Federal Register Vol. 82, No.153,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 153 (August 10, 2017)

Page Range37295-37510
FR Document

82_FR_153
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 37470 - Sunshine Act Meetings; National Science BoardPDF
82 FR 37449 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
82 FR 37470 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
82 FR 37296 - Airworthiness Directives; Lycoming Engines Reciprocating EnginesPDF
82 FR 37472 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use on Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.'s Options PlatformPDF
82 FR 37396 - Delaware: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program RevisionsPDF
82 FR 37319 - Delaware: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program RevisionsPDF
82 FR 37389 - Air Plan Approval; South Carolina; Cross-State Air Pollution RulePDF
82 FR 37318 - Withdrawal of Extension of Deadline for Promulgating Designations for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
82 FR 37426 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16609-01PDF
82 FR 37449 - Coronet Industries, Inc. Plant City, Hillsborough County, Florida; Notice of Amendment to Federal Register NoticePDF
82 FR 37450 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 37443 - Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Scientific Advisory Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 37295 - Educational Meeting on the Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived From Such Fish Final Rule ImplementationPDF
82 FR 37441 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Amendment 43PDF
82 FR 37465 - Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate From India, Indonesia, and Korea; Scheduling of Full Five-Year ReviewsPDF
82 FR 37453 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 37458 - Medical Imaging Drugs Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting; Establishment of a Public Docket; Request for CommentsPDF
82 FR 37468 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
82 FR 37397 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on the Proposed Endangered Status for Texas Hornshell (Popenaias popeii)PDF
82 FR 37418 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 37468 - Applied Sciences Advisory Committee; MeetingPDF
82 FR 37449 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10517-Hometown National Bank Longview, WashingtonPDF
82 FR 37444 - Amended Application for Presidential Permit; Nogales Interconnection ProjectPDF
82 FR 37426 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to US 101/Chehalis River Bridge-Scour Repair in Washington StatePDF
82 FR 37445 - Bonneville Power Administration; Notice of FilingPDF
82 FR 37448 - Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P, Brazoria Interconnector Gas Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Stratton Ridge Expansion ProjectPDF
82 FR 37447 - Rover Pipeline LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Majorsville Compressor Station Amendment and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
82 FR 37446 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 37424 - 2018 End-to-End Census Test-Address Canvassing OperationPDF
82 FR 37425 - Certain Steel Nails From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Results of Administrative Review and Notice of Amended Final Results Pursuant to Court DecisionPDF
82 FR 37508 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension of an Approved Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
82 FR 37463 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0019PDF
82 FR 37462 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0073PDF
82 FR 37461 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0078PDF
82 FR 37464 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0102PDF
82 FR 37486 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
82 FR 37440 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 37438 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 37442 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 37438 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 37439 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingsPDF
82 FR 37439 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingPDF
82 FR 37504 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
82 FR 37502 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
82 FR 37499 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
82 FR 37503 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
82 FR 37498 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; DiabetesPDF
82 FR 37454 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 37485 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “The Metropolis in Latin America, 1830-1930” ExhibitionPDF
82 FR 37451 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
82 FR 37485 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: J-1 Visa Waiver Recommendation ApplicationPDF
82 FR 37359 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Small-Mesh Multispecies Fishery; Adjustment to the Northern Red Hake Inseason Possession LimitPDF
82 FR 37354 - Channel Sharing RulesPDF
82 FR 37299 - Safety Zones; Recurring Events in Captain of the Port Duluth Zone-Superior Man TriathlonPDF
82 FR 37461 - Certificate of Alternative Compliance for Viking Yacht Company's 92C Enclosed Bridge Yacht, HIN: VKY92111I617PDF
82 FR 37453 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 37465 - Certain Intravascular Administration Sets and Components Thereof; Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order Against the Respondent Found in Default; Termination of the InvestigationPDF
82 FR 37442 - Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Scientific Advisory Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
82 FR 37459 - Extension of Certain Tobacco Product Compliance Deadlines Related to the Final Deeming Rule; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 37423 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Oregon Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 37423 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 37421 - Proposed Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
82 FR 37467 - Standard on the Mechanical Power Presses; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) RequirementsPDF
82 FR 37472 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 37472 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 37418 - Notice of Determination of the Classical Swine Fever, Swine Vesicular Disease, African Swine Fever, Foot-and-Mouth Disease, and Rinderpest Status of MaltaPDF
82 FR 37484 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Make Available a New TRACE Security Activity ReportPDF
82 FR 37474 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Investors Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 2, Relating to Auctions in IEX-Listed Securities, Dissemination of Auction-Related Market Data, and Trading Halts and PausesPDF
82 FR 37479 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Regarding Qualified Contingent Trades and Related Information Recording Obligations by Certain ParticipantsPDF
82 FR 37456 - Qualification of Medical Device Development Tools; Guidance for Industry, Tool Developers, and Food and Drug Administration Staff; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 37371 - Air Plan Approval; North Carolina; Interstate TransportPDF
82 FR 37299 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Norwalk River, Norwalk, CTPDF
82 FR 37305 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; District of Columbia; Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report State Implementation PlanPDF
82 FR 37384 - Air Plan Approval; Florida; Interstate Transport (Prongs 1 and 2) for the 2010 1-Hour NO2PDF
82 FR 37375 - Air Plan Approval; KY; Miscellaneous Source Specific Revisions for Jefferson CountyPDF
82 FR 37379 - Air Plan Approval; Florida; Permitting RevisionsPDF
82 FR 37378 - Air Plan Approval; SC: Revisions to New Source Review RulesPDF
82 FR 37299 - Air Plan Approval; SC: Revisions to New Source Review RulesPDF
82 FR 37310 - Air Plan Approval; Florida: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 NO2PDF
82 FR 37378 - Air Plan Approval; Florida: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 NO2PDF
82 FR 37374 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Revision to Allegheny County Regulations for Open BurningPDF
82 FR 37316 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Revision to Allegheny County Regulations for Open BurningPDF
82 FR 37307 - Air Plan Approval; Alaska: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
82 FR 37308 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Reasonably Available Control Technology for Oxides of Nitrogen for Specific Sources in the State of New JerseyPDF
82 FR 37369 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Onida, SDPDF
82 FR 37327 - Definitions; Cost Standards and Procedures; Purchasing and Property ManagementPDF
82 FR 37509 - Reports, Forms, and Record Keeping Requirements: Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
82 FR 37398 - 2017-2018 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing RegulationsPDF
82 FR 37366 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 37360 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 37345 - Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010PDF

Issue

82 153 Thursday, August 10, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37418 2017-16885
Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Determination of Classical Swine Fever, Swine Vesicular Disease, African Swine Fever, Foot-and-Mouth Disease, and Rinderpest Status of Malta, 37418-37421 2017-16832 Architectural Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 37421-37423 2017-16836 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: 2018 End-to-End Census Test: Address Canvassing Operation, 37424-37425 2017-16875 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37453 2017-16892 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Personal Responsibility Education Program Multi-Component Evaluation Extension, 37453-37454 2017-16843 Variations in Implementation of Quality Interventions Project, 37454-37456 2017-16854 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Arizona Advisory Committee, 37423-37424 2017-16837 Oregon Advisory Committee, 37423 2017-16838 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Norwalk River, Norwalk, CT, 37299 2017-16825 Safety Zones: Recurring Events in Captain of the Port Duluth Zone: Superior Man Triathlon, 37299 2017-16845 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37461-37465 2017-16869 2017-16870 2017-16871 2017-16872 Certificates of Alternative Compliance: Viking Yacht Co., 92C Enclosed Bridge Yacht, HIN: VKY92111I617, 37461 2017-16844 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Meetings: Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Scientific Advisory Board, 37442-37444 2017-16840 2017-16897 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Presidential Permit Applications; Amendments: Nogales Interconnection Project, 37444-37445 2017-16882
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alaska; Infrastructure Requirements for 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 37307-37308 2017-16805 District of Columbia; Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report State Implementation Plan, 37305-37307 2017-16821 Florida; Infrastructure Requirements for 2010 NO2 NAAQS, 37310-37316 2017-16809 New Jersey; Reasonably Available Control Technology for Oxides of Nitrogen for Specific Sources, 37308-37310 2017-16804 Pennsylvania; Revision to Allegheny County Regulations for Open Burning, 37316-37318 2017-16806 SC; Revisions to New Source Review Rules, 37299-37305 2017-16810 Withdrawal of Extension of Deadline for Promulgating Designations for 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 37318-37319 2017-16901 State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions; Final Authorizations: Delaware, 37319-37327 2017-16903 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Florida; Infrastructure Requirements for 2010 NO2 NAAQS, 37378 2017-16808 Florida; Interstate Transport (Prongs 1 and 2) for 2010 1-hour NO2 Standard, 37384-37389 2017-16819 Florida; Permitting Revisions, 37379-37384 2017-16815 Interstate Transport; NC, 37371-37374 2017-16826 Kentucky; Miscellaneous Source Specific Revisions for Jefferson County, 37375-37378 2017-16818 Pennsylvania; Revision to Allegheny County Regulations for Open Burning, 37374 2017-16807 SC; Revisions to New Source Review Rules, 37378-37379 2017-16811 South Carolina; Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, 37389-37396 2017-16902 State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions; Final Authorizations: Delaware, 37396-37397 2017-16905 NOTICES Settlements: Coronet Industries, Inc.: Plant City, Hillsborough County, FL, 37449 2017-16899 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Lycoming Engines Reciprocating Engines, 37296-37298 2017-16968 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 37360-37366 2017-16051 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 37366-37369 2017-16355 Establishment of Class E Airspace: Onida, SD, 37369-37371 2017-16802 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Channel Sharing Rules, 37354-37358 2017-16848 Video Description: Implementation of Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, 37345-37354 2017-15526 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: 10517; Hometown National Bank; Longview, WA, 37449 2017-16883 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 37449-37450 2017-17019 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 37446-37447 2017-16877 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Rover Pipeline, LLC; Majorsville Compressor Station Amendment, 37447-37448 2017-16878 Environmental Reviews: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; Brazoria Interconnector Gas Pipeline, LLC; Stratton Ridge Expansion Project, 37448-37449 2017-16879 Filings: Bonneville Power Administration, 37445-37446 2017-16880 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 37508-37509 2017-16873 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes, 37498-37499 2017-16855 Diabetes Mellitus, 37486-37498, 37502-37504 2017-16856 2017-16858 2017-16868 Vision, 37499-37502, 37504-37508 2017-16857 2017-16861 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37450-37451 2017-16898 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES 2017-2018 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations, 37398-37417 2017-16374 Endangered and Threatened Species: Final Determination on Proposed Endangered Status for Texas Hornshell (Popenaias popeii); 6-Month Extension, 37397-37398 2017-16887 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Extension of Certain Tobacco Product Compliance Deadlines Related to Final Deeming Rule, 37459-37461 2017-16839 Qualification of Medical Device Development Tools, 37456-37458 2017-16827 Meetings: Medical Imaging Drugs Advisory Committee, 37458-37459 2017-16891 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service RULES Mandatory Inspection of Fish of Order Siluriformes and Products Derived from Such Fish Final Rule Implementation: Educational Meeting, 37295-37296 2017-16895 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 37451-37453 2017-16852 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Steel Nails from the People's Republic of China, 37425-37426 2017-16874 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Intravascular Administration Sets and Components Thereof, 37465 2017-16842 Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea, 37465-37467 2017-16893 Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Legal Legal Services Corporation RULES Definitions; Cost Standards and Procedures; Purchasing and Property Management, 37327-37345 2017-16764 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: Applied Sciences Advisory Committee, 37468 2017-16884 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules, 37468-37470 2017-16890 National Council National Council on Disability NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 37470 2017-16970 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 37509-37510 2017-16599 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Small-Mesh Multispecies Fishery; Adjustment to Northern Red Hake Inseason Possession Limit, 37359 2017-16850 NOTICES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Snapper-Grouper Fishery off South Atlantic States; Amendment 43, 37441 2017-16894 Meetings: Fisheries of South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review, 37439 2017-16862 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 37439-37440 2017-16863 New England Fishery Management Council, 37438 2017-16864 Pacific Fishery Management Council, 2017-16865 37438-37442 2017-16866 2017-16867 Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 16609-01, 37426 2017-16900 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: US 101/Chehalis River Bridge-Scour Repair in Washington State, 37426-37438 2017-16881 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 37470-37472 2017-17031 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Standard on Mechanical Power Presses, 37467-37468 2017-16835 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 37472 2017-16833 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 37472 2017-16834 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 37472-37474 2017-16931 Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., 37479-37484 2017-16829 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 37484-37485 2017-16831 Investors Exchange, LLC, 37474-37479 2017-16830 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: J-1 Visa Waiver Recommendation Application, 37485-37486 2017-16851 Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Metropolis in Latin America, 1830-1930 Exhibition, 37485 2017-16853 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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.

82 153 Thursday, August 10, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service 9 CFR Parts 530, 531, 532, 533, 534, 537, 539, 540, 541, 544, 548, 550, 552, 555, 557, 559, 560, and 561 [Docket No. FSIS-2017-0032] Educational Meeting on the Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived From Such Fish Final Rule Implementation AGENCY:

Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notification of educational meeting.

SUMMARY:

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing an educational meeting to discuss the enforcement and implementation of the Final Rule, “Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived from Such Fish.” Fish of the order Siluriformes include fish of several families, including catfish (fish of the family Ictaluridae), basa, tra, and swai (fish of the family Pangasiidae), and clarias (fish of the Clariidae family). FSIS will present information on the upcoming full implementation of the regulatory requirements at official domestic establishments that process Siluriformes fish and fish products, as well as information on entry procedures and reinspection at official import inspection establishments. FSIS is particularly interested in soliciting participation from representatives from domestic wild-caught operations that process Siluriformes fish and fish products.

The primary objectives of the meeting are to provide updated information to stakeholders and to encourage dialogue between FSIS and the Siluriformes fish industry. Affected industry and interested individuals, organizations, and other stakeholders are invited to participate in the meetings.

DATES:

The meeting will be held in Memphis, TN, on Thursday, August 24, 2017; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. CT.

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Memphis Airport and Convention Center located at 2240 Democrat Rd., Memphis, TN 38132. For directions and parking instructions, please visit: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/memphis/memdr/hoteldetail.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Evelyn Arce, Outreach and Partnership Division, Office of Outreach, Employee Education and Training, FSIS, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Mail Stop 3778, Washington, DC 20250; Telephone: (202) 418-8903; Fax: (202) 690-6519; Email: [email protected], regarding additional information about this meeting or to arrange for special accommodations.

Questions regarding the mandatory inspection of fish of the order Siluriformes and products derived from such fish may be directed to [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Further information on these meetings will be posted on FSIS Web site at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings and through the FSIS Constituent Update.

The final rule may be accessed from the FSIS Web site at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations/federal-register/interim-and-final-rules.

Registration: To pre-register for the either of meetings, please go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings.

The cutoff dates for pre-registration is August 22, 2017.

Background

On December 2, 2015, FSIS published the final rule to establish a mandatory inspection program for fish of the order Siluriformes and products derived from these fish (80 FR 75590). The final rule and other resources and information on Siluriformes fish can be found on the FSIS “Inspection Program For Siluriformes Fish, Including Catfish” Web page: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/inspection/siluriformes.

The final rule was effective March 1, 2016; however, the Agency provided an 18-month transitional period until September 1, 2017, to give domestic establishments time to prepare and comply with the final regulations. The transitional period also provided foreign countries with time to submit the documentation necessary to continue exporting Siluriformes fish and fish products to the United States and to show that they have equivalent inspection systems.

FSIS began inspecting domestic establishments on March 1, 2016, and began selecting imported Siluriformes fish shipments for reinspection on April 15, 2016. During the transitional period, FSIS inspection personnel have exercised broad discretion in enforcing the regulatory requirements, focusing primarily on preventing adulterated or misbranded Siluriformes fish and fish products from entering commerce.

As of August 2, 2017, to abide with direction from Congress, all shipments of imported Siluriformes fish and fish products entering the United States must be presented at an Official Import Inspection Establishment for reinspection by FSIS personnel. Specifically, the explanatory statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, Public Law 115-31 Stat. 135, enacted May 5, 2017, directed FSIS to immediately begin reinspecting all imported Siluriformes fish and fish product shipments https://www.congress.gov/crec/2017/05/03/CREC-2017-05-03-bk2.pdf). FSIS announced its intention to begin this reinspection in a Federal Register notice on July 3, 2017 (“Import Reinspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes” (82 FR 30721)).

FSIS held a series of domestic and import educational meetings when the final rule initially published in December 2015. In June and July 2017, FSIS held additional educational meetings in Richmond, VA, and Baltimore, MD. FSIS has gained significant insight into the domestic and importing Siluriformes fish industries during the transitional period. FSIS is announcing this educational meeting to provide collect more information and to provide updates regarding full implementation of the regulatory requirements.

In addition, the Agency is interested in exchanging information with operations that process wild-caught Siluriformes fish and fish products, and encourages representatives and parties involved in this industry to attend the educational meetings. The Agency is particularly interested in gaining insight into how the wild-caught Siluriformes fish arrive at processing facilities, where the wild-caught Siluriformes fish are sourced, daily production volume information for these facilities, and where the final Siluriformes fish and fish products are being sold or distributed after processing.

Additional Public Notification

Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410.

Fax: (202) 690-7442.

Email: [email protected]

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Done at Washington, DC, on: August 7, 2017. Carmen M. Rottenberg, Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Office of Food Safety.
[FR Doc. 2017-16895 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0788; Product Identifier 2017-NE-27-AD; Amendment 39-18988; AD 2017-16-11] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Lycoming Engines Reciprocating Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain models of Lycoming Engines reciprocating engines. This AD requires an inspection of connecting rods and replacement of affected connecting rod small end bushings. This AD was prompted by several reports of connecting rod failures resulting in uncontained engine failure and in-flight shutdowns (IFSDs). We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 15, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 15, 2017.

We must receive comments on this AD by September 25, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, 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 final rule, contact Lycoming Engines, 652 Oliver Street, Williamsport, PA 17701; phone: 800-258-3279; fax: 570-327-7101; Internet: www.lycoming.com/Lycoming/SUPPORT/TechnicalPublications/ServiceBulletins.aspx. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0788.

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-2017-0788; 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 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:

Norman Perenson, Aerospace Engineer, New York ACO Branch, FAA, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: 516-228-7337; fax: 516-794-5531; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We have received 5 reports of uncontained engine failures and IFSDs due to failed connecting rods on various models of Lycoming Engines reciprocating engines listed in Table 1 of Lycoming Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017, that were overhauled or repaired using any replacement part listed in Table 2 of Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017, which was shipped from Lycoming Engines during the dates listed in Table 2 of Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017. This AD requires accomplishing the instructions in Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017, except for the instruction to complete the online survey as specified in the MSB. This condition, if not corrected, could result in uncontained engine failure, total engine power loss, IFSD, and possible loss of the airplane. We are issuing this AD to prevent connecting rod failure.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Lycoming Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017. The MSB describes procedures for inspecting connecting rods and replacing connecting rod small end bushings. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination

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, except as discussed under “Differences Between the AD and the Service Information”.

Differences Between This AD and the Service Information

Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017 requires you to complete an online survey at www.lycoming.com/SB632, review your inventory of any part listed in Table 2 of the MSB, and sending certain parts to Lycoming Engines. This AD does not include those requirements.

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 compliance is required within 10 operating hours. 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 final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2017-0788 and Product Identifier 2017-NE-27-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this final rule. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this final rule 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 final rule.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 778 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspection 15 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,275 per inspection cycle $150.00 $1,425 $1,108,650.00 per inspection cycle.

    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 these replacements:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Connecting rod replacement on 4-cylinder engine 12 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,020.00 $1,150.00 $2,170.00 Connecting rod replacement on 6-cylinder engine 18 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,530.00 5,150.00 6,680.00 Connecting rod replacement on 8-cylinder engine 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700.00 5,150.00 6,850.00

    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.

    This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to engines, propellers, and associated appliances to the Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division.

    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): 2017-16-11 Lycoming Engines Reciprocating Engines: (Type Certificate previously held by Textron Lycoming Division, AVCO Corporation): Amendment 39-18988; Docket No. FAA-2017-0788; Product Identifier 2017-NE-27-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 15, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to:

    (1) All Lycoming Engines reciprocating engines listed in Table 1 of Lycoming Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017, and

    (2) all Lycoming Engines reciprocating engines that were overhauled or repaired using any replacement part listed in Table 2 of Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017, which was shipped from Lycoming Engines during the dates listed in Table 2 of Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 8520, Reciprocating Engine Power Section.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by several reports of connecting rod failures resulting in uncontained engine failure and in-flight shutdowns (IFSDs). We are issuing this AD to prevent connecting rod failure. The unsafe condition, if not corrected, could result in uncontained engine failure, total engine power loss, IFSD, and possible loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) For all affected engines, within 10 operating hours after the effective date of this AD, inspect all affected connecting rods as specified in Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017, except for the instruction to complete the online survey and the instruction to review your inventory.

    (2) Replace all connecting rods that fail the inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD with parts eligible for installation.

    (h) Installation Prohibition

    After the effective date of this AD:

    (1) Do not install any Lycoming Engines reciprocating engine that was overhauled or repaired using any replacement part listed in Table 2 of Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017, which was shipped from Lycoming Engines during the dates listed in Table 2 of Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017, and

    (2) do not install any part listed in Table 2 of Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017 into any Lycoming Engines reciprocating engine.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    You may take credit for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD if you performed those actions before the effective date of this AD using Lycoming Engines MSB No. 632A, dated July 23, 2017 or earlier versions.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, New York ACO Branch, 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 certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j) 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.

