and administrative record information from federal agencies. The AWTS sample is updated quarterly to reflect business “births” and “deaths” by adding newly established employer businesses and deleting companies when it is determined they are no longer active.

    The AWTS introduced a new sample for 2016. The Census Bureau requested two years of data from all sample firms in order to link the old and new samples, ensuring that the published estimates continue to be reliable and accurate. The 2017 AWTS and subsequent years will request one year of data until a new sample is selected again in five years. The 2017 AWTS will also collect detailed business expenditure items and sales tax data, in response to a request for this data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). These data items are collected on the AWTS survey in years ending in 2 and 7, which coincide with the economic census collection.

    The AWTS data is collected electronically using the Census Bureau's secure online reporting instrument (Centurion). This electronic system of reporting is designed to allow respondents easier access, convenience and flexibility. In the few cases of companies that have no access to the Internet, the Census Bureau can arrange for the companies to provide data to an analyst via telephone.

    The AWTS survey collects data on annual sales, e-commerce sales, operating expenses, purchases, commissions, and year-end inventories. There are five electronic form types based on the specific type of operation and structure of the sampled firm. Each form asks a different subset of the items listed above based on relevance to their type of operation. These data are used to satisfy a variety of public and business needs such as economic market analysis, company performance, and forecasting future demands. The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data in developing the Nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates and the national accounts' input-output tables. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the data as an input to its producer price indices and in developing productivity measurements.

    Results will be available by type of operation and item collected at the United States summary level approximately fifteen months after the end of the reference year.

    II. Method of Collection

    The Census Bureau primarily collects this information via the Internet and, in rare cases when respondents have no access to the internet, by telephone.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0195.

    Form Number(s): SA-42, SA-42A, SA-42A (MSBO), SA-42(AGBR), SA-42A (AGBR).

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Wholesale firms located in the United States.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 8,900.

    Estimated Time per Response: 93.6 minutes (2017 survey year-additional items collected); 28.8 minutes (2018 and 2019 survey years).

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 13,884 hours (2017 survey year-additional items collected); 4,272 hours (2018 and 2019 survey years).

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    Respondents Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 131 and 182.

    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.

    Sheleen Dumas, Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14724 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-507-502] Certain In-Shell (Raw) Pistachios From the Islamic Republic of Iran: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) and the International Trade Commission (the ITC) have determined that revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain in-shell (raw) pistachios (pistachios) from the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States. Therefore, the Department is publishing a notice of continuation of this order.

    DATES:

    Effective July 13, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Madeline Heeren, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-9179.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 17, 1986, the Department published the antidumping duty order on certain in-shell pistachios from Iran.1 On April 1, 2016, the Department initiated 2 and the ITC instituted 3 the second five-year (sunset) review of the Order pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). No respondent interested party submitted a timely substantive response. Pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2), the Department conducted an expedited (120-day) sunset review of the Order. As a result of this sunset review, the Department determined that revocation of the Order would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and, therefore, notified the ITC of the magnitude of the margins of dumping likely to prevail should the order be revoked, pursuant to sections 751(c)(1) and 752(b) and (c) of the Act.4

    1See Antidumping Duty Order; Certain In-Shell Pistachios from Iran, 51 FR 25922 (July 17, 1986) (Order).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review, 81 FR 18829 (April 1, 2016) (Sunset Initiation).

    3See Certain Raw In-Shell Pistachios from Iran; Institution of a Five-Year Review, 81 FR 18882 (April 1, 2016).

    4See Certain In-Shell (Raw) Pistachios from the Islamic Republic of Iran: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order, 81 FR 51857 (August 5, 2016), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    On June 30, 2017, the ITC published its determination, pursuant to section 751(c) and 752 of the Act, that revocation of the Order would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United Sates within a reasonably foreseeable time.5

    5See Investigation No. 731-TA-287 (Second Review) Raw In-Shell Pistachios from Iran, 82 FR 29931 (June 30, 2017), and USITC Publication 4701 (June 2016), entitled Raw In-Shell Pistachios from Iran.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are raw, in-shell pistachio nuts from which the hulls have been removed, leaving the inner hard shells, and edible meats from Iran.6 This merchandise is provided for in subheading 0802.51.00.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs urposes, the written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.

    6See Certain In-Shell Pistachios from Iran; Clarification of Scope in Antidumping Duty Investigation, 51 FR 23254 (June 26, 1986).

    Continuation of the Order

    As a result of the determinations by the Department and the ITC that revocation of the Order would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States, pursuant to section 751(d)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(a), the Department hereby orders the continuation of the Order. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to collect cash deposits at the rates in effect at the time of entry for all imports of subject merchandise.

    The effective date of the continuation of the Order will be the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of continuation. Pursuant to section 751(c)(2) of the Act, the Department intends to initiate the next five-year review of this order not later than 30 days prior to the fifth anniversary of the effective date of continuation notice.

    This five-year (sunset) review and this notice are in accordance with sections 751(c) and 751(d)(2) of the Act and published pursuant to section 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4).

    Dated: July 7, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14707 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction Meetings AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction (NACWIR or Committee), will hold three upcoming meetings continuing the work of the Committee. Interested members of the public will be able to view the video conferences and participate from remote locations by calling in to a central phone number. The final agendas and any meeting materials will be posted on the NWIRP Web site at https://www.nist.gov/el/materials-and-structural-systems-division-73100/national-windstorm-impact-reduction-program-1.

    DATES:

    The NACWIR will hold meetings (1) via video conference on Monday, July 31, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time; (2) in person and via video conference on Wednesday, August 23, and Thursday, August 24, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time; and (3) via video conference on Monday, September 18, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. All meetings will be open to the public.

    ADDRESSES:

    The August meeting will be held in Building 215, Rm. C103 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The address is 100 Bureau Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1070. Questions regarding the meetings should be sent to the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8611, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899. For instructions on how to participate in each meeting, please see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Potts, Management and Program Analyst, NWIRP, Engineering Laboratory, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8611, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899. He can also be contacted by email at [email protected]; or by phone at (301) 975-5412.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NACWIR was established in accordance with the requirements of the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2015, Public Law 114-52. The NACWIR is charged with offering assessments and recommendations on—

    • Trends and developments in the natural, engineering, and social sciences and practices of windstorm impact mitigation;

    • The priorities of the Strategic Plan for the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP or Program);

    • The coordination of the Program;

    • The effectiveness of the Program in meeting its purposes; and

    • Any revisions to the Program which may be necessary.

    Background information on NWIRP and the Committee is available at https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2016/07/nist-leads-federal-effort-save-lives-and-property-windstorms.

    July Meeting

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the NACWIR will hold an open meeting via video conference on Monday, July 31, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The primary purpose of the meeting will be to assess and develop recommendations on (1) the priorities of the Draft Strategic Plan for the NWIRP, and (2) trends and developments in the natural, engineering, and social sciences and practices of windstorm impact mitigation. The agenda and meeting materials will be posted on the NACWIR Web site at https://www.nist.gov/el/mssd/nwirp/national-advisory-committee-windstorm-impact-reduction.

    All participants in the meeting are required to pre-register. Anyone wishing to participate must register by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday, July 24, 2017. Please submit your first and last name, email address, and phone number to Steve Potts at [email protected] or (301) 975-5412. After pre-registering, participants will be provided with detailed instructions on how to join the video conference remotely. Approximately 15 minutes will be reserved from 3:35 p.m.-3:50 p.m. Eastern Time for public comments. Speaking times will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The amount of time per speaker will be determined by the number of requests received, but is likely to be about three minutes each. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. All those wishing to speak must submit their request by email to the attention of Mr. Steve Potts, [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, July 24, 2017. Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated, and those who were unable to participate are invited to submit written statements to NACWIR, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 8611, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, or electronically by email to [email protected]

    August Meeting

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the NACWIR will meet in person and via video conference on Wednesday, August 23, and Thursday, August 24, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The meeting will be open to the public. The primary purpose of the meeting will be to assess and develop recommendations on: (1) The coordination of the Program; (2) the effectiveness of the Program in meeting its purposes; and (3) any revisions to the Program which may be necessary. The agenda may change to accommodate Committee business. The agenda and meeting materials will be posted on the NACWIR Web site at https://www.nist.gov/el/mssd/nwirp/national-advisory-committee-windstorm-impact-reduction.

    All participants in the meeting are required to pre-register. Anyone wishing to participate must register by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Wednesday, August 16, 2017. To participate in the video conference, please submit your first and last name, email address, and phone number to Steve Potts at [email protected] or (301) 975-5412. After pre-registering, participants will be provided with detailed instructions on how to join the video conference remotely.

    The meeting will be held in Building 215, Rm. C103 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The address is 100 Bureau Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1070. All visitors to the NIST site are required to pre-register to be admitted. To attend the meeting in person, please submit your full name, email address, and phone number to Steve Potts. Non-U.S. citizens must submit additional information; please contact Mr. Steve Potts. Mr. Potts' email address is [email protected] and his phone number is (301) 975-5412. For participants attending in person, please note that federal agencies, including NIST, can only accept a state-issued driver's license or identification card for access to federal facilities if such license or identification card is issued by a state that is compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-13), or by a state that has an extension for REAL ID compliance. NIST currently accepts other forms of federal-issued identification in lieu of a state-issued driver's license. For detailed information please visit: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/visitor/.

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions related to the Committee's affairs are invited to request a place on the agenda. On August 23, 2017, approximately fifteen minutes will be reserved near the end of the day for public comments, and speaking times will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. The amount of time per speaker will be determined by the number of requests received, but is likely to be about three minutes each. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. All those wishing to speak must submit their request by email to the attention of Mr. Steve Potts, [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

    Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated, and those who were unable to participate are invited to submit written statements to NACWIR, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 8611, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, or electronically by email to [email protected]

    September Meeting

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the NACWIR will hold an open meeting via video conference on Monday, September 18, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The primary purpose of the meeting will be to assess and develop recommendations on: (1) The coordination of the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (Program); (2) the effectiveness of the Program in meeting its purposes; and (3) any revisions to the Program which may be necessary. The agenda and meeting materials will be posted on the NACWIR Web site at https://www.nist.gov/el/mssd/nwirp/national-advisory-committee-windstorm-impact-reduction.

    All participants in the meeting are required to pre-register. Anyone wishing to participate must register by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday, September 11, 2017. Please submit your first and last name, email address, and phone number to Steve Potts at [email protected] or (301) 975-5412. After pre-registering, participants will be provided with detailed instructions on how to join the video conference remotely. Approximately 15 minutes will be reserved from 3:35 p.m.-3:50 p.m. Eastern Time for public comments. Speaking times will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The amount of time per speaker will be determined by the number of requests received but is likely to be about three minutes each. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. All those wishing to speak must submit their request by email to the attention of Mr. Steve Potts, [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, September 11, 2017. Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated, and those who were unable to participate are invited to submit written statements to NACWIR, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 8611, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, or electronically by email to [email protected]

    Kevin Kimball, NIST Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14719 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF378 Marine Mammals; File No. 21059 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, P.O. Box 140, Gustavus, AK 99826 (Responsible Party: Philip N. Hooge), has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), killer (Orcinus orca), minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus).

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 21059 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Courtney Smith or Carrie Hubard, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222-226).

    The proposed permit would authorize takes of the above listed species during vessel surveys to gather information currently lacking regarding their ecology, behavior and population status to enable information-based resource management in southeastern Alaska especially Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve (GBNPP). The core study area is Glacier Bay/Icy Strait, but includes all nearshore waters of the mainland and Alexander Archipelago. Takes by harassment may occur by close approach for vessel surveys, photo-identification, behavioral observation, collection of feces/sloughed skin, biopsy sampling and passive acoustic recording. The maximum number of annual approaches to whales (risking Level B harassment) will be 2500 humpback whales, 500 killer whales, 20 minke whales and 20 gray whales. Biopsy takes on 50 humpback and 50 killer whales are also requested. The permit would be valid for five years.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of the application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Catherine Marzin, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14640 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF508-X Marine Mammals; File No. 20556 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources [Jonathan Ambrose, Responsible party] 2070 U.S. Highway 278 Southeast, Social Circle, GA 30025, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on marine mammals.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 20556 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shasta McClenahan or Carrie Hubard, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    The applicant requests a 5-year permit to take marine mammals for research in the Atlantic Ocean and off the west coast of Florida during vessel and manned and unmanned aerial surveys. The objectives of the research are to continue North Atlantic right whale (NARW; Eubalaena glacialis) population monitoring efforts, identifying and reducing human causes of mortality and serious injury, monitoring and protecting NARW habitat, and helping to implement the NARW Recovery Plan. Up to 500 endangered NARWs, and 50 non-listed humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) may be targeted annually for research activities including counts, behavioral observations, photography, photo-identification, photogrammetry, video recording, and passive acoustic recording. Biological samples, including sloughed skin, fecal, breath, and skin and blubber biopsies, may be collected from 95 NARW adults or juveniles and 60 NARW calves annually, and these samples may be exported and re-imported for analysis. Up to 15 NARWs may be tagged each year with either traditional dart/barb tags or suction-cup tags. Additional marine mammals that may be harassed incidental to research include up to 50 each of endangered sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) and non-listed long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and 500 each of Atlantic white-sided (Lagenorhynchus acutus), Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis), and bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) dolphins, annually.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of the application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: July 7, 2017. Catherine Marzin, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14635 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF514 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery Program AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notification of fee percentage.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS publishes notification of a 1.57 percent fee for cost recovery under the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program. This action is intended to provide holders of crab allocations with the fee percentage for the 2017/2018 crab fishing year so they can calculate the required payment for cost recovery fees that must be submitted by July 31, 2018.

    DATES:

    The Crab Rationalization Program Registered Crab Receiver permit holder is responsible for submitting the fee liability payment to NMFS on or before July 31, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Suja Hall, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    NMFS Alaska Region administers the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program (Program) in the North Pacific. Fishing under the Program began on August 15, 2005. Regulations implementing the Program can be found at 50 CFR part 680.

    The Program is a limited access system authorized by section 313(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The Program includes a cost recovery provision to collect fees to recover the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the Program. The Program implemented under the authority of section 313(j) is consistent with the cost recovery provisions included under section 304(d)(2)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS developed the cost recovery provision to conform to statutory requirements and to reimburse the agency for the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the Program. The cost recovery provision allows collection of 133 percent of the actual management, data collection, and enforcement costs up to 3 percent of the ex-vessel value of crab harvested under the Program. The Program provides that a proportional share of fees charged for management and enforcement be forwarded to the State of Alaska for its share of management and data collection costs for the Program. The cost recovery provision also requires the harvesting and processing sectors to each pay half the cost recovery fees. Catcher/processor quota shareholders are required to pay the full fee percentage for crab processed at sea.

    A crab allocation holder generally incurs a cost recovery fee liability for every pound of crab landed. The crab allocations include Individual Fishing Quota, Crew Individual Fishing Quota, Individual Processing Quota, Community Development Quota, and the Adak community allocation. The Registered Crab Receiver (RCR) permit holder must collect the fee liability from the crab allocation holder who is landing crab. Additionally, the RCR permit holder must collect his or her own fee liability for all crab delivered to the RCR. The RCR permit holder is responsible for submitting this payment to NMFS on or before July 31, in the year following the crab fishing year in which landings of crab were made.

