Federal Register Vol. 82, No.137,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 137 (July 19, 2017)

Page Range32987-33438
FR Document

82_FR_137
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 33437 - Captive Nations Week, 2017PDF
82 FR 33159 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
82 FR 33009 - Special Enrollment Examination User Fee for Enrolled AgentsPDF
82 FR 32987 - Exercise of Time-Limited Authority To Increase the Fiscal Year 2017 Numerical Limitation for the H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker ProgramPDF
82 FR 33106 - Criteria for the Certification and Recertification of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's Compliance With the Disposal Regulations; Recertification DecisionPDF
82 FR 33123 - Proposal To Withdraw Proposed Determination To Restrict the Use of an Area as a Disposal Site; Pebble Deposit Area, Southwest AlaskaPDF
82 FR 33197 - Notice of Changes to SBA Secondary Market ProgramPDF
82 FR 33143 - Oklahoma; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 33141 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and BudgetPDF
82 FR 33144 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 33151 - Filing of Plat Survey; Eastern StatesPDF
82 FR 33152 - Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Mount Hope Project, Eureka County, NevadaPDF
82 FR 33126 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 33125 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
82 FR 33191 - Northern Lights Fund Trust and Toews CorporationPDF
82 FR 33049 - North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Article 1904 Binational Panel Review: Notice of Request for Panel ReviewPDF
82 FR 33204 - Fund Availability Under the Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas ProgramPDF
82 FR 33200 - Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad, LLC-Operation Exemption-Rail Lines of Columbia Business Center, Clark County, Wash.PDF
82 FR 33026 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
82 FR 33122 - Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, Territory of U.S. Virgin IslandsPDF
82 FR 33125 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
82 FR 33142 - Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Committee; VacanciesPDF
82 FR 33166 - New Postal ProductsPDF
82 FR 33137 - Findings of Research MisconductPDF
82 FR 33202 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; General Electric CompanyPDF
82 FR 33201 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Rolls-Royce plcPDF
82 FR 33042 - Notice of Intent To Request an Early Revision and Merger of Two Currently Approved Information CollectionsPDF
82 FR 33131 - Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings; Green Building Advisory Committee; Notification of Upcoming Conference CallsPDF
82 FR 33129 - Submission for OMB Review; FSRS Registration Requirements for Prime Grant AwardeesPDF
82 FR 33137 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 33138 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 33138 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 33068 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 33079 - Defense Business Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 33200 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Nonimmigrant Visa ApplicationPDF
82 FR 33130 - Submission for OMB Review; FFATA Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting RequirementsPDF
82 FR 33161 - GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, LLC; GE-Hitachi Morris Operation Independent Spent Fuel Storage InstallationPDF
82 FR 33160 - New ListServ for Waste Incidental to Reprocessing (WIR) Program DocumentsPDF
82 FR 33159 - Strata Energy, Inc.; Ross Uranium In Situ Recovery Facility; Source and Byproduct Materials LicensePDF
82 FR 33050 - Ripe Olives From Spain: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
82 FR 33054 - Ripe Olives From Spain: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationPDF
82 FR 33047 - Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Rescission and Notice of Amended Final ResultsPDF
82 FR 33059 - Narrow Woven Ribbon With Woven Selvedge From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Administrative Review and Preliminary Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016PDF
82 FR 33068 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 33156 - Certain Hand Dryers and Housings for Hand Dryers; Commission Determination To Review In-Part an Initial Determination Granting Complainant's Motion for Summary Determination of Section 337 Violation by the Defaulting RespondentsPDF
82 FR 33161 - STP Nuclear Operating Company; South Texas Project, Units 1 and 2PDF
82 FR 33202 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Comment Request; Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Associated With Liquidity Coverage Ratio: Liquidity Risk Measurement, Standards, and MonitoringPDF
82 FR 33080 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; an Impact Evaluation of Training in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior (MTSS-B)PDF
82 FR 33199 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Online Application for Nonimmigrant VisaPDF
82 FR 33099 - Notice of Petition for Waiver of New Shunxiang Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd., From the Department of Energy Refrigerator, Refrigerator-Freezer, Freezer Test ProceduresPDF
82 FR 33081 - Notice of Petition for Waiver of ITW Food Equipment Group, LLC From the Department of Energy Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Test Procedures and Grant of Interim WaiverPDF
82 FR 33040 - Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 33139 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and BudgetPDF
82 FR 33138 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and BudgetPDF
82 FR 33035 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on the Proposed Threatened Status for Chorizanthe parryiPDF
82 FR 33044 - Limited-Access Highway Classification CodesPDF
82 FR 33158 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change of a Currently Approved Collection; Notification of Change of Mailing or Premise AddressPDF
82 FR 33024 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reapportionment of the 2017 Gulf of Alaska Pacific Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits for the Trawl Deep-Water and Shallow-Water Fishery CategoriesPDF
82 FR 33125 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10165-Peoples First Community Bank, Panama City, FloridaPDF
82 FR 33134 - Announcement of the Award of Five Single-Source Low-Cost Extension Supplement Grants Within the Office of Refugee Resettlement's Unaccompanied Alien Children's (UAC) ProgramPDF
82 FR 33140 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-NewPDF
82 FR 33198 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) StatusPDF
82 FR 33136 - Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and ChildrenPDF
82 FR 33043 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Annual Retail Trade SurveyPDF
82 FR 33165 - Proposed Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Annual Reporting (Form 5500 Series)PDF
82 FR 33070 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 33152 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 33153 - Notice of Inventory Completion: History Colorado, Formerly Colorado Historical Society, Denver, COPDF
82 FR 33155 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, Nashville, TNPDF
82 FR 33071 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 33192 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.38 To Specify the Ranking of an Odd Lot Order That Has a Display Price That Is Better Than Its Working PricePDF
82 FR 33194 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the NYSE Arca Options Fee SchedulePDF
82 FR 33189 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Update Rule Cross-References and Make Non-Substantive Technical Changes to FINRA RulesPDF
82 FR 33187 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 7018PDF
82 FR 33170 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt New Rules That Describe the Trading of Complex Orders on the Exchange for the Exchange's Equity Options PlatformPDF
82 FR 33168 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of Fees To Assess Connectivity FeesPDF
82 FR 33072 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
82 FR 33105 - Great Bay Solar 1, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 33101 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 33126 - Granting of Requests for Early Termination of the Waiting Period Under the Premerger Notification RulesPDF
82 FR 33074 - Arms Sales NotificationPDF
82 FR 33069 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
82 FR 33101 - Cube Yadkin Generation, LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
82 FR 33102 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-510, FERC-520, FERC-561, and FERC-583); Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 33151 - Nebraska; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 33149 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 33148 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 33146 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 33132 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 33167 - Notice of Availability: Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Commercial Off-the-Shelf Vehicle Acquisitions, NationwidePDF
82 FR 33168 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 33133 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 33198 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of North DakotaPDF
82 FR 33197 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of New YorkPDF
82 FR 33201 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Mr. Edward SilvaPDF
82 FR 33036 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Omnibus Acceptable Biological Catch Framework AdjustmentPDF
82 FR 33076 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
82 FR 33131 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 33072 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Financial Management SurveyPDF
82 FR 33040 - Information Collection Request; Certified State Mediation ProgramPDF
82 FR 33064 - Listing Endangered or Threatened Species; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Winter-Run Puget Sound Chum Salmon in the Nisqually River System and Chambers Creek as a Threatened or Endangered Evolutionarily Significant Unit Under the Endangered Species ActPDF
82 FR 33032 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management DistrictPDF
82 FR 33026 - Air Plan Approval; ME; Consumer Products Alternative Control PlanPDF
82 FR 33030 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions; Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management DistrictPDF
82 FR 33012 - Air Plan Approval; Maine; Motor Vehicle Fuel RequirementsPDF
82 FR 33014 - Air Plan Approval; ME; Consumer Products Alternative Control PlanPDF
82 FR 33135 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment Request; Extension of the Certification of Maintenance of Effort for Title III and Certification of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program ExpendituresPDF
82 FR 33048 - Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Brazil: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Negative Determination of Critical CircumstancesPDF
82 FR 33061 - Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Poland: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
82 FR 33062 - Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Mexico: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
82 FR 33045 - Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From the Republic of Korea: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in PartPDF
82 FR 33016 - Administrative Amendments to Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition RegulationPDF
82 FR 33105 - Environmental Laboratory Advisory Board; Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
82 FR 33041 - Deschutes National Forest; Deschutes and Klamath Counties, Oregon; Ringo Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Forest Plan AmendmentPDF
82 FR 33000 - Revision of Fee Schedules; Fee Recovery for Fiscal Year 2017; CorrectionsPDF
82 FR 33002 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 33007 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 33004 - Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. AirplanesPDF
82 FR 33210 - Arbitration AgreementsPDF

Issue

82 137 Wednesday, July 19, 2017 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33040 2017-15129 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Farm Service Agency

See

Forest Service

See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Notification of Change of Mailing or Premise Address, 33158-33159 2017-15123 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection RULES Arbitration Agreements, 33210-33434 2017-14225 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33070-33072 2017-15105 2017-15110 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual Retail Trade Survey, 33043-33044 2017-15112 Limited-Access Highway Classification Codes, 33044-33045 2017-15125 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33131-33134 2017-15083 2017-15071 2017-15080 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Single-Source Grants: Office of Refugee Resettlement's Unaccompanied Alien Children's Program, 33134-33135 2017-15117 Coast Guard Coast Guard NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33138-33142 2017-15116 2017-15127 2017-15128 2017-15177 Requests for Nominations: Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Committee, 33142-33143 2017-15162 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33069-33070 2017-15091 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certification on Maintenance of Effort under Title III; Certification of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Expenditures, 33135-33136 2017-14962 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Associated with Liquidity Coverage Ratio; Liquidity Risk Measurement, Standards, and Monitoring, 33202-33204 2017-15135 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Financial Management Survey, 33072 2017-15070 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Arms Sales, 33072-33079 2017-15072 2017-15092 2017-15096 Meetings: Defense Business Board, 33079-33080 2017-15149 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: An Impact Evaluation of Training in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior, 33080-33081 2017-15133 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Refrigerator, Refrigerator-Freezer, Freezer Test Procedures Waiver Petitions: New Shunxiang Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd., 33099-33101 2017-15131 Waivers from Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Test Procedures: ITW Food Equipment Group, LLC, 33081-33099 2017-15130 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Acquisition Regulations, 33016-33024 2017-14828 Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Maine; Consumer Products Alternative Control Plan, 33014-33016 2017-15048 Maine; Motor Vehicle Fuel Requirements, 33012-33014 2017-15049 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California Air Plan Revisions; Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, 33032-33035 2017-15052 California Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, 33030-33032 2017-15050 ME; Consumer Products Alternative Control Plan, 33026 2017-15051 Texas; Reasonably Available Control Technology for 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 33026-33030 2017-15165 NOTICES Charter Renewals: Environmental Laboratory Advisory Board, 33105 2017-14825 Criteria for Certification and Recertification of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's Compliance with Disposal Regulations: Recertification Decision, 33106-33122 2017-15182 Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, Territory of U.S. Virgin Islands, 33122 2017-15164 Proposed Determination to Restrict Use of Area as Disposal Site: Pebble Deposit Area, Southwest Alaska; Proposed Withdrawal, 33123-33124 2017-15181 Farm Service Farm Service Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certified State Mediation Program, 33040-33041 2017-15066 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 33002-33004 2017-14588 Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes, 33004-33007 2017-14583 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 33007-33009 2017-14584 NOTICES Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: General Electric Co., 33202 2017-15158 Mr. Edward Silva, 33201-33202 2017-15074 Rolls-Royce plc, 33201 2017-15157 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: Peoples First Community Bank, Panama City, FL, 33125 2017-15118 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Flood Hazard Determinations, 33148 2017-15085 Flood Hazard Determinations; Changes, 33144-33147, 33149-33150 2017-15084 2017-15086 2017-15175 Major Disaster and Related Determinations: Nebraska, 33151 2017-15088 Major Disaster Declarations: Oklahoma; Amendment No. 1, 33143-33144 2017-15178 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33102-33105 2017-15089 Combined Filings, 33101 2017-15094 Hydroelectric Applications: Cube Yadkin Generation, LLC, 33101-33102 2017-15090 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Great Bay Solar 1, LLC, 33105 2017-15095 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 33125 2017-15163 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Companies, 33125-33126 2017-15171 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 33126 2017-15172 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Early Termination of the Waiting Period under Premerger Notification Rules; Approvals, 33126-33129 2017-15093 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on Proposed Threatened Status for Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina (San Fernando Valley Spineflower), 33035-33036 2017-15126 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Ringo Project; Deschutes National Forest; Deschutes and Klamath Counties, OR, 33041-33042 2017-14821 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: FFATA Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirements, 33130 2017-15147 FSRS Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Awardees, 33129-33130 2017-15154 Meetings: Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings; Green Building Advisory Committee, 33131 2017-15155 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Community Living Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Findings of Research Misconduct, 33137 2017-15159
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children, 33136-33137 2017-15113 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

RULES Exercise of Time-Limited Authority to Increase Fiscal Year 2017 Numerical Limitation for H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker Program, 32987-33000 2017-15208
Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Special Enrollment Examination User Fee for Enrolled Agents, 33009-33012 2017-15210 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China, 33047-33048 2017-15140 Narrow Woven Ribbon with Woven Selvedge from the People's Republic of China, 33059-33061 2017-15139 Ripe Olives from Spain, 33050-33054 2017-15143 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Brazil, 33048-33049 2017-14954 Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Mexico, 33062-33064 2017-14951 Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Poland, 33061-33062 2017-14952 Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Republic of Korea, 33045-33047 2017-14950 Investigations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Ripe Olives from Spain, 33054-33059 2017-15142 NAFTA Binational Panel Review, 33049-33050 2017-15168 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Hand Dryers and Housings for Hand Dryers, 33156-33158 2017-15137 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

Labor Department Labor Department See

Wage and Hour Division

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Mount Hope Project, Eureka County, NV, 33152 2017-15173 Plats of Surveys: Eastern States, 33151-33152 2017-15174 Mississippi Mississippi River Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 33159 2017-15218 National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33042-33043 2017-15156 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 33138 2017-15151 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 33137-33138 2017-15153 National Institute on Aging, 33138 2017-15152 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Reapportionment of 2017 Gulf of Alaska Pacific Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits for Trawl Deep-water and Shallow-water Fishery Categories, 33024-33025 2017-15122 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of Northeastern United States: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Omnibus Acceptable Biological Catch Framework Adjustment, 33036-33039 2017-15073 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Finding on Petition to List Winter-Run Puget Sound Chum Salmon in Nisqually River System and Chambers Creek as Threatened or Endangered Evolutionarily Significant Unit under Endangered Species Act, 33064-33068 2017-15065 Meetings: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 33068-33069 2017-15150 Pacific Fishery Management Council, 33068 2017-15138 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: History Colorado, formerly Colorado Historical Society, Denver, CO, 33153-33154 2017-15107 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District; Correction, 33152-33153 2017-15109 U.S. Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, Nashville, TN, 33155-33156 2017-15106 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES Fee Schedules: Fee Recovery for Fiscal Year 2017; Corrections, 33000-33002 2017-14717 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Strata Energy, Inc., Ross Uranium In Situ Recovery Facility; Source and Byproduct Materials License, 33159-33160 2017-15144 Exemptions: STP Nuclear Operating Co., South Texas Project, Units 1 and 2, 33161-33165 2017-15136 License Applications; Amendments: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, LLC, GE-Hitachi Morris Operation Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, 33161 2017-15146 Process Changes: New ListServ for Waste Incidental to Reprocessing Program Documents, 33160-33161 2017-15145 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual Reporting, 33165-33166 2017-15111 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 33166-33167 2017-15079 2017-15160 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Commercial Off-the-Shelf Vehicle Acquisitions, Nationwide, 33167-33168 2017-15082 Product Changes: Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 33168 2017-15081 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Captive Nations Week (Proc. 9626), 33435-33438 2017-15339 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Northern Lights Fund Trust and Toews Corp., 33191-33192 2017-15169 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc., 33170-33187 2017-15098 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 33189-33191 2017-15100 NASDAQ BX, Inc., 33187-33189 2017-15099 Nasdaq GEMX, LLC, 33168-33170 2017-15097 NYSE Arca, Inc., 33192-33197 2017-15101 2017-15102 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Major Disaster Declarations: New York, 33197 2017-15076 North Dakota, 33198 2017-15078 Secondary Market Program; Changes, 33197-33198 2017-15180 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, 33198-33199 2017-15114 Nonimmigrant Visa Application, 33200 2017-15148 Online Application for Nonimmigrant Visa, 33199-33200 2017-15132 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Operation Exemptions: Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad, LLC; Rail Lines of Columbia Business Center, Clark County, WA, 33200-33201 2017-15166 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Internal Revenue Service

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Funding Availability: Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas Program, 33204-33208 2017-15167 Wage Wage and Hour Division RULES Exercise of Time-Limited Authority to Increase Fiscal Year 2017 Numerical Limitation for H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker Program, 32987-33000 2017-15208 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 33210-33434 2017-14225 Part III Presidential Documents, 33435-33438 2017-15339 Reader Aids

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

To subscribe to the Federal Register Table of Contents electronic mailing list, go to https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USGPOOFR/subscriber/new, enter your e-mail address, then follow the instructions to join, leave, or manage your subscription.

82 137 Wednesday, July 19, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 8 CFR Part 214 [CIS No. 2605-17; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2017-0004] RIN 1615-AC12 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Wage and Hour Division 20 CFR Part 655 [DOL Docket No. 2017-0003] RIN 1205-AB84 Exercise of Time-Limited Authority To Increase the Fiscal Year 2017 Numerical Limitation for the H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker Program AGENCY:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security and Employment and Training Administration and Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor.

ACTION:

Temporary rule.

SUMMARY:

The Secretary of Homeland Security (“Secretary”), in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, has decided to increase the numerical limitation on H-2B nonimmigrant visas to authorize the issuance of up to an additional 15,000 through the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. This is a one-time increase based on a time-limited statutory authority and does not affect the H-2B program in future fiscal years. The Departments are promulgating regulations to implement this determination.

DATES:

This final rule is effective from July 19, 2017 through September 30, 2017, except for the addition of 20 CFR 655.65, which is effective from July 19, 2017 through September 30, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Regarding 8 CFR part 214: Kevin J. Cummings, Chief, Business and Foreign Workers Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Ave NW., Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20529-2120, telephone (202) 272-8377 (not a toll-free call). Regarding 20 CFR part 655: William W. Thompson, II, Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor, Box #12-200, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 513-7350 (this is not a toll-free number).

Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone numbers above via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1-877-889-5627 (TTY/TDD).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background A. Legal Framework B. H-2B Numerical Limitations Under the INA C. FY 2017 Omnibus D. Joint Issuance of the Final Rule II. Discussion A. Statutory Determination B. Numerical Increase of Up to 15,000 C. Business Need Standard—Irreparable Harm D. DHS Petition Procedures E. DOL Procedures III. Statutory and Regulatory Requirements A. Administrative Procedure Act B. Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 D. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 E. Executive Orders 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs) F. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) G. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) H. National Environmental Policy Act I. Paperwork Reduction Act I. Background A. Legal Framework

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) establishes the H-2B nonimmigrant classification for a nonagricultural temporary worker “having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform . . . temporary [non-agricultural] service or labor if unemployed persons capable of performing such service or labor cannot be found in this country.” INA section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b), 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b). Employers must petition DHS for classification of prospective temporary workers as H-2B nonimmigrants. INA section 214(c)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(1). DHS must approve this petition before the beneficiary can be considered eligible for an H-2B visa. Finally, the INA requires that “[t]he question of importing any alien as [an H-2B] nonimmigrant . . . in any specific case or specific cases shall be determined by [DHS],1 after consultation with appropriate agencies of the Government.” INA section 214(c)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(1).

1 As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of Title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA), Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act describing functions which were transferred from the Attorney General or other Department of Justice official to the Department of Homeland Security by the HSA “shall be deemed to refer to the Secretary” of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 557 (2003) (codifying HSA, Title XV, § 1517); 6 U.S.C. 542 note; 8 U.S.C. 1551 note.

DHS regulations provide that an H-2B petition for temporary employment in the United States must be accompanied by an approved temporary labor certification (TLC) from DOL. 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(iii)(A) & (C), (iv)(A). The TLC serves as DHS's consultation with DOL with respect to whether a qualified U.S. worker is available to fill the petitioning H-2B employer's job opportunity and whether a foreign worker's employment in the job opportunity will adversely affect the wages or working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. See INA section 214(c)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(1); 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(iii)(A) and (D).

The Departments have established regulatory procedures under which DOL certifies whether a qualified U.S. worker is available to fill the job opportunity described in the employer's petition for a temporary nonagricultural worker, and whether a foreign worker's employment in the job opportunity will adversely affect the wages or working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. See 20 CFR part 655, subpart A. The regulations establish the process by which employers obtain a TLC, and the rights and obligations of workers and employers.

The INA also authorizes DHS to impose appropriate remedies against an employer for a substantial failure to meet the terms and conditions of employing an H-2B nonimmigrant worker, or for a willful misrepresentation of a material fact in a petition for an H-2B nonimmigrant worker. INA section 214(c)(14)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(14)(A). The INA expressly authorizes DHS to delegate certain enforcement authority to DOL. INA section 214(c)(14)(B), 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(14)(B). DHS has delegated this authority to DOL. See DHS, Delegation of Authority to DOL under Section 214(c)(14)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Jan. 16, 2009); see also 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(ix) (stating that DOL may investigate employers to enforce compliance with the conditions of, among other things, an H-2B petition and a DOL-approved TLC). This enforcement authority has been delegated within DOL to the Wage and Hour Division, and is governed by regulations at 29 CFR part 503.

B. H-2B Numerical Limitations Under the INA

The INA sets the annual number of aliens who may be issued H-2B visas or otherwise provided H-2B nonimmigrant status to perform temporary nonagricultural work at 66,000, to be distributed semi-annually beginning in October and in April. See INA sections 214(g)(1)(B) and 214(g)(10), 8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)(B) and 8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(10). Up to 33,000 aliens may be issued H-2B visas or provided H-2B nonimmigrant status in the first half of a fiscal year, and the remaining annual allocation will be available for employers seeking to hire H-2B workers during the second half of the fiscal year.2 If insufficient petitions are approved to use all H-2B numbers in a given fiscal year, the unused numbers cannot be carried over for petition approvals in the next fiscal year.

2 The Federal Government's fiscal year runs from October 1 of the budget's prior year through September 30 of the year being described. For example, fiscal year 2017 is from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017.

Because of the intense competition for H-2B visas in recent years, the semi-annual visa allocation, and the regulatory requirement that employers apply for labor certification 75 to 90 days before the start date of work,3 employers who wish to obtain visas for their workers under the semi-annual allotment must act early to receive a TLC and file a petition with USCIS. As a result, DOL typically sees a significant spike in TLC applications for H-2B visas for temporary or seasonal jobs during the U.S.'s warm weather months. For example, in FY 2017, from Applications for Temporary Labor Certification filed in January, DOL's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) certified 54,827 worker positions for start dates of work on April 1, in excess of the entire semi-annual visa allocation. USCIS received sufficient H-2B petitions to meet the second half of the fiscal year regular cap on March 13, 2017. This was the earliest date that the cap was reached in a respective fiscal year since FY 2009 and reflects an ongoing trend of high program demand, as further represented by the FY 2016 reauthorization of the returning worker cap exemption and by section 543 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, Public Law 115-31 (FY 2017 Omnibus), which is discussed below.

3 20 CFR 655.15(b).

C. FY 2017 Omnibus

On May 5, 2017, the President signed the FY 2017 Omnibus, which contains a provision (section 543 of division F, hereinafter “section 543”) permitting the Secretary of Homeland Security, under certain circumstances and after consultation with the Secretary of Labor, to increase the number of H-2B visas available to U.S. employers, notwithstanding the otherwise established statutory numerical limitation. Specifically, section 543 provides that “the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Secretary of Labor, and upon the determination that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied in [FY] 2017 with U.S. workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor,” may increase the total number of aliens who may receive an H-2B visa in FY 2017 by not more than the highest number of H-2B nonimmigrants who participated in the H-2B returning worker program in any fiscal year in which returning workers were exempt from the H-2B numerical limitation.4 This rule implements the authority contained in section 543.

4 The highest number of returning workers in any such fiscal year was 64,716, which represents the number of beneficiaries covered by H-2B returning worker petitions that were approved for FY 2007. DHS also considered using an alternative approach, under which DHS measured the number of H-2B returning workers admitted at the ports of entry (66,792 for FY 2007).

D. Joint Issuance of the Final Rule

The Departments have determined that it is appropriate to issue this final rule jointly. This determination is related to ongoing litigation following conflicting court decisions concerning DOL's authority to independently issue legislative rules to carry out its consultative function pertaining to the H-2B program under the INA.5 Although DHS and DOL each have authority to independently issue rules implementing their respective duties under the H-2B program, the Departments are implementing section 543 in this manner to ensure there can be no question about the authority underlying the administration and enforcement of the temporary cap increase. This approach is consistent with recent rules implementing DOL's general consultative role under section 214(c)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(1). See also 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(iv).6

5See Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States, 80 FR 24042 (Apr. 29, 2015) (codified at 8 CFR part 214, 20 CFR part 655, and 29 CFR part 503).

6 On April 29, 2015, following a court's vacatur of nearly all of DOL's H-2B regulations, Perez v. Perez, No. 14-cv-682 (N.D. Fla. Mar. 4, 2015), the Departments jointly promulgated an interim final rule governing DOL's role in enforcing the statutory and regulatory rights and obligations applicable to employment under the H-2B program. See Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States, 80 FR 24042 (Apr. 29, 2015) (codified at 8 CFR part 214, 20 CFR part 655, and 29 CFR part 503).

II. Discussion A. Statutory Determination

Following consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined that the needs of some American businesses cannot be satisfied in FY 2017 with U.S. workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor. In accordance with the FY 2017 Omnibus, the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined that it is appropriate, for the reasons stated below, to raise the numerical limitation on H-2B nonimmigrant visas by up to an additional 15,000 for the remainder of the fiscal year. Consistent with such authority, the Secretary of Homeland Security has decided to increase the H-2B cap for FY 2017 by up to 15,000 additional visas for those American businesses that attest to a level of need such that, if they do not receive all of the workers under the cap increase, they are likely to suffer irreparable harm, i.e., suffer a permanent and severe financial loss. These businesses must attest that they will likely suffer irreparable harm and must retain documentation, as described below, supporting this attestation.

The Secretary of Homeland Security's determination to increase the numerical limitation is based on the conclusion that some businesses face closing their doors in the absence of a cap increase. Some stakeholders have reported that access to additional H-2B visas is essential to the continued viability of some small businesses that play an important role in sustaining the economy in their states, while others have stated that an increase is unnecessary and raises the possibility of abuse.7 The Secretary of Homeland Security has deemed it appropriate, notwithstanding such risk of abuse, to take immediate action to avoid irreparable harm to businesses; such harm would in turn result in wage and job losses by their U.S. workers, and other adverse downstream economic effects.8

7 Other stakeholders have reported abuses of the H-2B program. For example, the Government Accountability Office, has recommended increased worker protections in the H-2B program based on certain abuses of the program by unscrupulous employers and recruiters. See U.S. Government Accountability Office, H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs: Increased Protections Needed for Foreign Workers, GAO-15-154 (Washington DC, revised 2017), http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684985.pdf; U.S. Government Accountability Office, H-2B Visa Program: Closed Civil Criminal Cases Illustrate Instances of H-2B Workers Being Targets of Fraud and Abuse, GAO-10-1053 (Washington DC, 2010), http://www.gao.gov/assets/320/310640.pdf; see also Testimony of Stephen G. Bronars, The Impact of the H-2B Program on the U.S. Labor Market, before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest (June 8, 2016), https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/06-08-16BronarsTestimony.pdf. Preliminary Analysis of the Economic Impact of the H-2B Worker Program on Virginia's Economy, Thomas J. Murray (Sept. 2011), http://web.vims.edu/GreyLit/VIMS/mrr11-12.pdf.

8See Randel K. Johnson & Tamar Jacoby, U.S. Chamber of Commerce & ImmigrationWorks USA, The Economics of the H-2B Program (Oct. 28, 2010), available at https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/documents/files/16102_LABR%2520H2BReport_LR.pdf. (last visited June 22, 2017).

The decision to direct the benefits of this one-time cap increase to businesses that need workers to avoid irreparable harm, rather than directing the cap increase to any and all businesses seeking temporary workers, is consistent with the Secretary's broad discretion under section 543. Section 543 provides that the Secretary, upon satisfaction of the statutory business need standard, may increase the numerical limitation to meet such need.9 The scope of the assessment called for by the statute is quite broad, and accordingly delegates the Secretary broad discretion to identify the business needs he finds most relevant. Within that context, DHS has determined to focus on the businesses with the most permanent, severe potential losses, for the below reasons.

9 DHS believes it is reasonable to infer that Congress intended, in enacting the FY 2017 Omnibus, to authorize the Secretary to allocate any new H-2B visas authorized under section 543 to the entities with the “business need” that serves as the basis for the increase.

First, DHS interprets section 543's reference to “the needs of American businesses” as describing a need different than the need required of employers in petitioning for an H-2B worker.10 If the term “needs” in section 543 referred to the same business need entailed under the existing H-2B program, it would not have been necessary for Congress to reference such need, because Congress could have relied on existing statute and regulations. Alternatively, Congress could have made explicit reference to such statute and regulations. Accordingly, DHS interprets this authority as authorizing DHS to address relatively heightened business need, beyond the existing requirements of the H-2B program. DOL concurs in this interpretation.

10 A petitioning employer must demonstrate that it has a temporary need for the services or labor for which it seeks to hire H-2B workers. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(ii); 20 CFR 655.6.

Second, this approach limits the one-time increase in a way that is responsive to stakeholders who, citing potential adverse impacts on U.S. workers from a general cap increase applicable to all potential employers, sought opportunities for more formal input and analysis prior to such an increase. Although the calendar does not lend itself to such additional efforts, the Secretary has determined that in the unique circumstances presented here, it is appropriate to tailor the availability of this temporary cap increase to those businesses likely to suffer irreparable harm, i.e., those facing permanent and severe financial loss.

Under this rule, employers must also meet, among other requirements, the generally applicable requirements that insufficient qualified U.S. workers are available to fill the petitioning H-2B employer's job opportunity and that the foreign worker's employment in the job opportunity will not adversely affect the wages or working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. INA section 214(c)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(1); 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(iii)(A) and (D); 20 CFR 655.1. To meet this standard, in order to be eligible for additional visas under this rule, employers must have a valid TLC in accordance with 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(iv)(A) and (D), and 20 CFR 655 subpart A. Under DOL's H-2B regulations, TLCs expire on the last day of authorized employment. 20 CFR 655.55(a). Therefore, in order to have an unexpired TLC, the date on the employer's visa petition must not be later than the last day of authorized employment on the TLC. This rule also requires an additional recruitment for certain petitioners, as discussed below.

Accordingly, this rule increases the FY 2017 numerical limitation by up to 15,000 to ensure a sufficient number of visas to meet the level of demand in past years, but also restricts the availability of such visas by prioritizing only the most significant business needs. These provisions are each described in turn below.

B. Numerical Increase of Up to 15,000

DHS expects the increase of up to 15,000 visas 11 to be sufficient to meet at least the same amount of need as the H-2B program met in FY 2016. Section 543 of the FY 2017 Omnibus sets as the maximum limit for any increase in the H-2B numerical limitation for FY 2017, the highest number of H-2B returning workers 12 who were exempt from the cap in previous years. Consistent with the statute's reference to H-2B returning workers, in determining the appropriate number by which to increase the H-2B numerical limitation, the Secretary focused on the number of visas allocated to returning workers in years in which Congress enacted “returning worker” exemptions from the H-2B numerical limitation. During each of the years the returning worker provision was in force, U.S. employers' standard business needs for H-2B workers exceeded the normal 66,000 cap.

11 In contrast with section 214(g)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1), which establishes a cap on the number of individuals who may be issued visas or otherwise provided H-2B status, and section 214(g)(10) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(10), which imposes a first half of the fiscal year cap on H-2B issuance with respect to the number of individuals who may be issued visas or are accorded [H-2B] status” (emphasis added), section 543 only authorizes DHS to increase the number of available H-2B visas. Accordingly, DHS will not permit individuals authorized for H-2B status pursuant to an H-2B petition approved under section 543 to change to H-2B status from another nonimmigrant status. See INA section 248, 8 U.S.C. 1258; see also 8 CFR pt. 248. If a petitioner files a petition seeking H-2B workers in accordance with this rule and requests a change of status on behalf of someone in the United States, the change of status request will be denied, but the petition will be adjudicated in accordance with applicable DHS regulations. Any alien authorized for H-2B status under the approved petition would need to obtain the necessary H-2B visa at a consular post abroad and then seek admission to the United States in H-2B status at a port of entry.

12 During fiscal years 2005 to 2007, and 2016, Congress enacted “returning worker” exemptions to the H-2B visa cap, allowing workers who were counted against the H-2B cap in one of the three preceding fiscal years not to be counted against the upcoming fiscal year cap. Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005, Public Law 109-13, Sec. 402 (May 11, 2005); John Warner National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 109-364, Sec. 1074, (Oct. 17, 2006); Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, Public Law 114-113, Sec. 565 (Dec. 18, 2015).

Most recently, in FY 2016, 18,090 returning workers were approved for H-2B petitions, despite Congress having reauthorized the returning worker program with more than three-quarters of the fiscal year remaining. Of those 18,090 workers authorized for admission, 13,382 were admitted into the United States or otherwise acquired H-2B status. While section 543 does not limit the issuance of additional H-2B visas to returning workers, the Secretary, in consideration of the statute's reference to returning workers, determined that it would be appropriate to use these recent figures as a basis for the maximum numerical limitation under section 543. This rule therefore authorizes up to 15,000 additional H-2B visas (rounded up from 13,382) for FY 2017.

C. Business Need Standard—Irreparable Harm

To file an H-2B petition during the remainder of FY 2017, petitioners must meet all existing H-2B eligibility requirements, including having an approved, valid and unexpired TLC per 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6) and 20 CFR 655 subpart A. In addition, the petitioner must submit an attestation in which the petitioner affirms, under penalty of perjury, that it meets the business need standard set forth above. Under that standard, the petitioner must be able to establish that if they do not receive all of the workers under the cap increase, they are likely to suffer irreparable harm, that is, permanent and severe financial loss. Although the TLC process focuses on establishing whether a petitioner has a need for workers, the TLC does not directly address the harm a petitioner may face in the absence of such workers; the attestation addresses this question. The attestation must be submitted directly to USCIS, together with the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), the valid TLC, and any other necessary documentation. The new attestation form is included in this rulemaking as Appendix A.

The attestation serves as prima facie initial evidence to DHS that the petitioner's business is likely to suffer irreparable harm.13 Any petition received lacking the requisite attestation may be denied in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2(b)(8)(ii). Although this regulation does not require submission of evidence at the time of filing of the petition, other than an attestation, the employer must have such evidence on hand and ready to present to DHS or DOL at any time starting with the date of filing, through the prescribed document retention period discussed below.

13 An employer may request fewer workers on the H-2B petition than the number of workers listed on the TLC.

In addition to the statement regarding the irreparable harm standard, the attestation will also state that the employer: Meets all other eligibility criteria for the available visas; will comply with all assurances, obligations, and conditions of employment set forth in the Application for Temporary Employment Certification (Form ETA 9142B and Appendix B) certified by the DOL for the job opportunity; will conduct additional recruitment of U.S. workers, in accordance with this rulemaking; and will document and retain evidence of such compliance. The process under this regulation is similar to the process the Departments have employed with respect to the statutory provisions authorizing seafood employers to stagger crossing of H-2B workers. For seafood employers, a similar attestation, which provides that the employer has conducted additional recruitment, is provided to the consular officer at the time they apply for a visa and/or to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the time the H-2B worker seeks admission at a port of entry. See 20 CFR 655.15(f). Because the new attestation will be submitted to USCIS as initial evidence with the Form I-129 petition, a denial of the petition based on or related to statements made in the attestation is appealable under existing USCIS procedures. Specifically, DHS considers the attestation to be evidence that is incorporated into and a part of the petition consistent with 8 CFR 103.2(b).

The requirement to provide a post-TLC attestation to USCIS is sufficiently protective of U.S. workers given that the employer, in completing the TLC process, has already made one unsuccessful attempt to recruit U.S. workers. In addition, the employer is required to retain documentation, which must be provided upon request, supporting the new attestations, including a recruitment report for any additional recruitment required under this rule. Accordingly, USCIS may issue a denial or a request for additional evidence in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2(b) or 8 CFR 214.2(h)(11) based on such documentation, and DOL's WHD will be able to review this documentation and enforce the attestations. Although the employer must have such documentation on hand at the time it files the petition, the Departments have determined that if employers were required to submit the attestations to DOL before seeking a petition from DHS or to complete all recruitment before submitting a petition, the attendant delays would render any visas unlikely to satisfy the needs of American businesses given processing timeframes and that there are only a few months remaining in this fiscal year.

In accordance with the attestation requirement, whereby petitioners attest that they meet the irreparable harm standard, and the documentation retention requirements at 20 CFR 655.65, the petitioner must retain documents and records meeting their burden to demonstrate compliance with this rule, and must provide the documents and records upon the request of DHS or DOL, such as in the event of an audit or investigation. Supporting evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following types of documentation:

(1) Evidence that the business is or would be unable to meet financial or contractual obligations without H-2B workers, including evidence of contracts, reservations, orders, or other business arrangements that have been or would be cancelled absent the requested H-2B workers; and evidence demonstrating an inability to pay debts/bills;

(2) Evidence that the business has suffered or will suffer permanent and severe financial loss during the period of need, as compared to the period of need in prior years, such as: Financial statements (including profit/loss statements) comparing present period of need as compared to prior years; bank statements, tax returns or other documents showing evidence of current and past financial condition; relevant tax records, employment records, or other similar documents showing hours worked and payroll comparisons from prior years to current year;

(3) Evidence showing the number of workers needed in previous seasons to meet the employer's temporary need as compared to those currently employed, including the number of H-2B workers requested, the number of H-2B workers actually employed, the dates of their employment, and their hours worked (e.g., payroll records), particularly in comparison to the weekly hours stated on the TLC. In addition, for employers that obtain authorization to employ H-2B workers under this rule, evidence showing the number of H-2B workers requested under this rule, the number of workers actually employed, including H-2B workers, the dates of their employment, and their hours worked (e.g., payroll records), particularly in comparison to the weekly hours stated on the TLC; and/or

(4) Evidence that the business is dependent on H-2B workers, such as: Number of H-2B workers compared to U.S. workers needed prospectively or in the past; business plan or reliable forecast showing that, due to the nature and size of the business, there is a need for a specific number of H-2B workers.

These examples of potential evidence, however, will not exclusively or necessarily establish that the business meets the irreparable harm standard, and petitioners may retain other types of evidence they believe will satisfy this standard. If an audit or investigation occurs, DHS or DOL will review all evidence available to it to confirm that the petitioner properly attested to DHS that their business would likely suffer irreparable harm. If DHS subsequently finds that the evidence does not support the employer's attestation, DHS may deny or revoke the petition consistent with existing regulatory authorities and/or notify DOL. In addition, DOL may independently take enforcement action, including, among other things, to debar the petitioner from using the H-2B program generally for not less than one year or more than 5 years from the date of the final agency decision and may disqualify the debarred party from filing any labor certification applications or labor condition applications with DOL for the same period set forth in the final debarment decision. See, e.g., 20 CFR 655.73; 29 CFR 503.20, 503.24.14

14 Pursuant to the statutory provisions governing enforcement of the H-2B program, INA section 214(c)(14), 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(14), a violation exists under the H-2B program where there has been a willful misrepresentation of a material fact or a substantial failure to meet any of the terms and conditions. A substantial failure is a willful failure to comply that constitutes a significant deviation from the terms and conditions. See, e.g., 29 CFR 503.19.

To the extent that evidence reflects a preference for hiring H-2B workers over U.S. workers, an investigation by other agencies enforcing employment and labor laws, such as the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, may be warranted. See INA section 274B, 8 U.S.C. 1324b (prohibiting certain types of employment discrimination based on citizenship status or national origin). In addition, if members of the public have information that a participating employer may be abusing this program, DHS invites them to notify USCIS's Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate by contacting the general H-2B complaint address at [email protected] 15

15 DHS may publicly disclose information regarding the H-2B program consistent with applicable law and regulations.

DHS, in exercising its statutory authority under INA section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b), 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b), and section 543, is responsible for adjudicating eligibility for H-2B classification. As in all cases, the burden rests with the petitioner to establish eligibility by a preponderance of the evidence. Accordingly, as noted above, where the petition lacks initial evidence, such as a properly completed attestation, DHS may deny the petition in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2(b)(8)(ii). Further, where the initial evidence submitted with the petition contains inconsistencies or is inconsistent with other evidence in the petition and underlying TLC, DHS may issue a Request for Evidence, Notice of Intent to Deny, or Denial in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2(b)(8). In addition, where it is determined that an H-2B petition filed pursuant to the FY 2017 Omnibus was granted erroneously, the H-2B petition approval may be revoked, see 8 CFR 214.2(h)(11).

Because of the unique circumstances of this regulation, and because the attestation plays a vital role in achieving the purposes of this regulation, DHS and DOL intend that the attestation requirement be non-severable from the remainder of the regulation. Thus, in the event the attestation requirement is enjoined or held invalid, the remainder of the regulation, with the exception of the retention requirements, is also intended to cease operation in the relevant jurisdiction, without prejudice to workers already present in the United States under this regulation, as consistent with law.

D. DHS Petition Procedures

To petition for H-2B workers under this rule, the petitioner must file a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form-129 in accordance with applicable regulations and form instructions, and must submit the attestation described above. The attestation must be filed on Form ETA-9142-B-CAA, Attestation for Employers Seeking to Employ H-2B Nonimmigrants Workers Under Section 543 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which is attached to this rulemaking as Appendix A. See 20 CFR 655.64. Once a petitioner has completed the Form ETA-9142-B-CAA attestation, it must submit the attestation to USCIS along with an unexpired TLC. See new 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x). A petitioner is required to retain a copy of such attestation and all supporting evidence for 3 years from the date the associated TLC was approved, consistent with 20 CFR 655.56 and 29 CFR 503.17. See new 20 CFR 655.65. Petitions submitted pursuant to the FY 2017 Omnibus will be processed in the order in which they were received. Petitioners may also choose to request premium processing of their petition under 8 CFR 103.8(e), which allows for expedited processing for an additional fee.

To encourage timely filing of any petition seeking a visa under the FY 2017 Omnibus, DHS is notifying the public that the petition may not be approved by USCIS on or after October 1, 2017. See new 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x). Petitions not approved before October 1, 2017 will be denied and any fees will not be refunded. See new 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x).

USCIS's current processing goals for H-2B petitions that can be adjudicated without the need for further evidence (i.e., without a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny) are 15 days for petitions requesting premium processing and 30 days for standard processing.16 Given USCIS's processing goals for premium processing, DHS believes that 15 days from the end of the fiscal year is the minimum time needed for petitions to be adjudicated, although USCIS cannot guarantee that it will be sufficient time in all cases. Therefore, if the increase in the H-2B numerical limitation to 15,000 visas has not yet been reached, USCIS will begin rejecting petitions received after September 15, 2017. See new 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x)(C).

16 These processing goals are not binding on USCIS; depending on the evidence presented, actual processing times may vary from these 15- and 30-day periods.

As with other Form I-129 filings, DHS encourages petitioners to provide a duplicate copy of Form I-129 and all supporting documentation at the time of filing if the beneficiary is seeking a nonimmigrant visa abroad. Failure to submit duplicate copies may cause a delay in the issuance of a visa to otherwise eligible applicants.17

17 Petitioners should note that under section 543, the H-2B numerical increase relates to the total number of aliens who may receive a visa under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of the INA in this fiscal year.

F. DOL Procedures

Because all employers are required to have an approved and valid TLC from DOL in order to file a Form I-129 petition with DHS in accordance with 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(iv)(A) and (D), employers with an approved TLC will have already conducted recruitment, as set forth in 20 CFR 655.40-48, to determine whether U.S. workers are qualified and available to perform the work for which H-2B workers are sought. In addition to the recruitment already conducted, employers with current labor certification containing a start date of work before June 1, 2017, must conduct a fresh round of recruitment for U.S. workers. As noted in the 2015 H-2B comprehensive rule, U.S. workers seeking employment in these jobs typically do not search for work months in advance, and cannot make commitments about their availability for employment far in advance of the work. See 80 FR 24041, 24061, 24071. Given the 75-90 day labor certification process applicable in the H-2B program generally, employer recruitment typically occurs between 40 and 60 days before the start date of employment. Therefore, employers with TLCs containing a start date of work before June 1, 2017, likely began their recruitment around April 1, 2017, and likely ended it about April 20, 2017. In order to provide U.S. workers a realistic opportunity to pursue jobs for which employers will be seeking foreign workers under this rule, the Departments have determined that employers with start dates of work before June 1, 2017 have not conducted recent recruitment so that the Departments can reasonably conclude that there are currently an insufficient number of U.S. workers qualified and available to perform the work absent an additional, though abbreviated, recruitment attempt.

Therefore, employers with still valid TLCs with a start date of work before June 1, 2017, will be required to conduct additional recruitment, and attest that the recruitment will be conducted, as follows. The employer must place a new job order for the job opportunity with the State Workforce Agency (SWA), serving the area of intended employment. The job order must contain the job assurances and contents set forth in 20 CFR 655.18 for recruitment of U.S. workers at the place of employment, and remain posted for at least 5 days beginning not later than the next business day after submitting a petition for H-2B worker to USCIS. In addition, eligible employers will also be required to place one newspaper advertisement, which may be published on any day of the week, meeting the advertising requirements of 20 CFR 655.41, during the period of time the SWA is actively circulating the job order for intrastate clearance. Employers must retain the additional recruitment documentation, including a recruitment report that meets the requirements for recruitment reports set forth in 20 CFR 655.48(a)(1)(2) & (7), together with a copy of the attestation and supporting documentation, as described above, for a period of 3 years from the date that the TLC was approved, consistent with the document retention requirements under 20 CFR 655.56. These requirements are similar to those that apply to seafood employers who bring in additional workers between 90 and 120 days after their certified start date of need under 20 CFR 655.15(f).

The employer must hire any qualified U.S. worker who applies or is referred for the job opportunity until 2 business days after the last date on which the job order is posted. The two business day requirement permits an additional brief period of time to enable U.S. workers to contact the employer following the job order or newspaper advertisement. Consistent with 20 CFR 655.40(a), applicants can be rejected only for lawful job-related reasons.

DOL's Wage and Hour Division has the authority to investigate the employer's attestations, as the attestations are a required part of the H-2B petition process under this rule and the attestations rely on the employer's existing, approved TLC. Where a WHD investigation determines that there has been a willful misrepresentation of a material fact or a substantial failure to meet the required terms and conditions of the attestations, WHD may institute administrative proceedings to impose sanctions and remedies, including (but not limited to) assessment of a civil money penalty, recovery of wages due, make whole relief for any U.S. worker who has been improperly rejected for employment, laid off or displaced, or debarment for 1 to 5 years. See 29 CFR 503.19, 503.20. This regulatory authority is consistent with WHD's existing enforcement authority and is not limited by the expiration date of this rule. Therefore, in accordance with the documentation retention requirements at new 20 CFR 655.65, the petitioner must retain documents and records proving compliance with this rule, and must provide the documents and records upon request by DHS or DOL.

Petitioners must also comply with any other applicable laws in their recruitment, such as avoiding unlawful discrimination against U.S. workers based on their citizenship status or national origin. Specifically, the failure to recruit and hire qualified and available U.S. workers on account of such individuals' national origin or citizenship status may violate INA section 274B, 8 U.S.C. 1324b.

III. Statutory and Regulatory Requirements A. Administrative Procedure Act

This rule is issued without prior notice and opportunity to comment and with an immediate effective date pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and (d).

1. Good Cause To Forgo Notice and Comment Rulemaking

The APA, 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), 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.” The good cause exception for forgoing notice and comment rulemaking “excuses notice and comment in emergency situations, or where delay could result in serious harm.” Jifry v. FAA, 370 F.3d 1174, 1179 (D.C. Cir. 2004). Although the good cause exception is “narrowly construed and only reluctantly countenanced,” Tenn. Gas Pipeline Co. v. FERC, 969 F.2d 1141, 1144 (D.C. Cir. 1992), the Departments have appropriately invoked the exception in this case, for the reasons set forth below.

In this case, the Departments are bypassing advance notice and comment because of the exigency created by section 543 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (FY 2017 Omnibus), which went into effect on May 5, 2017 and expires on September 30, 2017. Because the statutory cap was reached in mid-March, USCIS stopped accepting H-2B petitions on March 13, 2017, and given high demand by American businesses for H-2B workers, and the short period of time remaining in the fiscal year for U.S. employers to avoid the economic harms described above, a decision to undertake notice and comment rulemaking would likely delay final action on this matter by weeks or months, and would therefore complicate and likely preclude the Departments from successfully exercising the authority in section 543.

Courts have found “good cause” under the APA when an agency is moving expeditiously to avoid significant economic harm to a program, program users, or an industry. Courts have held that an agency may use the good cause exception to address “a serious threat to the financial stability of [a government] benefit program,” Nat'l Fed'n of Fed. Emps. v. Devine, 671 F.2d 607, 611 (D.C. Cir. 1982), or to avoid “economic harm and disruption” to a given industry, which would likely result in higher consumer prices, Am. Fed'n of Gov't Emps. v. Block, 655 F.2d 1153, 1156 (D.C. Cir. 1981).

Consistent with the above authorities, the Departments have bypassed notice and comment to prevent the “serious economic harm to the H-2B community,” including associated U.S. workers, that could result from ongoing uncertainty over the status of the numerical limitation, i.e., the effective termination of the program through the remainder of FY 2017. See Bayou Lawn & Landscape Servs. v. Johnson, 173 F. Supp. 3d 1271, 1285 & n.12 (N.D. Fla. 2016). The Departments note that this action is temporary in nature, see id., 18 and includes appropriate conditions to ensure that it affects only those businesses most in need.

18 Because the Departments have issued this rule as a temporary final rule, this rule—with the sole exception of the document retention requirements—will be of no effect after September 30, 2017, even if Congress includes an authority similar to section 543 in a subsequent act of Congress.

2. Good Cause To Proceed With an Immediate Effective Date

The APA also authorizes agencies to make a rule effective immediately, upon a showing of good cause instead of imposing a 30-day delay. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). The good cause exception to the 30-day effective date requirement is easier to meet than the good cause exception for foregoing notice and comment rulemaking. Riverbend Farms, Inc. v. Madigan, 958 F.2d 1479, 1485 (9th Cir. 1992); Am. Fed'n of Gov't Emps., AFL-CIO v. Block, 655 F.2d 1153, 1156 (D.C. Cir. 1981); U.S. Steel Corp. v. EPA, 605 F.2d 283, 289-90 (7th Cir. 1979). An agency can show good cause for eliminating the 30-day delayed effective date when it demonstrates urgent conditions the rule seeks to correct or unavoidable time limitations. U.S. Steel Corp., 605 F.2d at 290; United States v. Gavrilovic, 511 F.2d 1099, 1104 (8th Cir. 1977). For the same reasons set forth above, we also conclude that the Departments have good cause to dispense with the 30-day effective date requirement given that this rule is necessary to prevent U.S. businesses from suffering irreparable harm and therefore causing significant economic disruption.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. (RFA), imposes certain requirements on Federal agency rules that are subject to the notice and comment requirements of the APA. See 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a). This final rule is exempt from notice and comment requirements for the reasons stated above. Therefore, the requirements of the RFA applicable to final rules, 5 U.S.C. 604, do not apply to this final rule. Accordingly, the Departments are not required to either certify that the final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities or conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis.

C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) is intended, among other things, to curb the practice of imposing unfunded Federal mandates on State, local, and tribal governments. Title II of the Act requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in $100 million or more expenditure (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector. The value equivalent of $100 million in 1995 adjusted for inflation to 2016 levels by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumer (CPI-U) is $157 million.

This rule does not exceed the $100 million expenditure in any 1 year when adjusted for inflation ($157 million in 2016 dollars), and this rulemaking does not contain such a mandate. The requirements of Title II of the Act, therefore, do not apply, and the Departments have not prepared a statement under the Act.

D. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

This temporary rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-121, 804, 110 Stat. 847, 872 (1996), 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This rule has not been found to result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic or export markets.

E. Executive Orders 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs)

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 (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, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”) directs agencies to reduce regulation and control regulatory costs.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this rule is a “significant regulatory action” although not an economically significant regulatory action. Accordingly, OMB has reviewed this regulation. This regulation is exempt from Executive Order 13771. OMB considers this final rule to be an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory action.

1. Summary

With this final rule, DHS is authorizing up to an additional 15,000 visas for the remainder of FY 2017, pursuant to the FY 2017 Omnibus, to be available to certain U.S. businesses under the H-2B visa classification. By the authority given under the FY 2017 Omnibus, DHS is increasing the H-2B cap for the remainder of FY 2017 for those businesses that: (1) Show that there are an insufficient number of qualified U.S. workers to meet their needs in FY 2017; and (2) attest that their businesses are likely to suffer irreparable harm without the ability to employ the H-2B workers that are the subject of their petition. This final rule aims to help prevent such harm by allowing them to hire additional H-2B workers within FY 2017. Table 1 (below) provides a brief summary of the provision and its impact.

Table 1—Summary of Provision and Impact Current provision Changes resulting from the proposed provisions Expected cost of the proposed provision Expected benefit of the proposed provision The current statutory cap limits H-2B visa allocations by 66,000 workers a year The amended provisions would allow for up to 15,000 additional H-2B visas for the remainder of the fiscal year • The total estimated cost to file Form I-129 would be $1,502,984 (rounded) if human resource specialists file, $2,216,881 (rounded) if in-house lawyers file, and $3,042,989 (rounded) if outsourced lawyers file • Eligible petitioners would be able to hire the temporary workers needed to prevent their businesses from suffering irreparable harm.
  • • U.S. employees of these businesses would avoid harm.
  • • If a Form I-907 is submitted as well, the total estimated cost to file for Form I-907 would be a maximum of $2,867,398 if human resource specialists file, $2,927,882 if in-house lawyers file, and $3,008,243 if outsourced lawyers file • DHS may incur some additional adjudication costs as more applicants may file Form I-129. However, these additional costs are expected to be covered by the fees paid for filing the form Petitioners would also be required to fill out newly created Form ETA-9142-B-CAA, Attestation for Employers Seeking to Employ H-2B Nonimmigrants Workers Under Section 543 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act • The total estimated cost to petitioners to complete and file ETA-9142-B-CAA is $1,597,426 • Serves as initial evidence to DHS that the petitioner meets the irreparable harm standard. Source: USCIS and DOL analysis.
    2. Background and Purpose of the Rule

    The H-2B visa classification program was designed to serve U.S. businesses that are unable to find a sufficient number of qualified U.S. workers to perform nonagricultural work of a temporary or seasonal nature. For an H-2B nonimmigrant worker to be admitted into the United States under this visa classification, the hiring employer is required to: (1) Receive a TLC from DOL and (2) file a Form I-129 with DHS. The temporary nature of the services or labor described on the approved TLC is subject to DHS review during adjudication of Form I-129.19 Up to 33,000 aliens may be issued H-2B visas or provided H-2B nonimmigrant status in the first half of a fiscal year, and the remaining annual allocation will be available for employers seeking to hire H-2B workers during the second half of the fiscal year.20 Any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year will be available for employers seeking to hire H-2B workers during the second half of the fiscal year. However, any unused H-2B numbers from one fiscal year do not carry over into the next and will therefore not be made available.21

    19 Revised effective 1/18/2009; 73 FR 78104.

    20See INA section 214(g)(1)(B), 8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)(B), INA section 214(g)(10) and 8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(10).

    21 A TLC approved by the Department of Labor must accompany an H-2B petition. The employment start date stated on the petition generally must match the start date listed on the TLC. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(iv)(A) and (D).

    The H-2B cap for the second half of FY 2017 was reached on March 13, 2017. Normally, once the H-2B cap has been reached, petitioners must wait until the next half of the fiscal year, or the beginning of the next fiscal year, for additional visas to become available. However, on May 5, 2017, the President signed the FY 2017 Omnibus that contains a provision (Sec. 543 of Div. F) authorizing the Secretary of Homeland Security, under certain circumstances, to increase the number of H-2B visas available to U.S. employers, notwithstanding the established statutory numerical limitation. After consulting with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of the Homeland Security has determined it is appropriate to exercise his discretion and raise the H-2B cap by up to an additional 15,000 visas for the remainder of FY 2017 for those businesses who would qualify under certain circumstances.

    3. Population

    This temporary rule would impact those employers who file Form I-129 on behalf of the nonimmigrant worker they seek to hire under the H-2B visa program. More specifically, this rule would impact those employers who could establish that their business is likely to suffer irreparable harm because they cannot employ the H-2B workers requested on their petition in this fiscal year. Due to the temporary nature of this rule and the limited time left for these additional visas to be available, DHS believes it is more reasonable to assume that eligible petitioners for these additional 15,000 visas will be those employers that have already completed the steps to receive an approved TLC prior to the issuance of this rule.22 According to DOL OFLC's certification data for FY 2017, there were about 4,174 H-2B certifications with expected work start dates between April 1 and September 30, 2017. However, many of these certifications have already been filled under the existing cap. Of the 4,174 certifications, we estimated that 1,876 certifications would have been filled with the second semi-annual statutory cap of 33,000 visas.23 We believe that the remaining certifications of 2,298 (= 4,174 − 1,876) represents the pool of employers with approved certifications that may apply for additional H-2B workers under this rule, and therefore serves as a reasonable proxy for the number of petitions we may receive under this rule.24

    22 Note that as in the standard H-2B visa issuance process, petitioning employers must still apply for a temporary labor certification and receive approval from DOL before submitting the Form I-129 petition with USCIS.

    23 DOL approved a total of 4,174 certifications for 73,424 H-2B positions with work start date between April and September in 2017. Therefore, we estimated that the average number of H-2B positions per certification is 17.59 (= 73,424/4,174) and the number of certifications that would have been filled with the second semi-annual statutory cap of 33,000 is 1,876 (= 33,000/17.59).

    24 The preamble of this rule explains how DHS established 15,000 as the number of H-2B visas to be made available for the remainder of the fiscal year. Based on the FY 2016 returning workers program, the USCIS Service Center Operations Directorate estimates that approximately 1,538 petitions were associated with the 18,090 returning workers discussed in the preamble of this rule. For consistency and to provide a reasonable estimate for the number of possible petitioners, USCIS uses the 2,298 petitioners based on the DOL OFLC's certification data in FY 2017.

    4. Cost-Benefit Analysis

    The costs for this form include filing costs and the opportunity costs of time to complete and file the form. The current filing fee for Form I-129 is $460 and the estimated time needed to complete and file Form I-129 for H-2B classification is 4.26 hours.25 The time burden of 4.26 hours for Form I-129 also includes the time to file and retain documents. The application must be filed by a U.S. employer, a U.S. agent, or a foreign employer filing through the U.S. agent. 8 CFR 214.2(h)(2). Due to the expedited nature of this rule, DHS was unable to obtain data on the number of Form I-129 H-2B applications filed directly by a petitioner and those that are filed by a lawyer on behalf of the petitioner. Therefore, DHS presents a range of estimated costs including if only human resource (HR) specialists file Form I-129 or if only lawyers file Form I-129.26 Further, DHS presents cost estimates for lawyers filing on behalf of applicants based on whether all Form I-129 applications are filed by in-house lawyers or by outsourced lawyers.27 DHS presents an estimated range of costs assuming that only HR specialists, in-house lawyers, or outsourced lawyers file these forms, though DHS recognizes that it is likely that filing will be conducted by a combination of these different types of filers.

    25 The public reporting burden for this form is 2.26 hours for Form I-129 and an additional 2 hours for H Classification Supplement. See Form I-129 instructions at https://www.uscis.gov/i-129.

    26 For the purposes of this analysis, DHS assumes a human resource specialist or some similar occupation completes and files these forms as the employer or petitioner who is requesting the H-2B worker. However, DHS understands that not all entities have human resources departments or occupations and, therefore, recognizes equivalent occupations may prepare these petitions.

    27 For the purposes of this analysis, DHS adopts the terms “in-house” and “outsourced” lawyers as they were used in the DHS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) analysis, “Final Small Entity Impact Analysis: Safe-Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter” at G-4 (posted Nov. 5, 2008), available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=ICEB-2006-0004-0922. The DHS ICE analysis highlighted the variability of attorney wages and was based on information received in public comment to that rule. We believe the distinction between the varied wages among lawyers is appropriate for our analysis.

    To estimate the total opportunity cost of time to petitioners who complete and file Form I-129, DHS uses the mean hourly wage rate of HR specialists of $31.20 as the base wage rate.28 If applicants hire an in-house or outsourced lawyer to file Form I-129 on their behalf, DHS uses the mean hourly wage rate of $67.25 as the base wage rate.29 Using the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, DHS calculated a benefits-to-wage multiplier of 1.46 to estimate the full wages to include benefits such as paid leave, insurance, and retirement.30 DHS multiplied the average hourly U.S. wage rate for HR specialists and for in-house lawyers by the benefits-to-wage multiplier of 1.46 to estimate the full cost of employee wages. The total per hour wage is $45.55 for an HR specialist and $98.19 for an in-house lawyer.31 In addition, DHS recognizes that an entity may not have in-house lawyers and therefore, seek outside counsel to complete and file Form I-129 on behalf of the petitioner. Therefore, DHS presents a second wage rate for lawyers labeled as outsourced lawyers. DHS estimates the total per hour wage is $168.13 for an outsourced lawyer.3233 If a lawyer submits Form I-129 on behalf of the petitioner, Form G-28 (Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative), must accompany the Form I-129 submission.34 DHS estimates the time burden to complete and submit Form G-28 for a lawyer is 53 minutes (0.88 hour, rounded). For this analysis, DHS adds the time to complete Form G-28 to the opportunity cost of time to lawyers for filing Form I-129 on behalf of a petitioner. Therefore, the total opportunity cost of time for an HR specialist to complete and file Form I-129 is $194.04, for an in-house lawyer to complete and file is $504.70, and for an outsourced lawyer to complete and file is $864.19.35 The total cost, including filing fee and opportunity costs of time, per petitioner to file Form I-129 is $654.04 if HR specialists file, $964.70 if an in-house lawyer files, and $1,324.19 if an outsourced lawyer files the form.36

    28 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016, Human Resources Specialist: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131071.htm.

