Federal Register Vol. 82, No.146,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 146 (August 1, 2017)

Page Range35623-35882
FR Document

82_FR_146
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 35881 - National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, 2017PDF
82 FR 35782 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
82 FR 35858 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Add Functionality to the Options Floor Broker Management SystemPDF
82 FR 35768 - Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Period for the Native American Career and Technical Education ProgramPDF
82 FR 35828 - U.S. Tennessee Valley Authority, Watts Bar Nuclear Plant; Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant; and Sequoyah Nuclear PlantPDF
82 FR 35717 - Safety Zone, Blue Angels Air Show; St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FLPDF
82 FR 35686 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area Closure for the Common Pool FisheryPDF
82 FR 35869 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Renewal Without Change of the FinCEN Form 8300PDF
82 FR 35844 - Security-Based Swap Data Repositories; ICE Trade Vault, LLC; Notice of Filing of Amended Application for Registration as a Security-Based Swap Data RepositoryPDF
82 FR 35826 - Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 35825 - Information Collection Activities, Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 35782 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
82 FR 35781 - Port Elizabeth Terminal & Warehouse Corp. v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Notice of Filing of Complaint and AssignmentPDF
82 FR 35655 - Safety Zone; Pleasure Beach Piers, Bridgeport, CTPDF
82 FR 35774 - Medallion Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Petition For Declaratory OrderPDF
82 FR 35772 - Gregory and Beverly Swecker v. Midland Power Cooperative; Gregory Swecker and Beverly Swecker v. Midland Power Cooperative and Central Iowa Power Cooperative; Notice of FilingPDF
82 FR 35753 - Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination of the Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationPDF
82 FR 35753 - Silicon Metal From Australia, Brazil, and Norway: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value InvestigationsPDF
82 FR 35749 - Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative ReviewsPDF
82 FR 35748 - Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) ReviewsPDF
82 FR 35754 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative ReviewPDF
82 FR 35752 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset ReviewsPDF
82 FR 35762 - Multistakeholder Process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and PatchingPDF
82 FR 35764 - Community Broadband WorkshopPDF
82 FR 35827 - Clarification on Endorsement of Nuclear Energy Institute Guidance in Designing Digital Upgrades in Instrumentation and Control SystemsPDF
82 FR 35782 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 35654 - Special Local Regulations; SUP3Rivers the Southside Outside, Pittsburgh, PAPDF
82 FR 35767 - Meeting of the Board of Visitors of Marine Corps UniversityPDF
82 FR 35770 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Loan Discharge Applications (DL/FFEL/Perkins)PDF
82 FR 35743 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 35647 - Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. HelicoptersPDF
82 FR 35867 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 35868 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed SR-109 (Portland Bypass) Project in TennesseePDF
82 FR 35869 - Notice of Final Agency Action on Proposed Interstate 73 in South CarolinaPDF
82 FR 35818 - Filing of Plats of Survey, Nebraska and WyomingPDF
82 FR 35781 - FDIC Advisory Committee on Community Banking; Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
82 FR 35870 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive Order of March 8, 2015, “Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela”PDF
82 FR 35687 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Amendment to Regulations Implementing the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan; Change to Pacific Mackerel Management Cycle From Annual to BiennialPDF
82 FR 35658 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Framework Amendment 5PDF
82 FR 35660 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Framework Adjustment 56PDF
82 FR 35786 - Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal AgenciesPDF
82 FR 35867 - Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the State of OklahomaPDF
82 FR 35745 - Umpqua and Diamond Lake Districts, Umpqua National Forest, Oregon, Calf Copeland Restoration ProjectPDF
82 FR 35746 - Davy Crockett-Sam Houston Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 35744 - Columbia County Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 35743 - West Virginia Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 35744 - Saguache-Upper Rio Grande Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 35872 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Event Surveys Data CollectionPDF
82 FR 35876 - Agency Information Collection Activity: Application for Work Study Allowance; Student Work-Study Agreement (Advance Payment); Extended Student Work-Study Agreement; Student Work-Study AgreementPDF
82 FR 35876 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
82 FR 35817 - Foreign Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for PermitPDF
82 FR 35771 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 35785 - National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 35784 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 35785 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 35786 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 35786 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 35784 - Fogarty International Center; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 35823 - Certain X-Ray Breast Imaging Devices and Components Thereof; Institution of InvestigationPDF
82 FR 35788 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Implementation of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013PDF
82 FR 35855 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Exchange's Schedule of FeesPDF
82 FR 35864 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq ISE, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Implementation Date in Rule 723(b)PDF
82 FR 35864 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Notice of Withdrawal of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division Rules Concerning Use of Clearing Fund for Losses, Liabilities or Temporary Needs for Funds Incident to the Clearance and Settlement Business and Make Other Related ChangesPDF
82 FR 35783 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 35781 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10471-Frontier Bank LaGrange, GeorgiaPDF
82 FR 35623 - Special Conditions: LifePort, Inc.: Boeing Model 747-8 Airplane; Single- and Multiple-Occupant Side-Facing SeatsPDF
82 FR 35649 - Amendment of Class D and E Airspace; Kenosha, WIPDF
82 FR 35820 - Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee; Postponement of MeetingPDF
82 FR 35820 - Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park Advisory Commission; Postponement of MeetingPDF
82 FR 35820 - Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Advisory Commission; Postpostment of MeetingPDF
82 FR 35820 - Acadia National Park Advisory Commission; Postponement of MeetingPDF
82 FR 35826 - Investigative HearingPDF
82 FR 35716 - Proposed Establishment Class E Airspace; Cisco, TXPDF
82 FR 35714 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Ellendale, NDPDF
82 FR 35747 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Alaska Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 35788 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension, Without Changes, of an Existing Information Collection; Comment Request; OMB Control No. 1653-0042PDF
82 FR 35655 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Thames River, New London, CTPDF
82 FR 35872 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
82 FR 35756 - Calendar of Upcoming 2018 Trade MissionsPDF
82 FR 35819 - Alaska Native Claims SelectionPDF
82 FR 35773 - Wallowa Resources Community Solutions Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
82 FR 35776 - Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public NoticePDF
82 FR 35776 - Merchant Hydro Developers, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
82 FR 35772 - Notice of Membership of Performance Review Board for Senior Executives (PRB)PDF
82 FR 35774 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-549b); Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 35658 - Declaratory Ruling That Cable Operators May Provide Notice by EmailPDF
82 FR 35779 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
82 FR 35780 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
82 FR 35778 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
82 FR 35772 - Independent Market Monitor for PJM v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Notice of ComplaintPDF
82 FR 35770 - Kinder Morgan Border Pipeline LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
82 FR 35741 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: DFARS Subgroup to the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force, Review of DFARS Solicitation Provisions and Contract ClausesPDF
82 FR 35824 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation Operating Under the Name of the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated PhotonicsPDF
82 FR 35764 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
82 FR 35734 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Jersey; Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report State Implementation PlanPDF
82 FR 35738 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New York; Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report State Implementation PlanPDF
82 FR 35835 - Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards ConsiderationsPDF
82 FR 35767 - Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Mariana Islands Training and TestingPDF
82 FR 35821 - Certain Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe From Germany; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
82 FR 35689 - Freedom of Information Act RegulationsPDF
82 FR 35697 - Privacy Act RegulationsPDF
82 FR 35644 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 35638 - Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer)PDF
82 FR 35719 - Schedule for Rating Disabilities; Musculoskeletal System and Muscle InjuriesPDF
82 FR 35705 - Requirements for Insurance; National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity DistributionsPDF
82 FR 35630 - Airworthiness Directives; Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH AirplanesPDF
82 FR 35636 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. (Type Certificate Previously Held by Canadair Limited) AirplanesPDF
82 FR 35777 - Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, State of WisconsinPDF
82 FR 35641 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 35628 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 35634 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., AirplanesPDF
82 FR 35651 - Privacy Act of 1974; ImplementationPDF

Issue

82 146 Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35743 2017-16146
Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes under National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation, Operating Under the Name of the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics, 35824-35825 2017-16053 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35782-35783 2017-16152 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Request for Assistance for Child Victims of Human Trafficking, 35783-35784 2017-16105 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Alaska Advisory Committee, 35747-35748 2017-16086 2017-16087 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Thames River, New London, CT, 35655 2017-16084 Safety Zones: Pleasure Beach Piers, Bridgeport, CT, 35655-35657 2017-16165 Special Local Regulations: SUP3Rivers the Southside Outside, Pittsburgh, PA, 35654-35655 2017-16151 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Blue Angels Air Show, St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FL, 35717-35719 2017-16177 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35764-35767 2017-16019 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System PROPOSED RULES Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplements: Subgroup to the Department of Defebce Regulatory Reform Task Force, Review of DFARS Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses, 35741-35742 2017-16057 Defense Department Defense Department See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

See

Navy Department

Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Loan Discharge Applications (DL/FFEL/Perkins), 35770 2017-16147 Native American Career and Technical Education Program, 35768-35770 2017-16182 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: New Jersey; Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report State Implementation Plan, 35734-35738 2017-15997 New York; Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report State Implementation Plan, 35738-35741 2017-15991 NOTICES Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, State of Wisconsin, 35777-35778 2017-15544 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters, 35647-35649 2017-16144 Airbus Airplanes, 35644-35647 2017-15808 Bombardier, Inc. (Type Certificate Previously Held by Canadair Limited) Airplanes, 35636-35638 2017-15555 Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes, 35634-35636 2017-15476 Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Airplanes, 35630-35634 2017-15669 Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer), 35638-35641 2017-15807 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 35628-35630, 35641-35644 2017-15477 2017-15486 Amendment of Class D and E Airspace: Kenosha, WI, 35649-35651 2017-16098 Special Conditions: LifePort, Inc.: Boeing Model 747-8 Airplane; Single- and Multiple-Occupant Side-Facing Seats, 35623-35628 2017-16099 PROPOSED RULES Establishment of Class E Airspace: Cisco, TX, 35716-35717 2017-16090 Ellendale, ND, 35714-35716 2017-16089 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Declaratory Ruling that Cable Operators May Provide Notice by E-mail, 35658 2017-16075 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35778-35781 2017-16072 2017-16073 2017-16074 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Charter Renewals: Advisory Committee on Community Banking, 35781 2017-16137 Terminations of Receivership: 10471--Frontier Bank LaGrange, GA, 35781 2017-16101 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35774-35776 2017-16076 Applications: Kinder Morgan Border Pipeline LLC, 35770-35771 2017-16070 Combined Filings, 35771-35772 2017-16119 Complaints: Independent Market Monitor for PJM v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., 35772 2017-16071 Filings: Gregory and Beverly Swecker v. Midland Power Cooperative; Gregory Swecker and Beverly Swecker v. Midland Power Cooperative and Central Iowa Power Cooperative, 35772-35773 2017-16163 Memberships: Performance Review Board (PRB) for Senior Executives, 35772 2017-16077 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Medallion Pipeline Company, LLC, 35774 2017-16164 Preliminary Permits; Applications: Merchant Hydro Developers, LLC, 35776 2017-16078 Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facilities: Wallowa Resources Community Solutions Inc., 35773-35774 2017-16080 Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications, 35776-35777 2017-16079 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Federal Agency Actions: California; Proposed Highway, 35867-35868 2017-16143 South Carolina; Proposed Interstate 73, 35869 2017-16140 Tennessee; Proposed SR-109 Project, 35868-35869 2017-16142 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Complaints: Port Elizabeth Terminal and Warehouse Corp. v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 35781-35782 2017-16166 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 35782 2017-16167 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 35782 2017-16279 Financial Crimes Financial Crimes Enforcement Network NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35869-35870 2017-16175 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered Species Permit Applications, 35817-35818 2017-16121 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 35870-35872 2017-16136 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Calf Copeland Restoration Project, Umpqua and Diamond Lake Districts, Umpqua National Forest, OR, 35745-35746 2017-16129 Meetings: Columbia County Resource Advisory Committee, 35744 2017-16127 Davy Crockett-Sam Houston Resource Advisory Committee, 35746-35747 2017-16128 Saguache-Upper Rio Grande Resource Advisory Committee, 35744-35745 2017-16125 West Virginia Resource Advisory Committee, 35743-35744 2017-16126 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Implementation of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, 35788-35817 2017-16110 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Administrative Reviews, 35749-35752 2017-16160 Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 35754-35756 2017-16158 Sunset Reviews, 35752-35753 2017-16157 Calendar of Upcoming 2018 Trade Missions, 35756-35762 2017-16082 Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Reviews, 35748-35749 2017-16159 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China, 35753 2017-16162 Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations; Postponements Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, and Norway, 35753-35754 2017-16161 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe from Germany, 35821-35823 2017-15935 Certain X-Ray Breast Imaging Devices and Components Thereof, 35823-35824 2017-16112 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

RULES Privacy Act; Implementation, 35651-35654 2017-15423
Labor Department Labor Department See

Labor Statistics Bureau

Labor Statistics Labor Statistics Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35825-35826 2017-16168 2017-16169 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Alaska Native Claims Selection, 35819-35820 2017-16081 Plats of Surveys: Nebraska and Wyoming, 35818-35819 2017-16138 National Capital National Capital Planning Commission PROPOSED RULES Freedom of Information Act, 35689-35697 2017-15887 Privacy Act, 35697-35705 2017-15882 National Credit National Credit Union Administration PROPOSED RULES Requirements for Insurance: National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity Distributions, 35705-35714 2017-15687 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Fogarty International Center Advisory Board, 35784-35785 2017-16113 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 35786 2017-16115 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 35784-35786 2017-16116 2017-16117 National Institute on Aging, 35786 2017-16114 National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 35785 2017-16118 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Framework Amendment 5, 35658-35660 2017-16134 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area Closure for the Common Pool Fishery, 35686-35687 2017-16176 Fisheries Off West Coast States: Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Amendment to Regulations Implementing the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan; Change to Pacific Mackerel Management Cycle from Annual to Biennial, 35687-35688 2017-16135 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions: Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Framework Adjustment 56, 35660-35686 2017-16133 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Meetings: Acadia National Park Advisory Commission; Postponement, 35820 2017-16094 Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Advisory Commission; Postpostment, 35820 2017-16095 Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee; Postponement, 35820-35821 2017-16097 Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park Advisory Commission; Postponement, 35820 2017-16096 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Meetings: Community Broadband Workshop, 35764 2017-16154 Multistakeholder Process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching, 35762-35764 2017-16155 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board NOTICES Investigative Hearings, 35826-35827 2017-16091 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Mariana Islands Training and Testing, 35767-35768 2017-15939 Meetings: Board of Visitors of Marine Corps University, 35767 2017-16150 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Confirmatory Orders: Tennessee Valley Authority, Watts Bar Nuclear Plant; Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant; and Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, 35828-35835 2017-16178 Facility Operating and Combined Licenses: Applications and Amendments Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations, etc., 35835-35844 2017-15986 Nuclear Energy Institute Guidance: Designing Digital Upgrades in Instrumentation and Control Systems; Clarification on Endorsement, 35827-35828 2017-16153 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day (Proc. 9629), 35879-35882 2017-16327 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications for Registration as a Security-Based Swap Data Repository: ICE Trade Vault, LLC, 35844-35855 2017-16173 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Fixed Income Clearing Corp., 35864 2017-16107 Nasdaq ISE, LLC, 35855-35858, 35864-35867 2017-16108 2017-16109 NASDAQ PHLX, LLC, 35858-35864 2017-16210 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Oklahoma, 35867 2017-16130 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities: List of Facilities that Meet Minimum Standards to Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies, 35786-35788 2017-16131 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

Immigration U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35788 2017-16085 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department PROPOSED RULES Schedule for Rating Disabilities: Musculoskeletal System and Muscle Injuries, 35719-35733 2017-15766 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Work Study Allowance; Student Work-Study Agreement; Extended Student Work-Study Agreement; Student Work-Study Agreement, 35876 2017-16123 Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 35876-35877 2017-16122 National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Event Surveys Data Collection, 35872 2017-16124 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 35872-35876 2017-16083 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 35879-35882 2017-16327 Reader Aids

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

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

82 146 Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0544; Special Conditions No. 25-692-SC] Special Conditions: LifePort, Inc.: Boeing Model 747-8 Airplane; Single- and Multiple-Occupant Side-Facing Seats AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane. This airplane, as modified by LifePort Inc. (LifePort), will have novel or unusual design features when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. These design features are single- and multiple-occupant side-facing seats (i.e., seats positioned in the airplane with the occupant facing 90 degrees to the direction of airplane travel). The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for these design features. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

This action is effective on LifePort on August 1, 2017. Send your comments by September 15, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0544 using any of the following methods:

Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478).

Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov/ at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Alan Sinclair, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2195; facsimile 425-227-1320.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA has determined that notice of, and opportunity for prior public comment on, these special conditions is impracticable because these procedures would significantly delay issuance of the design approval and thus delivery of the affected airplane.

In addition, the substance of these special conditions has been published in the Federal Register for public comment in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds good cause that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Comments Invited

We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On September 28, 2016, LifePort applied for a supplemental type certificate for single- and multiple-occupant side-facing seats in the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane. The Boeing Model 747-8 airplane is a wide-body, four-engine, extended-range jet with a stretched upper deck. This airplane is configured as a private executive jet, not for hire, not for common carriage. The maximum takeoff weight is 987,331 pounds.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, LifePort must show that the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in Type Certificate No. A20WE or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane, because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the applicant apply for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on the same type certificate to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The Boeing Model 747-8 airplane, as modified by LifePort, will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features:

Single- and multiple-occupant side-facing seats positioned in the airplane with the occupant facing 90 degrees to the direction of airplane travel.

Discussion

Side-facing seats are considered a novel design for transport-category airplanes that include §§ 25.562 and 25.785 at Amendment 25-64 in their certification basis, and were not considered when those airworthiness standards were issued. The FAA has determined that the existing regulations do not provide adequate or appropriate safety standards for occupants of side-facing seats. To provide a level of safety that is equivalent to that afforded to occupants of forward- and aft-facing seats, additional airworthiness standards in the form of special conditions are necessary.

On June 16, 1988, 14 CFR part 25 was amended by Amendment 25-64 to revise the emergency-landing conditions that must be considered in the design of transport-category airplanes. Amendment 25-64 revised the static-load conditions in § 25.561, and added a new § 25.562 that required dynamic testing for all seats approved for occupancy during takeoff and landing. The intent of Amendment 25-64 was to provide an improved level of safety for occupants on transport-category airplanes. However, because most seating on transport-category airplanes is forward-facing, the pass/fail criteria developed in Amendment 25-64 focused primarily on these seats. For some time, the FAA granted exemptions for the multiple-place side-facing-seat installations because the existing test methods and acceptance criteria did not produce a level of safety equivalent to the level of safety provided for forward- and aft-facing seats. These exemptions were subject to many conditions that reflected the injury-evaluation criteria and mitigation strategies available at the time of the exemption issuance.

The FAA also issued special conditions to address single-place side-facing seats based on the data available at the time the FAA issued those special conditions. Continuing concerns regarding the safety of side-facing seats prompted the FAA to conduct research to develop an acceptable method of compliance with §§ 25.562 and 25.785(b) for side-facing seat installations. That research has identified injury considerations and evaluation criteria in addition to those previously used to approve side-facing seats (see published report DOT/FAA/AR-09/41, July 2011).

One particular concern that was identified during the FAA's research program, but not addressed in the previous special conditions, was the significant leg injuries that can occur to occupants of both single- and multiple-place side-facing seats. Because this type of injury does not occur on forward- and aft-facing seats, the FAA determined that, to achieve the level of safety envisioned in Amendment 25-64, additional requirements would be needed as compared to previously issued special conditions. Nonetheless, the research has now allowed the development of a single set of special conditions that is applicable to all fully side-facing seats.

On November 5, 2012, the FAA released policy statement PS-ANM-25-03-R1, “Technical Criteria for Approving Side-Facing Seats,” to update existing FAA certification policy on §§ 25.562 and 25.785(a) at Amendment 25-64 for single- and multiple-place side-facing seats. This policy addresses both the technical criteria for approving side-facing seats and the implementation of those criteria. The FAA methodology detailed in PS-ANM-25-03-R1 has been used in establishing a new set of proposed special conditions. Some of the conditions issued for previous exemptions are still relevant and are included in these new special conditions. However, others have been replaced by different criteria that reflect current research findings.

In Policy Statement PS-ANM-25-03-R1, conditions 1 and 2 are applicable to all side-facing seat installations, whereas conditions 3 through 16 represent additional requirements applicable to side-facing seats equipped with an airbag system in the shoulder belt. Because the applicant's side-facing seats do not have airbag systems, only conditions 1 and 2 are applicable to, and included in, these special conditions.

These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Boeing Model 747-8 airplane as modified by LifePort. Should LifePort apply at a later date for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on Type Certificate no. A20WE to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

The Special Conditions Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Boeing Model 747-8 airplanes modified by LifePort, Inc.

1. Additional requirements applicable to tests or rational analysis conducted to show compliance with §§ 25.562 and 25.785 for side-facing seats:

a. The longitudinal test(s) conducted in accordance with § 25.562(b)(2), to show compliance with the seat-strength requirements of § 25.562(c)(7) and (8) and these special conditions, must have an ES-2re anthropomorphic test dummy (ATD) (49 CFR part 572, subpart U) or equivalent, or a Hybrid II ATD (49 CFR part 572, subpart B as specified in § 25.562) or equivalent, occupying each seat position and including all items (e.g., armrest, interior wall, or furnishing) contactable by the occupant if those items are necessary to restrain the occupant. If included, the floor representation and contactable items must be located such that their relative position, with respect to the center of the nearest seat place, is the same at the start of the test as before floor misalignment is applied. For example, if floor misalignment rotates the centerline of the seat place nearest the contactable item 8 degrees clockwise about the airplane x-axis, then the item and floor representations must be rotated by 8 degrees clockwise also, to maintain the same relative position to the seat place, as shown in Figure 1. Each ATD's relative position to the seat after application of floor misalignment must be the same as before misalignment is applied. To ensure proper occupant seat loading, the ATD pelvis must remain supported by the seat pan, and the restraint system must remain on the pelvis and shoulder of the ATD until rebound begins. No injury-criteria evaluation is necessary for tests conducted only to assess seat-strength requirements.

b. The longitudinal test(s) conducted in accordance with § 25.562(b)(2), to show compliance with the injury assessments required by § 25.562(c) and these special conditions, may be conducted separately from the test(s) to show structural integrity. In this case, structural-assessment tests must be conducted as specified in paragraph 1a, above, and the injury-assessment test must be conducted without yaw or floor misalignment. Injury assessments may be accomplished by testing with ES-2re ATD (49 CFR part 572, subpart U) or equivalent at all places. Alternatively, these assessments may be accomplished by multiple tests that use an ES-2re ATD at the seat place being evaluated, and a Hybrid II ATD (49 CFR part 572, subpart B, as specified in § 25.562) or equivalent used in all seat places forward of the one being assessed, to evaluate occupant interaction. In this case, seat places aft of the one being assessed may be unoccupied. If a seat installation includes adjacent items that are contactable by the occupant, the injury potential of that contact must be assessed. To make this assessment, tests may be conducted that include the actual item, located and attached in a representative fashion. Alternatively, the injury potential may be assessed by a combination of tests with items having the same geometry as the actual item, but having stiffness characteristics that would create the worst case for injury (injuries due to both contact with the item and lack of support from the item).

c. If a seat is installed aft of structure (e.g., an interior wall or furnishing) that does not have a homogeneous surface contactable by the occupant, additional analysis and/or test(s) may be required to demonstrate that the injury criteria are met for the area that an occupant could contact. For example, different yaw angles could result in different injury considerations and may require additional analysis or separate test(s) to evaluate.

d. To accommodate a range of occupant heights (5th percentile female to 95th percentile male), the surface of items contactable by the occupant must be homogenous 7.3 in. (185 mm) above and 7.9 in. (200 mm) below the point (center of area) that is contacted by the 50th percentile male size ATD's head during the longitudinal test(s) conducted in accordance with paragraphs a, b, and c, above. Otherwise, additional head-injury criteria (HIC) assessment tests may be necessary. Any surface (inflatable or otherwise) that provides support for the occupant of any seat place must provide that support in a consistent manner regardless of occupant stature. For example, if an inflatable shoulder belt is used to mitigate injury risk, then it must be demonstrated by inspection to bear against the range of occupants in a similar manner before and after inflation. Likewise, the means of limiting lower-leg flail must be demonstrated by inspection to provide protection for the range of occupants in a similar manner.

ER01AU17.010

e. For longitudinal test(s) conducted in accordance with § 25.562(b)(2) and these special conditions, the ATDs must be positioned, clothed, and have lateral instrumentation configured as follows:

(1) ATD positioning: Lower the ATD vertically into the seat while simultaneously (see Figure 2):

ER01AU17.011

(a) Aligning the midsagittal plane (a vertical plane through the midline of the body; dividing the body into right and left halves) with approximately the middle of the seat place.

(b) Applying a horizontal x-axis direction (in the ATD coordinate system) force of about 20 lb (89 N) to the torso at approximately the intersection of the midsagittal plane and the bottom rib of the ES-2re or lower sternum of the Hybrid II at the midsagittal plane, to compress the seat back cushion.

(c) Keeping the upper legs nearly horizontal by supporting them just behind the knees.

(d) After all lifting devices have been removed from the ATD:

(i) Rock it slightly to settle it into the seat.

(ii) Separate the knees by about 4 in. (100 mm).

(iii) Set the ES-2re ATD's head at approximately the midpoint of the available range of z-axis rotation (to align the head and torso midsagittal planes).

(iv) Position the ES-2re ATD's arms at the joint's mechanical detent that puts them at approximately a 40-degree angle with respect to the torso. Position the Hybrid II ATD hands on top of its upper legs.

(v) Position the feet such that the centerlines of the lower legs are approximately parallel to a lateral vertical plane (in the airplane coordinate system).

(2) ATD clothing: Clothe each ATD in form-fitting, mid-calf-length (minimum) pants and shoes (size 11E) weighing about 2.5 lb (1.1 Kg) total. The color of the clothing should be in contrast to the color of the restraint system. The ES-2re jacket is sufficient for torso clothing, although a form-fitting shirt may be used in addition if desired.

(3) ES-2re ATD lateral instrumentation: The rib-module linear slides are directional, i.e., deflection occurs in either a positive or negative ATD y-axis direction. The modules must be installed such that the moving end of the rib module is toward the front of the airplane. The three abdominal-force sensors must be installed such that they are on the side of the ATD toward the front of the airplane.

f. The combined horizontal/vertical test, required by § 25.562(b)(1) and these special conditions, must be conducted with a Hybrid II ATD (49 CFR part 572, subpart B, as specified in § 25.562), or equivalent, occupying each seat position.

g. Restraint systems:

(1) If inflatable restraint systems are used, they must be active during all dynamic tests conducted to show compliance with § 25.562.

(2) The design and installation of seatbelt buckles must prevent unbuckling due to applied inertial forces, or impact of the hands or arms of the occupant during an emergency landing.

2. Additional performance measures applicable to tests and rational analysis conducted to show compliance with §§ 25.562 and 25.785 for side-facing seats:

a. Body-to-body contact: Contact between the head, pelvis, torso, or shoulder area of one ATD with the adjacent-seated ATD's head, pelvis, torso, or shoulder area is not allowed. Contact during rebound is allowed.

b. Thoracic: The deflection of any of the ES-2re ATD upper, middle, and lower ribs must not exceed 1.73 in. (44 mm). Data must be processed as defined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 571.214.

c. Abdominal: The sum of the measured ES-2re ATD front, middle, and rear abdominal forces must not exceed 562 lb (2,500 N). Data must be processed as defined in FMVSS 571.214.

d. Pelvic: The pubic symphysis force measured by the ES-2re ATD must not exceed 1,350 lb (6,000 N). Data must be processed as defined in FMVSS 571.214.

e. Leg: Axial rotation of the upper-leg (femur) must be limited to 35 degrees in either direction from the nominal seated position.

f. Neck: As measured by the ES-2re ATD and filtered at Channel Frequency Class 600 as defined in SAE J211, “Instrumentation for Impact Test—Part 1—Electronic Instrumentation.”

(1) The upper-neck tension force at the occipital condyle (O.C.) location must be less than 405 lb (1,800 N).

(2) The upper-neck compression force at the O.C. location must be less than 405 lb (1,800 N).

(3) The upper-neck bending torque about the ATD x-axis at the O.C. location must be less than 1,018 in-lb (115 Nm).

(4) The upper-neck resultant shear force at the O.C. location must be less than 186 lb (825 N).

g. Occupant (ES-2re ATD) retention: The pelvic restraint must remain on the ES-2re ATD's pelvis during the impact and rebound phases of the test. The upper-torso restraint straps (if present) must remain on the ATD's shoulder during the impact.

h. Occupant (ES-2re ATD) support:

(1) Pelvis excursion: The load-bearing portion of the bottom of the ATD pelvis must not translate beyond the edges of its seat's bottom seat-cushion supporting structure.

(2) Upper-torso support: The lateral flexion of the ATD torso must not exceed 40 degrees from the normal upright position during the impact.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 13, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-16099 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0330; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-016-AD; Amendment 39-18972; AD 2017-15-12] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the lower skin at the skin lap splice lower fastener row is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This AD requires repetitive inspections for cracking in the skin lap splice at the lower fastener row, and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 5, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110 SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1365, dated January 23, 2017, is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0330.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0330; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

James Guo, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5357; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 1, 2017 (82 FR 20288). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that the lower skin at the skin lap splice lower fastener row is subject to WFD. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections for cracking in the skin lap splice at the lower fastener row, and repair if necessary.

Comments

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

Supportive Comment

Boeing stated that it concurred with the NPRM.

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1365, dated January 23, 2017. The service information describes procedures for eddy current inspections for cracking at the skin lap splice in the lower fastener row, and repair if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 126 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection 84 work-hours × $85 per hour = $7,140 per inspection cycle $0 $7,140 per inspection cycle $899,640 per inspection cycle.

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-15-12 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18972; Docket No. FAA-2017-0330; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-016-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

(1) This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1365, dated January 23, 2017.

(2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/EBD1CEC7B301293E86257CB30045557A?OpenDocument&Highlight=st01219se) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the lower skin at the skin lap splice lower fastener row is subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the lower skin, which, if not detected, could link up, resulting in reduced structural integrity of the airplane and consequent uncontrolled decompression of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections

Except as provided by paragraph (i) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1365, dated January 23, 2017: Do external eddy current inspections at stringer S-14 on the left and right sides of the airplane (S-14L and S-14R) for any crack in the skin lap splice at the lower fastener row, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1365, dated January 23, 2017. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1365, dated January 23, 2017.

(h) Repair

If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD. Although Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1365, dated January 23, 2017, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), this AD requires repair as specified in this paragraph.

(i) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

(1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1365, dated January 23, 2017, specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

(2) The Condition column of Table 1 and Table 2 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1365, dated January 23, 2017, refers to total flight cycles “at the original issue date of this service bulletin.” This AD, however, applies to the airplanes with the specified total flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD.

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(k) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact James Guo, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles ACO, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5357; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1365, dated January 23, 2017.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

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

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 14, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-15477 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0640; Directorate Identifier 2017-CE-020-AD; Amendment 39-18969; AD 2017-15-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Model DA 42 airplanes. This AD requires installing engine exhaust pipe clamps with spring washers, repetitively inspecting the engine exhaust pipe clamps for cracks, and replacing the clamps if found cracked. This AD was prompted by cracks in the affected engine exhaust pipes, which could cause failure of the propeller regulating valve because of hot exhaust gases coming from the fractured pipes. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 1, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 1, 2017.

We must receive comments on this AD by September 15, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

Fax: (202) 493-2251.

Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH, N.A. Otto-Straße 5, A-2700 Wiener Neustadt, Austria, telephone: +43 2622 26700; fax: +43 2622 26780; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.diamondaircraft.com. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0640.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0640; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mike Kiesov, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4144; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

AD 2017-01-12, Amendment 39-18779 (82 FR 5359, January 18, 2017) (“AD 2017-01-12”) requires either replacing the engine exhaust pipes with new design pipes or installing clamps on the old design pipes on Diamond Model DA 42 airplanes. AD 2017-01-12 is based on European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0156R1, dated November 23, 2016. EASA is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community.

After issuance of AD 2017-01-12, we received reports of cracks on the new design engine exhaust pipes. To address this cracking issue, we issued AD 2017-11-08, Amendment 39-18907 (82 FR 24843, May 31, 2017) (“AD 2017-11-08”). AD 2017-11-08 requires repetitively inspecting the new design engine exhaust pipes installed on Diamond Model DA 42 airplanes and replacing any cracked pipes. AD 2017-11-08 is based on EASA AD No. 2017-0090, dated May 17, 2017.

Since issuance of AD 2017-11-08, we received reports of cracks found on the engine exhaust pipe clamps that were installed on the old design engine exhaust pipes as a requirement in AD 2017-01-12. The FAA and EASA are working concurrently on AD action for the United States and Europe. EASA recently issued AD No.: 2017-0120, dated July 13, 2017, to address actions similar to that of this FAA AD.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in hot exhaust gases coming from the fractured pipes and leading to an uncommanded engine in-flight shutdown or overheat damage, which could result in a forced landing, consequent damage, and occupant injury.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH has issued Mandatory Service Bulletin MSB 42-120/2, dated June 7, 2017, and Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120, Revision 3, dated July 6, 2017. In combination, the service information describes procedures for installing engine exhaust pipe clamps with spring washers and inspecting the engine exhaust pipe clamps for cracks, with replacement if cracks are found. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of the final rule.

FAA's Determination

We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

AD Requirements

This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because affected engine exhaust pipes could crack and cause hot gases to leak from fractured exhaust pipes and lead to an uncommanded engine in-flight shutdown. Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2017-0640 and Directorate Identifier 2017-CE-020-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 130 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Install engine exhaust pipe clamps with spring washers 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 (for both clamps) * $100 $440 $57,200 Inspect engine exhaust pipe clamps 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 N/A 170 22,100 * (for both clamps)

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that will be required based on the results of the inspections. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that may need these replacements:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replace cracked clamps 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 (for both clamps) * $100 $440 * (for both clamps)
    Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-15-09 Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH: Amendment 39-18969; Docket No. FAA-2017-0640; Directorate Identifier 2017-CE-020-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective August 1, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Diamond Aircraft Industries (DAI) GmbH Model DA 42 airplanes, serial numbers 42.004 through 42.427 and 42.AC001 through 42.AC151, certificated in any category, that have:

    (1) Either a Technify Motors GmbH TAE 125-02-99 or TAE 125-02-114 engine installed; and

    (2) DAI part numbers (P/N) D60-7806-00-01 and P/N D60-7806-00-02 engine exhaust clamps installed.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 78: Engine Exhaust.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by cracks in the affected engine exhaust pipes, which could cause failure of the propeller regulating valve because of hot exhaust gases coming from the fractured pipes. We are issuing this AD to prevent an uncommanded engine in-flight shutdown or overheat damage, which could result in a forced landing, consequent damage, and occupant injury.

    (f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the actions in paragraphs (f)(1) through (6) of this AD.

    (1) Before or upon accumulating 40 hours time-in-service (TIS) on the affected engine exhaust pipes or within the next 10 hours TIS after August 1, 2017 (the effective date of this AD), whichever occurs later, do the actions in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (ii) of this AD.

    (i) Inspect each engine exhaust clamp for cracks following III.3 Action 3—Inspection of exhaust clamp for cracks of the INSTRUCTIONS section of Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH (DAI) Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120, Revision 3, dated July 6, 2017, as specified in DAI Mandatory Service Bulletin MSB 42-120/2, dated June 7, 2017.

    (ii) Reinstall any uncracked clamp or replace with a new clamp and incorporate spring washers following III.2 Action 2—installation of additional exhaust clamp in the INSTRUCTIONS section of DAI Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120, Revision 3, dated July 6, 2017, as specified in DAI Mandatory Service Bulletin MSB 42-120/2, dated June 7, 2017. See figure 1 to paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this AD for additional information on the sequence of installation actions as identified in DAI Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120, Revision 3, dated July 6, 2017. Credit is not given for installation of an engine exhaust clamp installed following DAI Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120, Revision 1, dated December 14, 2016, (installation of exhaust clamp without spring washers), or DAI Work Instruction MSB-42-120, Revision 2, dated June 7, 2017.

    ER01AU17.000

    (2) Within 25 hours TIS after the installation required by paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this AD and repetitively thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS, inspect each engine exhaust clamp for cracks following III.3 Action 3—Inspection of exhaust clamp for cracks of the INSTRUCTIONS section DAI Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120, Revision 3, dated July 6, 2017, as specified in DAI Mandatory Service Bulletin MSB 42-120/2, dated June 7, 2017.

    (3) If any crack(s) is found on any engine exhaust clamp during any inspection required by this AD, before further flight, replace or modify the affected engine exhaust clamp(s) following III.2 Action 2—installation of additional exhaust clamp in the INSTRUCTIONS section of DAI Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120, Revision 3, dated July 6, 2017, as specified in DAI Mandatory Service Bulletin MSB 42-120/2, dated June 7, 2017.

    (4) If during any replacement or modification required by this AD the exhaust clamp assembly cannot be installed without side force using step 10 of III.2 Action 2—installation of additional exhaust clamp in the INSTRUCTIONS section of DAI Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120, Revision 3, dated July 6, 2017, before further flight contact the FAA at the address specified in paragraph (i) of this AD to obtain and incorporate an FAA-approved repair/modification approved specifically for this AD. The FAA will coordinate with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and DAI for the development of a repair/modification to address the specific problem.

    (5) The replacement required by paragraphs (f)(1)(ii) or (f)(3) of this AD does not terminate the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (f)(2) of this AD when DAI part numbers (P/N) D60-7806-00-01 and P/N D60-7806-00-02 engine exhaust clamps are installed.

    (6) Within 10 days after any inspection where a cracked clamp is found or within 10 days after August 1, 2017 (the effective date of this AD), whichever occurs later, report the results to the FAA at the address specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD and to DAI at the address specified in paragraph (j)(3) of this AD. Report all the information included in the Appendix to this AD.

    (g) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

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

    (i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Mike Kiesov, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4144; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected]

    (2) Refer to MCAI EASA AD No.: 2017-0120, dated July 13, 2017, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0640.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Mandatory Service Bulletin MSB 42-120/2, dated June 7, 2017.

    (ii) Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120, Revision 3, dated July 6, 2017.

    (3) For Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH service information identified in this AD, contact Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH, N.A. Otto-Straße 5, A-2700 Wiener Neustadt, Austria, telephone: +43 2622 26700; fax: +43 2622 26780; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.diamondaircraft.com.

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0640.

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

    Appendix to AD 2017-15-09 Airplane Serial Number: Total Hours TIS of the Airplane: Total Hours TIS Since Clamp was Installed: Clamp was installed on: __ Left-hand Engine Only __ Right-hand Engine Only __ Both Engines Number of Inspections Since Found Cracked: Clamp installed per: ___ Section 8, ___ Section 9, or ___Section 10 of subsection III.2 of Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120, Revision 3, dated July 6, 2017. Clamp installed per the following Revision level of Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Work Instruction WI-MSB 42-120: __ Original Issue __ Revision 1 __ Revision 2
    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 19, 2017. Melvin Johnson, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15669 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0331; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-213-AD; Amendment 39-18971; AD 2017-15-11] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model DHC-8-102, -103, -106, -201, -202, -301, -311, and -315 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of undamped main landing gear (MLG) extension in-service. This AD requires replacement of the MLG retraction actuator rod-ends on both MLG assemblies. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0331.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0331; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fabio Buttitta, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7303; fax 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc., Model DHC-8-102, -103, -106, -201, -202, -301, -311, and -315 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 2, 2017 (82 FR 20453) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of undamped MLG extension in-service. The NPRM proposed to require replacement of the MLG retraction actuator rod-ends on both MLG assemblies. We are issuing this AD to prevent MLG undamped extensions, which could result in MLG structural failure, resulting in an unsafe asymmetric landing gear configuration.

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2016-36, dated November 22, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model DHC-8-102, -103, -106, -201, -202, -301, -311, and -315 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Two cases of undamped main landing gear (MLG) extension were reported in-service. Investigation determined that the MLG retraction actuator rod-ends failed as a result of non-conforming threads. This condition, if not corrected, could lead to additional MLG undamped extensions, which may result in MLG structural failure, resulting in an unsafe asymmetric landing gear configuration.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the replacement of the MLG retraction actuator rod-end subassemblies manufactured with non-conforming threads with units that fully conform to the design requirements.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0331.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comment received. Air Line Pilots Association, International supported the NPRM.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier, Inc., issued Service Bulletin 8-32-179, Revision A, dated March 9, 2017. This service information describes procedures for replacing the MLG retraction actuator rod-ends on both MLG assemblies with units that fully conform to the design requirements. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 91 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Replacement 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 $2,078 $2,333 $212,303
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-15-11 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18971; Docket No. FAA-2017-0331; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-213-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc., Model DHC-8-102, -103, -106, -201, -202, -301, -311, and -315 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 003 through 672 inclusive, equipped with main landing gear (MLG) retraction actuator assembly part number 10500-101, -103, -501, -551, or -553.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of undamped MLG extension in-service. We are issuing this AD to prevent MLG undamped extensions, which could result in MLG structural failure, resulting in an unsafe asymmetric landing gear configuration.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Replacement of MLG Retraction Actuator Rod-Ends

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD: Replace the MLG retraction actuator rod-ends on both MLG assemblies, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 8-32-179, Revision A, dated March 9, 2017.

    (1) For MLG retraction actuator assemblies with 37,000 total flight cycles or more as of the effective date of this AD: Within 18 months or 2,700 flight cycles, whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For MLG retraction actuator assemblies with fewer than 37,000 total flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD: Within 24 months or 3,600 flight cycles, whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD.

    (h) Alternative Installation of Part Number (P/N) 10500-105, -503, or -555

    Installation of MLG retraction actuator assembly P/N 10500-105, -503, or -555 on both MLGs is acceptable for compliance with the replacement required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Service Bulletin 8-32-179, dated July 10, 2015.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2016-36, dated November 22, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0331.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Fabio Buttitta, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7303; fax 516-794-5531.

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

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 8-32-179, Revision A, dated March 9, 2017.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 14, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15476 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0333; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-005-AD; Amendment 39-18974; AD 2017-15-14] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. (Type Certificate Previously Held by Canadair Limited) Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-215-6B11 (CL-415 Variant) airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that an oxygen bottle was found loose while the clamp strap was in the locked position. This AD requires modification of the clamp strap and installation of additional shims, as applicable, to the flight crew's oxygen bottles' retaining structures. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0333.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0333; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cesar Gomez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7318; fax 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-215-6B11 (CL-415 Variant) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 9, 2017 (82 FR 21482).

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian AD CF-2016-33, dated October 12, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model CL-215-6B11 (CL-415 Variant) airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During the implementation of Service Bulletin (SB) 215-4051, the oxygen bottle was found loose while the clamp strap was in the locked position. This was determined to be caused by the quick release latch assembly not achieving the proper clamping pressure.

    The release of the oxygen bottle due to improper clamping pressure may result in a loose mass cockpit hazard or an oxygen rich environment leading to a possible fire hazard.

    In order to mitigate the unsafe condition, SB 215-4457 was issued to modify the clamp strap and install additional shims to add strength to the attaching structure for all affected aeroplanes.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0333.

    Comments

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

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier, Inc., has issued Service Bulletin 215-4457, Revision 3, dated May 8, 2013. The service information describes procedures for installing shims, and, for certain airplanes, modifying the straps of the latch assembly, on the flight crew's oxygen bottles' retaining structure. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 24 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Modification and installation 16 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,360 $2,250 $3,610 $86,640
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-15-14 Bombardier, Inc. (Type Certificate Previously Held by Canadair Limited): Amendment 39-18974; Docket No. FAA-2017-0333; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-005-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. (Type Certificate previously held by Canadair Limited) Model CL-215-6B11 (CL-415 Variant) airplanes, certificated in any category, having serial numbers 2001, 2002, 2005 through 2007 inclusive, 2010, 2012 through 2017 inclusive, 2019, 2022 through 2024 inclusive, 2026, 2057, 2063, 2065, 2076, 2077, and 2081.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report indicating that an oxygen bottle was found loose while the clamp strap was in the locked position. We are issuing this AD to prevent an oxygen bottle from being released, which would result in a loose mass object in the cockpit and could also result in an oxygen-rich environment that could lead to a possible fire hazard.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Installation and Modification

    Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, install additional shims and modify the clamp strap, as applicable, to the flight crew's oxygen bottles' retaining structures, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 215-4457, Revision 3, dated May 8, 2013.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using any of the service information identified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), or (h)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Bombardier Service Bulletin 215-4457, Revision 2, dated October 24, 2012.

    (2) Bombardier Service Bulletin 215-4457, Revision 1, dated June 12, 2012.

    (3) Bombardier Service Bulletin 215-4457, dated April 4, 2012.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Viking Air Limited's TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian AD CF-2016-33, dated October 12, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0333.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Cesar Gomez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7318; fax 516-794-5531.

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

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 215-4457, Revision 3, dated May 8, 2013.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 19, 2017. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15555 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0250; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-158-AD; Amendment 39-18976; AD 2017-15-16] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135ER, -135KE, -135KL, -135LR, -145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145XR, -145MP, and -145EP airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of airplanes with modified gust lock levers that prevented the thrust lever's full excursion, thus limiting the engine power. This AD requires replacing a certain gust lock lever. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer), Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—Brasil; telephone +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax +55 12 3927-7546; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.flyembraer.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0250.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0250; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1175; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135ER, -135KE, -135KL, -135LR, -145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145XR, -145MP, and -145EP airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2017 (82 FR 18590) (“the NPRM”).

    The Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), which is the aviation authority for Brazil, has issued Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2016-07-01, dated July 18, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135ER, -135KE, -135KL, -135LR, -145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145XR, -145MP, and -145EP airplanes. The MCAI states:

    ANAC was informed about occurrences in which airplanes that incorporated SB 145-27-0115, which changes the Gust Lock lever format, managed to takeoff, or performed [rejected take-offs] RTOs, in such a configuration that the Gust Lock lever prevented the thrust levers full excursion, thus limiting the engine power to about 70% of the nominal takeoff power. Analyses and simulations conducted by the manufacturer confirmed this as a possible scenario in case some verification procedures prior to and during takeoff, for whatever reason, are not properly performed. After evaluation, the conclusion was that the incorporation of SB 145-27-0115 would take away an important tactile cue regarding the thrust levers position, which, in a timely manner, would alert the crew of an improper takeoff configuration. During takeoffs, or attempts thereof, in such condition, the airplane would have a reduced performance, which would increase the required takeoff distance or the RTO distance, and reduce the airplane capacity to clear obstacles.

    Since this condition may occur in other airplanes of the same type and affects flight safety, a corrective action is required. Thus, sufficient reason exists to request compliance with this [Brazilian] AD in the indicated time limit.

    Required actions include replacing a certain gust lock lever. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0250. Comments

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

    Request To Revise the Compliance Time

    Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) requested that the compliance time in the NPRM be revised. ALPA stated that since the Embraer service information was published 19 months prior, operators have been provided ample time to perform inspections to determine whether a corrective action is required. ALPA commented that, therefore, it is in partial support of the NPRM and suggested an inspection compliance time of 12 months or 2,500 flight hours after the effective date of the AD, and a repair compliance time of 24 months or 5,000 hours after the effective date of the AD.

    We disagree with the commenter's request. In developing an appropriate compliance time, we considered the safety implications, parts availability, and normal maintenance schedules for timely accomplishment of inspecting and replacing the gust lock lever. Further, we arrived at the proposed compliance time with operator and manufacturer concurrence. Since the actions specified in the Brazilian AD and service information are not mandatory in the U.S., the FAA must issue a final rule to mandate those actions in order to address the identified unsafe condition. In consideration of all of these factors, we determined that the compliance time, as proposed, represents an appropriate time in which the gust lock lever can be inspected and replaced in a timely manner within the fleet, while still maintaining an adequate level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We have reviewed Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0126, dated October 6, 2015. This service information describes procedures for replacement of a certain gust lock lever for one with an alternative format.

    We have also reviewed Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0115, Revision 03, dated October 5, 2015. This service information describes modification procedures involving replacement of the gust lock lever with a new gust lock lever enabling both engine thrust levers to be advanced at the same angle as that of the electromechanical gust lock lever.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 668 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $56,780

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this replacement:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $6,315 $6,400
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-15-16 Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer): Amendment 39-18976; FAA-2017-0250; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-158-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135ER, -135KE, -135KL, -135LR, -145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145XR, -145MP, and -145EP airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of airplanes with modified gust lock levers that performed take-offs or rejected take-offs (RTOs), in such a configuration that the gust lock lever prevented the thrust lever's full excursion, thus limiting the engine power to about 70% of the nominal take-off power. We are issuing this AD to prevent incorrect configuration of the gust lock lever, which could reduce the airplane's performance during take-offs or attempted take-offs, increase the required take-off distance or the RTO distance, and reduce the airplane's capacity to clear obstacles.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection

    Within 5,000 flight hours or 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Check the airplane maintenance records to determine whether the actions specified in Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0115 have been done. If the records review is inconclusive, inspect the engine control box assembly against the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0115, Revision 03, dated October 5, 2015, to determine whether the actions specified in Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0115 have been done.

    (h) Corrective Action

    If the check or inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD indicates that the actions in Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0115 have been done: Within 5,000 flight hours or 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace the gust lock lever, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0126, dated October 6, 2015.

    (i) Acceptable Alternative

    Modification of the airplane to a pre-modification condition (configuration before incorporating Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0115), within the compliance times specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC); or ANAC's authorized Designee, is acceptable for compliance with paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (j) Prohibited Modification

    As of the effective date of this AD, do not accomplish the actions specified in Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0115 on any airplane.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2016-07-01, dated July 18, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0250.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1175; fax 425-227-1149.

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0115, Revision 03, dated October 5, 2015.

    (ii) Embraer Service Bulletin 145-27-0126, dated October 6, 2015.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer), Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227—901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—Brasil; telephone +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax +55 12 3927-7546; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.flyembraer.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 19, 2017. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15807 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9307; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-076-AD; Amendment 39-18970; AD 2017-15-10] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 787-9 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a determination that the shoulder bolt used on the outboard clevis of the forward support fitting of the ram air turbine (RAT) might not be long enough to allow for proper installation of the RAT; therefore, the clevis of the joint could be clamped together, resulting in reduced fatigue life and possible fracture of the clevis. This AD requires inspecting for cracking of the clevis of the forward support fitting of the RAT, installing a longer shoulder bolt, and replacing the forward support fitting if any cracking is found. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9307.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9307; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 787-9 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2016 (81 FR 85448) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that the shoulder bolt used on the outboard clevis of the forward support fitting of the RAT might not be long enough to allow for proper installation of the RAT; therefore, the clevis of the joint could be clamped together, resulting in reduced fatigue life and possible fracture of the clevis. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting for cracking of the clevis of the forward support fitting of the RAT, installing a longer shoulder bolt, and replacing the forward support fitting with a new fitting if any cracking is found. We are issuing this AD to prevent fracture of the clevis of the forward support fitting of the RAT, which could result in the RAT departing the airplane during a dual non-restartable engine loss, and consequent loss of control of the airplane, or injury to maintenance crews during periodic RAT ground tests.

    Comments

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

    Support for the NPRM

    Boeing and Ahmed Ahmed Hamdy concur with the content of the NPRM.

    Request To Clarify Certain Requirements

    United Airlines (UAL) asked that we clarify the credit language used in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD. UAL stated that, as written, paragraph (h) of the proposed AD specifies that previous accomplishment of Boeing Message TBC-CAL-15-0089-01B, dated September 22, 2015 (identified in paragraph (h)(3) of the proposed AD), provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (g) of the proposed AD. UAL noted that if the intent is to give credit for all the actions specified in paragraph (g) of the proposed AD, it's incorrect because that Boeing message only provides procedures to replace the subject bolt; the high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection and fitting replacement are not included in those procedures.

    We agree that clarification of paragraph (h) of this AD is necessary. We have revised paragraph (h) of this AD to provide credit for the shoulder bolt replacement specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, if it was performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information specified in paragraph (h) of this AD.

    Request To Replace the Bolt Before Accomplishing the Inspection

    UAL asked that we allow replacement of the shoulder bolt before accomplishing the HFEC inspection, which will shorten the time for the replacement. UAL stated that the 12,000-flight-hour or 24-month time limit to accomplish all actions in paragraph (g) of the proposed AD is understandable; however, due to the possibility of extended downtime if the fitting replacement is required, the HFEC inspection must be done during a heavy maintenance check, which could be a considerable amount of time after the effective date of the AD. UAL added that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB290031-00, Issue 001, dated March 25, 2016, does not separate the bolt replacement from the inspection, but the proposed AD should provide that option.

    We do not agree with the commenter's request. A fracture of the clevis of the forward support fitting of the RAT will not be addressed by replacing the subject bolt without an HFEC inspection of the fitting. When operators replace the bolt, they must also inspect the fitting. Replacing the bolt without inspecting this fitting could result in undetected cracking in the fitting, which is the cause of the unsafe condition in this AD. Repetitive removal and replacement of the bolt may also cause further stress on the forward support fitting, which could contribute to additional cracking of the fitting, especially if the fitting is already cracked. Paragraph (h) of this AD provides credit to operators that have replaced the subject bolt prior to the effective date of this AD. However, as of the effective date of this AD, when complying with paragraph (g) of this AD, all corrective actions must be done before further flight. We acknowledge that replacing the fitting due to potential inspection findings will require significant effort and downtime; however, only two airplanes of U.S. Registry are affected by the requirements of this AD. With a limited number of airplanes affected and a relatively long compliance time provided, operators should have adequate time to schedule the maintenance for accomplishing the actions required by this AD. Therefore, we have made no changes to this AD in this regard.

    Request To Change Unsafe Condition

    One commenter, Julia Stotts, asked that we change the unsafe condition identified in the NPRM from “. . . to prevent fracture of the clevis of the forward support fitting of the RAT, which could result in the RAT departing the airplane during a dual non-restartable engine loss, and consequent loss of control of the airplane, or injury to maintenance crews during periodic RAT ground tests” to “. . . detect and correct fatigue cracking in the forward engine mounts, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane and could lead to in-flight loss of an engine, possibly resulting in reduced controllability of the airplane.” The commenter suggested the change to encompass both fracture of the clevis and the possibility of the RAT departing from the airplane, which could lead to loss of an engine.

    We do not agree with the commenter's request. The commenter provided no justification for revising the unsafe condition to include fatigue cracking in the forward engine mounts and possible loss of an engine. The unsafe condition in this AD stems from a determination that the shoulder bolt used on the outboard clevis of the forward support fitting of the RAT might not be long enough to allow for proper installation of the RAT; therefore, the clevis of the joint could be clamped together, resulting in reduced fatigue life and possible fracture of the clevis causing possible departure of the RAT from the airplane. The suggested change is not related to the identified unsafe condition or the potential end level effect resulting from that unsafe condition. We have made no changes to this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB290031-00, Issue 001, dated March 25, 2016. The service information describes procedures for inspecting for cracking of the clevis of the forward support fitting of the RAT, installing a longer shoulder bolt, and replacing the forward support fitting with a new fitting if any cracking is found. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 2 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection/shoulder bolt replacement 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 $152 $407 $814

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements of the forward support fitting that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these replacements:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Forward support fitting replacement 15 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,275 $28,309 $29,584

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-15-10 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18970; Docket No. FAA-2016-9307; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-076-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-9 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB290031-00, Issue 001, dated March 25, 2016.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 29; Hydraulic power.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a determination that the shoulder bolt used on the outboard clevis of the forward support fitting of the ram air turbine (RAT) might not be long enough to allow for proper installation of the RAT; therefore, the clevis of the joint could be clamped together, resulting in reduced fatigue life and possible fracture of the clevis. We are issuing this AD to prevent fracture of the clevis of the forward support fitting of the RAT, which could result in the RAT departing the airplane during a dual non-restartable engine loss, and consequent loss of control of the airplane, or injury to maintenance crews during periodic RAT ground tests.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection, Replacement of Shoulder Bolt, and Replacement of RAT Forward Support Fitting if Necessary

    Within 12,000 flight hours or 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Do a high frequency eddy current inspection for cracking of the clevis of the forward support fitting of the RAT, and install a longer shoulder bolt, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB290031-00, Issue 001, dated March 25, 2016. If any cracking is found, before further flight, replace the RAT forward support fitting with a new fitting, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB290031-00, Issue 001, dated March 25, 2016.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the shoulder bolt replacement specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, if that action was performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information specified in paragraph (h)(1), (h)(2), (h)(3), or (h)(4) of this AD.

    (1) Boeing Message TBC-ANA-15-0272-01B, dated September 22, 2015.

    (2) Boeing Message TBC-ANZ-15-0016-06B, dated October 14, 2015.

    (3) Boeing Message TBC-CAL-15-0089-01B, dated September 22, 2015.

    (4) Boeing Message TBC-VAA-15-0089-01B dated September 22, 2015.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

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

    (j) Related Information

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

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

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB290031-00, Issue 001, dated March 25, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562-797-1717; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 14, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15486 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9055; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-071-AD; Amendment 39-18977; AD 2017-15-17] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600R series airplanes, Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes, and Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. This AD was prompted by the results of a full stress analysis of the lower area of a certain frame that revealed that a crack could occur in this area after a certain number of flight cycles. This AD requires an inspection of the lower area of a certain frame radius for cracking, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9055.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9055; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600R series airplanes, Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes, and Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2017 (82 FR 12314) (“the SNPRM”). We preceded the SNPRM with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2016 (81 FR 62026) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM proposed to require an inspection of the lower area of a certain frame radius for cracking, and corrective action if necessary. The NPRM was prompted by the results of a full stress analysis of the lower area of a certain frame that revealed a crack could occur in the forward fitting lower radius of a certain frame after a certain number of flight cycles. The SNPRM proposed to require extending the area to be inspected for cracking and adding an inspection for previously inspected airplanes. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the forward fitting lower radius of a certain frame. Such cracking could reduce the structural integrity of the fuselage.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2016-0179, dated September 12, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), which superseded EASA AD 2016-0085, dated April 28, 2016. EASA AD 2016-0085 was the MCAI referred to in the NPRM.

    The MCAI was issued to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600R series airplanes, Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes, and Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Following a full stress analysis of the Frame (FR) 40 lower area, supported by a Finite Element Model (FEM), of the post-mod 10221 configuration, it was demonstrated that, for the FR40 forward fitting lower radius, a crack could occur after a certain amount of flight cycles (FC).

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

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus established that crack detection could be achieved through a special detailed inspection (SDI) using a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) method, and issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A57W009-16 to provide those inspection instructions.

    Consequently, EASA issued AD 2016-0085 to require a one-time SDI of the FR40 lower area and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, further cracks were detected, originating from the fastener hole, and, based on these findings, it was determined that inspection area must be enlarged, and Airbus AOT A57W009-16 Revision (Rev.) 01 was issued accordingly.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2016-0085, which is superseded, extends the area of inspection, and requires an additional inspection for aeroplanes previously inspected.

    The one-time SDI for high cycle aeroplanes is intended to mitigate the highest risks within the fleet. Airbus is currently developing instructions for repetitive inspections that are likely to be the subject of further [EASA] AD action.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9055.

    Comments

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

    Requests To Refer to New Service Information

    FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) requested that the SNPRM be revised to refer to a service bulletin that Airbus plans to release to replace Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A57W009-16, Rev 01, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated July 13, 2016 (“AOT A57W009-16, Rev 01”). AOT A57W009-16, Rev 01, was identified as the service information to be used to accomplish the actions specified in the SNPRM. UPS noted that the service bulletin would include information based on in-service reports from operators who had accomplished the inspection identified in AOT A57W009-16, Rev 01, and based on the results of a full stress analysis of the frame (FR) 40 lower area. Based on this information Airbus changed the initial inspection compliance time from what was specified in AOT A57W009-16, Rev 01, and established repetitive inspection intervals. FedEx and UPS both mentioned that to reduce the number of alternative method of compliance (AMOC) requests, the SNPRM should be revised to include the service bulletin. UPS also noted that including the service information would benefit the FAA because the FAA could avoid future rulemaking regarding this issue.

    We partially agree with the commenters' requests. After the SNPRM was published, Airbus issued Service Bulletin A300-57-6120, dated April 28, 2017. However, instead of removing the reference to AOT A57W009-16, Rev 01, in this AD, we have added paragraph (j) to this AD to allow operators to do the required actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Service Bulletin A300-57-6120, dated April 28, 2017. We have redesignated the subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

    Request To Revise Reporting Method

    FedEx requested that paragraph (j) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM) be revised to provide flexibility regarding the method of reporting inspection results to Airbus. FedEx stated that to utilize the Airbus online reporting system would require substantial updates to its information technology systems and personnel training; therefore, it is not prepared to utilize the online reporting system at this time. FedEx suggested that the older method of reporting be allowed until it has the computer and personnel resources in place to utilize online reporting.

    We agree with the commenter's request. We have determined that operators may use either the online or older reporting method. We have revised paragraph (k) of this AD (paragraph (j) of the proposed AD (in the SNPRM)) to allow operators to report inspection findings using the online reporting system or submit the results to Airbus in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6120, dated April 28, 2017.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Airbus AOT A57W009-16, Rev 01, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated July 13, 2016. This service information describes procedures for a one-time inspection of the forward fitting lower radius of FR 40 for cracking, and corrective action.

    We have also reviewed Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6120, dated April 28, 2017. This service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections of the forward fitting lower radius of FR 40 for cracking, and corrective action.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 94 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 $0 $255 $23,970 Report 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 85 7,990

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

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-15-17 Airbus: Amendment 39-18977; Docket No. FAA-2016-9055; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-071-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, on which Airbus Modification 10221 was embodied in production.

    (1) Airbus Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

    (3) Airbus Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the detection of cracking that originated from the fastener holes in the forward fitting lower radius of frame (FR) 40. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the forward fitting lower radius of FR 40. Such cracking could reduce the structural integrity of the fuselage.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection

    At the later of the compliance times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection of the lower area of the FR 40 radius for cracking, in accordance with paragraph 4.2.2 in Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A57W009-16, Rev 01, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated July 13, 2016.