    (k) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Norman Perenson, Aerospace Engineer, New York ACO Branch, FAA, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: 516-228-7337; fax: 516-794-5531; 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) Lycoming Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 632B, dated August 4, 2017.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For Lycoming Engines service information identified in this AD, contact Lycoming Engines, 652 Oliver Street, Williamsport, PA 17701; phone: 800-258-3279; fax: 570-327-7101; Internet: www.lycoming.com/Lycoming/SUPPORT/TechnicalPublications/ServiceBulletins.aspx.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    (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 Burlington, Massachusetts, on August 7, 2017. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16968 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0761] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Norwalk River, Norwalk, CT AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Washington Street S136 Bridge across the Norwalk River, mile 0.0 at Norwalk, Connecticut. This deviation is necessary to facilitate electrical repairs and will allow the owner to temporarily close the draw for a period not to exceed 10 hours.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 7 p.m. on August 14, 2017 through 5 a.m. on August 15, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, USCG-2017-0761, 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 M. Moore, Bridge Management Specialist, First District Bridge Branch, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 212-514-4334, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The owner of the bridge, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, requested a temporary deviation in order to facilitate repair and replacement of electrical conduits controlling span power lock and control.

    The Washington Street S136 Bridge across the Norwalk River, mile 0.0 at Norwalk, Connecticut is a double-leaf bascule bridge with a vertical clearance of 9 feet at mean high water and 16 feet at mean low water in the closed position. The existing drawbridge operating regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.217(a).

    The temporary deviation will allow the Washington Street S136 Bridge to remain closed from 7 p.m. on August 14, 2017 through 5 a.m. on August 15, 2017. The waterway is used primarily by seasonal recreational vessels and occasional tug/barge traffic. Coordination with waterway users has indicated no objections to the proposed short-term closure of the draw.

    Vessels that can pass under the bridge without an opening may do so at all times. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies. There is no alternate route for vessels to pass.

    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 the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: August 4, 2017. Christopher J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16825 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0738] Safety Zones; Recurring Events in Captain of the Port Duluth Zone—Superior Man Triathlon AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the Superior Man Triathlon in Duluth, MN from 5:30 a.m. through 10 a.m. on August 27, 2017. This action is necessary to protect participants and spectators during the Superior Man Triathlon. During the enforcement period, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Duluth or her designated on-scene representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.943(b) will be enforced from 5:30 a.m. through 10 a.m. on August 27, 2017, for the Superior Man Triathlon safety zone, § 165.943(a)(8).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, call or email LT John Mack, Chief of Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone (218) 725-3818, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone for the annual Superior Man Triathlon in 33 CFR 165.943(a)(8) from 5:30 a.m. through 10 a.m. on August 27, 2017, on all waters of the Duluth Harbor Basin, Northern Section, including the Duluth entry encompassed in an imaginary line beginning at point 46°46′36.12″ N. 092°06′06.99″ W., running southeast to 46°46′32.75″ N. 092°06′01.74″ W., running northeast to 46°46′45.92″ N. 092°05′45.18″ W., running northwest to 46°46′49.47″ N. 092°05′49.35″ W. and finally running southwest to the starting point.

    Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Duluth or her designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port's designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 or via telephone at (218) 529-3100.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.943 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this publication in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of the enforcement of this safety zone via Broadcast Notice to Mariners. The Captain of the Port Duluth or her on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 or via telephone at (218) 529-3100.

    Dated: July 31, 2017. E.E. Williams, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Duluth.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16845 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0547; FRL-9965-85-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; SC: Revisions to New Source Review Rules AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve changes to the South Carolina State Implementation Plan (SIP) to revise New Source Review (NSR) regulations. EPA is approving portions of SIP revisions submitted by the State of South Carolina, through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), on the following dates: July 18, 2011, April 10, 2014, August 12, 2015, and January 20, 2016. This action is being taken pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective October 10, 2017 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by September 11, 2017. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0547 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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. 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:

    D. Brad Akers, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Akers can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9089 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. What action is EPA taking today?

    On July 18, 2011, April 10, 2014, August 12, 2015, and January 20, 2016, SC DHEC submitted SIP revisions to EPA for approval that involve changes to South Carolina's NSR permitting regulations to make them consistent with federal requirements for NSR permitting, correct typographical errors, make internal references consistent, and clarify certain provisions. In this action, EPA is approving certain portions of these SIP submissions that make changes to South Carolina's NSR regulations at SC DHEC Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7—“Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD),” and Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1—“Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR),” which apply to the construction or modification of any major stationary source in areas designated as attainment or unclassifiable as required by part C of title I of the CAA, and in nonattainment areas as required by part D of title I of the CAA, respectively.

    South Carolina's PSD regulations at Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, were originally approved into the SIP on June 10, 1982 (47 FR 6017), with periodic revisions approved through April 3, 2013 (78 FR 19997). South Carolina's NNSR regulations at Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1, were conditionally approved into the SIP on June 2, 2008 (73 FR 31369), and were fully approved on June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36875).

    South Carolina's July 18, 2011, SIP revision modifies the PSD regulations to make minor edits for internal consistency and modifies the NNSR regulations to reflect changes to the federal NNSR regulations at 40 CFR 51.165,1 including provisions promulgated in the following federal rule: “Final Rule To Implement the 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard-Phase 2; Final Rule To Implement Certain Aspects of the 1990 Amendments Relating to New Source Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration as They Apply in Carbon Monoxide, Particulate Matter and Ozone NAAQS; Final Rule for Reformulated Gasoline,” Final Rule, 70 FR 71612 (November 29, 2005) (hereinafter referred to as the Phase 2 Rule). South Carolina's April 10, 2014, SIP revision modifies the PSD regulations to reflect changes to the federal PSD regulations at 40 CFR 51.166, including provisions promulgated in the following federal rule: “Implementation of the New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5): 2 Amendment to the Definition of `Regulated NSR Pollutant' Concerning Condensable Particulate Matter,” (October 25, 2012) (hereinafter referred to as the PM2.5 Condensables Correction Rule). South Carolina's August 12, 2015, SIP revision makes changes to South Carolina's PSD and NNSR regulations for consistency with federal provisions and to correct typographical errors. Finally, South Carolina's January 20, 2016, SIP revision modifies the State's NNSR rules to correct typographical errors and to make internal references consistent.

    1 EPA's regulations governing the implementation of NSR permitting programs are contained in 40 CFR 51.160—51.166; 52.21, 52.24; and part 51, Appendix S. The CAA NSR program is composed of three separate programs: PSD, NNSR, and Minor NSR. PSD is established in part C of title I of the CAA and applies to major stationary sources in areas that meet the NAAQS—“attainment areas”—as well as areas where there is insufficient information to determine if the area meets the NAAQS—“unclassifiable areas.” The NNSR program is established in part D of title I of the CAA and applies to major stationary sources in areas that are not in attainment of the NAAQS—“nonattainment areas.” The Minor NSR program applies to stationary sources that do not require PSD or NNSR permits. Together, these programs are referred to as the NSR programs.

    2 Airborne particulate matter (PM) with a nominal aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less (a micrometer is one-millionth of a meter, and 2.5 micrometers is less than one-seventh the average width of a human hair) are considered to be “fine particles” and are also known as PM2.5. Fine particles in the atmosphere are made up of a complex mixture of components including sulfate; nitrate; ammonium; elemental carbon; a great variety of organic compounds; and inorganic material (including metals, dust, sea salt, and other trace elements) generally referred to as “crustal” material, although it may contain material from other sources. The health effects associated with exposure to PM2.5 include potential aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease (i.e., lung disease, decreased lung function, asthma attacks and certain cardiovascular issues). On July 18, 1997, EPA revised the NAAQS for PM to add new standards for fine particles, using PM2.5 as the indicator. Previously, EPA used PM10 (inhalable particles smaller than or equal to 10 micrometers in diameter) as the indicator for the PM NAAQS. EPA established health-based (primary) annual and 24-hour standards for PM2.5, setting an annual standard at a level of 15.0 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) and a 24-hour standard at a level of 65 µg/m3 (62 FR 38652). At the time the 1997 primary standards were established, EPA also established welfare-based (secondary) standards identical to the primary standards. The secondary standards are designed to protect against major environmental effects of PM2.5, such as visibility impairment, soiling, and materials damage. On October 17, 2006, EPA revised the primary and secondary 24-hour NAAQS for PM2.5 to 35 µg/m3 and retained the existing annual PM2.5 NAAQS of 15.0 µg/m3 (71 FR 61236). On January 15, 2013, EPA published a final rule revising the primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS to 12 µg/m3 (78 FR 3086).

    At this time, the Agency is not acting on changes included in the July 18, 2011, submittal to the following regulations in South Carolina's SIP: Regulation 61-62.1, Section I—“Definitions;” Regulation 61-62.1, Section II—“Permit Requirements;” Regulation 61-62.3—“Air Pollution Episodes;” Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 1—“Emissions from Fuel Burning Operations;” Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 4—“Emissions from Process Industries;” or Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 6—“Alternative Emission Limitation Options (Bubble).” EPA approved the changes to Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2—“Ambient Air Quality Standards,” included in the July 18, 2011, submittal, on April 3, 2013 (78 FR 1994). EPA is not acting on the changes included in the April 10, 2014, submittal to the following regulations: Regulation 61-62.1, Section I—“Definitions;” Regulation 61-62.2—“Prohibition of Open Burning;” Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7—“Prevention of Significant Deterioration,” at paragraph (b)(32)(i)(a); 3 or Regulation 61-62.6—“Control of Fugitive Particulate Matter.” EPA is not acting on the changes included in the August 12, 2015, submittal to the following regulations: Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 1—“Emissions from Fuel Burning Operations,” or Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2—“Ambient Air Quality Standards.” Additionally, EPA is not acting on the changes included in the January 20, 2016, submittal to the following regulations: Regulation 61-62.1, Section II—“Permit Requirements;” Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 5—“Volatile Organic Compounds;” or Regulation 61-62.6—“Control of Fugitive Particulate Matter.” EPA will address these proposed changes to the South Carolina SIP in a separate action.

    3 The change to paragraph (b)(32)(i)(a) modifies the definition of “major stationary source” to spell out the acronym for “NAICS” as “North American Industrial Classification System” within the phrase “except ethanol production facilities producing ethanol by natural fermentation under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes 325193 or 312140.” EPA is not taking action on this change because the phrase regarding ethanol production facilities is not in the SIP. SC DHEC submitted the original phrase regarding ethanol production facilities for approval on April 14, 2009; however, EPA has not approved it into the SIP.

    The August 12, 2015, submittal includes a change to South Carolina's NNSR regulation, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1 at paragraph (d)(1)(C)(v)(b)(2) regarding the calculation of emission offsets. However, this change had previously been submitted to EPA on April 14, 2009, in response to a June 2, 2008, conditional approval of the NNSR program revisions (73 FR 31368), and was approved on June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36875). Therefore, this change is not presently before EPA for consideration.4 There are other changes to the NNSR regulation included in the August 12, 2015, submittal that EPA is approving in this action, as detailed in Section III of this preamble.

    4 South Carolina also submitted changes to Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1 regarding the calculation of emission offsets in a June 17, 2013, SIP submittal. These changes, at paragraphs (d)(1)(C)(v)(a)(2) and (3), were submitted to EPA on April 14, 2009, along with the change to paragraph (d)(1)(C)(v)(b)(2) described above, and were approved by EPA on June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36875). Therefore, these changes are not presently before EPA for consideration. All changes in the June 17, 2013, submittal regarding NNSR have been addressed by EPA.

    EPA is not acting on the following changes originally included in the August 12, 2015, submittal because they have been withdrawn from EPA's consideration via a December 20, 2016, letter. The August 12, 2015, submittal originally included new language in Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7 at paragraphs (b)(30)(v) and (b)(34)(iii)(d) to exclude fugitive emissions from the determination of creditable emission increases and decreases. This submittal also originally included a revision to the definition of “best available control technology (BACT)” in Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7 at paragraph (b)(8), which reverted language in the definition to that included in a previous version of the South Carolina regulations. Both sets of revisions were withdrawn from EPA's consideration subsequent to the August 12, 2015, final submittal in the December 20, 2016, letter. Finally, a revision to the definition of “net emissions increase” in Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7 at paragraph (b)(34)(iii)(c) was withdrawn in a June 27, 2017, letter. Both the December 20, 2016, and June 27, 2017, letters are included in the docket for this action.

    II. Background

    This direct final action will revise South Carolina's PSD and NNSR regulations in the SIP as described in Section III, below. Many of these changes are administrative in nature, including updating internal references and correcting typographical errors. The July 18, 2011, SIP revision also makes changes to the NNSR regulations to adopt provisions from EPA's Phase 2 Rule for ozone nonattainment areas. The April 10, 2014, submittal makes changes to PSD regulations to reflect EPA's PM2.5 Condensables Correction Rule. Background information on these federal rules is provided below.

    A. Phase 2 Rule

    Part of South Carolina's July 18, 2011, SIP submittal to revise its NNSR regulations relates to EPA's Phase 2 Rule regarding updates to the implementation of the 1997 8-hour Ozone NAAQS. On November 29, 2005, EPA published the Phase 2 Rule, which addressed control and planning requirements as they applied to areas designated nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS 5 such as reasonably available control technology, reasonably available control measures, reasonable further progress, modeling and attainment demonstrations, NSR, and the impact to reformulated gas for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS transition (70 FR 71612). The NSR permitting requirements established in the rule included the following provisions: (1) Recognized nitrogen oxides as an ozone precursor for PSD purposes; (2) changes to the NNSR rules establishing major stationary source thresholds (marginal, moderate, serious, severe, and extreme nonattainment area classifications) and significant emission rates for the 8-hour ozone, PM10, and carbon monoxide NAAQS; and (3) revised the criteria for crediting emission reductions credits from operation shutdowns and curtailments as offsets, and changes to offset ratios for marginal, moderate, serious, severe, and extreme ozone nonattainment areas. For additional information on provisions in the Phase 2 Rule, see the November 29, 2005, final rule (70 FR 71612).

    5 On July 18, 1997, EPA promulgated a revised 8-hour ozone NAAQS of 0.08 parts per million—also referred to as the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. On April 30, 2004, EPA designated areas as unclassifiable/attainment, nonattainment, or unclassifiable for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. In addition, on April 30, 2004, as part of the framework to implement the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, EPA promulgated an implementation rule in two phases (Phase I and II). The Phase I Rule (effective on June 15, 2004), provided the implementation requirements for designating areas under subpart 1 and subpart 2 of the CAA (69 FR 23951).

    B. NSR PM2.5 Rule and PM2.5 Condensables Correction Rule

    On May 16, 2008, EPA finalized the rule entitled “Implementation of the New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less Than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5),” Final Rule, 73 FR 28321 (May 16, 2008) (hereinafter referred to as the NSR PM2.5 Rule). The NSR PM2.5 Rule revised the federal NSR program requirements to establish the framework for implementing preconstruction permit review for the PM2.5 NAAQS in both attainment and nonattainment areas. South Carolina previously adopted most of the provisions promulgated in the NSR PM2.5 Rule, as approved on June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36875).

    In the NSR PM2.5 Rule, EPA revised the definition of “regulated NSR pollutant” for PSD to add a paragraph providing that “particulate matter (PM) emissions, PM2.5 emissions, and PM10 emissions” must include gaseous emissions from a source or activity which condense to form particulate matter at ambient temperatures and that on or after January 1, 2011, such condensable particulate matter must be accounted for in applicability determinations and in establishing emissions limitations for PM, PM2.5 and PM10 in permits. See 73 FR 28348-49 (changes made to 40 CFR 51.166(b)(49)(vi), 52.21(b)(50)(vi), and 40 CFR part 51, Appendix S—Emissions Offset Interpretative Ruling). A similar paragraph added to the NNSR rule does not include the phrase “particulate matter (PM) emissions” or the term “PM”6 within the definition of “regulated NSR pollutant.” See 73 FR 28347.

    6 The terms “PM2.5” and “PM10” remain in the definition.

    On October 25, 2012, EPA finalized a rulemaking to amend the definition of “regulated NSR pollutant” promulgated in the NSR PM2.5 Rule regarding the PM condensable provision at 40 CFR 51.166(b)(49)(vi), 52.21(b)(50)(i), and 40 CFR part 51, Appendix S—“Emissions Offset Interpretative Ruling.” 77 FR 65107. The rulemaking simply removed the phrase “particulate matter (PM) emissions” and the term “PM” from the definition of “regulated NSR pollutant” in these rules thereby eliminating the inadvertent requirement in the NSR PM2.5 Rule that the measurement of condensable “particulate matter (PM) emissions” be included as part of the measurement and regulation of condensable PM for the NAAQS. The phrase “particulate matter (PM) emissions” includes particles that are larger than PM2.5 and PM10 and is an indicator measured under various New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) (40 CFR part 60).

    III. Analysis of the State's Submittals A. Submittal Dated July 18, 2011

    South Carolina's July 18, 2011, SIP revision made changes to the PSD regulation, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, to make internal references consistent. These changes are made to Standard No. 7 at paragraphs (q)(2) and (q)(3)—“Public participation;” (r)(4)—“Source obligation;” and (w)(1)—“Permit rescission” and were state effective on May 27, 2011. EPA is approving these administrative edits to the SIP.

    This SIP submittal also made changes to the NNSR regulation, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1, at paragraph (c)(7)(A)(i), adopting thresholds in the definition of “major stationary source” for different classifications of ozone nonattainment areas (as codified at 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(iv)(A)(1)). These thresholds correspond to precursors of ozone in “serious” and “extreme” nonattainment areas. EPA is approving these changes to the NNSR regulations as consistent with the Phase 2 Rule. South Carolina adopted other provisions promulgated in the Phase 2 Rule previously, and EPA approved them into the South Carolina SIP on June 2, 2008 (73 FR 31368) and June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36875).

    EPA has concluded that incorporating these change into the SIP will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. The changes to Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7 are administrative in nature, and the changes to Standard No. 7.1 increase the number of sources potentially subject to NNSR permitting by establishing lower emissions thresholds.

    B. Submittal Dated April 10, 2014

    South Carolina's April 10, 2014, SIP revision made changes to the definitions in the PSD regulation, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7. The only changes that EPA is adopting from the April 10, 2014, submittal in this rulemaking are at paragraph (b)(44) regarding the definition of “regulated NSR pollutant.” These changes were state effective on December 27, 2013. This definition is revised to be consistent with the PM2.5 Condensables Correction Rule, detailed in Section II, above, by removing the phrase “particulate matter (PM) emissions” and the term “PM” which were originally included in the federal definition in error and by rearranging the formatting structure of the definition.

    A March 14, 2011, SIP submittal adopted provisions promulgated in the NSR PM2.5 Rule, as approved into the SIP on June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36875). This previous approval also adopted the phrase “particulate matter (PM) emissions” and the term “PM” as promulgated in error in the PM2.5 NSR Rule. The April 10, 2014, submittal in effect only removes the problematic language to be consistent with the current federal definition and rearranges the definition because EPA approved the remaining changes to (b)(44) in the June 23, 2011, action discussed above.

    In today's action, EPA is approving the changes that remove the phrase “particulate matter (PM) emissions” and the term “PM” and that rearrange the formatting structure of the definition for consistency with the PM2.5 Condensables Correction Rule. EPA has concluded that incorporating these change into the SIP will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. The changes merely correct an inadvertent error in the PSD regulations as discussed above.

    C. Submittal Dated August 12, 2015

    The August 12, 2015, SIP revision modifies the definitions of “baseline actual emissions” and “projected actual emissions” in Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7 at paragraphs (b)(4)(i)(a), (b)(4)(ii)(a), and (b)(41)(ii)(b) and in Standard No. 7.1 at paragraphs (c)(2)(A)(i), (c)(2)(B)(i), and (c)(11)(B)(ii) to include emissions associated with “malfunctions” in determining PSD and NNSR applicability, respectively. These changes were state effective on June 26, 2015.

    EPA added malfunction emissions to the federal definitions of “baseline actual emissions” and “projected actual emissions” as part of its NSR reform rules.7 In its July 1, 2005, SIP revision addressing NSR reform, the State sought to exclude this change from its SIP-approved PSD and NNSR regulations. The State's primary motivation for seeking the exclusion was its belief that it would be difficult for the regulated community to predict and quantify malfunction emissions when estimating projected actual emissions. EPA conditionally approved South Carolina's SIP revision on June 2, 2008 (73 FR 31368), noting in the associated September 12, 2007, notice of proposed rulemaking (72 FR 52031) that the exclusion of malfunction emissions did not lessen the stringency of the State's NSR program. South Carolina updated its regulations in a submittal dated April 14, 2009, to satisfy the conditional approval, resulting in a formal approval on June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36875).

    7 EPA published rules on December 31, 2002 (67 FR 80186), November 7, 2003 (68 FR 63021), on June 13, 2007 (72 FR 32526), revising the methodology for determining “baseline actual emissions” among other things. Sometimes, these rules taken together are referred to as “NSR reform.” For more information on NSR reform, see https://www.epa.gov/nsr/nsr-regulatory-actions#nsrreform.