    29 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 2016 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Mean Hourly Wage (23-1011 Lawyers), available at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes231011.htm.

    30 The benefits-to-wage multiplier is calculated as follows: (Total Employee Compensation per hour)/(Wages and Salaries per hour). See Economic News Release, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 1. Employer costs per hour worked for employee compensation and costs as a percent of total compensation: Civilian workers, by major occupational and industry group (June 2016), available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf.

    31 Calculation for the total wage of an HR specialist: $31.20 × 1.46 = $45.55 (rounded). Calculation for the total wage of an in-house lawyer: $67.25 × 1.46 = $98.19 (rounded).

    32Calculation: Average hourly wage rate of lawyers × Benefits-to-wage multiplier for outsourced lawyer = $67.25 × 2.5 = $168.125 = $168.13.

    33 The DHS ICE “Safe-Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter” used a multiplier of 2.5 to convert in-house attorney wages to the cost of outsourced attorney based on information received in public comment to that rule. We believe the explanation and methodology used in the Final Small Entity Impact Analysis remains sound for using 2.5 as a multiplier for outsourced labor wages in this rule, see page G-4 [Sept. 1, 2015] [http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=ICEB-2006-0004-0922].

    34 USCIS, Filing Your Form G-28, https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-your-form-g-28.

    35 Calculation if an HR specialist files: $45.55 × (4.26 hours) = $194.04 (rounded); Calculation if an in-house lawyer files: $98.19 × (4.26 hours to file Form I-129 H2B + 0.88 hour to file Form G-28) = $504.70 (rounded); Calculation if an outsourced lawyer files: $168.13 × (4.26 hours to file Form I-129 H2B + 0.88 hour to file Form G-28) = $864.19 (rounded).

    36 Calculation if an HR specialist files: $194.04 + $460 (filing fee) = $654.04; Calculation if an in-house lawyer files: $504.70 + $460 (filing fee) = $964.70; Calculation if outsourced lawyer files: $864.19 + $460 (filing fee) = $1,324.19.

    (a) Cost to Petitioners

    As mentioned in Section 3, the population impacted by this rule is the 2,298 petitioners who may apply for up to 15,000 additional H-2B visas for the remainder of FY 2017. Based on the previously presented total filing costs per petitioner, DHS estimates the total cost to file Form I-129 is $1,502,984 (rounded) if HR specialists file, $2,216,881 (rounded) if in-house lawyers file, and $3,042,989 (rounded) if outsourced lawyers file.37 DHS recognizes that not all Form I-129 applications are likely to be filed by only one type of filer and cannot predict how many applications would be filed by each type of filer. Therefore, DHS estimates that the total cost to file Form I-129 could range from $1,502,984 (rounded) to $3,042,989 (rounded) depending on the combination of applications filed by each type of filer.

    37 Calculation if HR specialist files: $654.04 × 2,298 (population applying for H-2B visas) = $1,502,983.92 = $1,502,984 (rounded); Calculation if an in-house lawyer files: $964.70 × 2,298 (population applying for H-2B visas) = $2,216,880.60 = $2,216,881 (rounded); Calculation if an outsourced lawyer files: $1,324.19 × 2,298 (population applying for H-2B visas) = $3,042,988.62 = $3,042,989 (rounded).

    (1) Form I-907

    Employers may use Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, to request faster processing of their Form I-129 petitions for H-2B visas. The filing fee for Form I-907 is $1,225 and the time burden for completing the form is 0.5 hours. Using the wage rates established previously, the opportunity cost of time is $22.78 for an HR specialist to file Form I-907, $49.10 for an in-house lawyer to file, and $84.07 for an outsourced lawyer to file.38 Therefore, the total filing cost to complete and file Form I-907 per petitioner is $1,247.78 if HR specialists file, $1,274.10 if in-house lawyers file, and $1,309.07 if outsourced lawyers file.39 Due to the expedited nature of this rule, DHS was unable to obtain data on the average percentage of Form I-907 applications that were submitted with Form I-129 H-2B petitions. Table 2 (below) shows the range of percentages of the 2,298 petitioners who may also request their Form I-129 adjudications be premium processed as well as the estimated total cost of filing Form I-907. DHS anticipates that most, if not all, of the additional 2,298 Form I-129 petitions will be requesting premium processing due to the limited time between the publication of this rule and the end of the fiscal year. Further, as shown in table 2, the total estimated cost to complete and file a request for premium processing (Form I-907) when submitted with Form I-129 on behalf of an H-2B worker is a maximum of $2,867,398 if human resources specialists file, $2,927,882 if in-house lawyers file, and $3,008,243 if outsourced lawyers file.

    38 Calculation if an HR specialist files: $45.55 × (0.5 hours) = $22.78 (rounded); Calculation if an in-house lawyer files: $98.19 × (0.5 hours) = $49.10 (rounded); Calculation if an outsourced lawyer files: $168.13 × (0.5 hours) = $84.07 (rounded).

    39 Calculation if an HR specialist files: $22.78 + $1,225 = $1,247.78; Calculation if an in-house lawyer files: $49.10 + $1,225 = 1,274.10; Calculation if outsourced lawyer files: $84.07 + $1,225 = $1,309.07.

    Table 2—Total Cost of Filing Form I-907 Under the H-2B Visa Program Percent of filers requesting premium processing a Number of
  • filers
  • requesting premium
  • processing b
  • Total cost to filers c Human
  • resources
  • specialist
  • ($)
  • In-house
  • lawyer
  • ($)
  • Outsourced lawyer
  • ($)
  • 25 575 716,850 731,970 752,061 50 1,149 1,433,699 1,463,941 1,504,121 75 1,724 2,150,549 2,195,911 2,256,182 90 2,068 2,580,659 2,635,094 2,707,419 95 2,183 2,724,029 2,781,488 2,857,831 100 2,298 2,867,398 2,927,882 3,008,243 Notes: a Assumes that all 15,000 additional H-2B visas will be filled by 2,298 petitioners. b Numbers and dollar amounts are rounded to the nearest whole number. c Calculation: (Total cost per filer of Form I-907) × Number of filers who request premium processing = Total cost to filer (rounded to the nearest dollar). Source: USCIS analysis.
    (2) Attestation Requirements

    The remaining provisions of this rule include a new form for applicants, Form ETA-9142-B-CAA-Attestation for Admission of H-2B Workers, attached to this rulemaking as Appendix A.

    The new attestation form includes new recruiting requirements, the irreparable harm standard, and document retention obligations. DOL estimates the time burden for completing and signing the form is 0.25 hour and 1 hour for retaining documents and records relating to recruitment. The petitioner must retain documents and records of a new job order for the job opportunity placed with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) and one newspaper advertisement. DOL estimates that it would take up to one hour to file and retain documents and records relating to recruitment. Using the total per hour wage for an HR specialist ($45.55), the opportunity cost of time for an HR specialist to complete the new attestation form and to retain documents relating to recruitment is $56.94.40

    40 Calculation: $45.55 (total per hour wage for an HR specialist) × 1.25 (time burden for the new attestation form and retaining recruitment documentation) = $56.94.

    Additionally, the new form requires that the petitioner assess and document supporting evidence for meeting the irreparable harm standard, and retain those documents and records, which we assume will require the resources of a financial analyst (or another equivalent occupation). Using the same methodology previously described for wages, the total per hour wage for a financial analyst is $68.53.41 DOL estimates the time burden for these tasks is at least 4 hours and 1 hour for gathering and retaining documents and records. Therefore, the total opportunity costs of time for a financial analyst to assess, document, and retain supporting evidence is $342.65.42

    41 Calculation: $46.94 (total per hour wage for a financial analyst, based on BLS wages) × 1.46 (benefits-to-wage multiplier) = $68.53. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016, Financial Analysts: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132051.htm.

    42 Calculation: $68.53 (total per hour wage for a financial analyst) × 5 hours (time burden for assessing, documenting and retention of supporting evidence demonstrating the employer is likely to suffer irreparable harm) = $342.65.

    As discussed previously, we believe that the estimated 2,298 remaining unfilled certifications for the latter half of FY 2017 would include all potential employers who might request to employ H-2B workers under this rule. This number of certifications is a reasonable proxy for the number of employers who may need to review and sign the attestation. Using this estimate for the total number of certifications, DOL estimates that the cost for HR specialists is $130,842 and for financial analysts is $787,410 (rounded).43 The total cost is estimated to be $918,252.44

    43 Calculations: Cost for HR Specialists: $45.55 (total per hour wage for an HR specialist) × 2,298 certifications × 1.25 hours = $130,842. Cost for Financial Analysts: $68.53 (total per hour wage for a financial analyst) × 2,298 certifications × 5 hours = $787,410.

    44 Calculation: $130,842 (total cost for HR specialists) + $787,410 (total cost for financial analysts) = $918,252.

    Employers will place a new job order for the job opportunity with the SWA serving the area of intended employment for at least 5 days beginning no later than the next business day after submitting a petition for an H-2B worker and the attestation to USCIS. DOL estimates that an HR specialist (or another equivalent occupation) would spend 1 hour to prepare a new job order and submit it to the SWA.45 DOL estimates the total cost of placing a new job order is $104,674.46

    45 The job order must address the content requirements at 20 CFR 655.18, consistent with new requirements contained in the 2016 Department of Labor Appropriations Act (Division H, Title I of Pub. L. 114-113) (2016 DOL Appropriations Act), which was enacted on December 18, 2015.

    46 Calculation: $45.55 (total per hour wage for an HR specialist) × 2,298 certifications × 1 hour (time burden for placing a job order with the SWA) = $104,674.

    Employers will also place one newspaper advertisement during the period of time the SWA is actively circulating the job order for intrastate clearance. DOL estimates that a standard job listing in an online edition of a newspaper is $250.47 The total cost associated with one online newspaper job listing is $574,500.48

    47 Source: The Washington Post, Online Only Job Listings (35 days), page 4 available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-stat/ad/public/static/media_kit/16-3729-01-jobs.pdf.

    48 Calculation: $250 (cost of one online newspaper job listing) × 2,298 certifications = $574,500.

    Therefore, the total cost for the new attestation form is estimated to be $1,597,426.49

    49 Calculation: $918,252 (total cost for HR specialists and financial analysts) + $104,674 (total cost to place job order with State Workforce Agency) + $574,500 (total cost to place online newspaper job listings) = $1,597,426.

    (b) Cost to the Federal Government

    DHS anticipates some additional costs in adjudicating the additional petitions submitted as a result of the increase in cap limitation for H-2B visas. However, DHS expects these costs to be covered by the fees associated with the forms.

    (c) Benefits to Petitioners

    The inability to access H-2B workers for these entities may cause their businesses to suffer irreparable harm. Temporarily increasing the number of available H-2B visas for this fiscal year may allow some businesses to hire the additional labor resources necessary to avoid such harm. Preventing such harm may ultimately rescue the jobs of any other employees (including U.S. employees) at that establishment.

    F. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    This rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of Executive Order No. 13132, 64 FR 43,255 (Aug. 4, 1999), this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

    G. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This rule meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order No. 12988, 61 FR 4729 (Feb. 5, 1996).

    H. National Environmental Policy Act

    DHS analyzes actions to determine whether NEPA applies to them and if so what degree of analysis is required. DHS Directive (Dir) 023-01 Rev. 01 establishes the procedures that DHS and its components use to comply with NEPA and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing NEPA, 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508. The CEQ regulations allow federal agencies to establish, with CEQ review and concurrence, categories of actions (“categorical exclusions”) which experience has shown do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and, therefore, do not require an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 40 CFR 1507.3(b)(1)(iii), 1508.4. DHS Instruction 023-01 Rev. 01 establishes such Categorical Exclusions that DHS has found to have no such effect. Dir. 023-01 Rev. 01 Appendix A Table 1. For an action to be categorically excluded, DHS Instruction 023-01 Rev. 01 requires the action to satisfy each of the following three conditions: (1) The entire action clearly fits within one or more of the Categorical Exclusions; (2) the action is not a piece of a larger action; and (3) no extraordinary circumstances exist that create the potential for a significant environmental effect. Inst. 023-01 Rev. 01 section V.B (1)-(3).

    This rule temporarily amends the regulations implementing the H-2B nonimmigrant visa program to increase the numerical limitation on H-2B nonimmigrant visas for the remainder of FY 2017 based on the Secretary of Homeland Security's determination, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, consistent with the FY 2017 Omnibus. Generally, a rule which changes the number of visas which can be issued has no impact on the environment and any attempt to analyze that impact would be largely, if not completely, speculative. The Departments cannot estimate with reasonable certainty which employers will successfully petition for employees in what locations and numbers. At most, however, it is reasonably foreseeable that an increase of up to15,000 visas may be issued for temporary entry into the United States in diverse industries and locations. For purposes of the cost estimates contained in the economic analysis above, DHS bases its calculations on the assumption that all 15,000 will be issued. Even making that assumption, with a current U.S. population in excess of 323 million and a U.S. land mass of 3.794 million square miles, this is insignificant by any measure.

    DHS has determined that this rule does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and it thus would fit within one categorical exclusion under Environmental Planning Program, DHS Instruction 023-01 Rev. 01, Appendix A, Table 1. Specifically, the rule fits within Categorical Exclusion number A3(d) for rules that interpret or amend an existing regulation without changing its environmental effect.

    This rule maintains the current human environment by helping to prevent irreparable harm to certain U.S. businesses and to prevent a significant adverse effect on the human environment that would likely result from loss of jobs and income. With the exception of recordkeeping requirements, this rulemaking terminates after September 30, 2017; it is not part of a larger action and presents no extraordinary circumstances creating the potential for significant environmental effects. No further NEPA analysis is required.

    I. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., provides that a Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. DOL has submitted the Information Collection Request (ICR) contained in this rule to OMB and obtained approval using emergency clearance procedures outlined at 5 CFR 1320.13. The Departments note that while DOL submitted the ICR, both DHS and DOL will use the information.

    More specifically, this rule includes a new form (Attestation for Employers Seeking to Employ H-2B Nonimmigrants Workers Under Section 543 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, Form ETA-9142-B-CAA) for petitioners to submit to DHS, and that petitioners will use to make the irreparable harm attestation described above. The petitioner would file the attestation with DHS. In addition, the petitioner may need to advertise the positions. Finally, the petitioner will need to retain documents and records proving compliance with this implementing rule, and must provide the documents and records to DHS and DOL staff in the event of an audit or investigation. The information collection requirements associated with this rule are summarized as follows:

    Agency: DOL-ETA.

    Type of Information Collection: New collection.

    Title of the Collection: H-2B Nonimmigrants Workers Under Section 543 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

    Agency Form Number: ETA-9142-B-CAA.

    Affected Public: Private Sector—businesses or other for-profits.

    Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,298.

    Average Responses per Year per Respondent: 1.

    Total Estimated Number of Responses: 2,298.

    Average Time per Response: 6.25 hours per application.

    Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 14,363 hours.

    Total Estimated Other Costs Burden: $679,174.

    List of Subjects 8 CFR Part 214

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Cultural exchange programs, Employment, Foreign officials, Health professions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Students.

    20 CFR Part 655

    Administrative practice and procedure, Employment, Employment and training, Enforcement, Foreign workers, Forest and forest products, Fraud, Health professions, Immigration, Labor, Longshore and harbor work, Migrant workers, Nonimmigrant workers, Passports and visas, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Unemployment, Wages, Working conditions.

    Department of Homeland Security 8 CFR Chapter I

    For the reasons discussed in the joint preamble, part 214 of chapter I of title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 214—NONIMMIGRANT CLASSES 1. The authority citation for part 214 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    8 U.S.C. 1101, 1102, 1103, 1182, 1184, 1186a, 1187, 1221, 1281, 1282, 1301-1305 and 1372; sec. 643, Pub. L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-708; Public Law 106-386, 114 Stat. 1477-1480; section 141 of the Compacts of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and with the Government of Palau, 48 U.S.C. 1901 note and 1931 note, respectively; 48 U.S.C. 1806; 8 CFR part 2.

    2. Effective July 19, 2017 through September 30, 2017, amend § 214.2 by adding paragraph (h)(6)(x) to read as follows:
    § 214.2 Special requirements for admission, extension, and maintenance of status

    (h) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (x) Special requirements for additional cap allocations under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, Public Law 115-31—(A) Public Law 115-31. Notwithstanding the numerical limitations set forth in paragraph (h)(8)(i)(C) of this section, for fiscal year 2017 only, the Secretary has authorized up to an additional 15,000 aliens who may receive H-2B nonimmigrant visas pursuant to section 543 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, Public Law 115-31. Notwithstanding § 248.2 of this part, an alien may not change status to H-2B nonimmigrant under this provision.

    (B) Eligibility. In order to file a petition with USCIS under this paragraph (h)(6)(x), the petitioner must:

    (1) Comply with all other statutory and regulatory requirements for H-2B classification, including requirements in this section, under part 103 of this chapter, and under parts 655 of Title 20 and 503 of Title 29; and

    (2) Submit to USCIS, at the time the employer files its petition, a U.S. Department of Labor attestation, in compliance with 20 CFR 655.64, evidencing that without the ability to employ all of the H-2B workers requested on the petition filed pursuant to this paragraph (h)(6)(x), its business is likely to suffer irreparable harm (that is, permanent and severe financial loss), and that the employer will provide documentary evidence of this fact to DHS or DOL upon request.

    (C) Processing. USCIS will reject petitions filed pursuant to this paragraph (h)(6)(x) that are received after the numerical limitation has been reached or after September 15, 2017, whichever is sooner. USCIS will not approve a petition filed pursuant to this paragraph (h)(6)(x) on or after October 1, 2017.

    (D) Sunset. This paragraph (h)(6)(x) expires on October 1, 2017.

    (E) Non-severability. The requirement to file an attestation under paragraph (h)(6)(x)(B)(2) of this section is intended to be non-severable from the remainder of this paragraph (h)(6)(x); in the event that paragraph (h)(6)(x)(B)(2) is enjoined or held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, this paragraph (h)(6)(x) is also intended to be enjoined or held to be invalid in such jurisdiction, without prejudice to workers already present in the United States under this regulation, as consistent with law.

    Department of Labor

    Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the joint preamble, 20 CFR part 655 is amended as follows:

    Title 20—Employees' Benefits PART 655—TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGN WORKERS IN THE UNITED STATES 3. The authority citation for part 655 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Section 655.0 issued under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii), 1101(a)(15)(H)(i) and (ii), 8 U.S.C. 1103(a)(6), 1182(m), (n) and (t), 1184(c), (g), and (j), 1188, and 1288(c) and (d); sec. 3(c)(1), Pub. L. 101-238, 103 Stat. 2099, 2102 (8 U.S.C. 1182 note); sec. 221(a), Pub. L. 101-649, 104 Stat. 4978, 5027 (8 U.S.C. 1184 note); sec. 303(a)(8), Pub. L. 102-232, 105 Stat. 1733, 1748 (8 U.S.C. 1101 note); sec. 323(c), Pub. L. 103-206, 107 Stat. 2428; sec. 412(e), Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (8 U.S.C. 1182 note); sec. 2(d), Pub. L. 106-95, 113 Stat. 1312, 1316 (8 U.S.C. 1182 note); 29 U.S.C. 49k; Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, as amended; Pub. L. 109-423, 120 Stat. 2900; 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(i); and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(iii).

    Subpart A issued under 8 CFR 214.2(h).

    Subpart B issued under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a), 1184(c), and 1188; and 8 CFR 214.2(h).

    Subparts F and G issued under 8 U.S.C. 1288(c) and (d); sec. 323(c), Pub. L. 103-206, 107 Stat. 2428; and 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, Pub. L. 114-74 at section 701.

    Subparts H and I issued under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) and (b)(1), 1182(n) and (t), and 1184(g) and (j); sec. 303(a)(8), Pub. L. 102-232, 105 Stat. 1733, 1748 (8 U.S.C. 1101 note); sec. 412(e), Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681; 8 CFR 214.2(h); and 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, Pub. L. 114-74 at section 701.

    Subparts L and M issued under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) and 1182(m); sec. 2(d), Pub. L. 106-95, 113 Stat. 1312, 1316 (8 U.S.C. 1182 note); Pub. L. 109-423, 120 Stat. 2900; and 8 CFR 214.2(h).

    4. Effective July 19, 2017 through September 30, 2017, add § 655.64 to read as follows:
    § 655.64 Special Eligibility Provisions for Fiscal Year 2017 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

    An employer filing a petition with USCIS under 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x) to employ H-2B workers from July 19, 2017 through September 15, 2017 must meet the following requirements:

    (a) The employer must attest on Form ETA-9142-B-CAA that without the ability to employ all of the H-2B workers requested on the petition filed pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x), its business is likely to suffer irreparable harm (that is, permanent and severe financial loss), and that the employer will provide documentary evidence of this fact to DHS or DOL upon request.

    (b) An employer with a start date of work before June 1, 2017 on its approved Temporary Labor Certification, must conduct additional recruitment of U.S. workers as follows:

    (1) The employer must place a new job order for the job opportunity with the State Workforce Agency, serving the area of intended employment. The job order must contain the job assurances and contents set forth in 20 CFR 655.18 for recruitment of U.S. workers at the place of employment, and remain posted for at least 5 days beginning not later than the next business day after submitting a petition for H-2B worker(s); and

    (2) The employer must place one newspaper advertisement on any day of the week meeting the advertising requirements of 20 CFR 655.41, during the period of time the State Workforce Agency is actively circulating the job order for intrastate clearance; and

    (3) The employer must hire any qualified U.S. worker who applies or is referred for the job opportunity until 2 business days after the last date on which the job order is posted under paragraph (c)(1) of this section. Consistent with 20 CFR 655.40(a), applicants can be rejected only for lawful job-related reasons.

    (c) This section expires on October 1, 2017.

    (d) Non-severability. The requirement to file an attestation under paragraph (a) of this section is intended to be non-severable from the remainder of this section; in the event that paragraph (a) is enjoined or held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this section is also intended to be enjoined or held to be invalid in such jurisdiction, without prejudice to workers already present in the United States under this regulation, as consistent with law.

    3. Effective July 19, 2017 through September 30, 2020, add § 655.65 to read as follows:
    § 655.65 Special Document Retention Provisions for Fiscal Years 2017 through 2020 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

    (a) An employer that files a petition with USCIS to employ H-2B workers in fiscal year 2017 under authority of the temporary increase in the numerical limitation under Public Law 115-31 must maintain for a period of 3 years from the date of certification, consistent with 20 CFR 655.56 and 29 CFR 503.17, the following:

    (1) A copy of the attestation filed pursuant to regulations governing that temporary increase;

    (2) Evidence establishing that employer's business is likely to suffer irreparable harm (that is, permanent and severe financial loss), if it cannot employ H-2B nonimmigrant workers in fiscal year 2017;

    (3) If applicable, evidence of additional recruitment and a recruitment report that meets the requirements set forth in 20 CFR 655.48(a)(1), (2), and (7).

    DOL or DHS may inspect these documents upon request.

    (b) This section expires on October 1, 2020.

    John F. Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security. Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor. Appendix A Attestation for Employers Seeking To Employ H-2B Nonimmigrant Workers Under Section 543 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 Public Law 115-31 (May 5, 2017)

    By virtue of my signature below, I hereby certify that the following is true and correct:

    (A) I am an employer with an approved labor certification from the Department of Labor seeking permission to employ H-2B nonimmigrant workers for temporary employment in the United States.

    (B) I was granted temporary labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) for my business's job opportunity, which required that the worker(s) begin employment before October 1, 2017 and is currently valid.

    (C) I attest that if my business cannot employ all the H-2B nonimmigrant workers requested on my Form I-129 petition before the end of this fiscal year (September 30, 2017) in the job opportunity certified by DOL, my business is likely to suffer irreparable harm (that is, permanent and severe financial loss).

    (D) I attest that my business has a bona fide temporary need for all the H-2B nonimmigrant workers requested on the Form I-129 petition, consistent with 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(ii).

    (E) If my current labor certification contains a start date of work before June 1, 2017, I will complete a new assessment of the United States labor market in advance of H-2B nonimmigrant workers coming to the United States to begin employment before October 1, 2017, as follows:

    1. I will place a new job order for the job opportunity with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) serving the area of intended employment that contains the job assurances and contents set forth in 20 CFR 655.18 for recruitment of U.S. workers at the place of employment for at least 5 days beginning not later than the next business day after submitting a petition for an H-2B nonimmigrant worker(s) and this accompanying attestation to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;

    2. I will place one newspaper advertisement, which may be published on any day of the week, meeting the advertising requirements of 20 CFR 655.41, during the period of time the SWA is actively circulating the job order for intrastate clearance; and

    3. I will offer the job to any qualified and available U.S. worker who applies or is referred for the job opportunity until 2 business days after the last date on which the job order is posted. I understand that consistent with 20 CFR 655.40(a), applicants can be rejected only for lawful job-related reasons.

    (F) I agree to retain a copy of this signed attestation form, the additional recruitment documentation, including a recruitment report that meets the requirements for recruitment reports set forth in 20 CFR 655.48(a)(1),(2) & (7), together with evidence establishing that my business meets the standard described in paragraph (C) of this attestation, for a period of 3 years from the date of certification, consistent with the document retention requirements under 20 CFR 655.65, 20 CFR 655.56, and 29 CFR 503.17. Further, I agree to provide this documentation to a DHS or DOL official upon request.

    (G) I agree to comply with all assurances, obligations, and conditions of employment set forth in the Application for Temporary Employment Certification (Form ETA 9142B and Appendix B) certified by the DOL for my business's job opportunity.

    I hereby sign this under penalty of perjury:

    ER19JY17.019
    [FR Doc. 2017-15208 Filed 7-17-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FP-P; 4510-27-P; 9111-97-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Parts 170 and 171 [NRC-2016-0081] RIN 3150-AJ73 Revision of Fee Schedules; Fee Recovery for Fiscal Year 2017; Corrections AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a final rule amending regulations that will become effective August 29, 2017. The fiscal year (FY) 2017 final fee rule, published June 30, 2017, amends the licensing, inspection, special project, and annual fees charged to NRC applicants and licensees. This document corrects the annual fees for fuel facility licensees.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: These corrections are effective on August 29, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0081 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0081. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected]

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Kaplan, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-5256, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NRC published a final rule amending its regulations in parts 170 and 171 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations that will become effective August 29, 2017. The FY 2017 final fee rule, published June 30, 2017 (82 FR 30682), amends the licensing, inspection, special project, and annual fees charged to NRC applicants and licensees.

    The FY 2017 final fee rule contained inadvertent errors in the calculation of the fuel facilities fee class annual fees. Although the fuel facilities total annual fee recovery amount was correctly calculated at $28.4 million, the NRC staff incorrectly calculated the prorated unpaid portion of Lead Cascade's annual fee to be spread among the six fee categories within the fee class for the remaining licensees. When prorating Lead Cascade's expected annual fee, the NRC staff mistakenly used the 1.E. fee category, which caused the calculated unpaid prorated amount to be higher than the actual prorated amount by $1.5 million. To correct this situation, the NRC staff lowered the amount to be recovered from the remaining licensees by $1.5 million. This rule, therefore, corrects fee categories 1.A.(1)(a), 1.A.(1)(b), 1.A.(2)(b), 1.A.(2)(c), 1.E., and 2.A.(1) in the table in § 171.16(d) and Table VIII in the portion of the final rule preamble that includes these fees.

    Rulemaking Procedure

    Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)), an agency may waive the normal notice and comment requirements if it finds, for good cause, that they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. As authorized by 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3), the NRC finds good cause to waive notice and opportunity for comment on these amendments and to make this final rule effective on August 29, 2017, the effective date of the FY 2017 final rule. These amendments are necessary to correct an error in the NRC's fee calculations and do not involve changes to NRC policy or the exercise of agency discretion. Second, these amendments will have no adverse effect on any person or entity regulated by the NRC because these amendments will lower annual fees (if anything, these amendments will have a beneficial effect on the affected fee classes). For these reasons, an opportunity for comment would not be meaningful. These amendments need to be effective on August 29, 2017, the effective date of the FY 2017 final rule, in order to avoid incorrect payments by stakeholders in the affected fee classes and the consequent administrative burden on the NRC if refunds must be processed.

    Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2017-13520, appearing on page 30682 in the Federal Register of Friday, June 30, 2017, the following corrections are made:

    Correction to the Preamble

    1. Beginning on page 30686, in section a., Fuel Facilities, Table VIII is corrected to read as follows:

    Table VIII—Annual Fees for Fuel Facilities Facility type
  • (fee category)
  • FY 2016
  • final
  • annual fee
  • FY 2017
  • final
  • annual fee
  • Percentage
  • change
  • High-Enriched Uranium Fuel (1.A.(1)(a)) $7,867,000 $7,255,000 −7.8 Low-Enriched Uranium Fuel (1.A.(1)(b)) 2,736,000 2,629,000 −3.9 Limited Operations (1.A(2)(a)) 0.0 0.0 0.0 Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Demonstration (1.A.(2)(b)) 1,539,000 1,366,000 −11.2 Hot Cell (and others) (1.A.(2)(c)) 770,000 710,000 −7.8 Uranium Enrichment (1.E.) 3,762,000 3,470,000 −7.8 UF6 Conversion and Deconversion (2.A.(1)) 1,625,000 1,498,000 −7.8
    Correction to the Regulatory Text
    § 171.16 [Corrected]
    2. On page 30705, in § 171.16, paragraph (d), in the table, correct fee categories 1.A.(1), 1.A.(2)(b) and (c), 1.E., and 2.A.(1) to read as follows:
    § 171.16 Annual fees: Materials licensees, holders of certificates of compliance, holders of sealed source and device registrations, holders of quality assurance program approvals, and government agencies licensed by the NRC.

    (d) * * *

    Schedule of Materials Annual Fees and Fees for Government Agencies Licensed by NRC [See footnotes at end of table] Category of materials licenses Annual
  • fees 1 2 3
  • 1. Special nuclear material: A. (1) Licenses for possession and use of U-235 or plutonium for fuel fabrication activities. (a) Strategic Special Nuclear Material (High Enriched Uranium) [Program Code(s): 21213] $7,255,000 (b) Low Enriched Uranium in Dispersible Form Used for Fabrication of Power Reactor Fuel [Program Code(s): 21210] 2,629,000 (2) * * * (b) Gas centrifuge enrichment demonstration facilities [Program Code(s): 21205] 1,366,000 (c) Others, including hot cell facilities [Program Code(s): 21130, 21133] 710,000 *         *         *         *         *         *         * 11 N/A E. Licenses or certificates for the operation of a uranium enrichment facility [Program Code(s): 21200] 3,470,000 *         *         *         *         *         *         * 6,400 2. Source material: A. (1) Licenses for possession and use of source material for refining uranium mill concentrates to uranium hexafluoride or for deconverting uranium hexafluoride in the production of uranium oxides for disposal. [Program Code: 11400] 1,498,000 *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 Annual fees will be assessed based on whether a licensee held a valid license with the NRC authorizing possession and use of radioactive material during the current FY. The annual fee is waived for those materials licenses and holders of certificates, registrations, and approvals who either filed for termination of their licenses or approvals or filed for possession only/storage licenses before October 1, 2015, and permanently ceased licensed activities entirely before this date. Annual fees for licensees who filed for termination of a license, downgrade of a license, or for a possession-only license during the FY and for new licenses issued during the FY will be prorated in accordance with the provisions of § 171.17. If a person holds more than one license, certificate, registration, or approval, the annual fee(s) will be assessed for each license, certificate, registration, or approval held by that person. For licenses that authorize more than one activity on a single license (e.g., human use and irradiator activities), annual fees will be assessed for each category applicable to the license. 2 Payment of the prescribed annual fee does not automatically renew the license, certificate, registration, or approval for which the fee is paid. Renewal applications must be filed in accordance with the requirements of parts 30, 40, 70, 71, 72, or 76 of this chapter. 3 Each FY, fees for these materials licenses will be calculated and assessed in accordance with § 171.13 and will be published in the Federal Register for notice and comment.
    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 10th day of July 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14717 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9498; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-105-AD; Amendment 39-18958; AD 2017-14-14] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a determination from fatigue testing that cracks could develop in the cabin floor beam junction at certain fuselage frame locations. This AD requires repetitive inspections for cracking in the cabin floor beam junction at certain fuselage frame locations, and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 23, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 23, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9498.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9498; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A321 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 16, 2016 (81 FR 91060). The NPRM was prompted by a determination from fatigue testing on the Model A321 airframe that cracks could develop in the cabin floor beam junction at certain fuselage frame locations. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections for cracking in the cabin floor beam junction at certain fuselage frame locations, and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the cabin floor beam junction at certain fuselage frame locations, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2016-0105, dated June 6, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on all Airbus Model A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Following the results of a new full scale fatigue test campaign on the A321 airframe in the context of the A321 extended service goal, it was identified that cracks could develop in the cabin floor beam junctions at fuselage frame (FR) 35.1 and FR 35.2, on both left hand (LH) and right hand (RH) sides, also on aeroplanes operated in the context of design service goal.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the fuselage.

    Prompted by these findings, Airbus developed an inspection programme, published in Service Bulletin (SB) A320-53-1317, SB A320-53-1318, SB A320-53-1319, and SB A320-53-1320, each containing instructions for a different location.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive detailed inspections (DET) of the affected cabin floor beam junctions [for cracking] and, depending on findings, accomplishment of a repair.

    This [EASA] AD is considered an interim action, pending development of a permanent solution.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9498.

    Comments

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

    Request To Use Later Approved Service Information Revisions

    Delta Airlines (DAL) requested that we revise the proposed AD to permit use of later approved revisions of service information as we have done in previous alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs). DAL stated that Airbus service bulletins are EASA approved, and through the bi-lateral agreement with the European Union, these subsequent service bulletin revisions should be allowed to be used by U.S. operators without seeking an AMOC. DAL also explained that having the ability to utilize future service bulletin revisions without seeking an AMOC is more efficient and preserves the required level of safety. DAL added that they operate airplanes that are not listed in the service bulletin applicability, but are included in the proposed AD. DAL claimed that without a provision allowing later approved revisions, they might have to apply for multiple AMOCs as the service information is updated.

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

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

    In addition, in accordance with 14 CFR part 39.27, if there is a conflict between an AD and service information, operators must follow the requirements of the AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following service information, which describes procedures for inspections for cracking on the frame to cabin floor beam junction at certain fuselage frame locations, and repairs. This service information is distinct because it applies to different locations on the airplanes.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1317, dated December 15, 2015 (FR 35.1 on the right-hand side).

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1318, dated October 9, 2015 (FR 35.1 on the left-hand side).

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1319, dated October 9, 2015 (FR 35.2 on the right-hand side).

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1320, dated October 9, 2015 (FR 35.2 on the left-hand side).

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 175 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 per inspection cycle $0 $510 per inspection cycle $89,250 per inspection cycle.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-14-14 Airbus: Amendment 39-18958; Docket No. FAA-2016-9498; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-105-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 23, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination from fatigue testing on the Model A321 airframe that cracks could develop in the cabin floor beam junction at certain fuselage frame locations. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the cabin floor beam junction at certain fuselage frame locations, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections

    Before exceeding 36,900 total flight cycles since first flight of the airplane, or within 2,100 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Do a detailed inspection for cracking of the frame to cabin floor beam junction on the aft and forward sides at frame (FR) 35.1 and FR 35.2 on the left-hand and right-hand sides, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the Airbus service information specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), and (g)(4) of this AD. Repeat the inspection of the frame to cabin floor beam junction on the aft and forward sides at FR 35.1 and FR 35.2 on the left-hand and right-hand sides thereafter at intervals not to exceed 15,300 flight cycles.

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1317, dated December 15, 2015 (FR 35.1 right-hand side).

    (2) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1318, dated October 9, 2015 (FR 35.1 left-hand side).

    (3) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1319, dated October 9, 2015 (FR 35.2 right-hand side).

    (4) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1320, dated October 9, 2015 (FR 35.2 left-hand side).

    (h) Repair

    If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). Although the service information specified in paragraph (g) of this AD specifies to contact Airbus for repair instructions, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), this AD requires repair as specified in this paragraph. Repair of an airplane as required by this paragraph does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, unless otherwise specified in the instructions provided by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2016-0105, dated June 6, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9498.

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

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

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1317, dated December 15, 2015.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1318, dated October 9, 2015.

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1319, dated October 9, 2015.

    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1320, dated October 9, 2015.

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

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 29, 2017. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14588 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9389; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-153-AD; Amendment 39-18953; AD 2017-14-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that certain wing fuel tank access panels are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This AD requires replacement of affected access panels and modification of the coamings of the associated access holes. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 23, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 23, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone: +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax: +31 (0)88-6280-111; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.myfokkerfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9389.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9389; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 17, 2016 (81 FR 81018) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that certain wing fuel tank access panels are subject to WFD. The NPRM proposed to require replacement of affected access panels and modification of the coamings of the associated access holes. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking in the wing structure, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2014-0158, dated July 7, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Based on findings on test articles, fatigue-induced cracks may develop in the coamings of certain wing fuel tank access panels Part Number (P/N) D12395-403 and P/N D12450-403, installed on Fokker F28 Mark 0100 aeroplanes.

    To ensure the continued structural integrity with respect to fatigue, repetitive inspections were included in the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness. Fokker Services also developed precautionary measures to reduce stress loads in the affected areas by replacement of the affected access panels with new panels, P/N D19701-401 and P/N D19701-403, having thinner skin, and a modification by introducing internal patches to the coamings of the affected access holes.

    These precautionary measures were introduced with Service Bulletins (SB) SBF100-57-027 and SBF100-57-028. As part of the Widespread Fatigue Damage re-evaluation, it was concluded that repetitive inspections through the ALS do not provide a sufficient level of protection against the fatigue-induced cracks.

    This condition, if not corrected, would affect the structural integrity of the lower wing skins of both outer wings in the areas surrounding the affected fuel tank access panels.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires replacement of the affected access panels and modification of the coamings of these access holes.

    Post-modification inspection requirements depend on the actual number of flight cycles accumulated at the moment of modification. Related detailed information is provided in SBF100-57-027 and SBF100-57-028, as well as in Fokker Services ALS Report SE-623 Issue 12.

    Fokker Services All Operators Message AOF100.178#05 provides additional information concerning the subject addressed by this [EASA] AD.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9389. In the NPRM, we incorrectly cited EASA AD 2016-0125, dated June 21, 2016. We do not address EASA AD 2016-0125 or its contents in this AD.

    Comments

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

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Fokker Services B.V. has issued the following service information:

    • Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013, which provides instructions to replace certain fuel tank access panels.

    • Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-028, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013, which provides instructions to modify the coamings of certain fuel tank access holes.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 15 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Replacement and modification 510 work-hours × $85 per hour = $43,350 $45,500 $88,850 $1,332,750
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-14-09 Fokker Services B.V.: Amendment 39-18953; Docket No. FAA-2016-9389; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-153-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 23, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Fokker Services B.V. Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that certain wing fuel tank access panels are subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking in the wing structure, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Modification and Replacement

    Within 63,000 flight cycles since first flight of the airplane, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, accomplish the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For airplanes identified in Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-028, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013: Modify the coamings of the fuel tank access holes at the access panel locations identified in, and in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-028, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013.

    (2) For airplanes identified in Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013: Replace access panels having part number D12395-403 and D12450-403 with new panels having part number D19701-401 and D19701-403, at the access panel locations identified in, and in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013.

    (h) Parts Installation Prohibition

    (1) For airplanes that, on the effective date of this AD, have an access panel with part number D12395-403 or D12450-403 installed at any of the affected locations: After accomplishing the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable, no person may install, on any airplane, access panels having part number D12395-403 or D12450-403 at any access panel location as identified in Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013.

    (2) For airplanes that, on the effective date of this AD, do not have an access panel with part number D12395-403 or D12450-403 installed at any of the affected locations: As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on any airplane, access panels having part number D12395-403 or D12450-403 at any access panel location as identified in Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information specified in paragraph (i)(1)(i) or (i)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-028, dated May 2, 1994.

    (ii) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-028, Revision 1, dated November 1, 1994.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information specified in paragraph (i)(2)(i) or (i)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, dated September 13, 1993.

    (ii) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 1, dated May 2, 1994.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2014-0158, dated July 7, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9389.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax 425-227-1149.

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

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-027, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013.

    (ii) Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-028, Revision 2, dated December 11, 2013.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone: +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax: +31 (0)88-6280-111; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.myfokkerfleet.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 3, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14583 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9506; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-090-AD; Amendment 39-18957; AD 2017-14-13] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of an aborted takeoff because the rudder pedals were not operating correctly. Investigation revealed a protruding screw in the rudder pedal heel rest adjacent to the pedals. This AD requires a torque check of the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 23, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 23, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9506.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9506; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly McGuckin, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6490; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2016 (81 FR 92753). The NPRM was prompted by a report of an aborted takeoff because the rudder pedals were not operating correctly. Investigation revealed a protruding screw in the rudder pedal heel rest adjacent to the pedals. It was determined that the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals might not have been properly torqued. The NPRM proposed to require a torque check of the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct a protruding screw in the cover assembly of the heel rest of a rudder pedal. A protruding screw could restrict rudder pedal motion and reduce differential braking control during takeoff or landing, which could cause a high speed runway excursion.

    Comments

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

    Support for the NPRM

    Boeing, Air Line Pilots Association, International, and Tyler Myers supported the intent of the NPRM.

    Request To Allow Credit for Previously Accomplished Actions

    United Airlines noted that the NPRM did not address whether or not the final rule would allow operators to take credit for accomplishment of the actions in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 1, dated August 15, 2016 (“BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 1”), if completed prior to the effective date of the final rule. We infer that the commenter is requesting that the final rule include a statement that accomplishment of the actions specified in BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 1, prior to the effective date of the final rule is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of the final rule.

    We agree with the commenter that operators should be able to take credit for accomplishment of the actions in BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 1, prior to the effective date of this AD. This allowance was provided in paragraph (f) of the proposed AD in the statement “Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified unless already done.” However, since the NPRM was issued, Boeing has published, and we have reviewed, Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017 (“BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 2”). BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 2, provides clarification of the actions described in the work instructions by providing supplementary details and including additional descriptive figures. No additional work is necessary and the scope of this AD is not expanded.

    We have revised paragraphs (c), (g), and (h) of this AD to refer to BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 2. We have also added paragraph (i) to this AD to give credit for actions accomplished using the work instructions in BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 1; and redesignated the subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

    Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

    Aviation Partners Boeing stated that the installation of winglets per Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST00830SE does not affect the accomplishment of the manufacturer's service instructions.

    We agree with the commenter that STC ST00830SE does not affect the accomplishment of the manufacturer's service instructions. Therefore, the installation of STC ST00830SE does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017. The service information describes procedures for a torque check of the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals, and corrective action. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 1,187 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Torque check 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 $0 $170 $201,790

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-14-13 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18957; Docket No. FAA-2016-9506; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-090-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 23, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment and Furnishings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of an aborted takeoff because the rudder pedals were not operating correctly. Investigation revealed a protruding screw in the rudder pedal heel rest adjacent to the pedals. It was determined that the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals might not have been properly torqued. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct a protruding screw in the cover assembly of the heel rest of a rudder pedal. A protruding screw could restrict rudder pedal motion and reduce differential braking control during takeoff or landing, which could cause a high speed runway excursion.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Torque Check

    Within 21 months after the effective date of this AD: Do a one-time torque check of the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017.

    (h) Corrective Action

    If the results of the torque check required by paragraph (g) of this AD indicate that any screw does not hold torque to the required value, before further flight, replace the affected screw and associated nutplate, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017.

    (i) Credit for Actions Accomplished Previously

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 1, dated August 15, 2016.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Kelly McGuckin, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6490; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

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

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 29, 2017. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14584 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 300 [TD 9820] RIN 1545-BN09 Special Enrollment Examination User Fee for Enrolled Agents AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains a final regulation changing the amount of the user fee for the special enrollment examination to become an enrolled agent. The charging of user fees is authorized by the Independent Offices Appropriations Act of 1952. The final regulation affects individuals taking the enrolled agent special enrollment examination.

    DATES:

    Effective date: This regulation is effective August 18, 2017.

    Applicability date: For the date of applicability, see § 300.4(d).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jonathan R. Black, (202) 317-6845 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background and Explanation of Provisions

    This document contains amendments to 26 CFR part 300 regarding user fees. On January 26, 2016, a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-134122-15) proposing to change the amount of the Enrolled Agent Special Enrollment Examination (EA-SEE) user fee was published in the Federal Register (81 FR 4221) (January 26, 2016 proposed rule). On October 25, 2016, a second notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-134122-15) withdrawing the January 26, 2016 proposed rule and proposing a smaller change to the EA-SEE user fee was published in the Federal Register (81 FR 73363) (October 25, 2016 proposed rule). Comments responding to each proposed rule were received, and a public hearing on the second proposed rule was held on December 29, 2016. After consideration of the comments, this Treasury decision adopts the regulations proposed by the October 25, 2016 proposed rule without change.

    A. Enrolled Agents and the Special Enrollment Examination

    Section 330 of title 31 of the United States Code authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to regulate the practice of representatives before the Treasury Department. Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 330, the Secretary has published regulations governing practice before the IRS in 31 CFR part 10 and reprinted the regulations as Treasury Department Circular No. 230 (Circular 230).

    Section 10.4(a) of Circular 230 authorizes the IRS to grant status as enrolled agents to individuals who demonstrate special competence in tax matters by passing a written examination (the EA-SEE) administered by, or under the oversight of, the IRS and who have not engaged in any conduct that would justify suspension or disbarment under Circular 230. There were a total of 51,755 active enrolled agents as of September 1, 2016.

    Beginning in 2006, the IRS engaged the services of a third-party contractor to develop and administer the EA-SEE. The EA-SEE is composed of three parts, which are offered in a testing period that begins each May 1 and ends the last day of the following February. The EA-SEE is not available in March and April, during which period it is updated to reflect recent changes in the relevant law. More information on the EA-SEE, including content, scoring, and how to register, can be found on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/enrolled-agents. The IRS Return Preparer Office (RPO) oversees the administration of the EA-SEE.

    B. User Fee Authority

    The Independent Offices Appropriations Act of 1952 (IOAA) (31 U.S.C. 9701) authorizes each agency to promulgate regulations establishing the charge for services provided by the agency (user fees). The IOAA provides that these user fee regulations are subject to policies prescribed by the President and shall be as uniform as practicable. Those policies are currently set forth in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-25 (OMB Circular), 58 FR 38142 (July 15, 1993).

    The IOAA states that the services provided by an agency should be self-sustaining to the extent possible. 31 U.S.C. 9701(a). The OMB Circular states that agencies that provide services that confer special benefits on identifiable recipients beyond those accruing to the general public are to establish user fees that recover the full cost of providing those services. The OMB Circular requires that agencies identify all services that confer special benefits and determine whether user fees should be assessed for those services.

    Agencies are to review user fees biennially and update them as necessary to reflect changes in the cost of providing the underlying services. During this biennial review, an agency must calculate the full cost of providing each service, taking into account all direct and indirect costs to any part of the U.S. government. The full cost of providing a service includes, but is not limited to, salaries, retirement benefits, rents, utilities, travel, and management costs, as well as an appropriate allocation of overhead and other support costs associated with providing the service.

    An agency should set the user fee at an amount that recovers the full cost of providing the service unless the agency requests, and OMB grants, an exception to the full-cost requirement. OMB may grant exceptions only where the cost of collecting the fees would represent an unduly large part of the fee for the activity, or where any other condition exists that, in the opinion of the agency head, justifies an exception. When OMB grants an exception, the agency does not collect the full cost of providing the service that confers a special benefit on identifiable recipients rather than the public at large, and the agency therefore must fund the remaining cost of providing the service from other available funding sources. When OMB grants an exception, the agency, and by extension all taxpayers, subsidizes the cost of the service to the recipients who should otherwise be required to pay the full cost of providing the service as the IOAA and the OMB Circular direct.

    C. The EA-SEE User Fee

    As discussed earlier, Circular 230 section 10.4(a) provides that the IRS will grant enrolled agent status to an applicant if the applicant, among other things, demonstrates special competence in tax matters by written examination. The EA-SEE is the written examination that tests special competence in tax matters for purposes of that provision, and an applicant must pass all three parts of the EA-SEE to be granted enrolled agent status through written examination. The IRS confers a benefit on individuals who take the EA-SEE beyond those that accrue to the general public by providing them with an opportunity to demonstrate special competence in tax matters by passing a written examination and therefore satisfying one of the requirements for becoming an enrolled agent under Circular 230 section 10.4(a). Because the opportunity to take the EA-SEE is a special benefit, the IRS charges a user fee to take the examination.

    Pursuant to the guidelines in the OMB Circular, the IRS has calculated its cost of providing examination services under the enrolled agent program. The user fee is implemented under the authority of the IOAA and the OMB Circular and recovers the full cost of overseeing the program. The user fee was $11 to take each part of the EA-SEE and was set in 2006. The IRS does not intend to subsidize any of the cost of making the EA-SEE available to examinees and is not applying for an exception to the full-cost requirement from OMB. As a result, this regulation increases the user fee to the full cost to the IRS for overseeing the EA-SEE program, $81 per part, effective for examinees who register on or after March 1, 2018, to take the EA-SEE. The contractor who administers the EA-SEE also charges individuals taking the EA-SEE an additional fee for its services. For the May 2016 to February 2017 testing period, the contractor's fee was $98 for each part of the EA-SEE. For the May 2017 to February 2019 testing periods, the contractor's fee is $100.94. For the May 2019 to February 2020 testing period, the contractor's fee will be $103.97. The contract was subject to public procurement procedures, and there were no tenders that were more competitive.

    Summary of Comments

    The comments submitted on the January 26, 2016 proposed rule and the October 25, 2016 proposed rule are available at www.regulations.gov or upon request. Comments that were submitted on the January 26, 2016 proposed rule, which was withdrawn by the October 25, 2016 proposed rule, are addressed to the extent relevant to the October 25, 2016 proposed rule. Certain comments on the January 26, 2016 proposed rule, such as those comments requesting additional details on the cost of background investigations and costing methodology, were addressed in the preamble to the October 25, 2016 proposed rule.

    All of the comments received opposed increasing the user fee for the EA-SEE. Specifically, comments expressed concern that the increased user fee would discourage individuals from becoming enrolled agents. The comments stated that discouraging individuals would be counter-productive considering that the IRS and taxpayers benefit from having more tax professionals who meet the standards required of an enrolled agent. Comments suggested that the IRS should work to increase the number of people taking the EA-SEE each year and focus its attention on encouraging unenrolled preparers, particularly those who participate in the Annual Filing Season Program in Rev. Proc. 2014-42, to become enrolled agents, which would result in a reduced user fee on a per-part basis when the IRS redetermines the cost of the EA-SEE at the next biennial review of the user fee.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS do not intend the user fee to discourage individuals from becoming enrolled agents and have considered the possible impact of increasing the user fee on the number of individuals taking the EA-SEE. Enrolled agents play a valuable role in the tax administration process, and the IRS uses the EA-SEE to ensure their qualifications. The IRS welcomes a continuing dialogue on how it can attract more individuals to take the EA-SEE and thereby lower the cost per part by spreading the fixed costs of administration over a larger population of examinees. The Treasury Department and the IRS have considered the potential impact on the number of individuals if the full cost of the EA-SEE program is collected and concluded not to seek an exemption to the full-cost requirement. Additionally, efforts to improve unenrolled preparers' knowledge of federal tax law, such as implementation of the Annual Filing Season Program, have not substantially affected the number of individuals taking the EA-SEE and have no direct relationship with the user fee.

    Some comments alternatively recommended that the fee remain the same for taking the EA-SEE the first time, but that subsequent attempts to take and pass the EA-SEE should be subject to a higher fee. Comments suggested that the fee for subsequent attempts could be rebated if the individual passed the EA-SEE. The comments explained that this would discourage all but the most serious candidates from taking the EA-SEE. Comments also suggested that the IRS could increase the fee gradually over a period of years, in order to encourage preparers to become enrolled agents sooner rather than later, and that the IRS should retain the $11 per part user fee for a two-year window so that everyone who passed at least one part of the EA-SEE (presumably prior to the announcement of the fee increase) would have an opportunity to complete all parts of the EA-SEE without an unexpected fee increase.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS considered these comments but have declined to implement them. The Treasury Department and the IRS do not have information to forecast how many examinees are likely to pass each part of the EA-SEE the first time versus on later attempts, and it therefore would not be able to adequately determine the cost allocation between first-time and repeat examinees. Additionally, the Treasury Department and the IRS think examinees should be charged the full cost to the IRS of overseeing the administration of the EA-SEE, regardless of whether they have already taken one or two parts, given the absolute amount of the user fee ($81 per part). This final regulation increases the user fee to the full cost to the IRS, and the IRS has determined that it will not seek an exception to the full-cost requirement from OMB.

    Comments recommended the IRS consider alternative means to reduce costs after the existing agreement with the contractor who administers the EA-SEE expires in 2020. Contractor costs are unrelated to this user fee regulation, and any concerns related to such costs should be directed to the RPO.

    Comments also asked how it was possible that the IRS did not notice the increased costs over the course of the decade following the last user fee increase. Although the OMB Circular directs the IRS to set its fees every two years, the IRS was unable to obtain accurate estimates of its total costs until recently, because it had insufficient data to estimate the change in size of the testing population.

    Comments suggested that the IRS should not charge a user fee to register for the EA-SEE, because the IRS and the general public benefit from the existence of enrolled agents. Whether a benefit accrues to the IRS and the general public, however, is not relevant to whether a user fee is appropriate under the OMB Circular. As discussed in the October 25, 2016 proposed rule, it is appropriate under the OMB Circular to charge a user fee for taking the EA-SEE because taking the EA-SEE provides a benefit to examinees. See Seafarers Int'l Union of N. Am. v. U.S. Coast Guard, 81 F.3d 179, 183 (D.C. Cir. 1996). The IOAA permits the IRS to charge a user fee for providing a “service or thing of value.” See 31 U.S.C. 9701(b). A government activity constitutes a “service or thing of value” when it provides “special benefits to an identifiable recipient beyond those that accrue to the general public.” See OMB Circular section 6(a)(1). Among other things, a “special benefit” exists when a government service is performed at the request of the recipient and is beyond the services regularly received by other members of the same group or the general public. See OMB Circular section 6(a)(1)(c). It is permissible for a service for which an agency charges a user fee to generate an “incidental public benefit,” and there is no requirement that the agency weigh this public benefit against the specific benefit to the identifiable recipient. See Seafarers, 81 F.3d at 183-84 (D.C. Cir. 1996). The IRS confers a benefit on individuals who take the EA-SEE beyond those that accrue to the general public by providing them with an opportunity to satisfy one of the requirements for becoming an enrolled agent under Circular 230 section 10.4(a).

    Comments observed that the IRS charges user fees inconsistently because, for example, the IRS does not charge user fees for toll-free telephone service, continuing-education webinars, walk-in service, notice letters, the annual filing season program record of completion, etc. This regulation deals only with the user fee for the EA-SEE, which, as discussed earlier, is compliant with the requirements of the OMB Circular, and the appropriateness of the EA-SEE user fee is not contingent on whether the IRS charges, or should charge, user fees for other activities.

    Comments further questioned the determination of the amount of the EA-SEE user fee. One comment assumed that the increase in revenue was allocable to ten full-time equivalent employees and questioned how so much time was involved in oversight of the EA-SEE—the comment noted that, after accounting for the cost of background investigations, the salary of a GS-12 step 1 employee in Washington, DC, when multiplied by the overhead rate and again multiplied by ten, equals approximately the expected increase in annual revenue to the IRS from the increased user fee. Comments also questioned how much time staff spent reviewing surveys and setting the annual cut score, among other things. The preamble to the October 25, 2016 proposed rule addresses most questions about costing methodology. As stated in that preamble, eight individuals spend approximately seventy-five percent of their time on the EA-SEE, and two individuals spend approximately ten-percent of their time on the EA-SEE. That amounts to just over six people working full time. The calculation in the comment on employee hours did not appear to account for the cost of benefits, which are calculated as 28.5 percent of salary, and the variance between the ten employee salaries, which range from GS-7 to GS-15, in calculating the number of employees involved. RPO employees do not track the time spent on each individual task associated with the EA-SEE, but—as stated in the preamble to the October 25, 2016 proposed rule—managers who are familiar with the employees' work provided estimates of the total time involved, based on their knowledge and experience.

    Finally, comments asked the IRS to request an exception to the full-cost requirement from the OMB and questioned whether it is good public policy to charge a user fee when the public benefits from minimum competency standards for return preparers. The IRS has determined that an exception to the full-cost requirement is not justified, because subsidizing the cost of the EA-SEE program requires diverting resources from other activities that are in the public interest and that inure to the public generally, rather than to identifiable recipients requesting the specific benefit of taking the EA-SEE.

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6), it is hereby certified that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The user fee primarily affects individuals who take the enrolled agent examination, many of whom may not be classified as small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Therefore, a substantial number of small entities is not likely to be affected. Further, the economic impact on any small entities affected would be limited to paying the $70 difference in cost per part between the $81 user fee and the previous $11 user fee, which is unlikely to present a significant economic impact. Moreover, the total economic impact of this regulation is approximately $1.57 million, which is the product of the approximately 22,425 parts of the EA-SEE administered annually and the $70 increase in the fee. Accordingly, the rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of this regulation is Jonathan R. Black of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).

    Statement of Availability of IRS Documents

    Rev. Proc. 2014-42, Annual Filing Season Program, is published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin and is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 300

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, User fees.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 300 is amended as follows:

    PART 300—USER FEES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 300 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    31 U.S.C. 9701.

    Par. 2. Section 300.4 is amended by revising paragraphs (b) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 300.4 Enrolled agent special enrollment examination fee.

    (b) Fee. The fee for taking the enrolled agent special enrollment examination is $81 per part, which is the cost to the government for overseeing the development and administration of the examination and does not include any fees charged by the administrator of the examination.

    (d) Applicability date. This section applies to registrations that occur on or after March 1, 2018, for the enrolled agent special enrollment examination. Section 300.4 (as contained in 26 CFR part 300, revised April 2017) applies to registrations that occur before March 1, 2018.

    Kirsten Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: June 27, 2017. Tom West, Tax Legislative Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15210 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0648; A-1-FRL-9964-80-Region 1] Air Plan Approval; Maine; Motor Vehicle Fuel Requirements AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP) on August 28, 2015. This SIP revision includes a revised motor vehicle fuel volatility regulation that has been updated to be consistent with existing Federal regulations which require retailers to sell reformulated gasoline (RFG) in the counties of York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox, and Lincoln, as of June 1, 2015. The intended effect of this action is to approve of this amendment into the Maine SIP. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0648. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Quality Planning Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Rogan, Air Quality Planning Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail Code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, telephone (617) 918-1645, facsimile (617) 918-0645, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background and Purpose II. Final Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background and Purpose

    On May 8, 2017 (82 FR 21346), EPA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) for the State of Maine. The NPR proposed approval of Maine's revised Chapter 119, Motor Vehicle Fuel Volatility Limits, that had been amended to require retailers to sell reformulated gasoline (RFG) in the counties of York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox, and Lincoln effective June 1, 2015. The formal SIP revision was submitted by the Maine DEP on August 28, 2015. A detailed discussion of Maine's August 28, 2015 SIP revision and EPA's rationale for proposing approval of the SIP revision were provided in the NPR and will not be restated in this notice. No public comments were received on the NPR.

    II. Final Action

    EPA is approving Maine's August 28, 2015 SIP revision. Specifically, EPA is approving Maine's revised Chapter 119, Motor Vehicle Fuel Volatility Limits, and incorporating it into the Maine SIP. EPA is approving this SIP revision because it meets all applicable requirements of the Clean Air Act and relevant EPA guidance, and it will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of the ozone NAAQS.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the State of Maine's revised Chapter 119 described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through http://www.regulations.gov.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

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

    • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 18, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: June 28, 2017. Deborah A. Szaro, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA New England.

    Part 52 of chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart U—Maine 2. In § 52.1020, the table in paragraph (c) is amended by revising the entry for “Chapter 119” to read as follows:
    § 52.1020 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Maine Regulations State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date EPA approval date and citation 1 Explanations *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 119 Motor Vehicle Fuel Volatility Limit 7/15/2015 7/19/2017 [Insert Federal Register citation] Requires the sale of federal RFG year round and removes the 7.8 RVP requirement during the period of May 1 through September 15 in 7 southern counties. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 In order to determine the EPA effective date for a specific provision listed in this table, consult the Federal Register notice cited in this column for the particular provision.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15049 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2017-0023; A-1-FRL-9965-10-Region 1] Air Plan Approval; ME; Consumer Products Alternative Control Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP). The SIP revision consists of an Alternative Control Plan (ACP) for the control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from Reckitt Benckiser's Air Wick Air Freshener Single Phase Aerosol Spray, issued pursuant to Maine's consumer products rule. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective September 18, 2017, unless EPA receives adverse comments by August 18, 2017. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2017-0023 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David L. Mackintosh, Air Quality Planning Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail Code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, tel. 617-918-1584, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background and Purpose II. Description and Evaluation of the State's Submittal III. Final Action IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background and Purpose

    Maine's Chapter 152, “Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds from Consumer Products” (Chapter 152) became effective in the State of Maine on September 1, 2004 and was approved by EPA into the Maine SIP on October 24, 2005 (70 FR 61382). Maine subsequently amended this rule. The current amended version of the rule became effective in the State of Maine on December 15, 2007 and was approved by EPA into the Maine SIP on May 22, 2012 (77 FR 30216). Chapter 152 contains VOC content limits for the manufacture and sale of various consumer products in the state of Maine. Chapter 152 also provides for state and EPA approval of ACPs by allowing the responsible party the option of voluntarily applying for such agreements.

    On March 30, 2012, the Maine DEP received an ACP application from Reckitt Benckiser LLC (Reckitt) for Reckitt's Air Wick Air Freshener Single-Phase Aerosol Spray pursuant to Chapter 152. The Maine DEP approved the Reckitt ACP effective April 23, 2013 and on the same day sent EPA the ACP for approval into the Maine SIP.