    The dollar amount of the fee due is determined by multiplying the fee percentage (not to exceed 3 percent) by the ex-vessel value of crab debited from the allocation. Specific details on the Program's cost recovery provision may be found in the implementing regulations at 50 CFR 680.44.

    Fee Percentage

    Each year, NMFS calculates and publishes in the Federal Register the fee percentage according to the factors and methodology described at § 680.44(c)(2). The formula for determining the fee percentage is the “direct program costs” divided by “value of the fishery,” where “direct program costs” are the direct program costs for the Program for the previous fiscal year, and “value of the fishery” is the ex-vessel value of the catch subject to the crab cost recovery fee liability for the current year. Fee collections for any given year may be less than, or greater than, the actual costs and fishery value for that year, because, by regulation, the fee percentage is established in the first quarter of a crab fishery year based on the fishery value and the costs of the prior year.

    Based upon the fee percentage formula described above, the estimated percentage of costs to value for the 2016/2017 fishery was 1.57 percent. Therefore, the fee percentage will be 1.57 percent for the 2017/2018 crab fishing year. This is a decrease of 0.03 percent from the 2016/2017 fee percentage of 1.60 percent (81 FR 45458; July 14, 2016). The change in the fee percentage from 2016/2017 to 2017/2018 is due to decreases in direct program costs incurred by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement. These reduced costs were due to minor decreases in personnel, training, and supplies related to managing the Program in the 2016/2017 crab fishing year. Additionally, the value of crab harvested under the Program decreased by $39.7 million. The decrease in the value of the fishery offset the decreases in direct program costs and limited the change in the fee percentage from 2016/2017 to 2017/2018.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1862; Pub. L. 109-241; Pub. L. 109-479.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14720 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF119 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Site Characterization Surveys off the Coast of New York AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to Deepwater Wind, LLC, (DWW) to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during high-resolution geophysical (HRG) and geotechnical survey investigations associated with marine site characterization activities off the coast of New York in the area of the Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS-A 0486) (Lease Area) and along potential submarine cable routes to a landfall location in Easthampton, New York (“Submarine Cable Corridor”) (collectively the Lease Area and Submarine Cable Corridor are the Project Area).

    DATES:

    This Authorization is effective from June 16, 2017 through June 15, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laura McCue, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the applications and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained by visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/energy_other.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    An authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth.

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, we adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    The MMPA states that the term “take” means to harass, hunt, capture, kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

    National Environmental Policy Act

    To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6A, NMFS must review our proposed action (i.e., the issuance of an incidental harassment authorization) with respect to potential impacts on the human environment. Accordingly, NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider the environmental impacts associated with the issuance of the IHA.

    NMFS' EA will be made available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/other_energy.htm at the time of the publication of this Federal Register notice.

    Summary of Request

    On December 1, 2016, NMFS received application request from DWW for an IHA to take marine mammals incidental to 2017 geophysical survey investigations in the area of the Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease area #OCS-A-0486 Lease Area and along potential submarine cable routes to a landfall location in Easthampton, New York (Project Area) designated and offered by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), to support the development of an offshore wind project. DWW's request was for take of 18 species of marine mammals by Level B harassment of a small number of 18 species and take by Level A harassment of 3 species. Neither DWW nor NMFS expects mortality to result from this activity; and therefore, an IHA is appropriate. NMFS determined that the application was adequate and complete on April 27, 2017.

    Description of the Specified Activity Overview

    DWW plans to conduct a geophysical and geotechnical survey in the Project Area to support the characterization of the existing seabed and subsurface geological conditions in the Project Area. Surveys will include the use of the following equipment: Shallow and medium-penetration sub-bottom profiler (chirper, boomer, and sparker) used during the HRG survey, multi-beam depth sounder, side-scan sonar, vibracores, and cone penetration tests (CPTs). The planned geophysical survey activities would occur for 168 days beginning in June 2017, and geotechnical survey activities would take place in June 2017 and last for approximately 75 days. Take, by Level B Harassment only of individuals of 18 species of marine mammals is anticipated to result from the specified activities. No serious injury or mortality is expected from DWW's HRG and geotechnical surveys. A detailed description of the planned marine site characterization project is provided in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (82 FR 22250; May 12, 2017). Since that time, no changes have been made to the planned marine site characterization survey activities. Therefore, a detailed description is not provided here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for the description of the specific activity.

    Comments and Responses

    A notice of NMFS's proposal to issue an IHA to DWW was published in the Federal Register on May 12, 2017 (80 FR 22250). That notice described, in detail, DWW's activity, the marine mammal species that may be affected by the activity and the anticipated effects on marine mammals. During the 30-day public comment period, NMFS received comments from the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission) and one private citizen. Only the Commission had substantive comments.

    Comment 1: The Commission noted a discrepancy between the source levels used in this project and the a recently issued IHA for another marine site characterization project (82 FR 20577) to Ocean Wind, LLC (Ocean Wind) and recommended that NMFS (1) explain why the sparker source levels for the two projects were considerably different, (2) encourage applicants to disclose the methods used in measuring and calculating source levels of the various sound sources, and (3) ensure accuracy and consistency in source levels used by applicants for different projects with similar types of HRG equipment.

    Response: NMFS was provided with proprietary information from Ocean Wind and was unable to use that data in the analysis for DWW. The source levels that were used for this project were described in the notice of our proposed IHA (82 FR 22250; May 12, 2017) but included source levels from the manufacturer and from measurements taken in situ (Crocker and Fratantonio 2016). In the future, we will encourage applicants to disclose their data to the public and will continue to use all publicly available data to ensure consistency and accuracy for similar projects.

    Comment 2: The Commission does not believe that take by Level A harassment would likely occur from project activities because of the very small Level A zones (e.g. 5.12 m for harbor porpoise and 0.65 m for harbor seals and gray seals) and the increased likelihood that take by Level A harassment could be avoided with the implementation of the minimum 200 meter (m) shutdown zone. The Commission recommends that NMFS use a consistent approach for authorizing Level A harassment takes, especially in situations when mitigation measure implementation very likely would preclude taking in the respective Level A harassment zones.

    Response: NMFS agrees with the Commission and believes that all modeled take by Level A harassment could be avoided with the implementation of the shutdown zones. We have removed the authorization for Level A take for harbor porpoise, harbor seals, and gray seals.

    Comment 3: The Commission recommends that, until the behavior thresholds are updated, NMFS require applicants to use the 120- rather than 160-decibel (dB) re 1 micropascal (μPa) threshold for acoustic, non-impulsive sources (e.g., chirp-type sub-bottom profilers, echosounders, and other sonars including side-scan and fish-finding).

    Response: NMFS considers sub-bottom profilers to be impulsive sources; therefore, 160 dB threshold will continue to be used. Additionally, BOEM listed sparkers as impulsive sources (BOEM 2016). The 120-dB threshold is typically associated with continuous sources. Continuous sounds are those whose sound pressure level remains above that of the ambient sound, with negligibly small fluctuations in level (NIOSH, 1998; ANSI, 2005). Intermittent sounds are defined as sounds with interrupted levels of low or no sound (NIOSH, 1998). Sub-bottom profiler signals are intermittent sounds. Intermittent sounds can further be defined as either impulsive or non-impulsive. Impulsive sounds have been defined as sounds which are typically transient, brief (<1 sec), broadband, and consist of a high peak pressure with rapid rise time and rapid decay (ANSI, 1986; NIOSH, 1998). Non-impulsive sounds typically have more gradual rise times and longer decays (ANSI, 1995; NIOSH, 1998). Sub-bottom profiler signals have durations that are typically very brief (<1 sec), with temporal characteristics that more closely resemble those of impulsive sounds than non-impulsive sounds. With regard to behavioral thresholds, we consider the temporal and spectral characteristics of sub-bottom profiler signals to more closely resemble those of an impulse sound rather than a continuous sound. The 160-dB threshold is typically associated with impulsive sources. Therefore, the 160-dB threshold (typically associated with impulsive sources) is more appropriate than the 120-dB threshold (typically associated with continuous sources) for estimating takes by behavioral harassment incidental to use of such sources.

    Comment 4: The Commission recommends that NMFS require DWW to monitor the full extent of the Level B harassment zones for the purpose of enumerating Level B harassment takes and documenting any behavioral responses observed.

    Response: The Level B zones extend to 3,556 m for vibracore, 893 m for sparkers, and 500 m for dynamic positioning (DP) thrusters. It is not practicable for the applicant to monitor these zones. Therefore, NMFS is clarifying that the monitoring measures include Protected Species Observers (PSO)s will monitor all visible waters to the extent practicable so as to not undermine effectiveness of shutdown zone. The data collection and reporting requirements will include providing an estimate of the observable distance recorded at each shift change; and, if the entire Level B zone was not able to be monitored, DWW apply a correction to the observed marine mammals in the 160 dB zone to estimate the number of animals that were likely not detected based on the area that was not monitored.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    There are 36 species of marine mammals that potentially occur in the Northwest Atlantic OCS region (BOEM, 2014) (Table 1). The majority of these species are pelagic and/or northern species, or are so rarely sighted that their presence in the Project Area is unlikely. Eighteen of these species are included in the take estimate for this project based on seasonal density in the Project area. The other 18 species are not included in the take request because they have low densities in the Project area, are rarely sighted there, and are considered very unlikely to occur in the area.

    Further information on the biology, ecology, abundance, and distribution of those species likely to occur in the Project Area can be found in section 4 of DWW's application, and the NMFS Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports (see Waring et al., 2016), which are available online at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/. A detailed description of the of the species likely to be affected by the marine site characterization project, including brief introductions to the species and relevant stocks as well as available information regarding population trends and threats, and information regarding local occurrence, were provided in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (82 FR 22250; May 12, 2017). Since that time, we are not aware of any changes in the status of these species and stocks; therefore, detailed descriptions are not provided here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for these descriptions. Please also refer to NMFS' Web site (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/) for generalized species accounts.

    Table 1—Marine Mammals Known To Occur in the Waters off the Northwest Atlantic OCS Common Name Stock NMFS MMPA and ESA status; strategic (Y/N) 1 Stock abundance (CV,Nmin, most recent abundance survey) 2 PBR 3 Occurrence and seasonality in the
  • NW Atlantic OCS
  • Toothed whale (Odontoceti) Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) W. North Atlantic -; N 48,819 (0.61; 30,403; n/a) 304 rare. Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) W. North Atlantic -; N 44,715 (0.43; 31,610; n/a) 316 rare. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) W. North Atlantic, Offshore -; N 77,532 (0.40; 56,053; 2011) 561 Common year round. Clymene Dolphin (Stenella clymene) W. North Atlantic -; N Unknown (unk; unk; n/a) Undet rare. Pantropical Spotted Dolphin (Stenella attenuata) W. North Atlantic -; N 3,333 (0.91; 1,733; n/a) 17 rare. Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) W. North Atlantic -; N 18,250 (0.46; 12,619; n/a) 126 rare. Short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) W. North Atlantic -; N 70,184 (0.28; 55,690; 2011) 557 Common year round. Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) W. North Atlantic -; N 54,807 (0.3; 42,804; n/a) 428 rare. Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) W. North Atlantic -; N Unknown (unk; unk; n/a) Undet rare. White-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) W. North Atlantic -; N 2,003 (0.94; 1,023; n/a) 10 rare. Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy -; N 79,833 (0.32; 61,415; 2011) 706 Common year round. Killer whale (Orcinus orca) W. North Atlantic -; N Unknown (unk; unk; n/a) Undet rare. False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) W. North Atlantic -; Y 442 (1.06; 212; n/a) 2.1 rare. Long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) W. North Atlantic -; Y 5,636 (0.63; 3,464; n/a) 35 rare. Short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) W. North Atlantic -; Y 21,515 (0.37; 15,913; n/a) 159 rare. Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) North Atlantic E; Y 2,288 (0.28; 1,815; n/a) 3.6 Year round in continental shelf and slope waters, occur seasonally to forage. Pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) W. North Atlantic -; N 3,785 b/(0.47; 2,598; n/a) 26 rare. Dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) W. North Atlantic -; N 3,785 b/(0.47; 2,598; n/a) 26 rare. Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) W. North Atlantic -; N 6,532 (0.32; 5,021; n/a) 50 rare. Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) W. North Atlantic -; N 7,092 c/(0.54; 4,632; n/a) 46 rare. Gervais' beaked whale (Mesoplodon europaeus) W. North Atlantic -; N 7,092 c/(0.54; 4,632; n/a) 46 rare. True's beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) W. North Atlantic -; N 7,092 c/(0.54; 4,632; n/a) 46 rare. Sowerby's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon bidens) W. North Atlantic -; N 7,092 c/(0.54; 4,632; n/a) 46 rare. Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra) W. North Atlantic -; N Unknown (unk; unk; n/a) Undet rare. Baleen whales (Mysticeti) Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) Canadian East Coast -; N 2,591 (0.81; 1,425; n/a) 162 Year round in continental shelf and slope waters, occur seasonally to forage. Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) W. North Atlantic E; Y Unknown (unk; 440; n/a) 0.9 Year round in continental shelf and slope waters, occur seasonally to forage. Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) W. North Atlantic E; Y 1,618 (0.33; 1,234; n/a) 2.5 Year round in continental shelf and slope waters, occur seasonally to forage. Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Gulf of Maine -; N 823 (0; 823; n/a) 2.7 Common year round. North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) W. North Atlantic E; Y 440 (0; 440; n/a) 1 Year round in continental shelf and slope waters, occur seasonally to forage. Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) Nova Scotia E; Y 357 (0.52; 236; n/a) 0.5 Year round in continental shelf and slope waters, occur seasonally to forage. Earless seals (Phocidae) Gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) North Atlantic -; N 505,000 (unk; unk; n/a) Undet Unlikely. Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) W. North Atlantic -; N 75,834 (0.15; 66,884; 2012) 2,006 Common year round. Hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) W. North Atlantic -; N Unknown (unk; unk; n/a) Undet rare. Harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) North Atlantic -; N Unknown (unk; unk; n/a) Undet rare. 1 ESA status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR (see footnote 3) or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. In some cases, CV is not applicable. For certain stocks, abundance estimates are actual counts of animals and there is no associated CV. The most recent abundance survey that is reflected in the abundance estimate is presented; there may be more recent surveys that have not yet been incorporated into the estimate. All values presented here are from the 2016 draft Atlantic SARs. 3 Potential biological removal, defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population size (OSP).
    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    The effects of underwater noise from HRG and geotechnical activities for the marine site characterization project have the potential to result in behavioral harassment of marine mammals in the vicinity of the action area. The Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (82 FR 22250; May 12, 2017) included a discussion of the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals. That information is not repeated here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for that information.

    Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment

    This section provides the number of incidental takes authorized through this IHA, which informed both NMFS' consideration of whether the number of takes is “small” and the negligible impact determination.

    Harassment is the only type of take expected to result from these activities. Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

    Authorized takes would be by Level B harassment, in the form of disruption of behavioral patterns resulting from exposure to HRG and geotechnical surveys. The proposed mitigation and monitoring measures (when considered in combination with the operational parameters and characteristics of the sound sources) are expected to alleviate the potential for Level A take of all species. In addition, as described previously, no mortality is anticipated or proposed to be authorized for this activity. Below we describe how the take is estimated.

    In summary, we estimate take by considering: (1) Acoustic thresholds above which NMFS believes the best available science indicates marine mammals will be behaviorally harassed or incur some degree of permanent hearing impairment; (2) The area or volume of water that will be ensonified above these levels in a day; (3) The density or occurrence of marine mammals within these ensonified areas; and, (4) the number of days of activities. Below, we describe these components in more detail and present the proposed take estimate.