    (1) Prior to exceeding 19,000 total flight cycles or 41,000 total flight hours since the airplane's first flight, whichever occurs first.

    (2) Within 300 flight cycles or 630 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (h) Additional Inspection for Previously Inspected Airplanes

    For airplanes on which the HFEC inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD was accomplished before the effective date of this AD using the procedures in Airbus AOT A57W009-16, Rev 00, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated February 25, 2016: Within 300 flight cycles or 630 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, do a one-time additional HFEC inspection of the lower area of the FR 40 radius for cracking, in accordance with paragraph 4.2.2 in Airbus AOT A57W009-16, Rev 01, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated July 13, 2016.

    (i) Corrective Action

    If any crack is found during the inspection required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD: Before further flight, do the applicable corrective actions in accordance with the procedures in Airbus AOT A57W009-16, Rev 01, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated July 13, 2016. Where AOT A57W009-16, Rev 01, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated July 13, 2016, specifies to contact Airbus for appropriate action, accomplish the corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m)(2) of this AD.

    (j) Optional Service Information for Accomplishing Required Actions

    Accomplishment of the actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, in accordance with, and at the compliance times specified in, the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6120, dated April 28, 2017, is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of those paragraphs.

    (k) Reporting Requirement

    Submit a report of all findings (both positive and negative) from the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD to Airbus Customer Services through TechRequest on Airbus World (https://w3.airbus.com/) by selecting Engineering Domain and ATA 57-10; or submit the results to Airbus in accordance with the procedures in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6120, dated April 28, 2017.

    (1) For airplanes on which the inspection specified in paragraph (g) of this AD is accomplished on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after performing the inspection.

    (2) For airplanes on which the inspection specified in paragraph (g) of this AD is accomplished before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (l) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the action required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if that action was done before the effective date of this AD using Airbus AOT A57W009-16, Rev 00, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated February 25, 2016, provided the inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD is accomplished.

    (m) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (n)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

    (3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (n) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2016-0179, dated September 12, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9055.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149.

    (o) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A57W009-16, Rev 01, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated July 13, 2016.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6120, dated April 28, 2017.

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

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 19, 2017. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15808 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0142; Product Identifier 2016-SW-013-AD; Amendment 39-18979; AD 2017-16-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Agusta S.p.A. Model A109S helicopters. This AD requires adding limitations to the rotorcraft flight manual (RFM). This AD was prompted by a report of a cabin liner detaching from the helicopter and hitting the main rotor (M/R) blades during flight. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact AgustaWestland, Product Support Engineering, Via del Gregge, 100, 21015 Lonate Pozzolo (VA) Italy, ATTN: Maurizio D'Angelo; telephone 39-0331-664757; fax 39 0331-664680; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/technical-bulletins. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0142; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    On April 10, 2017, at 82 FR 17156, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Agusta S.p.A. Model A109S helicopters. The NPRM proposed to require, within 15 hours time-in-service, revising the Limitations section of the RFM by inserting a copy of this AD or by making pen-and-ink changes to add several limitations: Prohibiting flight with a passenger cabin sliding door opened or removed for helicopters with Internal Arrangement part number (P/N) 109-0814-21-101 installed; prohibiting flight with a passenger cabin sliding door open unless modification P/N 109-0814-35 is installed; prohibiting flight with a passenger cabin sliding door open unless the doors are locked; establishing a maximum VNE with a passenger cabin sliding door opened or removed; establishing a maximum airspeed for opening or closing a passenger cabin sliding door during flight; and prohibiting instrument flight rule operation with any door opened or removed.

    The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2015-0227, dated November 19, 2015, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for the AgustaWestland S.p.A. Model A109S helicopters. EASA advises of a report that the right-hand lower cabin liner of Internal Arrangement P/N 109-0814-21-101 detached and hit three M/R blades during a landing with the right-hand door removed. EASA states that this condition, if not corrected, could lead to further occurrences of in-flight lower cabin liner detachment, possibly resulting in damage to or loss of control of the helicopter. Therefore, the EASA AD requires revising the RFM to provide limitations on flights with a passenger cabin sliding door opened or removed. EASA considers its AD an interim action and states further AD action may follow.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

    This helicopter has been approved by the aviation authority of Italy and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Italy, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type design and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

    Interim Action

    We consider this AD to be an interim action. The design approval holder is currently developing a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed AgustaWestland A109S RFM, Document No. 109G0040A013, Issue 2, Revision 3, dated April 23, 2015, which adds several limitations regarding flight with a passenger cabin sliding door opened or removed.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 19 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. At an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, revising the RFM takes about 0.5 work-hour, for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter, or $817 for the U.S. fleet.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-16-02 Agusta S.p.A.: Amendment 39-18979; Docket No. FAA-2017-0142; Product Identifier 2016-SW-013-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model A109S helicopters, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as detachment of an internal arrangement lower cabin liner. This condition could result in damage to a main rotor blade and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective September 5, 2017.

    (d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (e) Required Actions

    Within 15 hours time-in-service, revise Section 1 Limitations of the AgustaWestland Model A109S Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) by inserting a copy of this AD into the RFM or by making pen-and-ink changes to add the information in Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD.

    Figure 1 to Paragraph (e) Flight with either one or both passenger cabin sliding doors opened or removed is prohibited if Internal Arrangement P/N 109-0814-21-101 is installed. Flight with either one or both passenger cabin sliding doors opened is prohibited if passenger door modification P/N 109-0814-35 is not installed. Flight with one or both passenger cabin sliding doors opened is allowed only with the doors locked. VNE with any passenger cabin sliding door opened or removed: 75 KIAS. Maximum airspeed for passenger cabin sliding doors opening or closing: 50 KIAS. IFR operation is prohibited with any door opened or removed. (f) Credit for Previous Actions

    Incorporating the changes contained in AgustaWestland A109S RFM, Document No. 109G0040A013, Issue 2, Revision 3, dated April 23, 2015, into Section 1 of the RFM before the effective date of this AD is considered acceptable for compliance with this AD.

    (g) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected].

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (i) Additional Information

    (1) AgustaWestland A109S RFM Document No. 109G0040A013, Issue 2, Revision 3, dated April 23, 2015, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact AgustaWestland, Product Support Engineering, Via del Gregge, 100, 21015 Lonate Pozzolo (VA) Italy, ATTN: Maurizio D'Angelo; telephone 39-0331-664757; fax 39 0331-664680; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/technical-bulletins. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2015-0227, dated November 19, 2015. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2017-0142.

    (j) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2500, Cabin Equipment/Furnishings.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 25, 2017. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16144 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0210; Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-10] Amendment of Class D and E Airspace; Kenosha, WI AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class D airspace, Class E airspace designated as a surface area, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and removes Class E airspace designated as an extension of Class D airspace at Kenosha Regional Airport, Kenosha, WI. This action is required due to the decommissioning of the Kenosha VHF omnidirectional range (VOR), which provided navigation guidance for portions of the affected routes. This action enhances the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport. Also, the airport name and geographic coordinates are adjusted in the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, October 12, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it modifies Class D airspace, Class E airspace designated as a surface area, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and removes Class E airspace designated as an extension of Class D airspace at Kenosha Regional Airport, Kenosha, WI.

    History

    On May 19, 2017, the FAA published in the Federal Register (82 FR 22922) Docket No. FAA-2017-0210, a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class D airspace, Class E airspace designated as a surface area, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, and remove Class E airspace designated as an extension of Class D airspace at Kenosha Regional Airport, Kenosha, WI. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    Subsequent to publication, the FAA determined that the exclusionary language contained in the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface airspace description is no longer required and has been removed in this action. Additionally, a typographical error was made in the geographic coordinates for the airport in the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface airspace description and has been corrected in this action.

    Except for the changes noted above, this final rule is the same as published in the NPRM.

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71:

    Modifies the Class D airspace to within a 4.2-mile radius (increased from a 4.1-mile radius) of Kenosha Regional Airport, Kenosha, WI;

    Modifies the Class E airspace designated as a surface area to within a 4.2-mile radius (increased from a 4.1-mile radius) of Kenosha Regional Airport, and removes the Kenosha VOR and the 7-mile extension northeast of the airport;

    Removes the Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class D airspace at Kenosha Regional Airport; and

    Modifies the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface to within a 6.7-mile radius (reduced from a 7-mile radius) of Kenosha Regional Airport (formerly Kenosha Municipal Airport), with an extension from the Kenosha Localizer to 10 miles west of the localizer, and updates the name and geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of the Kenosha VOR and to bring the airspace in compliance with FAA Order JO 7400.2L, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, at this airport. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport.

    Additionally, this action replaces the outdated term Airport/Facility Directory with the term Chart Supplement in the Class D and Class E surface area airspace legal descriptions.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. AGL WI D Kenosha, WI [Amended] Kenosha Regional Airport, WI (Lat. 42°35′45″ N., long. 87°55′40″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,200 feet within a 4.2-mile radius of Kenosha Regional Airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. AGL WI E2 Kenosha, WI [Amended] Kenosha Regional Airport, WI (Lat. 42°35′45″ N., long. 87°55′40″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,200 feet within a 4.2-mile radius of Kenosha Regional Airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

    Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Area Designated as an Extension of Class D Airspace. AGL WI E4 Kenosha, WI [Removed] Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AGL WI E5 Kenosha, WI [Amended] Kenosha Regional Airport, WI (Lat. 42°35′45″ N., long. 87°55′40″ W.) Kenosha Localizer (Lat. 42°36′04″ N., long. 87°55′11″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.7-mile radius of Kenosha Regional Airport, and within 9.9 miles north and 5.9 miles south of a 246° bearing from the Kenosha Localizer to 10 miles west of the Kenosha Localizer.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 24, 2017. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16098 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 28 CFR Part 16 [CPCLO Order No. 007-2017] Privacy Act of 1974; Implementation AGENCY:

    Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a component of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ or Department), is issuing a final rule to amend its Privacy Act exemption regulations for the system of records titled, “Next Generation Identification (NGI) System,” JUSTICE/FBI-009, last published in full on May 5, 2016. Specifically, the FBI exempts the records maintained in JUSTICE/FBI-009 from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act. The listed exemptions are necessary to avoid interference with the Department's law enforcement and national security functions and responsibilities of the FBI. This document addresses public comments on the proposed rule.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective August 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roxane M. Panarella, Assistant General Counsel, Privacy and Civil Liberties Unit, Office of the General Counsel, FBI, Washington DC, telephone 304-625-4000.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In 1990, the FBI published in the Federal Register a System of Records Notice (SORN) for the FBI system of records titled, “Identification Division Records System,” JUSTICE/FBI-009. JUSTICE/FBI-009 evolved into the “Fingerprint Identification Records System (FIRS),” also referred to as the “Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS),” published at 61 FR 6386 (February 20, 1996), which covered individuals arrested or incarcerated, individuals applying for Federal employment or military service, registered aliens or naturalized citizens, and individuals wishing to place their fingerprints on record for personal identification purposes. The FIRS SORN included the following records:

    A. Criminal fingerprint cards and/or related criminal justice information submitted by authorized agencies having criminal justice responsibilities;

    B. Civil fingerprint cards submitted by Federal agencies and civil fingerprint cards submitted by persons desiring to have their fingerprints placed on record for personal identification purposes;

    C. Identification records sometimes referred to as “rap sheets” which are compilations of criminal history information pertaining to individuals who have criminal fingerprint cards maintained in the system; and

    D. A name index pertaining to all individuals whose fingerprints are maintained in the system.

    As the system expanded, records continued to fall within the general categories of records specified in the SORN. As a policy matter, however, and in an effort to better detail the enhancements made to the system, the FBI and DOJ determined that JUSTICE/FBI-009 should be modified to more fully describe the features and capabilities of the system, which has since been renamed the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System. Important enhancements to the NGI System include the increased retention and searching of fingerprints obtained for the purposes of licensing, employment, obtaining government benefits, and biometric services such as improved latent fingerprint searching and face recognition technology. Leading up to the publication of the modified SORN and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the NGI System, the FBI conducted a series of Privacy Impact Assessments that detailed the steps taken by the FBI to fully assess the privacy impacts of new and modified NGI System components, addressing potential risks and mitigation techniques.

    On May 5, 2016, the FBI issued a Notice of a Modified System of Records for the NGI System in the Federal Register at 81 FR 27284 (May 5, 2016), and an NPRM at 81 FR 27288 (May 5, 2016). In determining whether to claim exemptions, the FBI did not simply rely on exemptions granted to the predecessor system of records, but thoroughly evaluated the NGI System and its various components to determine whether exemptions were necessary. The necessary exemptions were proposed in the NPRM along with supporting rationales, and are to be codified in accordance with the issuance of this final rule.

    Response to Public Comments

    In its NGI System NPRM and Notice of a Modified System of Records, published on May 5, 2016, the Department invited public comment. The comment periods for both documents were originally set to close on June 6, 2016, but were extended 30 days to allow interested individuals additional time to analyze the proposal and prepare their comments. The FBI received over 100 comments and letters from individuals, and from non-government, public interest, civil liberties, non-profit, and academic organizations. The FBI has closely reviewed and considered these comments. The following discussion is provided to respond to the NPRM comments and provide greater insight into the FBI's assessment of the need to claim exemptions from certain provisions of the Privacy Act for the NGI System.

    Many questions and comments were received concerning the breadth and scope of the exemptions claimed. As noted in the NPRM and reiterated here, the following exemptions apply only to the extent information in this system is subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) or (k). Where compliance with an exempted section of the Privacy Act would not appear to interfere with or adversely affect the purposes of the NGI System to support law enforcement and to protect national security, the applicable exemption may be waived by the FBI in its sole discretion.

    These exemptions are claimed with respect to the NGI System's records, which are compiled for the purposes of identifying criminal offenders or alleged criminal offenders, criminal investigations, and reports identifiable to an individual compiled throughout the criminal law enforcement process, including fingerprints, as well as associated biographic data, the nature and disposition of any criminal charges, and additional biometrics such as mugshots and palm prints, if available and if provided by the submitting agency. The NGI System records qualify for exemption from sections of the Privacy Act under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) because the FBI's principal function is the enforcement of criminal laws and the records maintained in the NGI System fall into one or more of the categories listed in (j)(2). Due to the evolving nature of identity records and investigations and the scope of the NGI System, certain NGI System records may fall outside the scope of (j)(2) and would qualify for the specific exemptions under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) and (5). The exercise of all exemptions is discretionary and the FBI will not exercise an exemption of any section of the Privacy Act that is not appropriate and necessary.

    5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), Accounting of Disclosures Upon Request of the Named Subject

    Some of the comments communicated concerns about claiming exemptions from accounting and audit disclosure requirements. As with exemptions claimed under subsections (c)(4) and (d), exemption from (c)(3) disclosure requirements is necessary to preserve the integrity of ongoing investigations. Revealing this information could compromise ongoing, authorized law enforcement and national security efforts by alerting an individual to collaborative law enforcement and national security investigations as well as the relative interests of the FBI and/or other investigatory agencies. Although the vast majority of NGI System disclosures need not be provided in an accounting request, the FBI must claim this additional exemption to ensure its ability to protect the integrity of ongoing investigations.

    It is important to note that, despite claiming this exemption, the Privacy Act does not permit the FBI to exempt this system of records from the requirements codified under subsections 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(1) and (c)(2). As a result, except under limited circumstances as outlined in the Privacy Act, the FBI is obligated to keep an accurate accounting of the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure of a record maintained within this system of records, and retain the accounting for at least five years or the life of the record, whichever is longer, after the disclosure for which the accounting is made.

    5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(1), (2), (3) and (4), (e)(4)(G) and (H), (e)(8), (f), Access to and Amendment of Records

    Many of the comments received concerned exemptions regarding the access to and amendment of records pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(1), (2), (3) and (4), (e)(4)(G) and (H), (e)(8), and (f). As with exemptions claimed to (c)(3) and (c)(4), providing access to these records could compromise ongoing investigations. It is necessary for the FBI to claim these exemptions because the NGI System also contains latent fingerprints, as well as other biometrics, and associated personal information that may be law enforcement or national security sensitive. Compliance with these provisions could alert the subject of an authorized law enforcement activity about that particular activity and the interest of the FBI and/or other law enforcement agencies. With that said, as cited in both the SORN and the NPRM, separate federal regulations (see 28 CFR 16.30-16.34 and 28 CFR 20.34) inform individuals of the process to access and amend their criminal history records in the NGI System. These regulations permit any person to receive his or her criminal history record for review and correction. If the individual has no criminal history record in the NGI System, he or she receives a letter confirming the absence of such record. Pursuant to the regulations, after an individual receives his or her criminal history record, he or she may consult both the FBI and the relevant criminal justice agency to correct or update the record. The vast majority of records in the NGI System have been entered by state and local law enforcement and require coordination with those agencies.

    In addition, pursuant to 28 CFR 50.12, agencies submitting fingerprints to the FBI for individuals seeking employment, licensing, or similar benefits are required to inform the applicants that their fingerprints will be searched in the NGI System and of the process for access and amendment under 28 CFR 16.30-16.34. The regulation also advises that agencies should afford the applicants the opportunity to correct or complete their records before making licensing or employment decisions. Additionally, for records claiming specific exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k), if an individual is denied any right, privilege, or benefit that he would otherwise be entitled by Federal law, or for which he would otherwise be eligible, further access may be available.

    Consequently, although the FBI has claimed exemptions to the notification, access, and amendment provisions of the Privacy Act for the NGI System, the FBI generally does not exercise these exemptions when doing so would not interfere with its law enforcement functions and responsibilities.

    5 U.S.C. 552a(g), Rights of Judicial Redress

    The comments received also expressed concerns about the FBI's exemption from 5 U.S.C. 552a(g), which grants individuals the right to certain civil remedies under the Privacy Act. As a matter of clarification, the Privacy Act only permits an agency to exempt 5 U.S.C. 552a(g) if the records in the system of records qualify for the general exemption provisions under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j). This exemption cannot be, and has not been, claimed for the records within the NGI System that qualify for only the specific exemptions under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k).

    Additionally, many comments expressed concern that by claiming an exemption from 5 U.S.C. 552a(g), the FBI would somehow absolve itself of meeting even those provisions of the Privacy Act that are not subject to exemption because an individual's right to seek a cause of action for any provisions of the Privacy Act would be exempted. First, the FBI takes all of its constitutional and statutory requirements seriously, and does not limit its compliance to only those provisions of the Privacy Act subject to judicial redress. As addressed throughout this SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, even when an exemption is claimed, the FBI takes all reasonable and appropriate steps necessary to meet the requirements of the Privacy Act that would not interfere with its law enforcement functions and responsibilities. The FBI is subject to a number of oversight mechanisms to ensure compliance with its requirements under the Privacy Act, including internal and external audits and inspections.

    Second, while the FBI has proposed an exemption from this provision for the NGI System, the exemption regulation is clear that the FBI will only claim exemptions to the extent that information in this system of records is subject to an exemption pursuant to the Privacy Act. Many courts have interpreted an agency's decision to exempt the Privacy Act's civil remedies provisions as only an exemption from a cause of action based on an exempted provision. In those jurisdictions, individuals are still permitted to exercise their right of judicial redress, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(g), for those provisions of the Privacy Act that are not subject to exemption.

    5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(2), and (3), Collection Directly From the Individual

    Commenters also expressed concerns regarding the exemption from (e)(2) and (3) of the requirement to collect information directly from the individual.

    The vast majority of the records in the NGI System are contributed by state and local law enforcement agencies. Because the FBI is neither the arresting official, nor the agency issuing the license, evaluating the individual for employment, or offering the benefit, it is impossible for the FBI to collect information directly from the subject. However, in most circumstances these other agencies create the records using information obtained directly from the subject with his or her knowledge.

    Fingerprints and other biometrics and information are collected by other government agencies based on their legal authorities to collect such information and submit it to the FBI. For records created for the purpose of licensing, employment, or to obtain a government benefit, the FBI requires that specific notice be provided to the applicant. This notice, in the form of a Privacy Act statement, discloses the authority which authorizes the solicitation of the information, whether disclosure of such information is mandatory or voluntary, the principal purpose for which the information is intended to be used, the routine uses which may be made of the information, and the effects on the individual, if any, of not providing all or any part of the requested information.

    5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(I), Categories of Sources of Records

    The FBI also received a comment concerning exemption of the requirement to disclose sources of records contained in the NGI System. Despite claiming this exemption, the FBI has published in the NGI SORN the categories of sources of records to the extent that such disclosure would not compromise confidential sources or the safety of witnesses. However, to the extent such additional details would be required, it is believed that such detail may interfere with the Department's law enforcement functions and the responsibilities of the FBI. The FBI claims the exemption to (e)(4)(I) because greater specificity than was provided in the NGI SORN cannot be disclosed without compromising confidential sources or the safety of witnesses.

    5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(5), Accurate, Relevant, Timely, and Complete

    The comments also expressed concerns regarding the NGI System's exemption from the (e)(5) requirements to maintain accurate, relevant, timely, and complete records. When collecting information for authorized law enforcement purposes, it is not always possible to determine in advance what information is accurate, relevant, timely, or complete. With time, additional facts, and analysis, information may acquire new significance. Although the FBI has claimed this exemption, it continuously works with its federal, state, local, tribal, and international law enforcement partners to maintain the accuracy of records to the greatest extent possible. The FBI does so with established policies and practices that include the review, audit, and validation of records, and formal agreements with partner agencies that require regular records updates. The law enforcement and national security communities have a strong operational interest in using up-to-date and accurate records and will foster relationships with partners to further this interest. If alterations are made to criminal record sources outside the FBI, we encourage subject individuals to bring said documentation to the FBI's attention to ensure timely modification of an NGI System record.

    General Comments on the NGI System

    A few commenters expressed concerns about the safety and security of the system. It should be noted that the FBI is not and cannot claim exemption from 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(10), which requires agencies to establish appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to ensure the security and confidentiality of records and to protect against any anticipated threats or hazards to their security or integrity. In compliance with this provision of the Privacy Act and other security mandates, the NGI System has been developed and implemented in compliance with all federal information technology standards designed to safeguard personal information from loss, destruction, or unauthorized access.

    Many commenters communicated concerns about the NGI System being used to track the expression of First Amendment rights. The NGI System is a biometric database. It is not utilized to conduct surveillance or track the expression of a citizen's First Amendment rights. It should be noted that the FBI is not and cannot claim exemption from 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(7), which, absent specific authorization or consent, prohibits the maintenance of records describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    The FBI is not exempting the NGI System from all provisions of the Privacy Act. The protections of many of the provisions of the Privacy Act and the E-Government Act of 2002 are still in place; only the named Privacy Act exemptions have been claimed, if needed, to protect sensitive law enforcement and national security operations.

    Overall, the FBI has made only minor, administrative edits to the rule as originally proposed to ensure accuracy and consistency with the listed authorities and other subsections of 28 CFR part 16. The FBI has made no substantive changes to the rule as it was originally proposed. For the reasons identified in this publication, the Department and the FBI are issuing this final rule.

    List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 16

    Administrative practices and procedures, Courts, Freedom of information, Privacy Act.

    Pursuant to the authority vested in the Attorney General by 5 U.S.C. 552a and delegated to me by Attorney General Order 2940-2008, 28 CFR part 16 is amended as follows:

    PART 16—PRODUCTION OR DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL OR INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for part 16 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, 553; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 534; 31 U.S.C. 3717.

    Subpart E—Exemption of Records Systems Under the Privacy Act 2. Amend § 16.96 by revising paragraphs (e) and (f) to read as follows:
    § 16.96 Exemption of Federal Bureau of Investigation Systems—limited access.

    (e) The following system of records is exempt from 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4); (d)(1), (2), (3) and (4); (e)(1), (2) and (3); (e)(4)(G), (H) and (I); (e)(5) and (8); (f) and (g):

    (1) The Next Generation Identification (NGI) System (JUSTICE/FBI-009).

    (2) These exemptions apply only to the extent that information in this system is subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) or (k). Where compliance would not appear to interfere with or adversely affect the purpose of this system to detect, deter, and prosecute crimes and to protect the national security, the applicable exemption may be waived by the FBI in its sole discretion.

    (f) Exemptions from the particular subsections are justified for the following reasons:

    (1) From subsection (c)(3), the requirement that an accounting be made available to the named subject of a record, because this system is exempt from the access provisions of subsection (d). Also, because making available to a record subject the accounting of disclosures from records concerning the subject would specifically reveal investigative interest by the FBI or agencies that are recipients of the disclosures. Revealing this information could compromise ongoing, authorized law enforcement and national security efforts and may provide the record subject with the opportunity to evade or impede the investigation.

    (2) From subsection (c)(4) notification requirements because this system is exempt from the access and amendment provisions of subsection (d) as well as the accounting of disclosures provision of subsection (c)(3). The FBI takes seriously its obligation to maintain accurate records despite its assertion of this exemption, and to the extent it, in its sole discretion, agrees to permit amendment or correction of FBI records, it will share that information in appropriate cases.

    (3) From subsection (d) (1), (2), (3) and (4), (e)(4)(G) and (H), (e)(8), (f) and (g) because these provisions concern individual access to and amendment of law enforcement records and compliance and could alert the subject of an authorized law enforcement activity about that particular activity and the interest of the FBI and/or other law enforcement agencies. Providing access could compromise sensitive law enforcement information, disclose information that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of another's personal privacy, reveal a sensitive investigative technique, provide information that would allow a subject to avoid detection or apprehension, or constitute a potential danger to the health or safety of law enforcement personnel, confidential sources, or witnesses. Also, an alternate system of access has been provided in 28 CFR 16.30 through 16.34, and 28 CFR 20.34, for record subjects to obtain a copy of their criminal history records. However, the vast majority of criminal history records concern local arrests for which it would be inappropriate for the FBI to undertake correction or amendment.

    (4) From subsection (e)(1) because it is not always possible to know in advance what information is relevant and necessary for law enforcement purposes. The relevance and utility of certain information may not always be evident until and unless it is vetted and matched with other sources of information that are necessarily and lawfully maintained by the FBI. Most records in this system are acquired from state and local law enforcement agencies and it is not possible for the FBI to review that information as relevant and necessary.

    (5) From subsection (e)(2) and (3) because application of this provision could present a serious impediment to the FBI's responsibilities to detect, deter, and prosecute crimes and to protect the national security. Application of these provisions would put the subject of an investigation on notice of that fact and allow the subject an opportunity to engage in conduct intended to impede that activity or avoid apprehension. Also, the majority of criminal history records and associated biometrics in this system are collected by state and local agencies at the time of arrest; therefore it is not feasible for the FBI to collect directly from the individual or to provide notice. Those persons who voluntarily submit fingerprints into this system pursuant to state and federal statutes for licensing, employment, and similar civil purposes receive an (e)(3) notice.

    (6) From subsection (e)(4)(I), to the extent that this subsection is interpreted to require more detail regarding the record sources in this system than has been published in the Federal Register. Should the subsection be so interpreted, exemption from this provision is necessary to protect the sources of law enforcement information and to protect the privacy and safety of witnesses and informants and others who provide information to the FBI.

    (7) From subsection (e)(5) because in the collection of information for authorized law enforcement purposes it is impossible to determine in advance what information is accurate, relevant, timely and complete. With time, seemingly irrelevant or untimely information may acquire new significance when new details are brought to light. Additionally, the information may aid in establishing patterns of activity and providing criminal leads. Most records in this system are acquired from state and local law enforcement agencies and it would be impossible for the FBI to vouch for the compliance of these agencies with this provision. The FBI does communicate to these agencies the need for accurate and timely criminal history records, including criminal dispositions.

    Dated: July 13, 2017. Peter A. Winn, Acting Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15423 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0673] Special Local Regulations; SUP3Rivers the Southside Outside, Pittsburgh, PA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a special local regulation for navigable waters of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers during the SUP3Rivers the Southside Outside event. This regulation is needed to provide for the safety of life during the marine event. During the enforcement period, entry into this regulated area is prohibited to all vessels not registered with the sponsor as participants or official patrol vessels, unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh (COTP) or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 100.801, Table 1, Sector Ohio Valley, line 29, will be enforced from 6:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. on September 2, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email MST1 Jennifer Haggins, Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 412-221-0807, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce a special local regulation for the annual SUP3Rivers the Southside Outside event listed in 33 CFR 100.801, Table 1, line 29, from 6:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. on September 2, 2017. Entry into the regulated area is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh (COTP) or a designated representative. Persons or vessels desiring to enter into or pass through the area must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP or designated representative.

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

    Dated: July 25, 2017. L. McClain, Jr., Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16151 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0517] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Thames River, New London, CT AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation; modification.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has modified a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Amtrak Bridge across Thames River, mile 3.0, at New London, CT. This action is necessary to complete installation of an emergency generator. This modified deviation allows the bridge to require a two hour advance notice for openings during nighttime hours.

    DATES:

    The modified deviation published on June 23, 2017 (82 FR 28552) is effective from August 1, 2017 through 12:01 a.m. on September 30, 2017. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 12:01 a.m. on July 31, 2017 until August 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2017-0517] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email James L. Rousseau, Bridge Management Specialist, First District Bridge Branch, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 617-223-8619, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 23, 2017, the Coast Guard published a temporary deviation entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Thames River, New London, CT” in the Federal Register (82 FR 28552). Under that temporary deviation, between July 31, 2017 and September 12, 2017, the draw of the Amtrak Bridge would require a two hour advance notice for openings during nighttime hours.

    Amtrak, the owner of the bridge, requested a modification of the currently published deviation in order to facilitate installation of a lift span emergency generator. Due to delays in manufacturing Amtrak has requested that the temporary deviation be modified to allow the Amtrak Bridge to require a 2 hour advance notice between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. from July 31, 2017 to September 30, 2017, while a crane barge is present next to the lift span. The presence of the crane barge reduces the horizontal clearance to 70 feet. Additionally, between July 31, 2017 and September 10, 2017, the lift span will be in the down position during daytime hours but will be able to open when requested.

    The Amtrak Bridge across the Thames River, mile 3.0 at New London, Connecticut has a horizontal clearance of 150 feet and a vertical clearance of 29 feet at mean high water and 31 feet at mean low water in the closed position. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 75 feet in the intermediate raised position and 135 feet in the fully open position at mean high water. The existing drawbridge operating regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.224. The waterway is transited by recreational traffic, commercial vessels, ferries, and military vessels. Vessels that can pass under the bridge without an opening may do so at all times. When the barge is located next to the lift span, the bridge will not be able to open immediately for emergencies. There is no alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge when in the closed position.

    The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by this temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: July 26, 2017. Christopher. J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16084 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-1088] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Pleasure Beach Piers, Bridgeport, CT AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the navigable waters of Pleasure Beach, Bridgeport, CT for the Pleasure Beach Piers. This temporary final rule is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters. Entry into, transit through, mooring, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by Captain of the Port (COTP) Long Island Sound.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from August 1, 2017 until June 30, 2018. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from July 1, 2017 until August 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2015-1088 and USCG-2015-1123 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register LIS Long Island Sound NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking NAD83 North American Datum 1983 II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    This rulemaking establishes a safety zone for the waters around the Pleasure Beach Piers, Bridgeport, CT. Corresponding regulatory history is discussed below.

    The Coast Guard was made aware on December 9, 2015, of damage to Pleasure Beach Bridge, the result of which created a hazard to navigation. On December 22, 2015, the Coast Guard published a temporary final rule entitled, “Safety Zone; Pleasure Beach Bridge, Bridgeport, CT” in the Federal Register (80 FR 79480). On June 23, 2016, the Coast Guard published a second temporary final rule entitled, “Safety Zone; Pleasure Beach Bridge, Bridgeport, CT” in the Federal Register (81 FR 40814). On July 25, 2016, the Coast Guard published a third temporary final rule entitled, “Safety Zone; Pleasure Beach Bridge, Bridgeport, CT” in the Federal Register (81 FR 48329). On January 19, 2017, the Coast Guard published a fourth temporary final rule entitled, “Safety Zone; Pleasure Beach Bridge, Bridgeport, CT” in the Federal Register (82 FR 6250).

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. A solution to remedy the safety hazards associated with this structure was initially projected to be completed prior to the expiration of the current safety zone, but has been delayed. It would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest to delay promulgating this rule, as it is necessary to protect the safety of waterway users.

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

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The legal basis for this temporary rule is 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    On December 9, 2015, the Coast Guard was made aware of damage sustained to Pleasure Beach Bridge, Bridgeport, CT that has created a hazard to navigation. After further analysis of the bridge structure, the Coast Guard concluded that the overall condition of the structure restricts, endangers, and interferes with navigation. The COTP LIS has determined that the safety zone established by this temporary final rule is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    The safety zone established by this rule will cover all navigable waters of the entrance channel to Johnsons Creek in the vicinity of the Pleasure Beach Piers, Bridgeport, CT. This safety zone will be bound inside an area that starts at a point on land at position 41-10.2 N., 073-10.7 W. and then east along the shoreline to a point on land at position 41-9.57 N., 073-9.54 W. and then south across the channel to a point on land at position 41-9.52 N., 073-9.58 W. and then west along the shoreline to a point on land at position 41-9.52 N., 073-10.5 W. and then north across the channel back to the point of origin.

    This rule prohibits vessels from entering, transiting, mooring, or anchoring within the area specifically designated as a safety zone unless authorized by the COTP or designated representative.

    The Coast Guard will notify the public and local mariners of this safety zone through appropriate means, which may include, but are not limited to, publication in the Federal Register, the Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 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.

    The Coast Guard determined that this rulemaking is not a significant regulatory action for the following reasons: (1) Persons or vessels desiring to enter the safety zone may do so with permission from the COTP LIS or a designated representative; and (2) the Coast Guard will notify the public of this rule via appropriate means, such as via Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners to increase public awareness of this safety zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This temporary rule involves the establishment of a safety zone of limited duration. 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 will be available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T01-1088 to read as follows:
    § 165.T01-1088 Safety Zone; Pleasure Beach Piers, Bridgeport, CT.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the entrance channel to Johnsons Creek in the vicinity of the Pleasure Beach Piers, Bridgeport, CT bound inside an area that starts at a point on land at position 41°10′02.964″ N., 073°10′08.148″ W. and then east along the shoreline to a point on land at position 41°09′57.996″ N., 073°09′54.324″ W. and then south across the channel to a point on land at position 41°09′52.524″ N., 073°09′58.861″ W. and then west along the shoreline to a point on land at position 41°09′52.776″ N., 073°10′04.944″ W. and then north across the channel back to the point of origin.

    (b) Enforcement period. This rule will be enforced from 12 a.m. on July 1, 2017 to 12 a.m. June 30, 2018.

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

    (d) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in 33 CFR 165.23 apply.

    (2) In accordance with the general regulations in 33 CFR 165.23, entry into or movement within this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP Long Island Sound.

    (3) Operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone should contact the COTP Long Island Sound at 203-468-4401 (Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Command Center) or the designated representative via VHF channel 16 to obtain permission to do so.

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

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

    Dated: June 30, 2017. K.B. Reed, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Long Island Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16165 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 76 [MB Docket No. 16-126; FCC 17-73] Declaratory Ruling That Cable Operators May Provide Notice by Email AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; declaratory ruling.

    SUMMARY:

    In this Declaratory Ruling, the Commission clarifies that cable operators may provide required written information to subscribers by email to a verified email address and must include a telephone number for subscribers to opt out of email notification at any time and choose to continue to receive paper copies of the notices.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katie Costello of the Policy Division, Media Bureau at (202) 418-2233 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Declaratory Ruling, dated June 16, 2017, released June 21, 2017, FCC 17-73, MB Docket No. 16-126. The full text of the Declaratory ruling is available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. This document will also be available via ECFS at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat. The complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Alternative formats are available for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Synopsis

    The Commission issued a Declaratory Ruling, FCC 17-73, on June 21, 2017 that clarifies that cable operators may provide the written notices required by 47 CFR 76.1602(b) via email to a verified email address and must include a telephone number for customers to opt out of email notification at any time and choose to receive paper copies of the notices. The Commission's rule, 47 CFR 76.1602(b), requires cable operators to provide their subscribers with written information that includes the types of products and services offered, the prices for each service, and installation and service maintenance policies. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the American Cable Association filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling with the Commission requesting that the Commission clarify that the notices may be delivered to customers via email. The Media Bureau published a Public Notice seeking comment on the Petition in the Federal Register, 81 FR 24050-01 (April 25, 2016). Permitting cable operators to comply with section 76.1602(b) by delivering the required information via email falls squarely within the language of the rule. It is reasonable to interpret the term “written information” in section 76.1602(b) to include information delivered by email. The benefits of permitting email delivery include the positive environmental aspects of saving substantial amounts of paper annually, increased efficiency and enabling customers to more readily access accurate information regarding their service options. This clarification is consistent with other Commission actions permitting electronic records in lieu of paper records.

    Electronic delivery of notices will ease the regulatory burden for all cable operators, including small cable operators. In this Declaratory Ruling, a verified email address is defined as (1) an email address that the customer has provided to the cable operator (and not vice versa) for purposes of receiving communication, (2) an email address that the customer regularly uses to communicate with the cable operator, or (3) an email address that has been confirmed by the customer as an appropriate vehicle for the delivery of notices. Use of a verified email address will ensure that the notices have a high probability of being successfully delivered electronically to an email address that the customer uses, so that the written information is actually provided to the customer. If no verified email contact information is available for a customer, cable operators must continue to deliver the notices by paper copies. Customers must “be informed that they may request and receive a paper version of their section 76.1602(b) notices” instead of email delivery. This option will afford customers the opportunity to opt out of email notification at any time and choose to continue to receive paper copies of the notices. Cable operators must include an opt-out telephone number that is clearly and prominently presented to customers in the body of the originating email that delivers the notices, so that it is readily identifiable as an opt-out option. For the reasons stated above, it is ordered, pursuant to section 632 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 552, and sections 1.2 and 76.1602 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.2, 76.1602, that the Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the American Cable Association is granted to the extent indicated herein and is otherwise denied. It is further ordered that this Declaratory Ruling shall be effective upon the date specified in a notice published in the Federal Register announcing Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection requirements pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Office of Management and Budget approved this non-substantive change to the information collection for 47 CFR 76.1602(b) on July 20, 2017.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16075 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 161222999-7618-02] RIN 0648-BG56 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Framework Amendment 5 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues this final rule to implement management measures described in Framework Amendment 5 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (FMP), as prepared and submitted jointly by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Councils). This final rule removes the restriction on fishing for, or retaining the recreational bag and possession limits of, king and Spanish mackerel on a vessel with a Federal commercial permit for king or Spanish mackerel when commercial harvest of king or Spanish mackerel in a zone or region is closed. With implementation of this rule, persons aboard commercial vessels may fish for and retain the recreational bag and possession limits of king or Spanish mackerel during the open recreational season, even if commercial fishing for those species is closed. The purpose of this final rule is to remove Federal permit restrictions unique to commercially permitted king and Spanish mackerel vessels and to standardize vessel permit restrictions applicable after a commercial quota closure of king or Spanish mackerel in accordance with restrictions in other fisheries.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective August 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic copies of Framework Amendment 5 may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2017/framework_am5/index.html. Framework Amendment 5 includes an environmental assessment, a Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis, and a regulatory impact review.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The coastal migratory pelagic fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and Atlantic regions is managed under the FMP and includes the management of the Gulf and Atlantic migratory groups of king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia. The FMP was prepared jointly by the Councils and is implemented by NMFS through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). Framework Amendment 5 and this final rule apply to the harvest of king and Spanish mackerel in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf and Atlantic regions.

    On March 1, 2017, NMFS published a proposed rule to implement Framework Amendment 5 and requested public comment (82 FR 12187). The proposed rule and Framework Amendment 5 outline the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule. A summary of the management measures described in Framework Amendment 5 and implemented by this final rule is provided below.

    Management Measure Contained in This Final Rule

    As a result of this final rule, persons aboard vessels with a Federal commercial permit for king or Spanish mackerel may fish for and retain the recreational bag and possession limits of these species during the open recreational season when the commercial season for those species is closed. This final rule removes Federal permit restrictions unique to commercially permitted king and Spanish mackerel vessels and standardizes vessel permit restrictions applicable after a commercial quota closure of king or Spanish mackerel in accordance with the restrictions in other fisheries. In addition, to improve clarity, this final rule makes non-substantive changes to the language in § 622.384(e)(3), renumbered as § 622.384(e)(2), and to § 622.386. Finally, the language aligns with changes to the regulations set forth in the final rule for Amendment 26 to the FMP (82 FR 17387, April 11, 2017), which included revisions to terminology and to the management boundaries for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic migratory groups of king mackerel.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS received a total of eighteen comments on the proposed rule for Framework Amendment 5 from commercial and recreational fishers. Nine of the comments were in favor of the amendment and the proposed rule, while six were opposed. Three additional comments were submitted that were not related to the proposed action; because those comments were outside of the scope of the actions considered for Framework Amendment 5 and the proposed rule, NMFS is not providing specific responses to those comments in this final rule. The six comments opposed to the amendment expressed concern about relative fishing opportunities for the commercial versus the recreational sectors and about how the final rule might affect future recreational harvest.

    Additionally, several commenters (both in support of and not in support of the proposed action) expressed views that reflect a misunderstanding of both current king and Spanish mackerel Federal management and the effect of the rule. In particular, the comments reflected a misunderstanding of whether and when those aboard commercially permitted vessels that also hold a charter or headboat permit will be allowed to retain the recreational bag and possession limits of king or Spanish mackerel. In fact, the final rule does not alter the current ability of persons aboard dual-permitted vessels to fish for and retain the recreational bag and possession limits of the species when the commercial season is closed. Instead, this final rule changes the regulations to allow those aboard commercially permitted vessels for king and Spanish mackerel to fish for and retain the recreational bag and possession limits of the species when the commercial season for those species is closed, regardless of the capacity in which the vessel is operating (i.e., the vessels no longer need to be dual-permitted and operating in a for-hire capacity). With implementation of this rule, persons aboard commercial vessels fishing for king and Spanish mackerel and persons aboard dual-permitted vessels on for-hire trips for king and Spanish mackerel may retain the recreational bag and possession limits of king and Spanish mackerel, as long as the recreational season for those species is open, even if commercial fishing for those species is closed. In addition, nothing in this rule prevents persons aboard commercial vessels that hold multiple commercial permits from fishing for and retaining the recreational bag and possession limits of king and Spanish mackerel during the closed commercial season for king and Spanish mackerel while on a commercial trip for other species, such as snapper-grouper, as long as such fishing is consistent with the Federal commercial permit for each of those other species.

    Specific comments related to the action and proposed rule, as well as NMFS' respective responses, are summarized below.

    Comment 1: Allowing persons aboard commercial vessels to fish for king and Spanish mackerel recreationally could result in more fish being caught, which could result in additional regulation of the recreational sector.

    Response: As described in Framework Amendment 5, the recreational and/or stock ACLs for these species have rarely been exceeded in recent years, and thus the accountability measures have not been triggered frequently. We do not expect a significant increase in recreational landings in light of the additional means of access to recreational harvest allowed in this rule. Any effect from this final rule on recreational landings would likely be minimal, and therefore unlikely to require new recreational management measures.

    Comment 2: This final rule will allow recreationally caught fish to be sold by commercially permitted vessels when the commercial season is closed.

    Response: The final rule allows commercial fishers with a Federal commercial permit for king or Spanish mackerel to use their permitted vessels to fish for these species and retain the recreational bag and possession limits outside of the commercial seasons for those species. However, under the regulations already in place, the sale or purchase of king or Spanish mackerel taken under the recreational bag and possession limits is prohibited when the commercial season is closed. Thus any fish taken in the circumstances allowed under the rule cannot be sold or purchased.

    Comment 3: Additional king mackerel population information is needed to avoid ecological or economic problems in the Gulf and Atlantic before approving these changes to management.

    Response: As part of the development of Framework Amendment 5, NMFS and the Councils carried out an analysis of the expected physical, biological, economic, social, and administrative effects of this action. This analysis incorporated data from the September 2014 Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) 38 stock assessment, which determined that both the Gulf and Atlantic migratory groups of king mackerel are not overfished and are not undergoing overfishing. As explained in Framework Amendment 5, the additional amount of king mackerel that would be harvested as a result of this final rule is not quantifiable because the number of persons aboard commercially permitted vessels who would fish for and retain the recreational bag and possession limits of king and Spanish mackerel once the harvest restriction is removed and the number of days during which they could fish under the recreational bag and possession limits are not known. However, NMFS' analysis demonstrates, and the Councils agree, that minimal impacts to the ecology or economy would be expected as a result of this final rule. The next SEDAR assessment will be completed in the summer of 2018.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS has determined that this final rule is consistent with Framework Amendment 5, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this final rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, record-keeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced by this final rule.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No public comments were received on the proposed rule regarding the certification, and NMFS has not received any new information that would affect its determination. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Commercial, Recreational, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel.

    Dated: July 26, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended as follows:

    PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 622.379, revise the last sentence in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 622.379 Incidental catch allowances.

    (a) * * * Incidentally caught king or Spanish mackerel are counted toward the quotas provided for under § 622.384 and are subject to the prohibition of sale under § 622.384(e)(2).

    3. In § 622.384, revise paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 622.384 Quotas.

    (e) Restrictions applicable after a quota closure. (1) If the recreational sector for the applicable species, migratory group, zone, or gear is open, the bag and possession limits for king and Spanish mackerel specified in § 622.382(a) apply to all harvest or possession for the closed species, migratory group, zone, or gear in or from the EEZ. If the recreational sector for the applicable species, migratory group, zone, or gear is closed, all applicable harvest or possession in or from the EEZ is prohibited.

    (2) The sale or purchase of king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, or cobia of the closed species, migratory group, zone, or gear type is prohibited, including any king or Spanish mackerel taken under the bag and possession limits specified in § 622.382(a), or cobia taken under the limited-harvest species possession limit specified in § 622.383(b). The prohibition on the sale or purchase during a closure for coastal migratory pelagic fish does not apply to coastal migratory pelagic fish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to the effective date of the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

    4. In § 622.386, revise the introductory text to read as follows:
    § 622.386 Restrictions on sale/purchase.

    The restrictions in this section are in addition to the restrictions on the sale or purchase related to commercial quota closures as specified in § 622.384(e)(2).

    [FR Doc. 2017-16134 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 170104014-7683-02] RIN 0648-BG53 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Framework Adjustment 56 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action partially approves and implements Framework Adjustment 56 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This rule sets catch limits for 4 of the 20 groundfish stocks, adjusts several allocations and accountability measures for groundfish catch in groundfish and non-groundfish fisheries, and makes other administrative changes to groundfish management measures. This action is necessary to respond to updated scientific information and achieve the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan. The final measures are intended to help prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available.

    DATES:

    Effective on August 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of Framework Adjustment 56, including the Environmental Assessment and the Regulatory Impact Review prepared by the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) in support of this action are available from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. The supporting documents are also accessible via the Internet at: http://www.nefmc.org/management-plans/northeast-multispecies or http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/multispecies.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aja Szumylo, Fishery Policy Analyst, phone: 978-281-9195; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents 1. Summary of Approved Measures 2. Disapproved Measure—Status Determination Criteria for Witch Flounder 3. Fishing Year 2017 Shared U.S./Canada Quotas 4. Catch Limits for Fishing Years 2017-2019 5. Allocation of Northern Windowpane Flounder to the Scallop Fishery 6. Revised Trigger for Scallop Accountability Measures 7. Increase to Georges Bank Haddock Allocation for the Midwater Trawl Fishery 8. Sector Measures for Fishing Year 2017 9. Fishing Year 2017 Annual Measures Under Regional Administrator Authority 10. Notice of Fishing Year 2017 Northern and Southern Windowpane Flounder Accountability Measures 11. Regulatory Corrections Under Regional Administrator Authority 1. Summary of Approved Measures

    This action partially approves the management measures in Framework Adjustment 56 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The measures implemented in this final rule include:

    • 2017 quotas for three shared U.S./Canada stocks (Eastern Georges Bank (GB) cod, Eastern GB haddock, and GB yellowtail flounder);

    • 2017-2019 catch limits for witch flounder;

    • An allocation of northern windowpane flounder for the scallop fishery;

    • A revised trigger for the scallop fishery's accountability measures for GB yellowtail flounder and northern windowpane flounder; and

    • An increase in the GB haddock allocation for the midwater trawl fishery.

    This action also implements a number of other measures that are not part of Framework 56, but that were considered under Regional Administrator authority included in the Northeast Multispecies FMP. We are including these measures in Framework 56 for expediency purposes, and because these measures are related to the catch limits implemented in Framework 56. The additional measures implemented in this action are listed below.

    Management measures necessary to implement sector operations plans—This action revises annual catch entitlements for 19 sectors for fishing year 2017 based on the catch limits in Framework 56 and final fishing year 2017 sector rosters.

    Management measures for the common pool fishery—This action adjusts the fishing year 2017 trip limits for witch flounder and American plaice for the common pool fishery, consistent with the final 2017 catch limit for witch flounder in Framework 56.

    2017 accountability measures for windowpane flounder—This action announces accountability measures (AMs) for northern and southern windowpane flounder that are triggered due to overages of fishing year 2015 catch limits for both stocks. The large AM areas for both northern and southern windowpane flounder will be in effect for groundfish trawl vessels from August 1, 2017, through August 31, 2017. The large AM areas for southern windowpane flounder will be in effect for non-groundfish trawl vessels fishing with a codend mesh size of 5 inches (12.7 cm) and greater until April 30, 2018, unless we remove the AM for these vessels through a subsequent action.

    2. Disapproved Measure—Status Determination Criteria for Witch Flounder

    The Northeast Fisheries Science Center conducted a witch flounder benchmark assessment in 2016. The final report for the benchmark assessment is available on the NEFSC Web site: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd1703/. The assessment results are discussed in detail in the proposed rule for this action, and are not repeated here. In summary, the peer review panel rejected the 2016 benchmark assessment model for witch flounder, and recommended that neither the 2016 benchmark assessment, nor the previous 2008 benchmark assessment, should be used as a basis for determining witch flounder stock status. Given the lack of an assessment model, the peer review panel recommended an alternative approach to generate catch advice that uses swept-area biomass estimates generated from the NMFS Trawl Surveys. The panel did not have sufficient time to fully review the swept-area biomass approach in the context of the assessment terms of reference, which include the update or redefinition of status determination criteria (SDCs) or proxies.

    We approved the existing SDCs for witch flounder in Amendment 16 to the Northeast Multispecies FMP (75 FR 18261; April 9, 2010). The existing criteria state that the witch flounder stock is subject to overfishing if the fishing mortality rate (F) is above the F at 40 percent of maximum spawning potential. The witch flounder stock is overfished if spawning stock biomass falls below 1/2 of the target, which is also calculated using F at 40 percent of maximum spawning potential. This definition was based on the benchmark assessments reviewed during the 2008 Groundfish Assessment Review Meeting (GARM III), and is the same as the SDCs currently in place for most of the groundfish stocks with age-based assessments.

    The Council relied on the advice from the assessment peer review panel and its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) to recommend changing the status determination criteria for witch flounder to unknown. The National Standard Guidelines require each FMP to specify objective and measurable SDCs that enable us to monitor stock status. When data are unavailable to specify SDCs based on maximum sustainable yield (MSY) or MSY proxies, the Council and NMFS may use alternative approaches to monitor stock status. As a result, we are disapproving the Council's proposal to change the SDCs to unknown. In the absence of new alternative SDCs following the 2016 benchmark assessment, we intend to maintain the existing criteria until we and the Council are able to generate SDCs based on the swept-area biomass approach or any other alternative approaches. We acknowledge that the existing SDCs are based on a now rejected stock assessment model and recognize that it is critical to work to replace the SDCs.

    There is currently a rebuilding plan in place for witch flounder that has an end date of 2017. Prior to the 2016 assessment, and based on the results of the 2015 assessment update, which found that 2014 spawning stock biomass was at 22 percent of the biomass target and that the stock was not expected to reach the 2017 rebuilding target even in the absence of fishing mortality, we anticipated that we would need to notify the Council that it was necessary to revise the rebuilding plan. Although a quantitative status determination relative to the 2016 benchmark assessment results is not possible, there are indications that the stock is still in poor condition, and will continue to need conservative management measures to promote stock growth. We are finalizing our guidance regarding any necessary adjustments to the rebuilding plan and will advise the Council on the next steps prior to the fall 2017 groundfish assessment updates. Additionally, when the stock assessment for witch flounder can provide biomass estimates, these estimates can be used to evaluate progress towards the rebuilding targets.

    3. Fishing Year 2017 Shared U.S./Canada Quotas Management of Transboundary Georges Bank Stocks

    As described in the proposed rule, eastern GB cod, eastern GB haddock, and GB yellowtail flounder are jointly managed with Canada under the United States/Canada Resource Sharing Understanding. This action adopts shared U.S./Canada quotas for these stocks for fishing year 2017 based on 2016 assessments and the recommendations of the Transboundary Management Guidance Committee (TMGC) (Table 1). For a more detailed discussion of the TMGC's 2017 catch advice, see the TMGC's guidance document under the “Resources” tab at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/multispecies/index.html.

    Table 1—Fishing Year 2017 U.S./Canada Quotas (mt, Live Weight) and Percent of Quota Allocated to Each Country Quota Eastern GB cod Eastern GB haddock GB yellowtail flounder Total Shared Quota 730 50,000 300 U.S. Quota 146 (20%) 29,500 (59%) 207 (69%) Canada Quota 584 (80%) 20,500 (41%) 93 (31%)

    The regulations implementing the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding require that any overages of the U.S. quota for eastern GB cod, eastern GB haddock, or GB yellowtail flounder be deducted from the U.S. quota in the following fishing year. If catch information for fishing year 2016 indicates that the U.S. fishery exceeded its quota for any of the shared stocks, we will reduce the respective U.S. quotas for fishing year 2017 in a future management action, as soon as possible. If any fishery that is allocated a portion of the U.S. quota exceeds its allocation and causes an overage of the overall U.S. quota, the overage reduction would only be applied to that fishery's allocation in the following fishing year. This ensures that catch by one component of the fishery does not negatively affect another component of the fishery.

    4. Catch Limits for Fishing Years 2017-2019 Summary of the Catch Limits

    Last year, Framework 55 (81 FR 26412; May 2, 2016) adopted fishing year 2016-2018 catch limits for all groundfish stocks, except for the U.S./Canada stocks, which are set annually. This rule adopts fishing year 2017-2019 catch limits for witch flounder based on the recent stock assessment and consistent with the recommendations of the Council's SSC. This rule also adopts 2017 shared U.S./Canada quotas (see section “3. Fishing Year 2017 Shared U.S./Canada Quotas”). With the exception of GB cod, GB haddock, GB yellowtail flounder, and witch flounder, the catch limits included in this action are the same as or similar to those previously implemented in Framework 55, and became effective on May 1, 2017. There are changes to the northern windowpane flounder catch limits related to the allocation of northern windowpane flounder to the scallop fishery (see section “5. Allocation of Northern Windowpane Flounder to the Scallop Fishery”). There are also minor changes to the catch limits for GB winter flounder and white hake due to revised estimates of Canadian catch. The catch limits implemented in this action, including overfishing limits (OFLs), acceptable biological catches (ABCs), and annual catch limits (ACLs), can be found in Tables 2 through 9. A summary of how these catch limits were developed, including the distribution to the various fishery components, was provided in the proposed rule and in Appendix II of the Environmental Assessment for Framework 56, and is not repeated here. The sector and common pool sub-ACLs implemented in this action are based on fishing year 2017 potential sector contributions (PSCs) and final fishing year 2017 sector rosters. Sector-specific allocations are in section “8. Sector Measures for Fishing Year 2017.”

    Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program

    Overall fishing effort by both common pool and sector vessels in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program (SAP) is controlled by an overall Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for GB haddock, which is the target species for this SAP. The maximum amount of GB haddock that may be caught in any fishing year is based on the amount allocated to this SAP for the 2004 fishing year (1,130 mt), and adjusted according to the growth or decline of the western GB haddock biomass in relationship to its size in 2004. Based on this formula, the GB Haddock TAC for this SAP is 10,709 mt for the 2017 fishing year. Once this overall TAC is caught, the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP will be closed to all groundfish vessels for the remainder of the fishing year.

    Table 2—Fishing Years 2017-2019 Overfishing Limits and Acceptable Biological Catches [mt, live weight] Stock 2017 OFL Total ABC U.S. ABC 2018 OFL U.S. ABC 2019 OFL U.S. ABC GB Cod 1,665 1,249 665 1,665 1,249 GOM Cod 667 500 500 667 500 GB Haddock 258,691 77,898 57,398 358,077 77,898 GOM Haddock 5,873 4,534 4,534 6,218 4,815 GB Yellowtail Flounder Unknown 300 207 Unknown 354 SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder Unknown 267 267 Unknown 267 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 707 427 427 900 427 American Plaice 1,748 1,336 1,336 1,840 1,404 Witch Flounder Unknown 878 878 Unknown 878 Unknown 878 GB Winter Flounder 1,056 755 702 1,459 702 GOM Winter Flounder 1,080 810 810 1,080 810 SNE/MA Winter Flounder 1,021 780 780 1,587 780 Redfish 14,665 11,050 11,050 15,260 11,501 White Hake 4,816 3,686 3,644 4,733 3,580 Pollock 32,004 21,312 21,312 34,745 21,312 N. Windowpane Flounder 243 182 182 243 182 S. Windowpane Flounder 833 623 623 833 623 Ocean Pout 220 165 165 220 165 Atlantic Halibut 210 158 124 210 124 Atlantic Wolffish 110 82 82 110 82 SNE/MA = Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic; CC = Cape Cod; N = Northern; S = Southern. Note: An empty cell indicates no OFL/ABC is adopted for that year. These catch limits will be set in a future action. Table 3—Fishing Year 2017 Catch Limits [mt, live weight] [Catch limits are implemented for GB cod, GB haddock, GB yellowtail, and witch flounder. Sub-ACL adjustments are implemented for the midwater trawl fishery for GB haddock, and for the scallop fishery for northern windowpane. All other limits were previously adopted in Framework 55 on May 1, 2016] Stock Total ACL Total
  • groundfish
  • fishery
  • Sector Common pool Recreational fishery Midwater trawl
  • fishery
  • Scallop fishery Small-mesh fisheries State
  • waters sub-
  • component
  • Other sub-
  • component
  • GB Cod 637 531 521 10 20 86 GOM Cod 473 437 271 9 157 27 10 GB Haddock 54,568 52,620 52,253 367 801 574 574 GOM Haddock 4,285 4,177 2,985 33 1,160 42 33 33 GB Yellowtail Flounder 201 163 160 2 32 4 0 2.1 SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder 256 187 151 36 34 5 29 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 409 341 326 15 43 26 American Plaice 1,272 1,218 1,196 23 27 27 Witch Flounder 839 734 718 16 35 70 GB Winter Flounder 683 620 615 5 0 63 GOM Winter Flounder 776 639 607 32 122 16 SNE/MA Winter Flounder 749 585 515 70 70 94 Redfish 10,514 10,183 10,126 56 111 221 White Hake 3,467 3,358 3,331 27 36 73 Pollock 20,374 17,817 17,704 113 1,279 1,279 N. Windowpane Flounder 170 129 na 129 36 2 4 S. Windowpane Flounder 599 104 na 104 209 37 249 Ocean Pout 155 130 na 130 2 23 Atlantic Halibut 119 91 na 91 25 4 Atlantic Wolffish 77 72 na 72 1 3
    Table 4—Fishing Year 2018 Catch Limits [mt, live weight] [Catch limits are implemented for GB cod, GB haddock, GB yellowtail, and witch flounder. Sub-ACL adjustments are implemented for the midwater trawl fishery for GB haddock, and for the scallop fishery for northern windowpane. All other limits were previously adopted in Framework 55 on May 1, 2016] Stock Total ACL Total
  • groundfish
  • fishery
  • Sector Common pool Recreational fishery Midwater trawl
  • fishery
  • Scallop fishery Small-mesh fisheries State
  • waters sub-
  • component
  • Other sub-
  • component
  • GB Cod 1,197 997 978 18 37 162 GOM Cod 473 437 271 9 157 27 10 GB Haddock 74,058 71,413 70,916 497 1,087 779 779 GOM Haddock 4,550 4,436 3,169 35 1,231 45 35 35 GB Yellowtail Flounder 343 278 274 4 55 7 0 4 SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder 256 185 149 36 37 5 29 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 409 341 326 15 43 26 American Plaice 1,337 1,280 1,257 24 28 28 Witch Flounder 839 734 718 16 35 70 GB Winter Flounder 683 620 615 5 0 63 GOM Winter Flounder 776 639 607 32 122 16 SNE/MA Winter Flounder 749 585 515 70 70 94 Redfish 10,943 10,598 10,540 58 115 230 White Hake 3,406 3,299 3,273 26 36 72 Pollock 20,374 17,817 17,704 113 1,279 1,279 N. Windowpane Flounder 170 129 129 36 2 4 S. Windowpane Flounder 599 104 104 209 37 249 Ocean Pout 155 130 130 2 23 Atlantic Halibut 119 91 91 25 4 Atlantic Wolffish 77 72 72 1 3
    Table 5—Fishing Year 2019 Catch Limits [mt, live weight] Stock Total ACL Total
  • groundfish
  • fishery
  • Sector Common pool Recreational fishery Midwater trawl fishery Scallop fishery Small-mesh fisheries State
  • waters sub-
  • component
  • Other sub-
  • component
  • Witch Flounder 839 734 718 16 35 70
    Table 6—Fishing Years 2017-2019 Common Pool Trimester Total Allowable Catches [mt, live weight] Stock 2017 Trimester 1 Trimester 2 Trimester 3 2018 Trimester 1 Trimester 2 Trimester 3 2019 Trimester 1 Trimester 2 Trimester 3 GB Cod 2.5 3.6 3.7 4.6 6.8 7.0 GOM Cod 2.5 3.3 3.4 2.5 3.3 3.4 GB Haddock 99.0 120.9 146.6 134.3 164.1 199.0 GOM Haddock 8.8 8.5 15.4 9.4 9.0 16.3 GB Yellowtail Flounder 0.5 0.7 1.3 0.8 1.3 2.2 SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder 7.6 13.4 15.2 7.5 13.2 14.9 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 5.2 5.2 4.5 5.2 5.2 4.5 American Plaice 5.5 8.2 9.1 5.7 8.6 9.6 Witch Flounder 4.4 5.1 6.9 4.4 5.1 6.9 4.4 5.1 6.9 GB Winter Flounder 0.4 1.2 3.5 0.4 1.2 3.5 GOM Winter Flounder 11.7 12.0 7.9 11.7 12.0 7.9 Redfish 14.0 17.4 24.7 14.6 18.1 25.7 White Hake 10.2 8.3 8.3 10.0 8.2 8.2 Pollock 31.6 39.5 41.8 31.6 39.5 41.8 Note. An empty cell indicates that no catch limit has been set yet for these stocks. These catch limits will be set in a future management action. Table 7—Common Pool Incidental Catch TACs for Fishing Years 2017-2019 [mt, live weight] Stock Percentage
  • of common
  • pool sub-ACL
  • 2017 2018 2019
    GB Cod 2 0.20 0.37 GOM Cod 1 0.09 0.09 GB Yellowtail Flounder 2 0.05 0.08 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 1 0.15 0.15 American Plaice 5 1.14 1.19 Witch Flounder 5 0.82 0.82 0.82 SNE/MA Winter Flounder 1 0.70 0.70
    Table 8—Percentage of Incidental Catch TACs Distributed to Each Special Management Program Stock Regular B DAS program Closed Area I hook gear haddock SAP Eastern US/CA
  • haddock SAP
  • GB Cod 50 16 34 GOM Cod 100 GB Yellowtail Flounder 50 50 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 100 American Plaice 100 Witch Flounder 100 SNE/MA Winter Flounder 100 White Hake 100 DAS = Days-at-Sea
    Table 9—Fishing Years 2017-2019 Incidental Catch TACs for Each Special Management Program [mt, live weight] Stock Regular B DAS
  • program
  • 2017 2018 2019 Closed Area I hook gear haddock SAP 2017 2018 2019 Eastern U.S./Canada haddock SAP 2017 2018 2019
    GB Cod 0.10 0.18 0.03 0.06 0.07 0.13 GOM Cod 0.09 0.09 n/a n/a n/a n/a GB Yellowtail Flounder 0.02 0.04 n/a n/a 0.02 0.04 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 0.15 0.15 n/a n/a n/a n/a American Plaice 1.14 1.19 n/a n/a n/a n/a Witch Flounder 0.82 0.82 0.82 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a SNE/MA Winter Flounder 0.70 0.70 n/a n/a n/a n/a
    5. Allocation of Northern Windowpane Flounder for the Scallop Fishery

    This action establishes a scallop fishery sub-ACL for northern windowpane flounder equal to 21 percent of the northern windowpane flounder ABC. This allocation is based on the 90th percentile of scallop fishery catches (as a percent of the total catch) for calendar years 2005 to 2014. This approach is similar to the approach used to set the southern windowpane flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery in Framework 48 (78 FR 26118, May 2, 2013). The Council chose a fixed-percentage allocation rather than an allocation based on projected catch because projected scallop fishery catch of northern windowpane flounder can fluctuate greatly from year to year. The scallop fishery's sub-ACL would be calculated by reducing the portion of the ABC allocated to the scallop fishery to account for management uncertainty. The current management uncertainty buffer for zero-possession stocks is 7 percent. The management uncertainty buffer can be adjusted each time the groundfish catch limits are set.