    II. Description and Evaluation of the State's Submittal

    Reckitt manufactures Air Wick Air Freshener Single-Phase Aerosol Spray (Product), which is offered for retail sale and wholesale distribution in the State of Maine. The Product contains 4.6% VOCs by weight. The Chapter 152 regulatory content limit for single-phase aerosol air freshener is 30% VOCs by weight. Reckitt's ACP generates VOC credits, expressed in pounds of VOCs, based on the difference between the Product VOC content and regulatory VOC limit for each unit sold in the State of Maine. Credits generated are subject to the conditions in the ACP Approval. Reckitt shall monitor Maine sales of the Product and each calendar quarter shall provide to the Maine DEP accurate records and documentation as a basis for compliance reporting. Only sales in the State of Maine that are substantiated by accurate documentation shall be used in the calculation of VOC emissions and emission reductions (surplus reductions). The resulting surplus reduction credits shall be discounted by 5% prior to the issuance of the surplus emission reduction certificates by the Maine DEP. Reckitt must maintain a minimum of three years of detailed transactional data, traceable to invoice levels. Maine DEP shall issue surplus reduction certificates which establish and quantify to the nearest pound of VOC reduced, surplus reductions achieved by Reckitt operating under the ACP.

    Surplus reduction certificates shall not constitute instruments, securities, or any other form of property. The issuance, use and trading of all surplus reductions shall be subject to the conditions within the ACP. Any surplus reductions issued by Maine DEP may be used by Reckitt until the reductions expire, are traded to another responsible party operating under a SIP-approved ACP, or until the ACP is canceled. A valid surplus reduction shall be in effect starting five days after the date of issuance by the Maine DEP, for a continuous period of one year at the end of which period the surplus reduction shall then expire. Surplus reductions cannot be applied retroactively to any compliance period prior to the compliance period in which the reductions were generated. While valid, surplus reductions certificates can only be used in the State of Maine to:

    (1) Adjust either the Consumer Product ACP emissions of either Reckitt or another ACP responsible party to which the reductions were traded, provided the surplus reductions are not to be used by any ACP responsible party to lower its ACP emissions when its ACP emissions are equal to or less than the ACP limit during the applicable compliance period; or

    (2) be traded for the purpose of reconciling another approved Consumer Product ACP responsible party's shortfalls.

    EPA has reviewed the ACP and has determined that it is approvable. Reckitt must still, at a minimum, comply with the VOC content limits in Maine's SIP-approved Chapter 152. However, to the extent that the company documents, as outlined in the ACP, the sales of Product in Maine with a VOC content below these limits, the Maine DEP will issue VOC emission reduction credits that may be used in the future. Since to date, this is the first and only Consumer Product ACP submitted by the State of Maine for SIP approval, reduction certificates generated may only be held for future use until they expire (i.e., for one year). Certificates generated may only be used after a second Consumer Product ACP is submitted by Maine, and approved by EPA, into the Maine SIP. Thus, this SIP revision meets the anti-back sliding requirements of Section 110(l) of the Clean Air Act.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is approving, and incorporating into the Maine SIP, an ACP for Reckitt Benckiser's Air Wick Air Freshener Single Phase Aerosol Spray.

    The EPA is publishing this action without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should relevant adverse comments be filed.

    This rule will be effective September 18, 2017 without further notice unless the Agency receives relevant adverse comments by August 18, 2017.

    If the EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a notice withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on the proposed rule. All parties interested in commenting on the proposed rule should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on September 18, 2017 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the alternative control plan issued by the Maine DEP to Reckitt described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov, and/or at the EPA Region 1 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

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

    • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. Section 804, however, exempts from section 801 the following types of rules: Rules of particular applicability; rules relating to agency management or personnel; and rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice that do not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties. 5 U.S.C. 804(3). Because this is a rule of particular applicability, EPA is not required to submit a rule report regarding this action under section 801.

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 18, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: July 5, 2017. Deborah A. Szaro, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA New England.

    Part 52 of chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart U—Maine 2. In § 52.1020(d), the table is amended by adding an entry for “Reckitt Benckiser's Air Wick Air Freshener Single Phase Aerosol Spray” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.1020 Identification of plan.

    (d) * * *

    EPA-Approved Maine Source Specific Requirements Name of source Permit number State effective date EPA approval date 2 Explanations *         *         *         *         *         *         * Reckitt Benckiser's Air Wick Air Freshener Single Phase Aerosol Spray Alternative Control Plan 4/23/2013 7/19/2017 [Insert Federal Register citation] Issued pursuant to Chapter 152 Control of Volatile Organic Compounds from Consumer Products. 2 In order to determine the EPA effective date for a specific provision listed in this table, consult the Federal Register notice cited in this column for the particular provision.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15048 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 48 CFR Parts 1501, 1504, 1509, 1515, 1516, 1517, 1519, 1535, 1552 and 1553 [EPA-HQ-OARM-2017-0126; FRL 9960-62-OARM] Administrative Amendments to Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition Regulation AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a final rule to amend the Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR) to make administrative updates, corrections and minor edits. EPA does not anticipate any adverse comments.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on September 18, 2017 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by August 18, 2017. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OARM-2017-0126, at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julianne Odend'hal, Office of Acquisition Management (Mail Code 3802R), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-5218; email address: Odend'[email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Why is EPA using a direct final rule?

    EPA is publishing this rule without a prior proposed rule because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. The EPAAR is being amended to make administrative changes including updates, corrections and minor edits. None of these changes are substantive or of a nature to cause any significant expense for EPA or its contractors. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time.

    II. Does this action apply to me?

    This action applies to contractors who have or wish to have contracts with the EPA.

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

    A. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through https://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 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:

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

    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.

    • 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.

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

    IV. Background

    EPAAR Parts 1501, 1504, 1509, 1515, 1516, 1517, 1519, 1535, 1552 and 1553 are being amended to make administrative changes including updates, corrections and minor edits.

    V. Final Rule

    This direct final rule amends the EPAAR to make the following changes: (1) EPAAR 1501.603-1 is amended to remove outdated policy reference “chapter 8 of the EPA “Contracts Management Manual” ” and to add in its place “the EPA Acquisition Guide (EPAAG) subsection 1.6.4”; (2) EPAAR 1504.804-5 is amended to remove outdated policy reference “Unit 42 of the EPA Acquisition Handbook” and to add in its place “the EPA Acquisition Guide (EPAAG) subsection 4.8.1”; (3) EPAAR 1509.507-1(a)(1) is amended to clarify the FAR reference by removing “(FAR) 48 CFR” and adding in its place “FAR”; (4) EPAAR 1515.404-473(a) is amended to remove “except those identified in EPAAR (48 CFR) 1516.404-273(b)” and to add in its place “except those otherwise identified in the EPAAR” because the EPAAR reference no longer exists; (5) EPAAR 1516.301-70 is amended to clarify the FAR reference by removing “48 CFR” and adding in its place “in FAR”; (6) EPAAR 1516.406(b) is amended to correct the EPAAR reference by removing “clause” and adding in its place “provision”; (7) EPAAR 1517.208 is amended to include a prescription for 48 CFR 1552.217-70 by adding a new paragraph (a) stating that the Contracting Officer shall insert the provision at 1552.217-70, Evaluation of Contract Options, in solicitations containing options, and re-designating existing paragraphs (a) through (g) as paragraphs (b) through (h); (8) EPAAR part 1519 is amended to correct an office title by removing “Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP)” and “OSBP”, and adding in their place “Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)” and “OSDBU” respectively wherever they appear in part 1519; (9) EPAAR 1535.007(a), (b) and (c) are amended to clarify the EPAAR references by adding “the provision at”; (10) EPAAR 1552.209-71 Alternate I introductory text is amended to add “(SEP 1998)”; (11) EPAAR 1552.209-73 Alternate I introductory text is amended to add “(JAN 2015)”; (12) EPAAR 1552.211-74 Alternate I and II introductory texts are amended to add “(APR 1984)” and Alternate III and IV introductory texts are amended to add “(DEC 2014)”; (13) EPAAR 1552.216-72 Alternate I introductory text is amended to add “(JUL 2014)”; (14) EPAAR 1552.216-75 introductory text and the ending text are amended to correct the EPAAR references by removing “clause” and adding in their place “provision”; (15) EPAAR 1552.217-76 clause title is amended to add “(MAR 1984)”; (16) EPAAR 1552.217-77 introductory text is amended by removing “1517.208(g)” and adding in its place “1517.208(h)”; (17) EPAAR 1552.219-70(b) and (d) are amended to correct an office title by removing “Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP)” and “OSBP”, and adding in their place “Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)” and “OSDBU” respectively; (18) EPAAR 1552.219-71(f)(2)(v) and (k) are amended to correct an office title by removing “Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP)” and adding in its place “Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)”, and 1552.219-71(k) is amended to update the address to Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, William Jefferson Clinton North Building, Mail Code 1230A, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20450, Telephone: (202) 566-2075, Fax: (202) 566-0266; (19) EPAAR 1552.223-71 is amended by removing the following Web site addresses: “http://www.epa.gov/oppt/greenmeetings/”, “(http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/join/purchase.htm)”, “http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/smm/wastewise/”, “http://www.epa.gov/foodrecoverychallenge/”, and “http://www.epa.gov/dfe/” and adding the following addresses to replace them respectively: “https://www.epa.gov/p2/green-meetings”, “https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-partnership-basic-program-information”, “https://www.epa.gov/smm/wastewise”, “https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/food-recovery-challenge-frc”, and “https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/history-safer-choice-and-design-environment”; (20) EPAAR 1552.227-76 Alternate I introductory text is amended to add “(JAN 2015)”; (21) EPAAR 1552.242-70(a) is amended to update the address to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Manager, Financial Analysis and Oversight Service Center, Mail Code 3802R, Policy, Training, and Oversight Division, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; and (22) EPAAR 1553.213 is amended to remove “1553.213 Small purchases and other simplified purchase procedures.” and to add in its place “1553.213 Simplified acquisition procedures.” to conform to the FAR.

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

    This action is exempt from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) because it is limited to matters of agency organization.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA because it does not contain any information collection activities.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as Amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. This action amends the EPAAR to make administrative changes including updates, corrections, and minor edits. We have therefore concluded that this action will have no net regulatory burden for all directly regulated small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action. In the spirit of Executive Order 13175, and consistent with EPA policy to promote communication between EPA and Tribal governments, EPA specifically solicits additional comment on this rule from Tribal officials.

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

    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 Executive Order has the potential to influence the regulation. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not establish an environmental standard intended to mitigate health or safety risks.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001)), because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    Executive Order 12898 (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. EPA has determined that this final rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment.

    K. Congressional Review

    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. Section 804 exempts from section 801 the following types of rules (1) rules of particular applicability; (2) rules relating to agency management or personnel; and (3) rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice that do not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties. 5 U.S.C. 804(3). EPA is not required to submit a rule report regarding this action under section 801 because this is a rule of agency organization, procedure, or practice that does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties.

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1501, 1504, 1509, 1515, 1516, 1517, 1519, 1535, 1552 and 1553

    Government procurement.

    Dated: May 22, 2017. Kimberly Y. Patrick, Director, Office of Acquisition Management.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 48 CFR parts 1501, 1504, 1509, 1515, 1516, 1517, 1519, 1535, 1552 and 1553 are amended as set forth below:

    PART 1501—GENERAL 1. The authority citation for part 1501 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c); and 41 U.S.C. 418b.

    2. Revise section 1501.603-1 to read as follows:
    1501.603-1 General.

    EPA Contracting Officers shall be selected and appointed and their appointments terminated in accordance with the Contracting Officer warrant program specified in EPA Acquisition Guide (EPAAG) subsection 1.6.4.

    PART 1504—ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS 3. The authority citation for part 1504 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c); 41 U.S.C. 418b.

    4. Revise section 1504.804-5 to read as follows:
    1504.804-5 Detailed procedures for closing out contract files.

    In addition to those procedures set forth in FAR 4.804-5, the contracting office shall, before final payment is made under a cost reimbursement type contract, verify the allowability, allocability, and reasonableness of costs claimed. Verification of total costs incurred should be obtained from the Office of Audit through the Financial Analysis and Oversight Service Center in the form of a final audit report. Similar verification of actual costs shall be made for other contracts when cost incentives, price redeterminations, or cost-reimbursement elements are involved. Termination settlement proposals shall be submitted to the Financial Analysis and Oversight Service Center for review by the Office of Audit as prescribed by FAR 49.107. All such audits will be coordinated through the cost advisory group in the contracting office. Exceptions to these procedures are the quick close-out procedures as described in FAR 42.708 and EPA Acquisition Guide (EPAAG) subsection 4.8.1.

    PART 1509—CONTRACTOR QUALIFICATIONS 5. The authority citation for part 1509 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c).

    6. Amend section 1509.507-1 by revising paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    1509.507-1 Solicitation provisions.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Include the information prescribed in FAR 9.507-1;

    PART 1515—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION 7. The authority citation for part 1515 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c); and 41 U.S.C. 418b.

    8. Amend section 1515.404-473 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    1515.404-473 Limitations.

    (a) In addition to the limitations established by statute (see FAR 15.404-4(b)(4)(i)), no administrative ceilings on profits or fees shall be established, except those otherwise identified in the EPAAR.

    PART 1516—TYPES OF CONTRACTS 9. The authority citation for part 1516 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301 and 41 U.S.C. 418b.

    10. Revise section 1516.301-70 to read as follows:
    1516.301-70 Payment of fee.

    The policy of EPA for cost-reimbursement, term form contracts is to make provisional payment of fee (i.e. the fixed fee on cost-plus-fixed-fee type contracts or the base fee on cost-plus-award-fee type contracts) on a percentage of work completed basis, when such a method will not prove detrimental to proper contract performance. Percentage of work completed is the ratio of the direct labor hours performed in relation to the direct labor hours set forth in the contract in clause 48 CFR 1552.211-73, Level of Effort—Cost Reimbursement Contract. Provisional payment of fee will remain subject to withholding provisions, such as in FAR 52.216-8, Fixed Fee.

    11. Amend section 1516.406 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    1516.406 Contract clauses.

    (b) The Contracting Officer shall insert the provision at 48 CFR 1552.216-75, Base Fee and Award Fee Proposal, in all solicitations which contemplate the award of cost-plus-award-fee contracts. The Contracting Officer shall insert the appropriate percentages.

    PART 1517—SPECIAL CONTRACTING METHODS 12. The authority citation for part 1517 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c); and 41 U.S.C. 418b.

    13. Revise section 1517.208 to read as follows:
    1517.208 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses.

    (a) The Contracting Officer shall insert the provision at 48 CFR 1552.217-70, Evaluation of Contract Options, in solicitations containing options.

    (b) The Contracting Officer shall insert the clause at 48 CFR 1552.217-71, Option to Extend the Term of the Contract—Cost-Type Contract, when applicable.

    (c) The Contracting Officer shall insert the clause at 48 CFR 1552.217-72, Option to Extend the Term of the Contract—Cost-Plus-Award-Fee Contract, when applicable.

    (d) The Contracting Officer shall insert the clause at 48 CFR 1552.217-73, Option for Increased Quantity—Cost-Type Contract, when applicable.

    (e) The Contracting Officer shall insert the clause at 48 CFR 1552.217-74, Option for Increased Quantity—Cost-Plus-Award-Fee Contract, when applicable.

    (f) The Contracting Officer shall insert the clause at 48 CFR 1552.217-75, Option to Extend the Effective Period of the Contract—Time and Materials or Labor Hour Contract, when applicable.

    (g) The Contracting Officer shall insert the clause at 48 CFR 1552.217-76, Option to Extend the Effective Period of the Contract—Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Contract, when applicable.

    (h) The Contracting officer shall insert the clause at 48 CFR 1552.217-77, Option to Extend the Term of the Contract—Fixed Price, when applicable.

    14. Revise part 1519 to read as follows: PART 1519—SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS Subpart 1519.2—Policies Sec. 1519.201 Policy. 1519.201-71 Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. 1519.201-72 Small business specialists. 1519.202-5 [Reserved] 1519.203 Mentor-protégé. 1519.204 [Reserved] Subpart 1519.5—Set-Asides for Small Business 1519.501 Review of acquisitions. 1519.503 Class set-aside for construction. Subpart 1519.6—[Reserved] Subpart 1519.7—The Small Business Subcontracting Program 1519.705-2 Determining the need for a subcontract plan. 1519.705-4 Reviewing the subcontracting plan. 1519.705-70 Synopsis of contracts containing Pub. L. 95-507 subcontracting plans and goals. Authority:

    Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c).

    Subpart 1519.2—Policies
    1519.201 Policy.

    Each program's Assistant or Associate Administrator shall be responsible for developing its socioeconomic goals on a fiscal year basis. The goals shall be developed in collaboration with the supporting Chiefs of Contracting Offices (CCOs) or Regional Acquisition Managers (RAMs), the assigned Small Business Specialist (SBS), and the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). The goals will be based on advance procurement plans and past performance. The goals shall be submitted to the Director of OSDBU, at least thirty (30) days prior to the start of the fiscal year.

    1519.201-71 Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

    The Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) provides guidance and advice, as appropriate, to Agency program and contracts officials on small business programs. The OSDBU Director is the central point of contact for inquiries concerning the small business programs from industry, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Congress; and shall advise the Administrator and staff of such inquiries as required. The OSDBU Director shall represent the Agency in the negotiations with the other Government agencies on small business programs matters.

    1519.201-72 Small business specialists.

    (a) Small Business Specialists (SBSs) shall be appointed in writing. Regional SBSs will normally be appointed from members of staffs of the appointing authority. The appointing authorities for regional SBSs are the RAMs. The SBSs for EPA headquarters, Research Triangle Park (RTP), and Cincinnati shall be appointed by the OSDBU Director. The SBS is administratively responsible directly to the appointing authority and, on matters relating to small business programs activities, receives technical guidance from the OSDBU Director.

    (b) A copy of each appointment and termination of all SBSs shall be forwarded to the OSDBU Director. In addition to performing the duties outlined in paragraph (c) of this section that are normally performed in the activity to which assigned, the SBS shall perform such additional functions as may be prescribed from time to time in furtherance of overall small business programs goals. The SBS may be appointed on either a full- or part-time basis; however, when appointed on a part-time basis, small business duties shall take precedence over collateral responsibilities.

    (c) The SBS appointed pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall perform the following duties as appropriate:

    (1) Maintain a program designed to locate capable small business sources for current and future acquisitions;

    (2) Coordinate inquiries and requests for advice from small business concerns on acquisition matters;

    (3) Review all proposed solicitations in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold, assure that small business concerns will be afforded an equitable opportunity to compete, and, as appropriate, initiate recommendations for small business set-asides, or offers of requirements to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for the 8(a) program, and complete EPA Form 1900-37, “Record of Procurement Request Review,” as appropriate;

    (4) Take action to assure the availability of adequate specifications and drawings, when necessary, to obtain small business participation in an acquisition. When small business concerns cannot be given an opportunity on a current acquisition, initiate action, in writing, with appropriate technical and contracting personnel to ensure that necessary specifications and/or drawings for future acquisitions are available;

    (5) Review proposed contracts for possible breakout of items or services suitable for acquisition from small business concerns;

    (6) Participate in the evaluation of a prime contractor's small business subcontracting programs;

    (7) Assure that adequate records are maintained, and accurate reports prepared, concerning small business participation in acquisition programs;

    (8) Make available to SBA copies of solicitations when so requested; and

    (9) Act as liaison with the appropriate SBA office or representative in connection with matters concerning the small business programs including set-asides.

    1519.202-5 [Reserved]
    1519.203 Mentor-protégé.

    (a) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 48 CFR 1552.219-70, Mentor-Protégé Program, in all contracts under which the contractor has been approved to participate in the EPA Mentor-Protégé Program.

    (b) The contracting officer shall insert the provision at 48 CFR 1552.219-71, Procedures for Participation in the EPA Mentor-Protégé Program, in all solicitations valued at $500,000 or more which will be cost-plus-award-fee or cost-plus fixed-fee contracts.

    1519.204 [Reserved]
    Subpart 1519.5—Set-Asides for Small Business
    1519.501 Review of acquisitions.

    (a) If no Small Business Administration (SBA) representative is available, the Small Business Specialist (SBS) shall initiate recommendations to the contracting officer for small business set-asides with respect to individual acquisitions or classes of acquisitions or portions thereof.

    (b) When the SBS has recommended that all, or a portion, of an individual acquisition or class of acquisitions be set aside for small business, the contracting officer shall:

    (1) Promptly concur in the recommendation; or

    (2) Promptly disapprove the recommendation, stating in writing the reasons for disapproval. If the contracting officer disapproves the recommendation of the SBS, the SBS may appeal to the appropriate appointing authority, whose decision shall be final.

    1519.503 Class set-aside for construction.

    (a) Each proposed acquisition for construction estimated to cost between $10,000 and $1,000,000 shall be set-aside for exclusive small business participation. Such set-asides shall be considered to be unilateral small business set-asides, and shall be withdrawn in accordance with the procedure of FAR 19.506 only if found not to serve the best interest of the Government.

    (b) Small business set-aside preferences for construction acquisitions in excess of $1,000,000 shall be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Subpart 1519.6—[Reserved] Subpart 1519.7—The Small Business Subcontracting Program
    1519.705-2 Determining the need for a subcontract plan.

    One copy of the determination required by FAR 19.705-2(c) shall be placed in the contract file and one copy provided to the Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

    1519.705-4 Reviewing the subcontracting plan.

    In determining the acceptability of a proposed subcontracting plan, the contracting officer shall obtain advice and recommendations from the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, which shall in turn coordinate review by the Small Business Administration Procurement Center Representative (if any).

    1519.705-70 Synopsis of contracts containing Pub. L. 95-507 subcontracting plans and goals.

    The synopsis of contract award, where applicable, shall include a statement identifying the contract as one containing Public Law 95-507 subcontracting plans and goals.

    PART 1535—RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CONTRACTING
    15. The authority citation for part 1535 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c).

    16. Revise section 1535.007 to read as follows:
    1535.007 Solicitations.

    (a) Contracting officers shall insert the provision at 48 CFR 1552.235-73, Access to Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Confidential Business Information, in all solicitations when the contracting officer has determined that EPA may furnish the contractor with confidential business information which EPA had obtained from third parties under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.).

    (b) Contracting officers shall insert the provision at 48 CFR 1552.235-75, Access to Toxic Substances Control Act Confidential Business Information, in all solicitations when the contracting officer has determined that EPA may furnish the contractor with confidential business information which EPA had obtained from third parties under the Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.).

    (c) Contracting officers shall insert the provision at 48 CFR 1552.235-81, Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern-Representation, when notified in the Advance Procurement Plan (APP) or by an EPA funding/requesting office, in accordance with the Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (iDURC) EPA Order 1000.19, Policy and Procedures for Managing Dual Use Research of Concern, in solicitations that will result in a contract under which EPA funding will be used by the recipient to conduct or sponsor “life sciences research”.

    PART 1552—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 17. The authority citation for part 1552 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301 and 41 U.S.C. 418b.

    18. Amend section 1552.209-71 by revising the introductory text in Alternate I to read as follows:
    1552.209-71 Organizational conflicts of interest.

    Alternate I (SEP 1998). Contracts for other than Superfund work shall include Alternate I in this clause in lieu of paragraph (e).

    19. Amend section 1552.209-73 by revising the introductory text in Alternate I to read as follows:
    1552.209-73 Notification of conflicts of interest regarding personnel.

    Alternate I (JAN 2015). Contracts for other than Superfund work shall include Alternate I in this clause in lieu of paragraph (d).

    20. Amend section 1552.211-74 by revising the introductory text in Alternates I through IV to read as follows:
    1552.211-74 Work assignments.

    Alternate I (APR 1984). As prescribed in 1511.011-74(b)(1), modify the existing clause by adding the following paragraph (f) to the basic clause:

    Alternate II (APR 1984). As prescribed in 1511.011-74(b)(1), modify the existing clause by adding the following paragraph (f) to the basic clause:

    Alternate III (DEC 2014). As prescribed in 1511.011-74(b)(2), modify the existing clause by adding the following paragraph (f) to the basic clause:

    Alternate IV (DEC 2014). As prescribed in 1511.011-74(b)(2), modify the existing clause by adding the following paragraph (f) to the basic clause:

    21. Amend section 1552.216-72 by revising the introductory text in Alternate I to read as follows:
    1552.216-72 Ordering—by designated ordering officers.

    Alternate I (JUL 2014). As prescribed in 1516.505(a), insert the subject clause, or a clause substantially similar to the subject clause, in indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts when formal input from the Contractor will not be obtained prior to order issuance.

    1552.216-75 [Amended]
    22. Amend section 1552.216-75 by: a. Removing, in the introductory text, the text “clause” and adding the text “provision” in its place; and b. Removing the words “(End of clause)” and adding the words “(End of provision)” in its place.
    1552.217-76 [Amended]
    23. Amend section 1552.217-76 by adding the clause date “(MAR 1984)” after the clause title.
    1552.217-77 [Amended]
    24. Amend the introductory text of section 1552.217-77 by removing the text “1517.208(g)” and adding the text “1517.208(h)” in its place. 25. Revise section 1552.219-70 to read as follows:
    1552.219-70 Mentor-Protégé Program.

    As prescribed in 1519.203(a), insert the following clause:

    Mentor-Protégé Program (SEP 2017)

    (a) The Contractor has been approved to participate in the EPA Mentor-Protégé Program. The purpose of the Program is to increase the participation of small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs) as subcontractors, suppliers, and ultimately as prime contractors; establish a mutually beneficial relationship with SDBs and EPA's large business prime contractors (although small businesses may participate as Mentors); develop the technical and corporate administrative expertise of SDBs which will ultimately lead to greater success in competition for contract opportunities; promote the economic stability of SDBs; and aid in the achievement of goals for the use of SDBs in subcontracting activities under EPA contracts.

    (b) The Contractor shall submit an executed Mentor-Protégé agreement to the Contracting Officer, with a copy to the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) or the Small Business Specialist, within thirty (30) calendar days after the effective date of the contract. The Contracting Officer will notify the Contractor within thirty (30) calendar days from its submission if the agreement is not accepted.

    (c) The Contractor as a Mentor under the Program agrees to fulfill the terms of its agreement(s) with the Protégé firm(s).

    (d) If the Contractor or Protégé firm is suspended or debarred while performing under an approved Mentor-Protégé agreement, the Contractor shall promptly give notice of the suspension or debarment to the OSDBU and the Contracting Officer.

    (e) Costs incurred by the Contractor in fulfilling their agreement(s) with the Protégé firm(s) are not reimbursable on a direct basis under this contract.

    (f) In an attachment to Individual Subcontract Reports (ISR), the Contractor shall report on the progress made under their Mentor-Protégé agreement(s), providing:

    (1) The number of agreements in effect; and

    (2) The progress in achieving the developmental assistance objectives under each agreement, including whether the objectives of the agreement have been met, problem areas encountered, and any other appropriate information.

    (End of clause)
    26. Revise section 1552.219-71 to read as follows:
    1552.219-71 Procedures for Participation in the EPA Mentor-Protégé Program.

    As prescribed in 1519.203(b), insert the following provision:

    Procedures for Participation in the EPA Mentor-Protégé Program (SEP 2017)

    (a) This provision sets forth the procedures for participation in the EPA Mentor-Protégé Program (hereafter referred to as the Program). The purpose of the Program is to increase the participation of concerns owned and/or controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals as subcontractors, suppliers, and ultimately as prime contractors; to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between these concerns and EPA's large business prime contractors (although small businesses may participate as Mentors); to develop the technical and corporate administrative expertise of these concerns, which will ultimately lead to greater success in competition for contract opportunities; to promote the economic stability of these concerns; and to aid in the achievement of goals for the use of these concerns in subcontracting activities under EPA contracts. If the successful offeror is accepted into the Program they shall serve as a Mentor to a Protégé firm(s), providing developmental assistance in accordance with an agreement with the Protégé firm(s).

    (b) To participate as a Mentor, the offeror must receive approval in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section.

    (c) A Protégé must be a concern owned and/or controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals within the meaning of section 8(a)(5) and (6) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)(5) and (6)), including historically black colleges and universities. Further, in accordance with Public Law 102-389 (the 1993 Appropriation Act), for EPA's contracting purposes, economically and socially disadvantaged individuals shall be deemed to include women.

    (d) Where there may be a concern regarding the Protégé firm's eligibility to participate in the program, the protégé's eligibility will be determined by the contracting officer after the SBA has completed any formal determinations.

    (e) The offeror shall submit an application in accordance with paragraph (k) of this section as part of its proposal which shall include as a minimum the following information.

    (1) A statement and supporting documentation that the offeror is currently performing under at least one active Federal contract with an approved subcontracting plan and is eligible for the award of Federal contracts;

    (2) A summary of the offeror's historical and recent activities and accomplishments under any disadvantaged subcontracting programs. The offeror is encouraged to include any initiatives or outreach information believed pertinent to approval as a Mentor firm;

    (3) The total dollar amount (including the value of all option periods or quantities) of EPA contracts and subcontracts received by the offeror during its two preceding fiscal years. (Show prime contracts and subcontracts separately per year);

    (4) The total dollar amount and percentage of subcontract awards made to all concerns owned and/or controlled by disadvantaged individuals under EPA contracts during its two preceding fiscal years.

    (5) The number and total dollar amount of subcontract awards made to the identified Protégé firm(s) during the two preceding fiscal years (if any).

    (f) In addition to the information required by paragraph (e) of this section, the offeror shall submit as a part of the application the following information for each proposed Mentor-Protégé relationship:

    (1) Information on the offeror's ability to provide developmental assistance to the identified Protégé firm and how the assistance will potentially increase contracting and subcontracting opportunities for the Protégé firm.

    (2) A letter of intent indicating that both the Mentor firm and the Protégé firm intend to enter into a contractual relationship under which the Protégé will perform as a subcontractor under the contract resulting from this solicitation and that the firms will negotiate a Mentor-Protégé agreement. The letter of intent must be signed by both parties and contain the following information:

    (i) The name, address and phone number of both parties;

    (ii) The Protégé firm's business classification, based upon the NAICS code(s) which represents the contemplated supplies or services to be provided by the Protégé firm to the Mentor firm;

    (iii) A statement that the Protégé firm meets the eligibility criteria;

    (iv) A preliminary assessment of the developmental needs of the Protégé firm and the proposed developmental assistance the Mentor firm envisions providing the Protégé. The offeror shall address those needs and how their assistance will enhance the Protégé. The offeror shall develop a schedule to assess the needs of the Protégé and establish criteria to evaluate the success in the Program;

    (v) A statement that if the offeror or Protégé firm is suspended or debarred while performing under an approved Mentor-Protégé agreement the offeror shall promptly give notice of the suspension or debarment to the EPA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) and the Contracting Officer. The statement shall require the Protégé firm to notify the Contractor if it is suspended or debarred.

    (g) The application will be evaluated on the extent to which the offeror's proposal addresses the items listed in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section. To the maximum extent possible, the application should be limited to not more than 10 single pages, double spaced. The offeror may identify more than one Protégé in its application.

    (h) If the offeror is determined to be in the competitive range, or is awarded a contract without discussions, the offeror will be advised by the Contracting Officer whether their application is approved or rejected. The Contracting Officer, if necessary, may request additional information in connection with the offeror's submission of its revised or best and final offer. If the successful offeror has submitted an approved application, they shall comply with the clause titled “Mentor-Protégé Program.”

    (i) Subcontracts of $1,000,000 or less awarded to firms approved as Protégés under the Program are exempt from the requirements for competition set forth in FAR 44.202-2(a)(5) and 52.244-5(b). However, price reasonableness must still be determined and the requirements in FAR 44.202-2(a)(8) for cost and price analysis continue to apply.

    (j) Costs incurred by the offeror in fulfilling their agreement(s) with a Protégé firm(s) are not reimbursable as a direct cost under the contract. Unless EPA is the responsible audit agency under FAR 42.703-1, offerors are encouraged to enter into an advance agreement with their responsible audit agency on the treatment of such costs when determining indirect cost rates. Where EPA is the responsible audit agency, these costs will be considered in determining indirect cost rates.

    (k) Submission of Application and Questions Concerning the Program. The application for the Program shall be submitted to the Contracting Officer, and to the EPA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at the following address: Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, William Jefferson Clinton North Building, Mail Code 1230A, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Telephone: (202) 566-2075, Fax: (202) 566-0266.

    (End of provision)
    27. Revise section 1552.223-71 to read as follows:
    1552.223-71 EPA Green Meetings and Conferences.

    As prescribed in 1523.703-1, insert the following provision, or language substantially the same as the provision, in solicitations for meetings and conference facilities.

    EPA Green Meetings and Conferences (SEP 2017)

    (a) The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment. As such, all EPA meetings and conferences will be staged using as many environmentally preferable measures as possible. Environmentally preferable means products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.

    (b) Potential meeting or conference facility providers for EPA shall provide information about the environmentally preferable features and practices identified by the checklist contained in paragraph (c) of this section, addressing sustainability for meeting and conference facilities including lodging and non-lodging oriented facilities.

    (c) The following list of questions is provided to assist contracting officers in evaluating the environmental preferability of prospective meeting and conference facility providers. More information about EPA's Green Meetings initiative may be found on the Internet at https://www.epa.gov/p2/green-meetings.

    (1) Does your facility track energy usage and/or GHG emissions through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (http://www.energystar.gov/benchmark) or some other calculator based on a recognized greenhouse gas tracking protocol? Y/N_

    (2) If available for your building type, does your facility currently qualify for the Energy Star certification for superior energy performance? Y/N _, NA_

    (3) Does your facility track water use through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager or another equivalent tracking tool and/or undertake best management practices to reduce water use in the facility (http://www.epa.gov/watersense/commercial)? Y/N_

    (4) Do you use landscaping professionals who are either certified by a WaterSense recognized program or actively undertake the WaterSense “Water-Smart” landscaping design practices (http://www.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor)? Y/N_, NA_

    (5) Based on the amount of renewable energy your buildings uses, does (or would) your facility qualify as a partner under EPA's Green Power Partnership program (https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-partnership-basic-program-information)? Y/N_

    (6) Do you restrict idling of motor vehicles in front of your facility, at the loading dock and elsewhere at your facility? Y/N_

    (7) Does your facility have a default practice of not changing bedding and towels unless requested by guests? Y/N_, NA_

    (8) Does your facility participate in EPA's WasteWise (https://www.epa.gov/smm/wastewise) and/or Food Recovery Challenge (https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/food-recovery-challenge-frc) programs? Y/N_

    (9) Do you divert from landfill at least 50% of the total solid waste generated at your facility? Y/N_

    (10) Will your facility be able to divert from the landfill at least 75% of the total solid waste expected to be generated during this conference/event? Y/N_

    (11) Do you divert from landfill at least 50% of the food waste generated at your facility (through donation, use as animal feed, recycling, anaerobic digestion, or composting)? Y/N_

    (12) Will your facility be able to divert from landfill at least 75% of the food waste expected to be generated during this conference/event (through donation, use as animal feed, recycling, anaerobic digestion, or composting)? Y/N_

    (13) Does your facility provide recycling containers for visitors, guests and staff (paper and beverage at minimum)? Y/N_

    (14) With respect to any food and beverage prepared and/or served at your facility, does at least 50% of it on average meet sustainability attributes such as: Local, organic, fair trade, fair labor, antibiotic-free, etc.? Y/N_

    (15) Will your facility be able to ensure that at least 75% of the food and beverage expected to be served during this conference/event meets sustainability attributes such as: Local, organic, fair trade, fair labor, antibiotic-free, etc.? Y/N_

    (16) Does your facility use Design for the Environment (DfE) cleaning products (https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/history-safer-choice-and-design-environment), or similar products meeting other recognized standards for being `environmentally preferable' (http://www.epa.gov/epp/) or more sustainable? Y/N_

    (17) Is your facility prepared to document or demonstrate all of the claims you have made above? Y/N_

    (d) The contractor shall include any additional “Green Meeting” information in their proposal which is believed is pertinent to better assist us in considering environmental preferability in selecting our meeting venue.

    (End of provision)
    28. Amend section 1552.227-76 by revising the introductory text in Alternate I to read as follows:
    1552.227-76 Project employee confidentiality agreement.

    Alternate I (JAN 2015). Contracts for other than Superfund work shall include Alternate I in this clause in lieu of paragraph (d).

    29. Revise section 1552.242-70 to read as follows:
    1552.242-70 Indirect costs.

    As prescribed in 1542.705-70, insert the following clause in all cost-reimbursement and non-commercial time and materials type contracts. If ceilings are not being established, enter “not applicable” in paragraph (c) of the clause.

    Indirect Costs (SEP 2017)

    (a) In accordance with paragraph (d) of the “Allowable Cost and Payment” clause, the final indirect cost rates applicable to this contract shall be established between the Contractor and the appropriate Government representative (EPA, other Government agency, or auditor), as provided by FAR 42.703-1(a). EPA's procedures require a Contracting Officer determination of indirect cost rates for its contracts. In those cases where EPA is the cognizant agency (see FAR 42.705-1), the final rate proposal shall be submitted to the cognizant audit activity and to the following designated Contracting Officer: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Manager, Financial Analysis and Oversight Service Center, Mail Code 3802R, Policy, Training Oversight Division, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    Where EPA is not the cognizant agency, the final rate proposal shall be submitted to the above-cited address, to the cognizant audit agency, and to the designated Contracting Officer of the cognizant agency. Upon establishment of the final indirect cost rates, the Contractor shall submit an executed Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data (see FAR 15.406-2) applicable to the data furnished in connection with the final rates to the cognizant audit agency. The final rates shall be contained in a written understanding between the Contractor and the appropriate Government representative. Pursuant to the “Allowable Cost and Payment” clause, the allowable indirect costs under this contract shall be obtained by applying the final agreed upon rate(s) to the appropriate bases.

    (b) Until final annual indirect cost rates are established for any period, the Government shall reimburse the contractor at billing rates established by the appropriate Government representative in accordance with FAR 42.704, subject to adjustment when the final rates are established. The established billing rates are currently as follows:

    Cost center Period Rate Base

    These billing rates may be prospectively or retroactively revised by mutual agreement, at the request of either the Government or the Contractor, to prevent substantial overpayment or underpayment.

    (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this clause, ceilings are hereby established on indirect costs reimbursable under this contract. The Government shall not be obligated to pay the Contractor any additional amount on account of indirect costs in excess of the ceiling rates listed below:

    Cost center Period Rate Base
    (End of clause)
    PART 1553—FORMS 30. The authority citation for part 1553 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c).

    31. Revise the heading for section 1553.213 to read as follows:
    1553.213 Simplified acquisition procedures.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14828 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 160920866-7167-02] RIN 0648-XF558 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reapportionment of the 2017 Gulf of Alaska Pacific Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits for the Trawl Deep-Water and Shallow-Water Fishery Categories AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; reapportionment.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is reapportioning the seasonal apportionments of the 2017 Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits for the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories in the Gulf of Alaska. This action is necessary to account for the actual halibut PSC use by the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories from May 15, 2017 through June 30, 2017. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 17, 2017, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (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 final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) apportions the 2017 Pacific halibut PSC limit for trawl gear in the GOA to two trawl fishery categories: A deep-water species fishery and a shallow-water species fishery. The halibut PSC limit for these two trawl fishery categories is further apportioned by season, including four seasonal apportionments to the shallow-water species fishery and three seasonal apportionments to the deep-water species fishery. The two fishery categories also are apportioned a combined, fifth seasonal halibut PSC limit. Unused seasonal apportionments are added to the next season apportionment during a fishing year.

    Regulations at § 679.21(d)(4)(iii)(D) require NMFS to combine management of the available trawl halibut PSC limits in the second season (April 1 through July 1) deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories for use in either fishery from May 15 through June 30 of each year. Furthermore, NMFS is required to reapportion the halibut PSC limit between the deep-water and shallow-water species fisheries after June 30 to account for actual halibut PSC use by each fishery category during May 15 through June 30. As of July 13, 2017, NMFS has determined that the trawl deep-water and shallow-water fisheries used 196 metric tons (mt) and 33 mt of halibut PSC, respectively, from May 15 through June 30. Accordingly, pursuant to § 679.21(d)(4)(iii)(D), the Regional Administrator is reapportioning the combined first and second seasonal apportionments (810 mt) of halibut PSC limit between the trawl deep-water and shallow-water fishery categories to account for the actual PSC use (722 mt) in each fishery. Therefore, Table 15 of the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (82 FR 12032, February 27, 2017) is revised consistent with this adjustment.

    Table 15—Final 2017 and 2018 Apportionment of Pacific Halibut PSC Trawl Limits Between the Trawl Gear Deep-Water Species Fishery and the Shallow-Water Species Fishery Categories. [Values are in metric tons] Season Shallow-water Deep-water 1 Total January 20—April 1 28 221 249 April 1—July 1 119 354 473 Subtotal of combined first and second season limit (January 20—July 1) 147 575 722 July 1—September 1 184 416 600 September 1—October 1 128 (*) 128 Subtotal January 20—October 1 459 991 1,450 October 1—December 31 2 256 Total 1,706 1 Vessels participating in cooperatives in the Central GOA Rockfish Program will receive 191 mt of the third season (July 1 through September 1) deep-water species fishery halibut PSC apportionment. 2 There is no apportionment between trawl shallow-water and deep-water species fishery categories during the fifth season (October 1 through December 31). * Any remainder. 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 allow for harvests that exceed the originally specified apportionment of the halibut PSC limits to the deep-water and shallow-water fishery categories. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of July 13, 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 is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 14, 2017. Margo B. Schulze-Haugen, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15122 Filed 7-14-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 137 Wednesday, July 19, 2017 Proposed Rules ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2017-0023; A-1-FRL-9965-09-Region 1] Air Plan Approval; ME; Consumer Products Alternative Control Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP). The SIP revision consists of an Alternative Control Plan (ACP) for the control of volatile organic compound emissions from Reckitt Benckiser's Air Wick Air Freshener Single Phase Aerosol Spray, issued pursuant to Maine's consumer products rule. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2017-0023 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David L. Mackintosh, Air Quality Planning Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail Code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, tel. 617-918-1584, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules Section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules Section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: July 5, 2017. Deborah A. Szaro, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA New England.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15051 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0496; FRL-9964-11-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA or Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to conditionally approve revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) addressing Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX) Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for the Martin Marietta (formerly, Texas Industries, Inc., or TXI) cement manufacturing plant in Ellis County. We are proposing to fully approve revisions to the Texas SIP addressing NOX RACT for all other affected sources in the ten county Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) 2008 8-Hour ozone nonattainment area. We are also proposing to approve NOX RACT negative declarations (a finding that there are no emission sources in certain categories) for the DFW 2008 8-Hour ozone nonattainment area. The DFW 2008 8-Hour ozone nonattainment area consists of Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Wise counties. The RACT requirements apply to major sources of NOX in these ten counties.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0496 or via email to [email protected] Follow the on-line 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 Alan Shar, (214) 665-6691, [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:

    Mr. Alan Shar (6MM-AA), (214) 665-6691, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please contact Alan Shar.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Outline I. Background A. What is RACT, and what are the RACT requirements relevant for this action? II. Evaluation A. What is the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) approach and analysis to RACT? B. Is Texas' RACT determination for NOX sources approvable? C. Are there negative declarations for categories of NOX sources within this nonattainment area? D. RACT and Cement Manufacturing Plants E. Ellis County Cement Manufacturing Plants F. What is a conditional approval? III. Proposed Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background A. What is RACT and what are the RACT requirements relevant for this action?

    Section 172(c)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA, Act) requires that SIPs for nonattainment areas “provide for the implementation of all reasonably available control measures as expeditiously as practicable (including such reductions in emissions from existing sources in the area as may be obtained through the adoption, at a minimum, of reasonably available control technology) and shall provide for attainment of the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).” The EPA has defined RACT as the lowest emissions limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available, considering technological and economic feasibility. See September 17, 1979 (44 FR 53761).

    Section 182(b)(2) of the Act requires states to submit a SIP revision and implement RACT for major stationary sources in moderate and above ozone nonattainment areas. For a Moderate, Serious, or Severe area a major stationary source is one that emits, or has the potential to emit, 100, 50, or 25 tons per year (tpy) or more of VOCs or NOX, respectively. See CAA sections 182(b), 182(c), and 182(d). The EPA provides states with guidance concerning what types of controls could constitute RACT for a given source category through the issuance of Control Technique Guidelines (CTG) and Alternative Control Techniques (ACT) documents. See http://www.epa.gov/airquality/ozonepollution/SIPToolkit/ctgs.html (URL dating August 17, 2014) for a listing of EPA-issued CTGs and ACTs.

    The DFW nonattainment area was designated nonattainment for the 1997 8-Hour ozone standard and classified as Moderate with an attainment deadline of June 15, 2010. See January 14, 2009 (74 FR 1903).

    The DFW area was later reclassified to Serious on December 20, 2010 (75 FR 79302) because it failed to attain the 1997 8-Hour standard by its attainment deadline of June 15, 2010. Thus, per section 182(c) of the CAA, a major stationary source in the DFW area, is one which emits, or has the potential to emit, 50 tpy or more of VOCs or NOX. The EPA approved NOX RACT for the DFW area classified as Serious under the 1997 8-Hour Ozone standard on March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16291).

    The EPA designated the DFW area as nonattainment for the 2008 8-Hour ozone NAAQS with a moderate classification. The designated area for the 2008 standard includes Wise County, which was not included as part of the nonattainment area for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone standard. See May 21, 2012 (77 FR 30088), 40 CFR 81.344; and Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality vs. EPA, No. 12-1309 (D.C. Cir., June 2, 2015) (upholding EPA's inclusion of Wise County in the DFW 2008 8-Hour ozone nonattainment area).

    Thus, based on the moderate classification of the DFW area for the 2008 ozone standard, under section 182(b) of the CAA, a major stationary source in Wise County is one that emits, or has the potential to emit, 100 tpy or more of VOCs or NOX.

    II. Evaluation A. What is the TCEQ's approach and analysis to RACT?

    Sections 182(b)(2)(A) and (B) of the CAA require that states must ensure RACT is in place for each source category for which EPA has issued a CTG, and for any major source not covered by a CTG. The EPA has not issued CTGs for sources of NOX, so the NOX RACT requirement applies to all major sources of NOX. As a part of its July 10, 2015 DFW SIP submittal, TCEQ conducted RACT analyses to demonstrate that the RACT requirements for affected NOX sources in the DFW 2008 8-Hour ozone nonattainment area have been satisfied, relying on the NOX RACT rules EPA had previously approved for the DFW area for its classification as Serious for the 1997 8-Hour ozone standard. See March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16292), and 40 CFR 51.1112. The RACT analysis is contained in Appendix F of the TCEQ July 10, 2015 SIP submittal as a component of the DFW 2008 8-Hour ozone attainment demonstration plan.

    B. Is Texas' RACT determination for NOX sources approvable?

    The requirements for RACT are included in 182(b)(2) of the Act and further explained in our “SIP Requirements Rule” of March 6, 2015 (80 FR 12279), which explains States should refer to existing CTGs and ACTs as well as all relevant technical information including recent technical information received during the public comment period to determine if RACT is being applied. States may conclude, in some cases, that sources already addressed by RACT determinations to meet the 1-Hour and/or the 1997 8-Hour ozone NAAQS do not need to implement additional controls to meet the 2008 ozone NAAQS RACT requirement. The EPA has previously found that Texas NOX rules meet RACT for the 1-Hour and the 1997 8-Hour standards. See March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16291).

    Texas adopted new rules for wood-fired boilers in the DFW area, and new rules for major sources in the added county, Wise County, and determined they were RACT. We have reviewed the wood-fired boilers rules and the rules for major sources in Wise County and are proposing that those rules are RACT for the covered sources. In addition, we are proposing to determine that the State's certification that the applicable control requirements Texas has in place for all other affected NOX sources as identified in Table F-4 of the submittal (including the proposed conditional approval for the Martin Marietta cement manufacturing plant in Ellis County) meet the RACT requirement for the 2008 8-Hour ozone standard. See part 3, section 5 of the TSD.

    Table 1 below contains a list of affected source categories, EPA reference documents, and the corresponding sections of 30 TAC Chapter 117 that TCEQ determined were RACT for sources of NOX in the DFW area for the 2008 NAAQS. See Table F1, Appendix F of the July 10, 2015 DFW SIP submittal.

    Table 1—Source Categories, EPA reference Documents, and Corresponding Section of 30 TAC Chapter 117 Fulfilling RACT Source category EPA reference documents 30 TAC chapter 117
  • fulfilling RACT
  • Glass Manufacturing NOX Emissions from Glass Manufacturing (EPA-453/R-94-037, June 1994) § 117.400-§ 117.456 Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers NOX Emissions from Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers (EPA-453/R-94-022, March 1994) § 117.400-§ 117.456 Iron and Steel Mills NOX Emissions from Iron and Steel Mills (EPA-453/R-94-065, September 1994) § 117.400-§ 117.456 Process Heaters NOXEmissions from Process Heaters (EPA-453/R-93-034, September 1993) § 117.400-§ 117.456 Stationary Internal Combustion Engines NOX Emissions from Stationary Internal Combustion Engines (EPA-453/R-93-032, July 1993, Updated September 2000) § 117.400-§ 117.456 Stationary Turbines NOX Emissions from Stationary Combustion Turbines (EPA-453/R-93-007, January 1993) § 117.400-§ 117.456 Utility Boilers NOX Emissions from Utility Boilers (EPA-453/R-94-023, March 1994) § 117.1300-§ 117.1356

    On April 13, 2016 (81 FR 21747), we approved revisions to 30 TAC Chapter 117 (NOX rules) for control of NOX emissions for affected sources in the DFW area as part of the SIP, but did not make the determination whether these rule revisions met RACT at 81 FR 21747. See docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0497 at www.regulations.gov.

    We have reviewed the emission limitations and control requirements for the above source categories, Table 1, in 30 TAC Chapter 117, and compared them against EPA's ACT documents, available technical information, and guidelines. Based on our review and evaluation we found the emission limitations and control requirements in 30 TAC Chapter 117 for the above source categories to be consistent with our guidance and ACT documents, and based upon available technical information that the corresponding sections in 30 TAC Chapter 117 provide for the lowest emission limitation through application of control techniques that are reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility. For more information, see part 3, section 6 of the TSD prepared in conjunction with this action. Also, see part 4 of the TSD for the March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16291) at www.regulations.gov, docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2013-0804.

    We are proposing to find that the control requirements for the source categories identified in Table 1 are RACT for all affected sources in the ten County DFW area under the 2008 8-Hour ozone NAAQS. See part 3, sections 5-7 of the TSD.

    C. Are there negative declarations for categories of NOX sources within this nonattainment area?

    States are not required to adopt RACT limits for source categories for which no sources exist in a nonattainment area and can submit a negative declaration to that effect. Texas has reviewed its emissions inventory and determined that there are no nitric and adipic acid manufacturing operations in the DFW area. See Table F-1, page 8 of the Appendix F, titled “State Rules Addressing NOX RACT Requirements in ACT Reference.” We are also unaware of any such facilities operating in the DFW nonattainment area, and thus we are proposing to approve the negative declarations made for the nitric and adipic acid manufacturing operations in the ten County DFW area under the 2008 8-Hour ozone NAAQS.

    D. RACT and Cement Manufacturing Plants

    As detailed in Table 2 below, EPA has issued guidance on NOX emissions from Cement Manufacturing Plants and Texas has adopted rules for the control of NOX emissions from Cement Manufacturing Plants codified at 30 TAC Chapter 117. The rules establish NOX emissions by adopting a NOX cap on each of the cement manufacturing plants in the area.

    Table 2—Cement Manufacturing, EPA Reference Documents, and Corresponding Section of 30 TAC Chapter 117 Fulfilling RACT Source category EPA reference documents 30 TAC chapter 117
  • fulfilling RACT
  • Cement Manufacturing NOX Emissions from Cement Manufacturing (EPA-453/R-94-004, 1994/03); and NOX Control Technologies for the Cement Industry: Final Report (EPA-457/R-00-002, 2000/09) § 117.3100—§ 117.3145

    The source cap provision is a NOX emission limitation expressed in tons per day (tpd) for cement kilns in Ellis County (thereafter, Cap8hour, cap). The Cap8hour was established based on a formula that included average annual tons of clinker produced for the three-year period of 2003, 2004, and 2005 plus one standard deviation. See 30 TAC § 117.3123. The addition of one standard deviation to the average annual clinker production rates was intended to provide further operational flexibility for the sources as they calculated their production rates for the wet and dry kiln systems, “NW” and “ND”, in order for TCEQ to determine a tpd numerical value for the Cap8hour emission limitation. See Equation 117.3123(b). The formula for establishing the Cap8hour includes an emission factor of 3.4 lbs of NOX/ton of clinker produced for wet kilns, and an emission factor of 1.7 lbs of NOX/ton of clinker produced for dry kilns. Compliance with the 30-day rolling average cap must be shown starting March 31st of each calendar year, and the NOX cap limitation in section 117.3123 applies from March 1st through October 31st of each calendar year. See part 4, sections 8 and 9 of the TSD for more information. Each cement manufacturing plant in Ellis County has been allocated a specific value in tons per day as its cap. Once established based on 2003, 2004, and 2005 production rates the calculated emission rate is not changed. We approved this rule on January 14, 2009 (74 FR 1927) as part of the DFW SIP, and as meeting the NOX RACT requirement for cement kilns operating in the DFW 1997 8-Hour ozone nonattainment area. Since that time, there are no longer any wet kilns in the area.

    E. Ellis County Cement Manufacturing Plants

    Currently, three companies operate four cement kilns in Ellis County. Below we evaluate whether RACT is in place for these plants.

    Ash Grove Cement Company (Ash Grove) operated three kilns in Ellis County. A federally enforceable 2013 consent decree, not a part of this SIP submittal, required by September 10, 2014 shutdown of two kilns and reconstruction of kiln #3 with Selective Noncatalytic Reduction (SNCR) with an emission limitation of 1.5 pounds of NOX per ton of clinker produced (lb NOX/ton of clinker), and a 12-month rolling tonnage limit for NOX of 975 tpy. A May 11, 2016 letter from Ash Grove to TCEQ confirms decommissioning of the kilns # 1 and 2. We have made this letter available in docket for this action. The reconstructed kiln #3 is a dry kiln subject to the 1.5 lb NOX/ton of clinker emission standard per 40 CFR 60 subpart F (New Source Performance Standard—NSPS) for Portland Cement Plants. A review of NOX emission limits in place across the country is included with the TSD for this action, and it can be seen that this limit is well within the range of the most stringent controls currently in place. This NOX emission limit is the lowest emission limitation through application of control techniques (SNCR) that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility, and therefore the NSPS satisfies RACT for Ash Grove in Ellis County. The TCEQ has the delegated authority to enforce this federal standard through the agency's general NSPS delegation. The TCEQ air permit for this plant is available in the docket for this action. Further, we are proposing to remove our approval of the cap rules as being RACT for Ash Grove and finding that the NSPS applicable to Ash Grove meets RACT for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    Holcim U.S., Inc. (Holcim) currently has two dry preheater/precalciner kilns equipped with SNCR. There has not been a long wet cement kiln associated with the Holcim operations in Ellis County. The current section 117.3123 source cap is established at 5.3 tpd NOX for Holcim. As discussed above this cap was established based on an emission factor of 1.7 lbs/ton of clinker. Again such an emission rate is among the most stringent emission rates in place across the country. We believe the NOX emission limitation established by the section 117.3123 cap is the lowest emission limitation through application of control techniques (SNCR) that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility for this source, and therefore it satisfies RACT for Holcim. Consequently, we are retaining the cap rules as meeting RACT for Holcim for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    Martin Marietta (MM) currently operates one dry preheater/precalciner kiln #5. The existing section 117.3123 source cap allocated to this kiln is set at 7.9 tpd NOX. The permitted capacity of this kiln is 2,800,000 tons of clinker per year, and it has a permitted emissions limitation of 1.95 lb NOX/ton of clinker. According to TCEQ, the kiln #5 typically operates well below the source cap, at an average emission factor below 1.5 lbs/ton of clinker. While the NOX limit of 1.95 lbs/ton of clinker is somewhat higher than the limits in place at other cement plants in Ellis County, it is still among the most stringent limits in the country. We believe that it is reasonable for the limit to be less stringent than Ash Grove's limit because Ash Grove (kiln #3) is a new source and new sources generally can achieve a lower emission rate than existing sources that must be retrofitted. We also believe it is reasonable that MM's limit be somewhat higher than the emission factor (1.7 lbs/ton of clinker) used to establish the emission cap at Holcim because the emission cap allows for operational flexibility to balance emissions between the two Holcim kilns.

    We are proposing to conditionally approve 1.95 lbs/ton of clinker as RACT for MM following the State's written commitment to EPA. The commitment letter states that through an agreed order between TCEQ and MM, certain conditions of MM's air permit, concerning the NOX emission limitation of 1.95 lb/ton of clinker produced from kiln #5, will be incorporated into a future revision to the Texas SIP. That particular future SIP revision will be submitted to EPA per timeline described in section F below.

    We have reviewed the emission limitations and control requirements for the source category listed in Table 2 above, the corresponding sections in 30 TAC Chapter 117, and the Appendix F of the July 10, 2015 DFW SIP submittal, and compared them against EPA's ACT documents and guidelines. Based on our review and evaluation we found the emission limitations and control requirements in 30 TAC Chapter 117 and the Appendix F of the July 10, 2015 DFW SIP submittal for the above source category to be consistent with our guidance and ACT documents. We have also found these limits are among the most stringent in place in the country, at this time. As such, we are proposing that they provide for the lowest emission limitation through application of control techniques that are reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility. For more information, see parts 2 and 4 of the TSD prepared in conjunction with this action.

    F. What is a conditional approval?

    Under section 110(k)(4) of the Act the Administrator may approve a plan revision based on a commitment of the State to adopt specific enforceable measures by a date certain, but not later than 1 year after the date of approval of the plan revision. Any such conditional approval shall be treated as a disapproval, if the State fails to comply with such commitment. If the State does not meet its commitment within the specified time period by 1) not adopting and submitting measures by the date it committed to, 2) not submitting anything, or 3) EPA finding the submittal incomplete, the approval will be converted to a disapproval. The Regional Administrator would send a letter to the State finding that it did not meet its commitment or that the submittal is incomplete and that the SIP submittal was therefore disapproved. The 18-month clock for sanctions and the two-year clock for a Federal Implementation Plan would start as of the date of the letter. Subsequently, a notice to that effect would be published in the Federal Register, and appropriate language inserted in the CFR.

    III. Proposed Action

    We are proposing to conditionally approve revisions to the Texas SIP addressing NOX RACT for the Martin Marietta (formerly, Texas Industries, Inc., or TXI) cement manufacturing plant in Ellis County. We are proposing to approve revisions to the Texas SIP addressing NOX RACT for all other affected sources in the ten County DFW 2008 8-Hour ozone nonattainment area. We are also proposing to approve NOX RACT negative declarations for the DFW area under the 2008 8-Hour ozone NAAQS.

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

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

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA because this action does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities beyond those imposed by state law.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, will result from this action.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175, because the SIP 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, and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law.

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

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 11, 2017. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15165 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0740; FRL-9965-07-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions; Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from organic chemical manufacturing operations. We are proposing to approve a local rule and a rule rescission to regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act). We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0740 at https://www.regulations.gov, or via email to Andrew Steckel, Rulemaking Office Chief at [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be removed or edited from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Arnold Lazarus, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3024, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of these rules? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule and rule rescission? II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rule and rule rescission? B. Do the rule and rule rescission meet the evaluation criteria? C. Public Comment and Proposed Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit?

    Table 1 lists the rules addressed by this action with the dates that they were amended or repealed by the local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

    Table 1—Submitted Rules Local agency Rule No. Rule title Amended Repealed Submitted SMAQMD 455 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing 4/28/16 8/22/16 SMAQMD 464 Organic Chemical Manufacturing Operations 4/28/16 8/22/16

    On September 27, 2016, the EPA determined that the submittal for SMAQMD Rule 455 and Rule 464 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal review by the EPA.

    B. Are there other versions of these rules?

    We approved an earlier version of SMAQMD Rule 464 into the SIP on October 3, 2011 (76 FR 61057), and we approved SMAQMD Rule 455 into the SIP on January 24, 1985 (50 FR 3338).1

    1 EPA's approval of Rule 455 refers to the Sacramento County Air Pollution Control District, which was then the name of the regulatory authority for air pollution in the Sacramento area.

    C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule and rule rescission?

    VOCs help produce ground-level ozone, also known as “smog,” and particulate matter (PM), which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit regulations that control VOC emissions. SMAQMD Rule 455, “Pharmaceutical Manufacturing,” was approved into the SIP on January 24, 1985 (50 FR 3338). EPA re-evaluated Rule 455 as part of our review of the SMAQMD's 2006 Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) SIP, and concluded that Rule 455 did not meet the requirements of Federal CAA section 110(a)(2) because it lacked test methods, recordkeeping, and monitoring requirements that are necessary to ensure that the rule is enforceable. 81 FR 53280, 53281 (August 12, 2016). The SMAQMD subsequently repealed Rule 455 and simultaneously amended Rule 464 to include pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacture. Rule 464 limits VOC emissions from organic chemical plants and pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturing; its controls for pharmaceutical manufacturing replace Rule 455. The EPA's technical support documents (TSDs) have more information about these rules.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rule and rule rescission?

    SIP rules must be enforceable (see CAA section 110(a)(2)), must not interfere with applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or other CAA requirements (see CAA section 110(l)), and must not modify certain SIP control requirements in nonattainment areas without ensuring equivalent or greater emissions reductions (see CAA section 193).

    Generally, SIP rules in ozone nonattainment areas classified as moderate or above must require RACT for each category of sources covered by a control techniques guidelines (CTG) document as well as each major source of VOCs (see CAA sections 182(b)(2)). The SMAQMD regulates an ozone nonattainment area classified as severe nonattainment for the 1997 and the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) (40 CFR 81.305). Therefore, Rule 464 must implement RACT.

    Guidance and policy documents that we use to evaluate enforceability, revision/relaxation and rule stringency requirements for the applicable criteria pollutants include the following:

    1. “State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,” 57 FR 13498 (April 16, 1992); 57 FR 18070 (April 28, 1992).

    2. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations,” U.S. EPA, May 25, 1988; revised January 11, 1990 (“The Bluebook”).

    3. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies,” EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001 (“The Little Bluebook”).

    4. “Control of Volatile Organic Emissions from Manufacture of Synthesized Pharmaceutical Products,” EPA-450/2-78-029, December 1978.

