Federal Register Vol. 82, No.142,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 142 (July 26, 2017)

Page Range34597-34789
FR Document

82_FR_142
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 34597 - Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United StatesPDF
82 FR 34672 - Sunshine Act; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 34675 - Sunshine Act Meeting: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)PDF
82 FR 34674 - Sunshine Act Meeting: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (BSC, NCEH/ATSDR)PDF
82 FR 34707 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 34666 - Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Active IngredientsPDF
82 FR 34664 - Receipt of Several Pesticide Petitions Filed for Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various CommoditiesPDF
82 FR 34655 - Sycamore Removal Site, Hollywood, CA; Notice of Proposed Settlement Agreement and Order on ConsentPDF
82 FR 34674 - A Performance Test Protocol for Closed System Transfer Devices Used During Pharmacy Compounding and Administration of Hazardous Drugs; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
82 FR 34675 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 34711 - New Postal ProductsPDF
82 FR 34732 - In the Matter of the Amendment of the Designation of Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade (and Other Aliases) as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
82 FR 34663 - Notification of a Public Meeting of the Chartered Science Advisory BoardPDF
82 FR 34656 - Notice of Opportunity To Comment on an Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and Transport of Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (Sugar Beets) for Use in Biofuel ProductionPDF
82 FR 34655 - Coronet Industries, Inc.: Plant City, Hillsborough County, Florida, Notice of SettlementPDF
82 FR 34745 - International Standards on the Transport of Dangerous GoodsPDF
82 FR 34745 - Sanctions Action Pursuant to an Executive Order Issued on September 23, 2001, Titled “Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism”PDF
82 FR 34719 - Point Bridge Capital, LLC, et al.PDF
82 FR 34667 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10391-First Southern National Bank Statesboro, GeorgiaPDF
82 FR 34668 - Notice of Termination-10314 Allegiance Bank of North America, Bala Cynwyd, PennsylvaniaPDF
82 FR 34620 - Navigation Safety Advisory Council-Input To Support Regulatory Reform of Coast Guard Regulations-New TaskPDF
82 FR 34672 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
82 FR 34672 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 34732 - Union Pacific Railroad Company-Temporary Trackage Rights Exemption-The Kansas City Southern Railway CompanyPDF
82 FR 34736 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Mychal WillPDF
82 FR 34737 - Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for Issuing a License to Virgin Orbit (LauncherOne), LLC for LauncherOne Launches at the Mojave Air and Space Port, Kern County, CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 34740 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Model Year 2022-2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy StandardsPDF
82 FR 34748 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Decision Ready Claims (DRC) Exam ReviewPDF
82 FR 34746 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Department of Veteran Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) Construction Provisions and Clauses 852.236-72, 852.236.80, 852.236-82, 852.236-83, 852.236-84 and 852.236-88PDF
82 FR 34748 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Department of Veteran Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) Sections 809.504(d) and Clause 852.209-70PDF
82 FR 34747 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) Clause 852.236-89, Buy American ActPDF
82 FR 34612 - Safety Zone; Kosciuszko Bridge Approach Spans Demolition, Newtown Creek, Brooklyn and Queens, NYPDF
82 FR 34694 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: United States Pharmacopeial ConventionPDF
82 FR 34695 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances RegistrationPDF
82 FR 34691 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Cayman Chemical CompanyPDF
82 FR 34696 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Organic Consultants, Inc.PDF
82 FR 34696 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: AMRI Rensselaer, Inc.PDF
82 FR 34695 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: AMRI Rensselaer, Inc.PDF
82 FR 34649 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 34630 - Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Affirmative Final Determination of Circumvention of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders and Rescission of Minor Alterations Anti-Circumvention InquiryPDF
82 FR 34696 - Workforce Information Advisory CouncilPDF
82 FR 34652 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 34686 - Agency Information Collection Activities: OMB Control Number 1076-0178; Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Funding Solicitations and ReportingPDF
82 FR 34733 - Winamac Southern Railway Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Kokomo, Howard County, Ind.; US Rail Holdings, LLC-Abandonment Exemption-in Kokomo, Howard County, Ind.PDF
82 FR 34650 - Arms Sales NotificationPDF
82 FR 34697 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Manlifts StandardPDF
82 FR 34701 - Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety StandardsPDF
82 FR 34699 - Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety StandardsPDF
82 FR 34698 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Certification and Qualification To Examine, Test, Operate Hoists and Perform Other DutiesPDF
82 FR 34672 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
82 FR 34734 - Charter Renewal of the Regional Energy Resource CouncilPDF
82 FR 34685 - Mortgage and Loan Insurance Programs Under the National Housing Act-Debenture Interest RatesPDF
82 FR 34649 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 34616 - Request for Information; Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer EmployeesPDF
82 FR 34682 - Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and DentistryPDF
82 FR 34650 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 34677 - Notice of Intent To Award a Single-Source Non-Competing Continuation Application To Fund Grant Number 90DN0295 University of Massachusetts for an Additional 12 MonthsPDF
82 FR 34678 - Notice of Intent To Award a Single-Source Non-Competing Continuation Application To Fund Grant Number 90DN0296 the University of Colorado for an Additional 12 MonthsPDF
82 FR 34678 - Notice of Intent To Award a Single-Source Non-Competing Continuation Application to the University of Minnesota for an Additional 12 MonthsPDF
82 FR 34632 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Gary Paxton Industrial Park Dock Modification ProjectPDF
82 FR 34690 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Federal Firearms Licensee Firearms Inventory Theft/Loss Report-ATF F 3310.11PDF
82 FR 34681 - Patient Engagement Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 34667 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10510-First National Bank of Crestview, Crestview, FloridaPDF
82 FR 34671 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10124-Jennings State Bank, Spring Grove, MinnesotaPDF
82 FR 34679 - Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012: Questions and Answers Related to Self-Identification of Facilities, Review of Generic Drug Submissions, and Inspections and Compliance; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 34680 - Consumer Antiseptic Wash Final Rule Questions and Answers; Guidance for Industry; Small Entity Compliance Guide; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 34647 - Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Part 251, Use of Government Sources by ContractorsPDF
82 FR 34706 - Notice of Intent To Hold International Space Station Stakeholder WorkshopPDF
82 FR 34648 - Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Evaluation Factor for Use of Members of the Armed Forces Selected ReservePDF
82 FR 34647 - Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Small Business ProgramsPDF
82 FR 34655 - Belle Fourche Pipeline Company, Bridger Pipeline LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
82 FR 34653 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 34653 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-523); Comment Request; Revision and ExtensionPDF
82 FR 34654 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
82 FR 34688 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Procedures for State, Tribal, Local, Plans & GrantsPDF
82 FR 34611 - Branded Prescription Drug FeePDF
82 FR 34601 - Health Insurance Premium Tax CreditPDF
82 FR 34688 - Indian Gaming; Extension of Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact (Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the State of South Dakota)PDF
82 FR 34684 - Accreditation and Approval of Intertek USA, Inc., as a Commercial Gauger and LaboratoryPDF
82 FR 34685 - Accreditation and Approval of Intertek USA, Inc., as a Commercial Gauger and LaboratoryPDF
82 FR 34721 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Qualification Criteria Under the Qualified Market Maker Program at Rule 7014PDF
82 FR 34727 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 912PDF
82 FR 34728 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 912PDF
82 FR 34716 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 6896 and Chapter IX, Section 9PDF
82 FR 34715 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 912PDF
82 FR 34716 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 3, Relating to the Listing and Trading of Shares of the USCF Canadian Crude Oil Index Fund Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.200PDF
82 FR 34728 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Eliminate Non-Regular Way Trading on the ExchangePDF
82 FR 34717 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Disaster RecoveryPDF
82 FR 34723 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Regarding Market Maker QuotationsPDF
82 FR 34624 - Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2017PDF
82 FR 34623 - Notice of Intent To Review Online Homeownership Education Courses for Nationwide Use in the Single Family Housing Section 502 Direct Loan ProgramPDF
82 FR 34712 - Revision to Mailing Standards for Lithium BatteriesPDF
82 FR 34667 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10072-Mirae Bank, Los Angeles, CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 34671 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10453-Second Federal Savings and Loan Association of Chicago, Chicago, IllinoisPDF
82 FR 34667 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10335-The First State Bank, Camargo, OklahomaPDF
82 FR 34712 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 34688 - Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; UtahPDF
82 FR 34668 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (3064-0099; -0118; -0148 and -0153)PDF
82 FR 34684 - National Eye Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 34683 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 34683 - Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 34732 - Presidential Declaration Amendment of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of TennesseePDF
82 FR 34731 - MISSOURI Disaster Number MO-00081PDF
82 FR 34731 - ARKANSAS Disaster Number AR-00096PDF
82 FR 34733 - Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of WaterPDF
82 FR 34734 - Projects Rescinded for Consumptive Uses of WaterPDF
82 FR 34652 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
82 FR 34738 - Eleventh RTCA SC-233 Addressing Human Factors/Pilot Interface Issues for Avionics PlenaryPDF
82 FR 34738 - Twentieth RTCA SC-227 Standards of Navigation Performance PlenaryPDF
82 FR 34736 - Thirtieth First RTCA SC-225 Rechargeable Lithium Batteries and Battery Systems PlenaryPDF
82 FR 34735 - Fifty First RTCA SC-224 Standards for Airport Security Access Control Systems PlenaryPDF
82 FR 34737 - Twenty Third RTCA SC-223 IPS and AeroMACS PlenaryPDF
82 FR 34736 - Thirty Fourth RTCA SC-213 Enhanced Flight Vision Systems/Synthetic Vision Systems (EFVS/SVS) Plenary Joint With EUROCAE WG-79PDF
82 FR 34735 - Forty Eighth RTCA SC-206 Aeronautical Information and Meteorological Data Link Services PlenaryPDF
82 FR 34739 - Eighty Fifth RTCA Meeting of Special Committee 147 (Joint Plenary Session With EUROCAE WG-75)PDF
82 FR 34739 - Seventieth RTCA SC-135 Environmental Testing PlenaryPDF
82 FR 34671 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 34792 - Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Oxides of NitrogenPDF
82 FR 34619 - Regulatory Planning and Review of Existing RegulationsPDF
82 FR 34615 - Juice Products Association; Filing of Food Additive PetitionPDF
82 FR 34615 - Zinpro Corp.; Filing of Food Additive Petition (Animal Use)PDF
82 FR 34752 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits for Certain Migratory Game BirdsPDF
82 FR 34707 - License Modification Order: Fansteel, Inc. and FMRI (a Subsidiary of Reorganized Fansteel)PDF
82 FR 34682 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF

Issue

82 142 Wednesday, July 26, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Rural Housing Service

Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Firearms Licensee Firearms Inventory Theft/Loss Report, 34690-34691 2017-15658 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES A Performance Test Protocol for Closed System Transfer Devices Used During Pharmacy Compounding and Administration of Hazardous Drugs; Extension of Comment Period, 34674 2017-15727 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34672-34673 2017-15671 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34674-34675 2017-15782 2017-15783 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34675-34677 2017-15726 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Kosciuszko Bridge Approach Spans Demolition, Newtown Creek, Brooklyn and Queens, NY, 34612-34614 2017-15694 PROPOSED RULES Meetings: Navigation Safety Advisory Council—Input To Support Regulatory Reform of Coast Guard Regulations—New Task, 34620-34622 2017-15707 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Funding Awards: University of Colorado, 34678-34679 2017-15662 University of Massachusetts, 34677-34678 2017-15663 University of Minnesota, 34678 2017-15661 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Evaluation Factor for Use of Members of the Armed Forces Selected Reserve, 34648-34649 2017-15650 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Part 251, Use of Government Sources by Contractors, 34647-34648 2017-15652 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Small Business Programs, 34647 2017-15649 Defense Department Defense Department See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34649-34650, 34652 2017-15664 2017-15667 2017-15679 2017-15684 Arms Sales, 34650-34652 2017-15676
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Bulk Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Applications: AMRI Rensselaer, Inc., 34695 2017-15688 Cayman Chemical Co., 34691-34693 2017-15691 Organic Consultants, Inc., 34696 2017-15690 Bulk Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals; Siegfried USA, LLC; Sigma Aldrich Research Biochemicals, Inc., 34695-34696 2017-15692 Importers of Controlled Substances; Applications: AMRI Rensselaer, Inc., 34696 2017-15689 United States Pharmacopeial Convention, 34694-34695 2017-15693 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Charter Renewals: Workforce Information Advisory Council, 34696-34697 2017-15681 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Oxides of Nitrogen, 34792-34834 2017-15591 NOTICES Meetings: Chartered Science Advisory Board, 34663-34664 2017-15722 Pesticide Petitions: Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various Commodities, 34664-34666 2017-15730 Pesticide Product Registrations: New Active Ingredients, 34666-34667 2017-15746 Proposed Settlement Agreements: CERCLA, 34655-34656 2017-15729 Request for Comments: Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and Transport of Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (Sugar Beets) for Use in Biofuel Production, 34656-34663 2017-15721 Settlements: Coronet Industries, Inc.: Plant City, Hillsborough County, FL, 34655 2017-15720 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Virgin Orbit (LauncherOne), LLC License for Launches at the Mojave Air and Space Port, Kern County, CA, 34737 2017-15702 Meetings: Eighty Fifth RTCA Meeting of Special Committee 147 (Joint Plenary Session With EUROCAE WG-75), 34739-34740 2017-15599 Eleventh RTCA SC-233 Addressing Human Factors/Pilot Interface Issues for Avionics Plenary, 34738-34739 2017-15606 Fifty First RTCA SC-224 Standards for Airport Security Access Control Systems Plenary, 34735-34736 2017-15603 Forty Eighth RTCA SC-206 Aeronautical Information and Meteorological Data Link Services Plenary, 34735 2017-15600 Seventieth RTCA SC-135 Environmental Testing Plenary, 34739 2017-15598 Thirtieth First RTCA SC-225 Rechargeable Lithium Batteries and Battery Systems Plenary, 34736 2017-15604 Thirty Fourth RTCA SC-213 Enhanced Flight Vision Systems/Synthetic Vision Systems Plenary Joint with EUROCAE WG-79, 34736 2017-15601 Twentieth RTCA SC-227 Standards of Navigation Performance Plenary, 34738 2017-15605 Twenty Third RTCA SC-223 IPS and AeroMACS Plenary, 34737-34738 2017-15602 Petitions for Exemptions: Summaries: Mychal Will, 34736-34737 2017-15703 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34668-34671 2017-15617 Terminations of Receivership: 10124; Jennings State Bank; Spring Grove, MN, 34671 2017-15655 10314—Allegiance Bank of North America, Bala Cynwyd, PA, 34668 2017-15709 10391; First Southern National Bank; Statesboro, GA, 34667 2017-15710 10510; First National Bank of Crestview; Crestview, FL, 34667 2017-15656 Mirae Bank; Los Angeles, CA, 34667 2017-15623 Second Federal Savings and Loan Association of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 34671 2017-15622 The First State Bank; Camargo, OK, 34667-34668 2017-15621 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Authorization for the Issuance of Securities or the Assumption of Liabilities, 34653-34654 2017-15646 Combined Filings, 34652-34655 2017-15607 2017-15645 2017-15647 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Belle Fourche Pipeline Co.; Bridger Pipeline LLC, 34655 2017-15648 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 34672 2017-15706 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 34671-34672 2017-15593 2017-15705 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34672 2017-15793 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Migratory Bird Hunting: Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits for Certain Migratory Game Birds, 34752-34789 2017-15472 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES Food Additive Petition: Juice Products Association, 34615 2017-15535 Food Additive Petitions: Zinpro Corp., 34615-34616 2017-15533 NOTICES Guidance: Consumer Antiseptic Wash Final Rule Questions and Answers; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 34680-34681 2017-15653 Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012: Questions and Answers Related to Self-Identification of Facilities, Review of Generic Drug Submissions, and Inspections and Compliance, 34679-34680 2017-15654 Meetings: Patient Engagement Advisory Committee, 34681-34682 2017-15657 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 34745-34746 2017-15713 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 34682-34683 2017-15318
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry, 34682 2017-15665 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Mortgage and Loan Insurance Programs Under the National Housing Act: Debenture Interest Rates, 34685-34686 2017-15668 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Native American Business Development Institute Funding Solicitations and Reporting, 34686-34687 2017-15678 Indian Gaming: Extension of Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact (Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the State of South Dakota), 34688 2017-15640 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Branded Prescription Drug Fee, 34611-34612 2017-15643 Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit, 34601-34611 2017-15642 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China, 34630-34632 2017-15683 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

See

Drug Enforcement Administration

Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Mine Safety and Health Administration

See

Wage and Hour Division

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Manlifts Standard, 34697-34698 2017-15675
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Plats of Survey: Utah, 34688 2017-15618 Mine Mine Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certification and Qualification To Examine, Test, Operate Hoists and Perform Other Duties, 34698-34699 2017-15672 Petitions for Modifications: Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 34699-34706 2017-15673 2017-15674 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: International Space Station Stakeholder Workshop, 34706-34707 2017-15651 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Model Year 2022-2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards, 34740-34745 2017-15701 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 34683 2017-15614 National Cancer Institute, 34683-34684 2017-15615 National Eye Institute, 34684 2017-15616 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Gary Paxton Industrial Park Dock Modification Project, 34632-34646 2017-15659 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Procedures for State, Tribal, Local, Plans and Grants, 34688-34690 2017-15644 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34707 2017-15776 Orders: Fansteel, Inc. and FMRI (Subsidiary of Reorganized Fansteel); License Modification, 34707-34711 2017-15367 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Planning and Review of Existing Regulations, 34619-34620 2017-15551 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Request for Comments: International Standards on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, 34745 2017-15719 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 34711-34712 2017-15725 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Mailing Standards; Revisions: Lithium Batteries, 34712-34715 2017-15624 Product Changes: Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 34712 2017-15620 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents EXECUTIVE ORDERS U.S. Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency; Policy to Assess and Strengthen (EO 13806), 34597-34599 2017-15860 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service NOTICES Requests for Applications: Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2017, 34624-34630 2017-15626 Single Family Housing Section 502 Direct Loan Program: Online Homeownership Education Courses for Nationwide Use, 34623-34624 2017-15625 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Point Bridge Capital, LLC, et al., 34719-34721 2017-15712 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 34717-34719 2017-15630 NASDAQ BX, Inc., 34716 2017-15634 Nasdaq GEMX, LLC, 34723-34728 2017-15629 2017-15635 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 34727-34728 2017-15636 Nasdaq MRX, LLC, 34715-34716 2017-15633 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 34728-34731 2017-15631 NYSE Arca, Inc., 34716-34717 2017-15632 The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 34721-34723 2017-15637 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Arkansas, Amendment 1, 34731-34732 2017-15611 Missouri; Amendment 2, 34731 2017-15612 Tennessee; Amendment 1, 34732 2017-15613 State Department State Department NOTICES Designations as Global Terrorists: Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade (and Other Aliases), 34732 2017-15724 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment Exemptions: Winamac Southern Railway Co., Winamac Southern Railway Company; Kokomo, Howard County, IN, 34733 2017-15677 Trackage Rights Exemptions: Union Pacific Railroad Co.; The Kansas City Southern Railway Co., 34732-34733 2017-15704 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water, 34733-34734 2017-15610 Projects Rescinded for Consumptive Uses of Water, 34734 2017-15609 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority NOTICES Charter Renewals: Regional Energy Resource Council, 34734-34735 2017-15670 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Commercial Gaugers and Laboratories; Accreditations and Approvals: Intertek USA, Inc., 34684-34685 2017-15638 2017-15639 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Buy American Act, 34747-34748 2017-15697 Decision Ready Claims Exam Review, 34748 2017-15700 Department Of Veteran Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) Construction Provisions and Clauses 852.236-72, 852.236.80, 852.236-82, 852.236-83, 852.236-84 and 852.236-88, 34746-34747 2017-15699 Department Of Veteran Affairs Acquisition Regulation Sections 809.504(d) and Clause 852.209-70, 34748-34749 2017-15698 Wage Wage and Hour Division PROPOSED RULES Requests for Information: Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees, 34616-34619 2017-15666 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 34752-34789 2017-15472 Part III Environmental Protection Agency, 34792-34834 2017-15591 Reader Aids

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

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82 142 Wednesday, July 26, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9822] RIN 1545-BM09 Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final regulations and removal of temporary regulations.

SUMMARY:

This document contains final regulations relating to the health insurance premium tax credit. These regulations affect individuals who enroll in qualified health plans through Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges, also called Marketplaces) and claim the premium tax credit and Exchanges that make qualified health plans available to individuals.

DATES:

Effective Date: These regulations are effective on July 24, 2017.

Applicability Date: For applicability dates, see §§ 1.36B-2(d), 1.36B-3(m), 1.36B-4(c), and 1.162(l)-1(c).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Suzanne R. Sinno and Stephen J. Toomey at (202) 317-4718 and Shareen S. Pflanz at (202) 317-7006 (not toll-free numbers).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

This document contains final regulations that amend the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) relating to the health insurance premium tax credit and under section 162(l) of the Code relating to the deduction for health insurance costs for self-employed individuals. The Treasury Department and the IRS published final regulations under section 36B (TD 9590) on May 23, 2012 (77 FR 30385). These regulations were amended in 2014 by TD 9663, published on May 7, 2014 (79 FR 26117); in 2015 by TD 9745, published on December 18, 2015 (80 FR 78974); and in 2016 by TD 9804, published on December 19, 2016 (81 FR 91755).

On July 24, 2014, the Treasury Department and the IRS published final and temporary regulations under section 36B and section 162(l) (TD 9683) in the Federal Register (79 FR 43622), providing relief from the joint filing requirement for married victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment, the methodology for indexing certain percentages used in determining the amount of and eligibility for the premium tax credit, certain allocation rules for reconciliation of advance credit payments and the premium tax credit, and guidance on the deduction for health insurance costs of self-employed individuals. On the same date, a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-104579-13) cross-referencing the temporary regulations was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 43693). Written comments responding to the proposed regulations were received. The comments have been considered in connection with these final regulations and are available for public inspection at www.regulations.gov or on request. No public hearing was requested or held. After consideration of all the comments, the proposed regulations are adopted by this Treasury decision, with one technical correction that was not identified in the comments.

Summary of Comments and Explanation of Provisions 1. Relief for Married Victims of Domestic Abuse or Spousal Abandonment

Section 36B provides a refundable premium tax credit to help individuals and families afford health insurance purchased through an Exchange. To be eligible for a premium tax credit under section 36B, section 36B(a) provides that an individual must be an applicable taxpayer. Section 36B(c)(1) defines an applicable taxpayer to mean a taxpayer (1) with household income for the taxable year that equals or exceeds 100 percent but does not exceed 400 percent of the federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size, (2) who may not be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, and (3) who files a joint return if married (within the meaning of section 7703).

Section 1.36B-2T(b)(2)(i) provides that except as provided in § 1.36B-2T(b)(2)(ii), a married taxpayer is an applicable taxpayer allowed a premium tax credit only if the taxpayer files a joint return with his or her spouse. Under § 1.36B-2T(b)(2)(ii), a married taxpayer satisfies the joint filing requirement if the taxpayer files a tax return using a filing status of married filing separately and the taxpayer (i) is living apart from his or her spouse at the time the taxpayer files his or her tax return, (ii) is unable to file a joint return because the taxpayer is a victim of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment, and (iii) certifies on his or her income tax return in accordance with the relevant forms and instructions that the taxpayer meets these criteria for claiming a premium tax credit using a filing status of married filing separately. Taxpayers may not qualify for relief from the joint filing requirement for a period that exceeds three consecutive years. See § 1.36B-2T(b)(2)(v). The preamble to the temporary regulations included a specific request for comments on these rules.

A. Eligibility Criteria

Comments were generally favorable with respect to the criteria for eligibility for relief from the married filing jointly requirement under the temporary regulations. For example, commenters agreed with the rule in the temporary regulations that victims of domestic violence are not required to contact their spouse as a condition for qualifying for relief from the married filing jointly requirement. Commenters also agreed that relief from the married filing jointly requirement should be available even if the abuse or abandonment occurs in a taxable year other than the taxable year for which a taxpayer seeks relief. A number of commenters requested clarification regarding when a taxpayer is considered a victim of spousal abandonment. The rule in § 1.36B-2T(b)(2)(iv) of the temporary regulations provides that a taxpayer is a victim of spousal abandonment for a taxable year if, taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, the taxpayer is unable to locate his or her spouse after reasonable diligence. A number of commenters requested that the final regulations include a definition for the term “reasonable diligence” for spousal abandonment. Other commenters suggested that the regulations broaden the “unable to locate” requirement for spousal abandonment to situations in which the spouse can be located but is uncooperative, poses a threat to the filing taxpayer, or refuses to grant a divorce to the filing taxpayer.

The final regulations do not provide a definition of reasonable diligence. The IRS will take into account all the facts and circumstances in determining whether a taxpayer exercised reasonable diligence in trying to locate his or spouse. A “one size fits all” definition is not appropriate for situations involving spousal abandonment because the facts of each situation are unique. Providing a definition for reasonable diligence could have the unintended consequence of preventing a taxpayer who merits relief from the married filing jointly requirement from meeting the reasonable diligence standard solely because the definition did not contemplate the taxpayer's particular circumstances.

In addition, the final regulations do not broaden the “unable to locate” rule to include situations in which a spouse poses a threat to the taxpayer claiming relief because the definition of domestic abuse in § 1.36B-2T(a)(2)(iii), which includes psychological or emotional abuse and efforts to intimidate the victim, already addresses these circumstances. Finally, relief from the married filing jointly requirement is not suitable for all situations in which the spouse can be located but is uncooperative.

B. Additional Exceptions

Several commenters requested that the IRS expand circumstances warranting relief from the married filing jointly requirement beyond domestic abuse and spousal abandonment. For instance, some commenters suggested that same-sex spouses who live in states that do not permit divorce for same-sex marriages, spouses living abroad, incarcerated spouses, and individuals who face challenges in filing a joint return because of their spouse's immigration status should also be eligible for relief from the married filing jointly requirement. Other commenters suggested that those eligible for relief because they are victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment should be able to file as single or head of household, rather than be limited to filing as married filing separately, citing the rules under section 6015 for innocent spouses as support for this position. Commenters also requested a one-year exception from the married filing jointly requirement for individuals who are separated but have not initiated a legal separation or divorce or who are in a long-term separation even if they are not victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment.

The final regulations do not expand relief from the married filing jointly requirement beyond domestic abuse and spousal abandonment. The relief finalized in these regulations is specifically tailored to address the limited and unique situations when the taxpayer is unable to file a joint return either because the taxpayer fears for his or her safety or, through no fault of the victim, can neither file a joint return because the non-filing spouse cannot be located nor obtain a divorce or legal separation because sufficient time has not lapsed under state law. In contrast, the circumstances described by the commenters do not warrant relief because the taxpayer is able to file a joint return.

Moreover, because the purposes of the innocent spouse rules and the rule in § 1.36B-2T(a)(2) for victims of domestic abuse and spousal abandonment are different, using the innocent spouse rules for domestic abuse or spousal abandonment victims is not appropriate. The innocent spouse rules provide relief from joint and several liability when a joint return is filed. In contrast, the relief provided in § 1.36B-2T(a)(2) allows a married victim of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment to claim a premium tax credit without filing a joint return. Therefore, because relief under § 1.36B-2T(a)(2) is available only for taxpayers who do not file a joint return, there is no need for the relief from joint and several liability provided by the innocent spouse rules.

Commenters also asked that the final regulations include a rule that would allow individuals who are (1) informally separated and (2) unable to locate their spouses, unwilling to contact them, or unaware of how filing separately could impact their eligibility for advance credit payments and the premium tax credit, to take advantage of the relief from the joint filing requirement for one year. The final regulations do not adopt this comment. First, the regulations already include a rule for taxpayers who cannot file jointly because the taxpayer is unable to locate his or her spouse. Further, regarding the comment about taxpayers being unaware of how filing separately could impact their eligibility for advance credit payments and the premium tax credit, the IRS has included information on www.irs.gov and in instructions and publications to alert taxpayers of the requirement to file jointly to claim the premium tax credit and of the available relief for victims of domestic abuse and spousal abandonment.

One commenter asked that the final regulations allow temporary relief from the joint filing requirement for victims of domestic violence who, when enrolling for coverage, plan to leave their spouse but want to have insurance coverage in place before they leave. Another commenter requested that relief from the joint filing requirement apply to a victim of domestic abuse who lives with his or her spouse and whose spouse could, but refuses to, enroll the victim in the spouse's employer's health coverage.

The relief in the temporary regulations applies to victims of spousal abuse who live with their spouse when enrolling in Marketplace health insurance, but who live apart from the spouse at the time of filing their tax return and cannot file a joint return because of the abuse. Thus, no additional relief rules are necessary for victims of domestic violence who are planning to leave their spouse but want to enroll in Marketplace coverage.

In addition, the final regulations do not adopt the suggestion that the relief from the joint filing requirement be extended to victims of domestic abuse who are planning to leave their spouses but have not yet done so at the time of filing their tax return. Only taxpayers who live apart from their spouse at the time the taxpayer files his or her tax return should be eligible to claim relief from the joint return filing requirement. The underlying basis of this relief is that while the taxpayer is technically married, the taxpayer is not able to file a joint return because they either fear contact with the spouse or the spouse cannot be located. In the case of a victim who lives with the spouse, filing a joint return is less challenging than if he or she lives apart from the spouse.

Finally, if a domestic abuse victim qualifies to use the married filing jointly exception, the victim is not precluded from getting a premium tax credit just because the victim's spouse could have, but refused to, enroll the victim in the spouse's employer's health coverage. See § 1.36B-2(c)(4)(i), under which a taxpayer, including a domestic abuse victim, who uses the married filing separately filing status is treated as eligible for his or her spouse's employer's health coverage only for months that the taxpayer is enrolled in the coverage.

C. Advance Credit Payment Reconciliation

Under section 1412 of the Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), eligible taxpayers may receive the benefit of advance credit payments. Section 36B(f)(1) requires taxpayers who receive the benefit of advance credit payments for a taxable year to file a tax return and reconcile the advance credit payments with the premium tax credit the taxpayer is allowed for the taxable year. Under section 36B(f)(2)(A), the taxpayer's income tax liability is increased by the amount that the advance credit payments for the taxable year exceed the premium tax credit allowed for the taxable year, subject to the repayment limitations in section 36B(f)(2)(B). Section 1.36B-4(b) provides an alternative rule for reconciling the advance credit payments with the premium tax credit for taxpayers who marry during the taxable year (the year of marriage rule). Specifically, under § 1.36B-4(b)(2), taxpayers who marry during a taxable year may compute their excess advance credit payments (the excess of their advance credit payments over the premium tax credit they are allowed) in a manner that is different from the computation used by other taxpayers if, in the taxable year of the marriage, at least one of the spouses received the benefit of advance credit payments for one or more months in the taxable year. This alternative computation may reduce the amount of excess advance credit payments the taxpayers have to repay for the year of marriage.

Several commenters asked that the final regulations allow victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment who receive advance credit payments under the assumption that they will file a separate return, but who reconcile with their spouses and file a joint return for the taxable year, to use the year of marriage rule (or a rule similar to the year of marriage rule) to compute their excess advance credit payments. In particular, the commenters noted that these victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment risk having excess advance credit payments similar to taxpayers who get married during the taxable year.

The final regulations do not expand the year of marriage rule to cover these taxpayers, nor do they create a similar rule for victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment who reconcile, because of the risk of abuse in adding such a rule. Unlike the date of a marriage, which can be substantiated, the date on which a marital reconciliation occurs is often unclear and difficult to establish both for taxpayers and the IRS. This situation could lead to taxpayers not within the parameters of the rule nevertheless using it either because they do not understand when it applies or because they want to lower their excess advance credit repayment and do not believe the IRS will challenge their use of the rule. Moreover, these taxpayers may attempt to use the rule for multiple years. Finally, in many cases, section 36B(f)(2)(B) limits the tax liability that a taxpayer incurs from excess advance credit payments. Thus, the Treasury Department and the IRS think it is appropriate to limit the year of marriage rule to taxpayers who marry during the taxable year.

D. Limiting Relief to Three Consecutive Years

Section 1.36B-2T(a)(2)(v) provides that relief from the married filing jointly requirement is not available if the taxpayer satisfied the eligibility requirements of § 1.36B-2T(b)(2)(ii) for each of the three preceding taxable years. Commenters recommended that this limitation be removed from the final regulations. Alternatively, commenters recommended that the final regulations provide a “good cause” exception to the three-year limitation.

Based on IRS data, most taxpayers who claim relief from the joint filing requirement need that relief for only one year. Since 2014, the first tax year that relief from the joint return filing requirement was available to victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment, only 0.2 to 0.3 percent of all taxpayers claiming the premium tax credit requested relief. Further, fewer than 3 percent of the individuals who claimed relief in 2014 also claimed relief in 2015. Given that current data indicates that so few taxpayers are claiming relief, and that few of these taxpayers are requesting relief for more than one year, the additional two years provided by the rule in the temporary regulations appears to be sufficient to provide relief for the small number of taxpayers who would benefit from relief for more than one year.

Accordingly, at this time, there does not appear to be a need to extend the availability of this relief beyond three consecutive years. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS will continue to monitor the data. In the meantime, comments are requested regarding how the IRS would administer a process for taxpayers to request relief beyond the three consecutive years permitted under the regulations. Specifically, comments are requested regarding when and how a taxpayer would request a good cause exception and what standards should apply to determine whether a taxpayer has demonstrated good cause.

E. Enforcement Issues

Commenters raised concerns related to IRS examinations of taxpayers who obtain relief. Several commenters said the IRS should ensure that taxpayers who use the relief for domestic abuse or spousal abandonment are not subject to audits or penalties solely due to a conflict between their marital status on their Marketplace health insurance application (unmarried) and their filing status on their tax return (married filing separately). Pursuant to the forms and instructions, taxpayers indicate to the IRS that they are filing their tax return married filing separately because they are a victim of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment by checking the appropriate box on the Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit. As noted by the commenters, some Marketplaces, including the Federally-facilitated Marketplace, instruct victims of domestic violence or spousal abandonment who intend to use the married filing separately filing status on their tax return, to indicate on their Marketplace application that they are unmarried if they want to receive the benefit of advance credit payments or cost-sharing reductions. Under HHS guidance dated July 27, 2015, these individuals are not subject to a penalty for reporting their marital status in this manner. See https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/Updated-Guidance-on-Victims-of-Domestic-Abuse-and-Spousal-Abandonment_7.pdf. Similarly, if these individuals then use the married filing separately status on their tax return, they have used a permitted filing status and are not subject to Internal Revenue Code penalties as a result of their filing status. Thus, these taxpayers will not be subject to a penalty merely because the marital status on their Marketplace application is not consistent with the marital status on their tax return.

Commenters also recommended that the final regulations describe the supporting documentation of domestic abuse that a taxpayer will need to establish that he or she was a victim of domestic abuse in case of an IRS examination of the taxpayer's return. Publication 974, Premium Tax Credit, provides examples of documentation that victims of domestic abuse may use to substantiate that they qualify for the relief. Publication 974 also includes substantiation information for victims of spousal abandonment. However, these examples are merely illustrative. As stated in the regulations, the IRS will consider all the facts and circumstances in the case of an examination. As a result, a description of specific documentation is not included in the final regulations.

F. Enrollment Period

Several commenters urged HHS to provide an open enrollment period if expanded rules for relief are adopted so taxpayers that are eligible for relief due to domestic abuse or spousal abandonment may enroll in a qualified health plan and get advance credit payments. Commenters also recommended that taxpayers be allowed a special enrollment period if the abuse or abandonment occurs during a taxable year for which the victim had not enrolled in a qualified health plan prior to the abuse or abandonment. Other commenters suggested that Marketplaces alert taxpayers on the health insurance application of the availability of relief from the joint filing requirement for victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment.

The rules regarding enrollment and Marketplace health insurance applications are administered by HHS, and thus these comments are outside the scope of these final regulations. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS will share these comments with HHS. In addition, taxpayers should refer to HHS guidance that provides victims of domestic abuse and spousal abandonment a special enrollment period to apply for Marketplace coverage. See 45 CFR 155.420. See also https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/Updated-Guidance-on-Victims-of-Domestic-Abuse-and-Spousal-Abandonment_7.pdf.; https://marketplace.cms.gov/technical-assistance-resources/assisting-victims-of-domestic-violence.PDF.

Commenters requested that the IRS alert taxpayers regarding the operational limitations in the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace that require victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment who intend to file a return separate from their spouse and claim a premium tax credit to indicate that they are unmarried on their health insurance application. HHS, and not the IRS, regulates the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace. Therefore, HHS, and not the IRS, is in the best position to provide taxpayers with information regarding operation of the Marketplace. Moreover, HHS has made available instructions for taxpayers who, because they are victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment, intend to use the married filing separately status on their tax returns, but still want to have advance credit payments made for their Marketplace coverage. Thus, no changes to IRS instructions or other items available to taxpayers on www.irs.gov are necessary to address this comment.

G. Forms and Instructions

Numerous commenters suggested changes to IRS forms and instructions and the manner in which the forms and instructions should address the married filing jointly exception for victims of domestic abuse and spousal abandonment. Most of these suggestions were incorporated in the forms and instructions after the temporary regulations were published and, consequently, are not specifically discussed in this preamble.

One commenter suggested that taxpayers who are providing a copy of Form 8962 to parties other than the IRS, such as states when filing state tax returns, be allowed to omit or redact the married filing separately exception checkbox when sending the form to these non-IRS parties. IRS rules do not affect whether and in what format taxpayers share their own taxpayer information with third parties. Therefore, no change to the form, instructions, or proposed and temporary regulations is needed to address this comment.

2. Allocations for Reconciliation of Advance Credit Payments and the Premium Tax Credit

Section 36B(f)(1) requires taxpayers who receive the benefit of advance credit payments for a taxable year to file a tax return and reconcile the advance credit payments with the premium tax credit the taxpayer is allowed for the taxable year. Section 1.36B-4T(a)(1)(ii) provides that a taxpayer must reconcile the advance credit payments of all members of the taxpayer's family for the taxable year with the premium tax credit the taxpayer is allowed for the taxable year. A taxpayer's family includes the taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse, and the taxpayer's dependents. See section 1.36B-1(d). Under section 36B(f)(2)(A), the taxpayer's income tax liability is increased by the amount that the advance credit payments for the taxable year exceed the premium tax credit allowed for the taxable year, subject to the repayment limitations in section 36B(f)(2)(B).

In some cases, a qualified health plan covers members of more than one family. To compute the premium tax credit and reconcile the advance credit payments with the premium tax credit allowed in these cases, each family needs to know the enrollment premiums, the premiums for the applicable benchmark plan, and the advance credit payments allocable to each family enrolled in the plan.

Section 1.36B-4T provides allocation rules for situations in which enrollment premiums, the premiums for the applicable benchmark plan, and advance credit payments (policy amounts) for a qualified health plan must be allocated between two or more families. The temporary regulations provide specific allocation rules depending on whether the situation involves married individuals who file separately, formerly married individuals who divorced or separated during the taxable year, or individuals such as children who are enrolled in a qualified health plan with one parent but are claimed as a dependent by the other parent who is not enrolled in the plan (a shifting enrollee). The allocation rules for divorced or separated taxpayers and for shifting enrollee situations allow the affected taxpayers to agree on an allocation percentage. However, if there is no agreement, divorced or separated taxpayers must allocate 50 percent of the enrollment premiums, applicable benchmark plan premiums, and advance credit payments to each of the former spouses. A taxpayer's default allocation percentage for shifting enrollee situations is equal to the number of shifting enrollees claimed as a personal exemption by the taxpayer divided by the total number of individuals enrolled by the enrolling taxpayer in the same qualified health plan as the shifting enrollee (per capita allocation). Married taxpayers who do not file a joint return must allocate 50 percent of the enrollment premiums and advance credit payments to each of the spouses, unless the payments cover a period during which a qualified health plan covered only one of the spouses, only one of the spouses and his or her dependents, or only dependents of one of the spouses. Finally, the temporary regulations provide that the premiums for the applicable benchmark plan must be allocated in situations involving divorced and separated taxpayers and shifting enrollees, but not in situations involving married filing separately taxpayers.

A commenter recommended that the allocation rules should be simplified, and, in particular, not provide different allocation rules for the various allocation situations. In addition, the commenter stated that the applicable benchmark plan premium should never be allocated. Instead, the commenter recommended that taxpayers should determine their monthly applicable benchmark plan premium based on who in their family was, for that month, enrolled in Marketplace coverage and not eligible for other minimum essential coverage. Finally, the commenter recommended that the allocation rules should, in all cases, allow taxpayers with family members enrolled in the same qualified health plan to agree to the allocation percentages for the policy amounts. If there is no agreement, the commenter stated that a per capita allocation should be required in all allocation situations, not just those involving shifting enrollees.

Because the allocation rules have been in effect since 2014, the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that, in the interest of sound tax administration, it is not appropriate to change the rules in these final regulations. Thus, the final regulations do not change the allocation rules provided in the temporary regulations. However, future guidance is being considered to address allocations of policy amounts, including requiring a per capita allocation in all allocation situations as suggested by the commenter.

Another commenter recommended that because allocating policy amounts is complex, taxpayers should be alerted to the importance of notifying Marketplaces of changes in circumstances, which may reduce the number of months for which allocations are required. Currently, the Form 8962 instructions and Publication 974 include language highlighting the importance of reporting changes in circumstances, as does www.irs.gov. In addition, in various forms of communication, Marketplaces emphasize the importance of reporting changes in circumstances. The Treasury Department and the IRS will continue to look for opportunities to remind taxpayers about the importance of notifying Marketplaces of changes in circumstances and to simplify the allocation rules.

3. Correction of Computation of the Limitation Amount for Self-Employed Individuals

Under section 162(l), a taxpayer who is an employee within the meaning of section 401(c)(1) (generally, a self-employed individual) is allowed a deduction for all or a portion of the premiums paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year for health insurance for the taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse, the taxpayer's dependents, and any child of the taxpayer under the age of 27. Under section 162(l)(2)(A), the section 162(l) deduction is limited to the taxpayer's earned income from the trade or business, within the meaning of section 401(c), with respect to which the health insurance plan is established. In addition, section 280C(g) provides that no deduction is allowed under section 162(l) for the portion of premiums for a qualified health plan equal to the amount of the premium tax credit determined under section 36B(a) with respect to those premiums.

Section 1.36B-4T(a)(3)(iii) provides rules for the limitation on the additional tax under section 36B(f)(2)(B) (the limitation amount) for taxpayers who claim a section 162(l) deduction for premiums paid under a qualified health plan. Under § 1.36B-4T(a)(3)(iii)(B), the limitation amount determined under the rules for taxpayers claiming a section 162(l) deduction replaces the limitation amount that would otherwise be determined under the general rules of § 1.36B-4(a)(3)(ii). Under § 1.36B-4T(a)(3)(iii)(C), for purposes of determining the limitation amount in the case of a taxpayer who claims a section 162(l) deduction, a taxpayer's household income is determined by using a section 162(l) deduction equal to the sum of (1) specified premiums not paid through advance credit payments, (2) the limitation amount, and (3) any deduction allowable under section 162(l) for premiums other than specified premiums. Specified premiums are premiums for which the taxpayer may otherwise claim a deduction under section 162(l) for a qualified health plan covering the taxpayer or another member of the taxpayer's family (enrolled family member) for a month that a premium tax credit is allowed for the enrolled family member's coverage.

The limitation amount computation in § 1.36B-4T(a)(3)(iii)(C), however, inadvertently omitted a rule for situations in which a taxpayer's section 162(l) deduction must, under section 162(l)(2)(A), be limited to his or her earned income from the trade or business with respect to which the health insurance plan is established. The final regulations correct this oversight and clarify that household income for purposes of computing the limitation amount is determined by using a section 162(l) deduction equal to the lesser of (1) the sum of the specified premiums for the plan not paid through advance credit payments, the limitation amount, and any deduction allowable under section 162(l) for premiums other than specified premiums, or (2) the earned income from the trade or business with respect to which the health insurance plan is established.

Effective/Applicability Date

For applicability dates, see §§ 1.36B-2(d), 1.36B-3(m), 1.36B-4(c), and 1.162(l)-1(c).

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 impact assessment is not required. Because the final regulations do not impose a collection of information requirement on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, the notice of proposed rulemaking that preceded the final regulations was submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business. No comments were received.

Drafting Information

The principal authors of these final regulations are Suzanne R. Sinno, Stephen J. Toomey, and Shareen S. Pflanz of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax & Accounting).

List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

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

26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

Par. 2. Section 1.36B-0 is amended by: 1. Adding entries for § 1.36B-2(b)(2)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), and (v). 2. Adding an entry for § 1.36B-2(d). 3. Adding an entry for § 1.36B-3(m). 4. Revising the entry for § 1.36B-4(a)(1)(ii) and adding entries for § 1.36B-4(a)(1)(ii)(A) and (B), (a)(1)(ii)(B)(1), (2), (3), (4), and (5), and (a)(1)(ii)(C). 5. Adding entries for § 1.36B-4(a)(3)(iii) and § 1.36B-4(a)(3)(iii)(A), (B), (C), (D), and (E). 6. Removing the entry for § 1.36B-4(b)(4). 7. Redesignating the entry for § 1.36B-4(b)(5) as § 1.36B-4(b)(4), revising the newly redesignated entry for § 1.36B-4(b)(4), and adding entries for § 1.36B-4(b)(4)(i) and (ii). 8. Redesignating the entry for § 1.36B-4(b)(6) as § 1.36B-4(b)(5). 9. Adding an entry for § 1.36B-4(c).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 1.36B-0 Table of contents.
§ 1.36B-2 Eligibility for premium tax credit.

(b) * * *

(2) * * *

(i) In general.

(ii) Victims of domestic abuse and abandonment.

(iii) Domestic abuse.

(iv) Abandonment.

(v) Three-year rule.

(d) Applicability date.

§ 1.36B-3 Computing the premium assistance credit amount.

(m) Applicability date.

§ 1.36B-4 Reconciling the premium tax credit with advance credit payments.

(a) * * *

(1) * * *

(ii) Allocation rules and responsibility for advance credit payments.

(A) In general.

(B) Individuals enrolled by a taxpayer and claimed as a personal exemption deduction by another taxpayer.

(1) In general.

(2) Allocation percentage.

(3) Allocating premiums.

(4) Allocating advance credit payments.

(5) Premiums for the applicable benchmark plan.

(C) Responsibility for advance credit payments for an individual for whom no personal exemption deduction is claimed.

(3) * * *

(iii) Limitation on additional tax for taxpayers who claim a section 162(l) deduction for a qualified health plan.

(A) In general.

(B) Determining the limitation amount.

(C) Requirements.

(D) Specified premiums not paid through advance credit payments.

(E) Examples.

(4) * * *

(b) * * *

(4) Taxpayers filing returns as married filing separately or head of household.

(i) Allocation of advance credit payments.

(ii) Allocation of premiums.

(c) Applicability date.

Par. 3. Section 1.36B-2 is amended by: 1. Revising paragraphs (b)(2) and (c)(3)(v)(C). 2. Adding paragraph (d).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 1.36B-2 Eligibility for premium tax credit.

(b) * * *

(2) Married taxpayers must file joint return—(i) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, a taxpayer who is married (within the meaning of section 7703) at the close of the taxable year is an applicable taxpayer only if the taxpayer and the taxpayer's spouse file a joint return for the taxable year.

(ii) Victims of domestic abuse and abandonment. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this section, a married taxpayer satisfies the joint filing requirement of paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section if the taxpayer files a tax return using a filing status of married filing separately and the taxpayer—

(A) Is living apart from the taxpayer's spouse at the time the taxpayer files the tax return;

(B) Is unable to file a joint return because the taxpayer is a victim of domestic abuse, as described in paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section, or spousal abandonment, as described in paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section; and

(C) Certifies on the return, in accordance with the relevant instructions, that the taxpayer meets the criteria of this paragraph (b)(2)(ii).

(iii) Domestic abuse. For purposes of paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, domestic abuse includes physical, psychological, sexual, or emotional abuse, including efforts to control, isolate, humiliate, and intimidate, or to undermine the victim's ability to reason independently. All the facts and circumstances are considered in determining whether an individual is abused, including the effects of alcohol or drug abuse by the victim's spouse. Depending on the facts and circumstances, abuse of the victim's child or another family member living in the household may constitute abuse of the victim.

(iv) Abandonment. For purposes of paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, a taxpayer is a victim of spousal abandonment for a taxable year if, taking into account all facts and circumstances, the taxpayer is unable to locate his or her spouse after reasonable diligence.

(v) Three-year rule. Paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section does not apply if the taxpayer met the requirements of paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section for each of the three preceding taxable years.

(c) * * *

(3) * * *

(v) * * *

(C) Required contribution percentage. The required contribution percentage is 9.5 percent. For plan years beginning in a calendar year after 2014, the percentage will be adjusted by the ratio of premium growth to income growth for the preceding calendar year and may be further adjusted to reflect changes to the data used to compute the ratio of premium growth to income growth for the 2014 calendar year or the data sources used to compute the ratio of premium growth to income growth. Premium growth and income growth will be determined under published guidance, see § 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter. In addition, the percentage may be adjusted for plan years beginning in a calendar year after 2018 to reflect rates of premium growth relative to growth in the consumer price index.

(d) Applicability date. Paragraphs (b)(2) and (c)(3)(v)(C) of this section apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2013.

§ 1.36B-2T [Removed]
Par. 4. Section 1.36B-2T is removed. Par. 5. Section 1.36B-3 is amended by revising paragraphs (g)(1) and (m) to read as follows:
§ 1.36B-3 Computing the premium assistance credit amount.

(g) * * * (1) In general. The applicable percentage multiplied by a taxpayer's household income determines the taxpayer's annual required share of premiums for the benchmark plan. The required share is divided by 12 and this monthly amount is subtracted from the adjusted monthly premium for the applicable benchmark plan when computing the premium assistance amount. The applicable percentage is computed by first determining the percentage that the taxpayer's household income bears to the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size. The resulting Federal poverty line percentage is then compared to the income categories described in the table in paragraph (g)(2) of this section. An applicable percentage within an income category increases on a sliding scale in a linear manner and is rounded to the nearest one-hundredth of one percent. For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2014, the applicable percentages in the table will be adjusted by the ratio of premium growth to income growth for the preceding calendar year and may be further adjusted to reflect changes to the data used to compute the ratio of premium growth to income growth for the 2014 calendar year or the data sources used to compute the ratio of premium growth to income growth. Premium growth and income growth will be determined in accordance with published guidance, see § 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter. In addition, the applicable percentages in the table may be adjusted for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2018, to reflect rates of premium growth relative to growth in the consumer price index.

(m) Applicability date. Paragraph (g)(1) of this section applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2013.

§ 1.36B-3T [Removed]
Par. 6. Section 1.36B-3T is removed. Par. 7. Section 1.36B-4 is amended by: 1. Revising paragraphs (a)(1)(ii) and (a)(3)(iii). 2. In paragraph (a)(4), revising Examples 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15. 3. Revising paragraphs (b)(3) and (4). 4. In paragraph (b)(5), revising Examples 9 and 10. 5. Revising paragraph (c).

The revisions read as follows:

§ 1.36B-4 Reconciling the premium tax credit with advance credit payments.

(a) * * *

(1) * * *

(ii) Allocation rules and responsibility for advance credit payments—(A) In general. A taxpayer must reconcile all advance credit payments for coverage of any member of the taxpayer's family.

(B) Individuals enrolled by a taxpayer and claimed as a personal exemption deduction by another taxpayer—(1) In general. If a taxpayer (the enrolling taxpayer) enrolls an individual in a qualified health plan and another taxpayer (the claiming taxpayer) claims a personal exemption deduction for the individual (the shifting enrollee), then for purposes of computing each taxpayer's premium tax credit and reconciling any advance credit payments, the enrollment premiums and advance credit payments for the plan in which the shifting enrollee was enrolled are allocated under this paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B) according to the allocation percentage described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B)(2) of this section. If advance credit payments are allocated under paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B)(4) of this section, the claiming taxpayer and enrolling taxpayer must use this same allocation percentage to calculate their § 1.36B-3(d)(1)(ii) adjusted monthly premiums for the applicable benchmark plan (benchmark plan premiums). This paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B) does not apply to amounts allocated under § 1.36B-3(h) (qualified health plan covering more than one family) or if the shifting enrollee or enrollees are the only individuals enrolled in the qualified health plan. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B)(1), a taxpayer who is expected at enrollment in a qualified health plan to be the taxpayer filing an income tax return for the year of coverage with respect to an individual enrolling in the plan has enrolled that individual.

(2) Allocation percentage. The enrolling taxpayer and claiming taxpayer may agree on any allocation percentage between zero and one hundred percent. If the enrolling taxpayer and claiming taxpayer do not agree on an allocation percentage, the percentage is equal to the number of shifting enrollees claimed as a personal exemption deduction by the claiming taxpayer divided by the number of individuals enrolled by the enrolling taxpayer in the same qualified health plan as the shifting enrollee.

(3) Allocating premiums. In computing the premium tax credit, the claiming taxpayer is allocated a portion of the enrollment premiums for the plan in which the shifting enrollee was enrolled equal to the enrollment premiums times the allocation percentage. The enrolling taxpayer is allocated the remainder of the enrollment premiums not allocated to one or more claiming taxpayers.

(4) Allocating advance credit payments. In reconciling any advance credit payments, the claiming taxpayer is allocated a portion of the advance credit payments for the plan in which the shifting enrollee was enrolled equal to the enrolling taxpayer's advance credit payments for the plan times the allocation percentage. The enrolling taxpayer is allocated the remainder of the advance credit payments not allocated to one or more claiming taxpayers. This paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B)(4) only applies in situations in which advance credit payments are made for coverage of a shifting enrollee.

(5) Premiums for the applicable benchmark plan. If paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B)(4) of this section applies, the claiming taxpayer's benchmark plan premium is the sum of the benchmark plan premium for the claiming taxpayer's coverage family, excluding the shifting enrollee or enrollees, and the allocable portion. The allocable portion for purposes of this paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B)(5) is the product of the benchmark plan premium for the enrolling taxpayer's coverage family if the shifting enrollee was a member of the enrolling taxpayer's coverage family and the allocation percentage. If the enrolling taxpayer's coverage family is enrolled in more than one qualified health plan, the allocable portion is determined as if the enrolling taxpayer's coverage family includes only the coverage family members who enrolled in the same plan as the shifting enrollee or enrollees. The enrolling taxpayer's benchmark plan premium is the benchmark plan premium for the enrolling taxpayer's coverage family had the shifting enrollee or enrollees remained a part of the enrolling taxpayer's coverage family, minus the allocable portion.

(C) Responsibility for advance credit payments for an individual for whom no personal exemption deduction is claimed. If advance credit payments are made for coverage of an individual for whom no taxpayer claims a personal exemption deduction, the taxpayer who attested to the Exchange to the intention to claim a personal exemption deduction for the individual as part of the advance credit payment eligibility determination for coverage of the individual must reconcile the advance credit payments.

(3) * * *

(iii) Limitation on additional tax for taxpayers who claim a section 162(l) deduction for a qualified health plan—(A) In general. A taxpayer who receives advance credit payments and deducts premiums for a qualified health plan under section 162(l) must use paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(B), and paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(C) or (D), of this section to determine the limitation on additional tax in this paragraph (a)(3) (limitation amount). Taxpayers must make this determination before calculating their section 162(l) deduction and premium tax credit. For additional rules for taxpayers who may claim a deduction under section 162(l) for a qualified health plan for which advance credit payments are made, see § 1.162(l)-1.

(B) Determining the limitation amount. A taxpayer described in paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(A) of this section must use the limitation amount for which the taxpayer qualifies under paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(C) or (D) of this section. The limitation amount determined under this paragraph (a)(3)(iii) replaces the limitation amount that would otherwise be determined under the additional tax limitation table in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section. In applying paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(C) of this section, a taxpayer must first determine whether he or she qualifies for the limitation amount applicable to taxpayers with household income of less than 200 percent of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size. If the taxpayer does not qualify to use the limitation amount applicable to taxpayers with household income of less than 200 percent of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size, the taxpayer must next determine whether he or she qualifies for the limitation applicable to taxpayers with household income of less than 300 percent of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size. If the taxpayer does not qualify to use the limitation amount applicable to taxpayers with household income of less than 300 percent of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size, the taxpayer must next determine whether he or she qualifies for the limitation applicable to taxpayers with household income of less than 400 percent of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size. If the taxpayer does not qualify to use the limitation amount applicable to taxpayers with household income of less than 200 percent, 300 percent, or 400 percent of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size, the limitation on additional tax under section 36B(f)(2)(B) does not apply to the taxpayer.

(C) Requirements. A taxpayer meets the requirements of this paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(C) for a limitation amount if the taxpayer's household income as a percentage of the Federal poverty line is less than or equal to the maximum household income as a percentage of the Federal poverty line for which that limitation is available. Household income for this purpose is determined by using a section 162(l) deduction equal to the lesser of—

(1) The sum of the specified premiums for the plan not paid through advance credit payments, the limitation amount (determined without regard to paragraph (a)(1)(iii)(C)(2) of this section), and any deduction allowable under section 162(l) for premiums other than specified premiums, and

(2) The earned income from the trade or business with respect to which the health insurance plan is established.

(D) Specified premiums not paid through advance credit payments. For purposes of paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(C) of this section, specified premiums not paid through advance credit payments means specified premiums, as defined in § 1.162(l)-1(a)(2), minus advance credit payments made with respect to the specified premiums.

(E) Examples. For examples illustrating the rules of this paragraph (a)(3)(iii), see Examples 13, 14, and 15 of paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

(4) * * *

Example 4.

Family size decreases. (i) Taxpayers B and C are married and have two children, K and L (ages 17 and 20), whom they claim as dependents in 2013. The Exchange for their rating area projects their 2014 household income to be $63,388 (275 percent of the Federal poverty line for a family of four, applicable percentage 8.78). B and C enroll in a qualified health plan for 2014 that covers the four family members. The annual premium for the applicable benchmark plan is $14,100. B's and C's advance credit payments for 2014 are $8,535, computed as follows: Benchmark plan premium of $14,100 less contribution amount of $5,565 (projected household income of $63,388 × .0878) = $8,535.

(ii) In 2014, B and C do not claim L as their dependent (and no taxpayer claims a personal exemption deduction for L). Consequently, B's and C's family size for 2014 is three, their household income of $63,388 is 332 percent of the Federal poverty line for a family of three (applicable percentage 9.5), and the annual premium for their applicable benchmark plan is $12,000. Their premium tax credit for 2014 is $5,978 ($12,000 benchmark plan premium less $6,022 contribution amount (household income of $63,388 × .095)). Because B's and C's advance credit payments for 2014 are $8,535 and their 2014 credit is $5,978, B and C have excess advance payments of $2,557. B's and C's additional tax liability for 2014 under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, however, is limited to $2,500 under paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

Example 10.

Allocation percentage, agreement on allocation. (i) Taxpayers G and H are divorced and have two children, J and K. G enrolls herself and J and K in a qualified health plan for 2014. The premium for the plan in which G enrolls is $13,000. The Exchange in G's rating area approves advance credit payments for G based on a family size of three, an annual benchmark plan premium of $12,000, and projected 2014 household income of $58,590 (300 percent of the Federal poverty line for a family of three, applicable percentage 9.5). G's advance credit payments for 2014 are $6,434 ($12,000 benchmark plan premium less $5,566 contribution amount (household income of $58,590 × .095)). G's actual household income for 2014 is $58,900.

(ii) K lives with H for more than half of 2014 and H claims K as a dependent for 2014. G and H agree to an allocation percentage, as described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B)(2) of this section, of 20 percent. Under the agreement, H is allocated 20 percent of the items to be allocated, and G is allocated the remainder of those items.

(iii) If H is eligible for a premium tax credit, H takes into account $2,600 of the premiums for the plan in which K was enrolled ($13,000 x .20) and $2,400 of G's benchmark plan premium ($12,000 × .20). In addition, H is responsible for reconciling $1,287 ($6,434 × .20) of the advance credit payments for K's coverage.

(iv) G's family size for 2014 includes only G and J and G's household income of $58,900 is 380 percent of the Federal poverty line for a family of two (applicable percentage 9.5). G's benchmark plan premium for 2014 is $9,600 (the benchmark premium for the plan covering G, J, and K ($12,000), minus the amount allocated to H ($2,400). Consequently, G's premium tax credit is $4,004 (G's benchmark plan premium of $9,600 minus G's contribution amount of $5,596 ($58,900 × .095)). G has an excess advance payment of $1,143 (the excess of the advance credit payments of $5,147 ($6,434 − $1,287 allocated to H) over the premium tax credit of $4,004).

Example 11.

Allocation percentage, no agreement on allocation. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 10 of paragraph (a)(4) of this section, except that G and H do not agree on an allocation percentage. Under paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B)(2) of this section, the allocation percentage is 33 percent, computed as follows: The number of shifting enrollees, 1 (K), divided by the number of individuals enrolled by the enrolling taxpayer on the same qualified health plan as the shifting enrollee, 3 (G, J, and K). Thus, H is allocated 33 percent of the items to be allocated, and G is allocated the remainder of those items.

(ii) If H is eligible for a premium tax credit, H takes into account $4,290 of the premiums for the plan in which K was enrolled ($13,000 × .33). H, in computing H's benchmark plan premium, must include $3,960 of G's benchmark plan premium ($12,000 x .33). In addition, H is responsible for reconciling $2,123 ($6,434 x .33) of the advance credit payments for K's coverage.

(iii) G's benchmark plan premium for 2014 is $8,040 (the benchmark premium for the plan covering G, J, and K ($12,000), minus the amount allocated to H ($3,960). Consequently, G's premium tax credit is $2,444 (G's benchmark plan premium of $8,040 minus G's contribution amount of $5,596 ($58,900 × .095)). G has an excess advance credit payment of $1,867 (the excess of the advance credit payments of $4,311 ($6,434 − $2,123 allocated to H) over the premium tax credit of $2,444).

Example 12.

Allocations for an emancipated child. Spouses L and M enroll in a qualified health plan with their child, N. L and M attest that they will claim N as a dependent and advance credit payments are made for the coverage of all three family members. However, N files his own return and claims a personal exemption deduction for himself for the taxable year. Under paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B)(1) of this section, L and M are enrolling taxpayers, N is a claiming taxpayer, and all are subject to the allocation rules in paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B) of this section.

Example 13.

Taxpayer with advance credit payments allowed a section 162(l) deduction but not a limitation on additional tax. (i) In 2014, B, B's spouse, and their two dependents enroll in the applicable second lowest cost silver plan with an annual premium of $14,000. B's advance credit payments attributable to the premiums are $8,000. B is self-employed for all of 2014 and derives $75,000 of earnings from B's trade or business. B's household income without including a deduction under section 162(l) for specified premiums is $103,700. The Federal poverty line for a family the size of B's family is $23,550.

(ii) Because B received the benefit of advance credit payments and deducts premiums for a qualified health plan under section 162(l), B must determine whether B is allowed a limitation on additional tax under paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section. B begins by testing eligibility for the $600 limitation amount for taxpayers with household income at less than 200 percent of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size. B determines household income as a percentage of the Federal poverty line by taking a section 162(l) deduction equal to the lesser of $6,600 (the sum of the amount of premiums not paid through advance credit payments, $6,000 ($14,000 − $8,000), and the limitation amount, $600) and $75,000 (the earned income from the trade or business with respect to which the health insurance plan is established). The result is $97,100 ($103,700 − $6,600) or 412 percent of the Federal poverty line for B's family size. Since 412 percent is not less than 200 percent, B may not use a $600 limitation amount.

(iii) B performs the same calculation for the $1,500 ($103,700 − $7,500 = $96,200 or 408 percent of the Federal poverty line) and $2,500 limitation amounts ($103,700 − $8,500 = $95,200 or 404 percent of the Federal poverty line), the amounts for taxpayers with household income of less than 300 percent or 400 percent, respectively, of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size, and determines that B may not use either of those limitation amounts. Because B does not meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section for any of the limitation amounts in section 36B(f)(2)(B), B is not eligible for the limitation on additional tax for excess advance credit payments.

(iv) Although B may not claim a limitation on additional tax for excess advance credit payments, B may still be eligible for a premium tax credit. B would determine eligibility for the premium tax credit, the amount of the premium tax credit, and the section 162(l) deduction using the rules under section 36B and section 162(l), applying no limitation on additional tax.

Example 14.

Taxpayer with advance credit payments allowed a section 162(l) deduction and a limitation on additional tax. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 13 of paragraph (a)(4) of this section, except that B's household income without including a deduction under section 162(l) for specified premiums is $78,802.

(ii) Because B received the benefit of advance credit payments and deducts premiums for a qualified health plan under section 162(l), B must determine whether B is allowed a limitation on additional tax under paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section. B first determines that B does not meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(C) of this section for using the $600 or $1,500 limitation amounts, the amounts for taxpayers with household income of less than 200 percent or 300 percent, respectively, of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size. That is because B's household income as a percentage of the Federal poverty line, determined by using a section 162(l) deduction for premiums for the qualified health plan equal to the lesser of the sum of the premiums for the plan not paid through advance credit payments and the limitation amount, and the earned income from the trade or business with respect to which the health insurance plan is established, is more than the maximum household income as a percentage of the Federal poverty line for which that limitation is available (using the $600 limitation, B's household income would be $72,202 ($78,802−($6,000 + $600)), which is 307 percent of the Federal poverty line for B's family size; and using the $1,500 limitation, B's household income would be $71,302 ($78,802−($6,000 + $1,500)), which is 303 percent of the Federal poverty line for B's family size).

(iii) However, B meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(C) of this section using the $2,500 limitation amount for taxpayers with household income of less than 400 percent of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size. That is because B's household income as a percentage of the Federal poverty line by taking a section 162(l) deduction equal to the lesser of $8,500 (the sum of the amount of premiums not paid through advance credit payments, $6,000, and the limitation amount, $2,500) and $75,000 (the earned income from the trade or business with respect to which the health insurance plan is established), is $70,302 (299 percent of the Federal poverty line), which is below 400 percent of the Federal poverty line for B's family size, and is less than the maximum amount for which that limitation is available. Thus, B uses a limitation amount of $2,500 in computing B's additional tax on excess advance credit payments.