    Outside of the groundfish fishery, the scallop fishery is the other major contributor to northern windowpane flounder catch. Adopting an allocation and corresponding AM for the scallop fishery is intended to create accountability for a fishery that is responsible for a substantial share of catch or an overage if one occurs. Thus, a sub-ACL for the scallop fishery would help prevent overfishing of northern windowpane flounder, as required by National Standard 1 and section 303(a)(1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and create an incentive to minimize bycatch of this stock, consistent with National Standard 9. This measure also ensures that catch from one fishery does not negatively affect another fishery.

    This action does not include scallop fishery AMs for the northern windowpane flounder sub-ACL. Consistent with other scallop allocations, the Council is developing and will adopt scallop fishery AMs for this sub-ACL in Framework 28 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop FMP that is intended to be implemented for the 2018 fishing year. If there is an overage in the 2017 scallop fishery northern windowpane flounder sub-ACL, that overage would be subject to the AM. For any ACL overages that occur in 2017 and beyond, the groundfish fishery would only be subject to an AM if the groundfish fishery exceeds its sub-ACL and the overall ACL is also exceeded. The 2017 sub-ACL implemented in this action is lower than recent scallop fishery catches of northern windowpane flounder. As a result, this action also implements an AM trigger for this stock to mitigate potential impacts of a scallop fishery AM in years when the sub-ACL is low (see section “6. Revised Trigger for Scallop Accountability Measures”).

    6. Revised Trigger for Scallop Accountability Measures

    The scallop fishery has sub-ACLs for GB yellowtail flounder, SNE/MA yellowtail flounder, southern windowpane flounder, and northern windowpane flounder. If the scallop fishery exceeds its sub-ACL for these stocks, it is subject to AMs that, in general, restrict the scallop fishery in seasons and areas with high encounter rates for these stocks. Framework 47 (77 FR 26104, May 2, 2012) adopted a policy that the scallop fishery is subject to AMs for these stocks if either: (1) The scallop fishery exceeds its sub-ACL and the total ACL is exceeded; or (2) the scallop fishery exceeds its sub-ACL by 50 percent or more. This policy was implemented to provide flexibility for the scallop fishery and help achieve optimum yield.

    This final rule implements a temporary change to the trigger for the scallop fishery AMs for GB yellowtail flounder and northern windowpane flounder. For fishing years 2017 and 2018, the AMs will only be implemented if scallop fishery catch exceeds its sub-ACL by any amount and the total ACL is also exceeded. The AM trigger remains unchanged for SNE/MA yellowtail flounder and southern windowpane flounder. The adjustment in the trigger thresholds for GB yellowtail flounder and northern windowpane flounder is intended to provide additional flexibility, beyond the existing scallop AM implementation policy, for the scallop fishery to operate in years when the overall and scallop fishery allocations for these stocks are low. The scallop fishery is expected to operate primarily on Georges Bank in 2017 and 2018, based on scallop rotational area management. Beginning in fishing year 2019, the standard policy for scallop fishery AM implementation will apply.

    7. Increase to Georges Bank Haddock Allocation for the Midwater Trawl Fishery

    This action increases the Atlantic herring midwater trawl fishery's GB haddock catch cap from 1 percent of the U.S. ABC to 1.5 percent. This adjustment is intended to achieve optimum yield for the herring fishery while minimizing bycatch of haddock to the extent practicable. The low percentage maintains the incentive to avoid haddock while not constraining the groundfish fishery. As in the past, the herring fishery's midwater trawl sub-ACL will be calculated by reducing the portion of the ABC allocated to the herring midwater trawl fishery to account for management uncertainty. The current management uncertainty buffer is 7 percent.

    Framework 56 also establishes a process for reviewing the GB haddock midwater trawl sub-ACL. Following an assessment of the entire GB haddock stock, the Groundfish Plan Development Team (PDT) will review factors including, but not limited to, groundfish fishery catch performance, ACL utilization, status of the GB haddock resource, recruitment, incoming year-class strength, and the variability in the GB haddock incidental catch estimates for the Atlantic herring midwater trawl fishery. Based on this review, the PDT will determine whether changes to the GB haddock midwater trawl sub-ACL are necessary, and recommend to the Groundfish Committee and Council an appropriate sub-ACL equal to 1 to 2 percent of the GB haddock U.S. ABC.

    8. Sector Measures for Fishing Year 2017

    This action also updates annual catch entitlements for 19 sectors for the 2017 fishing year based on the new catch limits included in Framework 56 and the finalized 2017 sector rosters. We previously approved 2017 and 2018 sector operations plans, as well as sector regulatory exemptions, in an interim final rule that became effective on May 1, 2017 (82 FR 19618; April 28, 2017).

    Sector Allocations

    The sector allocations in this final rule are based on the fishing year 2017 specifications described above under “4. Catch Limits for Fishing Years 2017-2019” and final 2017 sector rosters (see Tables 10 through 12). A sector's allocation is calculated by summing its members' PSC for a stock and applying this cumulative PSC to the commercial sub-ACL.

    An individual permit is assigned a PSC for GB cod and haddock, but is not assigned a separate PSC for the Eastern GB cod or Eastern GB haddock management units. Each sector's GB cod and GB haddock allocations are divided into an Eastern and Western ACE component, based on the sector's percentage of the GB cod and GB haddock ACLs. For example, if a sector is allocated 4 percent of the GB cod commercial sub-ACL and 6 percent of the GB haddock commercial sub-ACL, the sector is allocated 4 percent of the commercial Eastern U.S./Canada Area GB cod TAC and 6 percent of the commercial Eastern U.S./Canada Area GB haddock TAC as its Eastern GB cod and haddock ACEs. These amounts are then subtracted from the sector's overall GB cod and haddock allocations to determine its Western GB cod and haddock allocations. Sectors can “convert” their Eastern GB cod and haddock allocations into Western allocation that can be fished in Western GB. Western GB allocations cannot be converted to Eastern allocations.

    BILLING CODE 3501-22-P ER01AU17.001 ER01AU17.002 ER01AU17.003 Sector Carryover From Fishing Year 2016 to Fishing Year 2017

    We completed 2016 fishing year data reconciliation with sectors and determined final 2016 fishing year sector catch and the amount of allocation that sectors may carry over from the 2016 to the 2017 fishing year. Table 13 includes the maximum amount of allocation that sectors may carry over from the 2016 to the 2017 fishing year. With the exception of GB yellowtail flounder, a sector may carry over up to 10 percent of unused ACE for each stock from the end of 2016 to 2017, but may not exceed the ABC for each stock. The unused ACE that is carried over is adjusted down when necessary to ensure the combined carryover of unused ACE and the sector sub-ACL do not exceed each stock's ABC. This is the sector's available carryover for fishing year 2017.

    Table 14 includes the de minimis amount of carryover for each sector for the 2017 fishing year that is used to determine when accountability measures are required. If the overall ACL for any allocated stock is exceeded for the 2017 fishing year, any available carryover harvested by a sector, minus the sector's de minimis amount, will be counted against its allocation to determine whether an overage subject to an accountability measure occurred. Tables 15 and 16 list the final ACE available to sectors for the 2017 fishing year, including final carryover amounts for each sector, as adjusted down when necessary to equal each stock's ABC.

    ER01AU17.004 ER01AU17.005 ER01AU17.006 ER01AU17.007 BILLING CODE 3510-22-C 9. Fishing Year 2017 Annual Measures Under Regional Administrator Authority

    Northeast Multispecies FMP regulations give us authority to implement certain types of management measures for the common pool fishery, the U.S./Canada Management Area, and Special Management Programs on an annual basis, or as needed. This action implements a number of these management measures for fishing year 2017. These measures are not part of Framework 56, and were not specifically proposed by the Council. We are implementing them in conjunction with Framework 56 measures in this action for efficiency purposes, and because they relate to the catch limits considered in Framework 56.

    Witch Flounder and American Plaice Common Pool Trip Limits

    As discussed above in section “4. Catch Limits for Fishing Years 2017-2019,” this action implements an increase to the witch flounder ABC for fishing year 2017. We are adjusting the common pool trip limits for witch flounder and American plaice in response to this increase, after considering changes to the common pool sub-ACLs and sector rosters from 2016 to 2017, trimester TACs for 2017, catch rates of witch flounder and American plaice from previous years, and other available information. Table 17 details the witch flounder for fishing year 2017 implemented. The common pool trip limits for all other groundfish stocks remain the same as those implemented on May 1, 2017, and are described in the information sheet available here: https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/regs/infodocs/multipossessionlimits.pdf.

    Table 17—Common Pool Trip Limits for Fishing Year 2017 Stock Current 2017 trip limit New 2017 trip limit Witch Flounder 150 lb (68 kg)/trip 400 lb (181 kg)/trip. American Plaice 1,000 lb (454 kg)/trip 500 lb (227 kg)/trip. Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock Special Access Program

    This action allocates zero trips for common pool vessels to target yellowtail flounder within the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP for fishing year 2017. Common pool vessels can still fish in this SAP in 2017 to target haddock, but must fish with a haddock separator trawl, a Ruhle trawl, or hook gear. Vessels are not allowed to fish in this SAP using flounder trawl nets. This SAP is open from August 1, 2017, through January 31, 2018.

    We have the authority to determine the allocation of the total number of trips into the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP based on several criteria, including the GB yellowtail flounder catch limit and the amount of GB yellowtail flounder caught outside of the SAP. The FMP specifies that no trips should be allocated to the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP if the available GB yellowtail flounder catch is insufficient to support at least 150 trips with a 15,000-lb (6,804-kg) trip limit (or 2,250,000 lb (1,020,600 kg)). This calculation accounts for the projected catch from the area outside the SAP. Based on the fishing year 2017 GB yellowtail flounder groundfish sub-ACL of 363,763 lb (165,000 kg), there is insufficient GB yellowtail flounder to allocate any trips to the SAP, even if the projected catch from outside the SAP area is zero. Further, given the low GB yellowtail flounder catch limit, catch rates outside of this SAP are more than adequate to fully harvest the 2017 GB yellowtail flounder allocation.

    10. Notice of Fishing Year 2017 Northern and Southern Windowpane Flounder Accountability Measures

    Catch exceeded the total ACLs for both northern and southern windowpane flounder by more than 20 percent in fishing year 2015. If catch exceeds the ACL for either windowpane stock by more than 20 percent, we are required to implement the large AM area restrictions for each stock. The AM area restrictions require certain vessels to use approved selective gear types that reduce flatfish catch inside the AM areas during the 2017 fishing year. An overview of the windowpane AM is available here: https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/regs/infodocs/windowpaneaminfosheet.pdf.

    This final rule announces the implementation timeline for the 2017 northern and southern windowpane flounder AMs. In developing this timeline, we considered updated 2016 catch information for both windowpane flounder stocks, correspondence from the New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils prior to the proposed rule, and public comments on the proposed rule.

    Northern Windowpane Flounder

    Fishing year 2015 catch exceeded the total ACL for northern windowpane flounder by 36 percent. Because catch exceeded the ACL by more than 20 percent, the large northern windowpane flounder AM area (Figure 1) will take effect for all groundfish trawl vessels on August 1, 2017. Common pool and sector vessels fishing on a groundfish trip with trawl gear are required to use one of the approved selective gears when fishing inside the AM area (haddock separator trawl, Ruhle trawl, or rope separator trawl). Sectors cannot request an exemption from these AMs. There are no restrictions on common pool or sector vessels fishing with longline or gillnet gear.

    Our preliminary estimates indicate that 85 mt of northern windowpane flounder was caught during the 2016 fishing year, which is 48 percent of the total 2016 ACL (177 mt) (Table 18). The regulations allow us to remove the northern windowpane flounder AM early if we determine that northern windowpane flounder catch remained below the ACL in the year immediately following an overage. This means that if we have implemented an AM in year 3 (2017) due to an overage in year 1 (2015), we can remove the AM if we determine that catch did not exceed the ACL in year 2 (2016). We do not typically finalize year-end data until several months into the fishing year, so the existing regulations only permit us to remove the AM on or after September 1. Thus, although we must implement the northern windowpane AM area on August 1, 2017, it will only be effective through August 31, 2017, because 2016 catch was below the ACL. Beginning on September 1, groundfish vessels will no longer be required to use approved selective gears when fishing inside the northern windowpane flounder AM area. We encourage vessels to continue to limit northern windowpane flounder catch during the 2017 fishing year, as an overage in 2017 would result in an AM in a future fishing year.

    ER01AU17.008 Southern Windowpane Flounder

    Total 2015 catch exceeded the total ACL for southern windowpane flounder by more than 20 percent. Because the groundfish fishery, the scallop fishery, and the other non-groundfish fisheries all exceeded their respective sub-ACLs and catch exceeded the overall ACL by more than 20 percent, the large southern windowpane flounder AM areas (Figure 1) will take effect for all groundfish trawl vessels, and for non-groundfish trawl vessels fishing with a codend mesh size of 5 inches (12 cm) or greater on August 1, 2017. Common pool and sector vessels fishing on a groundfish trip with trawl gear, and non-groundfish trawl vessels fishing with a codend mesh size of 5 inches (12 cm) or greater, are required to use one of the approved selective gears when fishing inside the AM areas. Sectors cannot request an exemption from these AMs. There are no restrictions on common pool or sector vessels fishing with longline or gillnet gear. The scallop fishery AM will go into place for the entire month of February 2018. The AM requires additional restrictions for dredge gear in the area west of 71° W. longitude, excluding the Mid-Atlantic scallop access areas.

    Our preliminary estimates indicate that 495 mt of southern windowpane flounder was caught during the 2016 fishing year, which is 82 percent of the total 2016 ACL (599 mt) (Table 18). As noted above for northern windowpane flounder, the regulations allow us to remove a windowpane AM early if we determine that catch remained below the ACL in the year immediately following an overage. We implemented the provision that allows us to reduce the duration of the AM under Framework 52 (80 FR 2021; January 15, 2015). The New England Council developed this provision, and another provision to reduce the size of the windowpane AMs, explicitly to mitigate the economic impacts of the windowpane flounder AMs and increase fishing opportunities for the groundfish fishery, while still preventing overfishing. Although the Framework 52 provisions to reduce the size and duration of the southern windowpane flounder AMs were not intended to apply to non-groundfish trawl vessels or the scallop fishery, the regulatory text for these provisions was ambiguous, and did not specifically state that the options to reduce the size or duration of the southern windowpane flounder AMs should only apply to the groundfish fishery. Based on correspondence with the New England Council prior to the Framework 56 proposed rule, we included a regulatory text correction in the Framework 56 proposed rule and in this final rule to clarify that these provisions only applied to the groundfish fishery. However, both the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils requested that we use any and all remediation methods available to remove or modify the southern windowpane accountability measures for fishing year 2017. In support of their requests, the Councils pointed to the rebuilt status of the southern windowpane flounder stock, as well as the potential economic impacts of the large AM on the groundfish, scallop, and large-mesh non-groundfish fisheries. These requests, and the expected biological and economic implications of the large southern windowpane AM area, are discussed in the proposed rule.

    The southern windowpane flounder AM areas will be effective until August 31, 2017, for all groundfish trawl vessels. However, we are not able to remove the southern windowpane AM areas for large-mesh non-groundfish vessels based on the existing regulations. We are considering an emergency rule to extend the Framework 52 provision to remove the AM areas for the large-mesh non-groundfish vessels as close to September 1, 2017, as possible. Beginning on September 1, 2017, groundfish trawl vessels will no longer be required to use approved selective gears when fishing inside the AM areas. We encourage vessels to continue to limit southern windowpane flounder catch during the 2017 fishing year, as an overage in 2017 would still result in an AM for a future fishing year. At its June 2017 meeting, the New England Council recommended analyzing revisions to the large-mesh non-groundfish fishery AMs in Framework 57 to the Northeast Multispecies FMP, which has an intended implementation date of May 1, 2018. The Mid-Atlantic Council has offered analytic support for potential revisions. The revisions may include the extension of the Framework 52 provisions to reduce the size or duration of the southern windowpane flounder AM areas to large-mesh non-groundfish fisheries, or other modifications to the size, location, duration, or trigger for the windowpane flounder AMs. We will work with the Councils to ensure that revisions to the windowpane AMs maintain conservation benefits to the windowpane flounder stocks while still allowing the affected fisheries to achieve optimum yield.

    ER01AU17.009 11. Regulatory Corrections Under Regional Administrator Authority

    The following changes are being made using Magnuson-Stevens Act section 305(d) authority to clarify regulatory intent, correct references, inadvertent deletions, and other minor errors.

    This rule clarifies the regulatory text regarding net obstruction or constriction in § 648.80 to improve enforceability.

    This rule removes § 648.85(d), which describes the now obsolete haddock incidental catch allowance for some Atlantic herring vessels as a special access program within the Northeast multispecies fishery. The haddock incidental catch allowances were codified in the regulations at § 648.90(a)(4)(iii)(D) as midwater trawl sub-ACLs for the GOM and GB haddock stocks when we implemented ACLs and AMs in Amendment 16. This rule removes the references to § 648.85(d) throughout the regulations, and replaces them with the reference to the haddock mid-water trawl sub-ACLs.

    This rule clarifies the regulatory text that describes the windowpane flounder and ocean pout accountability measures in § 648.90.

    Comments and Responses on Measures Proposed in the Framework 56 Proposed Rule

    We received nine comments during the comment period on the Framework 56 proposed rule, which included comments on the windowpane flounder AMs that were described in conjunction with the proposed Framework 56 measures. Public comments were submitted by the New England Council, the Mid-Atlantic Council, two commercial fishing organizations (the Northeast Seafood Coalition (NSC) and the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association (MCFA)), one commercial fisherman, and four individuals. Responses to the comments received are below, and, when possible, responses to similar comments on the proposed measures have been consolidated.

    Witch Flounder Status Determination Criteria

    Comment 1: A private citizen supported disapproval of the New England Council's proposed status determination criteria for witch flounder. The commenter noted that it is problematic to have no objective criteria to measure stock status, and questioned whether, in the absence of criteria, the fishing industry could rewrite the standards to favor overfishing.

    Response: We are disapproving the New England Council's proposed status determination criteria for witch flounder because the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires us to maintain these criteria. The National Standard Guidelines require each FMP to specify objective and measurable status determination criteria that enable us to monitor stock status. When data are unavailable to specify status determination criteria based on maximum sustainable yield (MSY) or MSY proxies, the Council and NMFS may use alternative approaches to monitor stock status that ensure sustainability. In the absence of alternative SDCs, we intend to maintain the existing criteria until we and the Council are able to generate SDCs based on the empirical swept-area biomass approach or alternative approaches.

    The commenter's suggestion that the fishing industry could rewrite the standards to favor overfishing is unclear. We and the Council work together to set objective standards, or status determination criteria, to determine whether overfishing is occurring. These criteria are developed and implemented through management actions that formally incorporate the criteria in the FMP, and it is not possible for external parties to set their own, or different, criteria for determining stock status.

    Comment 2: The New England Council and NSC opposed disapproval of the Council's proposed status determination criteria of unknown. The Council expressed concern that maintaining the status determination criteria from the 2008 assessment ignores nearly a decade of catch and survey data, and should not be considered the best scientific information available. The Council notes that its recommendation is based on advice from the peer review panel and the SSC, and that we did not provide justification for rejecting the conclusions of these scientific groups. Finally, the Council noted that it is not possible to develop status determination criteria for witch flounder as part of the 2017 groundfish operational assessments, as this type of analysis is outside of the terms of reference for this assessment, and is usually reserved for benchmark assessments or the research track.

    In its comment, the NSC questioned our interpretation that the Council intended to change the Amendment 16 status determination criteria. The NSC explained that the Council's recommended stock status is “unknown” not because there are no measurable and objective criteria, but because there are currently no numerical estimates of fishing mortality or relative biomass to these reference points.

    Response: As described earlier in this preamble, we are disapproving the Council's proposed change to the existing status determination criteria. In the absence of new status determination criteria from the 2016 witch flounder benchmark assessment, this action maintains the existing status determination criteria. However, because a stock assessment model is lacking, it is not possible to calculate numerical estimates of these criteria.

    We are maintaining the witch flounder SDCs put in place in Amendment 16, until the criteria can be replaced by suitable SDCs, or reference points from a model-based assessment. The rejection of the assessment models left insufficient time to fully develop replacement SDCs or proxies in this action. As discussed in the assessment summary report, the witch flounder age-structured model assessments, while scientifically well thought out, had issues that led the peer review panel to conclude that they should not be used for management or stock status determination purposes. The assessment working group developed the swept-area biomass approach as part of its deliberations, and the peer review panel ultimately recommended that alternative approach for catch advice. The peer review panel focused the majority of its review on the age-structured models for witch flounder. The panel did not have time to fully review the swept-area biomass approach under the assessment terms of reference, which include the update or redefinition of status determination criteria or proxies.

    We agree with the Council that we cannot establish new SDCs for witch flounder as part of the 2017 Groundfish Operational Assessments. Developing SDCs is a lengthy process best addressed as part of a benchmark assessment, or as part of a peer review process outside of the assessment cycle dedicated specifically to developing SDCs. We recognize that developing new SDCs for witch flounder may also be challenging because there is no longer an analytical stock assessment model to provide historical estimates of biomass, fishing mortality rates, or recruitment. There are unlikely to be benchmark assessments for the suite of groundfish stocks that now have either unknown or inappropriate SDCs. Given this, we will work with the Council to develop a plan for establishing new SDCs, including consideration of establishing simple SDCs, for example, an annual comparison of catch to the OFL to determine if overfishing is occurring.

    Following the 2017 operational assessment updates, we will work with the Council to consider a standard protocol to apply in similar situations. For example, the FMP could specify that alternative, simplified criteria would automatically take the place of the model-based SDCs if groundfish assessments fail in the future, but would be replaced by model-based or other appropriate SDCs whenever they are available.

    The NSC is incorrect regarding the Council's intent for changing the status determination criteria in Framework 56. The Environmental Assessment for Framework 56 describes that the preferred alternative would remove the existing status determination criteria, namely, F at 40 percent of maximum spawning potential, or the maximum fishing mortality threshold (MFMT), and 1/2 the target biomass associated with F at maximum spawning potential, or minimum stock size threshold (MSST). The criteria, and associated numerical estimates from the criteria, would instead be listed as unknown.

    Comment 3: The New England Council commented that the witch flounder ABC should be a proxy for the OFL and provides one objective measure for stock status.

    Response: In a January 13, 2017, memo to the SSC, the Groundfish PDT presented a number of candidate OFLs based on applying a range of exploitation rates in the swept-area biomass approach. However, the SSC recommended that the OFL was unknown, and determined that the result presented from swept-area biomass approach was appropriate as an ABC. The New England Council adopted the SSC's recommendation, and included an OFL of “unknown” in the final Framework 56 document submitted to us. If the Council intended for NMFS to use the ABC as a proxy for the OFL, it could have set the OFL at 878 mt, similar to the PDT recommendation, and then applied the Northeast Multispecies FMP's ABC control rule to derive a more conservative ABC.

    The ABC cannot be an official proxy for the OFL. Nonetheless, as the Council suggests, in the absence of a specific OFL, the ABC and ACL can provide some measure to ensure that overfishing does not occur. An OFL represents the highest level of catch that will not result in overfishing for a given year. Despite the absence of a specific OFL in this action, there is still a level of fishing mortality between the exploitable stock biomass level estimate (roughly 14,500 mt) and the specified ABC level (878 mt) generated in the swept-area biomass approach, that represents the OFL. As noted below, the consistency of this ABC with past ABCs for this stock, along with the relatively conservative exploitation rate that the peer review panel and SSC selected to derive the ABC, support our approval of the ABC recommendation and a temporarily unknown OFL for witch flounder and determination that it should provide sufficient protection to stock biomass in the near term.

    The recommended ABC is based on a recent period of relatively stable, yet low, biomass from 2005 to the present. The 878-mt ABC is similar to witch flounder ABCs (and corresponding OFLs) set during this period of stability (2010 ABC = 944 mt; 2013-2015 ABC = 783 mt). In each of these years, total witch flounder catch was below the ACL. Based on the swept-area biomass approach, catch limits in this range appear to have maintained stock biomass throughout this recent period. In the temporary absence of an OFL, given recent catch data and estimated trends in stock biomass, we have determined that this ABC is a sufficient to prevent overfishing consistent with the National Standard 1 guidelines.

    Comment 4: Though it was not the subject of this rulemaking, the NSC, the New England Council, and one private citizen opposed our updated stock status determination for witch flounder (to maintain its overfished status and that its overfishing status is unknown). The NSC and the New England Council supported a witch flounder stock status of unknown for both overfished and overfishing, as recommended by the peer review panel of the 2016 witch flounder benchmark assessment. Both commented that NMFS provided no meaningful analysis, measurable or objective application of qualitative information, or legally relevant values for target stock biomass levels to make an overfished determination for witch flounder. The New England Council pointed to our characterization of witch flounder stock biomass in the proposed rule (“. . . the stock is at historical low levels. ”) as a misquotation of the benchmark assessment report (“. . . low historical levels . . .”), and noted that this changes the meaning of the discussion in the benchmark assessment. The Council noted that the assessment report indicates that while the survey biomass is low, survey biomass was lower in the early 1990s, and has shown some improvement in recent years. Finally, the private citizen expressed general confusion about stock status determinations, and questioned how we could determine that the overfishing status was unknown if we determined that the stock was overfished.

    Response: Our determinations for overfished and overfishing status are separate from this action, and are based on definitions in the National Standard 1 guidelines. An overfished determination relates to stock biomass, and means that the population size is too small, while an overfishing determination relates to the rate of fish removal from a stock, and means that the annual rate of catch is too high. After taking into account the best scientific information available, NMFS makes the final determination of stock status, and is not bound by the recommendation of the peer review panel or the SSC. NMFS reviews and makes these determinations annually as part of its requirements to report on the status of U.S. fisheries. More information on this process can be found here: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/fisheries_eco/status_of_fisheries/.

    As stated in the proposed rule, the witch flounder stock was previously listed as subject to overfishing and overfished. Despite the rejection of the recent stock assessments for stock status purposes and lack of numerical estimates of stock size, there is qualitative information in the assessment that supports continuing to list the status as overfished and temporarily changing the overfishing status from subject to overfishing to unknown. This approach is consistent with a previous determination for GB yellowtail flounder where, even in the absence of a stock assessment model, available data and fishery indicators suggested the stock was still in poor condition and in need of continued rebuilding efforts.

    For witch flounder, there are indications that the stock is still in poor condition that support maintaining the overfished determination. As stated in the proposed rule, these indicators include long-term declines in stock size, a truncation of age structure in the fishery landings and survey catch data, and a reduction in the number of old fish in the population (Figures B3-B6 in the witch flounder assessment summary, available here: https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd1701/crd1701.pdf).

    We agree that text in the proposed rule regarding witch flounder stock biomass is different than that in the assessment report. In certain cases, the misquotation could have changed the meaning of the discussion concerning the nature of the level of catch. Notwithstanding this possibility, and despite some improvement in recent years, the current estimated stock biomass can be characterized as low among historical levels. Based on the results of the 2016 assessment, population biomass estimates declined 86 percent when comparing the 5-year average biomass from 1967-1971 to the 5-year average biomass from 2011-2015. Though the 2011-2015 average is not the lowest in the time series, this figure is low compared to historical levels, and supports our determination to maintain stock status as overfished despite our inability to compare current estimates of stock biomass to valid reference points. Unlike the overfished status, for which we have reliable indicators of stock condition, we do not have reliable estimates for the overfishing status in the short term. Because a stock assessment model is lacking, numerical estimates of fishing mortality are not available to compare to the overfishing status criterion for stock. As a result, we determined that the overfishing status relative to the existing SDC is not currently possible, and that the overfishing status is unknown. However, while numerical estimates of fishing mortality and an absolute value for the OFL are not available, catch limits must be set with a sufficient probability of preventing overfishing. For witch flounder, catch for the last five years has been below the ACL, and has remained stable. As a result, and for other reasons discussed elsewhere in this preamble, we determined that the Council's recommended ABC is a sufficient limit for preventing overfishing in the temporary absence of an OFL, consistent with National Standard 1 guidelines.

    Fishing Year 2017 Shared U.S./Canada Quotas, and Other Catch Limits

    Comment 5: The NSC opposed the catch limits for GB yellowtail flounder and GB cod because these low catch limits threaten the viability of the scallop and groundfish fisheries and access to other U.S. managed stocks in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area. The NSC expressed concern that the Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee (TRAC) assessment did not adequately incorporate new information, including new catchability studies and changes to swept-area biomass calculations, that could increase the stock biomass estimates and catch limits.

    Response: A number of ongoing studies relative to survey catchability were briefly discussed at the 2016 TRAC assessment for GB yellowtail flounder. This preliminary information suggested that survey catchability may be different than the current assumption used in the assessment. However, the TRAC concluded it was necessary to conduct additional analyses to determine a new value for survey catchability. As a result, this issue was included as a Term of Reference for the 2017 TRAC assessment, and the TRAC plans to consider recent catchability studies, along with potential changes to the catchability assumptions used in the 2017 assessment. Additionally, although the 2016 TRAC concluded additional analysis was necessary, it recognized the uncertainty associated with the current catchability assumption, and conducted a sensitivity analysis to explore the impact of different values of survey catchability on the assessment. As the NSC noted in its comment, the analysis indicated that as survey catchability decreases, estimated biomass increases. However, as survey catchability decreases, the relative exploitation rate also decreases. Applying these lower exploitation rates then produces similar catch advice to the advice generated based on the current survey catchability assumption. Based on this analysis, the TRAC concluded that despite uncertainty in survey catchability, its catch advice would be the same regardless of the survey catchability assumed in the assessment.

    Furthermore, the 2016 TRAC assessment noted a number of other factors that indicate GB yellowtail flounder is in poor condition. There is a continued declining trend in survey biomass in recent years despite historically low catch. Although recent catch is low, information indicates that there is still high total mortality on the stock, along with poor recruitment and productivity. Based on the poor condition of the stock, the TRAC and the Council's SSC have continued to recommend maintaining the quota as low as possible, while recognizing that fishery catch does not appear to be driving stock decline, and balancing the need to achieve optimum yield in other fisheries, including the scallop fishery.

    Comment 6: The NSC commented that, when new information indicates a stock size is significantly larger than previously estimated, the choice of exploitation rate should be a policy decision for the Council, as opposed to a decision made through the stock assessment process.

    Response: For stocks such as GB yellowtail flounder and witch flounder, for which a stock assessment model is lacking, catch advice is typically generated by applying an exploitation rate to estimates of biomass from resource surveys. In some cases, the assessment results may indicate a range of exploitation rates that may be an appropriate scientific basis for generating catch advice based on analysis conducted in the assessment and consideration of factors such as historical exploitation rates or other stock indicators. The Council's SSC considers the final peer reviewed assessment and makes OFL and ABC recommendations to the Council after determining the information in the assessment meets the guidelines for best scientific information available. In developing catch advice, the SSC would consider the most appropriate exploitation rate, based on the assessment results, that will result in catch levels that prevent overfishing. The SSC also considers additional Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements to achieve optimum yield and minimize economic impacts to the extent practicable. Once the SSC has recommended an ABC, the Council develops catch limits, but cannot exceed the SSC's ABC recommendation. In theory, once the appropriate exploitation rate necessary to prevent overfishing is selected, there are multiple opportunities for the SSC and the Council to provide additional input on the choice of an exploitation rate based on Council policies and other management considerations.

    Comment 7: The NSC supported the proposed witch flounder catch limits, but commented that the catch limit, and the exploitation rate used to derive the catch limit in the swept-area biomass approach, were very conservative. MCFA also supported the proposed witch flounder catch limit, and commented that the previous lower catch limits constrained fishing on more abundant stocks and created economic incentives to avoid landing witch flounder.

    Response: We are adopting the witch flounder catch limits proposed by the Council. We do not view the exploitation rate recommended by the SSC as overly conservative. The exploitation rate is derived from a period of relative stability in estimated witch flounder abundance. Given the uncertainty around witch flounder stock status, we have determined that the exploitation rate, and the corresponding ABC, are appropriate to prevent overfishing for this stock. Further, the 2017 witch flounder ABC is a 91-percent increase over the 2016 ABC. We expect this substantial increase from the 2016 ABC will provide additional flexibility and fishing opportunities for the groundfish fishery.

    Comment 8: The NSC supported maintaining the values for the other and state waters sub-components for all stocks until the Council is able to conduct additional analysis and policy development.

    Response: Consistent with the Council's recommendations, this action maintains the existing state and other sub-component amounts for dividing the ABC among various components of the fishery. In developing Framework 56, consistent with the process outlined in Amendment 16, the Groundfish PDT recommended changes to the 2017 and 2018 state waters and other sub-component values for all groundfish stocks. The PDT's recommendations were based on recent catch information, expected ACL changes, and management measures for 2016 and 2017, stock abundance and availability, and other information. The Council considered the PDT's recommendations, but decided to only make changes to the sub-component values for witch flounder and northern windowpane flounder to align these values with measures in Framework 56. For all other stocks, the Council maintained the 2017 and 2018 sub-component values adopted last year in Framework 55, which specified 2017 and 2018 ACLs. Instead, the Council listed review of groundfish catch in other fisheries, including a review of the process used to set the state water and other sub-components, as a priority for 2017. We expect the Groundfish PDT will develop an updated approach for specifying the sub-component values as part of Framework 57.

    Comment 9: The New England Council identified an error in the Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine yellowtail flounder OFL in Table 2 the proposed rule. The value should be 900 mt, not 7,900 mt.

    Response: We have corrected this error in Table 2 under section “4. Catch Limits for Fishing Years 2017-2019.”

    Comment 10: The Council also identified a transcription error for the total ACL for GB haddock in 2017 and 2018 in its Environmental Assessment for Framework 56. The values should be 54,568 mt in 2017 and 74,058 mt in 2018, as in the Proposed Rule in Table 3 (pp. 28452) and Table 4 (pp. 28453).

    Response: The Council submitted a corrected version of the Environmental Assessment, which we have made available with this final rule. This error did not change the results of the analysis. Information on how to access the finalized version of the Environmental Assessment is included under the ADDRESSES section.

    Revised Trigger for Scallop Accountability Measures

    Comment 11: The NSC supported revising the trigger for scallop AMs for GB yellowtail flounder and northern windowpane flounder.

    Response: We agree, and are implementing this measure as recommended by the Council.

    Comment 12: The Council clarified its intent that the revised trigger for scallop AMs for GB yellowtail flounder and northern windowpane flounder measures is a temporary change for fishing years 2017 and 2018 only, and that the underlying scallop AM implementation threshold will apply for evaluating overages in fishing year 2019 and beyond. The proposed rule incorrectly stated that the Council would evaluate the provision after 2018 to ensure the threshold was effectively constraining both scallop fishery catch and total mortality.

    Response: We clarified the Council's intent in our description of the approved measure under section “6. Revised Trigger for Scallop Accountability Measures.” We note that the regulatory text in the proposed rule was clear that the threshold for implementing AMs for these stocks would revert to the previous policy in fishing year 2019.

    GB Haddock Allocation for the Midwater Trawl Fishery

    Comment 13: MCFA opposed the increase to the midwater trawl GB haddock catch limit, and instead supported maintaining the catch limit at the status quo level of 1 percent of the U.S. ABC. The MCFA commented that increasing the GB haddock allocation for a fishery with low accountability undermines conservation measures for the groundfish fishery. The MCFA also noted that, by allowing an increase in bycatch, more juvenile haddock will be caught as bycatch than at any other time in our recorded history.

    Response: We are approving the recommended increase for the midwater trawl GB haddock catch limit. In evaluating this increase, we considered several competing mandates and considerations outlined in the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This included considering National Standard 1, which requires that FMPs prevent overfishing while achieving optimum yield; National Standard 8, which requires the consideration of the importance of the fisheries to communities and, to the extent practicable, minimize adverse impacts to these communities; and National Standard 9, which requires an FMP to reduce bycatch, to the extent practicable. As discussed in the Framework 46 final rule (September 15, 2011; 76 FR 56985), a rule that previously increased the midwater trawl GB haddock catch limit from 0.2 percent to 1 percent of the U.S. ABC, and supported by the Environmental Assessment for Framework 56, the recommended increase represents an acceptable balance of these standards. This measure increases the opportunity for the herring fishery to achieve optimum yield, while still preventing overfishing, and with no adverse impact to the health of the herring or haddock stocks.

    Though the Council recommended increasing the catch limit for 2017 and 2018, it also established a process to re-evaluate this limit in future years, in concert with the assessment cycle, and specified that the catch limit can adjust as low as the status quo level of 1 percent, and as high as 2 percent. This review provides continued opportunities to evaluate this measure in light of any changes to the status of GB haddock or changes to the operation of the midwater trawl and groundfish fisheries.

    The Council's analysis in the Framework 56 EA acknowledges that some portion of the catch caught by the mid-water trawl fishery would be immature (i.e., pre-spawning age), as is the case now with the status quo allocation. However, the analysis notes that midwater trawl fishery catches in the range of 1 to 2 percent of the U.S. ABC would be a low risk to the GB haddock stock given the recent assessment findings that the stock is at record high biomass levels. The EA concluded that increasing the midwater trawl GB haddock catch cap up to 2 percent is likely to result in similar biological impacts to maintaining the catch cap at 1 percent. At the 1-percent level, the catch cap provides positive benefits to the GB haddock stock, compared to having no cap in place for the midwater trawl fishery, because it constrains midwater trawl fishery catch. Increasing the catch cap up to 2 percent should continue to provide positive benefits for the GB haddock stock particularly given the current abundance of the stock, and the wide gap between the total ACL and total catch (between 1 and 35 percent of total ACL from 2010-2015).

    Recently, groundfish closed area restrictions for the midwater trawl fleet resulted in high levels of observer coverage (above roughly 30 percent coverage). Given the way observer coverage levels are set based on the groundfish closed area restrictions and the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM), there are times when observer coverage for the midwater trawl fleet has exceeded roughly 40 percent. In addition, the New England Council has been working in recent years to increase monitoring coverage for the herring fishery, and recently adopted an industry-funded monitoring program for vessels fishing with midwater trawl gear. In April 2017, the New England Council took final action on the Industry-funded Monitoring Amendment and recommended a 50-percent coverage target for the majority of midwater trawl vessels. We will begin the rulemaking process for the Industry-funded Monitoring Amendment in late 2017.

    Further, the midwater trawl fleet is subject to an in-season closure of the directed herring fishery in the GB haddock AM area when the haddock catch cap is reached, as well as a pound-for-pound payback for any overages. During the 2015 fishing year, the midwater trawl fishery caught all of its allocation of GB haddock by October 22, 2015, and was subject to the AM until April 30, 2016. This possession restriction resulted in an estimated loss of $1.8 million in herring revenue during this time period. These AMs create a strong disincentive for the midwater trawl fleet to exceed its GB haddock catch limit, and, along with the New England Council's efforts to improve monitoring for this fishery, provide appropriate levels of accountability for the midwater trawl fishery. For all of these reasons, increasing the GB haddock catch cap meets the goal to achieve optimum yield and full utilization from the catch of herring, to promote the utilization of the resource in a manner which maximizes social and economic benefits to the nation, all while taking into account the protection of marine ecosystems including minimizing bycatch to the extent practicable.

    Comment 14: Regarding the process for reviewing the GB haddock midwater trawl catch limit, the New England Council clarified that it could also consider other factors in addition to those listed in the preamble to the proposed rule.

    Response: We agree with the Council's comment, and have clarified in our description of the approved measure under section “7. Increase to Georges Bank Haddock Allocation for the Midwater Trawl Fishery” that the review should consider factors including, but not limited to, groundfish fishery catch performance, utilization, status of the GB haddock resource, recruitment, incoming year-class strength, and the variability in the GB haddock incidental catch estimates for the Atlantic herring midwater trawl fishery. We note that the regulatory text in the proposed rule was clear that other factors could be considered.

    Sector Measures for Fishing Year 2017

    Comment 15: The NSC echoed the Northeast Sector Service Network's (NSSN) comments on the sector measures approved in the Fishing Year 2017 and 2018 Sector Operations Plans Interim Final Rule (82 FR 19618; April 28, 2017). NSSN's comment highlighted the difficulties posed by the delay in the Framework 56 rulemaking, including difficulties communicating temporary catch limits, and managing sector fishing activity, while the temporary catch limits are in place. The NSSN noted that it requested proactive discussions regarding temporary catch limits well in advance of the start of the fishing year, but that NMFS failed to provide complete information about the temporary limits until the final month before the start of the fishing year on May 1, 2017. The NSSN encouraged NMFS to adopt more proactive steps to ensure information about default measures is available well in advance of the fishing year.

    Response: The timing of the witch flounder assessment, as well as having 2017 catch limits for 18 of the 20 stocks, and default measures for the remaining 2 stocks, delayed the rulemaking process for Framework 56. Throughout development of Framework 56, the Groundfish PDT and NMFS cautioned that incorporating the witch flounder assessment results would likely mean that Framework 56 would not be finalized in time for the start of the 2017 fishing year. Additionally, the Council did not submit Framework 56 to us for review until April 13, 2017, or 2 weeks prior to the start of fishing year 2017. On average, once the Council submits a framework action to us for review, it takes approximately 6 months to complete review of the document, as well as proposed and final rulemaking, and implement final approved measures.

    Given the anticipated delays in the Framework 56 rulemaking, in advance of May 1, 2017, we provided sectors with data on both the status quo/default measures and a detailed description on the catch limits that would change if Framework 56 was approved. We recognize and agree that this situation was difficult to communicate and manage. In light of this year and in preparation for Framework 57, which will include 2018-2020 catch limits for all groundfish stocks based on the fall 2017 operational assessments, we will work with the Council and sectors to avoid a situation similar to what occurred this year.

    2017 Northern Windowpane Flounder AM

    Comment 16: The New England Council and the NSC opposed implementing the northern windowpane flounder AM area for groundfish vessels in response to the 2015 overage. Both stated that triggering the AM would be purely punitive because: (1) Despite the total ACL overage, the groundfish fishery only caught 75 percent of its sub-ACL in 2015; and (2) the Council addressed the operational issue that contributed to the 2015 and past overages by creating a scallop fishery sub-ACL in Framework 56. The commenters also cited the Framework 52 analysis, which estimated the economic impacts of the windowpane flounder AMs on the groundfish fishery averaged nearly $11 million from 2010-2012.

    Response: We are approving the scallop fishery sub-ACL for northern windowpane flounder, and agree that this provision addresses an operational issue that contributed to ACL overages. Although scallop fishery catches contributed to a 2015 ACL overage, the regulations implementing the Northeast Multispecies FMP require us to trigger the groundfish fishery AM as a result of the overage. As a result, the groundfish fishery AM for northern windowpane flounder will be effective beginning August 1, 2017.

    We are able to remove the northern windowpane flounder AM for the groundfish fishery for reasons unrelated to approval of the scallop fishery sub-ACL. As described elsewhere in this preamble, preliminary 2016 catch estimates indicate that total northern windowpane flounder catch was below the ACL. The regulations allow us to remove windowpane flounder AMs if catch is below the ACL in the year after an overage. Though the groundfish fishery will still be subject to the northern windowpane flounder AM temporarily, the expected economic impacts of the AM are greatly diminished by the limited timeframe the AM will be in effect.

    2017 Southern Windowpane Flounder AM

    Comment 17: The Mid-Atlantic Council and NSC opposed implementing the southern windowpane flounder AM areas. The Mid-Atlantic Council requested that we use any and all remediation methods available to exempt fisheries from the AM for one year. In support of its request, the Mid-Atlantic Council pointed to the apparent lack of biological consequences from past southern windowpane flounder ACL overages, as well as the potential negative economic impacts of the AMs on the summer flounder and scup fisheries. The NSC recommended that NMFS and the Councils should pursue short- and long-term solutions to this issue, including expedited processes to reduce catches, gear modifications, reassessment of the stock, and ecosystem component designation. To offer additional support for not implementing the southern windowpane flounder AM, the New England Council commented that it took action in Framework 48 to address the operational issues that contributed to southern windowpane flounder overages by creating sub-ACLs and AMs for both the scallop and non-groundfish fisheries.

    Response: Regulations put in place in Framework 52 authorize us to remove the southern windowpane flounder AM for the groundfish fishery. Our preliminary 2016 catch estimate indicates that total southern windowpane flounder catch was below the ACL. The regulations allow us to remove windowpane flounder AMs if catch is below the ACL in the year after an overage. Though the groundfish fishery will still be subject to the southern windowpane flounder AM temporarily, the expected economic impacts of the AM are greatly diminished by the limited timeframe the AM will be in effect.

    As described elsewhere in this preamble, the Council only developed measures in Framework 52 to reduce the size and duration of the windowpane flounder AMs for groundfish vessels. These provisions do not apply to the non-groundfish trawl vessels, including the summer flounder and scup fisheries, that are also subject to the AMs. Based on the updated 2016 catch information, we are considering an emergency action to extend the Framework 52 provision to reduce the duration of the AM to all trawl vessels.

    We agree with the NSC that the Councils, should pursue changes to southern windowpane flounder management that prevent overfishing while mitigating economic impacts to Greater Atlantic Region fisheries. Both Councils are currently advancing several actions to this end. The New England Council's Research Steering Committee recently recommended approving using the large-mesh belly panel trawl as a selective gear type that can be used when the southern windowpane flounder AM is triggered. This gear type demonstrated a reduction in southern windowpane flounder without a reduction in scup catch. The Council is conducting additional analysis to determine if this gear meets the standards for selective gear, and if so, would formally recommend approval of this gear type to NMFS. As described elsewhere in this preamble, the New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils also are working to analyze revisions to the large-mesh non-groundfish fishery AMs in Framework 57. Last, through the Groundfish PDT and in response to inquiries from the Councils, we provided advice that southern windowpane flounder may be a candidate for re-designation as an ecosystem component species, and that this issue should be further explored. Re-designation would require an amendment to the Northeast Multispecies FMP, and possibly to other Greater Atlantic Region FMPs.

    Finally, we agree with the New England Council's comment that, by creating sub-ACLs and AMs for all fisheries responsible for a substantial share of southern windowpane flounder catch, it addressed the operational issues that contributed to past overages. However, similar to northern windowpane flounder, this does not remove the requirement that we implement the southern windowpane flounder AM in response to the 2015 overage. This argument lends even less support for removing the 2017 AM for southern windowpane flounder than northern windowpane flounder. Unlike northern windowpane flounder, where the groundfish fishery is subject to an AM in spite of maintaining 2015 catch below its sub-ACL, all fisheries with sub-ACLs (groundfish, scallop, and non-groundfish) exceeded their 2015 sub-ACLs for southern windowpane flounder in 2015. This means that the groundfish, scallop, and non-groundfish fisheries should each bear responsibility for the overage under an AM.

    Changes From the Proposed Rule

    This final rule contains a number of minor adjustments from the proposed rule.

    We corrected a typographical error in the 2018 Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine yellowtail flounder OFL. The proposed rule incorrectly listed the OFL as 7,900 mt instead of 900 mt. We also clarified our descriptions of the revised trigger for scallop fishery accountability measures, and the increase to the GB haddock allocation for the midwater trawl fishery, based on comments from the New England Council (see Comments 12 and 14).

    In addition to adjusting the common pool trip limit for witch flounder, we are also adjusting the common pool trip limit for American plaice. Witch flounder and American plaice are caught together, and because we are increasing the witch flounder trip limit, we are reducing the American plaice trip limit to slow catch of American plaice. This will avoid early closures for the common pool fishery and help prevent overages.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that the management measures implemented in this final rule are necessary for the conservation and management of the Northeast multispecies fishery and consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order (E.O.) 12866.

    This rule is not an E.O. 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under E.O. 12866.

    This final rule does not contain policies with Federalism or “takings” implications as those terms are defined in E.O. 13132 and E.O. 12630, respectively.

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries finds good cause, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness of this action. This action sets 2017 catch limits for 4 of the 20 groundfish stocks, and adopts several other measures to improve the management of the groundfish fishery. This final rule must be in effect by August 1, 2017, to fully capture the conservation and economic benefits of Framework 56 and sector administrative measures.

    This rulemaking incorporates information from updated benchmark stock assessment for witch flounder. The development of Framework 56 was timed to incorporate the results of this assessment, which was finalized in December 2016. Council action and analysis were not complete until April 2017. The groundfish fishing years began on May 1, 2017, but given the late timing of the benchmark assessment and Council process, we were unable to publish a proposed rule for Framework 56 until June 22, 2017. The regulations allow us to implement default groundfish specifications equal to 35 percent of the previous year's catch limits in the event that the rulemaking process is delayed beyond the start of the fishing year. However, the regulations also specify that the default specifications expire after July 31, 2017. Once the default catch limits expire, any groundfish stock areas with stocks that do not have specified catch limits are closed to fishing activity. In order to have this action effective by August 1, 2017, the date by which default specifications expire, it is necessary to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness of this rule.

    Default groundfish specifications are currently in place for the Eastern GB cod and GB yellowtail stocks, and vessels have already restricted their fishing effort in the Eastern U.S./Canada area in response to the temporarily reduced catch limits for these stocks. A further delay in the implementation of 2017 catch limits for these stocks would mean that there are no catch limits in place for the Eastern U.S./Canada area, which would require us to close the Eastern U.S./Canada area until the final rule is published. This would result in direct economic loss for the groundfish fleet.

    The groundfish fishery already faced substantial catch limit reductions for many key groundfish stocks over the past 6 years. Any further disruption to the fishery that would result from a delay in this final rule could create severe economic impacts to the groundfish fishery. Overall, this rule is not expected to have significant economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities if it is implemented on time. However, the negative economic impacts of implementing the default catch limits expiring on August 1 would diminish the benefits of these specifications and other approved measures. For these reasons, a 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this rule is impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment and the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for adjusting the American plaice trip limit because it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

    The regulations at § 648.86(o) authorize the Regional Administrator to adjust the Northeast multispecies possession and trip limits for common pool vessels in order to prevent the overharvest or underharvest of the pertinent common pool quotas. The common possession and trip limits implemented through this action help to ensure that the Northeast multispecies common pool fishery may achieve the optimum yield (OY) for the relevant stocks, while controlling catch to help prevent inseason closures or quota overages. This action adjusts the common pool trip limit for American plaice related to changes in the common pool trip limit for witch flounder. Witch flounder and American place are caught together, and because we are increasing the witch flounder trip limit, we are reducing the American plaice trip limit to slow the catch of American plaice. If we increase the trip limit for witch flounder without decreasing the trip limit for American plaice, American plaice catch will accelerate, which will likely lead to early closure of a trimester and quota overages. Any overage of catch must be deducted from the Trimester 3 quota, which could substantially disrupt the trimester structure and intent to distribute the fishery across the entire fishing year. An overage reduction in Trimester 3 would further reduce fishing opportunities for common pool vessels and likely result in early closure of Trimester 3. This would undermine management objectives of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and cause unnecessary negative economic impacts to the common pool fishery.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: July 26, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.80, revise paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 648.80 NE Multispecies regulated mesh areas and restrictions on gear and methods of fishing.

    (g) Restrictions on gear and methods of fishing—(1) Net obstruction or constriction. Except as provided in paragraph (g)(5) of this section, a fishing vessel subject to minimum mesh size restrictions shall not use, or attach any device or material, including, but not limited to, nets, net strengtheners, ropes, lines, or chafing gear, on the top of a trawl net, except that one splitting strap and one bull rope (if present), consisting of line and rope no more than 3 in (7.6 cm) in diameter, may be used if such splitting strap and/or bull rope does not constrict, in any manner, the top of the trawl net. “The top of the trawl net” means the 50 percent of the net that (in a hypothetical situation) would not be in contact with the ocean bottom during a tow if the net were laid flat on the ocean floor. For the purpose of this paragraph, head ropes are not considered part of the top of the trawl net.

    (2) Net obstruction or constriction. (i) Except as provided in paragraph (g)(5) of this section, a fishing vessel may not use, or attach, any mesh configuration, mesh construction, or other means on or in the top of the net, as defined in paragraph (g)(1), subject to minimum mesh size restrictions, as defined in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, if it obstructs the meshes of the net in any manner.

    § 648.85 [Amended]
    3. In § 648.85, remove paragraph (d) and redesignate paragraph (e) as new paragraph (d).
    § 648.86 [Amended]
    4. In the table below, for each paragraph in the left column, remove the text from whenever it appears throughout the paragraph and add the text indicated in the right column. Paragraph Remove Add Frequency § 648.86(a)(3)(ii)(A)(1) § 648.85(d) § 648.90(a)(4)(iii)(D) 1 § 648.86(a)(3)(ii)(A)(4) § 648.85(d) § 648.90(a)(4)(iii)(D) 1
    5. In § 648.90: a. Revise paragraphs (a)(4)(iii)(D) and (E), and paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D)(1); b. Add paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D)(4); c. Amend paragraph (a)(5)(iii) by removing “§ 648.85(d)” and adding “§ 648.90(a)(4)(iii)(D)” in its place; d. Revise paragraph (a)(5)(iv).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 648.90 NE multispecies assessment, framework procedures, and specifications, and flexible area action system.

    (a) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (D) Haddock catch by the midwater trawl Atlantic herring fishery. (1) Sub-ACL values. The midwater trawl Atlantic herring fishery will be allocated sub-ACLs equal to 1 percent of the GOM haddock ABC, and 1.5 percent of the GB haddock ABC (U.S. share only), pursuant to the restrictions in § 648.86(a)(3). The sub-ACLs will be set using the process for specifying ABCs and ACLs described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section. For the purposes of these sub-ACLs, the midwater trawl Atlantic herring fishery includes vessels issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit and fishing with midwater trawl gear in Management Areas 1A, 1B, and/or 3, as defined in § 648.200(f)(1) and (3).

    (2) GB haddock sub-ACL Review. Following an assessment of the total GB haddock stock, the Groundfish PDT will conduct a review of the sub-ACL and recommend to the Groundfish Committee and Council a sub-ACL for the midwater trawl Atlantic herring fishery of 1 and up to 2 percent of the GB haddock U.S. ABC. The sub-ACL review should consider factors including, but not limited to, groundfish fishery catch performance, expected groundfish fishery utilization of the GB haddock ACL, status of the GB haddock resource, recruitment, incoming year-class strength, and evaluation of the coefficient of variation of the GB haddock incidental catch estimates for the midwater trawl Atlantic herring fishery.

    (E) Windowpane flounder catch by the Atlantic sea scallop fishery. The Atlantic sea scallop fishery, as defined in subpart D of this part, will be allocated sub-ACLs equaling 21 percent of the northern windowpane flounder ABC and 36 percent of the southern windowpane flounder ABC. The sub-ACLs will be set using the process for specifying ABCs and ACLs described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (5) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (D) * * *

    (1) Windowpane flounder. Unless otherwise specified in paragraphs (a)(5)(i)(D)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, if NMFS determines the total catch exceeds the overall ACL for either stock of windowpane flounder, as described in this paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D)(1), by any amount greater than the management uncertainty buffer up to 20 percent greater than the overall ACL, the applicable small AM area for the stock shall be implemented, as specified in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D) of this section, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. If the overall ACL is exceeded by more than 20 percent, the applicable large AM areas(s) for the stock shall be implemented, as specified in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D) of this section, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. The AM areas defined below are bounded by the following coordinates, connected in the order listed by rhumb lines, unless otherwise noted. Vessels fishing with trawl gear in these areas may only use a haddock separator trawl, as specified in § 648.85(a)(3)(iii)(A); a Ruhle trawl, as specified in § 648.85(b)(6)(iv)(J)(3); a rope separator trawl, as specified in § 648.84(e); or any other gear approved consistent with the process defined in § 648.85(b)(6). If an overage of the overall ACL for southern windowpane flounder is a result of an overage of the sub-ACL allocated to exempted fisheries pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(iii)(F) of this section, the applicable AM area(s) shall be in effect for any trawl vessel fishing with a codend mesh size of greater than or equal to 5 inches (12.7 cm) in other, non-specified sub-components of the fishery, including, but not limited to, exempted fisheries that occur in Federal waters and fisheries harvesting exempted species specified in § 648.80(b)(3). If an overage of the overall ACL for southern windowpane flounder is a result of an overage of the sub-ACL allocated to the groundfish fishery pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(iii)(H)(2) of this section, the applicable AM area(s) shall be in effect for any limited access NE multispecies permitted vessel fishing on a NE multispecies DAS or sector trip. If an overage of the overall ACL for southern windowpane flounder is a result of overages of both the groundfish fishery and exempted fishery sub-ACLs, the applicable AM area(s) shall be in effect for both the groundfish fishery and exempted fisheries. If a sub-ACL for either stock of windowpane flounder is allocated to another fishery, consistent with the process specified at paragraph (a)(4) of this section, and there are AMs for that fishery, the groundfish fishery AM shall only be implemented if the sub-ACL allocated to the groundfish fishery is exceeded (i.e., the sector and common pool catch for a particular stock, including the common pool's share of any overage of the overall ACL caused by excessive catch by other sub-components of the fishery pursuant to paragraph (a)(5) of this section exceeds the common pool sub-ACL) and the overall ACL is also exceeded.

    Point N. latitude W.
  • longitude
  • Northern Windowpane Flounder and Ocean Pout Small AM Area 1 41°10′ 67°40′ 2 41°10′ 67°20′ 3 41°00′ 67°20′ 4 41°00′ 67°00′ 5 40°50′ 67°00′ 6 40°50′ 67°40′ 1 41°10′ 67°40′ Northern Windowpane Flounder and Ocean Pout Large AM Area 1 42°10′ 67°40′ 2 42°10′ 67°20′ 3 41°00′ 67°20′ 4 41°00′ 67°00′ 5 40°50′ 67°00′ 6 40°50′ 67°40′ 1 42°10′ 67°40′ Southern Windowpane Flounder and Ocean Pout Small AM Area 1 41°10′ 71°30′ 2 41°10′ 71°20′ 3 40°50′ 71°20′ 4 40°50′ 71°30′ 1 41°10′ 71°30′ Southern Windowpane Flounder and Ocean Pout Small Large AM Area 1 1 41°10′ 71°50′ 2 41°10′ 71°10′ 3 41°00′ 71°10′ 4 41°00′ 71°20′ 5 40°50′ 71°20′ 6 40°50′ 71°50′ 1 41°10′ 71°50′ Southern Windowpane Flounder and Ocean Pout Large AM Area 2 1 (1) 73°30′ 2 40°30′ 73°30′ 3 40°30′ 73°50′ 4 40°20′ 73°50′ 5 40°20′ (2) 6 (3) 73°58.5′ 7 (4) 73°58.5′ 8 5 40°32.6′ 5 73°56.4′ 1 (1) 73°30′ 1 The southernmost coastline of Long Island, NY, at 73°30′ W. longitude. 2 The easternmost coastline of NJ at 40°20′ N. latitude, then northward along the NJ coastline to Point 6. 3 The northernmost coastline of NJ at 73°58.5′ W. longitude. 4 The southernmost coastline of Long Island, NY, at 73°58.5′ W. longitude. 5 The approximate location of the southwest corner of the Rockaway Peninsula, Queens, NY, then eastward along the southernmost coastline of Long Island, NY (excluding South Oyster Bay), back to Point 1.