    South Carolina's August 12, 2015, submittal seeks to add malfunction emissions to the definitions of “baseline actual emissions” and “projected actual emissions” in its SIP-approved PSD and NNSR regulations. The State retains the requirement that “baseline actual emissions” exclude any non-compliant emissions that occur while the source was operating above any emission limitation that was legally enforceable during the 24-month period used to calculate baseline emissions. EPA has concluded that incorporating these changes into the SIP will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. The State is requesting the change for consistency with the federal rules because the discrepancy was causing confusion among the regulated community and because the regulated community had not substantiated the State's initial concerns regarding the potential difficulty in projecting malfunction emissions. In its July 1, 2005, SIP submittal, the State concluded that there would be no environmental benefit to excluding malfunction emissions from the definitions at issue because the inclusion of malfunction emissions in both baseline actual emissions and projected actual emissions “would cancel each other out because they typically would be the same before and after a change.8 ” In correspondence associated with the August 12, 2015, submittal, the State affirms that the exclusion has provided no environmental benefit.9 Furthermore, EPA notes that there are no nonattainment areas in South Carolina, and that air quality is below the NAAQS for all criteria pollutants.10

    8See South Carolina's July 1, 2005, SIP submittal which is included in the docket for today's action.

    9See email communication from Elizabeth Basil, SC DHEC, to Brad Akers, EPA Region 4 dated September 1, 2016, included in the docket for this action.

    10 Air quality design values for all criteria air pollutants are available at: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values.

    The August 12, 2015, submittal made other changes to the PSD regulation, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, to correct typographical errors, clarify certain provisions, and mirror Federal provisions. These changes are made to the following paragraphs: (a)(2)(iv)(f) Regarding “Applicability procedures;” (b)(5)(ii)(b), (b)(32)(i)(a), and (b)(34)(vi)(c) regarding the definitions of “baseline area,” “major stationary source,” and “net emissions increase,” respectively; (i)(8)(ii) and (i)(10)—“Exemptions;” (m)(1)(i)(a) regarding “Air quality analysis;” (n)(1) regarding “Source information;” (u)(4) regarding class III areas; and (aa)(6)(ii) and (aa)(8)(ii)(b)(2) regarding “Actuals [Plantwide Applicability Limits] PALs.” The August 12, 2015, submittal made other changes to the NNSR regulation, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1, at paragraph (i)(6)(ii) regarding “Actuals PALs” for consistency with Federal regulations. EPA is approving these changes to the SIP with the exception of the change to Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, paragraph (b)(32)(i)(a) as noted in Section I, above. EPA has concluded that incorporating these changes into the SIP will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. These changes are primarily administrative and do not substantively impact applicability requirements or emissions from subject units.

    D. Submittal Dated January 20, 2016

    The January 20, 2016, submittal made changes to the NNSR regulation, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1, only to correct typographical errors and to make internal references consistent. These changes, state effective on November 27, 2015, are made to paragraphs (c)(6)(C)(v)(a) and (c)(7)(A)(i)(d) regarding the definitions of “major modification” and “major stationary source;” and paragraph (d)(1)(C)(viii) regarding “Permitting requirements.” EPA is approving these changes to the SIP. EPA has concluded that incorporating these changes into the SIP will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of the CAA because the changes are administrative in nature.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the SC DHEC regulatory paragraphs identified above in Section III within SC DHEC Regulation No. 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, entitled “Prevention of Significant Deterioration,” state effective on May 27, 2011 (paragraphs identified in Section III.A, above), December 27, 2013 (paragraphs identified in Section III.B, above), and June 26, 2015 (paragraphs identified in Section III.C, above), and the SC DHEC regulatory paragraphs identified above in Section III within Standard No. 7.1, entitled “Nonattainment New Source Review,” state effective on May 27, 2011 (paragraphs identified in Section III.A, above), June 26, 2015 (paragraphs identified in Section III.C, above), and November 27, 2015 (paragraphs identified in Section III.D, above). Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.11 EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    11 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    V. Final Action

    EPA is approving the changes to the SIP identified in Section III, above, because they are consistent with the CFR and the CAA. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective October 10, 2017 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by September 11, 2017.

    If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All adverse comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on October 10, 2017 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule. Please note that if we receive adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; 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 direct final action for the State of South Carolina does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because it does not have substantial direct effects on an Indian Tribe. The Catawba Indian Nation Reservation is located within the state of South Carolina. Pursuant to the Catawba Indian Claims Settlement Act, S.C. Code Ann. 27-16-120, “all state and local environmental laws and regulations apply to the [Catawba Indian Nation] and Reservation and are fully enforceable by all relevant state and local agencies and authorities.” EPA notes this action will not impose substantial direct costs on Tribal governments or preempt Tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 10, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 26, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart PP—South Carolina 2. Section 52.2120(c) is amended by revising entries under Regulation No. 62.5 for “Standard No. 7” and “Standard No. 7.1” and by revising footnote 1 to the table to read as follows:
    § 52.2120 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    Air Pollution Control Regulations for South Carolina State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA
  • approval
  • date
  • Federal Register Notice
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Standard No. 7 Prevention of Significant Deterioration June 26, 2015 1 8/10/2017 [Insert citation of publication] Standard No. 7.1 Nonattainment New Source Review November 27, 2015 1 8/10/2017 [Insert citation of publication] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 EPA did not take action on the version of Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, paragraph (b)(32)(i)(a) state effective on December 27, 2013, included in a SIP revision submitted by the State on April 10, 2014, because this version contains changes to a phrase regarding ethanol production facilities that is not in the SIP. South Carolina submitted a SIP revision on April 14, 2009, that includes the phrase “except ethanol production facilities producing ethanol by natural fermentation under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes 325193 or 312140,” as amended in the Ethanol Rule (72 FR 24060 (May 1, 2007)), at Standard No. 7, paragraphs (b)(32)(i)(a), (b)(32)(iii)(b)(t), and (i)1(vii)(t) and at Standard No. 7.1, paragraphs (c)7(C)(xx) and (e)(T). EPA has not taken action to approve that portion of the April 14, 2009, SIP revision and incorporate this phrase into the SIP. The version of Standard No. 7, paragraphs (b)(32)(i)(a), (b)(32)(iii)(b)(t), and (i)1(vii)(t) and Standard No. 7.1, paragraphs (c)(7)(C)(xx) and (e)(T) was state effective on June 24, 2005 and conditionally approved by EPA on June 2, 2008 (73 FR 31369), and were fully approved on June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36875).
    [FR Doc. 2017-16810 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0267; FRL-9965-73-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; District of Columbia; Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report State Implementation Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a revision to the District of Columbia state implementation plan (SIP) submitted by the District of Columbia (the District) through the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). The District's SIP submittal addresses requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and EPA's rules that require states to submit periodic reports describing progress towards reasonable progress goals (RPGs) established for regional haze and a determination of the adequacy of the state's existing SIP addressing regional haze (regional haze SIP). No comments were received in response to EPA's proposed rulemaking action published on May 30, 2017. EPA is approving the District's SIP submittal because EPA has determined that it satisfactorily addresses the progress report and adequacy determination requirements for the first implementation period for regional haze.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0267. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available through https://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sara Calcinore, (215) 814-2043, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On May 30, 2017 (82 FR 24617), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the District. In the NPRM, EPA proposed approval of the District's regional haze five-year progress report SIP, a report on progress towards RPGs, for the first implementation period. This progress report SIP and accompanying cover letter also included a determination that the District's existing regional haze SIP requires no substantive revision to achieve the established regional haze visibility improvement and emissions reduction goals for 2018. No comments were received in response to EPA's proposed rulemaking notice.

    States were required to submit, in the form of a SIP revision, a progress report every five years that evaluates progress towards the RPGs for each mandatory Class I Federal area within the state and in each mandatory Class I Federal area outside the state which may be affected by emissions from within the state. See 40 CFR 51.308(g). In addition, the provisions under 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. On October 27, 2011, DOEE submitted its first regional haze SIP in accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308 as they existed at the time. The progress report SIP revision was submitted by DOEE on March 2, 2016 and EPA finds that it satisfies the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(g) and (h).

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    On March 2, 2016, the District submitted a SIP revision to address progress made towards RPGs. This progress report SIP submittal also included a determination of the adequacy of the District's existing regional haze SIP.

    The provisions in 40 CFR 51.308(g) require a progress report SIP to address seven elements. EPA finds that the District's progress report SIP addressed each element under 40 CFR 51.308(g). The seven elements and EPA's conclusion are briefly summarized later in this preamble; however, the detailed rationale for EPA's action is explained in the NPR and will not be restated here.

    The provisions in 40 CFR 51.308(g) require progress reports SIPs to include a description of the status of measures in the approved regional haze SIP; a summary of emissions reductions achieved; an assessment of visibility conditions for each Class I area in the state; an analysis of changes in emissions from source and activities within the state; an assessment of any significant changes in anthropogenic emissions within or outside the state that have limited or impeded progress in Class I areas impacted by the state's sources; an assessment of the sufficiency of the approved regional haze SIP; and a review of the state's visibility monitoring strategy. As explained in detail in the NPR, EPA finds that the District's progress report SIP submittal addressed each element and has therefore satisfied the requirements under 40 CFR 51.308(g).

    In addition, pursuant to 40 CFR 51.308(h), states are required to submit, at the same time as the progress report submission, a determination of the adequacy of their existing regional haze SIP and to take one of four possible actions based on information in the progress report. One possible action is submission of a negative declaration to EPA that no further substantive revision to the state's existing regional haze SIP is needed. In its progress report, the District submitted a negative declaration that it had determined that the existing regional haze SIP requires no substantive revision to achieve the RPGs for Class I areas. As explained in detail in the NPR, EPA concludes that the District adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(h) because decreasing emissions of visibility impairing pollutants, lack of Class I area impact from pollution sources within the District,1 and progress of regional Class I areas near the District towards RPGs for 2018 indicate that no further revisions to the District's SIP are necessary for this first regional haze implementation period. Therefore, EPA concludes that the District's progress report SIP meets the requirements of 40 CFR 52.308(h).

    1See 77 FR 5191, February 2, 2012 (discussing the District's lack of impacts on Class I areas).

    III. Final Action

    In accordance with section 110 of the CAA, EPA is approving the District's regional haze five-year progress report SIP revision, submitted on March 2, 2016, as meeting the applicable regional haze requirements set forth in 40 CFR 51.308(g) and (h).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; 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 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 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.

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 10, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action to approve the District's regional haze five-year progress report SIP revision may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart J—District of Columbia 2. In § 52.470, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding an entry entitled “Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report” to the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.470 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    Name of non-regulatory SIP revision Applicable
  • geographic area
  • State submittal date EPA approval date Additional explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report District of Columbia 03/02/16 08/10/17 [Insert Federal Register citation] Addresses requirements of 40 CFR 51.308(g) and (h) for Regional Haze Five-Year Progress Report.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16821 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2017-0040; FRL-9965-76-Region 10] Air Plan Approval; Alaska: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Whenever a new or revised National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) is promulgated, each state must submit a plan for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of such standard, commonly referred to as infrastructure requirements. On July 9, 2012, Alaska submitted a plan to address the infrastructure requirements for the lead (Pb) NAAQS promulgated on October 15, 2008. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving the plan as meeting Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2017-0040. All documents in the docket are listed on the https://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and is publicly available only in hard copy form. Public docket materials are available at https://www.regulations.gov or at the EPA Region 10 Office of Air and Waste, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101. The EPA requests that you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below, to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristin Hall, Air Planning Unit, Office of Air and Waste (OAW-150), Environmental Protection Agency—Region 10, 1200 Sixth Ave., Seattle, WA 98101; telephone number: (206) 553-6357; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Final Action III. Statutory and Executive Orders Review I. Background

    On July 9, 2012, Alaska submitted a SIP to meet the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for multiple NAAQS, including the Pb NAAQS. On May 31, 2017, the EPA proposed to approve the submission as meeting certain infrastructure requirements for the Pb NAAQS (82 FR 24914). Please see our proposed rulemaking for further explanation and the basis for our finding. The public comment period for this proposal ended on June 30, 2017. We received no comments.

    II. Final Action

    The EPA is approving Alaska's July 9, 2012, SIP submission as meeting the following CAA section 110(a)(2) infrastructure elements for the 2008 Pb NAAQS: (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). We note that this action does not address CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 Pb NAAQS, which was approved on August 4, 2014 (79 FR 45103).

    III. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because this action does not involve technical standards; and

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian Tribe has demonstrated that a Tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

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

    Under CAA section 307(b)(1), petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 10, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See CAA section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 26, 2017. Michelle L. Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 10.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart C—Alaska 2. In § 52.70, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding the entry “110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements—2008 Lead NAAQS” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.70 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Alaska Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures Name of SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure and Interstate Transport *         *         *         *         *         *         * 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements—2008 Lead NAAQS Statewide 7/9/12 8/10/17 [insert Federal Register citation] Approves SIP for purposes of CAA sections 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M) for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16805 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R02-OAR-2016-0766; FRL-9965-79-Region 2] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Reasonably Available Control Technology for Oxides of Nitrogen for Specific Sources in the State of New Jersey AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing approval of two revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for ozone submitted by the State of New Jersey. This SIP revision consists of two source-specific reasonably available control technology (RACT) determinations for controlling oxides of nitrogen. One is for the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Corp., LNG Station 240 located in Carlstadt, New Jersey and the other is for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Lakehurst, New Jersey. This action approves the source-specific RACT determinations that were made by New Jersey in accordance with the provisions of its regulation to help meet the national ambient air quality standard for ozone. The intended effect of this rule is to approve source-specific emissions limitations required by the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R02-OAR-2016-0766. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anthony (Ted) Gardella, [email protected] at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Air Programs Branch, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866, (212) 637-4249.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. What action is the EPA taking today?

    The EPA is approving two source-specific State Implementation Plans (SIP) revisions for ozone submitted by the State of New Jersey. These SIP revisions relate to New Jersey's oxides of nitrogen (NOX) reasonably available control technology (RACT) determinations for the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Corp., LNG Station 240 (Transco-240) located in Carlstadt, New Jersey in Bergen County and for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB-MDL) located in Lakehurst, New Jersey in Ocean County. The determinations are for the four natural gas-fired water bath heaters (U7-U10) at the Transco-240 facility and the two natural gas-fired boilers (Nos. 2 and 3) at the JB-MDL facility. These SIP revisions were submitted to the EPA for approval by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on July 1, 2014 and July 25, 2016 respectively.

    II. What comments were received in response to EPA's proposed action?

    On May 8, 2017 (82 FR 21343), the EPA proposed to approve New Jersey's two source-specific SIP revisions addressing NOX RACT requirements for the Transco-240 and the JB-MDL facilities. For a detailed discussion on the content and requirements of the revisions to New Jersey's two SIP revisions, the reader is referred to the EPA's proposed rulemaking action. In response to the EPA's May 8, 2017 proposed rulemaking action, the EPA received no public comments.

    III. Conclusion

    The EPA has determined that New Jersey's two SIP revision for the NOX RACT determinations for the affected sources at the Transco-240 and the JB-MDL facilities are consistent with New Jersey's NOX RACT regulation and the EPA's guidance. The EPA has determined that New Jersey's SIP revision will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirement of the Clean Air Act. Therefore, the EPA is approving the NOX emission limits and other requirements identified in New Jersey's Conditions of Approval document and alternative emission limit compliance plan for Transco-240 and JB-MDL, respectively. The NOX RACT requirements specify emissions limits, work practice standards, testing, monitoring, and recordkeeping/reporting requirements. These conditions are consistent with the NOX RACT requirements specified in Subchapter 19 of Chapter 27, Title 7 of the New Jersey Administrative Code and conform to the EPA's NOX RACT guidance.

    More specifically, the EPA approves the current Conditions of Approval document for the four water bath heaters (U7-U10) at the Transco-240 facility which includes the following limits:

    1. The alternative NOX emission limit (AEL) from each water bath heater, while combusting natural gas, shall not exceed 0.10 pounds per million British Thermal Units (lb/MMBTU);

    2. The total NOX emissions from all four water bath heaters, while combusting natural gas, shall not exceed 6.7 tons per year;

    3. The hours of operation for the four natural gas-fired water bath heaters shall be for a combined total of 1600 hours per year or less;

    4. The four water bath heaters shall not be operated during the ozone season; and,

    5. The flue gas recirculation control system shall operate at all times the heater is operating.

    Also, the EPA approves the alternate emission limit compliance plan for the two natural gas-fired boilers (Nos 2 and 3) at the JB-MDL facility which includes the following limits:

    1. An alternative NOX emission limit of 0.10 lb/MMBTU for boiler #2 and boiler #3 pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:27-19.13; and,

    2. A decrease in natural gas use from 181.43 to 108.6 million cubic feet (MMft3) per year for boiler #2 and from 113.04 to 57 MMft3 per year for boiler #3.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of: “Conditions of Approval, Alternative Emission Limit for NOX For Four (4) Water Bath Heaters, Transcontinental Gas Pipelines Corp., LNG Station 240, 718 Paterson Plank Road, Carlstadt Borough, Program Interest No. 02626,” approved by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on June 12, 2014 and “Revision to the NJ State Implementation Plan for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB-MDL), Lakehurst, NJ” including Enclosure 2 (“AEL Compliance Plan”) (dated July 14, 2016) to Attachment I (“Site-specific and source specific NOX RACT SIP Information for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB-MDL) (Lakehurst), for Boiler Nos 2 and 3”), permit activity number of BOP150001, approved by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on August 26, 2016. The summary of emission limits and other enforceable requirements for the two SIP revisions are included in section III (Conclusion) of this rulemaking. Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 2 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, 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 (Pub. L. 104-4);

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 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.

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 10, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: July 25, 2017. Catherine R. McCabe, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 2.

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

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart FF—New Jersey 2. In § 52.1570, the table in paragraph (d) is amended by adding entries “Transcontinental Gas Pipelines Corp., LNG Station 240” and “Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (Lakehurst, NJ)” to the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.1570 Identification of plan.

    (d) * * *

    EPA-Approved New Jersey Source-Specific Provisions Name of source Identifier No. State effective date EPA approval date Comments *         *         *         *         *         *         * Transcontinental Gas Pipelines Corp., LNG Station 240 02626 June 12, 2014 August 10, 2017 [insert Federal Register citation]
  • August 10, 2017 [insert Federal Register citation]
  • Alternate NOX Emission Limit and other requirements pursuant to NJAC 7:27-19.13 for four natural gas-fired water bath heaters ((U7-U10).
    Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (Lakehurst, NJ) BOP15001 August 26, 2016 Alternate NOX Emission Limit and other requirements pursuant to NJAC 7:27-19.13 for two natural gas-fired boilers (Nos 2 and 3).
    [FR Doc. 2017-16804 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0507; FRL-9965-83-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Florida: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a portion of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of Florida, through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), on January 22, 2013, addressing a portion of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) infrastructure requirements for the 2010 1-hour nitrogen dioxide (NO2) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure SIP submission.” Specifically, EPA is approving the portion of Florida's January 22, 2013, SIP submission addressing element B of the infrastructure requirements, which relates to monitoring requirements. EPA finds that Florida's infrastructure SIP submission, provided to EPA on January 22, 2013, satisfies the infrastructure requirements related to monitoring for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective October 10, 2017 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by September 11, 2017. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0507 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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. 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:

    Andres Febres of the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Febres can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-8966 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. What action is the Agency taking?

    On January 22, 2013, FDEP submitted a SIP revision for EPA's approval addressing the CAA's infrastructure requirements for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. In this action, EPA is approving a portion of Florida's infrastructure SIP submission related to the ambient air quality monitoring and data system requirements of section 110(a)(2)(B). EPA approved all other portions of Florida's January 22, 2013 infrastructure SIP submission in previous actions. See 80 FR 14019, March 18, 2015, and 81 FR 84479, November 23, 2016. Additionally, on February 3, 2017, Florida submitted a SIP submission addressing the provisions related to prongs 1 and 2 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) and EPA will act on that submission in a separate action. For the aspects of the portion of Florida's submittal being approved, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather taking final action to approve that Florida's already approved SIP meets this CAA requirement.

    II. Background

    By statute, SIPs meeting the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA are to be submitted by states within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the new or revised NAAQS. EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of Title I of the CAA, “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of section 169A of the CAA, and nonattainment new source review permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, Title I, part D.

    Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) require states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements, and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the newly established or revised NAAQS. More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for infrastructure SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for the infrastructure SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. The content of an infrastructure SIP submission may vary depending upon the data and analytical tools available to the state, as well as the provisions already contained in the state's implementation plan at the time in which the state develops and submits the submission for a new or revised NAAQS.

    On January 22, 2010, EPA established a new 1-hour primary NAAQS for NO2 at a level of 100 parts per billion, based on a 3-year average of the 98th percentile of the yearly distribution of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. See 75 FR 6474 (February 9, 2010). This NAAQS is designed to protect against exposure to the entire group of nitrogen oxides (NOX). NO2 is the component of greatest concern and is used as the indicator for the larger group of NOX. Emissions that lead to the formation of NO2 generally also lead to the formation of other NOX. Therefore, control measures that reduce NO2 can generally be expected to reduce population exposures to all gaseous NOX which may have the co-benefit of reducing the formation of ozone and fine particles both of which pose significant public health threats.

    States were required to submit infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS to EPA no later than January 22, 2013.1 Through this action, EPA is approving Florida's January 22, 2013 submission as meeting the requirements of 110(a)(2)(B) for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. As mentioned above, EPA has already taken final action on the remainder of Florida's January 22, 2013 submission.

    1 In these infrastructure SIP submissions, States generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2). Throughout this rulemaking, unless otherwise indicated, the term “Florida Administrative Code” or “F.A.C.” indicates that the cited regulation has been approved into Florida's federally-approved SIP. The term “Florida statute” or “F.S.” indicates cited Florida state statutes, which are not a part of the SIP unless otherwise indicated.