(iv) B may determine the amount of the premium tax credit and the section 162(l) deduction using the rules under section 36B and section 162(l), applying the $2,500 limitation amount determined above.

Example 15.

Taxpayer with advance credit payments allowed a section 162(l) deduction and a limitation on additional tax limited to earned income from trade or business. (i) In 2017, C, C's spouse, and their two dependents enroll in the applicable second lowest cost silver plan with an annual premium of $14,000. C's advance credit payments attributable to the premiums are $8,000. C is self-employed for all of 2017 and derives $3,000 of earnings from C's trade or business. C's household income, without including a deduction under section 162(l) for specified premiums, is $39,100. The Federal poverty line for a family the size of C's family is $24,600.

(ii) Because C received the benefit of advance credit payments and deducts premiums for a qualified health plan under section 162(l), C must determine whether C is allowed a limitation on additional tax under paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section. C begins by testing eligibility for the $600 limitation amount for taxpayers with household income at less than 200 percent of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size. C determines household income as a percentage of the Federal poverty line by taking a section 162(l) deduction equal to the lesser of $6,600 (the sum of the amount of premiums not paid through advance credit payments, $6,000 ($14,000−$8,000), and the limitation amount, $600), and $3,000 (C's earned income from the trade or business with respect to which the health insurance plan is established). The result is $36,100 ($39,100−$3,000) or 147 percent of the Federal poverty line for C's family size. Because 147 percent is less than 200 percent, the limitation amount under paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section that C uses in computing C's additional tax on excess advance credit payments is $600.

(iii) C may determine the amount of the premium tax credit and the section 162(l) deduction using the rules under section 36B and section 162(l), applying the $600 limitation amount determined above.

(b) * * *

(3) Taxpayers not married to each other at the end of the taxable year. Taxpayers who are married (within the meaning of section 7703) to each other during a taxable year but legally separate under a decree of divorce or of separate maintenance during the taxable year, and who are enrolled in the same qualified health plan at any time during the taxable year must allocate the benchmark plan premiums, the enrollment premiums, and the advance credit payments for the period the taxpayers are married during the taxable year. Taxpayers must also allocate these items if one of the taxpayers has a dependent enrolled in the same plan as the taxpayer's former spouse or enrolled in the same plan as a dependent of the taxpayer's former spouse. The taxpayers may allocate these items to each former spouse in any proportion but must allocate all items in the same proportion. If the taxpayers do not agree on an allocation that is reported to the IRS in accordance with the relevant forms and instructions, 50 percent of: The benchmark plan premiums; the enrollment premiums; and the advance credit payments for the married period, is allocated to each taxpayer. If for a period a plan covers only one of the taxpayers and no dependents, only one of the taxpayers and one or more dependents of that same taxpayer, or only one or more dependents of one of the taxpayers, then the benchmark plan premiums, the enrollment premiums, and the advance credit payments for that period are allocated entirely to that taxpayer.

(4) Taxpayers filing returns as married filing separately or head of household—(i) Allocation of advance credit payments. Except as provided in § 1.36B-2(b)(2)(ii), the premium tax credit is allowed to married (within the meaning of section 7703) taxpayers only if they file joint returns. See § 1.36B-2(b)(2)(i). Taxpayers who receive advance credit payments as married taxpayers and who do not file a joint return must allocate the advance credit payments for coverage under a qualified health plan equally to each taxpayer for any period the plan covers and in which advance credit payments are made for both taxpayers, only one of the taxpayers and one or more dependents of the other taxpayer, or one or more dependents of both taxpayers. If, for a period a plan covers, advance credit payments are made for only one of the taxpayers and no dependents, only one of the taxpayers and one or more dependents of that same taxpayer, or only one or more dependents of one of the taxpayers, the advance credit payments for that period are allocated entirely to that taxpayer. If one or both of the taxpayers is an applicable taxpayer eligible for a premium tax credit for the taxable year, the premium tax credit is computed by allocating the enrollment premiums under paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section. The repayment limitation described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section applies to each taxpayer based on the household income and family size reported on that taxpayer's return. This paragraph (b)(4) also applies to taxpayers who receive advance credit payments as married taxpayers and file a tax return using the head of household filing status.

(ii) Allocation of premiums. If taxpayers who are married within the meaning of section 7703, without regard to section 7703(b), do not file a joint return, 50 percent of the enrollment premiums are allocated to each taxpayer. However, all of the enrollment premiums are allocated to only one of the taxpayers for a period in which a qualified health plan covers only that taxpayer and no dependents, only that taxpayer and one or more dependents of that taxpayer, or only one or more dependents of that taxpayer.

(5) * * *

Example 9.

(i) The facts are the same as in Example 8 of paragraph (b)(5) of this section, except that X and Y live apart for over 6 months of the year and X properly files an income tax return as head of household. Under section 7703(b), X is treated as unmarried and therefore is not required to file a joint return. If X otherwise qualifies as an applicable taxpayer, X may claim the premium tax credit based on the household income and family size X reports on the return. Y is not an applicable taxpayer and is not eligible to claim the premium tax credit.

(ii) X must reconcile the amount of credit with advance credit payments under paragraph (a) of this section. The premium for the applicable benchmark plan covering X and his two dependents is $9,800. X's premium tax credit is computed as follows: $9,800 benchmark plan premium minus X's contribution amount of $5,700 ($60,000 × .095) equals $4,100.

(iii) Under paragraph (b)(4) of this section, half of the advance payments ($6,880/2 = $3,440) is allocated to X and half is allocated to Y. Thus, X is entitled to $660 additional premium tax credit ($4,100 − $3,440). Y has $3,440 excess advance payments, which is limited to $600 under paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

Example 10.

(i) A is married to B at the close of 2014 and they have no dependents. A and B are enrolled in a qualified health plan for 2014 with an annual premium of $10,000 and advance credit payments of $6,500. A is not eligible for minimum essential coverage (other than coverage described in section 5000A(f)(1)(C)) for any month in 2014. A is a victim of domestic abuse as described in § 1.36B-2(b)(2)(iii). At the time A files her tax return for 2014, A is unable to file a joint return with B for 2014 because of the domestic abuse. A certifies on her 2014 return, in accordance with relevant instructions, that she is living apart from B and is unable to file a joint return because of domestic abuse. Thus, under § 1.36B-2(b)(2)(ii), A satisfies the joint return filing requirement in section 36B(c)(1)(C) for 2014.

(ii) A's family size for 2014 for purposes of computing the premium tax credit is one, and A is the only member of her coverage family. Thus, A's benchmark plan for all months of 2014 is the second lowest cost silver plan offered by the Exchange for A's rating area that covers A. A's household income includes only A's modified adjusted gross income. Under paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section, A takes into account $5,000 ($10,000 x .50) of the premiums for the plan in which she was enrolled in determining her premium tax credit. Further, A must reconcile $3,250 ($6,500 x .50) of the advance credit payments for her coverage under paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section.

(c) Applicability date. Paragraphs (a)(1)(ii), (a)(3)(iii), (a)(4), Examples 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15, (b)(3), (b)(4), and (b)(5), Examples 9 and 10 apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2013.

§ 1.36B-4T [Removed]
Par. 8. Section 1.36B-4T is removed. Par. 9. § 1.162(l)-0 is added to read as follows:
§ 1.162(l)-0 Table of Contents.

This section lists the table of contents for § 1.162(l)-1.

§ 1.162(l)-1 Deduction for health insurance costs of self-employed individuals.

(a) Coordination of section 162(l) deduction for taxpayers subject to section 36B.

(1) In general.

(2) Specified premiums.

(3) Specified premiums not paid through advance credit payments.

(b) Additional guidance.

(c) Applicability date.

Par. 10. Section 1.162(l)-1 is added to read as follows:
§ 1.162(l)-1 Deduction for health insurance costs of self-employed individuals.

(a) Coordination of section 162(l) deduction for taxpayers subject to section 36B—(1) In general. A taxpayer is allowed a deduction under section 162(l) for specified premiums, as defined in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, not to exceed an amount equal to the lesser of—

(i) The specified premiums less the premium tax credit attributable to the specified premiums; and

(ii) The sum of the specified premiums not paid through advance credit payments, as described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, and the additional tax (if any) imposed under section 36B(f)(2)(A) and § 1.36B-4(a)(1) with respect to the specified premiums after application of the limitation on additional tax in section 36B(f)(2)(B) and § 1.36B-4(a)(3).

(2) Specified premiums. For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, specified premiums means premiums for a specified qualified health plan or plans for which the taxpayer may otherwise claim a deduction under section 162(l). For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2), a specified qualified health plan is a qualified health plan, as defined in § 1.36B-1(c), covering the taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse, or a dependent of the taxpayer (enrolled family member) for a month that is a coverage month within the meaning of § 1.36B-3(c) for the enrolled family member. If a specified qualified health plan covers individuals other than enrolled family members, the specified premiums include only the portion of the premiums for the specified qualified health plan that is allocable to the enrolled family members under rules similar to § 1.36B-3(h), which provides rules for determining the amount under § 1.36B-3(d)(1) when two families are enrolled in the same qualified health plan.

(3) Specified premiums not paid through advance credit payments. For purposes of paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, specified premiums not paid through advance credit payments equal the amount of the specified premiums minus the advance credit payments attributable to the specified premiums.

(b) Additional guidance. The Secretary may provide by publication in the Federal Register or in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (see § 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter) additional guidance on coordinating the deduction allowed under section 162(l) and the credit provided under section 36B.

(c) Applicability date. This section applies for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2013.

§ 1.162(l)-1T [Removed]
Par. 11. Section 1.162(l)-1T is removed. Kirsten B. Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: July 14, 2017. Thomas West, Tax Legislative Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2017-15642 Filed 7-24-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 51 [TD 9823] RIN 1545-BM26 Branded Prescription Drug Fee AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final regulations and removal of temporary regulations.

SUMMARY:

This document contains final regulations that define the term controlled group for purposes of the branded prescription drug fee. The final regulations supersede and adopt the text of temporary regulations that define the term controlled group. The final regulations affect persons engaged in the business of manufacturing or importing certain branded prescription drugs.

DATES:

Effective Date: The final regulations are effective July 24, 2017.

Applicability Date: For dates of applicability, see § 51.11(b) of the final regulations.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rachel S. Smith at (202) 317-6855 (not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The branded prescription drug fee was enacted by section 9008 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), as amended by section 1404 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029 (2010) (collectively the ACA). Section 9008 did not amend the Internal Revenue Code (Code) but cross-references specific Code sections.

On July 28, 2014, temporary regulations (TD 9684) relating to the fee on branded prescription drugs were published in the Federal Register (79 FR 43631) (2014 temporary regulations). A notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-123286-14) cross-referencing the temporary regulations was published in the Federal Register on the same day (79 FR 43699). The 2014 temporary regulations provided a definition of the term controlled group that was broader than the definition of the term controlled group in § 51.2T(e)(3) of the temporary regulations (TD 9544) published in the Federal Register (76 FR 51245) on August 18, 2011 (2011 temporary regulations).

Neither the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) nor the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) received any written comments with respect to the notice of proposed rulemaking and no public hearing was requested or held. The final regulations adopt the proposed regulations without change and the 2014 temporary regulations are removed.

Explanation of Provisions

The 2011 temporary regulations defined the term controlled group to mean a group of at least two covered entities that are treated as a single employer under section 52(a), 52(b), 414(m), or 414(o) of the Code. The 2014 temporary regulations defined the term controlled group more broadly to mean a group of two or more persons, including at least one person that is a covered entity, that is treated as a single employer under section 52(a), 52(b), 414(m), or 414(o) of the Code. These final regulations adopt the definition of controlled group contained in the 2014 temporary regulations without change.

The broader definition of the term controlled group in the 2014 temporary regulations and these final regulations is supported by the statutory language and is consistent with the way in which controlled group rules based on similar statutory language are applied, including how the term controlled group is defined in § 57.2(c)(1) for purposes of the health insurance providers fee under section 9010 of the ACA. Consistent with the preamble to the 2014 temporary regulations, the Treasury Department and the IRS continue to expect that the broader definition of the term controlled group in the final regulations will primarily affect the scope of joint and several liability for the fee and will not otherwise affect the administration of the fee.

The 2014 temporary regulations applied beginning on January 1, 2015 (i.e., starting with 2015 sales years), and are effective until July 24, 2017. These final regulations apply on and after July 24, 2017. Because both the 2014 temporary regulations and these final regulations provide the same definition of controlled group for purposes of section 9008 of the ACA, that definition applies continuously beginning with the 2015 sales year and 2017 fee year.

Special Analyses

Certain IRS regulations, including these, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory impact assessment is not required. Because the final regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, the notice of proposed rulemaking that preceded the final regulations was submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business. No comments were received on the proposed regulations.

Drafting Information

The principal author of these final regulations is Rachel S. Smith, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries). However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in their development.

List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 51

Drugs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

Accordingly, 26 CFR part 51 is amended as follows:

PART 51—BRANDED PRESCRIPTION DRUG FEE Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 51 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

26 U.S.C. 7805; sec. 9008, Pub. L. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119.

Section 51.8 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6302(a).

Section 51.6302-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6302(a).

Par. 2. Section 51.2 is amended by revising paragraph (e)(3) to read as follows:
§ 51.2 Explanation of terms.

(e) * * *

(3) Controlled group. The term controlled group means a group of two or more persons, including at least one person that is a covered entity, that is treated as a single employer under section 52(a), 52(b), 414(m), or 414(o).

§ 51.2T [Removed]
Par. 3. Section 51.2T is removed. Par. 4. Section 51.11 is amended by revising the section heading and paragraph (b) and removing paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 51.11 Applicability date.

(b) Section 51.2(e)(3) applies on and after July 24, 2017.

§ 51.11T [Removed]
Par. 5. Section 51.11T is removed. Kirsten Wielobob, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: July 17, 2017. Tom West, Tax Legislative Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2017-15643 Filed 7-24-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0486] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Kosciuszko Bridge Approach Spans Demolition, Newtown Creek, Brooklyn and Queens, NY AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the navigable waters of Newtown Creek, NY within 2,000 feet of the existing Kosciuszko Bridge at mile 2.1. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on these navigable waters during the explosives demolition of the approach spans on each adjacent shoreline. This rulemaking prohibits persons and vessels from being in the safety zones unless authorized by the Captain of the Port New York or a designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective without actual notice from July 26, 2017 through December 31, 2017. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from July 22, 2017 through July 26, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0486 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Jeff Yunker, Sector New York Waterways Management Division; telephone 718-354-4195, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port New York DHS Department of Homeland Security FDNY New York City Fire Department FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking NYSDOT New York State Department of Transportation OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration §  Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

The Coast Guard issued a Bridge Permit dated August 21, 2013 approving the location and construction of the Kosciuszko Bridge across Newtown Creek, mile 2.1, between the Boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, NY. On April 25, 2017, NYSDOT notified the Coast Guard that the contractor requires a short term closure of Newtown Creek for the energetic felling of the existing Kosciuszko Bridge approach spans over land using shaped charges. The shaped charges make multiple precise cuts in the steel bridge spans at the same instant. This allows the approach spans to fall directly to the ground below. There will be no debris field outside of the limits of the bridge. The tentative, primary demolition dates are the early morning hours of July 22 or 23, 2017. The tentative back-up dates for these operations are the early morning hours of July 29 or 30, August 5 or 6, and August 12 or 13, 2017. To ensure public safety the contractor requested the USCG establish a safety zone within 600-feet of the existing bridge for a three-hour duration during these operations. NYSDOT stated FDNY was working with the explosives demolition subcontractor and would provide a final exclusion zone limit during these operations in early May 2017.

On May 15, 2017 the contractor notified the Coast Guard that the distance requested for the exclusion zone is 1,200 from the existing bridge during the explosives demolition. However, the subcontractor stated this is a preliminary distance for discussion purposes only. The final distance would not be provided until the contract is awarded and the subcontractor meets with NYSDOT, the general contractor, security forces, and other stakeholders. Due to this expanded distance and late notification the Coast Guard was unable to include this request within the existing bridge demolition rulemaking (Docket Number USCG-2016-1048) for this bridge replacement project. The safety zone distance is to ensure that persons are not exposed to air overpressure (noise) levels above the 140 decibel impact guidelines under OSHA regulations codified at 29 CFR 1910.95 Table G-16—PERMISSIBLE NOISE EXPOSURES, Footnote 1. The Coast Guard proposes to make this rule enforceable through December 31, 2017, and to a greater distance (2,000 feet) than currently requested (1,200 feet), as a contingency for any unforeseen delays or revisions to the bridge approach spans demolition schedule or safety requirements based upon the final FDNY safety requirements.

The Coast Guard is making this temporary rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(d)). This provision authorizes an agency to make a rule effective less than 30 days after publication for good cause. We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because waiting 30 days would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. It is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide a full 30-days notice because this rule must be effective on July 22 or 23, 2017 to limit delays to NYSDOT and contractor schedules as part of this $555 million dollar infrastructure improvement project. FDNY requires the contractor to conduct the explosives demolition in the early morning hours on a weekend to reduce the impact to vehicle traffic on the bridge. This time frame is also expected to reduce the impact on vessel traffic in Newtown Creek. If this rule is not made effective by this date, then it would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to perform its statutory mission to ensure the safety of the maritime public.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP has determined that potential hazards associated with these operations will be a safety concern for anyone within up to 2,000-feet of the existing approach spans to the Kosciuszko Bridge at mile 2.1 over Newtown Creek. The purpose of this rule is to ensure the safety of individuals on the navigable waters within up to 2,000 feet of the approach spans of the existing Kosciuszko Bridge before, during, and after the explosive demolition operations.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from July 22 through December 31, 2017. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters of Newtown Creek within up to 2,000 feet of the existing approach spans to the Kosciuszko Bridge at mile 2.1 over Newtown Creek during the explosive demolition operations. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of individuals and these navigable waters before, during, and after the explosive demolition operations tentatively scheduled for the early morning hours on July 22 or 23, 2017. Backup dates for these operations are July 29 or 30, August 5 or 6, and August 12 or 13, 2017.

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, and duration of the safety zone. Although vessel traffic will not be able to safely transit around this safety zone, enforcement of the safety zone will be limited in duration. The boundaries of the safety zone will be limited to the length upstream, and downstream, from the bridge as determined by FDNY for the explosives detonation to remain in compliance with existing OSHA Permissible Noise Exposure regulations. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

C. Collection of Information

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

F. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting approximately three hours that will prohibit entry within a maximum of 2,000 feet of the existing approach spans to the Kosciuszko Bridge. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) for Categorically Excluded Actions is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.T01-0486 to read as follows:
§ 165.T01-0486 Safety Zone; Kosciuszko Bridge Approach Spans Demolition, Newtown Creek, Brooklyn and Queens, NY.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters from surface to bottom of Newtown Creek within 2,000 feet of the existing approach spans to the Kosciuszko Bridge at mile 2.1, between a line drawn from the following approximate positions: 40°43′46.7″ N., 073°56′10.5″ W. to 40°43′44.3″ N., 073°56′11.6″ W and from 40°43′22.9″ N., 073°55′29.0″ W. to 40°43′20.3″ N., 073°55′36.0″ W.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

(1) Designated representative. A “designated representative” is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard who has been designated by the COTP to act on his or her behalf. A designated representative may be on an official patrol vessel or may be on shore and will communicate with vessels via VHF-FM radio or loudhailer. In addition, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary may be present to inform vessel operators of this regulation.

(2) Official patrol vessels. Official patrol vessels may consist of any Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, state, or local law enforcement vessels assigned or approved by the COTP.

(c) Enforcement periods. (1) This safety zone is effective from July 22, 2017 to December 31, 2017 but will only be enforced when active approach span demolition operations are in progress.

(2) The Coast Guard will rely on marine broadcasts and local notice to mariners to notify the public of the time and duration that the safety zone will be enforced. Violations of this safety zone may be reported to the COTP at 718-354-4353 or on VHF-Channel 16.

(d) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in 33 CFR 165.23, as well as the following regulations, apply.

(2) During periods of enforcement, all persons and vessels must comply with all orders and directions from the COTP or a COTP's designated representative.

(3) During periods of enforcement, upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of the vessel must proceed as directed.

Dated: June 22, 2017. Michael H. Day, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New York.
[FR Doc. 2017-15694 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
82 142 Wednesday, July 26, 2017 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 172 [Docket No. FDA-2017-F-3717] Juice Products Association; Filing of Food Additive Petition AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notification; petition for rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing that we have filed a petition, submitted by the Juice Products Association, proposing that the food additive regulations be amended to replace the current Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) percentage values of calcium in fruit juices and fruit juice drinks in the regulation for vitamin D3 with absolute values and to update the specifications for vitamin D3.

DATES:

The food additive petition was filed on June 1, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

For access to the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts; and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Judith Kidwell, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-1071.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under section 409(b)(5) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 348(b)(5)), we are giving notice that we have filed a food additive petition (FAP 7A4818), submitted on behalf of the Juice Products Association by Hogan Lovells US LLP, Columbia Square, 555 Thirteenth Street NW., Washington, DC 20004. The petition proposes to amend the food additive regulations in § 172.380 (21 CFR 172.380) Vitamin D 3 by replacing the current RDI percentage values of calcium in fruit juices and fruit juice drinks specified in § 172.380(c)(1) and (2) with absolute values and to update the specifications for vitamin D3 established in § 172.380(b) by incorporating by reference the most recent edition of the Food Chemicals Codex.

These proposed changes would allow manufacturers of fruit juices and fruit juice drinks that are fortified with calcium to maintain the absolute level of added calcium at 330 milligrams (mg) and 130 mg, respectively, as established in our regulations at § 172.380(c)(1) and (2).

We have determined under 21 CFR 25.30(i) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment because the amendments are administrative in nature and permit manufacturers of fruit juices and fruit juice drinks that are fortified with calcium to maintain current calcium fortification levels in these products. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

Dated: July 19, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
[FR Doc. 2017-15535 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 573 [Docket No. FDA-2017-F-4125] Zinpro Corp.; Filing of Food Additive Petition (Animal Use) AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notification; petition for rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing that Zinpro Corp. has filed a petition proposing that the food additive regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of zinc-L-selenomethionine as a nutritional source of selenium in complete feed for laying hens and for the safe use of the approved food additive silicon dioxide as an anticaking agent for use with zinc-L-selenomethionine as a feed component.

DATES:

The food additive petition was filed on June 1, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

For access to the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts; and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Chelsea Trull, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-6729, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (section 409(b)(5) (21 U.S.C. 348(b)(5))), notice is given that a food additive petition (FAP 2303) has been filed by Zinpro Corp., 10400 Viking Dr., Suite 240, Eden Prairie, MN 55344. The petition proposes to amend Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in part 573 (21 CFR part 573) Food Additives Permitted in Feed and Drinking Water of Animals to provide for the safe use of zinc-L-selenomethionine as a nutritional source of selenium in complete feed for laying hens and for the safe use of silicon dioxide (21 CFR 573.940) as an anticaking agent for use with zinc-L-selenomethionine as a feed component.

The petitioner has claimed that this action is categorically excluded under 21 CFR 25.32(r) because it is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. In addition, the petitioner has stated that, to their knowledge, no extraordinary circumstances exist. If FDA determines a categorical exclusion applies, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required. If FDA determines a categorical exclusion does not apply, we will request an environmental assessment and make it available for public inspection.

Dated: July 18, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
[FR Doc. 2017-15533 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Wage and Hour Division 29 CFR Part 541 RIN 1235-AA20 Request for Information; Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees AGENCY:

Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor.

ACTION:

Request for information.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor (Department) is seeking information from the public regarding the regulations located at 29 CFR part 541, which define and delimit exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime requirements for certain executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employees. The Department is publishing this Request for Information (RFI) to gather information to aid in formulating a proposal to revise the part 541 regulations.

DATES:

Submit written comments on or before September 25, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

To facilitate the receipt and processing of written comments on this RFI, the Department encourages interested persons to submit their comments electronically. You may submit comments, identified by Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1235-AA20, by either of the following methods:

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

Mail: Address written submissions to Melissa Smith, Director of the Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210.

Instructions: This RFI is available through the Federal Register and the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. You may also access this document via the Wage and Hour Division's (WHD) Web site at http://www.dol.gov/whd/. All comment submissions must include the agency name and Regulatory Information Number (RIN 1235-AA20) for this RFI. Response to this RFI is voluntary and respondents need not reply to all questions listed below. The Department requests that no business proprietary information, copyrighted information, or personally identifiable information be submitted in response to this RFI. Submit only one copy of your comment by only one method (e.g., persons submitting comments electronically are encouraged not to submit paper copies). Please be advised that comments received will become a matter of public record and will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. All comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. on the date indicated for consideration in this RFI; comments received after the comment period closes will not be considered. Commenters should transmit comments early to ensure timely receipt prior to the close of the comment period. Electronic submission via http://www.regulations.gov enables prompt receipt of comments submitted as the Department continues to experience delays in the receipt of mail in our area. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Melissa Smith, Director of the Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-0406 (this is not a toll-free number). Copies of this RFI may be obtained in alternative formats (Large Print, Braille, Audio Tape or Disc), upon request, by calling (202) 693-0675 (this is not a toll-free number). TTY/TDD callers may dial toll-free 1 (877) 889-5627 to obtain information or request materials in alternative formats.

Questions of interpretation and/or enforcement of the agency's regulations may be directed to the nearest WHD district office. Locate the nearest office by calling the WHD's toll-free help line at (866) 4US-WAGE ((866) 487-9243) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in your local time zone, or log onto WHD's Web site at http://www.dol.gov/whd/america2.htm for a nationwide listing of WHD district and area offices.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA or Act) generally requires covered employers to pay their employees at least the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25 an hour) for all hours worked, and overtime premium pay of not less than one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. See 29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1)(C); 29 U.S.C. 207(a)(1). Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA, however, exempts from both minimum wage and overtime protection “any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity” and expressly delegates to the Secretary of Labor the power to define and delimit these terms through regulation. 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(1). This exemption is frequently referred to as the “white collar” exemption.

For more than 75 years, the Department's part 541 regulations implementing the exemptions under Section 13(a)(1) of the Act have generally defined the terms “bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity” by the use of three criteria. With some exceptions, for an employee to be exempt: (1) The employee must be paid on a salary basis (“salary basis test”); (2) the employee must receive at least a minimum specified salary amount (“salary level test”); and (3) the employee's job must primarily involve executive, administrative, or professional duties as defined by the regulations (“duties test”). See 29 CFR part 541.

The Department issued the initial part 541 regulations in October 1938, slightly less than four months after the FLSA became law. 3 FR 2518 (Oct. 20, 1938). These regulations established duties tests for executive, administrative, and professional employees, and also set a minimum compensation requirement of $30 per week for exempt executive and administrative employees. In 1940, the Department revised the part 541 regulations, establishing the salary basis test, retaining a $30 per week salary level for executive employees, and establishing a $50 per week ($200 per month) salary level for administrative and professional employees. 5 FR 4077 (Oct. 15, 1940). The Department again amended the part 541 regulations nine years later, in 1949, establishing a two-tier structure for assessing compliance with the salary level and duties tests. 14 FR 7705, 7706 (Dec. 24, 1949). Employers could satisfy either a “long” test based on the previous test—combining a rigorous duties test and lower salary level—or a new “short” test—combining an easier duties test and a higher salary level. The long test duties requirement was more rigorous because it contained a bright-line, 20 percent limit on the amount of time an employee could spend performing non-exempt work.1 The short test duties requirement, in contrast, did not limit the amount of time an exempt employee could spend on non-exempt duties. The Department reasoned that employees who met this higher salary level would almost always meet the long test duties requirement—including the 20 percent limit on performing non-exempt work. Report and Recommendations on Proposed Revisions of Regulations, Part 541, by Harry Weiss, Presiding Officer, Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions, U.S. Department of Labor (June 30, 1949) at 22-23.

1 The Department had instituted a 20 percent cap on non-exempt work for executive and professional employees in 1940. See 5 FR 4077; “Executive, Administrative, Professional . . . Outside Salesman” Redefined, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Report and Recommendations of the Presiding Officer (Harold Stein) at Hearings Preliminary to Redefinition (Oct. 10, 1940) at 14-15, 40. It added the cap for administrative employees in 1949. See 14 FR 7706. In 1961, when Congress expanded FLSA coverage for employees of retail and service establishments, it amended Section 13(a)(1) to provide that exempt employees of such establishments could spend up to 40 percent of their hours worked performing non-exempt work. See Pub. L. 87-30, 75 Stat. 65, Sec. 9 (May 5, 1961).

For the next five decades, the Department retained the “long” and “short” test structure for exemption. The Department updated the salary levels four times between 1958 and 1975. Beginning in 1958, the Department set the lower long test salary level to exclude from the exemption approximately the lowest paid ten percent of employees who passed the long test in low-wage regions, low-wage industries, small establishments, and small towns. See Report and Recommendations on Proposed Revision of Regulations, Part 541, Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, by Harry S. Kantor, Presiding Officer, Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions, U.S. Department of Labor (Mar. 3, 1958) at 6-7. The Department followed a similar methodology in 1963 and 1970, setting the salary at a level that excluded a small percentage of employees who satisfied the long test. See Tentative Decision on Proposed Rule Making Proceedings, 28 FR 7002, 7004 (July 9, 1963); 35 FR 883, 884 (Jan. 22, 1970). In 1975, the Department set what were intended to be “interim” salary levels, adjusting the previous long test salary level for inflation. See 40 FR 7091 (Feb. 19, 1975). At each of these updates, the Department also set a short test salary level higher than the long test salary levels. 81 FR 32391, 32401 (May 23, 2016).

Nearly thirty years passed before the Department next updated the part 541 regulations in 2004. By this point the passage of time had eroded the lower long test salary levels below the amount a minimum wage employee earned for a 40-hour workweek, and even the higher short test salary levels were not far above the minimum wage. See 69 FR 22122, 22164 (Apr. 23, 2004). Thus, as a practical matter, employers used the short test, with its less rigorous duties requirement, and the long test fell out of operation. In 2004, the Department eliminated the “long” and “short” test structure and created a new “standard” test. Like the old short test duties requirement, the new standard duties test did not limit the amount of non-exempt work an exempt employee could perform. The Department paired the new standard duties test with a salary level test of $455 per week, which excluded from the exemption roughly the bottom 20 percent of salaried employees in the South and in the retail industry. The $455 per week salary level was equivalent to the lower salary level that would have resulted from the methodology the Department previously used to set the lower long test salary levels. Id. at 22168. In the same rulemaking, the Department also established a new test for “highly compensated employees.” Under this test, if an employee earned at least $100,000 a year he or she needed to satisfy only a very minimal duties test for exemption. Id. at 222172-22174.

Twelve years passed before the next update to the part 541 regulations in 2016. One of the Department's primary goals in undertaking the 2016 rulemaking was to update the standard salary level test to reflect increases in actual salary levels nationwide since 2004 and to adjust the standard salary level to fall within the historical range of the short test salary level in light of the absence of the more rigorous long test duties requirement. 81 FR 32399-32400. The Department set the standard salary at a level that would exclude from exemption the bottom 40 percent of salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region (currently the South), resulting in an increase from $455 per week to $913 per week. Id. at 32405, 32408. No changes were made to the standard duties test. Id. at 32444. The Department also established a mechanism for automatically updating the salary level every three years to ensure it remained a meaningful test for helping determine an employee's exempt status. Id. at 32438.2 The Department published the 2016 Final Rule on May 23, 2016, with an effective date of December 1, 2016.

2 The 2016 rule modified the part 541 regulations to, for the first time, permit nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary test. See 81 FR 32425-32426. The 2016 rule also increased the total annual compensation level for highly compensated employees to the annualized equivalent of the 90th percentile of the weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers nationwide and provides for it to be automatically updated every three years to maintain that level. Id. at 32429, 32443.

Litigation challenging the 2016 Final Rule is currently pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. By district court order, the Department is enjoined from implementing and enforcing the Final Rule. See Nevada, et al., v. U.S. Dep't of Labor, et al., 218 F. Supp. 3d 520, 534 (E.D. Tex. 2016), appeal pending, No. 16-41606 (5th Cir.). The pending appeal of that order concerns the reasoning of the District Court which would call into question the Department's authority to utilize a salary level test in determining the exempt status of executive, administrative, and professional employees. The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Department, is arguing that 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(1) provides the Secretary of Labor authority to establish a salary level test. As stated in our reply brief filed with the Fifth Circuit, the Department has decided not to advocate for the specific salary level ($913 per week) set in the 2016 Final Rule at this time and intends to undertake further rulemaking to determine what the salary level should be. In light of the pending litigation, the Department has decided to issue this RFI rather than proceed immediately to a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The Department believes that gathering public input on the questions below will greatly aid in the development of an NPRM and help us move forward with rulemaking in a timely manner.

II. Promoting the Regulatory Reform Agenda

On February 24, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.” In relevant part, Sec. 3(d) of the Order tasks federal agencies to identify regulations for repeal, replacement, or modification that:

(i) eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;

(ii) are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;

(iii) impose costs that exceed benefits;

(iv) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;

(v) are inconsistent with the requirements of section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note), or the guidance issued pursuant to that provision, in particular those regulations that rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or

(vi) derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.

Consistent with Executive Order 13777, the Department is reviewing the impact of the 2016 Final Rule's changes to the part 541 regulations with a focus on lowering regulatory burden. This RFI will assist the Department's Regulatory Reform Task Force in evaluating the 2016 Final Rule.

III. Request for Public Comment

The Department is aware of stakeholder concerns that the standard salary level set in the 2016 Final Rule was too high. In particular, stakeholders have expressed the concern that the new salary level inappropriately excludes from exemption too many workers who pass the standard duties test, especially given the lack of a lower long test salary for employers to utilize for lower wage white collar employees. In the 2016 Final Rule the Department estimated that 4.2 million salaried white collar workers would, without some intervening action by their employers, change from exempt to non-exempt status. See 81 FR 32393. Concerns expressed by various stakeholders after publication of the 2016 Final Rule that the salary level would adversely impact low-wage regions and industries have further shown that additional rulemaking is appropriate. The Department is publishing this RFI to gather information to aid in formulating a proposal to revise the part 541 regulations.

The Department invites comments on the 2016 revisions to the white collar exemption regulations, including whether the standard salary level set in that rule effectively identifies employees who may be exempt, whether a different salary level would more appropriately identify such employees, the basis for setting a different salary level, and why a different salary level would be more appropriate or effective. In particular, the Department seeks comment on and information relating to the following questions:

1. In 2004 the Department set the standard salary level at $455 per week, which excluded from the exemption roughly the bottom 20 percent of salaried employees in the South and in the retail industry. Would updating the 2004 salary level for inflation be an appropriate basis for setting the standard salary level and, if so, what measure of inflation should be used? Alternatively, would applying the 2004 methodology to current salary data (South and retail industry) be an appropriate basis for setting the salary level? Would setting the salary level using either of these methods require changes to the standard duties test and, if so, what change(s) should be made?

2. Should the regulations contain multiple standard salary levels? If so, how should these levels be set: by size of employer, census region, census division, state, metropolitan statistical area, or some other method? For example, should the regulations set multiple salary levels using a percentage based adjustment like that used by the federal government in the General Schedule Locality Areas to adjust for the varying cost-of-living across different parts of the United States? What would the impact of multiple standard salary levels be on particular regions or industries, and on employers with locations in more than one state?

3. Should the Department set different standard salary levels for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions as it did prior to 2004 and, if so, should there be a lower salary for executive and administrative employees as was done from 1963 until the 2004 rulemaking? What would the impact be on employers and employees?

4. In the 2016 Final Rule the Department discussed in detail the pre-2004 long and short test salary levels. To be an effective measure for determining exemption status, should the standard salary level be set within the historical range of the short test salary level, at the long test salary level, between the short and long test salary levels, or should it be based on some other methodology? Would a standard salary level based on each of these methodologies work effectively with the standard duties test or would changes to the duties test be needed?

5. Does the standard salary level set in the 2016 Final Rule work effectively with the standard duties test or, instead, does it in effect eclipse the role of the duties test in determining exemption status? At what salary level does the duties test no longer fulfill its historical role in determining exempt status?

6. To what extent did employers, in anticipation of the 2016 Final Rule's effective date on December 1, 2016, increase salaries of exempt employees in order to retain their exempt status, decrease newly non-exempt employees' hours or change their implicit hourly rates so that the total amount paid would remain the same, convert worker pay from salaries to hourly wages, or make changes to workplace policies either to limit employee flexibility to work after normal work hours or to track work performed during those times? Where these or other changes occurred, what has been the impact (both economic and non-economic) on the workplace for employers and employees? Did small businesses or other small entities encounter any unique challenges in preparing for the 2016 Final Rule's effective date? Did employers make any additional changes, such as reverting salaries of exempt employees to their prior (pre-rule) levels, after the preliminary injunction was issued?

7. Would a test for exemption that relies solely on the duties performed by the employee without regard to the amount of salary paid by the employer be preferable to the current standard test? If so, what elements would be necessary in a duties-only test and would examination of the amount of non-exempt work performed be required?

8. Does the salary level set in the 2016 Final Rule exclude from exemption particular occupations that have traditionally been covered by the exemption and, if so, what are those occupations? Do employees in those occupations perform more than 20 percent or 40 percent non-exempt work per week?

9. The 2016 Final Rule for the first time permitted non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level. Is this an appropriate limit or should the regulations feature a different percentage cap? Is the amount of the standard salary level relevant in determining whether and to what extent such bonus payments should be credited?

10. Should there be multiple total annual compensation levels for the highly compensated employee exemption? If so, how should they be set: by size of employer, census region, census division, state, metropolitan statistical area, or some other method? For example, should the regulations set multiple total annual compensation levels using a percentage based adjustment like that used by the federal government in the General Schedule Locality Areas to adjust for the varying cost-of-living across different parts of the United States? What would the impact of multiple total annual compensation levels be on particular regions or industries?

11. Should the standard salary level and the highly compensated employee total annual compensation level be automatically updated on a periodic basis to ensure that they remain effective, in combination with their respective duties tests, at identifying exempt employees? If so, what mechanism should be used for the automatic update, should automatic updates be delayed during periods of negative economic growth, and what should the time period be between updates to reflect long term economic conditions?

IV. Conclusion

The Department invites interested parties to submit comments during the public comment period and welcomes any pertinent information that will provide a basis for reviewing the 2016 Final Rule.

Signed at Washington, DC, this 21st day of July 2017. Patricia Davidson, Deputy Administrator for Program Operations, Wage and Hour Division.
[FR Doc. 2017-15666 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-27-P
PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION 29 CFR Chapter XL Regulatory Planning and Review of Existing Regulations AGENCY:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION:

Request for information.

SUMMARY:

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is asking for input on what regulatory and deregulatory actions it should be considering as part of its regulatory program. PBGC is committed to a program that provides clear and helpful guidance, minimizes burdens and maximizes benefits, and addresses ineffective and outdated rules. This initiative supports PBGC's ongoing regulatory planning and active retrospective review of regulations and responds to the President's executive order on “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”

DATES:

PBGC requests that comments be received on or before August 25, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

ADDRESSES:

Comments, identified by “Regulatory Planning and Review,” may be submitted by any of the following methods:

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

Email: [email protected]

Mail or Hand Delivery: Regulatory Affairs Group, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026.

Comments received, including personal information provided, will be posted to www.pbgc.gov. Copies of comments may also be obtained by writing to Disclosure Division, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026, or calling 202-326-4040 during normal business hours. (TTY and TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4040.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Stephanie Cibinic, Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington DC 20005-4026; [email protected]; 202-326-4400 extension 6352. (TTY and TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at 800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4400 extension 6352.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal corporation created under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to guarantee the payment of pension benefits earned by nearly 40 million American workers and retirees in nearly 24,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. PBGC administers two insurance programs—one for single-employer defined benefit pension plans and a second for multiemployer defined benefit pension plans. Each program is operated and financed separately from the other, and assets from one cannot be used to support the other. PBGC receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed by insurance premiums, investment income, assets from pension plans trusteed by PBGC, and recoveries from the companies formerly responsible for the trusteed plans.

To carry out its mission, PBGC issues regulations interpreting or implementing ERISA on such matters as: how to pay premiums, when reports are due, what benefits are covered by the insurance program, how to terminate a plan, the liability for underfunding, and how multiemployer plan withdrawal liability works. Regulatory objectives and priorities are developed in the context of PBGC's statutory purposes:

• To encourage the continuation and maintenance of voluntary private pension plans;

• To provide for the timely and uninterrupted payment of pension benefits; and

• To keep premiums at the lowest possible levels consistent with carrying out PBGC's obligations under title IV of ERISA.

PBGC intends to issue regulations consistent with its statutory mission of implementing the law and encouraging the continuation and maintenance of defined benefit plans. Thus, PBGC attempts to minimize administrative burdens on plans and participants, improve transparency, simplify filing, provide relief for small businesses, and assist plans to comply with applicable requirements. PBGC is committed to issuing simple, understandable, and timely regulations that help affected parties. PBGC looks to maximize net benefits and actively reviews regulations to identify and ameliorate inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and requirements made irrelevant over time, with the goal that net cost impact is zero or less overall.

PBGC develops its regulatory planning and review under a series of executive orders. E.O. 12866 (issued in 1993) and E.O. 13563 (issued in 2011) direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. E.O. 13563 also calls for the periodic review of existing regulations to identify any that can be made more effective or less burdensome in achieving regulatory objectives. E.O. 13771 (issued in January 2017) seeks to reduce regulatory requirements and control regulatory costs. This executive order was followed by E.O. 13777 (issued in February 2017), which calls for a Regulatory Reform Task Force (RRTF) in each agency to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations regarding their “repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law.” In evaluating regulations, the RRTF should ask for input from persons and entities affected by such regulations.

Request for Input

With an eye toward the Fall iteration of the semi-annual regulatory agenda, PBGC is requesting information, suggestions, and comment from the public—including from plan sponsors, participants, practitioners, organizations representing retirees and plan participants, and other parties participating in or affected by PBGC's programs—on regulatory and deregulatory actions PBGC should take.

To facilitate this request for information, PBGC developed the questions below, the answers to which will help determine whether there are gaps in regulatory guidance where the public believes rulemaking would be beneficial, and help PBGC evaluate the continued effectiveness and usefulness of existing regulations.

To maximize the effectiveness of comments, PBGC suggests that commenters:

• Clearly identify the regulation at issue, providing the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) citation where available;

• Explain, in as much detail as possible, why they believe regulating in a specific area is necessary or beneficial, or why an existing rule may be outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective; and

• Describe the costs and benefits of taking a particular regulatory or deregulatory action and the data or experience on which the commenter bases a recommendation.

1. Are there areas where PBGC rulemaking or other guidance would clarify or ease the burden of certain statutory requirements on the public? Would tools such as regulatory safe harbors help plans and sponsors comply with applicable requirements, and if so, what areas particularly would benefit from safe harbors?

2. Are there challenges affecting the establishment and maintenance of pension plans or other aspects of the private pension plan system that should be addressed through rulemaking or other guidance?

3. Are there regulations PBGC should modernize that have become outdated? If so, what type of change (e.g., innovations in technology, business or actuarial practices, consumer (worker and retiree) needs) has caused the rules to become outdated? How would PBGC modernize such rules?

4. What, if any, technological developments would relieve the administrative burden of an existing regulation or existing information collection?

5. Are there regulations establishing programs or processes that have not operated as well as expected? If so, what specifically has not worked and why?

6. Are there regulations that are unnecessarily complicated which could be streamlined to achieve regulatory objectives more efficiently?

7. Does PBGC have regulations or information collections (e.g., forms, reports, or notices) that are duplicative or that have conflicting requirements with other agencies, such as the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, or Department of Labor?

8. Does PBGC ask for information in forms or on reports that may be stale, duplicative, or unnecessary to achieve a particular statutory purpose or regulatory objective? Are there PBGC-required notices from plans to third parties (such as plan participants) that ask for or relay duplicative information?

9. Has PBGC issued any significant guidance documents (e.g., technical updates, policy statements) that may be outdated, ineffective, or unnecessary to achieve a particular statutory purpose or regulatory objective?

10. Are there regulations that could be tailored to impose less burden on the public? If so, what could be alternative regulatory or other approaches to such rules?

11. Are there regulations that are unnecessary and could be repealed or replaced without impairing a PBGC program's statutory purpose?

12. Are there PBGC regulations that eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation?

13. Are there any other areas where PBGC could improve its regulations to better accomplish its mission?

These questions are not intended to be exhaustive. Commenters may raise other issues or make suggestions unrelated to these questions that they believe would help PBGC develop a better and more responsive regulatory structure.

Issued in Washington, DC. W. Thomas Reeder, Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2017-15551 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7709-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Chapter I 46 CFR Chapters I and III 49 CFR Chapter IV [Docket No. USCG-2017-0662] Navigation Safety Advisory Council—Input To Support Regulatory Reform of Coast Guard Regulations—New Task AGENCY:

U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Announcement of new task assignment for the Navigation Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC); teleconference meeting.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Coast Guard is issuing a new task to the Navigation Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC). The U.S. Coast Guard is asking NAVSAC to help the agency identify existing regulations, guidance, and collections of information (that fall within the scope of the Council's charter) for possible repeal, replacement, or modification. This tasking is in response to the issuance of Executive Orders 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs; 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda;” and 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” The full Council is scheduled to meet by teleconference on August 16, 2017, to discuss this tasking. This teleconference will be open to the public. The U.S. Coast Guard will consider NAVSAC recommendations as part of the process of identifying regulations, guidance, and collections of information to be repealed, replaced, or modified pursuant to the three Executive Orders discussed above.

DATES:

The full Council is scheduled to meet by teleconference on August 16, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Please note that this teleconference may adjourn early if the Council has completed its business.

ADDRESSES:

To join the teleconference or to request special accommodations, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section no later than 1 p.m. on August 9, 2017. The number of teleconference lines is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Instructions: Submit comments on the task statement at any time, including orally at the teleconference, but if you want Council members to review your comments before the teleconference, please submit your comments no later than August 9, 2017. You must include the words “Department of Homeland Security” and the docket number for this action. Written comments may also be submitted using the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If you encounter technical difficulties with comment submission, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You may review Regulations.gov's Privacy and Security Notice at https://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice.

Docket Search: For access to the docket or to read documents or comments related to this notice, go to http://www.regulations.gov, insert “USCG-2017-0662” in the Search box, press Enter, and then click on the item you wish to view.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. George Detweiler, Alternate Designated Federal Officer of the Navigation Safety Advisory Council, telephone (202) 372-1566, or email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: New Task to the Council

The U.S. Coast Guard is issuing a new task to NAVSAC to provide recommendations on whether existing regulations, guidance, and information collections (that fall within the scope of the Council's charter) should be repealed, replaced, or modified. NAVSAC will then provide advice and recommendations on the assigned task and submit a final recommendation report to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Background

On January 30, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” Under that Executive Order, for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations must be identified for elimination, and the cost of planned regulations must be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process. On February 24, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.” That Executive Order directs agencies to take specific steps to identify and alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people. On March 28, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” Executive Order 13783 promotes the clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding agency actions that unnecessarily encumber energy production.

When implementing the regulatory offsets required by Executive Order 13771, each agency head is directed to prioritize, to the extent permitted by law, those regulations that the agency's Regulatory Reform Task Force identifies as outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective in accordance with Executive Order 13777. As part of this process to comply with all three Executive Orders, the U.S. Coast Guard is reaching out through multiple avenues to interested individuals to gather their input about what regulations, guidance, and information collections, they believe may need to be repealed, replaced, or modified. On June 8, 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a general notice in the Federal Register requesting comments from interested individuals regarding their recommendations, 82 FR 26632. In addition to this general solicitation, the U.S. Coast Guard also wants to leverage the expertise of its Federal Advisory Committees and is issuing similar tasks to each of its Committees. A detailed discussion of each of the Executive orders and information on where U.S. Coast Guard regulations, guidance, and information collections are found is in the June 8th notice.

The Task

NAVSAC is tasked to:

Provide input to the U.S. Coast Guard on all existing regulations, guidance, and information collections that fall within the scope of the Council's charter.

1. One or more subcommittees/working groups, as needed, will be established to work on this tasking in accordance with the Council charter and bylaws. The subcommittee(s) shall terminate upon the approval and submission of a final recommendation to the U.S. Coast Guard from the parent Council.

2. Review regulations, guidance, and information collections and provide recommendations whether an existing rule, guidance, or information collection should be repealed, replaced or modified. If the Council recommends modification, please provide specific recommendations for how the regulation, guidance, or information collection should be modified. Recommendations should include an explanation on how and to what extent repeal, replacement or modification will reduce costs or burdens to industry and the extent to which risks to health or safety would likely increase.

a. Identify regulations, guidance, or information collections that potentially impose the following types of burden on the industry:

i. Regulations, guidance, or information collections imposing administrative burdens on the industry.

ii. Regulations, guidance, or information collections imposing burdens in the development or use of domestically produced energy resources. “Burden,” for the purposes of compliance with Executive Order 13783, means “to unnecessarily obstruct, delay, curtail, or otherwise impose significant costs on the siting, permitting, production, utilization, transmission, or delivery of energy resources.”

b. Identify regulations, guidance, or information collections that potentially impose the following types of costs on the industry:

i. Regulations, guidance, or information collections imposing costs that are outdated (such as due to technological advancement), or are no longer necessary.

ii. Regulations, guidance, or information collections imposing costs which are no longer enforced as written or which are ineffective.

iii. Regulations, guidance, or information collections imposing costs tied to reporting or recordkeeping requirements that impose burdens that exceed benefits. Explain why the reporting or recordkeeping requirement is overly burdensome, unnecessary, or how it could be modified.

c. Identify regulations, guidance, and information collections that the Council believes have led to the elimination of jobs or inhibits job creation within a particular industry.

3. All regulations, guidance, and information collections, or parts thereof, recommended by the Council should be described in sufficient detail (by section, paragraph, sentence, clause, etc.) so that it can readily be identified. Data (quantitative or qualitative) should be provided to support and illustrate the impact, cost, or burden, as applicable, for each recommendation. If the data is not readily available, the Council should include information as to how such information can be obtained either by the Council or directly by the Coast Guard.

Public Participation

All meetings associated with this tasking, both full Council meetings and subcommittee/working groups, are open to the public. A public oral comment period will be held during the August 16, 2017, teleconference. Public comments or questions will be taken at the discretion of the Designated Federal Officer; commenters are requested to limit their comments to 3 minutes. Please contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, to register as a commenter. Subcommittee meetings held in association with this tasking will be announced as they are scheduled through notices posted to http://homeport.uscg.mil/navsac and uploaded as supporting documents in the electronic docket for this action, [USCG-2017-0662], at Regulations.gov.

Michael D. Emerson, Director, Marine Transportation Systems.
[FR Doc. 2017-15707 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
82 142 Wednesday, July 26, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice of Intent To Review Online Homeownership Education Courses for Nationwide Use in the Single Family Housing Section 502 Direct Loan Program AGENCY:

Rural Housing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

First-time homebuyers seeking financing under the Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) Single Family Housing Section 502 Direct loan program are required to successfully complete an approved homeownership education course prior to loan closing. While homeownership education providers are generally approved by the Agency at the state level, there are currently two nationally approved online education providers. Through this notice the Agency will consider approving other online education providers on a national level in order to expand the Agency applicants' options and access to approved education providers.

DATES:

Online homeownership education providers interested in having their courses reviewed should submit a complete package to the Single Family Housing Direct Loan Division by August 25, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Submissions must be sent electronically to [email protected]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brooke Baumann, Branch Chief, at [email protected] or (202) 690-4250.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Approval will be subject to meeting course criteria, a recommendation by the Agency-selected panel of housing partners, and signoff by the Administrator. Approval will be given as a third preference format unless the education provider is able to demonstrate and document how their online course along with a required supplemented service provides the same level of training and individualized attention as a first or second preference. 7 CFR 3550.11 outlines the order of preference given to homeownership education courses. First preference is given to classroom, one-on-one counseling, or interactive video conference. These formats are generally extensive and require a significant time and participation commitment from the Agency applicants. Second preference is given to interactive home-study or interactive telephone counseling of at least four hours duration. These formats may only be used if the formats under the first preference are not reasonably available. Third preference, which can only be used if all other formats are not reasonably available, is given to online counseling. 7 CFR 3550.11 also outlines the requirements an education provider and its course must meet in order to be approved for use by Agency applicants.

At a minimum, courses submitted for consideration must contain the following topics/content:

• Preparing for homeownership (evaluate readiness to go from rental to homeownership) • Budgeting (pre- and post-purchase) • Credit counseling • Shopping for a home • Lender differences (predatory lending) • Obtaining a mortgage (mortgage process, different types of mortgages) • Loan closing (closing process, documentation, closing costs) • Post-occupancy counseling (delinquency and foreclosure prevention) • Life as a homeowner (homeowner warranties, maintenance, and repairs)

Online homeownership education providers interested in having their courses reviewed must provide a complete package consisting of the course background, online login access to the course for the Agency-selected panel, a copy of the completion certification, price sheet, and contact information (name, phone number, and email address).

The Agency-selected panel will base their recommendation on the following considerations:

• The format of the course (i.e. classroom, one-on-one counseling, or interactive video conference features that supplement and complement the online course; or, strictly online counseling) • Certificate of completion • Fee (should be nominal—approximately $100 or less) • Duration • Topics covered • System features (chat functionality, bookmarks, start/pause/play options, audio playback option, etc.) • Readability/Comprehension (level of complexity in language used) • User-friendliness • Browser-friendliness • Ability to use mobile devices (phone, tablet, etc.) • Alternative languages offered (Spanish, etc.) • Pre/Post assessment of knowledge • Web site aesthetics • Section 508 compliancy and reasonable accommodations procedures

A notice of education providers approved through this process will be issued via a memorandum to the Rural Development State Offices. The memorandum will list the format preference assigned to each provider. A copy of the memorandum will be simultaneously emailed to all education providers who applied through this notice.

Approvals are not subject to expiration. However, an approval may be revoked for justifiable cause.

Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) By mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410;

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email: [email protected].

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Dated: July 18, 2017. Richard A. Davis, Acting Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-15625 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2017 AGENCY:

Rural Housing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Rural Housing Service (RHS) announces the timeframe to submit pre-applications for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing (FLH) loans and Section 516 FLH grants for the construction of new off-farm FLH units and related facilities for domestic farm laborers and for the purchase and substantial rehabilitation of an existing non-FLH property. The intended purpose of these loans and grants is to increase the number of available housing units for domestic farm laborers. This Notice describes the method used to distribute funds, the application process, and submission requirements.

RHS will publish on its Web site, http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-labor-housing-direct-loans-grants, the amount of funding available in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 based on current appropriations.

The Agency will assign additional points to pre-applications for projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates greater than or equal to 20 percent over the last 30 years. This emphasis will support Rural Development's mission of improving the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those who most need them.

DATES:

The deadline for receipt of all applications in response to this Notice is 5:00 p.m., local time to the appropriate Rural Development State Office on September 11, 2017. Rural Development will not consider any application that is received after the deadline unless the date and time is extended by another notice published in the Federal Register. Applicants intending to mail applications must provide sufficient time to permit delivery on or before the deadline. Acceptance by a post office or private mailer does not constitute delivery. Facsimile (FAX) and postage due applications will not be accepted.

ADDRESSES:

Applicants wishing to submit an application in response to this Notice must contact the Rural Development State Office serving the State of the proposed off-FLH project in order to receive further information and copies of the application package. You may find the addresses and contact information for each State Office following this web link, http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices. Rural Development will date and time stamp incoming applications to evidence timely receipt and, upon request, will provide the applicant with a written acknowledgment of receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mirna Reyes-Bible, Finance and Loan Analyst, Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Direct Loan Division, STOP 0781 (Room 1263-S), USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0781, telephone: (202) 720-1753 (this is not a toll free number.), or via email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Overview

Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service.

Funding Opportunity Title: NOSA for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2017.

Announcement Type: Solicitation of pre-applications from qualified applicants for FY 2017.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA): 10.405 and 10.427.

Due Date for Applications: September 11, 2017.

A. Federal Award Description

Pre-applications will only be accepted through the date and time listed in this Notice. All awards are subject to availability of funding. Individual requests may not exceed $3 million (total loan and grant). No State may receive more than 30 percent of available FLH funding available in FY 2017.

If there are insufficient applications from around the country to exhaust Sections 514 and 516 funds available, the Agency may then exceed the 30 percent cap per State. Section 516 off-farm FLH grants may not exceed 90 percent of the total development cost (TDC) of the housing as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11.

If leveraged funds are going to be used and are in the form of tax credits, the applicant must include in its pre-application written evidence that a tax credit application has been submitted and accepted by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA). All applications that will receive any leveraged funds must have firm commitments in place within 12 months of the issuance of a “Notice of Pre-application Review Action,” Handbook Letter 106 (3560). Applicants without written evidence that a tax credit application has been submitted and accepted by the HFA must certify in writing they will apply for tax credits to the HFA and obtain a firm commitment within 12 months of the issuance of a “Notice of Pre-application Review Action.”

Rental Assistance (RA) and operating assistance will be available for new construction in FY 2017. Operating assistance is explained at 7 CFR 3560.574 and may be used in lieu of tenant-specific RA in off-FLH projects that serve migrant farm workers as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11, that are financed under Section 514 or Section 516 (h) of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1484 and 1486(h) respectively), and otherwise meet the requirements of 7 CFR 3560.574.

In order to maximize the use of our limited supply of FLH funds, if it is financially feasible we may contact eligible NOSA responses selected for an award in point score order starting with the higher scores, with proposals to modify the transaction's proportions of grants and loan funds. In addition, if funds remain after the highest scoring eligible NOSA responses are selected for awards, we may contact those eligible responses not selected for awards, in point score order starting with the highest scores, to ascertain whether those respondents will accept those remaining funds.

B. Eligibility Information 1. Eligibility

Housing Eligibility—Housing that is constructed with FLH loans and/or grants must meet Rural Development's design and construction standards contained in 7 CFR part 1924, subparts A and C. Once constructed, off-farm FLH must be managed in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560. In addition, off-farm FLH must be operated on a non-profit basis and tenancy must be open to all qualified domestic farm laborers, regardless at which farm they work. Section 514(f)(3) of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1484(f)(3)) defines domestic farm laborers to include any person regardless of the person's source of employment, who receives a substantial portion of his or her income from the primary production of agricultural or aqua cultural commodities in the unprocessed or processed stage, and also includes the person's family.

Tenant Eligibility—Tenant eligibility is limited to persons who meet the definition of a “disabled domestic farm laborer,” or a “domestic farm laborer,” or “retired domestic farm laborer,” as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11. Farm workers who are admitted to this country on a temporary basis under the Temporary Agricultural Workers (H-2A Visa) program are not eligible to occupy Sections 514/516 off-farm FLH.

Applicant Eligibility—

(a) To be eligible to receive a Section 516 grant for off-farm FLH, the applicant must be a broad-based non-profit organization, including community and faith-based organizations, a non-profit organization of farm workers, a Federally recognized Indian tribe, an agency or political subdivision of a State or local Government, or a public agency (such as a housing authority). The applicant must be able to contribute at least one-tenth of the TDC from non-Rural Development resources which can include leveraged funds.

(b) To be eligible to receive a Section 514 loan for off-farm FLH, the applicant must be a broad-based non-profit organization, including community and faith-based organizations, a non-profit organization of farm workers, a Federally recognized Indian tribe, an agency or political subdivision of a State or local Government, a public agency (such as a housing authority), or a limited partnership which has a non-profit entity as its general partner, and

(i) Be unable to provide the necessary housing from its own resources;

(ii) Except for State or local public agencies and Indian tribes, be unable to obtain similar credit elsewhere at rates that would allow for rents within the payment ability of eligible residents.

(iii) Broad-based non-profit organizations must have a membership that reflects a variety of interests in the area where the housing will be located.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching—Section 516 grants for off-farm FLH may not exceed 90 percent of the TDC as provided in 7 CFR 3560.562(c)(1).

3. Other Requirements—The following requirements apply to loans and grants made in response to this Notice:

(a) 7 CFR part 1901, subpart E, regarding equal opportunity requirements;

(b) For grants only, 2 CFR parts 200 and 400, which establishes the uniform administrative and audit requirements for grants and cooperative agreements to State and local Governments and to non-profit organizations;

(c) 7 CFR part 1901, subpart F, regarding historical and archaeological properties;

(d) 7 CFR part 1970, regarding environmental review and documentation requirements;

(e) 7 CFR part 3560, subpart L, regarding the loan and grant authorities of the off-farm FLH program;

(f) 7 CFR part 1924, subpart A, regarding planning and performing construction and other development;

(g) 7 CFR part 1924, subpart C, regarding the planning and performing of site development work;

(h) For construction financed with a Section 516 grant, the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. 276(a)-276(a)-5) and implementing regulations published at 29 CFR parts 1, 3, and 5;

(i) All other requirements contained in 7 CFR part 3560, regarding the Sections 514/516 off-farm FLH programs; and

(j) Please note that grant applicants must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and maintain registration in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) prior to submitting a pre-application pursuant to 2 CFR 25.200(b). In addition, an entity applicant must maintain registration in the CCR database at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the Agency. Similarly, all recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation in accordance with 2 CFR part 170. So long as an entity applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements should the applicant receive funding. See 2 CFR 170.200(b).

C. Application and Submission Information 1. Pre-Application Submission

The application process will be in two phases: The initial pre-application (or proposal) and the submission of a final application. Only those pre-applications or proposals that are selected for further processing will be invited to submit final applications. In the event that a proposal is selected for further processing and the applicant declines, the next highest ranked unfunded pre-application may be selected for further processing. All pre-applications for Sections 514 and 516 funds must be filed with the appropriate Rural Development State Office and must meet the requirements of this Notice. Incomplete pre-applications will not be reviewed and will be returned to the applicant. No pre-application will be accepted after the deadline unless date and time are extended by another Notice published in the Federal Register.

Pre-applications can be submitted either electronically using the FLH Pre-Application form found at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-labor-housing-direct-loans-grants or in hard copy to the appropriate Rural Development Office where the project will be located. Follow the link to find the appropriate RD Office address for requesting and submitting pre-application at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/StateofficeAddresses.html. Applicants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to submit the pre-application electronically. The electronic form contains a button labeled “Send Form.” By clicking on the button, the applicant will see an email message window with an attachment that includes the electronic form the applicant filled out as a data file with a .pdf extension. In addition, an auto-reply acknowledgement will be sent to the applicant when the electronic Loan Proposal form is received by the Agency unless the sender has software that will block the receipt of the auto-reply email. The State Office will record pre-applications received electronically by the actual date and time when all attachments are received at the State Office.

Submission of the electronic Section 514 Loan Proposal form does not constitute submission of the entire proposal package which requires additional forms and supporting documentation as listed within this Notice. You may use one of the following three options for submitting the entire proposal package comprising of all required forms and documents. On the Loan Proposal form you can indicate the option you will be using to submit each required form and document.

(a) Electronic Media Option. Submit all forms and documents as read-only Adobe Acrobat files on electronic media such as CDs, DVDs or USB drives. For each electronic device submitted, the applicant should include a Table of Contents of all documents and forms on that device. The electronic media should be submitted to the Rural Development State Office listed in this Notice where the property is located. Any forms and documents that are not sent electronically, including the check for credit reports, must be mailed to the Rural Development State Office.

(b) Email Option. On the Loan Proposal form you will be asked for a submission email address. This email address will be used to establish a folder on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) server with your unique email address. Once the Loan Proposal form is processed, you will receive an additional email notifying you of the email address that you can use to email your forms and documents. Please Note: All forms and documents must be emailed from the same submission email address. This will ensure that all forms and documents that you send will be stored in the folder assigned to that email address. Any forms and documents that are not sent in via the email option must be submitted on an electronic media or in hard copy form to the Rural Development State Office.

(c) Hard Copy Submission to the Rural Development State Office. If you are unable to send the proposal package electronically using either of the options listed above, you may send a hard copy of all forms and documents to the Rural Development State Office where the property is located. Hard copy pre-applications received on or before the deadline date will receive the close of business time of the day received as the receipt time. Hard copy pre-applications must be received by the submission deadline and no later than 5:00 p.m., local time, September 11, 2017. Assistance for filing electronic and hard copy pre-applications can be obtained from any Rural Development State Office.

For electronic submissions, there is a time delay between the time it is sent and the time it is received depending on network traffic. As a result, last-minute submissions sent before the deadline date and time could well be received after the deadline date and time because of the increased network traffic. Applicants are reminded that all submissions received after the deadline date and time will be rejected, regardless of when they were sent.

If a pre-application is accepted for further processing, the applicant must submit a complete, final application, acceptable to Rural Development prior to the obligation of Rural Development funds. If the pre-application is not accepted for further processing the applicant will be notified of appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11.

2. Pre-Application Requirements

(a) The pre-application must contain the following:

(1) A summary page listing the following items. This information should be double-spaced between items and not be in narrative form.

(i) Applicant's name.

(ii) Applicant's Taxpayer Identification Number.

(iii) Applicant's address.

(iv) Applicant's telephone number.

(v) Name of applicant's contact person, telephone number, and address.

(vi) Amount of loan and/or grant requested.

(vii) For grants of Federal financial assistance (including loans and grants, cooperative agreements, etc.), the applicant's Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and registration in the CCR database in accordance with 2 CFR part 25. As required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), all grant applicants must provide a DUNS number when applying for Federal grants, on or after October 1, 2003. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free number at (866) 705-5711 or via the internet at: http://www.dnb.com/. Additional information concerning this requirement can be obtained on the Grants.gov Web site at www.grants.gov. Similarly, applicants may register for the CCR at: https://www.uscontractorregistration.com/ or by calling (877) 252-2700.