    Acoustic Thresholds

    Using the best available science, NMFS has developed acoustic thresholds that identify the received level of underwater sound above which exposed marine mammals would be reasonably expected to be behaviorally harassed (equated to Level B harassment) or to incur permanent threshold shift (PTS) of some degree (equated to Level A harassment).

    Level B Harassment for non-explosive sources—Though significantly driven by received level, the onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic noise exposure is also informed to varying degrees by other factors related to the source (e.g., frequency, predictability, duty cycle), the environment (e.g., bathymetry), and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography, behavioral context) and can be difficult to predict (Southall et al., 2007, Ellison et al., 2011). Based on what the available science indicates and the practical need to use a threshold based on a factor that is both predictable and measurable for most activities, NMFS uses a generalized acoustic threshold based on received level to estimate the onset of behavioral harassment. NMFS predicts that marine mammals are likely to be behaviorally harassed in a manner we consider Level B harassment when exposed to underwater anthropogenic noise above received levels of 120 dB re 1 μPa ((root mean square (rms)) for continuous (e.g. vibratory pile-driving, drilling) and above 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for non-explosive impulsive (e.g., seismic airguns) or intermittent (e.g., scientific sonar) sources.

    DWW's planned activity includes the use of continuous (vibracore and DP thruster) and impulsive (e.g. sparkers) sources; and therefore, the 120 and 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) are applicable.

    Level A harassment for non-explosive sources—NMFS' Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (Technical Guidance, 2016) identifies dual criteria to assess auditory injury (Level A harassment) to five different marine mammal groups (based on hearing sensitivity) as a result of exposure to noise from two different types of sources (impulsive or non-impulsive). DWW's marine site characterization activities include the use of impulsive (sparkers) and non-impulsive (vibracore and DP thruster) sources.

    These thresholds were developed by compiling and synthesizing the best available science and soliciting input multiple times from both the public and peer reviewers to inform the final product, and are provided in Table 2 below. The references, analysis, and methodology used in the development of the thresholds are described in NMFS 2016 Technical Guidance, which may be accessed at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm.

    Table 2—Summary of PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds 1 Hearing Group PTS onset acoustic thresholds *
  • (received level)
  • Impulsive Non-impulsive
    Low-frequency cetaceans Cell 1—Lpk,flat: 219 dB, LE,LF,24h: 183 dB Cell 2—LE,LF,24h: 199 dB. Mid-frequency cetaceans Cell 3—Lpk,flat: 230 dB, LE,MF,24h: 185 dB Cell 4—LE,MF,24h: 198 dB. High-frequency cetaceans Cell 5—Lpk,flat: 202 dB, LE,HF,24h: 155 dB. Cell 6—LE,HF,24h: 173 dB. Phocid Pinnipeds (underwaters) Cell 7—Lpk,flat: 218 dB, LE,PW,24h: 185 dB Cell 8—LE,PW,24h: 201 dB. Otariid Pinnipeds (underwater) Cell 9—Lpk,flat: 232 dB, LE,OW,24h: 203 dB Cell 10—LE,OW,24h: 219 dB. 1 NMFS 2016. * Dual metric acoustic thresholds for impulsive sounds: Use whichever results in the largest isopleth for calculating PTS onset. If a non-impulsive sound has the potential of exceeding the peak sound pressure level thresholds associated with impulsive sounds, these thresholds should also be considered.
    Ensonified Area

    Here, we describe operational and environmental parameters of the activity that will feed into identifying the area ensonified above the acoustic thresholds.

    DWW took into consideration sound sources using the potential operational parameters, bathymetry, geoacoustic properties of the Project Area, time of year, and marine mammal hearing ranges. Results of a sound source verification study in a nearby location showed that estimated maximum distance to the 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) MMPA threshold for all water depths for the HRG survey sub-bottom profilers (the HRG survey equipment with the greatest potential for effect on marine mammal) was approximately 447 m from the source, which equated to a propagation loss coefficient of 20logR (equivalent to spherical spreading). The estimated maximum critical distance to the 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) MMPA threshold for all water depths for the vibracore was approximately 1,778 from the source using spherical spreading. For sparkers and vibracore, we doubled these distances to conservatively account for the uncertainty in predicting propagation loss in a similar but different location. The estimated maximum critical distance to the 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) MMPA threshold for all water depths for the drill ship DP thruster was approximately 500 m from the source based on hydroacoustic modeling results (Subacoustech 2016). DWW and NMFS believe that these estimates represent a conservative scenario and that the actual distances to the Level B harassment threshold may be shorter, as the calculated distance was doubled for the sparker system and vibracore, the SL for the sparker system was conservatively based on a source that was louder than the equipment planned for use in this project, and there are some sound measurements taken in the Northeast that suggest a higher spreading coefficient (which would result in a shorter distance) may be applicable.

    The Zone of influence (ZOI) is the extent of the ensonified zone in a given day. The ZOI was calculated using the following equations:

    • Stationary source (e.g. DP thruster and vibracore): πr2 • Mobile source (e.g. sparkers): (distance/day * 2r) + πr2

    Where distance is the maximum survey trackline per day (110 kilometer (km)) and r is the distance to the 160 dB (for impulsive sources) and 120 dB (for non-impulsive sources) isopleths. The isopleths for sparkers and vibracores were calculated using 20logR, and the resulting isopleths were doubled as a conservative mechanism to allow for any uncertainty in propagation loss. The isopleths for the DP thruster was calculated using a transmission loss coefficient of 11.12, which was based on field verification study results (Subacoustech 2016).

    Table 3—User Spreadsheet Input Vibracore DP thruster Sparker Spreadsheet Tab Used (A) Non-impulsive-Stat-Cont (A) Non-impulsive-Stat-Cont (F) Impulsive-Mobile. Source Level 185 dB RMS 150 dB RMS 186 dB SEL. Weighting Factor Adjustment 1.7, 6.2, 20 1.75, 5 2.75, 1.2. Activity Duration (hours) within 24-h period 1 1, 3 n/a. Propogation (xLogR) 20 11.12 n/a. Distance of source level measurement (meters) 1 1 n/a. Source velocity (meters/second) n/a n/a 1.93. 1/Repetition rate (seconds) n/a n/a 2.48.

    DWW used the user spreadsheet to calculate the isopleth for the loudest sources (sparker, vibracore, DP thruster). The sparker was calculated with the following conditions: source level of 186 dB SEL, source velocity of 1.93 meters per second (m/s), repetition rate of 2.48, and a weighting factor adjustment of 1.2 and 2.75 based on the appropriate broadband source. Isopleths were less than 1 m for all hearing groups (Table 4) except high-frequency cetaceans, which was 5.12 m. Take by Level A harassment can be avoided with the implementation of the shutdowns during all planned activities. Shutdown zones exceed the Level A zones for sparkers. The vibracore used the following parameters: source level of 185 rms, distance of source level measurement at 1 m, duration of 1 hour, propagation loss of 20, and weighting factor adjustment of 1.7, 6.2, and 20 based on the spectrograms for this equipment. Isopleths are summarized in Table 4 and no Level A takes are requested during the use of the vibracore. The DP thruster was defined as non-impulsive static continuous source with a source level of 150 dB rms, Propagation loss of 11.12 based on the spectrograms for this equipment (Subacoustech 2016), an activity duration of 1 and 3 hours and weighting factor adjustment of 1.7 and 5. Isopleths were less than 3 m for all hearing groups (Table 4); therefore, no Level A takes were requested for this source.

    Table 4—Maximum Worst-Case Distance (m) and Area (km 2 ) to the Level A and Level B Thresholds Hearing group SELcum threshold (dB) Equipment Vibracore Operations: HPC or Rossfelder Corer DP Thruster 800 Joule Geo Resources Sparker Sparker System Source PLS 185 dB RMS 150 dB RMS 186 dB SEL 186 dB SEL, Level A Threshold WFA* (kHz) 1.7 6.2 20 1.7 5 2.75 1.2 Low-Frequency Cetaceans 199 PTS Isopleth to threshold (meters) 11.97 m, 0 km2 0.06 m, 0 km2 1.29 m, 0.283 km2 1.30 m, 0.287 km2. Mid-Frequency Cetaceans 198 12.96 m, 0.001 km 2 0.03 m, 0 km2 0.02 m, 0.005 km2 High-Frequency Cetaceans 173 207.58 m, 0.135 km2 2.17 m, 0 km2 5.12 m, 1.127 km2 Phocid Pinnipeds 201 9.51 m, 0 km2 0.11 m, 0 km2 0.65 m, 0.144 km2 Level B Threshold Source PLS 185 dBRMS 150 dBRMS 213 dBRMS 213 dBRMS, All Marine Mammals 120 Level B Harassment Distance 3,556 m, 39.74 km2 499 m, 0.78 km2 160 893 m, 199.0481 km2 893 m, 199.0481 km2. * Weighting Factor Adjustment. Marine Mammal Occurrence

    In this section we provide the information about the presence, density, or group dynamics of marine mammals that will inform the take calculations.

    DWW estimated species densities within the planned project area in order to estimate the number of marine mammal exposures to sound levels above the 120 dB Level B harassment threshold for continuous noise (i.e., DP thrusters and vibracore) and the 160 dB Level B harassment threshold for intermittent, impulsive noise (i.e., sparkers). Research indicates that marine mammals generally have extremely fine auditory temporal resolution and can detect each signal separately (e.g., Au et al., 1988; Dolphin et al., 1995; Supin and Popov 1995; Mooney et al., 2009b), especially for species with echolocation capabilities. Therefore, it is likely that marine mammals would perceive the acoustic signals associated with the HRG survey equipment as being intermittent rather than continuous, and we base our takes from these sources on exposures to the 160 dB threshold.

    The data used as the basis for estimating cetacean density (“D”) for the Lease Area are sightings per unit effort (SPUE) derived by Duke University (Roberts et al., 2016). For pinnipeds, the only available comprehensive data for seal abundance is the Northeast Navy Operations Area (OPAREA) Density Estimates (DoN 2007). SPUE (or, the relative abundance of species) is derived by using a measure of survey effort and number of individual cetaceans sighted. SPUE allows for comparison between discrete units of time (i.e. seasons) and space within a project area (Shoop and Kenney 1992). The Duke University (Roberts et al., 2016) cetacean density data represent models derived from aggregating line-transect surveys conducted over 23 years by 5 institutions (NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC), University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center (VAMSC)), the results of which are freely available online at the Ocean Biogeographic Information System Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations (OBIS-SEAMAP) repository. The datasets for each species were downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP and were modeled as estimated mean year-round abundance (number of individual animals) per grid cell (100 km by 100 km) for most species. For certain species, the model predicted monthly mean abundance rather than mean year-round abundance, for which the annual mean abundance was calculated using Spatial Analyst tools in ArcGIS. Based on the annual mean abundance datasets, the mean density (animals/km2) was calculated in ArcGIS by averaging the abundance of animals within the Project Area and dividing by 100 to get animals/km2. The OPAREA Density Estimates (DoN 2007) used for pinniped densities were based on data collected through NMFS NWFSC aerial surveys conducted between 1998 and 2005.

    Take Calculation and Estimation

    Here we describe how the information provided above is brought together to produce a quantitative take estimate.

    Estimated takes were calculated by multiplying the species density (animals per km2) by the appropriate ZOI, multiplied by the number of appropriate days (e.g. 168 for HRG activities or 53 days for vibracoring or 22 days for DP thruster during CPT) of the specified activity. A detailed description of the acoustic modeling used to calculate zones of influence is provided in DWW's IHA application (also see the discussion in the Mitigation Measures section below).

    DWW used a distance to the 160 dB Level B threshold of 447 m, which was doubled to be conservative for any uncertainty in propagation loss, for a maximum distance of 894 m for the sparker system. The ZOI of 199.048 km2 for the sparker system and the survey period of a conservative 168 days, which includes estimated weather downtime, was used to estimate take from use of the HRG survey equipment during geophysical survey activities. The ZOI is based on the worst case (since it assumes the higher powered Dura-Spark 240 System sparker will be operating all the time) and a maximum survey trackline of 110 km (68 mi) per day. The resulting take estimates (rounded to the nearest whole number) are presented in Table 5.

    DWW used a maximum distance to the 120 dB Level B threshold of 499 m for DP thrusters. The ZOI of 0.782 km2 and the maximum DP thruster use period of 22 days were used to estimate take from use of the DP thruster during geotechnical survey activities.

    DWW used a distance to the 120 dB Level B zone of 1,778 m, which was doubled to be conservative, for a maximum distance of 3,556 m for vibracore. The ZOI of 39.738 km2 and a maximum vibracore use period of 53 days were used to estimate take from use of the vibracore during geotechnical survey activities. The resulting take estimates (rounded to the nearest whole number) based upon these conservative assumptions are presented in Table 5.

    DWW's requested take numbers are provided in Table 5 and are also the number of takes NMFS is authorizing. DWW's calculations do not take into account whether a single animal is harassed multiple times or whether each exposure is a different animal. Therefore, the numbers in Tables 5 are the maximum number of animals that may be harassed during the HRG and geotechnical surveys (i.e., DWW assumes that each exposure event is a different animal). These estimates do not account for prescribed mitigation measures that DWW would implement during the specified activities and the fact that shutdown/powerdown procedures shall be implemented if an animal enters within 200 m of the vessel during any activity and within 400 m when the sparkers are operating, further reducing the potential for any takes to occur during these activities. The take numbers in Table 5 were reduced from the proposed IHA due to a change in the number of days of operation of the vibracore and CPT. In the proposed IHA, we conservatively estimated the maximum number of days of geotechnical activities (75) for each type of activity. Here we have reduced the total number of days for each source (53 days for vibracore and 22 days of DP thruster use during CPT) since they will not be running on the same day.

    When NMFS Technical Guidance (2016) was published, in recognition of the fact that ensonified area/volume could be more technically challenging to predict because of the duration component in the new thresholds, we developed a User Spreadsheet that includes tools to help predict a simple isopleth that can be used in conjunction with marine mammal density or occurrence to help predict takes. We note that because of some of the assumptions included in the methods used for these tools, we anticipate that isopleths produced are typically going to be overestimates of some degree, which will result in some degree of overestimate of Level A take. However, these tools offer the best way to predict appropriate isopleths when more sophisticated 3D modeling methods are not available, and NMFS continues to develop ways to quantitatively refine these tools, and will qualitatively address the output where appropriate. For mobile sources, the User Spreadsheet predicts the closest distance at which a stationary animal would not incur PTS if the sound source traveled by the animal in a straight line at a constant speed. Inputs used in the User Spreadsheet, and the resulting isopleths are reported in Tables 3 and 4.

    EN13JY17.003 Mitigation Measures

    In order to issue an IHA under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses (latter not applicable for this action). NMFS regulations require applicants for incidental take authorizations to include information about the availability and feasibility (economic and technological) of equipment, methods, and manner of conducting such activity or other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact upon the affected species or stocks and their habitat (50 CFR 216.104(a)(11)).