    III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “each such plan” submission must address.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.2 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

    2 For example: section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of Title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of Title I of the CAA, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.3 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.4 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    3See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOX SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    4 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within section 110(a)(1) and (2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.5 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.6

    5See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” 78 FR 4337 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    6 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within section 110(a)(1) and (2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants, because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.7

    7 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2); thus, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program required in part C of Title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.8 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).9 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.10 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). EPA interprets section 110(a)(1) and (2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

    8 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    9 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    10 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d 7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations.

    As an example, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) is a required element of section 110(a)(2) for infrastructure SIP submissions. Under this element, a state must meet the substantive requirements of section 128, which pertain to state boards that approve permits or enforcement orders and heads of executive agencies with similar powers. Thus, EPA reviews infrastructure SIP submissions to ensure that the state's implementation plan appropriately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) and section 128. The 2013 Guidance explains EPA's interpretation that there may be a variety of ways by which states can appropriately address these substantive statutory requirements, depending on the structure of an individual state's permitting or enforcement program (e.g., whether permits and enforcement orders are approved by a multi-member board or by a head of an executive agency). However, they are addressed by the state, the substantive requirements of Section 128 are necessarily included in EPA's evaluation of infrastructure SIP submissions because section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) explicitly requires that the state satisfy the provisions of section 128.

    As another example, EPA's review of infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to the PSD program requirements in section 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) focuses upon the structural PSD program requirements contained in part C and EPA's PSD regulations. Structural PSD program requirements include provisions necessary for the PSD program to address all regulated sources and new source review (NSR) pollutants, including Greenhouse Gases. By contrast, structural PSD program requirements do not include provisions that are not required under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 but are merely available as an option for the state, such as the option to provide grandfathering of complete permit applications with respect to the Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) NAAQS. Accordingly, the latter optional provisions are types of provisions EPA considers irrelevant in the context of an infrastructure SIP action.

    For other section 110(a)(2) elements, however, EPA's review of a state's infrastructure SIP submission focuses on assuring that the state's SIP meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) includes, inter alia, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor NSR program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction (SSM) that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions; 11 (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (NSR Reform). Thus, EPA believes that it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.12 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

    11 Subsequent to issuing the 2013 Guidance, EPA's interpretation of the CAA with respect to the approvability of affirmative defense provisions in SIPs has changed. See “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls To Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction,” 80 FR 33839 (June 12, 2015). As a result, EPA's 2013 Guidance (p. 21 & n.30) no longer represents the EPA's view concerning the validity of affirmative defense provisions, in light of the requirements of section 113 and section 304.

    12 By contrast, EPA notes that if a state were to include a new provision in an infrastructure SIP submission that contained a legal deficiency, such as a new exemption or affirmative defense for excess emissions during SSM events, then EPA would need to evaluate that provision for compliance against the rubric of applicable CAA requirements in the context of the action on the infrastructure SIP.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in section 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of section 110(a)(1) and (2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's SIP is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.13

    13 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.14 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.15

    14 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under section 110(k)(6) of the CAA to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062, November 16, 2004 (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    15See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (January 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. Section 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System for Florida

    Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to: (i) Monitor, compile, and analyze data on ambient air quality, and (ii) upon request, make such data available to the Administrator. In its January 22, 2013, SIP infrastructure submittal, Florida cites F.A.C. Chapters 62-204, 62-210, 62-212 as establishing requirements for the use of Federal Reference Method or equivalent monitors and provides authority for FDEP to establish monitoring requirements through SIP-approved permits. In addition, states develop and submit to EPA for approval annual statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan, and includes a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.16 On June 30, 2017, Florida submitted its most recent plan to EPA, which was approved by EPA on July 24, 2017. Florida's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0507. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Florida's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system related and meet the requirements of sub-element 110(a)(2)(B) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    16 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    V. Final Action

    EPA is taking a direct final action to approve a portion of Florida's January 22, 2013, SIP submission addressing the CAA infrastructure requirements for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. Specifically, EPA is taking direct final action to approve the portions of Florida's January 22, 2013, SIP submission addressing section 110(a)(2)(B) of the infrastructure requirements, which requires SIPs to provide for the establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to: (i) Monitor, compile, and analyze data on ambient air quality, and (ii) upon request, make such data available to the Administrator. EPA is approving this portion of Florida's infrastructure submission for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS because this submission is consistent with section 110 of the CAA.

    EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective October 10, 2017 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by September 11, 2017.

    If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All adverse public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on October 10, 2017 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 10, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: July 26, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart K-Florida 2. In § 52.520, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding the entry “110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS (Element B only)” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.520 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Florida Non-Regulatory Provisions Provision State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA
  • approval
  • date
  • Federal Register notice Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS (Element B only) 1/22/2013 8/10/2017 [insert Federal Register citation] Addressing section 110(a)(2)(B) concerning ambient air quality monitoring and data system only.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16809 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0204; FRL-9965-75-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Revision to Allegheny County Regulations for Open Burning AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania state implementation plan (SIP). The revisions update Allegheny County's portion of the Pennsylvania SIP, which includes regulations concerning open burning. Pennsylvania submitted updated regulations, on behalf of Allegheny County, which clarify and codify existing regulations in order to more effectively address emissions from open burning and protect public health. EPA is approving the SIP submittal of Allegheny County's regulations for open burning in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on November 8, 2017 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse written comment by September 11, 2017. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0204 at https://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, 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. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory A. Becoat, (215) 814-2036, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On June 25, 2015, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection submitted a formal revision to the Pennsylvania SIP. The SIP revision consists of amended versions of Allegheny County Health Department's (ACHD) regulations under Article XXI (Air Pollution Control), section 2101.20, “Definitions,” and section 2105.50, “Open Burning.” Allegheny County does not currently meet the federal air quality standards for fine particulate matter under 2.5 microns in size (PM2.5), including the 2015 PM2.5 national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS), as measured annually. Wood smoke contains air toxics and contributes to high levels of PM2.5 in Allegheny County. The revised regulations clarify and codify existing regulations regarding open burning in order to more effectively address emissions due to the numerous pollutants, including air toxics, found in wood smoke. The revised ACHD regulations, effective January 1, 2015, specify the following details related to various aspects of open burning: (1) Materials that may be burned; (2) the size of burn piles; (3) setback requirements; (4) use of chimineas, fire pits, and outdoor fireplaces; and (5) burning restrictions on air quality action days.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision and EPA Analysis

    In the June 25, 2015 SIP submittal, Pennsylvania included revisions to Article XXI, sections 2101.20 and 2105.50 with a state effective date of January 1, 2015. The revision to section 2101.20 (Definitions) under Article XXI amends the definition of “open burning” to additionally include any fire or combustion that occurs in a chiminea, fire pit, outdoor fireplace or grill. The revisions to section 2105.50 (Open Burning) under Article XXI consist of the following: (1) Limit any open burning to clean wood, propane, or natural gas, and establishes specific exceptions to the limits; (2) limit the volume of clean wood being burned and limiting the distance permitted between open burning locations and inhabited areas; (3) establish the exceptions to burning clean wood for chimineas, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces and grills. These exceptions pertain to the use of charcoal, propane, or natural gas when pertaining to cooking, the use of commercially available fire logs, paraffin logs and wood pellets, and the use of paper or commercial smokeless fire starters to start an allowed fire; (4) prohibit wood burning activities on air quality action days, with the exception of commercial food preparation; (5) allow ACHD to prohibit or reduce open burning based on severity, duration, topography, and meteorological conditions; (6) restrict open burning activities on air quality action days, with the exception of conducting such burning for the commercial preparation of food; and (7) make the necessary administrative word changes and paragraph renumbering in order to clarify and codify various regulatory and existing policies.

    These SIP revisions further address emissions from open burning, which should reduce PM2.5 pollution and assist Pennsylvania with the 2015 PM2.5 NAAQS. These revised regulations limit the times and fuel types permitted for open burning which should reduce pollutants emitted during open burning including PM2.5. The revised provisions are expected to reduce PM2.5 emissions throughout Allegheny County. EPA finds that the submittal strengthens the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania SIP and is in accordance with section 110 of the CAA. Therefore, approving these regulation revisions will not interfere with attainment of the NAAQS, rate of progress, reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirement of the CAA. For additional analysis, see EPA's Technical Support Document available in the docket for this rulemaking and online at www.regulations.gov.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is approving the Pennsylvania June 2015 SIP submittal which contained revised provisions of ACHD's Article XXI (Air Pollution Control), section 2101.20, “Definitions,” and section 2105.50, “Open Burning” as the revisions meet requirements in CAA section 110. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of today's Federal Register, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are filed. This rule will be effective on November 8, 2017 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comment by September 11, 2017. If EPA receives adverse comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of section 2101.20 and section 2105.50 under Article XXI (Air Pollution Control). Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update of the SIP compilation.1 EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region III Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    1 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; 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 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 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.

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 8, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking action. This action, which approves revisions to section 2101.20 and section 2105.50 under Article XXI (Air Pollution Control), may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 24, 2017. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart NN—Pennsylvania
    2. In § 52.2020, the table in paragraph (c)(2) is amended by: a. Adding an entry for “2101.20” in numerical order under “Part A—General”. b. Revising the entry for “2105.50”.

    The addition and revision read as follows:

    § 52.2020 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (2) * * *

    Article XX or XXI
  • citation
  • Title/subject State
  • effective date
  • EPA
  • approval date
  • Additional explanation/
  • § 52.2063 citation
  • Part A—General *         *         *         *         *         *         * 2101.20 Definitions 01/01/15 8/10/17, [insert Federal Register citation] Revised existing definition of “Open burning.” All remaining definitions are unchanged as approved on June 24, 2015 (80 FR 36239). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subpart 5—Open Burning and Abrasive Blasting Sources 2105.50 Open Burning 01/01/15 8/10/17, [insert Federal Register citation] Adding 2105.50(a)(1) subparagraphs A through C.
  • Revising 2105.50(a)(3) and recodifying as 2105.50(a)(5)
  • Adding 2105.50(a)(4) Revising 2105.50(e) to replace “Enforcement” with “Coal Refuse Piles” Revising 2105.50(f) to replace “Permits” with “Enforcement” and recodifying “Permits” as 2105.50(d) Revising 2105.50(d) by removing previous language in 2105.50(d)(1)(E) and recodifying to replace with language in 2105.50(d)(1)(F). Recodifying 2105.50(d)(1)(F) to replace with language in 2105.50(d)(1)(G). Removing 2105.50(d)(1)(G). Adding 2105.50(d)(6) Prior Approval—6/24/2015, 80 FR 36239 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-16806 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 81 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0223; FRL-9965-97-OAR] Withdrawal of Extension of Deadline for Promulgating Designations for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of extension of deadline for promulgating designations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that it is withdrawing the 1-year extension of the deadline for promulgating initial area designations for the ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) that were promulgated in October 2015. Thus, unless and until the Administrator takes additional final action, the 2-year deadline for promulgating designations provided in the Clean Air Act (CAA) applies.

    DATES:

    The deadline for the EPA to promulgate initial designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS is October 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions regarding this action, contact Carla Oldham, Air Quality Planning Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Mail Code C539-04, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-3347; email address: [email protected]

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

    Entities potentially affected by this action include state, local and tribal governments that would participate in the initial area designation process for the 2015 ozone standards.

    B. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information?

    The EPA has established a docket for designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0223. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., confidential business information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the EPA Docket Center is (202) 566-1742.

    An electronic copy of this notice is also available at http://www.epa.gov/ozone-designations along with other information related to designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS.

    II. Designations Requirements

    On October 1, 2015, the EPA signed a notice of final rulemaking that revised the 8-hour primary and secondary ozone NAAQS (80 FR 65292; October 26, 2015). Both standards were lowered from 0.075 parts per million (ppm) to a level of 0.070 ppm.

    After the EPA establishes or revises a NAAQS pursuant to CAA section 109, the CAA directs the EPA and the states to begin taking steps to ensure that those NAAQS are met. The first step is to identify areas of the country that meet or do not meet that NAAQS. This step is known as the initial area designations. Section 107(d)(1)(A) of the CAA provides that, “By such date as the Administrator may reasonably require, but not later than 1 year after promulgation of a new or revised national ambient air quality standard for any pollutant under section [109], the Governor of each State shall * * * submit to the Administrator a list of all areas (or portions thereof) in the State” that designates those areas as nonattainment, attainment, or unclassifiable.

    The CAA further provides, “Upon promulgation or revision of a national ambient air quality standard, the Administrator shall promulgate the designations of all areas (or portions thereof) * * * as expeditiously as practicable, but in no case later than 2 years from the date of promulgation of the new or revised national ambient air quality standard. Such period may be extended for up to one year in the event the Administrator has insufficient information to promulgate the designations.” 42 U.S.C. 7407(d)(1)(B)(i).

    In the EPA guidance, “Area Designations for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” the EPA indicated it expected to complete the initial area designations by October 1, 2017, consistent with the statutory requirement that the EPA designate areas no later than 2 years following promulgation of a revised NAAQS.1

    1 Memorandum from Janet G. McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator, to Regional Administrators, Regions 1-10. February 25, 2016.

    III. Withdrawal of Extension of Deadline for Promulgating Designations for the 2015 Ozone NAAQS

    In letters sent to states on June 6, 2017, and in a Federal Register notice published on June 28, 2017 (82 FR 29246), the EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that he was using his authority under section 107(d)(1)(B)(i) of the CAA to extend by 1 year, to October 1, 2018, the deadline for promulgating initial area designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. At that time (i.e., in early June), it was not clear that the agency would be in the position to complete designations for all areas for the 2015 ozone NAAQS in accordance with the 2-year statutory deadline of October 1, 2017. For a variety of other NAAQS in the past, previous EPA Administrators have used the authority under section 107(d)(1)(B)(i) to take additional time to complete designations.2 The Administrator decided to similarly invoke the extension with regard to designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS.

    2 For the 2008 ozone NAAQS, see 75 FR 2936 (January 19, 2010); for the 2008 lead NAAQS, see 75 FR 71033 (November 22, 2010); for the 2010 sulfur dioxide NAAQS, see 77 FR 46295 (August 3, 2012); and for the 2012 fine particulate matter NAAQS, see 80 FR 2206 (January 15, 2015).

    The EPA has continued to discuss and work with states concerning designations, and now understands that the information gaps that formed the basis of the extension may not be as expansive as we previously believed. The EPA now intends to reassess whether there are areas with underlying technical issues, whether there are state designation recommendations that the EPA intends to modify, and whether for any area there is insufficient information to promulgate the designation. The EPA believes this reevaluation will help ensure that more Americans are living and working in areas that meet national air quality standards. The agency believes that there may be areas of the United States for which designations could be promulgated in the next few months. Therefore, the EPA is withdrawing its prior announced 1-year extension of the deadline for promulgating initial area designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS, and the 2-year deadline for promulgating designations provided in section 107(d)(1)(B) of the CAA applies. The Administrator may still determine that an extension of time to complete designations is necessary, but is not making such a determination at this time.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, Wilderness areas.

    Dated: August 2, 2017. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16901 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R03-RCRA-2014-0407; FRL-9965-87-Region 3] Delaware: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    This final authorization will become effective on October 10, 2017, unless EPA receives adverse written comments by September 11, 2017. If EPA receives any such comments, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of this direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that this authorization will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-RCRA-2014-0407, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Evelyn Sorto, U.S. EPA Region III, RCRA Waste Branch, Mailcode 3LC32, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029; Phone: (215) 814-2123; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Why are revisions to State programs necessary?

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

    B. What decisions has EPA made in this rule?

    On August 19, 2016, Delaware submitted a final program revision application (with subsequent corrections) seeking authorization of revisions to its hazardous waste program that correspond to certain Federal rules promulgated between July 30, 2003 and July 28, 2006. EPA concludes that Delaware's application to revise its authorized program meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA, as set forth in RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), and 40 CFR part 271. Therefore, EPA grants Delaware final authorization to operate its hazardous waste program with the revisions described in its authorization application, and as outlined below in Section G of this document.

    Delaware has responsibility for permitting treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) within its borders and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its application, subject to the limitations of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA). New Federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by Federal regulations that EPA promulgates under the authority of HSWA take effect in authorized States before they are authorized for the requirements. Thus, EPA will implement those HSWA requirements and prohibitions for which Delaware has not been authorized, including issuing HSWA permits, until the State is granted authorization to do so.

    C. What is the effect of this authorization decision?

    This action serves to authorize revisions to Delaware's authorized hazardous waste program. This action does not impose additional requirements on the regulated community because the regulations for which Delaware is being authorized by this action are already effective and are not changed by this action. Delaware has enforcement responsibilities under its state hazardous waste program for violations of its program, but EPA retains its authority under RCRA sections 3007, 3008, 3013, and 7003, which include, among others, authority to:

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

    • Enforce RCRA requirements and suspend or revoke permits; and

    • Take enforcement actions regardless of whether Delaware has taken its own actions.

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

    Along with this direct final rule, EPA is publishing a separate document in the “Proposed Rules” section of this issue of the Federal Register that serves as the proposal to authorize these State program revisions. EPA did not publish a proposal before this rule because EPA views this action as a routine program change and does not expect comments that oppose its approval. EPA is providing an opportunity for public comment now, as described in Section E of this document.

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

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

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

    F. What has Delaware previously been authorized for?

    Delaware initially received final authorization effective June 22, 1984 (June 8, 1984; 49 FR 23837). EPA granted authorization for revisions to Delaware's regulatory program on August 8, 1996, effective October 7, 1996 (61 FR 41345); August 18, 1998, effective October 19, 1998 (63 FR 44152); July 12, 2000, effective September 11, 2000 (65 FR 42871); August 8, 2002, effective August 8, 2002 (67 FR 51478); March 4, 2004, effective May 3, 2004 (69 FR 10171); and October 7, 2004, effective December 6, 2004 (69 FR 60091).

    G. What revisions is EPA authorizing with this action?

    On August 19, 2016, Delaware submitted a final program revision application (with subsequent corrections), seeking authorization of additional revisions to its program in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21. Delaware's revision application includes various regulations that are equivalent to, and no less stringent than, selected Federal final hazardous waste rules, as published in the Federal Register between July 30, 2003 and July 28, 2006.

    EPA now makes a direct final rule, subject to receipt of written comments that oppose this action, that Delaware's hazardous waste program revision application satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for final authorization. Therefore, EPA grants Delaware final authorization for the following program revisions:

    1. Program Revision Changes for Federal Rules

    Delaware seeks authority to administer the Federal requirements that are listed in Table 1 below. This table lists the Delaware analogs that have been revised; these revisions are being recognized as no less stringent than the analogous Federal requirements.

    Delaware's regulatory references are to Delaware's Regulations Governing Hazardous Waste (DRGHW), amended and effective August 21, 2006, December 21, 2007, December 21, 2008, May 21, 2009, and April 21, 2016. Additionally, there are some minor corrections that were promulgated and became effective on or before April 21, 2016. The statutory references are to 7 Delaware Code annotated (1991).