(2) Awards made under this Notice are subject to the provisions contained in an appropriation in FY 2017 that funds FLH.

(3) A narrative verifying the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility requirements stated earlier in this Notice. If an applicant is selected for further processing, Rural Development will require additional documentation as set forth in a Conditional Commitment in order to verify the entity has the legal and financial capability to carry out the obligation of the loan.

(4) Standard Form 424, “Application for Federal Assistance,” can be obtained at: http://www.grants.gov or from any Rural Development State Office listed in Section VII of this Notice.

(5) For loan pre-applications, current (within 6 months of pre-application date) financial statements with the following paragraph certified by the applicant's designated and legally authorized signer:

“I/we certify the above is a true and accurate reflection of our financial condition as of the date stated herein. This statement is given for the purpose of inducing the United States of America to make a loan or to enable the United States of America to make a determination of continued eligibility of the applicant for a loan as requested in the loan application of which this statement is a part.”

(6) For loan pre-applications, a check for $24 from applicants made out to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This will be used to pay for credit reports obtained by Rural Development.

(7) Evidence that the applicant is unable to obtain credit from other sources. Letters from credit institutions which normally provide real estate loans in the area should be obtained and these letters should indicate the rates and terms upon which a loan might be provided. (Note: Not required from State or local public agencies or Indian tribes.)

(8) If a FLH grant is desired, a statement concerning the need for a FLH grant. The statement should include preliminary estimates of the rents required with and without a grant.

(9) A statement of the applicant's experience in operating labor housing or other rental housing. If the applicant's experience is limited, additional information should be provided to indicate how the applicant plans to compensate for this limited experience (i.e., obtaining assistance and advice of a management firm, non-profit group, public agency, or other organization which is experienced in rental management and will be available on a continuous basis).

(10) A brief statement explaining the applicant's proposed method of operation and management (i.e., on-site manager, contract for management services, etc.). As stated earlier in this Notice, the housing must be managed in accordance with the program's management regulation, 7 CFR part 3560 and tenancy is limited to “disabled domestic farm laborers,” “domestic farm laborers,” and “retired domestic farm laborers,” as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11.

(11) Applicants must also provide:

(i) A copy of, or an accurate citation to, the special provisions of State law under which they are organized, a copy of the applicant's charter, Articles of Incorporation, and by-laws;

(ii) The names, occupations, and addresses of the applicant's members, directors, and officers; and

(iii) If a member or subsidiary of another organization, the organization's name, address, and nature of business.

(12) A preliminary market survey or market study to identify the supply and demand for farm labor housing in the market area. The market area must be clearly identified and may include only the area from which tenants can reasonably be drawn for the proposed project. Documentation must be provided to justify a need within the intended market area for the housing of “domestic farm laborers,” as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11. The documentation must take into account disabled and retired farm workers. The preliminary survey should address or include the following items:

(i) The annual income level of farmworker families in the area and the probable income of the farm workers who will likely occupy the proposed housing;

(ii) A realistic estimate of the number of farm workers who remain in the area where they harvest and the number of farm workers who normally migrate into the area. Information on migratory workers should indicate the average number of months the migrants reside in the area and an indication of what type of family groups are represented by the migrants (i.e., single individuals as opposed to families);

(iii) General information concerning the type of labor intensive crops grown in the area and prospects for continued demand for farm laborers;

(iv) The overall occupancy rate for comparable rental units in the area and the rents charged and customary rental practices for these units (i.e., will they rent to large families, do they require annual leases, etc.);

(v) The number, condition, adequacy, rental rates and ownership of units currently used or available to farm workers;

(vi) A description of the units proposed, including the number, type, size, rental rates, amenities such as carpets and drapes, related facilities such as a laundry room or community room and other facilities providing supportive services in connection with the housing and the needs of the prospective tenants such as a health clinic or day care facility, estimated development timeline, estimated TDC, and applicant contribution; and

(vii) The applicant must also identify all other sources of funds, including the dollar amount, source, and commitment status. (Note: A Section 516 grant may not exceed 90 percent of the TDC of the housing.)

(13) The applicant must submit a checklist, certification, and signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer, as applicable, for any energy programs listed in Section IV the applicant intends to participate in.

(14) The following forms are required:

(i) A prepared HUD Form 935.2A, “Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan (AFHM) Multi-Family Housing,” in accordance with 7 CFR 1901.203(c). The plan will reflect that occupancy is open to all qualified “domestic farm laborers,” regardless of which farming operation they work and that they will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, disability, marital or familial status or National origin in regard to the occupancy or use of the units. The form can be found at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=935-2a.PDF.

(ii) A proposed operating budget utilizing Form RD 3560-7, “Multiple Family Housing Project Budget/Utility Allowance,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-7.PDF.

(iii) An estimate of development cost utilizing Form RD 1924-13, “Estimate and Certificate of Actual Cost,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD1924-13.PDF.

(iv) Form RD 3560-30, “Certification of no Identity of Interest (IOI),” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-30.PDF and Form RD 3560-31, “Identity of Interest Disclosure/Qualification Certification,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-31.PDF.

(v) Form HUD 2530, “Previous Participation Certification,” can be found at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=2530.pdf.

(vi) If requesting RA or Operating Assistance, Form RD 3560-25, “Initial Request for Rental Assistance or Operating Assistance,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-25.PDF.

(vii) Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD400-4.PDF. Applicants for revitalization, repair, and rehabilitation funding are to apply through the Multifamily Housing Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Demonstration Program.

(viii) Evidence of compliance with Executive Order 12372. The applicant must send a copy of Form SF-424, “Application for Federal Assistance”, to the applicant's State clearinghouse for intergovernmental review. If the applicant is located in a State that does not have a clearinghouse, the applicant is not required to submit the form. Applications from Federally recognized Indian tribes are not subject to this requirement.

(15) Evidence of site control, such as an option contract or sales contract. In addition, a map and description of the proposed site, including the availability of water, sewer, and utilities and the proximity to community facilities and services such as shopping, schools, transportation, doctors, dentists, and hospitals.

(16) Preliminary plans and specifications, including plot plans, building layouts, and type of construction and materials. The housing must meet Rural Development's design and construction standards contained in 7 CFR part 1924, subparts A and C and must also meet all applicable Federal, State, and local accessibility standards.

(17) A supportive services plan, which describes services that will be provided on-site or made available to tenants through cooperative agreements with service providers in the community, such as a health clinic or day care facility. Off-site services must be accessible and affordable to farm workers and their families. Letters of intent from service providers are acceptable documentation at the pre-application stage.

(18) A sources and uses statement which shows all sources of funding included in the proposed project. The terms and schedules of all sources included in the project should be included in the sources and uses statement.

(19) A separate one-page information sheet listing each of the “Pre-Application Scoring Criteria,” contained in this Notice, followed by a reference to the page numbers of all relevant material and documentation that is contained in the proposal that supports the criteria.

(20) Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to include a checklist of all of the pre-application requirements and to have their pre-application indexed and tabbed to facilitate the review process;

(21) Evidence of compliance with the requirements of the applicable State Housing Preservation Office (SHPO), and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO). A letter from the SHPO and/or THPO where the off-farm labor housing project is located, signed by their designee will serve as evidence of compliance.

D. Pre-Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria. Section 514 FLH loan funds and Section 516 FLH grant funds will be distributed to States based on a national competition, as follows:

(a) Rural Development State Office will accept, review, and score pre-applications in accordance with this Notice. The scoring factors are:

(1) The presence of construction cost savings, including donated land and construction leverage assistance, for the units that will serve program-eligible tenants. The savings will be calculated as a percentage of the Rural Development TDC. The percentage calculation excludes any costs prohibited by Rural Development as loan expenses, such as a developer's fee. Construction cost savings includes, but is not limited to, funds for hard construction costs, and State or Federal funds which are applicable to construction costs. A minimum of 10 percent cost savings is required to earn points; however, if the total percentage of cost savings is less than 10 percent and the proposal includes donated land, two points will be awarded for the donated land. To count as cost savings for purposes of the selection criteria, the applicant must submit written evidence from the third-party funder that an application for those funds has been submitted and accepted points will be awarded in accordance with the following table using rounding to the nearest whole number.

Percentage Points 75 or more 20 60-74 18 50-59 16 40-49 12 30-39 10 20-29 8 10-19 5 0-9 0

(2) The presence of operational cost savings, such as tax abatements, non-Rural Development tenant subsidies or donated services are calculated on a per-unit cost savings for the sum of the savings. Savings must be available for at least 5 years and documentation must be provided with the application demonstrating the availability of savings for 5 years. To calculate the savings, take the total amount of savings and divide it by the number of units in the project that will benefit from the savings to obtain the per unit cost savings. For non-Rural Development tenant subsidy, if the value changes during the 5-year calculation, the applicant must use the lower of the non-Rural Development tenant subsidy to calculate per unit cost savings. For example, a 10-unit property with 100 percent designated farm labor housing units receiving $20,000 per year non-Rural Development subsidy yields a cost savings of $100,000 ($20,000 × 5 years); resulting to a $10,000 per-unit cost savings ($100,000/10 units). Use the following table to apply points:

Per-unit cost savings Points Above $15,000 50 $10,001-$15,000 35 $7,501-$10,000 20 $5,001-$7,500 15 $3,501-$5,000 10 $2,001-$3,500 5 $1,000-$2,000 2

(3) Additional 10 points will be awarded to projects in persistent poverty counties. A county is considered persistently poor if 20 percent or more of its population was living in poverty over the last 30 years (measured by the 1990, 2000 decennial censuses and 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-year estimates).

(4) Presence of tenant services.

(i) Up to 25 points will be awarded based on the presence of and extent to which a tenant services plan exists that clearly outlines services that will be provided to the residents of the proposed project. These services may include, but are not limited to, transportation related services, on-site English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, move-in funds, emergency assistance funds, homeownership counseling, food pantries, after school tutoring, and computer learning centers.

(ii) Two points will be awarded for each resident service included in the tenant services plan up to a maximum of 10 points. Plans must detail how the services are to be administered, who will administer them, and where they will be administered. All tenant service plans must include letters of intent that clearly state the service that will be provided at the project for the benefit of the residents from any party administering each service, including the applicant.

(5) Energy Initiative Scoring Points (maximum 70 points)

Properties may receive points for energy initiatives in the categories of energy conservation, energy generation, water conservation and green property management. Depending on the scope of work (SOW), properties may earn “energy initiative” points (up to a maximum of 70 points) in either one of two categories: (1) New Construction or (2) Purchase and Rehabilitation of an Existing Non-Farm Labor Housing Building. Projects will be eligible for one category of the two, but not both.

Energy programs including LEED for Homes, Green Communities, etc., will each have an initial checklist indicating prerequisites for participation in its energy program. The applicable energy program checklist will establish whether prerequisites for the energy program's participation will be met. All checklists must be accompanied by a signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer stating that the goals are achievable and the project has been enrolled in these programs if enrollment is applicable to that program. In addition, projects that apply for points under the energy generation category must include calculations of savings of energy. Compare property energy usage of three scenarios: (1) Property built to required code of State with no renewables, to (2) property as-designed with commitments to stated energy conservation programs without the use of renewables and (3) property as-designed with commitments to stated energy conservation programs and the use of proposed renewables. Use local average metrics for weather and utility costs and detail savings in kWh and dollars. Provide payback calculations. These calculations must be done by a licensed engineer or credentialed renewable energy provider. Include with application, the provider/engineer's credentials including qualifications, recommendations, and proof of previous work. The checklist, affidavit, calculations and qualifications of engineer/energy provider must be submitted together with the loan application.

Enrollment in EPA Portfolio Manager Program. All projects awarded scoring points for energy initiatives must enroll the project in the EPA Portfolio Manager program to track post-construction energy consumption data. More information about this program may be found at: http://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager.

(i) Energy Conservation for New Construction or Purchase and Rehabilitation of an Existing Non-Farm Labor Housing Building (maximum 55 points). Projects may be eligible for up to 55 points when the pre-application includes a written certification by the applicant to participate and achieve certification in the following energy efficiency programs.

The points will be allocated as follows:

• Participation in the EPA's Energy Star for Homes V3 program. (20 points) http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=bldrs_lenders_raters.pt_bldr.

OR

• Participation in the Green Communities program by the Enterprise Community Partners. (30 points) http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/solutions-and-innovation/enterprise-green-communities.

OR

• Participation in one of the following two programs will be awarded points for certification.

Note:

Each program has four levels of certification. State the level of certification that the applicant plans will achieve in their certification:

• LEED for Homes program by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC): http://www.usgbc.org.

—Certified Level (30 points), OR —Silver Level (35 points), OR —Gold Level (40 points), OR —Platinum Level (45 points)

Applicant must state the level of certification that the applicant's plans will achieve in their certification in its pre-application.

OR

• Home Innovation's and The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) ICC 700 National Green Building Standard TM: http://www.nahb.org/.

—Green-Bronze Level (30 points), OR —Silver Level (35 points), OR —Gold Level (40 points), OR —Emerald Level (45 points).

Applicant must state the level of certification that the applicant's plans will achieve in their certification in its pre-application.

AND

• Participation in the Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready program. (8 points) http://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/zero-energy-ready-home.

AND

• Participation in local green/energy efficient building standards. Applicants who participate in a city, county or municipality program, will receive an additional 2 points.

(ii) Energy Conservation for Rehabilitation (maximum 55 points). Pre-applications for the purchase and rehabilitation of non-program MFH and related facilities in rural areas may be eligible to receive 55 points when the pre-application includes a written certification by the applicant to participate in one of the following energy efficiency programs. Again, the certification must be accompanied by a signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer stating that the goals are achievable. Points will be award as follows:

• Participation in the Green Communities program by the Enterprise Community Partners (53 points) http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/solutions-and-innovation/enterprise-green-communities. At least 30 percent of the points needed to qualify for the Green Communities program must be earned under the Energy Efficiency section of Green Communities.

AND

• Participation in local green/energy efficient building standards. Applicants who participate in a city, county or municipality program, will receive an additional 2 points. The applicant should be aware of and look for additional requirements that are sometimes embedded in the third-party program's rating and verification systems. (2 points)

(iii) Energy Generation (maximum 7 points). Pre-applications for new construction or purchase and rehabilitation of non-program multi-family projects which participate in the above mentioned programs and receive at least 20 points in the point allocations above are eligible to earn additional points for installation of on-site renewable energy sources. Energy analysis of preliminary building plans using industry-recognized simulation software must document the projected total energy consumption of all of the building components and building site usage. Projects with an energy analysis of the preliminary or rehabilitation building plans that propose a 10 percent to 100 percent energy generation commitment (where generation is considered to be the total amount of energy needed to be generated on-site to make the building a net-zero consumer of energy) will be awarded points as follows:

• 0 to 9 percent commitment to energy generation receives 0 points.

• 10 to 20 percent commitment to energy generation receives 1 point.

• 21 to 40 percent commitment to energy generation receives 2 points.

• 41 to 60 percent commitment to energy generation receives 3 points.

• 61 to 80 percent commitment to energy generation receives 4 points.

• 81-100 percent or more commitment to energy generation receives 5 points.

Projects may participate in Power Purchase Agreements or Solar Leases to achieve their on-site renewable energy generation goals provided that the financial obligations of the lease/purchase agreements are clearly documented and included in the application, and qualifying ratios continue to be achieved.

An additional (2) points will be awarded for off-grid systems, or elements of systems, provided that at least 5 percent of on-site renewable system is off-grid. See www.dsireusa.org for State and local specific incentives and regulations of energy initiatives.

(iv) Water Conservation in Irrigation Measures (maximum 3 points). Projects may be awarded 3 points for the use of an engineered recycled water (gray water or storm water) for landscape irrigation covering 50 percent or more of the property's site landscaping needs.

(v) Property Management Credentials (maximum 5 points). Projects may be awarded an additional 5 points if the designated property management company or individuals that will assume maintenance and operations responsibilities upon completion of construction work have a Credential for Green Property Management. Credentialing can be obtained from the National Apartment Association (NAA), National Affordable Housing Management Association, The Institute for Real Estate Management, U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Operations and Maintenance (LEED OM), or another source with a certifiable credentialing program. Credentialing must be illustrated in the resume(s) of the property management team and included with the pre-application.

The National Office will rank all pre-applications nationwide and distribute funds to States in rank order, within funding and RA limits. When proposals have an equal score, preference will be given first to Indian tribes as defined in § 3560.11 and then local non-profit organizations or public bodies whose principal purposes include low-income housing that meet the conditions of § 3560.55(c) and the following conditions:

• Is exempt from Federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue code;

• Is not wholly or partially owned or controlled by a for-profit or limited-profit type entity;

• Whose members, or the entity, do not share an identity of interest with a for-profit or limited-profit type entity;

• Is not co-venturing with another entity; and

• The entity or its members will not be receiving any direct or indirect benefits pursuant to Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

If there are two or more applications that have the same score and both cannot be funded, a lottery in accordance with 7 CFR 3560.56(c) (2) will be used to break the tie. If insufficient funds or RA remain for the next ranked proposal, that applicant will be given a chance to modify their pre-application to bring it within remaining funding levels. This will be repeated for each next ranked eligible proposal until an award can be made or the list is exhausted.

Rural Development will notify all applicants whether their applications have been accepted or rejected and provide appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11, as appropriate.

E. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notices

Loan applicants must submit their initial applications by the due date specified in this Notice. Once the applications have been scored and ranked by the National Office, the National Office will advise State Offices of the proposals selected for further processing, State Offices will respond to applicants by letter.

If the application is not accepted for further processing, the applicant will be notified of appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11.

2. Administrative and National Policy

All Farm Labor Housing loans and grants are subject to the restrictive-use provisions contained in 7 CFR 3560.72(a) (2).

3. Reporting

Borrowers must maintain separate financial records for the operation and maintenance of the project and for tenant services. Tenant services will not be funded by Rural Development. Funds allocated to the operation and maintenance of the project may not be used to supplement the cost of tenant services, nor may tenant service funds be used to supplement the project operation and maintenance. Detailed financial reports regarding tenant services will not be required unless specifically requested by Rural Development, and then only to the extent necessary for Rural Development and the borrower to discuss the affordability (and competitiveness) of the service provided to the tenant. The project audit, or verification of accounts on Form RD 3560-10, “Borrower Balance Sheet,” together with an accompanying Form RD 3560-7, “Multiple Family Housing Project Budget Utility Allowance,” must allocate revenue and expense between project operations and the service component.

F. Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Requirements

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program. Political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARTET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of a complaint form, call, (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410;

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email at: [email protected]

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Exceptions to Including the Full USDA Non-Discrimination Statement.

If the size of the material is too small to include the full statement, the material will at a minimum, include the following statement in print in the same size as the text:

“USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.” Where appropriate, a recipient may state:

“This institution in an equal opportunity provider.”

Dated: July 18, 2017. Rich A. Davis, Acting Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-15626 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-967, C-570-968] Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Affirmative Final Determination of Circumvention of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders and Rescission of Minor Alterations Anti-Circumvention Inquiry AGENCY:

Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that heat-treated extruded aluminum products that meet the chemical specifications for 5050-grade aluminum alloy, regardless of producer, exporter, or importer, constitute later-developed merchandise, and are circumventing the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on aluminum extrusions from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Department also rescinds its minor alterations anti-circumvention inquiry.

DATES:

Effective July 26, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Scott Hoefke or Erin Kearney, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement & Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4947 or (202) 482-0167, respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On March 21, 2016, the Department published its notice of initiation of this anti-circumvention inquiry.1 The Department published the Preliminary Determination of the anti-circumvention inquiry of aluminum extrusions from the PRC on November 14, 2016.2

1See Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Anti-Circumvention Inquiry, 81 FR 15039 (March 21, 2016) (Initiation Notice).

2See Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Anti-Circumvention Inquiry: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Circumvention of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders and Intent To Rescind Minor Alterations Anti-Circumvention Inquiry, 81 FR 79444 (November 14, 2016) (Preliminary Determination), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum. See also Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Order, 76 FR 30650 (May 26, 2011) and Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 76 FR 30653 (May 26, 2011) (collectively, the Orders).

A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.3 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document, and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

3See Memorandum re: Anti-Circumvention Inquiry Regarding the Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Orders on Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Issues and Decision Memorandum (Issues and Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.

Scope of the Orders

The merchandise covered by the Orders are aluminum extrusions from the People's Republic of China. The merchandise subject to the orders are currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS): 6603.90.8100, 7616.99.51, 8479.89.94, 8481.90.9060, 8481.90.9085, 9031.90.9195, 8424.90.9080, 9405.99.4020, 9031.90.90.95, 7616.10.90.90, 7609.00.00, 7610.10.00, 7610.90.00, 7615.10.30, 7615.10.71, 7615.10.91, 7615.19.10, 7615.19.30, 7615.19.50, 7615.19.70, 7615.19.90, 7615.20.00, 7616.99.10, 7616.99.50, 8479.89.98, 8479.90.94, 8513.90.20, 9403.10.00, 9403.20.00, 7604.21.00.00, 7604.29.10.00, 7604.29.30.10, 7604.29.30.50, 7604.29.50.30, 7604.29.50.60, 7608.20.00.30, 7608.20.00.90, 8302.10.30.00, 8302.10.60.30, 8302.10.60.60, 8302.10.60.90, 8302.20.00.00, 8302.30.30.10, 8302.30.30.60, 8302.41.30.00, 8302.41.60.15, 8302.41.60.45, 8302.41.60.50, 8302.41.60.80, 8302.42.30.10, 8302.42.30.15, 8302.42.30.65, 8302.49.60.35, 8302.49.60.45, 8302.49.60.55, 8302.49.60.85, 8302.50.00.00, 8302.60.90.00, 8305.10.00.50, 8306.30.00.00, 8414.59.60.90, 8415.90.80.45, 8418.99.80.05, 8418.99.80.50, 8418.99.80.60, 8419.90.10.00, 8422.90.06.40, 8473.30.20.00, 8473.30.51.00, 8479.90.85.00, 8486.90.00.00, 8487.90.00.80, 8503.00.95.20, 8508.70.00.00, 8515.90.20.00, 8516.90.50.00, 8516.90.80.50, 8517.70.00.00, 8529.90.73.00, 8529.90.97.60, 8536.90.80.85, 8538.10.00.00, 8543.90.88.80, 8708.29.50.60, 8708.80.65.90, 8803.30.00.60, 9013.90.50.00, 9013.90.90.00, 9401.90.50.81, 9403.90.10.40, 9403.90.10.50, 9403.90.10.85, 9403.90.25.40, 9403.90.25.80, 9403.90.40.05, 9403.90.40.10, 9403.90.40.60, 9403.90.50.05, 9403.90.50.10, 9403.90.50.80, 9403.90.60.05, 9403.90.60.10, 9403.90.60.80, 9403.90.70.05, 9403.90.70.10, 9403.90.70.80, 9403.90.80.10, 9403.90.80.15, 9403.90.80.20, 9403.90.80.41, 9403.90.80.51, 9403.90.80.61, 9506.11.40.80, 9506.51.40.00, 9506.51.60.00, 9506.59.40.40, 9506.70.20.90, 9506.91.00.10, 9506.91.00.20, 9506.91.00.30, 9506.99.05.10, 9506.99.05.20, 9506.99.05.30, 9506.99.15.00, 9506.99.20.00, 9506.99.25.80, 9506.99.28.00, 9506.99.55.00, 9506.99.60.80, 9507.30.20.00, 9507.30.40.00, 9507.30.60.00, 9507.90.60.00, and 9603.90.80.50.

Products subject to these Orders may also enter under HTSUS: 7610.10, 7610.90, 7615.19, 7615.20, and 7616.99 as well as under other HTSUS chapters. Subject merchandise may also enter under HTSUS numbers: 8418.99.80.50 and 8418.99.80.60. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of these Orders is dispositive.4

4 For a complete description of the scope of the Orders, see the “Scope of the Orders,” in Issues and Decision Memorandum.

Analysis of Comments Received

All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs that were submitted by parties in this inquiry are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of these issues is attached in the Appendix to this notice.

Final Affirmative Determination of Circumvention

In accordance with 781(d) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), we continue to find that all imports from the PRC of heat-treated extruded aluminum products that meet the chemical specifications for 5050-grade aluminum alloy, regardless of producer, exporter, or importer, constitute later-developed merchandise that is circumventing, and should be included within, the scope of the Orders. 5

5See section 781(d) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.225(j).

Rescission of Minor Alterations Anti-Circumvention Inquiry

In light of the Department's final affirmative determination of circumvention pursuant to section 781(d) of the Act, the Department rescinds its minor alterations anti-circumvention inquiry pursuant to section 781(c) of the Act.

Suspension of Liquidation

In accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(l)(2), the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of inquiry merchandise from the PRC (regardless of producer, exporter, or importer), entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after March 21, 2016, the date of publication of the initiation of this inquiry, until appropriate liquidation instructions are issued.6 The Department will also instruct CBP to continue to require a cash deposit of estimated duties at the rate applicable to the exporter on all unliquidated entries of inquiry merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after March 21, 2016.

6See Initiation Notice.

Certification Requirement

In light of the Department's preliminary finding of circumvention, the Department considered whether to require importers of certain aluminum extrusions who claim the imported merchandise is not subject to the Orders to certify that the aluminum extrusions were not produced from heat-treated 5050-grade aluminum alloy. Based on the Department's analysis of comments received, the Department will not require importers to maintain a certification at this time.7

7See Issues and Decision Memorandum, at Comment 4, for further detail.

Notification to the International Trade Commission

As discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, because the Department has determined, for purposes of sections 781(d)(1) and (e) of the Act, that the later-developed inquiry merchandise does not incorporate a significant technological advance or significant alteration of an earlier product, the Department did not notify the International Trade Commission of its proposed inclusion of the inquiry merchandise within the Orders.

This affirmative anti-circumvention determination is published in accordance with section 781(d) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.225.

Dated: July 20, 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 Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Orders IV. Merchandise Subject to the Anti-Circumvention Inquiry V. Discussion of the Issues 1. The Department's Authority To Conduct an Anti-Circumvention Inquiry 2. Later-Developed Merchandise and Commercial Availability 3. Scope Exclusion 4. Country-Wide Ruling 5. Certification Requirement 6. Effective Cash Deposit Date VI. Rescission of Minor Alterations Anti-Circumvention Inquiry VII. Recommendation
[FR Doc. 2017-15683 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF535 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Gary Paxton Industrial Park Dock Modification Project AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Proposed incidental harassment authorization; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

NMFS has received a request from the City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to modifying the Gary Paxton Industrial Park (GPIP) dock in Sawmill Cove, Alaska. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities.

DATES:

Comments and information must be received no later than August 25, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Comments should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to [email protected]

Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jaclyn Daly, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. Electronic copies of the applications and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

An authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth.

NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.

NMFS has defined “unmitigable adverse impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as an impact resulting from the specified activity:

(1) That is likely to reduce the availability of the species to a level insufficient for a harvest to meet subsistence needs by: (i) Causing the marine mammals to abandon or avoid hunting areas; (ii) directly displacing subsistence users; or (iii) placing physical barriers between the marine mammals and the subsistence hunters; and

(2) That cannot be sufficiently mitigated by other measures to increase the availability of marine mammals to allow subsistence needs to be met.

The MMPA states that the term “take” means to harass, hunt, capture, kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.

Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

National Environmental Policy Act

To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6A, NMFS must review our proposed action with respect to environmental consequences on the human environment.

Accordingly, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the issuance of the proposed IHA qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review. This action is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE B4 of the Companion Manual for NOAA Administrative Order 216-6A, which do not individually or cumulatively have the potential for significant impacts on the quality of the human environment and for which we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances that would preclude this categorical exclusion. We will review all comments submitted in response to this notice prior to concluding our NEPA process and making a final decision on the IHA request.

Summary of Request

On May 8, 2017, NMFS received a request from CBS for an IHA to take marine mammals incidental to the GPIP dock modification project in Sawmill Cove, Alaska. On May 26, 2017, NMFS requested additional information and CBS submitted a revised application on June 21, 2017, which NMFS deemed adequate and complete. CBS's request is for harassment only and NMFS concurs that serious injury or mortality is not expected to result from this activity. Therefore, an IHA is appropriate.

CBS is requesting take, by Level A and B harassment, of six species of marine mammals incidental to pile driving and removal within Sawmill Cove, Alaska. Pile driving and removal would occur for 16 days from October 1 through December 31, 2017. No subsequent IHAs would be necessary to complete the project.

Description of Proposed Activity Overview

CBS is modifying an existing marine and commercial industrial site by removing existing aging docks and installing a new floating dock, small craft float, and transfer bridge. To do so, CBS must remove existing abandoned, creosote-treated piles and install new piles. Pile driving and pile removal associated with this work may result in auditory injury (Level A harassment) and behavioral harassment (Level B harassment). All pile driving and removal would take place at the existing dock facility and occur for 16 days. The purpose of the project is to provide deep water port access, meet modern safety standards, and promote marine commerce in the region.

Dates and Duration

The proposed IHA would be valid from October 1 through December 31, 2017. Removing old timber piles with a vibratory hammer could occur for up to 5 hours per day for 6 days. Removing the temporary template piles could occur for up to 1 hour on 2 additional days. Vibratory pile driving could occur for up to 2 hours per day for 6 days to install the permanent piles while impact pile driving could occur for up to 10 minutes a day for proofing following vibratory pile driving. In total, pile activities are expected to occur for 16 days from October 1 through December 31, 2017.

Specified Geographic Region

Sawmill Cove is a small body of water located near Sitka, Alaska at the mouth of Silver Bay, which opens to the Sitka Sound and Gulf of Alaska (see figures 1 and 2 in application). Bathymetry in Sawmill Cove shows a fairly even seafloor that gradually falls to a depth of approximately 50 feet (ft) (15 meters (m)). To the southeast, Silver Bay is approximately 0.5 miles (mi) (0.8 kilometers (km)) wide, 5.5 mi (8.9 km) long, and 150-250 ft (46-76 m) deep. The bay is uniform with few rock outcroppings or islands. To the southwest, the Eastern Channel opens to Sitka Sound, dropping off to depths of 400 ft (120 m) approximately 1.6 km (1 mi) southwest of the project site.

Sawmill Cove is an active marine commercial and industrial area. The dock footprint is previously disturbed with abandoned dock structures associated with the former Alaska Pulp Mill. Silver Bay Seafoods' processing plant is located adjacent to the project site. This plant processes herring and salmon (primarily pink salmon).

Detailed Description of Specific Activities

The purpose of the project is to construct a multipurpose docking area that will serve a wide variety of vessels, provide deep water port access to the GPIP, meet modern standards for safety, and promote marine commerce in the region. The proposed work includes removing 280 abandoned creosote-treated piles located in shallow water, installing a large floating deep-water dock (a repurposed barge measuring 250 ft (76.2 m) × 74 ft (22.6 m) × 19 ft (5.8 m)), small craft float (12 ft (3.7 m) × 100 ft (30.5 m)), and v-shaped float (see Figure 4 and 5 in CBS's application). For access, CBS would also construct a transfer bridge and gangway. To stabilize the shoreline, CBS would install an abutment and retaining wall. Materials and equipment, including the floating dock, would be transported to the project site by barge. While work is conducted in the water, anchored barges would be used to stage construction materials and equipment.

Pile removal and installation are the only activities that may harass marine mammals. To facilitate the work, CBS would construct two dolphin structures to support the floating dock. Each dolphin requires 6 temporary 30-in steel piles to act as a template for installing the permanent piles, 2 permanent 30-in steel batter piles (piles driven at an angle with the vertical to resist a lateral force) to act as the “legs” of the dolphin, and a single 48-in vertical steel piles which would constitute the center of the dolphin structure. CBS would use an ICE 44B vibratory hammer (12,450 pounds static weight) and a Delmag D46 diesel hammer (max energy 107,280 ft-pounds) to install piles. The existing old timber piles (12-in and 16-in timber) associated with the old dock would be removed by the vibratory hammer if they cannot be pulled out mechanically. The 12 temporary piles used for the template would also be removed following dock completion.

The six permanent piles (four 30-in and two 48-in) would be driven through approximately 60-70 ft (18-21 m) of unconsolidated sand with a vibratory hammer operated at a reduced energy setting, impacted into bedrock, and then anchored into 25-40 ft (7.6-12.2 m) of bedrock with a rock anchor drill and grout. To anchor the piles, a 10-inch casing would be inserted in the center of the pile and a 15.2 centimeter (cm) (6-in) rock anchor drill would be lowered into the casing and used to drill into bedrock. Rock fragments would be removed through the top of the casing. Finally, the drill and casing would be removed and the hole would be filled with grout to secure the pile to bedrock. The casing acts like a cofferdam and would block noise; therefore, drilling is not expected to result in harassment and is not discussed further.

CBS would use only a vibratory hammer to install the 12 temporary template piles (i.e., no impact hammering). Once the project is complete, CBS would remove all 12 temporary piles with the vibratory hammer.

The duration of pile driving and removal varies by pile type (see Table 1 in CBS's application). CBS would remove up to 60 of the old timber piles per day with a vibratory hammer (5 minutes for each pile) if they cannot be removed mechanically. In total, removing the timber piles could require using a vibratory hammer for up to 5 hours per day for 6 days. Installing each of the 30-inch temporary piles used to set the template would require 30 minutes of vibratory driving and CBS anticipates installing up to 6 per day (3 hours total). Removing each of these piles is anticipated to take 10 minutes per pile for a total of 1 hour per day. Installing the permanent 30-in piles used to construct each dolphin would require approximately 2 hours of vibratory driving followed by 10 minutes (400 strikes) of impact hammering; one 30-in pile would be installed per day. The 48-in piles require similar installation periods (a maximum 2 hours of vibratory followed by 10 minutes (400 strikes) of impact); one pile would be installed per day. The project schedule is set such that pile driving would occur, at minimum, every other day when the permanent piles are installed (i.e., there would be at least one day break between installing each pile where other activities such as welding would occur). CBS would do the work from October 1 through December 31, 2017.

CBS would carry out pile driving in a manner designed to reduce impacts to marine mammals. The proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures are described in detail later in this document (please see “Proposed Mitigation” and “Proposed Monitoring and Reporting”).

Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of Specified Activities

Sections 3 and 4 of the application summarize available information regarding status and trends, distribution and habitat preferences, and behavior and life history, of the potentially affected species. Additional information regarding population trends and threats may be found in NMFS's Stock Assessment Reports (SAR; www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/) and more general information about these species (e.g., physical and behavioral descriptions) may be found on NMFS's Web site (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/).

Table 1 lists all species with expected potential for occurrence in Sawmill Cove and Silver Bay and summarizes information related to the population or stock, including regulatory status under the MMPA and ESA and potential biological removal (PBR), where known. For taxonomy, we follow Committee on Taxonomy (2016). PBR is defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population (as described in NMFS's SARs). While no mortality is anticipated or authorized here, PBR and annual serious injury and mortality from anthropogenic sources are included here as gross indicators of the status of the species and other threats.

Marine mammal abundance estimates presented in this document represent the total number of individuals that make up a given stock or the total number estimated within a particular study or survey area. NMFS's stock abundance estimates for most species represent the total estimate of individuals within the geographic area, if known, that comprises that stock. For some species, this geographic area may extend beyond U.S. waters. All managed stocks in this region are assessed in NMFS's U.S. 2016 SARs (e.g., Muto et al. 2017). All values presented in Table 1 are the most recent available at the time of publication and are available in the 2016 SARs (Muto et al., 2017).

NMFS identifies 14 species may potentially occur in the action area: humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin whale (Balaenoptera physalis), North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica), gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), sperm whale (Physeter macrophalus), killer whale (Orcinus orca), Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), Dall's porpoise (P. dalli), Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), Northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) and Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). Of these, one pinniped (Northern fur seal) and eight cetacean species and are considered extralimital species (i.e., those that do not normally occur in a given area but for which there are one or more occurrence records): The North Pacific right whale, gray whale, minke whale, fin whale, sperm whale, Cuvier's beaked whale, Pacific white-sided dolphin, and Dall's porpoise (Straley and Pendall, 2017). Given this, no take is requested for these species and they are not considered further in this proposed IHA.

Table 1—Marine Mammals Expected To Occur Within the Action Area, Sitka Common name Scientific name MMPA Stock ESA/MMPA
  • status;
  • strategic
  • (Y/N)T 1
  • Stock abundance Nbest,
  • (CV, Nmin, most recent
  • abundance survey) 2
  • Occurrence PBR Annual M/SI 3
    Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Mysticeti (baleen whales) Family Balaenidae Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae Central North Pacific E, D,Y 10,103 (0.3, 7,890, 2006) Frequent 83 21 Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Delphinidae Killer whale Orcinus orca Alaska Resident -, N 2,347 (N/A, 2,347, 2012) 4 Infrequent 23.4 1 Northern Resident -, N 261 (N/A, 261, 2011) 4 1.96 0 Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea Transient -, N 587 (N/A, 587, 2012) 4 5.9 0.6 West Coast Transient -, N 243 (N/A, 243, 2009) 4 2.4 1 Family Phocoenidae Harbor porpoise Phocoena phocoena Southeast Alaska -, Y 975 (0.10, 896, 2012)5 Infrequent 8.9 5 34 5 Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions) Steller sea lion Eumatopia jubatus Western U.S. E, D; Y 49,497 (N/A, 49,497, 2014) Common 297 233 Eastern U.S. -, D, Y 60,131-74,448
  • (N/A, 36,551, 2013)
  • 1,645 92.3
    Family Phocidae (earless seals) Harbor seal Sitka/Chatham Straight -, N 14,855 (-,13,212, 2011) Common 555 77 1 ESA status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 NMFS marine mammal stock assessment reports online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/. CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. In some cases, CV is not applicable (N/A). 3 These values, found in NMFS's SARs, represent annual levels of human-caused mortality plus serious injury from all sources combined (e.g., commercial fisheries, ship strike). 4 N is based on counts of individual animals identified from photo-identification catalogs. 5 In the SAR for harbor porpoise (NMFS 2017), NMFS identified population estimates and PBR for porpoises within inland Southeast Alaska waters (these abundance estimates have not been corrected for g(0); therefore, they are likely conservative). The calculated PBR is considered unreliable for the entire stock because it is based on estimates from surveys of only a portion (the inside waters of Southeast Alaska) of the range of this stock as currently designated. The Annual M/SI is for the entire stock, including coastal waters.
    Pinnipeds Steller Sea Lion

    The Steller sea lion is the largest of the eared seals, ranging along the North Pacific Rim from northern Japan to California, with centers of abundance and distribution in the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands. Steller sea lions were listed as threatened range-wide under the ESA on November 26, 1990 (55 FR 49204). Subsequently, NMFS published a final rule designating critical habitat for the species as a 20 nautical mile buffer around all major haul-outs and rookeries, as well as associated terrestrial, air and aquatic zones, and three large offshore foraging areas (58 FR 45269; August 27, 1993). In 1997, NMFS reclassified Steller sea lions as two distinct population segments (DPSs) based on genetic studies and other information (62 FR 24345; May 5, 1997). Steller sea lion populations that primarily occur west of 144° W. (Cape Suckling, Alaska) comprise the western DPS (wDPS), while all others comprise the eastern DPS (eDPS); however, there is regular movement of both DPSs across this boundary (Jemison et al. 2013). Upon this reclassification, the wDPS became listed as endangered while the eDPS remained as threatened (62 FR 24345; May 5, 1997). In November 2013, the eDPS was delisted (78 FR 66140). Based on recent observations of branded animals in Southeast Alaska, NMFS estimates that 98 percent of Steller seas lion occurring within the action area belong to the eDPS, leaving 2 percent to the wDPS (Suzie Teerlink, pers. comm, May 19, 2017). The current abundance estimate for the eDPS in Alaska is between 60,131-74,448, and 49,497 animals for the wDPS (Muto et al. 2017).

    Steller sea lions forage in nearshore and pelagic waters where they are opportunistic predators. They feed primarily on a wide variety of fishes and cephalopods. Because the action area contains a herring processing plant, animals may linger in the area to feed opportunistically. However, strong residency time may be limited because the plant does not operate from October through March (when pile activities would occur). Anecdotal evidence from staff at the fish processing plant indicate that multiple (up to 10) Steller sea lions may reside in the area for multiple days (pers. comm, Solstice, July 5, 2017).

    Steller sea lions use terrestrial haulout sites to rest and take refuge. They also gather on well-defined, traditionally used rookeries to pup and breed. These habitats are typically gravel, rocky, or sand beaches; ledges; or rocky reefs. There are no established haul-outs in the action area; however, individuals in the action area may rest on rocks and along the shoreline intermittently. No critical habitat for this species is designated in Southeast Alaska.

    Steller sea lions are included in Alaska subsistence harvests. Since subsistence harvest surveys began in 1992, the number of households hunting and harvesting sea lions has remained relatively constant at low levels (Wolf et al. 2013). In 2012, the community of Sitka had an estimated subsistence take of 1 Steller sea lion (Wolf et al. 2013).

    Harbor Seal

    Harbor seals range from Baja California north along the west coasts of Washington, Oregon, California, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska; west through the Gulf of Alaska, Prince William Sound, and the Aleutian Islands; and north in the Bering Sea to Cape Newenham and the Pribilof Islands. They haul out on rocks, reefs, beaches, and drifting glacial ice, and feed in marine, estuarine, and occasionally fresh waters. Harbor seals are generally non-migratory, with local movements associated with such factors as tides, weather, season, food availability, and reproduction.

    Harbor seals in Alaska are partitioned into 12 separate stocks based largely on genetic structure: (1) The Aleutian Islands stock, (2) the Pribilof Islands stock, (3) the Bristol Bay stock, (4) the North Kodiak stock, (5) the South Kodiak stock, (6) the Prince William Sound stock, (7) the Cook Inlet/Shelikof stock, (8) the Glacier Bay/Icy Strait stock, (9) the Lynn Canal/Stephens Passage stock, (10) the Sitka/Chatham stock, (11) the Dixon/Cape Decision stock, and (12) the Clarence Strait stock. Only the Sitka/Chatham stock is considered in this proposed IHA. The range of this stock includes Cape Bingham south to Cape Ommaney and the adjacent coastal and inshore waters, including the project area.

    Within the action area, harbor seals are present year round with peak abundance February through April (Straley and Pendell 2017). Monthly group size ranges from 0-5 animals but in low numbers. Average group size is 1-2 individuals (Straley and Pendell 2017). Similar to Steller sea lions, harbor seals may linger in the action area for multiple days; however, no designated haul-outs are within close proximity.

    Harbor seals are included in Alaska subsistence harvests. Since subsistence harvest surveys began in 1992, there have been declines in the number of households hunting and harvesting seals in Southeast Alaska (Wolf et al. 2013). In 2012, the community of Sitka had an estimated subsistence take of 49 harbor seals (Wolf et al. 2013).

    Cetaceans Humpback Whale

    The humpback whale is distributed worldwide in all ocean basins. In winter, most humpback whales occur in the subtropical and tropical waters of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and migrate to high latitudes in the summer to feed. The historic summer feeding range of humpback whales in the North Pacific encompassed coastal and inland waters around the Pacific Rim from Point Conception, California, north to the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea, and west along the Aleutian Islands to the Kamchatka Peninsula and into the Sea of Okhotsk and north of the Bering Strait (Johnson and Wolman 1984).

    Under the MMPA, there are three stocks of humpback whales in the North Pacific: (1) The California/Oregon/Washington and Mexico stock, consisting of winter/spring populations in coastal Central America and coastal Mexico which migrate to the coast of California to southern British Columbia in summer/fall; (2) the central North Pacific stock, consisting of winter/spring populations of the Hawaiian Islands which migrate primarily to northern British Columbia/Southeast Alaska, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands; and (3) the western North Pacific stock, consisting of winter/spring populations off Asia which migrate primarily to Russia and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands. The central North Pacific stock is the only stock that is found near the project activities.

    On September 8, 2016, NMFS published a final rule dividing the globally listed endangered species into 14 DPSs, removing the worldwide species-level listing, and in its place listing four DPSs as endangered and one DPS as threatened (81 FR 62259; effective October 11, 2016). Two DPSs (Hawaii and Mexico) are potentially present within the action area. The Hawaii DPS is not listed and the Mexico DPS is listed as threatened under the ESA. The Hawaii DPS is estimated to contain 11,398 animals where the Mexico DPS is estimated to contain 3,264 animals.

    Within the action area, humpback whales are seen most frequently from September through February although sighting may extend into April (Straley and Pendell 2017). Survey data indicates that the typical group size for humpback whales in the area is between 2 and 4 whales, and approximately 2.18 whales occur in the area per day. The maximum group size is unknown. When present in the area, humpback whales are foraging primarily on herring.

    Killer Whale

    Killer whales have been observed in all oceans and seas of the world, but the highest densities occur in colder and more productive waters found at high latitudes. Killer whales are found throughout the North Pacific, and occur along the entire Alaska coast, in British Columbia and Washington inland waterways, and along the outer coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California (Muto et al. 2017).

    Based on data regarding association patterns, acoustics, movements, and genetic differences, eight killer whale stocks are now recognized: (1) The Alaska Resident stock; (2) the Northern Resident stock; (3) the Southern Resident stock; (4) the Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, and Bering Sea Transient stock; (5) the AT1 Transient stock; (6) the West Coast transient stock, occurring from California through southeastern Alaska; and (7) the Offshore stock, and (8) the Hawaiian stock. Only the Alaska resident; Northern resident; Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, and Bering Sea Transient (Gulf of Alaska transient); and the West coast transient stocks are considered in this application because other stocks occur outside the geographic area under consideration. Any of these four stocks could be seen in the action area; however, the Northern resident stock is most likely to occur in the area. The trend for the Northern resident stock is an increasing population with an average of 2.1 percent annual increase over a 36 year time period. For all other stocks, population trends are unknown.

    In the action area, killer whales are known to occur but there sightings are unpredictable. Between 0 and 12 killer whales can occur within the project area with typical group size of between four and eight whales with a maximum group size of eight (Straley and Pendell 2017).

    Harbor Porpoise

    The harbor porpoise inhabits temporal, subarctic, and arctic waters. In the eastern North Pacific, harbor porpoises range from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Point Conception, California. Harbor porpoise primarily frequent coastal waters and occur most frequently in waters less than 100 m deep (Hobbs and Waite 2010). They may occasionally be found in deeper offshore waters.

    In Alaska, harbor porpoises are currently divided into three stocks, based primarily on geography: (1) The Southeast Alaska stock—occurring from the northern border of British Columbia to Cape Suckling, Alaska, (2) the Gulf of Alaska stock—occurring from Cape Suckling to Unimak Pass, and (3) the Bering Sea stock—occurring throughout the Aleutian Islands and all waters north of Unimak Pass. Only the Southeast Alaska stock is considered in this application because the other stocks are not found in the geographic area under consideration. The 2016 SAR for this stock further delineated population estimates (Muto et al. 2017). The total estimated annual level of human-caused mortality and serious injury for Southeast Alaska harbor porpoise (n = 34) exceeds the calculated PBR of 8.9 porpoise. However, the calculated PBR is considered unreliable for the entire stock because it is based on estimates from surveys of only a portion (the inside 7 of Southeast Alaska) of the range of this stock as currently designated. Because the total stock abundance estimates are more than 8 years old (with the exception of the 2010-2012 abundance estimates provided for the inland waters of Southeast Alaska) and the frequency of incidental mortality and serious injury in U.S. commercial fisheries throughout Southeast Alaska is not known, the Southeast Alaska stock of harbor porpoise is classified as a strategic stock. Population trends and status of this stock relative to its Optimum Sustainable Population are currently unknown.

    There are no subsistence use of this species; however, as noted above, entanglement in fishing gear contributes to human-caused mortality and serious injury. Muto et al. (2017) also reports harbor porpoise are vulnerable to physical modifications of nearshore habitats resulting from urban and industrial development (including waste management and nonpoint source runoff) and activities such as construction of docks and other over-water structures, filling of shallow areas, dredging, and noise (Linnenschmidt et al. 2013).

    In the action area, harbor porpoises are considered infrequent but could occur during any month with average group size of five individuals; maximum group size is eight individuals (Straley and Pendell 2017).

    Marine Mammal Hearing

    Hearing is the most important sensory modality for marine mammals underwater, and exposure to anthropogenic sound can have deleterious effects. To assess the potential effects of exposure to sound, it is necessary to understand the frequency ranges marine mammals are able to hear. Current data indicate that not all marine mammal species have equal hearing capabilities (e.g., Richardson et al. 1995; Wartzok and Ketten 1999; Au and Hastings 2008). To reflect this, Southall et al. (2007) recommended that marine mammals be divided into functional hearing groups based on directly measured or estimated hearing ranges on the basis of available behavioral response data, audiograms derived using auditory evoked potential techniques, anatomical modeling, and other data. Note that no direct measurements of hearing ability have been successfully completed for mysticetes (i.e., low-frequency cetaceans). Subsequently, NMFS (2016) described generalized hearing ranges for these marine mammal hearing groups. Generalized hearing ranges were chosen based on the approximately 65 decibel (dB) threshold from the normalized composite audiograms, with the exception for lower limits for low-frequency cetaceans where the lower bound was deemed to be biologically implausible and the lower bound from Southall et al. (2007) retained. The functional groups and associated frequencies along with likely best hearing ranges are provided below (note that these frequency ranges correspond to the range for the composite group, with the entire range not necessarily reflecting the capabilities of every species within that group). For more detail concerning these groups and associated frequency ranges, please see NMFS (2016) for a review of available information.

    • Low-frequency cetaceans (mysticetes): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 7 Hz and 35 kHz;

    • Mid-frequency cetaceans (larger toothed whales, beaked whales, and most delphinids): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 150 Hz and 160 kHz;

    • High-frequency cetaceans (porpoises, river dolphins, and members of the genera Kogia and Cephalorhynchus; including two members of the genus Lagenorhynchus, on the basis of recent echolocation data and genetic data): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 275 Hz and 160 kHz;

    • Pinnipeds in water; Phocidae (true seals): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 50 Hz to 86 kHz; and

    • Pinnipeds in water; Otariidae (eared seals): Generalized hearing is estimated to occur between 60 Hz and 39 kHz.

    The pinniped functional hearing group was modified from Southall et al. (2007) on the basis of data indicating that phocid species have consistently demonstrated an extended frequency range of hearing compared to otariids, especially in the higher frequency range (Hemilä et al., 2006; Kastelein et al., 2009; Reichmuth and Holt, 2013).

    Five marine mammal species (three cetacean and two pinniped species) have the reasonable potential to co-occur with the proposed survey activities. Of the cetacean species that may be present, the humpback whale is classified as low-frequency cetaceans (i.e., mysticete species), the killer whale is classified as a mid-frequency cetacean (i.e., all delphinid and ziphiid species and the sperm whale), and the harbor porpoise is classified as high-frequency cetaceans (i.e., porpoises and Kogia spp.). The Steller sea lion is classified as an otariid while the harbor seal is classified as a phocid.

    Potential Effects of Specified Activities on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    This section includes a summary and discussion of the ways that components of the specified activity may impact marine mammals and their habitat. The “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section later in this document will include a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that are expected to be taken by this activity. The “Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination” section will consider the content of this section, the “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section, and the “Proposed Mitigation” section, to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of these activities on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals and how those impacts on individuals are likely to impact marine mammal species or stocks.

    Acoustic Effects

    The ADOT's construction work involving in-water pile driving and pile removal could effect marine mammals by exposing them to elevated noise levels in the vicinity of the activity area leading to an auditory threshold shifts (TS). NMFS defines a noise-induced TS as “a change, usually an increase, in the threshold of audibility at a specified frequency or portion of an individual's hearing range above a previously established reference level” (NMFS, 2016). The amount of threshold shift is customarily expressed in dB (ANSI 1995, Yost 2007). A TS can be permanent or temporary. As described in NMFS (2016), there are numerous factors to consider when examining the consequence of TS, including, but not limited to, the signal temporal pattern (e.g., impulsive or non-impulsive), likelihood an individual would be exposed for a long enough duration or to a high enough level to induce a TS, the magnitude of the TS, time to recovery (seconds to minutes or hours to days), the frequency range of the exposure (i.e., spectral content), the hearing and vocalization frequency range of the exposed species relative to the signal's frequency spectrum (i.e., how animal uses sound within the frequency band of the signal; e.g., Kastelein et al. 2014), and the overlap between the animal and the source (e.g., spatial, temporal, and spectral). When analyzing the auditory effects of noise exposure, it is often helpful to broadly categorize sound as either impulsive—noise with high peak sound pressure, short duration, fast rise-time, and broad frequency content—or non-impulsive. When considering auditory effects, vibratory pile driving is considered to be non-impulsive source while impact pile driving is treated as an impulsive source.

    Permanent Threshold Shift (PTS)— NMFS defines PTS as a permanent, irreversible increase in the threshold of audibility at a specified frequency or portion of an individual's hearing range above a previously established reference level (NMFS 2016). Available data from humans and other terrestrial mammals indicate that a 40 dB threshold shift approximates PTS onset (see NMFS 2016 for review).

    Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS)—NMFS defines TTS as a temporary, reversible increase in the threshold of audibility at a specified frequency or portion of an individual's hearing range above a previously established reference level (NMFS, 2016). Based on data from cetacean TTS measurements (see Finneran 2014 for a review), a TTS of 6 dB is considered the minimum threshold shift clearly larger than any day-to-day or session-to-session variation in a subject's normal hearing ability (Schlundt et al. 2000; Finneran et al. 2000; Finneran et al. 2002).

    Depending on the degree (elevation of threshold in dB), duration (i.e., recovery time), and frequency range of TTS, and the context in which it is experienced, TTS can have effects on marine mammals ranging from discountable to serious (similar to those discussed in auditory masking, below). For example, a marine mammal may be able to readily compensate for a brief, relatively small amount of TTS in a non-critical frequency range that takes place during a time when the animal is traveling through the open ocean, where ambient noise is lower and there are not as many competing sounds present. Alternatively, a larger amount and longer duration of TTS sustained during time when communication is critical for successful mother/calf interactions could have more serious impacts. We note that reduced hearing sensitivity as a simple function of aging has been observed in marine mammals, as well as humans and other taxa (Southall et al., 2007), so we can infer that strategies exist for coping with this condition to some degree, though likely not without cost.

    Behavioral Harassment

    Exposure to noise from pile driving and removal also has the potential to behavioral disturb marine mammals. Disturbance may result in changing durations of surfacing and dives, number of blows per surfacing, moving direction and/or speed, reduced/increased vocal activities; changing/cessation of certain behavioral activities (such as socializing or feeding), visible startle response or aggressive behavior (such as tail/fluke slapping or jaw clapping), avoidance of areas where sound sources are located, and/or flight responses. Pinnipeds may increase their haul-out time, possibly to avoid in-water disturbance (Thorson and Reyff 2006). These potential behavioral responses to sound are highly variable and context-specific and reactions, if any, depend on species, state of maturity, experience, current activity, reproductive state, auditory sensitivity, time of day, and many other factors (Richardson et al. 1995; Wartzok et al. 2003; Southall et al. 2007). For example, animals that are resting may show greater behavioral change in response to disturbing sound levels than animals that are highly motivated to remain in an area for feeding (Richardson et al., 1995; NRC 2003; Wartzok et al., 2003).

    In 2016, Alaska DOT documented observations of marine mammals during construction activities (i.e., pile driving and down-hole drilling) at the Kodiak Ferry Dock (see 80 FR 60636 for Final IHA Federal Register notice). In the marine mammal monitoring report for that project (ABR 2016), 1,281 Steller sea lions were observed within the Level B disturbance zone during pile driving or drilling (i.e., documented as Level B take). Of these, 19 individuals demonstrated an alert behavior, seven were fleeing, and 19 swam away from the project site. All other animals (98 percent) were engaged in activities such as milling, foraging, or fighting and did not change their behavior. In addition, two sea lions approached within 20 meters of active vibratory pile driving activities. Three harbor seals were observed within the disturbance zone during pile-driving activities; none of them displayed disturbance behaviors. Fifteen killer whales and three harbor porpoise were also observed within the Level B harassment zone during pile driving. The killer whales were travelling or milling while all harbor porpoises were travelling. No signs of disturbance were noted for either of these species. Given the similarities in activities and habitat and the fact the same species are involved, we expect similar behavioral responses of marine mammals to the specified activity.

    Marine Mammal Habitat Effects

    The project would occur in an active marine commercial and industrial area. The dock footprint is previously disturbed with abandoned dock structures associate with the former Alaska Pulp Mill in the area. Removing the timber piles would likely benefit the habitat by removing creosote-treated wood. Construction activities at the GPIP dock could have temporary impacts on marine mammal habitat and their prey as a result of elevated noise levels from pile driving and removal; however, any impacts are expected to be minor or temporary. Impact pile driving, the loudest noise source, would last for only 10 minutes per day for six non-consecutive days. No dredging or other construction-related activities that could increase turbidity beyond the localized impacts from pile driving would occur.

    Estimated Take

    This section provides an estimate of the number of incidental takes proposed for authorization through this IHA, which will inform both NMFS' consideration of whether the number of takes is “small” and the negligible impact determination.

    Harassment is the only type of take expected to result from these activities. Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, Section 3(18) of the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).

    Authorized takes would primarily be by Level B harassment, as the use of pile hammers has the potential to result in disruption of behavioral patterns for individual marine mammals. As described above, TTS is also a form of Level B harassment. There is some potential for slight auditory injury (Level A harassment) to result (e.g., PTS onset), primarily for mysticetes and/or high frequency species. Auditory injury is unlikely to occur for mid-frequency species and otariids (i.e., Steller sea lions). The proposed mitigation and monitoring measures are expected to minimize the severity of such taking to the extent practicable. As described previously, no mortality is anticipated or proposed to be authorized for this activity. Below we describe how the take is estimated.

    Described in the most basic way, we estimate take by considering: (1) Acoustic thresholds above which NMFS believes the best available science indicates marine mammals will be behaviorally harassed or incur some degree of temporary or permanent hearing impairment; (2) the area or volume of water that will be ensonified above these levels in a day; (3) the density or occurrence of marine mammals within these ensonified areas; and (4) and the number of days of activities. Below, we describe these components in more detail and present the proposed take estimate.

    Acoustic Thresholds

    Using the best available science, NMFS has developed acoustic thresholds that identify the received level of underwater sound above which exposed marine mammals would be reasonably expected to be behaviorally harassed (equated to Level B harassment) or to incur PTS of some degree (equated to Level A harassment).

    Level B Harassment for non-explosive sources—Though significantly driven by received level, the onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic noise exposure is also informed to varying degrees by other factors related to the source (e.g., frequency, predictability, duty cycle), the environment (e.g., bathymetry), and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography, behavioral context) and can be difficult to predict (Southall et al. 2007, Ellison et al. 2011). Based on what the available science indicates and the practical need to use a threshold based on a factor that is both predictable and measurable for most activities, NMFS uses a generalized acoustic threshold based on received level to estimate the onset of behavioral harassment. NMFS predicts that marine mammals are likely to be behaviorally harassed in a manner we consider Level B harassment when exposed to underwater anthropogenic noise above received levels of 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for continuous (e.g. vibratory pile-driving) and above 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) for non-explosive impulsive (e.g., impact pile driving) sources. CBS's proposed activity includes the use of continuous (vibratory hammer) and impulsive (impact hammer) sources, and therefore the 120 and 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms) are applicable.

    Level A harassment for non-explosive sources—NMFS' Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (Technical Guidance, 2016) identifies dual criteria to assess auditory injury (Level A harassment) to five different marine mammal groups (based on hearing sensitivity) as a result of exposure to noise from two different types of sources (impulsive or non-impulsive).

    These thresholds were developed by compiling and synthesizing the best available science and soliciting input multiple times from both the public and peer reviewers to inform the final technical guidance, and are provided in Table 2. The references, analysis, and methodology used in the development of the thresholds are described in NMFS 2016 Technical Guidance, which may be accessed at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm.

    Table 2—Thresholds Identifying the Onset of Permanent Threshold Shift Hearing group PTS Onset acoustic thresholds * (received level) Impulsive Non-impulsive Low-Frequency (LF) Cetaceans Cell 1
  • L pk,flat : 219 dB
  • L E,LF,24h : 183 dB
  • Cell 2
  • L E,LF,24h : 199 dB
  • Mid-Frequency (MF) Cetaceans Cell 3
  • L pk,flat: 230 dB
  • L E,MF,24h: 185 dB
  • Cell 4
  • L E,MF,24h: 198 dB
  • High-Frequency (HF) Cetaceans Cell 5
  • L p,flat: 202 dB
  • L E,HF,24h: 155 dB
  • Cell 6
  • L E,HF,24H: 173 dB
  • Phocid Pinnipeds (PW) (Underwater) Cell 7
  • L pk,flat: 218 dB
  • L E,PW,24h: 185 dB
  • Cell 8
  • L E,PW,24h: 201 dB
  • Otariid Pinnipeds (OW) (Underwater) Cell 9
  • L pk,flat: 232 dB
  • L E,OW,24h: 203 dB
  • Cell 10
  • L E,OW,24h: 219 dB
  • * Dual metric acoustic thresholds for impulsive sounds: Use whichever results in the largest isopleth for calculating PTS onset. If a non-impulsive sound has the potential of exceeding the peak sound pressure level thresholds associated with impulsive sounds, these thresholds should also be considered. * Note: Peak sound pressure (L pk) has a reference value of 1 μPa, and cumulative sound exposure level (L E) has a reference value of 1μPa2s. In this Table, thresholds are abbreviated to reflect American National Standards Institute standards (ANSI 2013). However, peak sound pressure is defined by ANSI as incorporating frequency weighting, which is not the intent for this Technical Guidance. Hence, the subscript ``flat'' is being included to indicate pak sound pressure should be flat weighted or unweighted within the generalized hearing range. The subscript associated with cumulative sound exposure level thresholds indicates the designated marine mammal auditory weighting function (LF, MF, and HF cetaceans, and PW and OW pinnipeds) and that the recommended accumulation period is 24 hours. The cumulative sound exposure level thresholds could be exceeded in a multitude of ways (i.e., varying exposure levels and durations, duty cycle). When possible, it is valuable for action proponents to indicate the conditions under which these acoustic thresholds will be exceeded.
    Ensonified Area

    Here, we describe operational and environmental parameters of the activity that will feed into identifying the area ensonified above the acoustic thresholds.

    When NMFS Technical Guidance (2016) was published, in recognition of the fact that ensonified area/volume could be more technically challenging to predict because of the duration component (i.e., accumulation of energy) in the new thresholds as well as the weighting functions, we developed an optional User Spreadsheet that includes tools to help predict a simple isopleth that can be used in conjunction with marine mammal density or occurrence to help predict takes. We note that because of some of the assumptions included in the methods used for these tools, we anticipate that isopleths produced are typically going to be overestimates of some degree, which will result in some degree of overestimate of Level A take. However, these tools offer the best way to predict appropriate isopleths when more sophisticated 3D modeling methods are not available, and NMFS continues to develop ways to quantitatively refine these tools, and will qualitatively address the output where appropriate. We consider the calculated isopleths in conjunction with other operational or biological information to arrive at reasonable estimates of potential Level A harassment. For stationary sources such as pile driving, NMFS User Spreadsheet predicts the closest distance at which, if a marine mammal remained at that distance the whole duration of the activity (i.e., accumulated all energy output by the activity in a 24-hr period), it would incur some degree of PTS. Inputs used in the User Spreadsheet and the resulting isopleths are provided in Table 3.

    Table 3—Technical Guidance User Spreadsheet Inputs User Spreadsheet Input Vibratory Hammer Impact Hammer Spreadsheet Tab Used A. Non-Impulse-Stat-Cont E.1. Impact pile driving Source Level (Single Strike/shot SEL) See Table 4 Weighting Factor Adjustment (kHz) 2.5 2.0 a) Number of strikes per pile N/A 400 a) Number of piles per day N/A 1 Activity Duration (hours) within 24-h period See Table 4 N/A Propagation (xLogR) 15 15 Distance of source level measurement (meters) 10 10

    Distances to Level A and Level B thresholds were calculated based on various source levels for a given activity and pile type (e.g., impact hammering 48 in pile, vibratory removal of timber piles) and, for Level A harassment, accounted for the maximum duration of that activity per day using the spreadsheet tool developed by NMFS. For Level B harassment areas, distances were calculated using a practical spreading loss constant (15 log R) and source level. Once the distances to thresholds were calculated, total ensonified area was calculated. For all Level B and some Level A thresholds, land was a limiting factor in determining area. Table 4 contains all calculated distances to Level A and B harassment thresholds.

    Table 4—Distances to Level A and B Thresholds and Resulting Ensonified Area Source activity and
  • duration
  • Estimated source level at 10 meters
  • (dB) 1
  • Distance (m) to Level A and Level B Thresholds Level A 2 Low-frequency cetaceans
  • (m)
  • Mid-frequency cetaceans
  • (m)
  • High-
  • frequency
  • cetaceans
  • (m)
  • Phocid
  • (m)
  • Otariid
  • (m)
  • Level B
  • all species
  • Vibratory Pile Driving 12 and 16-inch wood removal (5 hours per day) 155 8.0 0.7 11.8 4.8 0.3 2,154 30-inch steel temporary installation (3 hours per day) 166 30.6 2.7 45.3 18.6 1.3 3 11,659 30-inch steel temporary removal (1 hour per day) 166 14.7 1.3 21.8 8.9 0.6 3 11,659 30-inch steel permanent installation (2 hours per day) 166 23.4 2.1 34.5 14.2 1.0 3 11,659 48-inch steel permanent installation (2 hours per day) 168.2 32.7 2.9 48.4 19.9 1.4 3 16,343 Impact Pile Driving 30-inch steel permanent installation (10 minutes per day) 196 859.2 30.6 1,023.5 459.8 33.5 859.2 48-inch steel permanent installation (10 minutes per day) 198.6 1,280.7 45.5 1,525.5 685.4 49.9 1,280.7 1 Source levels (SLs) are derived from the Port of Anchorage test pile project (Austin et al. 2016, CH2M 2016) and Alaska Department of Transportation hydroacoustic studies (Denes et al. 2016). 30″ pile driving SLs were used as a proxy for pile removal. 2 The values provided here represent the distances at which an animal may incur PTS if that animal remained at that distance for the entire duration of the activity. For example, a humpback whale (low frequency cetacean) would have to remain 8 meters from timber piles being removed for 5 hours for PTS to occur. 3 These represent calculated distances based on practical spreading model; however, land at the end of Silver Bay obstructs underwater sound transmission at approximately 9,500 m from the source.
    Marine Mammal Occurrence

    In this section, we provide the information about the presence, density, or group structure of marine mammals that will inform the take calculations.