    5. “Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Reactor Processes and Distillation Operations Processes in the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry,” EPA-450/4-91-031, August 1993.

    B. Do the rule and rule rescission meet the evaluation criteria?

    We believe this rule and rule rescission are consistent with CAA requirements and relevant guidance regarding enforceability, RACT, and SIP revisions. The TSDs have more information on our evaluation.

    The EPA partially approved and partially disapproved the RACT SIP revisions submitted by California on July 11, 2007 and January 21, 2009 for the SMAQMD severe ozone nonattainment area,2 based in part on our conclusion that the state had not fully satisfied CAA section 182 RACT requirements for the pharmaceuticals manufacturing CTG category and for the municipal waste landfill category. We are separately but contemporaneously proposing approval of submitted portions of SMAQMD Permits 24360 and 24361 for the Kiefer Landfill, which are intended to address the deficiencies identified in our 2016 partial disapproval of the SMAQMD's RACT SIP regarding the municipal waste landfill category.3 Final approval of Rule 464 and the submitted portions of the Kiefer Landfill permits would satisfy California's obligation to implement RACT under CAA section 182 for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and thereby terminate both the sanctions clocks and the Federal Implementation Plan clock associated with our August 12, 2016 final action.

    2 See, 81 FR 53280 (August 12, 2016).

    3 We are submitting these two proposed actions together for publication, and expect the Federal Register notices to publish around the same time.

    C. Public Comment and Proposed Action

    As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA proposes to fully approve the submitted rule and rule rescission because we believe they fulfill all relevant requirements. We will accept comments from the public on this proposal until August 18, 2017. If we take final action to approve the submitted rule and rule rescission, our final action will incorporate these rules into the federally enforceable SIP.

    III. 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 SMAQMD rules described in Table 1 of this preamble. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials available through https://www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region IX Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this proposed action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

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

    • Does not provide the EPA with the discretionary authority to address disproportionate human health or environmental effects with practical, appropriate, and legally permissible methods under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15050 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0196; FRL-9965-06-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a revision to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). This revision concerns emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from landfill gas flaring at the Kiefer Landfill in Sacramento, California. We are proposing to approve portions of two SMAQMD operating permits that limit VOC emissions from this facility under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act). We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2017-0196 at https://www.regulations.gov, or via email to Andrew Steckel, Rulemaking Office Chief at [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be removed or edited from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI, or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stanley Tong, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4122, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What documents did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of these documents? C. What is the purpose of the submitted documents? II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the submitted documents? B. Do the submitted documents meet the evaluation criteria? C. Public Comment and Proposed Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What documents did the State submit?

    On January 24, 2017, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) submitted portions of SMAQMD Permits to Operate for the Kiefer Landfill. Specifically, CARB submitted permit conditions 2, 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 37, 39 and 40 (or portions thereof) and Attachment A from SMAQMD Permits 24360 and 24361. SMAQMD adopted these portions of Permits 24360 and 24361 for inclusion in the California SIP on July 28, 2016. Please see the docket for a copy of the complete submitted documents.

    On April 17, 2017, the EPA determined that the submittals for SMAQMD met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review.

    B. Are there other versions of these documents?

    There are no previous versions of SMAQMD Permits 24360 or 24361 regulating VOC emissions from the Kiefer Landfill in the SIP. However, the SMAQMD adopted and submitted Permit No. 17359 for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from the Kiefer Landfill gas flare on October 26, 2006, and we approved it into the SIP on April 12, 2011 (76 FR 20242).

    C. What is the purpose of the submitted documents?

    VOCs help produce ground-level ozone, smog and particulate matter, which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit regulations that control VOC emissions. Additionally, section 182(b)(2)(C) of the Act requires states to submit SIP provisions requiring the implementation of Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for any major stationary source 1 of VOC located in an area classified as moderate nonattainment or above. The Sacramento Metro Area is classified as a severe-15 nonattainment area for the 1997 and 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS),2 and the Kiefer Landfill, which is operated by the County of Sacramento's Department of Waste Management and Recycling, is a major stationary source of VOC. The SMAQMD is therefore required to implement RACT at the facility under section 182(b)(2).

    1 In severe ozone nonattainment areas, “major stationary source” includes any stationary source that emits or has a potential to emit at least 25 tons per year of VOCs. See CAA section 182(d).

    2 40 CFR 81.305; 75 FR 24409 (May 5, 2010), 77 FR 30088 (May 21, 2012).

    On August 12, 2016, the EPA partially approved and partially disapproved the SMAQMD's SIP revision to address RACT requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, based in part on our conclusion that the submittal did not satisfy the CAA section 182 requirements for the Kiefer Landfill. See 81 FR 53280. Our final action stated that sanctions would be imposed under CAA section 179 and 40 CFR 52.31 unless the EPA approved SIP revisions correcting these deficiencies within 18 months of the effective date of our final rulemaking action.

    The SMAQMD adopted the submitted portions of Permits 24360 and 24361 to address the VOC RACT deficiencies identified by the EPA for the Kiefer Landfill. The submitted portions relate to the control of VOC emissions from gas flares at the Kiefer Landfill (Permit 24360 applies to flare No. 1; and Permit 24361 applies to flare No. 2). They contain emission limits, equipment operational requirements, reporting and recordkeeping requirements, monitoring and testing requirements, and a stipulation that for federal enforcement purposes, the RACT provisions in the permits remain in effect as part of the SIP until replaced pursuant to 40 CFR part 51 and approved by the EPA.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the submitted documents?

    SIP provisions must be enforceable (see CAA section 110(a)(2)), must not interfere with applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or other CAA requirements (see CAA section 110(l)), and must not modify certain SIP control requirements in nonattainment areas without ensuring equivalent or greater emissions reductions (see CAA section 193).

    Generally, the SIP must require RACT for each category of sources covered by a control techniques guidelines (CTG) document as well as each major source of VOCs or NOX in ozone nonattainment areas classified as moderate or above (see CAA section 182(b)(2)). The Kiefer Landfill is a major source of VOCs in an ozone nonattainment area, so the SIP must implement RACT for this facility.

    Guidance and policy documents that we use to evaluate enforceability, revision/relaxation and rule stringency requirements for the applicable criteria pollutants include the following:

    1. “State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,” 57 FR 13498 (April 16, 1992); 57 FR 18070 (April 28, 1992).

    2. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations,” EPA, May 25, 1988; revised January 11, 1990 (“The Bluebook”).

    3. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies,” EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001 (“The Little Bluebook”).

    4. “Final Rule to Implement the 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard—Phase 2,” 70 FR 71612 (November 29, 2005).

    5. Memorandum from William T. Harnett to Regional Air Division Directors, “RACT Qs & As—Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT); Questions and Answers” (May 18, 2006).

    B. Do the submitted documents meet the evaluation criteria?

    We are proposing to approve the submitted portions of SMAQMD Permits 24360 and 24361 into the SMAQMD portion of the California SIP because they satisfy the applicable CAA requirements for approval. Specifically, for SMAQMD Permit 24360, we propose to approve permit conditions 2, 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 37, 39 and 40 (or portions thereof), and Attachment A, which together establish an enforceable VOC limitation satisfying RACT for landfill gas flare No. 1 at the Kiefer Landfill. Similarly, for SMAQMD Permit 24361, we are proposing to approve into the SMAQMD portion of the California SIP, permit conditions 2, 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 37, 39 and 40 (or portions thereof) and Attachment A, which together establish an enforceable VOC limitation satisfying RACT for landfill gas flare No. 2 at the Kiefer Landfill.

    The VOC limitations contained in these permits are consistent with the limitations contained in other California air district rules for similar facilities. For example, permit condition 8 for landfill flares No. 1 and No. 2 specifies a VOC destruction efficiency of 98% or 20 parts per million by volume, dry, at 3% Oxygen, measured as hexane. South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1150.1, “Control of Gaseous Emissions from Municipal Solid Waste Landfills” (April 1, 2011), and Bay Area Air Quality Management District Rule 8-34, “Solid Waste Disposal Sites” (June 15, 2005), apply this same limit. Other California air district rules such as Yolo Solano Air Quality Management District Rule 2-38, “Standards for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills” (March 12, 1997) and San Diego Air Pollution Control District Rule 59.1, “Municipal Solid Waste Landfills” (June 17, 1998) reference 40 CFR part 60, subpart WWW, “Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills,” for applicable requirements, which includes these same limits. The operational standards for the landfill flares are thus also consistent with the landfill flare standards in 40 CFR part 60, subpart WWW, and are also consistent with 40 CFR part 63, subpart AAAA, “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, Municipal Solid Waste Landfills.” Because the applicable SIP currently does not contain VOC limitations for the Kiefer Landfill gas flares, the approval of these permit conditions strengthens the SIP. In sum, the submitted permit conditions satisfy the applicable requirements and guidance regarding enforceability, RACT, and SIP relaxations and may, therefore, be approved into the California SIP.

    As stated earlier, on August 12, 2016 (81 FR 53280), the EPA partially approved and partially disapproved the SMAQMD's RACT SIP revisions submitted by California on July 11, 2007 and January 21, 2009, based in part on our conclusion that the state had not fully satisfied CAA section 182 RACT requirements for the pharmaceuticals manufacturing CTG category and for the Kiefer Landfill. We are separately but contemporaneously proposing approval of a SIP revision intended to address the deficiencies identified in our 2016 partial disapproval of the SMAQMD's RACT SIP regarding the pharmaceuticals manufacturing CTG category.3 Final approval of the submitted portions of SMAQMD Permits 24360 and 24361, and SMAQMD Rule 464, Organic Chemical Manufacturing Operations, would satisfy California's obligation to implement RACT under CAA section 182 for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and thereby terminate both the offset sanctions clock and the Federal Implementation Plan clock associated with our August 12, 2016 final action.

    3 We are submitting these two proposed actions together for publication, and expect the Federal Register notices to publish around the same time.

    Please see the docket for a copy of the complete submitted documents.

    C. Public Comment and Proposed Action

    As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA proposes to fully approve the specific permit conditions of SMAQMD Permits 24360 and 24361 as submitted by CARB on January 24, 2017, because we believe they fulfill all relevant requirements. We will accept comments from the public on this proposal until August 18, 2017. If we take final action to approve the submitted documents, our final action will incorporate these documents into the federally enforceable SIP.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rulemaking, 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 SMAQMD permits described in Section I.A of this preamble. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials available through https://www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region IX Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this proposed action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

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

    • Does not provide the EPA with the discretionary authority to address disproportionate human health or environmental effects with practical, appropriate, and legally permissible methods under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 29, 2017. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15052 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BB64 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on the Proposed Threatened Status for Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina (San Fernando Valley Spineflower) AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of the comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 6-month extension of the final determination of whether to list the Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina (San Fernando Valley spineflower), a plant species from southern California, as a threatened species. Along with this announcement to extend the final determination, we are also reopening the comment period on the proposed rule to list the species, for an additional 30 days. We are taking this action to extend the final determination based on substantial disagreement regarding the potential impact of Argentine ant invasion on the pollination ecology of C. parryi var. fernandina and scientific uncertainty related to establishment of C. parryi var. fernandina using introduction of seed into suitable, unoccupied areas. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they are already incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in the final rule. We will submit a final listing determination to the Federal Register on or before March 15, 2018.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the proposed rule that published September 15, 2016, at 81 FR 63454 is reopened. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before August 18, 2017. If you comment using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES), you must submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the docket number for this proposed rule, which is FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078. Then click on the Search button. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!” Please ensure that you have found the correct rulemaking before submitting your comment.

    (2) U.S. mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephen P. Henry, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, 2493 Portola Road, Ventura, CA 93003; telephone 805-644-5763; facsimile 805-644-3958. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On September 15, 2016, we published a proposed rule (81 FR 63454) to list Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). That proposal had a 60-day comment period, ending November 14, 2016. For a description of previous Federal actions concerning C. parryi var. fernandina, please refer to the September 15, 2016, proposed listing rule (81 FR 63454). We also solicited and received independent scientific review of the information contained in the proposed rule from peer reviewers with expertise in C. parryi var. fernandina or similar species ecology and identified threats to the species, in accordance with our July 1, 1994, peer review policy (59 FR 34270).

    Section 4(b)(6) of the Act and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.17(a) require that we take one of three actions within 1 year of a proposed listing: (1) Finalize the proposed rule; (2) withdraw the proposed rule; or (3) extend the final determination by not more than 6 months, if there is substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the determination.

    Since the publication of the September 15, 2016, proposed listing rule (81 FR 63454), there has been substantial disagreement among peer reviewers regarding the potential impact of the invasion of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) on the pollination ecology of C. parryi var. fernandina, and there is scientific uncertainty related to establishment of C. parryi var. fernandina using introduction of seed into suitable, unoccupied areas.

    We find that there is substantial scientific uncertainty and disagreement about certain data relevant to our listing determination. Therefore, in consideration of these disagreements, we have determined that a 6-month extension of the final determination for this rulemaking is necessary, and we are hereby extending the final determination for 6 months in order to solicit and consider additional information that will help to clarify these issues and to fully analyze data that are relevant to our final listing determination. With this 6-month extension, we will make a final determination on the proposed rule no later than March 15, 2018.

    Information Requested

    We will accept written comments and information during this reopened comment period on our proposed listing for Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina that was published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2016 (81 FR 63454). We will consider information and recommendations from all interested parties. We intend that any final action resulting from the proposal be as accurate as possible and based on the best available scientific and commercial data.

    In consideration of the scientific disagreements about certain data, we are particularly interested in new information and comments regarding:

    (1) How Argentine ant invasion may affect the pollination ecology of C. parryi var. fernandina; and

    (2) The efficacy of seed introduction for long-term establishment into suitable, unoccupied habitat of Chorizanthe or related taxa.

    If you previously submitted comments or information on the September 15, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 63454), please do not resubmit them. We have incorporated previously submitted comments into the public record, and we will fully consider them in the preparation of our final determination. Our final determination concerning the proposed listing will take into consideration all written comments and any additional information we receive.

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning the proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing the proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may obtain copies of the proposed rule at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2016-0078. Copies of the proposed rule are also available at http://www.fws.gov/cno/es//.

    Authority

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

    Dated: June 23, 2017. Gregory Sheehan, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15126 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 150309236-7563-01] RIN 0648-BE65 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Omnibus Acceptable Biological Catch Framework Adjustment AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes regulations to implement an Omnibus Framework Adjustment to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council acceptable biological catch setting process. This proposed rule is necessary to provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the measures recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Council to the National Marine Fisheries Service for implementation. The intended effect of these measures would help bring stability to quotas while accounting for year-to-year changes in stock size projections, and allow the Mid-Atlantic Council's Fishery Management Plans to automatically incorporate the best available scientific information when calculating acceptable biological catches. This action also proposes to revise regulatory language to clarify the Mid-Atlantic Council's acceptable biological catch control rule assessment level designations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2017-0056, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0056, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to John Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.

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

    Copies of the Environmental Assessment and other supporting documents are available from Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 N. State Street, Dover, DE 19901. The draft Omnibus Framework Adjustment, as submitted by the Council, is also available via the internet at http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reid Lichwell, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9112.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) is required to set annual catch limits (ACLs) that do not exceed the acceptable biological catch (ABC) recommendation of its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) to prevent overfishing. ABCs represent an upper limit for the Council to use when setting catch and landing limits. The 2011 ACL Omnibus Amendment implementing rule (76 FR 60606; September 29, 2011), enacted the Council's risk policy that provides guidance to the SSC on how much overfishing risk the Council will accept when the SSC develops ABC recommendations. The policy also outlines risk tolerance for ensuring stocks under rebuilding plans achieve fishing mortality objectives.

    The Council's risk policy for setting ABCs states that for a typical species whose stock size is equal to or greater than a biomass target associated with maximum sustainable yield (BMSY), the acceptable probability of overfishing is 40 percent, i.e., if the fishery catches the ABC then there is a 60-percent probability of not overfishing. If a species is deemed to have an atypical life history, the Council requires at least a 35-percent probability of overfishing (i.e., a 65-percent chance of not overfishing), to create a larger buffer when biomass is at or above BMSY. The SSC determines whether a stock is typical or atypical each time an ABC is recommended. When an overfishing probability is available and considered reliable by the SSC, the applicable tolerance for overfishing risk, as informed by the Council's risk policy, would be selected to derive the ABC recommendation.

    For both typical and atypical species, the Council has specified that as stock size biomass or (B) falls below the target (BMSY), then the probability of overfishing decreases, until the probability of overfishing hits zero when the stock is at 10 percent of the target (BMSY). For a stock under a rebuilding plan, the probability of not exceeding the fishing mortality rate (F) within the specified timeframe must be at least 50 percent, unless this probability threshold is modified through a stock rebuilding plan.

    The fishery management plans (FMPs) managed by the Council all have provisions for setting specifications for multiple years (five years for dogfish and three years for all other species). Moving to multi-year specifications has not provided the anticipated stability to quotas over a multi-year period. This is because target fishing mortality rates are applied to stock size projections that tend to change from year-to-year, creating varying ABCs within multi-year quotas. The change to constant multi-year ABCs would help bring stability to quotas while accounting for year-to-year changes in stock size projections and prevent overfishing.

    Proposed Measures Overfishing Probability Averaging

    The proposed action would, when assessment fishing mortality reference points are accepted by the SSC, average the probability of overfishing (or achieving the target fishing mortality for rebuilding stocks) consistent with the existing risk policy requirements. The constant, multi-year ABCs that would result must continue to meet the Council's risk policy goals, with the probability of overfishing not to exceed 50 percent in any given year. For stocks in a rebuilding plan, the probability of achieving the rebuilding fishery mortality must meet the risk policy objectives when constant, multi-year ABCs are recommended by the SSC.

    Under the proposed measures, averaged ABCs could be set at a constant level for up to five years for spiny dogfish and up to three years for all other species managed by the Council. As an example, if the application of the risk policy would result in a 40-percent probability of overfishing in any given year of setting annual quotas, the average probability of overfishing resulting from constant multi-year ABCs cannot exceed 40 percent. For any 3-year period, an average ABC would result in slightly less chance of overfishing in some years and slightly more of a chance of overfishing in other years compared to non-averaged ABCs based on year-to-year projections, but could not, as outlined in the example, exceed 40 percent in any given year. This would result in a minimal difference of overfishing likelihood between the yearly ABCs versus a constant ABC over a 3-year period. As previously noted, the probability of overfishing could not exceed 50 percent in any given individual year of constant multi-year ABCs.

    The SSC may provide both a standard 3-year recommendation as well as a constant 3-year recommendation based on the average overfishing probability approach for the Council to consider. The SSC would continue to review fishery performance each year during multi-year specifications, regardless of which multi-year approach is used to determine ABCs. The multi-year averaging of ABCs would not apply to stocks that do not have a quantitative assessment to derive ABCs and could not be used for stocks with an assessment that cannot provide information on the risk of overfishing.

    ABC Control Rule Assessment Level Designations

    The proposed action would revise some of the regulatory language describing the Council's ABC control rule assessment level designations. These revisions were recommended by the Council to clarify the operation of the Council's ABC control rules, these revisions are merely clarifications and do not create any regulatory changes in practice.

    Notice of Approved Biological Status Criteria

    We are also providing notice of the administrative process the Council will use for incorporating the best scientific information available in the development of ABCs for the Atlantic Bluefish, Golden Tilefish, and Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMPs. The best available science requirements have dictated that accepted assessment information be utilized by the SSC in setting quotas under National Standard 2. The Council's SSC will utilize peer-reviewed biological reference points (overfishing level, biomass thresholds, etc.) and periodic updates to stock status determination criteria (i.e., biomass and fishing mortality reference points) to define ABCs, consistent with the Council's other FMPs and National Standards 1 and 2 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This change in Council operations would improve management efficiency by automatically incorporating new peer-reviewed status determination criteria instead of requiring a separate management action to adopt them within these three FMPs. Because best available science requirements have dictated that accepted assessment information be utilized by the SSC in recommending ABCs, this proposed measure would serve to clarify and simplify the administrative procedures for doing so. This same process has already been identified by the Council for their other FMPs.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has made a preliminary determination that this proposed rule is consistent with all the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's FMPs, provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Small Business Administration defines a small business in the shellfish, finfish or other marine fishing sectors as a firm that is independently owned and operated with receipts of less than $11 million annually (see NMFS final rule revising the small business standard for commercial fishing, 80 FR 81194, December 29, 2015). The measures proposed in this action apply to the vessels that hold permits for Council-managed fisheries because all species have ABCs set by the SSC. According to permit data at the end of 2014, there were 4,712 vessels with at least one active Northeast Federal fishing permit, either commercial or party/charter (some vessels have both commercial and party/charter permits and most vessels have more than one permit).

    This proposed action would make it consistent with the Council's risk policy for the SSC to specify constant multi-year ABCs for all the Council's FMPs, provided the average of each year's probability of overfishing adhere to the appropriate overfishing probability goal. This change would help bring stability to fishing quotas while accounting for year-to-year changes in stock size projections and prevent overfishing. Given the inherent uncertainty involved in assessments, the differences are not expected to be meaningful from a biological perspective.

    In addition, the proposed action would add regulatory language clarifying the assessment level designations for the Council's ABC control rule. These changes to the regulations were recommended by the Council to merely clarify the ABC control rule and do not change its function or operation.

    This action also provides notice that the Atlantic Bluefish, Golden Tilefish, and Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMPs will automatically incorporate the best available scientific information in calculating ABCs. This means the SSC would utilize peer-reviewed biological reference points (overfishing level, biomass thresholds, etc.) and periodic updates to stock status determination criteria (i.e., biomass and fishing mortality reference points) to define ABCs, consistent with the Council's other FMPs and National Standards 1 and 2 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Since best available science requirements have dictated that accepted assessment information be utilized by the SSC in setting quotas, this measure would serve to clarify and simplify the administrative procedures for doing so.

    These measures are administrative and pertain to how the Council establishes catch limits. There is no reason to believe small entities will be negatively affected by the proposed action given the administrative nature of the changes. The resulting actions to set catch using these new procedures may have an indirect effect on small entities; however, catch setting will occur in separate subsequent actions that will include, as needed, analyses under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and Reporting requirements.

    Dated: July 12, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 CFR 648 as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. Section 648.20 is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.20 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) control rules.

    The SSC shall review the following criteria, and any additional relevant information, to assign managed stocks to one of four types of control rules based on the species' assessments and its treatment of uncertainty when developing ABC recommendations. The SSC shall review the ABC control rule assignment for stocks each time an ABC is recommended. ABCs may be recommended for up to 3 years for all stocks, with the exception of 5 years for spiny dogfish. The SCC may specify constant, multi-year ABCs, derived from the average of ABCs (or average risk of overfishing) if the average probability of overfishing remains between zero and 40 percent, and does not exceed a 50-percent probability in any given year. The average ABCs may remain constant for up to 3 years for all stocks, with the exception of 5 years for spiny dogfish. The SSC may deviate from the control rule methods and recommend an ABC that differs from the result of the ABC control rule application; however, any such deviation must include the following: A description of why the deviation is warranted; description of the methods used to derive the alternative ABC; and an explanation of how the deviation is consistent with National Standard 2. The four types of ABC control rules are described below.

    (a) ABC control rule for a stock with an OFL probability distribution that is analytically-derived and accepted by the SSC.

    (1) The SSC determines that the assessment OFL and the assessment's treatment of uncertainty are acceptable, based on the following:

    (i) All important sources of scientific uncertainty are captured in the stock assessment model;

    (ii) The probability distribution of the OFL is calculated within the stock assessment and adequately describes the OFL uncertainty;

    (iii) The stock assessment model structure and treatment of the data prior to use in the model includes relevant details of the biology of the stock, fisheries that exploit the stock, and data collection methods;

    (iv) The stock assessment provides the following estimates: Fishing mortality rate (F) at MSY or an acceptable proxy maximum fishing mortality threshold (MFMT) to define OFL, biomass, biological reference points, stock status, OFL, and the respective uncertainties associated with each value; and

    (v) No substantial retrospective patterns exist in the stock assessment estimates of fishing mortality, biomass, and recruitment.

    (2) An ABC for stocks with an accepted OFL probability distribution that is analytically-derived will be determined by applying the acceptable probability of overfishing from the MAFMC's risk policy found in § 648.21(a) through (d) to the probability distribution of the OFL.

    (b) ABC control rule for a stock with an OFL probability distribution that is modified by the assessment team and accepted by the SSC.

    (1) The SSC determines the assessment OFL is acceptable and the SSC accepts the assessment team's modifications to the analytically-derived OFL probability distribution, based on the following:

    (i) Key features of the stock biology, the fisheries that exploit it, and/or the data collection methods for stock information are missing from, or poorly estimated in, the stock assessment;

    (ii) The stock assessment provides reference points (which may be proxies), stock status, and uncertainties associated with each; however, the uncertainty is not fully promulgated through the stock assessment model and/or some important sources of uncertainty may be lacking;

    (iii) The stock assessment provides estimates of the precision of biomass, fishing mortality, and reference points;

    (iv) The accuracy of the minimum fishing mortality threshold and projected future biomass is estimated in the stock assessment using ad hoc methods; and

    (v) The modified OFL probability distribution provided by the assessment team acceptably addresses the uncertainty of the assessment.

    (2) An ABC for stocks with an OFL probability distribution that is modified by the assessment team and accepted by the SSC will be determined by applying the acceptable probability of overfishing from the MAFMC's risk policy found in § 648.21(a) through (d) to the probability distribution of the OFL as modified by the assessment team.

    (c) ABC control rule for a stock with an OFL probability distribution that is modified by the SSC.

    (1) The SSC determines the assessment OFL is acceptable but the SSC derives the appropriate uncertainty for OFL based on meta-analysis and other considerations. This requires the SSC to determine that the stock assessment does not contain an estimated probability distribution of OFL or the OFL probability distribution in the stock assessment is judged by the SSC to not adequately reflect uncertainty in the OFL estimate.

    (2) An ABC for stocks with an OFL probability distribution that is modified by the SSC will be determined by either (i) applying the acceptable probability of overfishing from the MAFMC's risk policy found in § 648.21(a) through (d) to the SSC-adjusted OFL probability distribution. The SSC will use default assignments of uncertainty in the adjusted OFL probability distribution based on literature review and evaluation of control rule performance; or,

    (ii) If the SSC cannot develop an OFL probability distribution, a default control rule of 75 percent of the FMSY value will be applied to derive ABC.

    (d) ABC control rule for when an OFL cannot be specified.

    (1) The SSC determines that the OFL cannot be specified given the available information.

    (2) An ABC for stocks with an OFL that cannot be specified will be determined by using control rules based on biomass and catch history and application of the MAFMC's risk policy found in § 648.21(a) through (d).

    [FR Doc. 2017-15073 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 137 Wednesday, July 19, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Doc. No. AMS-LPS-17-0030] Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of the currently approved information collection used to compile and generate the Federally Inspected Estimated Daily Slaughter Report (OMB 0581-0050).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by September 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments may also be submitted to Sam Jones-Ellard, Assistant to the Director, Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; Room 2619-S; Stop 0252; 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0252. All comments should reference docket number AMS-LPS-17-0030, the date of submission, and the page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments received will be posted without change, including any personal information provided, and will be made available for public inspection at the above physical address during regular business hours.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sam Jones-Ellard, Assistant to the Director, Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News Division, AMS, USDA, by telephone at (202) 720-6231, or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Plan for Estimating Daily Livestock Slaughter Under Federal Inspection.

    OMB Number: 0581-0050.

    Expiration Date of Approval: 01-31-2018.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627) section 203(g) directs and authorizes the collection and dissemination of marketing information including adequate outlook information, on a market area basis, for the purpose of anticipating and meeting consumer requirements, aiding in the maintenance of farm income, and to bring about a balance between production and utilization.

    The USDA issues a Market News report estimating daily livestock slaughter under Federal inspection. This report is compiled by AMS on a voluntary basis in cooperation with the livestock and meat industry. Market News reporting must be timely, accurate, and continuous if it is to be useful to producers, processors, and the trade in general. The daily livestock slaughter estimates are provided at the request of industry and are used to make production and marketing decisions.

    The Estimated Daily Livestock Slaughter Under Federal Inspection Report is used by a wide range of industry contacts, including packers, processors, producers, brokers, and retailers of meat and meat products. The livestock and meat industry requested that USDA issue slaughter estimates (daily and weekly), by species, for cattle, calves, hogs, and sheep to assist them in making immediate production and marketing decisions and as a guide to the volume of meat in the marketing channel. The information requested from respondents includes their estimation of the current day's slaughter at their plant(s) and the actual slaughter for the previous day. Also, the Government is a large purchaser of meat and related products and this report assists other Government agencies in providing timely information on the quantity of meat entering the processing channels.

    The information must be collected, compiled, and disseminated by an impartial third-party, in a manner which protects the confidentiality of the reporting entity. AMS is in the best position to provide this service.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average .0333 hours per response.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities, individuals or households, farms, and the Federal Government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 58 respondents.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 260 responses per respondent.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 15,080 responses.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 502 hours.

    Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of AMS, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of AMS estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 14, 2017. Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15129 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency Information Collection Request; Certified State Mediation Program AGENCY:

    Farm Service Agency, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Burden Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations for a revision with an extension of a currently approved Information Collection Request that supports the Certified State Mediation Program. The information collection is necessary to ensure that the grant program is administered properly. The collection of information is used to determine whether participants meet the eligibility requirements to be a recipient of grant funds. Lack of adequate information to make the determination could result in the improper administration of Federal grant funds.

    DATES:

    We will consider comments we receive by September 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    We invite you to submit comments on this notice. In your comment, include volume, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail, hand delivery, or courier: Tracy Jones, Agricultural Loan and Grants Program Specialist, USDA, FSA, Stop 0521, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.

    You may also send comments to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503. Copies of the information collection may be requested by contacting Tracy Jones at the above address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, Tracy Jones (202) 720-6771.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Certified State Mediation Program (7 CFR 785).

    OMB Control Number: 0560-0165.

    Expiration Date of Approval: December 31, 2017.

    Type of Request: Revision and extension.

    Abstract: FSA administers the Certified State Mediation Program (Program) according to Subtitles A and B of Title V of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (7 U.S.C. 5106).

    To effectively administer the Program, FSA requires an application for recertification, which includes submission of a letter from the State, a letter from the grantee, SF-424, SF-424A, SF-424B, and SF-425. Approved grantees provide a mid-year report as well as an annual report that includes information on mediation services provided during the preceding Federal fiscal year, assessment of the performance and effectiveness of the State's Program, and any other matters related to the Program as the State elects to include. In addition, approved grantees complete SF-270 to request either advance funding or reimbursement of expenses already paid. The information requested is necessary for FSA to determine the grantee's eligibility and administer the Program effectively.

    The number of state-certified mediation programs has increased over the past several years. The increase in burden hours reflects this change.

    For the following estimated total annual burden on respondents, the formula used to calculate the total burden hours is the estimated average time per response multiplied by the estimated total annual responses.

    Estimate of Average Time To Respond: Public reporting burden for collecting information under this notice is estimated to average 2.08 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collections of information.

    Type of Respondents: State.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 164.

    Estimated Average Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.50.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 246.

    Estimated Average Time per Response: 2.083.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 512.5 hours.

    We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information collection to help FSA:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden of the collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Evaluate the quality, ability and clarity of the information technology; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who respond through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses when provided, will be made a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the submission for Office of Management and Budget approval.

    Chris P. Beyerhelm, Acting Administrator, Farm Service Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15066 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Deschutes National Forest; Deschutes and Klamath Counties, Oregon; Ringo Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Forest Plan Amendment AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice to extend the public comment period for the Ringo Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed Forest Plan amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Deschutes National Forest is issuing this notice to advise the public of a 45-day extension to the public comment period on the project-specific Forest Plan amendment proposed in the Ringo Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). This extended 45-day comment period is for the amendment, which includes the substantive provisions and relevant analysis.

    DATES:

    The comment period ends September 5, 2017. All relevant comments received during the extended public comment period related to the proposed amendment, including the substantive provisions, will be considered in the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted by any one of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Comments can be filed electronically at: [email protected] Electronic comments must be submitted as part of the email message or as an attachment in plain text (.txt), Microsoft Word (.doc), rich text format (.rtf), or portable document format (.pdf). Emails submitted to addresses other than the one listed above, or in formats other than those listed or containing viruses, will be rejected.

    Mail: Written, specific comments must be submitted to Daniel Rife, District Ranger, Crescent Ranger District, at P.O. Box 208, (136471 Hwy. 97 N.) Crescent, Oregon 97733, or FAX at (541) 433-3224.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period may not be considered by the forest. All comments received are part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible.

    This opportunity for comment applies only to the analysis associated with the proposed Forest Plan Amendment. Previously submitted comments will be considered and should not be resubmitted. Previous commenters will have eligibility to object under 26 CFR 218.5.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Bowles, Project Team Leader, Crescent Ranger District, Deschutes National Forest, (541) 433-3200, or via email at [email protected] Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Electronic copies of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement may be found on the Forest Service Web site at http://data.ecosystem-management.org/nepaweb/nepa_project_exp.php?project=46900.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The original Notice of Availability published in the Federal Register on March 17, 2017 (82 FR 14217). The 2012 Planning Rule, as amended, requires identification in the initial notice of the amendment of the substantive provisions that are likely to be directly related to the amendment. The Notice of Intent (NOI) did not identify the substantive provisions, and the analysis in the DEIS did not identify nor address the substantive provisions.

    As identified in the DEIS, the Ringo Project would be exempt from the following Standard and Guideline of the 1990 Deschutes Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP):

    Scenic Views, Foreground (M9-90; LRMP p. 4-131), “Low intensity prescribed fires will be used to meet and promote the Desired Visual Condition within each stand type. Prescribed fire and other fuel management techniques will be used to minimize the hazard of large high intensity fire. In foreground areas, prescribed fires will be small, normally less than 5 acres and shaped to appear as natural occurrences. . . .” In the Ringo DEIS planning area several of these areas are along major access routes in fire-adapted ponderosa pine and mixed conifer. This site-specific Forest Plan Amendment will modify 242 acres of the Scenic Views, Foreground Standards and Guidelines (M9-90 in Scenic Views, LRMP 4-121) to allow an increase in the size of prescribed burn units while utilizing underburning to mimic natural process and creating a mosaic pattern of burning on the landscape.

    Substantive provisions of 36 CFR 219.8 through 219.11 that apply to the proposed amendment for Ringo DEIS Purpose and Need are:

    219.8(a)(1)(v) Wildland fire and opportunities to restore fire adapted ecosystems.

    The following two provisions would be applicable to the effects from implementing this Forest Plan Amendment.

    219.10(a)(1) Aesthetic values, air quality, cultural and heritage resources, ecosystem services, fish and wildlife species, forage, geologic features, grazing and rangelands, habitat and habitat connectivity, recreation settings and opportunities, riparian areas, scenery, soil, surface and subsurface water quality, timber, trails, vegetation, viewsheds, wilderness, and other relevant resources and uses.

    219.10(a)(7) Reasonably foreseeable risks to ecological, social, and economic sustainability.

    Dated: June 23, 2017. Jeanne M. Higgins, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14821 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent To Request an Early Revision and Merger of Two Currently Approved Information Collections AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision to the currently approved information collection, the Bee and Honey survey docket (0535-0153). In addition NASS plans to merge this docket with the currently approved Colony Loss survey docket (0535-0255). Revision to burden hours will be needed due to a changes in the size of the target population, sample design, and the inclusion of the Colony Loss surveys.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by September 18, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-0153, by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.

    Efax: (855) 838-6382.

    Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Hand deliver to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-4333. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS—OMB Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388 or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Honey and Honey Bee Surveys.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0153.

    Expiration Date of Approval: December 31, 2018.

    Type of Request: Intent to revise and extend a currently approved information collection for a period of three years and to merge another approved group of surveys (Colony Loss Surveys) into this request.

    Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to prepare and issue state and national estimates of crop and livestock production, livestock products, prices, and disposition; as well as economic statistics, environmental statistics related to agriculture, and also to conduct the Census of Agriculture.

    In this request for renewal of the Bee and Honey (0535-0153) docket, NASS will incorporate the two surveys (operations with fewer than 5 colonies and operations with 5 or more colonies) conducted under the Colony Loss (0535-0255) docket with the honey production surveys included in this docket. The operations with 5 or more colonies will continue to receive quarterly loss questionnaires and an annual honey production survey. The operations with less than 5 colonies will receive one combined, annual questionnaire that contains the same questions as asked under the currently approved dockets. The sample is adjusted so that the same group of operators who qualify for the honey survey also qualify for the loss survey.

    The title of this revised docket will now be Honey and Honey Bee Surveys. As pollinators, honey bees are vital to the agricultural industry for producing food for the world's population. USDA, NASS has found that during 2015, colonies losses by quarter ranged from 12 to 18 percent. Overall, from January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2016, the total number of colonies in the United States decreased by 8 percent.

    Additional data is needed to accurately describe the costs associated with pest/disease control, wintering fees, and replacement worker and queen bees. USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in consultation with other relevant Federal partners, are scaling up efforts to address the decline of honey bee health with a goal of ensuring the recovery of this critical subset of pollinators. NASS supports the Pollinator Research Action Plan, published May 19, 2015, which emphasizes the importance of coordinated action to identify the extent and causal factors in honey bee mortality.

    Authority: These data will be collected under the authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. This notice is submitted in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320. NASS also complies with OMB Implementation Guidance, “Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),” Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 115, June 15, 2007, p. 33362.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information for operations with five or more colonies is estimated to average 20 minutes per response for the annual Bee and Honey survey and 10 minutes per respondent for the quarterly Colony Loss Survey. Operations with less than five colonies will receive the newly combined questionnaire (Bee and Honey and Colony Loss) which is estimated to average 20 minutes per response. Publicity materials and instruction sheets will account for 5 minutes of additional burden per respondent. Respondents who refuse to complete a survey will be allotted 2 minutes of burden per attempt to collect the data.

    Respondents: Farmers.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 22,500.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: With an estimated response rate of approximately 80%, we estimate the total burden to be approximately 9,200 hours.

    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 will 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 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, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, technological or other forms of information technology collection methods.

    All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and be summarized in the request for OMB approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, July 5, 2017. Hubert Hamer, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15156 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Annual Retail 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 18, 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 Chris Savage, U.S. Census Bureau, Economy Wide-Statistics Division, Room 8K045, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233-6500, (301) 763-4834, (or via Email at [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The Annual Retail Trade Survey (ARTS) covers employer firms with establishments located in the United States and classified in the Retail Trade sector as defined by the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

    The Census Bureau selects firms for this survey from the Business Register (BR) using a stratified random sample where strata are defined by industry and annual sales. The BR is the Census Bureau's master business list and contains basic economic information for more than 7.4 million employer business and over 22.5 million non-employer businesses. The BR contains information collected through direct data collections as well as administrative record information from other federal agencies. The Census Bureau updates the ARTS sample quarterly to reflect employer business “births” and “deaths.” The births reflect new employer businesses identified in the Business and Professional Classification Survey; deaths involve deleting firms and subunits of firms identified by their Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) when it is determined they are no longer active.

    Through the ARTS survey, the Census Bureau asks firms to provide annual sales, annual e-commerce sales, year-end inventories held inside and outside the United States, sales taxes, total operating expenses, purchases, accounts receivables, and, for selected industries, sales by merchandise line. These data are used to satisfy a variety of public and business needs such as conducting economic market analyses, assessing company performance, and forecasting future demands. The Census Bureau publishes national data from the survey for selected retail trade industries approximately fifteen months after the end of the reference year.

    Effective in survey year 2016 (collected in 2017), ARTS no longer includes firms in the accommodation and food services industries. These industries are now part of the Service Annual Survey (SAS). Also effective in survey year 2016, ARTS introduced a new sample and requested that firms provide two years of data in order to link the old and new samples. Linking the samples helps ensure that published estimates continue to be reliable and accurate. In survey year 2017 and subsequent years, ARTS will request only one year of data until a new sample is selected again in five years.

    Every five years, in survey years ending in 2 and 7, ARTS requests data on detailed operating expenses from firms. During the survey year 2016 ARTS collection, detailed operating expenses are not collected. The last time ARTS collected detailed operating expenses was in 2013 for the 2012 survey year. The plan is to reinstate these questions in 2018 as part of the 2017 survey year ARTS data collection.

    In an effort to reduce burden and meet the changing needs of data users, as of the 2016 survey year the Census Bureau is no longer requesting that department stores provide data regarding sales collected from leased departments.

    The ARTS data is only 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. Data is automatically stored and results are available immediately. In rare cases where the company has no access to the Internet, the Census Bureau can arrange for the company to provide data to an analyst via telephone.

    II. Method of Collection

    The Census Bureau collects this information via the Internet but in rare cases when respondents have no access to the Internet, it is collected by telephone.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0013.

    Form Number(s): SA44, SA44-A, SA44-C, SA44-D, SA44-E, SA44-N, SA44-S, SA44-T.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Retail firms located in the United States.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 19,301.

    Estimated Time per Response: 201.2 minutes (2017 survey year with additional items collected). 39.1 minutes (2018 and 2019 survey years).

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 64,723 hours (2017 survey year with additional items collected). 12,578 hours (2018 and 2019).

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    Respondent's 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. 2017-15112 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of the Census [Docket Number 170629607-7607-01] Limited-Access Highway Classification Codes AGENCY:

    Bureau of the Census, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of final change.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of the Census (U.S. Census Bureau) publishes this notice to announce the upcoming change in the classification of limited-access highways in the Census Bureau's Master Address File/Topologically Integrated Referencing and Encoding (MAF/TIGER) System. The change assigns all limited-access highways a MAF/TIGER Feature Classification Code (MTFCC) of S1100 (Primary Roads). Previously, the classification code for limited-access highways was either S1100 (Primary Roads) or S1200 (Secondary Roads).

    DATES:

    This notice will be effective on August 18, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Cackowski, (301) 763-5423, or at [email protected], Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233; or also by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Background

    MAF/TIGER System is an abbreviation for the Master Address File/Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing System. It is a digital (computer-readable) geographic database that automates the mapping and related geographic activities required to support the Census Bureau's census and survey programs. The Census Bureau developed TIGER to automate the geographic support processes needed to meet the major geographic needs of the 1990 census: Producing cartographic products to support data collection and map presentations, providing geographic structure for tabulation and dissemination of the collected statistical data, assigning residential and employer addresses to the correct geographic location and relating those locations to the geographic entities used for data tabulation, and so forth. During the 1990s, the Census Bureau developed an independent Master Address File (MAF) to support field operations and allocation of housing units for tabulations. After Census 2000, both the address-based MAF and geographic TIGER databases merged to form the MAF/TIGER System. The contents of the MAF/TIGER System undergo continuous updating and are made available to the public through a variety of TIGER products such as shapefiles, geodatabases, and web map services.

    B. Final Change

    The Census Bureau issued in the Federal Register a notice and request for comment on the limited-access highway code change on April 25, 2017 (82 FR 19020). We did not receive any comments on that initial notice, therefore this is an announcement of the upcoming final change. Please see the earlier Federal Register notice (82 FR 19020, April 25, 2017) for a discussion of the proposed changes and rationale for doing so.

    The Census Bureau publishes this notice to announce the upcoming change in the classification of limited-access highways in the MAF/TIGER System. Generally, only interstate highways are currently in the S1100 classification, while non-interstate limited-access highways are classified as S1200. This change will make all limited-access highways S1100. The final description of the Primary Roads (S1100) classification is:

    Primary roads are limited-access highways that connect to other roads only at interchanges and not at at-grade intersections. This category includes interstate highways, as well as all other highways with limited access (some of which are toll roads). Limited-access highways with only one lane in each direction, as well as those that are undivided, are also included under S1100.

    The final description makes clear that secondary roads are not limited-access highways. The final description of Secondary Roads (S1200) is:

    Secondary roads are main arteries that are not limited access, usually in the U.S. highway, state highway, or county highway systems. These roads have one or more lanes of traffic in each direction, may or may not be divided, and usually have at-grade intersections with many other roads and driveways. They often have both a local name and a route number.

    Dated: July 13, 2017. Ron S. Jarmin, Performing the Non-Exclusive Functions and Duties of the Director, Bureau of the Census.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15125 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-890] Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From the Republic of Korea: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESB rubber) from the Republic of Korea (Korea) is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV).

    DATES:

    July 19, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Bethea or Kabir Archuletta, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1491 or (202) 482-2593, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On February 24, 2017, the Department of Commerce published the Preliminary Determination of this antidumping duty investigation, as provided by section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (Act), in which the Department found that ESB rubber from Korea was sold at LTFV.1 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by interested parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.2 The Issues and Decision Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/.

    1See Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures, 82 FR 11536 (February 24, 2017) and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (Preliminary Decision Memorandum) (collectively, Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from the Republic of Korea,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is ESB rubber from Korea. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    No interested party commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. 3 Therefore, the scope of this investigation remains unchanged for this final determination.

    3See Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico and Poland: Initiation of Less Than Fair Value Investigations, 81 FR 55438 (August 19, 2016) (Initiation Notice).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, in April and June 2017, the Department conducted verification of the information reported by a mandatory respondent, LG Chem, Ltd. (LG Chem), and its U.S. affiliate, LG Chem America, Ltd., for use in the Department's final determination. The Department used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records and original source documents provided by the respondent.4

    4 Memorandum, “Verification of the Cost Response of LG Chem, Ltd. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from the Republic of South Korea,” dated April 13, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of U.S. Sales of LG Chem America, Inc., in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from the Republic of Korea,” dated May 3, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of LG Chem, Ltd., in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Emulsion-Styrene Butadiene Rubber from the Republic of Korea,” dated June 14, 2017.

    Because Daewoo International Corporation (Daewoo) and Kumho Petrochemical Co, Ltd (Kumho), mandatory respondents in this investigation, did not provide information requested by the Department, and the Department preliminarily determined Daewoo and Kumho to have been uncooperative, the Department did not verify their books and records and facilities.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs that were submitted by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of these issues is attached to this notice as Appendix II. Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculation for LG Chem, and also the all-others rate.

    Use of Adverse Facts Available

    The Department found in the Preliminary Determination that it was appropriate to apply facts available with adverse inferences to Daewoo and Kumho. No interested parties commented on the preliminary application of adverse facts-available dumping margins to Daewoo and Kumho. For the final determination, the Department has not altered its analysis or decision to apply adverse facts-available to Daewoo and Kumho. For a full discussion of the Department's adverse facts available determination, see the Preliminary Determination.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that in the final determination the Department shall determine an estimated all-others rate for all exporters and producers not individually examined. This rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act.

    For the final determination, the Department assigned a rate based entirely on facts available to Daewoo and Kumho. Therefore, the only rate that is not zero, de minimis or based entirely on facts otherwise available is the rate calculated for LG Chem. Consequently, the rate calculated for LG Chem is also assigned as the rate for all-other producers and exporters, pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act.

    Final Determination

    The Department determines that the following estimated weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Exporter/producer Estimated
  • weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Daewoo International Corporation ** 44.30 Kumho Petrochemical Co, Ltd ** 44.30 LG Chem, Ltd 9.66 All-Others 9.66 ** (AFA).
    Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part

    In accordance with section 733(e) of the Act, the Department preliminarily found critical circumstances exist with respect to Daewoo and Kumho and do not exist with respect to LG Chem and the non-individually examined companies receiving the “All-Others” rate in this investigation. The Department did not receive comments concerning the preliminary affirmative determination of critical circumstances. For the final determination, the Department continues to find that, in accordance with 735(a)(3) of the Act, critical circumstances exist for Daewoo and Kumho. A discussion of the determination can be found in the “Critical Circumstances” section of the Issues and Decision Memarandum.

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of ESB rubber from Korea as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after, February 24, 2017, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. Further, pursuant to section 735(c)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin or the estimated all-others rate, as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for the respondents listed above will be equal to the respondent-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margins determined in this final determination; (2) if the exporter is not a respondent identified above, but the producer is, then the cash deposit rate will be equal to the respondent-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for that producer of the subject merchandise; and (3) the cash deposit rate for all other producers and exporters will be equal to the all-others estimated weighted-average dumping margin.

    Because of the Department's affirmative determination of critical circumstances for Daewoo and Kumho, in accordance with section 735(a)(3) and (c)(4)(A) of the Act, suspension of liquidation of ESB rubber from Korea, shall continue to apply, for Daewoo and Kumho, to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of the Preliminary Determination.

    Disclosure

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties its calculations and analysis performed in this final determination within five days of any public announcement or, if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, the Department will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its final determination. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of ESB rubber from Korea no later than 45 days after the Department's final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on appropriate imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to an administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(c).

    Dated: July 10, 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. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    For purposes of this investigation, the product covered is cold-polymerized emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESB rubber). The scope of the investigation includes, but is not limited to, ESB rubber in primary forms, bales, granules, crumbs, pellets, powders, plates, sheets, strip, etc. ESB rubber consists of non-pigmented rubbers and oil-extended non-pigmented rubbers, both of which contain at least one percent of organic acids from the emulsion polymerization process.

    ESB rubber is produced and sold in accordance with a generally accepted set of product specifications issued by the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP). The scope of the investigation covers grades of ESB rubber included in the IISRP 1500 and 1700 series of synthetic rubbers. The 1500 grades are light in color and are often described as “Clear” or “White Rubber.” The 1700 grades are oil-extended and thus darker in color, and are often called “Brown Rubber.”

    Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are products which are manufactured by blending ESB rubber with other polymers, high styrene resin master batch, carbon black master batch (i.e., IISRP 1600 series and 1800 series) and latex (an intermediate product).

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classifiable under subheadings 4002.19.0015 and 4002.19.0019 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). ESB rubber is described by Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Registry No. 9003-55-8. This CAS number also refers to other types of styrene butadiene rubber. Although the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Margin Calculations VI. Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: CEP Offset Comment 2: Cost Adjustments Based on Transactions Disregarded Rule Comment 3: Cost Adjustments Based on Verification Findings Comment 4: Sales Expense Adjustments Based on Verification Findings Comment 5: Duty Drawback Adjustment VII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-14950 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-831] Fresh Garlic From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Rescission and Notice of Amended Final Results AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 26, 2017, the Court of International Trade (the CIT) sustained the Department of Commerce's (the Department) final remand results pertaining to the new shipper review of the antidumping duty order on fresh garlic from the People's Republic of China (PRC) for Shijiazhuang Goodman Trading Co., Ltd. (Goodman). The Department is notifying the public that the final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the final rescission of the new shipper review and that the Department has found Goodman eligible for a new shipper review resulting in an individually-determined dumping margin of $0.08/kg.

    DATES:

    Applicable June 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chien-Min Yang, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5484.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Goodman is a Chinese producer/exporter of fresh garlic and requested a new shipper review on November 27, 2012, and amended that request on December 6, 2012.1 On January 2, 2013, the Department initiated the requested NSR covering the period November 1, 2011, through October 31, 2012.

    1See Goodman's letter, “Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China—Re-filing Request for Antidumping New Shipper Review of Shijiazhuang Goodman Trading Co., Ltd.,” (December 6, 2012).

    On April 21, 2014, the Department issued the Final Rescission. In the Final Rescission, the Department determined that Goodman's sales were not bona fide and, accordingly, rescinded its new shipper review.2 Goodman challenged the Department's findings in the Final Rescission at the CIT.

    2See Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China: Final Rescission of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review of Shijiazhuang Goodman Trading Co., Ltd., 79 FR 22,098 (April 21, 2014) (Final Rescission), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    On March 22, 2016, the CIT remanded for the Department to reconsider its decision.3

    3See Shijiazhuang Goodman Trading Co. v. United States, 172 F. Supp. 3d 1363, 1368-82 (Ct. Int'l Trade 2016).

    Per the Court's instructions, the Department reconsidered its previous analysis and determined, under protest, Goodman's U.S. sales to be bona fide. The Department found Goodman to be eligible for a new shipper review and addressed comments raised in case briefs and rebuttal briefs during the new shipper review regarding the preliminarily-calculated rate. In the final remand results filed with the CIT on August 22, 2016 (Final Redetermination), the Department made changes to the surrogate values and re-calculated Goodman's individually-determined antidumping duty rate to be $0.08 per kilogram.

    On May 26, 2017, the CIT sustained the Department's Final Redetermination in full.4 Thus, the CIT affirmed the $0.08/kg dumping margin the Department calculated for Goodman in the Final Redetermination.

    4See Shijiazhuang Goodman Trading Co., Ltd. v. United States, CIT Slip Op. 17-63, Consol. Ct. No. 14-00101 (May 26, 2017).

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken,5 as clarified by Diamond Sawblades,6 the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that, pursuant to section 516A(e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision. The CIT's May 26, 2017, final judgment sustaining the Final Redetermination constitutes a final decision of the Court that is not in harmony with the Department's Final Rescission. This notice is published in fulfillment of the Timken publication requirements. Accordingly, the Department will continue the suspension of liquidation of the subject merchandise pending a final and conclusive court decision.

    5See Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337, 341 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken).

    6See Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (Diamond Sawblades).

    Amended Final Results

    Because there is now a final court decision, we are amending the Final Rescission with respect to the dumping margin calculated for Goodman. Based on the Final Redetermination, as affirmed by the CIT, the revised dumping margin for Goodman, from November 1, 2011, through October 31, 2012, is $0.08/kg.

    In the event that the CIT's ruling is not appealed or, if appealed, is upheld by a final and conclusive court decision, the Department will instruct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on unliquidated entries of subject merchandise based on the revised dumping margin listed above.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Since the Final Rescission, the Department has not established a cash deposit rate for Goodman.7 Therefore, the Department will issue revised cash deposit instructions to CBP, adjusting the cash deposit rate for Goodman to $0.08/kg, effective June 5, 2017.

    7See Fresh Garlic from the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Partial Rescission of the 18th Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2011-2012, 79 FR 36,721 (June 30, 2014) (Final Results).

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with section 516A(e)(1), 751(a)(1), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: July 13, 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. 2017-15140 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-351-849] Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Brazil: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) determines that emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESB rubber) from Brazil is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.

    DATES:

    July 19, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Drew Jackson, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4406.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On February 24, 2017, the Department published the Preliminary Determination of this antidumping duty LTFV investigation, as provided by section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (Act), in which the Department found that ESB rubber from Brazil sold at LTFV.1 A summary of the events that have occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by interested parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.2 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/.

    1See Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Brazil: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures, 82 FR 11538 (February 24, 2017), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (collectively, Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Less Than Fair Value Investigation of Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Brazil,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is ESB rubber from Brazil. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    No interested party commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. 3 Therefore, we did not modify the scope language of this investigation remains unchanged for this final determination.

    3See Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico and Poland: Initiation of Less Than Fair Value Investigations, 81 FR 55438 (August 19, 2016) (Initiation Notice).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, in February and March 2017, the Department conducted verification of the information reported by the mandatory respondent ARLANXEO Brasil S.A. (ARLANXEO Brasil) and its U.S. affiliate, ARLANXEO U.S.A. LLC, for use in the Department's final determination.4 The Department used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records and original source documents provided by the respondent.

    4See Memorandum, “Verification of the Constructed Export Price Sales Questionnaire Responses of ARLANXEO U.S.A. LLC,” dated April 13, 2017; Memorandum, “Verification of the Home Market and Constructed Export Price Sales Questionnaire Responses of ARLANXEO Brasil S.A.,” dated April 21, 2017; and Memorandum, “Verification of the Cost Response of ARLANXEO Brasil S.A. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Emulsion Styrene Butadiene Rubber from Brazil,” dated May 15, 2017.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs that were submitted by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of these issues is attached to this notice as Appendix II. Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verifications, we made certain changes to the margin calculation for ARLANXEO Brasil, and also the all-others rate.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that in the final determination the Department shall determine an estimated all-others rate for all exporters and producers not individually examined. This rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. For the final determination, the Department calculated an individual estimated weighted-average dumping margin for ARLANXEO Brasil, the only individually examined exporter/producer in this investigation. Because the only individually calculated dumping margin is not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, the estimated weighted-average dumping margin calculated for ARLANXEO Brasil is the margin assigned to all-other producers and exporters, pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act.

    Final Determination

    The Department determines that the following estimated weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Exporter/producer Estimated
  • weighted-average
  • dumping margins
  • (percent)
  • ARLANXEO Brasil S.A. 19.61 All-Others 19.61
    Final Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances

    On January 25, 2017, the petitioners 5 filed a timely critical circumstances allegation, pursuant to section 733(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(1), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of ESB rubber from Brazil.6 On February 24, 2017, the Department preliminarily determined that critical circumstances did not exist for the mandatory respondent ARLANXEO Brasil or the exporters and producers not individually investigated (i.e., “all-others”). In this final, the Department continues to find that, in accordance with 735(a)(3) of the Act, critical circumstances do not exist for ARLANXEO Brasil or the non-individually examined companies receiving the all-others rate in this investigation. A discussion of the determination can be found in the “Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    5 Lion Elastomers LLC and East West Copolymers (collectively, the petitioners).

    6See Letter to the Honorable Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, from the Petitioners, concerning, “Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (ESBR) from Brazil and South Korea: Critical Circumstances Allegation,” dated January 25, 2017.

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of ESB rubber from Brazil as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after February 24, 2017, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. Further, pursuant to section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin or the estimated all-others rate, as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for the respondents listed above will be equal to the respondent-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margins determined in this final determination; (2) if the exporter is not a respondent identified above, but the producer is, then the cash deposit rate will be equal to the respondent-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for that producer of the subject merchandise; and (3) the cash deposit rate for all other producers and exporters will be equal to the all-others estimated weighted-average dumping margin.

    Disclosure

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties its calculations and analysis performed in this final determination within five days of any public announcement or, if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, the Department will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its final affirmative determination. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of ESB rubber from Brazil no later than 45 days after the Department's final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on appropriate imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification to Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to an administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(c).

    Dated: July 10, 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. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    For purposes of this investigation, the product covered is cold-polymerized emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESB rubber). The scope of the investigation includes, but is not limited to, ESB rubber in primary forms, bales, granules, crumbs, pellets, powders, plates, sheets, strip, etc. ESB rubber consists of non-pigmented rubbers and oil-extended non-pigmented rubbers, both of which contain at least one percent of organic acids from the emulsion polymerization process.

    ESB rubber is produced and sold in accordance with a generally accepted set of product specifications issued by the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP). The scope of the investigation covers grades of ESB rubber included in the IISRP 1500 and 1700 series of synthetic rubbers. The 1500 grades are light in color and are often described as “Clear” or “White Rubber.” The 1700 grades are oil-extended and thus darker in color, and are often called “Brown Rubber.”

    Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are products which are manufactured by blending ESB rubber with other polymers, high styrene resin master batch, carbon black master batch (i.e., IISRP 1600 series and 1800 series) and latex (an intermediate product).

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classifiable under subheadings 4002.19.0015 and 4002.19.0019 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). ESB rubber is described by Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Registry No. 9003-55-8. This CAS number also refers to other types of styrene butadiene rubber. Although the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Investigation IV. Scope Comments V. Final Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances VI. Margin Calculations VII. Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Level of Trade Comment 2: U.S. Indirect Selling Expenses Comment 3: Domestic Indirect Selling Expense Clerical Error VIII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-14954 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Article 1904 Binational Panel Review: Notice of Request for Panel Review AGENCY:

    United States Section, NAFTA Secretariat, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    A Request for Panel Review was filed on behalf of Maquilacero S.A. de C.V. with the United States Section of the NAFTA Secretariat on July 12, 2017, pursuant to NAFTA Article 1904. Panel Review was requested of the Department of Commerce's final determination regarding Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Mexico. The final results of the antidumping duty administrative review and final determination of no shipments, 2014-2015, was published in the Federal Register on June 13, 2017 (82 FR 27039). The NAFTA Secretariat has assigned case number USA-MEX-2017-1904-01 to this request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul E. Morris, United States Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat, Room 2061, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482-5438.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Chapter 19 of Article 1904 of NAFTA provides a dispute settlement mechanism involving trade remedy determinations issued by the Government of the United States, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Mexico. Following a Request for Panel Review, a Binational Panel is composed to review the trade remedy determination being challenged and issue a binding Panel Decision. There are established NAFTA Rules of Procedure for Article 1904 Binational Panel Reviews, which were adopted by the three governments for panels requested pursuant to Article 1904(2) of NAFTA which requires Requests for Panel Review to be published in accordance with Rule 35. For the complete Rules, please see https://www.nafta-sec-alena.org/Home/Texts-of-the-Agreement/Rules-of-Procedure/Article-1904.

    The Rules provide that:

    (a) A Party or interested person may challenge the final determination in whole or in part by filing a Complaint in accordance with Rule 39 within 30 days after the filing of the first Request for Panel Review (the deadline for filing a Complaint is August 11, 2017);

    (b) A Party, investigating authority or interested person that does not file a Complaint but that intends to appear in support of any reviewable portion of the final determination may participate in the panel review by filing a Notice of Appearance in accordance with Rule 40 within 45 days after the filing of the first Request for Panel Review (the deadline for filing a Notice of Appearance is August 28, 2017); and

    (c) The panel review shall be limited to the allegations of error of fact or law, including challenges to the jurisdiction of the investigating authority, that are set out in the Complaints filed in the panel review and to the procedural and substantive defenses raised in the panel review.

    Dated: July 14, 2017. Paul E. Morris, U.S. Secretary, NAFTA Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15168 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-GT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-469-818] Ripe Olives From Spain: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

    DATES:

    Applicable July 12, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Shore at (202) 482-2778, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petition

    On June 22, 2017,1 the Department of Commerce (Department) received a countervailing duty (CVD) petition concerning imports of ripe olives from Spain, filed in proper form, on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives and its individual members, Bell-Carter Foods, Inc. and Musco Family Olive Co. (collectively, the petitioner). The CVD Petition was accompanied by an antidumping duty (AD) Petition. The petitioners are domestic producers of processed olives, usually referred to as “ripe olives.”

    1 The petition was filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce (the Department) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) on June 21, 2017, after 12:00 noon, and pursuant to 19 CFR 207.10(a), are deemed to have been filed on the next business day, June 22, 2017. See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum Concerning the Filing Date of the Petition,” dated June 23, 2017.