    Table 1—Delaware's Analogs to the Federal Requirements Description of Federal requirement
  • (revision checklists 1)
  • Federal Register Delaware authority 2
    RCRA Cluster XIV Recycled Used Oil Management Standards, Revision Checklist 203 68 FR 44659, 7/30/2003 DRGHW 279.74.
  • More stringent provisions: 261.5(j) and 279.10(i).
  • RCRA Cluster XV Nonwastewaters from Dyes and Pigments, Revision Checklist 206 70 FR 9138, 2/24/2005; as amended at 70 FR 35032, 6/16/2005 DRGHW 261.4(b)(15), 261.32, 261 Appendix VII-VIII, 268.20, 268.40/Treatment Standards Table, 268.48/Universal Treatment Standards Table. Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest Rule, Revision Checklist 207 70 FR 10776, 6/16/2005; as amended at 70 FR 35034, 6/16/2004 DRGHW 260.10, 261.7(b)(1)(iii)(A)-(B), 262.20(a)(1)-(2) [April 21, 2016], 262.21, 262.27, 262.32(b), 262.33, 262.34(m), 262.54(c) and (e), 262.60(c)-(e), 262/Appendix, 263.20(a), 263.20(g), 263.21, 264.70, 264.71(a), 264.71(b)(4), 264.71(e), 264.72, 264.76, 265.70, 265.71(a), 265.71(b)(4), 265.71(e), 265.72, 265.76. RCRA Cluster XVI Universal Waste Rule: Specific Provisions for Mercury Containing Equipment, Revision Checklist 209 70 FR 45508, 8/5/2005 DRGHW 260.10, 261.9(c), 264.1(g)(11)(iii), 265.1(c)(14)(iii), 268.1(f)(3), 122.1(c)(2)(viii)(C), 273.1(a)(3), 273.4, 273.9, 273.13(c), 273.14(d), 273.32(b)(4)-(5), 273.33(c)-(d). Revision of Wastewater Treatment Exemptions for Hazardous Waste Mixtures, Revision Checklist 211 70 FR 57769, 10/4/2005 DRGHW 261.3(a)(2)(iv)(A)-(B), (D), (F)-(G). RCRA Cluster XVII Corrections to Errors in the Code of Federal Regulations, Revision Checklist 214 71 FR 40254, 7/14/2006 Part 260, Subpart B. DRGHW 260.10 [2016].
  • Part 260, Subpart C.
  • DRGHW 260.22(a)(1), 260.22(d)(1)(ii), 260.40(a), 260.41 introductory paragraph.
  • Part 261, Subpart A. DRGHW 261.2(c)(1)(i), 261.3(a)(2)(i), 261.4(a)(20)(v), 261.4(b)(6)(i)(B), 261.4(b)(6)(ii) introductory paragraph, 261.4(b)(6)(ii)(D), 261.4(b)(6)(ii)(F), 261.4(b)(9), 261.4(e)(2)(vi), 261.4(e)(3)(i), 261.6(a)(2)(i)-(iv), [April 21, 2016], 261.6(c)(2). Part 261, Subpart C. DRGHW 261.21 [April 21, 2016], 261.24(b). Part 261, Subpart D. DRGHW 261.31(a)/Table, 261.32 Table “K107” and “K069” entries, 261.33(e), 261.33(e)/Table [2016], 261.33(f), 261.33(f)/Table, 261.38(c)(1)(i)(C)(4), 261/Appendix VII-VIII. Part 262, Subpart C. DRGHW 262.34(a)(1)(iv). Part 262, Subpart E. DRGHW 262.53(b), 262.56(b), 262.58(a)(1). Part 262, Subpart G. DRGHW 262.70. Part 262, Subpart H. DRGHW 262.83(b)(1)(i), 262.83(b)(2)(i), 262.84(e), 262.87(a), 262.87(a)(5) introductory paragraph [2016]. Part 264, Subpart A. DRGHW 264.1(g)(2), 264.4. Part 264, Subpart B. DRGHW 264.13(b)(7)(iii)(B), 264.17(b) introductory paragraph, 264.18(a)(2)(iii), 264.18(b)(2)(iii). Part 264, Subpart F. DRGHW 264.97(a)(1) introductory paragraph, 264.97(a)(1)(i), 264.97(i)(5), 264.98(a)(2), 264.98(g)(4)(i), 264.99(h)(2) introductory text, 264.101(d). Part 264, Subpart G. DRGHW 264.111(c), 264.112(b)(8), 264.115, 264.116, 264.118(c), 264.119(b)(1)(ii). Part 264, Subpart H. DRGHW 264.140(d)(1), 264.142(b)(2), 264.143(b)(7)-(8), 264.143(e)(5), 264.145(a)(3)(i), 264.145(d)(6), 264.145(f)(11) introductory paragraph, 264.147(h)(1), 264.151(b), 264.151(f) introductory paragraph, 264.151(g) Letter from Chief Financial Officer (including fifth paragraph; item 3; Part A/Alternative I, item *3; Part B/Alternative I, items 10 and 15; Part B/Alternative II, item *7), 264.151(h)(2) (including Guarantee for Liability Coverage; Certification of Valid Claim, Recitals, item 13.(a); Recitals, item 14), 264.151(i), item 2.(e), 264.151(j), item 2.(d), 264.151(k) (including Irrevocable Standby Letter of Credit and Certificate of Valid Claim), 264.151(l), 264.151(l) Certification of Valid Claim, 264.151(m)(1) Certification of Valid Claim/Section 8.(c), 264.151(n)(1) Standby Trust Agreement/Section 3.(c)(1), 264.151(n)(1) Section 3.(e)(3) [April 21, 2016], 264.151(n)(1) Sections 12 and 16. Part 264, Subpart I. DRGHW 264.175(b)(1). Part 264, Subpart J. DRGHW 264.193(c)(4) Note, 264.193(d)(4), 264.193(e)(2)(ii)-(iii), 264.193(e)(2)(v)(A)-(B), 264.193(e)(3)(i)-(ii), 264.193(g)(1)(iii)-(iv), 264.193(g)(2)(i)(A). Part 264, Subpart K. DRGHW 264.221(c)(1)(i)(B), 264.221(c)(2)(ii), 264.221(e)(1), 264.221(e)(2)(i)(B)-(C), 264.223(b)(1), 264.226(a)(2). Part 264, Subpart L. DRGHW 264.251(a)(2)(i)(A), 264.252, 264.259(b). Part 264, Subpart M. DRGHW 264.280(c)(7), 264.280(d) introductory paragraph, 264.283(a). Part 264, Subpart N. DRGHW 264.301(c)(2), 264.301(e)(2)(i)(B), 264.302, 264.304(b)(1), 264.314(e)(2), 264.317(a) introductory paragraph. Part 264, Subpart O. DRGHW 264.344(b). Part 264, Subpart S. DRGHW 264.552(e)(4)(iii), 264.552(e)(6)(iii)(E), 264.553(e) introductory paragraph, 264.554(a) introductory paragraph. Part 264, Subpart W. DRGHW 264.555(e)(6), 264.573(a)(1), 264.573(a)(4)(i), 264.573(a)(5), 264.573(b) introductory paragraph, 264.573(m)(2)-(3). Part 264, Subpart X. DRGHW 264.600, 264.601(a) introductory paragraph, 264.601(b)(11), 264.601(c)(4). Part 264, Subpart AA. DRGHW 264.1030(c), 264.1033(f)(2)(vii)(B), 264.1034(b)(2), 264.1035(c)(4)(i)-(ii). Part 264, Subpart BB. DRGHW 264.1050(f), 264.1058(c)(1), 264.1064(c)(3). Part 264, Subpart CC. DRGWH 264.1080(a) and (c), 264.1090(c). Part 264, Subpart DD. DRGHW 264.1101(b)(3)(iii), 264.1101(c)(3) introductory paragraph, 264.1101(c)(3)(i), 264.1101(d) introductory paragraph, 264.1102(a), 264/Appendix I/Table 1 and Table 2 (Section 2.(d)). Part 265, Subpart A. DRGHW 265.1(c)(4)(i), 265.1(c)(6). Part 265, Subpart B. DRGHW 265.12(a)(1), 265.14(b)(1), 265.16(b), 265.19(c)(2). Part 265, Subpart D. DRGHW 265.56(b). Part 265, Subpart F. DRGHW 265.90(e). Part 265, Subpart G. DRGHW 265.110(b)(4), 265.111(c), 265.112(b)(5), 265.112(d)(4), 265.113(b) introductory paragraph, 265.117(b) introductory paragraph, 265.119(b)(1)(ii). Part 265, Subpart H. DRGHW 265.140(b) introductory paragraph, 265.140(b)(2), 265.142(a), 265.145(e)(11), 265.147(a)(1)(i), 265.147(b)(1)(i)-(ii). Part 265, Subpart I. DRGHW 265.174. Part 265, Subpart J. DRGHW 265.193(e)(2)(v), 265.193(i)(2), 265.194(b)(1)-(2), 265.197(b), 265.201(c) introductory paragraph. Part 265, Subpart K. DRGHW 265.221(a), 265.221(d)(2)(i)(A)-(B), 265.223(b)(1)(Response Actions), 265.228(a)(2)(iii)(D), 265.228(b)(2), 265.229(b)(2) and (b)(3). Part 265, Subpart L. DRGHW 265.255(b), 265.259(b)(1). Part 265, Subpart M. DRGHW 265.280(a)(4), 265.281(a)(1). Part 265, Subpart N. DRGHW 265.301(a), 265.301(d)(1), 265.301(d)(2)(i)(B), 265.302(b), 265.303(b)(1), 265.312(a)(1), 265.314(f)(1)(ii), 265.314(g)(2), 265.316 introductory paragraph, 265.316(c)-(d). Part 265, Subpart Q. DRGHW 265.405(a)(1)(i). Part 265, Subpart W. DRGHW 265.441(c), 265.443(a)(4)(i), 265.443(b) introductory paragraph, 265.445(b). Part 265, Subpart AA. DRGHW 265.1033(f)(2)(ii), 265.1035(b)(2) introductory paragraph, 265.1035(b)(2)(i), 265.1035(c)(4)(i), 265.1063(b)(4)(ii). Part 265, Subpart CC. DRGHW 265.1080(a), 265.1085(h)(3) introductory paragraph, 265.1087(b), 265.1090(f)(1). Part 265, Subpart DD. DRGHW 265.1100(d), 265.1101(b)(4)(i)(B), 265.1101(b)(4)(iii), 265.1101(c)(3) introductory paragraph, 265.1101(d) introductory paragraph, 265 Appendix I/Tables 1 and 2, 265 Appendix V/Table, 265 Appendix VI [2016]. Part 266, Subpart F. DRGHW 266.70(a). Part 266, Subpart G. DRGHW 266.80(a)/Table. Part 266, Subpart H. DRGHW 266.100(b)(2)(iii), 266.100(d)(3)(i)(A), 266.100(g) introductory paragraph, 266.102(a)(2)(vi), 266.102(e)(3)(i)(E), 266.102(e)(5)(i)(C), 266.102(e)(6)(ii)(B)(2), 266.102(e)(8)(iii), 266.103(a)(4)(vii), 266.103(b)(2)(v)(B)(2), 266.103(b)(5)(ii)(A), 266,103(b)(6)(viii)(A), 266.103(c)(1)(i), 266.103(c)(1)(ii)(A)(2), 266.103(c)(1)(ix) introductory paragraph, 266.103(c)(1)(ix)(A), 266.103(c)(4)(iv)(C)(1), 266.103(g)(1)(i), 266.106(d)(1), 266.109(a)(2)(ii), 266.109(b) introductory paragraph. Part 266, Subpart N. DRGHW Part 266 subpart N heading. Part 266, Appendices. DRGHW Part 266 Appendix III-VI, VIII, IX, and XIII. Part 268, Subpart A. DRGHW 268.2(g), 268.4(a)(3) introductory paragraph, 268.6(c)(5) introductory paragraph, 268.7(a)(1) [more stringent provision], 268.7(a)(3)(ii), 268.7(a)(4)/Table (entry 8), 268.7(b)(3)(ii)/Table (entry 5), 268.7(b)(4)(ii), 268.7(c)(2) [2016], 268.7(d) introductory paragraph, 268.7(d)(1) introductory paragraph, 268.7(d)(1)(i)-(iii), 268.7(d)(2)-(3). Part 268, Subpart B. DRGHW 268.14(b)-(c). Part 268, Subpart D. DRGHW 268.40(g), 268.40/Table “Treatment Standards for Hazardous Wastes,” 268.42/Table 1, 268.44(c), 268.45/Table 1, 268.48/Table “Universal Treatment Standards,” 268.49(d). Part 268, Subpart E. DRGHW 268.50(c) and (g), Part 268 Appendix VIII. 40 CFR 270.1(c)(1)(iii), 270.1(c)(3)(i) introductory paragraph, 270.2 DRGHW 122.1(a)(2), 122.1(c)(1)(iii), 122.1(c)(3)(i) introductory paragraph, 122.2. 40 CFR 270.10(j), 270.11(d)(1)-(2), 270.13(k)(7), 270.14(a), 270.14(b)(11)(ii)(B), 270.14(b)(19)(iii), 270.14(b)(21), 270.17(f), 270.18(b), 270.18(g), 270.20(i)(2), 270.26(c)(15) DRGHW 122.10(j), 122.11(d)(1)-(2), 122.13(k)(7), 122.14(a), 122.14(b)(11)(ii)(B), 122.14(b)(19)(iii), 122.14(b)(21), 122.17(f), 122.18(b) and (g), 122.20(i)(2), 122.26(c)(15). 40 CFR 270.33(b) introductory paragraph DRGHW 122.33(b) introductory paragraph. 40 CFR 270.41(c), 270.42(d)(2)(i), 270.42 Appendix I DRGHW 122.41(c), 122.42(d)(2)(i), 122.42 Appendix I. 40 CFR 270.70(a) introductory paragraph, 270.72(b)(2) DRGHW 122.70(a) introductory paragraph, 122.72(b)(2). Part 273, Subpart A. DRGHW 273.9. Part 273, Subpart B. DRGHW 273.13(b) introductory paragraph, 273.14(a). Part 273, Subpart C. DRGHW 273.34(a). Part 279, Subpart A. DRGHW 279.1. Part 279, Subpart B. DRGHW 279.10(b)(2), 279.11, 279.11/Table 1. Part 279, Subpart E. DRGHW 279.43(c)(3)(i), 279.43(c)(5), 279.44(a), 279.44(c)(2), 279.45(a). Part 279, Subpart F. DRGHW 279.52, 279.55(a) introductory paragraph, 279.55(b)(2)(i)(B) [2016], 279.56(a)(2), 279.57(a)(2)(ii), 279.59. Part 279, Subpart G. DRGHW 279.63(b)(3), 279.64(e). Part 279, Subpart H. DRGHW 279.70(b)(1). Cathode Ray Tubes Rule, Revision Checklist 215 71 FR 42928, 7/28/2006 DRGHW 260.10, 261.4(b)(16), 261.39, 261.40, 262.20 (Certain portions of the regulations are considered broader in scope; see discussion in Section H.1(a)). 1 A Revision Checklist is a document that addresses the specific revisions made to the Federal regulations by one or more related final rules published in the Federal Register. EPA develops these checklists as tools to assist States in developing their authorization applications and in documenting specific State analogs to the Federal regulations. For more information see EPA's RCRA State Authorization Web page at https://www.epa.gov/rcra/state-authorization-under-resource-conservation-and-recovery-act-rcra. 2 Unless otherwise indicated, all Delaware citations are from the state's 2009 regulations. Minor modifications that became effective in 2016, but for which the exact effective date is unknown are denoted with a “[2016]” following the regulatory citation.
    2. State-Initiated Changes

    Delaware's program revision application includes State-initiated changes that are not directly related to any of the Revision Checklists in Table 1. These State-initiated revisions to some of Delaware's existing regulations are for the purposes of correcting errors and adding consistency or clarification to the existing regulations. EPA has evaluated the changes and has determined that the State's regulations remain consistent with, and are no less stringent than, the corresponding Federal regulations. EPA grants Delaware final authorization for the State provisions listed in Table 2. The following State-initiated revisions are equivalent and analogous to the numerically identical provisions of the Federal RCRA regulations found at relevant or applicable 40 CFR sections as of July 1, 2007.

    Table 2—Equivalent State-Initiated Changes Federal RCRA citation (40 CFR) State citation (DRGHW) 262.21 262.21. 262.23 262.23. 263.21, 264/265.72 263.21, 264/265.72. 264/265.119, 264/265.276 264/265.119, 264/265.276. 264.143(h), 264.145(h), 265.143(g), 265.145(g), 264.151(a) and (m) 264.143(h), 264.145(h), 265.143(g), 265.145(g), 264.151(a) and (m). 264.151(a)(1) Section 8(c) 264.151(a)(1) Section 8(c). 266, Appendix IX 266, Appendix IX. H. Where are the revised Delaware rules different from the Federal rules? 1. Delaware Requirements That Are Broader in Scope

    The Delaware hazardous waste program contains certain provisions that are broader in scope than the Federal program. These broader in scope provisions are not part of the program being authorized by this action. EPA cannot enforce requirements that are broader in scope, although compliance with such provisions is required by Delaware law. Examples of broader in scope provisions of Delaware's program include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (a) DRGHW 260.10 includes the definition of “cathode ray tube (CRT) generator,” which is not found in the Federal regulations. Furthermore, the definition of “CRT processing” found at DRGHW 260.10, and the requirements at DRGHW 261.39, DRGHW 261.40, and DRGHW 261.4(b)(16)(i)-(iii), contain language regarding the management of cathode ray tubes as a solid waste. Under the Federal requirements, used CRTs that meet certain conditions are not a solid waste and would not be regulated. Delaware continues to regulate those used CRTs even if they meet the Federal exclusion requirements. As a result, Delaware's regulation of these excluded CRTs goes beyond the scope of the Federal program and is not a part of the Federally enforceable program.

    (b) The Delaware regulations promulgated at DRGHW 263 Subpart E outline provisions for hazardous waste transporter permits. Because there is no counterpart in the Federal regulations that addresses hazardous waste transporter permits, this entire section (DRGHW 263 Subpart E) is broader in scope. Delaware has made changes to subparagraphs 263.102(b)(3) and (4) of DRGHW 263 Subpart E. These subparagraphs set forth conditions that could lead to the modification, denial, termination, or revocation of a hazardous waste transporter permit. There are no provisions in the Federal regulations that address the modification, denial, termination, or revocation of a hazardous waste transporter permit. As a result, these DRGHW provisions go beyond the scope of the Federal program.

    2. Delaware Requirements That Are More Stringent Than the Federal Program

    Delaware's hazardous waste program contains several provisions that are more stringent than the RCRA program. The more stringent provisions are part of the Federally-authorized program and are, therefore, Federally-enforceable. The specific more stringent provisions are also noted in Table 1 and in Delaware's authorization application. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (a) The Federal regulations at 40 CFR 261.5(j) state that if a conditionally exempt small quantity generator's wastes are mixed with used oil, the mixture is subject to the “Standards for the Management of Used Oil.” However, Delaware's regulations at DRGHW 261.5(j) state that if a conditionally exempt small quantity generator's wastes are mixed with used oil, the mixture is subject to several standards including: the Hazardous Waste Management System; Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste; Standards Applicable to Generators of Hazardous Waste; Standards Applicable to Transporters of Hazardous Waste; Standards for Owners and Operators of Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities; Interim Status Standards for Owners and Operators of Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities; Standards for the Management of Specific Types of Hazardous Waste; Land Disposal Restrictions; the Hazardous Waste Permit Program; and Procedures for Decision Making. Because Delaware imposes additional standards on waste and used oil mixtures, Delaware's regulations are more stringent than the Federal requirements.

    (b) DRGHW 261.41 includes more stringent requirements, at DRGHW 261.41(a), which are not found in 40 CFR 261.41. Specifically, the Delaware provision imposes additional requirements on used, intact Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) exported for reuse. When applied to CRTs that are regulated by the Federal requirements, the provisions at DRGHW 261.41(a) are more stringent than the Federal requirements.

    (c) The Delaware regulations at DRGHW 262.12(d) require that a generator submit a “RCRA Subtitle C Site Identification Form” (EPA Form 8700-12) whenever there is a change in name, mailing address, contact person, contact address, telephone number, ownership, type of regulated waste activity, description of regulated wastes managed, or if the generator permanently ceases the regulated waste activity. This notification must be submitted to the DNREC Secretary no less than 10 days prior to the implementation of the change(s). The Federal regulations at 40 CFR 262.12 do not require the submission of a “RCRA Subtitle C Site Identification Form” (EPA Form 8700-12) whenever there is a change in name, mailing address, contact person, contact address, telephone number, ownership, type of regulated waste activity, description of regulated wastes managed, or if the generator permanently ceases the regulated waste activity. Therefore, this provision of Delaware's regulations is more stringent than the Federal requirement.

    (d) The Federal requirements in 40 CFR 262.20 detail the procedures generators must follow when preparing a manifest. The paragraph at 40 CFR 262.20(e) includes conditions whereby generators that generate more than 100 kilograms, but less than 1000 kilograms in a calendar month would be exempt from the manifest requirements. Delaware's regulations at DRGHW 262.20 also include guidelines for the preparation of a manifest. However, paragraph 262.20(e) in the DRGHW is labeled as “Reserved”. Therefore, the manifest exemption for generators that generate more than 100 kilograms, but less than 1000 kilograms of hazardous waste in a calendar month that is included in the CFR is excluded from Delaware's regulations. Thus, Delaware regulations are considered to be more stringent.

    (e) The Federal regulations promulgated at 40 CFR 262.44 state that generators who generate more than 100 kilograms, but less than 1000 kilograms of hazardous waste in a calendar month are subject to reporting and recordkeeping requirements in 40 CFR 262.40(a), (c), and (d); 40 CFR 262.42(b); and 40 CFR 262.43. Delaware's regulations impose additional reporting and recordkeeping requirements on these generators. Specifically, Delaware's regulations at DRGHW 262.44 call for generators who generate more than 100 kilograms, but less than 1000 kilograms to follow the reporting and recordkeeping requirements in DRGHW 262.40(a), (b), (c), and (d); DRGHW 262.42(b); and DRGHW 262.43. Therefore, Delaware's regulations are more stringent than the Federal regulations.

    (f) The Delaware regulations at DRGHW 265.176(b) require the owner(s) or operator(s) of waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities to take precautions to prevent accidental ignition or reaction of ignitable or reactive waste. Specifically, owner(s) or operator(s) must implement preventative measures including: Separating and protecting ignitable or reactive waste from sources of ignition or reaction, confining smoking and open flame to specially designated locations while ignitable or reactive waste is being handled, and conspicuously placing “No smoking” signs wherever there is a hazard from ignitable or reactive waste. The Federal regulation promulgated at 40 CFR 265.176 does not include provisions for owner(s) or operator(s) of waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities to prevent accidental ignition or reaction of ignitable or reactive waste. Hence, Delaware's regulation is more stringent.

    (g) The Federal regulations at 40 CFR 268.7 include testing, tracking, and recordkeeping requirements for generators, treaters, and disposal facilities. The provision at 40 CFR 268.7(a)(1) states that a generator must determine whether its hazardous waste must be treated before it can be land disposed. It also says that generators can make this determination by either testing the waste or using knowledge of the waste. The provision also gives generators the option to send their waste to a RCRA-permitted hazardous waste facility, where the facility would have to test the hazardous waste. Delaware also has testing, tracking, and recordkeeping requirements for generators, treaters, and disposal facilities, which can be found at DRGHW 268.7. Delaware's regulations at DRGHW 268.7(a)(1) require that generators determine whether their hazardous waste must be treated before it can be land disposed. Similar to the federal requirements, Delaware's regulations state that generators can either test the waste or use knowledge of the waste to make this determination. However, Delaware's regulations do not include a provision to allow generators to send their waste to a RCRA-permitted facility for testing. Therefore, Delaware's requirements are more stringent than Federal requirements.