    Data on marine mammals in the project area is limited. Land-based surveys conducted at Sitka's Whale Park occurred from September through May, annually, from 1994 to 2000 (Straley and Pendell, 2017). From 2000 to 2016, Straley also collected marine mammal data from small vessels throughout the year. There are no density data available; therefore, probability of occurrence based on group sightings and typical group sizes were used in take calculations (Table 5).

    Table 5—Marine Mammal Data From Land-Based Surveys at Sitka's Whale Park From September Through May, Annually, From 1994-2000 Common name Months sighted Avg. count per month
  • (Oct, Nov, Dec)
  • Typical group size Max group size
    Humpback whale September-April 50, 116, 101 2-4 unknown Killer whale October-March 12, 12, 4 4-8 8 Harbor porpoise September, March, April 7, 0, 0 5 8 Steller sea lion September-April 10, 12, 107 1-2 100 Harbor seal September-April 1, 1, 0 1-2 2 1 Only months when the project would occur are included here. For full counts, please see section 4 in CBS's application.
    Take Calculation and Estimation

    Here we describe how the information provided above is brought together to produce a quantitative take estimate.

    Because density data are not available for this area, we used group sighting data as an indicator of how often marine mammals may be present during the 16 days of pile driving/removing activity in consideration of the Level A and B harassment zones. We also considered typical group size to determine how many animals may be present on any given day. For all species, we used the following equation to estimate the number of animals, by species, potentially taken from exposure to pile driving and removing noise: Estimated Take = Number of animals × number of days animals are expected during pile activity by type (Table 6).

    The Sitka Whale Park surveys found humpback whale groups may include up to four individuals. Based on sighting frequency which indicates this species is present more often during winter months when the project would occur, we conservatively estimate that a group of 4 humpback whales may occur within the Level A harassment zone (1,210 m and 1,803 m for 30-in and 48-in pile driving respectively) on any two of the six days of impact pile driving and in the Level B harassment zone on any of the 16 days of pile activities. Therefore, Level A take equals 4 whales times 2 days while Level B take equals 4 whales times 16 days.

    For killer whales, it is assumed eight killer whales could be present within the Level B harassment zone on any two days of pile activity; therefore, we are proposing to authorize 16 takes. No Level A take is anticipated due to proposed shut down mitigation measures (see Mitigation section).

    Harbor porpoise typically travel in groups of five and we anticipate a group could enter the Level A zone on two of the six days of impact pile driving and another group could be present within the Level B zone on two days of the project. Therefore, we anticipate ten Level A takes (five animals × two days) and ten Level B takes (five animals × two days) of harbor porpoise.

    Steller sea lions are common in the area during the proposed work with one to ten animals present on any given day of work. We assume that on any day of the 16 days of pile driving, 10 Steller sea lions could be present within Sawmill Cove and another group of 4 Steller sea lions could be present in the farther reaches of the disturbance zone, for a combined Level B exposure of 14 Steller sea lions on each day of pile driving. Therefore, over the course of 16 days of pile driving, we anticipate 224 sea lions may be taken (14 animals × 16 days); however, as described above, this is likely representative of the number of exposures, not individuals taken. No Level A takes of Steller sea lions are anticipated from impact pile driving due to the small harassment zone and mitigation shut down measures (see Mitigation section).

    Harbor seals are found in the action area throughout the year but in low numbers. Group size is typically one to two animals. It is anticipated that two harbor seals could be present within the Level A zone every other day of the 6 days of impact pile driving. It is also assumed that a group of 2 harbor seals could be encountered in the Level B disturbance zone during the 16 days of pile driving. Therefore, we anticipate 6 Level A takes (2 animals × 3 days) and 32 Level B takes (2 animals × 16 days) of harbor seals.

    Duration is a strong driver in identifying distances to Level A thresholds and this must be balanced with expected animal movement. Although the Technical Guidance user spreadsheet identified Level A harassment distances from vibratory pile driving and removal, these distances are incredibly close to the source and an animal would have to remain that close for extended durations (1-5 hours). In contrast, impact threshold distances are much larger and consider only 10 minutes (400 strikes) of activity, making a Level A take more probabilistic. The CBS proposed to shut down operations should a marine mammal enter the Level A zone (0.3 to 48.4 m depending on pile type and if activity is vibratory pile driving or removing) to avoid Level A take. Because we do not expect a marine mammal to remain at these close distances for long periods of time, we do not believe the potential for Level A take exists and; therefore we are not authorizing Level A take from vibratory pile activities and we are not requiring CBS shut down during any activities involving a vibratory hammer unless an animal comes within 10 m which is a zone established to prevent non-auditory physical injury.

    For harbor seals and Steller sea lions, the number of animals potentially present likely reflects the same individuals occurring over multiple days; therefore the number of takes likely represents exposures versus individuals. For all cetacean species, it is likely the calculated takes do reflect the number of individuals exposed because they would be expected to be transiting through the action area, not lingering like pinnipeds.

    For purposes of ESA consultation, we looked at probability of Steller sea lions and humpback whales from each DPS that may be found in the action area. For Steller sea lions, we determined the probability of an animal being from the wDPS to be 2 percent while the remaining animals would be from the eDPS (see Description of Marine Mammals section). We also calculated the number of humpback whales that could be from the Mexico and Hawaii DPS. Wade et al. (2016) analyzed humpback whale movements throughout the North Pacific Ocean between winter breeding areas and summer feeding areas, using a comprehensive photo-identification study of humpback whales in 2004-2006 during the SPLASH project (Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks). The analysis found that humpback whales off Southeast Alaska are most likely to be from the Hawaii DPS (93.9% probability) while the Mexico DPS whales have a 6.1 percent probability of occurrence.

    Table 6—Estimated Take of Marine Mammals, by Stock, Incidental to Pile Removal and Pile Driving Common name Stock/DPS (Nbest) Level A Level B Percent of
  • stock
  • (Level B)
  • Humpback whale Hawaii DPS (11,398) 7 60 0.5 Mexico DPS (3,264) 1 4 0.12 Killer whale Alaska Resident (2,347) 0 16 * 0.68 Northern Resident (261) * 6.1 Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea (587) * 2.7 West Coast Transient (243) * 6.5 Harbor porpoise Southeast Alaska (975) 10 10 1.0 Steller sea lion Western U.S. (36,551) 0 5 0.14 Eastern U.S. (49,497) 0 219 0.44 Harbor seal Sitka/Chatham Straight (14,855) 6 32 0.22 * These percentages assume all 16 takes comes from any given stock.
    Proposed Mitigation

    In order to issue an IHA under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, “and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking” for certain subsistence uses. NMFS regulations require applicants for incidental take authorizations to include information about the availability and feasibility (economic and technological) of equipment, methods, and manner of conducting such activity or other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact upon the affected species or stocks and their habitat (50 CFR 216.104(a)(11)).

    In evaluating how mitigation can ensure the least practicable adverse impact on species or stocks and their habitat, as well as subsistence uses where applicable, we carefully balance two primary factors: (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure(s) is expected to reduce impacts to marine mammals, marine mammal species or stocks, and their habitat—which considers the nature of the potential adverse impact being mitigated (likelihood, scope, range), as well as the likelihood that the measure will be effective if implemented; and the likelihood of effective implementation, and; (2) the practicability of the measures for applicant implementation, which may consider such things as cost, impact on operations, and, in the case of a military readiness activity, personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and impact on the effectiveness of the military readiness activity.

    The following mitigation measures, designed to minimize noise exposure, would be included in the IHA:

    • CBS will first attempt to direct pull old, abandoned piles that would minimize noise input into the marine environment; if those efforts prove to be ineffective, they may proceed with a vibratory hammer.

    • CBS will operate the vibratory hammer at a reduced energy setting (30 to 50 percent of its rated energy).

    • CBS will use a softening material (e.g., high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene on all templates to eliminate steel on steel noise generation.

    • A “soft start” technique will be used at the beginning of each pile installation to allow any marine mammal that may be in the immediate area to leave before hammering at full energy. CBS is proposing to initiate noise from vibratory hammers for 15 seconds at reduced energy followed by 1-minute waiting period. The procedure will be repeated two additional times. If an impact hammer is used, CBS will be required to provide an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at 40 percent energy, followed by a one minute waiting period, then two subsequent 3-strike sets. If any marine mammal is sighted within a shut-down zone during the 30 minute survey prior to pile driving, or during the soft start, CBS will delay pile-driving until the animal is confirmed to have moved outside and on a path away from the area or if 15 minutes (for pinnipeds or small cetaceans) or 30 minutes (for large cetaceans) have elapsed since the last sighting of the marine mammal within the shut-downzone. This soft-start will be applied prior to beginning pile driving activities each day or when pile driving hammers have been idle for more than 30 minutes.

    • CBS will drive all piles with a vibratory hammer to the maximum extent possible (i.e., until a desired depth is achieved or to refusal) prior to using an impact hammer. CBS will also use the minimum impact hammer energy needed to safely install the piles.

    • CBS will implement the shut-down zones identified in Table 7 to minimize harassment.

    Table 7—Proposed Pile Driving Shut Down Zones Designed To Minimize Level A Take Source Shutdown zones in meters Low-frequency cetaceans
  • (humpback whale)
  • Mid-frequency cetaceans
  • (killer whale)
  • High-frequency cetaceans
  • (harbor
  • porpoise)
  • Phocid pinnipeds
  • (harbor seal)
  • Otariid pinnipeds
  • (Steller sea lion)
  • Vibratory Pile Driving All 10 m Impact Pile Driving 30-inch steel (installation) 1 200 50 1 200 1 150 50 48-inch steel (installation) 1 200 100 1 200 1 150 50 1 Indicates a shutdown zone that does not encompass the entire Level A zone. The CBS is requesting Level A take of humpback whales, harbor porpoises, and harbor seals associated with impact pile driving.

    Based on our evaluation of the applicant's proposed measures, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the proposed mitigation measures provide the means effecting the least practicable impact on the affected species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Proposed Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an IHA for an activity, Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth, “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(a)(13) indicate that requests for authorizations must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the proposed action area. Effective reporting is critical to both compliance as well as ensuring that the most value is obtained from the required monitoring.

    Monitoring and reporting requirements prescribed by NMFS should contribute to improved understanding of one or more of the following:

    • Occurrence of marine mammal species or stocks in the area in which take is anticipated (e.g., presence, abundance, distribution, density).

    • Nature, scope, or context of likely marine mammal exposure to potential stressors/impacts (individual or cumulative, acute or chronic), through better understanding of: (1) Action or environment (e.g., source characterization, propagation, ambient noise); (2) affected species (e.g., life history, dive patterns); (3) co-occurrence of marine mammal species with the action; or (4) biological or behavioral context of exposure (e.g., age, calving or feeding areas).

    • Individual marine mammal responses (behavioral or physiological) to acoustic stressors (acute, chronic, or cumulative), other stressors, or cumulative impacts from multiple stressors.

    • How anticipated responses to stressors impact either: (1) Long-term fitness and survival of individual marine mammals; or (2) populations, species, or stocks.

    • Effects on marine mammal habitat (e.g., marine mammal prey species, acoustic habitat, or other important physical components of marine mammal habitat).

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    Monitoring Protocols—Monitoring would be conducted before, during, and after pile driving and removal activities. Monitoring will initiate 30 minutes prior to pile driving through 30 minutes post-completion of pile driving activities. Pile driving activities include the time to install or remove a single pile or series of piles, as long as the time elapsed between uses of the pile driving equipment is no more than thirty minutes.

    One land-based protected species observer (PSO) will be present during all pile activity; during impact pile driving, a secondary boat-based PSO will be on watch. The land-based PSO will be located at the GPIP construction site and will be able to view the area across Silver Bay to the west and east of Sugarloaf Point and monitor the mouth of Silver Bay to determine whether marine mammals enter the action area from East Channel of Sitka Sound (the entrance monitoring zone). The PSO will have no other primary duties than watching for and reporting on events related to marine mammals. The PSO will scan the monitoring zone for the presence of listed species for 30 minutes before any pile driving or removal activities take place. Each day prior to commencing in-water work the PSO will conduct a radio check with the construction foreman or superintendent. The PSO will brief the foreman or supervisor as to the shutdown procedures if any marine mammals are observed likely to enter or within a shutdown zone, and will have the foreman brief the crew, requesting that the crew notify the PSO when a marine mammal is spotted. CBS proposed the PSO will work in shifts lasting no longer than 4 hours with at least a 1-hour break between shifts, and will not perform duties as an PSO for more than 12 hours in a 24‐hr period (to reduce PSO fatigue). The PSO will remain onsite each day until all in-water pile driving/removal is completed.

    No less than 30 minutes prior to any pile driving, the boat-based PSO will begin monitoring the Level A and B harassment zones A boat-based PSO is not required during timber pile removal due to limited harassment zones. This PSO will transit to the head of Silver Bay to ensure that there are no marine mammals for which take is not authorized or to document species for which take is authorized. The boat-based PSO will communicate with the construction foreman or superintendent once the area is determined to be clear and pile driving activities can begin. The boat-based PSO will then transit back to the construction site and spend the rest of the pile driving time monitoring the area from the boat (see Figure 3 in CBS's application).

    If any marine mammals are present within a shutdown zone, pile driving and removal activities will not begin until the animal(s) has left the shutdown zone or no marine mammals have been observed in the shutdown zone for 15 minutes (for pinnipeds) or 30 minutes (for cetaceans). The boat-based PSO will remain near the mouth of Sawmill Cove for the duration of pile driving to monitor for any animals approaching the area.

    The following measures also apply to visual monitoring:

    (1) Monitoring will be conducted by independent (i.e., not construction personnel) qualified observers, who will be placed at the best vantage point(s) practicable to monitor for marine mammals and implement shutdown/delay procedures when applicable by calling for the shutdown to the hammer operator. At least one observer must have prior experience working as an observer. Other observers may substitute education (undergraduate degree in biological science or related field) or training for experience. In addition, all PSOs must have:

    (a) Visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible) sufficient for discernment of moving targets at the water's surface with ability to estimate target size and distance; use of binoculars may be necessary to correctly identify the target;

    (b) Advanced education in biological science or related field (undergraduate degree or higher required);

    (c) Experience and ability to conduct field observations and collect data according to assigned protocols (this may include academic experience);

    (d) Experience or training in the field identification of marine mammals, including the identification of behaviors;

    (e) Sufficient training, orientation, or experience with the construction operation to provide for personal safety during observations;

    (f) Writing skills sufficient to prepare a report of observations including but not limited to the number and species of marine mammals observed; dates and times when in-water construction activities were conducted; dates and times when in-water construction activities were suspended to avoid potential incidental injury from construction sound of marine mammals observed within a defined shutdown zone; and marine mammal behavior; and

    (g) Ability to communicate orally, by radio or in person, with project personnel to provide real-time information on marine mammals observed in the area as necessary.

    In addition, CBS must submit to NMFS OPR the curriculum vitae (CV) of all observers prior to monitoring.

    Negligible Impact Analysis and Determination

    NMFS has defined negligible impact as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival” (50 CFR 216.103). A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of takes alone is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through harassment, NMFS considers other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (e.g., intensity, duration), the context of any responses (e.g., critical reproductive time or location, migration), as well as effects on habitat, and the likely effectiveness of the mitigation. We also assess the number, intensity, and context of estimated takes by evaluating this information relative to population status. Consistent with the 1989 preamble for NMFS's implementing regulations (54 FR 40338; September 29, 1989), the impacts from other past and ongoing anthropogenic activities are incorporated into this analysis via their impacts on the environmental baseline (e.g., as reflected in the regulatory status of the species, population size and growth rate where known, ongoing sources of human-caused mortality, or ambient noise levels).

    Pile driving and removal would result in the harassment of marine mammals within the designated harassment zones due to increased noise levels during 16 days. Six days of work are dedicated to removing 280 old piles, which would emit low levels of noise into the aquatic environment if removed via a vibratory hammer. Vibratory pile driving, which also has relatively low source levels, would occur for only 2 hours per day and there would be at least one day in between pile driving activity when installing the permanent piles. Impact pile driving would result in the loudest sound levels; however, CBS would install only 6 piles with an impact hammer (four 30-in and two 48-in piles) to proof the pile after driving it with a vibratory hammer. Proofing a pile is relatively short-term activity with 400 strikes occurring over 10 minutes per pile. Considering this and the fact only one pile would be installed per day, if PTS occurs, it is likely slight PTS (e.g., PTS onset). Due to the brief duration of expected exposure, any Level B harassment would be temporary and any behavioral changes as a result are expected to be minor.

    In summary and as described above, the following factors primarily support our preliminary determination that the impacts resulting from this activity are not expected to adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival:

    • No mortality is anticipated or authorized.

    • The number of piles in the design has been reduced to the lowest amount practicable (other designs required more piles); therefore, the amount of pile activity is minimal at 16 days over the course of 3 months.

    • Extremely limited impact pile driving would occur (ten minutes per day for six non-consecutive days).

    • The project and ensonified areas include a cove and dead-end bay (Silver Bay) with no significant marine mammal habitat.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS preliminarily finds that the total marine mammal take from the proposed activity will have a negligible impact on all affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Numbers

    As noted above, only small numbers of incidental take may be authorized under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA for specified activities other than military readiness activities. The MMPA does not define small numbers and so, in practice, NMFS compares the number of individuals taken to the most appropriate estimation of abundance of the relevant species or stock in our determination of whether an authorization is limited to small numbers of marine mammals.

    NMFS is proposing to authorize a very small amount of Level A takes of marine mammals. Level B takes are more numerous and still only constitute between 0.12 and 6.5 percent of a given stock (Table 7). For pinnipeds, the number of takes likely represents repeated exposures of a smaller number of animals; therefore, the percent of stock taken is likely even smaller. Finally, the area where these takes may occur represents a negligible area with respect to each stock's range; therefore, it is unlikely a larger percentage of a stock's population would move through the action area.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the proposed activity (including the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures) and the anticipated take of marine mammals, NMFS preliminarily finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the population size of the affected species or stocks.

    Unmitigable Adverse Impact Analysis and Determination

    Alaska Natives have traditionally harvested subsistence resources, including sea lions and harbor seals. In 2012 (the most recent year for which information is available), the community of Sitka had an estimated subsistence take of 49 harbor seals and 1 Steller sea lion (Wolf et al. 2013). CBS contacted the Alaska Harbor Seal Commission, the Alaska Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission, and the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and these organizations expressed no concerns about the project. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that each Federal agency insure that any action it authorizes, funds, or carries out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. To ensure ESA compliance for the issuance of IHAs, NMFS consults internally, in this case with the Alaska Regional Office, whenever we propose to authorize take for endangered or threatened species.

    NMFS is proposing to authorize take of the wDPS of Steller sea lions and the humpback whale Mexico DPS, which are listed under the ESA. As such, the Permit and Conservation Division has requested initiation of Section 7 consultation with the NMFS Alaska Regional Office for the issuance of this IHA. NMFS will conclude the ESA consultation prior to reaching a determination regarding the proposed issuance of the authorization.

    Proposed Authorization

    As a result of these preliminary determinations, NMFS proposes to issue an IHA to CBS for conducting pile driving and removal, Sitka, from October 1, 2017-December 31, 2017, provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated. This section contains the conditions that would be included in the IHA itself. The wording contained in this section is proposed for inclusion in the IHA (if issued).

    1. This IHA is valid only for takes of marine mammals incidental to pile driving and pile removal associated with the Gary Paxton Industrial Park Dock Modification Project in Sawmill Cove, Alaska.

    2. General Conditions

    (a) A copy of this IHA must be in the possession of the CBS, its designees, and work crew personnel operating under the authority of this IHA.

    (b) The species authorized for taking are the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), killer whale (Orcinus orca), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus)

    (c) The taking, by Level A and B harassment is authorized for humpback whales, harbor porpoises, and harbor seal. Take, by Level B harassment only, is authorized for killer whales and Steller sea lions.

    (d) The taking by serious injury or death of any of the species listed in condition 2(b) of the Authorization or any taking of any other species of marine mammal is prohibited and may result in the modification, suspension, or revocation of this IHA.

    (e) The take, by Level A harassment, of killer whales and Steller sea lions is prohibited and may result in the modification, suspension, or revocation of this IHA.

    (f) The CBS shall conduct briefings between construction supervisors and crews, marine mammal monitoring team prior to the start of all pile activities, and when new personnel join the work, in order to explain responsibilities, communication procedures, marine mammal monitoring protocol, and operational procedures.

    3. Mitigation Measures

    The holder of this Authorization is required to implement the following mitigation measures:

    (a) CBS will first attempt to direct pull old, abandoned piles; if those efforts prove to be ineffective, they may proceed with a vibratory hammer.

    (b) CBS will operate the vibratory hammer during pile driving at a reduced energy setting (30-50 percent).

    (c) CBS will use a will use a softening material (e.g., high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW)) on all templates to eliminate steel on steel noise generation.

    (d) A “soft start” technique will be used at the beginning of each pile installation to allow any marine mammal that may be in the immediate area to leave before hammering at full energy. The soft start requires CBS to initiate noise from vibratory hammers for 15 seconds at reduced energy followed by 1-minute waiting period. The procedure will be repeated two additional times. If an impact hammer is used, CBS will be required to provide an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at 40 percent energy, followed by a one minute waiting period, then two subsequent 3-strike sets. This soft-start will be applied prior to beginning pile driving activities each day or when pile driving hammers have been idle for more than 30 minutes.

    (e) If any marine mammal is sighted within a shut-down zone prior to pile-driving, or during the soft start, CBS will delay pile-driving until the animal is confirmed to have moved outside and on a path away from the area or if 15 minutes (for pinnipeds or small cetaceans) or 30 minutes (for large cetaceans) have elapsed since the last sighting of the marine mammal within the safety zone.

    (f) CBS will drive all piles with a vibratory hammer until a desired depth is achieved or to refusal prior to using an impact hammer. CBS will also use the minimum impact hammer energy needed to safely install the piles.

    (g) For all pile driving and pile removal activities, the entity shall implement a minimum shutdown zone of 10 m radius around the pile. If a marine mammal comes within or approaches the shutdown zone, such operations shall cease. For impact pile driving, CBS shall implement a shutdown zone based on species observed (See Table 2 for minimum radial distances required for shutdown zones).

    4. Monitoring

    The holder of this Authorization is required to conduct marine mammal monitoring during all pile driving and pile removal activities. Monitoring and reporting shall be conducted in accordance with the application.

    (a) One land-based PSO and one boat-based PSO will be used to monitor the area during all pile driving and removing the temporary piles (no boat-based PSO is required during timber pile removal). The land-based PSO will be located at the GPIP construction site.

    (b) The land-based PSO will scan the monitoring zone for the presence of listed species for 30 minutes before, during, and 30 minutes after any pile driving or removal activities take place.

    (c) The land-based PSO will work in shifts lasting no longer than 4 hours with at least a 1-hour break between shifts, and will not perform duties as a PSO for more than 12 hours in a 24-hr period. The PSO will remain onsite each day until all in-water pile driving/removal is completed.

    (d) No less than 30 minutes prior to any pile driving, the boat-based PSO will begin monitoring the Level B harassment zone. Note a boat-based PSO is not required during timber pile removal. This PSO will transit to the head of Silver Bay to ensure there are no marine mammals for which take is not authorized or to document species for which take is authorized. The boat-based PSO will communicate with the construction foreman or superintendent once the area is determined to be clear and pile driving activities can begin. The boat-based PSO will then transit back to the mouth of Sawmill Cove and spend the rest of the pile driving time monitoring the area from the boat.

    (e) Monitoring will be conducted by independent (i.e., not construction personnel) qualified observers, who will be placed at the best vantage point(s) practicable to monitor for marine mammals and implement shutdown/delay procedures when applicable by calling for the shutdown to the hammer operator. At least one observer must have prior experience working as an observer. Other observers may substitute education (undergraduate degree in biological science or related field) or training for experience. In addition, all PSOs must have:

    (i) Visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible) sufficient for discernment of moving targets at the water's surface with ability to estimate target size and distance; use of binoculars may be necessary to correctly identify the target;

    (ii) Advanced education in biological science or related field (undergraduate degree or higher required);

    (iii) Experience and ability to conduct field observations and collect data according to assigned protocols (this may include academic experience);

    (iv) Experience or training in the field identification of marine mammals, including the identification of behaviors;

    (v) Sufficient training, orientation, or experience with the construction operation to provide for personal safety during observations;

    (vi) Writing skills sufficient to prepare a report of observations including but not limited to the number and species of marine mammals observed; dates and times when in-water construction activities were conducted; dates and times when in-water construction activities were suspended to avoid potential incidental injury from construction sound of marine mammals observed within a defined shutdown zone; and marine mammal behavior; and

    (vii) Ability to communicate orally, by radio or in person, with project personnel to provide real-time information on marine mammals observed in the area as necessary.

    (f) In addition, CBS must submit to NMFS the curriculum vitae (CV) of all observers prior to monitoring.

    5. Reporting

    The holder of this Authorization is required to:

    (a) Submit a draft report to NMFS on all monitoring conducted under the IHA within 90 calendar days of the completion of marine mammal monitoring or sixty days prior to the issuance of any subsequent IHA for this project, whichever comes first. A final report shall be prepared and submitted to NMFS within thirty days following resolution of comments on the draft report from NMFS. This report shall include details within the Monitoring Plan and the following:

    (i) The amount, by species, of Level A and B takes documented. Total Level B take should be corrected for any area unobserved.

    (ii) Detailed information about any implementation of shutdowns, including the distance of animals to the pile driving and removal activities and description of specific actions that ensued and resulting behavior of the animal, if any.

    (iii) Description of attempts to distinguish between the number of individual animals taken and the number of incidences of take, such as ability to track groups or individuals.

    (b) Reporting injured or dead marine mammals:

    (i) In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by this IHA, such as a serious injury, or mortality, CBS shall immediately cease the specified activities and report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Stranding Coordinator, NMFS. The report must include the following information:

    1. Time and date of the incident;

    2. Description of the incident;

    3. Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, Beaufort sea state, cloud cover, and visibility);

    4. Description of all marine mammal observations and active sound source use in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    5. Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    6. Fate of the animal(s); and

    7. Photographs or video footage of the animal(s).

    Activities shall not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS will work with CBS to determine what measures are necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. CBS may not resume their activities until notified by NMFS.

    (ii) In the event that CBS discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the PSO determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (e.g., in less than a moderate state of decomposition), CBS shall immediately report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Stranding Coordinator, NMFS.

    The report must include the same information identified in 5(b)(i) of this IHA. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS will work with CBS to determine whether additional mitigation measures or modifications to the activities are appropriate.

    (iii) In the event that CBS discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead observer determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), CBS shall report the incident to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the Alaska Stranding Coordinator, NMFS, within 24 hours of the discovery. CBS shall provide photographs or video footage or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS.

    6. This Authorization may be modified, suspended or withdrawn if the holder fails to abide by the conditions prescribed herein, or if NMFS determines the authorized taking is having more than a negligible impact on the species or stock of affected marine mammals.

    Request for Public Comments

    We request comment on our analyses, the draft authorization, and any other aspect of this Notice of Proposed IHA for the proposed pile driving and removal. Please include with your comments any supporting data or literature citations to help inform our final decision on the request for MMPA authorization.

    Dated: July 20, 2017. Catherine Marzin, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15659 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System [Docket Number DARS-2017-0003; OMB Control Number 0704-0386] Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Small Business Programs AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System; Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments regarding a proposed extension of an approved information collection requirement.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, DoD announces the proposed extension of a public information collection requirement and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. DoD invites comments on whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this information collection for use under Control Number 0704-0386 through September 30, 2017. DoD proposes that OMB approve an extension of the information collection requirement, to expire three years after the approval date.

    DATES:

    DoD will consider all comments received by September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by OMB Control Number 0704-0386, using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB Control Number 0704-0386 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Ms. Jennifer Johnson, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP/DARS, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B941, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Jennifer Johnson, at 571-372-6106. The information collection requirements addressed in this notice are available on at: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfarspgi/current/index.html. Paper copies are available from Ms. Jennifer Johnson, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), Room 3B941, 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and OMB Number: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), Small Business Programs; OMB Control Number 0704-0386.

    Needs and Uses: DoD needs this information to improve administration under the small business subcontracting program and to evaluate a contractor's past performance in complying with its subcontracting plan.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 41.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 41.

    Average Burden per Response: About 1 hour.

    Annual Response Burden Hours: 41.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Summary of Information Collection

    This information collection includes requirements relating to DFARS part 219, Small Business Programs. The information collection requirement at DFARS 252.219-7003, Small Business Subcontracting Plan, becomes necessary when: (1) A prime contractor has identified specific small business concerns in its subcontracting plan; and (2) subsequent to award substitutes one of the small businesses identified in its subcontracting plan with a firm that is not a small business. The intent of this information collection is to alert the contracting officer of this situation.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15649 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System [Docket Number DARS-2017-0002; OMB Control Number 0704-0252] Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Part 251, Use of Government Sources by Contractors AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments regarding a proposed extension of an approved information collection requirement.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD announces the proposed extension of a public information collection requirement and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. DoD invites comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this information collection for use through September 30, 2017. DoD proposes that OMB extend its approval for use for three additional years beyond the current expiration date.

    DATES:

    DoD will consider all comments received by September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by OMB Control Number 0704-0252, using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB Control Number 0704-0252 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Ms. Carrie Moore, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), 3060 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B941, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Carrie Moore, 571-372-6104. The information collection requirements addressed in this notice are available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfarspgi/current/index.html. Paper copies are available from Ms. Carrie Moore, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), 3060 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B941, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form, and OMB Number: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), Part 251, Use of Government Sources by Contractors, and an associated clause at DFARS 252.251-7000, Ordering from Government Supply Sources; OMB Control Number 0704-0252.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection permits contractors to place orders from Government supply sources, including Federal Supply Schedules, requirements contracts, and Government stock. Contractors are required to provide a copy of their written authorization to use Government supply sources with their order. The authorization is used by the Government source of supply to verify that a contractor is authorized to place such orders and under what conditions.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for profit institutions.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    Type of Request: Revision.

    Number of Respondents: 654.

    Responses per Respondent: 5.

    Annual Responses: 3,270.

    Average Burden per Response: .5 hour.

    Annual Burden Hours: 1,635.

    Reporting Frequency: On occasion.

    Summary of Information Collection

    This information collection includes requirements relating to DFARS part 251, Contractor Use of Government Supply Sources. The clause at DFARS 252.251-7000, Ordering from Government Supply Sources, requires a contractor to provide a copy of an authorization when placing an order under a Federal Supply Schedule, a Personal Property Rehabilitation Price Schedule, or an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15652 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System [Docket Number DARS-2017-0004; OMB Control Number 0704-0446] Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Evaluation Factor for Use of Members of the Armed Forces Selected Reserve AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments regarding a proposed revision of an approved information collection requirement.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, DoD announces the proposed revision of a public information collection requirement and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this information collection for use through September 30, 2017. DoD proposes that OMB extend its approval for use for three additional years beyond the current expiration date.

    DATES:

    DoD will consider all comments received by September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by OMB Control Number 0704-0446, using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB Control Number 0704-0446 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

    Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Ms. Carrie Moore, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), 3060 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B941, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Carrie Moore, at 571-372-6093. The information collection requirements addressed in this notice are available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfarspgi/current/index.html. Paper copies are available from Ms. Carrie Moore, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DARS), 3060 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B941, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and OMB Number: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS): Evaluation Factor for Use of Members of the Armed Forces Selected Reserve; OMB Control Number 0704-0446.

    Needs and Uses: DFARS 215.370-3 prescribes the use of the provision at DFARS 252.215-7005, Evaluation Factor for Employing or Subcontracting with Members of the Selected Reserve, in solicitations that include an evaluation factor to provide a preference for offerors that intend to perform the contract using employees or individual subcontractors who are members of the Selected Reserve. The documentation provided by an offeror with their proposal will be used by contracting officers to validate that Selected Reserve members will be utilized in the performance of the contract. This information collection implements a requirement of section 819 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Pub. L. 109-163).

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for profit institutions.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    Type of Request: Revision.

    Number of Respondents: 13.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 13.

    Average Burden per Response: Approximately 20 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 620.

    Reporting Frequency: On occasion.

    Summary of Information Collection

    For solicitations that include the provision at DFARS 252.215-7005, the provision requires offerors to include documentation with their proposal that supports their intent to use employees or individual subcontractors who are members of the Selected Reserve in order to receive a preference under the associated evaluation factor. Such documentation may include, but is not limited to, existing company documentation indicating the names of the Selected Reserve members who are currently employed by the company, or a statement that positions will be set aside to be filled by Selected Reserve members, along with verifying documentation.

    DoD invites comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15650 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2017-OS-0010] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for generic collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by August 25, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Regular Generic Clearance for the Collection of NGA Customer Satisfaction Strategy Survey; OMB Control Number 0704-XXXX.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to garner qualitative and quantitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient and timely manner and is motivated by the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, early warning of issues with service, and otherwise focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services.

    Type of Review: New.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 29,285.

    Average Expected Annual Number of Activities: 8.

    Below we provide projected average estimates for the next three years:

    Average Number of Respondents per Activity: 500.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 29,285.

    Average Burden per Response: 13.89 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 6,779.5 hours.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, Docket ID number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 03F09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15684 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2009-OS-0160] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Advisory Committee Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09B, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OUSD AT&L), Manufacturing and Industrial Based Policy (MIBP), ATTN: Jonathan Wright, Alexandria, VA 22350-6500, or call MIBP, at 571-372-6271.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Industrial Capabilities Questionnaire; DD Form 2737; OMB Control Number 0704-0377.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to provide the adequate industrial capability analyses to indicate a diverse, healthy, and competitive industrial base capable of meeting Department demands. Additionally, the information is required to perform the industrial assessments required by Chapter 148, section 2502 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code; and to support development of a defense industrial base information system as required by Section 722 of the 1992 Defense Production Act, as amended, and Section 802 of Executive Order 12919.

    Affected Public: Business or other for profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Annual Burden Hours: 153,600.

    Number of Respondents: 12,800.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 12,800.

    Average Burden per Response: 12 hours.

    Frequency: On Occasion.

    Respondents are companies/facilities specifically identified as being of interest to the Department of Defense. Industrial Capabilities Questionnaire DD Form 2737 records pertinent information needed to conduct industrial base analysis for senior DoD leadership to ensure a robust defense industrial base to support the warfighter.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15667 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DOD-2017-OS-0035] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Advisory Committee Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09B, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB), Contingency Liaison Office, ATTN: Major Leah Chapman, 2460 Linden Lane, Bldg. 172, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or call the AFPMB Contingency Liaison Office at 301-295-7476.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Pre-embarkation Certificate of Disinsection, DD Form X773; OMB Control Number 0704-XXXX.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to provide proof of aircraft disinsection to foreign countries that require it, before cargo and aircrew will be allowed to dis-embark in those countries.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 166.67.

    Number of Respondents: 1,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 1,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 10 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents are DoD-contracted pest managers. These pest management professionals would be required to fill out the certificate of disinsection, log it in the appropriate database, and provide a copy to the aircrew. Aircraft disinsection (spraying with insecticide to kill all insects aboard) is currently required in 14 countries for arriving military aircraft. Most of those countries also require documentation proving that the aircraft was disinsected, per their instructions in the Foreign Clearance Guide (FCG). The burden for this collection is calculated based on the number of times U.S. aircraft currently enter countries with the requirement to produce a certificate of disinsection. The certificates used, are unique to each of the countries with the requirement. They are not collections managed by the U.S. Government. The Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB) published Technical Guide (TG) for pest managers and aircrew to follow. This guide standardizes our requirements for disinsection in the FCG for all countries our aircraft enter. One such requirement is the use of a standardized form by all DoD that satisfies the documentation requirements of disinsection for these 14 countries.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15664 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 17-04] Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Arms sales notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Young, (703) 697-9107, [email protected], or Kathy Valadez, (703) 697-9217; [email protected], 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 17-04 with attached Policy Justification.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. BILLING CODE 5001-06-P EN26JY17.000 BILLING CODE 5001-06-C Transmittal No. 17-04 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: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment* $ 0 million Other $250 million Total $250 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): None

    Non-MDE includes: Continuation of a naval blanket order training program inside and outside of Saudi Arabia that includes, but is not limited, to English Language training, professional military education, technical training, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Navy

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: SR-P-TCY

    (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: None

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: May 22, 2017

    *as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Kingdom of Saudi Arabia—Navy Blanket Order Training

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has requested the continuation of a naval blanket order training program inside and outside of Saudi Arabia that includes, but is not limited to English Language training, professional military education, technical training, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated value is $250 million.

    This proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic regional partner that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

    The proposed sale will enable Saudi Arabia and the Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF) to maintain military performance levels and provide an increased ability to meet current and future maritime threats. The training will support the RSNF in its role patrolling and providing protection for critical industrial infrastructure and for the sea lines of communications. The RSNF will also use the training to enhance interoperability with the United States and other coalition maritime forces. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these services.

    The proposed sale of this training will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The prime contractor will be Kratos Defense & Security Solutions of San Diego, CA. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of approximately 88 contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia for approximately three years to support personnel training. Implementation of this sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government representatives to Saudi Arabia.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    [FR Doc. 2017-15676 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2017-OS-0013] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    30-Day information collection notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Overseas Citizen Population Survey; 0704-0539.

    Type of Request: Revision.

    Number of Respondents: 18,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 18,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 10 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 3,000 hours.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary for Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), an agency of the Department of Defense, to fulfill the mandate of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA of 1986 [42 U.S.C. 1973ff]). UOCAVA requires a statistical analysis report to the President and Congress on the effectiveness of assistance under the Act, a statistical analysis of voter participation, and a description of State/Federal cooperation. The data obtained through this study will allow FVAP to refine its methodology for estimating the number of overseas U.S. civilians who are eligible to vote and who have registered and participated in the past, and using these estimates to address the question of whether the registration and voting propensity of the overseas civilian population differs from that of a comparable domestic or military populations. Conducting this research will help FVAP meet its federal and congressional mandates in terms of reporting annually on its activities and on overall voter registration and participation rates after each Presidential election. The data obtained through this study is also intended to provide insights into existing barriers to UOCAVA voting and recommendations for addressing these challenges.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, Docket ID number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 03F09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15679 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Number: PR17-54-000.

    Applicants: B&W Pipeline, LLC.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b),(e)/: Compliance Tariff Filing to be effective 7/17/2017; Filing Type: 990.

    Filed Date: 7/17/17.

    Accession Number: 201707175068.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/7/17.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-898-000.

    Applicants: Blue Lake Gas Storage Company.

    Description: Petition for Approval of Settlement Agreement of Blue Lakes Gas Storage Company.

    Filed Date: 07/12/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170712-5202.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 24, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-846-000.

    Applicants: Cargill, Incorporated, Macquarie Energy LLC.

    Description: Supplement to Temporary Waiver Request of Cargill, Incorporated, et al.

    Filed Date: 07/18/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170718-5120.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-903-000.

    Applicants: Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C. submits tariff filing per 154.204: Non-Conforming Negotiated Rate Agreement (AESC #213006-TF1CIG) to be effective 9/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 07/18/2017.

    Accession Number: 20170718-5061.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 31, 2017.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 19, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15607 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER17-437-005.

    Applicants: Marcus Hook 50, L.P.

    Description: Compliance filing: Settlement rate implementation to be effective 12/28/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/19/17.

    Accession Number: 20170719-5086.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/9/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1320-001.

    Applicants: Odyssey Solar, LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: Supplement to 4 to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 7/19/17.

    Accession Number: 20170719-5090.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/9/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2112-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2017-07-19_Planning Resource Auction Offer Window Filing to be effective 9/18/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/19/17.

    Accession Number: 20170719-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/9/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2113-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Request for Waiver of Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Filed Date: 7/19/17.

    Accession Number: 20170719-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/9/17.

    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 20, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15647 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC17-12-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-523); Comment Request; Revision and Extension AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

    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-523, (Application for Authorization for the Issuance of Securities or the Assumption of Liabilities) 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 20475, 5/2/2017) requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments on FERC-523 and is making this notation in its submittal to OMB.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due by August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902-0043, 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. IC17-12-000, 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:

    Title: FERC-523, Application for Authorization for the Issuance of Securities or the Assumption of Liabilities.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0043.

    Type of Request: Three-year approval of the FERC-523 information collection requirements with no changes to the current reporting requirements.

    Abstract: The information collected by FERC-523 is required to implement the statutory provisions of section 204 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) (16 U.S.C. 824c). Under section 204 of the FPA no public utility or licensee shall issue any security, or assume any obligation or liability as guarantor, endorser, surety, or otherwise in respect of any security of another person, until the public utility applies for and receives Commission approval by order authorizing the issue or assumption of the liability. The Commission issues an order if it finds that such issue or assumption (a) is for lawful object, within the corporate purposes of the applicant and compatible with the public interest, which is necessary or appropriate for or consistent with the proper performance by the applicant as a public utility, and which will not impair its ability to perform that service, and (b) is reasonably necessary or appropriate for such purposes.

    The Commission uses the information contained in filings to determine its acceptance and/or rejection of applications for authorization to either issue securities or to assume an obligation or liability by the public utilities and their licensees who submit these applications.

    The specific application requirements and filing format are found at 18 CFR part 34; and 18 CFR 131.43 and 131.50. This information is filed electronically.

    Type of Respondents: Public utilities subject to the Federal Power Act.

    Estimate of Annual Burden1 : The Commission estimates the reduction in the annual public reporting burden for the FERC-523, as follows:

    1 Burden is defined as 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 further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, refer to 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    2 The number of respondents is derived from the actual number of applications processed.

    3 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-523, Applications for Authorization for Issuance of Securities or Assumption of Liability Information collection requirements Number of
  • respondents 2
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number of responses Average
  • burden hours
  • and cost per
  • response 3
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • and total
  • annual cost
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) FERC-523 145 1 145 70
  • $5,355
  • 10,150 $776,475

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is 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 estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Dated: July 20, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15646 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER12-2205-010; ER10-1821-015; ER12-2159-009; ER12-919-008.

    Applicants: Meadow Creek Project Company LLC, Goshen Phase II LLC, Canadian Hills Wind, LLC, Rockland Wind Farm LLC.

    Description: Notice of Change in Status of Meadow Creek Project Company LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 7/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20170720-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/10/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-814-001; ER17-816-001; ER17-815-001; ER10-2543-004; ER10-2606-012.

    Applicants: Verso Energy Services LLC, Verso Luke LLC, Verso Escanaba LLC, Verso Androscoggin LLC, Consolidated Water Power Company.

    Description: Notice of Change in Status of the Verso MBR Sellers.

    Filed Date: 7/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20170720-5077.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/10/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1778-001.

    Applicants: HD Project One LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: MBRA Application Amendment to be effective 7/21/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20170720-5040.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/10/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2044-001.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 3215R2 People's Electric Cooperative NITSA NOA to be effective 6/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20170720-5062.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/10/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2114-000.

    Applicants: The Dayton Power and Light Company, Ohio Power Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Interconnection Agreement SA No. 1461 between Dayton and Ohio Power to be effective 7/21/2017.

    Filed Date: 7/20/17.

    Accession Number: 20170720-5059.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/10/17.

    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 20, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15645 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR17-17-000] Belle Fourche Pipeline Company, Bridger Pipeline LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order

    Take notice that on July 18, 2017, pursuant to Rule 207(a)(2) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(2) (2016), Belle Fourche Pipeline Company (Belle Fourche) and Bridger Pipeline LLC (Bridger), filed a petition seeking a declaratory order approving the overall tariff and rate structure set forth in the transportation service agreement governing the transportation of crude oil on Belle Fourche and Bridger's pipeline systems, as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on August 18, 2017.

    Dated: July 20, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15648 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [CERCLA-04-2017-3757; FRL 9965-49-Region 4] Coronet Industries, Inc.: Plant City, Hillsborough County, Florida, Notice of Settlement AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of settlement.

    SUMMARY:

    Under 122(h) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency has entered into a settlement with CEMEX Construction Materials Florida, LLC, and Hexion Inc. concerning the Coronet Industries Site located in Plant City, Hillsborough County, Florida. The settlement addresses recovery of CERCLA costs for response actions performed by the EPA at the Site.

    DATES:

    The Agency will consider public comments on the settlement until August 25, 2017. The Agency will consider all comments received and may modify or withdraw its consent to the settlement if comments received disclose facts or considerations which indicate that the proposed settlement is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the settlement are available from the Agency by contacting Ms. Paula V. Painter, Program Analyst, using the contact information provided in this notice. Comments may also be submitted by referencing the Site's name through one of the following methods:

    Internet: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-epa-region-4-southeast#r4-public-notices.

    U.S. Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund Division, Attn: Paula V. Painter, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

    Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paula V. Painter at 404/562-8887.

    Dated: July 11, 2017. Anita L. Davis, Chief, Enforcement and Community Engagement Branch, Superfund Division.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15720 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-R09-SFUND-2017-03; FRL-9965-32-Region 9] Sycamore Removal Site, Hollywood, CA; Notice of Proposed Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed settlement.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability for review and comment of a proposed administrative settlement agreement under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (“CERCLA”), between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), and 953 N Sycamore (LA), LLC (“Sycamore LLC”), regarding the Sycamore Superfund Removal Site in Hollywood, California. The Settlement Agreement requires the purchaser to conduct a removal action to address soil and soil gas contamination at the Sycamore Site.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-SFUND-2017-03, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Taly Jolish, Assistant Regional Counsel, Office of Regional Counsel (ORC-3), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105; tel: (415) 972-3925; fax: (415) 947-3570; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Sycamore LLC is agreeing to perform a removal action to clean up soil and soil gas contaminated with chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, and with aromatic VOCs, including benzene, toluene, and xylene. The removal action will reduce the risk to future users of the property and the surrounding community from exposure to contamination primarily caused by historical dry cleaning operations at the property. Under the terms of the settlement, Sycamore LLC will complete the removal action and pay EPA's costs for oversight of the cleanup activities. In exchange, Sycamore LLC will receive a covenant not to sue from the United States.

    EPA will consider all comments submitted by the date set forth above and may modify or withdraw its consent to the settlement if comments received disclose facts or considerations that indicate the proposed settlement is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate.

    Dated: July 14, 2017. Enrique Manzanilla, Director, Superfund Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15729 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0771; FRL-9958-88-OAR] Notice of Opportunity To Comment on an Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and Transport of Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (Sugar Beets) for Use in Biofuel Production AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting comment on its analysis of the upstream greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the production of Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (sugar beets) for use as a biofuel feedstock. This notice describes EPA's greenhouse gas analysis of sugar beets produced for use as a biofuel feedstock, and describes how EPA may apply this analysis in the future to determine whether biofuels produced from sugar beets meet the necessary greenhouse gas reduction threshold required for qualification as renewable fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard program. This notice considers a scenario in which non-cellulosic beet sugar is extracted for conversion to biofuel and the remaining beet pulp co-product is used as animal feed. Based on this analysis, we anticipate that biofuels produced from sugar beets could qualify as renewable fuel or advanced biofuel, depending on the type and efficiency of the fuel production process technology used.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0771, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn 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:

    Christopher Ramig, Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Mail Code: 6401A, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-1372; fax number: 202-564-1177; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is organized as follows:

    I. Introduction II. Analysis of GHG Emissions Associated With Production and Transport of Sugar Beets for Use as a Biofuel Feedstock A. Overview of Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (Sugar Beets) B. Analysis of Upstream GHG Emissions 1. Methodology and Scenarios Evaluated 2. Domestic Impacts 3. International Impacts 4. Feedstock Transport 5. Results of Upstream GHG Lifecycle Analysis 6. Fuel Production and Distribution 7. Risk of Potential Invasiveness III. Summary I. Introduction

    Section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act establishes the renewable fuel standard (“RFS”) program, under which EPA sets annual percentage standards specifying the amount of renewable fuel, as well as three subcategories of renewable fuel, that must be used to reduce or replace fossil fuel present in transportation fuel, heating oil or jet fuel. With limited exceptions, renewable fuel produced at facilities that commenced construction after enactment of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (“EISA”), must achieve at least a twenty percent reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions as compared to baseline 2005 transportation fuel. Advanced biofuel and biomass-based diesel must achieve at least a fifty percent reduction, and cellulosic biofuel must achieve at least a sixty percent reduction.

    As part of changes to the RFS program regulations published on March 26, 2010 1 (the “March 2010 RFS rule”) to implement EISA amendments to the RFS program, EPA identified a number of renewable fuel production pathways that satisfy the greenhouse gas reduction requirements of the Act. Table 1 to 40 CFR 80.1426 of the RFS regulations lists three critical components of approved fuel pathways: (1) Fuel type; (2) feedstock; and (3) production process. In addition, for each pathway, the regulations specify a “D code” that indicates whether fuel produced by the specified pathway meets the requirements for renewable fuel or one of the three renewable fuel subcategories. EPA may independently approve additional fuel pathways not currently listed in Table 1 to 40 CFR 80.1426 for participation in the RFS program, or a party may petition for EPA to evaluate a new fuel pathway in accordance with 40 CFR 80.1416. Pursuant to 40 CFR 80.1416, EPA received petitions from Green Vision Group, Tracy Renewable Energy, and Plant Sensory Systems, submitted under partial claims of confidential business information (CBI), requesting that EPA evaluate the GHG emissions associated with biofuels produced using sugar beets as feedstock, and that EPA provide a determination of the renewable fuel categories, if any, for which such biofuels may be eligible.

    1 See 75 FR 14670.

    EPA's lifecycle analyses are used to assess the overall GHG impacts of a fuel throughout each stage of its production and use. The results of these analyses, considering uncertainty and the weight of available evidence, are used to determine whether a fuel meets the necessary GHG reductions required under the CAA for it to be considered renewable fuel or one of the subsets of renewable fuel. Lifecycle analysis includes an assessment of emissions related to the full fuel lifecycle, including feedstock production, feedstock transportation, fuel production, fuel transportation and distribution, and tailpipe emissions. Per the CAA definition of lifecycle GHG emissions, EPA's lifecycle analyses also include an assessment of significant indirect emissions, such as indirect emissions from land use changes and agricultural sector impacts.

    This document describes EPA's analysis of the GHG emissions from feedstock production and feedstock transport associated with sugar beets when used to produce biofuel, including significant indirect impacts. This notice considers a scenario in which non-cellulosic beet sugar (primarily sucrose, glucose and/or fructose) is extracted for conversion to biofuel and the remaining beet pulp co-product is used as animal feed. As will be described in Section II, we estimate the GHG emissions associated with production and transport of sugar beets for use as a biofuel feedstock are approximately 45 kilograms of CO2-equivalent per wet short ton (kgCO2e per wet short ton) of sugar beets.2 Based on these results, we believe biofuels produced from sugar beets through recognized conversion processes could qualify as advanced biofuel and/or conventional (non-advanced) renewable fuel, depending on the type and efficiency of the fuel production process technology used. EPA is seeking public comment on its analysis of greenhouse gas emissions related to sugar beet feedstock production and transport.

    2 For purposes of this notice, we assume that sugar beets have an average moisture content of 76%. See Food and Agriculture Organization, 1999, “Agribusiness Handbooks Vol. 4 Sugar Beets/White Sugar”, http://www.responsibleagroinvestment.org/sites/responsibleagroinvestment.org/files/FAO_Agbiz%20handbook_White%20Sugar_0.pdf (Last Accessed: January 4, 2017).

    If appropriate, EPA will update this analysis based on comments received in response to this notice. EPA will use this updated analysis as part of the evaluation of facility-specific petitions received pursuant to 40 CFR 80.1416 that propose to use sugar beets as a feedstock for the production of biofuel.3 Based on this information, EPA will determine the GHG emissions associated with petitioners' biofuel production processes, as well as emissions associated with the transport and use of the finished biofuel. EPA will combine these assessments into a full lifecycle GHG analysis used to determine whether the fuel produced at an individual facility satisfies the CAA GHG emission reduction requirements necessary to qualify as renewable fuel or one of the subcategories of renewable fuel under the RFS program.

    3 Assuming the fuel pathway proposed in such petitions involve extraction of non-cellulosic beet sugar for conversion to biofuel and use of the resulting beet pulp co-product as animal feed.

    II. Analysis of GHG Emissions Associated With Production and Transport of Sugar Beets for Use as a Biofuel Feedstock A. Overview of Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (Sugar Beets)

    Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris, (commonly known as sugar beets) of the order Caryophylalles, is a widely cultivated plant of the Altissima group. Sugar beets are cultivated for their high percentage concentration of sucrose in their root mass. Domestication of the plant group took place approximately 200 years ago in Europe to selectively breed for sugar content from crosses between Beta vulgaris cultivars, including chard plants and fodder beets.4

    4 Juliane C. Dohm et al., “The Genome of the Recently Domesticated Crop Plant Sugar Beet (Beta Vulgaris),” Nature 505, no. 7484 (January 23, 2014): 546-49.

    Sugar beets are a biennial crop species grown across a wide tolerance of soil conditions in areas of temperate climate, and tend to be grown in rotation with other plant varieties.5 Sugar beets are grown for their relatively high sugar content, approximately 13 to 18 percent of the plant's total mass, with around three quarters of the plant mass comprised of water.6 Once harvested, sugar beets are highly perishable and need to be processed in a short period of time.7

    5 Michael J. McConnell, “USDA ERS—Background,” Crops Sugar & Sweeteners Background, October 12, 2016, http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/sugar-sweeteners/background/.

    6 FAO, “Sugar Crops and Sweeteners and Derived Products,” accessed November 30, 2016, http://www.fao.org/es/faodef/fdef03e.HTM.

    7 Michael J. McConnell, “USDA ERS—Policy,” USDA ERS—Policy, November 1, 2016, https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/sugar-sweeteners/policy.aspx.

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the largest region for sugar beet production is the area of the Red River Valley of western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota, and sugar beets are commonly grown at agricultural scale across five regions of the country, encompassing 11 states.8 Western regions tend to require more irrigation while sugar beets grown in the eastern U.S. region make greater use of natural rainfall.9

    8 Michael J. McConnell, “USDA ERS—Background.”

    9 Michael J. McConnell, “USDA ERS—Background.”

    Since the mid-1990s, sugar beets have accounted for about 55 percent of sugar production in the U.S.10 Sugar beets are included in the U.S. sugar program, designed to support domestic sugar prices through loans to sugar processors. The U.S. sugar program also includes a marketing allotment that sets the amount of sugar that domestic processors can sell in the U.S. for human consumption, and provides quotas on the amount of sugar that can be imported into the U.S.11 Sugar produced under the program cannot be used for biofuel purposes with an exception for surplus sugar made available under the USDA Feedstock Flexibility Program that specifically directs the excess sugar to be used for the purpose of domestic biofuel production.12

    10 Michael J. McConnell, “USDA ERS—Background.”

    11 The U.S. sugar program is managed by USDA and supports domestic sugar prices through loans to sugar processors, a marketing allotment program, and quotas on the amount of sugar that can be imported to the U.S. Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. Public Law 107-171, Sec. 1401-1403.

    12 “Feedstock Flexibility Program,” page, accessed November 17, 2016, https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/energy-programs/feedstock-flexibility/index.

    Like other sugars, beet sugar can be fermented and used as a feedstock for biofuel production. The non-cellulosic sugars of sugar beets, the vast majority of which is sucrose, can be converted directly into a refined sugar available for processes such as alcoholic fermentation to produce biofuels (e.g., ethanol).13 Much of the water needed for the fermentation process is provided by the sugar beets themselves. Sugar beet pulp is a fibrous co-product of the beet sugar extraction process.14 The sugar beet pulp is often dried to reduce transportation costs and is widely sold as feed supplement for cattle and other livestock.15 While biofuel production from beet sugar has historically been limited in the U.S., sugar beets accounted for about 17 percent of European ethanol production in 2014.16

    13 Dr. Hossein Shapouri, Dr. Michael Salassi, and J. Nelson Fairbanks, “The Economic Feasibility of Ethanol Production from Sugar in the United States” (USDA, July 2006), http://www.usda.gov/oce/reports/energy/EthanolSugarFeasibilityReport3.pdf.

    14 Eggleston, Gillian et al., “Ethanol from Sugar Crops.” In, Singh, Bharat P., Industrial Crops and Uses. CABI, 2010, pp. 74-75.

    15 Greg Lardy, “Feeding Sugar Beet Byproducts to Cattle,” accessed November 30, 2016, https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/livestock/feeding-sugar-beet-byproducts-to-cattle.

    16 ePURE, “European Renewable Ethanol—Key Figures,” accessed November 17, 2016, http://epure.org/media/1227/european-renewable-ethanol-statistics-2015.pdf.

    B. Analysis of Upstream GHG Emissions

    EPA evaluated the upstream GHG emissions associated with using sugar beets as a biofuel feedstock based on information provided by USDA, petitioners, and other data sources. Upstream GHG emissions include emissions from production and transport of sugar beets used as a biofuel feedstock. The methodology EPA used for this analysis is generally the same approach used for the March 2010 RFS rule for lifecycle analyses of several other biofuel feedstocks, such as corn, soybean oil, and sugarcane.17 The subsections below describe this methodology, including assumptions and results of our analysis.

    17 The March 2010 RFS rule preamble (75 FR 14670, March 26, 2010) and Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) (EPA-420-R-10-006) provide further discussion of our approach. These documents are available online at https://www.epa.gov/renewable-fuel-standard-program/renewable-fuel-standard-rfs2-final-rule-additional-resources.

    1. Methodology and Scenarios Evaluated

    The analysis EPA prepared for sugar beets used the same set of models that were used for the March 2010 RFS rule, including the Forestry and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model (FASOM) developed by Texas A&M University for domestic impacts, and the Food and Agricultural Policy and Research Institute international models as maintained by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (FAPRI-CARD) at Iowa State University for international impacts. For more information on the FASOM and FAPRI-CARD models, refer to the March 2010 RFS rule preamble (75 FR 14670) and Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA).18 Several modifications were made to the domestic and international agricultural economic modeling that differed from previous analyses in order to accurately represent the U.S. sugar program.19 Memoranda to the docket include detailed information on model inputs, assumptions, calculations, and the results of our assessment of the upstream GHG emissions for sugar beet biofuels.20 We invite comments on the scenarios and assumptions used for this analysis, in particular on the key assumptions described in this section.

    18 The March 2010 RFS rule preamble (75 FR 14670, March 26, 2010) and Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) (EPA-420-R-10-006) provide further discussion of our approach. These documents are available online at https://www.epa.gov/renewable-fuel-standard-program/renewable-fuel-standard-rfs2-final-rule-additional-resources.

    19 These differences are discussed further in Sections II.D.2 and II.D.3 below.

    20 The memoranda and modeling files are available in the docket. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0771.

    Sugar beets grown under the U.S. sugar program cannot be used for the purpose of biofuel production, except under very limited conditions specified in the Feedstock Flexibility Program.21 Therefore, for this analysis, EPA assumed that there would be no change in sugar production on U.S. sugar program-designated acres because of demand for beet sugar for biofuel feedstock use.22 In our modeling, growers selling sugar beets to sugar processors under the U.S. sugar program in the control case continued to do so regardless of new demand for sugar beets as a biofuel feedstock in the test case. As a result of this assumption, in our modeling, demand for acreage to grow sugar beets for biofuel feedstock could only be fulfilled by converting acres from other crops besides sugar beets, and/or from other land uses besides crop production (e.g., pastureland, Conservation Reserve Program land).

    21 Harry Baumes, et al. (USDA), “Summary of Discussions Between US EPA and USDA Regarding Sugar Beets.”

    22 The U.S. sugar program designates acres of land used to grow sugar beets sold to domestic sugar processors who receive price support loans and are regulated by USDA market allotments under the program.

    Our analysis also considers the significant restrictions on the trade of sugar beets between the U.S. and other countries. The U.S. does not export beet sugar, as this would violate the terms of participation in the sugar program. While the U.S. does import cane sugar under international agreements, it does not import raw beet sugar.23 Beet sugar may only enter the U.S. as refined sugar from Canada or Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and similar trade agreements, or as components of sugar-containing products.24 This quantity is strictly regulated. EPA is unaware of existing trade agreements that would allow raw beet sugar imports for any purpose, including biofuel production. This makes it unlikely that beet sugar would be imported for use as biofuel feedstock.

    23 The international agreements that allow for sugar import to the U.S. are primarily governed by NAFTA and the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture, but also by CAFTA. See USDA's Web site on the Sugar Import Program for more details: https://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/sugar-import-program (Last accessed December 30, 2016).

    24 Mark A. McMinimy, “U.S. Sugar Program Fundamentals,” April 6, 2016, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43998.pdf.

    Although sugar beets were modeled as grown in the U.S., we also intend that this analysis would cover sugar beets grown and processed into biofuels from other countries and imported to the U.S. as finished biofuel. We expect the vast majority of beet sugar-based biofuel used in the U.S. will come from sugar beets produced in the U.S., and incidental amounts of fuel from crops produced in other nations will not impact our average GHG emissions. Sugar beets require similar climatic regions as those where they are grown in the U.S., and would similarly impact crops such as wheat in those regions while sugar beet pulp would displace corn as livestock feed. Therefore, EPA interprets this upstream analysis as applicable, regardless of the country of origin assuming that sugar beet pulp is used as a livestock feed supplement.

    To assess the impacts of an increase in sugar beet demand for renewable fuel production, EPA modeled two scenarios: (1) A control case with “business-as-usual” assumptions 25 and no biofuel production from sugar beets and (2) a sugar beet biofuel case where 300 million ethanol-equivalent gallons of biofuels are assumed to be from beet sugar in 2022, requiring the use of 12 million wet short tons of sugar beets for biofuel production. The analysis presented in this notice considered all GHG emissions associated with the cultivation and production of sugar beets intended for biofuel feedstock use, as well as emissions from transporting these sugar beets to a biofuel production facility. In lifecycle analysis literature these emissions are often referred to as the “upstream” emissions, because they occur upstream of the fuel production facility (i.e., before the biofuel feedstock arrives at that facility).

    25 To assess the impacts of an increase in renewable fuel volume from business-as-usual (what is likely to have occurred without the RFS biofuel mandates) to levels required by the statute, we established a control case and other cases for a number of biofuels. The control case included a projection of renewable fuel volumes that might be used to comply with the RFS renewable fuel volume mandates in full. The case is designed such that the only difference between the scenario case and the control case is the volume of an individual biofuel, all other volumes remaining the same. In the March 2010 RFS rule, for each individual biofuel, we analyzed the incremental GHG emission impacts of increasing the volume of that fuel from business as usual levels to the level of that biofuel projected to be used in 2022, together with other biofuels, to fully meet the CAA requirements. Rather than focus on the GHG emissions impacts associated with a specific gallon of fuel and tracking inputs and outputs across different lifecycle stages, we determined the overall aggregate impacts across sectors of the economy in response to a given volume change in the amount of biofuel produced. For this analysis, we compared impacts in the control case to the impacts in a new sugar beets case. The control case used for the March 2010 RFS rule, and used for this analysis, has zero gallons of sugar beet biofuel production.

    The analysis presented in this notice does not include fuel production or “downstream” emissions, which consists of emissions associated with fuel transport and fuel combustion. Once comments on the upstream emissions described in this notice have been considered, we intend to combine the upstream analysis with the fuel production and downstream emissions associated with fuel produced at an individual biofuel facility to determine the lifecycle GHG emissions associated with that fuel. This lifecycle analysis would reflect any differences in emissions that may exist between producing different types of biofuels from sugar beets. Our analysis of the upstream emissions associated with sugar beets assumed that non-cellulosic sugars are extracted from the beets before the sugars are converted, and that the beet pulp would then be sold into feed markets. Fuel production methods that also convert the pulp into fuel (e.g., through pyrolysis of the beet) or use the pulp for other purposes may not be compatible with this analysis.

    We evaluated a scenario with biofuels produced from this amount of sugar beets for multiple reasons. Although biofuel production from sugar beets is currently small in the U.S., recent trends in domestic sugar beet yields and acreage indicate that 12 million wet short tons of sugar beets could be produced as biofuel feedstocks if a significant market demand emerged. An additional 12 million wet short tons of sugar beets would represent a 34 percent increase in U.S. sugar beet cultivation compared to 2015 levels.26 According to USDA data, harvested acres of sugar beets since 2010 were, on average, about 30 percent lower than their most recent peak levels in the 1990s, an average difference of approximately 360,000 harvested acres.27 Increasing beet yields over time has reduced the number of acres needed to satisfy production targets under the U.S. sugar program.28 National average sugar beet yields since 2010 have been approximately 25 percent higher than yields during the 1990s, and reached almost 31 wet short tons per acre in the 2015 crop year.29 Were beet acres to return to their 1990s peak, the additional approximately 360,000 harvested acres would produce about 11.2 million wet short tons of beets at these 2015 yield levels. However, based on the steady increase in yields over time, it seems likely that beet yields will continue to increase between now and 2022. If national average beet yields reach at least 33.4 wet short tons per acre by 2022, a fairly modest increase of about 8 percent over 2015 levels, an additional 12 million wet short tons of beets could be produced on these additional 360,000 acres. Since further expansion of beet area beyond the historical peak is also possible, an increase in beet production of 12 million wet short tons appears to be very feasible. We welcome comment on this assumption.

    26 See, USDA, “Sugarbeet Area and Planted Harvested Yield and Production States and United States 2013-2015,” in Crop Production 2015 Summary, January 2016, ISSN: 1057-7823, http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/CropProdSu/CropProdSu-0112-2016.pdf. This assumes an ethanol conversion rate of 25 gallons of ethanol/wet short ton of beets.

    27 USDA, “NASS Quick Stats”, https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov (Last Accessed: November 16, 2016).