    On June 23, 2017, June 27, 2017, and June 28, 2017, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain aspects of the Petition.2 The petitioner filed responses to these requests on June 27, 2017, June 30, 2017, and July 3, 2017.3 On July 5, 2017, Associación de Exportadores e Industiales de Aceitunas de Mesa (ASEMESA), an interested party, requested the Department poll the domestic industry of olive growers and the workers employed by them.4 On July 7, 2017, the petitioner submitted rebuttal comments to ASEMESA's polling request 5 final proposed scope language. ASEMESA submitted an additional argument and request for the Department to poll the domestic industry of olive growers on July 10, 2017.6 Also on July 10, 2017, the Department held consultations with respect to the CVD Petition, the Government of Spain (GOS) and the European Commission (EC) provided comments on the countervailability of the alleged programs and requested clarification on the procedural timelines. The GOS and the EC submitted their comments in written form that same day.7 On July 12, 2017, Acorsa USA, Inc., Atalanta Corporation, Mario Camacho Foods, LLC, Mitsui Foods, Inc., and Schreiber Foods International, Inc. revised and resubmitted their July 11, 2017, submission, which was previously rejected. However, this new submission was filed too late for us to consider.

    2See Department Letter re: General Issues Supplemental Questions, dated June 23, 2017 (General Issues Supplemental); Department Letter re: Second General Issues Supplemental Questions, dated June 28, 2017 (Second General Issues Supplemental); and Department Letter re: Countervailing Duty Petition Supplement Question, dated June 27, 2017.

    3See The petitioner's July 3, 2017 Supplement to the CVD Petition (CVD Supplement).

    4See ASEMESA's July 5, 2017 Industry Support Comments and Request to Poll Industry (July 5 ASEMESA Comments).

    5See The petitioner's July 7, 2017 Final Scope Language and Response to Industry Support Comments (The petitioner's Rebuttal Comments).

    6See ASEMESA's July 10, 2017 Industry Support Comments and Request to Poll Industry (July 10 ASEMESA Comments).

    7See Ex-Parté Memorandum, “Ripe Olives from Spain Countervailing Duty Petition: Consultations with Officials from Spain and European Union,” dated July 11, 2017. See, also European Commission and the Government of Spain Consultation Comments, dated July 10, 2017.

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that the GOS and the European Union are providing countervailable subsidies within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act, to manufacturers, producers, or exporters of ripe olives from Spain, and that imports of such ripe olives are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Additionally, consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegations of subsidy programs in Spain on which we are initiating a CVD investigation.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party, as defined by section 771(9)(F) of the Act. As discussed in the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section, below, the Department also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to initiation of the requested CVD investigation.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on June 22, 2017, the period of investigation (POI), the period for which we are measuring subsidies, is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this Petition are certain processed olives, usually referred to as “ripe olives,” from Spain. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice.

    Comments on the Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition accurately reflected the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.8 As a result of those exchanges, the scope of the Petition was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered by the Petition.

    8See General Issues and AD Supplement, at 1-2; Second General Issues Supplement, at 1-3.

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,9 we are setting aside a period of time for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope). The Department will consider all comments received and, if necessary, will consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. The Department requests that all interested parties submit scope comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information (and also should be limited to public information), must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, August 11, 2017, which is ten calendar days after the deadline for initial comments.10

    9See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    10See 19 CFR 351.302(c)(3)(iv) and 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigations be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments and information must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).11 An electronically-filed document must be successfully received, in its entirety, by the time and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    11See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011); see also Enforcement and Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Consultations

    Pursuant to section 702(b)(4)(A) of the Act, the Department notified representatives of the GOS and the EU of its receipt of the Petition and provided them with the opportunity for consultations regarding the CVD allegations.12 On July 10, 2017, the Department held consultations with the GOS and the EU.13 All letters and memoranda pertaining to these consultations are available via ACCESS.

    12See Department Letter, “Ripe Olives from Spain: Invitation for Consultations to Discuss the Countervailing Duty Petition,” June 23, 2017.

    13See Department Memorandum, “Countervailing Duty Petition on Ripe Olives from Spain: Consultations,” July 11, 2017.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The ITC, which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,14 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.15

    14See section 771(10) of the Act.

    15See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that ripe olives, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.16

    16 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in these cases, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Ripe Olives from Spain (CVD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Ripe Olives from Spain (Attachment II); This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice. The petitioner provided the 2016 production of the domestic like product by its members.17 In addition, we relied on data the petitioner provided estimating the 2016 production of the domestic like product by the only other U.S. processor.18 We relied on data the petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.19

    17See Volume I of the Petition, at 5 and Exhibit I-3.

    18Id., at 5; see also General Issues and AD Supplement, at 2 and Exhibit I-17.

    19Id. For further discussion, see AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    On July 5, 2017, we received comments on industry support from ASEMESA.20 The petitioner responded to the letter from ASEMESA on July 7, 2017.21 On July 10, 2017, we received comments on industry support collectively from ASEMESA, Industria Aceiyunera Merciense, S.A., DCOOOP, S. COOP. AND., Agro Sevilla Aceitunas, SOC. COOP. AND., Plasoliva, S.L., GOYA en Espana, S.A.U., Aceitunas Guadalquivir, S.L., Angel Camacho Alimentación, S.L., Internacional Olivarera S.A., F.J. Sanchez Sucesores, S.A.U., and Aceitunas Sevillanas S.A. (collectively, ASEMESA et al.).22 For further discussion of these comments, see the AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    20See Letter from ASEMESA to the Department, re: “Industry Support Comments on the Petitions for Antidumping and Countervailing Duties and Request to Poll Industry,” dated July 5, 2017.

    21See July 7, 2017, Response.

    22See Letter from ASEMESA et al to the Department, re: “Request to Poll Industry,” dated July 10, 2017.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, supplemental responses, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.23 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).24 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petitions account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.25 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.26 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    23See CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    24See section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    25See CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    26Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(G) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigation that it is requesting that the Department initiate.27

    27Id.

    Injury Test

    Because Spain is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from Spain materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. The petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.28

    28See Volume I of the Petition, at 12, and Exhibit I-6A.

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share, underselling and price suppression or depression, lost sales and revenues, adverse impact on the domestic industry, including financial performance, production, and capacity utilization, and reduction in olive acreage under cultivation.29 We assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.30

    29Id., at 18-34 and Exhibits I-6 and I-8—I-16.

    30See CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Ripe Olives from Spain (Attachment III).

    Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires the Department to initiate a CVD investigation whenever an interested party files a CVD petition on behalf of an industry that (1) alleges the elements necessary for the imposition of a duty under section 701(a) of the Act and (2) is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting the allegations.

    The petitioner alleges that producers/exporters of ripe olives in Spain benefited from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the GOS and the EU. The Department examined the Petition and finds that it complies with the requirements of section 702(b)(1) of the Act. Therefore, in accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether manufacturers, producers, and/or exporters of ripe olives from Spain receive countervailable subsidies from the GOS and/or the EU, as alleged by the petitioner.

    The Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (TPEA) made numerous amendments to the AD and CVD laws.31 The TPEA does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.32 The amendments to sections 776 and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this CVD investigation.33

    31See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    32See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (Applicability Notice).

    33Id., at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    Based on our review of the Petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on the six alleged programs. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate on each program, see CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination in this investigation no later than 65 days after the date of initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioner named numerous companies as producers/exporters of ripe olives from Spain.34 The Department intends to follow its standard practice in CVD investigations and calculate company-specific subsidy rates in this investigation. In the event the Department determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon the Department's resources, where appropriate, the Department intends to select mandatory respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of ripe olives from Spain during the period of investigation under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) numbers listed in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix.

    34See Petition, Volume I, at 28 and Exhibit 61.

    On July 6, 2017, the Department released CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO and indicated that interested parties wishing to comment regarding the CBP data must do so within three business days of the announcement of the initiation of the CVD investigation.35

    35See Memorandum, “Ripe Olives from Spain Countervailing Duty Petition: Release of Customs Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Release of CBP Data,” dated July 6, 2017.

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    Comments for this investigation must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. EST, by the dates noted above. We intend to finalize our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the GOS and the European Commission via ACCESS. Because of the particularly large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition,36 the Department considers the service of the public version of the Petition to the foreign producers/exporters satisfied by delivery of the public version to the GOS consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    36See Petition, Volume I at Exhibit 61.

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days of the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of ripe olives in Spain are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.37 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 38 otherwise, the investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    37See section 703(a)(2) of the Act.

    38See section 703(a)(1) of the Act.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i) through (iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Interested parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different deadline after which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify the accuracy and completeness of that information. 39 Parties must use the certification formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).40 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable certification requirements.

    39See section 782(b) of the Act.

    40See also Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule). Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule are available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing letters of appearance, as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: July 12, 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. Appendix—Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this Petition are certain processed olives, usually referred to as “ripe olives.” The subject merchandise includes all colors of olives; all shapes and sizes of olives, whether pitted or not pitted, and whether whole, sliced, chopped, minced, wedged, broken, or otherwise reduced in size; all types of packaging, whether for consumer (retail) or institutional (food service) sale, and whether canned or packaged in glass, metal, plastic, multi-layered airtight containers (including pouches), or otherwise; and all manners of preparation and preservation, whether low acid or acidified, stuffed or not stuffed, with or without flavoring and/or saline solution, and including in ambient, refrigerated, or frozen conditions.

    Included are all ripe olives grown, processed in whole or in part, or packaged in Spain. Subject merchandise includes ripe olives that have been further processed in Spain or a third country, including but not limited to curing, fermenting, rinsing, oxidizing, pitting, slicing, chopping, segmenting, wedging, stuffing, packaging, or heat treating, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in Spain.

    Excluded from the scope are: (1) Specialty olives 41 (including “Spanish-style,” “Sicilian-style,” and other similar olives) that have been processed by fermentation only, or by being cured in an alkaline solution for not longer than 12 hours and subsequently fermented; and (2) provisionally prepared olives unsuitable for immediate consumption (currently classifiable in subheading 0711.20 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)).

    41 Some of the major types of specialty olives and their curing methods are:

    “Spanish-style” green olives. Spanish-style green olives have a mildly salty, slightly bitter taste, and are usually pitted and stuffed. This style of olive is primarily produced in Spain and can be made from various olive varieties. Most are stuffed with pimento; other popular stuffings are jalapeno, garlic, and cheese. The raw olives that are used to produce Spanish-style green olives are picked while they are unripe, after which they are submerged in an alkaline solution for typically less than a day to partially remove their bitterness, rinsed, and fermented in a strong salt brine, giving them their characteristic flavor.

    “Sicilian-style” green olives. Sicilian-style olives are large, firm green olives with a natural bitter and savory flavor. This style of olive is produced in small quantities in the United States using a Sevillano variety of olive and harvested green with a firm texture. Sicilian-style olives are processed using a brine-cured method, and undergo a full fermentation in a salt and lactic acid brine for 4 to 9 months. These olives may be sold whole unpitted, pitted, or stuffed.

    “Kalamata” olives: Kalamata olives are slightly curved in shape, tender in texture, and purple in color, and have a rich natural tangy and savory flavor. This style of olive is produced in Greece using a Kalamata variety olive. The olives are harvested after they are fully ripened on the tree, and typically use a brine-cured fermentation method over 4 to 9 months in a salt brine.

    Other specialty olives in a full range of colors, sizes, and origins, typically fermented in a salt brine for 3 months or more.

    The merchandise subject to this petition is currently classifiable under subheadings 005.70.0230, 2005.70.0260, 2005.70.0430, 2005.70.0460, 2005.70.5030, 2005.70.5060, 2005.70.6020, 2005.70.6030, 2005.70.6050, 2005.70.6060, 2005.70.6070, 2005.70.7000, 2005.70.7510, 2005.70.7515, 2005.70.7520, and 2005.70.7525 HTSUS. Subject merchandise may also be imported under subheadings 2005.70.0600, 2005.70.0800, 2005.70.1200, 2005.70.1600, 2005.70.1800, 2005.70.2300, 2005.70.2510, 2005.70.2520, 2005.70.2530, 2005.70.2540, 2005.70.2550, 2005.70.2560, 2005.70.9100, 2005.70.9300, and 2005.70.9700. Although HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and US Customs purposes, they do not define the scope of the petition; rather, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2017-15143 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-469-817] Ripe Olives From Spain: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Applicable July 12, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Catherine Cartsos at (202) 482-1757, or Peter Zukowski at (202) 482-0189, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petition

    On June 22, 2017,1 the Department received an antidumping duty (AD) Petition concerning imports of ripe olives from Spain, filed in proper form, on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives, which consists of domestic processors Bell-Carter Foods, Inc. and Musco Family Olive Co. (collectively, the petitioner). The AD Petition was accompanied by a countervailing duty (CVD) Petition. The petitioners are domestic producers of processed olives, usually referred to as “ripe olives.”

    1 The petition was filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce (the Department) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) on June 21, 2017, after 12:00 noon, and pursuant to 19 CFR 207.10(a), are deemed to have been filed on the next business day, June 22, 2017. See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum Concerning the Filing Date of the Petition,” dated June 23, 2017.

    On June 23, 2017, June 27, 2017, and June 28, 2017, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain aspects of the Petition.2 The petitioner filed responses to these requests on June 27, 2017, and June 30, 2017.3 On July 5, 2017, Associación de Exportadores e Industiales de Aceitunas de Mesa (ASEMESA), an interested party, requested the Department poll the domestic industry of olive growers and the workers employed by them.4 On July 7, 2017, the petitioner submitted rebuttal comments to ASEMESA's polling request 5 and its final proposed scope language. ASEMESA submitted an additional argument and request for the Department to poll the domestic industry of olive growers on July 10, 2017.6 On July 12, 2017, Acorsa USA, Inc., Atalanta Corporation, Mario Camacho Foods, LLC, Mitsui Foods, Inc., and Schreiber Foods International, Inc. revised and resubmitted their July 11, 2017, submission, which was previously rejected. However, this new submission was filed too late for us to consider.

    2See Letters from the Department to the petitioner, regarding “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Ripe Olives from Spain: Supplemental Questions,” dated June 23, 2017; Letter from the Department to the petitioner, regarding “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Ripe Olives from Spain: Supplemental Questions,” dated June 28, 2017.

    3See Letter from the petitioner to the Department, regarding “Ripe Olives from Spain; Response to the Department's Supplemental Questionnaires” dated June 27, 2017, (General Issues and AD Supplement); Letter from the petitioner to the Department, regarding “Ripe Olives from Spain; Response to the Department's Second General Issues Supplemental Questionnaire,” dated June 30, 2017, (Second General Issues Supplement).

    4See ASEMESA's July 5, 2017 Industry Support Comments and Request to Poll Industry (July 5 ASEMESA Comments).

    5See The petitioner's July 7, 2017 Final Scope Language and Response to Industry Support Comments (The petitioner's Rebuttal Comments).

    6See ASEMESA's July 10, 2017 Industry Support Comments and Request to Poll Industry (July 10 ASEMESA Comments).

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the petitioner alleges that imports of ripe olives from Spain are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Additionally, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting its allegations.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed this Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because the petitioner is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(G) of the Act. As discussed in the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section, below, the Department also finds that the petitioner demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to initiation of the requested AD investigation.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on June 22, 2017, the period of investigation (POI) is April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2017.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain processed olives, usually referred to as “ripe olives,” from Spain. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, the petitioner pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition accurately reflected the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.7 As a result of those exchanges, the scope of the Petition was modified to clarify the description of merchandise covered by the Petition.

    7See General Issues and AD Supplement, at 1-2; Second General Issues Supplement, at 1-3.

    As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,8 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope). The Department will consider all comments received from parties and, if necessary, will consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. The Department requests that all interested parties submit scope comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information (and also should be limited to public information), must be filed by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, August 11, 2017, which is ten calendar days after the deadline for initial comments.9

    8See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    9See 19 CFR 351.302(c)(3)(iv) and 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments and information must be filed on the records of each of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).10 An electronically-filed document must be successfully received, in its entirety, by the time and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    10See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011); see also Enforcement and Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014) for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Comments on Product Characteristics for AD Questionnaire

    The Department will provide interested parties an opportunity to comment on the appropriate physical characteristics of ripe olives to be reported in response to the Department's AD questionnaire. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the merchandise under consideration in order to report the relevant costs of production accurately, as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.

    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics; and (2) product-comparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, although there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe ripe olives, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last.

    In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaire, all product characteristic comments must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on August 1, 2017, which is 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on August 11, 2017. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as explained above.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The ITC, which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,11 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.12

    11See section 771(10) of the Act.

    12See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, the petitioner does not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that ripe olives, as defined in the scope, constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.13

    13 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in these cases, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Ripe Olives from Spain (AD Initiation Checklist), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Ripe Olives from Spain (Attachment II); This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether the petitioner has standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix to this notice. The petitioner provided the 2016 production of the domestic like product by its members.14 In addition, we relied on data the petitioner provided estimating the 2016 production of the domestic like product by the only other U.S. processor.15 We relied on data the petitioner provided for purposes of measuring industry support.16

    14See Volume I of the Petition, at 5 and Exhibit I-3.

    15Id., at 5; see also General Issues and AD Supplement, at 2 and Exhibit I-17.

    16Id. For further discussion, see AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    On July 5, 2017, we received comments on industry support from ASEMESA.17 The petitioner responded to the letter from ASEMESA on July 7, 2017.18 On July 10, 2017, we received comments on industry support collectively from ASEMESA, Industria Aceiyunera Merciense, S.A., DCOOOP, S. COOP. AND., Agro Sevilla Aceitunas, SOC. COOP. AND., Plasoliva, S.L., GOYA en Espana, S.A.U., Aceitunas Guadalquivir, S.L., Angel Camacho Alimentación, S.L., Internacional Olivarera S.A., F.J. Sanchez Sucesores, S.A.U., and Aceitunas Sevillanas S.A. (collectively, ASEMESA et al.).19 For further discussion of these comments, see the AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    17See Letter from ASEMESA to the Department, re: “Industry Support Comments on the Petitions for Antidumping and Countervailing Duties and Request to Poll Industry,” dated July 5, 2017.

    18See July 7, 2017, Response.

    19See Letter from ASEMESA et al. to the Department, re: “Request to Poll Industry,” dated July 10, 2017.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, supplemental responses, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that the petitioner has established industry support for the Petition.20 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).21 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petitions account for at least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product.22 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.23 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    20See AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    21See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    22See AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    23Id.

    The Department finds that the petitioner filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because it is an interested party as defined in section 771(9)(G) of the Act and it has demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that it is requesting that the Department initiate.24

    24Id.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    The petitioner alleges that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (NV). In addition, the petitioner alleges that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.25

    25See Volume I of the Petition, at 12, and Exhibit I-6A.

    The petitioner contends that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; underselling and price suppression or depression; lost sales and revenues; adverse impact on the domestic industry, including financial performance, production, and capacity utilization; reduction in olive acreage under cultivation; and magnitude of the alleged margins of dumping.26 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence, and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.27

    26Id., at 18-34 and Exhibits I-6 and I-8—I-16.

    27See AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Ripe Olives from Spain (Attachment III).

    Allegations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegation of sales at less than fair value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate an AD investigation of imports of ripe olives from Spain. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the AD Initiation Checklist.

    Export Price

    The petitioner based U.S. price on export price (EP) using average unit values of publicly available import data.28 The petitioner made deductions from U.S. price for movement expenses to derive the ex-factory net U.S. EP.29

    28See AD Initiation Checklist.

    29See AD Initiation Checklist.

    Normal Value

    The petitioner was unable to obtain home market or third country prices for ripe olives and calculated NV based on constructed value (CV).30 For further discussion of the cost of production (COP) and CV, see the section “Normal Value Based on Constructed Value” below.31

    30See AD Initiation Checklist.

    31 In accordance with section 505(a) of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, amending section 773(b)(2) of the Act, for this investigation, the Department will request information necessary to calculate the CV and COP to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that sales of the foreign like product have been made at prices that represent less than the COP of the product. The Department no longer requires a COP allegation to conduct this analysis.

    Normal Value Based on Constructed Value

    As noted above, the petitioner was unable to obtain home market or third country prices; accordingly, the petitioner based NV on CV.32 Pursuant to section 773(e) of the Act, CV consists of the cost of manufacturing (COM), selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses, financial expenses, packing expenses and profit. The petitioner calculated the COM based on the input factors of production and usage rates from a U.S. producer of ripe olives. The input factors of production were valued using publicly available data on costs specific to Spain, during the proposed POI.33 Specifically, the prices for raw materials and packing inputs were valued using publicly available Spanish import data.34 For labor costs, the petitioner multiplied the labor usage factors by Spanish labor rates derived from publicly available sources.35 To determine factory overhead, SG&A, financial expenses, and profit, the petitioner relied on financial statements of a Spanish company that is a producer of comparable merchandise operating in Spain.36

    32See Id.

    33See AD Initiation Checklist.

    34See Id.

    35See Id.

    36See Id.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by the petitioner, there is reason to believe that imports of ripe olives from Spain are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV in accordance with sections 772 and 773 of the Act, the estimated dumping margins for ripe olives form Spain are 78.00 and 223.00 percent.37

    37See AD Initiation Checklist.

    Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation

    Based upon the examination of the AD Petition, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine whether imports of ripe olives from Spain are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

    The Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (TPEA) made numerous amendments to the AD and CVD laws.38 The TPEA does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.39 The amendments to sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this AD investigation.40

    38See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Public Law 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    39See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015).

    40Id. at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    Respondent Selection

    The petitioner identified numerous companies in Spain as producers/exporters of ripe olives.41 In the event the Department determines that the number of companies is large and it cannot individually examine each company based upon the Department's resources, where appropriate, the Department intends to select mandatory respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports of ripe olives from Spain during the period of the investigation under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) numbers listed in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in the Appendix.

    41See Volume I at Exhibit I-5 and AD Initiation Checklist.

    We intend to release CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties with access to information protected by APO within five business days of the announcement of the initiation of this investigation.

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    Comments for this investigation must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. EST, by the dates noted above. We intend to finalize our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the Government of Spain (GOS) and the European Commission via ACCESS. Because of the particularly large number of producers/exporters identified in the Petition, the Department considers the service of the public version of the Petition to the foreign producers/exporters satisfied by delivery of the public version to the GOS consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of ripe olives from Spain are materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.42 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 43 otherwise, the investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    42See section 733(a) of the Act.

    43Id.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i) through (iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Interested parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. ET on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different deadline after which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.44 Parties must use the certifications formats provided in 19 CFR 351.303(g).45 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with applicable certification requirements.

    44See section 782(b) of the Act.

    45See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration during Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed in 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 732(c)(2) and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.203(c).

    Dated: July 12, 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. Appendix—Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain processed olives, usually referred to as “ripe olives.” The subject merchandise includes all colors of olives; all shapes and sizes of olives, whether pitted or not pitted, and whether whole, sliced, chopped, minced, wedged, broken, or otherwise reduced in size; all types of packaging, whether for consumer (retail) or institutional (food service) sale, and whether canned or packaged in glass, metal, plastic, multi-layered airtight containers (including pouches), or otherwise; and all manners of preparation and preservation, whether low acid or acidified, stuffed or not stuffed, with or without flavoring and/or saline solution, and including in ambient, refrigerated, or frozen conditions.

    Included are all ripe olives grown, processed in whole or in part, or packaged in Spain. Subject merchandise includes ripe olives that have been further processed in Spain or a third country, including but not limited to curing, fermenting, rinsing, oxidizing, pitting, slicing, chopping, segmenting, wedging, stuffing, packaging, or heat treating, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in Spain.

    Excluded from the scope are: (1) Specialty olives 1 (including “Spanish-style,” “Sicilian-style,” and other similar olives) that have been processed by fermentation only, or by being cured in an alkaline solution for not longer than 12 hours and subsequently fermented; and (2) provisionally prepared olives unsuitable for immediate consumption (currently classifiable in subheading 0711.20 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)).

    1 Some of the major types of specialty olives and their curing methods are:

    “Spanish-style” green olives. Spanish-style green olives have a mildly salty, slightly bitter taste, and are usually pitted and stuffed. This style of olive is primarily produced in Spain and can be made from various olive varieties. Most are stuffed with pimento; other popular stuffings are jalapeno, garlic, and cheese. The raw olives that are used to produce Spanish-style green olives are picked while they are unripe, after which they are submerged in an alkaline solution for typically less than a day to partially remove their bitterness, rinsed, and fermented in a strong salt brine, giving them their characteristic flavor.

    “Sicilian-style” green olives. Sicilian-style olives are large, firm green olives with a natural bitter and savory flavor. This style of olive is produced in small quantities in the United States using a Sevillano variety of olive and harvested green with a firm texture. Sicilian-style olives are processed using a brine-cured method, and undergo a full fermentation in a salt and lactic acid brine for 4 to 9 months. These olives may be sold whole unpitted, pitted, or stuffed.

    “Kalamata” olives: Kalamata olives are slightly curved in shape, tender in texture, and purple in color, and have a rich natural tangy and savory flavor. This style of olive is produced in Greece using a Kalamata variety olive. The olives are harvested after they are fully ripened on the tree, and typically use a brine-cured fermentation method over 4 to 9 months in a salt brine.

    Other specialty olives in a full range of colors, sizes, and origins, typically fermented in a salt brine for 3 months or more.

    The merchandise subject to this investigation is currently classifiable under subheadings 2005.70.0230, 2005.70.0260, 2005.70.0430, 2005.70.0460, 2005.70.5030, 2005.70.5060, 2005.70.6020, 2005.70.6030, 2005.70.6050, 2005.70.6060, 2005.70.6070, 2005.70.7000, 2005.70.7510, 2005.70.7515, 2005.70.7520, and 2005.70.7525 HTSUS. Subject merchandise may also be imported under subheadings 2005.70.0600, 2005.70.0800, 2005.70.1200, 2005.70.1600, 2005.70.1800, 2005.70.2300, 2005.70.2510, 2005.70.2520, 2005.70.2530, 2005.70.2540, 2005.70.2550, 2005.70.2560, 2005.70.9100, 2005.70.9300, and 2005.70.9700. Although HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and US Customs purposes, they do not define the scope of the investigation; rather, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2017-15142 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-952] Narrow Woven Ribbon With Woven Selvedge From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Administrative Review and Preliminary Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on narrow woven ribbons with woven selvedge (woven ribbons) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) for the period of review (POR) September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016. This review covers two PRC companies: Huzhou Kingdom Coating Industry Co., Ltd. (Huzhou Kingdom) and Huzhou Unifull Label Fabric Co., Ltd. (Huzhou Unifull). The Department preliminarily finds that neither Huzhou Unifull nor Huzhou Kingdom established eligibility for a separate rate, as Huzhou Unifull had no entries of subject merchandise during the POR and Huzhou Kingdom failed to participate in the proceeding. Furthermore, the Department is rescinding administrative review with respect to Huzhou BeiHeng Textile Co., Ltd. (Huzhou BeiHeng) and Huzhou Siny Label Material Co., Ltd. (Huzhou Siny). Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable July 19, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aleksandras Nakutis, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement & Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3147.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On September 17, 2010, the Department published in the Federal Register an amended antidumping duty order on woven ribbons from the PRC.1 On September 8, 2016, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the Order.2 On September 27, 2016, Avery Dennison Corporation (Avery Dennison) timely requested a review of four companies: Huzhou BeiHeng, Huzhou Siny, Huzhou Kingdom, and Huzhou Unifull.3 Additionally, on September 30, 2016, Berwick Offray LLC and its subsidiary Lion Ribbon Company, LLC (the petitioner) timely requested a review 4 of the producer/exporter Yama Ribbons and Bows Co., Ltd. (Yama Ribbons). However, the Department determined in the underlying investigation that merchandise produced and exported by Yama Ribbons is excluded from the antidumping duty order; as a result, the Department did not initiate an administrative review on Yama Ribbons.5 On November 9, 2016, the Department initiated a review of four companies: Huzhou BeiHeng, Huzhou Siny, Huzhou Kingdom, and Huzhou Unifull.6 On May 31, 2017, the Department extended the deadline for the preliminary results by a total of 26 days until June 28, 2017.7 On June 28, 2017, the Department extended the deadline for the preliminary results by an additional 14 days until July 12, 2017.8

    1See Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge From Taiwan and the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Orders, 75 FR 53632 (September 1, 2010), as amended in Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge From Taiwan and the People's Republic of China: Amended Antidumping Duty Orders, 75 FR 56982 (September 17, 2010) (Order).

    2See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 81 FR 62096 (September 8, 2016).

    3See Letter from Avery Dennison to the Department, Re: “Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge from China: Request for Administrative Review,” dated September 27, 2016.

    4See Letter from petitioner to the Department, Re: “Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge from the People's Republic of China/Petitioner's Request for Administrative Review,” dated September 30, 2016.

    5See Order, 75 FR 56982.

    6See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 81 FR 78778 (November 9, 2016) (Initiation Notice).

    7See Memorandum from Aleksandras Nakutis to Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary, regarding “Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge from the People's Republic of China: Extension of Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated May 31, 2017.

    8See Memorandum from Aleksandras Nakutis to Gary Taverman, regarding “Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge from the People's Republic of China: Extension of Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated June 28, 2017.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are narrow woven ribbons with woven selvedge. The merchandise subject to the Order is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 5806.32.1020; 5806.32.1030; 5806.32.1050 and 5806.32.1060. Subject merchandise also may enter under HTSUS subheadings 5806.31.00; 5806.32.20; 5806.39.20; 5806.39.30; 5808.90.00; 5810.91.00; 5810.99.90; 5903.90.10; 5903.90.25; 5907.00.60; and 5907.00.80 and under statistical categories 5806.32.1080; 5810.92.9080; 5903.90.3090; and 6307.90.9889. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description in the Order remains dispositive.9

    9 For a complete description of the scope of the order, please see “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge from the People's Republic of China,” from James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to 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 (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”), dated concurrently with this notice.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum. This memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Results Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Results Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    The Department preliminarily finds that both Huzhou Kingdom and Huzhou Unifull have failed to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate and, therefore, they are considered part of the PRC-wide entity. The Department finds that Huzhou Kingdom did not submit a certification of no sales, a separate rate application, or a separate rate certification. With respect to Huzhou Unifull, the Department preliminary finds there are no reviewable entries during the POR and, thus, Huzhou Unifull has failed to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate. Both Avery Dennison and Huzhou Unifull submitted the same CBP Form 7501 to indicate an entry of subject merchandise by Huzhou Unifull. However, after examination, the Department determines that the CBP Form 7501 does not correspond to a sale by Huzhou Unifull and as such, found there are no reviewable entries of subject merchandise during the POR.10

    10See Preliminary Decision Memo.

    Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Department will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if a party that requested the review withdraws its request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. Huzhou BeiHeng and Huzhou Siny withdrew their respective requests for an administrative review within 90 days of the date of publication of Initiation Notice. 11 Accordingly, the Department is rescinding this review with respect to Huzhou BeiHeng and Huzhou Siny, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).12

    11See letter from Avery Dennison to the Department, Re: “Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge from China: Withdrawal from the Administrative Review,” dated February 7, 2017.

    12 See Appendix. As stated in Change in Practice in NME Reviews, the Department no longer considers the non-market economy (NME) entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013) (Change in Practice in NME Reviews). The PRC-wide entity is not subject to this administrative review because no interested party requested a review of the entity. See Initiation Notice, 81 FR at 78778 (November 9, 2016).

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Interested parties are invited to comment on the preliminary results and may submit case briefs and/or written comments, filed electronically using ACCESS, within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii). Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, will be due five days after the due date for case briefs, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(d). Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are requested to submit with each argument a statement of the issue, a summary of the argument not to exceed five pages, and a table of statutes, regulations, and cases cited, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties, who wish to request a hearing, or to participate in a hearing if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. Electronically filed case briefs/written comments and hearing requests must be received successfully in their entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.13 Hearing requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those issues raised in the respective case briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date of the hearing which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington DC 20230. Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(2), the Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    13See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.14 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review. For the companies for which this review is rescinded, antidumping duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(l)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice.

    14See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For exports of merchandise exported by Huzhou Kingdom, the cash deposit rate is the PRC-wide rate of 247.26 percent; (2) for exports of merchandise exported by Huzhou Unifull, the cash deposit rate is the PRC-wide rate of 247.26; (3) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters which are not under review in this segment of the proceeding but which have separate rates, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recent period; (4) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the PRC-wide rate of 247.26 percent; and (5) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter(s) that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213.

    Dated: July 12, 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. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Results Decision Memorandum Summary Background Scope of the Order Discussion of the Methodology Preliminary Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review Companies That Did Not Establish Eligibility for a Separate Rate Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-15139 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-455-805] Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Poland: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESB rubber) from Poland is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.

    DATES:

    July 19, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephen Bailey, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0193.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On February 24, 2017, the Department published the Preliminary Determination of this antidumping LTFV investigation, as provided by Section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (Act), in which the Department found that ESB rubber from Poland was sold at LTFV.1 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by interested parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.2 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B-8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/.

    1See Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Poland: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures, 82 FR 11531 (February 24, 2017), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (collectively, Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Less Than Fair Value Investigation of Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Poland,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is ESB rubber from Poland. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    No interested party commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. 3 Therefore, the scope of this investigation remains unchanged for this final determination.

    3See Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico and Poland: Initiation of Less Than Fair Value Investigations, 81 FR 55438 (August 19, 2016) (Initiation Notice).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, in February, March, and April 2017, the Department conducted verification of the information reported by the mandatory respondent Synthos Dwory (Synthos), for use in the Department's final determination. The Department used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by the respondent.4

    4 For discussion of our verification findings, see the following memoranda: Memorandum, “Verification of the Sales Response of Synthos Dwory in the Antidumping Investigation of Emulsion Styrene Butadiene from Poland,” dated April 12, 2017 and Memorandum, “Verification of the Cost Response of Synthos Dwory 7 Spolka z ograniczona odpowiedzialnoscia sp. j. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Emulsion Styrene Butadiene Rubber from Poland,” dated May 15, 2017.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    The issues raised in the case brief that was submitted by petitioners 5 in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of these issues is attached to this notice as Appendix II. Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made no changes to the margin calculation for Synthos.

    5 Lion Elastomers LLC and East West Copolymers (petitioners).

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that in the final determination the Department shall determine an estimated all-others rate for all exporters and producers not individually examined. This rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act.

    For the final determination, the Department calculated an individual estimated weighted-average dumping margin for Synthos, the only individually examined exporter/producer in this investigation. Because the only individually calculated dumping margin is not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, the estimated weighted-average dumping margin calculated for Synthos is the margin assigned to all-other producers and exporters, pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act.

    Final Determination

    The final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/producer Dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Synthos Dwory 25.43 All-Others 25.43
    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of ESB rubber from Poland as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after February 24, 2017, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. Further, pursuant to section 735(c)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin or the estimated all-others rate, as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for the respondents listed above will be equal to the respondent-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin determined in this final determination; (2) if the exporter is not a respondent identified above, but the producer is, then the cash deposit rate will be equal to the respondent-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for that producer of the subject merchandise; and (3) the cash deposit rate for all other producers and exporters will be equal to the all-others estimated weighted-average dumping margin.

    Disclosure

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties its calculations and analysis performed in this final determination within five days of any public announcement or, if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, the Department will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its final determination. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of ESB rubber from Poland no later than 45 days after the Department's final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on appropriate imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to an administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: July 10, 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. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    For purposes of this investigation, the product covered is cold-polymerized emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESB rubber). The scope of the investigation includes, but is not limited to, ESB rubber in primary forms, bales, granules, crumbs, pellets, powders, plates, sheets, strip, etc. ESB rubber consists of non-pigmented rubbers and oil-extended non-pigmented rubbers, both of which contain at least one percent of organic acids from the emulsion polymerization process.

    ESB rubber is produced and sold in accordance with a generally accepted set of product specifications issued by the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP). The scope of the investigation covers grades of ESB rubber included in the IISRP 1500 and 1700 series of synthetic rubbers. The 1500 grades are light in color and are often described as “Clear” or “White Rubber.” The 1700 grades are oil-extended and thus darker in color, and are often called “Brown Rubber.”

    Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are products which are manufactured by blending ESB rubber with other polymers, high styrene resin master batch, carbon black master batch (i.e., IISRP 1600 series and 1800 series) and latex (an intermediate product).

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classifiable under subheadings 4002.19.0015 and 4002.19.0019 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). ESB rubber is described by Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Registry No. 9003-55-8. This CAS number also refers to other types of styrene butadiene rubber. Although the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Investigation IV. Discussion of the Issues: Comment 1: Selling, General and Administrative Expenses V. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-14952 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-201-848] Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Mexico: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) determines that emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESB rubber) from Mexico is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV). The period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.

    DATES:

    July 19, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia Hancock or Javier Barrientos, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1394 or (202) 482-2243, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On February 24, 2017, the Department of Commerce (Department) published the Preliminary Determination of this antidumping duty LTFV investigation, as provided by section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (Act), in which the Department found that ESB rubber from Mexico was sold at LTFV.1 A summary of the events that have occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by interested parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.2 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/.

    1See Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Mexico: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures, 82 FR 11534 (February 24, 2017), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum (collectively, Preliminary Determination).

    2See “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Mexico,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is ESB rubber from Mexico. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    No interested party commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. 3 Therefore, the scope of this investigation remains unchanged for this final determination.

    3See Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber from Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico and Poland: Initiation of Less Than Fair Value Investigations, 81 FR 55438 (August 19, 2016) (Initiation Notice).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, in March and April 2017, the Department conducted verification of the information reported by the mandatory respondent Industrias Negromex S.A. de C.V.—Planta Altamira (Negromex) for use in the Department's final determination. The Department used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records and original source documents provided by the respondent.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs that were submitted by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of these issues is attached to this notice as Appendix II. Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculation for Negromex, and also the all-others rate.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that in the final determination the Department shall determine an estimated all-others rate for all exporters and producers not individually examined. This rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act.

    For the final determination, the Department calculated an individual estimated weighted-average dumping margin for Negromex, the only individually examined exporter/producer in this investigation. Because the only individually calculated dumping margin is not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, the estimated weighted-average dumping margin calculated for Negromex is the margin assigned to all-other producers and exporters, pursuant to section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act.

    Final Determination

    The Department determines that the following estimated weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Exporter/producer Estimated
  • weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Industrias Negromex S.A. de C.V.—Planta Altamira (Negromex) 19.52 All-Others 19.52
    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of ESB rubber from Mexico as described in Appendix I of this notice, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after February 24, 2017, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination of this investigation in the Federal Register. Further, pursuant to section 735(c)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margin or the estimated all-others rate, as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for the respondents listed above will be equal to the respondent-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin determined in this final determination; (2) if the exporter is not a respondent identified above, but the producer is, then the cash deposit rate will be equal to the respondent-specific estimated weighted-average dumping margin established for that producer of the subject merchandise; and (3) the cash deposit rate for all other producers and exporters will be equal to the all-others estimated weighted-average dumping margin.

    Disclosure

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties its calculations and analysis performed in this final determination within five days of any public announcement or, if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, the Department will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its final determination. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of ESB rubber from Mexico no later than 45 days after the Department's final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury or threat of material injury does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on appropriate imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice serves as a reminder to parties subject to an administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

    This determination and this notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: July 10, 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. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    For purposes of this investigation, the product covered is cold-polymerized emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESB rubber). The scope of the investigation includes, but is not limited to, ESB rubber in primary forms, bales, granules, crumbs, pellets, powders, plates, sheets, strip, etc. ESB rubber consists of non-pigmented rubbers and oil-extended non-pigmented rubbers, both of which contain at least one percent of organic acids from the emulsion polymerization process.

    ESB rubber is produced and sold in accordance with a generally accepted set of product specifications issued by the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP). The scope of the investigation covers grades of ESB rubber included in the IISRP 1500 and 1700 series of synthetic rubbers. The 1500 grades are light in color and are often described as “Clear” or “White Rubber.” The 1700 grades are oil-extended and thus darker in color, and are often called “Brown Rubber.”

    Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are products which are manufactured by blending ESB rubber with other polymers, high styrene resin master batch, carbon black master batch (i.e., IISRP 1600 series and 1800 series) and latex (an intermediate product).

    The products subject to this investigation are currently classifiable under subheadings 4002.19.0015 and 4002.19.0019 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). ESB rubber is described by Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Registry No. 9003-55-8. This CAS number also refers to other types of styrene butadiene rubber. Although the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Margin Calculations VI. Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Partial Adverse Fact Available for Negromex's Financial Expense Rate Comment 2: Partial Adverse Facts Available for Negromex's Domestic Brokerage and Handling Expenses, U.S. Brokerage and Handling Expenses, and U.S. Inland Freight From Warehouse to Customer Expenses Comment 3: Partial Adverse Facts Available for Certain Unreported Sales Comment 4: Eligibility for a CEP Offset Comment 5: Recalculation of Negromex's G&A Expense Rate Comment 6: Billing Adjustment Comment 7: Treatment of Freight Expenses Included in Resirene's SG&A Comment 8: Apply the Market Price of Styrene to Negromex's COM Comment 9: Treatment of Technology Expenses in Negromex's G&A Ratio Comment 10: Short-Term Interest Rate for Negromex's Credit Expenses VII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-14951 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 150902810-7646-01] RIN 0648-XE167 Listing Endangered or Threatened Species; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Winter-Run Puget Sound Chum Salmon in the Nisqually River System and Chambers Creek as a Threatened or Endangered Evolutionarily Significant Unit Under the Endangered Species Act AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of 90-day petition finding.

    SUMMARY:

    We, NMFS, announce a 90-Day finding on a petition to list the winter-run Puget Sound chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) in the Nisqually River system and Chambers Creek as a threatened or endangered evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to designate critical habitat concurrently with the listing. We find that the petition and information in our files do not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the winter-run chum salmon from the Nisqually River system and Chambers Creek qualify as an ESU under the ESA. As such, we find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the winter-run chum salmon in the Nisqually River system and Chambers Creek are a “species” eligible for listing under the ESA.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic copies of the petition and other materials are available on the NMFS West Coast Region Web site at www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gary Rule, NMFS West Coast Region, at [email protected], (503) 230-5424; or Maggie Miller, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, at [email protected], (301) 427-8457.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 29, 2015, we received a petition from Mr. Sam Wright (Olympia, Washington) to list the winter-run Puget Sound chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) in the Nisqually River system and Chambers Creek as a threatened or endangered ESU under the ESA and to designate critical habitat concurrently with the listing. The petitioner asserts that (1) the designation of these two winter-run chum salmon populations as an ESU is justified because these populations are the only known winter-run chum salmon populations in the world, (2) a diverging trend in abundance between the Chambers Creek population and the fall-run chum salmon populations in southern Puget Sound renders the Nisqually River population as the only viable winter-run population and justifies an ESA listing of the petitioner's proposed ESU as threatened or endangered, and (3) NMFS's “Status Review of Chum Salmon from Washington, Oregon, and California (NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NWFSC-32)” (Johnson et al. 1997) did not address “global warming” or “climate change.” Copies of the petition are available upon request (see ADDRESSES).

    ESA Statutory, Regulatory, Policy Provisions, and Evaluation Framework

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

    Under the ESA, a listing determination may address a species, which is defined to also include subspecies and, for any vertebrate species, any distinct population segment (DPS) that interbreeds when mature (16 U.S.C. 1532(16)). To identify the proper taxonomic unit for consideration in a salmon listing determination, we apply our Policy on Applying the Definition of Species under the ESA to Pacific Salmon (ESU Policy) (56 FR 58612; November 20, 1991). Under this policy, populations of salmon substantially reproductively isolated from other conspecific populations and representing an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the biological species are considered to be an ESU. In our listing determinations for Pacific salmon under the ESA, we have treated an ESU as constituting a DPS, and hence a “species,” under the ESA. A species, subspecies, or ESU is “endangered” if it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, and “threatened” if it is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range (ESA sections 3(6) and 3(20), respectively, 16 U.S.C. 1532(6) and (20)). Pursuant to the ESA and our implementing regulations, we determine whether species are threatened or endangered based on any one or a combination of the following five section 4(a)(1) factors: The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of habitat or range; overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; disease or predation; inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and any other natural or manmade factors affecting the species' existence (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(1), 50 CFR 424.11(c)).

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

    To make a 90-day finding on a petition to list a species, we evaluate whether the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the subject species may be either threatened or endangered, as defined by the ESA. ESA-implementing regulations issued jointly by NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (50 CFR 424.14(i)) define “substantial information” in the context of reviewing a petition to list, delist, or reclassify a species as credible scientific information in support of the petition's claims such that a reasonable person conducting an impartial scientific review would conclude that the revision proposed in the petition may be warranted. Conclusions drawn in the petition without the support of credible scientific information will not be considered “substantial information.” The “substantial scientific or commercial information” standard must be applied in light of any prior reviews or findings we have made on the listing status of the species that is the subject of the petition. Where we have already conducted a finding on, or review of, the listing status of that species (whether in response to a petition or on our own initiative), we will evaluate any petition received thereafter seeking to list, delist, or reclassify that species to determine whether a reasonable person conducting an impartial scientific review would conclude that the action proposed in the petition may be warranted despite the previous review or finding. Where the prior review resulted in a final agency action, a petitioned action generally would not be considered to present substantial scientific and commercial information indicating that the action may be warranted unless the petition provides new information not previously considered.

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

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

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

    Previous Reviews of Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia Chum Salmon Under the ESA

    On March 14, 1994, NMFS was petitioned by the Professional Resources Organization—Salmon (PRO—Salmon) to list Washington's Hood Canal, Discovery Bay, and Sequim Bay summer-run chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) as threatened or endangered species under the ESA (PRO—Salmon 1994). A second petition, received April 4, 1994, from the “Save Allison Springs” Citizens Committee (1994), requested listing of fall chum salmon found in the following southern Puget Sound streams or bays: Allison Springs, McLane Creek, tributaries of McLane Creek (Swift Creek and Beatty Creek), Perry Creek, and the southern section of Mud Bay/Eld Inlet. A third petition, received by NMFS on May 20, 1994, was submitted by Trout Unlimited (1994) and requested listing the Hood Canal summer chum. As the result of these three petitions, NMFS assembled a Biological Review Team (BRT) and initiated an ESA status review of all chum salmon populations in Washington, Oregon, and California. In December 1997, the status review was published as Johnson et al. (1997). In the status review, the BRT identified four ESUs—the Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia ESU, Hood Canal summer-run ESU, Pacific Coast ESU, and Columbia River ESU. The winter-run chum salmon populations in the Nisqually River system and Chambers Creek were identified as part of the Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia ESU. Despite these populations being one of the more genetically distinct populations in Puget Sound, the BRT (1) did not consider those differences distinct enough to warrant designating them as a separate ESU and (2) determined that these populations, along with the summer-run Puget Sound populations, reflected patterns of diversity within a large and complex ESU. The BRT determined that the Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia chum salmon ESU was not presently at risk of extinction nor was it likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The BRT found that the (1) the Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia chum salmon ESU's abundance was at or near the historical annual run levels of over one million fish, (2) the majority of the populations had stable or increasing population trends, and (3) all populations with statistically significant trends were increasing. The Pacific Coast chum salmon ESU, with its large geographic area and considerable diversity, was also not considered warranted for ESA listing. The BRT, however, determined that the Hood Canal summer-run chum salmon ESU and Columbia River chum salmon ESU are likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future if present conditions continue. NMFS listed these ESUs as threatened species under the ESA on March 25, 1999 (64 FR 14507).

    Analysis of Petition and Information Readily Available in NMFS Files

    As mentioned above, in analyzing the request of the petitioner, we first evaluate whether the information presented in the petition, along with information readily available in our files, indicates that the petitioned entity constitutes a “species” eligible for listing under the ESA. Because the petition specifically requests listing of an ESU, we evaluate whether the information indicates that the petitioned entities, the winter-run Puget Sound chum salmon in the Nisqually River system and Chambers Creek, constitute an ESU pursuant to our ESU Policy.

    When identifying an ESU, our ESU Policy (56 FR 58612; November 20, 1991) stipulates two elements that must be considered: (1) It must be substantially reproductively isolated from other nonspecific population units, and (2) it must represent an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the species. In terms of reproductive isolation, the ESU Policy states that reproductive isolation does not have to be absolute, but it must be strong enough to permit evolutionarily important differences to accrue in different population units. Insights into the extent of reproductive isolation can be provided by movements of tagged fish, recolonization rates of other populations, measurements of genetic differences between population, and evaluations of the efficacy of natural barriers. In terms of evolutionary legacy of the species, that criterion would be met if the population contributed substantially to the ecological/genetic diversity of the species as a whole. To make that determination, the following questions are relevant: Is the population genetically distinct from other conspecific populations (genetic component)? Does the population occupy unusual or distinctive habitat (ecological component)? Does the population show evidence of unusual or distinctive adaptation to its environment (life-history component)?

    In evaluating this petition, we looked for information to suggest that the petitioned entities, the winter-run Puget Sound chum salmon in the Nisqually River system and Chambers Creek populations, may qualify as an ESU under both the reproductive isolation and evolutionary legacy of the species criteria of our ESU Policy. Our evaluation is discussed below.

    Qualification of the Winter-Run Puget Sound Chum Salmon in the Nisqually River System and Chambers Creek as an ESU

    The petitioner asserts that (1) the designation of these two winter-run chum salmon populations as an ESU is justified because they are the only known winter-run chum salmon populations in the world, (2) a diverging trend in abundance between the Chambers Creek population and the fall-run chum salmon populations in southern Puget Sound renders the Nisqually River population as the only viable winter-run population and justifies an ESA listing of the petitioner's proposed ESU as threatened or endangered, and (3) Johnson et al. (1997) did not address “global warming” or “climate change.” To make the argument for identifying these two populations as an ESU, the petitioner relies almost exclusively on information from Johnson et al. (1997). The only other information that the petitioner presents is abundance data for the Chambers Creek (1968 through 2008) and Nisqually River (1968 through 2013) winter-run chum salmon populations. To direct our decision, we will first analyze the petition's assertion that these two winter-run chum salmon populations are a separate ESU; and if we determine that to be true, we will then analyze the other two assertions described above.

    As stated previously, NMFS received three petitions in 1994 to list several populations of chum salmon in Puget Sound. In response to these petitions and to address general concerns about the species, NMFS assembled a BRT to conduct a status review of chum salmon to identify the ESUs and determine their statuses throughout the Pacific Northwest. The findings were published as Johnson et al. (1997). Based upon genetic, ecological, and life-history components, the BRT was able to analyze and group West Coast chum salmon populations into four different chum salmon ESUs. For these ESUs, the BRT analyzed the following available information.

    For the genetic component, the BRT analyzed the genetic variability at 39 polymorphic loci in 153 samples collected from 105 locations in southern British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon (Phelps et al. 1994; Johnson et al. 1997). Seventy-two of those 105 locations were from Puget Sound including the Chambers Creek and Nisqually River winter-run populations. From that analysis, the Hood Canal and Strait of Juan de Fuca summer-run chum salmon were determined to be genetically distinct from the other Puget Sound populations and were described as the Hood Canal summer-run ESU. Genetically, the remaining Puget Sound and Hood Canal locations were clustered together with the winter-run chum salmon as genetic outliers most closely related to the fall-run Hood Canal and northern Puget Sound populations. Additional samples and analysis (Phelps 1995) resulted in three distinct clusters of samples: (1) Summer-run chum salmon of Hood Canal and Strait of Juan de Fuca; (2) Puget Sound fall-run and southern Puget Sound winter- and summer-run chum salmon; and (3) Strait of Juan de Fuca, coastal Washington, and Oregon fall-run chum salmon (Johnson et al. 1997). Recently, Waples (2015) analyzed genetic diversity and population structure from 174 chum salmon individuals at 10 Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia locations—including one Hood Canal summer-run ESU location (Hamma Hamma River), the Nisqually River winter-run location, and eight other Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia locations. In a FST matrix and phylogenetic tree analysis, the Hamma Hamma River location was most genetically diverse followed by the Nisqually River winter-run. A principle component analysis (PCA) evaluating the genetic relationships between the individuals from all 10 locations showed that the Hamma Hamma River location was the most genetically distinct with the other nine locations clustered together (including the Nisqually River winter-run). In response to this current petition, NMFS's Northwest Fishery Science Center (NWFSC) examined the available data concerning the winter-run chum salmon from the Nisqually River system and Chambers Creek. An analysis of these data (J. Hard, Supervisory Research Fishery Biologist, NWFSC, email September 2, 2015) confirmed the earlier conclusions from Johnson et al. (1997) that “the winter-run fish cluster closely with fall-run fish in Puget Sound and Hood Canal” and that “there is no clear genetic evidence to support the idea that the winter-run chum salmon in Puget Sound are substantially reproductively isolated from other chum salmon populations in southern Puget Sound.”

    In examining the ecological component, neither the Nisqually River nor Chambers Creek watersheds are isolated geographically or reproductively from other chum salmon populations in southern Puget Sound; therefore, it does not qualify as an ESU. While there is no need to determine whether this cluster represents an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the species (2nd criterion of the ESU Policy), we include this information in order to be thorough. Both the Nisqually River and Chambers Creek watersheds have supported both summer- and fall-run chum salmon in the past, along with winter-run chum salmon (Johnson et al. 1997), so there is nothing unique preventing these watersheds from supporting multiple chum salmon runs. No additional ecological information was provided by the petitioner nor found in our files.

    For the life history component, Johnson et al. (1997) stated that “the distinctiveness of the winter-run populations was not sufficient to designate these populations as a separate ESU. Rather, the team concluded that these populations, along with the summer-run populations in southern Puget Sound, reflect patterns of diversity within a relatively large and complex ESU.” No additional life history information was provided by the petitioner nor found in our files; therefore, we find the conclusions in Johnson et al. (1997) remain valid. We conclude that the winter-run cluster does not represent an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the species.

    After reviewing the genetic, ecological, and life history components of these two winter-run chum salmon populations, we have concluded that these populations are not distinct from the other populations within the Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia ESU and do not meet our criteria for identification as a separate ESU. Therefore, based upon the information from the petitioner and the data found in our files, we conclude that these populations are not a separate ESU and do not qualify for listing under the ESA.

    Other Information Provided by the Petitioner

    The petitioner also provided additional information on abundance for the two winter-run chum salmon populations and climate change. Since we determined that these two winter-run chum salmon populations do not qualify as an ESU, these two items were not analyzed.

    Petition Finding

    After reviewing the information contained in the petition, as well as information readily available in our files, and based on the above analysis, we conclude that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action of identifying the winter-run Puget Sound chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) in the Nisqually River system and Chambers Creek as an ESU may be warranted. As such, we find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the winter-run Puget Sound chum salmon in the Nisqually River system and Chambers Creek populations are “species” eligible for listing under the ESA.

    References Cited

    The complete citations for the references used in this document can be obtained by contacting NMFS (See FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) or on our Web site at: www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    Authority:

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

    Dated: July 13, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15065 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF554 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold two webinars that are open to the public.

    DATES:

    The GMT webinars will be held Wednesday, August 2, 2017 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and Wednesday, September 6, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Webinar end times are estimates, meetings will adjourn when business for each day is completed.

    ADDRESSES:

    The following login instructions will work for any of the webinars in this series. To attend the webinar (1) join the meeting by visiting this link http://www.gotomeeting.com/online/webinar/join-webinar; (2) enter the Webinar ID: 740-284-043, and (3) enter your name and email address (required). After logging in to the webinar, please (1) dial this TOLL number (+1) (914) 614-3221 (not a toll-free number); (2) enter the attendee phone audio access code 572-823-832; and (3) then enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar). NOTE: We have disabled Mic/Speakers as on option and require all participants to use a telephone or cell phone to participate. Technical Information and System Requirements: PC-based attendees are required to use Windows® 7, Vista, or XP; Mac®-based attendees are required to use Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer; Mobile attendees are required to use iPhone®, iPad®, AndroidTM phone or Android tablet (See the GoToMeeting WebinarApps). You may send an email to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at [email protected] or contact him at 503-820-2280, extension 411 for technical assistance. A public listening station will also be available at the Pacific Council office.

    Council address: Pacific Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, Oregon 97220-1384; telephone: 503-820-2280.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Kelly Ames, Pacific Council, 503-820-2426.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The primary purpose of the GMT webinars are to prepare for the September 2017 Pacific Council meeting. A detailed agenda for each webinar will be available on the Pacific Council's Web site prior to the meeting. The GMT may also address other assignments relating to groundfish management. No management actions will be decided by the GMT. The GMT's task will be to develop recommendations for consideration by the Pacific Council at its meetings in 2017.

    Although nonemergency issues not contained in the meeting agenda may be discussed, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any issues arising after publication of this document that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The public listening station is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at 503-820-2411 at least ten business days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: July 14, 2017. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15138 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0649-XF555 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a one-day meeting of its Outreach and Education Technical Committee.

    DATES:

    The meeting will convene on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Gulf Council Office.

    Council address: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Muehlstein, Public Information Officer, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; [email protected], telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda Tuesday, August 1, 2017; 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

    The committee will begin with introductions and adoption of agenda, approval of the June 2016 meeting summary, and discuss the use of proxy attendees. The committee will review and discuss agency efforts and identify the agency point person for Fish Measurement (triggerfish) Outreach, Barotrauma and Use of Venting and Descending Tools Outreach, Lionfish Outreach, and Anecdotal (angler reported) Data Collection.

    The committee will review the Fisherman's Conservation Best Practices Web page; and discuss any other business.

    Meeting Adjourns

    The meeting will be broadcast via webinar. You may listen in by registering for Outreach & Education Technical Committee on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at: https://register .gotowebinar.com/register/2487568475712856322.

    The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version along with other meeting materials will be posted on the Council's file server. To access the file server, the URL is https://public.gulfcouncil.org:5001/webman/index.cgi, or go to the Council's Web site and click on the FTP link in the lower left of the Council Web site (http://www.gulfcouncil.org). The username and password are both “gulfguest”. Click on the “Library Folder”, then scroll down to “Outreach & Education Technical Committee meeting—2017-08”.

    Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Technical Committee for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions of the Technical Committee will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira at the Gulf Council Office (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 14, 2017. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15150 Filed 7-18-17; 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 of review.

    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 18, 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. 3038-0103. Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0103, 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, and to Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; or through the Agency's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    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:

    Richard Mo, Special Counsel, Division of Market Oversight, at 202-418-7637 or [email protected] or David E. Aron, Special Counsel, Division of Market Oversight, at 202-418-6621 or [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No 3038-0103.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Ownership and Control Reports, Forms 102/102S, 40/40S, and 71 (Trader and Account Identification Reports) (OMB Control No. 3038-0103). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The Ownership and Control Reports (OCR) rules 1 created new information collection requirements via §§ 17.01, 18.04, 18.05, and 20.5. Specifically, § 17.01 provides for the filing of Form 102A, Form 102B and Form 71, as follows:

    1 See Commission, Final Rule: Ownership and Control Reports, Forms 102/102S, 40/40S, and 71, 78 FR 69178 (November 18, 2013). Terms used herein and not otherwise defined herein shall have the meaning assigned to such terms in the OCR rules or in the Commission's regulations.

    • Pursuant to § 17.01(a), futures commission merchants (“FCMs”), clearing members, and foreign brokers shall identify new special accounts to the Commission on Form 102A;2

    2 Form 102A is an updated version of old Form 102, which was titled “Identification of Special Accounts.” Form 102A collects information with respect to position-based special accounts in the futures market. Form 102A also requires clearing members to identify the individual trading accounts underlying these special accounts.

    • pursuant to § 17.01(b), clearing members shall identify volume threshold accounts to the Commission on Form 102B; and

    • pursuant to § 17.01(c), omnibus volume threshold account originators and omnibus reportable sub-account originators shall identify reportable sub-accounts to the Commission on Form 71 when requested via a special call by the Commission or its designee.

    Additional reporting requirements arise from § 18.04, which results in the collection of information via Form 40 from and regarding traders who own, hold, or control reportable positions; volume threshold account controllers; persons who own volume threshold accounts; reportable sub-account controllers; and persons who own reportable sub-accounts.

    Reporting requirements also arise from § 20.5(a), which requires 102S reporting entities to submit Form 102S for swap counterparty or customer consolidated accounts with reportable positions. In addition, § 20.5(b) requires every person subject to books or records under current § 20.6 to complete a 40S filing after a special call upon such person by the Commission.

    In addition to the reporting requirements summarized above, § 18.05 imposes recordkeeping requirements upon: (1) Traders who own, hold, or control a reportable futures or options on futures position; (2) volume threshold account controllers; (3) persons who own volume threshold accounts; (4) reportable sub-account controllers; and (5) persons who own reportable sub-accounts.

    A 60-day notice of intent to renew collection 3038-0103 (the “60-Day Notice”) was published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 12944 (March 8, 2017). In response to the 60-day Notice, the Commission received four comment letters from four entities, namely (a) the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; (b) the Commercial Energy Working Group; (c) the International Energy Credit Association; and (d) Capital Confirmation, Inc. (non-substantive comment). The comment letters are available through the Commission's Web site at: https://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/CommentList.aspx?id=1781.

    Burden Statement: The Commission is updating its burden estimates in response to comment letters received. The Commission estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Type of respondent Number of
  • reporting
  • parties per
  • year
  • Annualized burden per
  • reporting party (hours)
  • Total annual industry
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • Estimated wage rate Annual
  • industry costs
  • Form 102A FCMs, clearing members, and foreign brokers 260 106 27,560 $75.13 $2,070,583 Form 102B Clearing members 175 106 18,550 $75.13 $1,393,662 Form 71 Originators of omnibus volume threshold accounts or omnibus reportable sub-accounts 762 8 6,096 $75.13 $457,992 Form 40 (arising from Form 102A) Special account owners and controllers 5,250 5 26,250 $75.13 $1,972,163 Form 40 (arising from Form 102B and Form 71) Volume threshold account controllers and owners, reportable sub-account controllers and owners 18,920 5 94,600 $75.13 $7,107,298 Form 102S Clearing members and swap dealers 39 106 4,134 $75.13 $310,587 Form 40S Persons subject to books and records requirements under § 20.6 2,508 5 12,540 $75.13 $942,130 § 18.05 Recordkeeping Burden Volume threshold account controllers and owners, reportable sub-account controllers and owners, and traders who own, hold, or control reportable futures or option positions 53 5 265 $75.13 $19,909
    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: July 12, 2017. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15091 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION [Docket No. CFPB-2017-0019] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is requesting to renew the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for an existing information collection titled, “CFPB's Consumer Response Intake Form.”

    DATES:

    Written comments are encouraged and must be received on or before September 18, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the title of the information collection, OMB Control Number (see below), and docket number (see above), by any of the following methods:

    Electronic: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20552.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Attention: PRA Office), 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002.