    (i) Reducing the size of an AM. If the overall northern or southern windowpane flounder ACL is exceeded by more than 20 percent and NMFS determines that: The stock is rebuilt, and the biomass criterion, as defined by the Council, is greater than the most recent fishing year's catch, then only the respective small AM may be implemented as described in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D)(1) of this section, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. This provision only applies to a limited access NE multispecies permitted vessel fishing on a NE multispecies DAS or sector trip.

    (ii) Reducing the duration of an AM. If the northern or southern windowpane flounder AM is implemented in the third fishing year following the year of an overage, as described in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D) of this section, and NMFS subsequently determines that the applicable windowpane flounder ACL was not exceeded by any amount the year immediately after which the overage occurred (i.e., the second year), on or after September 1 the AM can be removed once year-end data are complete. This reduced duration does not apply if NMFS determines during year 3 that a year 3 overage of the applicable windowpane flounder ACL has occurred. This provision only applies to a limited access NE multispecies permitted vessel fishing on a NE multispecies DAS or sector trip.

    (4) Ocean pout. Unless otherwise specified in paragraphs (a)(5)(i)(D)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, if NMFS determines the total catch exceeds the overall ACL for ocean pout, as described in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D)(1) of this section, by any amount greater than the management uncertainty buffer up to 20 percent greater than the overall ACL, the applicable small AM area for the stock shall be implemented, as specified in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D) of this section, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. If the overall ACL is exceeded by more than 20 percent, large AM area(s) for the stock shall be implemented, as specified in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D) of this section, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. The AM areas for ocean pout are defined in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(D)(1) of this section, connected in the order listed by rhumb lines, unless otherwise noted. Vessels fishing with trawl gear in these areas may only use a haddock separator trawl, as specified in § 648.85(a)(3)(iii)(A); a Ruhle trawl, as specified in § 648.85(b)(6)(iv)(J)(3); a rope separator trawl, as specified in § 648.84(e); or any other gear approved consistent with the process defined in § 648.85(b)(6).

    (iv) AMs if the sub-ACL for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery is exceeded. At the end of the scallop fishing year, NMFS will evaluate whether Atlantic sea scallop fishery catch exceeded the sub-ACLs for any groundfish stocks allocated to the scallop fishery. On January 15, or when information is available to make an accurate projection, NMFS will also determine whether total catch exceeded the overall ACL for each stock allocated to the scallop fishery. When evaluating whether total catch exceeded the overall ACL, NMFS will add the maximum carryover available to sectors, as specified at § 648.87(b)(1)(i)(C), to the estimate of total catch for the pertinent stock.

    (A) Threshold for implementing the Atlantic sea scallop fishery AMs. If scallop fishery catch exceeds the scallop fishery sub-ACLs for any groundfish stocks in paragraph (a)(4) of this section by 50 percent or more, or if scallop fishery catch exceeds the scallop fishery sub-ACL by any amount and total catch exceeds the overall ACL for a given stock, then the applicable scallop fishery AM will take effect, as specified in § 648.64 of the Atlantic sea scallop regulations.

    (B) 2017 and 2018 fishing year threshold for implementing the Atlantic sea scallop fishery AMs for GB yellowtail flounder and Northern windowpane flounder. For the 2017 and 2018 fishing years only, if scallop fishery catch exceeds either GB yellowtail flounder or northern windowpane flounder sub-ACLs specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, and total catch exceeds the overall ACL for that stock, then the applicable scallop fishery AM will take effect, as specified in § 648.64 of the Atlantic sea scallop regulations. For the 2019 fishing year and onward, the threshold for implementing scallop fishery AMs for GB yellowtail flounder and northern windowpane flounder will return to that listed in paragraph (a)(5)(iv)(A) of this section.

    § 648.201 [Amended]
    6. In § 648.201, amend paragraph (a)(2) by removing “§ 648.85(d)” and adding “§ 648.90(a)(4)(iii)(D)” in its place.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16133 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 151211999-6343-02] RIN 0648-XF586 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area Closure for the Common Pool Fishery AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; area closure.

    SUMMARY:

    This action closes the Georges Bank (GB) Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area to Northeast multispecies common pool vessels fishing with trawl gear, sink gillnet gear, and longline/hook gear for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2017. The closure is required by regulation because the common pool fishery is projected to have caught 90 percent of its Trimester 1 quota for GB cod. This closure is intended to prevent an overage of the common pool's quota for this stock.

    DATES:

    This action is effective July 28, 2017, through August 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Claire Fitz-Gerald, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Federal regulations at § 648.82(n)(2)(ii) require the Regional Administrator to close a common pool Trimester Total Allowable Catch (TAC) Area for a stock when 90 percent of the Trimester TAC is projected to be caught. The closure applies to all common pool vessels fishing with gear capable of catching that stock for the remainder of the trimester.

    As of July 27, 2017, the common pool fishery is projected to have caught approximately 90 percent of the Trimester 1 TAC (2.9 mt) for Georges Bank (GB) cod. Effective July 28, 2017, the GB Cod Trimester TAC Area is closed for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2017, to all common pool vessels fishing on a Northeast multispecies trip with trawl gear, sink gillnet gear, and longline/hook gear. The GB Cod Trimester TAC Area consists of statistical areas 521, 522, 525, and 561. The area reopens at the beginning of Trimester 2, on September 1, 2017.

    If a vessel declared its trip through the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) or the interactive voice response system, and crossed the VMS demarcation line prior to July 28, 2017, it may complete its trip within the Trimester TAC Area. A vessel that has set gillnet gear prior to July 28, 2017, may complete its trip by hauling such gear.

    Any overage of the Trimester 1 or 2 TACs must be deducted from the Trimester 3 TAC. If the common pool fishery exceeds its total quota for a stock in the 2017 fishing year, the overage must be deducted from the common pool's quota for that stock for fishing year 2018. Any uncaught portion of the Trimester 1 and Trimester 2 TACs is carried over into the next trimester. However, any uncaught portion of the common pool's total annual quota may not be carried over into the following fishing year.

    Weekly quota monitoring reports for the common pool fishery are on our Web site at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ro/fso/MultiMonReports.htm. We will continue to monitor common pool catch through vessel trip reports, dealer-reported landings, VMS catch reports, and other available information and, if necessary, we will make additional adjustments to common pool management measures.

    Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment and the 30-day delayed effectiveness period because it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

    The regulations require the Regional Administrator to close a trimester TAC area to the common pool fishery when 90 percent of the Trimester TAC for a stock has been caught. Updated catch information only recently became available indicating that the common pool fishery is projected to have caught 90 percent of its Trimester 1 TAC for GB cod as of July 27, 2017. The time necessary to provide for prior notice and comment, and a 30-day delay in effectiveness, would prevent the immediate closure of the GB Cod Trimester TAC Area. This increases the likelihood that the common pool fishery will exceed its trimester or annual quota of GB cod to the detriment of this stock, which could undermine management objectives of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. Additionally, an overage of the trimester or annual common pool quota could cause negative economic impacts to the common pool fishery as a result of overage paybacks deducted from a future trimester or fishing year.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 27, 2017. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16176 Filed 7-28-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 160614521-7624-02] RIN 0648-BF96 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Amendment to Regulations Implementing the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan; Change to Pacific Mackerel Management Cycle From Annual to Biennial AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) states that each year the Secretary will publish in the Federal Register the final specifications for all stocks in the actively managed stock category, which includes Pacific mackerel. NMFS is changing the management framework for Pacific mackerel so specifications will be set biennially instead of on an annual basis. The purpose of this change is to reduce the costs, while providing frequent enough reevaluation and adjustment in the specifications to manage and conserve Pacific mackerel.

    DATES:

    Effective August 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua Lindsay, West Coast Region, NMFS, (562) 980-4034, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the Pacific mackerel fishery in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the Pacific coast (California, Oregon, and Washington) in accordance with the CPS FMP. The CPS FMP states that each year the Secretary will publish in the Federal Register the specifications for all stocks in the actively managed stock category, which includes Pacific mackerel. In 2013, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended that the harvest specification process for Pacific mackerel move from a 1-year management cycle to a 2-year management cycle beginning in 2015. The Council recommended this revision to the management cycle under the CPS FMP's framework mechanism, which allows such changes by rulemaking without formally amending the fishery management plan itself. NMFS published separate annual specifications for Pacific mackerel for the 2015-16 and the 2016-17 fishing seasons to keep pace with the schedule of the fishery, and is now changing the annual notice requirement under the framework mechanism of the CPS FMP. From now on, NMFS will implement 2 years of harvest specifications with one rulemaking, beginning with the 2017 fishing season.

    The CPS FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS to set annual catch levels for the Pacific mackerel fishery based on the annual specification framework and control rules in the CPS FMP. These control rules include the harvest guideline control rule, which in conjunction with the overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC) and annual catch limit (ACL) rules in the CPS FMP are used to manage harvest levels for Pacific mackerel, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Annual estimates of biomass are an explicit part of these various harvest control rules, therefore, annual stock assessments are currently conducted for Pacific mackerel to provide annual estimates of biomass. Then, during public meetings each year, the estimated biomass for Pacific mackerel from these assessments is presented to the Council's CPS Management Team (Team), the Council's CPS Advisory Subpanel (Subpanel) and the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), and the biomass and the status of the fishery are reviewed and discussed. The biomass estimate is then presented to the Council along with recommendations and comments from the Team, Subpanel and SSC. Following review by the Council and after hearing public comment, the Council adopts a biomass estimate and makes its catch level recommendations to NMFS. Based on these recommendations, NMFS implements these catch specifications for each fishing year and publishes the specifications annually. Over recent years, little new information has been available for informing Pacific mackerel stock assessments from one year to the next. Therefore, stock assessment scientists at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), along with the SSC, concluded that conducting stock assessments annually is not necessary to manage Pacific mackerel sustainably; conducting assessments every 2 years can provide the necessary scientific information to continue to manage the stock sustainably. Annual landings of Pacific mackerel have also remained at historically low levels with landings averaging 5,000 mt over the last 10 years, well below the annual quotas over this time period. This highlights that the biomass of this stock is not being greatly impacted by fishing pressure. Low landings since 2011 are also one of the limitations of the recent stock assessments because they result in limited fishery-dependent sample information for use in the stock assessment. Based on this information, and in light of the monetary and personnel costs associated with conducting and reviewing each stock assessment as well as adopting specifications each year, the Council established a new Pacific mackerel management and assessment schedule under which full stock assessments would be conducted every 4 years, and in the second year of each cycle, the assessment will be updated using catch-only projection estimates. Each of these assessments would provide the biomass estimate for the current year as well as a projection of what the biomass will be in the following year. Those biomass estimates would then be used in the harvest control rules for Pacific mackerel, which the Council would use to provide NMFS with recommendations for the OFL, ABC and ACL for the following 2 years.

    This final rule changes the review and implementation schedule for setting Pacific mackerel harvest specifications, allowing NMFS to implement 2 years of catch specifications with a single notice and comment rulemaking. Reviewing biomass estimates and implementing catch specifications for 2 years at a time instead of 1 allows NMFS and the Council to use available time and resources in a more efficient manner, while still preserving the conservation and management goals of the CPS FMP, and using the best available science. NMFS will set biennial specifications from the 2017 fishing season forward in the Code of Federal Regulations.

    The proposed rule stated that this rulemaking would change the review and implementation schedule for Pacific mackerel, and the stock assessment cycle. That was an error: NMFS did not intend to propose to change the stock assessment cycle by rulemaking, as the Council already acted on that change. The action by this rule is only to allow the agency to implement 2 separate years of harvest specifications through a single notice and comment rulemaking process.

    On January 4, 2017, a proposed rule was published for this action and public comments solicited (82 FR 812) with a comment period that ended on February 3, 2017. NMFS received three comments regarding the amendment to change Pacific mackerel specifications to be set biennially instead of on an annual basis. No changes were made in response to the comments received. NMFS summarizes and responds to those comments below.

    Comments and Responses

    Comment 1: Two of the comments voiced a similar concern that, in moving from an annual stock assessment process to a biennial process, the harvest specifications would not be based on the best possible information. One commenter stated that keeping the current system of setting management specifications every year would provide better information to manage Pacific mackerel and allow the agency to be better positioned if more rapid adjustments are needed to either protect against overfishing, while the second commenter was concerned that if the stock greatly increased during one of the interim assessment years, that the industry might endure a missed opportunity.

    Response: As described above, based on recommendations from its SSC and scientists from the SWFSC, the Council has determined that as a matter of practice doing new stock assessments every year for Pacific mackerel was not providing significantly better information with which to manage the stock and prevent overfishing compared to the proposed approach. Based on this determination, the Council established a Pacific mackerel management and assessment schedule under which full stock assessments will be conducted every 4 years, and in the second year of each cycle the assessment will be updated using catch-only projection estimates. Each of these assessments would provide the biomass estimate for the current year as well as a projection of what the biomass will be in the following year. Those biomass estimates would then be used in the harvest control rules for Pacific mackerel and the Council provides NMFS with recommendations for the OFL, ABC and ACL for the following 2 years. The action being taken by NMFS through this rule is to allow the agency to implement those 2 separate years of harvest specifications through a single notice and comment rulemaking process. Additionally, this action does not change the control rules used to set the annual catch limits, including the ABC control rule under which scientific uncertainty in the OFL is considered in estimating ABC at a level that is intended to buffer against overfishing.

    Comment 2: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) submitted a comment expressing general support for the proposed rule and streamlining the process for setting specifications for Pacific mackerel.

    Response: CDFW is an important co-manager of CPS and NMFS appreciates its input. NMFS agrees with the CDFW that annual stock assessments are not necessary to manage Pacific mackerel sustainability. NMFS is supportive of the expanded efforts by CDFW to collect baseline biological and fishery data through their dockside sampling program to help inform ongoing and future assessment efforts of the various CPS stocks.

    Classification

    The Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, determined that the FMP Amendment to Regulations Implementing the CPS FMP; Change to Pacific Mackerel Management Cycle from Annual to Biennial is necessary for the conservation and management of the Pacific mackerel fishery and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and other applicable laws.

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    This action does not contain a collection-of-information requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 26, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS is amending 50 CFR part 660 as follows:

    PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 7001 et seq.

    2. In § 660.508, add paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 660.508 Annual specifications.

    (e) Pacific mackerel. Every 2 years the Regional Administrator will determine, and publish in the Federal Register, harvest specifications for 2 consecutive fishing seasons for Pacific mackerel.

    [FR Doc. 2017-16135 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 146 Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Proposed Rules NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING COMMISSION 1 CFR Chapters IV and VI Freedom of Information Act Regulations AGENCY:

    National Capital Planning Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule

    SUMMARY:

    The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC or Commission) proposes to revise its current Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Regulations. NCPC must comply with the requirements of FOIA when it process requests for Information submitted pursuant to FOIA.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before August 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule by either of the methods listed below.

    1. U.S. mail, courier, or hand delivery: General Counsel/Freedom of Information Officer, National Capital Planning Commission, 401 9th Street NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004.

    2. Electronically: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anne R. Schuyler, General Counsel and Chief FOIA Officer, 202-482-7223, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (Pub. L. 114-185). The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 addresses a range of procedural issues, including, among others, the requirement that agencies establish a minimum of 90 days for requesters to file an administrative appeal; provide dispute resolution services at various times throughout the FOIA process; refrain from charging fees for failure to comply with mandated time limits; engage in proactive disclosure of records of general interest or use to the public that are appropriate for such disclosure; and apply the Department of Justice's “foreseeable harm” standard as the basis for withholding information pursuant to an exemption contained in FOIA.

    NCPC adopted updated FOIA regulations in February 2014. As a result, NCPC included many of the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy (OIP) policies into its existing regulations some of which are now incorporated as law into the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. As a result, the proposed regulations require only a few changes to comply with the requirements of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016.

    NCPC published its existing FOIA regulations under Title 1, Chapter 400, Part 456 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Historically, Title 1, Chapter IV (Miscellaneous Agencies), Parts 455, 456, and 457 of the CFR contained NCPC regulations (Privacy, FOIA, and Nondiscrimination respectively). However, as there were no additional Parts within Chapter IV to accommodate NCPC's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Regulations, the Office of the Federal Register recently assigned NCPC a new Chapter—Chapter VI—within Title 1 for consolidation of all current and future NCPC regulations. As NCPC revises its existing regulations and prepares new ones, each revised and new regulation will be published in the next sequential Part of Chapter VI. The next sequential Part available for NCPC's proposed FOIA regulations is Part 602. Thus, the proposed FOIA regulations are advertised as Part 602.

    Key Changes Incorporated into NCPC's Proposed Freedom of Information Act Regulations 1. Time Limits

    The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 requires agencies to establish a minimum of 90 days for requesters to file an administrative appeal. NCPC's proposed FOIA regulations incorporate this requirement in § 602.12(a) (Appeals of Adverse Determinations). Section 602.12(g) enumerates the ability to extend time limits for responding to a FOIA request (20 days) and the process to be followed by NCPC to extend the time limits.

    2. Assistance From NCPC's FOIA Public Liaison and the National Archives Record Administration's (NARA), Office of Government Information (OGIS)

    The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 requires agencies to advise Requesters of the availability of dispute resolution services at various times throughout the FOIA process. The Act provides for these services to be offered by an Agency's FOIA Public Liaison and OGIS. NCPC's proposed regulations reference these services in §§ 602.5 (FOIA Request requirements), 602.6 (FOIA Response requirements), and 602.12 (Appeals of Adverse Determinations).

    3. Changes to Fee Structure

    The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 precludes the collection of fees if an agency fails to meet mandated FOIA time limits. NCPC's proposed FOIA regulations contain this limitation in § 602(f)(1). Section 602(f)(2) introduces a new fee construct contained in the FOIA Improvements Act of 2016 for Requests that generate 5000 pages of responsive records.

    As a general matter, the proposed FOIA regulations contain a reorganized fee section. The current regulations organize the fee section based on types of fees, e.g., Search, Review and Duplication. The proposed regulations organize the fee section based three categories of Requesters, e.g., Commercial Use Requesters; Noncommercial Scientific Institutions, Educational Institutions, and News Media Requesters; and all other Requesters. NCPC adopted this new organizational structure to improve the clarity of the fee section. Other than the reorganized structure and the two additions necessitated by the FOIA Improvements Act of 2016, the content of the fee section in the proposed regulations remains unchanged from that of the existing regulations.

    4. Standard for Release of Records

    The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 requires agencies to proactively disclose in electronic format records that have been requested three or more times. It also requires application of the Department of Justice's “foreseeable harm” standard as the basis for withholding information pursuant to an exemption contained in FOIA. The concept of proactive disclosure is already contained in NCPC's current regulations and is carried over in NCPC's proposed regulations at §§ 602.2(b) (Policy) and 602.4(b)(10) (Information Available without a FOIA Request). The foreseeable harm standard is incorporated in § 602.6(c).

    5. Elimination of a Description of NCPC's Organizational Structure

    NCPC's existing regulations contain an entire section devoted to a description of the Agency organizational structure and the Commission's composition (See, 1 CFR 456.2). As this information is readily available on NCPC's Web site, the referenced section has been removed from the proposed regulations. As a consequence, the remaining sections of the proposed regulations have been renumbered. Moreover, the Policy section has been moved. It now follows the Purpose section (renamed from General Information) and proceeds the Definition section. This appeared to be a move logical organizational structure.

    Compliance with Laws and Executive Orders 1. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    By Memorandum dated October 12, 1993 from Sally Katzen, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, and Independent Agencies, OMB rendered the NCPC exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 (See, Appendix A of cited Memorandum). Nonetheless, NCPC endeavors to adhere to the provisions of Executive Orders and developed this proposed rule in a manner consistent with the requirements of Executive Order 13563.

    2. Executive Order 13771

    By virtue of its exemption from the requirements of EO 12866, NCPC is exemption from this Executive Order. NCPC confirmed this fact with OIRA.

    3. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the NCPC certifies that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities.

    4. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. It does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; will not cause a major increase in costs for individuals, various levels of governments or various regions; and does not have a significant adverse effect on completion, employment, investment, productivity, innovation or the competitiveness of U.S. enterprises with foreign enterprises.

    5. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)

    A statement regarding the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is not required. The proposed rule neither imposes an unfunded mandate of more than $100 million per year nor imposes a significant or unique effect on State, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

    6. Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the proposed rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. The proposed rule does not substantially and directly affect the relationship between the Federal and state governments.

    7. Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    The General Counsel of NCPC has determined that the proposed rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of Executive Order 12988 3(a) and 3(b)(2).

    8. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The proposed rule does not contain information collection requirements, and it does not require a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    9. National Environmental Policy Act

    The proposed rule is of an administrative nature, and its adoption does not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. NCPC's adoption of the proposed rule will have minimal or no effect on the environment; impose no significant change to existing environmental conditions; and will have no cumulative environmental impacts.

    10. Clarity of the Regulation

    Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 12988, and the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998 requires the NCPC to write all rules in plain language. NCPC maintains the proposed rule meets this requirement. Those individuals reviewing the proposed rule who believe otherwise should submit specific comments to the addresses noted above recommending revised language for those provision or portions thereof where they believe compliance is lacking.

    11. Public Availability of Comments

    Be advised that personal information such as name, address, phone number electronic address, or other identifying personal information contained in a comment may be made publically available. Individuals may ask NCPC to withhold the personal information in their comment, but there is no guarantee the agency can do so.

    List of Subjects in 1 CFR Part 602

    National Capital Planning Commission Freedom of Information Act Regulations.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the National Capital Planning Commission proposes to amend 1 CFR chapters IV and VI as proposed to be established at 82 FR 24570 to read as follows:

    CHAPTER IV—MISCELLANEOUS AGENCIES PART 456 [Removed] 1. Under the authority of 40 U.S.C. 8711(a) remove part 456. 2. Add part 602 to read as follows. CHAPTER VI—NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING COMMISSION PART 602—NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING COMMISSION FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REGULATIONS Sec. 602.1 Purpose. 602.2 Policy. 602.3 Definitions. 602.4 Information Available without a FOIA Request. 602.5 FOIA Request requirements. 602.6 FOIA Response requirements. 602.7 Multi-track processing. 602.8 Expedited processing. 602.9 Consultations and referrals. 602.10 Classified and controlled unclassified information. 602.11 Confidential Commercial Information. 602.12 Appeals of Adverse Determinations. 602.13 Fees. 602.14 Fee waiver requirements. 602.15 Preservation of FOIA records. Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552, as amended.

    § 602.1 Purpose.

    This part contains the rules the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC or Commission) shall follow in processing third party Requests for Records concerning the activities of the NCPC under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended. Requests made by a U.S. citizen or an individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence to access his or her own records under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 522a are processed under this part and in accordance with part 602 of Title 1 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to provide the greatest degree of access while safeguarding an individual's personal privacy. Information routinely provided to the public as part of regular NCPC activity shall be provided to the public without regard to this part.

    § 602.2 Policy.

    (a) It is the NCPC's policy to facilitate the broadest possible availability and dissemination of information to the public through use of the NCPC's Web site, www.ncpc.gov, and physical distribution of materials not available electronically. The NCPC staff shall be available to assist the public in obtaining information formally by using the procedures herein or informally in a manner not inconsistent with the rule set forth in this part.

    (b) To the maximum extent possible, the NCPC shall make available agency Records of interest to the public that are appropriate for disclosure.

    § 602.3 Definitions.

    For purposes of this part, the following definitions shall apply:

    Act and FOIA mean the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended.

    Adverse Determination or Determination shall include a determination to withhold, in whole or in part, Records requested in a FOIA Request; the failure to respond to all aspects of a Request; the determination to deny a request for a Fee Waiver; or the determination to deny a request for expedited processing. The term shall also encompass a challenge to NCPC's determination that Records have not been described adequately, that there are no responsive Records, or that an adequate Search has been conducted.

    Agency Record or Record means any documentary material which is either created or obtained by a federal agency (Agency) in the transaction of Agency business and under Agency control. Agency Records may include without limitation books; papers; maps; charts; plats; plans; architectural drawings; photographs and microfilm; machine readable materials such as magnetic tape, computer disks and electronic data storage devices; electronic records including email messages; and audiovisual material such as still pictures, sound, and video recordings. This definition generally does not cover records of Agency staff that are created and maintained primarily for a staff member's convenience, exempt from Agency creation or retention requirements, and withheld from distribution to other Agency employees for their official use.

    Confidential Commercial Information means commercial or financial information obtained by the NCPC from a Submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA. Exemption 4 of the FOIA protects trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person which information is privileged or confidential.

    Controlled Unclassified Information means unclassified information that does not meet the standards for National Security Classification under Executive Order 13536, as amended, but is pertinent to the national interests of the United States or to the important interests of entities outside the federal government, and under law or policy requires protection from unauthorized disclosure, special handling safeguards, or prescribed limits on exchange or dissemination.

    Commercial Use Request means a FOIA Request from or on behalf of one who seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers the commercial, trade, or profit interests of the Requester or the person on whose behalf the Request is made.

    Direct Costs means those expenditures that the NCPC incurs in searching for, duplicating, and reviewing documents to respond to a FOIA Request. Direct Costs include, for example, the salary of the employee performing the work (the basic rate of pay for the employee plus 16 percent of the rate to cover benefits) and the cost of operating duplicating machinery. Direct Costs do not include overhead expenses such as costs of space, and heating or lighting the facility in which the Records are stored.

    Duplication means the process of making a copy of a document necessary to respond to a FOIA Request in a form that is reasonably usable by a Requester. Copies can take the form of, among others, paper copy, audio-visual materials, or machine readable documents (i.e., computer disks or electronic data storage devices).

    Educational Institution means a preschool, a public or private elementary or secondary school, an institution of undergraduate higher education, an institution of graduate higher education, an institution of professional education, and an institution of vocational education, which operates a program or programs of scholarly research. To be classified in this category, a Requester must show that the Request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are not sought for a commercial use but are sought to further scholarly research.

    Expedited Processing means giving a FOIA Request priority because a Requester has shown a compelling need for the Records.

    Fee Waiver means a waiver in whole or in part of fees if a Requester can demonstrate that certain statutory requirements are satisfied including that the information is in the public interest and is not requested primarily for commercial purposes.

    FOIA Public Liaison means an NCPC official who is responsible for assisting in reducing delays, increasing transparency and understanding the status of Requests, and assisting in the resolution of disputes.

    FOIA Request or Request means a written Request made by an entity or member of the public for an Agency Record submitted via the U.S. Postal Service mail or other delivery means to include without limitation electronic-mail (email) or facsimile.

    Frequently Requested Documents means documents that have been Requested at least three times under the FOIA. It also includes documents the NCPC anticipates would likely be the subject of multiple Requests.

    Multi-track Processing means placing requests in multiple tracks based on the amount of work or time (or both) needed to process the request. Simple Requests requiring relatively minimal work and/or review are placed in one processing track, more complex Requests are placed in one or more other tracks, and expedited Requests are placed in a separate track. Requests in each track are processed on a first-in/first-out basis.

    Noncommercial Scientific Institution means an institution that is not operated for commerce, trade or profit, but is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. To be in this category, a Requester must show that the Request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the Records are not sought for commercial use but are sought to further scientific research.

    Privacy Act Request means, in accordance with NCPC's Privacy Act Regulations (1 CFR part 603) a written (paper copy with an original signature) request made by an individual for information about himself/herself that is contained in a Privacy Act system of records. The Privacy Act applies only to U.S. citizens and aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence such that only individuals satisfying these criteria may make Privacy Act Requests.

    Reading Room Materials means Records, paper or electronic, that are required to be made available to the public under 5.U.S.C. 552(a)(2) as well as other Records that the NCPC, at its discretion, makes available to the public for inspection and copying without requiring the filing of a FOIA Request.

    Representative of the News Media means any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the population, uses his/her/its editorial skills to turn raw material into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. News media entities include television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large; publishers of periodicals that qualify as disseminators of news and make their products available for purchase or subscription by the general public; and alternative media to include electronic dissemination through telecommunication (internet) services. To be in this category, a Requester must not be seeking the Requested Records for a commercial use. A Freelance Journalist is a Representative of the News Media who is able to demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through a news organization, even though not actually employed by that news organization. A publication contract or past evidence of a specific freelance assignment from a news organization may indicate a solid basis for expecting publication.

    Requester means an entity or member of the public submitting a FOIA Request.

    Requester Category means one of the five categories NCPC places Requesters in for the purpose of determining whether the Requester will be charged for Search, Review and Duplication, and includes Commercial Use Requests, Educational Institutions, Noncommercial Scientific Institutions, Representatives of the News Media, and all other Requesters.

    Review means the examination of Records to determine whether any portion of the located Record is eligible to be withheld. It also includes processing any Records for disclosure, i.e., doing all that is necessary to excise the record and otherwise prepare the Record for release. Review does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.

    Search means the process of looking for material, by manual or electronic means that is responsive to a FOIA Request. The term also includes page-by-page or line-by-line identification of material within documents.

    Submitter means any person or entity outside the federal government from whom the NCPC directly or indirectly obtains commercial or financial information. The term includes, among others, corporations, banks, state and local governments, and agencies of foreign governments who provide information to the NCPC.

    Unusual Circumstances means, for purposes of § 602.7(c), and only to the extent reasonably necessary to the proper processing of a particular Request:

    (1) The need to Search for and collect the Requested Agency Records from establishments that are separate from the Commission's offices;

    (2) The need to Search for, collect and appropriately examine and Review a voluminous amount of separate and distinct Agency Records which are demanded in a single Request; or

    (3) The need for consultation with another Agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the FOIA Request.

    Workday means a regular Federal workday. It does not include Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays.

    § 602.4 Information available without a FOIA Request.

    (a) The NCPC shall maintain an electronic library at www.ncpc.gov that makes Reading Room Materials capable of production in electronic form available for public inspection and downloading. The NCPC shall also maintain an actual public reading room containing Reading Room Materials incapable of production in electronic form at NCPC's offices. The actual reading room shall be available for use on Workdays during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Requests for appointments to review Reading Room Materials in the actual public reading room should be directed to the NCPC's Information Resources Specialist identified on the NCPC Web site (www.ncpc.gov).

    (b) The following types of Records shall be available routinely without resort to formal FOIA Request procedures unless such Records fall within one of the exemptions listed at 5 U.S.C. 552(b) of the Act:

    (1) Commission agendas;

    (2) Plans and supporting documentation submitted by applicants to the Commission to Include environmental and historic preservation reports prepared for a plan or project;

    (3) Executive Director's Recommendations;

    (4) Commission Memoranda of Action;

    (5) Transcripts of Commission proceedings;

    (6) The Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital: Federal Elements and other plans prepared by the NCPC;

    (7) Federal Capital Improvements Plan for the National Capital Region following release of the President's Budget;

    (8) Policies adopted by the Commission;

    (9) Correspondence between the Commission and the Congress, other federal and local government agencies, and the public; and

    (10) Frequently Requested Documents.

    § 602.5 FOIA request requirements.

    (a) The NCPC shall designate a Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer who shall be authorized to grant or deny any Request for a Record of the NCPC.

    (b) Requests for a Record or Records that is/are not available in the actual or electronic reading rooms shall be directed to the Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer.

    (c) All FOIA Requests shall be made in writing. If sent by U.S. mail, Requests should be sent to NCPC's official business address contained on the NCPC Web site. If sent via email, they should be directed to [email protected] To expedite internal handling of FOIA Requests, the words Freedom of Information Act Request shall appear prominently on the transmittal envelope or the subject line of a Request sent via email or facsimile.

    (d) The FOIA Request shall:

    (1) State that the Request is made pursuant to the FOIA;

    (2) Describe the Agency Record(s) Requested in sufficient detail including, without limitation, any specific information known such as date, title or name, author, recipient, or time frame for which you are seeking Records, to enable the NCPC personnel to locate the Requested Agency Records;

    (3) State, pursuant to the fee schedule set forth in § 602.14, a willingness to pay all fees associated with the FOIA Request or the maximum fee the Requester is willing to pay to obtain the Requested Records, unless the Requester is seeking a Fee Waiver or placement in a certain Requester Category;

    (4) State, if desired, the preferred form or format of disclosure of Agency Records with which the NCPC shall endeavor to comply unless compliance would damage or destroy an original Agency Record or reproduction is costly and/or requires the acquisition of new equipment; and

    (5) Provide a phone number, email address or mailing address at which the Requester can be reached to facilitate the handling of the Request.

    (e) If a FOIA Request is unclear, overly broad, involves an extremely voluminous amount of Records or a burdensome Search, or fails to state a willingness to pay the requisite fees or the maximum fee which the Requester is willing to pay, the NCPC shall endeavor to contact the Requester to define the subject matter, identify and clarify the Records being sought, narrow the scope of the Request, and obtain assurances regarding payment of fees. The timeframe for a response set forth in § 602.6(a) shall be tolled (stopped temporarily) and the NCPC will not begin processing a Request until the NCPC obtains the information necessary to clarify the Request and/or clarifies issues pertaining to the fee.

    (f) NCPC shall designate a FOIA Public Liaison to assist a Requester in making a Request or to assist a Requester in correcting a Request that does not reasonably describe the Records sought or to correct other deficiencies described in paragraph (e) of this section that necessitate follow-up with the Requester.

    § 602.6 FOIA response requirements.

    (a) The Freedom of Information Act Officer, upon receipt of a FOIA Request made in compliance with these rules, shall determine whether to grant or deny the Request. The Freedom of Information Officer shall notify the Requester in writing within 20 Workdays of receipt of a perfected the Request of his/her determination and the reasons therefore and of the right to appeal any Adverse Determination to the head of the NCPC.

    (b) In cases involving Unusual Circumstances, the agency may extend the 20 Workday time limit by written notice to the Requester. The written notice shall set forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched. No such notice shall specify a date that would result in an extension of more than 10 Working Days unless the agency affords the Requester an opportunity to modify his/her Request or arranges an alternative timeframe with the Requester for completion of the NCPC's processing. The agency shall also advise the Requester of his/her right to seek assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison or OGIS to resolve time limit disputes arising under this paragraph.

    (c) NCPC shall deny a Request based on an exemption contained in the FOIA and withhold information from disclosure pursuant to an exemption only if NCPC reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by an exemption or if disclosure is prohibited by law. If a Request is denied based on an exemption, NCPC's response shall comply with the requirements of paragraph (d) below.

    (d) If a Request is denied in whole or in part, the Chief FOIA Officer's written determination shall include, if technically feasible, the precise amount of information withheld, and the exemption under which it is being withheld unless revealing the exemption would harm an interested protected by the exemption. NCPC shall release any portion of a withheld Record that reasonably can be segregated from the exempt portion of the Record.

    § 602.7 Multi-track processing.

    The NCPC may use multiple tracks for processing FOIA Requests based on the complexity of Requests and those for which expedited processing is Requested. Complexity shall be determined based on the amount of work and/or time needed to process a Request and/or the number of pages of responsive Records. If the NCPC utilizes Multi-track Processing, it shall advise a Requester when a Request is placed in a slower track of the limits associated with a faster track and afford the Requester the opportunity to limit the scope of its Request to qualify for faster processing.

    § 602.8 Expedited processing.

    (a) The NCPC shall provide Expedited Processing of a FOIA Request if the person making the Request demonstrates that the Request involves:

    (1) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;

    (2) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity, if made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information;

    (3) The loss of substantial due process rights; or

    (4) A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exists possible questions about the government's integrity which affect public confidence.

    (b) A Request for Expedited Processing may be made at the time of the initial FOIA Request or at a later time.

    (c) A Requester seeking Expedited Processing must submit a detailed statement setting forth the basis for the Expedited Processing Request. The Requester must certify in the statement that the need for Expedited Processing is true and correct to the best of his/her knowledge. To qualify for Expedited Processing, a Requester relying upon the category in paragraph (a)(2) of this section must establish:

    (1) He/She is a full time Representative of the News Media or primarily engaged in the occupation of information dissemination, though it need not be his/her sole occupation;

    (2) A particular urgency to inform the public about the information sought by the FOIA Request beyond the public's right to know about the government activity generally; and

    (3) The information is of the type that has value that will be lost if not disseminated quickly such as a breaking news story. Information of historical interest only or information sought for litigation or commercial activities will not qualify nor would a news media deadline unrelated to breaking news.

    (d) Within 10 calendar days of receipt of a Request for expedited processing, the NCPC shall decide whether to grant or deny the Request and notify the Requester of the decision in writing. If a Request for Expedited Processing is granted, the Request shall be given priority and shall be processed in the expedited processing track as fast as practicable. If a Request for Expedited Processing is denied, any appeal of that decision shall be acted on expeditiously.

    § 602.9 Consultations and referrals.

    (a) If a Requester seeks a Record in which another agency of the Federal Government is better able to determine whether the record is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA, NCPC shall either respond to the FOIA Request after consultation with the Agency best able to determine if the Requested Record(s) is/are subject to disclosure or refer the responsibility for responding to the FOIA Request to the Agency responsible for originating the Record(s). Generally, the Agency originating a Record will be presumed by the NCPC to be the Agency best qualified to render a decision regarding disclosure or exemption except for Agency Records submitted to the NCPC pursuant to its authority to review Agency plans and/or projects.

    (b) Upon referral of Records to another Agency, the NCPC shall notify the Requester in writing of the referral, inform the Requester of the name of the Agency to which all or part of the responsive records have been referred, provide the Requester a description of the part of the Request referred, and advise the Requester of a point of contact within the receiving Agency.

    (c) The timeframe for a response to a FOIA Request requiring consultation or referral shall be based on the date the FOIA Request was initially received by the NCPC and not any later date.

    § 602.10 Classified and Controlled Unclassified Information.

    (a) For Requests for an Agency Record that has been classified or may be appropriate for classification by another Agency pursuant to an Executive Order concerning the classification of Records, the NCPC shall refer the responsibility for responding to the FOIA Request to the Agency that either classified the Record, should consider classifying the Record, or has primary interest in the Record, as appropriate.

    (b) Whenever a Request is made for a Record that is designated Controlled Unclassified Information by another Agency, the NCPC shall refer the FOIA Request to the Agency that designated the Record as Controlled Unclassified Information. Decisions to disclose or withhold information designated as Controlled Unclassified Information shall be made based on the applicability of the statutory exemptions contained in the FOIA, not on a Controlled Unclassified Information marking or designation.

    § 602.11 Confidential Commercial Information.

    (a) Confidential Commercial Information obtained by the NCPC from a Submitter shall be disclosed under the FOIA only in accordance with the requirements of this section.

    (b) A Submitter of Confidential Commercial Information shall use good-faith efforts to designate, by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or at a reasonable time thereafter, any portions of its submission that it considers to be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA. These designations will expire ten years after the date of the submission unless the Submitter requests, and provides justification for, a longer designation period.

    (c) Notice shall be given to a Submitter of a FOIA Request for potential Confidential Commercial Information if:

    (1) The requested information has been designated in good faith by the Submitter as Confidential Commercial Information eligible for protection from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA; or

    (2) The NCPC has reason to believe the requested information is Confidential Commercial Information protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA.

    (d) Subject to the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (g) of this section, the NCPC shall provide a Submitter with prompt written notice of a FOIA Request or administrative appeal that seeks the Submitter's Confidential Commercial Information. The notice shall give the Submitter an opportunity to object to disclosure of any specified portion of that Confidential Commercial Information pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section. The notice shall either describe the Confidential Commercial Information Requested or include copies of the Requested Records or portions thereof containing the Confidential Commercial Information. When notice to a large number of Submitters is required, NCPC may provide notification by posting or publishing the notice in a place reasonably likely to accomplish the intent of the notice requirement such as a newspaper, newsletter, the NCPC Web site, or the Federal Register.

    (e) The NCPC shall allow a Submitter a reasonable time to respond to the notice described in paragraph (d) of this section and shall specify within the notice the time period for response. If a Submitter has any objection to disclosure, it shall submit a detailed written statement. The statement must specify all grounds for withholding any portion of the Confidential Commercial Information under any exemption of the FOIA and, in the case of Exemption 4, it must show why the Confidential Commercial Information is a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. If the Submitter fails to respond to the notice within the specified time, the NCPC shall consider this failure to respond as no objection to disclosure of the Confidential Commercial Information on the part of the Submitter, and NCPC shall proceed to release the requested information. A statement provided by the Submitter that is not received by NCPC until after the NCPC's disclosure decision has been made shall not be considered by the NCPC. Information provided by a Submitter under this paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.

    (f) The NCPC shall consider a Submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure in deciding whether to disclose Confidential Commercial Information. Whenever the NCPC decides to disclose Confidential Commercial Information over the objection of a Submitter, the NCPC shall give the Submitter written notice, which shall include:

    (1) A statement of the reason(s) why each of the Submitter's disclosure objections was not sustained;

    (2) A description of the Confidential Commercial Information to be disclosed; and

    (3) A specified disclosure date, which shall be a reasonable time subsequent to the notice.

    (g) The notice requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section shall not apply if:

    (1) The NCPC determines that the Confidential Commercial Information is exempt under FOIA;

    (2) The Confidential Commercial Information has been published lawfully or has been officially made available to the public;

    (3) The Confidential Commercial Information's disclosure is required by statute (other than the FOIA) or by a regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600 (Predisclosure Notification Procedures for Confidential Commercial Information); or

    (4) The designation made by the Submitter under paragraph (b) of this section appears obviously frivolous in which case the NCPC shall, within a reasonable time prior to a specified disclosure date, give the Submitter written notice of any final decision to disclose the Confidential Commercial Information.

    (h) Whenever a Requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of Confidential Commercial Information, the NCPC shall promptly notify the Submitter.

    (i) Whenever the NCPC provides a Submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure under paragraph (d) of this section, the NCPC shall also notify theRequester. Whenever the NCPC notifies a Submitter of its intent to disclose RequestedInformation under paragraph (f) of this section, the NCPC shall also notify the Requester. Whenever a Submitter files a lawsuit seeking to prevent the disclosure ofConfidential Commercial Information, the NCPC shall notify the Requester.

    § 456.12 Appeals of Adverse Determinations.

    (a) An appeal of an Adverse Determination shall be made in writing to the Chairman of the Commission (Chairman). An appeal may be submitted via U.S. mail or other type of manual delivery service or via email or facsimile within 90 Workdays of the date of a notice of an Adverse Determination. To facilitate handling of an appeal, the words Freedom of Information Act Appeal shall appear prominently on the transmittal envelope or the subject line of a Request sent via electronic-mail or facsimile.

    (b) An appeal of an Adverse Determination shall include a detailed statement of the legal, factual or other basis for the Requester's objections to an Adverse Determination; a daytime phone number or email address where the Requester can be reached if the NCPC requires additional information or clarification regarding the appeal; copies of the initial Request and the NCPC's written response; and for an Adverse Determination of a Request for Expedited Processing or a Fee Waiver, a demonstration of compliance with the requirements of §§ 602.8(a) and (c) or 602.13(a) through (c) respectively.

    (c) The Chairman shall respond to an appeal of an Adverse Determination in writing within 20 Workdays of receipt.

    (1) If the Chairman grants the appeal, the Chairman shall notify the Requester, and the NCPC shall make available copies of the Requested Records promptly thereafter upon receipt of the appropriate fee determined in accordance with § 602.13.

    (2) If the Chairman denies the appeal in whole or in part, the letter to the Requester shall state

    (i) The reason(s) for the denial, including the FOIA exemptions(s) applied;

    (ii) A statement that the decision is final;

    (iii) A notice of the Requester's right to seek judicial review of the denial in the District Court of the United States in either the locale in which the Requester resides, the locale in which the Requester has his/her principal place of business, or in the District of Columbia; and

    (iv) A notice that the Requester may seek dispute resolution services from either the NCPC FOIA Public Liaison or the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) to resolve disputes between a Requester and the NCPC as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. Contact information for OGIS can be obtained from the OGIS Web site at [email protected]

    (d) The NCPC shall not act on an appeal of an Adverse Determination if the underlying FOIA Request becomes the subject of FOIA litigation.

    (e) A party seeking court review of an Adverse Determination must first appeal the decision under this section to NCPC.

    § 602.13 Fees.

    (a) NCPC shall charge fees for processing FOIA requests in accordance with the provisions of this section and OMB Guidelines.

    (b) For purposes of assessing fees, NCPC shall categorize Requesters into three categories: Commercial Use Requesters; Noncommercial Scientific Institution, Educational Institution, and News Media Requesters; and all other Requesters. Different fees shall be charged depending upon the category into which a Requester falls. If fees apply, a Requesters may seek a fee waiver in accordance with the requirements of § 602.14.

    (c) Search Fees shall be charged as follows:

    (1) NCPC shall not charge Search fees to Requests made by Educational Institutions, Noncommercial Scientific Institutions, or Representatives of the New Media. NCPC shall charge Search fees to all other Requesters subject to the restrictions of paragraph (f) of this section even if NCPC fails to locate any responsive Records or if the NCPC withholds Records located based on a FOIA exemption

    (2) For each quarter hour spent by personnel searching for Requested Records, including electronic searches that do not require new programming, the Search fees shall be calculated based on the average hourly General Schedule (GS) base salary, plus the District of Columbia locality payment, plus 16 percent for benefits of employees in the following three categories: Staff Assistant (assigned at the GS 9-11 grades); Professional Personnel (assigned at the GS 11-13 grades); and Managerial Staff (assigned at the 14-15 grades). For a Staff Assistant the quarter hour fee to Search for and retrieve a Requested Record shall be $9.00. If a Search and retrieval cannot be performed entirely by a Staff Assistant, and the identification of Records within the scope of a Request requires the use of Professional Personnel, the fee shall be $12.00 for each quarter hour of Search time spent by Professional Personnel. If the time of Managerial Personnel is required, the fee shall be $18.00 for each quarter hour of Search time spent by Managerial Personnel.

    (3) For a computer Search of Records, Requesters shall be charged the Direct Costs of creating a computer program, if necessary, and/or conducting the Search. Direct Costs for a computer Search shall include the cost that is directly attributable to the Search for responsive Records and the costs of the operator's salary for the time attributable to the Search.

    (d) Duplication fees shall be charged to all Requesters, subject to the limitations of paragraph (f)(5) of this section. For a paper photocopy of a Record (no more than one copy of which shall be supplied), the fee shall be 10 cents per page for single or double sided copies, 90 cents per page for 8 1/2 by 11 inch color copies, and $1.50 per page for color copies up to 11 x 17 inches per page. For copies produced by computer, and placed on an electronic data saving device or provided as a printout, the NCPC shall charge the Direct Costs, including operator time, of producing the copy. For other forms of Duplication, the NCPC shall charge the Direct Costs of that Duplication.

    (e) Review fees shall be charged to only those Requesters who make a Commercial Use Request. Review fees will be charged only for the NCPC initial Review of a Record to determine whether an exemption applies to a particular Record or portion thereof. No charge will be made for Review at the administrative appeal level for an exemption already applied. However, Records or portions thereof withheld under an exemption that is subsequently determined not applicable upon appeal may be reviewed again to determine whether any other exemption not previously considered applies. If the NCPC determines a different exemption applies, the costs of that Review are chargeable. Review fees will be charged at the same rates as those charged for a Search under paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

    (f) The following limitations on fees shall apply:

    (1) If NCPC fails to comply with the time limits in which to respond to a request, shall not charge Search fees or, in the case of Educational Institutions, Noncommercial Scientific Institutions, or Representatives of the News Media, duplication fees, except as described in (f)(2)-(4).

    (2) If NCPC has determined that unusual circumstances as defined by the FOIA apply, and the agency provided timely written notice to the requester in accordance with the FOIA, a failure to comply with the time limit shall be excused for an additional 10 days.

    (3) If NCPC determines that Unusual Circumstances exist, and more than 5000 pages of responsive records are necessary to respond to the Request, NCPC may charge Search fees. NCPC may also charge duplication fees in the case of Educational Institutions, Noncommercial Scientific Institutions, or Representatives of the News Media. The provisions of this paragraph shall only apply if NCPC provides timely written notice of the Unusual Circumstances to the Requester and discusses with the Requester via mail, email and phone (or made at least three good faith efforts to do so) how to effectively limit the scope of the Request.

    (4) If a court has determined that exceptional circumstances exist, as defined by the FOIA, a failure to comply with the time limits shall be excused for the length of time provided by the court order.

    (5) No Search or Review fees shall be charged for a quarter-hour period unless more than half of that period is required for Search or Review.

    (6) Except for Requesters of a Commercial Use Request, the NCPC shall provide without charge the first two hours of Search (or the cost equivalent) and the first 100 pages of Duplication (or the cost equivalent);

    (7) Except for Requesters of a Commercial Use Request, no fee shall be charged for a Request if the total fee calculated under this section equals $50.00 or less.

    (8) Requesters other than those making a Commercial Use Request shall not be charged a fee unless the total cost of a Search in excess of two hours plus the cost of Duplication in excess of 100 pages totals more than $50.00.

    (h) If the NCPC determines or estimates fees in excess of $50.00, the NCPC shall notify the Requester of the actual or estimated amount of total fees, unless in its initial Request the Requester has indicated a willingness to pay fees as high as those determined or estimated. If only a portion of the fee can be estimated, the NCPC shall advise the Requester that the estimated fee constitutes only a portion of the total fee. If the NCPC notifies a Requester that actual or estimated fees amount to more than $50.00, the Request shall not be considered received for purposes of calculating the timeframe for a Response, and no further work shall be undertaken on the Request until the Requester agrees to pay the anticipated total fee. Any such agreement shall be memorialized in writing. A notice under this paragraph shall offer the Requester an opportunity to work with the NCPC to reformulate the Request to meet the Requester's needs at a lower cost.

    (i) Apart from other provisions of this section, if the Requester asks for or the NCPC chooses as a matter of administrative discretion to provide a special service—such as certifying that Records are true copies or sending them by other than ordinary mail—the actual costs of special service shall be charged.

    (j) The NCPC shall charge interest on any unpaid fee starting on the 31st day following the date of billing the Requester. Interest charges will be assessed at the rate provided in 31 U.S.C. 3717 (Interest and Penalty on Claims) and will accrue from the date of the billing until payment is received by the NCPC. The NCPC shall follow the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365, 96 Stat. 1749), as amended, and its administrative procedures, including the use of consumer reporting agencies, collection agencies, and offset.

    (k) Where the NCPC reasonably believes that one or more Requesters are acting in concert to subdivide a Request into a series of Requests to avoid fees, the NCPC may aggregate the Requests and charge accordingly. The NCPC shall presume that multiple Requests of this type made within a 30-day period have been made to avoid fees. Where Requests are separated by a time period in excess of 30 days, the NCPC shall aggregate the multiple Requests if a solid basis exists for determining aggregation is warranted under all circumstances involved.

    (l) Advance payments shall be treated as follows:

    (1) For Requests other than those described in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this section, the NCPC shall not require an advance payment. An advance payment refers to a payment made before work on a Request is begun or continued after being stopped for any reason but does not extend to payment owed for work already completed but not sent to a Requester.

    (2) If the NCPC determines or estimates a total fee under this section of more than $250.00, it shall require an advance payment of all or part of the anticipated fee before beginning to process a Request, unless the Requester provides satisfactory assurance of full payment or has a history of prompt payment.

    (3) If a Requester previously failed to pay a properly charged FOIA fee to the NCPC within 30 days of the date of billing, the NCPC shall require the Requester to pay the full amount due, plus any applicable interest, and to make an advance payment of the full amount of any anticipated fee, before the NCPC begins to process a new Request or continues processing a pending Request from that Requester.

    (4) If the NCPC requires advance payment or payment due under paragraphs (2) or (3) of this section, the Request shall not be considered received and no further work will be undertaken on the Request until the required payment is received.

    (m) Where Records responsive to Requests are maintained for distribution by Agencies operating statutorily based fee schedule programs, the NCPC shall inform Requesters of the steps for obtaining Records from those sources so that they may do so most economically.

    (n) All fees shall be paid by personal check, money order or bank draft drawn on a bank of the United States, made payable to the order of the Treasurer of the United States.

    § 602.15 Fee waiver requirements.

    (a) Records responsive to a Request shall be furnished without charge or at a charge reduced below that established under § 602.14 if the Requester demonstrates to the NCPC, and the NCPC determines, based on all available information, that Disclosure of the Requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government, and disclosure of the information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the Requester.

    (b) To determine if disclosure of the Requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government, the Requester shall demonstrate, and NCPC shall consider, the following factors:

    (1) Whether the subject of the Requested Records concerns the operations or activities of the government. The subject of the Requested Records must concern identifiable operations or activities of the federal government, with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated.

    (2) Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute to an understanding of government operations or activities. The portions of the Requested Records eligible for disclosure must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either a duplicative or a substantially identical form, is not likely to contribute to an understanding of government operations and activities because this information is already known.

    (3) Whether disclosure of the Requested information will contribute to public understanding. The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the individual understanding of the Requester. A Requester's expertise in the subject area and ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public shall be considered. It shall be presumed that a Representative of the News Media satisfies this consideration.

    (4) Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations or activities. The public's understanding of the subject in question must be enhanced by the disclosure to a significant extent, as compared to the level of public understanding existing prior to the disclosure. The NCPC shall not make value judgments about whether information that would contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government is important enough to be made public.

    (c) To determine whether disclosure of the information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the Requester, the Requester shall demonstrate, and NCPC shall consider, the following factors:

    (1) Whether the Requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the Requested disclosure. The NCPC shall consider any commercial interest of the Requester (with reference to the definition of Commercial Use Request in § 456.3(f)), or of any person on whose behalf the Requester may be acting, that would be furthered by the Requested disclosure. Requesters shall be given an opportunity in the administrative process to provide explanatory information regarding this consideration.

    (2) Whether any identified commercial interest of the Requester is sufficiently large in comparison with the public interest in disclosure that disclosure is primarily in the commercial interest of the Requester. A Fee Waiver is justified where the public interest standard of paragraph (b) of this section is satisfied and that public interest is greater in magnitude than that of any identified commercial interest in disclosure. The NCPC ordinarily shall presume that a Representative of the News Media satisfies the public interest standard, and the public interest will be the interest primarily served by disclosure to that Requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and market government information for direct economic return shall not be presumed to primarily serve the public interest.

    (d) Where only some of the Records to be released satisfy the requirements for a Fee Waiver, a Fee Waiver shall be granted for those Records.

    (e) Requests for a Fee Waiver should address the factors listed in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, insofar as they apply to each Request. The NCPC shall exercise its discretion to consider the cost-effectiveness of its investment of administrative resources in this decision-making process in deciding to grant Fee Waivers.

    § 456.16 Preservation of FOIA records.

    (a) The NCPC shall preserve all correspondence pertaining to FOIA Requests received and copies or Records provided until disposition or destruction is authorized by the NCPC's General Records schedule established in accordance with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approved schedule.

    (b) Materials that are responsive to a FOIA Request shall not be disposed of or destroyed while the Request or a related lawsuit is pending even if the Records would otherwise be authorized for disposition under the NCPC's General Records Schedule or NARA or other NARA-approved records schedule.

    Dated: July 24, 2017. Anne R. Schuyler, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15887 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7502-02-P
    NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING COMMISSION 1 CFR Chapters IV and VI Privacy Act Regulations AGENCY:

    National Capital Planning Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC or Commission) proposes to adopt new regulations governing NCPC's implementation of the Privacy Act, as amended and the privacy provisions of the E-Government Act of 2002. NCPC must comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act and the privacy provisions of the E-Government Act of 2002 for records maintained on individuals and personal information stored as a hard copy or electronically.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before August 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments on the proposed Privacy Act regulations by either of the methods listed below.

    1. U.S. mail, courier, or hand delivery: Anne R. Schuyler, General Counsel/National Capital Planning Commission, 401 9th Street NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004.

    2. Electronically: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anne R. Schuyler, General Counsel at 202-482-7223, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NCPC's adopted its current Privacy Regulations (1 CFR 455) in 1977. Since that time, Congress amended the Privacy Act multiple times including the E-Government Act of 2002 which addressed requirements for maintaining electronic privacy records. The proposed regulations update NCPC's existing Privacy Regulations to reflect amendments over time. The Office of the Federal Register recently assigned NCPC a new chapter of 1 CFR—Chapter VI—to allow NCPC to group all its regulations together in one chapter. NCPC proposes to codify the new Privacy Regulations at 1 CFR 603.

    Section by Section Analysis of NCPC's Privacy Act Regulations

    § 603.1 Purpose and scope. This section advises the purpose of the regulations is to implement a privacy program consistent with the requirements of the Privacy Act and the privacy related provision of the E-Government Act of 2002. As stated in the section, NCPC's privacy program extends to all Records maintained by NCPC in a System of Records; the responsibilities of NCPC to safeguard this information; the procedures by which Individuals may request notification of the existence of a Record about them, access to Records about them, an amendment to or correction of the Records about them, and an accounting of disclosures of those Records by the NCPC; the procedures by which an Individual may appeal an Adverse Determination, and the conduct of a Privacy Impact Assessment.

    § 603.2 Definitions. This section defines terms frequently used in the regulations. The section includes the five terms defined in the existing regulations—Individual, Maintain, Record, Routine Use and System of Records. It adds the definitions for the following terms: Adverse Determination, E-Government Act of 2002, Information in Identifiable Form (IIF), Information Technology, Privacy Act Officer (PAO), Privacy Act, Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), Record, Requester, Request for Access to a Record, Request for Amendment or Correction of a Record, Senor Agency Official for Privacy (SAOP), System of Records Notice (SORN), and Workday.

    § 603.3 Privacy Act program responsibilities. This section requires NCPC to designate a SAOP and a PAO and outlines the responsibilities associated with both positions. It also enumerates the Privacy Act responsibilities of other NCPC personnel.

    § 603.4 Standards used to Maintain Records. This section establishes the standards NCPC must follow regarding privacy information. The section requires NCPC to limit private information to only that necessary to achieve the purposes for which it is collected and stored; to ensure all information collected is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete; and to collect privacy information regarding an Individual's rights, benefits and privileges under federal programs from the Individual to the maximum extent possible subject to collection from third parties in certain circumstances.

    § 603.5 Notice to Individuals supplying information. This section enumerates the information NCPC must provide Individuals who are asked to supply information about themselves. The required information enumerated includes the purpose for which NCPC intends to use the information; the effects upon an Individual for not providing the information; and the form of notice NCPC must supply in response to an Individual's provision of information.

    § 603.6 System of Records (SOR) Notice (SORN). This section requires NCPC to publish a notice in the Federal Register describing each SOR 40-days before establishing a new or revising an existing SOR. The section requires the SORN to include the purpose of the Records and their location; the types of Individuals contained in the SOR; the authority for maintaining the SOR; the purpose or reason why NCPC collects the Records and their intended routine uses; the sources of the Records in the SOR; the policies and practices regarding storage, retrieval, access controls, retention, and disposal of the Records; the identification of the agency official responsible for the SOR; and the procedures for notifying an Individual who requests whether the SOR contains information about him/her.

    § 603.7 Procedures to safeguard Records. This section describes the procedures utilized by NCPC to safeguard hard copy and computerized records subject to the Privacy Act. The section requires hard copy Records to be stored in a locked room subject to restricted access with external posted warning signs limiting access to authorized personnel and/or stored in a locked container with identical precautions to those used for a locked room. The section requires computerized Records to be maintained subject to the Safeguards recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

    § 603.8 Employee conduct. This section requires employees with duties requiring access to and handling of Records to do so in a manner that protects the integrity, security and confidentiality of the Records. It prohibits employee disclosure of records unless authorized by the rules in this part, permitted by NCPC's FOIA regulations, or disclosed to the Individual to whom the Record pertains. The section also prohibits destruction or alteration of Records unless required as part of an employee's regular duties, required by regulations published by the National Archives Record Administration (NARA), or required by a court of law.

    § 603.9 Government contracts. This section requires contractors operating a System of Records on behalf of NCPC to abide by the requirements of the Privacy Act. It also requires a NCPC employee to oversee and manage the SOR operated by a contractor.

    § 603.10 Conditions for disclosure. Subject to a list of enumerated exceptions, this section precludes disclosure of a Record contained in a SOR unless prior written consent is obtained from the Individual to whom the record pertains.

    § 603.11 Accounting of disclosures. This section requires NCPC to prepare an accounting of disclosure when a Record is disclosed to any person or to another agency. The section requires the contents of an accounting to include the date, nature, and purpose of the disclosure and the name and address of the person or agency to whom the disclosure was made. The section also requires Accountings of disclosures to be made available to the Individual about whom the disclosed Record pertains except under limited circumstances. It further requires changes to disclosed Records to be shared with the person or agency to whom the Record was originally disclosed.

    § 603.12 Requests for notification of the existence of Records. This section advises Individuals how to determine whether a System of Records maintained by NCPC contains Records pertaining to them. It requires Individuals either to contact NCPC in writing or appear at NCPC's offices by appointment to make the subject request. The section requires the NCPC PAO to respond to a request in writing within 20-Workdays, to include in the response the Reason(s) for the PAO's determination, and to advise the requester of the right to appeal the decision.

    § 603.13 Request for access to Records. This section advises Individuals how to access NCPC records about themselves. It requires Individuals to request the right to access Records either in writing or to appear at NCPC's offices by appointment. The section enumerates the information required to be included in a request, and obligates Individuals to present certain specified identification to access the requested Records. The section also requires the NCPC PAO to respond to a request for access in writing within 20-Workdays, to state in the response the reason for the PAO's determination, and to advise the Requester of the right to appeal an Adverse Determination.

    § 603.14 Requests for amendment or correction of Records. This section outlines the process Individuals must follow to amend or correct Records about them that they believe are inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely or incomplete. The section requires a request for amendment or correction to be in writing, include certain specified information, and to be made only if the Individual has previously requested and been granted access to the Record. The section also requires the NCPC PAO to respond to a request for amendment or correction in writing within 20-Workdays, to state the reason for the PAO's determination in the response, to advise the requester of the right to appeal an Adverse Determination, to ensure the Record is amended or corrected in whole or in part if the PAO approves the request, and to place a notation of a dispute on the Record if the request is denied.