    28 USDA, “NASS Quick Stats”, https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov (Last Accessed: November 16, 2016).

    29 USDA, “NASS Quick Stats”, https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov (Last Accessed: November 16, 2016).

    In our analysis, FASOM allowed for sugar beet production in all areas of the continental 48 states where sugar beets had been grown historically, including states and areas that do not currently take part in the U.S. sugar program. The model was allowed to determine which of these regions would be optimal for growing sugar beets for biofuel feedstock, based on least cost of production and transport, and considering the opportunity cost of using that land for other uses (e.g., to produce other crops, grazing, forestry). The factors that contributed to these crop production choices include crop yield, input quantities, and growing strategies.

    Following the methodology established in the March 2010 RFS rule, EPA used the FAPRI model to evaluate the international impacts of producing and transporting 12 million wet short tons of sugar beets for biofuel production in the U.S. The FAPRI model included a representation of the U.S. sugar program, and modeled domestic sugar production as a function of this program. Production and consumption levels in the U.S. were set according to the parameters of the sugar program and were not affected by market forces. Because the existing U.S. sugar production module in FAPRI did not respond to market forces, for modeling purposes EPA had to make assumptions regarding in which regions sugar beets for biofuel feedstock use would be grown. Crop yields and the quantity of crop area displaced by expanded sugar beet production also had to be set by assumption, since the U.S. sugar module in FAPRI lacks market forces to create demand-pull for new beet acres. In order to derive the quantity of crop area displaced, EPA used a crop yield of approximately 26 wet short tons per acre, the 10-year national average yield for sugar beets (for crop years 2005 through 2014).30 Actual yields on any given acre may be higher or lower than this assumed value, based on factors such as location, annual variation in growing conditions, growing practices, and crop rotation strategies. Because the FAPRI analysis assumed to displace acres in North Dakota and California, we did not believe that it was appropriate to use the USDA 2022 national average projections for sugar beets yield. As an alternative, EPA believes using the 10-year national average was a reasonable assumption for our international agricultural sector modeling. The increase in sugar yield trends over the last few decades suggests that future yields are unlikely to be lower than the 10-year average. As further support for our yield assumptions in FAPRI, we note that FASOM projected sugar beet yields in 2022 that are close to the assumptions used in FAPRI.31 We welcome comment on this assumption.

    30 USDA, “NASS Quick Stats”, https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov (Last Accessed: November 16, 2016).

    31 See “Sugar Beets for Biofuel Upstream Analysis Technical Memorandum” in the docket for details. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0771.

    For the purposes of FAPRI modeling, EPA assumed that sugar beets for fuel use would be produced in equal amounts in North Dakota and California for the following reasons: At the onset of our analysis, these were the regions with indications of significant sugar beet biofuel interest.32 They are also both regions with a long history of sugar beet production. As a simplifying assumption, EPA assumed that all crops grown in each of these regions were displaced by sugar beets proportionally to their crop area in the control case. We recognize there are significant differences in the way the sugar beet biofuel scenarios were implemented in FASOM and FAPRI for this analysis. For example, FASOM chose to produce all sugar beets for biofuels in North Dakota, whereas in FAPRI we modeled this production in North Dakota and California by assumption. Since these modeling exercises occurred concurrently, not sequentially, we could not anticipate what choices FASOM would make at the outset of our FAPRI modeling. This led to some differences in the regions utilized to produce beets. However, the nationwide agricultural market results projected by FASOM and FAPRI were similar, due to similar dominant trends in feed markets and crop exports at the national level. The similarity of these relevant national market results between the two models, despite differences in U.S. growing regions, indicates that the international impacts projected by the FAPRI model would not have been significantly different if we had applied the growing assumptions from FASOM. These results are discussed below and are available in the docket for this notice.33 We welcome comment on these assumptions and our results.

    32 At the time of this modeling we had received the petitions from Green Vision Group proposing to produce ethanol from sugar beets grown in North Dakota and Tracy Renewable Energy proposing to produce ethanol from sugar beets grown in California but we had not received the petition from Plant Sensory Systems proposing to produce ethanol from sugar beets grown in Florida. EPA does not expect results would have varied significantly if sugar beets had been modeled by assumption in Florida under FAPRI due to the similarity of these results to the results from FASOM.

    33 See EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0771.

    The sugar beet scenario modeled included a number of key assumptions, such as biofuel and pulp yields per wet short ton of beets, and the amount of corn livestock feed displaced per pound of pulp. These key assumptions are discussed below. Information on additional assumptions, including sugar beet crop inputs (e.g., fertilizer, energy) is available in the docket for this notice.

    In conducting research for this analysis, we located sources for beet pulp yield of 0.06 dry short tons of sugar beet pulp per wet short tons of sugar beets 34 and displacement rates of 0.9 pounds of corn feed displaced in cattle diets 35 for every pound of sugar beet pulp. In livestock production, the fibrous sugar beet pulp is used as a roughage replacement making it of use primarily for ruminants rather than other types of livestock.36 In our analysis, sugar beet pulp use by the livestock market was an important factor leading to GHG reductions. Therefore this notice evaluates only using the non-cellulosic portion of sugar beets for biofuel production.

    34 Panella, Lee and Stephen R. Kaffka, “Sugar Beet (Beta vulgaris L) as a Biofuel Feedstock in the United States.” Chapter 10 in Sustainability of the Sugar and Sugar Ethanol Industries; Eggleston, G.; ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington DC, 2010, pp. 165.

    35 To make a simplifying assumption, we averaged the value from corn in backgrounding diets and finishing diets. Lardy, Greg, and Rebecca Schafar, “Feeding Sugar Beet Byproducts to Cattle,” North Dakota State University, May 2008, pp. 2.

    36 Harry Baumes, et al. (USDA), “Summary of Discussions Between US EPA and USDA Regarding Sugar Beets”.

    2. Domestic Impacts

    On the basis of least cost, FASOM chose to grow all sugar beets in North Dakota, with approximately 477,000 acres of land required to grow the additional sugar beets.

    The vast majority of the new sugar beet acres in North Dakota was from displacement of other crops rather than from new cropland (432,000 acres from displaced crops, or nearly 91 percent of needed acres). Increasing sugar beet production in North Dakota primarily displaced wheat acreage, but also soybeans, corn, and hay among other crops.37 Most of these displaced crops shifted to other U.S. regions, and some crops, such as soybeans, shifted to new acreage that was more productive than the North Dakota acres from where they were displaced. Table II.1 indicates that production levels for hay, soy, and most other crops are maintained.38 However, national crop area and production for wheat and corn declined significantly.

    37 See “FASOM Sugar Beets Results” in the docket. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0771.

    38 Soy is captured in the “All Else” category in Table II.1. See “FASOM Sugar Beets Results” in the docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0771 for more detail.

    Table II.1—Changes in U.S. Production (Million Pounds) and Harvested Area (Thousand Acres) in 2022 Relative To Control Case 39 Production
  • difference
  • from control
  • case
  • (million pounds)
  • Harvested area
  • difference from control case
  • (thousand acres)
  • Sugar Beets +23,976 +477 Hay +8 −106 Corn −867 −96 Wheat −352 −98 All Else +3 −56 Total +22,768 +121

    The reductions in corn and wheat production were driven by different proximate causes (though both were ultimately driven by increased demand for sugar beets) and led to somewhat different impacts on commodity use and trade. In the case of wheat, the decline in production led to a decline in exports. As shown in Section II.B.3, the decline in wheat exports created pressure on international wheat markets and wheat production increased outside the U.S.

    39 Totals may differ from subtotals due to rounding.

    In the case of corn, the potential market impacts were mitigated by the increased availability of sugar beet pulp into U.S. feed markets as a result of beet sugar biofuel production. As described in Section II.A, sugar beet pulp is a co-product used as livestock feed supplement, mainly substituting for corn. Based on the FASOM results for 2022, approximately 1.4 billion pounds of sugar beet pulp were produced and sent to the feed market. In turn this displaced approximately 1.2 billion pounds of corn, which was significantly greater than the approximately 867 million pounds of corn production lost to displaced acres. This led to a decrease in total demand for corn in U.S. markets and, as a result, U.S. exports of corn increased. As discussed in Section II.B.3 below, this reduced the price of corn internationally and lessened the demand pull for corn to be grown in other countries.

    The rest of the needed sugar beet acres in North Dakota, approximately 46,000 acres, came from new cropland, particularly from cropland pasture (high-value pasture land that can also be utilized as cropland with minimal preparation) and from acres that would otherwise take part in the Conservation Reserve Program. Pasture area rose modestly in some other states causing the conversion of some forest acres to pasture. This relatively small decrease in forestland pushed up prices slightly for forest products, leading foresters to intensify growth on their stands. Relative to other feedstocks EPA has evaluated for the RFS program, these domestic shifts in land use were minor, and after the various land use changes were considered the net domestic land use change emissions impacts were close to zero.

    3. International Impacts

    In the FAPRI model, the expansion of sugar beet cropland used to produce biofuel feedstock also led to increases in corn exports and decreases in wheat exports. Similar to the drivers of the domestic results discussed in Section II.B.2, beet production displaced wheat acres, but the beet pulp co-product reduced domestic demand for corn. Further, the magnitude of these export impacts was quite similar between the two models, as shown in Table II.2 below.40

    40 Impacts on the exports of other crops were relatively minor, but interested readers can examine the full set of FAPRI crop trade impacts in the docket.

    Table II.2—Changes in U.S. Corn and Wheat Exports in 2022 Relative To Control Case by Model [Million pounds] Difference
  • from control case in
  • FASOM
  • Difference from
  • control
  • case in FAPRI
  • Corn +307 +355 Wheat −292 −281

    With sugar beet pulp displacing corn feed, FAPRI modeling indicated that in 2022, both corn production and acreage would decline globally. Production outside the U.S. of certain other crops however increased in response to U.S. increasing demand for sugar beets; most significantly wheat and soybeans. Wheat increased internationally in terms of both production and acreage, with a strong response particularly in India. Soybean acres and production also increased, particularly in Brazil. Table II.3 below summarizes the non-U.S. increases in harvested area by crop type, while Table II.4 shows which countries had the largest impacts.

    Table II.3—Non-U.S. Harvested Area by Crop in 2022 Relative To Control Case [Thousand acres] 41 Difference
  • from control case
  • Sugar Beets 0 Corn −45 Wheat +43 Soybeans +20 All Else +37 Total +55

    As increasing sugar beet pulp use for livestock feed in the U.S. freed up more corn for export, international livestock feed prices declined modestly, and with it was a small rise in meat production globally. Many of these changes occurred in Brazil and this caused some expansion in grazing land, including in the Amazon region. This caused further international land use change impacts, as shown in Table II.4 below.

    41 These totals do not include pastureland in Brazil. Totals may differ from subtotals due to rounding.

    42 Totals may differ from subtotals due to rounding. Brazil totals include pastureland. Other regions are cropland only.

    Table II.4—Non-U.S. Changes in Agricultural Land by Region in 2022 Relative To Control Case [Thousand acres] 42 Change in
  • area harvested
  • Change in
  • pasture acres
  • Total
  • change in acres
  • Brazil +9 +20 +29 India +15 +15 Rest of Non-USA +32 +32 Total Non-USA +75
    4. Feedstock Transport

    When harvested, sugar beets are heavy and perishable; therefore, transport of sugar beets from field to processing site is expected to occur over short distances. Information from stakeholders and literature states that sugar beets used for biofuels are shipped by truck from point of production to the plant with typical distances for transport around 30 miles.43 GHG emissions for the transport of sugar beets are based on emission factors developed for the March 2010 RFS rule for trucks including capacity, fuel economy, and type of fuel used.44

    43 Farahmand, K., N. Dharmadhikari, and V. Khiabani. “Analysis of Transportation Economics of Sugar-Beet Production in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota using Geographical Information System.” Journal of Renewable Agriculture 7(2013):126-131.

    44 The March 2010 RFS rule preamble (75 FR 14670, March 26, 2010) and Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) (EPA-420-R-10-006) provide further discussion of our approach. These documents are available online at https://www.epa.gov/renewable-fuel-standard-program/renewable-fuel-standard-rfs2-final-rule-additional-resources.

    5. Results of Upstream GHG Lifecycle Analysis

    As described above, EPA analyzed the GHG emissions associated with feedstock production and transport. Table II.5 below breaks down by stage the calculated GHG upstream emissions for producing biofuels from sugar beets in 2022.

    Table II.5—Upstream GHG Lifecycle Emissions for Sugar Beets [gCO2-eq/wet short ton] Process Emissions
  • (gCO2-eq/wet short ton)
  • Net Agriculture (w/o land use change) +21,615 Domestic Land Use Change −882 International Land Use Change, Mean +16,038 (Low/High) (+9249/+23,672) Feedstock Transport +8,183 Total Upstream Emissions, Mean +44,954 (Low/High) (+38,210/+52,588)

    Net agricultural emissions included domestic and international impacts related to changes in crop inputs such as fertilizer, energy used in agriculture, livestock production, and other agricultural changes in the scenario modeled. Increased demand for sugar beets resulted in positive net agricultural emissions relative to the control case. Compared with other crops, sugar beets required relatively high levels of agricultural chemical inputs (e.g., herbicides and pesticides).45 Domestic land use change emissions were close to zero for sugar beets, as described in Section II.B.2.

    45 Harry Baumes, et al. (USDA), “Summary of Discussions Between US EPA and USDA Regarding Sugar Beets”.

    International land use change emissions increased as a result of demand for sugar beets. The increase in international land use change emissions for sugar beets was significantly larger than the decrease in domestic land use change emissions. This is because increased demand for sugar beets led to a significant reduction in key U.S. crop exports (e.g., wheat exports), but very little change in domestic consumption of agricultural goods. These greater international emissions led to a net increase in global land use change emissions. Feedstock transport included emissions from moving sugar beets from the farm to a biofuel production facility, as described in Section II.B.4 above.

    6. Fuel Production and Distribution

    Sugar beets are suitable for the same biofuel conversion processes as sugarcane. In Europe, where sugar beets are widely used as biofuel feedstock, virtually all of the fuel is non-cellulosic beet sugar ethanol produced through fermentation with the beet pulp sold into the feed markets. Based on these data, and on information from our petitioners and other stakeholders, EPA anticipates that most biofuel produced from sugar beets in the U.S. would also be from the non-cellulosic sugars via fermentation. Our upstream analysis would apply for all facilities where non-cellulosic beet sugar is converted to biofuel and the co-product beet pulp is used as animal feed.

    Given the importance of the beet pulp co-product on the upstream GHG emissions associated with beet pulp, pathways that do not produce a beet pulp feed coproduct, or use it for purposes other than animal feed, may not be compatible with our analysis. EPA would likely need to conduct supplemental upstream GHG analysis in order to determine the lifecycle GHG emissions associated with fuels produced under these types of pathways.

    After reviewing comments received in response to this action, EPA will combine the evaluation of upstream GHG emissions associated with the use of sugar beet feedstock with an evaluation of the GHG emissions associated with individual producers' production processes and finished fuels to determine whether fuel produced at petitioners' facilities from the sugar in sugar beets satisfy the CAA lifecycle GHG emissions reduction requirements for renewable fuels. Each biofuel producer seeking to generate Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) for non-grandfathered volumes of biofuel from sugar beets will need to submit a petition requesting EPA's evaluation of their new renewable fuel pathway pursuant to 40 CFR 80.1416 of the RFS regulations, and include all of the information specified at 40 CFR 80.1416(b)(1).46

    46 Petitioners with pending petitions involving use of sugar from sugar beets as feedstock will not be required to submit new petitions. However, if any information has changed from their original petitions, EPA will request that they update that information.

    Because EPA is evaluating the GHG emissions associated with the production and transport of sugar beet feedstock through this notice and comment process, petitioners requesting EPA's evaluation of biofuel pathways involving sugar beet feedstock need not include the information for new feedstocks specified at 40 CFR 80.1416(b)(2). Based on our evaluation of the upstream GHG emissions attributable to the production and transport of sugar beet feedstock, including our assumptions regarding the average yield of ethanol in mmBtu per wet short ton of sugar beets used, EPA anticipates that if a facility produces emissions of no more than approximately 23 kgCO2e/mmBtu of ethanol, the fuel produced would meet the 50 percent advanced biofuel GHG reduction threshold.47 If a facility produces no more than 53 kgCO2e/mmBtu of ethanol, EPA anticipates it would meet the 20 percent renewable fuel GHG reduction threshold. EPA will evaluate petitions for fuel produced from sugar beet feedstock on a case-by-case basis, and will make adjustments as necessary for each facility including consideration of differences in the yield of ethanol per wet short ton of sugar beets used.48 We welcome comments on this application of our upstream analysis.

    47 In this case, emissions produced by the facility refers to fuel production emissions, including emissions associated with energy used for fuel, feedstock and co-product operations at the facility. For more details on the assumptions used in this analysis, see “Sugar Beets for Biofuel Upstream Analysis Technical Memorandum” in the docket. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0771.

    48 For example, EPA may need to consider additional feedstock transportation emissions in cases where beet sugar extraction and biofuel production do not occur in the same location, as may be the case for biofuel produced under the USDA Feedstock Flexibility Program.

    7. Risk of Potential Invasiveness

    Sugar beets were not listed on the Federal noxious weed list nor did they appear on USDA's composite listing of introduced, invasive, and noxious plants by U.S state.49 50 Based on consultation with USDA, EPA does not believe sugar beets pose a risk of invasiveness at this time. Current cultivars of sugar beets require extensive weed management to survive.51 However, USDA notes that future cross breeding, hybridization, and genetic manipulation could change the invasiveness potential of beets, in which case a re-evaluation may be required.52 Based on currently available information, EPA does not believe monitoring and reporting of data for invasiveness concerns would be a requirement for biofuel producers generating fuel from sugar beets at this time.

    49 USDA, “Federal Noxious Weed List,” July 13, 2016, https://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/weeds/downloads/weedlist.pdf.

    50 USDA, “State and Federal Noxious Weeds List,” accessed November 17, 2016, http://plants.usda.gov/java/noxComposite.

    51 Harry Baumes, et al. (USDA), “Summary of Discussions Between US EPA and USDA Regarding Sugar Beets.”

    52 Harry Baumes, et al. (USDA), “Summary of Discussions Between US EPA and USDA Regarding Sugar Beets.”

    III. Summary

    EPA invites public comment on its analysis of GHG emissions associated with the production and transport of sugar beets as a feedstock for biofuel production. This notice analyzes a non-cellulosic sugar beet-to-biofuel production process. Although EPA has not received a petition for cellulosic sugar beet biofuel production, the agency is aware of interest in this process and invites comment on the analysis of beet pulp and its effect on agricultural markets. EPA will consider public comments received when evaluating petitions received pursuant to 40 CFR 80.1416 that involve pathways using sugar beets as a feedstock.

    Dated: January 18, 2017. Christopher Grundler, Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Office of Air and Radiation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15721 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9965-17-OA] Notification of a Public Meeting of the Chartered Science Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public meeting of the chartered SAB to: Conduct three quality reviews of (1) the SAB peer review of EPA's Draft Assessment entitled Toxicological Review of Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX); (2) the draft SAB report on Economy-wide Modeling of the Benefits and Costs of Environmental Regulation and (3) the draft SAB review of the EPA's Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO 2 Emissions from Stationary Sources (2014); and receive briefings on SAB projects and future topics from the EPA.

    DATES:

    The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday, August 30, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Residence Inn Arlington Capital View, 2850 South Potomac Ave., Arlington, VA 22202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Any member of the public who wants further information concerning the meeting may contact Mr. Thomas Carpenter, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), EPA Science Advisory Board (1400R), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; via telephone/voice mail (202) 564-4885, or email at [email protected] General information concerning the SAB can be found on the EPA Web site at http://www.epa.gov/sab.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The SAB was established pursuant to the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act (ERDDAA), codified at 42 U.S.C. 4365, to provide independent scientific and technical advice to the Administrator on the scientific and technical basis for Agency positions and regulations. The SAB is a Federal Advisory Committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C., App. 2. The SAB will comply with the provisions of FACA and all appropriate SAB Staff Office procedural policies. Pursuant to FACA and EPA policy, notice is hereby given that the SAB will hold a public meeting to discuss and deliberate on the topics below. The chartered SAB will conduct quality reviews of three draft reports. The SAB quality review process ensures that all draft reports developed by SAB panels, committees or workgroups are reviewed and approved by the Chartered SAB before being finalized and transmitted to the EPA Administrator. These reviews are conducted in a public meeting as required by FACA.

    Quality Review of the draft SAB Review of EPA's Draft Assessment entitled Toxicological Review of Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX): The National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) in the EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) develops toxicological reviews/assessments for various chemicals for IRIS. NCEA is developing a draft IRIS assessment for Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) and has asked the SAB to peer review the draft document. The draft will be a reassessment of RDX. NCEA's draft Toxicological Review of Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) currently posted to the IRIS database includes an oral reference dose (RfD) (posted in 1988), and a cancer descriptor and oral cancer slope factor (posted in 1990). Epidemiological data, experimental animal data, and other relevant data from studies of the noncancer and cancer effects of RDX are being evaluated in this reassessment. The reassessment is expected to include an updated RfD and oral cancer assessment. Background on the current advisory activity, IRIS Assessment for Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) can be found on the SAB Web site at https://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/0/50370BADC61C408685257E380077D825?OpenDocument.

    Quality Review of the draft SAB report on Economy-wide Modeling of the Benefits and Costs of Environmental Regulation: The EPA requested that the SAB provide review of the EPA's modeling and ability to measure full regulatory impacts and to make recommendations on the use of economy-wide modeling frameworks to characterize the social costs, benefits, and economic impacts of air regulations with the aim of improving benefit-cost and economic impact analyses used to inform decision-making at the agency. As a first step, the EPA has asked the SAB to provide feedback on its draft charge questions and analytic blueprint. Background on the current advisory activity, Economy-wide Modeling of the Benefits and Costs of Environmental Regulation can be found on the SAB Web site at https://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/LookupWebProjectsCurrentBOARD/07e67cf77b54734285257bb0004f87ed!OpenDocument&TableRow=2.1#2.

    Quality review of a draft SAB review report on the Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO 2 Emissions from Stationary Sources: In 2012, the SAB completed a review of the first draft accounting framework addressing scientific and technical issues associated with biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Accounting Framework for Biogenic CO 2 Emissions from Stationary Sources (September 2011). The EPA subsequently revised the 2011 framework and requested the SAB to conduct a review of the Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO 2 Emissions from Stationary Sources (November 2014). The purpose of the 2014 framework is to develop a method for calculating the adjustment, or Biogenic Assessment Factor (BAF), for carbon emissions associated with the combustion of biogenic feedstocks taking into account the biological carbon cycle effects associated with their growth, harvest and processing. The SAB convened the Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel to review the framework. Background on the current advisory activity, Biogenic Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Stationary Sources—Assessment Framework can be found on the SAB Web site at http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/fedrgstr_activites/Biogenic%20CO2%20Framework?OpenDocument.

    Briefings and updates: The SAB will receive updates from SAB members on the current activities of committees and panels developing advisory reports and briefings on future topics from the EPA staff.

    Availability of Meeting Materials: A meeting agenda and other materials for the meeting will be placed on the SAB Web site at http://epa.gov/sab.

    Procedures for Providing Public Input: Public comment for consideration by EPA's federal advisory committees and panels has a different purpose from public comment provided to EPA program offices. Therefore, the process for submitting comments to a federal advisory committee is different from the process used to submit comments to an EPA program office.

    Federal advisory committees and panels, including scientific advisory committees, provide independent advice to the EPA. Members of the public can submit relevant comments pertaining to the EPA's charge, meeting materials, or the group providing advice. Input from the public to the SAB will have the most impact if it provides specific scientific or technical information or analysis for the SAB to consider or if it relates to the clarity or accuracy of the technical information. Members of the public wishing to provide comment should contact the DFO directly.

    Oral Statements: In general, individuals or groups requesting an oral presentation at a public meeting will be limited to five minutes. Persons interested in providing oral statements at the August 29-30, 2017, meeting should contact Mr. Thomas Carpenter, DFO, in writing (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by August 21, 2017 to be placed on the list of registered speakers. Written Statements: Written statements for the August 29-30, 2017, meeting should be received in the SAB Staff Office by August 21, 2017, so that the information can be made available to the SAB for its consideration prior to the meeting. Written statements should be supplied to the DFO at the contact information above via email (preferred) or in hard copy with original signature. Submitters are requested to provide a signed and unsigned version of each document because the SAB Staff Office does not publish documents with signatures on its Web sites. Members of the public should be aware that their personal contact information, if included in any written comments, may be posted to the SAB Web site. Copyrighted material will not be posted without explicit permission of the copyright holder.

    Accessibility: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Mr. Carpenter at the phone number or email address noted above, preferably at least ten days prior to the meeting, to give the EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: July 11, 2017. Khanna Johnston, Acting Deputy Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15722 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0006; FRL-9963-50] Receipt of Several Pesticide Petitions Filed for Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various Commodities AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of filing of petitions and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces the Agency's receipt of several initial filings of pesticide petitions requesting the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number and the pesticide petition number (PP) of interest as shown in the body of this document, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert McNally, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD) (7511P), main telephone number: (703) 305-7090, email address: [email protected]; or Michael Goodis, Registration Division (RD) (7505P), main telephone number: (703) 305-7090, email address: [email protected] The mailing address for each contact person is: Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. As part of the mailing address, include the contact person's name, division, and mail code. The division to contact is listed at the end of each pesticide petition summary.

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT for the division listed at the end of the pesticide petition summary of interest.

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

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information 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.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    3. Environmental justice. EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of any group, including minority and/or low-income populations, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or environmental effects from exposure to the pesticides discussed in this document, compared to the general population.

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA is announcing its receipt of several pesticide petitions filed under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a, requesting the establishment or modification of regulations in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various food commodities. The Agency is taking public comment on the requests before responding to the petitioners. EPA is not proposing any particular action at this time. EPA has determined that the pesticide petitions described in this document contain the data or information prescribed in FFDCA section 408(d)(2), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(2); however, EPA has not fully evaluated the sufficiency of the submitted data at this time or whether the data support granting of the pesticide petitions. After considering the public comments, EPA intends to evaluate whether and what action may be warranted. Additional data may be needed before EPA can make a final determination on these pesticide petitions.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 180.7(f), a summary of each of the petitions that are the subject of this document, prepared by the petitioner, is included in a docket EPA has created for each rulemaking. The docket for each of the petitions is available at http://www.regulations.gov.

    As specified in FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), EPA is publishing notice of the petitions so that the public has an opportunity to comment on these requests for the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticides in or on food commodities. Further information on the petitions may be obtained through the petition summaries referenced in this unit.

    Amended Tolerances for Non-Inerts

    1. PP 6E8503. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0600). BASF Corporation, 26 Davis Drive, P.O. Box 13528, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, requests to amend the tolerance in 40 CFR 180.589 for residues of the fungicide, boscalid, 3-pyridinecarboxamide,2-chloro-N-(4′-chloro[1,1′-biphenyl]-2-yl) in or on Vegetable, legume, edible-podded, subgroup 6A from 1.6 ppm to 5.0 ppm. Gas chromatography using mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is used to measure and evaluate the chemical in dry and succulent beans and peas. Contact: RD.

    2. PP 6E8484. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0254). IR-4, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W., Princeton, NJ 08540, requests that upon establishing tolerances for this petition under “New Tolerances” above, 40 CFR part 180.475 is amended to remove existing tolerances for residues of the fungicide difenoconazole, 1-[2-[2-chloro-4-(4- chlorophenoxy)phenyl]-4-methyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-ylmethyl]-1H-1,2,4-triazole, including its metabolites and degradates, to be determined by measuring only difenoconazole in or on brassica, head and stem, subgroup 5A at 1.9 ppm, brassica, leafy greens, subgroup 5B at 35 ppm; grape at 4.0 ppm; and turnip, greens at 35 ppm. Contact: RD.

    3. PP 6F8517. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0639). Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc., 2255 N. 44th St., Suite 300, Phoenix, AZ 85008, requests to amend the tolerance in 40 CFR 180.415 for residues of the fungicide, aluminum tris (O-ethylphosphonate), in or on Fruit, citrus, group 10 from 5.0 ppm to 9.0 ppm. Adequate enforcement methodology available in the Pesticide Analytical Manual (PAM II, Method II) is used to measure and evaluate the chemical in the above citrus group. Contact: RD.

    New Tolerance Exemptions

    1. PP 6F8514. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0185). FMC Corporation, FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, 2929 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104, requests to establish an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the fungicide, plant regulator, and nematocide Bacillus licheniformis strain FMCH001 in or on all food commodities. The petitioner believes no analytical method is needed because an analytical method for residues is not applicable. It is expected that, when used as proposed, Bacillus licheniformis strain FMCH001 would not result in residues that are of toxicological concern. Contact: BPPD.

    2. PP 6F8515. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0186). FMC Corporation, FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, 2929 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104, requests to establish an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the fungicide and plant regulator Bacillus subtilis strain FMCH002 in or on all food commodities. The petitioner believes no analytical method is needed because an analytical method for residues is not applicable. It is expected that, when used as proposed, Bacillus subtilis strain FMCH002 would not result in residues that are of toxicological concern. Contact: BPPD.

    New Tolerances for Non-Inerts

    1. PP 6E8484. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0254). IR-4, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W., Princeton, NJ 08540, requests to establish tolerances in 40 CFR part 180.475 for residues of the fungicide difenoconazole, 1-[2-[2-chloro-4-(4-chlorophenoxy)phenyl]-4- methyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-ylmethyl]-1H-1,2,4-triazole, including its metabolites and degradates, to be determined by measuring only difenoconazole in or on brassica, leafy greens, subgroup 4-16B at 35 ppm; cranberry at 0.6 ppm; fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F at 4.0 ppm; guava at 3.0 ppm; kohlrabi at 2.0 ppm; papaya at 0.6 ppm; and vegetable, brassica, head and stem, group 5-16 at 2.0 ppm. Available analytical methods for crops include gas chromatography (GC) equipped with a nitrogen -phosphorous detector; and LC/MS/MS; and for meat, milk, poultry or eggs, Syngenta's method, AG544A, is used to measure and evaluate the chemical difenoconazole. Contact: RD.

    2. PP 6F8499. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0752). Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, P.O. Box 18300, Greensboro, NC 27419, requests to establish a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the fungicide benzovindiflupyr in or on Sugarcane, cane, at 0.3 parts per million (ppm). The GRM042.03A and GRM042.04A for plant products are used to measure and evaluate the chemical benzovindiflupyr. Contact: RD.

    3. PP 6F8522. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0754). Nufarm Americas Inc., 4020 Aerial Center Parkway, Suite 101, Morrisville, NC 27545., requests to establish a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the bactericide/fungicide oxytetracycline in or on citrus, group 10-10, at 0.6 parts per million (ppm) and citrus, dried pulp, at 1.2 ppm. The LC/MS/MS is used to measure and evaluate the chemical oxytetracycline, utilizing turbo ion spray in the positive ionization mode. Contact: RD.

    4. PP 6F8542. (EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0167). Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, P.O. Box 18300, Greensboro, NC 27419, requests to establish a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the fungicide benzovindiflupyr in or on grasses grown for seed, hay at 7 parts per million (ppm); grasses grown for seed, straw at 6ppm and grasses grown for seed, forage at .15 ppm. The GRM042.03A and GRM042.04A methods for plant products are used to measure and evaluate the chemical benzovindiflupyr. Contact: RD.

    Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 346a.

    Dated: June 19, 2017. Delores Barber, Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15730 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0007; FRL-9963-52] Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Active Ingredients AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has received applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by the Docket Identification (ID) Number and the File Symbol of interest as shown in the body of this document, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert McNally, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information 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.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. Registration Applications

    EPA has received applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the provisions of FIFRA section 3(c)(4) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(4)), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications. Notice of receipt of these applications does not imply a decision by the Agency on these applications. EPA received the following applications to register new active ingredients:

    File Symbol: 279-GARA. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0187. Applicant: FMC Corporation, FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, 2929 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104. Product name: Bacillus licheniformis strain FMCH001 Technical. Active ingredient: Fungicide, plant regulator, and nematocide—Bacillus licheniformis strain FMCH001 at 100.0%. Proposed use: For manufacturing use only.

    File Symbol: 279-GARI. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0187. Applicant: FMC Corporation, FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, 2929 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104. Product name: F4018-4. Active ingredients: Fungicide, plant regulator, and nematocide—Bacillus licheniformis strain FMCH001 at 3.50% and Bacillus subtilis strain FMCH002 at 4.00%. Proposed use: A biological fungicide and nematocide for seed treatment use to control listed fungal diseases and provide protection from listed soil nematodes.

    File Symbol: 279-GARO. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0187. Applicant: FMC Corporation, FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, 2929 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104. Product name: F4022-1. Active ingredients: Insecticide, fungicide, plant regulator, and nematocide—Bifenthrin at 16.3% and Bacillus licheniformis strain FMCH001 at 1.0%. Proposed use: For mixing directly with liquid fertilizer to control listed soil pests.

    File Symbol: 279-GART. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0187. Applicant: FMC Corporation, FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, 2929 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104. Product name: Bacillus subtilis strain FMCH002 Technical. Active ingredient: Fungicide and plant regulator—Bacillus subtilis strain FMCH002 at 100.0%. Proposed use: For manufacturing use only.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: July 6, 2017. Delores Barber, Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15746 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10072—Mirae Bank, Los Angeles, California

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as Receiver for Mirae Bank, Los Angeles, California (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed Receiver of Mirae Bank on June 26, 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 20, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15623 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10391—First Southern National Bank Statesboro, Georgia

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for First Southern National Bank, Statesboro, Georgia (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of First Southern National Bank on August 19, 2011. 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.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15710 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10510—First National Bank of Crestview, Crestview, Florida

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as Receiver for First National Bank of Crestview, Crestview, Florida (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed Receiver of First National Bank of Crestview on January 16, 2015. 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.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15656 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10335—The First State Bank, Camargo, Oklahoma

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as Receiver for The First State Bank, Camargo, Oklahoma (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed Receiver of The First State Bank on January 28, 2011. 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 20, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15621 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination—10314 Allegiance Bank of North America, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10314 Allegiance Bank of North America, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of Allegiance Bank of North America (Receivership Estate); the Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments and deeds. Effective July 1, 2017, the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15709 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (3064-0099; -0118; -0148 and -0153) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, 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 the renewal of existing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. On April 28, 2017, the FDIC requested comment for 60 days on a proposal to renew the information collections described below. No comments were received. The FDIC hereby gives notice of its plan to submit to OMB a request to approve the renewal of these collections, and again invites comment on this renewal.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    http://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal/notices.html.

    Email: [email protected] Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Manny Cabeza (202-898-3767), Counsel, MB-3007, or Jennifer Jones (202-898-6768), Counsel, MB-3105, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Manny Cabeza or Jennifer Jones, at the FDIC address above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On April 28, 2017, (82 FR 19718), the FDIC requested comment for 60 days on a proposal to renew the information collections described below. No comments were received. The FDIC hereby gives notice of its plan to submit to OMB a request to approve the renewal of these collections, and again invites comment on this renewal.

    Proposal to renew the following currently approved collections of information:

    1. Title: Application for Waiver of Prohibition on Acceptance of Brokered Deposits.

    OMB Number: 3064-0099.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks and state savings associations.

    Burden Estimate:

    Type of burden Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated
  • time per
  • response
  • (hours)
  • Frequency of response Total annual
  • estimated
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • Reporting 30 6 On Occasion 180

    General Description of Collection: Section 29 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act prohibits undercapitalized insured depository institutions from accepting, renewing, or rolling over any brokered deposits. Adequately capitalized institutions may do so with a waiver from the FDIC, while well-capitalized institutions may accept, renew, or roll over brokered deposits without restriction. This information collection captures the burden associated with preparing and filing an application for a waiver of the prohibition on the acceptance of brokered deposits.

    There is no change in the method or substance of the collection. The overall reduction in burden hours is a result of economic fluctuation. In particular, the number of respondents has decreased while the hours per response remain the same.

    2. Title: Management Official Interlocks.

    OMB Number: 3064-0118.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks and state savings associations.

    Burden Estimate:

    Type of burden Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated
  • time per
  • response
  • Frequency of response Total annual
  • estimated
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • Reporting 3 7 On Occasion 21

    General Description of Collection: The FDIC's Management Official Interlocks regulation, 12 CFR 348, which implements the Depository Institutions Management Interlocks Act (DIMIA), 12 U.S.C. 3201-3208, generally prohibits bank management officials from serving simultaneously with two unaffiliated depository institutions or their holding companies but allows the FDIC to grant exemptions in appropriate circumstances. Consistent with DIMIA, the FDIC's Management Official Interlocks regulation has an application requirement requiring information specified in the FDIC's procedural regulation. The rule also contains a notification requirement.

    There is no change in the method or substance of the collection. The overall reduction in burden hours is a result of economic fluctuation as well as the change in complexity of the reporting institutions. In particular, the number of respondents has decreased while the hours per response have increased due to the complexity of the reporting institutions.

    3. Title: Interagency Statement on Sound Practices Concerning Complex Structured Finance Transactions.

    OMB Number: 3064-0148.

    Form Number: Interagency Statement on Sound Practices Concerning Elevated Risk Complex Structured Finance Activities.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks and state savings associations.

    Burden Estimate:

    Type of burden Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated
  • time per
  • response
  • Frequency of response Total annual
  • estimated
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • Recordkeeping 4 25 On Occasion 100

    General Description of Collection: The Interagency Statement on Sound Practices Concerning Complex Structured Finance Transactions describes the types of internal controls and risk management procedures that the Agencies believe are particularly effective in assisting financial institutions to identify, evaluate, assess, document, and control the full range of credit, market, operational, legal and reputational risks. A financial institution that engages in complex structured finance transactions should maintain a set of formal, written, firm-wide policies and procedures that are designed to allow the institution to identify and assess these risks.

    There is no change in the method or substance of the collection. The overall reduction in burden hours is a result of economic fluctuation. In particular, the number of respondents has decreased while the hours per response remain the same.

    4. Title: Regulatory Capital Rules.

    OMB Number: 3064-0153.

    Form Number: None.

    Affected Public: State nonmember banks, state savings associations, and certain subsidiaries of those entities.

    Burden Estimate:

    Estimated Hourly Burden BASEL III advanced approaches: recordkeeping and disclosure Type of burden Estimated number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated time per response Frequency of
  • response
  • Total annual estimated
  • burden
  • Implementation plan—Section _.121(b): Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 330.0 On Occasion 660 Documentation of advanced systems—Section _.122(j): Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 19.0 On Occasion 38 Systems maintenance—Sections _.122(a), _123(a), _.124(a): Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 27.9 On Occasion 56 Supervisory approvals—Sections_.122(d)-(h), _.132(b)(3), _.132(d)(1), _.132(d)(1)(iii): Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 16.8 On Occasion 34 Control, oversight and verification of systems—Sections _.122 to _.124: Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 11.1 On Occasion 22 (CCR)—Section _.132(b)(2)(iii)(A): One-time Recordkeeping 1 80.0 On Occasion 80 (CCR)—Section _.132(b)(2)(iii)(A): Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 16.0 On Occasion 32 (CCR)—Section _.132(d)(2)(iv): One-time Recordkeeping 1 80.0 On Occasion 80 (CCR)—Section _.132(d)(2)(iv): Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 40.0 On Occasion 80 (CCR)—Section _.132(d)(3)(vi): One-time Recordkeeping 1 80.0 On Occasion 80 (CCR)—Section _.132(d)(3)(viii): One-time Recordkeeping 1 80.0 On Occasion 80 (CCR)—Section _.132(d)(3)(viii) Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 10.0 Quarterly 80 (CCR)—Section _.132(d)(3)(ix): One-time Recordkeeping 1 40.0 On Occasion 40 (CCR)—Section _.132(d)(3)(ix): Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 40.0 On Occasion 80 (CCR)—Section _.132(d)(3)(x): One-time Recordkeeping 1 20.0 On Occasion 20 (CCR)—Section _.132(d)(3)(xi): One-time Recordkeeping 1 40.0 On Occasion 40 (CCR)—Section _.132(d)(3)(xi): Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 40.0 On Occasion 80 (OC)—Section _.141(b)(3), _.141(c)(1), _.141(c)(2)(i)-(ii), _.153: One-time Recordkeeping 1 40.0 On Occasion 40 (OC)—Section _.141(c)(2)(i)-(ii): Ongoing Recordkeeping 2 10.0 Quarterly 80 Sections _.142 and _.171: Ongoing Disclosure 2 5.8 On Occasion 12 (CCB and CCYB)—Section _.173, Table 4 (CR) _.173, Table 5 (Securitization) _.173, Table 9 (IRR) _.173, Table 12: Ongoing Disclosure 2 35.0 Quarterly 280 (CCB and CCYB)—Section _.173, Table 4 (CR) Section _.173, Table 5 (Sec.) Section _.173, Table 9 (IRR) Section _.173, Table 12: One-time Disclosure 1 280.0 On Occasion 280 Subtotal: One-time Recordkeeping and Disclosure 740 Subtotal: Ongoing Recordkeeping and Disclosure 1,533 Total Recordkeeping and Disclosure 2,273
    Minimum regulatory capital ratios: recordkeeping Type of burden Estimated number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated time per response Frequency of
  • response
  • Total annual estimated
  • burden
  • (CCR Operational Requirements)—Sections _.3(c) and_.22(h)(2)(iii)(A): Ongoing Recordkeeping 3,787 16.0 On Occasion 60,592 Subtotal: One-time Recordkeeping 0 Subtotal: Ongoing Recordkeeping 60,592 Total Recordkeeping 60,592
    Standardized approach: recordkeeping and disclosure Type of burden Estimated number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated time per response Frequency of
  • response
  • Total annual estimated
  • burden
  • (QCCP)—Section _.35(b)(3)(i)(A): One-time Recordkeeping 1 2.0 On Occasion 2 (QCCP)—Section _.35(b)(3)(i)(A): Ongoing Recordkeeping 3,787 2.0 On Occasion 7,574 (CT)—Section _.37(c)(4)(i)(E): One-time Recordkeeping 1 80.0 On Occasion 80 (CT)—Section _.37(c)(4)(i)(E): Ongoing Recordkeeping 3,787 16.0 On Occasion 60,592 (SE)—Section _.41(b)(3) and _.41(c)(2)(i): One-time Recordkeeping 1 40.0 On Occasion 40 (SE)—Section _.41(c)(2)(i): Ongoing Recordkeeping 3,787 2.0 On Occasion 7,574 (S.E.)—Section _.42(e)(2), (C.R.) Sections_.62(a),(b),& (c), (Q&Q)  Sections _.63(a) & (b): One-time Disclosure 1 226.3 On Occasion 226 (S.E.)—Section _.42(e)(2), (C.R.) Sections_.62(a),(b),& (c), (Q&Q) Sections_.63(a) & (b) and _.63 Tables: Ongoing Disclosure 1 131.3 Quarterly 525 Subtotal: One-time Recordkeeping and Disclosure 348 Subtotal: Ongoing Recordkeeping and Disclosure 76,265 Total Recordkeeping and Disclosure 76,613 Total Burden Hours 139,478

    General Description of Collection: This collection comprises the disclosure and recordkeeping requirements associated with minimum capital requirements and overall capital adequacy standards for insured state nonmember banks, state savings associations, and certain subsidiaries of those entities. The data is used by the FDIC to evaluate capital before approving various applications by insured depository institutions, to evaluate capital as an essential component in determining safety and soundness, and to determine whether an institution is subject to prompt corrective action provisions.

    There is no change in the method or substance of the collection. The overall reduction in burden hours is a result of economic fluctuation. In particular, the number of respondents has decreased while the hours per response remain the same. The overall reduction in burden hours also reflects a decrease in the number of entities that will incur any one-time implementation burden, as a majority of the entities have already fully implemented the one-time requirements associated with the rule.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collections, 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 collections of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 20th day of July, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15617 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10124—Jennings State Bank, Spring Grove, Minnesota

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as Receiver for Jennings State Bank, Spring Grove, Minnesota (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed Receiver of Jennings State Bank on October 2, 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.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15655 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10453—Second Federal Savings and Loan Association of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as Receiver for Second Federal Savings and Loan Association of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed Receiver of Second Federal Savings and Loan Association of Chicago on July 20, 2012. 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.

    Dated: July 20, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15622 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-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 21, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (William Spaniel, Senior Vice President) 100 North 6th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19105-1521. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. Riverview Financial Corporation, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; to acquire voting shares of CBT Financial Corp., and thereby indirectly acquire shares of Clearfield Bank, both of Clearfield, Pennsylvania.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, July 20, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15593 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-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 10, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. Dr. Robert Troia; Dr. Carol Drake; Virginia Fusco; Carl J. Troia, Jr.; Cynthia Troia; Troia Investments, LLC; Troia Family Limited Partnership; DN HSIRI; Anne Troia; Barbara Troia; Matthew Troia; Christina Troia; and Nicholas Troia; all of Omaha, Nebraska; individually, and as a group acting in concert, to retain shares of 3MV Bancorp, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, and thereby retain shares of ACCESSbank, Omaha, Nebraska.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, July 21, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15706 Filed 7-25-17; 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 21, 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. United Community Banks, Inc., Blairsville, Georgia; to merge with Four Oaks Fincorp, Inc., and thereby directly acquire its subsidiary, Four Oaks Bank & Trust Company, both of Four Oaks, North Carolina.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, July 21, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15705 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD Sunshine Act; Notice of Meeting DATE AND TIME:

    July 26, 2017, Noon.

    PLACE:

    1700 K St. NW., Washington, DC 20006.

    AGENDA:

    Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Member Meeting.

    STATUS:

    Closed to the public.

    MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Information covered under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(6) and (c)(9)(B).

    Adjourn CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Kimberly Weaver, Director, Office of External Affairs, (202) 942-1640.

    Dated: July 24, 2017. Megan Grumbine, General Counsel, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15793 Filed 7-24-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6760-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30 Day-17-1128] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) (OMB Control Number 0920-1128, exp. 8/31/2018)—Revision—National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    In 2013, there were nearly 44,000 drug overdose deaths, including nearly 36,000 unintentional drug overdose deaths, in the United States. More people are now dying of drug overdose than automobile crashes in the US. A major driver of the problem are overdoses related to opioids, both opioid pain relievers (OPRs) and illicit forms such as heroin. In order to address this public health problem, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has made addressing the opioid abuse problem a high priority.

    In order to support targeting of drug overdose prevention efforts, detect new trends in fatal unintentional drug overdoses, and assess the progress of HHS's initiative to reduce opioid abuse and overdoses, the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) conducts ongoing surveillance of fatal unintentional opioid-related drug overdoses to support prevention and response efforts in states with a high burden of opioid-related overdoses. This collection generates public health surveillance information on unintentional fatal opioid-related drug overdoses at the national, state, and local levels that is more detailed, useful, and timely than is currently available. This information will help develop, inform, and assess the progress of drug overdose prevention strategies at the national, state, and local levels.

    SUDORS will collect information that is not currently collected on death certificates such as whether the drug(s) causing the overdoses were injected or taken orally, a toxicology report on the decedent, if available, and risk factors for fatal drug overdoses including previous drug overdoses, decedent's mental health, and whether the decedent recently exited a treatment program. Without this information, drug overdose efforts are often based on limited information available on the death certificate and anecdotal evidence.

    CDC is expanding the state opioid surveillance program to include additional states. In fiscal year 2016, CDC was appropriated funds to work with state health departments to improve the timeliness of fatal opioid overdose surveillance by developing the Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance program (ESOOS), with 16 states originally approved. ESOOS provides states a delivery schedule for reporting fatal opioid overdoses to CDC using SUDORS. In fiscal year 2017, ESOOS received a significant increase in funding through congressional appropriation to expand the number of states using the SUDORS OMB package for mortality data collection. The next data delivery will occur in October 2017. As a result, CDC now requests OMB approval for three years for this revision to include all 50 states.

    The purpose of the revision is twofold: (1) Increase burden hours associated with increasing the number of states using the SUDORS OMB package from the 16 approved to all 50 states; and (2) implement updates to the web-based system to improve performance, functionality, and accessibility as well as minimal revisions to the SUDORS collection instrument. Minimal changes to the SUDORS module include revisions to question wording and response choices, as well as additional categories available to capture information that previously could only be captured in a narrative field, to better capture contextual information such as day/time a decedent was last seen alive, whether a decedent had a recent opioid use relapse, evidence of prescription drug use, and evidence of rapid overdose. These changes would not affect burden hours per response, the increase in burden hours is associated with increasing the number of states using the SUDORS OMB package from the 16 approved to all 50 states.

    Participation is based on secondary data and is dependent on separate data collection efforts in each state managed by the state health departments or their bona fide agent. The estimated annual burden hours are 16,550 with an increase of 9,542 burden hours from the previously approved collection. There are no costs to respondents.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Total number of responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
  • (in hours)
  • Public Agencies Retrieving and refile records 50 662 30/60 16,550 Total 16,550
    Leroy Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15671 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC-2016-0090; Docket Number NIOSH 288-A] A Performance Test Protocol for Closed System Transfer Devices Used During Pharmacy Compounding and Administration of Hazardous Drugs; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice and extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On September 15, 2016 the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published a notice in the Federal Register [81 FR 63482] announcing a public meeting and request for public comment on a draft testing protocol.

    Written comments were to be received by December 7, 2016. NIOSH initially extended the public comment period to June 7, 2017 [81 FR 88687]. NIOSH extended the comment period again to August 30, 2017 [82 FR 25290]. NIOSH is extending the public comment period to close on February 28, 2018. The longer timeframe will allow companies to test the protocol with the proposed challenge agents and permit full participation in the protocol design process.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Deborah V. Hirst, NIOSH, Alice Hamilton Laboratories, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS R-5, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, telephone (513) 841-4141 (not a toll free number), Email: [email protected]

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by CDC-2016-0090 and Docket Number NIOSH 288-A, by either of the following two methods:

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

    Mail: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Docket Office, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS C-34, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226-1998.

    John Howard, Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15727 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-19-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sunshine Act Meeting: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (BSC, NCEH/ATSDR) TIMES AND DATES:

    8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., EDT, September 13, 2017 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., EDT, September 14, 2017 PLACE:

    CDC, 4770 Buford Highway, Building 102, Conference Room 2202, Atlanta, Georgia 30341.

    STATUS:

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announces the meeting of the BSC, NCEH/ATSDR. This meeting is open to the public. The meeting room accommodates approximately 60 people. The public is also welcome to listen to the meeting by joining the teleconference at the USA toll-free, dial-in number, 1-888-790-2009 Passcode: 7865774. The deadline for notification of attendance is August 30, 2017. The public comment period is scheduled on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. until 2:15 p.m.; from 2:40 p.m. until 2:55 p.m.; and from 3:25 p.m. until 3:40 p.m., and on Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 10:10 a.m. until 10:25 a.m. EDT (15 minutes). Individuals wishing to make a comment during Public Comment period, please email your name, organization, and phone number by Monday, September 4, 2017 to Dr. William Cibulas at [email protected]

    Matters To Be Considered:

    The Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and by delegation, the Director, CDC and Administrator, NCEH/ATSDR, are authorized under Section 301 (42 U.S.C. 241) and Section 311 (42 U.S.C. 243) of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, to: (1) Conduct, encourage, cooperate with, and assist other appropriate public authorities, scientific institutions, and scientists in the conduct of research, investigations, experiments, demonstrations, and studies relating to the causes, diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of physical and mental diseases and other impairments; (2) assist states and their political subdivisions in the prevention of infectious diseases and other preventable conditions and in the promotion of health and wellbeing; and (3) train state and local personnel in health work. The BSC, NCEH/ATSDR provides advice and guidance to the Secretary, HHS; the Director, CDC and Administrator, ATSDR; and the Director, NCEH/ATSDR, regarding program goals, objectives, strategies, and priorities in fulfillment of the agency's mission to protect and promote people's health. The Board provides advice and guidance that will assist NCEH/ATSDR in ensuring scientific quality, timeliness, utility, and dissemination of results. The Board also provides guidance to help NCEH/ATSDR work more efficiently and effectively with its various constituents and to fulfill its mission in protecting America's health. The agenda items for the BSC Meeting will include NCEH/ATSDR Director Updates; Noise-Induced Hearing Loss; NCEH/ATSDR Program Responses to BSC Guidance and Action Items; Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Updates; Flint Registry; Revision of blood lead level reference value (status); Discussion of Legislative Requirements of new Lead Exposure Poisoning Federal Advisory Committee; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Program Update; Environmental Health Tracking Program update; updates from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

    Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Contact Person for More Information:

    Shirley Little, NCEH/ATSDR, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway, Mail Stop F-45, Atlanta, Georgia 30341; Telephone 770/488-0577, Email: [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Claudette Grant, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15782 Filed 7-24-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sunshine Act Meeting: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) TIMES AND DATES:

    11:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m., EDT, September 6, 2017 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., EDT, September 7, 2017 PLACE:

    NCHS Headquarters, 3311 Toledo Road, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782.

    STATUS:

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) announces the following meeting of the aforementioned committee. This meeting is open to the public; however, visitors must be processed in accordance with established federal policies and procedures. For foreign nationals or non-U.S. citizens, pre-approval is required (please contact Gwen Mustaf, 301-458-4500, [email protected], or Virginia Cain, [email protected] at least 10 days in advance for requirements). All visitors are required to present a valid form of picture identification issued by a state, federal or international government. As required by the Federal Property Management Regulations, Title 41, Code of Federal Regulation, Subpart 101-20.301, all persons entering in or on Federal controlled property and their packages, briefcases, and other containers in their immediate possession are subject to being x-rayed and inspected. Federal law prohibits the knowing possession or the causing to be present of firearms, explosives and other dangerous weapons and illegal substances. The meeting room accommodates approximately 78 people.

    Matters to be Considered:

    This committee is charged with providing advice and making recommendations to the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services; the Director, CDC; and the Director, NCHS, regarding the scientific and technical program goals and objectives, strategies, and priorities of NCHS. The agenda includes welcome remarks by NCHS leadership; update from the Division of Health Care Statistics; update on National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) activities; update on improving data collection.

    Requests to make oral presentations should be submitted in writing to the contact person listed below. All requests must contain the name, address, telephone number, and organizational affiliation of the presenter. Written comments should not exceed five single-spaced typed pages in length and must be received by August 22, 2017. Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Contact Person for More Information:

    Virginia S. Cain, Ph.D., Director of Extramural Research, NCHS/CDC, 3311 Toledo Road, Room 2627, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782, telephone (301) 458-4500, email [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities for both CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Claudette Grant, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15783 Filed 7-24-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifiers: CMS-1984-14, CMS-10326, CMS-2088-17, CMS-10452, CMS-10320 and CMS-10418] 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 25, 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: [email protected]

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at Web site address at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/PaperworkReductionActof1995/PRA-Listing.html.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Parham at (410) 786-4669.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires federal agencies to publish a 30-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. No comments were received in response to the 60-day comment period. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice that summarizes the following proposed collection(s) of information for public comment:

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: Reinstatement of a previously approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Hospice Facility Cost Report; Use: Providers of services participating in the Medicare program are required under §§ 1815(a), 1833(e), and 1861(v)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395g) to submit annual information to determine costs for health care services rendered to Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, regulations at 42 CFR 413.20, 413.24 and 418.310 require adequate cost data and cost reports from providers on an annual basis. The Form CMS-1984-14 cost report is needed to determine a provider's reasonable costs incurred in furnishing medical services to Medicare beneficiaries. The data is used by CMS to calculate: Market basket weight and the labor related shares, Rate setting and payment refinement, and Medicare and total facility margins for Medicare-covered services by type of service. Form Number: CMS-1984-14 (OMB control number: 0938-0758); Frequency: Annually; Affected Public: Private sector—Business or other for-profit and Not-for-profit institutions; Number of Respondents: 3,545; Total Annual Responses: 3,545; Total Annual Hours: 666,460. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Yaakov Feinstein at 410-786-3137.)

    2. Type of Information Collection Request: Reinstatement without change of a previously approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Electronic Submission of Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) Affiliation Agreements; Use: Sections 1886(h)(4)(F) and 1886(d)(5)(B)(v) of the Act establish limits on the number of allopathic and osteopathic FTE residents that hospitals may count for purposes of calculating direct GME payments and the indirect medical education (IME) adjustment. In addition, under the authority granted by section 1886(h)(4)(H)(ii) of the Act, the Secretary issued regulations on May 12, 1998 (63 FR 26358) to allow institutions that are members of the same Medicare GME affiliated group to elect to apply their direct GME and IME FTE resident caps based on the aggregate cap of all hospitals that are part of a Medicare GME affiliation group. Under those regulations, specified at § 413.79(f) for direct GME and at § 412.105(f)(1)(vi) for IME, hospitals that are part of the same Medicare GME affiliated group are permitted to adjust each hospital's caps to reflect the rotation of residents among affiliated hospitals during an academic year. Under § 413.75(b), a Medicare GME affiliated group may be formed by two or more hospitals if: (1) The hospitals are located in the same urban or rural area or in a contiguous area and have a shared rotational arrangement as specified at § 413.79(f)(2); (2) the hospitals are not located in the same or in a contiguous area, but have a shared rotational arrangement and they are jointly listed as the sponsor, primary clinical site, or major participating institution for one or more programs as these terms are used in the most recent publication of the Graduate Medical Education Directory, or as the sponsor or is listed under “affiliations and outside rotations” for one or more programs in Opportunities, Directory of Osteopathic Post-Doctoral Education Programs; or (3) effective beginning July 1, 2003, two or more hospitals are under common ownership and have a shared rotational arrangement under § 413.79(f)(2). Form Number: CMS-10326 (OMB control number: 0938-1111); Frequency: Annually; Affected Public: Business or other For-profit and Not-for-profit institutions; Number of Respondents: 125; Total Annual Responses: 125; Total Annual Hours: 166. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Renate Dombrowski at 410-786-4645.)

    3. Type of Information Collection Request: Reinstatement with change of a previously approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Community Mental Health Center Cost Report; Use: Providers of services participating in the Medicare program are required under sections 1815(a) and 1861(v)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395g) to submit annual information to achieve settlement of costs for health care services rendered to Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, regulations at 42 CFR 413.20 and 413.24 require adequate cost data and cost reports from providers on an annual basis. The Form CMS-2088-17 cost report is needed to determine a provider's reasonable costs incurred in furnishing medical services to Medicare beneficiaries and reimbursement due to or due from a provider. The primary function of the cost report is to collect data that is used by CMS to support program operations, payment refinement activities and to make Medicare Trust Fund projections. Form Number: CMS-2088-17 (OMB control number: 0938-0037); Frequency: Yearly; Affected Public: Private Sector (Business or other for-profits, Not-for-Profit Institutions); Number of Respondents: 219; Total Annual Responses: 219; Total Annual Hours: 19,710. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Jill Keplinger at 410-786-4550.)

    4. Type of Information Collection Request: Reinstatement without change of a previously approved collection; Title of Information Collection: CMS Enterprise Identity Management; Use: HIPAA regulations require covered entities to verify the identity of the person requesting Personal Health Information (PHI) and the person's authority to have access to that information. Per the HIPAA Security Rule, covered entities, regardless of their size, are required under Section164.312(a)(2)(i) to “assign a unique name and/or number for identifying and tracking user identity.” A `user' is defined in Section 164.304 as a “person or entity with authorized access”. Accordingly, the Security Rule requires covered entities to assign a unique name and/or number to each employee or workforce member who uses a system that receives, maintains or transmits electronic PHI, so that system access and activity can be identified and tracked by user. This pertains to workforce members within health plans, group health plans, small or large provider offices, clearinghouses and beneficiaries. Federal law requires that CMS take precautions to minimize the security risk to the Federal information system. FIPS PUB 201—1 Para 1.2: “Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD 12), signed by the President on August 27, 2004, established the requirements for a common identification standard for the identification of credentials issued by Federal Departments and agencies to Federal employees and contractors (including contractor employees) for gaining physical access to Federally controlled facilities and logical access to Federally controlled information systems. HSPD 12 directs the department of Commerce to develop a Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) publication to define such a common identification credential.” Form Number: CMS-10452 (OMB control number: 0938-1236); Frequency: Annually; Affected Public: Individuals and Households; Number of Respondents: 750,000; Total Annual Responses: 750,000; Total Annual Hours: 300,000. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Robert Burger at 410-786-2125.)

    5. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection; Title of Information Collection: Health Care Reform Insurance Web Portal Requirements 45 CFR part 159; Use: In accordance with the provisions of the ACA referenced above, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created a Web site called healthcare.gov to meet these and other provisions of the law, and data collection was conducted for six months based upon an emergency information collection request. The interim final rule published on May 5, 2010 served as the emergency Federal Register notice for the prior information collection request. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reviewed the request under emergency processing and approved it on April 30, 2010.

    CMS updated the web portal system where state Departments of Insurance and issuers log in using a custom user ID and password validation. The states are asked to provide information on issuers in their state and various Web sites maintained for consumers. The issuers are also tasked with providing information on their major medical insurance products and plans. They are ultimately given the choice to download a basic information template to enter data then upload into the web portal; to manually enter data within the web portal itself; or to submit .xml files containing their information. Once the states and issuers submit their data, they will receive an email notifying them of any errors, and that their submission was received.

    CMS mandates that issuers verify and update their information on a quarterly basis and requests that States verify State-submitted information on an annual basis. In the event that an issuer enhances its existing plans, proposes new plans, or deactivates plans, the organization would be required to update the information in the web portal. Changes occurring during the three month quarterly periods will be allowed utilizing effective dates for both the plans and rates associated with the plans. Form Number: CMS-10320 (OMB control number: 0938-1086); Frequency: Annually, Quarterly; Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Number of Respondents: 305; Total Annual Responses: 5,500; Total Annual Hours: 89,725. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Kim Heckstall at 410-786-1647).

    6. Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Annual MLR and Rebate Calculation Report and MLR Rebate Notices; Use: Under Section 2718 of the Affordable Care Act and implementing regulation at 45 CFR part 158, a health insurance issuer (issuer) offering group or individual health insurance coverage must submit a report to the Secretary concerning the amount the issuer spends each year on claims, quality improvement expenses, non-claims costs, Federal and State taxes and licensing and regulatory fees, the amount of earned premium, and beginning with the 2014 reporting year, the amounts related to the reinsurance, risk corridors, and risk adjustment programs established under sections 1341, 1342, and 1343, respectively, of the Affordable Care Act. An issuer must provide an annual rebate if the amount it spends on certain costs compared to its premium revenue (excluding Federal and States taxes and licensing and regulatory fees) does not meet a certain ratio, referred to as the medical loss ratio (MLR). Each issuer is required to submit annually MLR data, including information about any rebates it must provide, on a form prescribed by CMS, for each State in which the issuer conducts business. Each issuer is also required to provide a rebate notice to each policyholder that is owed a rebate and each subscriber of policyholders that are owed a rebate for any given MLR reporting year. Additionally, each issuer is required to maintain for a period of seven years all documents, records and other evidence that support the data included in each issuer's annual report to the Secretary.

    Under Section 1342 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and implementing regulation at 45 CFR part 153, issuers of qualified health plans (QHPs) must participate in a risk corridors program. A QHP issuer will pay risk corridors charges or be eligible to receive payments based on the ratio of the issuer's allowable costs to the target amount. Each QHP issuer is required to submit an annual report to CMS concerning the issuer's allowable costs, allowable administrative costs, premium, and proportion of market premium in QHPs. Risk corridors premium information that is specific to an issuer's QHPs is collected through a separate plan-level data form, which is included in this information collection. Additionally, each QHP issuer is required to maintain for a period of ten years all documents, records and other evidence sufficient to enable the evaluation of the issuer's compliance with applicable risk corridors standards.

    On May 2, 2017, CMS published a 60-day notice in the Federal Register (82 FR 20481) for the public to submit written comments on this information collection; the public comment period closed on July 3, 2017. As part of the 60-day notice, CMS updated its annual burden hour estimates to reflect the actual numbers of submissions, rebates and rebate notices.

    CMS received a total of six comments on a number of specific issues regarding the notice of the revised MLR PRA package. CMS has taken into consideration all of the comments and has modified the information collection instruments and instructions (the 2016 MLR Annual Reporting Form and Instructions; no comments were submitted on the 2016 Risk Corridors Plan-Level Data Form and Instructions) in order to correct errors and to provide additional clarifications. These modifications do not affect the previously estimated burden hours or costs. Form Number: CMS-10418 (OMB Control Number: 0938-1164); Frequency: Annually; Affected Public: Private Sector, Business or other for-profits and not-for-profit institutions; Number of Respondents: 545; Number of Responses: 2,532; Total Annual Hours: 200,597. (For policy questions regarding this collection, contact Christina Whitefield at (301) 492-4172.)

    Dated: July 21, 2017. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15726 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Notice of Intent To Award a Single-Source Non-Competing Continuation Application To Fund Grant Number 90DN0295 University of Massachusetts for an Additional 12 Months SUMMARY:

    The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recently announced the awarding of the University of Massachusetts-Boston to the Institute of Community Inclusion (ICI). The University of Massachusetts-Boston will maintain and advance the longitudinal study describing day and employment services nationwide for individuals with developmental disabilities.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Program Name: Institute of Community Inclusion.

    Award Amount: $350,000.00.

    Statutory Authority: The Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act of 2000.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 93.631.

    Program Description: The Administration on Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living, has been funding the ICI for thirty-five years. The project's activities include: Studying the effectiveness of state developmental disabilities agencies and vocational rehabilitation agencies in promoting full inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through employment and other community activities; describing national trends in the employment and economic status of youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities on a state and national basis; highlighting practices and outcomes in the transition from school to employment and promote policy enhancing integrated employment at both the systems and customer levels; developing guidelines for community-based non-work activities; implementing www.statedata.info, a Web site illustrating service system investment in day and employment services, and www.realworkstories.org, a Web site featuring successes of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities in paid jobs in their communities; provide an online catalog of innovative state-level strategies that influence policy and facilitate access to integrated employment; collaborate with the University of Minnesota and the University of Colorado to show targeted current year and longitudinal data on the project Web site and providing a create-a-chart option allowing reports to be customized. The project provides comparative nationwide longitudinal study of the employment trends of people with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and is a thirty-five year body of work.