    In evaluating how mitigation may or may not be appropriate to ensure the least practicable adverse impact on species or stocks and their habitat, as well as subsistence uses where applicable, we carefully consider two primary factors:

    (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure(s) is expected to reduce impacts to marine mammals, marine mammal species or stocks, and their habitat. This considers the nature of the potential adverse impact being mitigated (likelihood, scope, range). It further considers the likelihood that the measure will be effective if implemented (probability of accomplishing the mitigating result if implemented as planned) the likelihood of effective implementation (probability implemented as planned); and

    (2) the practicability of the measures for applicant implementation, which may consider such things as cost, impact on operations, and, in the case of a military readiness activity, personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and impact on the effectiveness of the military readiness activity.

    With NMFS' input during the application process, and as per the BOEM Lease, DWW will implement the following mitigation measures during site characterization surveys utilizing HRG survey equipment and use of the DP thruster and vibracore. The mitigation measures outlined in this section are based on protocols and procedures that have been successfully implemented and resulted in no observed take of marine mammals for similar offshore projects and previously approved by NMFS (ESS 2013; Dominion 2013 and 2014).

    Marine Mammal Exclusion Zones

    PSOs will monitor the following exclusion/monitoring zones for the presence of marine mammals:

    • A 200-m exclusion zone during all geophysical and geotechnical operations.

    • A 400-m exclusion zone during the use of sparkers.

    These exclusion zones are exclusion zone specified in stipulations of the OCS-A 0486 Lease Agreement.

    • A 208-m exclusion zone for harbor porpoise only, during vibracore activities, only.

    Visual Monitoring

    Visual monitoring of the established exclusion zone(s) s will be performed by qualified and NMFS-approved PSOs, the resumes of whom will be provided to NMFS for review and approval prior to the start of survey activities. Observer qualifications will include direct field experience on a marine mammal observation vessel and/or aerial surveys in the Atlantic Ocean/Gulf of Mexico. An observer team comprising a minimum of four NMFS-approved PSOs and two certified Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) operators (PAM operators will not function as PSOs), operating in shifts, will be stationed aboard the survey vessel. PSOs and PAM operators will work in shifts such that no one monitor will work more than 4 consecutive hours without a 2-hour break or longer than 12 hours during any 24-hour period. Each PSO will monitor 360 degrees of all visible waters to the extent practicable so as to not undermine effectiveness of shutdown zone monitoring..

    PSOs will be responsible for visually monitoring and identifying marine mammals approaching or within the established exclusion zone(s) during survey activities. It will be the responsibility of the Lead PSO on duty to communicate the presence of marine mammals as well as to communicate and enforce the action(s) that are necessary to ensure mitigation and monitoring requirements are implemented as appropriate. PAM operators will communicate detected vocalizations to the Lead PSO on duty, who will then be responsible for implementing the necessary mitigation procedures.

    PSOs will be equipped with binoculars and have the ability to estimate distances to marine mammals located in proximity to the vessel and/or exclusion zone using range finders. Reticulated binoculars will also be available to PSOs for use as appropriate based on conditions and visibility to support the siting and monitoring of marine species. During night operations, PAM (see Passive Acoustic Monitoring requirements below) and night-vision equipment in combination with infrared technology will be used. Position data will be recorded using hand-held or vessel global positioning system (GPS) units for each sighting.

    The PSOs will begin observation of all zone(s) at least 60 minutes prior to ramp-up of HRG survey equipment. Use of noise-producing equipment will not begin until the exclusion zone is clear of all marine mammals for at least 60 minutes, as per the requirements of the BOEM Lease.

    If a marine mammal is detected approaching or entering the 200-m or 400-m exclusion zones, the vessel operator would adhere to the shutdown (during HRG survey) or powerdown (during DP thruster use) procedures described below to minimize noise impacts on the animals.

    At all times, the vessel operator will maintain a separation distance of 500 m from any sighted North Atlantic right whale as stipulated in the Vessel Strike Avoidance procedures described below. These stated requirements will be included in the site-specific training to be provided to the survey team.

    Passive Acoustic Monitoring

    As per the BOEM Lease, alternative monitoring technologies (e.g., active or passive acoustic monitoring) are required if a Lessee intends to conduct geophysical surveys at night or when visual observation is otherwise impaired. To support 24-hour HRG survey operations, DWW will include PAM as part of the project monitoring during nighttime operations to provide for optimal acquisition of species detections at night.

    Given the range of species that could occur in the Project Area, the PAM system will consist of an array of hydrophones with both broadband (sampling mid-range frequencies of 2 kilohertz (kHz) to 200 kHz) and at least one low-frequency hydrophone (sampling range frequencies of 75 Hertz (Hz) to 30 kHz). The PAM operator(s) will monitor the hydrophone signals for detection of marine mammals in real time both aurally (using headphones) and visually (via the monitor screen displays). PAM operators will communicate detections to the Lead PSO on duty who will ensure the implementation of the appropriate mitigation measure.

    Vessel Strike Avoidance

    DWW will ensure that vessel operators and crew maintain a vigilant watch for cetaceans and pinnipeds and slow down or stop their vessels to avoid striking these species. Survey vessel crew members responsible for navigation duties will receive site-specific training on marine mammal sighting/reporting and vessel strike avoidance measures. Vessel strike avoidance measures will include the following, except under extraordinary circumstances when complying with these requirements would put the safety of the vessel or crew at risk:

    • All vessel operators will comply with 10 knots (<18.5 km per hour [km/h]) speed restrictions in any Dynamic Management Area (DMA).

    • All survey vessels will maintain a separation distance of 500 m or greater from any sighted North Atlantic right whale.

    • If underway, vessels must steer a course away from any sited North Atlantic right whale at 10 knots (<18.5 km/h) or less until the 500 m minimum separation distance has been established. If a North Atlantic right whale is sited in a vessel's path, or within 100 m to an underway vessel, the underway vessel must reduce speed and shift the engine to neutral. Engines will not be engaged until the North Atlantic right whale has moved outside of the vessel's path and beyond 100 m. If stationary, the vessel must not engage engines until the North Atlantic right whale has moved beyond 100 m.

    • All vessels will maintain a separation distance of 100 m or greater from any sighted non-delphinoid (i.e., mysticetes and sperm whales) cetaceans. If sighted, the vessel underway must reduce speed and shift the engine to neutral and must not engage the engines until the non-delphinoid cetacean has moved outside of the vessel's path and beyond 100 m. If a survey vessel is stationary, the vessel will not engage engines until the non-delphinoid cetacean has moved out of the vessel's path and beyond 100 m.

    • All vessels will maintain a separation distance of 50 m or greater from any sighted delphinoid cetacean. Any vessel underway will remain parallel to a sighted delphinoid cetacean's course whenever possible and avoid excessive speed or abrupt changes in direction. Any vessel underway reduces vessel speed to 10 knots or less when pods (including mother/calf pairs) or large assemblages of delphinoid cetaceans are observed. Vessels may not adjust course and speed until the delphinoid cetaceans have moved beyond 50 m and/or abeam (i.e., moving away and at a right angle to the centerline of the vessel) of the underway vessel.

    • All vessels will maintain a separation distance of 50 m or greater from any sighted pinniped.

    The training program will be provided to NMFS for review and approval prior to the start of surveys. Confirmation of the training and understanding of the requirements will be documented on a training course log sheet. Signing the log sheet will certify that the crew members understand and will comply with the necessary requirements throughout the survey event.

    Seasonal Operating Requirements

    Between watch shifts, members of the monitoring team will consult the NMFS North Atlantic right whale reporting systems for the presence of North Atlantic right whales throughout survey operations. The planned survey activities will, however, occur outside of the seasonal management area (SMA) located off the coasts of Delaware and New Jersey. The planned survey activities will also occur in June/July and September, which is outside of the seasonal mandatory speed restriction period for this SMA (November 1 through April 30).

    Throughout all survey operations, DWW will monitor the NMFS North Atlantic right whale reporting systems for the establishment of a DMA. If NMFS should establish a DMA in the Lease Area under survey, within 24 hours of the establishment of the DMA, DWW will work with NMFS to shut down and/or alter the survey activities to avoid the DMA.

    Ramp-Up

    As per the BOEM Lease, a ramp-up procedure will be used for HRG survey equipment capable of adjusting energy levels at the start or re-start of HRG survey activities. A ramp-up procedure will be used at the beginning of HRG survey activities in order to provide additional protection to marine mammals near the Project Area by allowing them to vacate the area prior to the commencement of survey equipment use. The ramp-up procedure will not be initiated during daytime, nighttime, or periods of inclement weather if the exclusion zone cannot be adequately monitored by the PSOs using the appropriate visual technology (e.g., reticulated binoculars, night vision equipment) and/or PAM for a 60-minute period. A ramp-up would begin with the power of the smallest acoustic HRG equipment at its lowest practical power output appropriate for the survey. The power would then be gradually turned up and other acoustic sources added such that the source level would increase in steps not exceeding 6 dB per 5-minute period. If marine mammals are detected within the HRG survey exclusion zone prior to or during the ramp-up, activities will be delayed until the animal(s) has moved outside the monitoring zone and no marine mammals are detected for a period of 60 minutes.

    The DP vessel thrusters will be engaged from the time the vessel leaves the dock to support the safe operation of the vessel and crew while conducting geotechnical survey activities and require use as necessary. Therefore, there is no opportunity to engage in a ramp-up procedure.

    Shutdown and Powerdown

    HRG Survey—The exclusion zone(s) around the noise-producing activities (HRG and geotechnical survey equipment) will be monitored, as previously described, by PSOs and at night by PAM operators for the presence of marine mammals before, during, and after any noise-producing activity. The vessel operator must comply immediately with any call for shutdown by the Lead PSO. Any disagreement should be discussed only after shutdown.

    As per the BOEM Lease, if a non-delphinoid (i.e., mysticetes and sperm whales) cetacean is detected at or within the established exclusion zone (200-m exclusion zone during HRG surveys; 400-m exclusion zone during the operation of the sparker), an immediate shutdown of the survey equipment is required. Subsequent restart of the survey equipment must use the ramp-up procedures described above and may only occur following clearance of the exclusion zone for 60 minutes.

    As per the BOEM Lease, if a delphinoid cetacean or pinniped is detected at or within the exclusion zone, the HRG survey equipment (including the sub-bottom profiler) must be powered down to the lowest power output that is technically feasible. Subsequent power up of the survey equipment must use the ramp-up procedures described above and may occur after (1) the exclusion zone is clear of a delphinoid cetacean and/or pinniped for 60 minutes or (2) a determination by the PSO after a minimum of 10 minutes of observation that the delphinoid cetacean or pinniped is approaching the vessel or towed equipment at a speed and vector that indicates voluntary approach to bow-ride or chase towed equipment.

    If the HRG sound source (including the sub-bottom profiler) shuts down for reasons other than encroachment into the exclusion zone by a marine mammal including but not limited to a mechanical or electronic failure, resulting in in the cessation of sound source for a period greater than 20 minutes, a restart for the HRG survey equipment (including the sub-bottom profiler) is required using the full ramp-up procedures and clearance of the exclusion zone of all cetaceans and pinnipeds for 60 minutes. If the pause is less than 20 minutes, the equipment may be restarted as soon as practicable at its operational level as long as visual surveys were continued diligently throughout the silent period and the exclusion zone remained clear of cetaceans and pinnipeds. If the visual surveys were not continued diligently during the pause of 20 minutes or less, a restart of the HRG survey equipment (including the sub-bottom profiler) is required using the full ramp-up procedures and clearance of the exclusion zone for all cetaceans and pinnipeds for 60 minutes.

    Geotechnical Survey (DP Thrusters)—During geotechnical survey activities, a constant position over the drill, coring, or CPT site must be maintained to ensure the integrity of the survey equipment. During DP vessel operations if marine mammals enter or approach the established exclusion zone, DWW plans to reduce DP thruster to the maximum extent possible, except under circumstances when ceasing DP thruster use would compromise safety (both human health and environmental) and/or the integrity of the Project. Reducing thruster energy will effectively reduce the potential for exposure of marine mammals to sound energy. Normal use may resume when PSOs report that the monitoring zone has remained clear of marine mammals for a minimum of 60 minutes since last the sighting.

    Based on our evaluation of the applicant's planned measures, as well as other measures considered by NMFS, NMFS has determined that the planned mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on the affected species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an IHA for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking. The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104 (a)(13) indicate that requests for incidental take authorizations (ITAs) must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the action area. Effective reporting is critical both to compliance as well as ensuring that the most value is obtained from the required monitoring.

    Monitoring measures prescribed by NMFS should contribute to improved understanding of one or more of the following general goals:

    • Occurrence of marine mammal species or stocks in the action area (e.g., presence, abundance, distribution, density).

    • Nature, scope, or context of likely marine mammal exposure to potential stressors/impacts (individual or cumulative, acute or chronic), through better understanding of: (1) Action or environment (e.g., source characterization, propagation, ambient noise); (2) affected species (e.g., life history, dive patterns); (3) co-occurrence of marine mammal species with the action; or (4) biological or behavioral context of exposure (e.g., age, calving or feeding areas).

    • Individual marine mammal responses (behavioral or physiological) to acoustic stressors (acute, chronic, or cumulative), other stressors, or cumulative impacts from multiple stressors.

    • How anticipated responses to stressors impact either: (1) Long-term fitness and survival of individual marine mammals; or (2) populations, species, or stocks.

    • Effects on marine mammal habitat (e.g., marine mammal prey species, acoustic habitat, or other important physical components of marine mammal habitat).

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    DWW submitted marine mammal monitoring and reporting measures as part of the IHA application.

    Visual Monitoring—Visual monitoring all visible waters during all HRG and geotechnical surveys will be performed by qualified and NMFS-approved PSOs (see discussion of PSO qualifications and requirements in Marine Mammal Exclusion Zones above).

    The PSOs will begin observation of the monitoring zone during all HRG survey activities and all geotechnical operations where DP thrusters are employed. Observations of the monitoring zone will continue throughout the survey activity and/or while DP thrusters are in use. PSOs will be responsible for visually monitoring and identifying marine mammals approaching or entering the established monitoring zone during survey activities.

    Observations will take place from the highest available vantage point on the survey vessel. General 360-degree scanning will occur during the monitoring periods, and target scanning by the PSO will occur when alerted of a marine mammal presence.

    Data on all PSO observations will be recorded based on standard PSO collection requirements. This will include dates and locations of construction operations; time of observation, location and weather; details of the sightings (e.g., species, age classification (if known), numbers, behavior); an estimate of the observable distance recorded at each shift change, and details of any observed “taking” (behavioral disturbances or injury/mortality). If the entire zone was not observable, DWW will provide an adjusted total take number based on the number of animals observed, and the area that was not observed. The data sheet will be provided to both NMFS and BOEM for review and approval prior to the start of survey activities. In addition, prior to initiation of survey work, all crew members will undergo environmental training, a component of which will focus on the procedures for sighting and protection of marine mammals. A briefing will also be conducted between the survey supervisors and crews, the PSOs, and DWW. The purpose of the briefing will be to establish responsibilities of each party, define the chains of command, discuss communication procedures, provide an overview of monitoring purposes, and review operational procedures.

    Acoustic Field Verification—As per the requirements of the BOEM Lease, field verification of the exclusion/monitoring zones will be conducted to determine whether the zones correspond accurately to the relevant isopleths and are adequate to minimize impacts to marine mammals. The details of the field verification strategy will be provided in a Field Verification Plan no later than 45 days prior to the commencement of field verification activities.