    § 603.15. Requests for an accounting of Records disclosures. This section outlines the process Individuals must follow to obtain information about disclosures of Records pertaining to them. It requires a request for information about Records disclosed to include certain specified information. The section also requires the NCPC PAO to respond to a request for information about disclosures in writing within 20-Workdays, to include, in the event of a disclosure, the date, nature and purpose of the disclosure, the name and address of the person or agency to whom the disclosure was made. The section further requires the PAO to state the reason for his/her determination and to advise the requester of the right to appeal an Adverse Determination.

    § 602.16 Appeals of Adverse Determinations. This section describes the process Individuals must follow to appeal an Adverse Determination. As defined in the definition section of the regulations Adverse Determination means a decision to withhold any requested Record in whole or in part; a decision that the requested Record does not exist or cannot be located; a decision that the requested information is not a Record subject to the Privacy Act; a decision that a Record, or part thereof, does not require amendment or correction; a decision to refuse to disclose an accounting of disclosure; and a decision to deny a fee waiver. The term also encompasses a challenge to NCPC's determination that Records have not been described adequately, that there are no responsive Records, or that an adequate search has been conducted. The section requires an Individual to submit a written appeal to the Chairman of the Commission stating the legal, factual or other basis for the Appeal, and it requires the Chairman to provide a written response within 30-Workdays. The section also requires NCPC to take prompt action to respond affirmatively to the Individual's original request if the Chairman grants the request and to state the reasons for a denial and the right to appeal the denial to a court of competent jurisdiction.

    § 603.17 Fees. This section states the fees to be charged for the search for and duplication of Records. It advises fees for duplication shall be those established by NCPC's FOIA Regulations, and it states there are no fees for the search or review of Records requested by an Individual.

    § 603.18 Privacy Impact Assessments. This section states when NCPC must conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), the contents of a PIA, and the process for approving the PIA. The section requires a PIA to be conducted before developing or procuring an IT system that collects, maintains or disseminates Information that identifies an Individual (IFF or Information in Identifiable Form) or when NCPC installs a new collection of IFF for 10 or more persons other than employees, or agencies of the federal government. The section also requires a PIA to analyze a number of factors related to the collection, use, owner, storage and manner of securing the IFF, and it requires the PIA to be approved and posted on NCPC's Web site prior to undertaking the action that required the PIA.

    Compliance With Laws and Executive Orders Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    By Memorandum dated October 12, 1993 from Sally Katzen, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, and Independent Agencies, OMB rendered the NCPC exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 (See, Appendix A of cited Memorandum). Nonetheless, NCPC endeavors to adhere to the provisions of Executive Orders and developed this proposed rule in a manner consistent with the requirements of Executive Order 13563.

    Executive Order 13771

    By virtue of its exemption from the requirements of EO 12866, NCPC is exempted from this Executive Order. NCPC confirmed this fact with OIRA.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the NCPC certifies that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. It does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; will not cause a major increase in costs for individuals, various levels of governments or various regions; and does not have a significant adverse effect on completion, employment, investment, productivity, innovation or the competitiveness of US enterprises with foreign enterprises.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)

    A statement regarding the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is not required. The proposed rule neither imposes an unfunded mandate of more than $100 million per year nor imposes a significant or unique effect on State, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

    Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the proposed rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. The proposed rule does not substantially and directly affect the relationship between the Federal and state governments.

    Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    The General Counsel of NCPC has determined that the proposed rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of Executive Order 12988 3(a) and 3(b)(2).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The proposed rule does not contain information collection requirements, and it does not require a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    The proposed rule is of an administrative nature, and its adoption does not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. NCPC's adoption of the proposed rule will have minimal or no effect on the environment; impose no significant change to existing environmental conditions; and will have no cumulative environmental impacts.

    Clarity of the Regulation

    Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 12988, and the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998 requires the NCPC to write all rules in plain language. NCPC maintains the proposed rule meets this requirement. Those individuals reviewing the proposed rule who believe otherwise should submit specific comments to the addresses noted above recommending revised language for those provision or portions thereof where they believe compliance is lacking.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Be advised that personal information such as name, address, phone number, electronic address, or other identifying personal information contained in a comment may be made publically available. Individuals may ask NCPC to withhold the personal information in their comment, but there is no guarantee the agency can do so.

    List of Subjects in 1 CFR Part 603

    Privacy Act Regulations.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the National Capital Planning Commission proposes amend 1 CFR Chapters IV and VI as proposed to be established at 82 FR 24570 to read as follows:

    CHAPTER IV—MISCELLANEOUS AGENCIES PART 455 [Removed]. 1. Under the authority of 40 U.S.C. 8711(a) remove part 455. 2. Add part 603 to read as follows: CHAPTER VI—NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING COMMISSION [Proposed] PART 603—NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING COMMISSION PRIVACY ACT REGULATIONS Sec. 603.1 Purpose and scope. 603.2 Definitions. 603.3 Privacy Act program responsibilities. 603.4 Standard used to Maintain Records. 603.5 Notice to Individuals supplying information. 603.6 System of Records Notice or SORN. 603.7 Procedures to safeguard Records. 603.8 Employee conduct. 603.9 Government contracts. 603.10 Conditions for disclosure. 603.11 Accounting for disclosures. 603.12 Request for notification of the existence of Records. 603.13 Requests for access to Records. 603.14 Request for Amendment or Correction of Records. 603.15 Request for Accounting of Record disclosures. 603.16 Appeal of Adverse Determinations. 603.17 Fees. 603.18 Privacy Impact Assessments. Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552a as amended and 44 U.S.C. ch. 36.

    § 603.1 Purpose and scope.

    (a) This part contain the rules the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) shall follow to implement a privacy program as required by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a (Privacy Act or Act) and the privacy provisions of the E-Government Act of 2002 (44 U.S.C. ch. 36) (E-Government Act). These rules should be read together with the Privacy Act and the privacy related provisions of the E-Government Act, which provide additional information respectively about Records maintained on individuals and protections for the privacy of personal information as agencies implement citizen-centered electronic Government.

    (b) Consistent with the requirements of the Privacy Act, the rules in this part apply to all Records maintained by NCPC in a System of Records; the responsibilities of the NCPC to safeguard this information; the procedures by which Individuals may request notification of the existence of a record, request access to Records about themselves, request an amendment to or correction of those Records, and request an accounting of disclosures of those Records by the NCPC; and the procedures by which an Individual may appeal an Adverse Determination.

    (c) Consistent with the privacy related requirements of the E-Government Act, the rules in this part also address the conduct of a privacy impact assessment prior to developing or procuring information technology that collects, maintains, or disseminates information in an identifiable form, initiating a new electronic collection of information in identifiable form for 10 or more persons excluding agencies, instrumentalities or employees of the federal government, or changing an existing System that creates new privacy risks.

    (d) In addition to the rules in this part, the NCPC shall process all Privacy Act Requests for Access to Records in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, and NCPC's FOIA rules.

    § 603.2 Definitions.

    For purposes of this part, the following definitions shall apply:

    Adverse Determination shall mean a decision to withhold any requested Record in whole or in part; a decision that the requested Record does not exist or cannot be located; a decision that the requested information is not a Record subject to the Privacy Act; a decision that a Record, or part thereof, does not require amendment or correction; a decision to refuse to disclose an accounting of disclosure; and a decision to deny a fee waiver. The term shall also encompass a challenge to NCPC's determination that Records have not been described adequately, that there are no responsive Records or that an adequate search has been conducted.

    E-Government Act of 2002 shall mean Public Law 107-347, Dec. 17, 2002, 116 Stat. 2899, the privacy portions of which are set out as a note under section 3501 of title 44.

    Individual shall mean a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

    Information in Identifiable Form (IFF) shall mean information in an Information Technology system or an online collection that directly identifies an individual, e.g., name, address, social security number or other identifying number or code, telephone number, email address and the like; or information by which the NCPC intends to identify specific individuals in conjunction with other data elements, e.g., indirect identification that may include a combination of gender, race, birth date, geographic identifiers, and other descriptions.

    Information Technology (IT) shall mean, as defined in the Clinger Cohen Act (40 U.S.C. 11101(6)), any equipment, software or interconnected system or subsystem that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission or reception of data.

    Maintain shall include maintain, collect, use or disseminate a Record.

    Privacy Act Officer shall mean the individual within the NCPC charged with responsibility for coordinating and implementing NCPC's Privacy Act program.

    Privacy Act or Act shall mean the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended and codified at 5 U.S.C. 552a.

    Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) shall mean an analysis of how information is handled to ensure handling conforms to applicable legal, regulatory, and policy requirements regarding privacy; to determine the risks and effects of collecting, maintaining and disseminating information in identifiable form in an electronic system; and to examine and evaluate protections and alternative processes for handling information to mitigate potential privacy risks.

    Record shall mean any item, collection, or grouping of information about an Individual that is Maintained by the NCPC, including, but not limited to, an Individual's education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and that contains a name, or identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the Individual, such as a finger or voice print or photograph.

    Requester shall mean an Individual who makes a Request for Access to a Record, a Request for Amendment or Correction of a Record, or a Request for Accounting of a Record under the Privacy Act.

    Request for Access to a Record shall mean a request by an Individual made to the NCPC pursuant to subsection (d)(1) of the Privacy Act to gain access to his/her Records or to any information pertaining to him/her in the system and to permit him/her, or a person of his/her choosing, to review and copy all or any portion thereof.

    Request for Amendment or Correction of a Record shall mean a request made by an Individual to the NCPC pursuant to subsection (d)(2) of the Privacy Act to amend or correct a Record pertaining to him/her.

    Routine Use shall mean with respect to disclosure of a Record, the use of such Record for a purpose which is compatible with the purpose for which the Record is collected.

    Senior Agency Official for Privacy (SAOP) shall mean the individual within NCPC responsible for establishing and overseeing the NCPC's Privacy Act program.

    System of Records or System (SOR or Systems) shall mean a group of any Records under the control of the NCPC from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual.

    System of Record Notice (SORN) shall mean a notice published in the Federal Register by the NCPC for each new or revised System of Records intended to solicit public comment on the System prior to implementation.

    Workday shall mean a regular Federal workday excluding Saturday, Sunday and legal Federal holidays when the federal government is closed.

    § 603.3 Privacy Act program responsibilities.

    (a) The NCPC shall designate a Senior Agency Official for Privacy (SAOP) to establish and oversee the NCPC's Privacy Act Program and ensure compliance with privacy laws, regulations and the NCPC's privacy policies. Specific responsibilities of the SAOP shall include:

    (1) Reporting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Congress on the establishment of or revision to Privacy Act Systems;

    (2) Reporting periodically to OMB on Privacy Act activities as required by law and OMB;

    (3) Signing Privacy Act SORNS for publication in the Federal Register;

    (4) Approving and signing PIAs; and

    (5) Serving as head of the agency response team when responding to a large-scale information breach.

    (b) The NCPC shall designate a Privacy Act Officer (PAO) to coordinate and implement the NCPC's Privacy Act program. Specific responsibilities of the PAO shall include:

    (1) Developing, issuing and updating, as necessary, the NCPC's Privacy Act policies, standards, and procedures;

    (2) Maintaining Privacy Act program Records and documentation;

    (3) Responding to Privacy Act Requests for Records and coordinating appeals of Adverse Determinations for Requests for access to Records, Requests for Amendment or Correction of Records, and Requests for accounting for disclosures;

    (4) Informing Individuals of information disclosures;

    (5) Working with the NCPC's Division Directors or designated staff to develop an appropriate form for collection of Privacy Act information and including in the form a Privacy Act statement explaining the purpose for collecting the information, how it will be used, the authority for such collection, its routine uses, and the effect upon the Individual of not providing the requested information;

    (6) Assisting in the development of new or revised SORNs;

    (7) Developing SORN reports for OMB and Congress;

    (8) Submitting new or revised SORNS to the Federal Register for publication;

    (9) Assisting in the development of computer matching systems;

    (10) Preparing Privacy Act, Computer Matching, and other reports to OMB as required; and

    (11) Evaluating PIA to ensure compliance with E-Government Act requirements.

    (c) Other Privacy related responsibilities shall be shared by the NCPC Division Directors, the NCPC Chief Information Officer (CIO), the NCPC System Developers and Designers, the NCPC Configuration Control Board, the NCPC employees, and the Chairman of the Commission.

    (1) The NCPC Division Directors shall be responsible for coordinating with the PAO the implementation of the requirements set forth in this part for Systems of Records applicable to their area of management and the preparation of PIA prior to development or procurement of new systems that collect, maintain or disseminate IFF. Specific responsibilities include:

    (i) Reviewing existing SOR for need, relevance, and purpose for existence, and proposing SOR changes to the PAO as necessary in response to altered circumstances;

    (ii) Reviewing existing SOR to ensure information is accurate, complete and up to date;

    (iii) Coordinating with the PAO the preparation of new or revised SORN;

    (iv) Coordinating with the PAO the development of an appropriate form for collection of Privacy Act information and including in the form a Privacy Act statement explaining the purpose for collecting the information, how it will be used, the authority for such collection, its routine uses, and the effect upon the Individual of not providing the requested information;

    (v) Collecting information directly from individuals whenever possible;

    (vi) Assisting the PAO with providing access to Individuals who request information in accordance with the procedures established in §§ 603.12, 603.13, 603.14 and 603.15;

    (vii) Amending Records if and when appropriate, and working with the PAO to inform recipients of former Records of such amendments;

    (viii) Ensuring that System information is used only for its stated purpose;

    (ix) Establishing and overseeing appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to ensure security and confidentiality of Records; and

    (x) Working with the SAOP, the PAO and Configuration Control Board(CCB) on SORs, preparing a PIA, if needed, and obtaining SAOP approval for a PIA prior to its publication on the NCPC Web site.

    (2) The CIO shall be responsible for implementing IT security management to include security for information protected by the Privacy Act and the E-Government Act of 2002. Specific responsibilities include:

    (i) Overseeing security policy for privacy data; and

    (ii) Reviewing PIAs prepared for information security considerations.

    (3) The NCPC System Developers and Designers shall be responsible for ensuring that the IT system design and specifications conform to privacy standards and requirements and that technical controls are in place for safeguarding personal information from unauthorized access.

    (4) The NCPC CCB shall, among other responsibilities, verify that a PIA has been prepared prior to approving a request to develop or procure information technology that collects, maintains, or disseminates Information in Identifiable Form.

    (5) The NCPC employees shall ensure that any personal information they use in the conduct of their official responsibilities is protected in accordance with the rules set forth in this part.

    (6) The Chairman of the Commission shall be responsible for acting on all appeals of Adverse Determinations.

    § 603.4 Standards used to Maintain Records.

    (a) Records Maintained by the NCPC shall contain only such information about an Individual as is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose NCPC must accomplish to comply with relevant statutes or Executive Orders of the President.

    (b) Records Maintained by the NCPC and used to make a determination about an Individual shall be accurate, relevant, timely, and complete to assure a fair determination.

    (c) Information used by the NCPC in making a determination about an Individual's rights, benefits, and privileges under federal programs shall be collected, to the greatest extent practicable, directly from the Individual. In deciding whether collection of information about an Individual, as opposed to a third party is practicable, the NCPC shall consider the following:

    (1) Whether the information sought can only be obtained from a third party;

    (2) Whether the cost to collect the information from an Individual is unreasonable compared to the cost of collecting the information from a third party;

    (3) Whether there is a risk of collecting inaccurate information from a third party that could result in a determination adverse to the Individual concerned;

    (4) Whether the information collected from an Individual requires verification by a third party; and

    (5) Whether the Individual can verify information collected from third parties.

    (d) The NCPC shall not Maintain Records describing how an Individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution unless the maintenance of the Record is expressly authorized by statute or by the Individual about whom the Record is Maintained or pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity.

    § 603.5 Notice to Individuals supplying information.

    (a) Each Individual asked to supply information about himself/herself to be added to a System of Records shall be informed by the NCPC of the basis for requesting the information, its potential use, and the consequences, if any, of not supplying the information. Notice to the Individual shall state at a minimum:

    (1) The legal authority for NCPC's solicitation of the information and whether disclosure is mandatory or voluntary;

    (2) The principal purpose(s) for which the NCPC intends to use the information;

    (3) The potential routine uses of the information by the NCPC as published in a Systems of Records Notice; and

    (4) The effects upon the individual, if any, of not providing all or any part of the requested Information to the NCPC.

    (b) When NCPC collects information on a standard form, the notice to the Individual shall either be provided on the form, on a tear off sheet attached to the form, or on a separate form, whichever is deemed the most practical by the NCPC.

    (c) NCPC may ask an Individual to acknowledge, in writing, receipt of the notice required by this section.

    § 603.6 System of Records Notice or SORN.

    (a) The NCPC shall publish a notice in the Federal Register describing each System of Records 40-days prior to the establishment of a new or revision to an existing System of Records.

    (b) The SORN shall include:

    (1) The name and location of the System of Records. The name shall identify the general purpose, and the location shall include whether the system is located on the NCPC's main server or central files. The physical address of either shall also be included.

    (2) The categories or types of Individuals on whom NCPC Maintains Records in the System of Records;

    (3) The categories or types of Records in the System;

    (4) The statutory or Executive Order authority for Maintenance of the System;

    (5) The purpose(s) or explanation of why the NCPC collects the particular Records including identification of all internal and routine uses;

    (6) The policies and practices of the NCPC regarding storage, retrieval, access controls, retention and disposal of Records;

    (7) The title and business address of the agency official responsible for the identified System of Records;

    (8) The NCPC procedures for notification to an Individual who requests if a System of Records contains a Record about the Individual; and

    (9) The NCPC sources of Records in the System.

    § 603.7 Procedures to safeguard Records.

    (a) The NCPC shall implement the procedures set forth in this section to insure sufficient administrative, technical and physical safeguards exist to protect the security and confidentiality of Records. The enumerated procedures shall also protect against any anticipated threats or hazards to the security of Records with the potential to cause substantial harm, embarrassment, inconvenience, or unfairness to any Individual on whom information is Maintained.

    (b) Manual Records subject to the Privacy Act shall be maintained by the NCPC in a manner commensurate with the sensitivity of the information contained in the Records. The following minimum safeguards or safeguards affording comparable protection shall apply to manual Systems of Records:

    (1) The NCPC shall post areas where Records are maintained or regularly used with an appropriate warning sign stating access to the Records shall be limited to authorized persons. The warning shall also advise that the Privacy Act prescribes criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure of Records subject to the Act.

    (2) During work hours, the NCPC shall protect areas in which Records are Maintained or regularly used by restricting occupancy of the area to authorized persons or storing the Records in a locked container and room.

    (3) During non-working hours, access to Records shall be restricted by their storage in a locked storage container and room.

    (4) Any lock used to secure a room where Records are stored shall not be capable of being disengaged with a master key that opens rooms other than those in which Records are stored.

    (c) Computerized Records subject to the Privacy Act shall be maintained, at a minimum, subject to the safeguards recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publications 800-53, Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations as revised from time to time or any superseding guidance offered by NIST or other federal agency charged with the responsibility for providing recommended safeguards for computerized Records subject to the Privacy Act.

    (d) NCPC shall maintain a System of Records comprised of Office of Personnel Management (OPM) personnel Records in accordance with standards prescribed by OPM and published at 5 CFR 293.106—293.107.

    § 603.8 Employee conduct.

    (a) Employees with duties requiring access to and handling of Records shall, at all times, take care to protect the integrity, security, and confidentiality of the Records.

    (b) No employee of the NCPC shall disclose Records unless disclosure is permitted by § 603.10(b) of this part, by NCPC's FOIA Regulations, or disclosed to the Individual to whom the Record pertains.

    (c) No employee of the NCPC shall alter or destroy a Record unless such Record or destruction is undertaken in the course of the employee's regular duties or such alteration or destruction is allowed pursuant to regulations published by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) or required by a court of competent jurisdiction. Records shall not be destroyed or disposed of while they are the subject of a pending request, appeal or lawsuit under the Privacy Act.

    § 603.9 Government contracts.

    (a) When a contract provides for third party operation of a SOR on behalf of the NCPC to accomplish a NCPC function, the contract shall require that the requirements of the Privacy Act and the rules in this part be applied to such System.

    (b) The Division Director responsible for the contract shall designate a NCPC employee to oversee and manage the SOR operated by the contractor.

    § 603.10 Conditions for disclosure.

    (a) Except as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, no Record contained in a SOR shall be disclosed by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, unless prior written consent is obtained from the Individual to whom the Record pertains.

    (b) The limitations on disclosure contained in paragraph (a) of this section shall not apply when disclosure of a Record is:

    (1) To employees of the NCPC for use in the performance of their duties;

    (2) Required by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 555;

    (3) For a Routine Use as described in a SORN;

    (4) To the Bureau of Census for statistical purposes, provided that the Record must be transferred in a form that precludes individual identification;

    (5) To an Individual who provides NCPC adequate written assurance that the Record shall be used solely for statistical or research purposes, provided that the Record must be transferred in a form that precludes Individual identification;

    (6) To the NARA because the Record warrants permanent retention because of historical or other national value as determined by NARA or to permit NARA to determine whether the Record has such value;

    (7) To a law enforcement agency for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity, provided that the law enforcement agency must submit a written request to the NCPC specifying the Record(s) sought and the purpose for which they will be used;

    (8) To any person upon demonstration of compelling information that an Individual's health or safety is at stake and provided that upon disclosure, notification is given to the Individual to whom the Record pertains at that Individual's last known address;

    (9) To either House of Congress, and any committee or subcommittee thereof, to include joint committees of both houses and any subcommittees thereof, when a Record falls within their jurisdiction;

    (10) To the Comptroller General, or any of his authorized representatives, to allow the Government Accountability Office to perform its duties;

    (11) Pursuant to a court order by a court of competent jurisdiction; and

    (12) To a consumer reporting agency trying to collect a claim of the government as authorized by 31 U.S.C. 3711(e).

    § 603.11 Accounting of disclosures.

    (a) Except for disclosures made under §§ 603.10(b)(1)-(2), when a Record is disclosed to any person, or to another agency, NCPC shall prepare an accounting of the disclosure. The accounting shall Record the date, nature, and purpose of the disclosure and the name and address of the person or agency to whom the disclosure was made. The NCPC shall maintain all accountings for a minimum of five years or the life of the Record, whichever is greatest, after the disclosure is made.

    (b) Except for disclosures under § 603.10(b)(7), accountings of all disclosures shall be made available to the Individual about whom the disclosed Records pertains at his/her request. Such request shall be made in accordance with the requirements of § 603.15.

    (c) For any disclosure for which an accounting is made, if a subsequent amendment or correction or notation of dispute is made to a Record by the NCPC in accordance with the requirements of section 603.14, the Individual and/or agency to whom the Record was originally disclosed shall be informed.

    § 603.12 Requests for notification of the existence of Records.

    (a) An Individual seeking to determine whether a System of Records contains Records pertaining to him/her shall do so by appearing in person at NCPC's official place of business or by written correspondence to the NCPC PAO. In-person requests shall be by appointment only with the PAO on a Workday during regular office hours. Written requests sent via the U.S. mail shall be directed to the Privacy Act Officer at NCPC's official address listed at www.ncpc.gov. If sent via email or facsimile, the request shall be directed to the email address or facsimile number indicated on the NCPC Web site. To expedite internal handling of Privacy Act Requests, the words Privacy Act Request shall appear prominently on the envelop or the subject line of an email or facsimile cover sheet.

    (b) The Request shall state that the Individual is seeking information concerning the existence of Records about himself/herself and shall supply information describing the System where such Records might be maintained as set forth in a System of Record Notice.

    (c) The NCPC PAO shall notify the Requester in writing within 20-Workdays of the Request whether a System contains Records pertaining to him/her unless the Records were compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding or the Records are NCPC employee Records under the jurisdiction of the OPM. In both of the later cases the Request shall be denied. If the Request is denied because the Record(s) is/are under the jurisdiction of the OPM, the response shall advise the Requester to contact OPM. If the PAO denies the Request, the response shall state the reason for the denial and advise the Requester of the right to appeal the decision within 60 days of the date of the letter denying the request in accordance with the requirements set forth in § 603.16.

    § 603.13 Requests for access to Records.

    (a) An Individual seeking access to Records about himself/herself shall do so by appearing in person at NCPC's official place of business or by written correspondence to the NCPC Privacy Act Officer. In-person requests shall be by appointment only with the Privacy Act Officer on a Workday during regular office hours. For written requests sent via the U.S. mail, the Request shall be directed to the Privacy Act Officer at NCPC's official address listed at www.ncpc.gov. If sent via email or facsimile, the request shall be directed to the email address or facsimile number indicated on the NCPC Web site. To expedite internal handling of Privacy Act Requests, the words Privacy Act Request shall appear prominently on the envelop or the subject line of an email or facsimile cover sheet.

    (b) The Request shall:

    (1) State the Request is made pursuant to the Privacy Act;

    (2) Describe the requested Records in sufficient detail to enable their location including, without limitation, the dates the Records were compiled and the name or identifying number of each System of Record in which they are kept as identified in the list of NCPC's SORNs published on its Web site; and

    (3) State pursuant to the fee schedule set forth in § 603.17 a willingness to pay all fees associated with the Privacy Act Request or the maximum fee the Requester is willing to pay.

    (c) The NCPC shall require identification as follows before releasing Records to an Individual:

    (1) An Individual Requesting Privacy Act Records in person shall present a valid, photographic form of identification such as a driver's license, employee identification card, or passport that renders it possible for the PAO to verify that the Individual is the same Individual as contained in the requested Records.

    (2) An Individual Requesting Privacy Act Records by mail shall state their full name, address and date of birth in their correspondence. The Request must be signed and the signature must either be notarized or submitted with a statement signed and dated as follows: I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing facts establishing my identification are true and correct.

    (d) The PAO shall determine within 20 Workdays whether to grant or deny an Individual's Request for Access to the requested Record(s) and notify the Individual in writing accordingly. The PAO's response shall state his/her determination and the reasons therefor. If the Request is denied because the Record(s) is/are under the jurisdiction of the OPM, the response shall advise the Requester to contact OPM. In the case of an Adverse Determination, the written notification shall advise the Individual of his/her right to appeal the Adverse Determination in accordance with the requirements of § 603.16.

    § 603.14 Requests for Amendment or Correction of Records.

    (a) An Individual seeking to amend or correct a Record pertaining to him/her that he/she believes to be inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely or incomplete shall submit a written request to the PAO at the address listed on NCPC's official Web site www.ncpc.gov. If sent via email or facsimile, the Request shall be directed to the email address or facsimile number indicated on the NCPC Web site. To expedite internal handling, the words Privacy Act Request shall appear prominently on the envelop or the subject line of an email or facsimile cover sheet.

    (b) The Request shall:

    (1) State the Request is made pursuant to the Privacy Act;

    (2) Describe the requested Record in sufficient detail to enable its location including, without limitation, the dates the Records were compiled and the name or identifying number of the System of Record in which the Record is kept as identified in the list of NCPC's SORNs published on its Web site;

    (3) State in detail the reasons why the Record, or objectionable portion(s) thereof, is/are not accurate, relevant, timely or complete.

    (4) Include copies of documents or evidence relied upon in support of the Request for Amendment or Correction; and

    (5) State specifically, and in detail, the changes sought to the Record, and if the changes include rewriting the Record, or portions thereof, or adding new language, the Individual shall propose specific language to implement the requested changes.

    (c) A request to Amend or Correct a Record shall be submitted only if the Requester has previously requested and been granted access to the Record and has inspected or been given a copy of the Record.

    (d) The PAO shall render a decision within 20 workdays. If the Request for an Amendment or Correction fails to meet the requirements of §§ (b)(1)-(5) of this Section, the PAO shall advise the Individual of the deficiency and advise what additional information is required to act upon the Request. The timeframe for a decision on the Request shall be tolled (stopped) during the pendency of a request for additional information and shall resume when the additional information is received. If the Requester fails to submit the requested additional information within a reasonable time, the PAO shall reject the Request.

    (e) The PAO's decision on a Request for Amendment or Correction shall be in writing and state the basis for the decision. If the Request is denied because the Record(s) is/are under the jurisdiction of the OPM, the response shall advise the Requester to contact OPM. In the event of an Adverse Determination, the written notification shall advise the Individual of his/her right to appeal the Adverse Determination in accordance with the requirements of § 603.16.

    (f) If the PAO approves the Request for Amendment or Correction, the PAO shall ensure that subject Record is amended or corrected, in whole or in part. If the PAO denies the Request for Amendment or Correction, a notation of dispute shall be noted on the Record. If an accounting of disclosure has been made pursuant to Section 603.11, the PAO shall advise all previous recipients of the Record that an amendment or correction or notation of dispute has been made and, if applicable, the substance of the change.

    § 603.15 Requests for accounting of Record disclosures.

    (a) An Individual seeking information regarding an accounting of disclosure of a Record pertaining to him/her made in accordance with § 603.11 shall submit a written request to the PAO at the address listed on NCPC's official Web site www.ncpc.gov. If sent via email or facsimile, the Request shall be directed to the email address or facsimile number indicated on the NCPC Web site. To expedite internal handling, the words Privacy Act Request shall appear prominently on the envelope or the subject line of an email or facsimile cover sheet.

    (b) The Request shall:

    (1) State the Request is made pursuant to the Privacy Act; and

    (2) Describe the requested Record in sufficient detail to determine whether it is or is not contained in an accounting of disclosure.

    (c) The NCPC PAO shall notify the Requester in writing within 20-Workdays of the Request and advise if the Record was included in an accounting of disclosure. In the event of a disclosure, the response shall include the date, nature, and purpose of the disclosure and the name and address of the person or agency to whom the disclosure was made. If the Request is denied because the Record(s) is/are under the jurisdiction of the OPM, the response shall advise the Requester to contact OPM. In the event of an Adverse Determination, the written notification shall advise the Individual of his/her right to appeal the Adverse Determination in accordance with the requirements of § 603.16.

    § 603.16 Appeals of Adverse Determinations.

    (a) Except for appeals pursuant to subsection (d) below, an appeal of an Adverse Determination shall be made in writing addressed to the Chairman (Chairman) of the National Capital Planning Commission at the address listed on NCPC's official Web site www.ncpc.gov. If sent via email or facsimile, the Request shall be directed to the email address or facsimile number indicated on the NCPC Web site. To expedite internal handling, the words Privacy Act Request shall appear prominently on the envelope or the subject line of an email or facsimile cover sheet. An appeal of an Adverse Determination shall be made within 30 Workdays of the date of the decision.

    (b) An appeal of an Adverse Determination shall include a statement of the legal, factual or other basis for the Requester's objection to an Adverse Determination; a daytime phone number or email where the Requester can be reached if the Chairman requires additional information or clarification regarding the appeal; copies of the initial request and the PAO's written response; and for an Adverse Determination regarding a fee waiver, a demonstration of compliance with the NCPC's FOIA Regulations.

    (c) The Chairman shall respond to an appeal of an Adverse Determination in writing within 20 Workdays of receipt of the appeal. If the Chairman grants the appeal, the Chairman shall notify the Requester, and the NCPC shall take prompt action to respond affirmatively to the original Request upon receipt of any fees that may be required. If the Chairman denies the appeal, the letter shall state the reason(s) for the denial, a statement that the decision is final, and advise the Requester of the right to seek judicial review of the denial in the District Court of the United States in either the district in which the Requester resides, the district in which the Requester has his/her principal place of business or the District of Columbia.

    (d) The appeal of an Adverse Determination based on OPM jurisdiction of the Records shall be made to OPM pursuant to 5 CFR 297.306.

    (e) The NCPC shall not act on an appeal of an Adverse Determination if the underlying Request becomes the subject of litigation.

    (f) A party seeking court review of an Adverse Determination must first appeal the Adverse Determination under this section.

    § 603.17 Fees.

    (a) The NCPC shall charge for the duplication of Records under this subpart in accordance with the schedule of fees set forth in NCPC's FOIA Regulations. The NCPC shall not charge duplication fees when the Requester asks to inspect the Records personally but is provided copies at the discretion of the agency.

    (b) The NCPC shall not charge any fees for the search for or review of Records requested by an Individual.

    § 603.18 Privacy Impact Assessments.

    (a) Consistent with the requirements of the E-Government Act and OMB Memorandum M-03-22, the NCPC shall conduct a PIA before:

    (1) Developing or procuring IT systems or projects that collect, maintain, or disseminate IFF; or

    (2) Installing a new collection of information that will be collected, maintained, or disseminated using IT and includes IFF for 10 or more persons (excluding agencies, instrumentalities or employees of the federal government).

    (b) The PIA shall be prepared through the coordinated effort of the NCPC's privacy Officers (SAOP, PAO), Division Directors, CIO, and IT staff.

    (c) As a general rule, the level of detail and content of a PIA shall be commensurate with the nature of the information to be collected and the size and complexity of the IT system involved. Specifically, a PIA shall analyze and describe:

    (1) The information to be collected;

    (2) The reason the information is being collected;

    (3) The intended use for the information;

    (4) The identity of those with whom the information will be shared;

    (5) The opportunities Individuals have to decline to provide the information or to consent to particular uses and how to consent;

    (6) The manner in which the information will be secured; and

    (7) The extent to which the system of records is being created under the Privacy Act.

    (d) In addition to the information specified in §§ (b)(1)-(7) above, the PIA must also identify the choices NCPC made regarding an IT system or collection of information as result of preparing the PIA.

    (e) The CCB shall verify that a PIA has been prepared prior to approving a request to develop or procure information technology that collects, maintains, or disseminates Information in Identifiable Form.

    (f) The SAOP shall approve and sign the NCPC's PIA. If the SAOP is the Contracting Officer for the IT system that necessitated preparation of the PIA, the Executive Director shall approve and sign the PIA.

    (g) Following approval of the PIA, the NCPC shall post the PIA document on the NCPC Web site located at www.ncpc.gov.

    Dated: July 24, 2017. Anne R. Schuyler, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15882 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7502-02-P
    NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 741 RIN 3133-AE77 Requirements for Insurance; National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity Distributions AGENCY:

    National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The NCUA Board (Board) proposes to amend its share insurance requirements rule to provide federally insured credit unions (FICUs) with greater transparency regarding the calculation of a FICU's proportionate share of a declared equity distribution from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) and to add a temporary provision to govern NCUSIF equity distributions resulting from the Corporate System Resolution Program. The Board also proposes to prohibit a FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage during a particular calendar year from receiving an NCUSIF equity distribution for that calendar year to provide greater fairness to FICUs that remain federally insured. The Board proposes to make technical and conforming amendments to other aspects of the share insurance requirements rule in light of these proposed changes.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods (Please send comments by one method only):

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

    NCUA Web site: http://www.ncua.gov/Legal/Regs/Pages/PropRegs.aspx. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: Address to [email protected] Include “[Your name]—Comments on Requirements for Insurance; National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Equity Distributions” in the email subject line.

    Fax: (703) 518-6319. Use the subject line described above for email.

    Mail: Address to Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3428.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as mail address.

    PUBLIC INSPECTION:

    You can view all public comments on NCUA's Web site at http://www.ncua.gov/Legal/Regs/Pages/PropRegs.aspx as submitted, except for those we cannot post for technical reasons. NCUA will not edit or remove any identifying or contact information from the public comments submitted. You may inspect paper copies of comments in NCUA's law library at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3428, by appointment weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. To make an appointment, call (703) 518-6546 or send an email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Benjamin M. Litchfield, Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, at (703) 518-6540; or Steve Farrar, Supervisory Financial Analyst, Office of Examination and Insurance, at (703) 518-6360. You may also contact them at the National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3428.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background II. Section-by-Section Analysis III. Technical and Conforming Amendments IV. Regulatory Procedures I. Background

    NCUA is the chartering authority for federal credit unions and the federal share insurer for FICUs.1 In NCUA's capacity as federal share insurer, the Board, among other things, administers the NCUSIF, a revolving fund created within the United States Treasury to provide federal share insurance coverage to FICU members.2

    1 NCUA's authority to charter federal credit unions is contained in Title I of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1752-1775), and its various authorities as federal share insurer are contained in Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1781-1790e). Title III of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1795-1795k) governs the Board's responsibilities overseeing the NCUA Central Liquidity Facility, a federal instrumentality that provides liquidity for member credit unions.

    2 12 U.S.C. 1783.

    The Federal Credit Union Act (FCU Act) requires a FICU to pay and maintain an NCUSIF capitalization deposit equal to 1 percent of a FICU's insured shares, in part, to capitalize the NCUSIF.3 The amount of a FICU's required NCUSIF capitalization deposit is adjusted periodically to reflect changes in the FICU's insured shares.4 For a FICU with assets less than $50 million, this adjustment occurs annually.5 For all other FICUs, this adjustment occurs semiannually.6 A FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage is entitled to have its NCUSIF capitalization deposit returned within a reasonable time.7

    3Id. at 1782(c)(1)(A)(i).

    4Id. at 1782(c)(1)(A)(iii).

    5Id. at 1782(c)(1)(A)(iii)(I).

    6Id. at 1782(c)(1)(A)(iii)(II).

    7Id. at 1782(c)(1)(B)(i). A FICU may terminate federal share insurance coverage by converting to or merging into a nonfederally insured credit union or a noncredit union financial institution such as a mutual savings bank. If permitted under state law, a federally insured, state-chartered credit union may also convert to private share insurance. See 12 CFR 708b (NCUA's regulation governing mergers and conversions to private share insurance). A FICU may also terminate federal share insurance coverage through voluntary or involuntary liquidation.

    The FCU Act also requires a FICU to pay a federal share insurance premium to the NCUSIF at such times as the Board prescribes but no more than twice in any calendar year.8 The FCU Act permits the Board to assess a federal share insurance premium if the NCUSIF's equity ratio is less than 1.3 percent, but only in an amount necessary to restore the equity ratio to 1.3 percent.9 However, if the Board projects that the NCUSIF's equity ratio will fall below 1.2 percent within the next six months or if the NCUSIF's equity ratio actually falls below 1.2 percent at any time, the FCU Act requires the Board to implement a restoration plan or charge a premium.10

    8Id. at 1782(c)(2)(A).

    9Id. at 1782(c)(2)(B). The equity ratio is the amount of NCUSIF capitalization, including FICU NCUSIF capitalization deposits and retained earnings of the NCUSIF (net of direct liabilities of the NCUSIF and contingent liabilities for which no provision for losses has been made) divided by the aggregate amount of insured FICU shares. Id. at 1782(h)(2).

    10Id. at 1782(c)(2)(C), (D).

    Furthermore, the FCU Act requires the Board to make a proportionate distribution from the NCUSIF to FICUs for each year where, at the end of the year, the following circumstances are present: (1) The NCUSIF has no outstanding loans from the United States Treasury and any outstanding interest on those loans has been repaid; (2) the NCUSIF's equity ratio exceeds the normal operating level set by the Board; 11 and (3) the NCUSIF's available assets ratio exceeds 1 percent.12 Where those circumstances are present, the FCU Act requires the Board to make the maximum possible distribution that does not reduce the NCUSIF's equity ratio below its normal operating level or reduce the NCUSIF's available assets ratio below 1 percent.13

    11 The NCUSIF equity ratio's normal operating level is between 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent as specified by the Board. Id. at 1782(h)(4). The normal operating level is currently 1.3 percent.

    12Id. at 1782(c)(3)(A)(i)-(iii). The available assets ratio is the total of cash plus market value of unencumbered investments (less direct liabilities and contingent liabilities for which no provision for loss has been made) divided by the aggregate amount of insured FICU shares. Id. at 1782(h)(1).

    13Id. at 1782(c)(3)(B)(i)-(ii).

    Section 741.4 of NCUA's regulations implements these requirement s.14 The Board originally adopted this rule on October 17, 1984.15 The provisions of § 741.4 have only been slightly modified in the past 33 years since the rule was adopted.16 However, because the Board is contemplating the possibility of closing the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSF), a temporary revolving fund created to address problems in the corporate credit union system that arose as part of the Great Recession,17 and transferring all of its remaining assets to the NCUSIF, the Board has reexamined § 741.4 and believes amendments to the rule are necessary to provide FICUs with greater fairness, transparency, and predictability regarding NCUSIF equity distributions.

    14 12 CFR 741.4.

    15 49 FR 40561 (Oct. 17, 1984).

    16 The most recent substantive amendments addressed how newly chartered FICUs and FICUs that terminate federal share insurance are affected by any NCUSIF premium or deposit replenishment assessments in the same year. See 74 FR 63277 (Dec. 3, 2009).

    17 12 U.S.C. 1790e.

    The Board specifically proposes to amend § 741.4(e) to adopt a method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share of a declared NCUSIF equity distribution. The Board has historically determined the amount of a FICU's proportionate share based on the FICU's daily NCUSIF capitalization deposit balance. The Board recognizes that this method is not clearly stated in § 741.4(e) or any formal guidance to the credit union industry. Furthermore, the Board has identified flaws in this approach that may give an unfair advantage to FICUs with assets over $50 million. Accordingly, the Board believes that amending § 741.4(e) is necessary to provide FICUs with greater fairness, transparency, and predictability regarding this calculation.

    The Board also proposes to amend § 741.4(j)(1)(ii) to change its current policy of making an NCUSIF equity distribution to a FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year applicable to an NCUSIF equity distribution.18 The Board has historically made such a distribution under these circumstances based on the amount of time during that year that the FICU was federally insured by NCUA. However, the Board believes that amending § 741.4(j)(1)(ii) is necessary to promote greater fairness to FICUs that remain federally insured by NCUA throughout the entire calendar year.

    18 This includes a FICU that terminates federal share insurance through voluntary or involuntary liquidation.

    Moreover, the Board proposes to make technical and conforming amendments to §§ 741.4(b) and (i) to accommodate the proposed amendments to §§ 741.4(e) and 741.4(j)(1)(ii) and to eliminate Appendix A to part 741, which provides examples of partial year NCUSIF assessments and distributions under § 741.4, in favor of developing more user-friendly and easily updated examples that can be posted on NCUA's Web site. Finally, the Board proposes to add temporary § 741.13 to address any NCUSIF equity distributions related to the winding down of the Corporate System Resolution Program, a special purpose initiative to stabilize the corporate credit union system funded principally through advances from the TCCUSF. Because the Corporate System Resolution Program involved a series of corporate assessments against FICUs over multiple years and any NCUSIF equity distributions related to that program would likely take place over multiple years and in varying amounts, the Board believes that any NCUSIF equity distributions related to the Corporate System Resolution Program should be addressed in a separate, temporary provision of the rule. For purposes of this temporary provision, any NCUSIF equity distributions declared for calendar years 2017 through 2021 are deemed to be “resulting from the Corporate System Resolution Program.”

    While not part of the specific amendments proposed in this rulemaking, the Board is also requesting comments on ways to improve the current process for assessing and collecting federal share insurance premiums. The Board is interested in providing FICUs with greater fairness, transparency, and predictability in this regard. The Board intends to address the assessment and collection of federal share insurance premiums in a separate rulemaking based, in part, on the comments received. One possible improvement the Board is considering is to calculate federal share insurance premiums as consistently as possible with how the Board proposes to calculate each FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution.

    The Board requests comment on all aspects of this proposed rule on or before Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

    II. Section-by-Section Analysis Section 741.4(e) Distribution of NCUSIF Equity

    The Board proposes to amend § 741.4(e) to adopt a method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution. NCUA has historically determined the amount of a FICU's proportionate share based on the FICU's daily NCUSIF capitalization deposit balance. Under this method, NCUA determines a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution by dividing the total dollar amount of the NCUSIF equity distribution by the total dollar amount of the NCUSIF capitalization deposits. Expressed as a percentage, this quotient represents the distribution (or dividend) rate. NCUA then divides the distribution rate by 365 (the number of calendar days in a year) to arrive at a daily distribution rate. Finally, NCUA applies this dividend rate to a FICU's daily NCUSIF capitalization deposit balance to determine that FICU's proportionate share.19

    19 To address mergers completed during the calendar year applicable to the distribution, the NCUSIF equity distribution due to a merged FICU based on its independent NCUSIF capitalization deposit balance was paid to the continuing credit union.

    The principal advantage of this method is that it treats an NCUSIF equity distribution similarly to a dividend on an investment such as a share certificate. Each FICU's proportionate share is determined based on its NCUSIF capitalization deposit which the Board invests in interest-bearing government securities and other lawful investments for public funds of the United States to generate revenue for the NCUSIF.20 However, the Board recognizes that this method may give a FICU with $50 million or more in assets an unfair advantage over smaller FICUs. NCUA adjusts a smaller FICU's NCUSIF capitalization deposit annually in April using insured shares reported on the December 31 Call Report. As a result, for the first 3 months of the calendar year applicable to the NCUSIF equity distribution, the daily NCUSIF capitalization deposit balance is based on Call Report data that is almost two years old. Moreover, for the remainder of the calendar year, the daily NCUSIF capitalization deposit balance is based on the previous year's Call Report data. As a result, this method not only fails to capture insured share growth at a smaller FICU during the calendar year, but also fails to capture insured share growth during the previous calendar year for a full 3 months until NCUA adjusts the NCUSIF capitalization deposit in April.

    20 12 U.S.C. 1783(c).

    In contrast, this method does capture insured share growth at a larger FICU during the calendar year. NCUA adjusts a larger FICU's NCUSIF capitalization deposit semiannually in April using insured shares reported on the December 31 Call Report and in October using insured shares reported on the June 30 Call Report. This means that for the last 3 months of the calendar year applicable to the NCUSIF equity distribution, the daily NCUSIF capitalization deposit balance is based on current Call Report data. As a result, this method will capture insured share growth at a larger FICU during the calendar year, giving the larger FICU an unfair advantage over smaller FICUs. Recognizing this inherent unfairness, the Board proposes to adopt a new method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution that is more equitable to smaller FICUs and uses more contemporary share insurance activity.

    In determining the appropriate method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share, the Board seeks to develop a method that: (1) Is based on a FICU's insured shares; (2) uses the most current and accurate data readily accessible through a FICU's quarterly Call Reports; (3) NCUA can reasonably administer without additional regulatory burden on FICUs or administrative burden on the agency; and (4) does not give an unfair advantage to one class of FICUs over another.

    The Board believes that using a FICU's insured shares (as opposed to total assets or some other measure, such as the total number of FICUs in the NCUSIF system) is appropriate because a FICU's insured share balance directly relates to the operation of the NCUSIF and is a factor in calculating the NCUSIF equity ratio and average assets ratio which trigger an NCUSIF equity distribution. Furthermore, the Board believes that using the most current and accurate data reasonably available through a FICU's quarterly Call Reports allows NCUA to easily capture the actual proportionate size of each FICU in the NCUSIF system without giving an unfair timing advantage to one class of FICUs over another. The use of Call Report data also avoids additional regulatory burden on FICUs or administrative burden on NCUA.

    Consequently, the Board has considered and rejected a number of alternative methods for calculating a FICU's proportionate share, including the use of a FICU's total assets or the total number of FICUs at the end of the calendar year. The use of a FICU's total assets bears no relation to a FICU's insured shares and unfairly advantages larger FICUs that can leverage their size to increase total assets at the expense of smaller FICUs. Likewise, calculating a FICU's proportionate share based on the total number of FICUs in the NCUSIF system has no relationship to an individual FICU's insured shares and would unfairly advantage smaller FICUs at the expense of larger FICUs. Accordingly, the Board has considered and rejected these two approaches, among others.

    The Board is considering adopting one of two methods for calculating a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution: (1) The average of the four quarter-end insured share balances reported on the FICU's Call Reports during the calendar year applicable to an NCUSIF equity distribution, or (2) insured share balances reported on the FICU's December 31 Call Report during the calendar year applicable to an NCUSIF equity distribution. Of the two methods, the Board believes the four quarter average method has more advantages, such as accounting for seasonal fluctuations, and has therefore proposed corresponding regulatory text for § 741.4 reflecting the four quarter average method in this notice of proposed rulemaking. However, the Board is requesting comment on both methods and will consider adopting one over the other based on the persuasiveness of the comments.

    Four Quarter Average of Insured Shares Method

    As noted above, the Board is considering using the average of eligible FICUs' quarter-end insured share balances as reported on their quarterly Call Reports for the year applicable to the NCUSIF equity distribution.21 Under this proposed method, NCUA would determine a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution by dividing the dollar amount of the total NCUSIF equity distribution by the aggregate average dollar amount of insured shares for FICUs eligible for a distribution as reported on each quarter-end Call Report for the calendar year applicable to the distribution. NCUA would then multiply the proportionate share by a FICU's average dollar amount of insured shares. The Board would determine a FICU's average dollar amount of insured shares by adding the dollar amounts of insured shares reported in each of the FICU's quarterly Call Reports for the year applicable to the distribution, and then dividing by four.22

    21 Under this proposed rule, credit unions that terminate NCUSIF insurance during the year applicable to the distribution are not eligible to receive a distribution.

    22 To address the effect of mergers of NCUSIF insured credit unions throughout the calendar year, the Board would combine the dollar amounts of insured shares reported separately by merging FICUs prior to the consummation of any merger with the dollar amounts of insured shares reported separately by the continuing FICU when calculating the continuing FICU's average dollar amount of insured shares. This accounts for the merger as if it were in effect for the entire year given both institutions were NCUSIF insured.

    The following illustrates the application of the proposed method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution. Assume the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution of $100 million in the form of a dividend. Also assume that the aggregate average dollar amount of insured shares for FICUs eligible for a distribution for the calendar year is $100 billion. The proportionate share of $100 million and $100 billion is 0.001 or 0.1%. XYZ Credit Union, a fictitious FICU, reports quarterly insured shares of $10 million, $12 million, $11 million, and $12 million, respectively. As a result, XYZ Credit Union has an average dollar amount of insured shares of $11.25 million (adding $10 million, $12 million, $11 million, and $12 million together and dividing by 4 equals $11.25 million). Multiplying XYZ Credit Union's average dollar amount of insured shares by its proportionate share of the dollar amount of the NCUSIF equity distribution and the aggregate average dollar amount of insured shares for FICUs eligible for a distribution yields a proportionate dividend of $11,250 ($11.25 million multiplied by 0.001 equals $11,250).

    The principal advantage of this method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share is that it adjusts for seasonal fluctuations in insured share levels. It also removes any incentive to inflate year-end insured share levels. Adjusting for seasonal fluctuations in insured share levels allows NCUA to make a proportionate distribution based on the actual average size of a FICU over the calendar year. In addition, this method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share is based on publicly available information contained in each FICU's quarterly Call Reports. This information is also periodically examined by NCUA and state regulators. Furthermore, this method would not increase regulatory burden on FICUs because they currently report insured shares in their quarterly Call Reports.

    However, this method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share poses some disadvantages. First, this method is somewhat more complex than simply using year-end insured share balances. For example, NCUA has to separately track FICUs that merge during the calendar year to combine their insured shares. Consequently, this method could be more administratively burdensome for NCUA. Second, this method does not correspond exactly to the other calculations required by § 741.4(e). In particular, both the NCUSIF equity ratio and the available assets ratio are, by statute, calculated based on the aggregate amount of insured shares in FICUs as of the December 31 Call Report.23 The Board believes the advantages of this approach to calculating a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution outweigh the disadvantages and requests comment on this proposed calculation method. The Board specifically requests comment on whether a longer look-back period, such as 18 to 24 months, is appropriate to more accurately capture the proportionate size of each FICU. The Board may adjust the proposed calendar year look-back period based on the persuasiveness of the comments.

    23 12 U.S.C. 1782(c)(4).

    Year-End Insured Share Balance Method

    Alternatively, the Board is considering using eligible FICUs' year-end insured share balances as the basis for calculating their proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution. Under this method, NCUA would determine a FICU's proportionate share by dividing the dollar amount of an NCUSIF equity distribution by the aggregate amount of insured shares in all FICUs as reported on the December 31 Call Report for the year applicable to the distribution. That proportionate share would then be multiplied by the amount of insured shares reported in the FICU's December 31 Call Report for the year applicable to the distribution to determine each FICU's proportionate share.

    The following illustrates the application of the proposed method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution. Assume the Board declares an NCUSIF equity distribution of $100 million in the form of a dividend. Also assume that the aggregate average dollar amount of insured shares for FICUs eligible for a distribution for the calendar year is $100 billion. The proportionate share of $100 million and $100 billion is 0.001 or 0.1%. XYZ Credit Union, a fictitious FICU, reports insured shares of $11 million on its December 31 Call Report. Multiplying XYZ Credit Union's year-end insured shares for the year applicable to the distribution by the proportionate share of the dollar amount of the NCUSIF equity distribution and the aggregate average dollar amount of insured shares for FICUs eligible for a distribution yields a proportionate NCUSIF equity distribution of $11,000 ($11 million multiplied by 0.001 equals $11,000).

    This method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution has several advantages. First, NCUA would not need to create a special rule regarding mergers because all merger activity for the calendar year would be captured in the continuing FICU's December 31 Call Report. Second, NCUA would not need to create a special rule regarding terminations of federal share insurance because a FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year would not file a December 31 Call Report. Third, NCUA currently uses this method when calculating: (1) The proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution paid to a financial institution that converts to federal share insurance during the calendar year from private share insurance or through conversion to a credit union from a bank; 24 (2) the NCUSIF equity ratio; 25 (3) the available assets ratio; 26 and (4) the dollar amount of any federal share insurance premiums.27

    24 12 CFR 741.4(i)(1)(v).

    25 12 U.S.C. 1782(h)(2); 12 CFR 741.4(b).

    26Id. at 1782(h)(1); Id. at 741.4(b).

    27Id. at 1782(c)(2)(A); Id. at 741.4(d).

    However, this method for calculating a FICU's proportionate share does not account for seasonal fluctuations in share levels. As a result, a FICU that experiences a drop off in the amount of insured shares in the fourth quarter would receive a smaller NCUSIF equity distribution even though that FICU maintained a higher amount of insured shares over the calendar year. Accordingly, this approach may not accurately reflect the actual proportionate share of each FICU in the NCUSIF system. Furthermore, the Board is concerned that this approach may create an incentive for some FICUs to increase insured shares at the end of the reporting year in an attempt to receive a larger NCUSIF equity distribution. Any such attempts to receive a larger NCUSIF equity distribution could lead to inequities, and in extreme cases, potential safety and soundness issues. Additionally, significant increases in insured shares at year-end would lower the NCUSIF's equity ratio, all else being equal, and potentially lower the amount available for distribution.

    The Board requests comment on this proposed calculation method. Particularly, the Board requests comment on how this proposed calculation method could be improved to address the Board's concerns regarding seasonal fluctuations, any attempts to increase a FICU's year-end insured share balance, and any other relevant aspects of this approach.

    Section 741.4(j) Conversion From, or Termination of, Federal Share Insurance

    The Board proposes to amend § 741.4(j)(1)(ii) to prohibit NCUSIF equity distributions to FICUs that terminate federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year.28 Currently, if a FICU terminates federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year that FICU is entitled to receive a NCUSIF equity distribution based on the FICU's insured shares as of the last day of the most recently ended reporting period reduced by the number of months remaining in the calendar year after the FICU terminates coverage.29

    28Id. at 741.4(j)(1)(ii).

    29 The calculation methodology set out in § 741.4(j)(1)(ii) specifically requires the Board to multiply the amount of insured shares outstanding by the “modified premium/distribution ratio.” The “modified premium/distribution ratio” is the amount of full months in the calendar year preceding the termination of federal share insurance coverage divided by 12. See 12 CFR 741.4(b).

    The Board adopted the current calculation methodology in 2010 to simplify the manner in which an NCUSIF equity distribution is made to a FICU that terminates federal share insurance.30 The Board reasoned that this simplification was appropriate “particularly since the contribution of a departing credit union to future distributions diminishes with the passage of time.” 31 While the Board has historically attempted to recognize the contribution of a departing credit union, the Board believes that prohibiting NCUSIF equity distributions to FICUs that terminate federal share insurance coverage is a more fair and reasonable approach than the Board's current policy.

    30 74 FR 36618 (July 24, 2009) (proposed rule).

    31Id.

    The Board favors this approach because it is more equitable to FICUs that remain federally insured by NCUA throughout the calendar year and consistent with the assessment of federal share insurance premiums. A FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage before the assessment of a premium is not required to pay that premium.32 Because that FICU is not required to bear the risk of federal share insurance coverage (i.e., an assessment of a federal share insurance premium or an increase in the FICU's required NCUISF capitalization deposit), the Board believes it would be inherently unfair to FICUs that remain federally insured by NCUA to allow a FICU that terminates coverage to receive the rewards of federal share insurance coverage (i.e., an NCUSIF equity distribution).

    32See 12 CFR 741.4(j)(1)(iii) (a FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage is only required to pay a federal share insurance premium if it is assessed on or before the date of the termination of coverage).

    The Board also favors this approach because it parallels general corporate practice regarding shareholder equity distributions. A corporate shareholder that sells stock before a distribution is declared generally forfeits the right to an equity distribution from the corporation.33 This clear, bright-line rule ensures that a corporation is able to ascertain the exact number of individuals who should receive an equity distribution without significant litigation risk from former shareholders or previously unknown claimants. Likewise, adopting a clear, bright-line rule for an NCUSIF equity distribution allows the Board to reasonably ascertain the FICUs to which it must make distributions. Furthermore, this approach allocates the risk of forfeiting an NCUSIF equity distribution directly to the entity in the best position to avoid that risk, namely the FICU terminating federal share insurance coverage. The Board believes that a FICU considering the economic advisability of terminating federal share insurance coverage is in the best position to avoid forfeiting an NCUSIF equity distribution because the Board publishes quarterly reports on the condition of the NCUSIF that provide ample opportunity to determine whether an NCUSIF equity distribution is likely for that calendar year. Because of this advanced notice, the Board believes that the responsibility should fall on the FICU to make an independent business decision whether the benefits of receiving the NCUSIF equity distribution outweigh the benefits terminating federal share insurance coverage.

    33See e.g. Limbaugh v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 732 F.2d 859, 861 (11th Cir. 1984) (“[w]hen stock is sold prior to the ex-dividend date, the right to a dividend goes with the stock to the purchaser, rather than staying with the seller.”).

    While the Board believes that the proposed change to § 741.4(j)(1)(ii) presents a more equitable and reasonable approach for handling NCUSIF equity distributions to a former FICU than the Board's current policy, the Board recognizes that this is not the only available approach. Accordingly, the Board requests comment on this aspect of the proposed rule and may make modifications to this approach depending on the persuasiveness of the comments.

    The Board requests specific comments on how to address a FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage through liquidation. One approach that the Board is considering is to continue to make NCUSIF equity distributions to a liquidated FICU until the closure of its liquidation estate. In other words, the Board would interpret the termination date for federal share insurance coverage to be the date the liquidation estate officially closes. However, the Board recognizes that this approach may be problematic, especially if the liquidation estate remains open for several years, because it could result in the liquidation estate receiving an NCUSIF equity distribution while also imposing costs on the NCUSIF. As a result, the Board is also considering treating the termination date as the date the FICU enters liquidation. Accordingly, the Board requests comment on the appropriate treatment of liquidation estates under proposed § 741.4(j)(1)(ii).

    Section 741.13 NCUSIF Equity Distributions Related to the Corporate System Resolution Program

    The Board proposes to adopt a temporary provision to govern any NCUSIF equity distributions resulting from the Corporate System Resolution Program. For purposes of this temporary provision, any NCUSIF equity distributions declared for calendar years 2017 through 2021 are deemed to be “resulting from the Corporate System Resolution Program.” The Board created the Corporate System Resolution Program to respond to increased administrative costs resulting from the conservatorship and liquidation of corporate credit unions following the Great Recession. As part of the Corporate System Resolution Program, the Board repackaged portfolios of asset-backed securities and corporate bonds (legacy assets) into NCUA Guaranteed Notes (NGNs) and funded the securitization of these assets through corporate assessments and borrowing against a line of credit at the U.S. Treasury.

    Improved performance of legacy assets and NCUA's legal recoveries in its capacity as liquidating agent for the corporate credit unions has resulted in the TCCUSF maintaining a net position of positive $1.6 billion as of March 2017. It is now possible for remaining NGNs to be funded solely from the NCUSIF without inordinate risk, meaning that the purposes of the TCCUSF and the Corporate System Resolution Program have been fulfilled. Accordingly, the Board is considering closing the TCCUSF and winding down the Corporate System Resolution Program and will be publishing a notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment in that regard.

    Closing the TCCUSF and winding down the Corporate System Resolution Program will require NCUA to transfer all remaining funds, property, or other assets remaining in the TCCUSF to the NCUSIF, which could trigger a significant NCUSIF equity distribution.34 Winding down of the Corporate System Resolution Program could also trigger future NCUSIF equity distributions as the NGNs mature. Given the potential size and complexity of these transactions, the Board believes that § 741.4 is ill-suited to address these potential NCUSIF equity distributions. As a result, the Board proposes to adopt a temporary provision to NCUA's share insurance requirements rule to govern an NCUSIF equity distribution resulting from the Corporate System Resolution Program.

    The Board believes that any NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program should first go towards repaying those FICUs that paid special premiums, generally referred to as corporate assessments, rather than taking the form of a general proportionate distribution to current FICUs under § 741.4. Accordingly, the Board is considering making any NCUSIF equity distributions related to the Corporate System Resolution Program in the form of a series of NCUSIF equity distributions repaying any corporate assessments against FICUs on either a first-in, first-out (FIFO) or a last-in, first-out (LIFO) basis.

    34 12 U.S.C. 1790e(h). NCUA does not have the legal authority to make distributions directly from the TCCUSF.

    Any payments paid to a FICU that has merged into another FICU would be paid to the continuing FICU. Moreover, any payments owed to a liquidated FICU with an open liquidation estate or a closed liquidation estate still within its applicable look-back period would be made to the liquidation estate and distributed ratably to the FICU's creditors in accordance with part 709 of NCUA's rules. Given the payment priority set out in part 709, the Board anticipates that a majority of these creditors would be members with uninsured share balances rather than general creditors of the liquidation estate. Because any NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program would go first towards repaying FICUs that paid corporate assessments, a FICU that has not paid a corporate assessment would not be entitled to receive an NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program unless all such corporate assessments are first repaid in full. Additionally, a FICU that terminates federal share insurance coverage before the payment date for an NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program would not be entitled to a distribution for the reasons stated above in the discussion of proposed changes to § 741.4(j)(1)(ii).