    Agency Contact: For further information or comments regarding this supplemental action, contact Katherine-Cargill-Willis, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 330 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20201; telephone 202-795-7322; email [email protected]

    Dated: July 17, 2017. Mary Lazare, Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15663 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Notice of Intent To Award a Single-Source Non-Competing Continuation Application to the University of Minnesota for an Additional 12 Months SUMMARY:

    The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recently announced the awarding of the University of Minnesota to the Residential Information System Project (RISP). The University of Minnesota will maintain and continue the longitudinal study of annual state-by-state and national statistics on residential services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Program Name: Residential Information Systems Project.

    Award Amount: $350,000.00.

    Statutory Authority: The Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act of 2000.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 93.631.

    Program Description: The Administration on Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living, has been funding the RISP for thirty-five years. The project's activities include: Utilizing a large multistate database on individuals with developmental disabilities to examine the associations between personal characteristics, housing, financing and support models, state systems on inclusion, self-determination, satisfaction, and outcomes; conducting state policy and program surveys on key topics in residential and other community services; maintaining a clearinghouse of information and resources on consumer-controlled housing, the direct support workforce, and community living outcomes; collaborating with the University of Massachusetts and the University of Colorado to show targeted current year and longitudinal data on the project Web site and providing a create-a-chart option allowing reports to be customized. The comparative nationwide longitudinal study of the residential settings where people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and supports is a forty year body of work.

    Agency Contact: For further information or comments regarding this supplemental action, contact Katherine Cargill-Willis, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 330 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20201; telephone 202-795-7322; email [email protected]

    Dated: July 17, 2017. Mary Lazare, Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15661 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Notice of Intent To Award a Single-Source Non-Competing Continuation Application To Fund Grant Number 90DN0296 the University of Colorado for an Additional 12 Months SUMMARY:

    The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recently announced the awarding of the University of Colorado for the State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (State of the States) project. The University of Colorado will maintain and advance a comparative nationwide longitudinal study of public financial commitments and programmatic trends in developmental disabilities services and supports.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Program Name: State of the States on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

    Award Amount: $350,000.00.

    Statutory Authority: The Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act of 2000.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 93.631.

    Program Description: The Administration on Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living, has been funding the State of the States project for thirty-five years. The project's activities include: A analyzing developmental disabilities financial and programmatic trends in each state and the District of Columbia; identifying trends and innovations in the financing of family support supported living, and supported employment in the states; completing special studies, such as Medicaid spending for special education; collaborating with the University of Massachusetts and the University of Minnesota to show targeted current year and longitudinal data on the project Web site and providing a create-a-chart option allowing reports to be customized. The comparative nationwide longitudinal study of public financial commitments and programmatic trends in developmental disabilities services and supports is a thirty-year body of work.

    Agency Contact: For further information or comments regarding this supplemental action, contact Katherine-Cargill-Willis, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 330 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20201; telephone 202-795-7322; email [email protected]

    Dated: July 17, 2017. Mary Lazare, Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15662 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2012-D-0880] Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012: Questions and Answers Related to Self-Identification of Facilities, Review of Generic Drug Submissions, and Inspections and Compliance; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of the guidance entitled “Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012: Questions and Answers Related to Self-Identification of Facilities, Review of Generic Drug Submissions, and Inspections and Compliance.” The Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012 (GDUFA) are designed to speed the delivery of safe and effective generic drugs to the public and to improve the review process for abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs). This guidance is intended to provide answers to common questions from the generic drug industry and other interested parties involved in the development and/or testing of generic drug products regarding the requirements and commitments of GDUFA. This guidance finalizes the draft guidance originally issued in August 2012 and issued in revised draft form in September 2013.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on this guidance at any time.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2012-D-0880 for “Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012: Questions and Answers Related to Self- Identification of Facilities, Review of Generic Drug Submissions, and Inspections and Compliance.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Submit written requests for single copies of this guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sonia Kim, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-5118.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    GDUFA (Pub. L. 112-144, Title III) was signed into law by the President on July 9, 2012. GDUFA is designed to speed the delivery of safe and effective generic drugs to the public and to improve the review process for ANDAs. GDUFA enables FDA to assess user fees to support critical and measurable enhancements to FDA's generic drugs program.

    On August 27, 2012, FDA announced the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012: Questions and Answers” (77 FR 51814). On September 10, 2013, FDA announced the availability of a revised version of this guidance (78 FR 55261). The comment period on the revised draft guidance ended on December 11, 2013 (78 FR 70953). FDA received several comments on the draft guidance, and these comments as well as FDA's experience implementing GDUFA were considered as the guidance was finalized.

    This guidance is intended to provide answers to common questions from generic drug industry participants and other interested parties involved in the development and/or testing of generic drug products regarding FDA's implementation of GDUFA. This guidance includes three categories of questions and answers: Self-identification of facilities, sites, and organizations; review of generic drug submissions; and inspections and compliance. The draft versions of this guidance also addressed the subject of fees. The portion of the draft guidance relating to fees was updated and finalized in November 2016 (81 FR 81774, November 18, 2016).

    This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on “Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012: Questions and Answers Related to Self- Identification of Facilities, Review of Generic Drug Submissions, and Inspections and Compliance.” It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: July 20, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15654 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-D-3906] Consumer Antiseptic Wash Final Rule Questions and Answers; Guidance for Industry; Small Entity Compliance Guide; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, the Agency, or we) is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Consumer Antiseptic Wash Final Rule Questions and Answers.” We are issuing this guidance in accordance with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act to assist small businesses in better understanding and complying with the consumer antiseptic wash final rule, which established that certain active ingredients, including triclosan, used in over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products are not generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE). This guidance explains the scope of the final rule, how and when manufacturers must comply with the final rule, and which consumer antiseptic wash active ingredients were deferred from the final rule.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked, and identified as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2017-D-3906 for “Consumer Antiseptic Wash Final Rule Questions and Answers; Guidance for Industry; Small Entity Compliance Guide.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Submit written requests for single copies of this guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pranvera Ikonomi, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 22, Rm. 5418, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-0272.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Consumer Antiseptic Wash Final Rule Questions and Answers.” We are issuing this guidance in accordance with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (Pub. L. 104-121, as amended by Pub. L. 110-28) 1 to assist small businesses in better understanding and complying with the consumer antiseptic wash final rule (September 6, 2016, 81 FR 61106), which established that certain active ingredients used in OTC consumer antiseptic wash products are not GRASE. This guidance explains the scope of the final rule and identifies which active ingredients were found not to be GRASE for use in consumer antiseptic wash products. This guidance explains when and how manufacturers must comply with the final rule. This guidance also explains the significance of triclosan and triclocarban under this final rule. In addition, this guidance identifies which consumer antiseptic wash active ingredients were deferred from the final rule and explains what the effectiveness and safety criteria are for these deferred consumer antiseptic wash active ingredients.

    1 5 U.S.C. 601 (note).

    This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on how small businesses can better understand and comply with the consumer antiseptic wash final rule. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. This guidance is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the guidance at either https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or https://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: July 20, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15653 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-0001] Patient Engagement Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces a forthcoming public advisory committee meeting of the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee (PEAC). The general function of the committee is to provide advice and recommendations to the Agency on complex issues relating to medical devices, the regulation of devices, and their use by patients. The meeting will be open to the public. This meeting will be the inaugural meeting of a new advisory committee.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on October 11, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and October 12, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg, Grand Ballroom, 620 Perry Pkwy., Gaithersburg, MD 20877. The hotel's telephone number is 301-977-8900. Answers to commonly asked questions including information regarding special accommodations due to a disability, visitor parking, and transportation may be accessed at: http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm408555.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Letise Williams, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5441, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-8398, or FDA Advisory Committee Information Line, 1-800-741-8138 (301-443-0572 in the Washington, DC area). A notice in the Federal Register about last minute modifications that impact a previously announced advisory committee meeting cannot always be published quickly enough to provide timely notice. Therefore, you should always check the Agency's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/default.htm and scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link, or call the advisory committee information line to learn about possible modifications before coming to the meeting.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda: On October 11 and 12, 2017, the committee will discuss and make recommendations on the topic of patient input into medical device clinical trials. This meeting will provide the opportunity to bring patients, patient organization, FDA, industry, and other medical and scientific experts together for a broader discussion on this important patient-related issue.

    This meeting is a key part of FDA's goal to help assure the needs and experiences of patients are included as part of FDA's deliberations involving the regulation of medical devices and their use by patients. For this meeting, FDA is seeking input from the PEAC and the public on topics such as to: (1) Better understand challenges for patients in medical device clinical trials, (2) better understand how patient input and engagement is being used to overcome these challenges (potential solutions), and (3) receive recommendations from the PEAC on top areas for FDA to consider for action.

    FDA intends to make background material available to the public no later than 2 business days before the meeting. If FDA is unable to post the background material on its Web site prior to the meeting, the background material will be made publicly available at the location of the advisory committee meeting, and the background material will be posted on FDA's Web site after the meeting. Background material is available at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/Calendar/default.htm. Scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link.

    Procedure: Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee. Written submissions may be made to the contact person on or before September 20, 2017. Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled between approximately 3:40 p.m. to 4:10 p.m. on October 11, 2017, and approximately 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on October 12, 2017. Those individuals interested in making formal oral presentations should notify the contact person and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the evidence or arguments they wish to present, the names and addresses of proposed participants, and an indication of the approximate time requested to make their presentation on or before September 12, 2017. Time allotted for each presentation may be limited. If the number of registrants requesting to speak is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the scheduled open public hearing session, FDA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers for the scheduled open public hearing session. The contact person will notify interested persons regarding their request to speak by September 13, 2017.

    Persons attending FDA's advisory committee meetings are advised that the Agency is not responsible for providing access to electrical outlets.

    FDA welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities. If you require accommodations due to a disability, please contact AnnMarie Williams at [email protected], or 301-796-5966 at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.

    FDA is committed to the orderly conduct of its advisory committee meetings. Please visit our Web site at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm111462.htm for procedures on public conduct during advisory committee meetings. Please be advised that, for the round table portion of the meeting, FDA will prepare a summary of discussion instead of detailed transcripts.

    Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app. 2).

    Dated: July 20, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commiissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15657 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry (ACTPCMD) has scheduled a meeting. This meeting will be open to the public. Information about ACTPCMD and the agenda for this meeting can be found on the ACTPCMD Web site at http://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/bhpradvisory/ACTPCMD.

    DATES:

    August 16, 2017, 10:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ET.

    ADDRESSES:

    This meeting will be held by webinar and teleconference. The address for the meeting is 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857.

    The webinar link: https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/actpcmd.

    The conference call-in number: 1-888-946-3804. Passcode: 3214611.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anyone requesting information regarding ACTPCMD should contact Kennita R. Carter, MD, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), Division of Medicine and Dentistry, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA, in one of three ways: (1) Send a request to the following address: Kennita R. Carter, MD, DFO, Division of Medicine and Dentistry, HRSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, 15N-116, Rockville, Maryland 20857; (2) call 301-945-3505; or (3) send an email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    ACTPCMD provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of HHS (Secretary) on policy, program development, and other matters of significance concerning the activities under section 747 of Title VII of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, including dentistry activities. ACTPCMD prepares an annual report describing the activities of the Committee, including findings and recommendations made by the Committee concerning the activities under section 747, including dentistry activities. The annual report is submitted to the Secretary and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. The Committee also develops, publishes, and implements performance measures and guidelines for longitudinal evaluations of programs authorized under Title VII, Part C, of the PHS Act, and recommends appropriation levels for programs under this Part.

    During the August 16, 2017, meeting, ACTPCMD will discuss issues related to the Committee reports under development. Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide comments. Public participants may submit written statements in advance of the scheduled meeting. Oral comments will be honored in the order they are requested and may be limited as time allows. Requests to submit a written statement or make oral comments to ACTPCMD should be sent to Kennita R. Carter, MD, DFO, using the contact information above at least 3 business days prior to the meeting.

    Individuals who need special assistance or another reasonable accommodation should notify Dr. Kennita R. Carter at the address and phone number listed above at least 10 days prior to the meeting.

    Amy McNulty, Acting Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15665 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery AGENCY:

    Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice of submission of information collection approval from the Office of Management and Budget and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process to seek feedback from the public on service delivery, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has submitted a Generic Information Collection Request (Generic ICR): “Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery” to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).

    DATES:

    Comments on the ICR must be received on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or via facsimile to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sherrette Funn, Report Clearance Officer, at either [email protected] or (202) 795-7714.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.

    Abstract: The information collection activity will garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

    Feedback collected under this generic clearance will provide useful information, but it will not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results.

    The Agency received no comments in response to the 60-day notice published in the May 8, 2017, issue of the Federal Register (82 FR 21392-21393).

    Current Actions: Extension of approval for a collection of information.

    Type of Review: Extension.

    Affected Public: Individuals, households, professionals, public/private sector.

    Average Expected Annual Number of Activities: 40.

    Respondents per Activity: 25,000.

    Annual Responses: 1,000,000.

    Frequency of Response: Once per request.

    Average minutes per response: 5.

    Burden hours: 500,000 hours annually.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.

    Darius Taylor, Deputy Information Collection Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15318 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of Meeting

    Notice is hereby given of a change in the meeting of the Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, August 01, 2017, 12:00 p.m. to August 02, 2017, 05:00 p.m., National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD, 20892 which was published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2017, 82 FR 32189.

    The meeting will be held on August 1, 2017 and will start at 2:00 p.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. The meeting location remains the same. The meeting is closed to the public.

    Dated: July 20, 2017. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15614 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel NCI SPORE Review.

    Date: October 19-20, 2017.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Majed M. Hamawy, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Special Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W120, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6457 [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel NCI Program Project IV (P01) Review.

    Date: October 26-27, 2017.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Washington/Rockville, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Klaus B Piontek, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Special Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W116, Bethesda, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5413 [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: July 20, 2017. Melanie J. Pantoja, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15615 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Eye Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Eye Institute Special Emphasis Panel, NEI Clinical and Epidemiological Grant Applications.

    Date: August 11, 2017.

    Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, 4300 Military Road NW., Washington, DC 20015.

    Contact Person: Anne E Schaffner, Ph.D., Chief, Scientific Review Branch, Division Of Extramural Research, National Eye Institute, 5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 1300, MSC 9300, Bethesda, MD 20892-9300, (301) 451-2020, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.867, Vision Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: July 20, 2017. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15616 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Accreditation and Approval of Intertek USA, Inc., as a Commercial Gauger and Laboratory AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of accreditation and approval.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that Intertek USA, Inc., has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of May 5, 2016.

    DATES:

    Intertek USA, Inc., was accredited and approved as a commercial gauger and laboratory as of May 5, 2016. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for May 2019.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher J. Mocella, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202-344-1060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13, that Intertek USA, Inc., 16025 Jacintoport Blvd., Suite B, Houston, TX 77015, has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13. Intertek USA, Inc., is approved for the following gauging procedures for petroleum and certain petroleum products from the American Petroleum Institute (API):

    API chapters Title 3 Tank gauging. 7 Temperature determination. 8 Sampling. 11 Physical Properties Data. 12 Calculations. 17 Maritime measurement.

    Intertek USA, Inc., is accredited for the following laboratory analysis procedures and methods for petroleum and certain petroleum products set forth by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laboratory Methods (CBPL) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM):

    CBPL No. ASTM Title 27-03 D4006 Standard Test Method for Water in Crude Oil by Distillation. 27-04 D95 Standard Test Method for Water in Petroleum Products and Bituminous Materials by Distillation. 27-06 D473 Standard Test Method for Sediment in Crude Oils and Fuel Oils by the Extraction Method. 27-11 D445 Standard Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids. 27-13 D4294 Standard Test Method for Sulfur in Petroleum and Petroleum Products by Energy-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry. 27-46 D5002 Standard Test Method for Density and Relative Density of Crude Oils by Digital Density Analyzer. 27-48 D4052 Standard Test Method for Density and Relative Density of Liquids by Digital Density Meter. 27-54 D1796 Standard Test Method for Water and Sediment in Fuel Oils by the Centrifuge Method. Pending D4007 Standard Test Method for Water and Sediment in Crude Oil by the Centrifuge Method.

    Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct laboratory analyses and gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is accredited or approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific test or gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific test or gauger service this entity is accredited or approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344-1060. The inquiry may also be sent to [email protected] Please reference the Web site listed below for a complete listing of CBP approved gaugers and accredited laboratories. http://www.cbp.gov/about/labs-scientific/commercial-gaugers-and-laboratories.

    Dated: July 18, 2017. Ira S. Reese, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15639 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Accreditation and Approval of Intertek USA, Inc., as a Commercial Gauger and Laboratory AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of accreditation and approval of Intertek USA, Inc., as a commercial gauger and laboratory.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that Intertek USA, Inc., has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of February 8, 2017.

    DATES:

    The accreditation and approval of Intertek USA, Inc., as commercial gauger and laboratory became effective on February 8, 2017. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for February 2020.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher J. Mocella, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202-344-1060.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13, that Intertek USA, Inc., 481A East Shore Parkway, New Haven, CT 06512, has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13. Intertek USA, Inc., is approved for the following gauging procedures for petroleum and certain petroleum products from the American Petroleum Institute (API):

    API chapters Title 1 Vocabulary. 3 Tank gauging. 7 Temperature determination. 8 Sampling. 12 Calculations. 17 Maritime measurement.

    Intertek USA, Inc., is accredited for the following laboratory analysis procedures and methods for petroleum and certain petroleum products set forth by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laboratory Methods (CBPL) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM):

    CBPL No. ASTM Title 27-01 D287 Standard Test Method for API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products (Hydrometer Method). 27-06 D473 Standard Test Method for Sediment in Crude Oils and Fuel Oils by the Extraction Method. 27-08 D86 Standard Test Method for Distillation of Petroleum Products. 27-11 D445 Standard Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids. 27-13 D4294 Standard Test Method for Sulfur in Petroleum and Petroleum Products by Energy-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry. 27-14 D2622 Standard Test Method for Sulfur in Petroleum Products (X-Ray Spectrographic Methods). 27-48 D4052 Standard Test Method for Density and Relative Density of Liquids by Digital Density Meter. 27-50 D93 Standard Test Methods for Flash-Point by Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester. 27-53 D2709 Standard Test Method for Water and Sediment in Middle Distillate Fuels by Centrifuge. 27-54 D1796 Standard Test Method for Water and Sediment in Fuel Oils by the Centrifuge Method. 27-57 D7039 Standard Test Method for Sulfur in Gasoline and Diesel Fuel by Monochromatic Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry. 27-58 D5191 Standard Test Method For Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products (Mini Method).

    Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct laboratory analyses and gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is accredited or approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific test or gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific test or gauger service this entity is accredited or approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344-1060. The inquiry may also be sent to [email protected] Please reference the Web site listed below for a complete listing of CBP approved gaugers and accredited laboratories. http://www.cbp.gov/about/labs-scientific/commercial-gaugers-and-laboratories.

    Dated: July 18, 2017. Ira S. Reese, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15638 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-6015-N-02] Mortgage and Loan Insurance Programs Under the National Housing Act—Debenture Interest Rates AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This Notice announces changes in the interest rates to be paid on debentures issued with respect to a loan or mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration under the provisions of the National Housing Act (the Act). The interest rate for debentures issued under Section 221(g)(4) of the Act during the 6-month period beginning July 1, 2017, is 21/4 percent. The interest rate for debentures issued under any other provision of the Act is the rate in effect on the date that the commitment to insure the loan or mortgage was issued, or the date that the loan or mortgage was endorsed (or initially endorsed if there are two or more endorsements) for insurance, whichever rate is higher. The interest rate for debentures issued under these other provisions with respect to a loan or mortgage committed or endorsed during the 6-month period beginning July 1, 2017, is 27/8 percent.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Yong Sun, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW., Room 5148, Washington, DC 20410-8000; telephone (202) 402-4778 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 224 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715o) provides that debentures issued under the Act with respect to an insured loan or mortgage (except for debentures issued pursuant to Section 221(g)(4) of the Act) will bear interest at the rate in effect on the date the commitment to insure the loan or mortgage was issued, or the date the loan or mortgage was endorsed (or initially endorsed if there are two or more endorsements) for insurance, whichever rate is higher. This provision is implemented in HUD's regulations at 24 CFR 203.405, 203.479, 207.259(e)(6), and 220.830. These regulatory provisions state that the applicable rates of interest will be published twice each year as a notice in the Federal Register.

    Section 224 further provides that the interest rate on these debentures will be set from time to time by the Secretary of HUD, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, in an amount not in excess of the annual interest rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to a statutory formula based on the average yield of all outstanding marketable Treasury obligations of maturities of 15 or more years.

    The Secretary of the Treasury (1) has determined, in accordance with the provisions of Section 224, that the statutory maximum interest rate for the period beginning July 1, 2017, is 27/8 percent; and (2) has approved the establishment of the debenture interest rate by the Secretary of HUD at 27/8 percent for the 6-month period beginning July 1, 2017. This interest rate will be the rate borne by debentures issued with respect to any insured loan or mortgage (except for debentures issued pursuant to Section 221(g)(4)) with insurance commitment or endorsement date (as applicable) within the latter 6 months of 2017.

    For convenience of reference, HUD is publishing the following chart of debenture interest rates applicable to mortgages committed or endorsed since January 1, 1980:

    Effective
  • interest rate
  • on or after prior to
    91/2 Jan. 1, 1980 July 1, 1980 97/8 July 1, 1980 Jan. 1, 1981 113/4 Jan. 1, 1981 July 1, 1981 127/8 July 1, 1981 Jan. 1, 1982 123/4 Jan. 1, 1982 Jan. 1, 1983 101/4 Jan. 1, 1983 July 1, 1983 103/8 July 1, 1983 Jan. 1, 1984 111/2 Jan. 1, 1984 July 1, 1984 133/8 July 1, 1984 Jan. 1, 1985 115/8 Jan. 1, 1985 July 1, 1985 111/8 July 1, 1985 Jan. 1, 1986 101/4 Jan. 1, 1986 July 1, 1986 81/4 July 1, 1986 Jan. 1. 1987 8 Jan. 1, 1987 July 1, 1987 9 July 1, 1987 Jan. 1, 1988 91/8 Jan. 1, 1988 July 1, 1988 93/8 July 1, 1988 Jan. 1, 1989 91/4 Jan. 1, 1989 July 1, 1989 9 July 1, 1989 Jan. 1, 1990 81/8 Jan. 1, 1990 July 1, 1990 9 July 1, 1990 Jan. 1, 1991 83/4 Jan. 1, 1991 July 1, 1991 81/2 July 1, 1991 Jan. 1, 1992 8 Jan. 1, 1992 July 1, 1992 8 July 1, 1992 Jan. 1, 1993 73/4 Jan. 1, 1993 July 1, 1993 7 July 1, 1993 Jan. 1, 1994 65/8 Jan. 1, 1994 July 1, 1994 73/4 July 1, 1994 Jan. 1, 1995 83/8 Jan. 1, 1995 July 1, 1995 71/4 July 1, 1995 Jan. 1, 1996 61/2 Jan. 1, 1996 July 1, 1996 71/4 July 1, 1996 Jan. 1, 1997 63/4 Jan. 1, 1997 July 1, 1997 71/8 July 1, 1997 Jan. 1, 1998 63/8 Jan. 1, 1998 July 1, 1998 61/8 July 1, 1998 Jan. 1, 1999 51/2 Jan. 1, 1999 July 1, 1999 61/8 July 1, 1999 Jan. 1, 2000 61/2 Jan. 1, 2000 July 1, 2000 61/2 July 1, 2000 Jan. 1, 2001 6 Jan. 1, 2001 July 1, 2001 57/8 July 1, 2001 Jan. 1, 2002 51/4 Jan. 1, 2002 July 1, 2002 53/4 July 1, 2002 Jan. 1, 2003 5 Jan. 1, 2003 July 1, 2003 41/2 July 1, 2003 Jan. 1, 2004 51/8 Jan. 1, 2004 July 1, 2004 51/2 July 1, 2004 Jan. 1, 2005 47/8 Jan. 1, 2005 July 1, 2005 41/2 July 1, 2005 Jan. 1, 2006 47/8 Jan. 1, 2006 July 1, 2006 53/8 July 1, 2006 Jan. 1, 2007 43/4 Jan. 1, 2007 July 1, 2007 5 July 1, 2007 Jan. 1, 2008 41/2 Jan. 1, 2008 July 1, 2008 45/8 July 1, 2008 Jan. 1, 2009 41/8 Jan. 1, 2009 July 1, 2009 41/8 July 1, 2009 Jan. 1, 2010 41/4 Jan. 1, 2010 July 1, 2010 41/8 July 1, 2010 Jan. 1, 2011 37/8 Jan. 1, 2011 July 1, 2011 41/8 July 1, 2011 Jan. 1, 2012 27/8 Jan. 1, 2012 July 1, 2012 23/4 July 1, 2012 Jan. 1, 2013 21/2 Jan. 1, 2013 July 1, 2013 27/8 July 1, 2013 Jan. 1, 2014 35/8 Jan. 1, 2014 July 1, 2014 31/4 July 1, 2014 Jan. 1, 2015 3 Jan. 1, 2015 July 1, 2015 27/8 July 1, 2015 Jan. 1, 2016 27/8 Jan. 1, 2016 July 1, 2016 21/2 July 1, 2016 Jan. 1, 2017 23/4 Jan. 1, 2017 July 1, 2017 27/8 July 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2018

    Section 215 of Division G, Title II of Public Law 108-199, enacted January 23, 2004 (HUD's 2004 Appropriations Act) amended Section 224 of the Act, to change the debenture interest rate for purposes of calculating certain insurance claim payments made in cash. Therefore, for all claims paid in cash on mortgages insured under Section 203 or 234 of the National Housing Act and endorsed for insurance after January 23, 2004, the debenture interest rate will be the monthly average yield, for the month in which the default on the mortgage occurred, on United States Treasury Securities adjusted to a constant maturity of 10 years, as found in Federal Reserve Statistical Release H-15. The Federal Housing Administration has codified this provision in HUD regulations at 24 CFR 203.405(b) and 24 CFR 203.479(b).

    Section 221(g)(4) of the Act provides that debentures issued pursuant to that paragraph (with respect to the assignment of an insured mortgage to the Secretary) will bear interest at the “going Federal rate” in effect at the time the debentures are issued. The term “going Federal rate” is defined to mean the interest rate that the Secretary of the Treasury determines, pursuant to a statutory formula based on the average yield on all outstanding marketable Treasury obligations of 8- to 12-year maturities, for the 6-month periods of January through June and July through December of each year. Section 221(g)(4) is implemented in the HUD regulations at 24 CFR 221.255 and 24 CFR 221.790.

    The Secretary of the Treasury has determined that the interest rate to be borne by debentures issued pursuant to Section 221(g)(4) during the 6-month period beginning July 1, 2017, is 21/4 percent.

    The subject matter of this notice falls within the categorical exemption from HUD's environmental clearance procedures set forth in 24 CFR 50.19(c)(6). For that reason, no environmental finding has been prepared for this notice.

    (Authority: Sections 211, 221, 224, National Housing Act, 12 U.S.C. 1715b, 1715l, 1715o; Section 7(d), Department of HUD Act, 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).) Dated: July 14, 2017. Dana T. Wade, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15668 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [178A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900 253G] Agency Information Collection Activities: OMB Control Number 1076-0178; Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Funding Solicitations and Reporting AGENCY:

    Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs is seeking comments on the renewal of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the collection of information for the Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Funding Solicitation and Reporting authorized by OMB Control Number 1076-0178. This information collection expires September 30, 2017.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the information collection to Mr. Jack Stevens, Division Chief, Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, 1951 Constitution Avenue NW., MS-20 SIB, Washington, DC 20240; facsimile: (202) 208-4564; email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Jack Stevens, (202) 208-6764.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The Division of Economic Development (DED), within the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), established the Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) to provide technical assistance funding to federally recognized American Indian Tribes seeking to retain universities and colleges, private consulting firms, non-academic/non-profit entities, or others to prepare studies of economic development opportunities or plans. These studies and plans will empower American Indian Tribes and Tribal businesses to make informed decisions regarding their economic futures. Studies may concern the viability of an economic development project or business or the practicality of a technology a Tribe may choose to pursue. The DED will specifically exclude from consideration proposals for research and development projects, requests for funding of salaries for Tribal government personnel, funding to pay legal fees, and requests for funding for the purchase or lease of structures, machinery, hardware or other capital items. Plans may encompass future periods of five years or more and include one or more economic development factors including but not limited to land and retail use, industrial development, tourism, energy, resource development and transportation.

    This is an annual program whose primary objective is to create jobs and foster economic activity within Tribal communities. The DED will administer the program within IEED; and studies and plans as described herein will be sole discretionary projects DED will consider or fund absent a competitive bidding process. When funding is available, DED will solicit proposals for studies and plans. To receive these funds, Tribes may use the contracting mechanism established by Public Law 93-638, the Indian Self-Determination Act or may obtain adjustments to their funding from the Office of Self-Governance. See 25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.

    Interested applicants must submit a Tribal resolution requesting funding, a statement of work describing the project for which the study is requested or the scope of the plan envisioned, the identity of the academic institution or other entity the applicant wishes to retain (if known) and a budget indicating the funding amount requested and how it will be spent. The DED expressly retains the authority to reduce or otherwise modify proposed budgets and funding amounts.

    Applications for funding will be juried and evaluated on the basis of a proposed project's potential to generate jobs and economic activity on the reservation.

    II. Request for Comments

    The IEED requests your comments on this collection concerning: (a) The necessity of this information collection 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 (hours and cost) of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Ways we could enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Ways we could minimize the burden of the collection of the information on the respondents.

    Please note that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and an individual need not respond to, a collection of information unless it has a valid OMB Control Number.

    It is our policy to make all comments available to the public for review at the location listed in the ADDRESSES section. Before including your address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1076-0178.

    Title: Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) Funding Solicitations and Reporting.

    Brief Description of Collection: Indian Tribes that would like to apply for NABDI funding must submit an application that includes certain information. A complete application must contain:

    • A duly-enacted, signed resolution of the governing body of the Tribe;

    • A proposal describing the planned activities and deliverables products; and

    • The identity (if known) of the academic institution, private consultant, non-profit/non-academic entity, or other entity the Tribe has chosen to perform the study or prepare the plan; and

    • A detailed budget estimate, including contracted personnel costs, travel estimates, data collection and analysis costs, and other expenses, through DED reserves authority to reduce or otherwise modify this budget.

    The DED requires this information to ensure that it provides funding only to those projects that meet the economic development and job creation goals for which NABDI was established. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the proposed project's potential to generate jobs and economic activity on the reservation. Upon completion of the funded project, a Tribe must then submit a final report summarizing events, accomplishments, problems and/or results in executing the project.

    Type of Review: Extension without change of currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Indian Tribes with trust or restricted land.

    Number of Respondents: 20 applicants per year; 20 project participants each year, on average.

    Frequency of Response: Once per year for applications and final report.

    Estimated Time per Response: 40 hours per application; 1.5 hours per progress report.

    Obligation to Respond: Response is required to obtain a benefit.

    Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 830 hours (800 for applications and 30 for final reports).

    Estimated Total Annual Non-Hour Dollar Cost: $0.

    Authority

    The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Elizabeth K. Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action—Indian Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15678 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [178A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900253G] Indian Gaming; Extension of Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact (Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the State of South Dakota) AGENCY:

    Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the extension of the Class III gaming compact between the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the State of South Dakota.

    DATES:

    This notice takes effect July 26, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Paula L. Hart, Director, Office of Indian Gaming, Office of the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, Washington, DC 20240, (202) 219-4066.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    An extension to an existing Tribal-State Class III gaming compact does not require approval by the Secretary if the extension does not modify any other terms of the compact. 25 CFR 293.5. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the State of South Dakota have reached an agreement to extend the expiration date of their existing Tribal-State Class III gaming compact to January 28, 2018. This publishes notice of the new expiration date of the compact.

    Dated: July 17, 2017. Michael S. Black, Acting Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15640 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [17XL1109AF LLUT925000-L14400000-BJ0000-24-1A] Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; Utah AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of official filing.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will file the plat of survey of the lands described below in the BLM Utah State Office, Salt Lake City, Utah, 30 calendar days from the date of this publication.

    DATES:

    A person or party who wishes to protest this survey must file a written notice by August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written notices protesting this survey must be sent to the Utah State Director, Bureau of Land Management, 440 West 200 South, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101-1345.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Daniel W. Webb, Chief Cadastral Surveyor, Bureau of Land Management, Branch of Geographic Sciences, 440 West 200 South, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101-1345, telephone 801-539-4135, or [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This survey was executed at the request of the Monument Manager for the BLM Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The lands surveyed are:

    Salt Lake Meridian, Utah T. 35 S., R. 3 E., dependent resurvey of portions of the subdivisonal lines, the independent resurvey of the line between sections 4 and 9, and a corrective resurvey of the subdivision of section 9, accepted December 21, 2016, Group No. 603, Utah.

    A copy of the plat and related field notes will be placed in the open files. They will be available for public review in the BLM Utah State Office as a matter of information.

    A person or party who wishes to protest against the above survey must file a written notice within 30 calendar days from the date of this publication with the Utah State Director, Bureau of Land Management, at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section, stating that they wish to protest. A statement of reasons for the protest may be filed with the notice of protest. If a protest against the survey is received prior to the date of official filing, the filing will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. The plat will not be officially filed until the day after all protests have been dismissed or otherwise resolved.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your protest, you should be aware that your entire protest—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority:

    43 U.S.C. Chap. 3.

    Ed Roberson, State Director.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15618 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-DQ-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-CR-23620; PPWOCRADIO, PCU00RP14.R50000 (177)] Agency Information Collection Activities: Procedures for State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We (National Park Service, NPS) will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collections (IC) described below. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this IC. This IC is scheduled to expire on October 31, 2017. We may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    To ensure that we are able to consider your comments on these ICs, we must receive them by September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments on the IC to Tim Goddard, Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS-242, Reston, VA 20192 (mail); or [email protected] (email). Please include “1024-0038” in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about these ICs, contact Kristine Brunsman, Project Coordinator, State, Tribal, Local, Plans and Grants, Cultural Resources Partnerships and Science, National Park Service, 1849 C St. NW., Mailstop 7360, Washington, DC 20240; via fax at (202) 371-1961, or via email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This set of information collections has an impact on State, Tribal, and local governments that wish to participate formally with the National Park Service (NPS) in the National Historic Preservation Partnership (NHPP) Program, and State and Tribal governments that wish to apply for Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grants. The NPS uses the information collections to ensure compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended (54 U.S.C. 300101, et seq.), as well as government-wide grant requirements OMB has issued and the Department of the Interior implements through 43 CFR part 12. The information collections also produce performance data NPS uses to assess its progress in meeting its statutory mission goals pursuant to the1993 Government Performance and Results Act, as amended. This request for OMB approval includes local government burden for information collections associated with various aspects of the Certified Local Government (CLG) program; State government burden for information collections related to the CLG program; the program-specific aspects of HPF grants to States, maintenance of a State inventory of historic and prehistoric properties, tracking State Historic Preservation Office historic preservation consultation with Federal agencies, developing the Statewide Historic Preservation Plan, reporting on other State historic preservation accomplishments, the State role in the State program review process, and evaluating NPS-provided program, grants management, and CLG training for State officials; and Tribal government burden for information collections related to the program-specific aspects of both HPF grants to Tribal Historic Preservation Officers/Offices (THPOs) and HPF-supported Tribal Heritage Grants.

    This request includes information collections related to HPF grants to States and to THPOs. Section 101(b) of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, (54 U.S.C. 302301), specifies the role of States in the NHPP Program. Section 101(c), section 103(c), and section 301 of the Act (54 U.S.C. 302502, 54 U.S.C. 302902, and 54 U.S.C. 300301), specify the role of local governments in the NHPP program. Section 101(d) of the Act (54 U.S.C. 302701) specifies the role of tribes in the NHPP Program. Section 108 of the Act (54 U.S.C. 303101) created the HPF to support activities that carry out the purposes of the Act. Section 101(e)(1) of the Act (54 U.S.C. 302902) directs the Secretary of the Interior through the NPS to “administer a program of matching grants to the States for the purposes of carrying out” the Act. Similarly, sections 101(d) and 101(e) of the Act direct the NPS to administer a program of grants to THPOs for carrying out their responsibilities under the Act. Section 101(e) of the Act also authorizes Tribal Heritage Grants for which THPOs and, as Section 301 defines the terms, other tribes, native Alaskan corporations, and native Hawaiian groups are eligible to apply. Section 101j of the Act (54 U.S.C. 303903) directs NPS to provide historic preservation-related education and training.

    Each year Congress directs the NPS to use part of the annual appropriation from the HPF for the State grant program and the Tribal grant programs. The purpose of both the HPF State grant program and the HPF THPO grant program is to assist States and Tribes in carrying out their statutory role in the national historic preservation program. HPF grants to States and THPOs are program grants; i.e., each State/THPO selects its own HPF-eligible activities and projects. Each HPF grant to a State/THPO has two years of fund availability. At the end of the first year, NPS employs a “Use or Lose” policy to ensure efficient and effective use of the grant funds. Each year, Congress also funds the Tribal Heritage competitive project grants to help preserve the cultural heritage of tribes, native Alaskan Corporations, and native Hawaiian organizations. All 59 states, territories, and the District of Columbia participate in the NHPP Program. Almost 2,000 local governments have become Certified Local Governments (CLGs) in order to participate in the NHPP program. Approximately 30 local governments become CLGs each year. Almost 170 federally-recognized tribes have formally joined the NHPP Program and have established THPOs and tribal historic preservation offices. Typically, each year six to nine tribes join the partnership.

    The NPS developed the information collections associated with 36 CFR part 61 in consultation with State, Tribal, and local government partners. The obligation to respond is required to provide information to evaluate whether or not State, Tribal, and local governments meet minimum standards and requirements for participation in the National Historic Preservation Program; and to meet program specific requirements as well as government-wide requirements for Federal grant programs.

    II. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1024-0038.

    Title: Procedures for State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants; 36 CFR 61.

    Service Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Description of Respondents: State, Tribal, and local governments who wish to participate formally in the National Historic Preservation Program and/or who wish to apply for Historic Preservation Fund grant assistance.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: Annually.

    Estimated Average Number of Respondents: 2,129 respondents (59 States, territories, and District of Columbia; 170 tribal governments; and 1,900 certified local governments).

    Activity Annual
  • number of
  • responses
  • Completion time per
  • response
  • (hours)
  • Total annual burden hours
    Local Government Certification Application/Agreement 40 39.75 1,590 Certified Local Government Monitoring 1,860 7.25 13,485 Certified Local Government Evaluations 465 12.00 5,580 Baseline Questionnaire for CLGs 250 6.00 1,500 Annual Achievements Report for CLGs 1,000 2.00 2,000 State Inventory Maintenance 26,904 .25 6,726 State Technical Assistance to Federal Agencies (Review & Compliance) 25,370 .25 6,343 Statewide Historic Preservation Plan 14 1 797.00 11,158 State Program Review 15 90.00 1,350 State Cumulative Products Table 89 10.00 890 State Organization Chart and Staffing Summary 30 2.00 60 State Anticipated Activities List 30 5.75 173 State Project Notification 59 1.50 89 State Final Project Report 59 1.00 59 State Project/Activity Database Report 59 18.25 1,077 State Sources of Non-Federal Matching Share Report 52 2.25 117 State Significant Preservation Accomplishments Summary 59 3.75 221 Annual Achievements Report for States 25 2.25 56 Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) Grants Product Summary Page 150 15.50 2,325 THPO Annual Report 150 23.00 3,450 Total 56,680 58,249 1 Includes 294 hours for public engagement, 121 hours for data and resource analysis, 283 hours for plan design and writing, and 90 hours for publishing/posting.

    Estimated Annual Nonhour Cost Burden: None.

    III. Comments

    We invite comments concerning this information collection on:

    • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;

    • The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this IC. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    IV. Authorities

    The authorities for this action are the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (54 U.S.C. 300101 et seq.) and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Tim Goddard, Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15644 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-52-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [OMB Number 1140-0039] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Federal Firearms Licensee Firearms Inventory Theft/Loss Report—ATF F 3310.11 AGENCY:

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    30-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), will submit the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The proposed information collection was previously published in the [Federal Register, on May 25, 2017, allowing for a 60-day comment period].

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for an additional 30 days until August 25, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments, particularly with respect to the estimated public burden or associated response time, have suggestions, need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions, or desire any other additional information, please contact Larry Penninger, Jr., Chief, National Tracing Center Division, either by mail at 244 Needy Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405, or by email at [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions can also be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention Department of Justice Desk Officer, Washington, DC 20503 or sent to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of this information collection:

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    (2) The Title of the Form/Collection: Federal Firearms Licensee Firearms Inventory Theft/Loss Report.

    (3) The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection:

    Form number: ATF F 3310.11.

    Component: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Primary: Individuals or households.

    Other: Business or other for-profit.

    Abstract: This form requires that licensees report the theft or loss of firearms to the Attorney General and the appropriate authorities.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: An estimated 4,000 respondents will utilize the form, and it will take each respondent 24 minutes to complete the form.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated annual public burden associated with this collection is 1,600 hours, which is equal to 4,000 (total # of respondents) × .4 (24 Minutes).

    If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405A, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15658 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Cayman Chemical Company ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated his authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Assistant Administrator of the DEA Diversion Control Division (“Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on May 9, 2017, Cayman Chemical Company, 1180 East Ellsworth Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Drug code Schedule 3-Fluoro-N-methylcathinone (3-FMC) 1233 I Cathinone 1235 I Methcathinone 1237 I 4-Fluoro-N-methylcathinone (4-FMC) 1238 I Pentedrone (α-methylaminovalerophenone) 1246 I Mephedrone (4-Methyl-N-methylcathinone) 1248 I 4-Methyl-N-ethylcathinone (4-MEC) 1249 I Naphyrone 1258 I N-Ethylamphetamine 1475 I N,N-Dimethylamphetamine 1480 I Fenethylline 1503 I Aminorex 1585 I 4-Methylaminorex (cis isomer) 1590 I Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid 2010 I Methaqualone 2565 I Mecloqualone 2572 I JWH-250 (1-Pentyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl) indole) 6250 I SR-18 (Also known as RCS-8) (1-Cyclohexylethyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl) indole) 7008 I ADB-FUBINACA (N-(1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide) 7010 I 5-Flouro-UR-144 and XLR11 [1-(5-Fluoro-pentyl)1H-indol-3-yl](2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl)methanone 7011 I AB-FUBINACA (N-(1-amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide) 7012 I JWH-019 (1-Hexyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole) 7019 I MDMB-FUBINACA (Methyl 2-(1-4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)-3,3-dimethylbutanoate) 7020 I AB-PINACA (N-(1-amino-3-methyl-
  • 1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-
  • 3-carboxamide)
  • 7023 I
    THJ-2201 [1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazol-3-
  • yl](naphthalen-1-yl)methanone
  • 7024 I
    AB-CHMINACA (N-(1-amino-3-methyl-1-
  • oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-
  • 1H-indazole-3-carboxamide
  • 7031 I
    MAB-CHMINACA (N-(1-amino-3,3dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide) 7032 I 5F-AMB (Methyl 2-(1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)-3-methylbutanoate) 7033 I 5F-ADB;5F-MDMB-PINACA (Methyl 2-(1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido)-3,3-dimethylbutanoate) 7034 I ADB-PINACA (N-(1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide) 7035 I MDMB-CHMICA, MMB-CHMINACA (Methyl 2-(1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxamido)-3,3-dimethylbutanoate) 7042 I APINACA and AKB48 N-(1-Adamantyl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide 7048 I 5F-APINACA, 5F-AKB48 (N-(adamantan-1-yl)-1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide) 7049 I JWH-081 (1-Pentyl-3-(1-(4-methoxynaphthoyl) indole) 7081 I SR-19 (Also known as RCS-4) (1-Pentyl-3-[(4-methoxy)-benzoyl] indole 7104 I JWH-018 (also known as AM678) (1-Pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole) 7118 I JWH-122 (1-Pentyl-3-(4-methyl-1-naphthoyl) indole) 7122 I UR-144 (1-Pentyl-1H-indol-3-yl)(2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl)methanone 7144 I JWH-073 (1-Butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole) 7173 I JWH-200 (1-[2-(4-Morpholinyl)ethyl]-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole) 7200 I AM2201 (1-(5-Fluoropentyl)-3-(1-naphthoyl) indole) 7201 I JWH-203 (1-Pentyl-3-(2-chlorophenylacetyl) indole) 7203 I PB-22 (Quinolin-8-yl 1-pentyl-1H-indole-3-carboxylate) 7222 I 5F-PB-22 (Quinolin-8-yl 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxylate) 7225 I Alpha-ethyltryptamine 7249 I Ibogaine 7260 I CP-47,497 (5-(1,1-Dimethylheptyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl-phenol) 7297 I CP-47,497 C8 Homologue (5-(1,1-Dimethyloctyl)-2-[(1R,3S)3-hydroxycyclohexyl-phenol) 7298 I Lysergic acid diethylamide 7315 I 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-(n)-propylthiophenethylamine (2C-T-7) 7348 I Marihuana 7360 I Tetrahydrocannabinols 7370 I Mescaline 7381 I 2-(4-Ethylthio-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl) ethanamine (2C-T-2 ) 7385 I 3,4,5-Trimethoxyamphetamine 7390 I 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine 7391 I 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine 7392 I 4-Methyl-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine 7395 I 2,5-Dimethoxyamphetamine 7396 I JWH-398 (1-Pentyl-3-(4-chloro-1-naphthoyl) indole) 7398 I 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylamphetamine 7399 I 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine 7400 I 5-Methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine 7401 I N-Hydroxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine 7402 I 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine 7404 I 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine 7405 I 4-Methoxyamphetamine 7411 I 5-Methoxy-N-N-dimethyltryptamine 7431 I Alpha-methyltryptamine 7432 I Bufotenine 7433 I Diethyltryptamine 7434 I Dimethyltryptamine 7435 I Psilocybin 7437 I Psilocyn 7438 I 5-Methoxy-N,N-diisopropyltryptamine 7439 I N-Benzylpiperazine 7493 I 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl) ethanamine (2C-D) 7508 I 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylphenyl) ethanamine (2C-E ) 7509 I 2-(2,5-Dimethoxyphenyl) ethanamine (2C-H) 7517 I 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl) ethanamine (2C-I) 7518 I 2-(4-Chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl) ethanamine (2C-C) 7519 I 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-nitro-phenyl) ethanamine (2C-N) 7521 I 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-(n)-propylphenyl) ethanamine (2C-P) 7524 I 2-(4-Isopropylthio)-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl) ethanamine (2C-T-4) 7532 I MDPV (3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone) 7535 I 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl) ethanamine (25B-NBOMe) 7536 I 2-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl) ethanamine (25C-NBOMe) 7537 I 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl) ethanamine (25I-NBOMe) 7538 I Methylone (3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone) 7540 I Butylone 7541 I Pentylone 7542 I alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (α-PVP) 7545 I alpha-pyrrolidinobutiophenone (α-PBP) 7546 I AM-694 (1-(5-Fluoropentyl)-3-(2-iodobenzoyl) indole) 7694 I Acetyldihydrocodeine 9051 I Benzylmorphine 9052 I Codeine-N-oxide 9053 I Desomorphine 9055 I Etorphine (except HCl) 9056 I Codeine methylbromide 9070 I Dihydromorphine 9145 I Heroin 9200 I Morphine-N-oxide 9307 I Normorphine 9313 I U-47700 (3,4-dichloro-N-[2-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]-N-methylbenzamide) 9547 I Tilidine 9750 I Para-Fluorofentanyl 9812 I 3-Methylfentanyl 9813 I Alpha-methylfentanyl 9814 I Acetyl-alpha-methylfentanyl 9815 I Acetyl Fentanyl (N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylacetamide) 9821 I Butyryl Fentanyl 9822 I 4-Fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl (N-(4-fluorophenyl)-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)isobutyramide) 9824 I Beta-hydroxyfentanyl 9830 I Beta-hydroxy-3-methylfentanyl 9831 I 3-Methylthiofentanyl 9833 I Furanyl fentanyl (N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylfuran-2-carboxamide) 9834 I Thiofentanyl 9835 I Beta-hydroxythiofentanyl 9836 I Amphetamine 1100 II Methamphetamine 1105 II Lisdexamfetamine 1205 II Phenmetrazine 1631 II Methylphenidate 1724 II Amobarbital 2125 II Pentobarbital 2270 II Secobarbital 2315 II Phencyclidine 7471 II 4-Anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine (ANPP) 8333 II Phenylacetone 8501 II Cocaine 9041 II Codeine 9050 II Etorphine HCl 9059 II Dihydrocodeine 9120 II Oxycodone 9143 II Hydromorphone 9150 II Ecgonine 9180 II Ethylmorphine 9190 II Hydrocodone 9193 II Levomethorphan 9210 II Levorphanol 9220 II Isomethadone 9226 II Meperidine 9230 II Meperidine intermediate-B 9233 II Methadone 9250 II Dextropropoxyphene, bulk (non-dosage forms) 9273 II Morphine 9300 II Thebaine 9333 II Oxymorphone 9652 II Alfentanil 9737 II Remifentanil 9739 II Sufentanil 9740 II Carfentanil 9743 II Tapentadol 9780 II Fentanyl 9801 II

    The company plans to manufacture bulk controlled substances for use in product development of analytical reference standards for distribution to its customers.

    Dated: July 19, 2017. Demetra Ashley, Acting Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15691 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: United States Pharmacopeial Convention ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before August 25, 2017. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing must be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Administrator, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All request for hearing should also be sent to: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; and (2) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated his authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Assistant Administrator of the DEA Diversion Control Division (“Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on February 15, 2017, United States Pharmacopeial Convention, 12601 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville, Maryland 20852 applied to be registered as an importer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Drug code Schedule Cathinone 1235 I Methaqualone 2565 I Lysergic acid diethylamide 7315 I Marihuana 7360 I Tetrahydrocannabinols 7370 I 4-Methyl-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine 7395 I 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine 7400 I 4-Methoxyamphetamine 7411 I Codeine-N-oxide 9053 I Difenoxin 9168 I Heroin 9200 I Morphine-N-oxide 9307 I Normethadone 9635 I Methamphetamine 1105 II Phenmetrazine 1631 II Methylphenidate 1724 II Amobarbital 2125 II Pentobarbital 2270 II Secobarbital 2315 II Glutethimide 2550 II Phencyclidine 7471 II 4-Anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine (ANPP) 8333 II Phenylacetone 8501 II Alphaprodine 9010 II Anileridine 9020 II Cocaine 9041 II Dihydrocodeine 9120 II Diphenoxylate 9170 II Levomethorphan 9210 II Levorphanol 9220 II Meperidine 9230 II Dextropropoxyphene, bulk (non-dosage forms) 9273 II Thebaine 9333 II Noroxymorphone 9668 II Alfentanil 9737 II Sufentanil 9740 II

    The company plans to import the listed controlled substances in bulk powder form from foreign sources for the manufacture of analytical reference standards for sale to their customers.

    The company plans to import analytical reference standards for distribution to its customers for research and analytical purposes. Placement of these drug codes onto the company's registration does not translate into automatic approval of subsequent permit applications to import controlled substances. Approval of permit applications will occur only when the registrant's business activity is consistent with what is authorized under 21 U.S.C. 952(a)(2). Authorization will not extend to the import of FDA approved or non-approved finished dosage forms for commercial sale.

    Dated: July 20, 2017. Demetra Ashley, Acting Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15693 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: AMRI Rensselaer, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated his authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Assistant Administrator of the DEA Diversion Control Division (“Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on March 30, 2017, AMRI Rensselaer, Inc., 33 Riverside Avenue, Rensselaer, New York 12144 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Drug code Schedule Marihuana 7360 I Tetrahydrocannabinols 7370 I Amphetamine 1100 II Lisdexamfetamine 1205 II Methylphenidate 1724 II Pentobarbital 2270 II 4-Anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine (ANPP) 8333 II Codeine 9050 II Oxycodone 9143 II Hydromorphone 9150 II Hydrocodone 9193 II Meperidine 9230 II Morphine 9300 II Fentanyl 9801 II

    The company plans to manufacture bulk controlled substances for use in product development and for distribution to its customers.

    In reference to drug codes 7360 (marihuana) and 7370 (THC), the company plans to bulk manufacture these drugs as synthetics. No other activities for these drug codes are authorized for this registration.

    Dated: July 19, 2017. Demetra Ashley, Acting Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15688 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration ACTION:

    Notice of registration.

    SUMMARY:

    Registrants listed below have applied for and been granted registration by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as bulk manufacturers of various classes of controlled substances.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The companies listed below applied to be registered as manufacturers of various basic classes of controlled substances. Information on previously published notices is listed in the table below. No comments or objections were submitted for these notices.

    Company FR docket Published Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals 82 FR 19083 April 25, 2017. Siegfried USA, LLC 82 FR 19084 April 25, 2017. Sigma Aldrich Research Biochemicals, Inc 82 FR 19085 April 25, 2017.

    The DEA has considered the factors in 21 U.S.C. 823(a) and determined that the registration of these registrants to manufacture the applicable basic classes of controlled substances is consistent with the public interest and with United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on May 1, 1971. The DEA investigated each of the company's maintenance of effective controls against diversion by inspecting and testing each company's physical security systems, verifying each company's compliance with state and local laws, and reviewing each company's background and history.

    Therefore, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 823(a), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33, the DEA has granted a registration as a bulk manufacturer to the above listed persons.

    Dated: July 19, 2017. Demetra Ashley, Acting Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15692 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Organic Consultants, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated his authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Assistant Administrator of the DEA Diversion Control Division (“Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on November 2, 2016, Organic Consultants, Inc., 90 North Polk Street, Suite 200, Eugene, Oregon 97402 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer for methadone intermediate (9254), a basic class of controlled substance listed in schedule II.

    The company plans to manufacture analytical reference standards for distribution to its customers for research and analytical purposes.

    Dated: July 19, 2017. Demetra Ashley, Acting Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15690 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: AMRI Rensselaer, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before August 25, 2017. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing must be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Administrator, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing should also be sent to: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; and (2) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Comments and requests for hearings on applications to import narcotic raw material are not appropriate. 72 FR 3417 (January 25, 2007).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated his authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Assistant Administrator of the DEA Diversion Control Division (“Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on June 27, 2016, AMRI Rensselaer, Inc., 33 Riverside Avenue, Rensselaer, New York 12144 applied to be registered as an importer of poppy straw concentrate (9670), a basic class of controlled substance listed in schedule II.

    The company plans to import the listed controlled substance to manufacture bulk controlled substance for distribution to its customers.

    Dated: July 20, 2017. Demetra Ashley, Acting Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15689 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Workforce Information Advisory Council AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Renewal of the Workforce Information Advisory Council.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (Department) announces the renewal of the Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC) charter.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Rietzke, Division of National Programs, Tools, and Technical Assistance, Office of Workforce Investment, Rm. C-4510, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20212-0001; (202) 693-3912; or use email address for the WIAC, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background and Authority

    Section 15 of the Wagner-Peyser Act, 29 U.S.C. 49l-2, as amended by section 308 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA), Public Law 113-128 requires the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to establish and maintain the WIAC.

    The statute, as amended, requires the Secretary, acting through the Commissioner of Labor Statistics and the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, to formally consult at least twice annually with the WIAC to address: (1) Evaluation and improvement of the nationwide workforce and labor market information system established by the Wagner-Peyser Act, and of the statewide systems that comprise the nationwide system, and (2) how the Department and the States will cooperate in the management of those systems. The Secretary, acting through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and in consultation with the WIAC and appropriate Federal agencies, must also develop a 2-year plan for management of the system, with subsequent updates every two years thereafter. The statute generally prescribes how the plan is to be developed and implemented, outlines the contents of the plan, and requires the Secretary to submit the plan to designated authorizing committees in the House and Senate.

    By law, the Secretary must “solicit, review, and evaluate” recommendations from the WIAC, and respond to the recommendations in writing to the WIAC. The WIAC must make written recommendations to the Secretary on the evaluation and improvement of the workforce and labor market information system, including recommendations for the 2-year plan. The 2-year plan, in turn, must describe WIAC recommendations and the extent to which the plan incorporates them.

    The Department anticipates that the WIAC will accomplish its objectives by, for example: (1) Studying workforce and labor market information issues; (2) seeking and sharing information on innovative approaches, new technologies, and data to inform employment, skills training, and workforce and economic development decision making and policy; and (3) advising the Secretary on how the workforce and labor market information system can best support workforce development, planning, and program development.

    II. Structure

    The Wagner-Peyser Act at section 15(d)(2)(B), requires the WIAC to have 14 representative members, appointed by the Secretary, consisting of:

    (i) Four members who are representatives of lead State agencies with responsibility for workforce investment activities, or State agencies described in Wagner-Peyser Act Section 4 (agency designated or authorized by Governor to cooperate with the Secretary), who have been nominated by such agencies or by a national organization that represents such agencies;

    (ii) Four members who are representatives of the State workforce and labor market information directors affiliated with the State agencies responsible for the management and oversight of the workforce and labor market information system as described in Wagner-Peyser Act Section 15(e)(2), who have been nominated by the directors;

    (iii) One member who is a representative of providers of training services under WIOA section 122 (Identification of Eligible Providers of Training Services);

    (iv) One member who is a representative of economic development entities;

    (v) One member who is a representative of businesses, who has been nominated by national business organizations or trade associations;

    (vi) One member who is a representative of labor organizations, who has been nominated by a national labor federation;

    (vii) One member who is a representative of local workforce development boards, who has been nominated by a national organization representing such boards; and

    (viii) One member who is a representative of research entities that use workforce and labor market information.

    The Secretary must ensure that the membership of the WIAC is geographically diverse, and that no two members appointed under clauses (i), (ii), and (vii), above, represent the same State. Each member will be appointed for a term of three years, except that the initial terms for members may be one, two, or three years in order to establish a rotation. The Secretary will not appoint a member for any more than two consecutive terms. Any member whom the Secretary appoints to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the predecessor's term will be appointed only for the remainder of that term. Members of the WIAC will serve on a voluntary and generally uncompensated basis, but will be reimbursed for travel expenses to attend WIAC meetings, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by the Federal travel regulations.

    Authority:

    Pursuant to the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 49 et seq.; Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Pub. L. 113-128; Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.

    Byron Zuidema, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15681 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FN-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Secretary Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Manlifts Standard ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, “Manlifts Standard,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for continued use, without change, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). Public comments on the ICR are invited.

    DATES:

    The OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained free of charge from the RegInfo.gov Web site at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201704-1218-002 (this link will only become active on the day following publication of this notice) or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064 (these are not toll-free numbers) or by email at [email protected]

    Submit comments about this request by mail or courier to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL-OSHA, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503; by Fax: 202-395-5806 (this is not a toll-free number); or by email: [email protected] Commenters are encouraged, but not required, to send a courtesy copy of any comments by mail or courier to the U.S. Department of Labor—OASAM, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Attn: Departmental Information Compliance Management Program, Room N1301, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; or by email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064 (these are not toll-free numbers) or by email at [email protected]

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This ICR seeks to extend PRA authority for the Manlifts Standard information collection requirements codified in regulations 29 CFR 1910.68(e). More specifically the Standard requires an Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) covered employer subject to the Standard to create and maintain a certification record of each manlift inspection. The Standard also provides that the employer must inspect each manlift at least once every 30 days and to check limit switches weekly. OSH Act sections 2 and 8 authorize this information collection. See 29 U.S.C. 651, 657.

    This information collection is subject to the PRA. 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 the 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. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1218-0226.

    OMB authorization for an ICR cannot be for more than three (3) years without renewal, and the current approval for this collection is scheduled to expire on July 31, 2017. The DOL seeks to extend PRA authorization for this information collection for three (3) more years, without any change to existing requirements. The DOL notes that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2017 (82 FR 10588).

    Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within thirty (30) days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1218-0226. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Agency: DOL-OSHA.

    Title of Collection: Manlifts Standard.

    OMB Control Number: 1218-0226.

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

    Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 18,372.

    Total Estimated Number of Responses: 36,000.

    Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 37,800 hours.

    Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0.

    Dated: July 19, 2017. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15675 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration [OMB Control No. 1219-0127] Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Certification and Qualification To Examine, Test, Operate Hoists and Perform Other Duties AGENCY:

    Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This program helps to assure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments on the information collection for Certification and Qualification to Examine, Test, Operate Hoists and Perform Other Duties.

    DATES:

    All comments must be received on or before September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice may be sent by any of the methods listed below.

    Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments for docket number MSHA-2017-0025.

    Regular Mail: Send comments to USDOL-MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.

    Hand Delivery: USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at [email protected] (email); (202) 693-9440 (voice); or (202) 693-9441 (facsimile).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Section 103(h) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), 30 U.S.C. 813(h), authorizes MSHA to collect information necessary to carry out its duty in protecting the safety and health of miners. Further, section 101(a) of the Mine Act, 30 U.S.C. 811(a), authorizes the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to develop, promulgate, and revise as may be appropriate, improved mandatory health or safety standards for the protection of life and prevention of injuries in coal or other mines.

    Under section 103(a), authorized representatives of the Secretary or Secretary of Health and Human Services must make frequent inspections and investigations in coal or other mines each year for the purpose of, among other things, gathering information with respect to mandatory health or safety standards.

    Under 30 CFR 75.159 and 77.106 coal mine operators are required to maintain a list of persons who are certified and/or qualified to perform duties under Parts 75 and 77, such as conduct examinations for hazardous conditions, conduct tests for methane and oxygen deficiency, conduct tests of air flow, perform electrical work, repair energized surface high-voltage lines, and perform duties of hoisting engineer. The recorded information is necessary to ensure that only persons who are properly trained and have the required number of years of experience are permitted to perform these duties. MSHA does not specify a format for the recordkeeping; however, it normally consists of the names of the certified and qualified persons listed in two columns on a sheet of paper. One column is for certified persons and the other is for qualified persons.

    Sections 75.100 and 77.100 pertain to the certification of certain persons to perform specific examinations and tests. Sections 75.155 and 77.105 outline the requirements necessary to be qualified as a hoisting engineer or hoistman. Also, under Sections 75.160, 75.161, 77.107 and 77.107-1, the mine operator must have an approved training plan developed to train and retrain the qualified and certified persons to effectively perform their tasks.

    These standards recognize State certification and qualification programs. However, where State programs are not available, MSHA may certify and qualify persons.

    Under this program MSHA will continue to qualify or certify individuals as long as these individuals meet the requirements for certification or qualification, fulfill any applicable retraining requirements, and remain employed at the same mine or by the same independent contractor.

    Applications for Secretarial qualification or certification are submitted to the MSHA Qualification and Certification Unit in Denver, Colorado. MSHA Form 5000-41, Safety & Health Activity Certification or Hoisting Engineer Qualification Request provides the coal mining industry with a standardized reporting format that expedites the certification and qualification process while ensuring compliance with the regulations. MSHA uses the form's information to determine if applicants satisfy the requirements to obtain the certification or qualification sought. Persons must meet certain minimum experience requirements depending on the type of certification or qualification.

    II. Desired Focus of Comments

    MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed information collection related to Certification and Qualification to Examine, Test, Operate Hoists and Perform Other Duties. MSHA is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of MSHA's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Suggest methods to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    The information collection request will be available on http://www.regulations.gov. MSHA cautions the commenter against providing any information in the submission that should not be publicly disclosed. Full comments, including personal information provided, will be made available on www.regulations.gov and www.reginfo.gov.

    The public may also examine publicly available documents at USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    Questions about the information collection requirements may be directed to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

    III. Current Actions

    This request for collection of information contains provisions for Certification and Qualification to Examine, Test, Operate Hoists and Perform Other Duties. MSHA has updated the data with respect to the number of respondents, responses, burden hours, and burden costs supporting this information collection request.

    Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

    OMB Number: 1219-0127.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 957.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Number of Responses: 4,590.

    Annual Burden Hours: 465 hours.

    Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $77.

    MSHA Forms: MSHA Form 5000-41, Safety and Health Activity Certification or Hoisting Engineers Qualification Request Form.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and 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.

    Sheila McConnell, Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15672 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-43-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards AGENCY:

    Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below.

    DATES:

    All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA's Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit your comments, identified by “docket number” on the subject line, by any of the following methods:

    1. Electronic Mail: [email protected] Include the docket number of the petition in the subject line of the message.

    2. Facsimile: 202-693-9441.

    3. Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 22202-5452, Attention: Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. Persons delivering documents are required to check in at the receptionist's desk in Suite 4E401. Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions and comments during normal business hours at the address listed above.

    MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances at 202-693-9447 (Voice), [email protected] (Email), or 202-693-9441 (Facsimile). [These are not toll-free numbers.]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification.

    I. Background

    Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard to a coal or other mine if the Secretary of Labor determines that:

    1. An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or

    2. That the application of such standard to such mine will result in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine.

    In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification.

    II. Petitions for Modification

    Docket Number: M-2017-013-C.

    Petitioner: Texas Westmoreland Coal Company, P.O. Box 915, Jewett, Texas 75846.

    Mine: Jewett Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 41-03164, located in Leon County, Texas.

    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.803 (Fail safe ground check circuits on high-voltage resistance grounded systems).

    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard for use of a special procedure when the dragline boom/mast is raised or lowered during necessary repairs/dismantling. The petitioner states that:

    (1) Texas Westmoreland Coal Company realizes that some stages of assembly/disassembly of draglines require special consideration when the boom/mast is raised/lowered into position. The boom is raised/lowered utilizing the on board motor generator sets. This is critical because, during the process, power to the machine must not be interrupted. Power loss conditions may result in the boom becoming uncontrolled, falling, and resulting in possible injuries to workers. To address this condition, the following guidelines will be implemented to help prevent loss of power to the machine. This procedure only addresses raising/lowering the boom on draglines utilizing the machines electrical onboard motor generator sets. It does not replace other mechanical precautions or the requirements of 30 CFR 77.803 that are necessary to safely secure booms/masts during construction or maintenance procedures.