    DWW must conduct field verification of the exclusion zone (the 160 dB isopleth) for HRG survey equipment and the exclusion zone (the 120 dB isopleth) for DP thruster use for all equipment operating below 200 kHz. DWW must take acoustic measurements at a minimum of two reference locations and in a manner that is sufficient to establish source level (peak at 1 meter) and distance to the 160 dB isopleths (the B harassment zones for HRG surveys) and 120 dB isopleth (the Level B harassment zone) for DP thruster use. Sound measurements must be taken at the reference locations at two depths (i.e., a depth at mid-water and a depth at approximately 1 meter (3.28 ft) above the seafloor).

    DWW may use the results from its field-verification efforts to request modification of the exclusion/monitoring zones for the HRG or geotechnical surveys. Any new exclusion/monitoring zone radius proposed by DWW must be based on the most conservative measurements (i.e., the largest safety zone configuration) of the target Level A or Level B harassment acoustic threshold zones. The modified zone must be used for all subsequent use of field-verified equipment. DWW must obtain approval from NMFS and BOEM of any new exclusion/monitoring zone before it may be implemented, and the IHA shall be modified accordingly.

    Reporting Measures

    DWW will provide the following reports as necessary during survey activities:

    • The Applicant will contact NMFS and BOEM within 24 hours of the commencement of survey activities and again within 24 hours of the completion of the activity.

    • As per the BOEM Lease: Any observed significant behavioral reactions (e.g., animals departing the area) or injury or mortality to any marine mammals must be reported to NMFS and BOEM within 24 hours of observation. Dead or injured protected species are reported to the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) Stranding Hotline (800-900-3622) within 24 hours of sighting, regardless of whether the injury is caused by a vessel. In addition, if the injury of death was caused by a collision with a project related vessel, DWW must ensure that NMFS and BOEM are notified of the strike within 24 hours. DWW must use the form included as Appendix A to Addendum C of the Lease to report the sighting or incident. Additional reporting requirements for injured or dead animals are described below (Notification of Injured or Dead Marine Mammals).

    Notification of Injured or Dead Marine Mammals—In the unanticipated event that the specified HRG and geotechnical activities lead to an injury of a marine mammal (Level A harassment) or mortality (e.g., ship-strike, gear interaction, and/or entanglement), DWW would immediately cease the specified activities and report the incident to the Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources and the NOAA GARFO Stranding Coordinator. The report would include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    • Name and type of vessel involved;

    • Vessel's speed during and leading up to the incident;

    • Description of the incident;

    • Status of all sound source use in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Water depth;

    • Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    • Description of all marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    • Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

    • Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available).

    Activities would not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the event. NMFS would work with DWW to minimize reoccurrence of such an event in the future. DWW would not resume activities until notified by NMFS.

    In the event that DWW discovers an injured or dead marine mammal and determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition), DWW would immediately report the incident to the Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources and the GARFO Stranding Coordinator. The report would include the same information identified in the paragraph above. Activities would be able to continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS would work with DWW to determine if modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    In the event that DWW discovers an injured or dead marine mammal and determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), DWW would report the incident to the Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, and the GARFO Regional Stranding Coordinator, within 24 hours of the discovery. DWW would provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS. DWW can continue its operations under such a case.

    • Within 90 days after completion of the marine site characterization survey activities, a technical report will be provided to NMFS and BOEM that fully documents the methods and monitoring protocols, summarizes the data recorded during monitoring, estimates the number of marine mammals that may have been taken during survey activities, and provides an interpretation of the results and effectiveness of all monitoring tasks. Any recommendations made by NMFS must be addressed in the final report prior to acceptance by NMFS.

    • In addition to the Applicant's reporting requirements outlined above, DWW will provide an assessment report of the effectiveness of the various mitigation techniques, i.e. visual observations during day and night, compared to the PAM detections/operations. This will be submitted as a draft to NMFS and BOEM 30 days after the completion of the HRG and geotechnical surveys and as a final version 60 days after completion of the surveys.

    Negligible Impact Analysis and Determinations

    NMFS has defined negligible impact as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival. A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of takes, alone, is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering the authorized number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through harassment, NMFS considers other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (e.g., intensity, duration), the context of any responses (e.g., critical reproductive time or location, migration, etc.), as well as effects on habitat, the status of the affected stocks, and the likely effectiveness of the mitigation. We also assess the number, intensity, and context of estimated takes by evaluating this information relative to population status. Consistent with the 1989 preamble for the NMFS implementing regulations (54 FR 40338; September 29, 1989), the impacts from other past and ongoing anthropogenic activities are incorporated into these analyses via their impacts on the environmental baseline (e.g., as reflected in the regulatory status of the species, population size and growth rate where known, ongoing sources of human-caused mortality, or ambient noise levels).

    As discussed in the Potential Effects section, PTS, masking, non-auditory physical effects, and vessel strike are not expected to occur. Further, once an area has been surveyed, it is not likely that it will be surveyed again, thereby reducing the likelihood of repeated impacts within the project area.

    Potential impacts to marine mammal habitat were discussed previously in this document (see the Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals and their Habitat section). Marine mammal habitat may be impacted by elevated sound levels and some sediment disturbance, but these impacts would be temporary. Also, feeding behavior is less likely to be impacted than other behavioral patterns, as marine mammals appear to be less likely to exhibit behavioral reactions or avoidance responses while engaged in feeding activities (Richardson et al., 1995). Additionally, prey species are mobile and are broadly distributed throughout the Project Area; therefore, marine mammals that may be temporarily displaced during survey activities are expected to be able to resume foraging once they have moved away from areas with disturbing levels of underwater noise. Because of the temporary nature of the disturbance, and the availability of similar habitat and resources in the surrounding area, the impacts to marine mammals and the food sources that they utilize are not expected to cause significant or long-term consequences for individual marine mammals or their populations. Furthermore, there are no rookeries or mating grounds known to be biologically important to marine mammals within the project area. A biologically important feeding area for fin whales East of Montauk Point (from March to October) and a biologically important migratory route effective March-April and November-December for North Atlantic right whale, occur near the Project Area (LaBrecque, et al., 2015). However, there is only a small temporal overlap between the migratory biologically important area (BIA) and the planned survey activities in November and December.

    ESA-listed species for which takes are authorized are North Atlantic right, sperm, sei and fin whales. Recent estimates of abundance indicate a potential declining right whale population; however, this may also be due to low sighting rates in areas where right whales were present in previous years, due to a shift in habitat use patterns (Waring et al., 2016). While we are concerned about declining right whale populations, and we are authorizing take of 105 individuals, as described elsewhere in this section the anticipated impacts are expected to be in the form of shorter-term lower level disturbance in areas that are not of particular known importance for right whales, and not expected to have any impacts on health or fitness. There are currently insufficient data to determine population trends for fin whale, sei whale, and sperm whale (Waring et al., 2015). There is no designated critical habitat for any ESA-listed marine mammals within the Project Area, and most of the stocks for non-listed species authorized to be taken are not considered depleted or strategic by NMFS under the MMPA. Of the two non-listed species that are considered strategic for which take is requested (false killer whale and long-finned pilot whale), take is less than one percent of the entire populations. Therefore, the planned site characterization surveys will not have population-level effects, and we do not expect them to impact annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    The mitigation measures are expected to reduce the number and/or severity of takes by (1) giving animals the opportunity to move away from the sound source before HRG survey equipment reaches full energy; (2) reducing the intensity of exposure within a certain distance by reducing the DP thruster power; and (3) preventing animals from being exposed to sound levels that may cause injury. Additional vessel strike avoidance requirements will further mitigate potential impacts to marine mammals during vessel transit to and within the Study Area.

    DWW did not request, and NMFS is not authorizing, take of marine mammals by serious injury or mortality. NMFS expects that most takes would be in the form of a very small number of short-term Level B behavioral harassment in the form of brief startling reaction and/or temporary avoidance of the area or decreased foraging (if such activity were occurring)—reactions that are considered to be of low severity and with no lasting biological consequences (e.g., Southall et al., 2007). This is largely due to the short time scale of the planned activities, the low source levels and intermittent nature of many of the technologies planned to be used, as well as the required mitigation.

    NMFS concludes that exposures to marine mammal species and stocks due to DWW's HRG and geotechnical survey activities would result in only short-term and relatively infrequent effects to individuals exposed and not of the type or severity that would be expected to be additive for the small portion of the stocks and species likely to be exposed. NMFS does not anticipate the authorized takes to impact annual rates of recruitment or survival, because although animals may temporarily avoid the immediate area, they are not expected to permanently abandon the area. Additionally, major shifts in habitat use, distribution, or foraging success, are not expected.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS finds that the total marine mammal take from the planned activity will have a negligible impact on all affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Numbers

    As noted above, only small numbers of incidental take may be authorized under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA for specified activities other than military readiness activities. The MMPA does not define small numbers and so, in practice, where estimated numbers are available, NMFS compares the number of individuals taken to the most appropriate estimation of the relevant species or stock size in our determination of whether an authorization is limited to small numbers of marine mammals. Additionally, other qualitative factors may be considered in the analysis, such as the temporal or spatial scale of the activities.

    The takes authorized for the HRG and geotechnical surveys represent less than 1 percent for 11 stocks (sei whale, minke whale, sperm whale, false killer whale, Cuvier's beaked whale, long-finned pilot whale, white-beaked dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin, striped dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, and gray seal); 1.05 percent for Atlantic white-sided dolphin; 1.48 percent for harbor porpoise; 2.04 percent for short-beaked common dolphin; 4.51 percent for fin whale; 6.43 percent for humpback whale; and 14.68 percent for harbor seal (Table 6). Just under 24 percent of the North Atlantic right whale stock has take authorized; however, this is for the entire duration of the project activities (mid-June through December), and while this stock of right whales may be present in very low numbers in the winter months (November and December) in this area, most animals have moved off the feeding grounds and have moved to the breeding grounds during this time. We do not expect a large number of right whales to be in the area for nearly one third of the project duration. Only repeated takes of some individuals are likely and this is an overestimate of the number of individual right whales that may actually be impacted by project activities. However, we analyzed the potential for take of 23.86 percent of the individual right whales in the context of the anticipated effects described previously.

    These take estimates represent the percentage of each species or stock that could be taken by Level B harassment and are small numbers relative to the affected species or stock sizes. Further, the take numbers represent the instances of take and are the maximum numbers of individual animals that are expected to be harassed during the project; it is possible that some exposures may occur to the same individual.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the planned activity (including the mitigation and monitoring measures) and the anticipated take of marine mammals, NMFS finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the population size of the affected species or stocks.

    Table 6—Summary of Marine Mammal Takes and Percentage of Stocks Affected Species Authorized Level B take
  • (No.)
  • Authorized Level A take
  • (No.)
  • Stock
  • abundance
  • estimate
  • Percentage of stock affected
    North Atlantic right whale
  • (Eubalaena glacialis)
  • 105 0 440 23.86
    Fin Whale
  • (Balaenoptera physalus)
  • 73 0 1,618 4.51
    Sei whale
  • (Balaenoptera borealis)
  • 3 0 357 0.84
    Humpback whale
  • (Megaptera novaeangliae)
  • 53 0 823 6.43
    Minke whale
  • (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)
  • 16 0 2,591 0.62
    Sperm whale
  • (Physeter macrocephalus)
  • 3 0 2,288 0.13
    False killer whale
  • (Pseudorca crassidens)
  • 3 0 442 0.68
    Cuvier's beaked whale
  • (Ziphius cavirostris)
  • 6 0 6,532 0.09
    Long-finned pilot whale
  • (Globicephala melas)
  • 53 0 5,636 0.94
    Atlantic white-sided dolphin
  • (Lagenorhynchus acutus)
  • 513 0 48,819 1.05
    White-beaked dolphin
  • (Lagenorhynhcus albirostris)
  • 3 0 2,003 0.15
    Short beaked common Dolphin
  • (Delphinus delphis)
  • 1,433 0 70,184 2.04
    Atlantic spotted dolphin
  • (Stenella frontalis)
  • 2 0 44,715 0.0045
    Striped dolphin
  • (Stenella coruleoalba)
  • 1 0 54,807 0.0018
    Bottlenose Dolphin
  • (Tursiops truncatus)
  • 411 0 77,532 0.53
    Harbor Porpoise
  • (Phocoena phocoena)
  • 1188 0 79,883 1.48
    Harbor Seal1
  • (Phoca vitulina)
  • 11,137 0 75,834 14.68
    Gray seal
  • (Halichoerus grypus)
  • 1293 0 505,000 0.25
    Unmitigable Adverse Impact Analysis and Determination

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of the affected marine mammal stocks or species implicated by this action. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that each Federal agency insure that any action it authorizes, funds, or carries out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. To ensure ESA compliance for the issuance of IHAs, NMFS consults internally, in this case with the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) Protected Resources Division, whenever we propose to authorize take for endangered or threatened species.

    NMFS is proposing to authorize take of three listed species, which are listed under the ESA: fin, humpback, and North Atlantic right whale. Under section 7 of the ESA, BOEM consulted with NMFS on commercial wind lease issuance and site assessment activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey Wind Energy Areas. NOAA's GARFO issued a Biological Opinion concluding that these activities may adversely affect but are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of fin whale, humpback whale, or North Atlantic right whale. The Biological Opinion can be found online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/energy_other.htm. NMFS is also consulting internally on the issuance of an IHA under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA for this activity. Following issuance of the DWW's IHA, the Biological Opinion may be amended to include an incidental take exemption for these marine mammal species, as appropriate.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed in June 2017. A copy of the EA and FONSI are posted at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/energy_other.htm.

    Authorization

    NMFS has issued an IHA to Deepwater Wind for the potential harassment of small numbers of 18 marine mammal species incidental to high-resolution geophysical (HRG) and geotechnical survey investigations associated with marine site characterization activities off the coast of New York in the Project Area, provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring and reporting.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14699 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF533 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a public webinar meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar with a telephone-only connection option. The webinar can be accessed at http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/chub_hms_diet/. Audio can be accessed through the webinar link or by dialing 1-800-832-0736 and entering meeting room number 5068871.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331; www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The goal of this webinar is to understand the importance of Atlantic chub mackerel (Scomber colias) to the diets of highly migratory species (HMS) predators in U.S. waters, with a focus on recreationally-important predators such as large tunas and billfish. The objectives of the meeting are to: (1) Convene a panel of scientific experts on HMS diets, (2) clarify what is known about the importance of chub mackerel to HMS diets based on currently available data, and (3) develop recommendations for future studies to quantify the role of chub mackerel in HMS diets. Meeting these objectives will help the Council analyze the potential impacts of chub mackerel management alternatives on HMS predators as well as on recreational fisheries for those predators. The Council is developing chub mackerel management alternatives through an amendment to the Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. More information on the amendment is available at: http://www.mafmc.org/actions/chub-mackerel-amendment. To facilitate productive discussions among the invited experts, public participation during this webinar meeting will be limited to designated question and answer and comment periods. Members of the public are invited to email questions for the invited experts to Council staff ([email protected]) in advance of the meeting.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed toM. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: July 7, 2017. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14622 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF530 [Marine Mammals; File No. 21006] Receipt of Application AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Linnea Pearson, California Polytechnic State University, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii).

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 21006 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sara Young or Amy Sloan, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216).