    (h) The Delaware regulations promulgated at DRGHW 279.10(i) state that marketers and burners of used oil who market used oil containing any quantifiable level of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are subject to both the “Standards for the Management of Used Oil” set forth in DRGHW Part 279 and the requirements found at 40 CFR 761.20(e). The Federal regulations at 40 CFR 279.10(i), however, list the criteria whereby used oil containing PCBs may become subject to both the “Standards for the Management of Used Oil” and the requirements of 40 CFR part 761. As a result, under the Federal regulations, marketers and burners or used oil who market used oil containing PCBs may be subject to either the requirements of 40 CFR part 279 or the requirements of 40 CFR part 761. Because Delaware always requires compliance with both parts of the regulations, Delaware's regulations are more stringent.

    (i) The Delaware regulations at DRGHW 279.22(b)(3) state that containers and aboveground tanks utilized to store used oil at generator facilities must be closed during storage, except when it is necessary to add or remove oil. The Federal regulations at 40 CFR 279.22(b) do not require that containers and aboveground storage tanks remain closed during storage, thereby making Delaware's regulations more stringent.

    I. Who handles permits after the authorization takes effect?

    After this authorization revision, Delaware will continue to issue permits covering all the provisions for which it is authorized and will administer all such permits. EPA will continue to administer any RCRA hazardous waste permits or portions of permits that it issued prior to the effective date of this authorization until the timing and process for effective transfer to the State are mutually agreed upon. Until such time as EPA formally transfers responsibility for a permit to Delaware and EPA terminates its permit, EPA and Delaware agree to coordinate the administration of such permit in order to maintain consistency. EPA will not issue any more new permits or new portions of permits for the provisions listed in Section G after the effective date of this authorization. EPA will continue to implement and issue permits for HSWA requirements for which Delaware is not yet authorized.

    J. How does this action affect Indian Country (18 U.S.C. 115) in Delaware?

    Delaware is not seeking authority to operate the program on Indian lands, since there are no Federally-recognized Indian Lands in Delaware.

    K. What is codification and is epa codifying Delaware's hazardous waste program as authorized in this rule?

    Codification is the process of placing the State's statutes and regulations that comprise the State's authorized hazardous waste program into the Code of Federal Regulations. We do this action by referencing the authorized State rules in 40 CFR part 272. EPA reserves the amendment of 40 CFR part 272, subpart I, for this authorization of Delaware's program revisions until a later date.

    L. Administrative Requirements

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this action from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011). Therefore, this action is not subject to review by OMB. This action authorizes State requirements pursuant to RCRA section 3006 and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. Accordingly, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this action authorizes pre-existing requirements under State law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by State law, it does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4). For the same reason, this action also does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Tribal governments, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). In any case, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule since there are no Federally recognized tribes in Delaware.

    This action will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) because it merely authorizes State requirements as part of the State RCRA hazardous waste program without altering the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established by RCRA. This action also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) because it is not economically significant, and it does not concern environmental health or safety risks that may disproportionately affect children. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001)) because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    Under RCRA section 3006(b), EPA grants a State's application for authorization as long as the State meets the criteria required by RCRA. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for EPA, when it reviews a State authorization application, to require the use of any particular voluntary consensus standard in place of another standard that satisfies the requirements of RCRA. Thus, the requirements of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 3701, et seq.) do not apply. As required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in issuing this rule, EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct. EPA has complied with Executive Order 12630 (53 FR 8859, March 18, 1988) by examining the takings implications of the rule in accordance with the Attorney General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings issued under the executive order. This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b). Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) establishes Federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs Federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. Because this rule authorizes pre-existing State rules which are at least equivalent to, and no less stringent than, existing Federal requirements, and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law, and there are no anticipated significant adverse human health or environmental effects, the rule is not subject to Executive Order 12898.

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this document and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This action is effective October 10, 2017.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 271

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

    Authority:

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

    Dated: July 27, 2017. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16903 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION 45 CFR Parts 1600, 1630, and 1631 Definitions; Cost Standards and Procedures; Purchasing and Property Management AGENCY:

    Legal Services Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule revises the Legal Services Corporation (LSC or Corporation) regulation on Definitions and Cost Standards and Procedures and creates a new part from LSC's Property Acquisition and Management Manual (PAMM).

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on December 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20007; (202) 295-1563 (phone), (202) 337-6519 (fax), or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The purpose of 45 CFR part 1630 is “to provide uniform standards for allowability of costs and to provide a comprehensive, fair, timely, and flexible process for the resolution of questioned costs.” 45 CFR 1630.1. LSC last revised part 1630 in 1997, when it published a final rule intended to “bring the Corporation's cost standards and procedures into conformance with applicable provisions of the Inspector General Act, the Corporation's appropriations [acts], and relevant Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars.” 62 FR 68219, Dec. 31, 1997. Although the OMB Circulars are not binding on LSC because LSC is not a federal agency, LSC adopted relevant provisions from the OMB Circulars pertaining to non-profit grants, audits, and cost principles into the final rule for part 1630. Id. at 68219-20 (citing OMB Circulars A-50, A-110, A-122, and A-133).

    LSC published the PAMM in 2001 “to provide recipients with a single complete and consolidated set of policies and procedures related to property acquisition, use and disposal.” 66 FR 47688, Sept. 13, 2001. Prior to the PAMM's issuance, such policies and procedures were “incomplete, outdated and dispersed among several different LSC documents.” Id. The PAMM contains policies and procedures that govern both real and non-expendable personal property, but, except for contract services for capital improvements, the PAMM does not apply to contracts for services. Id. at 47695. The PAMM's policies and procedures were developed with guidance from the Federal Acquisition Regulation at 48 CFR parts 1-52, federal property management regulations, and OMB Circular A-110. Id. at 47688. The PAMM also incorporates several references to provisions of part 1630 pertaining to costs that require LSC's prior approval and the proper allocation of derivative income. Id. at 47696-98 (containing references to 45 CFR 1630.5(b)(2)-(4), 1630.5(c), and 1630.12, respectively).

    Part 1630 and the PAMM have not been revised since 1997 and 2001, respectively. Since then, procurement practices and cost allocation principles applicable to awards of federal funds have changed significantly. For instance, in 2013, OMB revised and consolidated several Circulars, including the Circulars LSC relied upon to develop part 1630, into a single Uniform Guidance. 78 FR 78589, Dec. 26, 2013; 2 CFR part 200. OMB consolidated and simplified its guidance to “reduce administrative burden for non-Federal entities receiving Federal awards while reducing the risk of waste, fraud and abuse.” 78 FR 78590.

    LSC determined that it should undertake regulatory action at this time for three reasons. The first reason is to account for changes in Federal grants policy where appropriate for LSC. The second reason is to address the difficulties that LSC and its grantees experience in applying ambiguous provisions of part 1630 and the PAMM. Finally, LSC believes rulemaking is appropriate now to address the limitations that certain provisions of both documents place on LSC's ability to ensure clarity, efficiency, and accountability in its grant-making and grants oversight practices.

    II. Procedural History of This Rulemaking

    In July 2014, the Operations and Regulations Committee (Committee) of LSC's Board of Directors (Board) approved Management's proposed 2014-2015 rulemaking agenda, which included revising part 1630 and the PAMM as a priority item. On July 7, 2015, Management presented the Committee with a Justification Memorandum recommending publication of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to seek public comment on possible revisions to part 1630 and the PAMM. Management stated that collecting input from the regulated community through an ANPRM would significantly aid LSC in determining the scope of this rulemaking and in developing a more accurate understanding of the potential costs and benefits that certain revisions may entail. On July 18, 2015, the Board authorized rulemaking and approved the preparation of an ANPRM to revise part 1630 and the PAMM.

    In October 2015, LSC published in the Federal Register an ANPRM, seeking public comment on potential revisions to part 1630 and the Property Acquisition and Management Manual (PAMM). 80 FR 61142, Oct. 9, 2015. After receiving comments on the ANPRM, LSC conducted workshops to obtain additional input on the potential changes. LSC drafted proposed changes to part 1630 and the PAMM based on the feedback it received from the ANPRM and the workshops.

    On October 28, 2016, LSC published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding 45 CFR parts 1600, 1630, and new 1631. 81 FR 75006, Oct. 28, 2016. LSC sought public comment on LSC's revisions to its definitions and cost standards and procedures and the creation of a new part from the PAMM. In response to a request from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA), LSC extended the original 60-day comment period for an additional 30 days. 81 FR 93653, Dec. 21, 2016. The new deadline for comments was January 26, 2017. On July 21, 2017, the Committee recommended publication of this final rule to the Board. On July 22, 2017, the Board voted to publish this final rule.

    Materials regarding this rulemaking are available in the open rulemaking section of LSC's Web site at http://www.lsc.gov/about-lsc/laws-regulations-guidance/rulemaking. After the effective date of the rule, those materials will appear in the closed rulemaking section at http://www.lsc.gov/about-lsc/laws-regulations-guidance/rulemaking/closed-rulemaking.

    III. Discussion of Comments and Regulatory Provisions

    During the public comment period, LSC received comments from six organizations: Indiana Legal Services (ILS), Colorado Legal Services (CLS), Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), Northwest Justice Project (NJP), NLADA, and Legal Action of Wisconsin (Legal Action).

    Commenters expressed support for several elements of the proposed regulations. NLADA supported the proposal to eliminate 45 CFR 1630.3(a)(8), which requires recipients to obtain written consent from federal agencies before they may use LSC funds to match the federal agencies' grants. NLADA, NJP, and MAP supported increasing the prior approval threshold in § 1630.6(b)(1) from $10,000 to $25,000. MAP supported the proposal to exclude employee benefit contracts from the prior approval requirements in § 1630.6(b)(1)(ii). MAP also supported adopting proposed § 1631.8, which requires recipients to have written procurement policies and procedures that meet particular standards because it involves LSC oversight at a policy level, and not individual transactional level. MAP supported the proposal to make the PAMM a regulation. NLADA and MAP supported proposed § 1631.13, which would permit programs to dispose of personal property that has little or no value as the program sees fit.

    IV. Section-by-Section Discussion A. Part 1600—Definitions

    Section 1600.1 Definitions. LSC proposed including definitions of three new terms: Corporation funds, LSC funds, and non-LSC funds.

    Comment: NJP supported adding these definitions. NJP, NLADA, and CLS, however, expressed concern that the proposed definition of Corporation funds or LSC funds, which reads “any funds appropriated by Congress to carry out the purposes of the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 2996 et seq., as amended[,]” could be interpreted to include funds appropriated by Congress to other departments or agencies that can be granted to LSC recipients for the purpose of providing legal assistance. Instead, NJP recommended adding “to LSC” to the definition, which would then read “any funds appropriated by Congress to LSC. . . .”

    Response: LSC will revise the final rule to add the phrase “to LSC” to the definition in § 1600.1.

    B. Part 1630—Cost Standards and Procedures

    Organizational note: As described in the discussion for § 1630.10 (Recipient policies, procedures, and recordkeeping), the final rule will insert this section and renumber the sections that follow. This preamble reflects the updated numbering except where noted.

    LSC proposed to reorganize part 1630 into four subparts addressing (1) generally applicable provisions; (2) allocability and allowability of costs charged to LSC grants; (3) questioned cost proceedings; and (4) closeout proceedings.

    Subpart A—General Provisions

    Section 1630.1 Purpose. LSC proposed no changes to this section and received no comments.

    Section 1630.2 Definitions. Proposed § 1630.2(d) defined final written decision as either (1) a decision issued by the Vice President for Grants Management, or (2) “the notice of questioned costs if a recipient does not respond to the notice within 30 days of receipt.” Additionally, proposed § 1630.3 (current § 1630.13(b)) recognized that LSC may, on a recipient's written request for good cause, grant an extension of time.

    Comment: NJP expressed concern, with which CLS agreed, that the extension of time is not referenced in the § 1630.2(d) definition, nor is it identified in proposed § 1630.10(d)(2) (governing questioned cost proceedings). Proposed § 1630.10(d)(2) established that “[i]f the recipient does not respond to LSC's written notice [of questioned costs] within 30 days, the written notice shall become LSC's final written decision.” NJP expressed concern that, if a recipient does not respond to the written notice within 30 days, the recipient loses the right to further appeal because “cutting off any right to appeal after 30 days does not take into account vagaries of notice or possible intervening events.”

    Response: As NJP noted, the timeframes of part 1630 are subject to extensions for good cause. Accordingly, where a recipient receives a notice of questioned costs, it may request an extension based on the “vagaries of notice or possible intervening events” with which NJP is concerned. LSC believes proposed § 1630.3(b), which described permitted extensions, provided appropriate flexibility to respond to issues that may impede a recipient's ability to fully respond to the notice within 30 days.

    Nevertheless, to clarify both that the extensions of time described in proposed § 1630.3 apply during questioned cost proceedings and that a final written decision is subject to the extension, LSC will amend proposed § 1630.10(d)(2), renumbered as § 1630.11(d)(2), to read, “If the recipient does not respond to LSC's written notice within 30 days; the recipient does not request an extension of time pursuant to § 1630.3(b) within 30 days; or LSC does not grant an extension of time pursuant to § 1630.3(b) within 30 days the written notice shall become LSC's final written decision.”

    Section 1630.3 Time.

    Section 1630.3(a). Current § 1630.13(a) states that time limits in part 1630 are computed according to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 6(a) and (e). LSC proposed to relocate this language to § 1630.3(a) without change.

    Comment: NJP noted that the current version of Rule 6 has no paragraph (e) and proposed that LSC eliminate the reference. NJP also noted that, rather than citing to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to explain the time limits, it may be less confusing for LSC to include in the rule a standard for calculating time. CLS supported this comment.

    Response: In response to NJP's comment, LSC will replace paragraph (a) regarding time computation with language adopted from 24 CFR 26.31. The adopted language provides that the first day of the time period is the day after the event. In other words, if a recipient has 30 days to respond to a notice of questioned costs, the 30 days begins running the day after the recipient receives the notice. For time periods of seven days or less, the time period is seven business days; intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are excluded from the computation.

    Section 1630.3(b). Current § 1630.13(b) states that LSC may, “on a recipient's written request for good cause, grant an extension of time and shall so notify the recipient in writing.” LSC did not propose to change this provision in the NPRM.

    Comment: NJP noted that proposed § 1630.3(b) did not state whether the request for extension of time must be received by LSC before the expiration of the deadline at issue. NJP asserted that if LSC intends that the request be received within the timeframe, the regulation should so state. NJP also requested that the regulation state that “good cause” shall be liberally construed. CLS stated it “believes that the timeline for appealing questioned costs should be clarified, relaxed and allow for extensions of time and exceptions.”

    Regarding extensions of time and proposed § 1630.10(d)(2) (review of questioned costs) specifically, NJP also requested that the regulation allow a recipient the opportunity to demonstrate good cause for failing to respond to the notice of proposed costs within 30 days after the allotted 30 days' response time has passed but before LSC pursues recovery of the disallowed cost. NJP noted that recipients face technology and mail delivery problems, staff illness, vacation or other extended leave, or other exigent circumstances, including “excusable neglect,” that cause recipients to fail to seek an extension within the 30 days allowed by proposed § 1630.10(d)(2).

    Response: LSC emphasizes that proposed § 1630.10(d)(2), final rule § 1630.11(d)(2), authorizes a full 30 calendar days for a recipient to seek an extension of time. For effective and efficient management, LSC believes it is reasonable to expect some form of correspondence from a recipient—whether the actual response or a request for an extension—within the timeframe provided by the relevant section of the rule. The circumstances that NJP suggests would merit requests for extensions of time that are filed after the timeframe expired, e.g., staff on vacation or excusable neglect, do not seem to be reasonable justification for a grantee to be unable to request an extension before a deadline expires. Therefore, LSC will adopt NJP's suggestion to clarify that § 1630.3(b) requires the request for an extension to be submitted within the allotted timeframe. In addition, LSC will add language requiring LSC to respond to a request for extension within seven calendar days of receipt of the request. LSC believes this regulation, as revised, provides an appropriate timeline for questioned costs proceedings, including appropriate extensions of time and exceptions.

    Section 1630.4 Burden of proof. LSC proposed no changes to this section and received no comments.

    Subpart B—Cost Standards and Prior Approval

    Section 1630.5 Standards governing allowability of costs under LSC grants or contracts. In proposed § 1630.5(i), LSC referenced regulations and circulars of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as documents providing guidance for all allowable costs arising under part 1630 where relevant policies or criteria are not inconsistent with the provisions and regulations of LSC.

    Comment: NJP suggested that using OMB guidance “for all allowable cost questions arising under this part when relevant policies or criteria therein are not inconsistent” with LSC laws and regulations “put[s] into play” OMB guidance where LSC does not have other published policies or guidance. NJP and Legal Action expressed concern that OMB guidance does not permit fundraising as an allowable cost, which conflicts with LSC's longstanding practice of allowing LSC funds to be used for fundraising efforts. See Advisory Opinion EX-1999-12, http://www.lsc.gov/sites/default/files/LSC/laws/pdfs/olaeo/EX-1999-12.pdf. CLS supported this comment. NJP and NLADA also suggested removing the words “and circulars” from proposed § 1630.5(i) because relevant OMB circulars have been replaced by the Uniform Guidance published by the Office of Management and Budget, 2 CFR part 200. CLS supported these suggestions.

    Response: LSC agrees with these comments and will make two changes to the final rule. LSC will add a new paragraph (i) to this section to reflect LSC's longstanding policy that recipients may use LSC funds to engage in fundraising for the purposes of expanding the resources available to carry out the LSC grant. LSC will also remove the words “and circulars” from proposed § 1630.5(i), final rule § 1630.5(j).

    Section 1630.6 Prior approval. Under current § 1630.5(b)(2), LSC requires recipients to seek prior approval for any purchases and leases of equipment, furniture, or other personal, non-expendable property, if the purchase price of any individual item of property exceeds $10,000. 45 CFR 1630.5(b)(2). LSC also requires recipients to seek prior approval of purchases of real property, capital expenditures costing more than $10,000, and pre- and post-award costs. Id. § 1630.5(b)(1), (3), and (4).

    In the NPRM, LSC proposed three changes to the prior approval requirement. First, LSC proposed to increase the prior approval threshold amount to $25,000 to account for inflation. Second, because LSC believes effective financial oversight requires recipients to seek prior approval for more transactions than only those listed in the current rule, the proposed regulation required prior approval for “any . . . transaction” of purchases or leases of personal property, contracts for services, purchases of real estate, and capital improvements when the cost of the transaction exceeds $25,000. In the preamble to the NPRM, LSC explained that recipients must seek prior approval for “any single purchase whose costs exceed $25,000 in LSC funds, regardless of whether that purchase is of a single item of personal property, or a combination of personal property and services.” 81 FR 75006, 75013, Oct. 28, 2016. Finally, LSC proposed to remove pre-award and post-award costs from the list of costs eligible for prior approval because prior approval is not the appropriate process for considering requests to use LSC funds to pay for pre- or post-award costs.

    General comments: Every commenter opposed at least some part of the proposed prior approval requirement. In general, the commenters objected to LSC's review of purchases because the recipient knows the local market better than LSC. Commenters observed that seeking prior approval may unduly delay routine and necessary purchases and undermine negotiations for favorable deals with vendors. Commenters were particularly concerned with how the proposed regulation would affect their office supply purchases. NLADA noted that programs may make bulk purchases of expendable property as the most efficient and economical means of acquiring supplies. NLADA noted that the proposed change reverses prior policy which provided “clear” and “objective” standards to determine when prior approval would be necessary. Legal Action encouraged LSC not to require prior approval for personal property purchases because LSC would find itself reviewing routine purchases of office supplies. NJP opined that requiring prior approval for aggregate purchases would “encourage recipients to parse out their purchases to avoid the need to obtain prior approval with the consequences of more paper work, staff time to process this paperwork and payments, and the potential of less favorable pricing.”

    Commenters also described challenges anticipating costs for particular services. For example, Legal Action noted how difficult it is to project whether translation services costs and records storage costs would exceed $25,000 in a year. ILS noted that where anticipated costs are difficult to determine, even where it has no intention of exceeding $25,000 in a year, it may nevertheless “play it safe” by seeking approval at the outset for these arrangements to avoid later violations. Other commenters noted that recipients may have difficulty determining when to seek prior approval for services contracts because of the various types of contracts recipients have, e.g., a consultancy contract in which a recipient pays a flat fee each month and, potentially, a fee-per-service or hourly fee for additional tasks as needed.

    NJP suggested imposing the proposed prior approval requirement only where necessary to address past abuse, conflict of interest, fraud, or “other malfeasance[.]” MAP suggested adding a separate section in the grant application asking grantees to explain proposed purchases over $25,000 in LSC funds, which would allow recipients and LSC to engage in discussion about purchases without the bureaucracy of the proposed regulations.

    General Response: LSC responds to specific concerns under section headers below. Generally, LSC intended this rule to capture single purchases (i.e., purchases at one point in time through one order) of single items or services or aggregate items whose total cost exceeds the threshold, not multiple purchases of multiple items or services at different points in time. LSC is making several changes to the rule to clarify its intention.

    Section 1630.6(b). Proposed § 1630.6(b)(1) required a recipient to “obtain LSC's prior approval before charging costs attributable to any of the transactions below to its LSC grant when the cost of the transaction exceeds $25,000 of LSC funds[.]” In the preamble to the NPRM, LSC explained that a recipient must seek prior approval for “any single purchase whose cost exceeds $25,000 in LSC funds, regardless of whether that purchase is of a single item of personal property, several unrelated items of personal property, or a combination of personal property and services.”

    Comment: Commenters expressed confusion regarding the circumstances under which prior approval is required. NJP observed that the term “transactions” is undefined in the regulation. All commenters expressed confusion about what types of purchases were aggregated or what constituted a single purchase. NJP and NLADA also expressed confusion about when purchases are “aggregated” for purposes of applying the prior approval threshold. MAP recommended that LSC clarify “single purchase” as “a single order of goods or a single contract for services from a single vendor the cost of which exceeds $25,000 in LSC funds.”