    (2) The following is a procedure for “boom raising” or “boom lowering” at Texas Westmoreland Coal Company's Jewett Mine. During this period of construction/maintenance, the machine will not be performing mining operations. This procedure would also be applicable in instances of disassembly or maj9or maintenance which requires the boom to be raised/lowered. The following guidelines will be followed to minimize the potential for electrical power loss during this critical boom procedure.

    (3) The procedure would most likely only be used during disassembly or major maintenance. Major maintenance requiring the raising/lowering of the boom/mast would only be performed on an as-needed basis, which could span long periods of time. Therefore, training and review of the procedure would only be conducted prior to this need. At such time, all persons involved in the procedure would be trained or retrained.

    (a) Texas Westmoreland Coal Company employees, its contractors, and affected persons will be trained on the requirements of the procedure at the Jewett Mine.

    (b) The procedure will be coordinated by Texas Westmoreland Coal Company's Production Superintendent and, if present, the contractor's representative will assist. Two (2) MSHA qualified electricians will be present at all times during the procedure.

    (c) The procedure will limit the number of persons required on board the machine. An MSHA-qualified electrician, dragline operator, and the dragline oiler will be permitted on the machine. Texas Westmoreland Coal Company's production Superintendent and contractor's representative may either be on board or at a location on the ground to assist in the coordination.

    (d) The affected area under the boom will be secured to prevent persons from entering and/or contacting the frame of the machine during the boom raising/lowering. The area will be secured and only those persons identified in paragraph 3 above will be permitted inside the secured area. At no time will anyone be permitted under the boom or close to the boom.

    (e) Communication between the dragline operator, the MSHA-qualified electrician at the dragline, the MSHA-qualified electrician at the substation, Texas Westmoreland Coal Company's Production Superintendent, and the contractor's representative, if present, will be by a dedicated channel on the company's two-way radio.

    (f) An MSHA-qualified electrician will complete an examination of all electrical components that will be energized. The examination will be done within two (2) hours prior to the boom raising/lowering process. A record of this examination will be made and available to interested parties. The machine will be de-energized to perform this examination.

    (g) After the examination has been completed, the electrical components necessary to complete the boom raising/lowering process will be energized to ensure they are operating properly as determined by an MSHA-qualified electrician. When the above is completed, the machine will be de-energized and locked out.

    (h) The ground fault and ground check circuits will be disabled provided:

    1. The internal ground conductor of the trailing cable has been tested and is continuous from the frame of the dragline to the grounding resistor located at the substation. Utilizing the ground check circuit and disconnecting the pilot circuit at the machine frame and verifying the circuit breaker cannot be closed will be an acceptable test. Resistance measurements can also be used to test the ground conductor. The grounding resistor will be tested to assure it is properly connected, is not open, or is not shorted.

    2. Normal short circuit protection will be provided at all times. The over current relay setting may be increased up to 100 percent above its normal setting.

    (i) During the boom raising/lowering procedure, an MSHA-qualified electrician will be positioned at the substation to monitor the grounding circuit. The MSHA- qualified electrician at the substation will at all times maintain communications with an MSHA qualified electrician at the dragline. If a grounded phase condition or an open ground wire should occur during the process, the MSHA-qualified electrician at the substation will notify the MSHA-qualified electrician at the dragline. All persons on board the machine must be aware of the condition and must remain on board the machine. The boom must be lowered to the ground or controlled and the electrical circuit de-energized, locked and tagged out. The circuit must remain de-energized until the condition is corrected. The ground fault and ground check circuits will be reinstalled prior to re-energizing and testing the machine. Once circuits have been tested and no adverse conditions are present, the boom raising/lowering procedure as outlined above will be resumed.

    (j) During this construction/maintenance procedure, persons cannot get on/off the dragline while the ground fault ground check circuits are disabled unless the circuit to the dragline is de-energized, locked and tagged out as verified by the MSHA-qualified electrician at the substation.

    (k) After the boom raising/lowering is completed, the MSHA-qualified electrician at the substation will restore all the protective devices to their normal state. When this has been completed, the MSHA-qualified electrician at the substation will notify the MSHA-qualified electrician at the dragline that all circuits are in their normal state. At this time, normal work procedures can begin.

    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will always guarantee the miners affected no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard.

    Docket Number: M-2017-002-M.

    Petitioner: Martin Marietta Materials, Midwest Division, 11252 Aurora Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50322.

    Mine: Fort Calhoun Underground Mine, 5765 County Road P 30, Fort Calhoun, Nebraska 68023, MSHA I.D No. 25-01300, located in Washington County, Nebraska.

    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.11052(d) (Refuge areas).

    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to permit use of bottled water in refuge areas in lieu of waterlines. The petitioner states that:

    (1) The Fort Calhoun Underground Mine will soon be developing two parallel decline tunnels to access an identified limestone reserve near Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. The decline tunnels will each be approximately 3,200 feet in length. The tunnels will be spaced roughly 155 feet horizontally between tunnel center lines. Two cross passages are planned to connect the two parallel tunnels during development. The Fort Calhoun Underground Mine will provide a portable prefabricated refuge chamber in each of the two decline tunnels for the purpose of barricading in the event of a mine emergency.

    (2) The petitioner seeks modification of 30 CFR 57.11052(d) specifically with the standard's directive that refuge areas be provided with waterlines. The Fort Calhoun Underground Mine will provide waterlines to each of the two aforementioned refuge chambers; however, the installed waterlines will not support a potable water supply.

    (3) In lieu of a plumbed potable water supply, potable water will be provided in each of the two refuge chambers in the form of commercially purchased bottled water in sealed bottles.

    (4) The two planned portable refuge chambers to be used underground at the Fort Calhoun Underground Mine are each designed to sustain 20 miners for a period of 36 hours under battery backup power. These prefabricated refuge chambers will, at all times, be equipped with waterlines being directly fed from the surface. The waterline supplied to the refuge chamber will not be a source of potable water for miners taking refuge. The reliability of source water quality and volume being fed to the chambers is jeopardized considering water transmission line will be installed in a mining environment and inherently susceptible to mechanical damage or restriction in the event of a mine emergency. Sourcing of water from a surface reservoir to the refuge chambers is affected by climate conditions on the surface. Adversely cold surface temperatures could restrict or cut off the supply of water to the refuge chambers resulting in a diminution of safety. Add-in contaminants (industrial or bacteria) in piped-in water results in a diminution of safety for the miners.

    (5) Potable water will be provided in each of the chambers in the form of commercially purchased bottled water in sealed bottles. Each of the two chambers will be provided with a minimum of 2.25 quarts of potable drinking water per person, per day. Considering that each of the chambers are designed to support 20 miners for a period of 36 hours, each chamber will be outfitted with a minimum of 67.5 quarts or 2160 ounces of commercially purchased potable drinking water in sealed bottles. Provisioned water will have a maximum shelf life of 2 years. The condition and quantity of stored water will be confirmed by monthly inspections. Written instructions for conservation of water will also be provided within the refuge chambers for reference.

    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard.

    Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15673 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520-43-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards AGENCY:

    Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below.

    DATES:

    All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA's Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before August 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit your comments, identified by “docket number” on the subject line, by any of the following methods:

    1. Electronic Mail: [email protected] Include the docket number of the petition in the subject line of the message.

    2. Facsimile: 202-693-9441.

    3. Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 22202-5452, Attention: Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. Persons delivering documents are required to check in at the receptionist's desk in Suite 4E401. Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions and comments during normal business hours at the address listed above.

    MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances at 202-693-9447 (Voice), [email protected] (Email), or 202-693-9441 (Facsimile). [These are not toll-free numbers.]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification.

    I. Background

    Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard to a coal or other mine if the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) determines that:

    1. An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or

    2. That the application of such standard to such mine will result in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine.

    In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification.

    II. Petitions for Modification

    Docket Number: M-2017-010-C.

    Petitioner: Peabody Gateway North Mining, LLC, 12968 Illinois State Route 13, Coulterville, IL 62237.

    Mine: Gateway North Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11-03235, located in Randolph County, Illinois.

    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric equipment).

    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of nonpermissible electronic testing equipment in the last open crosscut. The petitioner states that:

    (1) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment to be used includes: Laptop computers, oscilloscopes, vibration analysis machines, cable fault detectors, point temperature probes, infrared temperature devices, insulation testers (meggers), voltage, current resistance, power testers, and electronic tachometers. Other testing and diagnostic equipment may be used if approved in advance by the MSHA District Manager.

    (2) All nonpermissible testing and diagnostic equipment used in or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by a qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.153, prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. These examination results will be recorded in the weekly examination book and will be made available to MSHA and the miners at the mine.

    (3) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment in or inby the last open crosscut.

    (4) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above one percent. When one percent or more methane is detected while the nonpermissible electronic equipment is being used, the equipment will be de-energized immediately and will be withdrawn outby the last open crosscut.

    (5) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 30 CFR 75.320.

    (6) Except for time necessary to troubleshoot under actual mining conditions coal production in the section will cease. However, coal may remain in or on the equipment to test and diagnose the equipment under “load”.

    (7) All electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will be used in accordance with the safe use procedures recommended by the manufacturer.

    (8) Qualified personnel who use electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with use of the equipment.

    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the standard.

    Docket Number: M-2017-011-C.

    Petitioner: Peabody Gateway North Mining, LLC, 12968 Illinois State Route 13, Coulterville, IL 62237.

    Mine: Gateway North Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11-03235, located in Randolph County, Illinois.

    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507-1(a) (Electric equipment other than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; permissibility requirements).

    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of nonpermissible electronic testing equipment in return air outby the last open crosscut. The petitioner states that:

    (1) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment to be used includes: Laptop computers, oscilloscopes, vibration analysis machines, cable fault detectors, point temperature probes, infrared temperature devices, insulation testers (meggers), voltage, current resistance, power testers, and electronic tachometers. Other testing and diagnostic equipment may be used if approved in advance by the MSHA District Manager.

    (2) All nonpermissible testing and diagnostic equipment used in return air outby the last open crosscut will be examined by a qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.153, prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. These examination results will be recorded in the weekly examination book and will be made available to MSHA and the miners at the mine.

    (3) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment in return air outby the last open crosscut.

    (4) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above one percent. When one percent or more methane is detected while the nonpermissible electronic equipment is being used, the equipment will be de-energized immediately and will be withdrawn from the return air outby the last open crosscut.

    (5) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 30 CFR 75.320.

    (7) All electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will be used in accordance with the safe use procedures recommended by the manufacturer.

    (8) Qualified personnel who use electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with use of the equipment.

    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the standard.

    Docket Number: M-2017-012-C.

    Petitioner: The Marion County Coal Company, 151 Johnny Cake Road, Metz, West Virginia 26585.

    Mine: Marion County Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-01433, located in Marion County, West Virginia.

    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells).

    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of that part of the existing standard that requires the operator to establish and maintain barriers around its surface directional drilled (SDD) wells. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method has been successfully used to prepare coal bed methane (CBM) wells for safe intersection by using one or more of the following methods: (1) Cement Plug, (2) Polymer Gel, (3) Bentonite Gel, (4) Active Pressure Management and Water Infusion, and (5) Remedial Work. The proposed alternative method will prevent the CBM well methane from entering the underground mine. The alternative method includes well plugging procedures, water infusion and ventilation method, and procedures for mining through a CBM well with horizontal laterals. The petitioner states that:

    (1) A minimum working barrier of 300 feet in diameter will be maintained around all SDD wells until approval to proceed with mining has been obtained from the District Manager (DM). The barrier would extend around all vertical and horizontal branches drilled in the coal seam. The barrier would also extend around all vertical and horizontal branches within overlying coal seams subject to caving or subsidence from the coal seam being mined when methane leakage through the subsidence zone is possible.

    (2) The DM may choose to approve each branch intersection, each well, or a group of wells as applicable to the conditions. The DM may require a certified review of the proposed methods to prepare the SDD wells for intersection by a professional engineer in order to assess the applicability of the proposed system(s) to the mine-specific conditions.

    a. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for preparing, plugging, and replugging SDD wells using mandatory computations and administrative procedures prior to plugging or replugging:

    (1) Probable Error of Location—Directional drilling systems rely on sophisticated angular measurement systems and computer models to calculate the estimated location of the well bore. This estimated hole location is subject to cumulative measurement errors so that the distance between actual and estimated location of the well bore increases with the depth of the hole. Modern directional drilling systems are typically accurate within one or two degrees depending on the specific equipment and techniques. The probable error of location is defined by a cone described by the average accuracy of angular measurement around the length of the hole. For example, a hole that is drilled 500 vertical feet and deviated into a coal seam at a depth of 700 feet would have a probable error of location at a point that is 4,000 feet from the hole collar (about 2,986 feet horizontally from the well collar) of 69.8 feet (4,000 feet × sine (1.0 degree)) if the average accuracy of angular measurement was on degree and 139.6 feet if the average accuracy of angular measurement was two degrees. In addition to the probable error of location, the true hole location is also affected by underground survey errors, surface survey errors, and random survey errors.

    (2) Minimum Working Barrier Around Well—For purposes of this petition, the minimum working barrier around any CBM well or branches of a CBM well in the coal seam is 50 feet plus the probable error of location. For example, a hole that is drilled 500 vertical feet and deviated into a coal seam at a depth of 700 feet using drilling equipment that has an average accuracy of angular measurement of one degree, the probable error of location at a point that is 4,000 feet from the hole collar is 69.8 feet. Therefore, the minimum working barrier around this point of the well bore is 120 feet (69.8 feet plus 50 feet rounded up to the nearest foot). The 50 additional feet is a reasonable separation between the probable location of the well and mining operations. When mining is within the minimum working barrier distance from a CBM well or branch, the mine operator must comply with the provisions of this petition. CBM wells must be prepared in advance for safe intersection and specific procedures must be followed on the mining section in order to protect the miners when mining within this minimum working barrier around the well. The DM may require a greater minimum working barrier around CBM wells where geologic conditions, historical location errors, or other factors warrant a greater barrier.

    (3) Ventilation Plan Requirements—The ventilation plans will contain a description of all SDD CBM wells drilled in the area to be mined. This description would include the well numbers, the date drilled, the diameter, the casing information, the coal seams developed, maximum depth of the wells, abandonment pressures, and any other information required by the DM. All or part of this information may be listed on the mine ventilation map as required in 30 CFR 75.372. As required in 30 CFR 75.371, the ventilation plan will include the techniques that the mine operator plans to use to prepare the SDD wells for safe intersection, the specifications and stops necessary to implement these techniques, and the operational precautions that are required when mining within the minimum working barrier. The ventilation plan will also contain any additional information or provisions related to the SDD wells required by the DM.

    (4) Ventilation Map—The mine ventilation map specified in 30 CFR 75.372 will contain the following information:

    (i) The surface location of all CBM wells in the active mining area and any projected mining area as specified in 30 CFR 75.372(b)(14);

    (ii) Identifying information of CBM wells (i.e. API) hole number or equivalent;

    (iii) The date that gas production began from the well;

    (iv) The coal seam intersection of all CBM wells;

    (v) The horizontal extents in the coal seam of all CBM wells and branches;

    (vi) The outline of the probable error of location of all CBM wells; and

    (vii) The date of mine intersection and the distance between estimated and actual locations for all intersections of the CBM well and branches.

    b. The petitioner proposes the following mandatory procedures for plugging or replugging SDD Wells:

    —The mine operator will include in the mine ventilation plan one or more of the methods listed below to prepare SDD wells for safe intersection. The methods approved in the mine ventilation plan must be completed on each SDD well before mining encroaches on the minimum working barrier around the well or branch of the well in the coal seam being mined. If methane leakage through subsidence cracks is a problem when retreat mining, the minimum working barrier must be maintained around wells and branches in overlying coal seams or the wells and branches must be prepared for safe intersection as specified in the mine ventilation plan.

    (1) Cement Plug—Cement will be used to fill the entire SDD hole system. Squeeze cementing techniques are necessary for SDD plugging due to the lack of tubing in the hole. Cement would fill void spaces and eliminate methane leakage along the hole. Once the cement has cured, the SDD system may be intersected multiple times without further hole preparation. Gas cutting occurs if the placement pressure of the cement is less than the methane pressure in the coal seam. Under these conditions, gas will bubble out of the coal seam and into the unset cement creating a pressurized void or series of interconnected pressurized voids. Water cutting occurs when formation water and standing water in the hole invades or displaces the unset cement. Standing water has to be bailed out of the hole or driven into the formation with compressed gas to minimize water cutting. The cement pressure must be maintained higher than the formation pressure until the cement sets to minimize both gas and water cutting. The cementing program in the ventilation plan must address both gas and water cutting.

    Due to the large volume to be cemented and potential problems with cement setting prior to filling the entire SDD system, adequate sized pumping units with backup capacity must be used. Various additives such as retarders, lightweight extenders, viscosity modifiers, thixotropic modifiers, and fly ash may be used in the cement mix. The volume of cement pumped would exceed the estimated hole volume to ensure the complete filling of all voids.

    The complete cementing program, including hold dewatering, cement, additives, pressures, pumping times and equipment must be specified in the mine ventilation plan. The material safety data sheets (MSDS) for all cements, additives and components and any personal protective equipment and techniques to protect workers from the potentially harmful effects of the cement and cement components would be included in the ventilation plan. Records of cement mixes, cement quantities, pump pressures, and flow rates and times would be retained for each hole plugged. SDD holes may be plugged with cement years in advance of mining. However, the DM will require suitable documentation of the cement plugging in order to approve mining within the minimum working barrier around CBM wells.

    (2) Polymer Gel—Polymer gels start out as low viscosity, water-based mixtures of organic polymer that are crosslinked using time-delayed activators to form a water-insoluble, high-viscosity gel after being pumped into the SDD system. Although polymer gel systems never solidify, the activated gel should develop sufficient strength to resist gas flow. A gel that is suitable for treating SDD wells for mine intersection will reliably fill the SDD system and prevent gas-filled voids. Any gel chemistry used for plugging SDD wells should be resistant to bacterial and chemical degradation and remain stable for the duration of mining through a SDD system.

    Water may dilute the gel mixture to the point where it will not set to the required strength. Water in the holes would be removed before injecting the gel mixture. Water removal can be accomplished by conventional bailing and then injecting compressed gas to squeeze the water that accumulated in low spots back into the formation. Gas pressurization would be continued until the hole is dry. Another potential problem with gels is that dissolved salts in the formation waters may interfere with the cross-linking reactions. Any proposed gel mixtures must be tested with actual formation waters.

    Equipment to mix and pump gels would have adequate capacity to fill the hole before the gel sets. Backup units would be available in case something breaks while pumping. The volume of gel pumped would exceed the estimated hole volume to ensure the complete filling of all voids and allow for gel to infiltrate the joints in the coal seam surrounding the hole. Gel injection and setting pressures would be specified in the mine ventilation plan. To reduce the potential for an inundation of gel, the final level of gel would be close to the level of the coal seam and the remainder of the hole would remain open to the atmosphere until mining in the vicinity of the SDD system is completed. Packers may be used for isolate portions of the SDD system.

    The complete polymer gel program, including advance testing of the gel with formation water, dewatering systems, gel specifications, gel quantities, gel placement, pressures, and pumping equipment must be specified in the mine ventilation plan. The MSDS for all gel components and any personal protective equipment and techniques to protect workers from potentially harmful effects of the gel and gel components would be included in the mine ventilation plan. A record of the calculated hold volume, gel quantities, gel formulation, pump pressures and flow rates and times would be retained for each hole that is treated with gel. Other gel chemistries other than organic polymers may be included in the mine ventilation plan with appropriate methods, parameters, and safety precautions.

    (3) Bentonite Gel—High pressure injection of bentonite gel into the SDD system will infiltrate the cleat and butt joints of the coal seam near the well bore and effectively seal these conduits against the follow of methane. Bentonite gel is a thixotropic fluid that sets when it stops moving, and has a significantly lower setting viscosity than polymer gel. The polymer gel fills and seals the borehole, the lower strength bentonite gel must penetrate the fractures and jointing in the coal seam to be effective in reducing formation permeability around the hole. The use of bentonite gel is restricted to deleted CBM applications that have low abandonment pressures and limited recharge potential. In general, these applications will be mature CBM fields with long production histories.

    A slug of water would be injected prior the bentonite gel in order to minimize moisture loss bridging near the well bore. The volume of gel pumped would exceed the estimated hole volume to ensure that the gel infiltrates the joints in the coal seam for several feet surrounding the hole. Due to the large gel volume and potential problems with premature thixotropic setting, adequately sized pumping units with back-up capacity are required. Additives to the gel may be required to modify viscosity, reduce filtrates, reduce surface tension, and promote sealing of the cracks and joints around the hole. To reduce the potential for an inundation of bentonite gel, the final level of gel would be approximately the elevation of the coal seam and the remainder of the hole would remain open to the atmosphere until mining in the vicinity of the SDD system is complete. If a water column is used to pressurize the gel, it must be bailed down to the coal seam elevation prior to intersection.

    The complete bentonite gel program, including formation infiltration and permeability reduction data, hole pretreatment, gel specifications, and additives, gel quantities flow rates, injection pressures and infiltration times, must be specified in the ventilation plan. The ventilation plan should list the equipment used to prepare and pump the gel. The MSDS for all gel components and any personal protective equipment and techniques to protect workers from the potentially harmful effects of the gel and additives would be included in the ventilation plan. A record of the hole preparation, gel quantities, gel formulation, pump pressures, and flow rates and times would be retained for each hole that is treated with bentonite gel.

    (4) Active Pressure Management and Water Infusion—Reducing the pressure in the hole to less than atmospheric pressure by operating a vacuum blower connected to the wellhead may facilitate safe intersection of the hole by a coal mine. The negative pressure in the hole will limit the quantity of methane released into the higher pressure mine atmosphere. If the mine intersection is near the end of a horizontal branch of the SDD system, air will flow from the mine into the upstream side of the hold and be exhausted through the blower on the surface. On the downstream side of the intersection, if the open hole length is short, the methane emitted from this side of the hole may be diluted to safe levels with ventilation air. Conversely, safely intersecting this system near the bottom of the vertical hole may not be possible because the methane emissions from the multiple downstream branches may be too great to dilute with ventilation air. The methane emission rate is directly proportional to the length of the open hole. Successful application of vacuum systems may be limited by caving of the hole or water collected in dips in the SDD system. Another important factor in the success of vacuum systems is the methane liberation rate of the coal formation around the well. Older, more depleted wells that have lower methane emission rates are more amenable to this technique. The remaining methane content and the formation permeability should be addressed in the mine ventilation plan.

    Packer may be used to reduce methane inflow into the coal mine after intersection. All packers on the downstream side of the hole must be equipped with a center pipe so that the inby methane pressure may be measured or so that water may be injected. Subsequent intersections would not take place if pressure in a packer-sealed hole is excessive. Alternatively, methane produced by the downstream hole may be piped to an in-mine degas system to safely transport the methane out of the mine or may be piped to the return air course for dilution. In-mine methane piping would be protected as stipulated in “Piping Methane in Underground Coal Mines, MSHA IR 1094, (1978). Protected methane diffusion zones may be established in return air courses if needed.

    Detailed sketches and safety precautions for methane collection, piping and diffusion systems must be included in the mine ventilation plan (30 CFR 75.371(ee)).

    Water infusion prior to intersecting the well will temporarily limit methane flow. Water infusion may also help control coal dust levels during mining. High water infusion pressures may be obtained prior to the initial intersection by the hydraulic head resulting from the hole depth or by pumping. Water infusion pressures for subsequent intersections are limited by leakage around in-mine packers and limitations of the mine water distribution system. If water is infused prior to the initial intersection, the water level in the hole must be lowered to the coal seam elevation before the intersection.

    The complete pressure management strategy including negative pressure application, wellhead equipment, and use of packers, in-mine piping, methane dilution, and water infusion must be specified in the mine ventilation plan. Procedures for controlling methane in the downstream hole must be specified in the mine ventilation plan. The remaining methane content and formation permeability would be addressed in the mine ventilation plan. The potential for the coal seam to cave into the well would be addressed in the mine ventilation plan. Dewatering methods would be included in the mine ventilation plan. A record of the negative pressures applied to the system, methane liberation, use of packers and any water infusion pressures and application time would be retained for each intersection.

    (5) Remedial Work—If problems are encountered in preparing the holes for safe intersection, remedial measures must be taken to protect the miners. For example, if only one-half of the calculated hold volume of cement could be placed into a SDD well due to hole blockage, holes would be drilled near each branch that will be intersected and squeeze cemented using pressures sufficient to fracture into the potentially empty SDD holes. The DM will approve remedial work in the mine ventilation plan on a case-by-case basis.

    c. The petitioner proposes to use the following mandatory procedures after approval has been granted by the DM to mine within the minimum working barrier around the well or branch of the well:

    (1) The mine operator, the DM, a representative of the miners, or the appropriate State agency may request a conference prior to any intersection or after any intersection to discuss issues or concerns. Upon receipt of any request, the DM will schedule a conference. The party requesting the conference will notify all other parties listed above within a reasonable time prior to the conference to provide opportunity for participation.

    (2) The mine operator must notify the DM, the State agency, and the representative of the miners at least 48 hours prior the intended intersection of any CBM well.

    (3) The initial intersection of a well or branch of a well typically has higher risk than subsequent intersections. The initial intersection typically indicates if the well preparation is sufficient to prevent the inundation of methane. For the initial intersection of a well or branch the following procedures are mandatory:

    (a) When mining advances within the minimum barrier distance of the well or branches of the well, the entries that will intersect the well or branches must be posted with a readily visible marking. For longwalls, both the head and tailgate entries must be so marked. Marks must be advanced to within 100 feet of the working face as mining progresses. Marks will be removed after well or branches are intersected in each entry or after mining has exited the minimum barrier distance of the well.

    (b) Entries that will intersect vertical segments of a well will be marked with drivage sights in the last open crosscut when mining is within 100 feet of the well. When a vertical segment of a well will be intersected by a longwall, drivage sights will be installed on 10-foot centers starting 50 feet in advance of the anticipated intersection. Drivage sights will be installed in both the headgate and tailgate entries of the longwall.

    (c) Firefighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working face area of the mine-through (when either the conventional or continuous mining method is used), will be available and operable during each well mine-through. A fire hose will be located in the last open crosscut of the entry or room. A water line to the belt conveyor tailpiece will be maintained along with a sufficient amount of fire hose to reach the farthest point of penetration on the section. When the longwall mining method is used, a hose to the longwall water supply is sufficient. All fire hoses will be connected and ready for use, but do not have to be charged with water during the cut-through.

    (d) The operator will keep available at the working section a sufficient supply of roof support and ventilation materials. In addition, emergency plugs, packers, and setting tools to seal both sides of the well or branch will be available in the immediate area of the cut-through.

    (e) When mining advances within the minimum working barrier distance from the well or branch of the well, the operator will service all equipment and check for permissibility at least once daily. Daily permissibility examinations must continue until the well or branch is intersected or until mining exits the minimum working barrier around the well or branch.

    (f) When mining advances within the minimum working barrier distance from the well or branch of the well, the operator will calibrate the methane monitor(s) on the longwall, continuous mining machine and loading machine at least once daily. Daily methane monitor calibration must continue until the well or branch is intersected or until mining exits the minimum working barrier around the well or branch.

    (g) When mining is in progress, the operator will perform tests for methane with a handheld methane detector at least every 10 minutes from the time mining with the continuous mining machine or longwall face is within the minimum working barrier around the well or branch. During the cutting process, no individual will be allowed on the return side until the mine-through has been completed and the area has been examined and declared safe. The shearer must be idle when any miners are inby the tail drum.

    (h) When using continuous or conventional mining methods, the working place will be free from accumulations of coal dust and coal spillages, and rock dust will be placed on the roof, rib, and floor to within 20 feet of the face when mining through the well or branch. On longwall sections, rock dust will be applied on the roof, rib, and floor up to both the headgate and tailgate pillared area.

    (i) Immediately after the well or branch is intersected, the operator will de-energize all equipment, and the certified person will thoroughly examine and determine the working place safe before mining is resumed.

    (j) After a well or well branch has been intersected and the working place determined safe, mining will continue inby the well a sufficient distance to permit adequate ventilation around the area of the well or branch.

    (k) No open flame will be permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has been established around the wellbore or branch. Any casing, tubing or stuck tools will be removed using the methods approved in the mine ventilation plan.

    (l) No person will be permitted in the working place of the mine-through operation during active mining except those persons actually engaged in the mining operation, including mine management, representatives of miners, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the appropriate State agency.

    (m) The mine operator will warn all personnel in the mine of the planned intersection of the well or branch prior to their going underground if the planned intersection is to occur during their shift. This warning will be repeated for all shifts until the well or branch has been intersected.

    (n) A certified official will directly supervise the mine-through operation and only the certified official in charge will issue instructions concerning the mine-through operation.

    (o) All miners will be in known locations and will stay in communication with the responsible person, in accordance with the site specific approved emergency response plan when active mining occurs within the minimum working barrier of the well or branch.

    (p) The responsible person required in 30 CFR 75.1501 is responsible for well intersection emergencies. The well intersection procedures must be reviewed by the responsible person prior to any planned intersection.

    (q) A copy of the approved petition will be maintained at the mine and be available to the miners.

    (r) The provisions of the approved petition do not impair the authority of representative of MSHA to interrupt or halt the mine-through operation and to issue a withdrawal order when its deemed necessary for the safety of the miners. MSHA may order an interruption or cessation of the mine-through operation and/or withdrawal of personnel by issuing either a verbal or a written order to that effect to a representative of the operator, and will include the basis for the order. Operations in the affected area of the mine may not resume until a representative of MSHA permits resumption of mine-through operations. The miner operator and miners will comply with verbal or written MSHA orders immediately. All verbal orders will be committed to in writing within a reasonable time as conditions permit.

    (s) For subsequent intersections of branches of a well, appropriate procedures to protect the miners will be specified in the mine ventilation plan.

    d. The petitioner proposes to use the following mandatory procedures after SDD intersections:

    (1) All intersections with SDD wells and branches that are in intake air courses will be examined as part of the pre-shift examinations required in 30 CFR 75.360.

    (2) All other intersections with SDD wells and branches will be examined as part of the weekly examinations required in 30 CFR 75.364.

    Within 30 days after this petition becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved Part 48 training plan to the DM. These proposed revisions will include initial and refresher training regarding compliance with the terms and conditions stated in the petition. The mine operator will provide all miners involved in the mine-through of a well or branch with training regarding the requirements of this petition prior to mining within the minimum working barrier of the next well or branch intended to be mined through.

    Within 30 days after this petition becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved mine emergency evacuation and firefighting program of instruction required in 30 CFR 75.1502. The mine operator will revise the program to include the hazards and evacuation procedures to be used for well intersections. All underground miners will be trained in the revised program within 30 days of the approval of the revised mine emergency evacuation and firefighting program of instruction.

    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will always guarantee the miners no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the standard.

    Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15674 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520-43-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: 17-053] Notice of Intent To Hold International Space Station Stakeholder Workshop AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    ACTION:

    Stakeholder workshop.

    SUMMARY:

    The International Space Station (ISS) Stakeholder Workshop is intended to engage ISS stakeholders in gathering information that may be used in the development of NASA's future ISS planning activities. Specifically, the workshop targets the commercial space sector, researchers, technology developers, transportation and habitation providers, other government agencies, and other interested parties, providing a forum for dialogue with NASA on topics relevant to ISS future planning. Topics for discussion include the low Earth orbit (LEO) commercial, research, and development market; access to space; the value of permanent human habitation in LEO; and structure and planning for public/private partnerships in LEO.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017, 8:30am-6:00pm, Local Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    Marriott Marquis Washington DC, 901 Massachusetts Ave NW., Washington, DC 20001. Please see the workshop Web site at: https://www.nasa.gov/content/international-space-station-stakeholder-workshop.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacob Keaton, 202-358-1507, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will be open to the public up to the seating capacity of the room. Attendees are requested to register at: https://www.nasa.gov/content/international-space-station-stakeholder-workshop. The agenda will consist of a plenary session in the morning followed by topic-specific breakouts in the afternoon.

    Tentative ISS Stakeholder Workshop Agenda 8:30-12:00 Open Session. Welcome, Objectives, Presentations. 12:00-1:00 Lunch (on your own) 1:00-3:00 Breakout Sessions Round #1 3:00-5:00 Breakout Sessions Round #2 5:00-6:00 Outbriefs and Summary Jacob Keaton, International Space Station, NASA Headquarters.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15651 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2017-0001] Sunshine Act Meeting Notice DATE:

    Weeks of July 24, 31, August 7, 14, 21, 28, 2017.

    PLACE:

    Commissioners' Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland.

    STATUS:

    Public and Closed.

    Week of July 24, 2017

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of July 24, 2017.

    Week of July 31, 2017—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of July 31, 2017.

    Week of August 7, 2017—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of August 7, 2017.

    Week of August 14, 2017—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of August 14, 2017.

    Week of August 21, 2017—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of August 21, 2017.

    Week of August 28, 2017—Tentative

    There are no meetings scheduled for the week of August 28, 2017.

    The schedule for Commission meetings is subject to change on short notice. For more information or to verify the status of meetings, contact Denise McGovern at 301-415-0681 or via email at [email protected]

    The NRC Commission Meeting Schedule can be found on the Internet at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/schedule.html.

    The NRC provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in these public meetings, or need this meeting notice or the transcript or other information from the public meetings in another format (e.g., braille, large print), please notify Kimberly Meyer, NRC Disability Program Manager, at 301-287-0739, by videophone at 240-428-3217, or by email at [email protected] Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Members of the public may request to receive this information electronically. If you would like to be added to the distribution, please contact the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of the Secretary, Washington, DC 20555 (301-415-1969), or email [email protected] or [email protected]

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Denise L. McGovern, Policy Coordinator, Office of the Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017-15776 Filed 7-24-17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 040-7580; EA-17-102; NRC-2017-0165] License Modification Order: Fansteel, Inc. and FMRI (a Subsidiary of Reorganized Fansteel) AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Order; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an Immediately Effective Order to Fansteel, Inc. and FMRI (a subsidiary of Reorganized Fansteel). The Order modifies License No. SMB-911 to include “Fansteel, Inc.” as a co-Licensee with “FMRI (a subsidiary of Fansteel)” for the complex decommissioning site in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The Order also requires amendment of the Decommissioning Plan to reflect “Fansteel” as a co-licensee and requires Fansteel and FMRI to take any and all actions necessary at the Muskogee site to ensure adequate protection of public health and safety. The NRC issued the Order in response to the imminent risk that FMRI will abandon the Muskogee site.

    DATES:

    The Order was issued on July 14, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2017-0165 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0165. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For questions about this Order, 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] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document.

    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:

    Greg Chapman, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-8718; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The text of the Order is attached.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this July 17, 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    John R. Tappert, Director, Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION In the Matter of FMRI (a subsidiary of Reorganized Fansteel) and Fansteel, Inc. Muskogee, Oklahoma Docket No. 040-7580 License No. SMB-911 EA-17-102 ORDER MODIFYING LICENSE (IMMEDIATELY EFFECTIVE) I

    FMRI, a subsidiary of Reorganized Fansteel, Inc. (“Fansteel”) (“Licensee”) is the current holder of Byproduct/Source/Special Nuclear Material License No. SMB-911 (“License”) issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) pursuant to 10 CFR part 40, “Domestic Licensing of Source Material.” The License authorizes possession of source material consisting of up to 400 tons of natural uranium and thorium in any form at the Muskogee, Oklahoma site, where Fansteel operated a rare metal extraction facility until December 1989. The License further authorizes activities related to decommissioning and characterization of contaminated facilities, equipment, and land, and maintenance of control over licensed materials in accordance with statements, representations, and conditions contained in the application submitted by letter dated January 14, 2003 (ML030280438), and supplemented by letters dated May 8, 2003 (ML031340606), July 24, 2003 (ML032100533, re: Decommissioning Plan), July 24, 2003 (ML032100585, re: license transfer); and by letter dated July 6, 2006 (ML061930111), and supplemented by letters dated August 31, 2006 (ML070740112) and May 24, 2007 (ML071560249). The License, originally issued in 1967, expired on September 30, 2002 although it has continued, in effect, in accordance with 10 CFR 40.42(c).

    II

    The Muskogee site currently contains contaminated material in the form of uranium, thorium, and their decay-chain progeny. This contamination is located in process equipment and buildings, soil, sludge, and groundwater. As the holder of License No. SMB-911, FMRI is responsible for decontaminating the Muskogee site by conducting characterization, remediation, and other decommissioning activities in accordance with both the NRC-approved 2003 Decommissioning Plan (“Decommissioning Plan”) and supplemental correspondence with the NRC staff relating to the Decommissioning Plan. Fansteel is the current record owner of approximately 80 acres of the Muskogee site, including the contaminated portion of the site. Currently, the only Director and the President, Secretary, and Treasurer of FMRI is Mr. Robert Compernolle, the Vice President and Corporate Controller of Fansteel.

    In a letter dated July 6, 2017 from Mr. Robert Compernolle (FMRI) to the NRC (“Compernolle Letter”) (ML17193A341), FMRI stated that it has not received compliance funding 1 from Fansteel in three months. The letter states that “FMRI has no money to pay for the continued monthly health and safety costs for the site . . .” FMRI also stated that in the near future “ground water and surface water will no longer be collected and treated in accordance with the NRC License . . .” FMRI further indicated that “surface water will likely overflow from the ponds and untreated ground water will contaminate the Arkansas River.” The Compernolle Letter states that there will be no site security “which may result in . . . potential exposure to radiation in excess of acceptable standards.” The abandonment of the Muskogee site creates an exigency that would likely include unacceptable health and safety risks to the public and therefore requires immediate regulatory action by the NRC.

    1 Previously Fansteel was providing compliance funding (funding necessary to comply with applicable regulatory requirements) pursuant to certain financial instruments. When Fansteel experienced financial challenges in 2013, it entered into a series of agreements with the NRC for reduced compliance funding while still maintaining the health and safety of the site. Fansteel is no longer providing compliance funding.

    Reasonable assurance of adequate protection of the public health and safety and common defense and security are the NRC's fundamental regulatory mandates under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. Compliance with NRC requirements plays a critical role in giving the NRC confidence that licensees are maintaining an adequate level of public health and safety and common defense and security. In situations where licensees cannot demonstrate adequate compliance with NRC regulations, the Commission may act in accordance with its statutory authority under Section 161 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, to require licensees to take action in order to protect health and safety and common defense and security. In addition, the Commission may institute a proceeding to modify, suspend, or revoke a license or to take such action as may be proper by serving on the licensee or other person subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission an immediately effective order pursuant to 10 CFR 2.202(a).

    FMRI's sampling data indicates that the Muskogee site has groundwater contamination that exceeds the effluent concentration limits in Appendix B of 10 CFR part 20, “Standards for Protection Against Radiation.” The 2016 sampling data showed concentrations in some wells being almost double the Appendix B limits, which are based on a 50 mrem/y estimated dose. This contamination is currently collected, treated, and monitored by a water treatment system operated by FMRI staff. The water is then released to the Arkansas River in accordance with Oklahoma Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (OPDES) Permit No. OK0001643. As indicated by the Compernolle Letter, if the site is abandoned, any contaminated groundwater, or surface water runoff, will flow unimpeded, untreated, and unmonitored into the Arkansas River, which is immediately adjacent to the site. The nearest surface water intake from the river is approximately 15 miles downstream of the site.

    The site also contains several process impoundments (ponds), which contain treated water and radiologically contaminated calcium fluoride (CaF2) material. These ponds need to be maintained because potential liner tears or other occurrences may lead to impoundment failures resulting in a release of radiologically contaminated materials to the environment. Further, the site has radiological contamination in open excavations, equipment, and buildings for which access control is needed to ensure that the public does not inadvertently receive exposures in excess of regulatory limits for the public due to being in close proximity or contact with the materials. Continued staffing at the Muskogee site is needed by personnel who can operate and maintain the water treatment system, maintain the surface impoundments, and otherwise provide site monitoring, maintenance, and security as needed to meet statutory, regulatory, and license requirements.

    III

    Fansteel was the original holder of the License. In January 2002, Fansteel filed a petition for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware pursuant to Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (ML020290385). By application to the NRC (ML032100585), Fansteel requested a transfer of the License for the Muskogee site to a subsidiary, FMRI. As part of its Reorganization Plan under Chapter 11, Fansteel proposed to create FMRI to assume the License and complete decommissioning. In its application, Fansteel committed to provide compliance funding mechanisms for FMRI to ensure that FMRI would be qualified to hold the License and be capable of complying with all NRC requirements. The NRC conducted a safety evaluation of Fansteel's application. The NRC verified that Fansteel had established all necessary compliance funding mechanisms and established FMRI as a separate entity capable of fulfilling the license requirements. The NRC concluded that, based on Fansteel's commitments, FMRI “is qualified to be the license holder” and that “transfer of the license to FMRI is otherwise consistent with the applicable provisions of law, regulations, and orders issued by the Commission” (ML033080188). Based on this finding, as well as confirmation of Fansteel's Reorganization Plan, the NRC consented to the license transfer and modified the License to replace Fansteel with FMRI (a subsidiary of Reorganized Fansteel) as the licensee on December 4, 2003 (ML033240133). Pursuant to the Reorganization Plan confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court on December 23, 2003, Fansteel reorganized and created FMRI to fulfill all obligations of the License and the Decommissioning Plan for the Muskogee site.

    Subsequent to the NRC's approval of the license transfer and the effective date of the Reorganization Plan, Fansteel has exercised de facto control over radiological substances and thus is subject to the requirements of the Atomic Energy Act. Fansteel has maintained—and currently maintains—de facto control over the day-to-day business of FMRI. As noted above, Fansteel is the current record owner of the contaminated portion of the Muskogee site. Additionally, FMRI had no Board of Directors from 2009 to 2014, and currently Mr. Robert Compernolle, the Vice President and Corporate Controller of Fansteel, is the only director and the President, Secretary, and Treasurer of FMRI. Mr. Compernolle receives compensation from Fansteel, not FMRI. Mr. Compernolle and his predecessor, Mr. E. Jonathan Jackson, have directly controlled and been involved with environmental and regulatory matters with the NRC at the Muskogee site. Further, Fansteel has failed to deposit all insurance proceeds for use in decommissioning as required by the Reorganization Plan. Specifically, in 2010 Fansteel failed to deposit into the Decommissioning Trust an approximately $1.25 million insurance settlement related to the Muskogee site. Instead, Fansteel used this insurance settlement to fund its independent operations. In addition, Fansteel siphoned compliance funding from FMRI as numerous payments made by Fansteel to FMRI were rapidly returned by FMRI to Fansteel instead of being used for site remediation activities. In numerous reports submitted to the NRC, FMRI reported that Fansteel had made compliance funding to it when, in fact, Fansteel had not. For all these reasons, Fansteel's actions following confirmation of the Reorganization Plan (“post confirmation actions”) have created obligations for Fansteel under the Atomic Energy Act.

    Fansteel has also failed to fulfill the commitments it made in support of the license transfer. As previously noted, Fansteel failed to deposit all insurance proceeds into the Decommissioning Trust, failed to provide minimum required compliance funding to FMRI, and siphoned compliance funding from FMRI. In 2006 and again in 2007, FMRI applied for withdrawal of funds from the Decommissioning Trust and certified that all funds due to FMRI from Fansteel had been paid when in fact they had not. FMRI was required to replenish the Decommissioning Trust within 30 days of making such withdrawals, yet FMRI did not replenish the Decommissioning Trust. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, Fansteel failed to provide minimum required compliance funding to FMRI, yet in annual reports submitted to the NRC in 2012, 2013, and 2014, FMRI inaccurately stated that such funding had been provided.

    Fansteel's post-confirmation conduct has rendered FMRI incapable of compliance with NRC requirements, made FMRI unqualified to be sole Licensee, has put the Muskogee site at imminent risk of abandonment, and requires modification of the License. NRC staff has determined that the protection of public health and safety requires the issuance of this Order adding Fansteel as a co-Licensee of the License. Accordingly, the NRC hereby modifies SMB-911 via this Order to add Fansteel as a co-Licensee for SMB-911. In addition, pursuant to 10 CFR 2.202, “Orders,” the NRC finds that—in light of the likelihood of imminent site abandonment and the associated risks of further radiological contamination—the public health, safety, and interest require that this Order be made immediately effective subject to the conditions provided below.

    IV

    Fansteel again filed for bankruptcy pursuant to Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in September 2016, this time in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa. In re Fansteel, Inc., No. 16-01823-ALS (Bankr. S.D. Iowa) (“Second Bankruptcy”). Nothing in this Order should be construed to seek collection of any claim or debt or monetary judgment. Rather, the actions required by the NRC under this Order are solely to enforce the NRC's police or regulatory power as permitted by the police or regulatory exception to the automatic stay, 11 U.S.C. 362(b)(4), and are designed to provide reasonable assurance of adequate protection of public health and safety.

    The United States on behalf of the NRC has filed a motion in the Second Bankruptcy that is pending and which seeks continued compliance funding by Fansteel of FMRI. If granted and complied with, such compliance funding would allow Fansteel and FMRI to address the most immediate health and safety exigencies at the Muskogee site. This would likely alter the situation reported to the NRC in the Compernolle Letter as described above. However, according to the Compernolle Letter, FMRI's compliance activities will expire imminently. Therefore, the NRC has lost reasonable assurance of adequate protection of public health and safety with respect to the Muskogee site and finds issuance of this Order necessary.

    The NRC recognizes that an order of the Second Bankruptcy Court, either on the United States' pending motion or another motion, may be necessary for Fansteel to use cash collateral to comply with this Order. The NRC further recognizes that additional modifications of this Order may be appropriate in light of any future orders of the Court.

    V

    Accordingly, pursuant to Sections 61, 62, 161, 184, 186, and 187 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the Commission's regulations in 10 CFR 2.202 and 10 CFR part 40, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, EFFECTIVE UPON ISSUANCE, AS FOLLOWS:

    A. License No. SMB-911 is modified to add Fansteel, Inc. as a co-Licensee.

    B. All relevant references to “FMRI” in License No. SMB-911 shall be changed to “Fansteel and FMRI.”

    C. Fansteel and FMRI shall:

    1. Take any and all actions necessary at the Muskogee site to: (1) Prevent the unauthorized release of radiological contamination into the Arkansas River; (2) collect and treat groundwater and surface water in accordance with all regulatory requirements; (3) secure the Muskogee site to prevent any unintended public exposure to radiation in excess of NRC regulatory requirements; and (4) take any additional actions to ensure the public health and safety. Fansteel's obligation under this subparagraph during the pendency of the Second Bankruptcy will not become effective if the Second Bankruptcy Court grants the United States' outstanding motion to comply with environmental health and safety laws and regulations on or before July 18, 2017. In such circumstance, during the pendency of the Second Bankruptcy, Fansteel's obligations will be governed by the Court's order.

    2. Within 5 days of the issuance of this Order, submit a written report to the NRC describing all steps taken by Fansteel and FMRI to comply with this Order and how they have protected public health and safety.

    3. Within 45 days of the issuance of this Order, submit to the NRC an amended Decommissioning Plan that reflects Fansteel as co-Licensee.

    The Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards may, in writing, relax or rescind any of the above conditions upon demonstration by the Licensees of good cause.

    VI

    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.202, the licensee must, and any other person adversely affected by this Order may, submit an answer to this Order within 30 days of issuance. In addition, the licensee and any other person adversely affected by this Order may request a hearing on this Order within 30 days of issuance. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the time to answer or request a hearing. A request for extension of time must be made in writing to the Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-001, and include a statement of good cause for the extension.

    All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene (hereinafter “petition”), and documents filed by interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139, August 28, 2007, as amended at 77 FR 46562, August 3, 2012). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory documents over the internet, or in some cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Detailed guidance on making electronic submissions may be found in the Guidance for Electronic Submissions to the NRC and on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/esubmittals.html. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.

    To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least ten (10) days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 301-415-1677, to (1) request a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign submissions and access the E-Filing system for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a petition or other adjudicatory document (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.

    Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's Public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/getting-started.html. Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit adjudicatory documents. Submissions must be in Portable Document Format (PDF). Additional guidance on PDF submissions is available on the NRC's Public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/electronic-sub-ref-mat.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the document on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before adjudicatory documents are filed so that they can obtain access to the documents via the E-Filing system.

    A person filing electronically using the NRC's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC's Electronic Filing Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC's Public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email to [email protected], or by a toll-free call to 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk is available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.

    Participants who believe that they have good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing stating why there is good cause for not filing electronically and requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing adjudicatory documents in this manner are responsible for serving the documents on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.

    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC's electronic hearing docket, which is available to the public at https://adams.nrc.gov/ehd/, unless excluded pursuant to an Order of the Commission or the presiding officer. If you do not have an NRC-issued digital ID certificate as described above, click “Cancel” when the link requests certificates and you will be automatically directed to the NRC's electronic hearing dockets where you will be able to access any publicly available documents in a particular hearing docket. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. For example, in some instances, individuals provide home addresses in order to demonstrate proximity to a facility or site. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

    If a person other than the licensee requests a hearing, that person shall set forth with particularity the manner in which their interest is adversely affected by this Order and shall address the criteria set forth in 10 CFR 2.309(d) and (f). If a hearing is requested by the licensee or a person whose interest is adversely affected, the Commission will issue an Order designating the time and place of any hearings. If a hearing is held, the issue to be considered at such hearing shall be whether this Order should be sustained. Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.202(c)(2)(i), the licensee or any other person adversely affected by this Order, may, in addition to demanding a hearing, at the time the answer is filed or sooner, move the presiding officer to set aside the immediate effectiveness of the Order on the ground that the Order, including the need for immediate effectiveness, is not based on adequate evidence but on mere suspicion, unfounded allegations, or error. In the absence of any request for hearing, or written approval of an extension of time in which to request a hearing, the provisions specified in Section V above shall be final 30 days from the date this Order is issued without further order or proceedings. If an extension of time for requesting a hearing has been approved, the provisions specified in Section V shall be final when the extension expires if a hearing request has not been received. AN ANSWER OR A REQUEST FOR HEARING SHALL NOT STAY THE IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS ORDER.

    FOR THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

    Dated this July 14, 2017.

    Marc L. Dapas, Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15367 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. CP2016-134; CP2016-275; MC2017-159 and CP2017-223] New Postal Products AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing for the Commission's consideration concerning negotiated service agreements. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: July 28, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Docketed Proceeding(s) I. Introduction

    The Commission gives notice that the Postal Service filed request(s) for the Commission to consider matters related to negotiated service agreement(s). The request(s) may propose the addition or removal of a negotiated service agreement from the market dominant or the competitive product list, or the modification of an existing product currently appearing on the market dominant or the competitive product list.

    Section II identifies the docket number(s) associated with each Postal Service request, the title of each Postal Service request, the request's acceptance date, and the authority cited by the Postal Service for each request. For each request, the Commission appoints an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in the proceeding, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505 (Public Representative). Section II also establishes comment deadline(s) pertaining to each request.

    The public portions of the Postal Service's request(s) can be accessed via the Commission's Web site (http://www.prc.gov). Non-public portions of the Postal Service's request(s), if any, can be accessed through compliance with the requirements of 39 CFR 3007.40.

    The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service's request(s) in the captioned docket(s) are consistent with the policies of title 39. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern market dominant product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3622, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3010, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern competitive product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3632, 39 U.S.C. 3633, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3015, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. Comment deadline(s) for each request appear in section II.

    II. Docketed Proceeding(s)

    1. Docket No(s).: CP2016-134; Filing Title: Notice of United States Postal Service of Amendment to Priority Mail Express & Priority Mail Contract 28, with Portions Filed Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: July 20, 2017; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3633 and 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Katalin K. Clendenin; Comments Due: July 28, 2017.

    2. Docket No(s).: CP2016-275; Filing Title: Notice of United States Postal Service of Amendment to Priority Mail Contract 237, with Portions Filed Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: July 20, 2017; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3633 and 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Jennaca D. Upperman; Comments Due: July 28, 2017.

    3. Docket No(s).: MC2017-159 and CP2017-223; Filing Title: Request of the United States Postal Service to Add Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 20 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing (Under Seal) of Unredacted Governors' Decision, Contract, and Supporting Data; Filing Acceptance Date: July 20, 2017; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq.; Public Representative: Jennaca D. Upperman; Comments Due: July 28, 2017.

    This notice will be published in the Federal Register.

    Stacy L. Ruble, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15725 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement AGENCY:

    Postal ServiceTM.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule's Competitive Products List.

    DATES:

    Date of notice required under 39 U.S.C. 3642(d)(1): July 26, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth A. Reed, 202-268-3179.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on July 20, 2017, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a Request of the United States Postal Service to Add Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Contract 20 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2017-159, CP2017-223.

    Stanley F. Mires, Attorney, Federal Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15620 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    POSTAL SERVICE Revision to Mailing Standards for Lithium Batteries AGENCY:

    Postal ServiceTM.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Postal Service is revising Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, in various sections to provide new mailing standards for lithium batteries. Publication 52 was developed to provide expanded requirements for the mailing of hazardous, restricted, and perishable materials.

    DATES:

    Anticipated date of publication in the Postal Bulletin: August 17, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michelle Lassiter 202-268-2914, or Kevin Gunther (202) 268-7208.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Overview

    Pursuant to the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) 601.8.2, Publication 52 provides mailing standards specific to hazardous, restricted and perishable items and materials, including lithium batteries. Publication 52 is provided in its entirety on the Postal Explorer® Web site at http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/welcome.htm.

    Background

    The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) published Addendum No. 3 to its Technical Instructions (TI) on January 15, 2016, and Addendum No. 4 on February 23, 2016 (http://www.icao.int/safety/DangerousGoods/Pages/default.aspx). In these addenda, ICAO announced new regulations for lithium batteries in international air transportation. The ICAO revisions, with an effective date of April 1, 2016, detailed a number of new provisions including:

    • The prohibition of lithium-ion (and lithium-ion polymer) batteries, shipped separately from the equipment they are intended to operate (categorized as identification number UN3480), on passenger aircraft.

    • The restriction of UN3480 batteries and cells shipped via cargo aircraft to a maximum state of charge (SOC) of no more than 30 percent.

    • The limitation of section II, UN3480 batteries and cells to a single package, when sent as a part of a consignment or overpack via cargo aircraft.

    • The required use of an approved Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO) label on all packages of UN3480 batteries and cells transported via cargo aircraft.

    On September 7, 2016 (81 FR 61742), the Department of Transportation (DOT), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking [Docket Number 2015-0273 (HM-215N)] titled Hazardous Materials: Harmonization with International Standards (RRR) with the intention to maintain consistency with international regulations and standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations, and vessel stowage requirements.

    On February 22, 2017 (82 FR 11372), the Postal Service published a Federal Register notice, including invitation to comment, titled Revision to Mailing Standards for the Transport of Lithium Batteries. In this notice, the Postal Service announced its intent to revise Publication 52 to align with the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TI) with regard to the transportation of lithium batteries by air. Specifically, the Postal Service conveyed its intent to:

    • Prohibit UN3480 lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries in Postal Service air-eligible products.

    • Revise its quantity limitations for UN3480 lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries in surface transportation to align with those for lithium metal batteries, changing from the previous 8 cells or 2 batteries to an aggregate mailpiece limit of 5 pounds (while retaining its previous battery capacity limitations of 20 Wh/cell and 100 Wh/battery).

    The Postal Service also expresses its intent to revise Publication 52 to align with lithium battery regulations described in PHMSA's proposed rule of September 7, 2016. At that time, the Postal Service proceeded with its Federal Register notice, expecting the publication of PHMSA's final rule to occur shortly thereafter with few significant changes to its proposed regulations for lithium batteries. With respect to PHMSA's expected revisions to its lithium battery regulations, the Postal Service announced its intent to make the following changes to its mailing standards:

    • Eliminate the current text marking option for mailpieces required to bear, or optionally permitted to bear, lithium battery markings, and to limit markings to DOT-approved lithium battery handling labels only. Mailpieces restricted to surface transportation only, including those containing UN3090, lithium metal batteries shipped separately, will continue to be required to bear the current text marking in addition to a DOT-approved lithium battery handling label.

    • Eliminate the requirement for accompanying documentation with mailings of lithium batteries.

    • Add the new DOT class 9 hazard warning label for lithium batteries to Publication 52, Exhibit 325.1, DOT Hazardous Materials Warning Labels: PROHIBITED IN THE MAIL. Packages containing lithium batteries that are required to bear this label are prohibited in Postal Service networks.

    • Align with PHMSA regarding the requirement for outer packaging used to contain small lithium batteries to be rigid and of adequate size so the handling mark can be affixed on one side without the mark being folded.

    • Provide a limited exception to permit the use of padded or poly bags when cells or batteries are afforded equivalent protection by the equipment in which they are contained, but to limit this exception only to batteries meeting the Postal Service definition of a button cell battery in section 349.11d of Publication 52.

    • Take no action with regard to the requirement for lithium battery markings to appear on packages containing lithium cells or batteries, or lithium cells or batteries packed with, or contained in, equipment when there are more than two packages in the consignment, and continue to define a consignment in postal terms as a single parcel.

    On March 30, 2017 (82 FR 15796), PHMSA published a final rule titled Hazardous Materials: Harmonization with International Standards (RRR), following on its proposed rule of September 7, 2016. It was noted that few significant changes were made to the proposals relating to lithium batteries, from those published on September 7, 2016.

    Comments and Postal Service Responses

    The Postal Service received four responses to its notice of February 22, 2017, with all commenters addressing multiple issues. Commenters included two pilot associations, one hazardous materials transportation trade association, and the Congressional Delegation from the state of Alaska.

    The pilot associations generally supported the Postal Service-proposed restrictions, and requested the Postal Service to implement additional controls on lithium batteries not contemplated in its proposed rulemaking. The trade association voiced concern with the Postal Service's intent to take no action towards alignment with PHMSA's revised definition and restrictions relating to consignments of more than a single package containing lithium batteries, and with the Postal Service-proposed implementation date. The Alaska Congressional Delegation expressed concern with regard to the impact of the proposed restrictions on those living in remote areas not serviced by cargo aircraft or ground transportation. The specific comments and Postal Service responses are as follows:

    Commenter 1

    One pilot association related its support for the proposed revisions as written and suggests the following additional steps be taken by the Postal Service:

    • The Postal Service should require compliance and harmonization with ICAO TI with regard to “postal pouches and containers” being required to bear markings and be accompanied by written notification—consistent with ICAO overpack requirements.

    • The Postal Service should require compliance and harmonization with Universal Postal Union (UPU) Technical Standards for both international and domestic transportation.

    • The Postal Service should require all lithium batteries to be shipped in non-flammable packaging.

    • The Postal Service should permit airlines and other freight handlers to inspect postal packages to ensure the package can be safely shipped.

    • This commenter states that when a carrier is concerned with risk mitigation, the Postal Service should not be exempt from regulations applying to commercial carriers. The commenter states that lithium battery shipments from USPS might be presented (grouped) in opaque containers that the carrier is prevented from opening. The commenter opines that such a limitation results in the carrier not being able to determine which shipments contain lithium batteries, limiting the carrier's ability to mitigate that risk. The commenter also notes that this limitation prevents the carrier from inspecting packages for potential damage to the package contents, possibly enhancing the carrier's risk.

    Postal Service Response to Commenter  1

    The Postal Service is currently investigating options to require the preparation of sacks in accordance with the overpack requirements applicable to commercial shippers; this study is ongoing, however, and the Postal Service defers action on this matter at this time. The Postal Service intends to investigate the feasibility of modifying its operational processes to allow for the alignment with DOT overpack marking regulations, and to reexamine this issue at a later date. The Postal Service expects any such solution to include an enhanced process for the identification and segregation of mailpieces bearing lithium battery marks in Postal Service networks. As a result, the Postal Service is including an additional requirement for lithium battery handling marks to be placed on the address side of any and all mailpieces bearing these marks.

    In response to the second suggestion regarding harmonization with UPU Technical Standards for both international and domestic (air) transportation, the Postal Service does not believe that the implementation of such restrictions would be a reasonable action at this time. Were the Postal Service to adopt UPU lithium battery restrictions, this would result in the elimination of all lithium batteries packaged “with equipment” in domestic air transportation, and would reduce the number of cells installed in equipment, from the current eight cells to the UPU limitation of four cells. In addition, this would eliminate the current exception for very small batteries installed in or packaged with equipment. The adoption of these limitations would result in the Postal Service being much more restrictive than commercial transportation providers and could create an undue hardship on mailers with few or no other options.

    With regard to the suggested use of nonflammable packaging for lithium battery shipments, including a new requirement of this nature would fall outside the scope of this rulemaking. The Postal Service, however, is open to exploring the use of nonflammable packaging for lithium batteries at a future date. Factors to consider include whether such packaging is effective, affordable, and commercially available.

    In response to the final two suggestions regarding airlines and other freight handlers inspecting postal packages and risk mitigation when postal packages are enclosed in sacks, the Postal Service believes any such measure is best addressed by its suppliers in their relations with supply management personnel. It must be kept in mind, however, that most packages are currently classified as sealed against inspection, and as such, any effort to conduct inspections of the contents of packages sealed as such would need to account for all applicable legal limitations. Moreover, it should be stressed that the Postal Service, unlike most commercial carriers, limits lithium batteries in its networks to only those meeting the conditions of the exception for smaller cells and batteries under 49 CFR 173.185(c).

    Commenter 2

    Another pilot association related its support for the proposed prohibition of UN3480 batteries in Postal Service air transportation, stating that the Postal Service's proposed action is consistent with international standards and responsive to the expanding safety hazards posed by lithium batteries. In support of the prohibition, the commenter maintains that UN3480 batteries can still be shipped in cargo aircraft through commercial carriers. In addition, the commenter:

    • Expresses its wish that the Postal Service eventually implement packaging standards capable of containing any thermal event within the package itself, and capable of protecting lithium batteries from external fire threats.

    • States that the shipment of lithium-ion batteries in air transportation should continue with specified additional requirements to ensure their safe carriage, including:

    • Active fire detection and suppression systems should be required on all commercial aircraft carrying lithium batteries.

    • The elimination of packaging materials, such as polypropylene, that can fuel onboard fires. The Postal Service currently uses polypropylene mail totes (assumed to refer to flats and letter trays), which should not be used in air transportation.

    • States that its concern with polypropylene in commercial air transportation is shared by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); and

    • States that all operators engaged in the transport of lithium batteries should be required to carry such batteries within an aircraft compartment or container with an active fire suppression system capable of mitigating the risk of a lithium battery thermal event.

    Postal Service Response to Commenter 2

    The Postal Service appreciates the commenter's support for the prohibition of UN3480 batteries in Postal Service air networks. With regard to the other issues raised by this commenter, some fall outside the scope of this rulemaking.

    With regard to the first suggestion, regarding the eventual implementation of mailing standards requiring packaging capable of containing a thermal event within the package itself or providing protection from external fire, the Postal Service repeats that it is open to exploring the use of nonflammable packaging for lithium batteries at a future date. Factors to consider include whether such packaging is effective, affordable, and commercially available.

    In reference to the suggestion regarding fire detection and suppression systems on aircraft carrying lithium batteries, this comment is outside the scope of this rulemaking. The Postal Service has no immediate plans to require its contracted air carriers to use these systems as a condition for carrying mail. Of course, all carriers have the option to install these systems on their own at any time.

    With regard to the remaining suggestions concerning the use of polypropylene mail handling units in air transportation, the Postal Service believes these recommendations to be outside the scope of its rulemaking, but will nonetheless weigh the merits of this option separately.

    Commenter 3

    One commenter, a trade association, expresses its gratitude to the Postal Service for its continuing efforts to align Publication 52 with the DOT's Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). The commenter states that significant differences between the HMR and mailing standards create confusion with shippers who use the services of commercial transportation providers in addition to the mail. The commenter also states that alignment with the HMR is especially critical in the current environment where the Postal Service may cover only the first or last mile and a commercial carrier (regulated by the HMR) completes the remaining component of the transportation. In addition, the commenter expresses concern with the Postal Service proposal to define a consignment as a single package, noting that there may be situations where multiple packages are tendered to the Postal Service or one of its commercial carriers, and requests that the Postal Service consider requiring the lithium battery mark in these situations. The commenter advises that some air carriers have implemented prohibitions of lithium batteries prepared under the exception for smaller cells or batteries, and states that without the requirement for the marking of batteries included in a single consignment, some package shippers could utilize this exception to tender large quantities of lithium batteries to the Postal Service that could ultimately be transported by commercial air carriers. The commenter requests that the Postal Service consider revising Publication 52 to require a mailer tendering two or more packages, containing no more than two batteries or four cells, to mark each of those packages with a lithium battery handling mark, or (until December 31, 2018) a lithium battery handling label. The commenter further recommends that the Postal Service adopt the same 2-year transitional period offered by the HMR and the international entities with regard to the use of lithium battery marks. The commenter recommends that the Postal Service permit use of the new mark immediately, but allow for use of existing marks and labels until January 1, 2019.

    Postal Service Response to Commenter 3

    With regard to defining and restricting lithium battery consignments, the Postal Service has reconsidered its earlier proposal and has decided to add language to Publication 52 to define a lithium battery consignment within the context of shipments transported through the mail, and to add new restrictions for packages prepared within a single consignment. The details of these new mailing standards will be described later in this notice.

    With regard to the transitional period for the use of marks and labels, the Postal Service intends to align its transitional period with that permitted in the HMR. As the Postal Service has done in the past, it will add language to Publication 52 that requires the use of a DOT-approved lithium battery handling mark. This will allow mailers to use previously approved marks and labels through the duration of the DOT transition period. At present, the Postal Service expects to allow mailers to continue to use previously approved lithium battery marks until December 31, 2018, the date announced by PHMSA in its final rule of March 30, 2017.

    Commenter 4

    The Alaska Congressional Delegation requests the Postal Service to include a provision to authorize the continued transport of lithium batteries needed to support urgent patient needs on passenger aircraft to remote locations and “at a state of charge greater than 30%.” The Alaska Congressional Delegation also requests that consideration be given to the following points:

    • First, the Alaska Congressional Delegation questions whether the Postal Service has assessed the impact of the proposed restriction of UN3480 batteries on rural communities not regularly serviced by cargo aircraft.