    The applicant proposes to study the thermoregulatory strategies (insulation, thermogenic mechanisms) by which Weddell seal pups maintain euthermia in air and in water and examine the development of diving capability (oxygen stores) as the animals prepare for independent foraging. This study will take place near McMurdo Station in Antarctica. In each field season (two field seasons total), ten pups (20 total) will be handled at four time points between one week and eight weeks of age. Protocols not requiring sedation (mass, morphometrics, core and surface temperatures, metabolic rates) as well as protocols requiring anesthesia (body composition, biopsies, and blood volume analysis) will be conducted on five individuals at all four time points under manual restraint. Metabolic and morphometric measurements will be conducted on a separate cohort of five pups at each of the four time points. The applicant is also proposing to take up to 350 animals for flipper tag reading, thermal imaging, and incidental harassment due to work with conspecifics. Take of seven Weddell seal pups, 15 Weddell seal adult females, and 20 crabeater seals is also requested due to harassment from capturing the Weddell seal pups. Up to two pup mortalities are requested annually, not to exceed three over the two field seasons. The permit would be valid for two years.

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of the application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14714 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before August 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in OMB, within 30 days of the notice's publication, by email at [email protected] Please identify the comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0070. Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted documents at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0070, found on http://reginfo.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. You may also submit comments, identified by “Renewal of Collection Pertaining to Real-Time Public Reporting and Block Trade,” to the Commission by any of the following methods:

    • The Agency's Web site, at http://comments.cftc.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Mail: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail above.

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

    Please submit your comments using only one method.

    A copy of the supporting statements for the collection of information discussed above may be obtained by visiting http://regInfo.gov. All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John W. Dunfee, Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5396; email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0070.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Real-Time Public Reporting and Block Trade (OMB Control No. 3038-0070). This is a request for extension of currently approved information collections.

    Abstract: Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) added to the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) new section 2(a)(13), which establishes standards and requirements related to real-time reporting and the public availability of swap transaction and pricing data. Section 2(a)(13) and part 43 of the Commission's Regulations require reporting parties to publish real-time swap transactions and pricing data to the general public. Without the frequency of reporting set forth in part 43, the Commission would not be able to adequately assess the swap markets and, more importantly, would fail to achieve the frequency of reporting and promotion of increased price discovery in the swaps market which are mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act.

    Burden Statement: Part 43 of the Commission's regulations results in three information collection requirements within the meaning of the PRA.1 The first collection of information requirement under part 43 imposes a reporting requirement on registered swap execution facilities (“SEFs”) or designated contract markets (“DCMs”) when a swap is executed on a trading facility or on the parties to a swap transaction when the swap is executed bilaterally. The second collection of information requirement under part 43 of the Commission's regulations creates a public dissemination requirement on registered swap data repositories (“SDRs”). The third collection of information requirement imposes a recordkeeping requirement for SEFs, DCMs, SDRs and any reporting party (as such term is defined in part 43 of the Commission's regulations).

    1See 77 FR 1182, 1229; 78 FR 32866, 32913.

    The Commission notes that rather than the initial estimate of 40 SEFs, there currently are 25 SEFs either registered with the Commission or with registration pending.2 The Commission notes that rather than the initial estimate of 18 DCMs, there currently are 15 DCMs registered with the Commission.3 The Commission notes that rather than the initial estimate of 15 SDRs, there currently are 4 SDRs registered with the Commission.4 Based on the experience gained by the Commission with regard to SDRs, the Commission estimates that rather than the initial estimate of 750 reporting parties who are not swap dealers (“SDs”) or major swap participants (“MSPs”), and who contract with third parties to satisfy their reporting obligations, there are 496 such reporting parties.5 The Commission estimates that rather than the initial estimate of 250 reporting parties who are not swap dealers (“SDs”) or major swap participants (“MSPs”), and who satisfy their reporting obligations themselves, there are 207 such reporting parties.6 The burden hours for each entity category based upon these new estimates are noted in the applicable table below.

    2See 77 FR at 1229.

    3See 77 FR at 1229.

    4See 77 FR at 1230.

    5See 77 FR at 1230.

    6See 77 FR at 1230.

    Recurring Annual Burden Hours for SEFs Respondents/Affected Entities: SEFs. Estimated number of respondents: 25. Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 52,000 hours.7 Recurring Annual Burden Hours for SEFs Respondents/Affected Entities: DCMs. Estimated number of respondents: 15. Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 31,200 hours.8 Recurring Annual Burden Hours for SDRs Respondents/Affected Entities: SDRs. Estimated number of respondents: 4. Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 27,600 hours.9 Recurring Annual Burden Hours for Non SD/MSPs Using Third Party Respondents/Affected Entities: Non SD/MSPs Using Third Party. Estimated number of respondents: 496. Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 10,912 hours.10 Recurring Annual Burden Hours for Non SD/MSPs Reporting Themselves Respondents/Affected Entities: Non SD/MSPs Reporting Themselves. Estimated number of respondents: 207. Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 139,932 hours.11

    7 2,080 average recurring burden hours per respondent SEF × 25 registered SEFs = 52,000 total burden hours for all registered SEFs.

    8 2,080 average recurring burden hours per respondent DCM × 15 registered DCMs = 31,200 total burden hours for all registered DCMs.

    9 6,900 average recurring burden hours per respondent SDR × 4 registered SDRs = 27,600 total burden hours for all registered SDRs.

    10 22 average recurring burden hours per respondent × 496 respondents = 10,912 total burden hours for all respondents.

    11 676 average recurring burden hours per respondent × 207 respondents = 139,932 total burden hours for all respondents.

    In addition to the above burden hours for compliance with part 43 obligations generally, the Commission determined that certain market participants would incur burden hours associated with the masking of the geographic detail of the underlying assets to a swap in the other commodity asset class, and with the election to have a swap transaction treated as a block trade or large notional off-facility swap.12 The Commission initially estimated that respondent SDRs would incur an aggregate of 833 annual burden hours in connection with the masking of geographic detail of the underlying assets to a swap in the other commodity asset class.13 Based on the Commission's observation of registered SDRs' operations and compliance with part 43's requirements, the Commission is increasing this estimate and now estimates that SDRs will incur an aggregate of 3,307 annual burden hours in connection with the masking of geographic detail of the underlying assets to a swap in the other commodity asset class.14

    12See 78 FR 32866, 32913.

    13See 78 FR 32866, 32915 (50,000 other commodity swaps with masked locations × 0.0167 hours (one minute) of burden per response = 833 total burden hours).

    14 198,022 other commodity swaps with masked locations × 0.0167 hours (one minute) of burden per response = 3,307 total annual burden hours.

    The Commission initially estimated that market participants would incur an aggregate of 2,167 annual burden hours in connection with the election to have a swap transaction treated as a block trade.15 Based on the Commission's observation of market participants' compliance with part 43's requirements, the Commission is increasing this estimate and now estimates that market participants will incur an aggregate of 3,648 annual burden hours in connection with the election to have a swap transaction treated as a block trade.16

    15See 78 FR 32866, 32913-14 (125,000 elections by SDs/MSPs + 5,000 elections by nonSDs/MSPs = 130,000 total annual elections. 130,000 elections × 0.0167 hours (one minute) of burden per response = 2,167 total annual burden hours).

    16 218,428 block trades × 0.0167 hours (one minute) of burden per response = 3,648 total annual burden hours.

    The Commission initially estimated that market participants would incur an aggregate of 2,255 annual burden hours in connection with the election to have a swap transaction treated as a large notional off-facility swap.17 Based on the Commission's observation of market participants' compliance with part 43's requirements, the Commission is increasing this estimate and now estimates that market participants will incur an aggregate of 77,230 annual burden hours in connection with the election to have a swap transaction treated as a large notional off-facility swap.18

    17See 78 FR 32866, 32914 (62,500 elections by SDs/MSPs + 5,000 elections by nonSDs/MSPs = 63,000 total annual elections. 67,500 elections × 0.0334 hours (two minutes) of burden per response = 2,255 total annual burden hours).

    18 2,312,265 large notional off-facility swaps × 0.0334 hours (two minutes) of burden per response = 77,230 total annual burden hours.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: July 7, 2017. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14647 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Application Package for Renewal of the Disaster Response Cooperative Agreement (DRCA) AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, CNCS is proposing to renew an information collection.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the individual and office listed below by September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov. You may submit comments, identified by the title of the information collection activity by any of the following methods:

    (1) By mail sent to: Corporation for National and Community Service, Attention: Chad Stover, Disaster Services, 250 E St. SW., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20525.

    (2) By hand delivery or by courier to the CNCS mailroom, Room 4200 at the mailing address above, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    (3) Electronically through www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Chad Stover, 202-606-6925, or by email at [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), in accordance to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. Sec. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information. This helps CNCS assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden (time and financial resources). It also helps the public understand CNCS' information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. CNCS is soliciting comments on the proposed renewal information collection request (ICR) that is described below. CNCS is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of CNCS, 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 expected to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses).

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will become a matter of public record.

    Title of Collection: Application Package for Renewal of the Disaster Response Cooperative Agreement.

    OMB Control Number: 3045-0133.

    Type of Review: Renewal of information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Current grantees and CNCS-supported programs.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 100.

    Total Estimated Annual Frequency: Varies, see chart.

    Total Estimated Average Response Time per Response: Varies, see chart.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 4,970.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Instrument Frequency
  • per year
  • Respondents Time per
  • response
  • (hours)
  • Total time per
  • instrument
  • DRCA Application 1 40 8 320 DRT Quarterly Capacity Assessment 4 25 1 100 CNCS Disaster Budget and Deployment Form 5 25 1 125 CNCS Disaster Budget and Deployment Amendment Form 5 25 1 125 CNCS National Service Daily Situation Report 150 25 1 3750 CNCS National Service Daily Situation Report Full Guidance 1 25 2 50 CNCS Disaster Deployment After Action Report 5 25 2 250 CNCS-FEMA Mission Assignment Reimbursement Form 5 25 2 250 Total 176 215 18 4970
    Abstract

    CNCS seeks renewal of the current information collection pursuant to the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4950 et seq.) and the National and Community Service Act of 1990, (42 U.S.C. 12501 et seq.) The information collected will be used to help CNCS more effectively utilize its deployable resources to meet the needs of disaster affected communities. A better understanding of the participating programs will allow CNCS to match the capabilities of the programs to the needs of the communities and will allow better asset mapping and resource typing. Additionally, the information collected will allow CNCS to conduct better outreach to interested programs by providing them with more information about CNCS disaster procedures, reimbursement requirements, and support services offered.

    The revisions are intended to streamline the application process and ensure interested programs meet the appropriate programmatic and fiscal requirements to successfully execute disaster response activities. Additionally, the supporting forms will help CNCS identify and deploy programs more effectively and efficiently, matching the capabilities of the programs to the needs of the communities requesting assistance. The additional tools and forms under the DRCA will allow for effective information collection during a disaster event as well as assess the capacity of all DRCA programs throughout the year. Information will be collected electronically through completion of the forms and emailed to CNCS. The information collection will otherwise be used in the same manner as the existing application.

    CNCS also seeks to continue using the current application until the revised application is approved by OMB. The current application is due to expire on December 31, 2017.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Kelly DeGraff, Senior Advisor, Disaster Services Unit, Corporation for National and Community Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14728 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2017-OS-0008] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by August 14, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), Standard Form 76 (SF-76); OMB Control Number 0704-0503.

    Type of Request: Revision.

    Number of Respondents: 1,200,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 1,200,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 0.25 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 300,000 hours.

    Needs and Uses: The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), 52 U.S.C. 203, requires the Presidential designee (Secretary of Defense) to prescribe official forms, containing an absentee voter registration application, an absentee ballot request application and a backup ballot for use by the States to permit absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters to participate in general, special, primary and runoff elections for Federal office. The authority for the States to collect personal information comes from UOCAVA. The burden for collecting this information resides in the States. The Federal government neither collects nor retains any personal information associated with these forms.

    The collected information will be used by election officials to process uniformed service members, spouses and overseas citizens who submit their information to register to vote, receive an absentee ballot or cast a write-in ballot. The collected information will be retained by election officials to provide election materials, including absentee ballots, to the uniformed services, their eligible family members and overseas voters during the form's eligibility period provided by State law. No information from the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is collected or retained by the Federal government.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, Docket ID number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    DoD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 03F09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: July 7, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14674 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2017-OS-0034] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), DOD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: 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; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Advisory Committee Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09B, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Attn: NTPR, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Stop 6210, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6201, or call (703)767-3175.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Nuclear Test Personnel Review Forms; DTRA Form 150, DTRA Form 150A, DTRA Form 150B, and DTRA Form 150C; OMB Control Number 0704-0447.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to collect irradiation scenario information from nuclear test participants to perform their radiation dose assessment. The DTRA radiation dose assessments are provided to the Department of Veterans Affairs in support of veteran radiogenic disease compensation claims. This information may also be used in approved veteran epidemiology studies that study the health impact of nuclear tests on U.S. veterans.

    Affected Public: Individuals and households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 71.7.

    Number of Respondents: 86.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 86.

    Average Burden per Response: 50 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Veterans and their representatives routinely contact DTRA (by phone and mail) to request information regarding participation in U.S. atmospheric nuclear testing. A release form is required to certify the identity of the request and authorize the release of Privacy Act information (to the veteran or a 3rd party). DTRA is also required to collect irradiation scenario information from nuclear test participants to accurately determine their radiation dose assessment.

    Dated: July 7, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14658 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy [Docket ID: USN-2014-0016] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Marine Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps (MCJROTC), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Marine Corps announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: 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; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Advisory Committee Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09B, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Commanding General, Training and Education Command (C46JR), MCCDC, 1019 Elliott Road, Quantico, VA 22134-5001, or call Mr. Robert Davis at (703) 784-0478.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Individual MCJROTC Instructor Evaluation Summary; NAVMC 10942; OMB Control Number 0703-0016.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to provide a written record of the overall performance of duty of MCJROTC instructors who are responsible for implementing the MCJROTC curriculum. The individual MCJROTC Instructor Evaluation Summary is completed by principles to evaluate the effectiveness of individual MCJROTC instructors. The form is further used as a performance related counseling tool and as a record of service performance to document performance and growth of individual MCJROTC instructors. Evaluating the performance of instructors is essential in ensuring that they provide quality training.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 254.5 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 509.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 509.

    Average Burden per Response: 30 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    This form provides a written record of the overall performance of duty of MCJROTC instructors who are responsible for implementing the MCJROTC curriculum. The Individual MCJROTC Instructor Evaluation Summary is completed by principles to evaluate the effectiveness of individual MCJROTC instructors.

    The form is further used as a performance related counseling tool and as a record of service performance to document performance and growth of individual MCJROTC instructors. Evaluating the performance of instructors is essential in ensuring that they provide quality training.

    Dated: July 7, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14651 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2017-ICCD-0059] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request for Supplemental Information AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), 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 August 14, 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-0059. 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 224-84, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Beth Grebeldinger, 202-377-4018.

    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: William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request for Supplemental Information.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0103.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 1,230,000.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 615,000.

    Abstract: The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Request for Supplemental Information serves as the means by which a parent or graduate/professional student Direct PLUS Loan applicant may provide certain information to a school that will assist the school in originating the borrower's Direct PLUS Loan award, as an alternative to providing this information to the school by other means established by the school.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14680 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2017-ICCD-0102] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; 2017-18 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study Administrative Collection (NPSAS:18-AC) AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 11, 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-0102. 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 224-84, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact NCES Information Collections at [email protected]

    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: 2017-18 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study Administrative Collection (NPSAS:18-AC).