    Response: LSC used the term “transactions” as a global term to describe the various types of costs subject to the prior approval requirement. LSC did not intend to introduce a separate category of undefined transactions into the rule. To avoid continued confusion, LSC will change the language in § 1630.6(b)(1) to largely follow the current § 1630.5(b) language. The redrafted subparagraph will read, “Without LSC's prior written approval, a recipient may not expend $25,000 or more of LSC funds on any of the following[.]”

    Additionally, LSC will clarify that prior approval applies to a “single purchase,” “single lease,” or “single contract” and define these terms in the new rule. LSC will define the terms at § 1630.2(h): “Single purchase, single lease, and single contract mean a single order or lease of goods or a single contract for services from a single vendor.”

    Accordingly, the prior approval requirement applies to—

    (i) A single purchase or single lease of personal property;

    (ii) A single contract for services;

    (iii) A single purchase of real estate;

    (iv) Capital improvements; and

    (v) A single purchase or single lease of personal property combined with a single contract for services.

    This clarification resolves the questions commenters raised. For example, ILS has a discount arrangement with an office supplier. Although ILS does not make $25,000 worth of purchases from this vendor at one time, over the course of a year ILS may purchase more than $25,000 in LSC funds worth of supplies from the vendor. Under LSC's proposed rule, this scenario does not trigger the prior approval requirement. The requirement is triggered only when a single order of one or multiple items from this vendor exceeds $25,000. As another example, Legal Action purchases supplies online from a small number of vendors. Over the course of a year, Legal Action explained, the aggregate purchases from an individual vendor, such as Amazon, may exceed $25,000. Again, a purchase requires prior approval when it is a single order from a single vendor of a good or multiple goods whose cost exceeds $25,000 in LSC funds.

    Finally, MAP posed the example of buying office supplies for seven offices from a single vendor over the course of a year that could add up to $25,000. Again, the proposed rule does not aggregate purchases over time. If a single order of consumable supplies exceeds $25,000, there is no reason not to examine that purchase with the same diligence as the purchase of a non-consumable good that costs over $25,000. Moreover, LSC's proposed approach of increasing oversight over purchases, including supplies, aligns with the Uniform Guidance's inclusion of purchases of supplies as types of purchases subject to increasingly stringent levels of competition. See 2 CFR 200.320.

    Section 1630.6(b)(1)(ii). Proposed § 1630.6(b)(1)(ii) extended the scope of both the PAMM and the prior approval requirements to contracts for services.

    Comment 1: All commenters objected to LSC's proposed § 1630.6(b)(1)(ii). Commenters noted that recipients' various structures of contractual arrangements for services make determining when prior approval is required difficult. For example, Legal Action explained that it retains technology consultant services for a fixed monthly fee with discrete projects that arise billed on a fee-per-service or hourly basis. Similarly, CLS contracts quarterly for its IT services, with quarterly projected expenditures based on an estimated assessment of needed services. CLS noted, however, that its program may have unexpected IT needs late in the year that bring the total cost over $25,000, even though at the outset, no quarterly agreement met or was likely to meet the threshold. NJP maintains “rate arrangements” with hotels with no individual stay exceeding the threshold amount, but over a year, stays at a particular hotel may exceed $25,000.

    Other recipients arrange to receive services for a period of time at a fixed rate, for example, paying $25 per hour for translation services as needed over two years. In these scenarios, commenters stated that calculating whether the recipient needs to seek prior approval may be difficult. NLADA asked if a recipient would need to obtain prior approval if services would not exceed $25,000 in one year, but would exceed $25,000 over two years. Legal Action also questioned whether payments to various temporary workers, none of whose payments exceeds $25,000, but when taken together exceed $25,000, require prior approval.

    Response: LSC believes that the language of the proposed rule accommodates the concerns described by commenters. First, for all services contracts, because LSC prior approval extends for one year, LSC believes the appropriate period of time to calculate the accrual of costs is one year. Second, regarding situations where a contract does not have a fixed price at the outset, LSC believes the appropriate approach is to require prior approval once a recipient expects the contract will exceed $25,000 in LSC funds. This requires a business judgment decision by the recipient to determine when it appears the cost of a contract will exceed $25,000. Applying this approach, a contract based on a monthly rate with an additional fee-for-service cost that arises throughout a year would trigger the prior approval requirement either (1) at the beginning of the contract if the initial cost exceeds or is expected to exceed $25,000, or (2) once it appears the additional fee-for-service costs (or any other costs that arise) will cause the total cost of the contract to exceed $25,000. Where services are provided throughout a year based on separate arrangements made throughout the year, each arrangement is considered a separate contract and triggers the prior approval requirement only if one arrangement exceeds $25,000. LSC notes that LSC may question the costs associated with contracts if the timing and amounts of contracts with an individual vendor appear calculated to avoid the prior approval requirement, rather than being based on reasonable business judgment.

    Finally, for temporary employees, as discussed below, contracts for temporary employees will be exempt from the prior approval process.

    Comment 2: In response to the proposed prior approval requirement for services contracts, NLADA noted that obtaining prior approval may be problematic for programs seeking auditors for annual audits that are required to comply with standards established by LSC's Office of Inspector General (OIG). NLADA stated that at least ten programs spend over $25,000 on required annual audits, and some of these programs are in areas with few choices for appropriate and eligible auditors. These auditors are in demand, and time is of the essence in retaining an accounting firm to conduct the LSC-compliant audit. NLADA expressed concern that a delay to seek prior approval would impede a program's ability to retain competent auditors and potentially compromise the program's ability to meet deadlines.

    Response: After reviewing NLADA's comment, LSC concluded that recipients' hiring of auditors to conduct audits that must comply with OIG standards and be submitted to OIG should not be subject to LSC prior approval process. Accordingly, LSC will revise § 1631.2(g), defining services, to exclude such audits from the requirement.

    Comment 3: Regarding the proposed prior approval requirement for services contracts, Legal Action noted challenges allocating costs of services such as legal research through Westlaw and record storage services like Iron Mountain, each of which could exceed $25,000 in a year. For each service, Legal Action noted that, in the past, the overall cost has exceeded $25,000, but the cost apportioned to LSC funds may or may not exceed $25,000.

    Response: For a services contract (or any other contract) funded by LSC and another source, the contract triggers LSC's prior approval requirement once the amount apportioned to LSC funds exceeds $25,000. LSC will revise the rule to clarify this apportionment calculation.

    Section 1630.6(b)(1)(iii). Proposed § 1630.6(b)(1)(iii) required prior approval for “purchases of real estate” that exceed $25,000. Proposed § 1631.2(f) defined real estate as “land, buildings (including capital improvements), and property interests in land and buildings (e.g., tenancies, life estates, remainders, reversions, easements), excluding movable personal property.”

    Comment: Commenters noted that proposed § 1631.2(f) included tenancies in the definition of real estate. According to NJP, this would be a “significant departure from prior practice.” NLADA, NJP, MAP, ILS, and CLS requested clarification that leases of real property do not require prior approval.

    Response: LSC did not intend to subject leases of real property to prior approval requirements. LSC will revise the definition of real estate in § 1631.2(f) to include land and buildings but not personal property. This definition reflects the definition provided in the PAMM. Because the term real estate is also used in part 1630, LSC will also revise the definition of real estate in § 1630.2(g) to mirror the updated definition found in § 1631.2(f).

    Section 1630.6(b)(1)(iv). Proposed § 1630.6(b)(1)(iv) required a recipient to obtain prior approval for capital improvements costing $25,000 or more of LSC funds.

    Comment: NJP, MAP, and NLADA expressed concern that requiring prior approval for capital improvements may impair a recipient's ability to negotiate capital improvements as part of lease negotiations. NJP expressed concern about leases that include provisions for pass-through building operating charges. NJP observed that reconciliation for pass-through costs occurs after the improvements are made, and a recipient may not be able to obtain prior approval or even control the landlord's selection of the vendor. MAP suggested that capital improvements that are part of a lease negotiation be explicitly exempt from the prior approval requirement.

    Response: Existing section 1630.5(b)(4) and section 4(f) of the PAMM currently require recipients to seek prior approval of capital expenditures when the cost of the expenditures exceeds $10,000. This requirement is not new to the proposed rule. It does not currently apply to capital improvements negotiated as part of a recipient's lease arrangements. LSC considered the value of reviewing capital improvements in this context compared to the burden imposed. LSC concluded that the cost of the review outweighs benefits and therefore will not extend the prior approval requirement for capital improvements negotiated as part of a recipient's lease arrangement. Proposed § 1630.6(b)(1)(iv) applied only to those capital expenditures that a recipient seeks to make to leased property after it enters the lease.

    Sections 1630.7, 1630.8, and 1630.9 Membership fees or dues; Contributions; Tax-sheltered annuities, retirement accounts, and penalties. LSC proposed to redesignate §§ 1630.14 (Membership fees or dues), 1630.15 (Contributions), and 1630.16 (Tax-sheltered annuities, retirement accounts, and penalties) as §§ 1630.7-1630.9, respectively, with no changes. LSC received no comments on these sections.

    Section 1630.10 Recipient policies, procedures, and recordkeeping. Effective April 1, 2017, LSC relocated the sections of part 1627 governing the use of recipient funds to pay membership fees or dues, make contributions to other organizations, or contribute to tax-sheltered annuities, retirement accounts, and penalties to part 1630. LSC unintentionally failed to relocate § 1627.7 requiring recipient policies, procedures, and recordkeeping in part 1630 at the same time. Consequently, this section is a necessary carryover from part 1627 to ensure that recipients retain or develop written policies and procedures to ensure that their staff know about and comply with §§ 1630.7-1630.9, and the final rule will include these requirements. The final rule will also renumber the sections that follow.

    Subpart C—Questioned Cost Proceedings

    Subpart C governs LSC's decisions to question costs and the appeals procedure by which a recipient challenges questioned costs.

    Section 1630.11 Review of questioned costs. In the proposed regulation, LSC eliminated the five-year lookback period to recover questioned costs from a recipient because, based on its oversight experience, limiting LSC's ability to recover misspent costs is inconsistent with its duty to responsibly administer appropriated funds. On several occasions, LSC has found that misuse of funds was not discovered during the five-year period, despite LSC's conscientious review of available reports and documentation.

    General Comments: NLADA, NJP, CLS, and MAP opposed the removal of the five-year timeframe. They noted that LSC accounting and record retention guidance recommends retaining records for varying times ranging from two years to permanent retention and argued that eliminating the five-year timeframe conflicts with this LSC record retention guidance. NLADA recommended that LSC retain the five-year lookback period to provide programs certainty as to when they may close their books. NLADA also recommended that, if LSC nevertheless eliminates the lookback timeframe, it apply the change only prospectively to account for programs that have legitimately destroyed records pursuant to LSC's guidance. Alternatively, NLADA suggested LSC limit its ability to recover costs beyond the five-year limit only to egregious circumstances such as criminal behavior or intentional violations of LSC regulations. NLADA further questioned whether the cost of a recipient retaining documents—which may exceed $25,000 per year for a program—and the cost of LSC's investigation are worthwhile.

    General Response: LSC believes its ability to disallow funds for later-discovered malfeasance should not be limited, notwithstanding an organization's records retention policy. LSC recognizes that proper destruction of records on schedule when there are no open questions is an appropriate defense to not being able to produce records, but time-limited records retention policies are not an appropriate reason to limit LSC's ability to recover misspent costs. Accordingly, LSC will retain the proposal to eliminate the five-year lookback period in the final rule.

    Section 1630.11(d)(2). Under the current questioned costs procedure, a recipient has 30 days from the date it receives a notice of questioned costs from LSC to respond with evidence and an argument for why LSC should not disallow the costs. If the recipient does not respond within 30 days, LSC management must issue a second decision. LSC believes this second step is redundant because it places an unnecessary burden to confirm its own action in the absence of a recipient challenge. LSC proposed to replace this step with proposed § 1630.10(d)(2), which stated that if the recipient does not respond to the notice of questioned cost within 30 days, the notice automatically converts to LSC's final written decision.

    Comment 1: NLADA commented that the timeframes are inequitable because, while LSC has “an unlimited time period to investigate a questioned cost, prepare its written determination, and then another 60 days to respond to the recipient[,]” a recipient has 30 days to respond to a questioned cost. NLADA asserted that “[i]n fairness,” respondents should have at least 60 days to prepare their response to LSC and recipients should have the opportunity to extend the time to respond for at least 30 days for good cause.

    Response: The 30-day timeframe in the proposed rule was adopted without change from current § 1630.7(c). That paragraph provides that the recipient may respond to a written notice of questioned costs, and, if the recipient does not respond, LSC will make a decision based on the information available. The proposed rule effectively reflected the same procedure. LSC has determined that fixing a timeframe by which recipients must respond, either in substance or by seeking an extension pursuant to § 1630.3(b), ensures LSC can proceed with its questioned costs review in an expeditious manner.

    As described above, a recipient may seek an extension for good cause, pursuant to proposed § 1630.3(b). LSC's assessment of whether the recipient has shown “good cause” inherently takes into consideration the length of extension a recipient would need. Therefore, LSC will retain language from the proposed rule.

    Comment 2: As described in the § 1630.2 discussion, NJP and CLS expressed concern that the extension of time is not referenced in either the proposed § 1630.2(d) definition or proposed § 1630.10(d)(2) (final rule § 1630.11(d)(2)).

    Response 2: For the reasons stated earlier in this preamble, LSC will amend proposed § 1630.10(d)(2), renumbered as § 1630.11(d)(2), to clarify that a recipient must respond, either with a substantive response or a request for extension, within 30 days of receiving the questioned costs notice.

    Section 1630.12 Appeals to the President. LSC proposed to move existing § 1630.7(e)-(g) to § 1630.11 with one substantive change. LSC proposed to introduce a requirement that prohibits a recipient from appealing a written decision to the LSC President when the recipient did not seek review of the initial notice of questioned costs. LSC believes that a senior manager with direct oversight over the office that issues a notice of questioned costs should have the first opportunity to review the evidence relating to the decision to question costs because the review is better conducted at an earlier stage than during review by the President. Appeals to the President can address any relevant actions by LSC including substantive decisions such as the amount questioned and procedural decisions such as whether to extend a submission deadline.

    Comment: NLADA commented that, where a recipient does not respond to LSC's written notice of questioned costs, the decision becomes final and, thus, an LSC denial of a request for extension of time may not be appealed to the president. NLADA noted that recipients “should have a full and fair opportunity to respond to LSC, including the ability to appeal to the president if LSC management denies a recipient an extension of time to respond to a questioned cost finding.”

    Response: A recipient may fully respond to LSC's notice at the management level. A “full and fair opportunity to respond” does not require providing recipients the ability to skip management-level review and appeal directly to the President. LSC will therefore retain the procedural change proposed in the NPRM, now renumbered as § 1630.12.

    Section 1630.13 Recovery of disallowed costs and other corrective action. In the NPRM, LSC proposed to redesignate existing § 1630.8 to § 1630.12 with only minor technical changes to reflect the removal of the term final action from the rule. LSC received no comments on this section. The final rule renumbers this section as § 1630.13.

    Section 1630.14 Other remedies; effect on other parts. LSC proposed to redesignate existing § 1630.9 as § 1630.13 with only minor technical edits. LSC received no comments on this section. The final rule renumbers this section as § 1630.14.

    Sections 1630.15; 1630.16; 1630.17 Applicability to subgrants; Applicability to non-LSC funds; Applicability to derivative income. LSC proposed to redesignate existing §§ 1630.10 (Applicability to subgrants); 1630.11 (Applicability to non-LSC funds); and 1630.12 (Applicability to derivative income) as §§ 1630.14-1630.16, respectively, without change. LSC received no comments on these sections. The final rule renumbers these sections as §§ 1630.15-1630.17, respectively.

    Subpart D—Closeout Procedures

    Section 1630.18 Applicability. Proposed § 1630.17, regarding closeout procedures, applies when a recipient changes its current identity or status as a legal entity.

    Comment: MAP suggested defining the term “change in current identity or status as a legal entity” to ensure that a relatively minor change (such as a corporate name change) or a structural change does not trigger this section. MAP proposed a limited definition such as “a change in legal status under state corporate law with the effect that a different legal entity becomes the LSC recipient.”

    Response: LSC intended to include those mergers where the recipient ceased to exist. LSC did not intend proposed § 1630.17 to apply to name or logo changes. LSC will revise proposed § 1630.17(a), renumbered as § 1630.18(a), to state that the rule applies to mergers or consolidations with one LSC recipient that result in another LSC recipient ceasing to exist as a legal entity. In those situations, only the LSC recipient that is surrendering its legal status must comply with the closeout procedures in Subpart D. Additionally, LSC will replace the proposed language of § 1630.17, renumbered as § 1630.18, with “Ceases to exist as a legal entity[.]”

    Section 1630.19 Closeout plan; timing. In the NPRM, LSC proposed to require recipients who stop receiving LSC funding to provide LSC with a plan for the orderly closeout of the grant. LSC received no comments on this section. LSC will renumber the proposed section as § 1630.19.

    Section 1630.20 Closeout costs. In the NPRM, LSC proposed to formalize its policies for approving the use of LSC funds to complete closeout activities, including requiring recipients to submit a detailed budget and timeline and allowing LSC to withhold unreleased funds until the recipient has satisfactorily completed its closeout procedures. LSC received no comments on this section. The final rule will renumber proposed § 1630.19 as § 1630.20.

    Section 1630.21 Returning funds to LSC. In proposed § 1630.20, LSC proposed to formalize procedures for recipients to return to LSC excess fund balances and derivative income received after the end of the LSC grant period. LSC received no comments on this section. LSC will renumber proposed § 1630.20 as § 1630.21.

    C. Part 1631—Purchasing and Property Management

    Organizational note: As described in the discussion for § 1631.4, the final rule will eliminate § 1631.4 and renumber sections that follow. This preamble reflects the updated numbering except where noted.

    Subpart A—General Provisions

    Section 1631.1 Purpose. In the NPRM, LSC proposed to describe the purpose of part 1631 as setting standards for policies governing certain purchases and establishing requirements governing the use and disposition of property purchased with LSC funds. LSC received no comments on this section.

    Section 1631.2 Definitions. In the NPRM, LSC adopted several definitions from the PAMM into part 1631 and added new definitions.

    Section 1631.2(f). LSC proposed to change the PAMM term real property to real estate and to simplify the rule's language. LSC also proposed to revise the term's definition for clarity. LSC does not intend the change from “land, buildings, and appurtenances, including capital improvements thereto, but not including moveable personal property” in the existing PAMM to limit, narrow, or expand the scope of property captured in the revised definition.

    Comment: As discussed in the commentary regarding § 1630.6(b)(1)(iii), commenters noted that proposed § 1631.2(f) included tenancies in the definition of real estate and requested that leases of real estate not require prior approval.

    Response: As previously explained, LSC did not intend to subject leases of real estate to prior approval requirements and will revise the definition.

    Section 1631.2(g). In the NPRM, LSC proposed to define services as services rendered by members of a profession or people who have a special skill and are not employed by a recipient. The proposed definition explicitly included services such as accounting, banking, cleaning, consultation, training, expert services, equipment maintenance, and transportation. It excluded other categories such as services provided by recipients to employees in addition to regular salaries and wages, such as employee insurance, pensions, and unemployment benefit plans. The preamble to proposed part 1631 explained that employee benefits are not the type of services over which LSC intended to increase its oversight. Accordingly, the NPRM preamble explained that contracts for employee benefits are not subject to the definition of services.

    Comment 1: NJP expressed concern that this definition was “extremely broad” and included many basic office services such as banking and cleaning. In addition, NJP expressed concern that the definition included expert services, transportation, and costs associated with litigation (such as expert witness fees and discovery fees). Finally, NJP and ILS noted the exception for “employee insurance” was potentially confusing. They asked, for example, whether the exclusion of “employee insurance” included malpractice insurance that programs must provide staff attorneys or other types of insurances such as employment practices liability, commercial liability, and Directors and Officers liability insurance.

    Response: In response to this comment, LSC will explicitly exclude litigation costs (e.g., expert witness and discovery fees), insurance services, and professional services intended to resolve sensitive personnel issues (e.g., labor counsel or mediation services) from the final rule because LSC did not intend to include these services within the proposed rule.

    Comment 2: As described previously in the discussion of § 1630.6, NLADA noted that obtaining prior approval may be problematic for programs seeking auditors to conduct required annual audits that comply with the standards established by OIG.

    Response: LSC will revise § 1631.2(g) to exclude such audits from the requirement.

    Section 1631.3 Prior approval process. Proposed § 1631.3 relocated the provisions governing the timetable and basis for granting prior approval from existing § 1630.6 to new § 1631.3.

    Section 1631.3(b). The proposed rule stated that, for purchases or leases of personal property, contracts for services, and capital improvements, LSC will decide on the request within 30 days of receiving the request. For purchases of real estate, LSC will decide within 60 days. If LSC cannot decide within the allotted time, proposed § 1631.3(b)(3) stated that LSC will provide the requester a date by which it expects to decide.