    • Second, the Alaska Congressional Delegation asks whether the Postal Service will provide appropriate provisions for the shipment of UN3480 batteries used to power medical devices, as well as other lithium battery powered equipment (emergency beacons, generators and back-up power), to these remote locations in the “interim final rule” to avoid significant public health and safety impacts.

    Postal Service Response to Commenter  4

    The Postal Service would be willing to entertain requests for exceptions from medical equipment suppliers specific to the mailing of UN3480 batteries in Postal Service products transported through the air, when these batteries are needed for the emergency support of critical medical devices, fall within the established capacity limits for lithium-ion batteries in Postal Service networks, and no other reasonable alternative exists. In response to any such request, supported by adequate justification, the Postal Service would provide written authorization to the medical equipment supplier to mail UN3480 batteries via USPS air-eligible products. To minimize the risk of conflicting with DOT provisions, the Postal Service plans to consult with the DOT prior to the approval of specific authorizations relating to UN3480 batteries in USPS air transportation.

    With regard to other lithium battery-powered devices, such as emergency beacons, the Postal Service will provide an option for the mailing of UN3480 in air transportation. This option will be restricted to UN3480 batteries meeting the current USPS capacity limitation of 20 Wh/cell and 100 Wh/battery, and the current quantity limitations of eight cells or two batteries. Batteries mailed under this option must meet the conditions described in 349.222 of Publication 52, and 49 CFR 173.185(c), and will be restricted to intra-Alaska shipments (both mailed from, and delivered in Alaska).

    Revisions to Publication 52

    Within the next several weeks, the Postal Service will revise Publication 52 to reflect the new mailing standards. With regard to lithium batteries, the Postal Service will:

    • Generally prohibit UN3480 lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries in USPS air-eligible products.

    • Revise its quantity limitations for UN3480 lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries in surface transportation to align with those for lithium metal batteries, changing from the previous eight cells or two batteries to an aggregate mailpiece limit of 5 pounds.

    • Accept and evaluate requests for exceptions to mail UN3480 batteries, used to support critical medical devices, via domestic air-eligible products. The batteries must be within current Postal Service capacity and quantity limitations, needed for the emergency support of critical medical devices, and no other reasonable alternative exists to affect their delivery within an acceptable time period. The Postal Service expects to defer revision to Publication 52 relating to these authorizations until it has determined the level of interest, and need for these exceptions. Prior to granting any authorizations, the Postal Service plans to consult with PHMSA to assure alignment with their approval processes for commercial carriers. Interested mailers may direct requests to the Manager, Product Classification (see Publication 52, section 214 for the complete address).

    • Provide that UN3480 batteries, meeting the current Postal Service capacity limitations and quantity restrictions, may be mailed via air-eligible products, provided these mailings are both mailed and delivered within the state of Alaska.

    • Eliminate the current text marking option for mailpieces required to bear, or optionally permitted to bear, lithium battery markings, and limit markings to DOT-approved lithium battery handling marks only.

    • Require a separate text marking in addition to a DOT-approved lithium battery handling mark for mailpieces containing UN3480 and UN3090 batteries, restricted to surface transportation only.

    • Permit the optional use of previously authorized lithium battery marks during PHMSA's transitional period for these marks.

    • Eliminate the requirement for accompanying documentation with mailings of lithium batteries.

    • Add the new DOT class 9 hazard warning label for lithium batteries to Publication 52, Exhibit 325.1, DOT Hazardous Materials Warning Labels: PROHIBITED IN THE MAIL.

    • Require the outer packaging of mailpieces containing small lithium batteries to be rigid and of adequate size so the handling mark can be affixed to the address side without the mark being folded.

    • Require lithium battery handling marks to be placed on the address side of all mailpieces bearing these marks.

    • Permit the use of padded and poly bags as outer packaging for mailpieces containing button cell batteries properly installed in the equipment they are intended to operate, provided the batteries are afforded adequate protection by the equipment and the batteries meet the USPS definition of a button cell battery in 349.11d of Publication 52.

    • Define a lithium battery consignment as one or more mailpieces containing lithium batteries, entered into USPS networks by one mailer or mail service provider within a single mailing or retail transaction, or included in the same manifest or shipping services file, and intended for delivery to a single consignee at a single destination address.

    • Require DOT-approved lithium battery markings on all mailpieces containing lithium cells or batteries contained in equipment when there are more than two mailpieces in a single consignment in domestic mail.

    • Limit a single consignment to two mailpieces containing lithium batteries for international and APO/FPO/DPO mail.

    These revisions will be published in the Postal Bulletin on August 17, 2017, but the Postal Service will provide for a transitional period until January 1, 2018. During the transitional period, mailers are urged to comply with the new mailing standards, but compliance will not be mandatory until January 1, 2018. Mailers and other interested parties can view details of these revisions in edition 22471 of the Postal Bulletin, to be published on August 17, 2017. The Postal Bulletin is available at https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/pb2017.htm.

    The Postal Service will incorporate these revisions into the next online update of the Publication 52, which is available via Postal Explorer® at http://pe.usps.com.

    Stanley F. Mires, Attorney, Federal Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15624 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-81178; File No. SR-MRX-2017-08] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 912 July 20, 2017.

    On June 9, 2017, Nasdaq MRX, Inc. (“MRX” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act” or “Exchange Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to adopt Rule 912 (Consolidated Audit Trail—Fee Dispute Resolution). The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on June 23, 2017.3 The Commission received no comment letters on the proposed rule change.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80966 (June 19, 2017), 82 FR 28702 (“Notice”).

    Section 19(b)(2) of the Act 4 provides that, within 45 days of the publication of notice of the filing of a proposed rule change, or within such longer period up to 90 days as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission shall either approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved. The Commission is extending this 45-day time period.

    4 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change. The proposed rule change would establish the procedures for resolving potential disputes related to CAT Fees charged to Industry Members.

    Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,5 designates September 21, 2017, as the date by which the Commission should either approve or disapprove or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change (File Number SR-MRX-2017-08).

    5 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.6

    6 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(31).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15633 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-81179; File No. SR-BX-2017-029] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 6896 and Chapter IX, Section 9 July 20, 2017.

    On June 9, 2017, NASDAQ BX, Inc. (“BX” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act” or “Exchange Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to adopt Rule 6896 and Chapter IX, Section 9 (Consolidated Audit Trail—Fee Dispute Resolution). The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on June 23, 2017.3 The Commission received no comment letters on the proposed rule change.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80968 (June 19, 2017), 82 FR 28705 (“Notice”).

    Section 19(b)(2) of the Act 4 provides that, within 45 days of the publication of notice of the filing of a proposed rule change, or within such longer period up to 90 days as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission shall either approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved. The Commission is extending this 45-day time period.

    4 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change. The proposed rule change would establish the procedures for resolving potential disputes related to CAT Fees charged to Industry Members.

    Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,5 designates September 21, 2017, as the date by which the Commission should either approve or disapprove or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change (File Number SR-BX-2017-029).

    5 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    6 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(31).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.6

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15634 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-81177; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2016-177] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 3, Relating to the Listing and Trading of Shares of the USCF Canadian Crude Oil Index Fund Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.200 July 20, 2017.

    On December 30, 2016, NYSE Arca, Inc. (“Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to list and trade shares of the USCF Canadian Crude Oil Index Fund under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.200. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on January 23, 2017.3 On March 8, 2017, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,4 the Commission designated a longer period within which to approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change.5 On April 19, 2017, the Commission instituted proceedings to determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.6 On May 8, 2017, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.7 On June 30, 2017, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change.8 On July 13, 2017, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 3 to the proposed rule change.9 The Commission has received no comments on the proposed rule change.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79793 (January 13, 2017), 82 FR 7885.

    4 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80180, 82 FR 13702 (March 14, 2017).

    6See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80486, 82 FR 19115 (April 25, 2017).

    7 Amendment No. 1, which amended and replaced the proposed rule change in its entirety, is available at: https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nysearca-2016-177/nysearca2016177-1742591-151260.pdf.

    8 Amendment No. 2, which amended and replaced the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1, in its entirety, is available at: https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nysearca-2016-177/nysearca2016177-1856704-156210.pdf.

    9 Amendment No. 3, which amended and replaced the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 2, in its entirety, is available at: https://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nysearca-2016-177/nysearca2016177-1852899-155351.pdf.

    Section 19(b)(2) of the Act 10 provides that, after initiating disapproval proceedings, the Commission shall issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change not later than 180 days after the date of publication of notice of filing of the proposed rule change. The Commission may extend the period for issuing an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change, however, by not more than 60 days if the Commission determines that a longer period is appropriate and publishes the reasons for such determination. The proposed rule change was published for notice and comment in the Federal Register on January 23, 2017. July 22, 2017 is 180 days from that date, and September 20, 2017 is 240 days from that date.

    10 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change. Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,11 designates September 20, 2017 as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change (File No. SR-NYSEArca-2016-177), as modified by Amendment No. 3.

    11Id.

    12 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(57).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.12

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15632 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-81175; File No. SR-CBOE-2017-044] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Disaster Recovery July 20, 2017. I. Introduction

    On May 24, 2017, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“CBOE” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to amend CBOE Rule 6.18 relating to disaster recovery. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on June 9, 2017.3 The Commission received no comments on the proposed rule change. This order grants approval of the proposed rule change.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80857 (June 5, 2017), 82 FR 26825 (“Notice”).

    II. Description of the Proposed Rule Change

    CBOE Rule 6.18 contains the Exchange's rules relating to disaster recovery, including provisions intended to comply with Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (“Regulation SCI”) concerning business continuity and disaster recovery plans.4 The Exchange has proposed to amend Rule 6.18 to provide the Exchange authority to take additional steps that it deems necessary to preserve the Exchange's ability to conduct business and maintain fair and orderly markets in the event of a significant systems failure, disaster, or other unusual circumstances. Specifically, the Exchange has proposed to amend Rule 6.18 to allow the Exchange to: (1) Establish specified additional temporary requirements for Designated BCP/DR Participants 5 during use of the back-up data center; (2) temporarily allow trading in its exclusively-licensed and/or proprietary products, on a class-by-class basis, in an exclusively floor-based environment via open outcry if the Exchange's primary and back-up data centers both are inoperable or otherwise unavailable; (3) temporarily deactivate certain systems or systems functionalities that are not essential to conducting business on the Exchange if there is a systems disruption or malfunction, security intrusion, systems compliance issue, or other unusual circumstances; and (4) temporarily restrict a Trade Permit Holder's or associated person's access to the Exchange's electronic trading systems if the President of the Exchange determines that, because of a systems issue, such access threatens the Exchange's ability to operate systems essential to maintenance of a fair and orderly market.

    4See Notice, supra note 3, at 26826; see also 17 CFR 242.1000-07.

    5 “Designated BCP/DR Participants” are Trading Permit Holders that the Exchange has determined are, as a whole, necessary for the maintenance of fair and orderly markets in the event of the activation of the Exchange's business continuity and disaster recovery plans. See Rule 6.18(b)(iv)(A). “Trading Permit Holder” has the meaning set forth in Section 1.1(f) of CBOE's Bylaws. Designated BCP/DR Participants include, at a minimum, all Market-Makers in option classes exclusively listed on the Exchange that stream quotes in such classes and all Designated Primary Market-Makers (“DPMs”) in multiply listed option classes. See Rule 6.18(b)(iv)(A)(2).

    First, the Exchange has proposed to adopt new Rule 6.18(b)(iv)(B), which would provide that, during the use of the back-up data center, if necessary for the maintenance of fair and orderly markets, the Exchange may: (1) Establish heightened quoting obligations for Designated BCP/DR Participants in a class in which the Designated BCP/DR Participant is already an appointed Market-Maker 6 or Lead Market-Maker 7 up to the standards specified for Designated Primary Market-Makers 8 in Rule 8.85(a); 9 and/or (2) disallow BCP/DR Participants the ability to deselect an appointment intraday in a class in which the BCP/DR Participant is already an appointed Market-Maker. The Exchange would be required to notify market participants of any of these additional temporary requirements prior to implementing them.10

    6 A Market-Maker is an individual Trading Permit Holder or TPH organization that is registered with the Exchange for the purpose of making transactions as a dealer-specialist on the Exchange in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Rules. See Rule 8.1. A “TPH organization” is an organization that meets the requirements set forth in Rule 3.3.

    7 The Exchange may appoint one or more Market-Makers in a class to serve as Lead Market-Makers (“LMMs”). See Rule 8.15(a).

    8 A DPM is a TPH organization that is approved by the Exchange to function in allocated securities as a Market-Maker and is subject to the obligations under Rule 8.85. See Rule 8.80.

    9 With respect to their allocated series, DPMs must, among other things, provide continuous electronic quotes in the lesser of 99 percent of the non-adjusted option series or 100 percent of the non-adjusted option series minus one call-put pair, with the term “call-put pair” referring to one call and one put the cover the same underlying instrument and have the same expiration date and exercise price, and assure that its disseminated market quotations are accurate. See Rule 8.85(a)(i).

    10See proposed Rule 6.18(b)(iv)(B). The proposal would also renumber existing subparagraphs (B) and (C) of Rule 6.18(b)(iv) as subparagraphs (C) and (D), respectively. See proposed Rule 6.18(b)(iv)(C) and (D).

    Next, the Exchange has proposed to adopt new Rule 6.18(c), which would provide that, if the Exchange's primary and back-up data centers become inoperable or otherwise unavailable for use due to a significant systems failure, disaster, or other unusual circumstances, in the interests of maintaining fair and orderly markets or for the protection of investors, the Exchange would be able to operate in an exclusively floor-based environment on a limited basis for certain classes. Specifically, the Exchange could determine, on a class-by-class basis, to temporarily allow trading in its exclusively-licensed and/or proprietary products 11 in an exclusively floor-based environment via open outcry to preserve the Exchange's ability to conduct business in those option classes.12

    11 According to the Exchange, its current proprietary and exclusively-licensed products include options on CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) futures, the S&P 500 (SPX and XSP) Index, S&P Dow Jones Indexes (OEX, XEO and DJX), Russell 2000 (RUT) Index, FTSE Emerging Index (FTEM/EMS), MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF), and the MSCI EAFE Index (MXEA). The Exchange will maintain a current list of all proprietary and exclusively-licensed options products on its Web site. See Notice, supra note 3, at 26826 n. 8. The Exchange explained that options exclusively-listed on the Exchange may include options also listed on other CBOE Holdings Inc. affiliated exchanges, including C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated (“C2”), and that currently RUT is listed on CBOE and C2. See Notice, supra note 3, at 26826 n. 9.

    12See proposed Rule 6.18(c). The proposal also would renumber existing subparagraph (c) of Rule 6.18 as subparagraph (d). See proposed Rule 6.18(d).

    The Exchange has also proposed to adopt new Rule 6.18(e), which would provide that, if there is a systems disruption or malfunction, security intrusion, systems compliance issue, or other unusual circumstances, the Exchange could temporarily deactivate certain systems or systems functionalities that are not essential to conducting business on the Exchange in accordance with the Rules or, if necessary, to maintain fair and orderly markets or to protect investors.13 The Exchange would notify market participants of any such deactivation and subsequent reactivation promptly and in a reasonable manner determined by the Exchange.14

    13See proposed Rule 6.18(e). The Exchange stated that such systems and systems functionalities that are non-essential to conducting business on the Exchange include, but are not limited to, Public Automated Routing (“PAR”) workstations, the Automated Improvement Mechanism (“AIM”), and the Solicitation Auction Mechanism (“SAM”). See Notice, supra note 3, at 26827-28.

    14See proposed Rule 6.18(e).

    Finally, the Exchange has proposed to adopt new Rule 6.18(f), which would allow the Exchange to temporarily restrict a Trading Permit Holder's or associated person's access to the Hybrid Trading System or other electronic trading systems if the President (or senior-level designee) 15 of the Exchange determines that, because of a systems issue, such access threatens the Exchange's ability to operate systems essential to the maintenance of fair and orderly markets.16 The Exchange would continue to restrict such access until: (1) The end of the trading session; or (2) an earlier time if the President (or senior-level designee) of the Exchange, in consultation with the affected Trading Permit Holder, determines that lifting the restriction no longer poses a threat to the Exchange's ability to operate systems essential to conducting business or continuing to maintain a fair and orderly market on the Exchange or poses a threat to investors.17 In the Notice, the Exchange also represented that it would make efforts to contact the affected Trading Permit Holder immediately before or contemporaneously with the restriction of access to the extent possible while protecting the Exchange's ability to operate systems essential to the maintenance of fair and orderly markets.18

    15 According to the Exchange, a designee would make determinations under this subsection only in the President of the Exchange's absence and the designee would be a senior executive (i.e., Vice President or above) of the Exchange. See Notice, supra note 3, at 26828 n. 23.

    16See proposed Rule 6.18(f).

    17See id.

    18See Notice, supra note 3, at 26828 n. 22.

    III. Discussion and Commission Findings

    After careful review, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.19 In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,20 which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. The Commission also finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(7) of the Act,21 which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange provide a fair procedure for the prohibition or limitation by the exchange of any person with respect to access to services offered by the exchange or a member thereof.

    19 In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    20 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    21 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(7).

    The Commission believes that the proposed rule change will provide the Exchange with additional tools to help ensure continuous operation of the Exchange and its core systems in the event of a significant systems failure or other unusual circumstances that threaten the Exchange's ability to operate its systems, maintain fair and orderly markets, and protect investors. The Commission notes that the authority provided by the proposed provisions is limited to circumstances where the Exchange is experiencing a disruption to its primary, or primary and back-up, electronic systems, or where the Exchange believes it is in imminent danger of experiencing such disruption. Further, the Commission notes that, according to the Exchange, in accordance with Rule 1001(a)(2)(v) of Regulation SCI, the Exchange maintains written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that its trading systems, including its primary and back-up data centers, have levels of capacity, integrity, resiliency, availability, and security adequate to maintain the Exchange's operational capability and promote the maintenance of fair and orderly markets, including, but not limited to, business continuity and disaster recovery plans that are reasonably designed to achieve next two-hour resumption of its critical SCI systems, as defined in Rule 1000 of Regulation SCI.22 Further, the Exchange represents that its business continuity and disaster recovery standards are reasonably designed to achieve two-hour resumption of all trading systems that are essential to conducting business on the Exchange, and that the Exchange believes that its standards are reasonably designed to support resumption in a significantly shorter amount of time.23 As such, the Commission expects that the Exchange would invoke the disaster recovery provisions in this proposed rule change only in rare and unusual circumstances and only for very limited periods of time.

    22See Notice, supra note 3, at 26827 n. 12.

    23See id.

    The Commission believes that the Exchange's ability, during use of the back-up system, to invoke pre-determined heighted quoting obligations for Designated BCP/DR Participants that are Market-Makers (or Lead Market-Makers) in their appointed classes, or prevent them from dropping their appointments intraday, may help to ensure that such Designated BCP/DR Participants contribute to, and continue to help ensure, the maintenance of fair and orderly markets in the event of a disaster or other serious circumstances causing the Exchange to operate out of its back-up data center. Moreover, the Commission notes that such additional requirements will be imposed only on Designated BCP/DR Participants, which are market participants that the Exchange has determined that, taken as a whole, are necessary for the maintenance of fair and orderly markets in the event of the activation of the Exchange's business continuity and disaster recovery plans pursuant to Regulation SCI.24 The Commission believes that, through the adoption of this rule, Designated BCP/DR Participants will be on notice that they might be called upon to meet heightened quoting obligations up to the levels currently required for Designated Primary Market-Makers in CBOE Rule 8.85(a) 25 during unusual circumstances when the back-up data center is in use and notes that the Exchange would provide specific notice prior to invoking this new authority. The Commission further notes that, as described above, Regulation SCI requires the Exchange to have business continuity and disaster recovery plans reasonably designed to achieve two-hour resumption of critical SCI systems and next business day resumption of trading,26 and the Exchange represented that its procedures are reasonably designed to achieve two-hour resumption of all trading systems that are essential to conducting business on the exchange and that they are designed to support resumption in a significantly shorter amount of time.27 As such, the additional requirements imposed by this provision should be in effect for relatively short periods of time if they are ever invoked. In addition, to the extent the Exchange invokes this authority when necessary to support fair and orderly markets when its systems are in back-up mode, then the additional requirements may help support quote activity during a disruption and thereby may help protect investors and the public interest.

    24See Notice, supra note 3, at 26826 n. 7.

    25 These heighted quoting obligations could include providing continuous electronic quotes in up to the lesser of 99 percent of the non-adjusted option series or 100 percent of the non-adjusted option series minus one call-put pair in classes in which the Designated BCP/DR Participant is already an appointed LMM or Market-Maker. See supra note 9.

    26 17 CFR 242.1001(a)(v).

    27See supra notes 22-23 and accompanying text.

    The Commission believes that the Exchange's ability to temporarily operate in an exclusively floor-based environment via open outcry in certain proprietary and exclusively-licensed products if the Exchange's primary and back-up data centers become inoperable or otherwise unavailable could help ensure that the market for these securities would continue to be available and functioning, which should protect investors by providing the ability to continue to trade these products until such time as the Exchange can resume normal trading. The Commission notes that this provision would be invoked only if the Exchange's primary and back-up data centers were both inoperable or otherwise unavailable due to a significant systems failure, disaster, or other unusual circumstances, and will only apply to the Exchange's exclusively-licensed and proprietary products, which only trade on CBOE and, in some instances, its affiliated exchanges. The Commission notes that the period of operation for this exclusively floor-based environment should be minimal based on Regulation SCI's requirements and the Exchange's two-hour resumption standard for its trading systems.28

    28See supra notes 26 and 27 and accompanying text.

    The Commission believes that the Exchange's ability to temporarily deactivate certain non-core systems or systems functionalities in the event of a systems disruption or malfunction, security intrusion, systems compliance issue, or other unusual circumstances could help prevent systems issues from spreading and potentially causing harm to investors or impeding the Exchange's ability to maintain fair and orderly markets. The Commission notes that this authority will only extend to those systems not essential to conducting business on the Exchange. The Commission further notes that the new rule provides that the Exchange will notify market participants of any such deactivation and any subsequent reactivation promptly.

    The Commission believes that the Exchange's ability to temporarily restrict a Trading Permit Holder's or associated person's access to the Hybrid Trading System or other electronic trading system as provided in the rule is designed to allow the Exchange to prevent a Trading Permit Holder's systems issues from spreading across the Exchange's systems and potentially causing a more widespread problem implicating the Exchange's ability to maintain fair and orderly markets and thus potentially impacting other market participants. The Commission believes that this connectivity restriction is consistent with Section 6(b)(7) of the Act,29 as the proposed limitation on access is exceptionally limited in duration and the rule provides a fair procedure for imposing such restrictions. Specifically, the Commission notes that the Exchange's authority under this provision is limited to when, due to a systems issue, a Trading Permit Holder's activity poses a present threat to the Exchange's ability to operate systems essential to maintaining a fair and orderly market. The Commission also notes that the decision to restrict access would be made by the highest levels of Exchange management, namely the President (or his or her senior-level designee), and this restriction would be temporary, lasting only until the end of the trading session or such earlier time that it is determined by the President, in consultation with the affected Trading Permit Holder, that the access no longer poses a threat. Consistent with the Exchange's representations, the Commission expects that the Exchange would make reasonable efforts to contact the affected Trading Permit Holder immediately before, or, if that is not possible, contemporaneously with, any restriction of access.30

    29 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(7).

    30See supra note 18 and accompanying text.

    Accordingly, for the reasons discussed above, the Commission believes that the Exchange's proposal is consistent with the Act.

    IV. Conclusion

    It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,31 that the proposed rule change (SR-CBOE-2017-044) be, and hereby is, approved.

    31 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    32 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.32

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15630 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Investment Company Act Release No. 32738; 812-14763] Point Bridge Capital, LLC, et al. July 21, 2017. AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Notice of an application for an order under section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”) for an exemption from sections 2(a)(32), 5(a)(1), 22(d), and 22(e) of the Act and rule 22c-1 under the Act, under sections 6(c) and 17(b) of the Act for an exemption from sections 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(2) of the Act, and under section 12(d)(1)(J) for an exemption from sections 12(d)(1)(A) and 12(d)(1)(B) of the Act. The requested order would permit (a) index-based series of certain open-end management investment companies (“Funds”) to issue shares redeemable in large aggregations only (“Creation Units”); (b) secondary market transactions in Fund shares to occur at negotiated market prices rather than at net asset value (“NAV”); (c) certain Funds to pay redemption proceeds, under certain circumstances, more than seven days after the tender of shares for redemption; (d) certain affiliated persons of a Fund to deposit securities into, and receive securities from, the Fund in connection with the purchase and redemption of Creation Units; and (e) certain registered management investment companies and unit investment trusts outside of the same group of investment companies as the Funds (“Funds of Funds”) to acquire shares of the Funds.

    Applicants:

    Point Bridge Capital, LLC (the “Initial Adviser”), a Delaware limited liability company that will be registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and ETF Series Solutions (the “Trust”), a Delaware statutory trust registered under the Act as an open-end management investment company with multiple series.

    Filing Date:

    The application was filed on April 13, 2017, and amended on June 21, 2017.

    Hearing or Notification of Hearing:

    An order granting the requested relief will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary and serving applicants with a copy of the request, personally or by mail. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on August 14, 2017, and should be accompanied by proof of service on applicants, in the form of an affidavit, or for lawyers, a certificate of service. Pursuant to rule 0-5 under the Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.

    ADDRESSES:

    Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090; Applicants: The Initial Adviser, 300 Throckmorton Street, Suite 1550, Fort Worth, Texas 76102; and the Trust, 615 East Michigan Street, 4th Floor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bruce R. MacNeil, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-6817, or Nadya B. Roytblat, Assistant Director, at (202) 551-6825 (Division of Investment Management, Chief Counsel's Office).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained via the Commission's Web site by searching for the file number, or for an applicant using the Company name box, at http://www.sec.gov/search/search.htm or by calling (202) 551-8090.

    Summary of the Application

    1. Applicants request an order that would allow Funds to operate as index exchange traded funds (“ETFs”).1 Fund shares will be purchased and redeemed at their NAV in Creation Units only. All orders to purchase Creation Units and all redemption requests will be placed by or through an “Authorized Participant”, which will have signed a participant agreement with a broker-dealer that will be registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) (the “Distributor”). Shares will be listed and traded individually on a national securities exchange, where share prices will be based on the current bid/offer market. Any order granting the requested relief would be subject to the terms and conditions stated in the application.

    1 Applicants request that the order apply to the new series of the Trust and any additional series of the Trust, and any other open-end management investment company or series thereof (each, included in the term “Fund”), each of which will operate as an ETF and will track a specified index comprised of domestic or foreign equity and/or fixed income securities (each, an “Underlying Index”). Any Fund will (a) be advised by the Initial Adviser or an entity controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Initial Adviser (each such entity or any successor thereto, an “Adviser”) and (b) comply with the terms and conditions of the application. For purposes of the requested order, a “successor” is limited to an entity or entities that result from a reorganization into another jurisdiction or a change in the type of business organization.

    2. Each Fund will hold investment positions selected to correspond closely to the performance of an Underlying Index. In the case of Self-Indexing Funds, an affiliated person, as defined in section 2(a)(3) of the Act (“Affiliated Person”), or an affiliated person of an Affiliated Person (“Second-Tier Affiliate”), of the Trust or a Fund, of the Adviser, of any sub-adviser to or promoter of a Fund, or of the Distributor will compile, create, sponsor or maintain the Underlying Index.2

    2 Each Self-Indexing Fund will post on its Web site the identities and quantities of the investment positions that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of its NAV at the end of the day. Applicants believe that requiring Self-Indexing Funds to maintain full portfolio transparency will help address, together with other protections, conflicts of interest with respect to such Funds.

    3. Shares will be purchased and redeemed in Creation Units and generally on an in-kind basis. Except where the purchase or redemption will include cash under the limited circumstances specified in the application, purchasers will be required to purchase Creation Units by depositing specified instruments (“Deposit Instruments”), and shareholders redeeming their shares will receive specified instruments (“Redemption Instruments”). The Deposit Instruments and the Redemption Instruments will each correspond pro rata to the positions in the Fund's portfolio (including cash positions) except as specified in the application.

    4. Because shares will not be individually redeemable, applicants request an exemption from section 5(a)(1) and section 2(a)(32) of the Act that would permit the Funds to register as open-end management investment companies and issue shares that are redeemable in Creation Units only.

    5. Applicants also request an exemption from section 22(d) of the Act and rule 22c-1 under the Act as secondary market trading in shares will take place at negotiated prices, not at a current offering price described in a Fund's prospectus, and not at a price based on NAV. Applicants state that (a) secondary market trading in shares does not involve a Fund as a party and will not result in dilution of an investment in shares, and (b) to the extent different prices exist during a given trading day, or from day to day, such variances occur as a result of third-party market forces, such as supply and demand. Therefore, applicants assert that secondary market transactions in shares will not lead to discrimination or preferential treatment among purchasers. Finally, applicants represent that share market prices will be disciplined by arbitrage opportunities, which should prevent shares from trading at a material discount or premium from NAV.

    6. With respect to Funds that effect creations and redemptions of Creation Units in kind and that are based on certain Underlying Indexes that include foreign securities, applicants request relief from the requirement imposed by section 22(e) in order to allow such Funds to pay redemption proceeds within fifteen calendar days following the tender of Creation Units for redemption. Applicants assert that the requested relief would not be inconsistent with the spirit and intent of section 22(e) to prevent unreasonable, undisclosed or unforeseen delays in the actual payment of redemption proceeds.

    7. Applicants request an exemption to permit Funds of Funds to acquire Fund shares beyond the limits of section 12(d)(1)(A) of the Act; and the Funds, and any principal underwriter for the Funds, and/or any broker or dealer registered under the Exchange Act, to sell shares to Funds of Funds beyond the limits of section 12(d)(1)(B) of the Act. The application's terms and conditions are designed to, among other things, help prevent any potential (i) undue influence over a Fund through control or voting power, or in connection with certain services, transactions, and underwritings, (ii) excessive layering of fees, and (iii) overly complex fund structures, which are the concerns underlying the limits in sections 12(d)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act.

    8. Applicants request an exemption from sections 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(2) of the Act to permit persons that are Affiliated Persons, or Second Tier Affiliates, of the Funds, solely by virtue of certain ownership interests, to effectuate purchases and redemptions in-kind. The deposit procedures for in-kind purchases of Creation Units and the redemption procedures for in-kind redemptions of Creation Units will be the same for all purchases and redemptions and Deposit Instruments and Redemption Instruments will be valued in the same manner as those investment positions currently held by the Funds. Applicants also seek relief from the prohibitions on affiliated transactions in section 17(a) to permit a Fund to sell its shares to and redeem its shares from a Fund of Funds, and to engage in the accompanying in-kind transactions with the Fund of Funds.3 The purchase of Creation Units by a Fund of Funds directly from a Fund will be accomplished in accordance with the policies of the Fund of Funds and will be based on the NAVs of the Funds.

    3 The requested relief would apply to direct sales of shares in Creation Units by a Fund to a Fund of Funds and redemptions of those shares. Applicants, moreover, are not seeking relief from section 17(a) for, and the requested relief will not apply to, transactions where a Fund could be deemed an Affiliated Person, or a Second-Tier Affiliate, of a Fund of Funds because an Adviser or an entity controlling, controlled by or under common control with an Adviser provides investment advisory services to that Fund of Funds.

    9. Section 6(c) of the Act permits the Commission to exempt any persons or transactions from any provision of the Act if such exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. Section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act provides that the Commission may exempt any person, security, or transaction, or any class or classes of persons, securities, or transactions, from any provision of section 12(d)(1) if the exemption is consistent with the public interest and the protection of investors. Section 17(b) of the Act authorizes the Commission to grant an order permitting a transaction otherwise prohibited by section 17(a) if it finds that (a) the terms of the proposed transaction are fair and reasonable and do not involve overreaching on the part of any person concerned; (b) the proposed transaction is consistent with the policies of each registered investment company involved; and (c) the proposed transaction is consistent with the general purposes of the Act.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority.

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15712 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-81182; File No. SR-NASDAQ-2017-070] Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Qualification Criteria Under the Qualified Market Maker Program at Rule 7014 July 20, 2017.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on July 10, 2017, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend qualification criteria under the Qualified Market Maker Program at Rule 7014. While these amendments are effective upon filing, the Exchange has designated the proposed amendments to be operative on July 1, 2017.3

    3 The Exchange initially filed the proposed pricing changes on June 28, 2017 (SR-NASDAQ-2017-066). On July 10, 2017, the Exchange withdrew that filing and submitted this filing. This filing corrects a marking error to the Exhibit 5 and clarifies the statutory basis discussion.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://nasdaq.cchwallstreet.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The purpose of the proposed rule change is to amend the Exchange's fees at Rule 7014 to raise the combined Consolidated Volume (adding and removing liquidity) criteria from the current requirement that a QMM have at least 3.5% to now require at least 3.7%, which a QMM must have to be eligible for a $0.0029 per share executed charge for orders in securities listed on exchanges other than Nasdaq priced at $1 or more per share that access liquidity on the Nasdaq Market Center.

    A QMM is a member that makes a significant contribution to market quality by providing liquidity at the national best bid and offer (“NBBO”) in a large number of stocks for a significant portion of the day.4 In addition, the member must avoid imposing the burdens on Nasdaq and its market participants that may be associated with excessive rates of entry of orders away from the inside and/or order cancellation.5 The designation reflects the QMM's commitment to provide meaningful and consistent support to market quality and price discovery by extensive quoting at the NBBO in a large number of securities. In return for its contributions, certain financial benefits are provided to a QMM with respect to its order activity, as described under Rule 7014(e). These benefits include a lower rate charged for executions of orders in securities priced at $1 or more per share that access liquidity on the Nasdaq Market Center.6

    4See Rule 7014(d).

    5Id.

    6See Rule 7014(e).

    Under Rule 7014(e), the Exchange charges a QMM $0.0030 per share executed for removing liquidity in Nasdaq-listed securities priced at $1 or more, and $0.00295 per share executed for removing liquidity in securities priced at $1 or more per share listed on exchanges other than Nasdaq, if the QMM's volume of liquidity added through one or more of its Nasdaq Market Center MPIDs during the month (as a percentage of Consolidated Volume) is not less than 0.80%. The Exchange assesses a charge of $0.0029 per share executed for removing liquidity in securities priced at $1 or more per share listed on exchanges other than Nasdaq if the QMM has a combined Consolidated Volume (adding and removing liquidity) of at least 3.5%, and the QMM also meets the QMM Tier 2 qualification criteria. The QMM Tier 2 qualification criteria requires a QMM to execute shares of liquidity provided in all securities through one or more of its Nasdaq Market Center MPIDs that represent above 0.90% of Consolidated Volume during the month.

    The Exchange is proposing to increase the combined Consolidated Volume (adding and removing liquidity) requirement to at least 3.7%. This increase is reflective of the Exchange's desire to provide incentives to attract order flow to the Exchange in securities listed on exchanges other than Nasdaq in return for significant market-improving behavior. The modest increase in the qualification criteria will help ensure that QMMs are providing significant market-improving behavior.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,7 in general, and furthers the objectives of Sections 6(b)(4) and 6(b)(5) of the Act,8 in particular, in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among members and issuers and other persons using any facility, and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.

    7 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    8 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4) and (5).

    The Exchange believes that the $0.0029 per share executed charge for removing liquidity in securities priced at $1 or more per share listed on exchanges other than Nasdaq will continue to be reasonable because the fee will remain unchanged. When the Exchange adopted the fee,9 it believed that assessing the fee was reasonable because it was set at a level that is lower than the standard removal fee of $0.0030 per share executed, thereby providing an incentive to market participants, and it was also based on the Exchange's analysis of the cost to the Exchange of offering a lower fee, thereby decreasing the revenue derived from transactions by members that qualify for the fee, and the desired benefit to the market provided by the members that meet the fee's qualification criteria. The Exchange noted that the fee's qualification criteria provided an incentive to members to increase their participation in the market as measured by Consolidated Volume, which benefits all market participants. The Exchange also noted that members may qualify for a $0.00295 per share executed fee for removing liquidity in Tape A or B securities priced at $1 or more if the member's volume of liquidity added through one or more of its Nasdaq Market Center MPIDs during the month (as a percentage of Consolidated Volume) is not less than 0.80%. The Exchange explained that the proposed fee would continue to require a member to both qualify under the Tier 2 criteria that requires the member to execute shares of liquidity provided in all securities through one or more of its Nasdaq Market Center MPIDs that represent above 0.90% of Consolidated Volume during the month, and also provide an increased combined Consolidated Volume (adding and removing liquidity) requirement (which the Exchange is proposing to increase from at least 3.5% to 3.7%). Consequently, the Exchange noted that to qualify for a lower transaction fee for removing liquidity in Tape A or B securities under the QMM Program, the member must both provide greater Consolidated Volume through adding liquidity during the month (i.e., 0.90% versus 0.80%) and provide a certain level of combined Consolidated Volume, which accounts for both adding liquidity and removing liquidity. As noted above, the Exchange is not proposing to change the fee and the analysis described above remains valid. Accordingly, the Exchange believes that the fee remains reasonable.

    9See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 78977 (September 29, 2016), 81 FR 69140 (October 5, 2016) (SR-NASDAQ-2016-032).

    The Exchange believes that the increase to the combined Consolidated Volume qualification criteria is an equitable allocation and is not unfairly discriminatory because it is reflective of the success that the lower charge tier has had in promoting beneficial market participation, as measured by combined Consolidated Volume (adding and removing liquidity). The Exchange believes that the level of combined Consolidated Volume may be increased without resulting in a significant reduction in the number of QMMs that will likely qualify for the lower transaction fee. Consequently, the beneficial market participation should remain the same, and possibly increase. Moreover, the Exchange is not limiting which QMMs may qualify for the reduced charge. As noted, the QMM Program is intended to encourage members to promote price discovery and market quality by quoting at the NBBO for a significant portion of each day in a large number of securities, thereby benefitting Nasdaq and other investors by committing capital to support the execution of orders. To receive the $0.0029 per share executed charge, a member must meet the Tier 2 criteria, which requires the QMM to execute shares of liquidity provided in all securities through one or more of its Nasdaq Market Center MPIDs that represent above 0.90% of Consolidated Volume during the month. In addition, the QMM must provide a certain level of combined Consolidated Volume, which accounts for both adding liquidity and removing liquidity. The Exchange is proposing to increase the required combined Consolidated Volume requirement to make the qualification criteria required to receive the incentive more meaningful to QMMs in terms of the beneficial market activity required to receive the reduced charge, which is reflective of the Exchange's belief that QMMs may continue to qualify for the reduced charge while also providing more beneficial market participation. The Exchange uses Consolidated Volume as a measure of the QMM's activity in comparison to that of the market as a whole. Thus, the modestly increased combined Consolidated Volume criteria required to qualify for the fee does not discriminate unfairly and is equitably allocated, as eligibility for the fee is tied to the QMM's performance in comparison to other participants in aggregate.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. In terms of inter-market competition, the Exchange notes that it operates in a highly competitive market in which market participants can readily favor competing venues if they deem fee levels at a particular venue to be excessive, or rebate opportunities available at other venues to be more favorable. In such an environment, the Exchange must continually adjust its fees to remain competitive with other exchanges and with alternative trading systems that have been exempted from compliance with the statutory standards applicable to exchanges. Because competitors are free to modify their own fees in response, and because market participants may readily adjust their order routing practices, the Exchange believes that the degree to which fee changes in this market may impose any burden on competition is extremely limited.

    In this instance, although the change to the QMM program may limit the benefits of the program in non-Nasdaq-listed securities to the extent QMMs that currently qualify for the $0.0029 per share executed charge are unable to meet the more stringent combined Consolidated Volume requirement, the incentive in question will remain in place and is itself reflective of the need for exchanges to offer significant financial incentives to attract order flow in return for meaningful market-improving behavior. The Exchange believes that the proposed qualification criteria will not negatively impact who will qualify for the $0.0029 per share executed charge but will rather have a positive impact on overall market quality as QMMs increase their participation in the market to qualify for the lower charge. If, however, the Exchange is incorrect and the changes proposed herein are unattractive to QMMs, it is likely that Nasdaq will lose market share as a result. Accordingly, Nasdaq does not believe that the proposed changes will impair the ability of members or competing order execution venues to maintain their competitive standing in the financial markets.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act.10

    10 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is: (i) Necessary or appropriate in the public interest; (ii) for the protection of investors; or (iii) otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NASDAQ-2017-070 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2017-070. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2017-070, and should be submitted on or before August 16, 2017.

    11 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.11

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15637 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-81174; File No. SR-GEMX-2017-32] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Regarding Market Maker Quotations July 20, 2017.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on July 6, 2017, Nasdaq GEMX, LLC (“GEMX” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II, below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 804, entitled “Market Maker Quotations.”

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.ise.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend GEMX Rule 804, entitled “Market Maker Quotations” to amend the current rule text at GEMX Rule 804(g)(1) and (2) to adopt a revised description of the manner in which GEMX removes market maker quotes when certain risk parameters have been triggered. The Exchange believes that the proposed new rule text will provide more detailed information to participants concerning the manner in which these risk features will remove quotes from the Order Book.

    Today, GEMX Rule 804(g)(1) provides that a market maker must provide parameters by which the Exchange will automatically remove a market maker's quotations in all series of an options class. If a market maker does not provide parameters then the Exchange will apply default parameters announced to members. The Exchange will automatically remove a market maker's quotation when, during a time period established by the market maker, the market maker exceeds: (i) The specified number of total contracts in the class, (ii) the specified percentage of the total size of the market maker's quotes in the class, (iii) the specified absolute value of the net between contracts bought and contracts sold in the class, or (iv) the specified absolute value of the net between (a) calls purchased plus puts sold in the class, and (b) calls sold plus puts purchased in the class.

    The Exchange proposes to adopt new rule text, which continues to require a market maker to provide parameters by which the Exchange will automatically remove a market maker's quotations in all series of an options class. If a market maker does not provide parameters then the Exchange will apply default parameters announced to members. This is not being amended, rather it is being expanded.

    The proposed rule text in 804(g)(1) makes clear that market makers are required to utilize the Percentage, Volume, Delta and Vega Thresholds, each a Threshold, described in subsections (A)-(D) in the new rule text. These are the same risk parameters that are offered today by GEMX. The Exchange is seeking to identify each risk parameter specifically and describe the function of each parameter in Rule 804(g)(1)(A)-(D). For each feature, the Exchange's system (“System”) will continue to automatically remove quotes in all series of an options class when a certain threshold for any of the parameters has been exceeded.

    The Exchange elaborates in the proposed rule that a market maker is required to specify a period of time not to exceed 30 seconds (“Specified Time Period”) during which the system will automatically remove a Market Maker's quotes in all series of an options class. The limitation of not to exceed 30 seconds is new for GEMX Members. In order to establish a reasonable limit to the allowable Specified Time Period, an GEMX Member will be limited to the setting their Specified Time period to no more than 30 seconds for these Thresholds. A Specified Time Period will commence for an options class every time an execution occurs in any series in such options class and will continue until the System removes quotes as described in proposed GEMX Rule 804(g)(2) or (3) or the Specified Time Period expires. This is the case today, and is not changing. The Specified Time Periods will be the same value described in subsections (A)-(D). Also, as is the case today, a Specified Time Period operates on a rolling basis among all series in an options class in that there may be Specified Time Periods occurring simultaneously for each Threshold and such Specified Time Periods may overlap. If a Market Maker does not provide parameters, the Exchange will apply default parameters, which default settings have been announced to Members.3

    3http://business.nasdaq.com/media/GEMXSystemSettings_tcm5044-41351.pdf [sic].

    Proposed Rule 804(g)(1)(A) describes in greater detail the operation of the Percentage Threshold. As is the case today, a Market Maker must provide a specified percentage of quote size (“Percentage Threshold”), of not less than 1%, by which the System will automatically remove a Market Maker's quotes in all series of an options class. The Exchange is adding more detail about the manner in which the System will calculate percentages and amending the current rule to change its operations. For each series in an options class, the System will determine (i) during a Specified Time Period and for each side in a given series, a percentage calculated by dividing the size of a Market Maker's quote size executed in a particular series (the numerator) by the Marker Maker's quote size available at the time of execution plus the total number of the Market Marker's quote size previously executed during the unexpired Specified Time Period (the denominator) (“Series Percentage”); and (ii) the sum of the Series Percentages in the options class (“Issue Percentage”) during a Specified Time Period. The System will track and calculate the net impact of positions in the same options issue; long call percentages are offset by short call percentages, and long put percentages are offset by short put percentages in the Issue Percentage. The Exchange also notes that in calculating the Percentage the System compares the number of contracts executed in that series relative to the size of the quote at the time of the execution plus the number of executed contracts that have occurred in the current time period. The legacy GEMX system calculated the Percentage risk parameter by comparing the number of contracts executed in that series relative to the size of the original quote only at the time of the execution. This difference is captured within the proposed rule text. The Exchange notes that with the migration from the GEMX legacy system to the INET system the manner in which the System offsets is not the same. The legacy GEMX system did not offset, in that long call percentages are not offset by short call percentages, and long put percentages are not offset by short put percentages. The migration to INET did however cause the System to track and calculate the net impact.4 The Exchange notes this difference in the calculation and seeks to memorialize the change in the process. The proposed rule provides participants with greater clarity as to the operation of the Percentage risk feature. The proposed text indicates that if the Issue Percentage exceeds the Percentage Threshold the System will automatically remove a market maker's quotes in all series of the options class.

    4 The net impact of positions takes into account the offsets noted herein.

    Proposed Rule 804(g)(1)(B) describes in greater detail the operation of the Volume Threshold. As is the case today, a market maker must provide a Volume Threshold by which the System will automatically remove a market maker's quotes in all series of an underlying security when the market maker executes a number of contracts which exceeds the designated number of contracts in all options series in an options class.

    Proposed Rule 804(g)(1)(C) describes in greater detail the operation of the Delta Threshold. As is the case today, a market maker must provide a Delta Threshold by which the System will automatically remove a market maker's quotes in all series of an underlying security. For each class of options, the System will maintain a Delta counter, which tracks the absolute value of the difference between (i) purchased call contracts plus sold put contracts and (ii) sold call contracts plus purchased put contracts. If the Delta counter exceeds the Delta Threshold established by the Member, the System will automatically remove a market maker's quotes in all series of the options class.

    Proposed Rule 804(g)(1)(D) describes in greater detail the operation of the Vega Threshold. As is the case today, a market maker must provide a Vega Threshold by which the System will automatically remove a Market Maker's quotes in all series of an options class. For each series of an options class, the System will maintain a Vega counter, which tracks the absolute value of purchased contracts minus sold contracts. If the Vega counter exceeds the Vega Threshold established by the Member, the System will automatically remove a Market Maker's quotes in all series of the options class.

    Proposed Rule 804(g)(2) provides more detail about the System's current operation with respect to quote removal. The System will automatically remove quotes in all options in an underlying security when the Percentage Threshold, Volume Threshold, Delta Threshold or Vega Threshold has been exceeded. The System will send a Purge Notification Message to the Market Maker for all affected series when any of the above thresholds have been exceeded. The Percentage Threshold, Volume Threshold, Delta Threshold and Vega Threshold are considered independently of each other. Quotes will be automatically executed up to the Market Maker's size regardless of whether the execution of such quotes would cause the Market Maker to exceed the Percentage Threshold, Volume Threshold, Delta Threshold or Vega Threshold.

    Proposed Rule 804(g)(3) provides more detail about the manner in which the System resets the counting of the various risk parameters. Notwithstanding the automatic removal of quotes described in the rule, if a market maker requests the System to remove quotes in all options series in an options class, the System will automatically reset all Thresholds.

    Proposed Rule 804(g)(4) provides more detail about the process to re-initiate quoting. When the System removes quotes because the Percentage Threshold, Volume Threshold, Delta Threshold or Vega Threshold were exceeded, the market maker must send a re-entry indicator to re-enter the System.

    Proposed Rule 804(g)(5) provides more detail about default parameters as mentioned above. If a market maker does not provide a parameter for each of the automated quotation removal Thresholds described in Rule 804(g)(1)(A-D) above, the Exchange will apply default parameters, which are announced to Members. This language exists today in the current text and is being memorialized herein.

    Finally, proposed Rule 804(g)(6) describes the interaction between the four Thresholds and the market wide parameter. In addition to the Thresholds described in Rule 804(g)(1)(A)-(D) above, a market maker must provide a market wide parameter by which the Exchange will automatically remove a Market Maker's quotes in all classes when, during a time period established by the Market Maker, the total number of quote removal events specified in Rule 804(g)(1)(A)-(D) exceeds the market wide parameter provided to the Exchange by the market maker. As is the case today, Market Makers may request the Exchange to set the market wide parameter to apply to just GEMX or across GEMX and Nasdaq ISE.

    Below are some illustrative examples of the Percentage and Volume risk parameters.

    Example #1: Describes the Percentage risk parameter. Presume the following Order Book:

    Series of
  • underlying XYZ
  • Size on bid x
  • offer for MM1
  • 100 Strike Call 300x300 100 Strike Put 50x50 110 Strike Call 200x200 110 Strike Put 150x150

    In this example, assume the Specified Time Period designated by the Market Maker #1 is 10 seconds and the Percentage Threshold is set to 100%. Assume at 12:00:00, Market Maker #1 executes 100 contracts of his offer size, 200 contracts, in the 110 Strike Calls. This represents an execution equaling 50% (100 contracts of the 200 contract quote size) of the 100% Percentage Threshold. Assume at 12:00:01, Market Maker #1 executes 50 additional contracts in the same 110 Strike Calls. This execution equates to an additional 25% ((50 contracts/(100 remaining quote size +100 contracts already executed within the Specified Time Period)) for a net 75% Series Percentage count toward the 100% Percentage Threshold. If at 12:00:03, Market Maker #1 executes the full size of his bid (50 contracts) in the 100 Strike Put, the System will automatically remove all of Market Maker #1's quotes in Underlying XYZ since the execution caused his 100% Percentage Threshold to be exceeded; the execution in the 100 Strike Put added 100% Series Percentage to his previously calculated Series Percentage of 75% totaling 175% Issue Percentage. No further quotes for Market Maker #1 in Underlying XYZ will be available until re-entry. The Specified Time Period will be reset for Market Maker #1 in options class XYZ and Market Maker #1 will need to send a re-entry indicator in order to re-enter quotes in options series for options class XYZ into the System.

    Example #2 is another example of the Percentage Threshold. Presume the following Order Book:

    In this example, assume Market Maker #1 has Percentage Threshold set at 100% with a Specified Time Period over 5 seconds. Assume at 12:00:00, Market Maker #1 is quoting the XYZ 20 strike calls at 1.00 (10)-1.20 (10). An incoming Order to buy 5 contracts for 1.20 trades against Market Maker #1's quote. Based on this trade, the Series Percentage Threshold calculation is 5/[(10)+(0)] = 5/10 = 50%. Since this is the only execution during the Time Period, 50% also represents the Issue Percentage, therefore Market Maker #1's quote is now 1.00 (10)-1.20 (5).

    Next, assume at 12:00:01 an Incoming Order to buy 2 contracts for 1.20 trades against Market Maker #1's quote. Based on this trade, the Series Percentage Threshold calculation is 2/[(5)+(5)] = 2/10 = 20%. The Issue Percentage calculation is the sum of Series Percentages during the time period, or 50% + 20% = 70%.

    Finally, presume Market Maker #1's quote is now 1.00 (10)-1.20 (3). At 12:00:02, Market Maker #1 updates his quote in the XYZ 20 strike calls to increase his offer size back to 10 contracts, 1.00 (10)-1.20 (10). An incoming Order to buy 6 contracts for 1.20 trades against Market Maker #1's quote. Based on this trade, the Series Percentage Threshold calculation: 6/[(10)+(7)] = 6/17 = 35.29%. The Issue Percentage calculation is the sum of Series Percentages during the time period, or 50% + 20% + 35.29% = 105.29%. In this scenario, Market Maler[sic] #1's quotes are removed in all series of XYZ since his setting of 100% over 5 seconds has been exceeded.

    Example #3 describes the Volume Threshold. Presume the following Order Book:

    Series of underlying XYZ Size on bid x offer for MM1 100 Strike Call 300x300 100 Strike Put 50x50 110 Strike Call 200x200 110 Strike Put 150x150

    In this example, assume the Specified Time Period designated by the Market Maker #1 is 10 seconds and the designated number of contracts permitted for the Volume-Based Threshold is 250 contracts. Assume at 12:00:00, the Market Maker #1 executes all of his offer size, 200 contracts, in the 110 Strike Calls. The System will initiate the Specified Time Period and for 10 seconds the System will count all volume executed in series of options class XYZ. If at any point during that 10 second period, the Market Maker #1 executes additional contracts in any series of the options class XYZ, those contracts will be added to the initial execution of 200 contracts. To illustrate, assume at 12:00:05 the Market Maker # 1 executes 60 contracts of his offer in the 100 Strike Calls. The total volume executed is now 260 contracts. Since that volume exceeds the Market Maker #1's designated number of contracts for the Volume Threshold (250 contracts), all of his quotes in all series of the options class XYZ over the Specialized Quote Feed 5 will be removed from the System; no further quotes will be executed until re-entry. The Volume Specified Time Period will be reset for Market Maker #1 in options class XYZ and Market Maker #1 will need to send a re-entry indicator in order to re-enter quotes in options series for options class XYZ into the System.

    5 The Specialized Quote Feed interface that allows market makers to connect and send quotes, sweeps and auction responses into GEMX. Data includes the following: (1) Options Auction Notifications (e.g., opening imbalance, Flash, PIM, Solicitation and Facilitation or other information); (2) Options Symbol Directory Messages; (3) System Event Messages (e.g., start of messages, start of system hours, start of quoting, start of opening); (4) Option Trading Action Messages (e.g., halts, resumes); (5) Execution Messages; and (6) Quote Messages (quote/sweep messages, risk protection triggers or purge notifications).

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 6 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 7 in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general to protect investors and the public interest, by memorializing, with greater detail, the risk protections available to market makers. The described Thresholds serve to decrease risk and increase stability. Additionally, because the Exchange offers these risk tools to market makers, in order to encourage them to provide as much liquidity as possible and encourage market making generally, the proposal removes impediments to and perfects the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system and protects investors and the public interest. The Exchange believes that amending Rule 804(g) to add more clarifying text, which explains in greater detail the manner in which the four Thresholds operate, will bring more transparency to the rule which serves to protect investors and the public interest, because market makers will be more informed about the manner in which the functionality operates.

    6 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    7 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    In addition, the Exchange's proposal to amend the current Percentage Threshold to: (i) Calculate offsets; and (ii) calculate the Percentage Threshold during a Specified Time Period and for each side in a given series, a percentage, by dividing the size of a Market Maker's quote size executed in a particular series (the numerator) by the Marker Maker's quote size available at the time of execution plus the total number of the Market Marker's quote size previously executed during the unexpired Specified Time Period, will provide Market Makers with greater precision in calculating quoting risks. The Exchange believes that providing Market Makers with tools to calculate risk serves to perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general to protect investors and the public interest because Market Makers are better able to manage risks with this risk tool.

    The Exchange further represents that its proposal will continue to operate consistently with the firm quote obligations of a broker-dealer pursuant to Rule 602 of Regulation NMS and that the functionality is mandatory. Specifically, any interest that is executable against a market maker's quotes that are received 8 by the Exchange prior to the time any of these functionalities are engaged will be automatically executed at the price up to the market maker's size, regardless of whether such execution results in executions in excess of the market maker's pre-set parameters.

    8 The time of receipt is the time such message is processed by the Order Book.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. Specifically, the proposal will not impose a burden on intra-market or inter-market competition, rather it provides market makers with the continued opportunity to avail themselves of risk tools. The proposal does not impose a burden on inter-market competition, because participants may choose to become market makers on a number of other options exchanges, which may have similar but not identical features.9 The proposed rule change is meant to continue to protect market makers from inadvertent exposure to excessive risk. Accordingly, the proposed rule change will have no impact on competition.

    9See BATS Rule 21.16, BOX Rules 8100 and 8110, C2 Rule 8.12, CBOE Rule 8.18, MIAX Rule 612, NYSE MKT Rule 928NY and NYSE Arca Rule 6.40.

    The Exchange's proposal to amend the current Percentage Based risk feature to: (i) Calculate offsets; and (ii) calculate the Percentage Threshold during a Specified Time Period and for each side in a given series, a percentage, by dividing the size of a Market Maker's quote size executed in a particular series (the numerator) by the Marker Maker's quote size available at the time of execution plus the total number of the Market Marker's quote size previously executed during the unexpired Specified Time Period, does not impose an undue burden on competition and is non-controversial because the Exchange offers a Percentage Threshold today. The proposed changes to the Percentage risk tool simply add more precision to the existing calculation to permit Marker Makers to better control their risk with respect to quoting.

    Further, the Exchange is memorializing more detail concerning the function of the Thresholds with this rule proposal and making clear the method in which the Percentage risk tool is calculated. The risk tools will continue to reduce risk for market makers in the event of a systems issue or due to the occurrence of unusual or unexpected market activity.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act 10 and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.11

    10 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

    11 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6) requires a self-regulatory organization to give the Commission written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. The Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

    In its filing, GEMX requests that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay in order to enable the Exchange to accurately reflect in its rules the operation of its risk parameters since the migration to the INET platform. Although the Exchange proposes certain technical changes to how the risk parameters will operate (e.g., limiting the Specified Time Period to 30 seconds), the proposed changes are largely intended to provide more detail about the operation of the existing risk parameters. Accordingly, the Commission believes that granting a waiver of the operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest and therefore designates the proposed rule change to be operative upon filing.12

    12 For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has also considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest; for the protection of investors; or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-GEMX-2017-32 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-GEMX-2017-32. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-GEMX-2017-32, and should be submitted on or before August 16, 2017.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.13

    13 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15629 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-81181; File No. SR-ISE-2017-52] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 912 July 20, 2017.

    On June 9, 2017, Nasdaq ISE, LLC (“ISE” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act” or “Exchange Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to adopt Rule 912 (Consolidated Audit Trail—Fee Dispute Resolution). The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on June 23, 2017.3 The Commission received no comment letters on the proposed rule change.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80971 (June 19, 2017), 82 FR 28698 (“Notice”).

    Section 19(b)(2) of the Act 4 provides that, within 45 days of the publication of notice of the filing of a proposed rule change, or within such longer period up to 90 days as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission shall either approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved. The Commission is extending this 45-day time period.

    4 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change. The proposed rule change would establish the procedures for resolving potential disputes related to CAT Fees charged to Industry Members.

    Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,5 designates September 21, 2017, as the date by which the Commission should either approve or disapprove or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change (File Number SR-ISE-2017-52).

    5 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    6 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(31).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.6

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15636 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-81180; File No. SR-GEMX-2017-24] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 912 July 20, 2017.

    On June 9, 2017, Nasdaq GEMX, LLC (“GEMX” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act” or “Exchange Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to adopt Rule 912 (Consolidated Audit Trail—Fee Dispute Resolution). The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on June 23, 2017.3 The Commission received no comment letters on the proposed rule change.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80970 (June 19, 2017), 82 FR 28708 (“Notice”).

    Section 19(b)(2) of the Act 4 provides that, within 45 days of the publication of notice of the filing of a proposed rule change, or within such longer period up to 90 days as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission shall either approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved. The Commission is extending this 45-day time period.

    4 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change. The proposed rule change would establish the procedures for resolving potential disputes related to CAT Fees charged to Industry Members.

    Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,5 designates September 21, 2017, as the date by which the Commission should either approve or disapprove or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change (File Number SR-GEMX-2017-24).

    5 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.6

    6 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(31).

    Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15635 Filed 7-25-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-81176; File No. SR-NYSE-2017-33] Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Eliminate Non-Regular Way Trading on the Exchange July 20, 2017.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that on July 10, 2017, New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C.78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to eliminate non-regular way trading on the Exchange. The proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the self-regulatory organization included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to eliminate non-regular way trading on the Exchange. To effect this change, the Exchange proposes to amend or delete the following rules:

    • Rule 12 (“Business Day”);

    • Rule 14 (Non-Regular Way Settlement Instructions for Orders);

    • Rule 14T (Non-Regular Way Settlement Instructions for Orders);

    • Dealings and Settlements (Rules 45—299C);

    • Rule 64 (Bonds, Rights and 100-Share-Unit Stocks);

    • Rule 64T (Bonds, Rights and 100-Share-Unit Stocks);

    • Rule 66 (U.S. Government Securities);

    • Rule 73 (Seller's Option);

    • Rule 123 (Record of Orders);

    • Rule 130 (Overnight Comparison of Exchange Transactions);

    • Rule 132 (Comparison and Settlement of Transactions Through A Fully-Interfaced or Qualified Clearing Agency);

    • Rule 137 (Written Contracts);

    • Rule 137A (Samples of Written Contracts);

    • Rule 177 (Delivery Time—“Cash” Contracts);

    • Rule 179 (“Seller's Option”);

    • Rule 189 (Unit of Delivery);

    • Rule 235 (Ex-Dividend, Ex-Rights);

    • Rule 235T (Ex-Dividend, Ex-Rights);

    • Rule 236 (Ex-Warrants);

    • Rule 236T (Ex-Warrants);

    • Rule 241 (Interest—Added to Contract Price);

    • Rule 257 (Deliveries After “Ex” Date);

    • Rule 257T (Deliveries After “Ex” Date); and

    • Rule 282 (Buy-in Procedures).

    Background and Proposed Rule Change

    The current standard trade settlement cycle for most securities transactions is three business days after trade date (“T+3”).4 The standard settlement cycle is referred to as “regular way” settlement. Settlement cycles that are longer or shorter than the standard cycle are referred to as “non-regular way” settlement instructions. Rule 14(a)(i) defines non-regular way settlement instructions as instructions allowing for settlement other than regular way. Non-regular way settlement instructions are (1) cash; (2) next day; and (3) seller's option.5 Currently, the Exchange only offers non-regular way settlement instructions for orders manually represented by Floor brokers.6

    4See SEC Rule 15c6-1(a), 17 CFR 240.15c6-1(a). SEC Rule 15c6-1(a) has been amended to shorten the settlement cycle to two business days (“T+2”), which will be operative on September 5, 2017 (the “T+2 regular way settlement initiative”). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80295, 82 FR 15564 (May 30, 2017) (File No. S7-22-16). The Exchange has also amended its rules to reflect the T+2 regular way settlement initiative. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 80021 (February 10, 2017), 82 FR 10931 (February 16, 2017) (SR-NYSE-2016-87) (“Release No. 80021”).

    5See Rule 14(b). Orders indicating cash settlement instructions require delivery of the securities on the same day as the trade date. Next day settlement instructions require delivery of the securities on the first business day following the trade date. Orders that have settlement instructions of seller's option afford the seller the right to deliver the security at any time within a specified period, ranging from not less than two business days to not more than sixty days for securities and not less than two business days and no more than sixty days for U.S. government securities.

    6 In March 2009, the Exchange amended its rules to require that all orders submitted to Exchange be submitted for regular way settlement. See Securities and Exchange Act Release No. 59446 (February 25, 2009), 74 FR 9323 (March 3, 2009)(SR-NYSE-2009-17) (“Release No. 58446”). In July 2009, in response to certain customer needs, the Exchange adopted Rule 14 to allow orders containing non-regular way settlement instructions to be transmitted directly to a Floor broker for manual order handling. See Securities and Exchange Act Release No. 60216 (July 1, 2009), 74 FR 33283 (July 10, 2009)(SR-NYSE-2009-59).

    Because non-regular way settlement instructions are infrequently used by market participants,7 the Exchange proposes to eliminate non-regular way settlement instructions.

    7 For example, in 2016, the Exchange and its affiliate NYSE MKT LLC combined received a total of 5 orders with non-regular way instructions, 2 of which were later reversed. All 5 orders were received in the last two trading months of the year. No orders with non-regular way instructions have been received on either market to date in 2017. In contrast, at the time the Exchange eliminated non-regular way settlement instructions in 2009, the Exchange was receiving, on average, 28 cash orders, 48 next day orders, and 2 seller's option orders each day. See Release No. 58446, supra note 5, 74 FR at 9324 (based on a review of orders received during one week in May 2008). During the last five trading days of 2007, when the most cash, next day and seller's options orders were received, the average daily submissions were 123 for cash, 199 for next day, and 10 for seller's option. See id.

    To effect this change, the Exchange proposes to amend or delete the following Rules:

    • Rule 12 defines the term “Business Day” and provides that on any business day that the banks, transfer agencies and depositories for securities in New York State are closed, except for orders containing non-regular way settlement instructions pursuant to Rule 14, deliveries or payments ordinarily due on such a day shall be due on the following business day. As discussed below, Rule 14 is being amended to delete non-regular way settlement. The Exchange accordingly proposes to delete the clause “Except for orders containing non-regular way settlement instructions pursuant to Rule 14,” in Rule 12(1). The Exchange also proposes to delete the clause “other than “cash” contracts made on such a day” in Rule 12(3).

    • As noted, Rule 14 provides for non-regular way settlement instructions. The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 14 to provide that all bids and offers will be deemed regular way. To effect this change, the Exchange proposes to delete (i) the heading of current Rule 14 and replace it with “Bid or Offer Deemed Regular Way,” and (ii) the preamble to current Rule 14, the text of subsections (a) through (e), and the subsection heading “(f).” The Exchange further proposes to replace the rule text with the following text: “Bids and offers will be considered to be `regular way.'” This proposed rule is based on NYSE Arca Equities, Inc. Rule 7.8.

    • Rule 14T was adopted in 2016 to reflect the upcoming transition to T+2 to reflect two day settlement.8 In light of the proposed changes to Rule 14, the Exchange proposes to delete Rule 14T in its entirety as moot.

    8 In 2016, the Exchange also adopted, among