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0666.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 10,804.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 63,335.

    Abstract: This request is to conduct the 2017-18 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, Administrative Collection (NPSAS:18-AC). This study is being conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NPSAS is a nationally representative study of how students and their families finance education beyond high school. The first NPSAS was implemented by NCES during the 1986-87 academic year to meet the need for national data about significant financial aid issues. Since 1987, NPSAS has been fielded every 3 to 4 years, most recently during the 2015-16 academic year (NPSAS:16). This submission is for NPSAS:18-AC, which departs from the design of previous NPSAS studies in three respects: It is anticipated to include state-representative estimates for undergraduate students overall and in public 2-year and public 4-year institutions; it will provide financial aid estimates 2-years earlier than how the studies were previously scheduled; and it will be the first NPSAS study without a student interview component. Future NPSAS collections will continue to include a student interview every four years (NPSAS:16, NPSAS:20, NPSAS:24) to yield nationally representative data. In alternating cycles, an Administrative Collection (NPSAS:18-AC, NPSAS:22-AC, and NPSAS:26-AC) will be conducted in which only administrative data from the Department's data systems and institutional student records will be compiled to yield state representative data. This submission covers materials and procedures related to enrollment list collection, student record abstractions, and matching to administrative data files as part of the NPSAS:18-AC data collection.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14678 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2017-ICCD-0044] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of the existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 14, 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-0044. 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 not 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, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 224-84, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact the Applicant Products Team at [email protected].

    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 ED assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand ED'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. ED is especially interested in public comments addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper function of ED; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might ED enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might ED 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 the Collection: 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0001.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 39,226,771.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 25,826,753.

    Abstract: Section 483, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), mandates that the Secretary of Education “. . . shall produce, distribute, and process free of charge common financial reporting forms as described in this subsection to be used for application and reapplication to determine the need and eligibility of a student for financial assistance . . .”.

    The determination of need and eligibility are for the following Title IV, HEA, federal student financial assistance programs: The Federal Pell Grant Program; the Campus-Based programs (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), and the Federal Perkins Loan Program); the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program; the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant; and the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), an office of the U.S. Department of Education, subsequently developed an application process to collect and process the data necessary to determine a student's eligibility to receive Title IV, HEA program assistance. The application process involves an applicant's submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). After submission and processing of the FAFSA, an applicant receives a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of the processed data they submitted on the FAFSA. The applicant reviews the SAR, and, if necessary, will make corrections or updates to their submitted FAFSA data. Institutions of higher education listed by the applicant on the FAFSA also receive a summary of processed data submitted on the FAFSA which is called the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR).

    ED and FSA seek OMB approval of all application components as a single “collection of information”. The aggregate burden will be accounted for under OMB Control Number 1845-0001. The specific application components, descriptions, and submission methods for each are listed in Table 1.

    Table 1—Federal Student Aid Application Components Component Description Submission method Initial Submission of FAFSA FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) Online FAFSA that offers applicants a customized experience Submitted by the applicant via fafsa.gov. FOTW-Renewal Online FAFSA for applicants who have previously completed the FAFSA FOTW-EZ Online FAFSA for applicants who qualify for the Simplified Needs Test (SNT) or Automatic Zero (Auto Zero) needs analysis formulas FOTW-EZ Renewal Online FAFSA for applicants who have previously completed the FAFSA and who qualify for SNT or Auto Zero needs analysis formulas FAA Access Online tool that a financial aid administrator (FAA) utilizes to submit a FAFSA Submitted through faaaccess.ed.gov by an FAA on behalf of an applicant. FAA Access—Renewal Online tool that an FAA can utilize to submit a Renewal FAFSA FAA Access—EZ Online tool that an FAA can utilize to submit a FAFSA for applicants who qualify for the SNT or Auto Zero needs analysis formulas FAA Access—EZ Renewal Online tool that an FAA can utilize to submit a FAFSA for applicants who have previously completed the FAFSA and who qualify for the SNT or Auto Zero needs analysis formulas Electronic Other This is a submission done by an FAA, on behalf of the applicant, using the Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) The FAA may be using their mainframe computer or software to facilitate the EDE process. Printed FAFSA The printed version of the PDF FAFSA for applicants who are unable to access the Internet or complete the form using FOTW Mailed by the applicant. Correcting Submitted FAFSA Information and Reviewing FAFSA Information FOTW—Corrections Any applicant who has a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)—regardless of how they originally applied—may make corrections sing FOTW Corrections Submitted by the applicant via fafsa.gov. Electronic Other—Corrections With the applicant's permission, corrections can be made by an FAA using the EDE The FAA may be using their mainframe computer or software to facilitate the EDE process. Paper SAR—This is a SAR and an option for corrections The full paper summary that is mailed to paper applicants who did not provide an email address and to applicants whose records were rejected due to critical errors during processing. Applicants can write corrections directly on the paper SAR and mail for processing Mailed by the applicant. FAA Access—Corrections An institution can use FAA Access to correct the FAFSA Submitted through faaaccess.ed.gov by an FAA on behalf of an applicant. Internal Department Corrections The Department will submit an applicant's record for system-generated corrections There is no burden to the applicants under this correction type as these are system-based corrections. FSAIC Corrections Any applicant, with their Data Release Number (DRN), can change the postsecondary institutions listed on their FAFSA or change their address by calling FSAIC These changes are made directly in the CPS system by an FSAIC representative. SAR Electronic (eSAR) The eSAR is an online version of the SAR that is available on FOTW to all applicants with an FSA ID. Notification for the eSAR are sent to students who applied electronically or by paper and provided an email address. These notifications are sent by email and include a secure hyperlink that takes the user to the FOTW site Cannot be submitted for processing.

    This information collection also documents an estimate of the annual public burden as it relates to the application process for federal student aid. The Applicant Burden Model (ABM) measures applicant burden through an assessment of the activities each applicant conducts in conjunction with other applicant characteristics and, in terms of burden, the average applicant's experience. Key determinants of the ABM include:

    • The total number of applicants that will potentially apply for federal student aid;

    • How the applicant chooses to complete and submit the FAFSA (e.g., by paper or electronically via FOTW®);

    • How the applicant choose to submit any corrections and/or updates (e.g., the paper SAR or electronically via FOTW Corrections);

    • The type of SAR document the applicant receives (eSAR, SAR acknowledgment, or paper SAR);

    • The formula applied to determine the applicant's expected family contribution (EFC) (full need analysis formula, Simplified Needs Test or Automatic Zero); and

    • The average amount of time involved in preparing to complete the application.

    The ABM is largely driven by the number of potential applicants for the application cycle. The total application projection for 2018-2019 is based upon two factors—estimating the growth rate of the total enrollment into post-secondary education and applying the growth rate to the FAFSA submissions. The ABM is also based on the application options available to students and parents. ED accounts for each application component based on web trending tools, survey information and other ED data sources.

    For 2018-2019, ED is reporting a net burden increase of 5,790,741 hours.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14676 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2017-ICCD-0101] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017) Main Study Base Year (MS1), Operational Field Test First Follow-up (OFT2), and Tracking and Recruitment for Main Study First Follow-up (MS2) AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 11, 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-0101. 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 224-84, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact NCES Information Collections at [email protected]

    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: Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017) Main Study Base Year (MS1), Operational Field Test First Follow-up (OFT2), and Tracking and Recruitment for Main Study First Follow-up (MS2).

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0911.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 119,799.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 61,253.

    Abstract: The Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017) is the first study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to follow a nationally representative sample of students as they enter and move through the middle grades (grades 6-8). The data collected through repeated measures of key constructs will provide a rich descriptive picture of the academic experiences and development of students during these critical years and will allow researchers to examine associations between contextual factors and student outcomes. The study will focus on student achievement in mathematics and literacy along with measures of student socioemotional wellbeing and other outcomes. The study will also include a special sample of students with different types of disabilities that will provide descriptive information on their outcomes, educational experiences, and special education services. Main Study Base Year (MS1) data for the MGLS:2017 will be collected from a nationally-representative sample of sixth-grade students beginning in January 2018, with annual follow-ups beginning in January 2019 and in January 2020 when most of the students in the sample will be in grades 7 and 8, respectively. In preparation for the Main Study (MS), the data collection instruments and procedures were field tested. An Item Validation Field Test (IVFT) was conducted in the winter/spring of 2016 to determine the psychometric properties of assessment and survey items and the predictive potential of items so that valid, reliable, and useful assessment and survey instruments could be composed for the Main Study. The MGLS:2017 Operational Field Test (OFT) Base Year (OFT1) data collection was conducted in the winter/spring of 2017. Tracking of students and associated recruitment of schools for the OFT First Follow-up (OFT2) data collection is scheduled to begin in August 2017. The primary purpose of the OFT is to: (a) Obtain information on recruiting, particularly for students in three focal IDEA-defined disability groups: Specific learning disability, autism, and emotional disturbance; (b) obtain a tracking sample that can be used to study mobility patterns in subsequent years; and (c) test protocols, items, and administrative procedures. The MS1 district and school recruitment began in February 2017. The MS1 and OFT2 data collections will begin in January 2018. The Main Study First Follow-up (MS2) tracking and recruitment will begin in September 2018. OMB approved the MGLS:2017 OFT1 data collection, MS1 recruitment, and OFT2 tracking materials and procedures in December 2016 with the latest change request approved in June 2017 (OMB# 1850-0911 v.11-15). This request is to conduct: (1) The MS1 data collection; (2) the OFT2 recruitment and data collection; and (3) the tracking of Main Study sample students and associated recruitment of schools in preparation for the MS2 data collection. Due to overlap in timing, the approved MS1 recruitment and OFT2 tracking activities are being carried over in this submission. Therefore, this submission presents the procedures, materials, and associated respondent burden for all activities related to MS1 and OFT2, as well as those related to MS2 tracking and recruitment.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14677 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-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: ER10-2042-024; ER10-1858-004; ER10-1862-018; ER10-1870-004; ER10-1889-004; ER10-1893-018; ER10-1895-004; ER10-1934-018; ER10-1938-019; ER10-1942-016; ER10-1944-004; ER10-2029-008; ER10-2036-007; ER10-2040-006; ER10-2041-006; ER10-2043-006; ER10-2044-006; ER10-2051-006; ER10-2985-022; ER10-3049-023; ER10-3051-023; ER10-3260-006; ER11-4369-003; ER13-1401-004; ER14-2931-004; ER15-748-002; ER16-2218-003;ER17-696-004.

    Applicants: Calpine Energy Services, L.P., Bethpage Energy Center 3, LLC, Calpine Bethlehem, LLC, Calpine Construction Finance Company, LP, Calpine Energy Solutions, LLC, Calpine Fore River Energy Center, LLC, Calpine Mid-Atlantic Generation, LLC, Calpine Mid-Atlantic Marketing, LLC, Calpine Mid Merit, LLC, Calpine New Jersey Generation, LLC, Calpine PowerAmerica—CA, LLC, Calpine Vineland Solar, LLC, CES Marketing IX, LLC, CES Marketing X, LLC, Champion Energy Marketing LLC, Champion Energy Services, LLC, Champion Energy, LLC, CPN Bethpage 3rd Turbine, Inc., Garrison Energy Center LLC, Granite Ridge Energy, LLC, KIAC Partners, Nissequogue Cogen Partners, North American Power and Gas, LLC, Power Contract Financing, L.L.C., TBG Cogen Partners, Westbrook Energy Center, LLC, Zion Energy LLC, North American Power Business, LLC.

    Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for the Calpine Northeast MBR Sellers.

    Filed Date: 6/30/17.

    Accession Number: 20170630-5469.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/29/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-2154-007.

    Applicants: Twin Eagle Resource Management, LLC.

    Description: Triennial Market Power Update for the Northeast Region of Twin Eagle Resource Management, LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/30/17.

    Accession Number: 20170630-5471.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/29/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-618-012; ER12-2570-013.

    Applicants: Panther Creek Power Operating, LLC, Westwood Generation LLC.

    Description: Triennial Report for the Northeast Region of Westwood Generation LLC, et. al.

    Filed Date: 6/30/17.

    Accession Number: 20170630-5473.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/29/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1029-003.

    Applicants: Chubu TT Energy Management Inc.

    Description: Triennial Market Power Update for the Northeast Region of Chubu TT Energy Management Inc.

    Filed Date: 6/30/17.

    Accession Number: 20170630-5470.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/29/17.

    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: July 6, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14653 Filed 7-12-17; 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: ER10-1852-017; ER17-838-001; ER11-4462-026; ER16-1277-003; ER16-1354-003; ER16-1913-002; ER16-1293-003.

    Applicants: Florida Power & Light Company, Live Oak Solar, LLC, NextEra Energy Power Marketing, LLC, NEPM II, LLC, River Bend Solar, LLC, White Oak Solar, LLC, White Pine Solar, LLC.

    Description: Triennial Market Power Update for Southeast Region and Request for Confidential Treatment of the NextEra Companies.

    Filed Date: 6/30/17.

    Accession Number: 20170630-5468.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/29/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1432-001.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2017-07-05 Response to Deficiency Letter—GIDNUCR Amendment to be effective 6/18/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170705-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1577-001.

    Applicants: Reuel Energy LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Reuel Energy LLC Revised MBR Application to be effective 7/7/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170705-5065.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1578-001.

    Applicants: Keni Energy LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Keni Energy LLC Revised MBR Application to be effective 7/7/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170705-5067.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2045-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Wholesale Market Participation Agreement No. 4749; Queue No. AC1-037 to be effective 6/29/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170705-5057.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2047-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation Letter Agreement with Riverside Public Utilities to be effective 9/4/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170705-5085.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2048-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Service Agreement No. 4597, Queue Position No. AB2-048 to be effective 11/30/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170705-5086.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/26/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2049-000.

    Applicants: NRG Berrians East Development LLC, NRG Energy, Inc.

    Description: Request for Limited Waiver of the NRG Companies.

    Filed Date: 7/3/17.

    Accession Number: 20170703-5230.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/24/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2050-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 1518R12 Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp NITSA NOA to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/6/17.

    Accession Number: 20170706-5046.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/27/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2051-000.

    Applicants: Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Section 205 LGIA No. 2345 between NMPC and Selkirk to be effective 6/26/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/6/17.

    Accession Number: 20170706-5048.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/27/17.

    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: July 6, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14652 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CD17-15-000] North Table Mountain Water and Sanitation District; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To Intervene

    On July 5, 2017, North Table Mountain Water and Sanitation District, filed a notice of intent to construct a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, pursuant to section 30 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), as amended by section 4 of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (HREA). The proposed NTM Water Treatment Plant Hydro Project would have a combined installed capacity of 150 kilowatts (kW), and would be located along 24-inch diameter raw water pipeline. The project would be located near the Town of Golden in Jefferson County, Colorado.

    Applicant Contact: Bart Sperry, North Table Mountain Water and Sanitation District, 14806 W 52nd Avenue, Golden, CO 80403 Phone No. (303) 279-2854, email [email protected]

    FERC Contact: Robert Bell, Phone No. (202) 502-6062, email: [email protected]

    Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Description: The proposed project would consist of: (1) A new 25-foot-long, 24-inch diameter intake pipe off the 24-inch raw water pipeline; (2) a new powerhouse containing one generating unit with an installed capacity of 150 kilowatts (kW); (3) a new 25-foot-long, 24-inch diameter discharge pipe which would connect to the 24-inch raw water pipeline going to the Water Treatment plant; and (4) appurtenant facilities. The proposed project would have an estimated annual generating capacity of 250,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh).