    Please note that comments submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. In general, all comments received will become public records, including any personal information provided. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Documentation prepared in support of this information collection request is available at www.regulations.gov. Requests for additional information should be directed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552, (202) 435-9575, or email: [email protected] Please do not submit comments to this mailbox.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Collection: CFPB's Consumer Response Intake Form.

    OMB Control Number: 3170-0011.

    Type of Review: Extension with change to a currently approved collection.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,000,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 387,500.

    Abstract: The Intake Form is designed to aid consumers in the submission of complaints, inquiries, and feedback and to help the Bureau fulfill its statutory requirements.1 Consumers are able to complete and submit information through the Intake Form electronically on the Bureau's Web site. Alternatively, respondents may request that the Bureau mail a paper copy of the Intake Form, and then mail or fax it back to the Bureau; or call to submit a complaint by telephone. The questions within the Intake Form prompt respondents for a description of, and key facts about, the complaint at issue, the desired resolution, contact and account information, information about the company they are submitting a complaint about, and previous action taken to attempt to resolve the complaint.

    1See Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203, Title X, Sections 1013(b)(3), 1021(c)(2), and 1034, codified at 12 U.S.C. 5493(b)(3), 5511(c)(2), and 5534.

    Request for Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the Bureau's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions 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 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. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 11, 2017. Darrin A. King, Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15110 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION [Docket No. CFPB-2017-0022] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is requesting to renew the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for an existing information collection titled, “Generic Information Collection Plan for Consumer Complaint and Information Collection System (Testing and Feedback).”

    DATES:

    Written comments are encouraged and must be received on or before September 18, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the title of the information collection, OMB Control Number (see below), and docket number (see above), by any of the following methods:

    Electronic: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Attention: PRA Office), 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002.

    Please note that comments submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. In general, all comments received will become public records, including any personal information provided. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Documentation prepared in support of this information collection request is available at www.regulations.gov. Requests for additional information should be directed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (Attention: PRA Office), 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552, (202) 435-9575, or email: [email protected]. Please do not submit comments to this mailbox.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Collection: Generic Information Collection Plan for Consumer Complaint and Information Collection System (Testing and Feedback).

    OMB Control Number: 3170-0442.

    Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 710,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 118,334.

    Abstract: Over the past several years, the CFPB has undertaken a variety of service delivery-focused activities contemplated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-2013 (Dodd-Frank Act). These activities, which include consumer complaint and inquiry processing, referral, and monitoring, involve several interrelated systems.1 The streamlined process of the generic clearance will continue to allow the Bureau to implement these systems efficiently, in line with the Bureau's commitment to continuous improvement of its delivery of services through iterative testing and feedback collection.

    1 These interrelated systems include secure, web-based portals that allow consumers, companies, and agencies to access complaints and an online “Tell Your Story” feature that allows consumers to share feedback about their experiences in the consumer financial marketplace.

    This is a routine request for OMB to renew its approval of the collections of information currently approved under this OMB control number. The Bureau is not proposing any new or revised collections of information pursuant to this request.

    Request for Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the Bureau's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions 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 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. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: July 11, 2017. Darrin A. King, Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15105 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-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; Financial Management Survey AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    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 in the ADDRESSES section by September 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to information collection listed in this notice, please use http://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, Doug Godesky, Senior Grants Officer, Office of Grants Management, CNCS, 250 E. Street SW., Washington, DC 20525.

    (2) By hand delivery or by courier to the CNCS mailroom at Room 8100 at the mail address given in paragraph (1) 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.

    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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Douglas Godesky, Senior Grants Officer, 202-606-6967 or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    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; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Current Action

    Title of Collection: Financial Management Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 3045-0102.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Organizations that are first time grant recipients to the CNCS.

    Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 20.

    Total Estimated Frequency: Once.

    Total Estimated Average Time per Response: Averages 1.75 hours.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 35 hours.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Abstract

    Organizations that are receiving CNCS grant funds for the first time complete the form. It can be completed and submitted via email. The survey requests some existing organizational documents, such as an IRS Form 990 and audited financial statements. Organizations can provide those documents electronically or submit them on paper. CNCS seeks to renew the current information collection. The renewed information collection includes the correction of minor administrative and typographical errors and simplifies the submission instructions. 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 September 30, 2017.

    Dated: July 13, 2017. Douglas Godesky, Senior Grants Officer, Office of Grants Management, Corporation for National and Community Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15070 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 16-73] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathy Valadez, (703) 697-9217 or Pamela Young, (703) 697-9107; DSCA/DSA-RAN.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This 36(b)(1) arms sales notification is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 16-73 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: July 13, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer,Department of Defense. EN19JY17.001 Transmittal No. 16-73 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as Amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment* $83.5 million Other 102.0 million Total 185.5 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE):

    Fifty-six (56) AGM-154C Joint Standoff Weapons (JSOWs)

    Non-MDE includes:

    JSOW integration, captive flight vehicles, dummy training missiles, missile containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, Joint Mission Planning System updates, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Air Force (QBZ)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: None

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee. etc., Paid, Offered or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 29 JUN 2017

    * As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States—AGM-154C Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) Missiles

    TECRO requested a possible sale of fifty-six (56) AGM-154C JSOW Air-to-Ground Missiles. This request also includes: JSOW integration, captive flight vehicles, dummy training missiles, missile containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, Joint Mission Planning System updates, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated program cost is $185.5 million.

    This proposed sale is consistent with U.S. law and policy as expressed in Public Law 96-8.

    This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient's continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.

    The proposed sale will improve the recipient's capability in current and future defensive efforts. The recipient will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    Currently, market research is being conducted to determine the viability of a qualified contractor in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations. The purchaser typically requests offsets, but any offsets will be determined between the purchaser and the contractor.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives outside the United States.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 16-73 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(l) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. The AGM-154C Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) is a low observable, 1,000 lb. class, inertial navigation and global positioning satellite guided family of air-to-ground glide weapons. JSOW consists of a common airframe and avionics that provides for a modular payload assembly to attack stationary and moving massed flight-armored and armored vehicle columns, surface-to-air, soft to hard, relocatable, and fixed targets. JSOW provides combat forces with an all-weather, day/night/multiple kills per pass, launch and leave, and standoff capability.

    2. The highest classification of the hardware to be exported is SECRET. The highest classification of the technical documentation to be exported is SECRET, but no radar cross section and infrared signature data nor U.S.-only tactics or tactical doctrine will be disclosed. The highest classification of the software to be exported is SECRET; however, no software source code will be disclosed. All reprogramming of missile microprocessor memories must be accomplished by U.S. Government personnel or U.S. Government approved contractors.

    3. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures that might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    4. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification. Moreover, the benefits to be derived from this sale, as outlined in the Policy Justification, outweigh the potential damage that could result if the sensitive technology were revealed to unauthorized persons.

    5. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal are authorized for release and export to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States.

    [FR Doc. 2017-15096 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 16-67] Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of an arms sales notification.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathy Valadez, (703) 697-9217 or Pamela Young, (703) 697-9107; DSCA/DSA-RAN.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This 36(b)(1) arms sales notification is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 16-67 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: July 13, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN19JY17.000 Transmittal No. 16-67 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(l) of the Arms Export Control Act, as Amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment* $100 million Other 25 million Total 125 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE):

    Sixteen (16) Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA All-Up Rounds (AUR) Forty-seven (47) MK 93 MOD 1 SM-2 Block IIIA Guidance Sections (GSs) Five (5) MK 45 MOD 14 SM-2 Block IIIA Target Detecting Device (TDDs) Shrouds

    Non-MDE includes:

    Seventeen (17) MK 11 MOD6 SM-2 Block IIIA Autopilot Battery Units (APBUs) maneuverability upgrades on the GSs, sixty-nine (69) section containers and sixteen (16) AUR containers, operator manuals and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services.

    (iv) Military Department: Navy (LHT)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: FMS Cases TW-P-LGQ

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee., etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See attached annex

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 29 JUN 2017

    *as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States—SM-2 Block IIIA Standard Missiles and Components

    TECRO has requested a possible sale of sixteen (16) Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA All Up Rounds (AUR), forty-seven (47) MK 93 MOD 1 SM-2 Block IIIA Guidance Sections (GSs), and five (5) MK 45 MOD 14 SM-2 Block IIIA Target Detecting Devices (TDDs) Shrouds. This request also includes Seventeen (17) MK 11 MOD6 SM-2 Block IIIA Autopilot Battery Units (APBUs) maneuverability upgrades on the GSs, sixty-nine (69) section containers and sixteen (16) AUR containers, operator manuals and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services. The total estimated program cost is $125 million.

    This proposed sale is consistent with United States law and policy, as expressed in Public Law 96-8.

    This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic and security interests by supporting the recipient's continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and enhance its defensive capabilities. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance and economic progress in the region.

    The proposed sale will improve the recipient's capability in current and future defensive efforts. The recipient will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense. The SM-2 Block IIIA missiles and components proposed in this purchase will be used to supplement existing inventories of SM-2 Block IIIAs to be used for self-defense against air and cruise missile threats onboard their destroyer-class surface ships. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the military balance in the region.

    The prime contractor will be Raytheon Missiles Systems Company of Tucson, Arizona. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    It is estimated that during implementation of this proposed sale, a number of U.S. Government and contractor representatives will be assigned to the recipient or travel there intermittently during the program.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 16-67 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(l) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. A completely assembled STANDARD Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA with or without a conventional warhead, whether a tactical or inert (training) configuration, is classified CONFIDENTIAL. Missile component hardware includes: Guidance Section (classified CONFIDENTIAL), Target Detection Device (classified CONFIDENTIAL), Warhead (UNCLASSIFIED), Rocket Motor (UNCLASSIFIED), Steering Control Section (UNCLASSIFIED), Safe and Arming Device (UNCLASSIFIED), and Autopilot Battery Unit (classified CONFIDENTIAL).

    2. SM-2 operator and maintenance documentation is considered CONFIDENTIAL. Shipboard operation/firing guidance is considered CONFIDENTIAL. Pre-firing missile assembly/pedigree information is UNCLASSIFIED.

    3. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures that might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    4. A determination has been made that recipient can provide substantially the same degree of protection for the sensitive technology being released as the U.S. Government. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification.

    5. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States.

    [FR Doc. 2017-15092 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 16-68] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathy Valadez, (703) 697-9217 or Pamela Young, (703) 697-9107; DSCA/DSA-RAN.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This 36(b)(1) arms sales notification is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 16-68 with attached Policy Justification.

    Dated: July 13, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. BILLING CODE 5001-06-P EN19JY17.020 BILLING CODE 5001-06-C Transmittal No. 16-68 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(l) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $100 million Other 75 million TOTAL 175 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): One hundred sixty-eight (168) MK-54 Lightweight Torpedo (LWT) Conversion Kits Non-MDE includes: Shipping containers, operator manuals and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services.

    (iv) Military Department: Navy

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: FMS Cases TW-P-AJX and TW-P-AKB

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached annex

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 29 JUN 2017

    * as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States— MK-54 Lightweight Torpedo (LWT) Conversion Kits

    TECRO has requested a possible sale of MK-54 Lightweight Torpedo (LWT) Conversion Kits. This request provides the recipient with MK-54 LWTs in support of their LWT program. This sale will include LWT containers, torpedo support, torpedo spare parts, publications, training, weapon system support, engineering and technical assistance for the upgrade and conversion of one hundred sixty eight (168) MK-46 Mod 5 Torpedoes to the MK-54 Lightweight Torpedo (LWT) configuration. The total estimated program cost is $175 million.

    This proposed sale is consistent with United States law and policy, as expressed in Public Law 96-8.

    This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic and security interests by supporting the recipients continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and enhance its defensive capabilities. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance and economic progress in the region.

    The proposed sale will improve the recipient's capability in current and future defensive efforts. The recipient will use the enhance capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The will be various contactors involved in this case.

    There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    It is estimated that during implementation of this proposed sale, a number of U.S. Government and contractor representatives will be assigned to the recipient or travel there intermittently during the program .

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Annex Item No vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. The MK 54 Lightweight Torpedo (LWT) has been in service in the U.S. Navy (USN) since 2004. The version offered in this sale is the MK54 Mod 0 of the system. The purchaser currently does not have this weapon system in its inventory. The proposed sale consists 168 MK-54 Mod 0 LWT conversion kits, containers, spare and repair parts, weapon system support and integration, personnel training, training equipment, test equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistical support services and other related elements of logistical support.

    a. Although the MK 54 Mod 0 LWT is considered state-of-the-art-technology, there is no Critical Program Information associated with the MK 54 Mod 0 LWT hardware, technical documentation or software. The highest classification of the hardware to be exported is SECRET. The highest classification of the technical manual that will be exported is CONFIDENTIAL. The technical manual is required for operation of the MK 54 Mod 0 LWT. The highest classification of the software to be exported is SECRET.

    2. Loss of hardware, software, publications or other items associated with the proposed sale to a technologically advanced or competent adversary, poses the risk of the destruction of the countermeasures or replication and/or improvements to the adversary's Undersea Weapon Systems, weakening U.S. defense capabilities.

    3. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures which might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    4. A determination has been made that the recipient country can provide substantially the same degree of protection for the sensitive technology being released as the U.S. Government. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives in the Policy justification.

    5. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the government of Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States.

    [FR Doc. 2017-15072 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Business Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Deputy Chief Management Officer, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Defense Business Board will take place.

    DATES:

    Open to the public Wednesday, August 2, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The address for the open meeting is Room 3E863 in the Pentagon, Washington, DC.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roma Laster, (703) 695-7563 (Voice), (703) 614-4365 (Facsimile), [email protected] (Email). Mailing address is Defense Business Board, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Room 5B1088A, Washington, DC 20301-1155, Web site: http://dbb.defense.gov/. The most up-to-date changes to the meeting agenda can be found on the Web site.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.140 and 102-3.150. For meeting information please contact Mr. Steven Cruddas, Defense Business Board, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Room 5B1088A, Washington, DC 20301-1155, [email protected], (703) 697-2168. To submit written comments or questions to the Board, send via email to mailbox address: [email protected] A copy of the public agenda and the terms of reference for the Task Group study may be obtained from the Board's Web site at http://dbb.defense.gov/meetings.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The mission of the Board is to examine and advise the Secretary of Defense on overall DoD management and governance. The Board provides independent advice which reflects an outside private sector perspective on proven and effective best business practices that can be applied to DoD. The Board will hear an outbrief, findings, and recommendations from its Task Group on “Implications of Technology on the Future Workforce.”

    Agenda: 9:30 a.m.-9:35 a.m.—DFO Comments to Public Attendees; 9:35 a.m.-10:30 a.m.—DBB Study Outbrief on “Implications of Technology on the Future Workforce”; 10:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.—Public Comments (if time permits); 10:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m.—Board Deliberations and Vote.

    Meeting Accessibility: Pursuant to FACA and 41 CFR 102-3.140, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is limited and is on a first-come basis. All members of the public who wish to attend the public meeting must contact Mr. Steven Cruddas at the number listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section no later than 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, 2017 to register and make arrangements for a Pentagon escort, if necessary. Individuals requiring special accommodations to access the public meeting should contact Mr. Steven Cruddas at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Written Statements: Written comments should be received by the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting date so that the comments may be made available to the Board for their consideration prior to the meeting. Written comments should be submitted via email to the email address for public comments given in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section in either Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word format. Please note that since the Board operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, all submitted comments and public presentations will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection, including, but not limited to, being posted on the Board's Web site.

    Dated: July 14, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15149 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2017-ICCD-0104] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; an Impact Evaluation of Training in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior (MTSS-B) AGENCY:

    Institute of Education Sciences (IES), 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 18, 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-0104. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 216-32, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Lauren Angelo, 202-245-7276.

    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: An Impact Evaluation of Training in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior (MTSS-B).

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0921.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 2,568.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 457.

    Abstract: This submission requests approval of a third year of select data collection activities that will be used to support the Impact Evaluation of Training in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior (MTSS-B). The evaluation will estimate the impact on school staff practices, school climate, and student outcomes of providing training and support in the MTSS-B framework plus universal (Tier I) positive behavior supports and targeted (Tier II) interventions across two years. The third year of data collection will provide information on sustainability, the capacity of schools to continue implementation after the study-supported training and support are complete, as well as district efforts to scale-up the intervention in other schools.

    Dated: July 14, 2017. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15133 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy [Case No. CR-007] Notice of Petition for Waiver of ITW Food Equipment Group, LLC From the Department of Energy Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Test Procedures and Grant of Interim Waiver AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of petition for waiver and grant of interim waiver, and request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces receipt of and publishes a petition for waiver from ITW Food Equipment Group, LLC (ITW) seeking an exemption from specified portions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for determining the energy consumption of commercial refrigeration equipment under the regulations for basic models of their Innopod temperature controlled grocery and general merchandise system (Innopod). ITW requests modifications, as specified in its petition for waiver, to the existing DOE test procedure, which references Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) Standard 1200-2006 and Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Standard 1200 (I-P)-2010 that further references American National Standards Institute/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ANSI/ASHRAE) Standard 72. ITW submitted to DOE an alternate test procedure that allows for testing of specified Innopod basic models. This notice also announces that DOE has granted ITW an interim waiver from the DOE commercial refrigeration equipment test procedures for the specified commercial refrigeration equipment basic models, subject to use of the alternative test procedure as set forth in this notice. DOE solicits comments, data, and information concerning ITW's petition and its suggested alternate test procedure.

    DATES:

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information with regard to the ITW petition until August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Case No. CR-007, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include the case number [Case No. CR-007] in the subject line of the message. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or ASCII file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption.

    Postal Mail: Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, Petition for Waiver Case No. CR-007, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-0371. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 6th Floor, Washington, DC, 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-6636. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    Docket: The docket, which includes Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at http://www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-0371. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background and Authority

    Title III, Part C 1 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6311-6316, as codified) established the Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment, which includes commercial refrigeration equipment.2 Part C includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. Further, Part C authorizes the Secretary of Energy to prescribe test procedures that are reasonably designed to produce results that measure energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated operating costs during a representative average-use cycle, and that are not unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6314(a)(2)) The test procedure for commercial refrigeration equipment is contained in Title 10 of the CFR part 431, subpart C, appendix B, “Amended Uniform Test Method for the Measurement of Energy Consumption of Commercial Refrigerators, Freezers, and Refrigerator-Freezers.”

    1 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part C was redesignated as Part A-1.

    2 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 (EEIA), Public Law 114-11 (April 30, 2015).

    DOE's regulations set forth at 10 CFR 431.401 contain provisions that allow a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for a particular basic model of a type of covered equipment when the petitioner's basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics that either (1) prevent testing according to the prescribed test procedures; or (2) cause the prescribed test procedures to evaluate the basic model in a manner so unrepresentative of its true energy consumption as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 10 CFR 431.401(a)(1). A petitioner must include in its petition any alternate test procedures known to the petitioner to evaluate the basic model in a manner representative of its energy consumption. 10 CFR 431.401(b)(1)(iii).

    DOE may grant a waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 431.401(f)(2). As soon as practicable after the granting of any waiver, DOE will publish in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its regulations so as to eliminate any need for the continuation of such waiver. As soon thereafter as practicable, DOE will publish in the Federal Register a final rule. 10 CFR 431.401(l).

    The waiver process also allows DOE to grant an interim waiver if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted and/or if DOE determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination on the petition for waiver. 10 CFR 431.401(e)(2). Within one year of issuance of an interim waiver, DOE will either: (i) Publish in the Federal Register a determination on the petition for waiver; or (ii) publish in the Federal Register a new or amended test procedure that addresses the issues presented in the waiver. 10 CFR 431.401(h)(1). When DOE amends the test procedure to address the issues presented in a waiver, the waiver will automatically terminate on the date on which use of that test procedure is required to demonstrate compliance. 10 CFR 431.401(h)(2).

    II. ITW's Petition for Waiver of Test Procedure and Application for Interim Waiver

    On December 20, 2016, ITW submitted a petition for waiver and interim waiver pursuant to 10 CFR 431.401 pertaining to DOE's test procedure at 10 CFR part 431, subpart C, appendix B, for their Innopod temperature controlled grocery and general merchandise system (Innopod) basic models of commercial refrigeration equipment. ITW's initial petition included twenty-two base model configurations. On May 3, 2017, ITW provided DOE with the complete list of 200 basic models covered by the twenty-two base model configurations. ITW petitioned for a waiver and interim waiver from various DOE test procedure requirements.

    DOE's current test procedure references Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) Standard 1200-2006 and Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Standard 1200 (I-P)-2010, which further references American National Standards Institute/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ANSI/ASHRAE) Standard 72 (incorporated by reference at 10 CFR 431.63 (c) and (d)). ITW asserts that these current test procedures do not account for the unique operating characteristics of the Innopod basic models. Because the specific design of this product line contains one or more design characteristics noted in the waiver request, including floating suction temperatures for individual compartments, different typical door-opening cycles, and a high-temperature “ambient” compartment, ITW believes that its petition and combined application meets both conditions of 10 CFR 431.401(a)(1) for granting waivers, on the grounds that: (1) The petitioner's basic model contains one or more design characteristics that prevent testing according to the prescribed test procedures; and (2) The prescribed test procedures may evaluate the basic model in a manner so unrepresentative of its true energy consumption as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. ITW submitted to DOE an alternate test procedure that allows for testing of its Innopod basic models.

    ITW's Innopod basic models include multiple thermally separated, temperature controlled compartments supplied with refrigerant from a single condensing unit. ITW's petition proposes an alternate test using an “inverse refrigeration load” test, various calculations to account for refrigeration system and component energy consumption, and adjustments to the door opening requirements based on typical use in the field. ITW's proposed refrigeration system calculations rely on the current calculations and assumptions used for testing remote condensing commercial refrigeration equipment in accordance with the DOE test procedure.

    As previously noted, an interim waiver may be granted if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted, and/or if DOE determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination of the petition for waiver. See 10 CFR 431.401(e)(2).

    DOE understands that absent an interim waiver, the basic models identified by ITW in its petition cannot be tested and rated for energy consumption on a basis representative of their true energy consumption characteristics. DOE has reviewed the alternate procedure suggested by ITW and concludes that it will allow for the accurate measurement of the energy use of these equipment, while alleviating the testing problems associated with ITW's implementation of DOE's applicable commercial refrigeration equipment test procedure for the specified Innopod models. However, DOE has clarified how ITW should determine basic models, as discussed in section III of this notice, and adjusted certain aspects of the requested alternate test procedure regarding ambient test conditions, referenced industry standards, and calculations, as discussed in section IV of this notice. Thus, DOE has determined that ITW's petition for waiver will likely be granted and has decided that it is desirable for public policy reasons to grant ITW immediate relief pending a determination on the petition for waiver.

    III. Petition for Waiver and Interim Waiver Basic Models

    ITW's initial petition for waiver and interim waiver, submitted on December 20, 2016, included a list of twenty-two “base model configurations” of its Innopod equipment. However, based on the descriptions of the compartment configurations provided for each base model configuration, DOE expects that the list does not provide each basic model to which the waiver and interim waiver would apply.

    Specifically, DOE noted that many of the base model configurations include compartments that are convertible between the freezer and refrigerator temperature operating ranges. With respect to multi-mode operation, DOE has taken the position in the most recent commercial refrigeration equipment test procedure final rule that self-contained equipment or remote condensing equipment with thermostats capable of operating at temperatures that span multiple equipment categories must be certified and comply with DOE's regulations for each applicable equipment category. 79 FR 22291 (April 21, 2014).

    Additionally, DOE notes that its current regulations allow for the use of alternative efficiency determination methods (AEDMs), which allow manufacturers to simulate the energy use of untested basic models once a manufacturer has a validated AEDM and could be used to simulate results at other rating temperatures. 10 CFR 429.70.

    Under DOE's definition of a basic model as “equipment manufactured by one manufacturer within a single equipment class, having the same primary energy source, and that have essentially identical electrical, physical, and functional characteristics that affect energy consumption” (10 CFR 431.62), the base model configurations in ITW's initial petition would represent multiple basic models depending on the set point of the convertible compartments. DOE requested that ITW provide an updated list of basic models, consistent with DOE's definition of basic model, that would be covered by the petition for waiver and request for interim waiver. ITW provided DOE with the updated list of basic model numbers on May 3, 2017.

    ITW's petition also describes compartments that are convertible between refrigerator and ambient temperature ranges. These compartments would only be considered refrigerator compartments under DOE's definitions (compartments capable of operating at or above 32 °F (±2 °F)). Accordingly, these compartments would only be tested and rated at the refrigerator compartment standardized temperature (38 °F).

    IV. Summary of Grant of Interim Waiver

    For the reasons stated in section II of this notice, DOE has granted ITW's application for interim waiver from testing for its specified commercial refrigeration equipment basic models, with minor modifications to the proposed approach. The substance of the interim waiver is summarized below.

    ITW is required to test and rate the specified ITW commercial refrigeration equipment Innopod basic models 3 according to the alternate test procedure as set forth in section V, “Alternate Test Procedure.” DOE has revised ITW's proposed test approach to reflect ambient test conditions that are consistent with those required in the DOE test procedure. DOE has determined that the ambient condition requirement would not prevent testing of the Innopod basic models. Additionally, DOE has revised ITW's proposed alternate approach to reference the current version of the AHRI 1200 standard referenced in DOE's existing test procedure. Further, DOE has clarified certain details of the necessary measurements and calculations in the granted interim waiver.

    3 30-XX-X5-AAAAR, 30-XX-X5-AAARA, 30-XX-X5-AAARR, 30-XX-X5-AAAFA, 30-XX-X5-AAAFR, 30-XX-X5-AARAA, 30-XX-X5-AARAR, 30-XX-X5-AARRA, 30-XX-X5-AARRR, 30-XX-X5-AARFA, 30-XX-X5-AARFR, 30-XX-X5-AAFAA, 30-XX-X5-AAFAR, 30-XX-X5-AAFRA, 30-XX-X5-AAFRR, 30-XX-X5-AAFFA, 30-XX-X5-AAFFR, 30-XX-X5-ARAAA, 30-XX-X5-ARAAR, 30-XX-X5-ARARA, 30-XX-X5-ARARR, 30-XX-X5-ARAFA, 30-XX-X5-ARAFR, 30-XX-X5-ARRAA, 30-XX-X5-ARRAR, 30-XX-X5-ARRRA, 30-XX-X5-ARRRR, 30-XX-X5-ARRFA, 30-XX-X5-ARRFR, 30-XX-X5-ARFAA, 30-XX-X5-ARFAR, 30-XX-X5-ARFRA, 30-XX-X5-ARFRR, 30-XX-X5-ARFFA, 30-XX-X5-ARFFR, 30-XX-X5-AFAAA, 30-XX-X5-AFAAR, 30-XX-X5-AFARA, 30-XX-X5-AFARR, 30-XX-X5-AFAFA, 30-XX-X5-AFAFR, 30-XX-X5-AFRAA, 30-XX-X5-AFRAR, 30-XX-X5-AFRRA, 30-XX-X5-AFRRR, 30-XX-X5-AFRFA, 30-XX-X5-AFRFR, 30-XX-X5-AFFAA, 30-XX-X5-AFFAR, 30-XX-X5-AFFRA, 30-XX-X5-AFFRR, 30-XX-X5-RAAAA, 30-XX-X5-RAAAR, 30-XX-X5-RAARA, 30-XX-X5-RAARR, 30-XX-X5-RAAFA, 30-XX-X5-RAAFR, 30-XX-X5-RARAA, 30-XX-X5-RARAR, 30-XX-X5-RARRA, 30-XX-X5-RARRR, 30-XX-X5-RARFA, 30-XX-X5-RARFR, 30-XX-X5-RAFAA, 30-XX-X5-RAFAR, 30-XX-X5-RAFRA, 30-XX-X5-RAFRR, 30-XX-X5-RAFFA, 30-XX-X5-RAFFR, 30-XX-X5-RRAAA, 30-XX-X5-RRAAR, 30-XX-X5-RRARA, 30-XX-X5-RRARR, 30-XX-X5-RRAFA, 30-XX-X5-RRAFR, 30-XX-X5-RRRAA, 30-XX-X5-RRRAR, 30-XX-X5-RRRRA, 30-XX-X5-RRRFA, 30-XX-X5-RRFAA, 30-XX-X5-RRFAR, 30-XX-X5-RRFRA, 30-XX-X5-RRFFA, 30-XX-X5-RFAAA, 30-XX-X5-RFAAR, 30-XX-X5-RFARA, 30-XX-X5-RFARR, 30-XX-X5-RFAFA, 30-XX-X5-RFAFR, 30-XX-X5-RFRAA, 30-XX-X5-RFRAR, 30-XX-X5-RFRRA, 30-XX-X5-RFRFA, 30-XX-X5-RFFAA, 30-XX-X5-RFFAR, 30-XX-X5-RFFRA, 30-XX-X5-FAAAA, 30-XX-X5-FAAAR, 30-XX-X5-FAARA, 30-XX-X5-FAARR, 30-XX-X5-FAAFA, 30-XX-X5-FAAFR, 30-XX-X5-FARAA, 30-XX-X5-FARAR, 30-XX-X5-FARRA, 30-XX-X5-FARRR, 30-XX-X5-FARFA, 30-XX-X5-FARFR, 30-XX-X5-FAFAA, 30-XX-X5-FAFAR, 30-XX-X5-FAFRA, 30-XX-X5-FAFRR, 30-XX-X5-FRAAA, 30-XX-X5-FRAAR, 30-XX-X5-FRARA, 30-XX-X5-FRARR, 30-XX-X5-FRAFA, 30-XX-X5-FRAFR, 30-XX-X5-FRRAA, 30-XX-X5-FRRAR, 30-XX-X5-FRRRA, 30-XX-X5-FRRFA, 30-XX-X5-FRFAA, 30-XX-X5-FRFAR, 30-XX-X5-FRFRA, 30-XX-X5-FFAAA, 30-XX-X5-FFAAR, 30-XX-X5-FFARA, 30-XX-X5-FFARR, 30-XX-X5-FFRAA, 30-XX-X5-FFRAR, 30-XX-X5-FFRRA, 30-XX-X4A-AAAR, 30-XX-X4A-AARA, 30-XX-X4A-AARR, 30-XX-X4A-ARAA, 30-XX-X4A-ARAR, 30-XX-X4A-ARRA, 30-XX-X4A-ARRR, 30-XX-X4A-AFAA, 30-XX-X4A-AFAR, 30-XX-X4A-AFRA, 30-XX-X4A-AFRR, 30-XX-X4A-RAAA, 30-XX-X4A-RAAR, 30-XX-X4A-RARA, 30-XX-X4A-RARR, 30-XX-X4A-RRAA, 30-XX-X4A-RRAR, 30-XX-X4A-RRRA, 30-XX-X4A-RFAA, 30-XX-X4A-RFAR, 30-XX-X4A-RFRA, 30-XX-X4A-FAAA, 30-XX-X4A-FAAR, 30-XX-X4A-FARA, 30-XX-X4A-FARR, 30-XX-X4A-FRAA, 30-XX-X4A-FRAR, 30-XX-X4A-FRRA, 30-XX-X4A-FFAA, 30-XX-X4A-FFAR, 30-XX-X4A-FFRA, 30-XX-X4B-AAAR, 30-XX-X4B-AARA, 30-XX-X4B-AARR, 30-XX-X4B-AAFA, 30-XX-X4B-AAFR, 30-XX-X4B-ARAA, 30-XX-X4B-ARAR, 30-XX-X4B-ARRA, 30-XX-X4B-ARRR, 30-XX-X4B-ARFA, 30-XX-X4B-ARFR, 30-XX-X4B-AFAA, 30-XX-X4B-AFAR, 30-XX-X4B-AFRA, 30-XX-X4B-AFRR, 30-XX-X4B-AFFA, 30-XX-X4B-AFFR, 30-XX-X4B-RAAA, 30-XX-X4B-RAAR, 30-XX-X4B-RARA, 30-XX-X4B-RARR, 30-XX-X4B-RAFA, 30-XX-X4B-RAFR, 30-XX-X4B-RRAA, 30-XX-X4B-RRAR, 30-XX-X4B-RRRA, 30-XX-X4B-RRFA, 30-XX-X4B-RFAA, 30-XX-X4B-RFAR, 30-XX-X4B-RFRA, 30-XX-X4B-RFFA, 30-XX-XX-3-AAR, 30-XX-XX-3-30-XX-XX-3-ARA, 30-XX-XX-3-ARR, 30-XX-XX-3-RAA, 30-XX-XX-3-RAR, and 30-XX-XX-3-RRA.

    In addition, DOE is requiring that ITW test compartments in all relevant equipment configurations, as required by the current test procedure. Any compartments that are convertible between the refrigerator and freezer operating temperature ranges must be tested and rated under both test settings; however, the compartments in the ITW equipment that are convertible between ambient and refrigerator temperature ranges must be tested only at the refrigerator standardized compartment temperature of 38 °F, as described in section III of this notice.

    ITW must make representations about the energy use of these basic models for compliance, marketing, or other purposes only to the extent that such equipment have been tested in accordance with the provisions set forth in the alternate test procedure and such representations fairly disclose the results of such testing in accordance with 10 CFR part 429, subpart B.

    DOE makes decisions on waivers and interim waivers for only those basic models specifically set out in the petition, not future models that may be manufactured by the petitioner. ITW may request that DOE extend the scope of a waiver or an interim waiver to include additional basic models employing the same technology as the basic models set forth in the original petition consistent with 10 CFR 431.401(g). In addition, DOE notes that granting of an interim waiver or waiver does not release a petitioner from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 429. See also 10 CFR 431.401(a) and (i).

    The interim waiver shall remain in effect consistent with 10 CFR 431.401(h). Furthermore, this interim waiver is conditioned upon the presumed validity of statements, representations, and documents provided by the petitioner. DOE may rescind or modify a waiver or interim waiver at any time upon a determination that the factual basis underlying the petition for waiver or interim waiver is incorrect, or upon a determination that the results from the alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic model's true energy consumption characteristics. See 10 CFR 431.401(k).

    V. Alternate Test Procedure

    EPCA requires that manufacturers use DOE test procedures when making representations about the energy consumption and energy consumption costs of equipment covered by the statute. (42 U.S.C. 6293(c); 6314(d)) Consistent representations about the energy efficiency of covered equipment are important for consumers evaluating equipment when making purchasing decisions and for manufacturers to demonstrate compliance with applicable DOE energy conservation standards. Pursuant to its regulations applicable to waivers and interim waivers from applicable test procedures at 10 CFR 431.401, and after considering public comments on the petition, DOE will announce its decision as to an alternate test procedure for ITW in a subsequent Decision and Order.

    During the period of the interim waiver granted in this notice, ITW shall test the basic models listed in section IV according to the test procedure for commercial refrigeration equipment prescribed by DOE at 10 CFR part 431, subpart C, appendix B, with some of the modifications to the existing DOE test requirements as specified in ITW's petition. However, DOE is requiring that ITW test its Innopod basic models according to the ambient test conditions as outlined in AHRI Standard 1200 (I-P)-2010 section 4.1.2, which requires a wet-bulb test room temperature of 64.4 °F ± 1.8 °F, rather than the conditions requested in the petition for waiver, which instead specify a test room dew point. Additionally, DOE has revised ITW's proposed alternate approach to reference the current version of the AHRI 1200 standard referenced in DOE's existing test procedure, AHRI Standard 1200 (I-P)-2010. DOE has also clarified certain instructions, calculations, and measurements necessary to conduct the alternate test. Accordingly, DOE grants an interim waiver to ITW, but with modifications to ITW's requested approach. The applicable method of test for the specified ITW basic models is the test procedure for commercial refrigeration equipment prescribed by DOE at 10 CFR 431, subpart C, appendix B, with the following modifications:

    For the purpose of testing and rating, the Ambient (75 °F) compartment is treated as a Medium (Refrigerator at 75 °F) compartment. All volume and energy consumption calculations will be included within the Medium (Refrigerator 38 °F) category and summed with other Medium (Refrigerator 38 °F) compartment calculation(s). Compartments that are convertible between ambient and refrigerator temperature ranges shall be tested at the refrigerator temperature (38 °F). Compartments that are convertible between refrigerator and freezer (0 °F) temperature ranges shall be tested at both temperatures.

    BILLING CODE 6450-01-P EN19JY17.004 EN19JY17.005 BILLING CODE 6450-01-C VI. Summary and Request for Comments

    Through this notice, DOE announces receipt of ITW's petition for waiver from the DOE test procedure for certain basic models of ITW commercial refrigeration equipment, and announces DOE's decision to grant ITW an interim waiver from the test procedure for the specified basic models of commercial refrigeration equipment. DOE is publishing ITW's petition for waiver in redacted form, pursuant to 10 CFR 431.401(b)(1)(iv). The petition contains confidential information. The petition includes a suggested alternate test procedure to determine the energy consumption of specific basic models of commercial refrigeration equipment. DOE may consider including this alternate procedure in a subsequent Decision and Order based on comments from interested parties. However, DOE has tentatively determined that the alternate procedure proposed by ITW is not entirely acceptable and has provided a modified alternate test procedure as a part of its grant of an interim waiver. DOE will consider public comments on the petition in issuing its Decision and Order.

    DOE solicits comments from interested parties on all aspects of the petition, including the suggested alternate test procedure and calculation methodology. Pursuant to 10 CFR 431.401(d), any person submitting written comments to DOE must also send a copy of such comments to the petitioner. The contact information for the petitioner's representative is Ms. Mary Dane, Agency Approval Engineer, ITW Food Equipment Group, LLC, North American Refrigeration, 4401 Blue Mound Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76106. All comment submissions must include the agency name and Case No. CR-007 for this proceeding. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Portable Document Format (PDF), or text (American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)) file format and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption. Wherever possible, include the electronic signature of the author. DOE does not accept telefacsimiles (faxes).

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit two copies to DOE: One copy of the document marked “confidential” with all of the information believed to be confidential included, and one copy of the document marked “non-confidential” with all of the information believed to be confidential deleted. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 11, 2017. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. BILLING CODE 6450-01-P EN19JY17.006 EN19JY17.007 EN19JY17.008 EN19JY17.009 EN19JY17.010 EN19JY17.011 EN19JY17.012 EN19JY17.013 EN19JY17.014 EN19JY17.015 EN19JY17.016 EN19JY17.017 EN19JY17.018
    [FR Doc. 2017-15130 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-C
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy [Case No. RF-044] Notice of Petition for Waiver of New Shunxiang Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd., From the Department of Energy Refrigerator, Refrigerator-Freezer, Freezer Test Procedures AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of petition for waiver and request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces receipt of and publishes a petition for waiver from New Shunxiang Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd. (“New Shunxiang”), seeking an exemption from specified portions of the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) test procedure for determining the energy consumption of refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers under the regulations. New Shunxiang contends that the DOE test procedure does not clearly address its basic model JG50-2D1, which combines a compartment intended for storing wine (a cooler compartment) with a beverage cooler (a refrigerator compartment), and has petitioned for a waiver from appendix A. Although New Shunxiang did not propose an alternate test approach for its basic model, DOE has granted waivers for similar products. Therefore, DOE is considering whether to permit New Shunxiang to test and rate its basic model of combination cooler-refrigerator in a manner similar to that which DOE has permitted for other manufacturers with similar products. DOE also solicits comments, data, and information concerning New Shunxiang's petition and on the alternate test procedure detailed in this document.

    DATES:

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information with regard to the New Shunxiang petition until August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Case Number RF-044, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include the case number [Case No. RF-044] in the subject line of the message. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or ASCII file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption.

    Postal Mail: Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, Petition for Waiver Case No. RF-044, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-0371. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Room 6055, Washington, DC, 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-6636. Please submit one signed original paper copy.

    Docket: The docket, which includes Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-0371. Email: [email protected]

    Mr. Michael Kido, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Mail Stop GC-33, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-8145. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background and Authority

    Title III, Part B of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (“EPCA”) (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309) established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program that includes consumer refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers.1 Part B includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. Further, Part B authorizes the Secretary of Energy to prescribe test procedures that are reasonably designed to produce results measuring energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated operating costs, and that are not unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) The test procedure for consumer refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers is contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A.

    1 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was re-designated Part A.

    The regulations set forth in 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions that allow a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for a particular basic model of a type of covered product when the petitioner's basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics that: (1) Prevent testing according to the prescribed test procedure, or (2) cause the prescribed test procedures to evaluate the basic model in a manner so unrepresentative of its true energy consumption characteristics as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(1). A petitioner must include in its petition any alternate test procedures known to the petitioner to evaluate the basic model in a manner representative of its energy consumption characteristics. 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iii). DOE may grant the waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(f)(2). As soon as practicable after the granting of any waiver, DOE will publish in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its regulations so as to eliminate any need for the continuation of such waiver. As soon thereafter as practicable, DOE will publish in the Federal Register a final rule. 10 CFR 430.27(l).

    DOE recently published standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products (“MREFs”). See 81 FR 75194 (Oct. 28, 2016). Testing to demonstrate compliance with those standards will require manufacturers to use the MREF test procedure established in a final rule published in July 2016. See 81 FR 46768 (July 18, 2016) (MREF coverage determination and test procedure final rule) and 81 FR 49868 (July 29, 2016) (MREF test procedure final rule correction notice). Under these rules, DOE has determined that products such as those that are at issue here fall into the MREF category. Accordingly, consistent with these MREF-specific provisions, these products will be evaluated under prescribed procedures and against specified standards that are tailored to account for their particular characteristics.

    II. Petition for Waiver

    By email with attachment sent to DOE on October 14, 2015, New Shunxiang submitted a petition for waiver for its combination cooler-refrigerator basic model JG50-2D1. In its petition, New Shunxiang stated that it was unclear how this product would be classified under DOE regulations. As indicated in New Shunxiang's submitted data, the product includes both a cooler (with temperatures down to 40.2 °F) and a refrigerator (with temperatures down to 35 °F). Such a basic model is subject to the existing refrigerator energy conservation standards for the product class that would apply if the model did not include a cooler compartment.2 Under DOE's regulations prior to the MREF rulemakings, both compartments of the basic model would be tested using a standardized compartment temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit (°F). However, because the cooler compartment cannot reach this temperature, the basic model would have received no energy use rating under appendix A prior to the MREF rulemakings. Thus, New Shunxiang requested a waiver to test this basic model.

    2 See the relevant 2011 guidance documents for consumer refrigerators and freezers available at https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/pdfs/hybridwinechiller_faq3_2011-02-10.pdf and https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/pdfs/hybridwinechiller_faq_2011-02-10.pdf.

    Although New Shunxiang did not include an alternate test procedure for its basic model, DOE is considering whether to allow New Shunxiang to test and rate its combination cooler-refrigerator basic model as detailed in section III of this document.

    DOE granted a similar waiver to Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Systems Corporation of America (“PAPRSA”) in 2012 (under PAPRSA's previous corporate name, Sanyo E&E Corporation) (Case No. RF-022, 77 FR 49443 (August 16, 2012)), in 2013 (Case No. RF-031, 78 FR 57139 (Sept. 17, 2013)), and 2014 (Case No. RF-041, 79 FR 55769 (September 17, 2014)). On October 4, 2012, DOE issued a notice of correction to its Decision and Order in Case No. RF-022 by incorporating a K-factor (correction factor) value of 0.85 when calculating the energy consumption of the affected models. 77 FR 60688. On January 26, 2016, due to issues with the equations detailed in the prior waiver decisions, DOE issued a proposed modification of its prior waivers and granted PAPRSA with an interim waiver (81 FR 4270) under Case No. RF-043 to correct these known issues. DOE also previously granted a similar waiver to Sub-Zero Group Inc. through an interim waiver (79 FR 55772 (September 17, 2014)) and a subsequent Decision and Order (80 FR 7854 (February 12, 2015)) under Case No. RF-040. More recently, DOE granted a similar waiver to AGA Marvel through an interim waiver (81 FR 41531 (Jun 27, 2016)) and a subsequent Decision and Order (82 FR 21211 (May 5, 2017)) under Case No. RF-045. DOE also granted the PAPRSA waiver through a Decision and Order on May 5, 2017 (82 FR 21209).

    DOE's recently granted waivers to PAPRSA and AGA Marvel address refrigeration products similar to those identified in New Shunxiang's petition for wavier—products combining a high-temperature compartment (a cooler) with a refrigerator. The waivers granted to PAPRSA and AGA Marvel require that the manufacturers test the cooler compartment of these products at a standardized compartment temperature of 55 °F instead of the prescribed 39 °F. This temperature is consistent with the standardized compartment temperature for coolers established in the MREF test procedure final rule. See 81 FR 75194. The PAPRSA and AGA Marvel waivers also require that the manufacturers apply a correction factor of 0.85 rather than the 0.55 established in the MREF test procedure for determining compliance with refrigerator standards.

    DOE, therefore, is considering permitting New Shunxiang to test its product using the alternate test approach detailed in section III of this document. This approach is consistent with that detailed in the recent waiver decisions cited earlier and would require the basic model JG50-2D1 to be tested under the alternate approach.

    III. Alternate Test Procedure

    Although New Shunxiang did not provide an alternate test procedure for its basic model for DOE to consider (or request an interim waiver), DOE is considering whether to allow New Shunxiang to test and rate its combination cooler-refrigerator basic model JG50-2D1 on the basis of the current test procedure contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A, with the exception that it must calculate energy consumption using a correction factor (“K-factor”) of 0.85.

    Therefore, under this approach, the energy consumption would be defined in the following manner:

    If compartment temperatures are below their respective standardized temperatures for both test settings (according to 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A, section 6.2.4.1):

    E = (ET1 × 0.85) + IET.

    If compartment temperatures are not below their respective standardized temperatures for both test settings, the higher of the two values calculated by the following two formulas (according to 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A, section 6.2.4.2):

    Energy consumption of the “cooler compartment”:

    ECooler Compartment = (ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) × (55 °F-TC1)/(TC2-TC1)]) × 0.85 + IET

    Energy consumption of the “fresh food compartment”:

    EFreshFood Compartment = (ET1 + [(ET2-ET1) × (39 °F-TR1)/(TR2-TR1)]) × 0.85 + IET

    The following basic model is included in New Shunxiang's petition: JG50-2D1.

    IV. Summary and Request for Comments

    This document announces New Shunxiang's petition for waiver from appendix A for its basic model of a combination cooler-refrigerator and seeks comment on whether the company should be permitted to use the alternate test procedure described in this document for the identified basic model. DOE will consider the use of the alternate procedure in its subsequent Decision and Order. DOE is publishing New Shunxiang's request for a petition of waiver in its entirety pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv). The petition contains no confidential information.

    DOE solicits comments from interested parties on all aspects of the petition, including the alternate calculation methodology under consideration. New Shunxiang's cover email and attachment's text are both reproduced verbatim and are available in the docket identified in the ADDRESSES section in this document. See https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EERE-2017-BT-WAV-0002-0001 (containing product photographs and related information). Pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(d), any person submitting written comments to DOE must also send a copy of such comments to the petitioner. The contact information for the petitioner is Dolly [email protected], New Shunxiang Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd., Zhengxing Road, Nantou, Zhongshan, Guandong, China. All comment submissions to DOE must include the Case No. RF-044 for this proceeding. Submit electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Portable Document Format (PDF), or text (American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)) file format and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption. Wherever possible, include the electronic signature of the author. DOE does not accept telefacsimiles (faxes).

    According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit two copies: one copy of the document including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document with the information believed to be confidential deleted. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 11, 2017. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15131 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-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: ER17-742-001; ER10-1342-004; ER10-1886-007.

    Applicants: CP Bloom Wind LLC, CP Energy Marketing (US) Inc., Decatur Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Change in Status and Limited Request for Privileged Treatment of CP Bloom Wind LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 7/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20170712-5200.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1780-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2017-07-12 SA 1677 Illinois Power-Ameren Substitute Amended GIA to be effective 5/25/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20170712-5178.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2084-000.

    Applicants: Great Bay Solar 1, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market-Based Tariff and Waivers to be effective 8/29/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20170712-5195.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/2/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2085-000.

    Applicants: Alliant Energy Corporate Services, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: AECS Updated Schedule 2 (Reactive Power) to be effective 9/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/12/17.

    Accession Number: 20170712-5198.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/2/17.

    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 13, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15094 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2197-117] Cube Yadkin Generation, LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Shoreline Management Plan—Updated Guidelines.

    b. Project No: 2197-117.

    c. Date Filed: May 12, 2017.

    d. Applicant: Cube Yadkin Generation, LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Yadkin Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The Yadkin and Pee Dee rivers in Stanly, Davidson, Montgomery, Rowan, and Davie counties, North Carolina.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r.

    h. Applicant Contact: Mark Gross, Cube Hydro Carolinas, LLC, 293 Highway 740, Badin, NC 28009-0575, (704) 422-5774.

    i. FERC Contact: Mark Carter, (678) 245-3083, [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests: August 11, 2017.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, and protests using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2197-117. Comments emailed to Commission staff are not considered part of the Commission record.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person whose name appears on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. Description of Request: The licensee filed for Commission approval revised appendices to its approved shoreline management plan pursuant to Article 407 of the license. The revised appendices (i.e., Appendix E—Specifications for Private Recreation Facilities, Appendix F—Subdivision Access Approval Procedures, and Appendix G—Shoreline Stewardship Policy) were filed during the re-licensing process, discussed in Commission staff's Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project, but not approved under the new license. The revised appendices would increase flexibility in dock design, allow additional lands adjacent to the project to pursue dock permits, make changes to vegetation removal procedures, etc.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214, respectively. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title COMMENTS, PROTEST, or MOTION TO INTERVENE as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person commenting, protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis. Any filing made by an intervenor must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2010.

    Dated: July 12, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15090 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC17-9-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-510, FERC-520, FERC-561, and FERC-583); Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting its information collection [FERC-510 (Application for Surrender of a Hydropower License), FERC-520 (Application for Authority to Hold Interlocking Directorate Positions), FERC-561 (Annual Report of Interlocking Positions), and FERC-583 (Annual Kilowatt Generating Report (Annual Charges))] to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission previously issued a Notice in the Federal Register (82 FR 16191, 4/3/2017) requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments on the FERC-510, the FERC-520, the FERC-561, or the FERC-583 and is making this notation in its submittal to OMB.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due by August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902-0068 (FERC-510), 1902-0083 (FERC-520), 1902-0099 (FERC-561), or 1902-0136 (FERC-583) should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: [email protected] Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202-395-4718.

    A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC17-9-000, by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], by telephone at (202) 502-8663, and by fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the information collection requirements for all collections described below with no changes to the current reporting requirements. Please note that each collection is distinct from the next.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden and cost of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collections; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    FERC-510 [Application for Surrender of a Hydropower License]

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0068.

    Abstract: The information collected under the requirements of FERC-510 is used by the Commission to implement the statutory provisions of sections 4(e), 6 and 13 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) (16 U.S.C. 797(e), 799 and 806). Section 4(e) gives the Commission authority to issue licenses for the purposes of constructing, operating and maintaining dams, water conduits, reservoirs, powerhouses, transmission lines or other power project works necessary or convenient for developing and improving navigation, transmission and utilization of power using bodies of water over which Congress has jurisdiction. Section 6 gives the Commission the authority to prescribe the conditions of licenses including the revocation or surrender of the license. Section 13 defines the Commission's authority to delegate time periods for when a license must be terminated if project construction has not begun. Surrender of a license may be desired by a licensee when a licensed project is retired or not constructed or natural catastrophes have damaged or destroyed the project facilities.

    FERC-510 is the application for the surrender of a hydropower license. The information is used by Commission staff to determine the broad impact of such surrender. The Commission will issue a notice soliciting comments from the public and other agencies and conduct a careful review of the application before issuing an order for Surrender of a License. The order is the result of an analysis of the information produced (i.e., dam safety, public safety, and environmental concerns, etc.), which is examined to determine whether any conditions must be satisfied before granting the surrender. The order implements the existing regulations and is inclusive for surrender of all types of hydropower licenses issued by FERC and its predecessor, the Federal Power Commission. The Commission implements these mandatory filing requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under 18 CFR 6.1-6.4.

    Type of Respondent: Private or Municipal Hydropower Licensees.

    Estimate of Annual Burden1 : The Commission estimates the total annual burden and cost 2 for this information collection as follows:

    1 Burden is the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For additional information, refer to Title 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    2 The Commission staff thinks that the average respondent for this collection is similarly situated to the Commission, in terms of salary plus benefits. Based upon FERC's 2017 annual average of $158,754 (for salary plus benefits), the average hourly cost is $76.50/hour.

    FERC-510 [Application for surrender of a hydropower license] Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden and
  • cost per response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours and
  • total annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) 14 1 14 80 hrs.; 3 $6,120 1,120 hrs.; $85,680 $6,120
    FERC-520 [Application for Authority To Hold Interlocking Directorate Positions]

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0083.

    Abstract: The Federal Power Act (FPA), as amended by the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), mandates federal oversight and approval of certain electric corporate activities to ensure that neither public nor private interests are adversely affected. Accordingly, the FPA proscribes related information filing requirements to achieve this goal. Such filing requirements are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), specifically in 18 CFR part 45, and serve as the basis for FERC-520.

    3 Based on additional information, we are revising the estimated average burden per response to 80 hours (rather than 10 hours). The reporting requirements have not changed.

    FERC-520 is divided into two types of applications: Full and informational. The full application, as specified in 18 CFR 45.8, implements the FPA requirement under section 305(b) that it is unlawful for any person to concurrently hold the positions of officer or director of more than one public utility; or a public utility and a financial institution that is authorized to underwrite or participate in the marketing of public utility securities; or a public utility and an electrical equipment supplier to that public utility, unless authorized by order of the Commission. In order to obtain authorization, an applicant must demonstrate that neither public nor private interests will be adversely affected by the holding of the position. The full application provides the Commission with information about any interlocking position for which the applicant seeks authorization including, but not limited to, a description of duties and the estimated time devoted to the position.

    An informational application, specified in 18 CFR 45.9, allows an applicant to receive automatic authorization for an interlocked position upon receipt of the filing by the Commission. The informational application applies only to those individuals who seek authorization as: (1) An officer or director of two or more public utilities where the same holding company owns, directly or indirectly, that percentage of each utility's stock (of whatever class or classes) which is required by each utility's by-laws to elect directors; (2) an officer or director of two public utilities, if one utility is owned, wholly or in part, by the other and, as its primary business, owns or operates transmission or generation facilities to provide transmission service or electric power for sale to its owners; or (3) an officer or director of more than one public utility, if such person is already authorized under part 45 to hold different positions as officer or director of those utilities where the interlock involves affiliated public utilities.

    Pursuant to 18 CFR 45.5, in the event that an applicant resigns or withdraws from Commission-authorized interlocked positions or is not re-elected or re-appointed to such interlocked positions, the Commission requires that the applicant submit a notice of change within 30 days from the date of the change.

    Type of Respondents: Individuals who plan to concurrently become officers or directors of public utilities and of certain other covered entities must request authorization to hold such interlocking positions by submitting a FERC-520.

    Estimate of Annual Burden1: The Commission estimates the total annual burden and cost 2 for this information collection as follows:

    FERC-520 [Application for authority to hold interlocking directorate positions] Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden and cost per response Total annual
  • burden hours
  • (Total Annual Cost)
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Full 16 1 16 50 hrs.; $3,825 800 hrs.; $61,200 $3,825 Informational 500 1 500 8 hrs.; $612 4,000 hrs.; $306,000 $612 Notice of Change 200 1 200 0.25 hrs.; $19.13 50 hrs.; $3,825 $19.13 Total 4,850 hrs.; $371,025
    FERC-561 [Annual Report of Interlocking Positions]

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0099

    Abstract: The FERC Form 561 responds to the FPA requirements for annual reporting of similar types of positions which public utility officers and directors hold with financial institutions, insurance companies, utility equipment and fuel providers, and with any of an electric utility's 20 largest purchasers of electric energy (i.e., the 20 entities with high expenditures of electricity). The FPA specifically defines most of the information elements in the Form 561 including the information that must be filed, the required filers, the directive to make the information available to the public, and the filing deadline.

    The Commission uses the information required by 18 CFR 131.31 and collected by the Form 561 to implement the FPA requirement that those who are authorized to hold interlocked directorates annually disclose all the interlocked positions held within the prior year. The Form 561 data identifies persons holding interlocking positions between public utilities and other entities, allows the Commission to review these interlocking positions, and allows identification of possible conflicts of interest.

    Type of Respondents: Public utility officers and directors holding financial positions, insurance companies, security underwriters, electrical equipment suppliers, fuel provider, and any entity which is controlled by these.

    Estimate of Annual Burden 1: The Commission estimates the total annual burden and cost 2 for this information collection as follows:

    FERC Form 561 [Annual report of interlocking positions] Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average
  • burden and cost
  • per response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours and
  • total annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) 2,700 1 2,700 0.25 hrs.; $19.13 675.00 hrs.; $51,637.50 $19.13
    FERC-583 [Annual Kilowatt Generating Report (Annual Charges)]

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0136.

    Abstract: The FERC-583 is used by the Commission to implement the statutory provisions of section 10(e) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) (16 U.S.C. 803(e)), which requires the Commission to collect annual charges from hydropower licensees for, among other things, the cost of administering part I of the FPA and for the use of United States dams. In addition, section 3401 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (OBRA) authorizes the Commission to “assess and collect fees and annual charges in any fiscal year in amounts equal to all of the costs incurred by the Commission in that fiscal year.” The information is collected annually and used to determine the amounts of the annual charges to be assessed licensees for reimbursable government administrative costs and for the use of government dams. The Commission implements these filing requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under 18 CFR part 11.1 through 11.8.4

    4 As discussed in 18 CFR part 11, selected federal agencies (such as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service) submit annual reports to the Commission on their federal costs in administering part I of the Federal Power Act. The filing requirements imposed on those federal agencies are not collected for general statistical purposes and are not a collection of information as defined by 5 CFR 1320.3(c)(3). (The form and additional information on the information provided by those agencies is posted at https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/forms.asp#ofa.)

    Type of Respondent: FERC-regulated private and public hydropower licensees.

    Estimate of Annual Burden 1: The Commission estimates the total annual burden and cost 2 for this information collection as follows:

    FERC-583, Annual Kilowatt Generating Report [Annual charges] Number of
  • respondents5
  • Annual number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden and
  • cost per response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours and
  • total annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) 520 1 520 2 hrs.; $153 1,040 hrs.; $79,560 $153
    Dated: July 12, 2017.

    5 Based on data from Fiscal Year 2016, there were 520 project, owned by 242 FERC-regulted private and public licensees. Many of the licensees owned multiple projects.

    Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15089 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2084-000] Great Bay Solar 1, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Great Bay Solar 1, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is August 2, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 13, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15095 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9964-90-OA] Environmental Laboratory Advisory Board; Notice of Charter Renewal AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of charter renewal.

    Notice is hereby given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2, the Environmental Laboratory Advisory Board (ELAB) is in the public interest and is necessary in connection with the performance of EPA's duties. Accordingly, ELAB will be renewed for an additional two-year period. The purpose of the ELAB is to provide advice and recommendations to the Administrator of EPA on issues associated with enhancing EPA's measurement programs and the systems and standards of environmental accreditation. Inquiries may be directed to Lara P. Phelps, Senior Advisor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Science Advisor, 109 T W Alexander Drive (E243-05), Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 or by email: [email protected]

    Dated: July 12, 2017. Robert J. Kavlock, EPA Science Advisor.
    [FR Doc. 2017-14825 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609; FRL-9965-08-OAR] Criteria for the Certification and Recertification of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's Compliance With the Disposal Regulations; Recertification Decision AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice; recertification decision.

    SUMMARY:

    With this notice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) recertifies that the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) continues to comply with the “Environmental Standards for the Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic (TRU) Radioactive Waste.”

    This action represents the Agency's third periodic evaluation of the WIPP's continued compliance with the disposal regulations and WIPP Compliance Criteria. The WIPP Compliance Criteria implement and interpret the disposal regulations specifically for the WIPP. As directed by Congress in the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (WIPP LWA), this “recertification” process is required every five years following the WIPP's initial receipt of TRU waste on March 26, 1999 (e.g., March 2004, March 2009), until the end of the decommissioning phase. For each recertification—including the one being announced with this action—the DOE must submit documentation of the site's continuing compliance with the disposal regulations to the EPA for review.

    This recertification decision is based on a thorough review of information submitted by the DOE, independent technical analyses, and public comments. The Agency has determined that the DOE continues to meet all applicable requirements of the WIPP Compliance Criteria, and with this action, recertifies the WIPP facility. This recertification decision does not otherwise amend or affect the EPA's radioactive waste disposal regulations or the WIPP Compliance Criteria. In addition, recertification is not subject to rulemaking or judicial review, nor is it linked to the resumption of disposal activities at the WIPP facility. The EPA has also identified areas in which the DOE's technical analyses and justifications could be improved for the next recertification application.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ray Lee, Radiation Protection Division, Mail Code 6608T, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9463; fax number: (202) 343-2305; email address: [email protected] Copies of the Compliance Application Review Documents (CARDs) supporting this action and all other recertification-related documentation can be found in the Agency's electronic docket found at www.regulations.gov (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. General Information II. What is the WIPP? A. Background B. Impacts of the February 2014 Incidents on the Repository III. Compliance Certification History A. 1998 Certification Decision B. 2006 Recertification Decision C. 2010 Recertification Decision IV. With which regulations must the WIPP comply? A. Compliance with Radioactive Waste Disposal Regulations & the WIPP Compliance Criteria B. Compliance with Other Environmental Laws and Regulations V. Continuing Compliance with the WIPP Compliance Criteria A. Annual Change Reports B. Monitoring the Conditions of Compliance 1. Panel Closure Rulemaking 2. Quality Assurance 3. Waste Characterization 4. Passive Institutional Controls C. Inspections V. What is the EPA's 2017 Recertification Decision? A. Performance Assessment and the EPA's Standards B. Summary of the EPA's Review C. What information did the Agency examine to make the final decision? D. Content of the Compliance Recertification Application (§§ 194.14 and 194.15) 1. Changes to the Disposal System Identified by the DOE a. Update to the Drilling Rate and Borehole Plugging Patterns b. Replacement of Option D Panel Closure System With Run-of-Mine Salt Panel Closure Design c. Modeling of Open Areas in the Repository d. The DOE's Revised Estimate of the Probability of Encountering Pressurized Brine e. Revised Corrosion Rate of Steel f. Revised Effective Shear Strength of the WIPP Waste g. Revised Repository Water Balance h. Variable Brine Volume i. Revised Colloid Parameters j. New Actinide Solubility Code (EQ3/6) 2. Other Key Issues Identified by the EPA During Review a. Actinide Solubilities b. Solubility Uncertainty Distribution c. Plutonium Oxidation States E. Performance Assessment: Modeling and Containment Requirements (§§ 194.14, 194.15, 194.23, 194.31 through 194.34) 1. Overview 2. Sensitivity Studies a. The SEN1 Study b. The SEN2 Study c. The SEN3 Study d. The SEN4 Study i. Overview ii. Cumulative Effects of the Changes Evaluated by Release Pathway aa. Direct Brine Releases bb. Spallings Releases cc. Cuttings and Cavings Releases dd. Releases From the Culebra ee. Insights from the SEN4 Study 3. How the Four Sensitivity Studies Affect the WIPP Compliance F. Additional Requirements 1. Waste Characterization (Waste Inventory (§ 194.24) 2. Peer Review (§ 194.27) G. Individual and Groundwater Protection Requirements (§§ 194.51 Through 194.55) VII. How has the public been involved in the EPA's WIPP Recertification activities? A. Public Information B. Stakeholder Meetings C. Public Comments on Recertification VIII. Where can I get more information about the EPA's WIPP-related activities? A. Supporting Documents for Recertification B. The WIPP Web site & WIPP-NEWS Email Listserv C. Dockets IX. What is the EPA's role in future WIPP activities? Abbreviations CARD Compliance Application Review Document CFR Code of Federal Regulations DOE U.S. Department of Energy EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency FR Federal Register NMED New Mexico Environment Department OAR Office of Air and Radiation Pa Pascal PBRINE Parameter: Probability Distribution of Encountering Brine RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act SEN Sensitivity Study TRU Transuranic TSD Technical Support Document WIPP Waste Isolation Pilot Plant WIPP LWA WIPP Land Withdrawal Act I. General Information A. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    1. Docket. The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation Docket in the EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC) EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air and Radiation Docket is (202) 566-1742. As provided in the EPA's regulations at 40 CFR part 2, and in accordance with normal EPA docket procedures, if copies of any docket materials are requested, a reasonable fee may be charged for photocopying.