    NCUSIF Equity Distribution on First-In, First-Out Basis

    Under a FIFO approach, the Board would make an NCUSIF equity distribution to each FICU up to the total dollar amount of corporate assessments paid by that FICU during the relevant assessment period beginning with the first assessment period in 2009. For example, assume the Board has declared four corporate assessments in the amounts of $100 million in 2009, $250 million in 2010, $550 million in 2011, and $700 million in 2012. Also assume that XYZ Credit Union, a fictitious FICU, has paid corporate assessments of $1 million, $2.5 million, $5.5 million, and $7 million, respectively. Furthermore, assume that on June 30, 2018, the Board closes the TCCUSF and declares an NCUSIF equity distribution of $500 million. Under the proposed FIFO method, XYZ Credit Union would receive $3.5 million ($1 million for 2009 plus $2.5 million for 2010 equals $3.5 million) representing the total dollar amount of corporate assessments paid by XYZ Credit Union for calendar years 2009 and 2010.

    Because there are not enough funds to fully repay the $550 million corporate assessment for 2011, XYZ Credit Union receives a distribution of remaining funds based on its pro rata share of the corporate assessment ($5.5 million divided by $550 million equals .01 or 1 percent). In this case, only $150 million remains after repaying the first and second corporate assessments (Subtracting $100 million and $250 million from $500 million equals $150 million, which is less than $550 million). As a result, XYZ Credit Union receives a distribution for that period of $1.5 million ($150 million multiplied by .01 equals $1.5 million). As a result, XYZ Credit Union receives a total NCUSIF equity distribution of $5 million ($3.5 million plus $1.5 million equals $5 million) from the $500 million distribution declared on June 30, 2018.

    NCUSIF Equity Distribution on Last-In, First-Out Basis

    Under a LIFO approach, the Board would make an NCUSIF equity distribution to each FICU up to the total dollar amount of premiums paid by that FICU during the relevant assessment period beginning with the last assessment period. For example, assume the Board has declared four corporate assessments in the amounts of $100 million in 2009, $250 million in 2010, $550 million in 2011, and $700 million in 2012. Also assume that XYZ Credit Union, a fictitious FICU, has paid corporate assessments of $1 million, $2.5 million, $5.5 million, and $7 million, respectively. Furthermore, assume that on June 30, 2018, the Board closes the TCCUSF and declares a NCUSIF equity distribution of $500 million. Because there are not enough funds to fully repay the $700 million corporate assessment for 2012, XYZ Credit Union receives a distribution based on its pro rata share of the corporate assessment ($7 million divided by $700 million equals .01 or 1 percent). As a result, under the proposed LIFO method, XYZ Credit Union would receive $5 million ($500 million multiplied by .01 equals $5 million).

    Of the two methods, the Board favors the LIFO method because it ensures that FICUs receive NCUSIF equity distributions for their most recent corporate assessments first, with smaller assessments that took place at the start of the Corporate System Resolution Program being repaid over time as the NGNs mature. Therefore, the Board is proposing corresponding regulatory text for § 741.13 reflecting the LIFO approach in this notice of proposed rulemaking. However, the Board is requesting comment on both methods, as well as whether the four quarter average of insured shares method or the year-end insured share balance method discussed above should apply to NCUSIF equity distributions relating to the Corporate System Resolution Program.

    Additionally, the Board requests comment on whether the FCU Act permits the FIFO and LIFO methods. The FCU Act requires the Board to “effect a pro rata distribution to insured credit unions after each calendar year if, as of the end of the calendar year,” the NCUSIF's equity ratio exceeds its normal operating level and the available assets ratio exceeds 1 percent.35 The Board believes that the statutory text is sufficiently ambiguous to permit the Board to adopt either a FIFO or LIFO method for determining the payment priority of each series of NCUSIF equity distributions provided that each FICU receives a pro rata distribution based on the amount of funds available for the relevant assessment period. However, the Board recognizes that this is not the only interpretation of this provision and requests comment in that regard.

    Furthermore, the Board requests comment on whether a FICU's liquidation estate should receive an NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program. The Board's preferred approach is to make NCUSIF equity distributions to liquidation estates that remain open or were recently closed and are still within the relevant look-back period where it is possible to reopen the estate and make additional distributions to creditors. As noted above in the discussion of § 741.4(j)(1)(ii), however, the treatment of liquidation estates can be problematic, especially for liquidation estates that remain open for several years. Accordingly, the Board requests comment on the appropriate treatment of liquidation estates under proposed § 741.13.

    35 12 U.S.C. 1782(c)(3)(A).

    III. Technical and Conforming Amendments Section 741.4(b) Definitions

    The Board proposes to make a technical correction to the definition of the “available assets ratio.” Section 741.4(b) defines the “available assets ratio” as the ratio of the total of cash plus market value of unencumbered investments less direct liabilities and contingent liabilities for which no provision for loss has been made (numerator) to the aggregate amount of insured shares in all FICUs (denominator).36 The mathematical formula immediately following this definition, however, compares the numerator to the “aggregate amount of all insured shares from the final reporting period of the calendar year.” 37 This discrepancy is a prior inadvertent drafting error that the Board proposes to fix by amending the qualifier to read “as reported on the calendar year-end Call Report” in both the definition and the mathematical formula.

    36 12 CFR 741.4(b).

    37Id.

    This proposed change is purely technical in nature and does not change the legal effect of § 741.4. The available assets ratio is used to determine whether the Board is required to make an NCUSIF equity distribution for a given calendar year.38 When making that determination, the FCU Act requires NCUA to calculate the aggregate amount of insured shares in all FICUs using information from December 31 Call Reports.39 This requirement is also codified in § 741.4(e) which generally addresses an NCUSIF equity distribution.40 Accordingly, both the written definition in § 741.4(b) and the mathematical formula are correct. However, the Board recognizes that, if uncorrected, the discrepancy in language could cause some confusion. Therefore, amending the definition of “available assets ratio” is appropriate to provide FICUs with greater clarity.

    38 12 U.S.C. 1782(c)(3)(A)(iii).

    39 12 U.S.C. 1782(c)(3)(C).

    40 12 CFR 741.4(e).

    Section 741.4(i) Conversion to Federal Insurance

    The Board proposes to make conforming amendments to §§ 741.4(i)(1)(v) and 741.4(i)(2)(iii) depending on the method chosen for calculating a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution. Section 741.4(i)(1)(v) addresses an NCUSIF equity distribution to a financial institution that converts to federal share insurance coverage during the calendar year.41 If there is an NCUSIF equity distribution applicable to the calendar year in which a financial institution converts to federal share insurance, the newly insured credit union is entitled to receive an NCUSIF equity distribution based on the amount of insured shares as of the end of the calendar year multiplied by the financial institution's premium/distribution ratio. The premium/distribution ratio is calculated by dividing the number of full remaining months in the calendar year following the date of the financial institution's conversion to federal share insurance by 12.42

    41 12 CFR 741.4(i)(1)(v).

    42Id. at 741.4(b).

    Section 741.4(i)(2)(iii) addresses an NCUSIF equity distribution to a FICU that merges with a financial institution that is not federally insured by NCUA where the FICU is the surviving entity.43 If the Board declares a NCUSIF equity distribution for the calendar year in which such a merger takes place, the continuing FICU is entitled to receive an NCUSIF equity distribution based on its insured shares as of the end of the year of the merger. Depending on the method chosen to calculate a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution, the Board will make one of the following conforming amendments to §§ 741.4(i)(1)(v) and 741.4(i)(2)(iii).

    43 12 CFR 741.4(i)(2)(iii).

    Four Quarter Average of Insured Shares

    If the Board choses to calculate a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution based on a FICU's average insured shares, the Board would amend §§ 741.4(i)(1)(v) and 741.4(i)(2)(iii) by removing the calculation methods set out in those paragraphs and replacing them with cross-references to amended § 741.4(e). Amended § 741.4(e) would include a provision stating that a financial institution converting to federal share insurance during the calendar year applicable to an NCUSIF equity distribution would be treated as not having any insured shares for the quarterly periods that it is not federally insured by NCUA. The Board would apply the same approach to mergers where the merging institution is not federally insured by NCUA. While this method is different from NCUA's current practice, the difference is mathematically insignificant and promotes greater uniformity throughout § 741.4 by harmonizing the calculation methods under §§ 741.4(e) and 741.4(i).

    Year-end Insured Share Balance

    If the Board chooses to calculate a FICU's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution based on a FICU's year-end insured shares, the Board would not amend §§ 741.4(i)(1)(v) or 741.4(i)(2)(iii) because the rule presently calculates a converting financial institution's proportionate share of an NCUSIF equity distribution using year end insured shares reported in the December 31 Call Report times the institution's premium/distribution ratio, which adjusts the FICU's share of the distribution for the proportion of the year it was federally insured by NCUA.

    Appendix A to Part 741 Examples of Partial-Year NCUSIF Assessment and Distribution Calculations under § 741.4

    The Board also proposes to remove Appendix A to part 741 and replace it with examples and frequently asked questions published on NCUA's public Web site.44 Appendix A provides examples of partial-year NCUSIF assessment and distribution calculations under various different factual scenarios. While the Board recognizes that examples of how NCUA makes these calculations may be useful to FICUs, including those examples in an appendix to part 741 makes it difficult for NCUA to update, amend, or revise the examples to provide FICUs with additional clarity. Accordingly, the Board believes that removing Appendix A and replacing it with information on the Web site is appropriate to provide FICUs with more clear, relevant, and timely examples regarding the calculation of partial-year NCUSIF assessments and distributions.

    44 12 CFR 741, App. A.

    IV. Regulatory Procedures Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires NCUA to prepare an analysis to describe any significant economic impact a regulation may have on a substantial number of small entities (primarily those under $100 million in assets).45 This rule clarifies existing requirements and will not impose any new regulatory requirements. Consequently, the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    45 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency creates a new information collection requirement or amends an existing information collection requirement.46 For the purposes of the PRA, an information collection requirement may take the form of a reporting, recordkeeping, or third-party disclosure requirement. The proposed rule does not contain a new information collection requirement or amend an existing information collection requirement that requires approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chap. 35).

    46 44 U.S.C. 3507(d); 5 CFR 1320.

    Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    NCUA has determined that this rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of § 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999.47

    47 Public Law 105-277, 654, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-581 (1998).

    Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests.48 NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order to adhere to fundamental federalism principles. The rule will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. NCUA has therefore determined that this rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

    48 64 FR 43255 (Aug. 4, 1999).

    List of Subjects

    12 CFR Part 741

    Bank deposit insurance, Credit unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    By the National Credit Union Administration Board on July 20, 2017. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

    For the reasons discussed above, the Board proposes to amend 12 CFR part 741 as follows:

    PART 741—REQUIREMENTS FOR INSURANCE 1. The authority citation for part 741 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1757, 1766(a), 1781-1790, and 1790d; 31 U.S.C. 3717.

    2. Amend § 741.4 by: a. In paragraph (b) revising the definition of “Available assets ration;” b. Revising paragraph (e); c. Revising paragraphs (i)(1)(v) and (i)(2)(iii) and (j)(1)(ii).

    The revisions to read as follows:

    § 741.4 Insurance premium and one percent deposit.

    (b) * * *

    Available assets ratio means the ratio of:

    (i) The amount determined by subtracting all liabilities of the NCUSIF, including contingent liabilities for which no provision for losses have been made, from the sum of cash and the market value of unencumbered investments authorized under section 203 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1783(c)), to:

    (ii) The aggregate amount of the insured shares in all insured credit unions as reported on the calendar year-end Call Report.

    (iii) Shown as an abbreviated mathematical formula, the available assets ratio is:

    EP01AU17.012

    (e) NCUSIF equity distribution. If, at the end of the calendar year, the NCUSIF's equity ratio exceeds its normal operating level and its available assets ratio exceeds 1 percent, the NCUA Board will make a proportionate NCUSIF equity distribution to federally insured credit unions. Newly chartered federally insured credit unions and credit unions that convert from or terminate federal share insurance during the calendar year for which the NCUSIF equity distribution is declared shall not be eligible for that distribution.

    (1) Amount of NCUSIF equity distribution. A NCUSIF equity distribution shall be the maximum amount possible that does not reduce the NCUSIF's equity ratio below its normal operating level or the available assets ratio below 1 percent.

    (2) Form of NCUSIF equity distribution. A NCUSIF equity distribution shall be in a form determined by the NCUA Board including a waiver of insurance premiums, a rebate of insurance premiums, dividends, or any combination thereof.

    (3) Timing of NCUSIF equity distribution. A NCUSIF equity distribution shall occur within a reasonable time after the close of the calendar year for which the NCUSIF equity distribution is declared but no later than June 30th.

    (4) Calculation of ratios and proportionate NCUSIF equity distribution. For purposes of this paragraph, the NCUA Board shall determine the equity ratio, available assets ratio, and a federally insured credit union's proportionate NCUSIF equity distribution as follows:

    (i) Equity ratio and available assets ratio. When calculating the equity ratio and available assets ratio, the aggregate amount of insured shares in all federally insured credit unions shall be determined based on the insured shares reported on the calendar year-end Call Report for which the NCUSIF equity distribution is declared.

    (ii) Proportionate NCUSIF equity distribution. A federally insured credit union's proportionate NCUSIF equity distribution shall be determined by dividing the dollar amount of the declared NCUSIF equity distribution by the aggregate average amount of insured shares in all federally insured credit unions eligible to receive the distribution and then multiplying by a federally insured credit union's average amount of insured shares over the calendar year for which the NCUSIF equity distribution is declared.

    (A) Average amount of insured shares. An eligible federally insured credit union's average amount of insured shares over a given calendar year shall be determined by dividing the sum of the insured shares reported in each of its quarterly Call Reports (including the separate Call Reports of any credit unions that have merged into the federally insured credit union) by 4. A financial institution that converts to federal share insurance or merges into a federally insured credit union during the calendar year will be treated as not having insured shares for periods where it was not federally insured by NCUA.

    (B) Aggregate average amount of insured shares. The aggregate average amount of insured shares over a given calendar year shall be determined by adding together the aggregate amount of insured shares in all federally insured credit unions (less any insured shares reported in any quarterly Call Report by a credit union that converts from or terminated federal share insurance during the calendar year for which the NCUSIF equity distribution is declared).

    (C) Mathematical formulas. Shown as an abbreviated series of mathematical formulas, a federally insured credit union's proportionate NCUSIF equity distribution is calculated as follows:

    EP01AU17.013 Where: i = the ith federally insured credit union in the series. N = the total number of all federally insured credit unions as of December 31 of the calendar year for which the NCUSIF equity distribution is declared. n = the nth federally insured credit union in the series. q = the qth quarterly Call Report in the series.

    (i) Conversion to federal insurance.

    (1) * * *

    (v) If the NCUSIF declares a distribution in the year following conversion based on the NCUSIF's equity at the end of the year of conversion, receive a distribution according to paragraph (e) of this section. With regard to distributions declared in the calendar year of conversion but based on the NCUSIF's equity from the end of the preceding year, the converting institution will receive no distribution.

    (2) * * *

    (iii) If the NCUSIF declares a distribution in the year following the merger, receive a distribution according to paragraph (e) of this section. With regard to distributions declared in the calendar year of the merger but based on the NCUSIF's equity from the end of the preceding year, the continuing credit union will receive a distribution based on its average insured shares as of the end of the preceding year.

    (j) Conversion from, or termination of, Federal share insurance.

    (1) * * *

    (ii) Forfeit any distribution of NCUSIF equity for the calendar year in which the conversion or merger is completed; and

    3. Remove Appendix A to part 741 and redesignate Appendix B and Appendix C as Appendix A and Appendix B, respectively. 4. Effective until December 31, 2022, add § 741.13 to read as follows:
    § 741.13 NCUSIF equity distributions related to Corporate System Resolution Program.

    (a) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

    (1) Assessment means a special premium assessed by the Board as part of the Corporate System Resolution Program.

    (2) Assessment period means the relevant calendar year, or portion of a calendar year, for which the Board has charged an assessment.

    (3) Available assets ratio has the same meaning as used in § 741.4 of this chapter.

    (4) Corporate credit union has the same meaning as used in § 704.2 of this chapter.

    (5) Corporate System Resolution Program refers to a special program established by the NCUA Board to stabilize the corporate credit union system.

    (6) Board means the NCUA Board.

    (7) Federally insured credit union means a credit union that remains federally insured under Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act as of the end of the calendar year applicable to an NCUSIF equity distribution. This includes an open liquidation estate for a liquidated credit union that would have been considered a federally insured credit union but for its liquidation. A closed liquidation estate is considered an open liquidation estate for purposes of this section if the liquidation estate is still within any applicable look back period.

    (8) National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or NCUSIF refers to a revolving fund established by Congress within the U.S. Treasury to provide federal share insurance coverage to federally insured credit union members and to offset NCUA's administrative expenses associated with the conservatorship and liquidation of federally insured credit unions.

    (9) NCUSIF equity distribution means the payment of funds from the NCUSIF pursuant to § 202 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1782).

    (10) NCUSIF equity ratio has the same meaning as used in § 741.4 of this chapter.

    (11) Normal operating level has the same meaning as used in § 741.4 of this chapter.

    (b) NCUSIF equity distributions related to Corporate System Resolution Program. Notwithstanding § 741.4 of this chapter, the following procedures shall apply to any NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program declared for calendar years 2017 through 2021:

    (1) Amount of NCUSIF equity distribution. An NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program shall be the maximum amount possible that does not reduce the NCUSIF equity ratio below its normal operating level or the NCUSIF's available assets ratio below 1 percent.

    (2) Timing of NCUSIF equity distribution. An NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program shall occur within a reasonable time after funds become available for distribution.

    (3) Form of NCUSIF equity distribution. An NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program shall take the form of a rebate of assessments. If all assessments for all assessment periods have been repaid to all federally insured credit unions, an NCUSIF equity distribution may take any form as prescribed in § 741.4 of this chapter.

    (4) Payment of NCUSIF equity distribution. Beginning with the last assessment period, an NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program shall be paid to all federally insured credit unions up to the total dollar amount paid by that federally insured credit union for that assessment period subject to the following:

    (i) Insufficient funds. If the total dollar amount of an NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program is insufficient to repay all federally insured credit unions the total dollar amount paid by that federally insured credit union for that assessment period, each federally insured credit union shall receive a proportionate share of the NCUSIF equity distribution based on the percentage of the total assessment for the assessment period attributable to that federally insured credit union. Any subsequent NCUSIF equity distribution shall be calculated in the same manner until all assessments for the relevant assessment period have been repaid.

    (ii) Excess funds. If the total dollar amount of an NCUSIF equity distribution related to the Corporate System Resolution Program exceeds the total dollar amount necessary to repay all assessments for all remaining assessment periods, each federally insured credit union shall receive a proportionate share of the NCUSIF equity distribution, after all remaining assessments have been paid, according to § 741.4 of this chapter.

    (c) Effective date. This provision shall expire and no longer be applicable after December 31, 2022.

    [FR Doc. 2017-15687 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 Docket No. FAA-2017-0646; Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-17 Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Ellendale, ND AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E airspace at Ellendale, ND. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate new special Instrument Approach Procedures developed at Ellendale Municipal Airport, for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 15, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826, or (800) 647-5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0646; Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-17, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Shelby, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX, 76177; telephone (817) 222-5857.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part, A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would establish Class E airspace extending up to and including 700 feet above the surface at Ellendale Municipal Airport, Ellendale, ND, to support special instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-0646/Airspace Docket No. 17-AGL-17.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the “ADDRESSES” section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX, 76177.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Ellendale Municipal Airport, Ellendale, ND, to accommodate new special instrument approach procedures. Controlled airspace is needed for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AGL ND E5 Ellendale, ND [New] Ellendale Municipal Airport, ND (Lat. 46°00′59″ N., long. 098°30′56″ W.) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Ellendale Municipal Airport. Issued in Fort Worth, TX on July 20, 2017. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16089 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0620; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASW-10] Proposed Establishment Class E Airspace; Cisco, TX AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Gregory M. Simmons Memorial Airport, Cisco, TX, to accommodate a new public instrument approach procedure at the airport and for safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 15, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826, or 1-800-647-5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2017-0620; Airspace Docket No. 17-ASW-10, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Gregory M. Simmons Memorial Airport, Cisco, TX.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2017-0620/Airspace Docket No. 17-ASW-10.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Gregory M. Simmons Memorial Airport, Cisco, TX, due to the establishment of a new public instrument approach procedure at the airport. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward from 700 feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW TX E5 Cisco, TX [New] Gregory M. Simmons Airport, TX (Lat. 32°21′57″ N., long. 99°01′25″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Gregory M. Simmons Airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 24, 2017. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16090 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0577] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone, Blue Angels Air Show; St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a safety zone on the waters of the St. Johns River in vicinity of Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida during the Blue Angels Air Show. This proposed rulemaking would prohibit persons and vessels from being in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Jacksonville or a designated representative. The Coast Guard invites your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before August 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0577 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Lieutenant Allan Storm, Sector Jacksonville, Chief, Waterways Management, U.S. Coast guard; telephone (904) 714-7616, email [email protected]

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

    On April 25, 2017, NAS Jacksonville submitted a marine event application to the Coast Guard for the Blue Angels Air Show that will take place from November 3, 2017 through November 5, 2017. The air show will consist of various flight demonstrations over the St. Johns River in vicinity of NAS Jacksonville. Over the years, there have been unfortunate instances of aircraft mishaps that involve crashing during performances at various air shows around the world. Occasionally, these incidents result in a wide area of scattered debris in the water that can damage property or cause significant injury or death to the public observing the air shows. The Captain of the Port (COTP) Jacksonville has determined that a safety zone is necessary to protect the general public from hazards associated with aerial flight demonstrations.

    The purpose of the rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and persons during the air show on the navigable waters of the St. Johns River in vicinity of NAS Jacksonville, Florida. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The COTP proposes to establish a safety zone from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from November 3, 2017 through November 5, 2017. The safety zone will encompass all waters within an area approximately three quarters of a mile parallel to the shoreline, and one mile out into the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, FL. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of the public and these navigable waters during the aerial flight demonstrations. No vessel or person would be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. Vessel traffic would be able to safely transit around this safety zone which would impact a small designated area of the St. Johns River for nine hours on each of the three days the air show is occurring. Moreover, the Coast Guard would issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone, and the rule would allow 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 proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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

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

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would 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 proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves a safety zone that would prohibit persons and vessels from transiting through a one square mile regulated area during a three day air show lasting nine hours daily. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice.

    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165. T07-0577 to read as follows:
    § 165.T07-0577 Safety Zone, Blue Angels Air Show; St. Johns River, Jacksonville, FL

    (a) Regulated Area. The following area is a safety zone located on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, FL. All waters of the St. Johns River encompassed within an imaginary line connecting the following points: Starting at Point 1 in position 30°13′41″ N.; 081°39′45″ W., thence due east to Point 2 in position 30°13″41″ N.; 081°38′35″ W., thence south to Point 3 in position 30°14′27″ N.; 081°38″35″ W., thence west to Point 4 in position 30°14′27″ N., 081°39′45″ W., thence following the shoreline north back to the point of origin. These coordinates are based on North American Datum 1983.

    (b) Definition. The term “designated representative” means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders, including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers, and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and Federal, state, and local officers designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Jacksonville in the enforcement of the regulated area.

    (c) Regulations. (1) All persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Jacksonville or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area may contact the Captain of the Port Jacksonville by telephone at (904) 714-7557, or a designated representative via VHF-FM radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization is granted, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the COTP Jacksonville or a designated representative.

    (3) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area through Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM channel 16 or by on-scene designated representatives.

    (d) Enforcement Period. This rule will be enforced daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. from November 3, 2017 through November 5, 2017.

    Dated: July 27, 2017. T.C. Wiemers, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Jacksonville.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16177 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 4 RIN 2900-AP88 Schedule for Rating Disabilities; Musculoskeletal System and Muscle Injuries AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to revise the regulations that involve the Musculoskeletal System within the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (“VASRD” or “Rating Schedule”). VA proposes to rename certain diagnostic codes, revise rating criteria, give new rating guidance, add new codes, and remove obsolete codes. These revisions would incorporate medical terminology more recent than the last comprehensive review, as well as simplify the rating process.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by VA on or before October 2, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulations Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. (This is not a toll-free number.) Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AP88—Schedule for Rating Disabilities; Musculoskeletal System and Muscle Injuries.” Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gary Reynolds, M.D., Regulations Staff (211C), Compensation Service, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-9700. (This is not a toll-free number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Defense Authorization Act of 2004, secs. 1501-07, Public Law 108-136, 117 Stat. 1392, established the Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission (the “Commission”). Section 1502 of Public Law 108-136 mandated the Commission to study ways to improve the disability compensation system for military veterans. The Commission consulted with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to review the medical aspects of current compensation policies. In 2007, the IOM released its report titled “A 21st Century System for Evaluating Veterans for Disability Benefits.” (Michael McGeary et al. eds.2007).

    The IOM report was notable in several respects. The IOM observed that, in part, the Rating Schedule was inadequate in areas because it contained obsolete information and did not sufficiently integrate current and accepted diagnostic procedures. In addition, the IOM observed that the current body system organization of the Rating Schedule does not reflect current knowledge of the relationships between conditions and comorbidities.

    Following the release of the IOM report, VA created a musculoskeletal system workgroup. The goals adopted by the workgroup were to: (1) Improve and update the process that VA uses to assign levels of disability after it grants service connection; (2) improve the fairness in adjudicating disability benefits for service-connected veterans; and (3) invite public participation. The workgroup was co-chaired by the Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration. The workgroup was comprised of subject matter experts from VA, the Department of Defense, and medical academia. The workgroup held a public forum in Washington, DC, during August 2010, where it discussed current regulations and possible revisions. The workgroup held a second public forum in Washington, DC, during June 2012, where it shared a draft proposal for comment.

    The workgroup met periodically during and after the public forums to continue its revision efforts. The regulation-drafting phase, which began in April 2012, continues through the publication of this proposed rule. With this rulemaking, VA proposes to remove obsolete diagnostic codes, modernize the names of selected diagnostic codes, revise descriptions and criteria, and add new diagnostic codes.

    The Focus of This Revision

    Consistent with the IOM's recommendations, the proposed amendments rename conditions to reflect current medicine, remove obsolete conditions, clarify ambiguities in existing rating criteria, and add conditions that previously did not have diagnostic codes. However, VA experienced greater difficulty revising existing rating criteria in many areas. After significant time and research, since an earnings loss study had not been conducted in time to be considered during the workgroup and rule-drafting phases, VA concluded there was only a narrow set of circumstances where the medical literature clearly supported the proposed changes in the absence of earnings loss information.

    As such, VA modified the approach recommended by the IOM for this body system. Only peer-reviewed articles where at least one measureable proxy for reduced earnings capacity was studied were deemed acceptable to justify a reduction in the level or duration of ratings for specific conditions (e.g., time to return to work, activity limitations related to work, and/or participation restriction(s) from work-related tasks). Therefore, at this time, VA proposes changes to only two codes (diagnostic codes 5054 and 5055) where the criteria changes would result in such a reduction.

    I. Proposed Changes to § 4.71a A. Nomenclature Changes to Existing Diagnostic Codes: 5003, 5012-15, 5023, 5024 and 5242

    In its review of the musculoskeletal body system, VA identified a number of diagnostic codes (DCs) with terms that are outdated or unclear. As such, it proposes to retitle these DCs to reflect current medical practice and nomenclature. There are no proposed substantive changes to the rating criteria for these eight DCs.

    VA proposes to retitle DC 5003, currently “Arthritis, degenerative (hypertrophic or osteoarthritis)” as “Degenerative arthritis, other than post-traumatic.” No other language or criteria changes are proposed for this diagnostic code.

    Current DCs 5012 and 5015 refer to “Bones, new growths of, malignant” and “Bones, new growths of, benign,” respectively. VA proposes to replace the term “new growths of” in these DCs with the current medical term, “neoplasm.” See S. Terry Canale and James H. Beaty, Campbell's Operative Orthopedics 859-86 (benign) and 909-45 (malignant) (12th ed. 2013). DC 5012 would be titled “Bones, neoplasm, malignant, primary or secondary” to indicate that both primary and secondary neoplasms are rated under this DC to ensure consistent and accurate evaluation. Non-substantive revisions to the language in the note under DC 5012 are also proposed; specifically, VA proposes to add the term “prescribed” to the phrase “therapeutic procedure” to ensure that readers understand VA will only consider medically-directed therapy when rating DC 5012.

    VA proposes to rename DC 5013, which refers to “Osteoporosis, with joint manifestations,” as “Osteoporosis, residuals of.” VA proposes a similar revision to current DC 5014 by renaming “Osteomalacia” as “Osteomalacia, residuals of.” Both osteoporosis and osteomalacia, in and of themselves, do not have any disabling characteristics. See Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology 1730-1750 (Gary S. Firestein and Ralph C. Budd et al. eds.,10th ed. 2017). Rather, it is the residuals of these conditions that VA evaluates. Thus, adding the reference “residuals of” provides more accurate instruction and information to rating personnel.

    Current DC 5023 refers to “Myositis ossificans.” VA proposes to update this DC to reflect the latest medical terminology and rename DC 5023 as “Heterotopic ossification.” See Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain and Rehabilitation, 691-95 (Walter R. Frontera and Julie K. Silver et al. eds., 2d ed. 2008). Additionally, VA proposes to revise DC 5024, currently named, “Tenosynovitis,” to “Tenosynovitis, tendinitis, tendinosis, or tendinopathy.” These newly-added conditions are commonly seen in the veteran population and represent similar forms of disability. See Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, supra at 587-604. This update would assist rating personnel in more quickly identifying the appropriate DC. Non-substantive revisions to the criteria of DC 5024 are also proposed.

    Finally, VA proposes to retitle DC 5242, “Degenerative arthritis of the spine” as “Degenerative arthritis, degenerative disc disease other than intervertebral disc syndrome.” This change gives rating personnel clear guidance whenever they encounter a diagnostic imaging report that references degenerative disc disease without mention of intervertebral disc syndrome (also known as disc herniation). A non-substantive revision to the citation accompanying DC 5242 is also proposed.

    B. Substantive Revisions to Existing Diagnostic Codes: 5002, 5009-5011, 5051-5056, 5120, 5160, 5170, 5201, 5202, 5255, 5257, 5262, and 5271

    In addition to modernizing the names of certain DCs, VA also proposes substantive (i.e., not related to nomenclature) revisions to a number of existing DCs, to include some instances of changes in the evaluation criteria.

    1. Diagnostic Code 5002

    The first substantive revision proposed for § 4.71a involves DC 5002, “Arthritis rheumatoid (atrophic) As an active process.” VA proposes to retitle this code as “Multi-joint arthritis (except post-traumatic and gout), 2 or more joints, as an active process.” VA proposes this change to include a greater number of systemic arthritis processes that cause multisystem effects besides rheumatoid arthritis. The title would employ the phrase “multi-joint” rather than “polyarthritis” because polyarthritis requires 4 or more joints to be involved. VA would provide, in Note (1), a non-exhaustive list of conditions rated under this code (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, etc.). See Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, supra at 615-616. VA would also remove the language currently in DC 5002 regarding chronic residuals and, in Note (2), provide a directive to rate chronic residuals under DC 5003. VA proposes this change because the current language used for chronic residuals in DC 5002 is very similar to DC 5003 and its removal would simplify the schedule. Finally, VA would redesignate the code's current note as Note (3) and add a prohibition that prevents combining ratings from active process with DC 5003, instead directing rating personnel to assign the higher evaluation.

    2. Diagnostic Code 5009

    VA proposes that diagnostic code 5009, currently titled “Arthritis, other types (specify),” be retitled as “Other specified forms of arthropathy (excluding gout).” VA proposes this change to capture other disease processes that cause joint injury, but are not necessarily captured within the rating schedule. The current language accompanying DC 5009, concerning how to rate diagnostic codes 5004-5009, would be redesignated as Note (2) and would be revised to give guidance on how to rate both acute phase and chronic residuals. A new Note (1) would provide a non-exhaustive list of conditions that should be rated under this diagnostic code. No other changes are proposed for this code.

    3. Diagnostic Code 5010

    Diagnostic code 5010 currently states: “Arthritis, due to trauma, substantiated by X-ray findings: Rate as arthritis, degenerative.” VA proposes to change the title and criteria to “Post-traumatic arthritis: Rate as limitation of motion, dislocation, or other specified instability under the affected joint. If there are 2 or more joints affected, each rating shall be combined in accordance with § 4.25.” VA proposes the title change to distinguish between joint conditions arising from traumatic causes and joint conditions resulting from systemic processes. This distinction is important, as the natural history (and ultimately the severity of disability) differs between joint conditions stemming from trauma as opposed to joint conditions related to systemic processes.

    VA proposes the change in criteria to provide a more accurate approach to rating joint injuries resulting from trauma. The trauma process is a different event for each affected joint, as opposed to a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, where the same systemic process can affect more than one joint in the same manner. VA also proposes the directive to combine ratings for separate joints affected by traumatic injury in accordance with § 4.25 so there will be no misunderstanding for rating personnel when encountering this situation. It is important to note that, as a result of these changes, DC 5010 would no longer rate joints affected by trauma-related arthritis under the criteria of DC 5003.

    4. Diagnostic Code 5011

    The next proposed substantive revision to § 4.71a is DC 5011, currently named “Bones, caisson disease of.” VA proposes to first revise the title of this DC to “Decompression illness” to ensure use of the most modern terminology. See Richard D. Vann et al., “Decompression Illness,” 377 Lancet 153-64 (2010). VA also proposes to revise the rating criteria for DC 5011, which currently direct rating personnel to “Rate as arthritis, cord involvement, or deafness, depending on the severity of disabling manifestations.” The proposed changes would provide more detailed instructions on how to rate manifestations associated with decompression illness that are outside of the musculoskeletal system (i.e., not arthritic). It is well established among medical experts that the most common residual manifestations from decompression illness involve the vestibule-cochlear system (e.g., hearing impairment, dizziness, vertigo), respiratory system (e.g., obstructive lung disease, pulmonary blebs) or neurologic system (e.g., peripheral neuropathy, stroke, paralysis). As such, VA proposes to direct rating personnel to consider evaluations within the auditory system for vestibular residuals, the respiratory system for pulmonary barotrauma residuals, and the neurologic system for cerebrovascular accident residuals. Id.

    5. Diagnostic Codes 5051-5056

    Since the last revision to the musculoskeletal system schedule, the medical community has been employing a new treatment approach, joint resurfacing, for selected joints (particularly the hip and knee). There are important similarities between joint resurfacing and prosthetic joint replacement. Joint resurfacing takes about the same time to perform and the recovery/rehabilitation periods are similar to comparable prosthetic joint replacement. This means that the impact on earnings capacity caused by the convalescence and rehabilitation from joint resurfacing is comparable to prosthetic joint replacement. However, there are significant differences with joint resurfacing, including: (1) Joint resurfacing preserves more of the original anatomy; and, (2) in most cases, joint resurfacing restores more of the original joint function than the prosthetic joint replacement. Therefore, less residual disability typically results from joint resurfacing as compared to prosthetic joint replacement. Currently, VA does not compensate for the disability associated with joint resurfacing, despite the similar impact on earnings capacity as prosthetic joint replacement.

    To rectify this disparity, VA proposes to incorporate joint resurfacing within DCs 5054 and 5055 (hip and knee replacement, respectively), since more research assessing convalescence, rehabilitation, and functional recovery concerns these two joints. The DC titles would be revised to incorporate resurfacing, and the 100 percent evaluation for prosthetic hip and knee replacement would also apply to resurfacing these two joints. However, after the 100 percent evaluation period ends, further evaluation would assess the limitation of motion DCs for the hip and knee, rather than the prosthetic joint replacement of either the hip or knee, because, as previously stated, there is less of an expectation of residual disability with joint resurfacing. A note would be added to DCs 5054 and 5055 directing rating personnel, at the conclusion of the 100 percent evaluation period, to evaluate hip joint resurfacing claims under DCs 5250-5255 and knee joint resurfacing claims under DCs 5256-5262.

    VA currently evaluates total joint replacements by assigning a 100 percent evaluation for 1 year following implantation of a prosthesis. After 1 year, VA assigns a minimum evaluation, with higher evaluations for complications or residuals such as weakness, pain, and limitation of motion. The evaluations assigned under these DCs are intended to encompass all musculoskeletal residuals under § 4.71a. Separate evaluations may be assigned for residuals such as scars or neurological deficits pursuant to § 4.14.

    VA proposes two modifications in this regard. First, a note prior to DCs 5051 to 5056 would clarify that separate evaluations may not be assigned under § 4.71a for the joint that was resurfaced or replaced by a prosthesis unless otherwise directed. This note is intended to clarify current practice and ensure consistent application of these DCs among rating personnel.

    In addition, for DCs 5054 and 5055, VA proposes to reduce the 100 percent evaluation period from 1 year to 4 months. Current medical practice for these conditions has recovery timelines that in most cases permit return to work well short of 1 year. In a review of studies looking at factors affecting return to work, the average time for return to work was between 1.1 and 13.9 weeks for hip arthroplasty and between 8.0 and 12.0 weeks for knee arthroplasty. See Claire Tilbury et al., “Return to work after total hip and knee arthroplasty: a systematic review,” 53 Rheumatology 512-525 (2014).

    6. Diagnostic Code 5120

    VA currently evaluates amputations of the arm that involve disarticulation under DC 5120 as 90 percent disabling regardless of dominant arm involvement At the outset, VA proposes to revise the name of this DC to “Complete amputation, upper extremity,” as this is a more accurate description of the amputation level and site.

    Second, VA proposes to create two levels of disability under DC 5120 for rating purposes. One level would be titled “Disarticulation (involving complete removal of the humerus only)” and would provide a 90 percent compensation level for either major or minor extremity involvement; this level would be consistent with the current compensation level under DC 5120. However, the second level, to be titled “Forequarter amputation (involving complete removal of the humerus along with any portion of the scapula, clavicle, and/or ribs),” would provide for 100 percent compensation for either dominant or non-dominant extremity involvement. See Canale, supra at 659-71. Although both levels represent complete amputation of the upper extremity, VA believes a higher level of compensation is warranted for forequarter amputation because it is a more extensive amputation than disarticulation and results in a more significant occupational impact.

    7. Diagnostic Code 5160

    For reasons similar to those discussed immediately above, VA proposes two revisions of DC 5160, which pertains to amputation of the thigh at the level of disarticulation with loss of extrinsic pelvic girdle muscles. First, VA proposes to retitle this DC to “Complete amputation, lower extremity” to more accurately describe the amputation level and site.

    VA also proposes to create two levels of criteria for rating purposes. One would be titled “Disarticulation (involving complete removal of the femur and intrinsic pelvic musculature only)” and would provide a 90 percent rating that is consistent with the current rating under DC 5160. The second level, titled “Trans-pelvic amputation (involving complete removal of the femur and intrinsic pelvic musculature along with any portion of the pelvic bones),” would provide for a 100 percent rating. See Canale, supra at 651-58. VA believes that a higher level of compensation is warranted for trans-pelvic amputation because it is a more extensive amputation than disarticulation and results in a more significant occupational impact.

    VA also proposes to insert a note under DC 5160 directing rating personnel to separately evaluate residuals involving other body systems, such as bowel or bladder impairment, under the appropriate diagnostic code.

    8. Diagnostic Code 5170

    Current DC 5170 refers to “Toes, all, amputation of, without metatarsal loss.” VA proposes to add the phrase “or transmetatarsal, amputation of, with up to half of metatarsal loss” to include a residual of toe amputation that causes similar disability. See Canale, supra at 622-23. No change to the current level of compensation is proposed.

    9. Diagnostic Code 5201

    VA currently assigns ratings for limitation of motion of the arm at the shoulder where motion is limited to 25 degrees from the side, 45 degrees (midway between the side and shoulder level), or 90 degrees (at the shoulder level).

    VA proposes to clarify the terminology used in these criteria by adding ranges of motion of the shoulder. Specifically, VA proposes to assign a 40 percent rating for a major joint, or 30 percent for a minor joint, where flexion and/or abduction is limited to 25 degrees from the side. VA also proposes to assign a 30 percent rating for a major joint, or 20 percent for a minor joint, where motion is limited to “midway between side and shoulder level,” defined as flexion and/or abduction limited to 45 degrees or less. Finally, VA proposes to assign a 20 percent rating for a major or minor joint where motion is limited “at shoulder level,” defined as flexion and/or abduction limited to 90 degrees or less.

    These changes are not intended to alter the rating criteria. The proposed changes simply clarify the specific ranges of motion that qualify as limitations to ensure rating personnel consistently apply these criteria.

    10. Diagnostic Code 5202

    Currently, VA assigns a 20 percent rating for either shoulder joint when there are infrequent episodes of dislocation of the humerus at the scapulohumeral joint, with guarding of movement only at the shoulder level. VA proposes to define “the shoulder level” as flexion and/or abduction at 90 degrees. This change is not intended to alter the rating criteria. The proposed change simply clarifies the specific ranges of motion that qualify as limitations to ensure rating personnel consistently apply these criteria.

    11. Diagnostic Code 5255

    VA currently evaluates malunion of the femur by assigning a 30 percent rating for a “marked knee or hip disability,” a 20 percent rating for a “moderate knee or hip disability,” and a 10 percent rating for a “slight knee or hip disability.” These criteria are subjective and the terminology is vague, resulting in inconsistent ratings.

    Therefore, VA proposes removing this terminology and replacing it with an instruction to rate malunion of the femur as a knee or hip disability, whichever is predominant, under existing DCs that contain objective criteria. Specifically, this condition may be rated under DCs 5256 (Knee, ankylosis of), 5257 (Knee, other impairment of), 5260 (Leg, limitation of flexion of), 5261 (Leg, limitation of extension of), 5250 (Hip, ankylosis of), 5251 (Thigh, limitation of extension of), 5252 (Thigh, limitation of flexion of), 5253 (Thigh, impairment of), or 5254 (Hip, flail joint). This change would ensure that rating personnel consistently evaluate this disability based on objective criteria.

    12. Diagnostic Code 5257

    VA currently assigns ratings for recurrent subluxation or lateral instability of the knee based on whether the condition is slight (10 percent), moderate (20 percent), or severe (30 percent). These criteria are subjective and the terminology is vague, resulting in VA assigning inconsistent ratings.

    When the condition involves patellar instability of the knee (due to recurrent patellar subluxation or patellar dislocation), one can determine the severity of functional impairment in large part by 1) the presence, or absence of, anatomic abnormalities (e.g., direct damage to patellofemoral ligament complex, “flake” fractures, or abnormalities affecting the patella and/or femoral trochlea); and 2) whether conservative treatment prevents recurrent instability. See Alexis C. Colvin and Robin V. West, “Current Concepts Review: Patellar Instability,” J. Bone & Joint Surgery—Am. Volume 90: 2751-62 (2008).

    Instability or laxity of the knee that involves other stabilizing structures of the knee such as the collateral ligaments (medial or lateral) or the cruciate ligaments (anterior or posterior) are given a “grade” depending upon the amount of translation, in millimeters, of the joint (e.g., a grade 1 injury of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is represented by 0 to 5 millimeters (mm) of translation). T. K. Kakarlapudi et al., “Knee instability: isolated and complex,” 34 Br. J. Sports Med. 395-400 (2000). Resulting functional impairment depends upon the grade of the injury and whether surgical intervention is required. Id. The higher the number grade is, the more severe the injury; that is, grade 1 would represent the least severe injury, grade 2 would be a more severe injury, and grade 3 would be the most severe injury.

    Therefore, VA proposes replacing the current subjective terms with the following objective criteria: a 30 percent rating would be assigned for persistent grade 3 instability despite operative intervention and for which ambulation requires both bracing and an assistive device (e.g., cane(s), crutch(es), or a walker), as prescribed by a physician; or, in the case of patellar instability, persistent instability despite surgical repair (whether after the primary subluxation/dislocation event or due to recurrent instability). A 20 percent would be assigned for persistent grade 3 instability without operative intervention, but when ambulation requires both bracing and an assistive device (e.g., cane(s), crutch(es), or a walker), as prescribed by a physician; or, in the case of patellar instability, recurrent instability persists due to one or more documented underlying anatomic abnormalities, without surgical repair. A 10 percent evaluation would be assigned for persistent grade 1, 2, or 3 instability which requires an ambulation assistive device or bracing, as prescribed by a physician; or, in the case of patellar instability, recurrent instability persists without documented underlying anatomic abnormalities, without surgical repair. These criteria would take into account both the grade of the injury, as well as functional impairment resulting from the injury.

    VA also proposes a note defining the grading of instability. Note (1) would specify that grade 1 instability requires 0-5 mm of joint translation, while grade 2 requires translation of 6-10 mm, and grade 3 requires joint translation equal to or greater than 11 mm. These levels of instability or laxity are based upon modern medical practice. See Campbell's Operative Orthopedics, supra at 2157.

    VA proposes a second note to clarify what constitutes surgical repair of patellar instability. Note (2) would specify that any operative procedure which does not involve actual anatomical structural repair would not qualify as surgical repair for the purposes of compensation. This note is specifically designed to exclude procedures that are not designed to repair instability or subluxation, such as joint aspiration, arthroscopy to remove loose bodies, and so forth.

    In addition, DC 5257 currently refers to “lateral instability.” Under current practice, any instability or laxity of the knee is evaluated under this code. Therefore, VA proposes to remove the term “lateral,” so that this code also encompasses other specified forms of instability and/or laxity.

    13. Diagnostic Code 5262

    VA currently rates malunion of the tibia and fibula by assigning a 30 percent rating for a “marked knee or ankle disability,” a 20 percent rating for a “moderate knee or ankle disability,” and a 10 percent rating for a “slight knee or ankle disability.” These criteria are subjective and the terminology is vague. This results in rating personnel assigning inconsistent ratings under these criteria.

    Therefore, VA proposes removing this terminology and replacing it with an instruction to rate malunion of the tibia or fibula as a knee or ankle disability, whichever is predominant, under existing DCs that contain objective criteria. Specifically, this condition may be evaluated under DCs 5256 (Knee, ankylosis of), 5257 (Knee, other impairment of), 5260 (Leg, limitation of flexion of), 5261 (Leg, limitation of extension of), 5270 (Ankle, ankylosis of), or 5271 (Ankle, limited motion of). This change would ensure that rating personnel consistently assign evaluations based on objective criteria.

    Another condition commonly claimed for disability compensation is medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), also known as “shin splints.” It is a benign but painful condition that is typically diagnosed simply by history and physical examination, though imaging studies such as plain radiographs, bone scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used in borderline cases, as well as to diagnose other conditions. The vast majority of cases respond to conservative therapy, such as rest, shock-absorbing insoles, and electrowave shock therapy. The rare persistent cases that do not respond to conservative treatment can be treated with surgical intervention. To that end, VA proposes to modify the criteria for DC 5262 to account for MTSS as well as associated conditions. See M. Reshef and D. Guelich, “Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome,” 31 Clinical Sports Med. 273-90 (2012).

    14. Diagnostic Code 5271

    VA currently assigns ratings for limited motion of the ankle depending upon whether the limitation is moderate (10 percent) or marked (20 percent). These criteria are subjective and the terminology is vague, resulting in inconsistent evaluations.

    Therefore, VA proposes to define marked limitation of motion as less than 5 degrees dorsiflexion or less than 10 degrees plantar flexion. VA also proposes to define moderate limitation of motion as less than 15 degrees dorsiflexion or less than 30 degrees plantar flexion. As VA currently uses these standards to define marked and moderate, this change is intended as a clarification of current policy and would ensure consistent application of these criteria among rating personnel.

    C. Proposed New Diagnostic Codes 1. Diagnostic Code 5244

    The current Rating Schedule does not provide instructions for rating complete traumatic paralysis, i.e., paraplegia or quadriplegia; however, this disability is not uncommon in the veteran population. As such, VA proposes the addition of DC 5244, “Traumatic paralysis, complete.”

    The proposed criteria for DC 5244 would direct personnel to rate paraplegia, or functional loss of the lower limbs and trunk, under DC 5110. DC 5110 applies to loss of use of both feet and provides for a 100 percent disability rating with entitlement to special monthly compensation. Proposed DC 5244 would also provide instructions for rating quadriplegia, or paralysis of all four limbs (i.e., the entire body below the neck). Specifically, VA proposes to rate quadriplegia under both DC 5109, loss of use of both hands, and DC 5110, loss of use of both feet, and combine. In practice, a veteran with service-connected quadriplegia would be entitled to two 100 percent ratings, which combine under 38 CFR 4.25 to a total evaluation of 100 percent. The veteran would also be entitled to special monthly compensation.

    2. Diagnostic Code 5285

    VA currently evaluates foot injuries not specifically listed in § 4.71a under DC 5284 as “Foot injuries, other.” Plantar fasciitis, a foot disability seen in the veteran population, is generally rated under this DC. However, unlike other unlisted foot injuries and conditions, which can often result in a variety of signs and symptoms with varying degrees of disability, plantar fasciitis, and its functional effects, are very well defined. See Sports Medicine and Arthroscopic Surgery of the Foot and Ankle 83-93 (Amol Saxena ed., 2013). Plantar fasciitis, also known as “jogger's heel,” is generally characterized by heel pain due to inflammation. Craig C. Young et al., “Plantar fasciitis,” Medscape Reference (Feb. 4, 2014), http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/86143-overview (last visited April 15, 2014). However, even at its most severe, this condition involves an otherwise structurally intact foot.

    There are a variety of both surgical and non-surgical treatments that may relieve the primary symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Conservative measures are always employed first, and frequently include icing, stretching, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy, strapping and taping, and/or over-the-counter orthotics. Id. at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/86143-treatment. Other nonsurgical treatments may include injections, physical therapy, and custom orthotics. Id. Studies have reported a resolution incidence of up to 90 percent with nonsurgical measures. Id. In severe cases, non-surgical measures fail and surgery is required.

    Individuals who respond to treatment, whether surgical or non-surgical, have generally no more than slight functional limitation due to plantar fasciitis. Further, such limitation is more associated with the treatment(s) required to check the pain (e.g., limitation of physical activities (such as running), injections, icing, use of NSAIDS, surgical residuals, etc.) than with the actual disability itself. For individuals who do not respond to treatment, the resulting limitations may vary, but are generally more pronounced for those who have bilateral, rather than unilateral, plantar fasciitis.

    Given the foregoing, VA proposes to create a new DC, namely DC 5285, “Plantar fasciitis,” to rate this condition. VA intends to evaluate this disability based on a combination of extent (one foot or both feet) and response to treatment (responsive or nonresponsive). For individuals whose plantar fasciitis does not respond to both surgical and non-surgical treatment, VA proposes to award 30 percent disability rating if both feet are affected and a 20 percent disability rating if one foot is affected. For an individual whose plantar fasciitis (either unilateral or bilateral) is responsive to treatment (either non-surgical or surgical), VA proposes a 10 percent disability rating.

    Finally, consistent with other foot injuries and disabilities, VA intends to include a note with DC 5285 that would instruct rating personnel to assign a 40 percent rating in cases where there is actual loss of use of the foot. In cases where a veteran's bilateral plantar fasciitis has not improved following surgery and there is actual loss of use of one foot, this would result in a 40 percent evaluation for that foot and a 20 percent evaluation for the other foot that was not responsive to treatment, but did not result in loss of use.

    D. Removal of Existing Diagnostic Codes

    VA proposes to remove three obsolete codes from § 4.71a. The first two, DC 5018 and DC 5020, refer to “Hydrarthrosis, intermittent” and “Synovitis,” respectively. Both hydrarthrosis and synovitis are signs found on physical examination. The disability from a specific condition that causes either hydrarthrosis or synovitis (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or pseudogout) is captured within current evaluation criteria for the specific disabling condition. See Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, supra at 588. Given that VA's disability compensation system is designed to compensate for disabilities, it is not appropriate to list either sign as its own DC.

    For similar reasons, VA proposes to remove DC 5022, “Periostitis.” Current medical terminology refers to “periosteal reaction” in order to include all of the possible causes, such as bleeding, infection, or tumor. In contrast, “periostitis” refers to a non-specific inflammatory process due to a number of diagnoses that could potentially result in service connection. Since an evaluation should be conducted under the primary diagnosis, rather than a radiographic finding such as periostitis, VA intends to remove DC 5022. See Radiologic-Pathologic Correlations from Head to Toe: Understanding the Manifestations of Disease 668 (Nicholas C. Gourtsoyiannis and Pablo R. Ros eds., 2005).

    II. Proposed Changes to § 4.73

    Section 4.73 provides VA's schedule for rating muscle injuries. Following its review of this body system, VA proposes the addition of two DCs for conditions that previously required analogous rating.

    The first proposed code, DC 5330, would apply to residuals of rhabdomyolysis, in which muscle tissue breaks down rapidly. See Janice L. Zimmerman and Michael C. Shen, “Rhabdomyolysis,” 144(3) CHEST 1058-65 (2013). Although VA proposes to rate this condition based on residual impairment to the affected muscle group(s), it believes that a specific DC is needed as there is no current instruction to rating personnel as to how to evaluate this condition. Furthermore, in addition to provide rating instructions to evaluate each affected muscle group, VA proposes to include a note directing rating personnel to separately evaluate any chronic renal complications that may be associated with this condition.

    The second DC VA proposes to add to § 4.73 is DC 5331, “Compartment syndrome.” Similar to DC 5330, VA proposes to rate compartment syndrome, a condition in which there is increased pressure within the muscles, according to the affected muscle group(s). See Canale, supra at 2311-21. The addition of this DC would provide clear instructions to rating personnel; it would also eliminate the need for analogous coding for a condition seen in the veteran population.

    In addition, VA proposes to add a second note at the beginning of § 4.73 directing that rating personnel consider the objective criteria contained in § 4.56 when determining whether a muscle disability is slight, moderate, moderately severe, or severe under DCs 5301 to 5323. Although § 4.56 references these DCs, the levels of severity are not defined in § 4.73, nor does that section currently reference § 4.56. Therefore, VA proposes to add this note for a cross-reference.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action,” which requires review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.”

    VA has examined the economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this proposed rule, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web site at http://www1.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for “VA Regulations Published.”

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Although this document contains provisions constituting a collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), no new or proposed revised collections of information are associated with this proposed rule. The information collection requirements are currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and have been assigned OMB control numbers 2900-0747, 2900-0776, 2900-0778, and 2900-0802 through 2900-0813. While no modifications to these forms are made by this rulemaking, the total incremental cost to all respondents is estimated to be $198,002.21 during the first year. See Regulatory Impact Analysis for a full explanation.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. This proposed rule would not affect any small entities. Only VA beneficiaries could be directly affected. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this proposed rule would be exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers and Titles

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program numbers and titles for this rule are 64.013, Veterans Prosthetic Appliances; 64.109, Veterans Compensation for Service-Connected Disability; and 64.110, Veterans Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for Service-Connected Death.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gina S. Farrisee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on June 20, 2017, for publication.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Michael Shores, Director, Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs. List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 4

    Disability benefits, Pensions, Veterans.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, VA proposes to amend 38 CFR part 4 as follows:

    PART 4—SCHEDULE FOR RATING DISABILITIES Subpart B—Disability Ratings 1. The authority citation for part 4, subpart B continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 1155, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 4.71a as follows: a. Revise diagnostic codes 5002, 5003, 5009-5015, 5023-5024, 5054, 5055, 5120, 5160, 5170, 5201, 5202, 5242, 5255, 5257, 5262, and 5271. b. Remove diagnostic codes 5018, 5020, and 5022. c. Add new introduction note to diagnostic codes 5051 through 5056 and add new diagnostic codes 5244 and 5285.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 4.71a Schedule of ratings—musculoskeletal system. Acute, Subacute, or Chronic Diseases Rating *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5002 Multi-joint arthritis (except post-traumatic and gout), 2 or more joints, as an active process: *         *         *         *         *         *         * One or two exacerbations a year in a well-established diagnosis 20 Note (1): Examples of conditions rated using this diagnostic code include, but are not limited to, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondyloarthropathies. Note (2): For chronic residuals, rate under diagnostic code 5003. Note (3): The ratings for the active process will not be combined with the residual ratings for limitation of motion, ankylosis, or diagnostic code 5003. Instead, assign the higher evaluation. 5003 Degenerative arthritis, other than post-traumatic: *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5009 Other specified forms of arthropathy (excluding gout). Note (1): Other specified forms of arthropathy include, but are not limited to, Charcot neuropathic, hypertrophic, crystalline, and other autoimmune arthropathies. Note (2): With the types of arthritis, diagnostic codes 5004 through 5009, rate the acute phase under diagnostic code 5002; rate any chronic residuals under diagnostic code 5003. 5010 Post-traumatic arthritis: Rate as limitation of motion, dislocation, or other specified instability under the affected joint. If there are 2 or more joints affected, each rating shall be combined in accordance with § 4.25. 5011 Decompression illness: Rate manifestations under the appropriate diagnostic code within the affected body system, such as arthritis for musculoskeletal residuals; auditory system for vestibular residuals; respiratory system for pulmonary barotrauma residuals; and neurologic system for cerebrovascular accident residuals. 5012 Bones, neoplasm, malignant, primary or secondary 100 Note: The 100 percent rating will be continued for 1 year following the cessation of surgical, X-ray, antineoplastic chemotherapy or other prescribed therapeutic procedure. If there has been no local recurrence or metastases, rate based on residuals. 5013 Osteoporosis, residuals of. 5014 Osteomalacia, residuals of. 5015 Bones, neoplasm, benign. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5023 Heterotopic ossification. 5024 Tenosynovitis, tendinitis, tendinosis or tendinopathy. Evaluate the diseases under diagnostic codes 5013 through 5024 as degenerative arthritis, based on limitation of motion of affected parts. However, evaluate gout under diagnostic code 5003. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Prosthetic Implants and Resurfacing Rating Major Minor Note: When an evaluation is assigned for joint resurfacing or the prosthetic replacement of a joint under diagnostic codes 5051-5056, an additional rating under § 4.71a may not also be assigned for that joint, unless otherwise directed. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5054 Hip, resurfacing or replacement (prosthesis) Prosthetic replacement of the head of the femur or of the acetabulum: For 4 months following implantation of prosthesis or resurfacing 100 Note: At the conclusion of the 100 percent evaluation period, evaluate resurfacing under diagnostic codes 5250 through 5255. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5055 Knee, resurfacing or replacement (prosthesis) Prosthetic replacement of knee joint: For 4 months following implantation of prosthesis or resurfacing 100 Note: At the conclusion of the 100 percent evaluation period, evaluate resurfacing under diagnostic codes 5256 through 5262. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Amputations: Upper Extremity Rating Major Minor Arm, amputation of: 5120 Complete amputation, upper extremity: Forequarter amputation (involving complete removal of the humerus along with any portion of the scapula, clavicle, and/or ribs) 100 100 Disarticulation (involving complete removal of the humerus only) 90 90 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Amputations: Lower Extremity Rating Thigh, amputation of: 5160 Complete amputation, lower extremity Trans-pelvic amputation (involving complete removal of the femur and intrinsic pelvic musculature along with any portion of the pelvic bones) 100 Disarticulation (involving complete removal of the femur and intrinsic pelvic musculature only) 90 Note: Separately evaluate residuals involving other body systems (e.g., bowel impairment, bladder impairment) under the appropriate diagnostic code. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5170 Toes, all, amputation of, without metatarsal loss or transmetatarsal, amputation of, with up to half of metatarsal loss 30 *         *         *         *         *         *         * The Shoulder and Arm Rating Major Minor *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5201 Arm, limitation of motion of: Flexion and/or abduction limited to 25° from side 40 30 Midway between side and shoulder level (flexion and/or abduction limited to 45°) 30 20 At shoulder level (flexion and/or abduction limited to 90°) 20 20 5202 Humerus, other impairment of: Loss of head of (flail shoulder) 80 70 Nonunion of (false flail joint) 60 50 Fibrous union of 50 40 Recurrent dislocation of at scapulohumeral joint: With frequent episodes and guarding of all arm movements 30 20 With infrequent episodes, and guarding of movement only at shoulder level (flexion and/or abduction at 90°) 20 20 Malunion of: Marked deformity 30 20 Moderate deformity 20 20 *         *         *         *         *         *         * The Spine Rating General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5242 Degenerative arthritis, degenerative disc disease other than intervertebral disc syndrome (also, see diagnostic code 5003) *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5244 Traumatic paralysis, complete: Paraplegia: Rate under diagnostic code 5110. Quadriplegia: Rate separately under diagnostic codes 5109 and 5110 and combine evaluations in accordance with § 4.25. The Hip and Thigh *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5255 Femur, impairment of: Fracture of shaft or anatomical neck of: With nonunion, with loose motion (spiral or oblique fracture) 80 With nonunion, without loose motion, weight bearing preserved with aid of brace 60 Fracture of surgical neck of, with false joint 60 Malunion of: Evaluate under diagnostic codes 5256, 5257, 5260, or 5261 for the knee, or 5250-5254 for the hip, whichever results in the highest evaluation. The Knee and Leg *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5257 Knee, other impairment of: Recurrent subluxation or instability: Persistent grade 3 instability despite operative intervention and a physician prescribes both bracing and assistive device (e.g., cane(s), crutch(es), or a walker) for ambulation 30 Persistent grade 3 instability without operative intervention, and a physician prescribes both bracing and assistive device (e.g., cane(s), crutch(es), or a walker) for ambulation 20 Persistent grade 1, 2, or 3 instability and a physician prescribes an assistive device (e.g., cane(s), crutch(es), or a walker) or bracing for ambulation 10 Patellar instability: With documented surgical repair, persistent instability either after the primary subluxation/dislocation event or due to recurrent instability 30 Without surgical repair, recurrent instability with one or more documented underlying anatomic abnormalities (e.g., direct damage to patellofemoral ligament complex, “flake” fractures, or abnormalities affecting the patella and/or femoral trochlea) 20 Without surgical repair, recurrent instability without documented underlying anatomic abnormalities 10 Note (1): Grade 1 is defined as 0-5 mm of joint translation, grade 2 is defined as 6-10 mm of joint translation, and grade 3 is defined as joint translation of equal to or greater than 11 mm. Note (2): For patellar instability, a surgical procedure that does not involve repair of one or more anatomic structures that contribute to the underlying instability shall not qualify as surgical repair for compensation purposes (including, but not limited to, arthroscopy to remove loose bodies and joint aspiration). *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5262 Tibia and fibula, impairment of: Nonunion of, with loose motion, requiring brace 40 Malunion of: Evaluate under diagnostic codes 5256, 5257, 5260, or 5261 for the knee, or 5270 or 5271 for the ankle, whichever results in the highest evaluation. Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), or shin splints: With imaging evidence (X-rays, bone scan, or MRI), requiring treatment for no less than 12 consecutive months and unresponsive to shoe orthotics, other conservative treatment, or surgery, both lower extremities 30 With imaging evidence (X-rays, bone scan, or MRI), requiring treatment for no less than 12 consecutive months, and unresponsive to shoe orthotics, other conservative treatment, or surgery, one lower extremity 20 With imaging evidence (X-rays, bone scan, or MRI), requiring treatment for no less than 12 consecutive months, and unresponsive to both shoe orthotics and other conservative treatment, one or both lower extremities 10 Treatment less than 12 consecutive months, one or both lower extremities 0 *         *         *         *         *         *         * The Ankle *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5271 Ankle, limited motion of: Marked (less than 5 degrees dorsiflexion or less than 10 degrees plantar flexion) 20 Moderate (less than 15 degrees dorsiflexion or less than 30 degrees plantar flexion) 10 *         *         *         *         *         *         * The Foot *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5285 Plantar fasciitis: With symptoms not relieved by both non-surgical and surgical treatment: bilateral 30 unilateral 20 With symptoms relieved by either non-surgical or surgical treatment, unilateral or bilateral 10 Note: With actual loss of use of the foot, rate 40 percent. The Skull *         *         *         *         *         *         * (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1155)
    3. In § 4.73, add new introduction notes (1) and (2) and add new diagnostic codes 5330 and 5331 to read as follows:
    § 4.73 Schedule of ratings—muscle injuries. Note (1):

    When evaluating any claim involving muscle injuries resulting in loss of use of any extremity or loss of use of both buttocks (diagnostic code 5317, Muscle Group XVII), refer to § 3.350 of this chapter to determine whether the veteran may be entitled to special monthly compensation.