    A qualifying conduit hydropower facility is one that is determined or deemed to meet all of the criteria shown in the table below.

    Table 1—Criteria for Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Statutory provision Description Satisfies
  • (Y/N)
  • FPA 30(a)(3)(A), as amended by HREA The conduit the facility uses is a tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar manmade water conveyance that is operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption and not primarily for the generation of electricity Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(i), as amended by HREA The facility is constructed, operated, or maintained for the generation of electric power and uses for such generation only the hydroelectric potential of a non-federally owned conduit Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(ii), as amended by HREA The facility has an installed capacity that does not exceed 5 megawatts Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(iii), as amended by HREA On or before August 9, 2013, the facility is not licensed, or exempted from the licensing requirements of Part I of the FPA Y

    Preliminary Determination: The proposed hydroelectric project will utilize the existing raw water pipeline, and its addition will not alter the pipeline's primary purpose. Therefore, based upon the above criteria, Commission staff preliminarily determines that the proposal satisfies the requirements for a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, which is not required to be licensed or exempted from licensing.

    Comments and Motions To Intervene: Deadline for filing comments contesting whether the facility meets the qualifying criteria is 45 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    Deadline for filing motions to intervene is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    Anyone may submit comments or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210 and 385.214. Any motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified deadline date for the particular proceeding.

    Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the “COMMENTS CONTESTING QUALIFICATION FOR A CONDUIT HYDROPOWER FACILITY” or “MOTION TO INTERVENE,” as applicable; (2) state in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) state the name, address, and telephone number of the person filing; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of sections 385.2001 through 385.2005 of the Commission's regulations.1 All comments contesting Commission staff's preliminary determination that the facility meets the qualifying criteria must set forth their evidentiary basis.

    1 18 CFR 385.2001-2005 (2016).

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene and comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Locations of Notice of Intent: Copies of the notice of intent can be obtained directly from the applicant or such copies can be viewed and reproduced at the Commission in its Public Reference Room, Room 2A, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The filing may also be viewed on the Web at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number (i.e., CD17-15) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, call toll-free 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected] For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 7, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14705 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. EL17-30-000] Nogales Transmission, L.L.C.; Nogales Frontier Operations, L.L.C.; Notice of Supplement To Petiton for Declaratory Order

    Take notice that on June 30, 2017, pursuant to Rule 207 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(2) (2015), Nogales Transmission, L.L.C. (Nogales Transmission) and Nogales Frontier Operations, L.L.C. (Nogales Operations) filed a second supplement to its petition for declaratory order, filed on December 21, 2016, as more fully explained in its supplemented petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest in this proceeding must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    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 proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on July 14, 2017.

    Dated: July 6, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14654 Filed 7-12-17; 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:

    Docket Numbers: RP17-834-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Motion to Intervene of Southwest Gas Corporation under RP17-834.

    Filed Date: 7/3/17.

    Accession Number: 20170703-5203.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/17/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-885-000.

    Applicants: Equitrans, L.P.

    Description: Equitrans, L.P. submits tariff filing per 154.204: Negotiated Capacity Release Agreements—7/1/17 to be effective 7/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/3/17.

    Accession Number: 20170703-5086.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/17/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-886-000.

    Applicants: WTG Hugoton, LP.

    Description: WTG Hugoton, LP submits tariff filing per 154.204: Annual Fuel Retention Percentage Filing 2017-20181 to be effective 8/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/3/17.

    Accession Number: 20170703-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/17/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-840-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: (doc-less) Motion to Intervene of Rice Energy Marketing LLC.

    Filed Date: 7/5/17.

    Accession Number: 20170705-5033.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/17/17.

    Docket Number: PR17-51-000.

    Applicants: Acacia Natural Gas, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: Acacia Revisions to Update Corporate Address to be effective 6/28/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 201706285175.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET7/19/17.

    Docket Number: PR17-52-000.

    Applicants: Bridgeline Holdings, L.P.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: Bridgeline Revisions to Update Corporate Address to be effective 6/28/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/28/17.

    Accession Number: 201706285176.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/19/17.

    Docket Number: PR17-53-000.

    Applicants: Black Hills Gas Distribution LLC.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)+(g): Revised Statement of Operating Conditions to be effective 6/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 6/29/17.

    Accession Number: 201706295176.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/20/17.

    284.123(g) Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/28/17.

    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: July 5, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14675 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 4428-010] Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process: Walden Hydro, LLC

    a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application and Request to Use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    b. Project No.: 4428-010.

    c. Date Filed: May 31, 2017.

    d. Submitted By: Walden Hydro, LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Walden Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Wallkill River, in Orange County, New York. No federal lands are occupied by the project works or located within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR 5.3 of the Commission's regulations.

    h. Potential Applicant Contact: Kevin Webb, Enel Green Power North America, Inc., 100 Brickstone Square, Suite 300, Andover, MA 01810; (978) 935-6039; email—[email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Jody Callihan at (202) 502-8278; or email at [email protected]

    j. Walden Hydro, LLC filed its request to use the Traditional Licensing Process on May 31, 2017, and provided public notice of its request on June 6, 2017. In a letter dated July 6, 2017, the Director of the Division of Hydropower Licensing approved Walden Hydro, LLC's request to use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, Part 402; and NOAA Fisheries under section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and implementing regulations at 50 CFR 600.920. We are also initiating consultation with the New York State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106, National Historic Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2.

    l. With this notice, we are designating Walden Hydro, LLC as the Commission's non-federal representative for carrying out informal consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and consultation pursuant to section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    m. Walden Hydro, LLC filed a Pre-Application Document (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule) with the Commission, pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.

    n. A copy of the PAD is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site (http://www.ferc.gov), using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in paragraph h.

    o. The licensee states its unequivocal intent to submit an application for a new license for Project No. 4428. Pursuant to 18 CFR 16.8, 16.9, and 16.10 each application for a new license and any competing license applications must be filed with the Commission at least 24 months prior to the expiration of the existing license. All applications for license for this project must be filed by May 31, 2020.

    p. Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filing and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: July 6, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14656 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9964-85-Region 1] Notice of EPA's Action To Postpone the Effective Date of the EPA Region 1 Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permits for Stormwater Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing notice that it took action to postpone the effective date of its Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permits for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in Massachusetts. By its action, EPA postponed the July 1, 2017 effective date of the permit for one year, to July 1, 2018. EPA's postponement is available at: https://www3.epa.gov/region1/npdes/stormwater/MS4_MA.html.

    DATES:

    Postponement date is June 29, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thelma Murphy, Stormwater and Construction Permits Section OEP 06-4, Environmental Protection Agency, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, Boston, Massachusetts 02109-3912; 617.918.1615; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As stated in its postponement action, pursuant to section 705 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 705), and for the reasons stated below, the EPA postponed the effective date of the EPA-issued General Permits for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in Massachusetts (Massachusetts permit) from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018.

    I. Background

    EPA Region 1 issued the Massachusetts permit on April 4, 2016, with an effective date of July 1, 2017. Region 1 issued the previous general permit for Small MS4s in Massachusetts in 2003, which expired and was administratively continued for MS4s covered under that permit in 2008. EPA Region 1 issued the 2016 Massachusetts permit following issuance of the Commonwealth's CWA section 401 certification by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The final 2016 permits were jointly issued by EPA and MassDEP, along with EPA's 632-page Response to Comments document.1

    1 Although the Region issues NPDES permits in Massachusetts, the Commonwealth maintains separate permitting authority under Massachusetts law. See Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 21, § 43; Mass. Code Regs. tit. 314. When the Region issues an NPDES permit in Massachusetts, MassDEP typically jointly issues a permit under state law. See In re City of Marlborough, 12 E.A.D. 235, 236 n.3 (EAB 2005); In re Westborough, 10 E.A.D. 297, 300 n.2 (EAB 2002). EPA's action in postponing the effective date of the Massachusetts permit does not affect the requirements of the permit issued by MassDEP under Massachusetts law.

    The Massachusetts Permit allows eligible small MS4s in Massachusetts to obtain NPDES permit coverage for their stormwater discharges. Approximately 260 towns and other municipalities, which include a number of state and federally owned entities such as colleges, Veterans Administration hospitals, prisons and military bases in Massachusetts, are eligible to seek coverage under the permit.

    Several parties filed petitions for review of the Massachusetts permit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Petitioners are the Center for Regulatory Reasonableness (CRR), Conservation Law Foundation/Charles River Watershed Association, National Association of Homebuilders, the City of Lowell, and the Town of Franklin. The D.C. Circuit has consolidated these petitions. See Center for Regulatory Reasonableness, et al. v. EPA, No. 16-1246 (D.C. Circuit).

    On April 21, 2017, the D.C. Circuit granted CRR's motion to indefinitely stay the briefing deadlines. Under the original briefing schedule, petitioners would have filed their opening briefs on May 8, 2017. CRR cited several justifications in its motion to stay the original briefing deadlines, including providing time for the New Hampshire small MS4 general permit's judicial review period to end, providing time to address certain questions about the administrative record, and deadlines that the petitioners were facing in non-related litigation. EPA did not oppose this motion. Motions to govern further proceedings are due July 20, 2017.

    On May 26, 2017, three of the petitioners (the Massachusetts Coalition of Water Resources, the City of Lowell, and the Town of Franklin, hereafter the “Requestors”) submitted a letter asking EPA Region 1 to postpone the July 1, 2017 effective date for one year pending judicial review under section 705 of the APA.

    II. Discussion

    Upon consideration of the request, and for the reasons set forth below, EPA determined that justice requires postponement of the effective date.2 Therefore, pursuant to APA section 705, EPA postponed the July 1, 2017 effective date for one year to July 1, 2018. EPA is providing notice of this postponement to the public, including all petitioners, all commenters, and all known potential permittees.

    2 The Region 1 Regional Administrator is authorized to act on behalf of EPA in this matter pursuant to 40 CFR 124.19(l), which grants regional administrators the authority to issue final NPDES permit decisions, which includes determining when a permit will take effect.

    A. The Request

    The Requestors' May 26 letter asked EPA to postpone the July 1, 2017 effective date of the Massachusetts permit in the “interests of justice” because, the Requestors asserted, (1) the permit represents a significant expansion of EPA's CWA authority and the court must decide, among other things, whether EPA acted within its bounds by requiring that discharges meet water quality standards in addition to meeting the Maximum Extent Practicable (“MEP”) standard; (2) it will align the Massachusetts permit's effective date with the effective date of the virtually identical New Hampshire small MS4 general permit, which was issued in January 2017, raises the same legal issues, and has also been challenged in the D.C. Circuit (as well as the 1st Circuit); and (3) although irreparable harm is not required for EPA to postpone the effective date under APA section 705, without it the towns will suffer irreparable harm by immediately expending resources that may ultimately prove to be unnecessary and wasted to avoid non-compliance and risk of enforcement.

    B. Analysis

    In postponing the effective date of the Massachusetts permit, EPA stated in its findings that justice requires postponing the July 1, 2017 effective date of the Massachusetts permit for one year pending judicial review. EPA would like to explore the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in this case in order to engage with the various petitioners and jointly see if there might be a resolution that could avoid the need for litigation. EPA believes that it is fair to postpone the effective date of the permit so that eligible MS4s in Massachusetts that could seek coverage under the permit would not be subject to enforceable permit terms and conditions under the Massachusetts permit that could change as a result of ADR. Postponing the effective date for one year pending judicial review should give EPA ample time to determine what, if any, changes are appropriate in the permit and to determine next steps.

    Pending any such decision by the Agency, postponing the effective date of the permit for one year will postpone certain obligations—and the associated costs—that would otherwise be incurred in the first year's implementation of the Massachusetts permit. Such costs would include monetary and staff time for preparation and submittal of a Notice of Intent (NOI) to be covered by the permit. Also in the first year, in the absence of the postponement of the permit's effective date, the MS4s would have to update portions of their existing Stormwater Management Plans. Given the status of the litigation, the possibility that the parties will engage in ADR and that the Agency may decide to make changes to the permit, the Agency believes it is reasonable to defer imposition of these obligations and costs for the period of the postponement.

    Moreover, postponing the effective date by one year will have the benefit of matching the Massachusetts permit's effective date with the effective date of the New Hampshire small MS4 general permit, which EPA Region 1 issued on January 18, 2017 and will take effect on July 1, 2018. Various parties have filed petitions for review of the New Hampshire permit in the D.C. Circuit, as well as one petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. EPA is also interested in exploring the use of ADR in that case. EPA has filed a motion with the First Circuit to transfer the petition that was filed there to the D.C. Circuit so that all of the New Hampshire petitions may be consolidated. Aligning the effective dates could promote efficiency in the resolution of both cases by facilitating the development of a unified ADR process that would address those issues raised in both permit appeals.

    C. Conclusion

    Based on the above, EPA concluded that justice requires postponement of the effective date. Thus EPA postponed the July 1, 2017 effective date of the Massachusetts permit for one year to July 1, 2018.

    Dated: June 30, 2017. Ken Moraff, Acting Deputy Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14731 Filed 7-12-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9964-00-Region 10] Public Water Supply Supervision Program; Program Revision for the State of Alaska AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of tentative approval.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the State of Alaska has revised its approved State Public Water Supply Supervision Primacy Program. Alaska has adopted regulations analogous to the Environmental Protection Agency's Revised Total Coliform Rule. EPA has determined that these revisions are no less stringent than the corresponding federal regulations. Therefore, EPA intends to approve these State program revisions. By approving these rules, EPA does not intend to affect the rights of federally recognized Indian tribes within “Indian country,” nor does it intend to limit existing rights of the State of Alaska.

    DATES:

    All interested parties may request a public hearing. A request for a public hearing must be submitted by August 14, 2017 to the Acting Regional Administrator at the EPA address shown below. Frivolous or insubstantial requests for a hearing may be denied by the Acting Regional Administrator. However, if a substantial request for a public hearing is made by August 14, 2017, a public hearing will be held. If no timely and appropriate request for a hearing is received and the Acting Regional Administrator does not elect to hold a hearing on his own motion, this determination shall become final and effective on August 14, 2017. Any request for a public hearing shall include the following information: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the individual, organization, or other entity requesting a hearing; (2) a brief statement of the requesting person's interest in the Acting Regional Administrator's determination and a brief statement of the information that the requesting person intends to submit at such hearing; (3) the signature of the individual making the request, or, if the request is made on behalf of an organization or other entity, the signature of a responsible official of the organization or other entity.

    ADDRESSES:

    All documents relating to this determination are available for inspection between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Drinking Water Program, 555 Cordova Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501 and between the hours of 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the EPA Region 10 Library, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101. Copies of the documents which explain the rule can also be obtained at EPA's Web site at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/02/13/2012-31205/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations-revisions-to-the-total-coliform-rule and https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/02/26/2014-04173/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations-minor-corrections-to-the-revisions-to-the-total-coliform, or by writing or calling Ricardi Duvil, PhD., at the address below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ricardi Duvil, Ph.D., EPA Region 10, Drinking Water Unit, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, OWW-193, Seattle, Washington 98101, telephone (206) 553-2578, email at