    2. Electronic Access. You may access this Federal Register document electronically through the U.S. Government Publishing Office Web site at https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR.

    II. What is the WIPP? A. Background

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a disposal system for defense-related transuranic (TRU) radioactive waste. The WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (WIPP LWA) of 1992 defines TRU waste as materials containing alpha-emitting radioisotopes, with half-lives greater than twenty years, in concentrations greater than 100 nanocuries per gram (nCi/g), except for (A) high-level radioactive waste; (B) waste that the Secretary has determined, with the concurrence of the Administrator, does not need the degree of isolation required by the disposal regulations; or (C) waste that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved for disposal on a case-by-case basis in accordance with part 61 of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the WIPP is located near Carlsbad in southeastern New Mexico. At the WIPP, the DOE disposes of radioactive waste 655 meters (2,150 feet) underground in an ancient salt layer which will eventually creep and encapsulate the waste. The WIPP has a total capacity to dispose of 6.2 million cubic feet of waste.

    Congress initially authorized the development and construction of the WIPP in 1980 “for the express purpose of providing a research and development facility to demonstrate the safe disposal of radioactive wastes resulting from the defense activities and programs of the United States.” 1 To further facilitate the development and operation of the WIPP, Congress passed the WIPP LWA in 1992 and amended it in 1996. The WIPP LWA only allows TRU radioactive waste generated by defense activities associated with nuclear weapons to be emplaced in the WIPP and explicitly prohibits high-level waste or spent nuclear fuel from being disposed of at the WIPP.

    1 Department of Energy National Security and Military Applications of Nuclear Energy Authorization Act of 1980, Pub. L. 96-164, section 213.

    Most TRU waste proposed for disposal at the WIPP consists of items that have become contaminated as a result of activities associated with the production of nuclear weapons or with the clean-up of weapons production facilities, e.g., rags, equipment, tools, protective gear and organic or inorganic sludges. Some TRU waste contains hazardous chemicals used during weapons production, research and development and cleaning/maintenance/deactivation activities. Some of the waste proposed for disposal at the WIPP is known as legacy waste and has been stored for decades at various federal facilities across the United States, including major generator sites such as the Idaho National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and smaller generators such as Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. These facilities continue to generate small quantities of TRU waste. All TRU waste which the DOE plans to ship to the WIPP is subjected to the EPA's WIPP waste characterization requirements at 40 CFR 194.24.

    The WIPP LWA provides the EPA the authority to oversee and regulate the WIPP. The WIPP LWA requires the EPA to conduct three main tasks, to be completed sequentially, to reach an initial compliance certification decision. First, the WIPP LWA requires the EPA to finalize general regulations for the disposal of highly-radioactive waste.2 The EPA published these disposal regulations, located at subparts B and C of 40 CFR part 191, in the Federal Register in 1985 and 1993.3

    2 WIPP LWA, section 8(b).

    3 50 FR 38066-38089 (September 19, 1985) and 58 FR 66398-66416 (December 20, 1993).

    Second, the WIPP LWA requires the EPA to develop criteria, via rulemaking, to interpret and implement the general radioactive waste disposal regulations specifically as they apply to the WIPP. In 1996, the Agency issued the WIPP Compliance Criteria (40 CFR part 194).4

    4 61 FR 5224-5245 (February 9, 1996).

    Third, the WIPP LWA requires the EPA to review the information submitted by the DOE every five years to demonstrate continued compliance with the disposal regulations and determine whether or not the WIPP continues to be in compliance.5 The Agency issued the initial certification decision on May 18, 1998 (63 FR 27354-27406).

    5 WIPP LWA, section 8(d).

    B. Impacts of February 2014 Incidents on the Repository

    Since the EPA's initial certification, operation of the WIPP proceeded without substantial interruption until 2014. However, two events took place at the WIPP in February 2014 that led the DOE to suspend emplacement of additional waste in the facility for nearly three years. On February 5, a salt haul truck caught fire. Workers were evacuated, and the underground portion of the WIPP was shut down. On February 14, a second event occurred when a continuous air monitor alarmed during the night shift, signaling a detection of radiation. The continuous air monitor was measuring exhaust from waste panel 7, where waste emplacement had recently begun. Radiological contamination of the underground caused an indefinite suspension of waste handling activities.

    After implementing numerous corrective actions, the DOE resumed limited waste emplacement on January 4, 2017, and also resumed limited shipments from waste generator sites. Resumption of waste emplacement at the WIPP is unrelated to the EPA's recertification decision, which is primarily concerned with compliance with the EPA's long-term disposal requirements. However, the DOE has acknowledged that recovery from the radiological release will result in design changes to the repository, which will need to be considered from that longer-term perspective. These changes include installation of a new ventilation shaft and modification of the waste panel layout to accommodate the premature closure of planned waste emplacement capacity in panel 9. The DOE is still reviewing options and has not provided any specific plans to the EPA. The EPA will review these changes as more information becomes available and they are incorporated into future recertification applications. The EPA recognizes that the current recertification decision is based on a repository design that is likely to change, but the current application contains the information necessary to reach a decision without knowing the details of the future changes. It is not unprecedented for the EPA to conduct a recertification review with the knowledge that the DOE will submit a request to change an aspect of the disposal system design.

    The EPA expects that any issues associated with repository design changes will be appropriately addressed in responding to change requests from the DOE and in subsequent recertification applications. However, because these design changes are likely to be substantial, the EPA believes it is necessary for the DOE to ensure that future compliance recertification applications are as robust and technically defensible as possible. To that end, the EPA discusses in Section VI.D specific aspects of future compliance recertification applications that the Agency believes would benefit from independent technical review, or otherwise from thorough consideration of more recent scientific information and understanding of chemical processes anticipated to take place within the repository. The EPA strongly believes that incorporating such reviews and information into future applications will increase public confidence in the DOE's compliance demonstrations and facilitate the Agency's review.

    III. Compliance Certification History A. 1998 Certification Decision

    The WIPP LWA, as amended, required the EPA to evaluate whether the WIPP complied with the EPA's standards for the disposal of radioactive waste. On May 18, 1998 (63 FR 27354-27406), the EPA determined that the WIPP met the standards for radioactive waste disposal. This decision allowed the DOE to begin placing radioactive waste in the WIPP, provided that all other applicable health and safety standards, and other legal requirements, were met. The WIPP received the first shipment of TRU waste on March 26, 1999. The complete record and basis for the EPA's 1998 certification decision can be found in Air Docket A-93-02.

    Although the EPA determined that the DOE met all of the applicable requirements of the WIPP Compliance Criteria in the original certification decision, the EPA also found that it was necessary for the DOE to take additional steps to ensure that the measures actually implemented at the WIPP (and thus the circumstances expected to exist there) were consistent with the DOE's compliance certification application and with the basis for the EPA's compliance certification. As a result, the EPA included four explicit conditions in the WIPP certification of compliance (see 40 CFR part 194, Appendix A; WIPP Recertification Background Document in Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609). These conditions are discussed in Section V.C of this document.

    B. 2006 Recertification Decision

    The first recertification process, which occurred in 2004-2006, included an EPA review of all changes made at the WIPP facility since the original 1998 certification decision. The Agency received the DOE's first compliance recertification application on March 26, 2004. The EPA issued the completeness determination 6 for the 2004 Compliance Recertification Application by letter to the DOE on September 29, 2005 (see 70 FR 61107-61111, October 20, 2005). On March 29, 2006, the EPA officially recertified the WIPP facility for the first time (71 FR 18010-18021, April 10, 2006).

    6 A “completeness determination” is an administrative step by the Agency to notify the DOE and the public that the Agency has enough information to conduct a final technical review of the DOE's application. It does not reflect any conclusion regarding the WIPP's continued compliance with the radioactive waste disposal regulations at 40 CFR part 191 and the compliance criteria at 40 CFR part 194. The completeness determination represents the start of the six-month period specified in the WIPP LWA for issuance of the recertification decision.

    C. 2010 Recertification Decision

    Following receipt of the DOE's second compliance recertification application on March 24, 2009, the EPA requested additional information from the DOE and the DOE responded with the requested supplemental information. All pertinent 2009 Compliance Recertification Application correspondence was placed in the docket (Docket ID No. OAR-2009-0330 on www.regulations.gov) and linked to on the WIPP Web site (https://www.epa.gov/radiation/certification-and-recertification-wipp#tab2). On June 29, 2010, the EPA sent a letter to the DOE announcing that the DOE's recertification application was complete (75 FR 41421-41424, July 16, 2010). The EPA's second recertification of the WIPP compliance was published on November 18, 2010 (75 FR 70584).

    IV. With which regulations must the WIPP comply? A. Compliance With Radioactive Waste Disposal Regulations & the WIPP Compliance Criteria

    The WIPP must comply with the EPA's radioactive waste disposal regulations, located at subparts B and C of 40 CFR part 191. These regulations limit the amount of radioactive material which may escape from a disposal facility, and protect individuals and ground water resources from dangerous levels of radioactive contamination. In addition, the compliance recertification application and other information submitted by the DOE must meet the requirements of the WIPP Compliance Criteria at 40 CFR part 194. The WIPP Compliance Criteria implement and interpret the general disposal regulations specifically for the WIPP, and clarify the basis on which the EPA makes the certification decision.

    B. Compliance With Other Environmental Laws and Regulations

    In addition to the EPA's radioactive waste disposal regulations, the WIPP must also comply with a number of other federal laws and regulations pertaining to public health and safety or the environment, including, for example, the Solid Waste Disposal Act (also known as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)) (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.) and the EPA's environmental standards for the management and storage of radioactive waste (subpart A of 40 CFR part 191). Various regulatory agencies are responsible for overseeing the enforcement of these federal laws and regulations. For example, enforcement of some parts of the hazardous waste management regulations has been delegated to the State of New Mexico. The State is authorized by the EPA to carry out the State's RCRA programs in lieu of the equivalent federal programs, and New Mexico's Environment Department (NMED) reviews the DOE's permit applications for treatment, storage, and disposal facilities for hazardous waste, under Subtitle C of RCRA. NMED's RCRA authority, such as issuing a hazardous waste operating permit for the WIPP, is not affected by the EPA's recertification decision. The DOE is responsible for biennially reporting to the EPA and the State of New Mexico on the WIPP's compliance with all applicable federal laws pertaining to public health and safety (WIPP LWA § 9).7 This action does not address the WIPP's compliance with environmental or public health and safety laws and regulations other than the EPA's radioactive waste disposal regulations (40 CFR part 191) and the WIPP Compliance Criteria (40 CFR part 194).

    7 Compliance with these laws and regulations is addressed in the site's Biennial Environmental Compliance Report (BECR).

    V. Continuing Compliance With the WIPP Compliance Criteria

    The EPA monitors and ensures continuing compliance with the EPA regulations through a variety of activities, including the following: review and evaluation of the DOE's annual change reports, monitoring of the conditions of compliance, addressing planned change requests, inspections of the WIPP site and inspections of waste characterization operations. Because of the 2014 incident, the EPA also reviewed health and monitoring data to ensure the radiological releases remained below the limits of subpart A of 40 CFR part 191 and the Clean Air Act National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants at 40 CFR part 61, subpart H.

    The DOE must timely report any planned or unplanned changes in activities or conditions pertaining to the disposal system that differ significantly from the most recent compliance application and, at least annually, report any other changes in disposal system conditions or activities (40 CFR 194.4(b)(3), (4)). The Department must also report any releases of radioactive material from the disposal system (40 CFR 194.4(b)(3)(iii)). In addition, the EPA may request additional information from the DOE at any time (§ 194.4(b)(2)). These requirements assist the EPA with monitoring the performance of the disposal system and evaluating whether the certification should be modified, suspended or revoked.

    A. Annual Change Reports

    In addition to reporting significant changes to the WIPP disposal system, the DOE is required to report at least annually other changes to the conditions or activities concerning the WIPP disposal system (40 CFR 194.4(b)(4)). The DOE submitted the first annual change report in November 1998.

    The DOE's annual change reports reflect the progress of quality assurance and waste characterization inspections, minor changes to the DOE documents, information on monitoring activities and any additional EPA approvals for changes in activities. All correspondence and approvals regarding the annual change reports can be found in hard copy in the Air Docket A-98-49, Categories II-B2 and II-B3.

    B. Monitoring the Conditions of Compliance

    1. Panel Closure Rulemaking. Waste panel closure systems are required by the State of New Mexico during the WIPP's operational phase. Since they are a feature of the disposal system design, the EPA requires panel closures to be included in the long-term modeling of the repository. The panel closures impact long-term disposal system performance because they can impede brine and gas flow between waste panels. As originally promulgated, the WIPP Certification Condition 1 required the DOE to implement the Option D panel closure system at the WIPP, using Salado mass concrete.8 By final action published October 8, 2014, the EPA modified Condition 1 to remove the specific reference to Option D and generally require that the DOE close filled waste panels as specifically approved by the EPA (40 CFR part 194, Appendix A, as amended; 79 FR 60750-60756). With the same action, the EPA approved a design which primarily consists of 100 feet of run-of-mine salt. The DOE submitted a performance assessment 9 to support its request to change the panel closure system design. The DOE asserted that the performance assessment demonstrated that a panel closure design using run-of-mine salt would be compliant with the EPA's disposal regulations (40 CFR part 191). The modification to the WIPP Certification Condition 1 also removed the requirement for the Agency to make future panel closure design changes by formal rulemaking.

    8 “Salado” mass concrete refers to concrete made using Salado brines instead of fresh water.

    9 Performance assessment is an important tool used in various contexts or evaluations relating to the WIPP and such assessments are mentioned in different circumstances throughout this notice, especially in Section VI.E. In general, performance assessment means: “an analysis that: (1) Identifies the processes and events that might affect the disposal system; (2) examines the effects of those processes and events on the performance of the disposal system; and (3) estimates the cumulative release of radionuclides, considering the associated uncertainties, caused by all significant processes and events” (40 CFR 191.12). Performance assessment, for example, is required to show compliance with containment requirements (40 CFR 191.13).

    2. Quality Assurance. Certification Condition 2 requires each TRU generator site to establish and execute a quality assurance program for waste characterization activities. Section 194.22 establishes quality assurance requirements for the WIPP. The DOE must adhere to a quality assurance program that implements the requirements of ASME NQA-1-1989 edition, ASME NQA-2a-1990 addenda, part 2.7, to ASME NQA-2-1989 edition, and ASME NQA-3-1989 edition (excluding Section 2.1 (b) and (c), and Section 17.1).The EPA determined that the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application provides adequate information to verify the establishment and implementation of each of the applicable elements of the ASME NQA-1-1989.The EPA has also verified the continued proper implementation of the Nuclear Quality Assurance Program through periodic audits conducted in accordance with § 194.22(e).

    The EPA's determination of compliance with 40 CFR 194.22 can be found in Table 1 of the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application CARD 22. Between March 2008 and April 2012, the EPA conducted several quality assurance audits and found the site-specific quality assurance programs to be adequate. The EPA conducted quality assurance audits at several waste generator sites and entities supporting the WIPP Performance Assessment activities at Los Alamos and Sandia Laboratories. The EPA also audited the quality assurance program of the Carlsbad Field Office.

    3. Waste Characterization. Certification Condition 3 requires TRU waste generator sites to have waste characterization systems approved by the EPA. The Agency has conducted numerous audits and inspections at waste generator sites in order to implement Condition 3 and the relevant provisions of 40 CFR part 194, including § 194.8. The EPA inspected site-specific TRU waste characterization programs implemented to (a) characterize physical and radiological components in individual waste containers and (b) demonstrate compliance with the WIPP waste disposal requirements at 40 CFR 194.24.

    To support the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the DOE reported the EPA's waste characterization inspections and approvals between January 2007 and December 2012 (see Table 1 in CARD 8). The EPA evaluated previously approved site-specific waste characterization program for continued compliance in accordance with 40 CFR 194.24, as well as changes to the systems of controls approved as part of the baseline (initial) approvals, and concluded them to be technically adequate. The TRU waste sites approved by the EPA to ship contact-handled TRU waste to the WIPP facility in accordance with the requirements of § 194.8 since the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application are as follows: Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project, Hanford's Richland Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Savannah River Site. Since the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application, the TRU waste sites approved by the EPA to ship remote-handled TRU waste to the WIPP facility in accordance with the requirements of § 194.8 are Argonne National Laboratory, Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, General Electric Vallecitos Nuclear Center, Idaho National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Savannah River Site. Since the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application, no waste characterization occurred at Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, General Electric Vallecitos Nuclear Center, Hanford's Richland Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

    During the period covered by the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, all site-specific waste characterization systems of controls at active TRU waste generator sites had necessary baseline approvals. Over the years, when warranted, the EPA approved modification to waste characterization program components. Notices announcing the EPA inspections or audits are routinely published in the Federal Register and also announced on the Agency's WIPP Web site (https://www.epa.gov/radiation/epas-role-waste-isolation-pilot-plant-wipp) and WIPP-NEWS email listserv.10

    10 For more information on the WIPP-NEWS email listserv, see Section VIII.B below.

    Records of the EPA's quality assurance correspondences and waste characterization approvals can be found in Air Docket A-98-49, Categories II-A1 and II-A4, respectively, as well as online in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2001-0012 on www.regulations.gov.

    4. Passive Institutional Controls. Certification Condition 4 requires the DOE to submit a schedule and plan for implementing passive institutional controls, including markers and other measures indicating the presence of the repository. The standards under the WIPP Certification Condition 4 do not require the submission of any reports until the final compliance recertification application prior to closure of the WIPP. The EPA has not received any submissions from the DOE during the period addressed by the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application and has not taken any actions relating to Condition 4. The EPA anticipates that it will evaluate the DOE's compliance with Condition 4 of the certification when the DOE submits a revised schedule and additional documentation regarding the implementation of passive institutional controls. Once received, the information will be placed in the EPA's public dockets, and the Agency will evaluate the adequacy of the documentation. After receiving Condition 4 submissions from the DOE, and during the operational period when waste is being emplaced in the WIPP (and before the site has been sealed and decommissioned), the EPA will verify that specific actions identified by the DOE in the compliance certification application, and supplementary information (and in any additional documentation submitted in accordance with Condition 4) are being taken to test and implement passive institutional controls.

    C. Inspections

    The WIPP Compliance Criteria provide the EPA the authority to conduct inspections of activities at the WIPP and at off-site facilities which provide information relevant to compliance applications (40 CFR 194.21). The Agency has conducted periodic inspections to verify the adequacy of information relevant to certification applications. The EPA has conducted annual inspections at the WIPP site to review and ensure that the monitoring program meets the requirements of § 194.42. The EPA has also inspected the emplacement and tracking of waste in the repository. The Agency's inspection reports can be found in Air Docket A-98-49, Categories II-A1 and II-A4, as well as online at www.regulations.gov, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2001-0012.

    VI. What is the EPA's 2017 Recertification Decision?

    The EPA determines, in accordance with WIPP LWA § 8(f)(2), that the WIPP facility is in compliance with the final disposal regulations, subparts B and C of 40 CFR part 191. Compliance recertification ensures that accurate and up-to-date information is considered in the determination that WIPP remains in compliance with these radioactive waste disposal regulations. The EPA makes this recertification and determination of continued compliance following the “Criteria for the Certification and Recertification of the WIPP's Compliance with the 40 CFR part 191 Disposal Regulations” (WIPP Compliance Criteria, 40 CFR part 194), including the WIPP certification conditions (40 CFR part 194, Appendix A).

    A. Performance Assessment and the EPA's Standards

    The disposal regulations at 40 CFR part 191 include requirements for containment of radionuclides. The containment requirements at 40 CFR 191.13 specify that releases of radionuclides to the accessible environment 11 must be unlikely to exceed specific limits for 10,000 years after disposal. The DOE assesses the likelihood that the WIPP will meet these release limits through a process known as performance assessment.

    11 The accessible environment is defined in 40 CFR 191.12 as (1) The atmosphere: (2) land surfaces; (3) surface waters; (4) oceans; and (5) all of the lithosphere that is beyond the controlled area.

    The disposal regulations provide that there must be a reasonable expectation that cumulative releases of radionuclides from the WIPP and into the environment over 10,000 years will not exceed specified quantities of these radionuclides (40 CFR 191.13 and Appendix A). A reasonable expectation standard is used because of the long time period involved and the nature of the events and processes at radioactive waste disposal facilities leads to uncertainties about future performance. The DOE's probabilistic performance assessments assess the likelihood of environmental radionuclide release so that future uncertainties are accounted for in the calculations through the use of alternative scenarios and variations in values of uncertain parameters via probability distributions.

    The containment requirements in 40 CFR 191.13 are expressed in terms of “normalized releases.” At the WIPP, the specific release limits are based on the estimated amount of waste in the repository at the time of closure, and the projected releases are “normalized” against these limits (§ 194.31). Normalized releases are expressed as “EPA units”. The EPA units are calculated by dividing all the combined projected releases by the total combined radioactivity of all the waste in the repository.

    The DOE must demonstrate, in each 5-year compliance recertification application, that the total average of combined releases are below two compliance criteria at a higher probability of occurrence and a lower probability of occurrence. These compliance points are as follows:

    1. For a probability of 0.1 (a 1 in 10 chance) in 10,000 years, releases to the accessible environment will not exceed 1 EPA unit, and

    2. For a probability of 0.001 (a 1 in 1,000 chance) in 10,000 years, releases to the accessible environment will not exceed 10 EPA units.

    DOE evaluates four release mechanisms in the WIPP performance assessment modeling:

    Cuttings and cavings. This consists of material that gets brought to the surface when a borehole intersects waste in a WIPP waste panel. The cuttings are the material intersected by the borehole itself and the cavings material is waste that fails around the borehole, collapses into it and is brought to the surface.

    Spallings. This is solid material that fails and gets brought to the surface under high pressure conditions in the repository. This only occurs when the pressure is above 8 megapascal 12 (MPa).

    12 “Pascal” is a unit of pressure, defined as 1 kg/m-sec2.

    Direct Brine Releases. This is a release of dissolved actinides in brine when there is sufficient brine and high pressure in the repository (i.e., above 8 MPa) and brine saturations are above residual saturation (i.e., brine is not “trapped” between pore spaces) as a borehole intersects a waste panel. The contaminated fluid is brought to the surface over a period of hours to days.

    Releases to the Culebra. This occurs when contaminated brine from repository is introduced via a borehole to the Culebra Dolomite and then moves to the edge of the accessible environment (i.e., the boundary established by the WIPP LWA).

    The DOE estimates the potential releases from these release mechanisms, i.e., the cumulative releases, for comparison with the specified limits provided in 40 CFR part 191, Appendix A. The DOE is to provide in the application overall mean calculated releases and the upper 95th confidence limit of that mean.

    B. Summary of the EPA's Review

    After reviewing the DOE's documentation and additional studies that the DOE conducted at EPA's request, the aspects of the performance assessment of most interest to EPA are those that affect the direct brine release mechanism, by which actinides 13 dissolved in brine are transported to the surface during a drilling intrusion. Direct brine release is the overall dominant release mechanism at the low probability compliance point, and is influenced primarily by the availability of liquid (i.e., brine) in the repository, the availability of radionuclides to dissolve in that liquid (i.e., inventory and solubility) and the pressure in the repository (providing a motivating force for dissolved radionuclides to move out of the repository).

    13 Actinide means any of the series of fifteen metallic elements from actinium (atomic number 89) to lawrencium (atomic number 103) in the periodic table. They are all radioactive, the heavier members being extremely unstable and not of natural occurrence.

    The key issues involving these aspects of the repository are: (1) The actinide solubility, which is addressed through changes to the geochemical database, colloid contribution updates and the determination of the actinide solubility uncertainty; (2) the probability of hitting a brine pocket under the repository; (3) the steel corrosion rate and steel's interactions with hydrogen sulfide and magnesium oxide (affecting the gas pressure); and (4) the overall modeling of direct brine releases that involve the interactions of items 1-3 plus the conditions of the repository (e.g., panel and drift permeability and porosity) that can influence the pressure characteristics of the waste areas. These issues are discussed in more detail in Section VI.D, along with other issues that are noteworthy but have more limited impact on performance assessment results.

    The following information describes the EPA's compliance evaluation related to the disposal regulations and Compliance Criteria.

    C. What information did the Agency use to make the decision?

    In general, compliance applications must include information relevant to demonstrating compliance with each of the individual sections of 40 CFR part 194 to determine if the WIPP will comply with the Agency's radioactive waste disposal regulations at 40 CFR part 191, subparts B and C. The EPA begins the compliance recertification evaluation once the EPA receives a complete compliance recertification application (40 CFR 194.11).

    To make this decision, the EPA evaluated basic information about the WIPP site and disposal system design, as well as information which addressed the various compliance criteria. As required by 40 CFR 194.15(a), the DOE's 2014 Compliance Recertification Application updated the previous submission in 2009.

    On March 26, 2014, the DOE submitted the compliance recertification application. The EPA began to identify areas of the application where additional information was needed. On October 10, 2014, the EPA gave public notice of the compliance recertification application and opened the official public comment period (79 FR 61268). On January 13, 2017, the EPA sent a letter to the DOE stating that the DOE's recertification application was complete. On March 10, 2017, the EPA issued a Federal Register notice announcing the completeness determination and stating that the public comment period would close one month later, on April 10, 2017 (82 FR 13282). The compliance recertification application completeness-related correspondence can be found in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609 on www.regulations.gov.

    The EPA relied on materials prepared by the Agency or submitted by the DOE in response to the EPA requests. For example, the EPA requested that the DOE conduct specific, additional modeling calculations for the performance assessment, known as sensitivity studies. The purpose of these studies was to evaluate the impact on performance assessment results of changing specific parameter values. The studies aided the EPA in determining how significant the differences in some parameter values were to a demonstration of compliance. The four sensitivity studies and the EPA's evaluation of them are discussed in more detail in Section VI.E.

    To determine whether the WIPP facility continues to be in compliance with the final disposal regulations, the EPA engaged in a technical review of the compliance recertification application against the WIPP Compliance Criteria. The Agency focused the review on areas of change identified by the DOE since the 2010 recertification decision.

    The Agency produced many documents during the technical review and evaluation of the compliance recertification application. The EPA's Compliance Application Review Documents (CARDs) correspond in number to the sections of 40 CFR part 194 to which the documents primarily relate. Each CARD enumerates all changes made by the DOE relating to a particular section of the rule or certification criterion, and describes the EPA's process and conclusions. The EPA also prepared technical support documents (TSDs) to address specific topics in greater detail. Both the CARDs and the TSDs for this recertification decision can be found in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609 on www.regulations.gov. Together, the CARDs and TSDs thoroughly document the EPA's review of the DOE's compliance recertification application and the technical rationale for the Agency's decisions.

    In summary, the EPA's recertification decision is based on the entire record available to the Agency, which is located in the public docket dedicated to this recertification (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609 on www.regulations.gov). The record consists of the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, supplementary information submitted by the DOE in response to the EPA requests for additional information, technical reports generated by the EPA, the EPA audit and inspection reports, and comments submitted on the DOE's application and the EPA's completeness review during the public comment period. All pertinent 2014 Compliance Recertification Application correspondence was placed in the docket and linked to via the EPA's WIPP Web site (https://www.epa.gov/radiation/certification-and-recertification-wipp).

    D. Content of the Compliance Recertification Application (§§ 194.14 and 194.15)

    The DOE's WIPP compliance applications must include, at a minimum, basic information about the WIPP site and disposal system design, including information about the following topics: the geology, hydrology, hydrogeology and geochemistry of the WIPP disposal system and the WIPP vicinity; the WIPP materials of construction; standards applied to design and construction; background radiation in air, soil and water; and past and current climatological and meteorological conditions (40 CFR 194.14). Section 194.15 states that the DOE's recertification applications shall update this information to provide sufficient information for the EPA to determine whether or not the WIPP facility continues to be in compliance with the disposal regulations.

    1. Changes to the Disposal System Identified by the DOE. In Section 15 of the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the DOE identified changes to the disposal system between the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application and 2014 Compliance Recertification Application and changes to technical information relevant to §§ 194.14 and 194.15. Noteworthy changes identified by the DOE in the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application include the following: an update to the parameters defining drilling rate and plugging pattern, revisions to the calculations of the probability of encountering a pressurized brine reservoir, replacing the Option D panel closure design with run-of-mine salt, modeling open areas in the repository, revision of the steel corrosion rate, revision of the effective shear strength of waste, revisions of the repository water balance including variable brine volumes for radionuclides to dissolve and revisions of the colloid parameters.

    Before determining that the compliance recertification application was complete, the EPA raised numerous technical questions with the DOE, as described below. For each topic, a brief summary is provided of how the DOE addressed the issue in the 2014 application, followed by the EPA's perspective on the change, including any follow-up analyses requested. The DOE also updated the waste inventory. This topic is discussed in Section VI.F.1.

    Since the initial Compliance Certification performance assessment, the DOE's calculated releases in performance assessments have increased with every performance assessment until the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application performance assessment. The changes the DOE made to the performance assessment in the current application reduce the calculated releases. For example, the calculated release of radionuclides at the low probability compliance point (a likelihood of less than a one in 1,000 chance), was assessed by the DOE in the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application as 0.72 EPA Units, but in the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the similar calculated release initially was assessed as 0.261 EPA Units.

    Changes that reduce the calculated releases involve the shear strength of the waste, revised steel corrosion rate, incorporating water balance as part of the chemical model implementation as it relates to steel corrosion and interactions with the magnesium oxide engineered barrier, correcting errors associated with brine volume mass balance and calculation of actinide solubility and the change to how the DOE calculates the probability of hitting a brine pocket under the repository. In general, the result of the DOE's methodology changes is to reduce calculated releases by about a factor of two between the 2009 and 2014 Compliance Recertification Applications at both the 0.1 and 0.001 probability compliance points.

    The EPA has identified issues with some of these changes, but even with changes the EPA asked the DOE to investigate, projected releases stay well under the numerical release limits. For example, at the 0.001 probability compliance point where the EPA normalized release limit is 10 EPA units, the changes the EPA requested resulted in increased releases from 0.261 EPA units in the DOE's 2014 performance assessment to 0.299 EPA units in sensitivity study SEN3 and 0.541 EPA units in sensitivity study SEN4. The sensitivity studies are discussed in depth in Section VI.E.

    a. Update to the Drilling Rate and Borehole Plugging Patterns. As with previous recertification applications, the DOE updated the Delaware basin drilling rates based on the methodology previously approved. For the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the drilling rate increased to 0.00673 boreholes per km2 per year (equivalent to 67.3 boreholes/km2 over the 10,000-year regulatory period) compared to that used in the 2009 performance assessment baseline calculation, which was .00598 boreholes per km2 per year (or 59.8 boreholes/km2 over 10,000 years). The Agency accepted the DOE's drilling rate increase.

    The DOE also updated information on the type of plugs installed in exploratory, disposal and resource extraction boreholes. There are three types of borehole plugs used in the Delaware basin. There are boreholes that are continuously plugged through the entire salt section, and the DOE reports a slight increase in the use of this design. There are boreholes plugged with a two-plug configuration (at the Salado/Rustler and the Bell Canyon/Castile Formation interfaces). This two-plug design also slightly increased from that used in the 2009 application. There is also a three-plug configuration (i.e., borehole plugs at the Rustler/Salado, Salado/Castile and Castile/Bell Canyon interfaces); the DOE reports a slight decrease in this configuration. The Agency accepted the DOE's update to the change in the plugging patterns.

    b. Replacement of Option D Panel Closure System with the Run-of-Mine Salt Panel Closure Design. Part of the design for the WIPP includes the use of a closure system to separate the waste rooms in a panel from active areas in the mine, which can affect long-term brine and gas flows within the repository. As part of the design, the panel closure system that is installed needs to be represented in the modeling of long-term performance.

    On September 28, 2011, the DOE provided a change request to the EPA (Docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0684) to modify the panel closure system design specified in Appendix A of 40 CFR part 194 from that of a concrete monolith plug, noted as Option D, to a 100-foot long barrier consisting of run-of-mine salt (EPA 2013; 2014). The panel closure system performance assessment release calculations were well within the numerical limits established in 40 CFR 191.13. The EPA approved the DOE's use of the proposed run-of-mine salt closure design (79 FR 60750, Oct. 8, 2014) (Docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0684-0004 on www.regulations.gov).

    The DOE incorporated the run-of-mine salt design for panel closures into the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application. To evaluate this change, the Agency reviewed a broad set of information related to the evolution of salt repository properties, including run-of-mine salt and adjacent disturbed rock zone in the WIPP repository setting (Salt Characteristics TSD 14 ). From this review, the Agency's interpretation of the data is that healing of the run-of-mine salt in the panel closures, the surrounding disturbed rock zone and open areas should occur within about the first 200 years of post-closure instead of the relatively asymptotic closure for the 200-10,000 years used by the DOE. The DOE's use of the longer period of time assumes permeability and porosity for the salt will be low within 200 years, but not at the very low end state properties of intact halite.

    14 “Technical Support Document for Section 194.23: Technical Review of Salt Aggregate, Disturbed Rock Zone, and Open Drift Healing Characteristics” in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609.

    To identify the potential effect of the difference in the repository properties between what the EPA has identified may be applicable and what the DOE modeled, the Agency requested that the DOE analyze the repository performance using parameter values for the run-of-mine salt panel closure system and adjacent disturbed rock zone that simulate complete healing. The DOE did this in the sensitivity study SEN3 discussed in Section VI.E. The calculated releases increased for direct brine releases and spallings releases in SEN3, but overall releases remained well within the numerical limits of 40 CFR 191.13 and the EPA concludes that there is a reasonable expectation that the repository remains in compliance with the numerical limits at 40 CFR 191.13, and 40 CFR part 191, Appendix A.

    If the DOE determines, in light of the announced decision to abandon the area previously designated for panel 9, that worker safety considerations preclude installing panel closures in affected areas of the repository, the DOE's treatment of panel closures in performance assessment may be more appropriately addressed in the context of modeling open areas representative of no panel closures. The Agency will review future panel closure modeling in the context of future facility design changes.

    c. Modeling of Open Areas in the Repository. In the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the DOE increased the modeled volume of the open rooms and drifts by approximately forty percent to accommodate future planned experiments. These new areas are located north of the waste area drifts and are to be separated from the waste area by two sets of run-of-mine salt panel closures. For the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application performance assessment, the DOE modeled these areas as open for the entire 10,000-year regulatory period even though it is expected that the creep closure process will close the open areas within a few hundred years (Overview TSD 15 ). The Agency evaluated the impact of the DOE's assumption to model these areas as open (relatively large porosity and high permeability) by requesting the DOE perform sensitivity study SEN2, where the non-waste rooms and open drifts are assumed to have creep closed during the entire 10,000-year regulatory period.

    15 “Overview of Changes Between PABC-2009 and CRA-2014 WIPP Performance Assessments” in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609.

    The results from the SEN2 studies indicate modeling creep closure and healing of the operations and experimental areas (i.e., non-waste areas) of the repository was shown to have little effect on the prediction of total releases from the repository although, relative to the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application performance assessment, a slight increase in spallings releases does occur if these areas are assumed to creep closed. This is a result of higher pressures occurring in panels. See Section VI.E for discussion of the SEN2 study.

    If, in the future, there are repository design changes that result in more non-waste drifts mined or left open in the facility, the issue of open areas will need to be re-evaluated in the context of those design changes, as releases could be expected to increase in that circumstance. The DOE's plan to abandon panel 9 would leave large areas of open space in the repository in the panel 9 drifts and possibly no panel closures for multiple panels. Performance assessment modeling should address these expected future repository conditions. The EPA believes that an independent technical review of issues related to salt behavior and modeling of open areas would be of benefit to the DOE as it further develops its plans.

    d. The DOE's Revised Estimate of the Probability of Encountering Pressurized Brine. Highly pressurized zones of brine (i.e., pressurized brine reservoirs) occur in the Castile Formation below the Salado Formation, which is the formation that hosts the WIPP. If a future driller encounters a Castile pressurized brine reservoir and brine enters the waste panels, it can dissolve radionuclides that then could be transported up a borehole to the surface. In the modeling of the repository, the probability of a future borehole intersecting a waste panel and a Castile brine reservoir below the repository is denoted by the parameter name PBRINE. Because the probability of hitting a brine pocket is uncertain, it is represented by a probability distribution, and the actual value of the PBRINE parameter for an individual model run is sampled from the PBRINE probability distribution.

    In the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the DOE changed the basis it used to develop the probability distribution for parameter PBRINE. The DOE's revision to the estimated probability of a future driller encountering pressurized brine relies heavily on voluntarily reported drilling logs 16 combined with an updated probability distribution. The DOE eliminated from consideration site-specific data collected through geophysical detection methods, which had previously been incorporated into the PBRINE parameter.

    16 Kirchner, T., T. Zeitler, and R. Kirkes. 2012. Evaluating the Data in Order to Derive a Value for GLOBAL:PBRINE. Memorandum to Sean Dunagan dated December 11, 2012. ERMS 558724. Carlsbad, NM: Sandia National Laboratories.; EPA Completeness Comment 1-23-6; Docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609-0004.

    The EPA has several concerns regarding the DOE's update to the PBRINE parameter,17 including the DOE's elimination of the site geophysical data leading to estimates of the potential for brine encounters based only on the voluntary data reported by the driller, and that more recent site data supports the potential for more brine under the repository than the DOE or the EPA had previously considered. For a more in-depth discussion of these issues, see the PBRINE TSD.18 The EPA's concerns were significant enough that the EPA developed a modified methodology for determining the probability distribution for parameter PBRINE in the WIPP performance assessment calculations.

    17 See Completeness Question 1-23-6, Probability of Encountering a Castile Brine Pocket and subsequent clarifying questions, as well as the PBRINE TSD, for more detail in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609.

    18 “Probability of Encountering Castile Brine Beneath the WIPP Waste Panels Using the TDEM Block Method.”

    The Agency's revision to the PBRINE parameter was incorporated into Sensitivity Study SEN4. The study results indicate the modified PBRINE probability distribution contributed to an increase in estimated direct brine releases and increased the total releases at the 0.001 low probability compliance point to roughly double those in the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application performance assessment.19 Because the Agency is unable to accept the DOE approach used to define the PBRINE parameter, the EPA views the updated probability distribution used in the SEN4 study as the baseline for PBRINE in future performance assessments. The EPA will evaluate alternative approaches proposed by the DOE. See Section VI.E for more discussion of the SEN4 study.

    19 DOE 2014 Appendix PA, Sections PA-9.3 and PA-9.5 Kirchner 2013 and the EPA, 2017 Technical Support Document.

    e. Revised Corrosion Rate of Steel. The WIPP corrosion rate model includes anoxic corrosion (i.e., corrosion in the absence of oxygen) of iron in the waste containers. This corrosion is caused by hydrogen sulfide gas produced from the microbial degradation of cellulosic, plastics and rubber materials from the contaminated rubber gloves and KimwipesTM included in the waste.

    The EPA reviewed the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application model and had concerns with the way the model addressed expected repository carbon dioxide concentrations in the experimental derivation of corrosion rates. The EPA also found that the model did not incorporate hydrogen sulfide induced steel passivation,20 which could result in an overestimation of corrosion in the longer-term. Once steel is passivated, hydrogen sulfide consumption will decrease significantly as corrosion will be limited by the ability for the gas to diffuse through the iron sulfide coating the outer surface of the container.

    20 Passivation refers to the creation of an outer coating layer on the steel canisters due to the interaction of iron and sulfide.

    In addition, other components of this model, which the DOE considered to be minor, may have more impact. Calculations of the potential lead inventories at the WIPP only include current waste containers without accounting for the maximum potential of future containers.

    To address the EPA's concerns about corrosion, part of the DOE's SEN4 sensitivity study involved turning off the hydrogen sulfide corrosion parameter to simulate steel passivation. These changes resulted in a slight increase in gas pressures as well as a decrease in the saturation of the waste area because both hydrogen gas and water were eliminated from the end products. Results from this study indicated that projected releases would remain within the limits of 40 CFR 191.13. Therefore, the EPA accepts the corrosion approach incorporated in the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application. See Section VI.E for more discussion of the SEN4 study.

    To ensure that future performance assessments adequately address the mechanisms that affect gas generation in the repository, it would be appropriate for the DOE to update the corrosion model to better address steel passivation and account for radiolysis and address lead corrosion to be consistent with the expected inventory of the repository.

    f. Revised Effective Shear Strength of the WIPP Waste. The parameter TAUFAIL represents waste shear strength and is used in calculating potential releases of waste materials from the WIPP repository when a drilling operator drills a borehole through the waste. The drilling mud will apply a hydrodynamic shear stress to the punctured waste and cause it to erode and be transported up the borehole to the surface. The sheared waste transmitted to the surface is called “cavings”. A higher shear strength means the material is less likely to break into pieces and be transported up a borehole. The parameter TAUFAIL has an uncertain value which is sampled from a range of experimental values for individual model runs. In the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the DOE updated the mean and lower bound for the TAUFAIL parameter value distribution based on a suite of laboratory flume tests specifically designed to represent the range of values for the WIPP waste.

    In the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application the lower bound value was 0.05 Pa, while for the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application the lower bound of the distribution was increased to 2.22 Pa (the mean value from the laboratory flume tests). The upper bound of the distribution, 77 Pa, remained the same. The EPA believes the DOE's overall approach of using experimental data to revise the TAUFAIL parameter is reasonable; however, the EPA had concerns with the DOE's lower “bounding” range value derived from the experiments. The Agency was concerned that three of the five low shear-strength tests had highly scattered results. The DOE attributed the scatter to pre-test sample damage and/or a high degree of variability in sample preparation, rather than testing an equivalent suite of samples. As a result, the mean of the low shear strength test results may not be truly representative of low shear strength samples.

    In the SEN4 study, the EPA requested the DOE include the lowest shear-strength flume test results (1.6 Pa) as the bounding value, rather than the average (2.22 Pa). The SEN4 results indicate modifying the lower range to include the lowest value as the bounding value insignificantly impacted releases. This is due to the fact that the change from 2.22 Pa to 1.6 Pa (i.e., from the mean of experimental values to the lowest experimental value) is much less than would be the change from the 0.05 Pa used in previous performance assessments to either the 1.6 Pa or the 2.22 Pa values. Based on these results, the EPA accepts the DOE's range of values used in the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, though for future performance assessments the EPA believes it is more appropriate for the DOE to use the lower-bound result instead of the mean. See Section VI.E for more discussion of the SEN4 study. See also the TAUFAIL TSD.21

    21 “Technical Support Document for Section 194.23: EPA Review of Proposed Modification to the Waste Shear Strength Parameter TAUFAIL” in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609.

    g. Revised Repository Water Balance. Repository water balance is the culmination of multiple chemical reactions that produce or consume water and affect actinide concentrations in the brine. These reactions include microbial degradation of the cellulosic, plastic and rubber materials, the anoxic corrosion of iron in the steel waste canisters, and reactions of the magnesium oxide (MgO) used to control carbon dioxide (CO2) buildup in the repository. Magnesium oxide, in particular, reacts with brine and results in hydromagnesite (Mg5(CO3)4(OH)2•4H2O), which consumes water in the process.

    Previous compliance recertification applications only included anoxic corrosion in water balance calculations. The 2014 Compliance Recertification Application includes an assessment of the microbial degradation of the cellulosic, plastic and rubber material, the anoxic corrosion of iron in the steel waste canisters and reactions of the engineered barrier. The DOE did not change the rates for microbial cellulosic, plastic and rubber material degradation and water production from the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application. As discussed previously, the DOE revised steel corrosion rates. The DOE developed magnesium reaction rates for the compliance recertification application based on previous studies (Chemistry TSD 22 ).

    22 “Technical Support Document for Section 194.24: Evaluation of the Compliance Recertification Actinide Source Term, Gas Generation, Backfill Efficacy, Water Balance and Culebra Dolomite Distribution Coefficient Values” in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609.

    Although changes to each of these parameters is minor, the reactions will have a cumulative effect. Based on previous exchanges with the DOE (see comment 2-C-5 in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609) as well as the SEN4 sensitivity study, the water balance updates do not appear to significantly affect the WIPP performance. However, the EPA recommends that the DOE re-evaluate the water balance issue for future performance assessments to address questions associated with interactions involving magnesium oxide (e.g., hydration rates in the water balance calculations), and as previously discussed in Section VI.D.1.e, the associated steel corrosion model and passivation processes.

    h. Variable Brine Volume. Brine volume plays an important role in calculating actinide and organic ligand concentrations. In previous performance assessments, the DOE calculated concentrations of these species using the minimum brine volume needed for a direct brine release, regardless of how much brine is projected to be released. This failed to account for dilution and thus resulted in an overestimation of organic ligand concentrations as well as actinide releases. To correct for this in the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the DOE adjusted actinide and organic ligand concentration calculations to incorporate multiple brine volumes. The DOE continues to calculate actinides and organic ligand concentrations at the minimum brine volume required for a release. However, the DOE now also calculates concentrations by dissolving these species at volumes 2, 3, 4 and 5 times the minimum volume to simulate larger volume releases. Thus, concentrations at 5 times the volume will be lower than those calculated at the minimum volume because more brine will be present to dilute these aqueous species. The EPA finds that this approach realistically addresses the issue of variable brine volumes involved in a direct brine release and accepts this model for the compliance recertification application.

    i. Revised Colloid Parameters. Colloids are particles larger than molecules that can be suspended in the WIPP brine. Because colloids migrate more rapidly through the subsurface than actinides dissolved in solution, colloids are an important contribution to actinide mobility during a direct brine release. Intrinsic colloids are actinide macromolecules that eventually increase in size. Microorganisms are considered large colloids capable of mobilizing actinides because of actinide sorption to their charged cell walls or because of actinide bio-uptake.

    In the original Compliance Certification Application, the colloid parameters were based on experimentally derived values examining actinide macromolecules or actinides sorbed onto biomass (e.g., Completeness Comment 3-C-9 in EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609-0010). Since then, the DOE has performed multiple new investigations to update the intrinsic and microbial colloid parameters. These investigations prompted the DOE to reduce the contribution of colloids in the 2014 performance assessment.

    Because of issues with experimental data used to develop the 2014 colloid contributions to actinide solubility, the 2014 performance assessment calculations using those experimental results may underestimate colloidal concentrations, and therefore, actinide solubility. However, the EPA finds that the use of an updated uncertainty distribution for actinide solubility in the SEN4 sensitivity study provides adequate information to determine that an increase in colloid concentrations would not cause releases to exceed the disposal standards. The EPA recommends that additional review of the experimental results would benefit the DOE's treatment of colloid formation mechanisms in future performance assessments. The EPA's review of this topic is provided in the Chemistry TSD. See Section VI.E of this document for discussion of the SEN4 study.

    j. New Actinide Solubility Code (EQ3/6). Prior to the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the DOE used the Fracture Matrix Transport (FMT) geochemical modeling code for actinide solubility calculations. The DOE has since moved actinide solubility calculations to the EQ3/6 code using the database DATA0.FM1, which contains the values needed to calculate chemical speciation of the ions, actinides and minerals present in the WIPP. The move to EQ3/6 is logical as the program is widespread and has been used in other the DOE projects. EQ3/6 can provide more robust calculations than FMT, particularly in dynamic reaction-path calculations. The EPA accepts the move to the EQ3/6 code. For additional discussion on this topic see the EQ3/6 TSD.23

    23 “EQ3/6 Computer Code Evaluation” in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609.

    2. Other Key Issues Identified by the EPA During Review. The EPA identified three key topics where the Agency believes new information can be incorporated into future compliance recertification applications. These topics relate to the chemical conditions within the repository and are of fundamental importance in determining the potential for releases of radionuclides from the disposal system. These topics are discussed in more detail in the Chemistry TSD.

    a. Chemical Database. Actinide solubility, or the ability for actinide solids to dissolve in brine, is important in calculating releases. In performance assessment calculations, these radionuclides include americium, curium, neptunium, plutonium, thorium, and uranium. Americium(III) solubility is used to predict plutonium(III) and curium(III) concentrations while thorium(IV) is used to predict plutonium(IV), neptunium(IV) and uranium(IV).

    The EPA's review identified that the DOE's update of the chemical assumptions used in the actinide solubility database (DATA0.FM1) did not reflect all data available prior to the DOE's data cut-off date of December 31, 2012.The EPA raised several issues (in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609-0010) about americium and thorium solubility and speciation and in response, the DOE modified the database to produce DATA0.FM2. However, the EPA identified flaws in the modified database that need to be corrected before it can be considered to be of sufficient quality for use in recertification. The EPA concluded that, even with identified data gaps, the original DATA0.FM1 database was of higher quality and provided sufficient information to support a determination of continued compliance. The DOE's updates of the chemical database for future performance assessments should more comprehensively incorporate recent data.

    b. Revised Radionuclide Uncertainty Distribution. The DOE also examined the uncertainty distribution used to model the +III and +IV actinide concentrations in the performance assessment by comparing modeled solubility calculations to experimental data from multiple reports and peer-reviewed studies. These studies include solubility measurements from americium, thorium and their analogues using a specific set of criteria (Chemistry TSD; 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, Appendix SOTERM-2014 Section 5.1.3). During the performance assessment solubility calculations, this uncertainty distribution is sampled and used in calculating dissolved actinides in a release.

    After reviewing the actinide solubility uncertainty distribution for the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the EPA identified relevant studies that were not considered in developing this distribution, as well as identifying studies that should have been excluded from consideration, based on the DOE's evaluation criteria. Using relevant studies would result in a revised actinide solubility uncertainty distribution with overall higher +III actinide solubility. The DOE included a revised solubility uncertainty distribution based on the EPA's input in the sensitivity study SEN4. The higher actinide solubility used in the SEN4 study contributed to higher releases compared to the 2014 performance assessment, although releases in the SEN4 study still remain below the regulatory limits. See Section VI.E for more discussion of the SEN4 study.

    The EPA recommends that updating the actinide solubility uncertainty distribution should be part of the update to the geochemical database. This would include incorporating new solubility data for thorium and americium under the WIPP repository conditions, and re-evaluating how studies are included in or excluded from the DOE's analyses.

    c. Plutonium Oxidation State. Oxidation states refer to an actinide ion's charge. Actinides with a higher charge likely exist in environments with greater oxygen content while actinides with lower charges likely exist where there is less oxygen. Although plutonium has multiple oxidation states including +VI, +V, +IV, and +III, the WIPP model assumes plutonium oxidation state is dominated by the +III or +IV charge in the aqueous phase due to the rapid removal of oxygen in the repository. Identifying the dominant oxidation state is particularly important as plutonium(III) is much more soluble than plutonium(IV). To address this uncertainty, the plutonium oxidation state model does not calculate oxidation state but instead considers plutonium(III) in 50% of the realizations and plutonium(IV) in the other 50%. Since the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application, experiments have verified that the iron metal corrosion of the WIPP waste containers largely mediate the conditions conducive to plutonium(IV) and plutonium(III) oxidation states. While experiments have confirmed the WIPP conditions post-closure, the debate has shifted towards whether plutonium(IV) or plutonium(III) is dominant in the WIPP conditions, or whether they will be present in equal proportions. More recent experimental information leads the EPA to believe that, under the WIPP conditions, aqueous plutonium(III) will be the dominant state of plutonium and will exist in equilibrium with the different solid plutonium phases present. In addition, organic ligands, iron and microbial processes will also increase the likelihood that plutonium(III) will dominate in solutions.

    While the sensitivity studies did not directly test the presumption that +III and +IV species would be equally present, the SEN4 study indirectly examined this proposition by including a modified solubility uncertainty distribution that was more heavily weighted toward higher +III solubility (see Section VI.E.2.d). Both the compliance recertification application and the SEN4 study indicate plutonium release levels will be below the compliance points. Combined with the related analysis of the actinide solubility uncertainty distributions, the Agency can accept the DOE's assumption that the plutonium(III) and plutonium(IV) oxidation states will each occur 50% of the time in performance assessment calculations for the current recertification. However, because of the available data that the EPA has identified supporting the presence of plutonium(III) over plutonium(IV), the EPA believes this issue is of sufficient significance to benefit from independent technical review of the available data and the assumption that both plutonium oxidation states will occur equally under the WIPP conditions. The EPA's review of the plutonium oxidation state issue is addressed more thoroughly in the Chemistry TSD.

    E. Performance Assessment: Modeling and Containment Requirements (§§ 194.14, 194.15, 194.23, 194.31 through 194.34)

    1. Overview. Section VI.A provided a basic description of the requirements in 40 CFR 191.13 and the performance assessment process required to show compliance with those standards. This section provides additional information on performance assessment and how it is evaluated by the EPA in the compliance recertification application. As described earlier, the DOE must use the performance assessment to demonstrate compliance with the containment requirements in 40 CFR 191.13. The containment requirements are expressed in terms of “normalized releases.” The DOE assembles the results of the performance assessment into complementary cumulative distribution functions, which indicate the probability of exceeding various levels of normalized releases (§ 194.34).

    For both of the DOE's 2004 and 2009 Compliance Recertification Applications, the EPA requested that the DOE modify those respective performance assessments to (1) address completeness and technical issues raised during the EPA review process and with these modifications, and (2) assure the disposal regulations were met.

    These additional sets of calculations have been termed by the DOE to be performance assessment “baseline calculations” and the EPA has considered these calculations as updated “baselines” for each respective compliance recertification application. The EPA then used these baseline calculations for the comparison performance assessment in each of the DOE's subsequent five-year compliance recertification applications.

    In this recertification review process, the Agency proceeded differently than in the past. During the completeness review, the EPA identified issues with parameters or approaches used by the DOE in the calculations. These have been discussed in Section VI.D. The Agency requested that the DOE conduct additional calculations so the EPA could better understand how alternative parameter values would affect repository performance. These calculations, or sensitivity studies as they have been referred to, are summarized below and are the subject of a TSD.24 With the completion of these sensitivity studies, the Agency has decided not to request another set of performance assessment baseline calculations as was done for previous recertifications. The Agency believes that the sensitivity studies, coupled with the DOE's documentation, provide a reasonable expectation that the WIPP complies with the radioactive waste disposal regulations at 40 CFR part 191 and the compliance criteria at 40 CFR part 194. Further, with the February 2014 incidents and the DOE's resulting need to change the facility design,25 the Agency felt it was not necessary or appropriate at this time to conduct additional calculations using a facility design that will be changed in the near future.

    24 “Review of EPA Sensitivity Studies of the DOE CRA-2014 WIPP Compliance Recertification Performance Assessment” in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609.

    25 The DOE has stated that it intends to abandon plans to use the area previously designated as waste panel 9 for waste emplacement because of worker safety issues (“Installation of Ventilation Barriers and Prohibiting Personnel Access to Equivalent Panel 9 Areas,” Letter from Todd Shrader, DOE, to Alan Perrin, EPA dated April 18, 2017, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609). The DOE also plans to develop a new ventilation shaft to increase airflow in the mine, which is limited after the February 2014 incidents.

    The Agency requested that the DOE conduct four sensitivity studies (labeled as SEN1, SEN2, SEN3 and SEN4) to address technical concerns raised during the EPA's 2014 Compliance Recertification Application review. The EPA has compared these sensitivity results to the DOE's 2014 performance assessment calculations. The purpose of these sensitivity studies is to provide an understanding of how repository compliance would be affected when modifying specific inputs in the 2014 performance assessment calculations. A brief explanation of those selected parameters is provided below.

    The ability of salt openings and aggregates to quickly compress, consolidate and “heal” within a few hundred years, mostly due to the creep-closure process, is one of the unique properties of bedded salt geologic units that make them potentially suitable to use as nuclear waste repositories. The DOE's 2014 performance assessment parameter values assigned to the non-waste rooms, the panel closure system and the adjacent disturbed rock zone did not reflect the creep-closure and rapid healing of these areas that the EPA expects to occur. That is, the DOE did not use permeability, porosity, residual gas and brine saturations and capillary pressures reflective of in-situ (i.e., undisturbed) conditions.

    Three of the EPA requested sensitivity studies, SEN1, SEN2 and SEN3, focused on modifying parameters to test how assuming complete creep-closure and healing of these areas would impact long-term performance through modifying values related to the permeability, porosity and two-phase flow parameter values for the run-of-mine salt panel closure system, the disturbed rock zone and non-waste areas for the 10,000-year modeled period. The fourth sensitivity study, SEN4, investigated the cumulative effects and impact on repository performance by making changes to five important parameter values as well as using an updated numerical code.

    As with the 2014 performance assessment, all of the sensitivity studies had three replicate calculation sets and included the same future scenarios. The four scenarios are briefly described below:

    (1) The undisturbed scenario—where the repository is not impacted by human activities,

    (2) The E1 Scenario—where one or more boreholes penetrate a Castile brine reservoir and also intersect a repository waste panel,

    (3) The E2 Scenario—where one or more boreholes intersect a repository waste panel but not a brine reservoir, and

    (4) The E1/E2 Scenario—where there are multiple penetrations of waste panels by boreholes of either the E1 or E2 type, at many possible combinations of intrusion times and locations for either E1 or E2 drilling type of event.

    2. Sensitivity Studies

    a. The SEN1 Study. The intention of the SEN1 study was to determine the impact on repository performance by modeling the stepped (i.e., gradual) reduction in porosity, permeability, residual gas and brine saturation, and capillary pressures that reflect creep-closure and healing of the open rooms and disturbed rock zone during the first 200 years after repository closure. The DOE was then to model these areas, from 200 years to 10,000 years, as fully healed.

    This study had to be terminated because the numerical flow code used in these calculations produced non-physical and unrealistic results when these parameters were modified in time-intervals to reflect healing. The Agency accepted termination of this study, in part, because modeling changes in these values for the first 200 years, a relatively short time compared to the 10,000-year regulatory time period, would not be as important to long-term repository performance. The Agency considered that the SEN2 and SEN3 studies described below adequately addressed the issues targeted by the SEN1 study because the latter two studies both modeled the open and disturbed areas as fully healed for the entire 10,000-year regulatory time period, essentially bounding the conditions specified for the SEN1 study.

    b. The SEN2 Study. This study tested the impacts on repository performance by modeling the non-waste areas and open drifts as completely creep-closed during the entire 10,000-year regulatory period. In this study, parameter values for all the non-waste areas (i.e., the operations and experimental room open drifts) and adjacent disturbed rock zones were modified. The permeability and porosity were reduced to that of intact halite. The residual brine and gas saturations were also increased to better reflect healed conditions and capillary pressures (the pressure needed for fluid to flow between pores) were increased.

    Compared to the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application performance assessment, the SEN2 study waste room pressures generally increased and brine saturations decreased. The most affected primary release mechanism saw an increase in solid waste moving up a borehole (spallings) because this release mechanism increases when waste panel pressure increase. All other release mechanisms remained essentially unchanged from the 2014 performance assessment calculations. Total spallings releases remained small compared with cuttings, cavings and direct brine releases. Spallings releases therefore did not materially contribute to total repository releases in either SEN2 or the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application.

    c. The SEN3 Study. For the SEN3 study, the DOE assumed that the panel closure system, the adjacent disturbed rock zone and the non-waste areas and open drifts are healed for the 10,000-year regulatory period. The DOE reduced porosity and permeability in the repository, increasing initial residual brine and gas saturations, and invoking two-phase flow parameters for intact halite. Using these modifications effectively isolated the individual waste panels and the non-waste areas from one another for the entire modeled period due to limited brine and gas flows between areas of the repository.

    The modifications made in the SEN3 study caused increases in waste-panel pressures and decreases in waste panel saturations. The dominant releases were from spallings, which are only dependent on a waste panel pressure high enough to force solids to the surface, and direct brine releases, which are dependent on having sufficient brine in the waste panels coupled with high enough pressure to force brine to the surface. The release mechanism that increased the most was for spallings, and the increase was seen at both the low and high probability compliance points. The impact on direct brine release was primarily at low probabilities because this release depends on both high waste panel pressure and high saturation conditions, the combination of which were less likely to occur in this study.

    Factoring in all combined releases, the total mean and low-probability (0.001 probability) releases increased by approximately 15% from the initial 2014 Compliance Recertification Application results, although the upper bound of the 95% confidence interval was essentially the same as in the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application (0.384 EPA Units in the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application and 0.387 EPA Units in SEN3). Total releases did not exceed the EPA's WIPP release limits.