    Note (2):

    Ratings of slight, moderate, moderately severe, or severe for diagnostic codes 5301 through 5323 will be determined based upon the criteria contained in § 4.56.

    Miscellaneous Rating *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5330 Rhabdomyolysis, residuals of. Rate each affected muscle group separately and combine in accordance with § 4.25. Note: Separately evaluate any chronic renal complications within the appropriate body system. 5331 Compartment syndrome. Rate each affected muscle group separately and combine in accordance with § 4.25. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1155)
    4. Amend Appendix A to Part 4 as follows: a. In § 4.71a, revise diagnostic codes 5002, 5003, 5012, 5024, 5051-5056, 5255, 5257; b. In § 4.71a, add diagnostic codes 5009-5011, 5013-5015, 5018, 5020, 5022-5023, 5120, 5160, 5170, 5201, 5202, 5242, 5244, 5262, 5271 and 5285; c. In § 4.73, add new introduction note and diagnostic codes 5330 and 5331.

    The revisions read as follows:

    Appendix A to Part 4—Table of Amendments and Effective Dates Since 1946 Sec. Diagnostic Code No. 4.71a *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5002 Evaluation March 1, 1963; title, criteria, note [insert effective date of final rule] 5003 Added July 6, 1950; title [insert effective date of final rule] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5009 Title, evaluation, note [insert effective date of final rule]. 5010 Title, criteria [insert effective date of final rule]. 5011 Title, criteria [insert effective date of final rule]. 5012 Criterion March 10, 1976; title, note [insert effective date of final rule]. 5013 Title [insert effective date of final rule]. 5014 Title [insert effective date of final rule]. 5015 Title [insert effective date of final rule]. 5018 Removed [insert effective date of final rule]. 5020 Removed [insert effective date of final rule]. 5022 Removed [insert effective date of final rule]. 5023 Title [insert effective date of final rule]. 5024 Criterion March 1, 1963; title, criteria [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5051 Added September 22, 1978; note [insert effective date of final rule]. 5052 Added September 22, 1978; note [insert effective date of final rule]. 5053 Added September 22, 1978; note [insert effective date of final rule]. 5054 Added September 22, 1978; title, criterion, and note [insert effective date of final rule]. 5055 Added September 22, 1978; title, criterion, and note [insert effective date of final rule]. 5056 Added September 22, 1978; note [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5120 Title, criterion [insert effective date of final rule]. 5160 Title, criterion, note [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5170 Title [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5201 Criterion [insert effective date of final rule]. 5202 Criterion [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5242 Title [insert effective date of final rule] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5244 Added [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5255 Criterion July 6, 1950; criterion [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5257 Evaluation July 6, 1950; criterion and note [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5262 Criterion [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5271 Criterion [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5285 Added [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 4.73 Introduction NOTE criterion July 3, 1997; second NOTE added [insert effective date of final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5330 Added [insert effective date of final rule]. 5331 Added [insert effective date of final rule]. 5. Amend Appendix B to Part 4 as follows: a. Revise diagnostic codes 5002, 5003, 5009-5015, 5023, 5024, 5054, 5055, 5120, 5160, 5170 and 5242; b. Add diagnostic codes 5244, 5285, 5330, and 5331; and c. Remove diagnostic codes 5018, 5020 and 5022.

    The revisions read as follows:

    Appendix B to Part 4—Numerical Index of Disabilities Diagnostic Code No. THE MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM Acute, Subacute, or Chronic Diseases *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5002 Multi-joint arthritis (except post-traumatic and gout), 2 or more joints, as an active process. 5003 Degenerative arthritis, other than post-traumatic. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5009 Other specified forms of arthropathy (excluding gout). 5010 Post-traumatic arthritis. 5011 Decompression illness. 5012 Bones, neoplasm, malignant, primary or secondary. 5013 Osteoporosis, residuals of. 5014 Osteomalacia, residuals of. 5015 Bones, neoplasm, benign. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5023 Heterotopic ossification. 5024 Tenosynovitis, tendinitis, tendinosis or tendinopathy. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5054 Hip, resurfacing or replacement (prosthesis). 5055 Knee, resurfacing or replacement (prosthesis). *         *         *         *         *         *         * AMPUTATIONS: UPPER EXTREMITY Arm, amputation of: 5120 Complete amputation, upper extremity. *         *         *         *         *         *         * AMPUTATIONS: LOWER EXTREMITY Thigh, amputation of: 5160 Complete amputation, lower extremity. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5170 Toes, all, amputation of, without metatarsal loss or transmetatarsal, amputation of, with up to half of metatarsal loss. *         *         *         *         *         *         * SPINE *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5242 Degenerative arthritis, degenerative disc disease other than intervertebral disc syndrome (also, see either 5003 or 5010). *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5244 Traumatic paralysis, complete. *         *         *         *         *         *         * THE FOOT *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5285 Plantar fasciitis. *         *         *         *         *         *         * MUSCLE INJURIES *         *         *         *         *         *         * Miscellaneous *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5330 Rhabdomyolysis, residuals of. 5331 Compartment syndrome. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 6. Amend Appendix C to Part 4 as follows: a. Revise the entries for Amputation, Arthritis, New growths, Myositis ossificans, Tenosynovitis, Prosthetic Implants, and Hip; b. Add entries in alphabetical order for Spine, Traumatic paralysis, complete; Plantar fasciitis; Rhabdomyolysis; and Compartment syndrome; and c. Remove entries for Hydroarthrosis, intermittent; Synovitis; and Periostitis.

    The revisions read as follows:

    Appendix C to Part 4—Alphabetical Index of Disabilities

    Diagnostic Code No. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Amputation: Arm: Complete amputation, upper extremity 5120 Above insertion of deltoid 5121 Below insertion of deltoid 5122 Digits, five of one hand 5126 Digits, four of one hand: Thumb, index, long and ring 5127 Thumb, index, long and little 5128 Thumb, index, ring and little 5129 Thumb, long, ring and little 5130 Index, long, ring and little 5131 Digits, three of one hand: Thumb, index and long 5132 Thumb, index and ring 5133 Thumb, index and little 5134 Thumb, long and ring 5135 Thumb, long and little 5136 Thumb, ring and little 5137 Index, long and ring 5138 Index, long and little 5139 Index, ring and little 5140 Long, ring and little 5141 Digits, two of one hand: Thumb and index 5142 Thumb and long 5143 Thumb and ring 5144 Thumb and little 5145 Index and long 5146 Index and ring 5147 Index and little 5148 Long and ring 5149 Long and little 5150 Ring and little 5151 Single finger: Thumb 5152 Index finger 5153 Long finger 5154 Ring finger 5155 Little finger 5156 Forearm: Above insertion of pronator teres 5123 Below insertion of pronator teres 5124 Leg: With defective stump 5163 Not improvable by prosthesis controlled by natural knee action 5164 At lower level, permitting prosthesis 5165 Forefoot, proximal to metatarsal bones 5166 Toes, all, amputation of, without metatarsal loss or transmetatarsal, amputation of, with up to half of metatarsal loss 5170 Toe, great 5171 Toe, other than great, with removal metatarsal head 5172 Toes, three or more, without metatarsal involvement 5173 Thigh: Complete amputation, lower extremity 5160 Upper third 5161 Middle or lower thirds 5162 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Arthritis: Degenerative, other than post-traumatic 5003 Gonorrheal 5004 Other specified forms (excluding gout) 5009 Pneumococcic 5005 Post-traumatic 5010 Multi-joint (except post-traumatic and gout) 5002 Streptococcic 5008 Syphilitic 5007 Typhoid 5006 Arthropathy 5009 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Bones: Neoplasm, benign 5015 Neoplasm, malignant, primary or secondary 5012 Shortening of the lower extremity 5275 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Colitis, ulcerative 7323 Compartment syndrome 5331 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Dacryocystitis 6031 Decompression illness 5011 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Hernia: Femoral 7340 Hiatal 7346 Inguinal 7338 Muscle 5326 Ventral 7339 Heterotopic ossification 5023 Hip: Flail joint 5254 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Hodgkin's disease 7709 Hydronephrosis 7509 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Myocardial infarction 7006 Myositis 5021 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Osteomalacia, residuals of 5014 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Osteoporosis, residuals of 5013 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Paralysis: Accommodation 6030 Agitans 8004 Complete, traumatic 5244 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Pericarditis 7002 Peripheral vestibular disorders 6204 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Plague 6307 Plantar fasciitis 5285 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Prosthetic implants: Ankle replacement 5056 Elbow replacement 5052 Hip, resurfacing or replacement 5054 Knee, resurfacing or replacement 5055 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Retinitis 6006 Rhabdomyolysis, residuals of 5330 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Spinal stenosis 5238 Spine: Degenerative arthritis, degenerative disc disease other than intervertebral disc syndrome 5242 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Syndromes: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) 6354 Cushing's 7907 Meniere's 6205 Raynaud's 7117 Sleep Apnea 6847 Syphilis 6310 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Tenosynovitis, tendinitis, tendinosis or tendinopathy 5024 *         *         *         *         *         *         * [FR Doc. 2017-15766 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R02-OAR-2016-0413; FRL-9965-48-Region 2] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Jersey; Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report State Implementation Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve New Jersey's regional haze progress report, submitted on June 28, 2016, as a revision to its State Implementation Plan (SIP). New Jersey's SIP revision addresses requirements of the Clean Air Act and its implementing regulations that the State submit periodic reports describing progress toward reasonable progress goals established for regional haze and a determination of the adequacy of the State's existing regional haze SIP. New Jersey's progress report notes that New Jersey has implemented the measures in the regional haze SIP due to be in place by the date of the progress report and that visibility in federal Class I areas affected by emissions from New Jersey is improving and has already met the applicable reasonable progress goals for 2018. The EPA is proposing approval of New Jersey's determination that the State's regional haze SIP is adequate to meet these reasonable progress goals for the first implementation period, which extends through 2018, and requires no substantive revision at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R02-OAR-2016-0413, 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:

    Robert F. Kelly, Air Programs Branch, Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866, (212) 637-4249, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. EPA's Evaluation of New Jersey's SIP Revision A. Regional Haze Progress Report B. Determination of Adequacy of Existing Regional Haze Plan III. Proposed Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    States are required to submit a progress report in the form of a SIP revision that evaluates progress towards the reasonable progress goals (RPGs) for each mandatory Class I federal area 1 (Class I area) within the state and in each Class I area outside the state which may be affected by emissions from within the state. 40 CFR 51.308(g). In addition, the provisions of 40 CFR 51.308(h) require states to submit, at the same time as the 40 CFR 51.308(g) progress report, a determination of the adequacy of the state's existing regional haze SIP. The progress report SIP is due five years after submittal of the initial regional haze SIP. On July 28, 2009, New Jersey submitted the State's first regional haze SIP in accordance with 40 CFR 51.308.2

    1 Areas designated as mandatory Class I federal areas consist of national parks exceeding 6,000 acres, wilderness areas and national memorial parks exceeding 5,000 acres, and all international parks that were in existence on August 7, 1977 (42 U.S.C. 7472(a)). Listed at 40 CFR part 81, subpart D.

    2 On January 3, 2012, at 77 FR 19, EPA approved New Jersey's regional haze SIP submittal addressing the requirements of the first implementation period for regional haze.

    On June 28, 2016, New Jersey submitted as a revision to its SIP its progress report which detailed the progress made in the first planning period toward implementation of the Long Term Strategy (LTS) outlined in the 2009 regional haze SIP submittal, the visibility improvement measured at Class I areas affected by emissions from New Jersey, and a determination of the adequacy of the State's existing regional haze SIP. The EPA is proposing to approve New Jersey's June 28, 2016 SIP submittal.

    II. EPA's Evaluation of New Jersey's SIP Revision

    New Jersey's report on progress made in the first implementation period toward reasonable progress goals for Class I areas affected by emissions from sources in New Jersey (also known as a regional haze five-year progress report or progress report) was submitted to the EPA as a SIP revision. New Jersey has one Class I area within its borders, the Brigantine Wilderness Area (Brigantine). Emissions from New Jersey's sources were also found to impact visibility at several other Class I areas: Acadia National Park and the Moosehorn Wilderness Area in Maine, the Great Gulf Wilderness Area and Presidential Range/Dry River Wilderness Area in New Hampshire, and the Lye Brook Wilderness Area in Vermont. See 76 FR 49711 (August 11, 2011).

    Through the consultation process, New Jersey agreed to pursue the coordinated course of action agreed to by the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Visibility Union (MANE-VU) 3 to assure reasonable progress toward preventing any future, and remedying any existing, impairment of visibility in the mandatory Class I areas within the MANE-VU region. These strategies are commonly referred to as the MANE-VU “ask.” The MANE-VU “ask” includes: a timely implementation of best available retrofit technology (BART) requirements, 90 percent or more reduction in sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions at 167 electric generating units (EGUs) “stacks” identified by MANE-VU (or comparable alternative measures), lower sulfur fuel oil (with limits specified for each state) and continued evaluation of other control measures.4 In summary, New Jersey is on track to fulfill the MANE-VU “ask” by meeting the deadlines for BART requirements, as of the date of the progress report, for all BART-eligible facilities described in the progress report, instituting 90 percent or more control at the four New Jersey units from the 167 EGUs identified by MANE-VU, and evaluating control measures including New Jersey's Mercury Rule, adoption of performance standards at all coal-fired boilers in New Jersey, adoption of the lower limits for sulfur in fuel oil and a variety of measures 5 developed for other programs that support regional haze emission reduction goals.

    3 MANE-VU is a collaborative effort of State governments, Tribal governments, and various federal agencies established to initiate and coordinate activities associated with the management of regional haze, visibility and other air quality issues in the Northeastern United States. Member State and Tribal governments include: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Penobscot Indian Nation, Rhode Island, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, and Vermont.

    4 The MANE-VU “ask” was structured around the finding that SO2 emissions were the dominate visibility impairing pollutant at the Northeastern Class I areas and electrical generating units comprised the largest SO2 emission sector. See “Regional Haze and Visibility in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States,” January 31, 2001.

    5 Table 1 at the EPA's proposed approval of New Jersey's regional haze SIP at 76 FR 49717 has the list of measures from other programs that also reduce the components of regional haze.

    A. Regional Haze Progress Report

    This section includes the EPA's analysis of New Jersey's progress report SIP submittal, and an explanation of the basis of our proposed approval.

    New Jersey's 2009 regional haze SIP included the following key measures: control measures for the State's five subject-to-BART sources and control measures for four EGUs.

    New Jersey has four of the 167 EGU stacks identified for control of sulfur dioxide emissions in the MANE-VU “ask.” Each has reduced sulfur dioxide emissions by 90 percent or more. These sources are Mercer 1 and 2, Hudson 2 and BL England 2 (see Table 3.1 of New Jersey's progress report).

    New Jersey's sources that were eligible for BART controls are: Chevron Products, ConocoPhillips Bayway Refinery, PSEG Hudson Generating Station, Vineland Municipal Electric Utility—Howard M. Down, Unit 10, and BL England Generating Station, Units 1 and 2. As documented in Table 5.1 of New Jersey's progress report, each of these sources has acted to implement BART controls or shutdown, when these actions were due by the date of the progress report.

    New Jersey's progress report also notes the implementation of the MANE-VU “ask” for sulfur content of fuel oil. The New Jersey rule,6 approved by the EPA as part of New Jersey's regional haze plan, lowered the sulfur content of all distillate fuel oils (#2 fuel oil and lighter) to 500 parts per million (ppm) beginning on July 1, 2014 and to 15 ppm beginning on July 1, 2016. The sulfur content for #4 fuel oil was lowered to 2,500 ppm and for #6 fuel oil to a range of 3,000 to 5,000 ppm sulfur content beginning July 1, 2014.

    6 EPA's approval of New Jersey's Sulfur in Fuel rule is noted at 40 CFR 52.1605.

    New Jersey's progress report also documented implementation of New Jersey's Mercury Rule, adoption of performance standards at all coal-fired boilers in New Jersey, and other measures that also reduced emissions that caused haze. Although these measures were not relied upon as emission reductions for the regional haze plan, and the New Jersey progress report did not itemize the amount of reductions specifically from each of these programs, these reductions are included in the overall emission reductions calculated for the progress report.

    In addition, the New Jersey progress report, in chapter 7, includes the status of SO2 emission reductions from other states that affect Class I areas in MANE-VU relative to the MANE-VU “ask.” 7 New Jersey consulted with states in the eastern United States that affect visibility at the Class I area at Brigantine, outlining how they could meet the MANE-VU “ask” and help achieve the progress goals for Class I areas in New Jersey and other MANE-VU states. These emission reductions were included in modeling that predicted progress toward meeting the reasonable progress goals. The EPA proposes that New Jersey's summary of the status of implementation of measures in its regional haze progress report adequately addresses the applicable provisions under 40 CFR 51.308(g), as the State demonstrated the implementation of measures within New Jersey, including applying BART at eligible sources.

    7 Memorandum from NESCAUM to MANE-VU “Overview of State and Federal Actions Relative to MANE-VU Asks” dated March 28, 2013. http://www.nescaum.org/documents/summary-memo-mane-vu-asks-20130328-final.pdf/.

    During the development of the regional haze SIP for the first planning period, MANE-VU and New Jersey determined that SO2 was the greatest contributor to anthropogenic visibility impairment at the State's Class I areas. Therefore, the bulk of visibility improvement achieved in the first planning period was expected to result from reductions in SO2 emissions from sources inside and outside of the State. Table 7.1 of New Jersey's Progress Report details the SO2 emission reductions from 2002 to 2012 achieved at all the EGUs in the State, using the EPA's Clean Air Markets Division (CAMD) data. It demonstrates a 90 percent or greater reduction in SO2 stack emissions for each of the four EGU stacks. Table 1 summarizes the reductions based on the State's emission inventory for 2012, compared to the State's projection for 2018.

    Table 1—SO2 Emission Reductions From the New Jersey EGU Stacks of the MANE-VU 167 Stacks Plant ID Unit ID Unit Name Actual Actual 2002
  • emissions
  • (tons)
  • Actual 2012
  • emissions
  • (tons)
  • Percent
  • reduction
  • (2012)
  • (%)
  • Goal Projected 2018
  • emissions
  • (tons)
  • Percent
  • Reduction
  • expected in 2018
  • (%)
  • 61057 1 Mercer 1 8,137 105 99 814 90 61057 2 Mercer 2 5,918 105 98 592 90 12202 2 Hudson 2 18,541 139 99 1,225 93 73242 1 BL England 1 10,080 934 91 274 97

    As New Jersey has documented the reduction of SO2 emissions by more than 90 percent at EGU stacks located in New Jersey, the EPA proposes to find that New Jersey has adequately addressed the applicable provisions of 40 CFR 51.308(g). New Jersey has detailed the SO2 and nitrogen oxides (NOX) reductions from the 2002 regional haze baseline by using the most recently available year of data at the time of the development of New Jersey's Progress Report, which was 2013. In addition, New Jersey highlighted SO2 emissions reductions from all of New Jersey's EGUs during this same time period.

    The provisions under 40 CFR 51.308(g) also require that states with Class I areas within their borders provide information on current visibility conditions and the difference between current visibility conditions and baseline visibility conditions expressed in terms of five-year averages of these annual values.

    New Jersey has one Class I area, the Brigantine Wildlife Refuge. The Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments program (IMPROVE) includes a monitoring site located at Brigantine. New Jersey includes data in its progress report from the IMPROVE monitoring site to quantify air pollutants that constitute regional haze. Table 2 includes 2018 RPGs from the 2009 regional haze SIP and data from IMPROVE monitors at the Brigantine Class I area in New Jersey and in Class I areas where visibility is affected by emissions from New Jersey. This includes the baseline 2000-2004 five-year average visibility, and the most recent 2009-2013 five-year average visibility.

    Table 2—Observed Visibility vs. Reasonable Progress Goals (All values in deciviews) Class I area IMPROVE* site 2000-2004
  • 5-year
  • average
  • 2009-2013
  • 5-year
  • average
  • Met 2018 progress goal already? 2018
  • Reasonable
  • progress goal
  • 20% Most Impaired Days Acadia National Park 22.9 17.9 Yes 19.4 Moosehorn Wilderness Area ** 21.7 16.8 Yes 19.0 Great Gulf Wilderness Area *** 22.8 16.7 Yes 19.1 Lye Brook Wilderness Area 24.4 18.8 Yes 20.9 Brigantine Wilderness Area 29 23.8 Yes 25.1 20% Least Impaired Days Acadia National Park 8.8 7.0 Yes 8.8 Moosehorn Wilderness Area 9.2 6.7 Yes 9.2 Great Gulf Wilderness Area 7.7 5.9 Yes 7.7 Lye Brook Wilderness Area 6.4 4.9 Yes 6.4 Brigantine Wilderness Area 14.3 12.3 Yes 14.3  * IMPROVE = Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments program.  ** The IMPROVE monitor for Moosehorn Wilderness also represents Roosevelt Campobello International Park.  *** The IMPROVE monitor for Great Gulf Wilderness also represents Presidential Range—Dry River Wilderness Area. Data from Tracking Visibility Progress, posted on NESCAUM's Web site at http://www.nescaum.org/topics/regional-haze/regional-haze-documents, supplemented by the latest IMPROVE data through 2013 as noted in New Jersey's progress report.

    The baseline visibility for Brigantine was 29.0 deciviews (dv) on the 20 percent most impaired days and 14.3 dv on the least impaired days. The most recent five-year average visibility data shows an improvement of 5.2 dv on the 20 percent most impaired days and 2.0 dv improvement on the 20 percent least impaired days. New Jersey's progress report also demonstrates that the State has already achieved and surpassed the 2018 RPG at Brigantine for the 20 percent most impaired days and ensured no visibility degradation for the 20 percent least impaired days for the first planning period. Sites at Class I areas affected by sources in New Jersey also have surpassed the 2018 RPGs.

    The EPA proposes to find that New Jersey provided the required information regarding visibility conditions to meet the applicable provisions under 40 CFR 51.308(g) specifically providing baseline visibility conditions (2000-2004), current conditions based on the most recently available IMPROVE monitoring data (2009-2013), and an assessment of the change in visibility impairment at its Class I areas.

    In its progress report SIP, New Jersey presents data from statewide emissions inventories—New Jersey's State Periodic Emissions Inventory—developed for the years 2002 and 2011, plus projected inventories for 2018, for SO2, NOX, fine particles with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller (PM2.5) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). New Jersey's emissions inventories include the following source classifications: Point, area, on-road mobile, and non-road mobile. The progress report also includes more detailed information on reductions in sulfur oxides (SOX) emissions from EGUs, and particulate matter (PM), NOX and SOX from BART-eligible sources.

    Overall, New Jersey's emissions that affect visibility were reduced in all sectors for all pollutants, except for on-road direct emissions of PM. Compared to the 2002 emission inventory New Jersey used to model haze, emissions in 2011 were reduced by 82 percent for SO2, 38 percent for NOX, 23 percent for direct PM2.5 and by 49 percent for VOCs. New Jersey's progress report also compared the latest EPA modeling inventory calculations for New Jersey for 2018 with New Jersey's portion of the MANE-VU inventory used to set the 2018 progress goal for Brigantine. For NOX, PM2.5, SO2, and VOCs, the EPA's modeled emissions for 2018 are lower than the 2018 emissions used in MANE-VU's modeling.

    In particular, New Jersey's emissions from each of the four EGU stacks addressed in its regional haze SIP were reduced by more than 90 percent from 2002 to 2011, the latest year actual emissions are available. Projected EGU emissions for 2018, the end of the first planning period, are expected to meet or exceed the 90 percent reduction target for each EGU stack. Actual SO2 emissions from each of the BART-eligible sources declined by more than 90 percent from 2002 to 2012. PM and NOX emissions decreased overall, and for each source, except for PM emissions from the ConocoPhillips Bayway Refinery. ConocoPhillips has met its BART requirements, including control of PM, but PM emissions increased because refinery throughput was higher in 2012 than 2002.

    New Jersey's data indicates its 2011 emissions for SO2, PM and VOCs are lower than the 2018 emissions projections used to model its progress goal. Statewide NOX emissions have decreased by 28 percent to 182,140 tons per year by 2011, so as of 2011 they have not reached the 2018 target of 124,100 tons per year. However, modeling by the EPA 8 projects New Jersey's statewide NOX emissions to be reduced to 106,749 tons per year by 2018, so it is likely New Jersey will meet its emission targets by 2018.

    8https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-11/documents/o3transportaqmodelingtsd.pdf.

    The EPA is proposing that New Jersey adequately addressed the provisions of 40 CFR 51.308(g). The progress report compared the most recent updated emission inventory data available at the time of the development of the progress report with the baseline emissions used in the modeling for the regional haze SIP.

    In its progress report SIP, New Jersey did not find any significant changes in emissions of SOX, NOX and PM2.5 which might have impeded or limited progress during the first planning period. As noted earlier, haze at Brigantine and other Class I areas affected by emissions from New Jersey has improved to levels that meet or exceed the RPG. The EPA therefore proposes to approve the New Jersey SIP submission.

    In its progress report SIP, New Jersey concludes the elements and strategies relied on in its original regional haze SIP are sufficient to enable New Jersey and neighboring states to meet all established RPGs. As shown in Table 2, visibility on the least impaired and most impaired days from 2000 through 2011 has improved at all Class I areas affected by emissions from New Jersey (and all RPGs for 2018 have already been met). Visibility improvement at Brigantine has occurred for the most impaired days and no degradation of visibility has occurred for the least impaired days. Therefore, New Jersey concludes Brigantine is on track to meet the RPGs for 2018 based on the observed visibility improvement. The EPA proposes to agree that New Jersey has adequately addressed the provisions for first planning period progress reports. The EPA views this requirement as an assessment that should evaluate emissions and visibility trends and other readily available information. In its progress report, New Jersey described the improving visibility trends using data from the IMPROVE network and the downward emissions trends in key pollutants in the State and the MANE-VU region. New Jersey determined its regional haze SIP is sufficient to meet the RPGs for its own Class I area and the Class I areas outside the State impacted by the State's emissions.

    New Jersey's visibility monitoring strategy relies upon participation in the IMPROVE network. The IMPROVE monitor at the Brigantine Wilderness Area is operated and maintained through a formal cooperative relationship between the EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and New Jersey's Bureau of Monitoring. The IMPROVE monitor for the Brigantine Wilderness Area is located at the edge of the Wilderness Area. The air monitoring data collected is representative of the air quality within the wilderness area but does not disturb the wilderness area's ecology or natural resources. New Jersey finds that there is no need for additional monitoring sites or equipment. The EPA proposes to find that New Jersey has adequately addressed these provisions by reviewing the State's visibility monitoring strategy and determining no further modifications to the monitoring strategy are necessary.

    B. Determination of Adequacy of Existing Regional Haze Plan

    In its progress report, New Jersey submitted a negative declaration to EPA regarding the need for additional actions or emission reductions in New Jersey beyond those already in place and those to be implemented by 2018 according to New Jersey's regional haze plan.

    In the 2016 SIP submittal, New Jersey determined the existing regional haze SIP requires no further substantive revision at this time to achieve the RPGs for Class I areas affected by the State's sources. The basis for the State's negative declaration is the finding that visibility has improved at all Class I areas in the MANE-VU region. In addition, SO2, and PM emissions from the latest emission inventory for New Jersey have decreased to levels below the projections for 2018. While NOX reductions have yet to fully meet the 2018 projections, additional substantial NOX emission reductions are expected by 2018, as projected by the latest EPA modeling inventory.

    The EPA proposes to conclude that New Jersey has adequately addressed the provisions under 40 CFR 51.308(h) because visibility and emission trends indicate that the Brigantine area, in addition to all the other Class I areas impacted by New Jersey's sources, are meeting or exceeding the RPGs for 2018, and expect to continue to meet or exceed the RPGs for 2018.

    III. Proposed Action

    The EPA is proposing to approve New Jersey's June 28, 2016 regional haze progress report as meeting the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(g) and (h).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175, because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen oxides, Particulate matter, Regional haze, Sulfur oxides.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Walter Mugdan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 2.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15997 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R02-OAR-2015-0498; FRL-9965-47-Region 2] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New York; Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report State Implementation Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve New York State's regional haze progress report, submitted on June 16, 2015, as a revision to its State Implementation Plan (SIP). New York's SIP revision addresses requirements of the Clean Air Act and its implementing regulations that the State submit periodic reports describing progress toward reasonable progress goals established for regional haze and a determination of the adequacy of the State's existing regional haze SIP. New York's progress report notes that New York has implemented the measures in the regional haze SIP due to be in place by the date of the progress report and that visibility in federal Class I areas affected by emissions from New York State is improving and has already met the applicable reasonable progress goals for 2018. The EPA is proposing approval of New York's determination that the State's regional haze SIP is adequate to meet these reasonable progress goals for the first implementation period, which extends through 2018, and requires no substantive revision at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R02-OAR-2015-0498 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 Environmental Protection Agency (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:

    Robert F. Kelly, Air Programs Branch, Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866, (212) 637-4249, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. EPA's Evaluation of New York's SIP Revision A. Regional Haze Progress Report B. Determination of Adequacy of Existing Regional Haze Plan III. Proposed Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    States are required to submit a progress report in the form of a SIP revision that evaluates progress towards the reasonable progress goals (RPGs) for each mandatory Class I federal area 1 (Class I area) within the state and in each Class I area outside the state which may be affected by emissions from within the state. 40 CFR 51.308(g). In addition, the provisions of 40 CFR 51.308(h) require states to submit, at the same time as the 40 CFR 51.308(g) progress report, a determination of the adequacy of the state's existing regional haze SIP. The progress report SIP for the first planning period is due five years after submittal of the initial regional haze SIP. On March 15, 2010, New York submitted the State's first regional haze SIP in accordance with 40 CFR 51.308.2

    1 Areas designated as mandatory Class I federal areas consist of national parks exceeding 6,000 acres, wilderness areas and national memorial parks exceeding 5000 acres, and all international parks that were in existence on August 7, 1977 (42 U.S.C. 7472(a)). Listed at 40 CFR part 81, subpart D.

    2 On August 28, 2012, at 77 FR 51915, EPA approved New York's regional haze SIP submittal addressing the requirements of the first implementation period for regional haze. The EPA promulgated a Federal Implementation Plan for Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) for two sources where the EPA disapproved New York's BART determinations.

    On June 16, 2015, New York submitted, as a revision to its SIP, its progress report which detailed the progress made in the first planning period toward implementation of the Long Term Strategy (LTS) outlined in the 2010 regional haze SIP submittal, the visibility improvement measured at Class I areas affected by emissions from New York State, and a determination of the adequacy of the State's existing regional haze SIP. The EPA is proposing to approve New York's June 16, 2015 SIP submittal.

    II. EPA's Evaluation of New York's SIP Revision

    New York's report on progress made in the first implementation period toward reasonable progress goals for Class I areas affected by emissions from sources in New York (also known as a regional haze five-year progress report or progress report) was submitted to the EPA as a SIP revision. This progress report SIP submittal also included a determination that the State's existing regional haze SIP requires no substantive revision to achieve the established regional haze visibility improvement and emissions reduction goals for 2018. New York State, in section 1.4 of its 2010 regional haze SIP submittal, used data from the report in Appendix A of its plan Contributions to Regional Haze in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States, to determine that emissions from sources in New York State contribute to visibility impairment in the following Class I areas: Acadia National Park, Maine, Brigantine Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey, Great Gulf Wilderness Area, New Hampshire, Lye Brook Wilderness Area, Vermont, Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Maine, Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness Area, New Hampshire, and Roosevelt-Campobello International Park, Maine/Canada. See 77 FR 24794, 24799 (April 25, 2012). There are no Class I areas in New York.

    Through the consultation process, New York agreed to reduce emissions by at least the amount obtained by the measures in the coordinated course of action agreed to by the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Visibility Union (MANE-VU) 3 to assure reasonable progress toward preventing any future, and remedying any existing, impairment of visibility in the mandatory Class I areas within the MANE-VU region. These strategies are commonly referred to as the MANE-VU “ask.” The MANE-VU “ask” includes: A timely implementation of best available retrofit technology (BART) requirements, 90 percent or more reduction in sulfur dioxide (SO2) at 167 electric generating units (EGUs) “stacks” identified by MANE-VU (or comparable alternative measures), lower sulfur fuel oil (with limits specified for each state) and continued evaluation of other control measures.4 In summary, New York is on track to fulfill the MANE-VU “ask” by meeting the deadlines for BART requirements, as of the date of the progress report, for all BART-eligible facilities as described in section 4 of New York's progress report, instituting 90 percent or more control at New York's share of the 167 EGUs identified by MANE-VU (Table 4.3 in the progress report), and adoption of the lower limits for sulfur in fuel oil.

    3 MANE-VU is a collaborative effort of State governments, Tribal governments, and various federal agencies established to initiate and coordinate activities associated with the management of regional haze, visibility and other air quality issues in the Northeastern United States. Member State and Tribal governments include: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Penobscot Indian Nation, Rhode Island, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, and Vermont.

    4 The MANE-VU “Ask” was structured around the finding that SO2 emissions were the dominate visibility impairing pollutant at the Northeastern Class I areas and electrical generating units comprised the largest SO2 emission sector. See “Regional Haze and Visibility in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States,” January 31, 2001.

    A. Regional Haze Progress Report

    This section includes the EPA's analysis of New York's progress report SIP submittal, and an explanation of the basis of our proposed approval.

    New York's 2010 regional haze SIP 5 included the following key measures: Control measures for the State's subject-to-BART sources, control measures for EGU stacks, and low sulfur fuel oil. New York has eleven of the 167 EGU stacks identified for control of SO2 emissions in the MANE-VU “ask.” Overall, New York's EGU stacks, as of the 2013 emission inventory, have reduced emissions by 97 percent, exceeding the MANE-VU “ask.”

    5 On August 28, 2012, (77 FR 51915), EPA finalized a limited approval of New York's March 15, 2010 SIP to address the first implementation period for regional haze. New York supplemented its SIP on August 2, 2010, April 16, 2012 and July 2, 2012. These supplements and a Federal Implementation Plan for two of New York's BART determinations are part of New York's plan to be evaluated by New York's progress report.

    Between the New York State regional haze SIP and EPA's BART FIP, New York has BART determinations for fifteen sources. As documented in Table 3.1 of New York's progress report, these sources are implementing BART controls, or have been shut down.

    New York has also adopted a State law reducing the sulfur content of fuel oil. The EPA, in approving New York regional haze SIP, approved the inclusion of the State sulfur in fuel law as a measure in New York's SIP.

    The EPA proposes to find that New York's analysis in its regional haze progress report SIP adequately addresses the applicable provisions under 40 CFR 51.308(g), as the State demonstrated the implementation of measures within New York, including applying BART at eligible sources.

    During the development of the regional haze SIP for the first planning period, MANE-VU and New York determined that SO2 was the greatest contributor to anthropogenic visibility impairment at Class I areas. Therefore, the bulk of visibility improvement achieved in the first planning period was expected to result from reductions in SO2 emissions from sources inside and outside of the State. Section 6 of New York's progress report shows the calculated reductions of SO2 and other pollutants from 2002 though 2011. Section 7 of New York's progress report details the SO2 emission reductions projected for 2018, compared with the 2011 emissions inventory. Pollutants that affect visibility, SO2, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM), have been reduced substantially from 2002, and all except NO2 already have lower emissions than projected for 2018. NO2 emissions, having been reduced from 1,125,263 tons per year in 2002 to 444,048 tons per year in 2011, are well on their way to achieving the 2018 projection of 323,203 tons per year (see Tables 7.4, 7.5 and 7.6 in New York's progress report).

    The EPA proposes to find New York has adequately addressed the provisions under 40 CFR 51.308(g). New York detailed the SO2 and nitrogen oxides (NOX) reductions from the 2002 regional haze baseline to 2011, the most recently available year of data at the time of the development of New York's progress report. In addition, New York highlighted SO2 emissions reductions, as the pollutant targeted by MANE-VU states for the most reductions, from all of New York's EGUs during this same time period.

    The provisions under 40 CFR 51.308(g) also require that states with Class I areas within their borders provide information on current visibility conditions and the difference between current visibility conditions and baseline visibility conditions expressed in terms of five-year averages of these annual values. New York has no Class I areas, but the Class I areas affected by emissions from New York have current visibility conditions better than baseline conditions, approaching the conditions predicted for 2018.

    The Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments monitoring program (IMPROVE) provides data on the air pollutants that constitute regional haze. New York's progress report includes data from the IMPROVE sites at Class I areas affected by emissions from New York. The table shows the progress from the baseline 2000-2004 five-year average visibility through the most recent 2009-2013 five-year average visibility SIP.

    Table 2—Observed Visibility vs. Reasonable Progress Goals [All values in deciviews] Class I area IMPROVE* site 2000-2004
  • 5-year
  • average
  • 2009-2013
  • 5-year
  • average
  • Met 2018
  • progress goal already?
  • 2018
  • Reasonable progress goal
  • 20% Worst Days Acadia National Park 22.9 17.9 Yes 19.4 Moosehorn Wilderness Area ** 21.7 16.8 Yes 19.0 Great Gulf Wilderness Area *** 22.8 16.7 Yes 19.1 Lye Brook Wilderness Area 24.4 18.8 Yes 20.9 Brigantine Wilderness Area 29 23.8 Yes 25.1 20% Best Days Acadia National Park 8.8 7.0 Yes 8.8 Moosehorn Wilderness Area 9.2 6.7 Yes 9.2 Great Gulf Wilderness Area 7.7 5.9 Yes 7.7 Lye Brook Wilderness Area 6.4 4.9 Yes 6.4 Brigantine Wilderness Area 14.3 12.3 Yes 14.3  * IMPROVE = Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments program.  ** The IMPROVE monitor for Moosehorn Wilderness also represents Roosevelt Campobello International Park.  *** The IMPROVE monitor for Great Gulf Wilderness also represents Presidential Range—Dry River Wilderness Area.  Data from Tracking Visibility Progress, posted on NESCAUM's Web site at http://www.nescaum.org/topics/regional-haze/regional-haze-documents, supplemented by data from the IMPROVE network as included in New York's progress report.

    The EPA notes the substantial progress, as the Class I areas affected by emissions from New York State have already achieved and surpassed the 2018 RPGs.

    The EPA proposes to find New York provided the required information regarding visibility conditions to meet the applicable requirements under 40 CFR 51.308(g), specifically providing baseline visibility conditions (2000-2004), current conditions based on the most recently available IMPROVE monitoring data (2009-2013), and an assessment of the change in visibility impairment at its Class I areas.

    In its progress report SIP, New York presents data from statewide emissions inventories—New York's State Periodic Emissions Inventory—developed for the years 2002 and 2011, plus projected inventories for 2018, for SO2, NOX, fine particles with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller (PM2.5) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). New York's emissions inventories include the following source classifications: Point, area, on-road mobile, and non-road mobile. The progress report also includes more detailed information on reductions in sulfur oxides (SOX) emissions from EGUs, and PM, NOX and SOX from BART-eligible sources.

    Overall, New York's emissions that affect visibility were reduced in all sectors for all pollutants, except for area source NOX emissions, which increased by 15,000 tons per year, compared to the 681,000 ton per year decrease in total NOX emissions in New York State. Compared to the 2002 inventory New York used to model haze, actual emissions in 2011 were reduced by 81 percent for SO2, 61 percent for NOX, and 28 percent for PM. The 2011 emissions from New York are below the projected 2018 emissions for SO2 and PM, and only about one-third more than the NOX emissions projected for 2018. Since New York is successfully implementing its emission reductions programs in its regional haze SIP, New York is on track for its emissions in 2018 to be lower than the emissions reductions modeled for 2018 in its 2010 haze SIP.

    The EPA is proposing to find that New York adequately addressed the provisions of 40 CFR 51.308(g). New York's progress report compared the most recent updated emission inventory data available at the time of the development of the progress report with the baseline emissions used in the modeling for the regional haze SIP.

    In its progress report SIP, New York did not find any significant changes in emissions of SOX, NOX and PM2.5 which might have impeded or limited progress during the first planning period. As noted earlier, haze at Class I areas affected by emissions from New York has improved to levels that meet or exceed the RPG. The EPA therefore proposes to approve New York's SIP submission.

    In its progress report SIP, New York concludes the elements and strategies relied on in its original regional haze SIP are sufficient to enable New York and neighboring states to meet all established RPGs. As shown in Table 2, visibility on least impaired and most impaired days from 2000 through 2013 has improved at all Class I areas affected by emissions from New York (and all RPGs have already been met).

    The EPA proposes to agree New York has adequately addressed the provisions for the first planning period progress reports. The EPA views this requirement as an assessment that should evaluate emissions and visibility trends and other readily available information. In its progress report, New York described the improving visibility trends using data from the IMPROVE network and the downward emissions trends in key pollutants in the State and the MANE-VU region. New York determined its regional haze SIP is sufficient to meet the RPGs for the Class I areas impacted by the State's emissions.

    New York does not have any Class I areas and is not required to monitor for visibility-impairing pollutants. New York's visibility monitoring strategy relies upon Class I areas' participation in the IMPROVE network. The EPA proposes to find New York has adequately addressed the requirements for a monitoring strategy for regional haze and proposes to determine no further modifications to the monitoring strategy are necessary.

    B. Determination of Adequacy of Existing Regional Haze Plan

    In its progress report, New York submitted a negative declaration to EPA regarding the need for additional actions or emission reductions in New York beyond those already in place and those to be implemented by 2018 according to New York's regional haze plan.

    In the 2015 SIP submittal, New York determined the existing regional haze SIP requires no further substantive revision at this time to achieve the RPGs for Class I areas affected by the State's sources. The basis for the State's negative declaration is the finding that visibility has improved at all Class I areas in the MANE-VU region. In addition, SO2 and PM emissions from the latest emission inventory for New York have decreased to levels below the projections for 2018.

    The EPA proposes to conclude that New York has adequately addressed the provisions under 40 CFR 51.308(h) because visibility and emission trends indicate that Class I areas impacted by New York's sources are meeting or exceeding the RPGs for 2018, and expect to continue to meet or exceed the RPGs for 2018.

    III. Proposed Action

    The EPA is proposing to approve New York State's regional haze progress report as meeting the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(g) and (h).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175, November 18, 2015, because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and the EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen oxides, Particulate matter, Regional haze, Sulfur oxides.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Walter Mugdan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 2.
    [FR Doc. 2017-15991 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Part 252 [Docket DARS-2017-0001] Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: DFARS Subgroup to the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force, Review of DFARS Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” the DFARS Subgroup to the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force is seeking input on Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) solicitation provisions and contract clauses that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. The comment period is extended three weeks.

    DATES:

    For the request for public comment published on June 20, 2017 (82 FR 28041), submit comments by September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by DFARS-RRTF-2017-01, using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for “DFARS-RRTF-2017-01.” Select “Comment Now” and follow the instructions provided to submit a comment. Please include “DFARS-RRTF-2017-01” on any attached documents.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

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

    Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Jennifer Johnson, telephone 571-372-6100; or Ms. Carrie Moore, telephone 571-372-6093.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On February 24, 2017, the President signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” which established a Federal policy “to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens” on the American people. Section 3(e) of the E.O. 13777 calls on the Task Force to “seek input and other assistance, as permitted by law, from entities significantly affected by Federal regulations, including State, local, and tribal governments, small businesses, consumers, non-governmental organizations, trade associations” on regulations. On June 20, 2017, DoD solicited such input from the public to inform evaluation of the DFARS solicitation provisions and contract clauses by the Task Force's DFARS Subgroup. The comment period is extended three weeks from August 21, 2017, to September 11, 2017, to provide additional time for interested parties to provide input.

    Although the agency will not respond to each individual comment, DoD may follow-up with respondents to clarify comments. DoD values public feedback and will consider all input that it receives. Furthermore, DoD may share inputs received in response to this notice with the “Section 809 Panel” (section809panel.org; [email protected]) established under section 809 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, for the purpose of reviewing the acquisition regulations applicable to DoD with a view toward streamlining and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the defense acquisition process and maintaining defense technology advantage.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16057 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    82 146 Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request July 27, 2017.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by August 31, 2017 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725—17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Food Safety and Inspection Service

    Title: Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection.

    OMB Control Number: 0583-0156.

    Summary of Collection: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary as provided in the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.). These statutes mandate that FSIS protect the public by ensuring that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged.

    Need and Use of the Information: FSIS requires that all poultry slaughter establishments develop, implement, and maintain, as part of their HACCP plans, or Sanitation SOPs, or other prerequisite programs, written procedures to prevent contamination of carcasses and parts by enteric pathogens, e.g., Salmonella and Campylobacter, and fecal material throughout the entire slaughter and dressing operation. FSIS requires that these procedures include sampling for microbial organisms at the pre-chill and post-chill points in the process to monitor establishments' process control for enteric pathogens, except for low volume establishments that are required to test only at post-chill. If the information was not collected or collected less frequently it would reduce the effectiveness of the poultry products inspection program.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 3,001,920.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 191,204.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16146 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service West Virginia Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The West Virginia Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Elkins, West Virginia. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: https://cloudapps-usda-gov.secure.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcuqAAC.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on August 15, 2017, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Monongahela National Forest Headquarters Building, First Floor Conference Room, 200 Sycamore Street, Elkins, West Virginia. Participants who would like to attend by teleconference or by video conference, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under Supplementary Information. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Monongahela National Forest Headquarters Building. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Fosbender, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 304-636-1800 extension 169 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Provide an overview of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and the responsibilities of RAC members; and

    2. Discuss how the RAC will function.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by August 9, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Julie Fosbender, RAC Coordinator, Monongahela National Forest Headquarters Building, 200 Sycamore Street, Elkins, West Virginia 26241; by email to [email protected]; or via facsimile to 304-637-0582.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, please contact the person listed in the section titled For Further Information Contact. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Glenn Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16126 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Columbia County Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Columbia County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Dayton, Washington. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with the Act.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on August 14, 2017, and will begin at 6:00 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Dayton Fire Department, 111 Patit Road, Dayton, Washington 99328.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under Supplementary Information. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Walla Walla Ranger District. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mike Rassbach, Designated Federal Officer, by phone at 509-522-6293 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Review of past projects and progress of continuing projects,

    2. Discussion and selection of proposed projects, and

    3. Allow for public comment.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by August 7, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Mike Rassbach, Designated Federal Officer, Walla Walla Ranger District, 1415 West Rose Street, Walla Walla, Washington 99362, by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 509-522-6000.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, please contact the person listed in the section titled For Further Information Contact. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: July 5, 2017. Glenn Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16127 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Saguache-Upper Rio Grande Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Saguache-Upper Rio Grande Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Monte Vista, Colorado. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: https://cloudapps-usda-gov.secure.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t00000086exUAAQ.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on August 23, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, Conference Room, 3625 West U.S. Highway 160, Monte Vista, Colorado.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under Supplementary Information. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Rio Grande National Forest (NF) Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mike Blakeman, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 719-852-6212 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to review, evaluate, and recommend project proposals to be funded with Title II money.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by August 11, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Mike Blakeman, RAC Coordinator, Rio Grande NF Supervisor's Office, 1803 West U.S. Highway 160, Monte Vista, Colorado, 81144; by email to [email protected]; or via facsimile to 719-852-6250.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, please contact the person listed in the section titled For Further Information Contact. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Glenn Casamass, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16125 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Umpqua and Diamond Lake Districts, Umpqua National Forest, Oregon, Calf Copeland Restoration Project AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

    SUMMARY:

    Calf and Copeland Creek are major tributaries to the North Umpqua River and lie in the very center of the Umpqua National Forest. The 51,650 acre planning area is within a mixed-severity fire regime landscape in which the steep slopes and canyons historically tended to burn hot while the benches and ridges tended towards high-frequency, low-severity fire. As a consequence, the benches and ridges developed open stands of mixed-age Douglas-fir, sugar pine, ponderosa pine and incense-cedar. Fire suppression and past timber harvest have converted these areas to overstocked stands of predominately young Douglas-fir and white fir that are rapidly choking out the pine and leaving the entire landscape at risk to uncharacteristic wildfire. The Umpqua National Forest has witnessed a sharp increase in wildfire over the last couple of decades. During this period, tens of thousands of acres have burned within the planning area and the immediately adjacent watersheds, about 20,000 acres of which were stand replacement fire within habitat for the northern spotted owl.

    This project proposes a combination of timber harvest, non-commercial thinning, and prescribed fire to reduce stem densities and improve the fuel profiles in plantations as well as in older stands with sugar or ponderosa pine. The project also proposes to create strategically placed shaded fuel breaks along roads to help manage wildfire to reduce the risk of stand replacement fire in the remaining late-successional and old-growth stands. Finally, the project would provide log placement in lower Calf Creek to improve stream conditions, restore two wetlands and possibly decommission or close roads to improve watershed conditions.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by August 31, 2017. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected December, 2018 and the Final Environmental Impact Statement is expected July, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to 2900 NW Stewart Parkway, Oregon 97471. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 970-957-3283.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Helliwell at 541-957-3337, [email protected] or Amy Nathanson at 541-957-3338, [email protected].

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of this project is to provide greater landscape resiliency to wildfire and other disturbances. Integral to maintaining landscape resiliency is maintenance of legacy ponderosa and sugar pine and recruitment of new pine to begin replacing the trees that have been lost to competition in the wake of decades of fire suppression. Also essential to restoring fire resiliency is the need to restore the historic species composition and structure where it has been altered due to past timber management. In order to truly improve landscape resiliency it would be necessary to group management actions, as much as practical, into ecologically significant units that would allow fire to function more similarly to how it did historically. There is a need to manage for old-growth and late-successional habitat for the northern spotted owl and other old forest species to compensate, in part, for the many thousands of acres that have been converted to early seral habitat due to recent stand-replacement fires in and adjacent to the planning area. Finally, there is a need to improve aquatic conditions that have been altered through roads and past timber harvest.

    Proposed Action

    Restoration of mixed-conifer stands with sugar pine or ponderosa pine would occur on 1,777 acres. Treatment would consist of removal of all conifers under 20-24 inches diameter breast height (DBH) within 20-25 feet of the dripline of all healthy pine over 20 inches DBH. Overall canopy cover in the stands would be reduced to 40-60% canopy closure. No trees over 20-24″ DBH would be removed.

    Non-commercial thinning, girdling or burning would occur on 185 acres. Non-commercial thinning would be comprised of predominately conifers under 7″ DBH, although larger trees up to 24″ DBH may be cut and left within 20 feet of the dripline of large pines. In some cases trees up to 24″ DBH could also be girdled in the vicinity of large pines rather than felled. Fuels treatments may consist of pile and burning or broadcast burning or both.

    Thinning would occur on 1,147 acres of previously managed stands. All of these stands had been clearcut between 1956 and 1975 and planted to predominately Douglas-fir. These stands would be thinned to 40-60% canopy closure and small gaps of 0.5 to 3 acres would be created and planted to rust-resistant sugar pine or ponderosa pine. A 50 foot no entry buffer would be left along all streams, allowing for thinning within the riparian reserve area outside of that 50 feet.

    Shaded fuel breaks would be created along about 28 miles of road. The fuel break would remove conifers less than 7″ DBH and ladder fuels up to 150 feet on either side of the road. This would result in up to 1,033 acres of shaded fuel breaks although 216 of these acres overlaps with other proposed treatment stands.

    Log placement would occur at eight locations along lower Calf Creek. The failing sump along Forest Service road 4750-200 would be restored to a series of three small wetlands. The small earthen dam would be removed and the new wetlands contoured in to take its place.

    The wetland at Little Oak Flats that is currently being drained by Forest Service road 4770-030 would be restored to retain approximately its natural hydrologic state. About six miles of road would be decommissioned, including the last 1.7 miles of Forest Service road 2801 that follows Copeland Creek.

    About 13 miles of road have been identified as not currently needed or expected to be needed within the next twenty years. These would be put into storage that would include pulling the culverts such that they would no longer be drivable. Of these, about 10 miles would be closed to all vehicle traffic while about three miles would still be accessible to motorized vehicles under 50″ in width.

    Responsible Official

    North Umpqua District Ranger.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The deciding officer will decide whether to implement the proposed action, take an alternative action that meets the purpose and need or take no action.

    Preliminary Issues

    Preliminary issues include vegetation management in areas designated as Late Seral Reserves under the Northwest Forest Plan as well as vegetation management in designated critical habitat for the threatened northern spotted owl. Management of the road system is an issue that has been identified for this project area. Noncommercial vegetation management in inventoried roadless areas and areas that are currently undeveloped is also an issue for this project.

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. Public meetings and field trips will be planned for the summer of 2017. These meetings will be announced in the Roseburg News Review and the Umpqua National Forest Web page.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however.

    Dated: July 19, 2017. Jeanne M. Higgins, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16129 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Davy Crockett-Sam Houston Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Davy Crockett-Sam Houston Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Ratcliff, Texas. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://cloudapps-usda-gov.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcvhAAC.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on August 17, 2017, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at Davy Crockett Ranger District, Conference Room, 18551 State Highway 7 East, Kennard, Texas. Participants who would like to attend by teleconference or by video conference, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Davy Crockett Ranger District. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michelle Rowe, RAC Coordinator, by phone at (936) 655-2299 extension 224 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Introduce new members,

    2. Elect a new chairman, and

    3. Review and approve new RAC projects.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by August 1, 2017, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Gerald Lawrence, Jr., Designated Federal Officer, Davy Crockett Ranger District, 18551 State Highway 7 East, Kennard, Texas 75847; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 936-655-2817.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, please contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: July 10, 2017. Glenn Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16128 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Alaska Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of public briefing on Alaska Native voting rights.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Alaska Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 9:00 a.m. (Alaska Time) Thursday, August 24, 2017. The purpose of the briefing is for the Committee to receive testimony on Alaska Native voting rights. The Committee will examine the implementation of the Toyukuk v. Treadwell settlement and court order; and the potential impact of mail-in voting. The briefing will be held at Hilton Hotel, 500 West Third Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501 in the Aleutian Room.

    DATES:

    Thursday, August 24, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. AKDT

    LOCATION:

    Hilton Hotel, 500 West Third Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501 in the Aleutian Room.

    DATE:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, August 24, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. AKDT

    PUBLIC CALL INFORMATION:

    Dial: 888-510-1765.

    Conference ID: 3264621.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ana Victoria Fortes (DFO) at [email protected] or (213) 894-3437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-510-1765, conference ID number: 3264621. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments; the comments must be received in the Regional Programs Unit within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. They may be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8311, or emailed Ana Victoria Fortes at [email protected] Hearing-impaired persons who will attend the meeting and require the services of a sign language interpreter should contact the Regional Office at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled date of the meeting. Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (213) 894-3437.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=234.

    Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda: I. Welcome II. Panel Presentations III. Public Comment IV. Adjournment Dated: July 26, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16087 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Alaska Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Alaska Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 12:00 p.m. (Alaska Time) Monday, August 14, 2017, and 12:00 p.m. (Alaska Time) Tuesday, August 22, 2017. The purpose of the meetings is for the Committee to organize a briefing and finalize logistics on Alaska Native voting rights.

    DATES:

    The first meeting will be held on Monday, August 14, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. AKDT.

    The second meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. AKDT.

    PUBLIC CALL INFORMATION:

    Dial: 877-780-3379.

    Conference ID: 9543788.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ana Victoria Fortes (DFO) at [email protected] or (213) 894-3437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    These meeting are available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 877-780-3379, conference ID number: 9543788. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meetings. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meetings. Members of the public may also submit written comments; the comments must be received in the Regional Programs Unit within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. They may be faxed to the Commission at (213) 894-0508, or emailed Ana Victoria Fortes at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (213) 894-3437.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=234. Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda I. Welcome II. Approval of Minutes III. Discussion on In-Person Briefing IV. Publicity V. Public Comment VI. Next Steps VII. Adjournment Dated: July 26, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16086 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department of Commerce (the Department) is automatically initiating the five-year reviews (Sunset Reviews) of the antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) order(s) listed below. The International Trade Commission (the Commission) is publishing concurrently with this notice its notice of Institution of Five-Year Reviews which covers the same order(s).

    DATES:

    August 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Department official identified in the Initiation of Review section below at AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. For information from the Commission contact Mary Messer, Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission at (202) 205-3193.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in its Procedures for Conducting Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 63 FR 13516 (March 20, 1998) and 70 FR 62061 (October 28, 2005). Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews is set forth in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    Initiation of Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.218(c), we are initiating Sunset Reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty order(s):

    DOC Case No. ITC Case No. Country Product Department contact A-428-820 731-TA-709 Germany Seamless Line and Pressure Pipe (4th Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith (202) 482-5255. Filing Information

    As a courtesy, we are making information related to sunset proceedings, including copies of the pertinent statute and Department's regulations, the Department's schedule for Sunset Reviews, a listing of past revocations and continuations, and current service lists, available to the public on the Department's Web site at the following address: http://enforcement.trade.gov/sunset/. All submissions in these Sunset Reviews must be filed in accordance with the Department's regulations regarding format, translation, and service of documents. These rules, including electronic filing requirements via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS), can be found at 19 CFR 351.303.1

    1See also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    This notice serves as a reminder that any party submitting factual information in an AD/CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.2 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives in these segments.3 The formats for the revised certifications are provided at the end of the Final Rule. The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the revised certification requirements.

    2See section 782(b) of the Act.

    3See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule) (amending 19 CFR 351.303(g)).

    On April 10, 2013, the Department modified two regulations related to AD/CVD proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301).4 Parties are advised to review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments. To the extent that other regulations govern the submission of factual information in a segment (such as 19 CFR 351.218), these time limits will continue to be applied. Parties are also advised to review the final rule concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in AD/CVD proceedings, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1309frn/2013-22853.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.5

    4See Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013).

    5See Extension of Time Limits, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013).

    Letters of Appearance and Administrative Protective Orders

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d), the Department will maintain and make available a public service list for these proceedings. Parties wishing to participate in any of these five-year reviews must file letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). To facilitate the timely preparation of the public service list, it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding submit an entry of appearance within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Because deadlines in Sunset Reviews can be very short, we urge interested parties who want access to proprietary information under administrative protective order (APO) to file an APO application immediately following publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The Department's regulations on submission of proprietary information and eligibility to receive access to business proprietary information under APO can be found at 19 CFR 351.304-306.

    Information Required From Interested Parties

    Domestic interested parties, as defined in section 771(9)(C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.102(b), wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must respond not later than 15 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation by filing a notice of intent to participate. The required contents of the notice of intent to participate are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(ii). In accordance with the Department's regulations, if we do not receive a notice of intent to participate from at least one domestic interested party by the 15-day deadline, the Department will automatically revoke the order without further review.6

    6See 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(iii).

    If we receive an order-specific notice of intent to participate from a domestic interested party, the Department's regulations provide that all parties wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must file complete substantive responses not later than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The required contents of a substantive response, on an order-specific basis, are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3). Note that certain information requirements differ for respondent and domestic parties. Also, note that the Department's information requirements are distinct from the Commission's information requirements. Consult the Department's regulations for information regarding the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews. Consult the Department's regulations at 19 CFR part 351 for definitions of terms and for other general information concerning antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at the Department.

    This notice of initiation is being published in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c).

    Dated: June 30, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16159 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) has received requests to conduct administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with June anniversary dates. In accordance with the Department's regulations, we are initiating those administrative reviews.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department has received timely requests, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), for administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with June anniversary dates.

    All deadlines for the submission of various types of information, certifications, or comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting time.

    Notice of No Sales

    If a producer or exporter named in this notice of initiation had no exports, sales, or entries during the period of review (POR), it must notify the Department within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. All submissions must be filed electronically at http://access.trade.gov in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303.1 Such submissions are subject to verification in accordance with section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(1)(i), a copy must be served on every party on the Department's service list.

    1See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to place the CBP data on the record within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 30 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection should be submitted seven days after the placement of the CBP data on the record of this review. Parties wishing to submit rebuttal comments should submit those comments five days after the deadline for the initial comments.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department has found that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value (Q&V) Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete Q&V data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that has requested a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance has prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Separate Rates

    In proceedings involving non-market economy (NME) countries, the Department begins with a rebuttable presumption that all companies within the country are subject to government control and, thus, should be assigned a single antidumping duty deposit rate. It is the Department's policy to assign all exporters of merchandise subject to an administrative review in an NME country this single rate unless an exporter can demonstrate that it is sufficiently independent so as to be entitled to a separate rate.

    To establish whether a firm is sufficiently independent from government control of its export activities to be entitled to a separate rate, the Department analyzes each entity exporting the subject merchandise. In accordance with the separate rates criteria, the Department assigns separate rates to companies in NME cases only if respondents can demonstrate the absence of both de jure and de facto government control over export activities.

    All firms listed below that wish to qualify for separate rate status in the administrative reviews involving NME countries must complete, as appropriate, either a separate rate application or certification, as described below. For these administrative reviews, in order to demonstrate separate rate eligibility, the Department requires entities for whom a review was requested, that were assigned a separate rate in the most recent segment of this proceeding in which they participated, to certify that they continue to meet the criteria for obtaining a separate rate. The Separate Rate Certification form will be available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html on the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. In responding to the certification, please follow the “Instructions for Filing the Certification” in the Separate Rate Certification. Separate Rate Certifications are due to the Department no later than 30 calendar days after publication of this Federal Register notice. The deadline and requirement for submitting a Certification applies equally to NME-owned firms, wholly foreign-owned firms, and foreign sellers who purchase and export subject merchandise to the United States.

    Entities that currently do not have a separate rate from a completed segment of the proceeding 2 should timely file a Separate Rate Application to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate in this proceeding. In addition, companies that received a separate rate in a completed segment of the proceeding that have subsequently made changes, including, but not limited to, changes to corporate structure, acquisitions of new companies or facilities, or changes to their official company name,3 should timely file a Separate Rate Application to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate in this proceeding. The Separate Rate Status Application will be available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html on the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. In responding to the Separate Rate Status Application, refer to the instructions contained in the application. Separate Rate Status Applications are due to the Department no later than 30 calendar days of publication of this Federal Register notice. The deadline and requirement for submitting a Separate Rate Status Application applies equally to NME-owned firms, wholly foreign-owned firms, and foreign sellers that purchase and export subject merchandise to the United States.

    2 Such entities include entities that have not participated in the proceeding, entities that were preliminarily granted a separate rate in any currently incomplete segment of the proceeding (e.g., an ongoing administrative review, new shipper review, etc.) and entities that lost their separate rate in the most recently completed segment of the proceeding in which they participated.

    3 Only changes tothe official company name, rather than trade names, need to be addressed via a Separate Rate Application. Information regarding new trade names may be submitted via a Separtate Rate Certification.

    For exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate status application or certification and subsequently are selected as mandatory respondents, these exporters and producers will no longer be eligible for separate rate status unless they respond to all parts of the questionnaire as mandatory respondents.

    Initiation of Reviews

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i), we are initiating administrative reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings. We intend to issue the final results of these reviews not later than June 30, 2018.

    Period to be
  • reviewed
  • Antidumping Duty Proceedings SPAIN: Chlorinated Isocyanurates A-469-814 6/1/16-5/31/17 Ercros, S.A TAIWAN: Polyester Staple Fiber A-583-833 5/1/16-4/30/17 The Fong Min International Co. Ltd. 4 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Chlorinated Isocyanurates A-570-898 6/1/16-5/31/17 Hebei Jiheng Chemical Co., Ltd Heze Huayi Chemical Co. Ltd Juancheng Kangtai Chemical Co. Ltd High Pressure Steel Cylinders A-570-977 6/1/16-5/31/17 Beijing Tianhai Industry Co. Ltd Polyester Staple Fiber A-570-905 6/1/16-5/31/17 Cixi Sansheng Chemical Fiber Co Tapered Roller Bearings 5 A-570-601 6/1/16-5/31/17 Apex Maritime Shanghai Co Ld Changshan Peer Bearing Co., Ltd CNH Industrial Italia SpA Crossroads Global Trading Co Ltd GGB Bearing Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd GSP Automotive Group Wenzhou Co., Ltd Hangzhou Hanji Auto Parts Co., Ltd Hangzhou Radical Energy-Saving Technology Co., Ltd Hangzhou Xiaoshan Dingli Machinery Co Ltd Hubei New Torch Science & Technology Co Ltd Kinetsu World Express China Co Ltd Luoyang Bearing Corp. Group Ningbo Xinglun Bearing Import & Export Co Ltd Pacific Link Intl Freight Forwarding Co Ltd Shanghai Dizhao Industrial Trading Co Ltd Shanghai General Bearing Co., Ltd Thi Group Shanghai Ltd Wanxiang Group Corp Weifang Haoxin-Conmet Mechanical Products Co Ltd Yantai Huilong Machinery Parts Co Ltd Zhejiang Machinery Import & Export Corp Zhejiang Sihe Machine Co Ltd Zhejiang Zhaofeng Mechanical & Electronic Co., Ltd UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Certain Steel Nails 6A-520-804 5/1/16-4/30/17 Countervailing Duty Proceedings THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: High Pressure Steel Cylinders C-570-978 1/1/16-12/31/16 Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd Suspension Agreements None
    Duty Absorption Reviews

    During any administrative review covering all or part of a period falling between the first and second or third and fourth anniversary of the publication of an antidumping duty order under 19 CFR 351.211 or a determination under 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4) to continue an order or suspended investigation (after sunset review), the Secretary, if requested by a domestic interested party within 30 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the review, will determine whether antidumping duties have been absorbed by an exporter or producer subject to the review if the subject merchandise is sold in the United States through an importer that is affiliated with such exporter or producer. The request must include the name(s) of the exporter or producer for which the inquiry is requested.

    4 On July 6, 2017 the Department published Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews: 82 FR 31292 (July 6, 2016) (Initiation Notice) in which the Department inadvertently included TFM North America, Inc. in its Initiation Notice. We did not intend to initiate a review of this company. This notice serves as a correction to the Initiation Notice.

    5 In the notice of opportunity to request administrative reviews that published on June 7, 2017 (82 FR 26443) the Department listed the period of review for the case Tapered Rolling Bearings from the PRC incorrectly. The correct period of review is listed above.

    6 On July 6, 2017 the Department published Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews; 82 FR 31292 (July 6, 2016) (Initiation Notice) in which the Department inadvertently misspelt Overseas Distribution Services Inc. as Overseas Distrubution Services Inc. This notice serves as a correction to the Initiation Notice.

    Gap Period Liquidation

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period, of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the POR.

    Administrative Protective Orders and Letters of Appearance

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective orders in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Department's regulations at 19 CFR 351.305. Those procedures apply to administrative reviews included in this notice of initiation. Parties wishing to participate in any of these administrative reviews should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of separate letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    Factual Information Requirements

    The Department's regulations identify five categories of factual information in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), which are summarized as follows: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). These regulations require any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. The regulations, at 19 CFR 351.301, also provide specific time limits for such factual submissions based on the type of factual information being submitted. Please review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in this segment.

    Any party submitting factual information in an antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.7 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives. All segments of any antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 8 The Department intends to reject factual submissions in any proceeding segments if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    7See section 782(b) of the Act.

    8See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also the frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before a time limit established under Part 351 expires, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. See 19 CFR 351.302. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Examples include, but are not limited to: (1) Case and rebuttal briefs, filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309; (2) factual information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c), or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2), filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3) and rebuttal, clarification and correction filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(iv); (3) comments concerning the selection of a surrogate country and surrogate values and rebuttal; (4) comments concerning U.S. Customs and Border Protection data; and (5) quantity and value questionnaires. Under certain circumstances, the Department may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, the Department will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. This modification also requires that an extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission, and clarifies the circumstances under which the Department will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after October 21, 2013. Please review the final rule, available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.

    These initiations and this notice are in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(a)) and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    Dated: July 26, 2017. James Maeder, Senior Director, perfoming the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16160 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews AGENCY:

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

    Background

    Every five years, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department of Commerce (the Department) and the International Trade Commission automatically initiate and conduct a review to determine whether revocation of a countervailing or antidumping duty order or termination of an investigation suspended under section 704 or 734 of the Act would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or a countervailable subsidy (as the case may be) and of material injury.

    Upcoming Sunset Reviews for September 2017

    The following Sunset Reviews are scheduled for initiation in September 2017 and will appear in that month's Notice of Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Reviews (Sunset Reviews).

    Department Contact Antidumping Duty Proceedings Polyester Staple Fiber from China (A-570-905) (2nd Review) Matthew Renkey; (202) 482-2312. Pure Magnesium in Granular Form from China (A-570-864) (3rd Review) Robert James; (202) 482-0649. Countervailing Duty Proceedings

    No Sunset Review of countervailing duty orders is scheduled for initiation in September 2017.

    Suspended Investigations

    No Sunset Review of suspended investigations is scheduled for initiation in September 2017.

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in 19 CFR 351.218. The Notice of Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews provides further information regarding what is required of all parties to participate in Sunset Reviews.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(c), the Department will maintain and make available a service list for these proceedings. To facilitate the timely preparation of the service list(s), it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding contact the Department in writing within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Please note that if the Department receives a Notice of Intent to Participate from a member of the domestic industry within 15 days of the date of initiation, the review will continue. Thereafter, any interested party wishing to participate in the Sunset Review must provide substantive comments in response to the notice of initiation no later than 30 days after the date of initiation.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: June 30, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16157 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-053] Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Preliminary Determination of the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective August 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Bellhouse at (202) 482-2057 or Michael J. Heaney at (202) 482-4475, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On March 30, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated an antidumping duty investigation concerning imports of certain aluminum foil from the People's Republic of China.1 The notice of initiation stated that the Department, in accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), would issue its preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of the initiation, unless postponed.2 The current deadline for the preliminary determination of this investigation is no later than August 15, 2017.

    1See Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 82 FR 15691 (March 30, 2017).

    2Id., 82 FR at 15695.

    Postponement of Preliminary Determination

    On July 17, 2017, The Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group (the petitioners), made a timely request pursuant to section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(e), for a 50-day postponement of the preliminary determination in this investigation in order to provide the Department with sufficient time to review submissions and request supplemental information.3 No other parties commented.

    3See the letter from the petitioners to the Secretary of Commerce entitled, “Antidumping Investigation of Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Petitioners' Request for Postponement of the Preliminary Determination,” dated July 17, 2017.

    For the reasons stated above, and because there are no compelling reasons to deny the petitioners' request, the Department is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determination by 50 days, until October 4, 2017, in accordance with section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(2).

    In accordance with section 735(a)(1) of the Act, the deadline for the final determination of this investigation will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determination, unless postponed at a later date.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 733(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).

    Dated: July 26, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, Performing the Non-Exclusive Functions and Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16162 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-602-810, A-351-850, A-403-805] Silicon Metal From Australia, Brazil, and Norway: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Applicable: August 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Smith at (202) 482-1766 (Australia); Robert James at (202) 482-0649 (Brazil); or Brittany Bauer at (202) 482-3860 (Norway), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On March 28, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigations of imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Norway.1 Currently, the preliminary determinations are due no later than August 15, 2017.

    1See Silicon Metal From Australia, Brazil and Norway: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 82 FR 16352 (April 4, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    Postponement of Preliminary Determinations

    Section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), requires the Department to issue the preliminary determination in a LTFV investigation within 140 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation. However, section 733(c)(1)(A)(b)(1) of the Act permits the Department to postpone the preliminary determination until no later than 190 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation if: (A) The petitioner makes a timely request for a postponement; or (B) the Department concludes that the parties concerned are cooperating, that the investigation is extraordinarily complicated, and that additional time is necessary to make a preliminary determination. Under 19 CFR 351.205(e), the petitioner must submit a request for postponement 25 days or more before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination and must state the reasons for the request. The Department will grant the request unless it finds compelling reasons to deny it.

    On July 10, 2017, the petitioner 2 submitted a timely request that the Department postpone the preliminary determinations in these LTFV investigations.3 The petitioner stated that it requests postponement to provide adequate time for the Department to issue supplemental questionnaires and receive responses.4 The petitioner further stated that these investigations involve complex issues, including further manufacturing, purchases of major inputs from affiliated parties, and the application of the “special rule” under section 772(e) of the Act.5

    2 The petitioner in these investigations is Globe Specialty Metals, Inc.

    3See Letter from the petitioner, “Request for Postponement of Preliminary Determinations,” dated July 10, 2017.

    4Id.

    5Id.

    For the reasons stated above and because there are no compelling reasons to deny the request, the Department, in accordance with section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determinations by 50 days (i.e., 190 days after the date on which these investigations were initiated). As a result, the Department will issue its preliminary determinations no later than October 4, 2017. In accordance with section 735(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(1), the deadline for the final determinations of these investigations will be 75 days after the date of publication of the preliminary determinations, unless postponed at a later date.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 733(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).

    Dated: July 26, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16161 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review AGENCY:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    Background

    Each year during the anniversary month of the publication of an antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation, an interested party, as defined in section 771(9) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), may request, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213, that the Department of Commerce (the Department) conduct an administrative review of that antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation.

    All deadlines for the submission of comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting date.

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties having an APO within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Therefore, we encourage all parties interested in commenting on respondent selection to submit their APO applications on the date of publication of the initiation notice, or as soon thereafter as possible. The Department invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the review.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department finds that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of a review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to a review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete a Quantity and Value Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of a proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete quantity and value data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that requests a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that, with regard to reviews requested on the basis of anniversary months on or after August 2017, the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    The Department is providing this notice on its Web site, as well as in its “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” notices, so that interested parties will be aware of the manner in which the Department intends to exercise its discretion in the future.

    Opportunity to Request a Review: Not later than the last day of August 2017,1 interested parties may request administrative review of the following orders, findings, or suspended investigations, with anniversary dates in August for the following periods:

    1 Or the next business day, if the deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday or any other day when the Department is closed.

    Period of review Antidumping Duty Proceedings Germany: Seamless Line and Pressure Pipe, A-428-820 8/1/16-7/31/17 Sodium Nitrate A-428-841 8/1/16-7/31/17 Japan: Brass Sheet & Strip, A-588-704 8/1/16-7/31/17 Tin Mill Products A-588-854 8/1/16-7/31/17 Malaysia: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags A-557-813 8/1/16-7/31/17 Mexico: Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube A-201-836 8/1/16-7/31/17 Republic of Korea: Large Power Transformers A-580-867 8/1/16-7/31/17 Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube A-580-859 8/1/16-7/31/17 Romania: Certain Small Diameter Carbon and Alloy Seamless Standard, Line, And Pressure Pipe (Under 4 1/2 Inches), A-485-805 8/1/16-7/31/17 Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Silicomanganese A-552-801 8/1/16-7/31/17 Thailand: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags A-549-821 8/1/16-7/31/17 The People's Republic of China: Floor-Standing, Metal-Top Ironing Tables and Parts Thereof A-570-888 8/1/16-7/31/17 Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof, A-570-028 2/1/2016-7/31/2017 Laminated Woven Sacks A-570-916 8/1/16-7/31/17 Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube A-570-914 8/1/16-7/31/17 Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires A-570-016 8/1/16-7/31/17 Petroleum Wax Candles A-570-504 8/1/16-7/31/17 Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags A-570-886 8/1/16-7/31/17 Sodium Nitrate A-570-925 8/1/16-7/31/17 Steel Nails A-570-909 8/1/16-7/31/17 Sulfanilic Acid A-570-815 8/1/16-7/31/17 Tetrahydrofurfuryl Alcohol A-570-887 8/1/16-7/31/17 Tow-Behind Lawn Groomers and Parts Thereof A-570-939 8/1/16-7/31/17 Ukraine: Silicomanganese A-823-805 8/1/16-7/31/17 Countervailing Duty Proceedings Republic of Korea: Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip In Coils C-580-835 1/1/16-12/31/16 The People's Republic of China: Laminated Woven Sacks C-570-917 1/1/16-12/31/16 Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube C-570-915 1/1/16-12/31/16 Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires C-570-017 1/1/16-12/31/16 Sodium Nitrite C-570-926 1/1/16-12/31/16 Suspension Agreements None

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), an interested party as defined by section 771(9) of the Act may request in writing that the Secretary conduct an administrative review. For both antidumping and countervailing duty reviews, the interested party must specify the individual producers or exporters covered by an antidumping finding or an antidumping or countervailing duty order or suspension agreement for which it is requesting a review. In addition, a domestic interested party or an interested party described in section 771(9)(B) of the Act must state why it desires the Secretary to review those particular producers or exporters. If the interested party intends for the Secretary to review sales of merchandise by an exporter (or a producer if that producer also exports merchandise from other suppliers) which was produced in more than one country of origin and each country of origin is subject to a separate order, then the interested party must state specifically, on an order-by-order basis, which exporter(s) the request is intended to cover.

    Note that, for any party the Department was unable to locate in prior segments, the Department will not accept a request for an administrative review of that party absent new information as to the party's location. Moreover, if the interested party who files a request for review is unable to locate the producer or exporter for which it requested the review, the interested party must provide an explanation of the attempts it made to locate the producer or exporter at the same time it files its request for review, in order for the Secretary to determine if the interested party's attempts were reasonable, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.303(f)(3)(ii).

    As explained in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003), and Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011), the Department clarified its practice with respect to the collection of final antidumping duties on imports of merchandise where intermediate firms are involved. The public should be aware of this clarification in determining whether to request an administrative review of merchandise subject to antidumping findings and orders.2

    2See also the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/.

    The Department no longer considers the non-market economy (NME) entity as an exporter conditionally subject to an antidumping duty administrative reviews.3 Accordingly, the NME entity will not be under review unless the Department specifically receives a request for, or self-initiates, a review of the NME entity.4 In administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders on merchandise from NME countries where a review of the NME entity has not been initiated, but where an individual exporter for which a review was initiated does not qualify for a separate rate, the Department will issue a final decision indicating that the company in question is part of the NME entity. However, in that situation, because no review of the NME entity was conducted, the NME entity's entries were not subject to the review and the rate for the NME entity is not subject to change as a result of that review (although the rate for the individual exporter may change as a function of the finding that the exporter is part of the NME entity).

    3See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    4 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), parties should specify that they are requesting a review of entries from exporters comprising the entity, and to the extent possible, include the names of such exporters in their request.

    Following initiation of an antidumping administrative review when there is no review requested of the NME entity, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries for all exporters not named in the initiation notice, including those that were suspended at the NME entity rate.

    All requests must be filed electronically in Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS) on Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS Web site at http://access.trade.gov. 5 Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(l)(i), a copy of each request must be served on the petitioner and each exporter or producer specified in the request.

    5See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    The Department will publish in the Federal Register a notice of “Initiation of Administrative Review of Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation” for requests received by the last day of August 2017. If the Department does not receive, by the last day of August 2017, a request for review of entries covered by an order, finding, or suspended investigation listed in this notice and for the period identified above, the Department will instruct CBP to assess antidumping or countervailing duties on those entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of (or bond for) estimated antidumping or countervailing duties required on those entries at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption and to continue to collect the cash deposit previously ordered.

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the period of review.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: July 13, 2017. James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16158 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Calendar of Upcoming 2018 Trade Missions AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA) is announcing four upcoming trade missions that will be recruited, organized and implemented by ITA. These missions are:

    • 10th Annual U.S. Industry Program at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference Trade Mission to Vienna, Austria—September 18-19, 2017

    • Smart Grid and Energy Storage Business Development Trade Mission to India—March 5-9, 2018

    • Horizontal Trade Mission to the Caribbean in Conjunction with Trade Americas—Business Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference—May 6-11, 2018

    • Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—September 19-21, 2018

    A summary of each mission is found below. Application information and more detailed mission information, including the commercial setting and sector information, can be found at the trade mission Web site: http://export.gov/trademissions.

    For each mission, recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the Commerce Department trade mission calendar (http://export.gov/trademissions) and other Internet Web sites, press releases to general and trade media, direct mail, broadcast fax, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows.

    The following Conditions for Participation will be used for each mission: Applicants must submit a completed and signed mission application and supplemental application materials, including adequate information on their products and/or services, primary market objectives, and goals for participation. If the Department of Commerce receives an incomplete application, the Department may either: Reject the application, request additional information/clarification, or take the lack of information into account when evaluating the application. If the requisite minimum number of participants is not selected for a particular mission by the recruitment deadline, the mission may be cancelled.

    Each applicant must also certify that the products and services it seeks to export through the mission are either produced in the United States, or, if not, are marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least fifty-one percent U.S. content by value. In the case of a trade association or organization, the applicant must certify that, for each firm or service provider to be represented by the association/organization, the products and/or services the represented firm or service provider seeks to export are either produced in the United States or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least 51% U.S. content.

    A trade association/organization applicant must certify to the above for all of the companies it seeks to represent on the mission.

    In addition, each applicant must:

    • Certify that the products and services that it wishes to market through the mission would be in compliance with U.S. export controls and regulations;

    • Certify that it has identified any matter pending before any bureau or office in the Department of Commerce;

    • Certify that it has identified any pending litigation (including any administrative proceedings) to which it is a party that involves the Department of Commerce; and

    • Sign and submit an agreement that it and its affiliates (1) have not and will not engage in the bribery of foreign officials in connection with a company's/participant's involvement in this mission, and (2) maintain and enforce a policy that prohibits the bribery of foreign officials.

    In the case of a trade association/organization, the applicant must certify that each firm or service provider to be represented by the association/organization can make the above certifications.

    The following Selection Criteria will be used for each mission: Targeted mission participants are U.S. firms, services providers and trade associations/organizations providing or promoting U.S. products and services that have an interest in entering or expanding their business in the mission's destination country. The following criteria will be evaluated in selecting participants:

    • Suitability of the applicant's (or in the case of a trade association/organization, represented firm or service provider's) products or services to these markets;

    • The applicant's (or in the case of a trade association/organization, represented firm or service provider's) past, present, and prospective business activity in relation to the Mission's target market(s) and sector(s);

    • The applicant's (or in the case of a trade association/organization, represented firm or service provider's) potential for business in the markets, including likelihood of exports resulting from the mission; and

    • Consistency of the applicant's (or in the case of a trade association/organization, represented firm or service provider's) goals and objectives with the stated scope of the mission.

    Referrals from a political party or partisan political group or any information, including on the application, containing references to political contributions or other partisan political activities will be excluded from the application and will not be considered during the selection process. The sender will be notified of these exclusions.

    Trade Mission Participation Fees: If and when an applicant is selected to participate on a particular mission, a payment to the Department of Commerce in the amount of the designated participation fee below is required. Upon notification of acceptance to participate, those selected have 5 business days to submit payment or the acceptance may be revoked.

    Participants selected for a trade mission will be expected to pay for the cost of personal expenses, including, but not limited to, international travel, lodging, meals, transportation, communication, and incidentals, unless otherwise noted. Participants will, however, be able to take advantage of U.S. Government rates for hotel rooms. In the event that a mission is cancelled, no personal expenses paid in anticipation of a mission will be reimbursed. However, participation fees for a cancelled mission will be reimbursed to the extent they have not already been expended in anticipation of the mission.

    If a visa is required to travel on a particular mission, applying for and obtaining such visas will be the responsibility of the mission participant. Government fees and processing expenses to obtain such visas are not included in the participation fee. However, the Department of Commerce will provide instructions to each participant on the procedures required to obtain business visas.

    Trade Mission members participate in trade missions and undertake mission-related travel at their own risk. The nature of the security situation in a given foreign market at a given time cannot be guaranteed. The U.S. Government does not make any representations or guarantees as to the safety or security of participants. The U.S. Department of State issues U.S. Government international travel alerts and warnings for U.S. citizens available at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. Any question regarding insurance coverage must be resolved by the participant and its insurer of choice.

    Definition of Small and Medium Sized Enterprise: For purposes of assessing participation fees, the Department of Commerce defines Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or that otherwise qualifies as a small business under SBA regulations (see http://www.sba.gov/services/contractingopportunities/sizestandardstopics/index.html). Parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service's user fee schedule that became effective May 1, 2008 (see http://www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/initiatives.html for additional information).

    Mission List: (additional information about each mission can be found at http://export.gov/trademissions).

    10th Annual U.S. Industry Program at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference Trade Mission to Vienna, Austria, September 18-19, 2017 Summary

    The United States Department of Commerce's (DOC) International Trade Administration (ITA), with participation from the U.S. Departments of Energy and State, is organizing the 10th Annual U.S. Industry Program at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference, to be held September 18-19, 2017, in Vienna, Austria. The IAEA General Conference is the premier global meeting of civil nuclear policymakers and typically attracts senior officials and industry representatives from all 162 Member States. The U.S. Industry Program is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC) Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative, a U.S. Government effort to help U.S. civil nuclear companies identify and capitalize on commercial civil nuclear opportunities around the world. The purpose of the program is to help the U.S. nuclear industry promote its services and technologies to an international audience, including senior energy policymakers from current and emerging markets as well as IAEA staff.

    Representatives of U.S. companies from across the U.S. civil nuclear supply chain are eligible to participate. In addition, organizations providing related services to the industry, such as universities, research institutions, and U.S. civil nuclear trade associations, are eligible for participation. The mission will help U.S. participants gain market insights, make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and identify or advance specific projects with the goal of increasing U.S. civil nuclear exports to a wide variety of countries interested in nuclear energy.

    The schedule includes: Meetings with foreign delegations and discussions with senior U.S. Government officials and IAEA staff on important civil nuclear topics including regulatory, technology and standards, liability, public acceptance, export controls, financing, infrastructure development, and R&D cooperation. Past U.S. Industry Programs have included participation by the U.S. Secretary of Energy, the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and senior U.S. Government officials from the Departments of Commerce, Energy, State, the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the National Security Council.

    There are significant opportunities for U.S. businesses in the global civil nuclear energy market. With 60 reactors currently under construction in 15 countries and 158 nuclear plant projects planned in 27 countries over the next 8-10 years, this translates to a market demand for equipment and services totaling $500-740 billion over the next ten years. This mission contributes to DOC's Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative by assisting U.S. businesses in entering or expanding in international markets.

    Schedule

    ****Note that specific events and meeting times have yet to be confirmed****

    Monday, September 18
    7:00 a.m.  Industry Program breakfast begins 8:00-9:45 a.m.  U.S. Policymakers Roundtable 9:45-10:00 a.m.  Break 10:00-11:00 a.m.  USG Dialogue with Industry 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.  IAEA Side Events 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Break 12:30-6:00 p.m.  Country Briefings for Industry Delegation (presented by foreign delegates) 7:30-9:30 p.m.  U.S. Mission to the IAEA Reception Tuesday, September 19 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.  Country Briefings for Industry (presented by foreign delegates) 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.  IAEA Side Event Meetings Participation Requirements

    Applicants must sign and submit a completed Trade Mission application form and satisfy all of the conditions of participation in order to be eligible for consideration. Applications will be evaluated on the applicant's ability to best satisfy the participation criteria.

    A minimum of 15 and maximum of 50 companies and/or trade associations and/or U.S. academic and research institutions will be selected to participate in the mission. The Department of Commerce will evaluate applications and inform applicants of selection decisions on a rolling basis until the maximum number of participants has been selected.

    Fees and Expenses

    After a company or organization has been selected to participate on the mission, a payment to the DOC in the form of a participation fee is required. The fee covers ITA support to register U.S. industry participants for the IAEA General Conference Participants will be able to take advantage of U.S. Embassy rates for hotel rooms.

    • The fee to participate in the event is $1,600 for a large company and $1,200 for a small or medium-sized company (SME), a trade association, or a U.S. university or research institution. The fee for each additional representative (large company, trade association, university/research institution, or SME) is $900.

    Participants selected for the Trade Mission will be expected to pay for the cost of all personal expenses, including, but not limited to, international travel, lodging, meals, transportation, communication, and incidentals, unless otherwise noted. In the event that the Mission is cancelled, no personal expenses paid in anticipation of a Trade Mission will be reimbursed. However, participation fees for a cancelled Trade Mission will be reimbursed to the extent they have not already been expended in the anticipation of the Mission.

    Timeline for Recruitment

    Recruitment for participation in the U.S. Industry Program as a representative of the U.S. nuclear industry will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the DOC trade mission calendar, notices to industry trade associations and other multiplier groups. Recruitment will begin 2 weeks after publication in the Federal Register and conclude no later than June 30, 2017. The ITA will review applications and make selection decisions on a rolling basis. Applications received after June 30, 2017, will be considered only if space and scheduling permit.

    Contacts Jonathan Chesebro, Industry & Analysis, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, Washington, DC, Tel: (202) 482-1297, Email: [email protected]. Devin Horne, Industry & Analysis, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, Washington, DC, Tel: (202) 482-0775, Email: [email protected]. Smart Grid and Energy Storage Business Development Mission to India, March 5-9, 2018 Summary

    The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA), is organizing an executive-led Smart Grid and Energy Storage Business Development Mission to India.

    At a time when India strives to bring modernization, stability, and efficiency to its expanding power grid, U.S. companies can offer expertise, technology and solutions to meet the demand for innovative power transmission and distribution equipment, smart grid technology, and energy storage products and services. Mission participants will have the opportunity to discuss with key Indian decision makers how to foster policies, regulations, and financial investment that support the development of a sustainable and profitable grid. Participants will network with Indian Government officials, be introduced to prospective business partners, and facilitate discussions on best practices in their areas of technical expertise.

    Mission participants will visit New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai to gain market insights, make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and advance specific projects, with the goal of increasing U.S. exports of products and services to India. The mission will include customized one-on-one business appointments, meetings with state and local government officials, and networking events. In New Delhi, mission participants will have special access to the India Smart Grid Week conference, which will entail matchmaking and networking with utilities and officials visiting New Delhi from other states/regions.

    Proposed Timetable

    * Note: The final schedule and potential site visits will depend on the availability of host government and business officials, specific goals of mission participants, and ground transportation.

    Sunday, March 4 • Trade Mission Participants Arrive to New Delhi. Monday, March 5 • Welcome Breakfast Briefing.
  • • U.S. Embassy Briefing with Energy Agencies.
  • • Site Visit to Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd/Energy Storage Facility.
  • • Networking Lunch with Industry Chamber Membership.
  • • B2G Ministry Meetings/National Power Generation Co/National Grid Co.
  • • G2G Ministry Meetings in New Delhi.
  • • Networking Reception at Ambassador's Residence.
  • Tuesday, March 6 • India Smart Grid Week Inauguration/Keynote by USG Executive Lead.
  • • Networking Lunch.
  • • One-on-One Business Matchmaking Appointments.
  • • India Smart Grid Week Conference.
  • Wednesday, March 7 • India Smart Grid Week Conference.
  • • U.S.-India Smart Grid Workshop (Finance, Standards, etc).
  • • Invitational Lunch with Regional Utilities.
  • • One-on-One Business Matchmaking Appointments.
  • • Travel to Hyderabad.
  • Thursday, March 8 • Breakfast Briefing with U.S. Consul General Hyderabad.
  • • Group Meeting with State of Telangana, Energy Officials.
  • • Site Visit to Telangana Distribution Company.
  • • Networking Lunch with Industry Chamber/Regional Utilities.
  • • One-on-One Business Matchmaking Appointments.
  • • Travel to Mumbai.
  • Friday, March 9 • Briefing with U.S. Consul General Mumbai.
  • • Energy Finance Roundtable with Financial Institutions.
  • • Meeting with State of Maharastra, Energy Officials.
  • • Networking Lunch with Industry Chamber.
  • • One-on-One Business Matchmaking Appointments.
  • • Closing Remarks/Networking Cocktail.
  • • Trade Mission Participants Depart.
  • Participation Requirements

    Applicants must sign and submit a completed Trade Mission application form and satisfy all of the conditions of participation in order to be eligible for consideration. A minimum of 10 and maximum of 15 firms and/or trade associations will be selected to participate in the mission.

    Fees and Expenses

    After a firm or trade association has been selected to participate on the mission, a payment to the U.S. Department of Commerce in the form of a participation fee is required. The participation fee for this Business Development Mission will be $5,800 for small or medium-sized enterprises (SME) 1 ; and $6,300 for large firms or trade associations. The fee for each additional firm representative (large firm, SME or trade association) is $500.

    1 An SME is defined as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or that otherwise qualifies as a small business under SBA regulations (see http://www.sba.gov/services/contractingopportunities/sizestandardstopics/index.html). Parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service's user fee schedule that became effective May 1, 2008 (see http://www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/initiatives.html for additional information).

    Participants selected for the Trade Mission will be expected to pay for the cost of all personal expenses, but not limited to, international travel, lodging, meals, transportation, communication, and incidentals, unless otherwise noted. In the event that the Mission is cancelled, no personal expenses paid in anticipation of the Trade Mission will be reimbursed. However, participation fees for a cancelled Trade Mission will be reimbursed to the extent they have not already been expended in anticipation of the Mission. Delegation members will be able to take advantage of U.S. Embassy rates for hotel room package, which typically includes breakfast and airport-hotel transfers. Local ground transportation within New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai for meetings and events will be provided for the group.

    Participation in the India Smart Grid Week 2018 conference and networking lunches are included in the Trade Mission fee. Companies interested in opportunities for sponsoring, speaking, or exhibiting at India Smart Grid Week 2018 may contact the show organizers directly.

    Participants must obtain a visa to enter India. Government fees and processing expenses to obtain visas are not included in the mission costs. The U.S. Department of Commerce will provide instructions to each participant on the procedures to obtain the required visas.

    Trade mission members participate in this Business Development Mission and undertake mission-related travel at their own risk. The nature of a security situation in a given foreign market at a given time cannot be guaranteed. The U.S. Government does not make any representations or guarantees as to the safety or security of participants. The U.S. Department of State issues U.S. Government international travel alerts and warnings for U.S. citizens, available at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. Any question regarding insurance coverage must be resolved by the participant and his/her insurers of choice.

    Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the U.S. Department of Commerce trade mission calendar (http://export.gov/trademissions) and other Internet Web sites, press releases to general and trade media, direct mail, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows. Recruitment for the mission will begin immediately and conclude no later than December 12, 2017.

    The Department of Commerce will evaluate applications and inform applicants of selection decisions three times during the recruitment period. All applications received subsequent to an evaluation date will be considered at the next evaluation. Deadlines for each round of evaluation are as follows:

    First round: July 28 Second round: September 28 Final round: December 12

    Applications received after December 12, 2017, will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

    Contacts Dinah McDougall, Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy New Delhi, U.S. Department of Commerce, Tel: +91-11-2347-2192, Fax: +91-11-2331-5172, Email: [email protected]. Victoria Gunderson, International Trade Specialist, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, [email protected], Office: +1-202-482-7890, Mobile: +1-202-839-0000. David Nufrio, International Trade Specialist, Office of South Asia, U.S. Department of Commerce, Phone: 202-482-5175, Email: [email protected]. Shannon Fraser, Global Energy Team, U.S. Commercial Service—San Jose/Silicon Valley, U.S. Department of Commerce, Email: [email protected], Cell: 408-335-8979. Mark Wells, Project Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC, Tel: 202-482-0904, Email: [email protected]. Horizontal Trade Mission to the Caribbean Region in Conjunction With the Trade Americas—Business Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference—May 6-11, 2018 Summary

    The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, is organizing a trade mission to the Caribbean region, in conjunction with the Department of Commerce's Trade Americas—Business Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference in Miami, Florida. Trade mission participants will arrive in Miami on May 6, and will attend the Trade Americas—Business Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference on May 6th and 7th. On May 7th, following the morning session of the conference, trade mission participants will participate in one-on-one consultations with U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) Commercial Officers and/or Economic/Commercial Officers from the following U.S. Embassies in the Caribbean region: The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. The following day, May 8, trade mission participants will travel to engage in business-to-business appointments, each of which will be with a pre-screened potential buyer, agent, distributor or joint-venture partner, in up-to two markets in the Caribbean Region.

    The Department of Commerce's Trade Americas—Business Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference will focus on regional specific sessions, market access, logistics and trade financing resources as well as pre-arranged one-one-one consultations with US&FCS Commercial Officers and/or Department of State Economic/Commercial Officers with expertise in commercial markets throughout the region.

    The mission is open to U.S. companies from a cross section of industries with growing potential in the Caribbean region, but is focused on U.S. companies in best prospects sectors such as Automotive Parts and Services, Construction Equipment/Road Building Machinery/Building Products/Infrastructure projects, Medical Equipment and Devices/Pharmaceuticals, ICT, Energy Equipment and Services, Safety and Security Equipment, Hotel and Restaurant Equipment, Franchise, Manufacturing Equipment, Yachting industry/Maritime services/Sailing Equipment.

    The combination of participation in the Trade Americas—Business Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference and business-to-business matchmaking appointments in six Caribbean countries, will provide participants with access to substantive information about and strategies for entering or expanding their business across the Caribbean region.

    Schedule May 6, 2018 Travel Day/Arrival in Miami, FL. May 7, 2018 Miami, FL.
  • Morning: Registration and Trade Americas—Business Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference.
  • Afternoon: U.S. Embassy Officer Consultations.
  • Evening: Networking Reception.
  • Optional May 8-11, 2018 Travel and Business-to-Business Meetings in (choice of two markets):
  • Option (A) Dominican Republic.
  • Option (B) Bahamas.
  • Option (C) Barbados.
  • Option (D) Haiti.
  • Option (E) Jamaica.
  • Option (F) Trinidad and Tobago.
  • May 12, 2018 Travel Day.
    Participation Requirements

    All applicants must sign and submit a completed Trade Mission application form and satisfy all of the conditions of participation in order to be eligible for consideration. Applications will be evaluated on the applicant's ability to best satisfy the participation criteria.

    A minimum of 20 and a maximum of 30 companies will be selected to participate in the mission. The Department of Commerce will evaluate applications and inform applicants of selection decisions on a rolling basis until the maximum number of participants has been selected. During the registration process, applicants will indicate their markets of choice and will receive a brief market assessment for each of those markets. Applicants can select up-to two markets based on the selection criteria below. Companies that received favorable market opportunities in various markets may be able to participate in business-to-business meetings in a third market, if that post can accommodate those meetings. The number of companies that may be selected for each country are as follows: 20 companies for Dominican Republic, 3 companies for the Bahamas; 3 companies for Barbados; 4 companies for Haiti; 3 companies for Jamaica; and 3 companies for Trinidad and Tobago. U.S. companies already doing business in, or seeking to enter these markets for the first time may apply.

    Fees and Expenses

    After a company has been selected to participate on the mission, a payment to the Department of Commerce in the form of a participation fee is required.

    For business-to-business meetings in one market, the participation fee will be $2,100 for a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) * and $3,100 for large firms *.

    For business-to-business meetings in two markets, the participation fee will be $2,800 for a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) 2  * and $3,800 for large firms *.

    2 An SME is defined as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or that otherwise qualifies as a small business under SBA regulations (see http://www.sba.gov/services/contractingopportunities/sizestandardstopics/index.html). Parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service's user fee schedule that became effective May 1, 2008 (see http://www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/initiatives.html for additional information).

    The mission registration fee includes the Trade Americas—Business Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference registration fee of $400 per participant from each firm.

    There will be a $200 fee for each additional firm representative (large firm or SME) that wishes to participate in business-to-business meetings in any of the markets selected.

    Participants selected for the Trade Mission will be expected to pay for the cost of all personal expenses, including, but not limited to, international travel, lodging, meals, transportation, communication, and incidentals, unless otherwise noted. In the event that the Mission is cancelled, no personal expenses paid in anticipation of a Trade Mission will be reimbursed. However, participation fees for a cancelled Trade Mission will be reimbursed to the extent they have not already been expended in the anticipation of the Mission.

    Timeframe for Recruitment and Application

    Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the Commerce Department trade mission calendar on www.export.gov, the Trade Americas Web page at http://export.gov/tradeamericas/index.asp, and other Internet Web sites, press releases to the general and trade media, direct mail and broadcast fax, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups and announcements at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows.

    Recruitment for the mission will begin immediately and conclude no later than Friday, March 16, 2018. The U.S. Department of Commerce will review applications and make selection decisions on a rolling basis until the maximum of 30 participants are selected. After March 16, 2018, companies will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

    Contacts U.S. Trade Americas Team Contact Information Diego Gattesco, Director, U.S. Commercial Service—Wheeling, WV, [email protected], Tel: 304-243-5493. Delia Valdivia, Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service—Los Angeles (West), CA, [email protected], Tel: 310-235-7203. Caribbean Region Contact Information David McNeill, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Commercial Service—U.S. Embassy, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, [email protected]. Maria Elena Portorreal, Regional Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service—U.S. Embassy, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, [email protected]. Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Rio De Janiero, Brazil—September 19-21, 2018 Summary

    The United States Department of Commerce International Trade Administration's (ITA) is organizing an Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 19-21, 2018.

    The Trade Mission offers a timely and cost-effective means for U.S. firms to engage with key stakeholders and to enter the promising Brazilian oil and gas market for oil and gas equipment, technology, and services. The delegation will be comprised of at least 10 U.S. firms and a maximum of 15 U.S. firms representing a cross-section of U.S. oil and gas segments that have developed products and services for subsea (deep water) and onshore, oil and gas exploration and production U.S. oil and gas operators and representatives of U.S. oil and gas trade associations may also apply to be part of the 10-15 total participants.

    Schedule Tuesday, Sep 18, 2018 • Delegation arrives in Rio.
  • • Welcome lunch at hotel restaurant.
  • • Afternoon free.
  • Wednesday, Sep 19, 2018 • Country Team Briefing at U.S. Consulate General Rio de Janeiro by Brazil Mission team. Topics: Brazil's economy, commercial environment, investment climate, IP issues, etc.
  • • Commercial & Legal Briefing by key industry players and a Law Office. Topics: Oil and Gas Opportunities in Brazil/Understanding Petrobras Tenders.
  • • Lunch with the Brazilian Speakers of the Commercial/Legal Briefing.
  • • One group meeting with Petrobras (U.S. companies to make presentations to Petrobras).
  • • Welcome cocktail Reception.
  • Thursday, Sep 20, 2018 • U.S. companies individual business-to-business appointments at the Brazilian company's offices. Friday, Sep 21, 2018 • Site visit to a U.S. OEM (e.g.: Oceaneering or GE Wellstream—TBD).
  • • Mission participants lunch.
  • • One group meeting with another oil company (e.g.: Shell—TBD).
  • • Evening Departure (**).
  • (**) As an option, trade mission participants may stay over the weekend and attend at least one day of the Rio Oil and Gas Trade Show that will take place from September 24-27, 2018. There is no additional costs to the participation fee for the optional trade show participation. There is free transportation offered by the show organizers to and from the conference grounds. All additional costs that TM participants will have do not apply to the TM participation fee.
    Participation Requirements

    Recruitment for the mission will begin immediately and conclude no later than July 30, 2018. All parties interested in participating in the trade mission must complete and submit an application package for consideration by the Department of Commerce. All applications must be submitted before July 30, 2018. The Department of Commerce will evaluate all applications and inform applicants of selection decisions as soon as possible after this application deadline.

    Applications received after July 30, 2018, will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

    Fees and Expenses

    After a company or organization has been selected to participate in the mission, a payment to the Department of Commerce in the form of a participation fee is required. The participation fee for the Trade Mission will be $2,010 for a small or medium-sized firm (SME), and $2,320 for large firms. The fee for each additional firm representative (large firm or SME/trade organization) is USD $750.00.

    Participants selected for the Trade Mission will be expected to pay for the cost of all personal expenses, including, but not limited to, international travel, lodging, meals, transportation, communication, and incidentals, unless otherwise noted. In the event that the Mission is cancelled, no personal expenses paid in anticipation of a Trade Mission will be reimbursed. However, participation fees for a cancelled Trade Mission will be reimbursed to the extent they have not already been expended in the anticipation of the Mission.

    Participants will be able to take advantage of U.S. Government rates for hotel rooms. Business or entry visas may be required to participate in the mission. Applying for and obtaining such visas will be the responsibility of the mission participant. Government fees and processing expenses to obtain such visas are not included in the participation fee. However, the Department of Commerce will provide instructions to each participant on the procedures required to obtain necessary business visas.

    Timeframe for Recruitment and Application

    Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the Commerce Department trade mission calendar (http://export.gov/trademissions) and other Internet Web sites, press releases to general and trade media, direct mail, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows.

    Recruitment for the mission will begin immediately and conclude no later than July 30, 2018. Applications received after July 30, 2018, will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

    Contacts Regina Cunha, Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce, Address: U.S. Consulate General. Avenida Presidente Wilson 147. Centro, Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. Tel.: # +55 21 38232416, Email: [email protected]. Rodrigo Correa, Commercial Assistant, U.S. Department of Commerce, Address: U.S. Consulate General. Avenida Presidente Wilson 147. Centro, Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. Tel.: # +55 21 38232406, Email: [email protected]. Stefan Popescu, Commercial Specialist, CS Toronto, Tel: 1 416-595-5412 x223, [email protected]. Connie Irrera, Commercial Specialist, CS Montreal, Tel: 1 514-908-3662, [email protected]. Julius Svoboda, Senior Oil & Gas Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce, Address: 1401 Constitution Ave., Tel.: +1-202-482-5430, Email: [email protected]. Frank Spector, Senior Advisor for Trade Missions.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16082 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration Multistakeholder Process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching AGENCY:

    National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will convene a meeting of a multistakeholder process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching on September 12, 2017.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on September 12, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for details.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the American Institute of Architects, 1735 New York Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20006.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Allan Friedman, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4725, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4281; email: [email protected] Please direct media inquiries to NTIA's Office of Public Affairs: (202) 482-7002; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: In March of 2015 the National Telecommunications and Information Administration issued a Request for Comment to “identify substantive cybersecurity issues that affect the digital ecosystem and digital economic growth where broad consensus, coordinated action, and the development of best practices could substantially improve security for organizations and consumers.” 1 We received comments from a range of stakeholders, including trade associations, large companies, cybersecurity startups, civil society organizations and independent computer security experts.2 The comments recommended a diverse set of issues that might be addressed through the multistakeholder process, including cybersecurity policy and practice in the emerging area of Internet of Things (IoT).

    1 U.S. Department of Commerce, Internet Policy Task Force, Request for Public Comment, Stakeholder Engagement on Cybersecurity in the Digital Ecosystem, 80 FR 14360, Docket No. 150312253-5253-01 (Mar. 19, 2015), available at: https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/cybersecurity_rfc_03192015.pdf.

    2 NTIA has posted the public comments received at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2015/comments-stakeholder-engagement-cybersecurity-digital-ecosystem.

    In a separate but related matter in April 2016, NTIA, the Department's Internet Policy Task Force, and its Digital Economy Leadership Team sought comments on the benefits, challenges, and potential roles for the government in fostering the advancement of the Internet of Things.” 3 Over 130 stakeholders responded with comments addressing many substantive issues and opportunities related to IoT.4 Security was one of the most common topics raised. Many commenters emphasized the need for a secure lifecycle approach to IoT devices that considers the development, maintenance, and end-of-life phases and decisions for a device.

    3 U.S. Department of Commerce, Internet Policy Task Force, Request for Public Comment, Benefits, Challenges, and Potential Roles for the Government in Fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things, 81 FR 19956, Docket No 160331306-6306-01 (April 5, 2016), available at: https://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2016/rfc-potential-roles-government-fostering-advancement-internet-of-things.

    4 NTIA has posted the public comments received at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2016/comments-potential-roles-government-fostering-advancement-internet-of-things.

    After reviewing these comments, NTIA announced that the next multistakeholder process on cybersecurity would be on IoT security upgradability and patching.5 The first meeting of a multistakeholder process on this topic was held on October 19, 2016.6 Subsequent meetings were held on January 31, 2017,7 April 26, 2017,8 and July 18, 2017.9

    5 NTIA, Increasing the Potential of IoT through Security and Transparency (Aug. 2, 2016), available at: https://www.ntia.doc.gov/blog/2016/increasing-potential-iot-through-security-and-transparency.

    6 NTIA, Notice of Multistakeholder Process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching Open Meeting (Sept. 15, 2016), available at: https://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2016/10192016-meeting-notice-msp-iot-security-upgradability-patching.

    7 NTIA, Notice of 01/31/2017 Meeting of the Multistakeholder Process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching (January 11, 2017), available at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2017/notice-01312017-meeting-multistakeholder-process-internet-things.

    8 NTIA, Notice of 04/26/2017 Meeting of the Multistakeholder Process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching, available at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2017/notice-04262017-meeting-multistakeholder-process-internet-things.

    9 NTIA, Notice of 07/18/2017 Meeting of the Multistakeholder Process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching, available at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register/2017/notice-07182017-iot-security-virtual-meeting.

    The matter of patching vulnerable systems is now an accepted part of cybersecurity.10 Unaddressed technical flaws in systems leave the users of software and systems at risk. The nature of these risks varies, and mitigating these risks requires various efforts from the developers and owners of these systems. One of the more common means of mitigation is for the developer or other maintaining party to issue a security patch to address the vulnerability. Patching has become more commonly accepted, even for consumers, as more operating systems and applications shift to visible reminders and automated updates. Yet as one security expert notes, this evolution of the software industry has yet to become the dominant model in IoT.11

    10See, e.g. Murugiah Souppaya and Karen Scarfone, Guide to Enterprise Patch Management Technologies, Special Publication 800-40 Revision 3, National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST SP 800-40 (2013) available at: http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-40r3.pdf.

    11 Bruce Schneier, The Internet of Things Is Wildly Insecure—And Often Unpatchable, Wired (Jan. 6, 2014) available at: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/01/security_risks_9.html.

    To help realize the full innovative potential of IoT, users need reasonable assurance that connected devices, embedded systems, and their applications will be secure. A key part of that security is the mitigation of potential security vulnerabilities in IoT devices or applications through patching and security upgrades.

    The ultimate objective of the multistakeholder process is to foster a market offering more devices and systems that support security upgrades through increased consumer awareness and understanding. Enabling a thriving market for patchable IoT requires common definitions so that manufacturers and solution providers have shared visions for security, and consumers know what they are purchasing. Currently, no such common, widely accepted definitions exist, so many manufacturers struggle to effectively communicate to consumers the security features of their devices. This is detrimental to the digital ecosystem as a whole, as it does not reward companies that invest in patching and it prevents consumers from making informed purchasing choices.

    Stakeholders have identified four distinct work streams that could help foster better security across the ecosystem, and focused their efforts in four working groups addressing both technical and policy issues.12 The main objectives of the September 12, 2017, meeting are to discuss stakeholder comments on draft working group documents, and, where possible, to finalize working group documents. More information about stakeholders' work is available at: https://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2016/multistakeholder-process-iot-security.

    12 Documents shared by working group stakeholders are available at: https://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2016/multistakeholder-process-iot-security.

    Time and Date: NTIA will convene a meeting of the multistakeholder process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching on September 12, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The meeting date and time are subject to change. Please refer to NTIA's Web site, https://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2016/multistakeholder-process-iot-security, for the most current information.

    Place: The meeting will be held at the American Institute of Architects, 1735 New York Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20006. The location of the meeting is subject to change. Please refer to NTIA's Web site, https://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2016/multistakeholder-process-iot-security, for the most current information.

    Other Information: The meeting is open to the public and the press. The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Allan Friedman at (202) 482-4281 or [email protected] at least seven (7) business days prior to the meeting. The meeting will also be webcast. Requests for real-time captioning of the webcast or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Allan Friedman at (202) 482-4281 or [email protected] at least seven (7) business days prior to the meeting. There will be an opportunity for stakeholders viewing the webcast to participate remotely in the meeting through a moderated conference bridge, including polling functionality. Access details for the meeting are subject to change. Please refer to NTIA's Web site, https://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2016/multistakeholder-process-iot-security, for the most current information.

    Dated: July 27, 2017. Kathy D. Smith, Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16155 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-60-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration Community Broadband Workshop AGENCY:

    National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), through the BroadbandUSA program, will hold a Technical Assistance Workshop to share information and help communities build their broadband capacity and utilization. The workshop will present in-depth sessions on planning and funding broadband infrastructure projects. The session on planning will explore effective business and partnership models. The session on funding will explore available funding options and models, including federal funding.

    DATES:

    The Technical Assistance Workshop will be held on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in Charleston, West Virginia at the Law Firm of Jackson Kelly PLLC, 500 Lee Street East, Suite 1600, Rooms A and B, Charleston, WV 25301.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Giselle Sanders, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 4889, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-7971; email: [email protected] Please direct media inquiries to NTIA's Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482-7002; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NTIA's BroadbandUSA program provides expert advice and field-proven tools for assessing broadband adoption, planning new infrastructure, and engaging a wide range of partners in broadband projects. BroadbandUSA convenes workshops on a regular basis to bring stakeholders together to discuss ways to improve broadband policies, share best practices, and connect communities to other federal agencies and funding sources for the purpose of expanding broadband infrastructure and adoption throughout America's communities. The Charleston workshop will explore two specific topics for broadband infrastructure: Planning and funding.

    The Charleston workshop will feature subject matter experts from NTIA's BroadbandUSA broadband program. The first session will explore key elements required for planning successful broadband projects. The second session will explore funding models, including federal programs that fund broadband infrastructure projects.

    The Charleston workshop will be open to the public. Pre-registration is requested, and space is limited. NTIA will ask registrants to provide their first and last names and email addresses for both registration purposes and to receive any updates on the workshop. If capacity for the meeting is reached, NTIA will maintain a waiting list and will inform those on the waiting list if space becomes available. Meeting updates, changes in the agenda, if any, and relevant documents will also be available on NTIA's Web site at https://www2.ntia.doc.gov/notice-09192017-workshop.

    The public meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodations, such as language interpretation or other ancillary aids, are asked to notify Giselle Sanders at the contact information listed above at least five (5) business days before the meeting.

    Dated: July 27, 2017. Kathy D. Smith, Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16154 Filed 7-31-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-60-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before August 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in OMB within 30 days of this notice's publication by either of the following methods. Please identify the comments by “OMB Control No. 3038-0081”.

    By email addressed to: [email protected] or

    By mail addressed to: the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503.

    A copy of all comments submitted to OIRA should be sent to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “Commission”) by either of the following methods. The copies should refer to “OMB Control No. 3038-0081”.

    By mail addressed to: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581;

    By Hand Delivery/Courier to the same address; or

    • Through the Commission's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    A copy of the supporting statement for the collection of information discussed herein may be obtained by visiting http://RegInfo.gov.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1 The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the ICR will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    1 17 CFR 145.9.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Wasserman, Chief Counsel, Division of Clearing and Risk, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5092; email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0081.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Derivatives Clearing Organizations, General Regulations and International Standards; OMB Control No. 3038-0081. This is a request for extension of a currently approved OMB Control No. containing two information collections consolidated into OMB Control No. 3038-0081.

    Derivatives Clearing Organization General Provisions and Core Principles. 2 Section 725(c) of the Dodd-Frank Act amended Section 5b(c)(2) of the CEA to allow the Commission to establish regulatory standards for compliance with the DCO core principles. Accordingly, the Commission adopted a final rule to set specific standards for compliance with DCO Core Principles.3 The DCO Final Rule requires the appointment of a CCO, the filing of an annual report and adherence to certain recordkeeping requirements.4 The information collected pursuant to those regulations is necessary for the Commission to evaluate whether DCOs are complying with Commission regulations.

    2 The 60-day Federal Register notice, 82 FR 24688, May 30, 2017, identified this information collection as “Annual report provided for in Derivatives Clearing Organization General Provisions and Core Principles.”

    3See Derivatives Clearing Organization General Provisions and Core Principles, 76 FR 69334 (November 8, 2011) (DCO Final Rule).

    4 These DCO recordkeeping requirements and associated costs are captured in separate proposed rulemakings under separate OMB Control Nos.; specifically, see Risk Management Requirements for Derivatives Clearing Organizations; 76 FR 3698 (Jan. 20, 2011)(OMB Control No. 3038-0076); Information Management Requirements for Derivatives Clearing Organizations, 75 FR 78185 (Dec. 15, 2010)) (OMB Control No. 3038-0069); and Financial Resources requirements for Derivatives Clearing Organizations, 75 FR 63113 (Oct. 14, 2010)(OMB Control No. 3038-0066).

    Derivatives Clearing Organizations and International Standards. 5 In the SIDCO-Subpart C DCO Final Rule, the Commission adopted amendments to its regulations to establish additional standards for compliance with the DCO core principles set forth in Section 5b(c)(2) of the CEA for systemically important DCOs (“SIDCOs”) and DCOs that elect to opt-in to the SIDCO regulatory requirements (“Subpart C DCOs”) which are consistent with certain international standards.6 Specifically, the additional requirements address any remaining gaps between the Commission's existing regulations and the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures (“PFMI”) published by the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

    5 The 60-day Federal Register notice, 82 FR 24688, May 30, 2017, identified this information collection as Subpart C Election Form and other reporting and recordkeeping requirements provided for in subpart C, part 39 of the Commission Regulations.

    6See Derivatives Clearing Organizations and International Standards, 78 FR 72476 (December 2, 2013) (SIDCO-Subpart C DCO Final Rule).

    The SIDCO-Subpart C DCO Final Rule also established the process whereby DCO and DCO applicants, respectively, may elect to become Subpart C DCOs subject to the provisions of Subpart C. The election involves filing the Subpart C Election Form contained in appendix B to part 39 of the Commission's regulations, which involves completing certifications, providing exhibits, and drafting and publishing responses to the PFMI Disclosure Framework and PFMI Quantitative Information Disclosure, as applicable. Additionally, the SIDCO-Subpart C DCO Final Rule provides for Commission requests for supplemental information from those requesting Subpart C DCO status; requires amendments to the Subpart C Election Form in the event that a DCO or DCO Applicant, respectively, discovers a material omission or error in, or if there is a material change in, the information provided in the Subpart C Election Form; to submit a notice of withdrawal to the Commission in the event the DCO or DCO applicant determines not to seek Subpart C DCO status prior to such status becoming effective; and procedures by which a Subpart C DCO may rescind its Subpart C DCO status after it has been permitted to take effect. Further, each of these requirements implies recordkeeping that would be produced by a DCO to the Commission on an occasional basis to demonstrate compliance with the rules. The information that would be collected under the SIDCO-Subpart C DCO Final Rule, part 39 of the Commission Regulations, is necessary for the Commission to determine whether a DCO meets the Subpart C DCO standards and is likely to be able to maintain compliance with such standards; to evaluate whether SIDCOs and Subpart C DCOs are complying with Commission regulations; and to perform risk analyses with respect to SIDCOs and Subpart C DCOs.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. On May 30, 2017, the Commission published in the Federal Register notice of the proposed extension of this information collection and provided 60 days for public comment on the proposed extension, 82 FR 24688 (“60-Day Notice”).

    Burden Statement: The Commission is not revising its estimate of the burden for this collection. The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to be as follows:

    Estimated Number of Respondents: With respect to the DCO Final Rule, the estimated number of respondents is 12. With respect to the SIDCO-Subpart C DCO Rule, the estimated number of respondents is 7.

    Estimated Average Burden Hours Per Respondent: With respect to the DCO Final Rule, the estimated average burden hours is 80. With respect to the SIDCO-Subpart C DCO Rule, the estimated average burden hours is 2,502.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: With respect to the DCO Final Rule, the total annual burden hours is estimated to be 960. With respect to the SIDCO-Subpart C DCO Rule, the total annual burden hours is estimated to be 17,512.

    Frequency of Collection: With respect to the DCO Final Rule, the estimated frequency of collection is annual. With respect to the SIDCO-Subpart C DCO Rule, the frequency of collection is annual and occasional.

    The total annual time burden for all respondents is estimated to be 18,472 hours.

    See Appendix A for an individual breakdown for burden for annual reports provided for in Derivatives Clearing Organization General Provisions and Core Principles.

    See Appendix B for an individual breakdown for burden for Derivatives Clearing Organizations and International Standards (Subpart C Election Form and other reporting and recordkeeping requirements provided for in subpart C, part 39 of the Commission Regulations).

    There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: July, 25, 2017. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission. Note:

    The following appendices will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Appendix A—Derivatives Clearing Organization General Provisions and Core Principles OMB Collection 3038-0081.

    The regulations under this final rulemaking require DCOs to report information to the Commission on an annual basis but allow the Commission to collect information at other times as necessary.

    Annual Reporting Requirements For Derivatives Clearing Organizations Estimated number of respondents per year Reports
  • annually
  • by each
  • respondent
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Estimated
  • average
  • number of hours
  • per response
  • Estimated
  • total
  • number of
  • hours of
  • annual
  • burden in
  • fiscal year
  • (maximum:
  • 12×80)
  • 12 1 12 40-80 480-960
    Appendix B—Subpart C Election Form and Other Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Provided for in Subpart C, Part 39 of the Commission Regulations OMB Collection 3038-0081 SIDCO/Subpart C DCO Regulations—Reporting Collection Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents
  • per year
  • Reports
  • annually
  • by each
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Estimated
  • average
  • number of
  • hours per
  • response
  • Estimated
  • total
  • number
  • of hours
  • of annual
  • burden in
  • fiscal year
  • Certifications—Subpart C Election Form 5 1 5 25 125 Exhibits A thru G—Subpart C Election Form 5 1 5 155 775 Disclosure Framework Responses 5 1 5 200 1,000 Quantitative Information Disclosures 5 1 5 80 400 Supplemental Information 5 5 25 45 1,125 Amendments to Subpart C Election Form 5 3 15 8 120 Withdrawal Notices 1 1 1 2 2 Rescission Notices 1 75 75 3 225 Written Governance Arrangements 7 1 7 200 1,400 Governance Disclosures 7 6 42 3 126 Financial and Liquidity Resource Documentation 7 1 7 120 840 Stress Test Results 7 16 112 14 1,568 Disclosure Framework Requirements (SIDCOs Only) 2 1 2 200 400 Disclosure Framework Requirements (Both) 7 1 7 80 560 Quantitative Information Disclosures (SIDCOs Only) 2 1 2 80 160 Quantitative Information Disclosures (Both) 7 1 7 35 245 Transaction, Segregation, Portability Disclosures 7 2 14 35 490 Efficiency and Effectiveness Review 7 1 7 3 21 Recovery and Wind-Down Plan 7 1 7 480 3,360 Totals 120 350 1,768 12,942
    SIDCO/Subpart C DCO Regulations—Recordkeeping Collection Estimated
  • number of
  • recordkeepers
  • per year
  • Records to
  • be kept
  • annually
  • by each
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Estimated
  • average
  • number of
  • hours
  • per record
  • Estimated
  • total
  • number of
  • hours of
  • annual
  • burden in
  • fiscal year
  • Generally 5 82 410 1 2,050 Liquidity Resource Due Diligence