    The parameter values used in the SEN3 study created a “tight” repository (panel closure system, disturbed rock zone and non-waste rooms) in which brine and gas flow is limited. The study results indicate that such conditions may produce calculated releases higher than the more open and brine- and gas-conducive set of conditions presented by the DOE in the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application.

    d. The SEN4 Study

    i. Overview. The fourth sensitivity study was intended to understand the cumulative effects on repository performance by making changes to several parameters that the Agency questioned in the completeness review. This study also incorporated a DOE-corrected version of the DRSPALL code, which calculates waste that is released up a borehole to the surface. This study does not address all of the EPA's completeness questions, but provides significant insights as to the degree in which some parameter values of interest to the EPA impact releases. Note, the parameter changes in SEN2 and SEN3 representing creep closure were not made in the SEN4 study, so the results reflect the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application creep closure assumptions. The modifications requested for this study are provided below:

    • Use the EPA's updated distribution for the probability of intersecting a waste panel and a Castile brine reservoir, denoted as the PBRINE parameter and discussed in Section VI.D.1.d previously.

    • Use the revised data set for the plutonium oxidation state uncertainty distribution discussed in Section VI.D.2.c.

    • Modify the lower limit for the parameter that predicts waste strength, denoted as the parameter TAUFAIL discussed in Section VI.D.1.f.

    • Use the updated version of the computer code DRSPALL that models waste carried up a borehole. After the 2014 performance assessment calculations had been completed and submitted to the EPA, the DOE discovered an error in the computer code, DRSPALL. The DOE corrected this error and reported it to the EPA. For the SEN4 study, the EPA requested that the DOE use the corrected version.

    • Eliminate the hydrogen sulfide reaction with iron as discussion in Section VI.D.1.e.

    • Use the correct modeled length for north panel closure. The WIPP repository design includes two sets of panel closures emplaced at the north end of the repository. For the 2014 performance assessment calculations, the DOE modeled the “effective” length of only one panel closure rather than two. The EPA requested that the DOE increase the effective length of the modeled north waste panel to be consistent with the facility design.

    ii. Cumulative effects of the changes evaluated by release pathway.

    aa. Direct Brine Releases. Direct brine releases are a function of actinide solubility, repository pressure and brine saturation. Of these changes, the most significant are the revised solubility uncertainty distributions that increase the concentration of the more soluble plutonium(III) in repository brine, the increased likelihood of a higher probability of hitting a brine pocket and the iron sulfidation reaction stoichiometric coefficient changes. The combined effects of these changes increased direct brine calculated releases and total mean low probability (0.001) repository releases to about twice those of the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application performance assessment (0.541 EPA Units for SEN4 versus 0.261 EPA Units for 2014 performance assessment).

    bb. Spallings Releases. Spallings releases are affected in SEN4 by a combination of corrections using the updated version of the DRSPALL code as well as increases in repository pressure. Repository pressure was generally increased in SEN4 as a result of the updated distribution of the PBRINE parameter, the increased length of the northernmost panel closure and the updated iron sulfidation reaction stoichiometric coefficients. The combined effect of these changes was to increase spallings releases by about half an order of magnitude. However, spallings releases remained low compared to direct brine releases and the effect of this increase in spallings on total mean releases was minimal.

    cc. Cuttings and Cavings Releases. Cavings releases were affected by the Agency's requested reduction of the lower bound of the distribution for the TAUFAIL parameter. The small reduction in the lower bound did not have a meaningful effect on total mean releases.

    dd. Releases from the Culebra. Releases from lateral flow through the Culebra Dolomite are a function of actinide solubility, repository pressure, and brine saturation. These are affected by the revised solubility uncertainty distributions, the increased likelihood of sampling higher values for the PBRINE parameter, the increased length of the northernmost panel closure and removal of the iron sulfidation reactions. The combined effect of these changes on Culebra releases was too small to have a meaningful effect on total mean repository releases.

    ee. Insights from the SEN4 Study. In the SEN4 study, the most significant effects on repository performance were an increase in direct brine releases and, by extension, an increase in total low probability repository releases. The Agency concludes that these increases were primarily the result of updating the solubility uncertainty distributions, updating the distribution of PBRINE and incorporating hydrogen sulfide steel passivation. The remaining changes, updating the TAUFAIL lower bound, using the corrections in the code DRSPALL and correcting the panel closure length, provided important updates and corrections to the performance calculation but had only a negligible effect on total mean releases. As in the previous sensitivity studies, the total mean releases, the upper 95% confidence limit on those means and all individual vectors in the three replicates remained below regulatory limits in SEN4.

    3. How the Four Sensitivity Studies Affect the WIPP's Compliance. The results indicate that modifications to the selected parameters reported in these evaluations increased calculated releases. However, the total mean releases, the upper 95% confidence limit on those means, and all individual vectors in the three replicates remained below the EPA's WIPP release limits.

    These sensitivity studies were intended to address a subset of the EPA technical issues. These studies do not address all the technical issues identified in the EPA's 2014 Compliance Recertification Application review. The major issues identified in the EPA's review primarily influence the direct brine releases and how the performance assessment addresses those releases. The EPA recommends that, especially with respect to calculating direct brine releases, the DOE re-evaluate the implementation of features, events and processes, along with model assumptions, to ensure their appropriate integration in the 2019 Compliance Recertification Application. The EPA has identified two areas in particular (modeling of open areas and plutonium oxidation states) that the Agency believes would greatly benefit from independent technical review for consideration in the DOE's 2019 Compliance Recertification Application.

    F. Additional Requirements

    This section summarizes the EPA's review as it relates to specific sections of the WIPP Compliance Criteria in 40 CFR part 194 that do not directly involve performance assessment.

    Information on continuing compliance activities related to waste characterization (40 CFR 194.8 and 194.24), inspections (§ 194.21) and quality assurance (§ 194.22) may be found in Section V of this document.

    The DOE did not conduct any activities during the period covered by the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application related to future state assumptions (§ 194.25), expert judgment (§ 194.26) or assurance requirements (§ 194.41-46). See the corresponding CARDs for more discussion. Information on passive institutional controls, which is an element of the assurance requirements, may also be found in Section V.B.4.

    1. Waste Characterization (Waste Inventory) (§ 194.24). Section 194.24 generally requires the DOE to identify, quantify and track the important chemical, radiological and physical components of the waste destined for disposal at the WIPP. The DOE collects data from generator sites and compiles the waste inventory on an annual basis. The DOE's 2012 Annual Transuranic Waste Inventory Report (ATWIR 2012), which was used for the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, reflects the disposal intentions of the waste generator sites as of December 31, 2010. The DOE classified the wastes as emplaced, stored or projected (to-be-generated). The DOE used data from the WIPP database to identify the characteristics of the waste that has been emplaced at the WIPP. The projected wastes were categorized similarly to existing waste (e.g., heterogeneous debris, filter material, soil).

    The EPA reviewed the compliance recertification application and supplemental information to determine whether these documents provided a sufficiently complete estimate and description of the chemical, radiological and physical composition of the emplaced, stored and projected wastes proposed for disposal in the WIPP. The Agency also reviewed the DOE's description of the approximate quantities of waste components (for both existing and projected wastes). The EPA found that the radionuclides, cellulosic, plastic and rubber materials, organic ligands, oxyanions and cements in the waste are being appropriately tracked and characterized. In the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, there is an update on the inventory of curium and neptunium, which remain in concentrations well below their solubility limits even after accounting for decay. The EPA accepts this updated inventory, which is relatively similar to the one used in the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application. See the Baseline Inventory TSD 26 for more information.

    26 “Technical Support Document for Section 194.24: Review of the Baseline Inventory Used in the Compliance Recertification Application (CRA-2014)” in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609.

    2. Peer Review (§ 194.27). Section 194.27 of the WIPP Compliance Criteria requires the DOE to conduct peer review evaluations, when warranted, of conceptual models, waste characterization analyses, and a comparative study of engineered barriers. The required peer reviews must be performed in accordance with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's NUREG-1297, “Peer Review for High-Level Nuclear Waste Repositories,” which establishes guidelines for the conduct of a peer review exercise. The DOE has conducted one peer review since the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application to establish radiological properties for two waste streams, titled the “Savannah River Site Historical Radiochemistry Data Peer Review,” demonstrating its compliance with the requirements of § 194.27.

    Based on a review and evaluation of the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application and supplemental information provided by the DOE (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609-0330), the EPA determines that the DOE continues to comply with the requirements of 40 CFR 194.27.

    G. Individual and Groundwater Protection Requirements (§§ 194.51 Through 194.55)

    Sections 194.51 through 194.55 of the WIPP Compliance Criteria implement the individual protection requirements of 40 CFR 191.15 and the groundwater protection requirements of subpart C of 40 CFR part 191. Assessment of the likelihood that the WIPP will meet the individual dose limits and radionuclide concentration limits for ground water is conducted through a process known as compliance assessment. Compliance assessment uses methods similar to those of performance assessment (for the containment requirements in 40 CFR 191.13 and Appendix A) but is required to address only undisturbed performance of the disposal system. That is, compliance assessment does not include human intrusion scenarios (i.e., drilling or mining for resources). Compliance assessment can be considered a “subset” of performance assessment, since it considers only natural (undisturbed) conditions and past or near-future human activities (such as existing boreholes), but does not include the long-term future human activities that are addressed in the performance assessment.

    In the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the DOE re-evaluated each of the individual and groundwater requirements. The DOE updated the data for ground water quantity determination to define an underground source of drinking water for purposes of calculating groundwater concentrations and doses. In the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application, the DOE used 2011 (U.S. Bureau of Census 2013) census data to update the number of persons per household.27 The DOE continued to use the 2009 compliance recertification application data for the average household water consumption values. The water consumption data show that the average per capita consumption is 273 gallons per day.28 The DOE concludes that the sub-criterion of 5 gallons per minute rate of production from a well continues to accurately define an underground source of drinking water 29 and any change in this sub-criterion is not warranted as a result of applying more current water-consumption data to the calculation.

    27 2014 Compliance Recertification Application Appendix IGP-2014, Table IGP-3

    28 2014 Compliance Recertification Application Appendix IGP-2014, Table IGP-3

    29 2014 Compliance Recertification Application Appendix IGP-2014, Section IGP-3.1.1)

    The updates made by the DOE in the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application did not significantly impact the conclusions regarding the groundwater standard in the Compliance Certification Application. The DOE did not change the criteria for making underground source of drinking water determinations, and for the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application evaluation, the maximum potential dose remains below the Compliance Certification Application value calculated and continued compliance with the individual protection standard is maintained. The DOE states that the conservative bounding analysis used for the 1998 certification decision compliance assessment is still applicable for 2014 Compliance Recertification Application.30

    30 2014 Compliance Recertification Application Appendix IGP-2014, Section IGP-4.0

    The EPA finds the DOE in continued compliance with 40 CFR 194.51-194.55 requirements.

    VII. How has the public been involved in the EPA's WIPP recertification activities? A. Public Information

    The EPA interacts with the public through various means. The EPA's main mechanism for distributing information is the EPA Web site and email messages via the WIPP-NEWS listserv. The EPA will also occasionally have meetings, in person or via teleconferences or webinars.

    Throughout the recertification process, the Agency posted pertinent new information and updates on the EPA WIPP Web site (https://www.epa.gov/radiation/epas-role-waste-isolation-pilot-plant-wipp). All pertinent recertification documents (including the DOE-submitted recertification materials, correspondence, Federal Register notices, outreach materials, hearing transcripts as well as TSDs) are available for review or download (in Adobe PDF format) via the electronic docket dedicated to the 2014-2017 recertification process (http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609).

    Since October 2014, the EPA has sent out numerous announcements regarding the recertification schedule and availability of any WIPP-related documents on the EPA WIPP Web site and the dockets, as well as details for the Agency's June 2015 stakeholder meetings in New Mexico and January 2017 stakeholder webinar (via Adobe Connect).

    B. Stakeholder Meetings

    As discussed in the WIPP LWA, the recertification process is not a rulemaking and public hearings are not required. However, the EPA held a series of stakeholder meetings in June 2015 (Carlsbad and Albuquerque, NM) as well as a stakeholder webinar in January 2017 (via Adobe Connect software, with public hosting locations in Carlsbad and Albuquerque, NM) to provide information and updates about the recertification process. In an effort to make these meetings as informative as possible to all attending parties, the EPA listened to stakeholder input and concerns and tailored the meetings around the public as much as possible. The first meeting was held on June 16, 2015, in Carlsbad, New Mexico and consisted of one three-hour afternoon session. The second public meeting was held on June 17, 2015, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with afternoon and evening sessions.

    The main purpose of these meetings was to discuss the EPA's recertification process and timeline, as well as the DOE's application and important changes at the WIPP since the last recertification in 2010. The meetings featured brief presentations on the aforementioned topics, as well as a facilitated discussion. In response to stakeholder suggestions, the DOE staff members were also on hand to provide information and answer any stakeholder questions. Staff from the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) were present as observers. Public participants were encouraged to provide comments to the EPA for consideration during review of the DOE's 2014 Compliance Recertification Application.

    The EPA also held a stakeholder webinar using the Adobe Connect software on January 12, 2017. The Agency hosted the webinar from Washington, DC, with physical hosting locations set up in both Carlsbad and Albuquerque, NM, to accommodate members of the public as well as the DOE and NMED staff. The main purpose of this webinar was to inform the public of the current recertification schedule and provide updated technical information related to stakeholder questions and comments received at the June 2015 meetings.

    All of the issues raised at these meetings have been addressed by the EPA in Section VII.C of this document or in the CARDs under the relevant section and are available in the public docket (www.regulations.gov, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609).

    C. Public Comments on Recertification

    The EPA posted the recertification application on the Web site immediately following receipt. The EPA formally announced receipt of the recertification application in the Federal Register on October 10, 2014. The notice also officially opened the public comment period on the recertification application.

    For recertification, the EPA sought public comments and input related to changes in the DOE's application that may have a potential impact on the WIPP's ability to remain in compliance with the EPA's disposal regulations.

    The comment period for the recertification application closed on April 10, 2017, approximately two years and six months after it initially opened. This closing date was 30 days after the EPA's announcement in the Federal Register that the recertification application was complete.

    The EPA received 17 sets of written public comments during the public comment period. The EPA considered significant comments from the written submissions and the stakeholder meetings in the evaluation of continuing compliance. The EPA addresses these comments in CARDs that are relevant to each topic. In addition, a listing of all comments received and responses to each is included in Appendix 15-C of CARD 15. Two specific comments are addressed here.

    Comment: One comment addressed shipment of waste from Argonne National Lab. Citing the EPA's inspection reports, the commenter stated that he believed that the DOE had shipped and emplaced at the WIPP waste from the Lab that contained spent nuclear fuel and high level waste. He correctly stated that the WIPP LWA bans the transport to and disposal at the WIPP of high level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. He wanted to know (a) how the EPA failed to uncover that the Argonne Lab was to ship spent nuclear fuel to the WIPP and approved this disposal, (b) how the EPA assures that this waste will not be sent to the WIPP, (c) how much of this waste has been sent to the WIPP, and the identity of all waste of these types, (d) what authority allowed the shipment and disposal of these prohibited wastes, and (e) how the EPA did not bar the DOE's shipment and disposal of these wastes.

    In a related comment, on February 3, 2017, the DOE, responded to this commenter and stated that the Argonne Lab waste is derived from atomic energy defense activities and did not contain any spent nuclear fuel (see EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609-0042). The DOE acknowledged that the WIPP LWA prohibits the disposal at WIPP of spent nuclear fuel and also acknowledged that some of the waste from the Argonne Lab was debris from specimens taken from fuel pins that were originally irradiated in commercial nuclear reactors. However, the DOE commented that the statutory definition of spent nuclear fuel does not speak directly to the issue of whether debris from specimens of commercial fuel rods is spent nuclear fuel. The DOE explained that, here, the debris—although including material that originated from fuel pins that had been irradiated in nuclear reactors—resulted from research and development activities at Argonne. The DOE stated that to try to segregate debris originating from irradiated fuel pins from other waste would be technically infeasible and cost prohibitive and would increase worker exposure. The DOE asserted that resolution of whether the material should be considered spent nuclear fuel was within its discretion and that it was its longstanding practice to classify such debris as waste and not spent nuclear fuel. In response to the DOE's February 3, 2017 comment, the original commenter resubmitted his original comment.

    EPA Response: Under the WIPP LWA, the focus of the EPA's present recertification determination is whether the WIPP continues to comply with the final disposal regulations. Although—as the commenter notes and the DOE acknowledges—the WIPP LWA bans disposal at the WIPP of spent nuclear fuel, the disposal regulations, themselves, currently do not expressly address disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The WIPP LWA incorporates the definition of spent nuclear fuel found in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982: “fuel that has been withdrawn from a nuclear reactor following irradiation, the constituent elements of which have not been separated by reprocessing.” 42 U.S.C. 10101(23) (as incorporated by WIPP LWA §2(15)). There seems to be no dispute that waste from the Argonne Lab includes some quantity of material that is not presently in the intact physical form of fuel withdrawn from a reactor following irradiation,31 but is fragments of or particulates from fuel pins withdrawn from a reactor following irradiation. The DOE states that the fragments or particulates resulted from research and development activities on test specimens from fuel pins withdrawn from a reactor following irradiation and claims that treatment of such material as other than spent nuclear fuel is consistent with the intent of the WIPP LWA. The DOE also asserts that attempting to segregate the fuel pin fragments and particulates from other debris shipped to the WIPP is infeasible and cost prohibitive and would increase worker exposure.

    31 There also seems to be no doubt that, as to the material in question, the “constituent elements” have not been “separated by reprocessing.”

    Reasonable contentions may be made that fragments and particulates resulting from research and development activities on specimens from fuel withdrawn from a nuclear reactor following irradiation (“pieces of pieces” of fuel pins) do not meet the statutory definition of spent nuclear fuel. The practical considerations of feasibility, cost, and worker safety associated with attempting to segregate such particulates from other waste shipped to the WIPP bear consideration. It is not essential, however, to the EPA's present recertification decision to attempt to definitively resolve this issue, because the current disposal regulations do not expressly address disposal of spent nuclear fuel.

    On an on-going basis, aside from the periodic recertification of the WIPP, the EPA communicates with the DOE concerning the characterization of WIPP waste. The DOE provides the EPA with documentation relating to WIPP waste streams, including but not limited to, waste from the Argonne National Laboratory, and including documentation for both contact handled and remote handled TRU waste streams. The relevant information is confirmed by analyzing individual waste containers using the EPA approved processes, procedures and equipment. These steps allow the DOE to demonstrate that waste containers for WIPP disposal meet the EPA's WIPP waste limits for physical and radiological contents of the waste. So, concerning the waste shipped from Argonne National Laboratory, the EPA evaluated the waste characteristic information prepared for remote handled waste. The DOE provided historical information to document that waste generated from laboratory experiments at Argonne was defense related, and through radiological assay concluded that the waste in question met the definition of TRU waste and was appropriate for disposal at the WIPP. Following this determination, Argonne provided this waste for characterization. Radiological and physical characterization confirmed that the TRU waste in question (a) is remote handled waste; (b) exhibits the characteristics of debris waste; and (c) meets the regulatory limits of the EPA's WIPP waste acceptance requirements at 40 CFR 194.24.

    The EPA thoroughly inspects and approves the waste characterization processes in place at all waste characterization sites including Argonne National Laboratory. As part of the waste characterization inspections and approvals, the EPA is responsible for evaluating the adequacy of characterization methods used to identify and measure radiological and physical contents of the TRU waste that affect the long term containment and isolation of waste at the WIPP and for ensuring that the WIPP-bound waste meets the disposal requirements under 40 CFR 194.24.

    Comment: Another commenter disagreed with the DOE's proposed revision of the PBRINE parameter. The commenter noted that the DOE's 2014 approach resulted in a lower probability of intersecting a brine pocket than was used in the original certification and previous recertifications, and finds this to be “invalid.” The commenter recommends using a fixed value of 60% probability, based on historical well testing and geophysical data. The commenter also disputes a number of the DOE's underlying assumptions for revising the approach, including the DOE's view of the geophysical data as unreliable and what the commenter sees as the DOE's misinterpretation of more recent drilling data.

    EPA Response: The EPA agrees with the commenter that the DOE's revised approach raises concerns. In particular, the EPA does not agree with the DOE's conclusions regarding the geophysical data. However, after reviewing the data again, the EPA disagrees with the commenter that a fixed probability of 60% is necessary. The EPA notes that 60% was the high end of the probability distribution used in performance assessments prior to 2014, with a mean probability of 30.5%, as recognized by the commenter. The updated approach developed by the EPA uses the geophysical data, but also incorporates newer drilling information into the probability distribution. The EPA believes this approach is sound and is acceptable for use in future performance assessments. The EPA will evaluate future proposals by the DOE to update the method for determining PBRINE. The EPA's review is discussed further in Section VI.D.1.d of this document and in the PBRINE TSD.

    VIII. Where can I get more information about the EPA's WIPP-related activities? A. Supporting Documents for Recertification

    The CARDs discuss DOE's compliance with each of the individual requirements of the WIPP Compliance Criteria. The CARDs also list the EPA TSDs and any other references used by the EPA in rendering the decision on compliance. All TSDs and references are available in the Agency's dockets, via www.regulations.gov (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609), with the exception of generally available references and those documents already maintained by the DOE or its contractors in locations accessible to the public. For more detailed information on the technical issues considered in the EPA's recertification decision, see the TSDs.

    B. The WIPP Web site & WIPP-NEWS Email Listserv

    For more general information and updates on the EPA's WIPP activities, please visit the WIPP internet homepage at <https://www.epa.gov/radiation/epas-role-waste-isolation-pilot-plant-wipp>. All pertinent recertification-related documents (including the DOE-submitted recertification materials, letters, Federal Register notices, outreach materials, etc.) are available for review or download in Adobe PDF format. The Agency's WIPP-NEWS email listserv, which automatically sends messages to subscribers with up-to-date WIPP announcements and information, is also available online. Any individuals wishing to subscribe to the listserv can join by visiting <https://lists.epa.gov/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=wipp-news> and providing all requested information to register.

    C. Dockets

    In accordance with 40 CFR 194.67, the EPA maintains public dockets via www.regulations.gov (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0609) that contain all the information used to support the Agency's decision on recertification. The Agency maintains the formal hard copy/paper docket in Washington, DC, as well as informational dockets in three locations in the State of New Mexico (Carlsbad, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe). The docket consists of all relevant, significant information received to date from outside parties and all significant information considered by the EPA in reaching a recertification decision regarding whether the WIPP facility continues to comply with the disposal regulations.

    IX. What is the EPA's role in future WIPP activities?

    The EPA's regulatory role at the WIPP does not end with this recertification decision. The Agency's future WIPP activities include additional recertifications every five years (the next being scheduled to be submitted by the DOE in March 2019), review of the DOE reports on conditions and activities at the WIPP, assessment of waste characterization and quality assurance programs at waste generator sites, announced and unannounced inspections of the WIPP and other facilities and, if necessary, modification, revocation or suspension of the certification.

    As a result of the February 2014 incidents at the WIPP, the DOE will be making changes to the repository design. The DOE has indicated that it no longer plans to use panel 9 for waste operations due to the worker safety hazards in that location, so an alternative panel will be needed. This decision may also have implications for panel closures in the panels accessed through the panel 9 drifts (i.e., panels 3-6). In addition, the DOE is planning a new ventilation shaft that will allow for increased airflow through the underground operations area. The EPA will be keeping abreast of the DOE's requested changes and will make that information available as it is received.

    As described in Section VI of this notice, the EPA's review of the 2014 Compliance Recertification Application identified where the DOE's technical basis for the modeling has limitations with assumptions used or with the basis for some parameter values. The EPA concerns with these limitations were generally addressed by the results of the SEN studies. While this approach of using a series of sensitivity studies to examine identified limitations was sufficient in the context of this compliance recertification application, it was to some extent driven by the known upcoming physical changes in the repository. The EPA would prefer to be able to evaluate a complete revised performance assessment in future compliance recertification application reviews. The EPA recommends that the performance assessment technical basis be evaluated for improvement in these areas: (1) Calculations of actinide solubility, (2) modeling the chemical conditions in the repository, and (3) modeling direct brine releases.

    Although not required by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the WIPP LWA or the WIPP Compliance Criteria, the EPA intends to continue docketing all inspection or audit reports and annual reports and other significant documents on conditions and activities at the WIPP, as well as formal communications between the two agencies.

    The EPA plans to conduct future recertification processes using an administrative process generally similar to that described in today's action.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Sarah Dunham, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15182 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [9965-03-OEI] Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, Territory of U.S. Virgin Islands AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces EPA's approval of the Territory of U.S. Virgin Islands' request to revise its EPA Administered Permit Programs: The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System EPA-authorized program to allow electronic reporting.

    DATES:

    EPA's approval is effective July 19, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Seeh, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Information, Mail Stop 2823T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, (202) 566-1175, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On October 13, 2005, the final Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule (CROMERR) was published in the Federal Register (70 FR 59848) and codified as part 3 of title 40 of the CFR. CROMERR establishes electronic reporting as an acceptable regulatory alternative to paper reporting and establishes requirements to assure that electronic documents are as legally dependable as their paper counterparts. Subpart D of CROMERR requires that state, tribal or local government agencies that receive, or wish to begin receiving, electronic reports under their EPA-authorized programs must apply to EPA for a revision or modification of those programs and obtain EPA approval. Subpart D provides standards for such approvals based on consideration of the electronic document receiving systems that the state, tribe, or local government will use to implement the electronic reporting. Additionally, § 3.1000(b) through (e) of 40 CFR part 3, subpart D provides special procedures for program revisions and modifications to allow electronic reporting, to be used at the option of the state, tribe or local government in place of procedures available under existing program-specific authorization regulations. An application submitted under the subpart D procedures must show that the state, tribe or local government has sufficient legal authority to implement the electronic reporting components of the programs covered by the application and will use electronic document receiving systems that meet the applicable subpart D requirements.

    On July 7, 2017, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning & Natural Resources (VI DPNR) submitted an application titled “NPDES e-Reporting Tool” for revision to its EPA-approved program under title 40 CFR to allow new electronic reporting. EPA reviewed VI DPNR's request to revise its EPA-authorized Part 123—EPA Administered Permit Programs: The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program and, based on this review, EPA determined that the application met the standards for approval of authorized program revision/modification set out in 40 CFR part 3, subpart D. In accordance with 40 CFR 3.1000(d), this notice of EPA's decision to approve U.S. Virgin Islands' request to revise its Part 123—EPA Administered Permit Programs: The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program to allow electronic reporting under 40 CFR parts 122 and 125 is being published in the Federal Register.

    VI DPNR was notified of EPA's determination to approve its application with respect to the authorized program listed above.

    Matthew Leopard, Director, Office of Information Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15164 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369; FRL-9965-20-Region 10] Proposal To Withdraw Proposed Determination To Restrict the Use of an Area as a Disposal Site; Pebble Deposit Area, Southwest Alaska AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator and Region 10 Regional Administrator are requesting public comment on this proposal to withdraw the EPA Region 10 July 2014 Proposed Determination that was issued pursuant of the Clean Water Act, to restrict the use of certain waters in the South Fork Koktuli River, North Fork Koktuli River, and Upper Talarik Creek watersheds in southwest Alaska as disposal sites for dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble deposit, a copper-, gold-, and molybdenum-bearing ore body. EPA agreed to initiate this proposed withdrawal process as part of a May 11, 2017 settlement agreement with the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP), whose subsidiaries own the mineral claims to the Pebble deposit. The Agency is taking today's action to afford the public an opportunity to comment on the rationale for the proposed withdrawal.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369, refer to section I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Visit www.epa.gov/bristolbay or contact a Bristol Bay-specific phone line, (206) 553-0040, or email address, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information

    A. How to Obtain a Copy of the Proposed Determination: The July 2014 Proposed Determination is available via the Internet on the EPA Region 10 Bristol Bay site at www.epa.gov/bristolbay.

    B. How to Obtain a Copy of the Settlement Agreement: The May 11, 2017 settlement agreement is available via the Internet on the EPA Region 10 Bristol Bay site at www.epa.gov/bristolbay.

    C. How to Submit Comments to the Docket at www.regulations.gov: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal (recommended method of comment submission): Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: Send email to [email protected] Include the docket number EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Send your comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Deliver your comments to EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369. Such deliveries are accepted only during the Docket's normal hours of operation, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday (excluding legal holidays). Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The telephone number for the Water Docket is (202) 566-2426.

    Instructions: Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit 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 (e.g., 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.

    On July 21, 2014, EPA Region 10 published in the Federal Register (79 FR 42314) a Notice of Proposed Determination under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) to restrict the use of certain waters in the South Fork Koktuli River, North Fork Koktuli River, and Upper Talarik Creek watersheds (located within the larger Bristol Bay watershed) as disposal sites for dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble deposit. The notice started a public comment period that ended on September 19, 2014. EPA Region 10 also held seven hearings throughout southwest Alaska during the week of August 11, 2014. More than 830 community members participated in the seven hearings, more than 300 of whom provided oral statements. In addition to testimony taken at the hearings, EPA Region 10 received more than 670,000 written comments during the public comment period.

    The Pebble Limited Partnership (“PLP”), whose subsidiaries own the mineral claims to the Pebble deposit, have not yet filed a CWA Section 404 permit application (“permit application”) with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Army Corps”). EPA Region 10's initiation of the section 404(c) process did not prohibit PLP from filing a permit application and the Army Corps could have processed such a permit application while a section 404(c) review was ongoing. The Army Corps could not have, however, issued a final decision on a permit application while a section 404(c) process remained open and unresolved. 33 CFR 323.6(b).

    In 2014, PLP filed three lawsuits against EPA relating to the Agency's work in the Bristol Bay watershed. As part of one of the lawsuits, PLP obtained a preliminary injunction on November 25, 2014, which halted EPA Region 10's section 404(c) review process until the case was resolved in May of 2017. Prior to the preliminary injunction, the next step in the section 404(c) process would have been for EPA Region 10 to either forward a Recommended Determination to EPA Headquarters or to withdraw the Proposed Determination pursuant to 40 CFR 231.5(a).

    The EPA and PLP resolved all outstanding lawsuits in a May 11, 2017 settlement agreement and the court subsequently dissolved the injunction and dismissed the case. Under the settlement agreement, the EPA agreed to “initiate a process to propose to withdraw the Proposed Determination.” Settlement Agreement at page 5, available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-05/documents/pebble-settlement-agreement-05-11-17.pdf. Today's action is the agreed-upon initiation. In addition, should PLP submit a permit application for this project, the Agency agreed to not exercise its discretion regarding section 404(c) review for a certain period of time. Specifically, the settlement agreement limits the Agency's ability to move forward with a signed Recommended Determination if PLP submits a permit application to the Army Corps within 30 months from the date of settlement. If PLP files a permit application during that time, EPA may not move forward with a signed Recommended Determination for 48 months from the effective date of the settlement agreement or following issuance of a final environmental impact statement on PLP's permit application, whichever comes first. The settlement agreement does not require or guarantee that PLP will submit a permit application, nor does it guarantee or prejudge a particular outcome of that permitting process or EPA's decision-making under section 404(c) or otherwise constrain EPA's discretion except as provided in the terms of the agreement.

    Pursuant to the settlement agreement and policy direction from EPA's Administrator, EPA is proposing to withdraw the July 2014 Proposed Determination at this time and is taking public comment on this proposal. The proposal reflects the Administrator's decision to provide PLP with additional time to submit a permit application to the Army Corps and potentially allow the Army Corps permitting process to initiate without having an open and unresolved section 404(c) review. While the pendency of a section 404(c) review would not preclude PLP from submitting an application and the Army Corps from reviewing that application, as noted above, the Army Corps could not have issued a permit while a section 404(c) process was ongoing. A withdrawal of the Proposed Determination would remove any uncertainty, real or perceived, about PLP's ability to submit a permit application and have that permit application reviewed. Because the Agency retains the right under the settlement agreement to ultimately exercise the full extent of its discretion under section 404(c), including the discretion to act prior to any potential Army Corps authorization of discharge of dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble deposit, the Agency believes that withdrawing the Proposed Determination now, while allowing the factual record regarding any forthcoming permit application to develop, is appropriate at this time for this particular matter.

    The Agency is only seeking public comment on whether to withdraw the July 2014 Proposed Determination at this time for the reasons stated above. In light of the basis upon which EPA is considering withdrawal of the Proposed Determination, EPA is not soliciting comment on the proposed restrictions or on science or technical information underlying the Proposed Determination. While EPA's regulations provide for a specified time period for decision making in 40 CFR 231.5(a), EPA has determined that there is good cause to extend this period under 40 CFR 231.8 to allow for this process and full consideration of the comments submitted.

    Under EPA's regulations, when a Regional Administrator decides to withdraw a proposed determination, the Regional Administrator is required to notify the Administrator of such decision. The Administrator then has ten days to determine whether to review the withdrawal decision. The regulations also require the Administrator to provide notice to “all persons who commented on the proposed determination or participated at the hearing,” and specifies that “[s]uch persons may submit timely written recommendations concerning review.” 40 CFR 231.5(c). Rather than require parties to comment on today's proposed withdrawal of the Proposed Determination and then to comment again should the Regional Administrator finalize the withdrawal and forward it to the Administrator, the EPA is providing notice through this Federal Register notice to all who commented on the Proposed Determination in the 2014 comment period or participated in any of the hearings the Agency held on this matter and providing them and other interested parties with a timely opportunity to provide recommendations regarding further review by the Administrator of any final decision to withdraw. Specifically, EPA is also taking public comment now on whether the Administrator should review and reconsider a final withdrawal decision, if such a decision is made.

    Providing the opportunity to make recommendations regarding the potential for Administrator review in today's notice is the most efficient and effective way to provide such an opportunity. The Administrator is actively engaged in this matter because of his involvement with and direction regarding the settlement agreement, and this process enables the Administrator to effectively receive and consider any such recommendations that are submitted. Finally, this approach provides for earlier input by the public in the process (i.e., on whether the Agency should withdraw the Proposed Determination now), thereby enhancing transparency regarding the Agency's decision-making, conserving Agency and public resources, and avoiding duplicative comment periods and comments. While EPA's regulations provide for a 10-day review period for the Administrator, EPA has determined that there is good cause to extend this period under 40 CFR 231.8 to allow for this process and full consideration of the comments submitted concerning the Administrator's review.

    In summary, the EPA is seeking comments on:

    • Whether to withdraw the July 2014 Proposed Determination at this time for the reasons stated above; and

    • if a final withdrawal decision is made following this comment period, whether the Administrator should review and reconsider the withdrawal decision.

    Following the close of the public comment period, in making the decision whether to withdraw the July 2014 Proposed Determination the EPA will consider the public comments submitted in response to this notice consistent with 40 CFR 231.5.

    II. Solicitation of Comments on the Proposal To Withdraw the Proposed Determination and Recommendations Regarding the Potential for Additional Review by the Administrator

    Please see the section entitled ADDRESSES for information about how to obtain a copy of the July 2014 Proposed Determination, the settlement agreement, and how to submit comments on the proposal to withdraw the July 2014 Proposed Determination as well as recommendations regarding the potential for review by the Administrator. The EPA Administrator and Region 10 Regional Administrator are soliciting comments as described.

    The record will remain open for comments until October 17, 2017. EPA has received a number of emails and letters regarding the July 2014 Proposed Determination since EPA announced the May 11, 2017 settlement agreement. EPA will enter this correspondence into the docket and all comments, including this correspondence, will be fully considered as the EPA Administrator and Region 10 Regional Administrator decide whether to withdraw the July 2014 Proposed Determination at this time.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Michelle L. Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15181 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10165—Peoples First Community Bank, Panama City, Florida

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Peoples First Community Bank, Panama City, Florida (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Peoples First Community Bank on December 18, 2009. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Date: July 14, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15118 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreement to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. A copy of the agreement is available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202) 523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 010099-065.

    Title: International Council of Containership Operators.

    Parties: China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited; CMA CGM S.A., ANL Singapore Pte Limited, American President Lines, Ltd., and APL Co. Pte. Ltd. (acting as a single party); Crowley Maritime Corp.; Evergreen Marine Corporation (Taiwan), Ltd.; Hamburg Süd also operating under the trade name of Compania Chilena de Navegacion Interoceanica; Hapag-Lloyd AG, Hapag-Lloyd USA LLC and United Arab Shipping Company Limited (acting as a single party); Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd.; Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.; Maersk Line A/S; MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.; Nippon Yusen Kaisha; Orient Overseas Container Line, Ltd.; Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd.; Wan Hai Lines Ltd.; Yang Ming Transport Marine Corp.; and Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.

    Filing Party: Sarah Beason, Esq.; K & L Gates LLP; 1601 K Street NW.; Washington, DC 20006-1600.

    Synopsis: The amendment updates the membership of the Agreement to reflect the recent merger of Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company.

    Agreement No.: 011275-039.

    Title: Australia and New Zealand-United States Discussion Agreement.

    Parties: CMA CGM, S.A. and ANL Singapore Pte Ltd. (acting as a single party); Hamburg-Süd KG; and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor LLP; 1200 Nineteenth St. NW.; Washington, DC 200036.

    Synopsis: The amendment deletes MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. as a party to the Agreement, and makes corresponding revisions to Appendix B of the Agreement.

    Agreement No.: 011962-013.

    Title: Consolidated Chassis Management Pool Agreement.

    Parties: The Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association and its member lines; the Association's subsidiary Consolidated Chassis Management LLC and its affiliates; CCM Holdings LLC; CCM Pools LLC and its subsidiaries; Matson Navigation Co.; and Westwood Shipping Lines.

    Filing Party: Jeffrey F. Lawrence and Donald J. Kassilke; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW.; Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment makes various updates to the membership of the Agreement.

    Agreement No.: 012223-001.

    Title: Assessment Agreement of Carrier Members of United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd.

    Parties: APL, Ltd.; Atlantic Container Line; CMA CGM Group; Columbia Coastal Transport; COSCO Container Lines Americas, Inc.; Evergreen Shipping Agency (America) Corp.; Hamburg Sud North America, Inc.; Hapag-Lloyd (America), Inc; Hyundai Merchant Marine (America), Inc.; “K” Line America; Maersk Agency USA, Inc.; Mediterranean Shipping Company, USA Inc.; MOL (America) Inc.; NYK Line (North America), Inc; OOCL (USA), Inc.; Turkon America, Inc.; Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Americas, LLC; Yang Ming (America) Corp.; and Zim American Integrated Shipping Services Company, Inc.

    Filing Party: William M. Spelman; The Lambos Firm, LLP; 303 South Broadway, Suite 410; Tarrytown, NY 10591.

    Synopsis: The amendment updates the membership of the Agreement.

    Agreement No.: 012487.

    Title: Eastern Car Liner Ltd/Austral Asia Line Pte. Ltd Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Austral Asia Line Pte. Ltd. and Eastern Car Liner, Ltd.

    Filing Party: Neal Mayer; Hoppel, Mayer & Coleman; 1050 Connecticut Ave NW.; Fifth Floor; Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes Austral Asia Line to charter space for the carriage of breakbulk and ro/ro shipments to Eastern Car Liner in the U.S. trades served by Austral Asia, which would be mainly the Far East/U.S. Transpacific trade.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: July 14, 2017. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15163 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than August 2, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Robert L. Triplett III, Senior Vice President) 2200 North Pearl Street, Dallas, Texas 75201-2272:

    1. Alex O'Brien, Amarillo, Texas; to acquire voting shares of Bank of Commerce, McLean, Texas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, July 14, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15171 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than August 11, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Chapelle Davis, Assistant Vice President) 1000 Peachtree Street NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. FSB, LLC, Florence, Alabama; to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the outstanding voting shares of First Southern Bancshares, Inc., and its subsidiary, First Southern Bank, all of Florence, Alabama.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, July 14, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15172 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Granting of Requests for Early Termination of the Waiting Period Under the Premerger Notification Rules

    Section 7A of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18a, as added by Title II of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, requires persons contemplating certain mergers or acquisitions to give the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General advance notice and to wait designated periods before consummation of such plans. Section 7A(b)(2) of the Act permits the agencies, in individual cases, to terminate this waiting period prior to its expiration and requires that notice of this action be published in the Federal Register.

    The following transactions were granted early termination—on the dates indicated—of the waiting period provided by law and the premerger notification rules. The listing for each transaction includes the transaction number and the parties to the transaction. The grants were made by the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Neither agency intends to take any action with respect to these proposed acquisitions during the applicable waiting period.

    Early Terminations Granted June 1, 2017 Through June 30, 2017 06/01/2017 20171164 G Crown Castle International Corp.; Pamlico Capital II, L.P.; Crown Castle International Corp. 20171172 G Verizon Communications Inc.; Carl C. Icahn; Verizon Communications Inc. 20171238 G Oak Hill Capital Partners IV (Onshore), L.P.; Cypress Investor Holdings, L.P.; Oak Hill Capital Partners IV (Onshore), L.P. 20171249 G Audax Private Equity Fund V-A, L.P.; Dade Paper & Bag Co.; Audax Private Equity Fund V-A, L.P. 06/02/2017 20171203 G Elliot International Limited; Gigamon Inc.; Elliot International Limited. 20171204 G Elliott Associates, L.P.; Gigamon Inc.; Elliott Associates, L.P. 20171245 G Tallgrass Equity, LLC; DCP Midstream, LP; Tallgrass Equity, LLC. 20171252 G ORIX Corporation; Ormat Technologies, Inc.; ORIX Corporation. 06/05/2017 20171196 G HSI Holdings I, Inc.; Zhuhai Hengxin Fengye Technology LLC; HSI Holdings I, Inc. 20171226 G Thoma Bravo Fund XI Global, L.P.; Zhuhai Hengxin Fengye Technology LLC; Thoma Bravo Fund XI Global, L.P. 20171227 G Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund IV, L.P.; Deva Holdings, Inc.; Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund IV, L.P. 20171237 G TCV IX, L.P.; Cypress Investor Holdings, L.P.; TCV IX, L.P. 20171268 G Wartsila Corporation; Greensmith Energy Management Systems, Inc.; Wartsila Corporation. 20171270 G One Fifty One PLC; Ugo Rista Charitable Trust; One Fifty One PLC. 20171277 G PAI Europe VI-1 FPCI; Baron Albert Frere; PAI Europe VI-1 FPCI. 20171278 G PAI Europe VI-1 FPCI; Desmarais Family Residuary Trust; PAI Europe VI-1 FPCI. 20171279 G Laurentian Bank of Canada; NCF Holdings LLC; Laurentian Bank of Canada. 20171282 G Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Fund, L.P.; G.A.L. Manufacturing Corporation; Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Fund, L.P. 20171283 G Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Fund, L.P.; Hollister-Whitney Elevator Corp.; Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Fund, L.P. 20171284 G Triton Fund IV LP; Werner Worldwide Holding Company, LP; Triton Fund IV LP. 20171288 G W. Keith Maxwell III; Verde Energy USA Holdings, LLC; W. Keith Maxwell III. 20171295 G Ardian North America Fund II, L.P.; Dynamic Technologies S.p.A.; Ardian North America Fund II, L.P. 20171297 G Koninklijke Philips N.V.; Respiratory Technologies, Inc.; Koninklijke Philips N.V. 20171301 G OEP VI Feeder (Cayman), L.P.; OME Investment Acquisition S.C.A.; OEP VI Feeder (Cayman), L.P. 20171304 G The Baring Asia Private Equity Fund VI, L.P. 2; The Baring Asia Private Equity Fund IV, L.P.; The Baring Asia Private Equity Fund VI, L.P. 2. 06/06/2017 20171217 G Comcast Corporation; Sympoz, Inc.; Comcast Corporation. 20171232 G Liberty Interactive Corporation; Lending Tree, Inc.; Liberty Interactive Corporation. 20171300 G AP VIII Olympus VoteCo, LLC; West Corporation; AP VIII Olympus VoteCo, LLC. 06/07/2017 20171212 G Open Road Holdings, LLC; Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC; Open Road Holdings, LLC. 20171215 G Liberty Interactive Corporation; GCI Liberty, Inc.; Liberty Interactive Corporation. 20171294 G Cerberus Institutional Partners, L.P.; White Deer Energy L.P. II; Cerberus Institutional Partners, L.P. 20171299 G HGGC Fund III-A, L.P.; Nutraceutical International Corporation; HGGC Fund III-A, L.P. 20171305 G Hub Group, Inc.; Timothy J. and Traci M. Estenson; Hub Group, Inc. 20171308 G TA XII-A L.P.; GI Partners Fund IV L.P.; TA XII-A L.P. 20171335 G AEA Investors Fund VI LP; Berkshire Fund VII, L.P.; AEA Investors Fund VI LP. 06/08/2017 20171313 G Marc A. Gardner; Edward K. Freedman; Marc A. Gardner. 06/09/2017 20171315 G Wintime Energy Co., Ltd.; HRC Investment Holding, LLC; Wintime Energy Co., Ltd. 20171333 G HGGC Fund III-A, L.P.; TA XI, L.P.; HGGC Fund III-A, L.P. 20171334 G Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc; Irving Place Partners III SPV, L.P.; Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc. 20171342 G Inception Topco, Inc.; TriCore Solutions Holdings, LLC; Inception Topco, Inc. 20171343 G Blake Quinn; Johnson Machinery Co.; Blake Quinn. 20171345 G Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Fund, L.P.; SAASH Co-Investment, LLC; Golden Gate Capital Opportunity Fund, L.P. 06/12/2017 20171100 G KKR North America Fund XI (AMG) LLC; The Hunt Legacy Trust; KKR North America Fund LLC. 20171271 G Elliott Associates, L.P.; NXP Semiconductors N.V.; Elliott Associates, L.P. 20171339 G Alchemy Copyrights, LLC; Andre de Raaff; Alchemy Copyrights, LLC. 20171371 G Deere & Company; Wirtgen Group GmbH; Deere & Company. 06/13/2017 20171254 G UnitedHealth Group Incorporated; New West Physicians, P.C.; UnitedHealth Group Incorporated. 06/14/2017 20170689 G General Electric Company; Baker Hughes Incorporated; General Electric Company. 20171346 G American International Group, Inc.; Hamilton Insurance Group, Ltd.; American International Group, Inc. 20171372 G Clayton Dubilier & Rice Fund IX, L.P.; Fidelity National Information Services, Inc.; Clayton Dubilier & Rice Fund IX, L.P. 06/15/2017 20171340 G FR XIII Charlie AIV, L.P.; Crestwood Equity Partners LP; FR XIII Charlie AIV, L.P. 20171351 G Crius Energy Trust; MVC Capital, Inc.; Crius Energy Trust. 20171365 G GTCR Fund XI/A LP; The Sage Group plc; GTCR Fund XI/A LP. 06/16/2017 20171368 G Vista Foundation Fund III, L.P.; Lithium Technologies, Inc.; Vista Foundation Fund III, L.P. 20171374 G J.W. Childs Equity Partners IV, L.P.; EBL Holding Company, LLC; J.W. Childs Equity Partners IV, L.P. 20171375 G Mitsui & Co., Ltd.; Accountable Healthcare Holdings Corp.; Mitsui & Co., Ltd. 20171379 G Michael J. Angelakis; Bowlmor AMF Corp.; Michael J. Angelakis. 20171382 G Bienestar Jersey Limited; Yellow Wood Brand Acquisition 2012, LP; Bienestar Jersey Limited. 20171392 G KPS Special Situations Fund IV, LP; Sterling Group Partners III, L.P.; KPS Special Situations Fund IV, LP. 20171393 G CF Corporation; HRG Group, Inc.; CF Corporation. 20171398 G Shanghai Hongda Mining Co., Ltd.; Isaac Verbukh; Shanghai Hongda Mining Co., Ltd. 20171400 G CD&R Fund X Waterworks B, L.P.; HD Supply Holdings, Inc.; CD&R Fund X Waterworks B, L.P. 20171401 G Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT I, Inc.; Phillips Edison Limited Partnership; Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT I, Inc. 06/19/2017 20171281 G PEM Holding Co.; Neil L. Whitesell; PEM Holding Co. 20171318 G Hangzhou Great Star Industrial Co., Ltd.; Masco Corporation; Hangzhou Great Star Industrial Co., Ltd. 06/20/2017 20171373 G MasterCard Incorporated; AvidXchange, Inc.; MasterCard Incorporated. 20171383 G Vista Equity Partners Fund VI, L.P.; Xactly Corporation; Vista Equity Partners Fund VI, L.P. 20171390 G TPG Partners VII, L.P.; Kinnser Software Holdings, Inc.; TPG Partners VII, L.P. 20171414 G New Omaha Holdings L.P.; CardConnect Corp.; New Omaha Holdings L.P. 06/21/2017 20171273 G Bain Capital Fund XI, L.P.; H.I.G. Bayside Debt & LBO Fund II, L.P.; Bain Capital Fund XI, L.P. 20171280 G H.I.G. Bayside Debt and LBO Fund II, L.P.; Irving Place Capital Parnters III SPV, L.P.; H.I.G. Bayside Debt and LBO Fund II, L.P. 20171285 G Alex Meruelo; Emmis Communications Corporation; Alex Meruelo. 20171289 G Elliott International Limited; athenahealth, Inc.; Elliott International Limited. 20171290 G Elliott Associates, L.P.; athenahealth, Inc.; Elliott Associates, L.P. 20171418 G Apax IX USD L.P.; 3M Company; Apax IX USD L.P. 06/26/2017 20171367 G Corvex Master Fund LP; Energen Corporation; Corvex Master Fund LP. 20171384 G Wheeling Creek Midstream, LLC; Noble Energy, Inc.; Wheeling Creek Midstream, LLC. 20171394 G WestRock Company; Gary Berkowitz; WestRock Company. 20171411 G Carlyle Partners VI, L.P.; Albany Molecular Research, Inc.; Carlyle Partners VI, L.P. 20171412 G GTCR Fund XI/A LP; Albany Molecular Research, Inc.; GTCR Fund XI/A LP. 20171419 G London Stock Exchange Group plc; Citigroup Inc.; London Stock Exchange Group plc. 20171420 G Kirby Corporation; Hushang Ansary; Kirby Corporation. 20171421 G Cerberus Institutional Partners, L.P.; IASIS Investment LLC; Cerberus Institutional Partners, L.P. 20171422 G ECN Capital Corp.; Service Finance Holdings, LLC; ECN Capital Corp. 20171423 G Cross Country Healthcare, Inc.; Mathew Price and Sharon Price; Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. 20171425 G Pamlico Capital III, L.P.; Scott Becker; Pamlico Capital III, L.P. 20171426 G KPS Special Situations Fund IV, LP; adidas AG; KPS Special Situations Fund IV, LP. 20171432 G Aspen Buyer LP; American Securities Partners VI, L.P.; Aspen Buyer LP. 20171433 G Madison Industries Holdings LLC; AB SKF; Madison Industries Holdings LLC. 20171436 G TPG Partners VII, L.P.; Shane Smith; TPG Partners VII, L.P. 20171440 G Boing Holding S.a.r.l.; DLR Associates, LLC; Boing Holding S.a.r.l. 06/27/2017 20171395 G DXC Technology Company; LLR Equity Partners III, L.P.; DXC Technology Company. 20171399 G Ensco plc; Atwood Oceanics, Inc.; Ensco plc. 20171437 G TAO Finance 1, LLC; Shane Smith; TAO Finance 1, LLC. 20171446 G McKesson Coporation; Lake Capital Partners II LP; McKesson Coporation. 20171461 G Cardinal Health, Inc.; Liberty Medical Holdings, LLC; Cardinal Health, Inc. 06/28/2017 20171355 G GP Investments Acquisition Corp.; Rimini Street, Inc.; GP Investments Acquisition Corp. 20171410 G GTCR Fund XI/A LP; GreatCall, Inc.; GTCR Fund XI/A LP. 20171415 G Graphic Packaging Holding Company; Robert F. Brewer; Graphic Packaging Holding Company. 20171416 G Graphic Packaging Holding Company; John C. Reiss; Graphic Packaging Holding Company. 06/29/2017 20171206 G HCA Healthcare, Inc.; Tenet Healthcare Corporation; HCA Healthcare, Inc. 20171251 G HCA Healthcare, Inc.; Community Health System, Inc.; HCA Healthcare, Inc. 20171322 G Vivendi S.A.; Vincent Bollore'; Vivendi S.A. 20171380 G JP Morgan Chase & Co.; Sonus Networks, Inc.; JP Morgan Chase & Co. 20171381 G Sonus Networks, Inc.; JP Morgan Chase & Co.; Sonus Networks, Inc. 20171435 G KKR European Fund IV L.P.; A-Gas (Orb) Limited; KKR European Fund IV L.P. 20171449 G Kevin Knight; Swift Transportation Company; Kevin Knight. 20171450 G Gary Knight; Swift Transportation Company; Gary Knight. 20171451 G Keith Knight; Swift Transportation Company; Keith Knight. 06/30/2017 20171402 G Black Diamond Thematic Ltd.; Bunge Limited; Black Diamond Thematic Ltd. 20171403 G Double Black Diamond Ltd.; Bunge Limited; Double Black Diamond Ltd. 20171431 G JTEKT Corporation; Fuji Kiko Co., Ltd.; JTEKT Corporation. 20171438 G Baylor Scott & White Holdings; Texas Spine and Joint Hospital, Ltd.; Baylor Scott & White Holdings. 20171439 G Firmenich International SA; MidOcean Partners III, L.P.; Firmenich International SA. 20171442 G SemGroup Corporation; Alinda Infrastructure Fund II, L.P.; SemGroup Corporation. 20171445 G GI Peak Holding Corporation; JR Shaw; GI Peak Holding Corporation. 20171447 G GI Partners Fund V LP; GI Partners Fund IV L.P.; GI Partners Fund V LP. 20171455 G Sovos Brands Limited Partnership; Rao's Specialty Foods, Inc.; Sovos Brands Limited Partnership. 20171456 G Teladoc, Inc.; Best Doctors Holdings, Inc.; Teladoc, Inc. 20171465 G Alliance Data Systems Corporation; Signet Jewelers Limited; Alliance Data Systems Corporation. 20171466 G Oaktree Power Opportunities Fund IV, L.P.; S.C. Sachs Company, Inc.; Oaktree Power Opportunities Fund IV, L.P. 20171471 G CEOF AIV Cayman, L.P.; Commercial Metals Company; CEOF AIV Cayman, L.P. 20171472 G Frazier Healthcare Growth Buyout Fund VIII L.P.; Chudy Group, LLC; Frazier Healthcare Growth Buyout Fund VIII L.P. 20171473 G Jun Wang; SomaLogic, Inc.; Jun Wang. 20171479 G Compagnie Generale des Establissements Michelin; FleetCor Technologies, Inc.; Compagnie Generale des Establissements Michelin. 20171481 G Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Bonobos, Inc.; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 20171494 G Clayton Dubilier & Rice Fund IX, L.P.; Direct Vet Marketing, Inc.; Clayton Dubilier & Rice Fund IX, L.P. 20171496 G Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners VIII, L.P.; General Atlantic Partners 93, L.P.; Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners VIII, L.P. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theresa Kingsberry, Program Support Specialist, Federal Trade Commission Premerger Notification Office, Bureau of Competition, Room CC-5301, Washington, DC 20024, (202) 326-3100.

    By direction of the Commission.

    April J. Tabor, Acting Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15093 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0291; Docket No. 2017-0001; Sequence 3] Submission for OMB Review; FSRS Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Awardees AGENCY:

    Office of the Integrated Award Environment, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve a renewal of the currently approved information collection requirement regarding FSRS Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Awardees. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 19722 on April 28, 2017. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching OMB control number 3090-0291. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0291, FSRS Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Awardees.” Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0291, FSRS Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Awardees on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: IC 3090-0291, FSRS Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Awardees.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0291, FSRS Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Awardees, in all correspondence related to this collection. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Corro, Procurement Analyst, Office of the Integrated Award Environment, GSA, at telephone number 202-215-9767; or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (P.L.109-282, as amended by section 6202(a) of P.L.110-252), known as FFATA or the Transparency Act, requires information disclosure of entities receiving Federal financial assistance through Federal awards such as Federal contracts, sub-contracts, grants and sub-grants, FFATA 2(a),(2),(i),(ii). The system that collects this information is called the FFATA Sub-award Reporting System (FSRS, www.fsrs.gov). This information collection requires information necessary for prime awardee registration in FSRS to create a user log-in and enable sub-award reporting for their entity. To register in FSRS for a user log-in, an entity is required to provide their Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. FSRS then pulls core data about the entity from their System for Award Management (SAM) registration to include the legal business name, physical address, mailing address and Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code. The entity completes the FSRS registration by providing contact information within the entity for approval.

    If a prime awardee has already registered in FSRS to report contracts-related Transparency Act financial data, a new log-in will not be required. In addition, if a prime awardee had a user account in the Electronic Subcontract Reporting System (eSRS), a new log-in will not be required.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 5,678.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Total annual responses: 5,678.

    Hours Per Response: .5.

    Total Burden Hours: 2,839.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0291, FSRS Registration Requirements for Prime Grant Awardees, in all correspondence.

    Dated: July 12, 2017. David A. Shive, Chief Information Officer, General Services Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15154 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-XY-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-0292; Docket No. 2017-0001; Sequence 4] Submission for OMB Review; FFATA Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirements AGENCY:

    Office of the Integrated Award Environment, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB information collection.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve a renewal of the currently approved information collection requirement regarding FFATA Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirements.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number 3090-0292. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0292, FFATA Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirements”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0292, FFATA Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirements” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: IC 3090-0292, FFATA Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirements.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0292, FFATA Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirements, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dennis Harrison, Procurement Analyst, Office of the Integrated Award Environment, GSA, at telephone number 202-215-9767; or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A notice was published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 19721 on April 28, 2017. No comments were received.

    A. Purpose

    The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (Pub. L. 109-282, as amended by section 6202(a) of Pub. L. 110-252), known as FFATA or the Transparency Act requires information disclosure of entities receiving Federal financial assistance through Federal awards such as Federal contracts, sub-contracts, grants and sub-grants, FFATA 2(a), (2), (i), (ii). Beginning October 1, 2010, the currently approved Paperwork Reduction Act submission directed compliance with the Transparency Act to report prime and first-tier sub-award data. Specifically, Federal agencies and prime awardees of grants were to ensure disclosure of executive compensation of both prime and subawardees and sub-award data pursuant to the Transparency Act. This information collection requires reporting of only the information enumerated under the Transparency Act.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Sub-Award Responses: 107,614.

    Hours per Response: 1.

    Total Burden Hours: 107,614.

    Executive Compensation Responses: 41,298.

    Hours per Response: 1.

    Total Burden Hours: 41,298.

    Total Annual Burden Hours: 148,912.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0292, FFATA Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirements, in all correspondence.

    Dated: July 12, 2017. David A. Shive, Chief Information Officer, General Services Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15147 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-WY-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-MG-2017-02; Docket No. 2017-0002; Sequence No. 13] Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings; Green Building Advisory Committee; Notification of Upcoming Conference Calls AGENCY:

    Office of Government-wide Policy, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice of this meeting and these conference calls is being provided according to the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. This notice provides the agenda and schedule for the October 24, 2017 meeting of the Green Building Advisory Committee (the Committee) and schedule for a series of conference calls, supplemented by Web meetings, for two task groups of the Committee. The meeting is open to the public and the site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. The conference calls are open for the public to listen in. Interested individuals must register to attend as instructed below under Supplementary Information.

    DATES:

    Meeting date: The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, starting at 9:00 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and ending no later than 4:00 p.m., EDT.

    Task group conference call dates: The conference calls will be held according to the following schedule:

    The Health and Wellness Task Group will hold recurring, weekly conference calls on Wednesdays beginning August 2, 2017, through October 18, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., EDT.

    The High Performance Building Adoption Task Group will hold recurring, weekly conference calls on Thursdays beginning August 3, 2017 through October 19, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EDT.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Ken Sandler, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings, Office of Government-wide Policy, General Services Administration, 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-219-1121 (Note: This is not a toll-free number). Additional information about the Committee, including meeting materials and updates on the task groups and their schedules, will be available on-line at http://www.gsa.gov/gbac.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Procedures for Attendance and Public Comment: Contact Mr. Ken Sandler at [email protected] to register to attend the meeting and/or listen in to any or all of these conference calls. To attend the meeting and/or conference calls, submit your full name, organization, email address, and phone number, and which you would like to attend. Requests to attend the October 24, 2017 meeting must be received by 5:00 p.m., EDT, on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Requests to listen in to the conference calls must be received by 5:00 p.m., EDT, on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. (GSA will be unable to provide technical assistance to any listener experiencing technical difficulties. Testing access to the Web meeting site in advance of calls is recommended.)

    Contact Ken Sandler at [email protected]sa.gov to register to comment during the October 24, 2017 meeting public comment period. Registered speakers/organizations will be allowed a maximum of five minutes each, and will need to provide written copies of their presentations. Requests to comment at the meeting must be received by 5:00 p.m., EDT, on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Written comments also may be provided to Mr. Sandler at [email protected] by the same deadline.

    Background: The Administrator of GSA established the Committee on June 20, 2011 (Federal Register/Vol. 76, No. 118) pursuant to Section 494 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, 42 U.S.C. 17123). Under this authority, the Committee provides independent policy advice and recommendations to GSA to improve federal buildings (assets, operations, use, and resilience) to enhance human health and performance, and safeguard social, economic, and environmental security.

    The Committee currently has two active task groups. The High Performance Building Adoption task group is pursuing the motion of a committee member to provide recommendations to “accelerate the adoption of high performance [Federal] buildings.” The Health and Wellness task group is pursuing the motion of a committee member to “develop guidelines to integrate health and wellness features into government facilities programs.”

    The conference calls will allow the task groups to coordinate the development of consensus recommendations to the full Committee, which will, in turn, decide whether to proceed with formal advice to GSA based upon these recommendations.

    October 24, 2017 Meeting Agenda • Welcome, Introductions, Updates & Plans for Today • High Performance Building Adoption: Task Group Report & Discussion • Working Lunch (with Presentation) • Health and Wellness: Task Group Report & Discussion • Topics Proposed by Committee Members Future/Directions of the Committee • Public Comment Period • Closing Comments • Adjourn Detailed agendas, background information, and updates for the meeting and conference calls will be posted on GSA's Web site at http://www.gsa.gov/gbac.

    Meeting Access: The Committee will convene its October 24, 2017 meeting at GSA Central Office, Room 1425, 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, and the site is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

    Dated: July 13, 2017. Kevin Kampschroer, Federal Director, Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings, General Services Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15155 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10636] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, and to allow a second opportunity for public comment on the notice. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection(s) of information must be received by the OMB desk officer by August 18, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting on the proposed information collections, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be received by the OMB desk officer via one of the following transmissions: OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395-5806 OR, Email: OIRA_ [email protected].

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this not