    Comment: NLADA and MAP expressed concern that § 1631.3(b)(3) gives LSC an unlimited amount of time in which to respond to a request if it cannot decide within the time allotted. MAP suggested adding that “if LSC neither makes a decision on a request for prior approval nor informs the requester of a date to make a decision within 60 days of the date of the request, the request is deemed approved.” MAP also suggested adding that “if LSC elects to provide a requester with a date for a decision on a request for prior approval that is longer than 60 days, the date must be within 120 days of the date of the original request; if LSC fails to make a decision by the date it announces, the request is deemed approved.” NLADA recommended that the approval time for making capital improvements not exceed 30 days because making capital improvements may be a complex process to coordinate and, after completing negotiations and calculating costs, prior approval delays may jeopardize the project. NLADA additionally questioned whether LSC has sufficient resources to timely process these approvals.

    Response: As discussed at length during the rulemaking on 45 CFR part 1627, LSC believes sound grants management requires review and an affirmative decision on each request to use a significant amount of LSC funds. Consistent with the views expressed in that rulemaking, LSC rejects the “deemed approved” approach to authorizing prior approvals.

    LSC also will not establish a rigid timeframe within which it must respond to a request for prior approval if it cannot decide within 60 days. In LSC's experience, recipients may not initially submit all documentation LSC needs to make its decision. LSC must have time to review the materials a recipient submits and request additional documentation as needed. Accordingly, LSC will revise § 1631.3(b) to state that (1) if the requester does not provide all required materials in its initial prior approval request, LSC will contact the requester within 20 days of the request with a preliminary assessment of materials LSC requires to make its decision, if necessary, and (2) LSC will approve or deny a request for prior approval within 30 days of receiving all required materials from the requester (60 days for purchases of real estate). This means that if a recipient submits all information that LSC deems sufficient with the initial request, LSC will approve or deny the request for prior approval within 30 days of the initial request (or 60 days for purchases of real estate). Additionally, because the prior approval process requires LSC to determine whether a recipient complied with its own procurement policy, LSC must have a copy of the recipient's procurement policy. LSC therefore will add a new paragraph (b)(2) to final rule § 1631.8 (requests for prior approval) requiring a request for prior approval to also include a copy of the recipient's procurement policy.

    Section 1631.3(d). Proposed § 1631.3(d) stated that a recipient may use over $25,000 of LSC funds to purchase personal property or award a contract for services without prior approval in exigent circumstances. LSC described two exigent circumstances qualifying for the exception: when immediate action is necessary either to avoid imminent harm to the recipient's personnel, physical facilities, or systems; or to remediate or mitigate damage to the recipient's personnel, physical facilities, or systems.

    Comment: Commenters remarked that exigent circumstances are limited and subject to discretionary interpretation. NLADA listed the need to retain counsel promptly, staff taking unexpected leave and needing to hire a replacement, and programs receiving non-LSC funds and needing to retain additional services to fulfill a grant requirement as additional situations to consider. Legal Action suggested adding “to avoid disruption to the recipient's client services delivery system” to the list of exigent circumstances. NJP suggested additional scenarios that may constitute exigent circumstances, including natural disasters that require a recipient to contract for timely services, a lawsuit or dispute that requires immediate outside professional resources, a time-sensitive case that requires expertise, audit RFP, audit renewal engagement, and other additional audit work. NLADA and NJP suggested including a provision that provides for “other exigent circumstances.”

    Moreover, NLADA noted the proposed rule does not explain what happens if LSC determines a recipient's circumstances did not meet “exigent circumstances” requirements. NLADA asked whether LSC would treat the situation as a questioned cost proceeding: “Would LSC seek to recover costs solely on the basis that the recipient did not seek prior approval, even if the purchase or contract met § 1630.5 reasonable and necessary criteria?”

    Response: In addition to the exigent circumstances identified in the proposed rule, LSC agrees that a recipient should be able to act without prior approval if necessary to avoid disruption to the recipient's client services delivery system. Examples of such a disruption would be a power surge that causes a recipient's telecommunications system to stop working, or the occurrence of a natural disaster. LSC will include these two additional situations as exigent circumstances and provide specific examples of each.

    Additionally, LSC does not believe that hiring of employees falls within the types of services that LSC intended to regulate in part 1631. Therefore, a recipient would not have to seek prior approval before hiring an attorney, temporary or permanent, to fill the position of an attorney who takes an unexpected prolonged leave. The same rule will apply if the recipient chooses instead to enter a contract with an attorney to fill in for the recipient's attorney on a temporary basis or with a placement firm to place an attorney with the recipient for that period.

    Prudent grants management and the basic principle of federal appropriations law that appropriated funds must be spent only on the purposes for which they were awarded do not permit recipients needing to supplement services to fulfill a non-LSC grant requirement to use LSC funds. Accordingly, LSC rejects the proposal to allow use of LSC funds as an exigent circumstance in this situation.

    Finally, based on our recommendation that the term services explicitly exclude litigation services and audits, these services do not need to be considered as subject to prior approval in any circumstances, including exigent circumstances.

    Section 1631.4 Effective Dates. The proposed language for § 1631.4 made part 1631 effective 90 days after the effective date of the rule, and it made subparts A, C, and E effective 90 days after the effective date of the rule for personal and real property purchased with LSC funds prior to the effective date of this part. This language was adopted from the PAMM. To provide time for LSC to provide appropriate training and recipients to prepare required policies, LSC decided that the final rule will take effect on December 31, 2017. This effective date is well over the 90 days provided in proposed § 1631.4. Therefore, in the final rule, this section will be eliminated and subsequent sections will be renumbered.

    Sections 1631.4, and 1631.5 Use of funds; Recipient policies, procedures, and recordkeeping. In these sections of the NPRM, LSC proposed to consolidate sections 6 and 7 of the PAMM with minor changes and require recipients to adopt written policies to implement part 1631. LSC received no comments on these sections. The final rule renumbers these sections.

    Subpart B—Procurement Policies and Procedures

    Section 1631.6 Characteristics of procurements. In the NPRM, LSC proposed to adopt a list of characteristics to help recipients determine whether an arrangement is a contract (and therefore subject to parts 1630 and 1631) or a subgrant (and therefore subject to part 1627). LSC received no comments on this section. The final rule renumbers this section.

    Section 1631.7 Procurement policies and procedures. In the NPRM, LSC identified elements recipients must have in their procurement policies. LSC received one comment on this section from NLADA indicating support. The final rule renumbers this section.

    Section 1631.8 Requests for prior approval. Proposed § 1631.9 required a recipient seeking prior approval for a purchase of personal property or services to state how the purchase will further the delivery of legal services to eligible clients. The preamble explained that, “[r]egarding contracts for labor counsel, mediators, or other services needed to address sensitive personnel issues, . . . recipients do not need to disclose in the prior approval request the nature of the problems they are attempting to address.”

    Comment: CLS expressed concern with how this provision affects prior approval requests seeking retention of labor counsel. CLS questioned how LSC would be able to determine whether an expense is appropriate or reasonable if a recipient did not disclose the nature of the problem it is trying to address. CLS also noted that prior approval requirements for labor counsel may inappropriately and unnecessarily insert LSC into a recipient's labor-management situations and that seeking prior approval may delay negotiations. CLS recommended that labor and employment services contracts never require prior approval. MAP noted that in services contracts where contracts “directly impact private and confidential matters[,]” local management should retain discretion.

    MAP was also “especially troubled” by LSC's comments in the preamble stating that, in circumstances where the recipient does not disclose the nature of the problems it is attempting to address but rather only how the services will further their legal services delivery, “a statement that the service is necessary to ensure the efficient functioning of the office may satisfy that requirement” (emphasis added). MAP requested that if LSC intends to approve requests that do not disclose the nature of the problem, the regulation should explicitly so state.

    Response: In response to these comments, LSC will exclude contracts for labor counsel and other services necessary to address internal personnel issues from the definition of services in the final rule version of § 1631.2. Additionally, to avoid verbosity, LSC will change final rule § 1631.8(b) to require a “statement of need” rather than a statement explaining how the purchase will further the delivery of legal services.

    Section 1631.9 Applicability of part 1630. In this section, LSC proposed to restate the applicability of part 1630 to all leases, purchases, and contracts made using LSC funds. LSC received no comments on this section. The final rule renumbers the proposed section to § 1631.9.

    Subpart C—Personal Property Management

    Section 1631.10 Use of property in compliance with LSC's statutes and regulations. LSC proposed to adopt § 5(a), (d), and (e) of the PAMM in proposed § 1631.11 with only minor technical changes. LSC received no comments on this section. The final rule renumbers this section.

    Section 1631.11 Intellectual property. The proposed rule adopted § 5(g) of the PAMM without change. LSC received no comments on this section during the public comment period. During the May 23, 2017 meeting of the Operations and Regulations Committee, the Chair of the Committee expressed concern that LSC's proposal to adopt language that identified only copyright as a type of intellectual property protection available to recipients would have two effects. One was that the rule unnecessarily limited the kind of protection recipients could seek for products or works developed using LSC funds. The other was that the existing language could create an incentive for recipients to use other types of intellectual property protections, where available, to avoid falling within the scope of proposed § 1631.12. See Transcript, Telephonic Meeting of the Operations and Regulations Committee, Legal Services Corporation Board of Directors, May 23, 2017, at 20-21. The Chair recommended that LSC replace this language with the language in LSC's Technology Initiative Grants' (TIG) Grant Assurances, which have been revised more currently than the language in § 5 of the PAMM and speak more generally in terms of recipients' ownership rights in works they develop or improve using LSC funds. There were no public comments in opposition to the Chair's proposal at the meeting. Consequently, in the final rule, LSC will adopt the recommendation and revise proposed § 1631.12 to track the language of the TIG Grant Assurances. This section will be renumbered as § 1631.11.

    Section 1631.12 Disposing of personal property purchased with LSC funds. Proposed § 1631.13(a) described how a recipient may dispose of personal property purchased with LSC funds. The proposed rule allowed recipients to sell or otherwise dispose of the personal property with no further obligation to LSC where the fair market value of the property is negligible. The proposed rule also permitted recipients to sell the property at a reasonable negotiated price, without advertising for quotes when the value of the property is $15,000 or less. The proposed rule adopted three options for disposing of personal property—selling the property after advertising and receiving quotes when the property's value exceeds $15,000; transferring the property to another LSC funding recipient; and transferring the personal property to another organization serving the poor in the same area—from § 6 of the PAMM.

    Comment: NLADA noted that it appreciated the provision allowing recipients to dispose of personal property with little or no value. NLADA also noted that a recipient may advertise property worth over $15,000, yet receive no quotes. NLADA recommended adding language stating that “if a program does not receive any quotes, the program may negotiate a reasonable price for disposal of the property.”

    Response: LSC agrees with NLADA's comment. LSC will change paragraph (4) to this section in the final rule to allow a recipient to negotiate a reasonable price for disposal of the property if, after advertising the personal property for 14 consecutive days, the recipient receives no reasonable quotes. This section will be renumbered as § 1631.12 in the final rule.

    Section 1631.13 Use of derivative income from sale of personal property purchased with LSC funds. LSC proposed to adopt § 6(e) of the PAMM without change and add a paragraph requiring recipients to account for income earned from the sale, rent, or lease of personal property purchased with LSC funds. LSC received no comments on this section.

    Subpart D—Real Estate Acquisition and Capital Improvements

    Section 1631.14 Purchasing real property with LSC funds. In the NPRM, LSC proposed to adopt in significant part the requirements of § 4 of the PAMM with several revisions, including two to allow recipients additional flexibility when purchasing real property.

    Comment: NJP commented that, although it had no concerns regarding real estate purchase approval requirements generally, to the extent that LSC intended the term real estate to include tenancies, NJP objected to the prior approval requirement.

    Response: As noted above in the § 1630.6(b)(1)(iii) discussion, LSC did not intend to include tenancies in the definition of real estate. LSC therefore will revise the definition of real estate in both § 1630.2(g) and § 1631.2(f). LSC believes these revisions will resolve NJP's objection.

    Comment: In advance of the Committee's May 23, 2017 meeting, LSC received a comment from a Board member recommending that LSC revise proposed § 1631.15(b)(8) to reflect contemporary language regarding compliance with disability laws.

    Response: LSC agrees and will revise proposed § 1631.15(b)(8) accordingly and renumber the section as § 1631.14(b)(8).

    Section 1631.15 Capital improvements. LSC proposed to adopt § 4(f) of the PAMM in substantial part and to replace existing § 4(1)(ii) of the PAMM with a requirement that recipients provide documentation showing they complied with their own procurement process developed under (final rule) § 1631.8.

    Comment: NJP again commented that, to the extent this section applies to leases and tenant improvements negotiated as part of the lease and rental price, NJP objects to imposing prior approval requirements.

    Response: As noted above in the § 1630.6(b)(1)(iii) and § 1631.14 discussions, LSC did not intend to include tenancies or leases in the definition of real estate and will revise the definition in the final rule. LSC currently does not require prior approval for leases of real estate and, after considering the costs and benefits of requiring prior approval for such leases, opted to continue its current policy. LSC did not intend proposed § 1631.16 (final rule § 1631.15) to cover capital improvements negotiated as part of the lease and rental price for real estate leased by recipients.

    Subpart E—Real Estate Management

    Section 1631.16 Using real estate purchased with LSC funds. Section 5(a) of the PAMM currently states that recipients “may use LSC funds to acquire and use personal and real property for the primary purpose of delivering legal services to eligible clients” in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and guidance. The preamble to the NPRM explained that LSC proposed to adopt this section of the PAMM as proposed § 1631.17 “with only minor technical changes.” Accordingly, the text of proposed § 1631.17 stated, “A recipient must use real estate purchased or leased, in whole or in part with LSC funds primarily to deliver legal services to eligible clients consistent with the requirements of the LSC Act, applicable appropriations acts, and LSC regulations.” 81 FR 75006, 75023, Oct. 28, 2017 (emphasis added).

    Comment: NLADA and NJP commented that using the word must in the proposed regulation instead of may as in the PAMM is a major change because it appears to prevent a program from subleasing a building or space to a party that does not deliver legal services in accordance with LSC regulations. They noted that recipients may face financial difficulties if not allowed to sublet all or part of buildings purchased or leased using LSC funds. For example, NLADA observed that some programs have smaller regional offices that programs have had to close due to funding cuts. NLADA commented that, under the proposed regulation, the program would need to leave the property vacant rather than sublease the property. NLADA suggested retaining the permissive may rather than changing the language to must. NJP suggested that the regulation allow for use of real estate to “support the delivery of legal services.”

    Response: NLADA and NJP are correct that LSC changed the wording of Section 5(a) of the PAMM in the proposed rule. LSC made this change to reflect its position that if recipients use LSC funds to purchase real estate, the real estate must be used primarily for purposes of carrying out the LSC grant. That said, LSC's intent is not to bar recipients from putting real estate originally purchased or leased to provide legal services to other uses where circumstances, such as funding, change. Precluding such alternative uses into perpetuity would cause closed offices and invested funds to sit idle, clearly not a prudent or productive use of real estate or invested funds.

    Current practice under section 5 of the PAMM permits a recipient to lease or sublease vacant space that the recipient is unable to use to another organization or business. In changing the term “may” in the PAMM to “must” in the proposed rule, LSC did not intend to change this practice in the proposed rule. The final rule will clarify that a recipient must use real estate purchased with LSC funds for purposes consistent with applicable law and regulations. The rule will clarify that a recipient that does not need some or all the real estate to carry out its legal services activities may use the space for other activities described in paragraphs (b) and (c). The other activities cannot interfere with the recipient's performance of the LSC grant, and the recipient cannot provide the space to an organization that engages in restricted activities without charging the organization an amount of rent equivalent to the amount other non-profits charge to rent the same amount of space in similar circumstances.

    Section 1631.17 Maintenance. LSC proposed to include a new section requiring recipients to maintain real estate purchased with LSC funds in efficient operating condition and in compliance with state and local standards and codes. LSC received no comments on this section. The final rule will renumber this section.

    Section 1631.18 Insurance. LSC proposed to introduce minimum standards for the insurance of LSC-funded property. LSC received no comments on this section. The final rule will renumber this section.

    Section 1631.19 Accounting and reporting to LSC. Proposed § 1631.20 required a recipient to maintain an accounting of the amount of LSC funds relating to the purchase or maintenance of real estate purchased with LSC funds and provide the accounting for each year to LSC. The final rule will renumber this section.

    Comment: NLADA noted that, for some programs, the use of LSC funds to purchase or maintain real property occurred over ten years ago, in which case the recipient may have destroyed the records. As a result, a recipient would not be able to account for such purchases or maintenance. In these situations, NLADA suggested applying this provision prospectively.

    Response: LSC does not, as a general rule, issue regulations with a retroactive effect. This means that the requirement would apply from the effective date of the proposed revisions to part 1631 forward. In the Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients, LSC recommends retention times for various categories of documents, including property documents. Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients, Appx. II, pp. 69-71 (2010 Ed.). According to the Accounting Guide, recipients should maintain annual financial statements, documentation related to land and buildings, depreciation schedules, general journals, and general ledgers permanently. Id. pp. 70-71. For other documentation related to the purchase and maintenance of real estate, such as the cash disbursements ledger, canceled checks, billings for services, and expense bills, LSC recommends a retention period of seven years or the period required by state law, whichever is longer. Id. To the extent that a recipient that owns real estate on the effective date of the revised rule has properly destroyed records related to the purchase or maintenance of such real estate according to its records retention schedule, LSC would not consider that recipient out of compliance with the revised rule. Recipients will need to maintain the accounting documents described in proposed § 1631.20, renumbered in the final rule as § 1631.19, from the effective date of the rule onward.

    Section 1631.20 Disposing of real estate purchased with LSC funds. In the NPRM, LSC proposed to adopt § 7 of the PAMM in substantial part. In a change from the PAMM, LSC proposed to require that all anticipated dispositions of real estate purchased using LSC funds be subject to LSC's prior approval, consistent with the federal government's policy regarding grantee disposal of property purchased with federal funds. 2 CFR 200.311(c). LSC received no comments on this section.

    Section 1631.21 Retaining income from sale of real property purchased with LSC funds. In the NPRM, LSC proposed to consolidate §§ 6(e) and 8(c) of the PAMM into proposed § 1631.22 and make technical edits. LSC received no comments on this section. The final rule will renumber this section.

    List of Subjects 45 CFR Part 1600

    Legal services.

    45 CFR Part 1630

    Accounting, Government contracts, Grant programs—law, Hearing and appeal procedures, Legal services, Questioned costs.

    45 CFR Part 1631

    Government contracts, Grant programs—law, Legal services, Real property acquisition.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Legal Services Corporation amends 45 CFR Chapter XVI as follows:

    PART 1600—DEFINITIONS 1. The authority citation for part 1600 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 2996g(e).

    2. Amend § 1600.1 by adding in alphabetical order the definitions of “Corporation funds” and “Non-LSC funds” to read as follows:
    § 1600.1 Definitions.

    Corporation funds or LSC funds means any funds appropriated to LSC by Congress to carry out the purposes of the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 2996 et seq., as amended.

    Non-LSC funds means any funds that are not Corporation funds or LSC funds.

    3. Revise part 1630 to read as follows: PART 1630—COST STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES Subpart A—General Provisions Sec. 1630.1 Purpose. 1630.2 Definitions. 1630.3 Time. 1630.4 Burden of proof. Subpart B—Cost Standards and Prior Approval 1630.5 Standards governing allowability of costs under LSC grants or contracts. 1630.6 Prior approval. 1630.7 Membership fees or dues. 1630.8 Contributions. 1630.9 Tax-sheltered annuities, retirement accounts, and penalties. 1630.10 Recipient policies, procedures, and recordkeeping. Subpart C—Questioned Cost Proceedings 1630.11 Review of questioned costs. 1630.12 Appeals to the president. 1630.13 Recovery of disallowed costs and other corrective action. 1630.14 Other remedies; effect on other parts. 1630.15 Applicability to subgrants. 1630.16 Applicability to non-LSC funds. 1630.17 Applicability to derivative income. Subpart D—Closeout Procedures 1630.18 Applicability. 1630.19 Closeout plan; timing. 1630.20 Closeout costs. 1630.21 Returning funds to LSC. Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 2996g(e).

    Subpart A—General Provisions
    § 1630.1 Purpose.

    This part is intended to provide uniform standards for allowability of costs and to provide a comprehensive, fair, timely, and flexible process for the resolution of questioned costs.

    § 1630.2 Definitions.

    As used in this part:

    (a) Corrective action means action taken by a recipient that:

    (1) Corrects identified deficiencies;

    (2) Produces recommended improvements; or

    (3) Demonstrates that audit or other findings are either invalid or do not warrant recipient action.

    (b) Derivative income means income earned by a recipient from LSC-supported activities during the term of an LSC grant or contract, and includes, but is not limited to, income from fees for services (including attorney fee awards and reimbursed costs), sales and rentals of real or personal property, and interest earned on LSC grant or contract advances.

    (c) Disallowed cost means those charges to an LSC award that LSC determines to be unallowable, in accordance with the applicable statutes, regulations, or terms and conditions of the grant award.

    (d) Final written decision means either:

    (1) The decision issued by the Vice President for Grants Management after reviewing all information provided by a recipient in response to a notice of questioned costs; or

    (2) The notice of questioned costs if a recipient does not respond to the notice within 30 days of receipt.

    (e) Membership fees or dues means payments to an organization on behalf of a program or individual to be a member thereof, or to acquire voting or participatory rights therein. Membership fees or dues include, but are not limited to, fees or dues paid to a state supreme court or to a bar organization acting as an administrative arm of the court or in some other governmental capacity if such fees or dues are required for an attorney to practice law in that jurisdiction.

    (f) Questioned cost means a cost that LSC has questioned because of an audit or other finding that:

    (1) There may have been a violation of a provision of a law, regulation, contract, grant, or other agreement or document governing the use of LSC funds;

    (2) The cost is not supported by adequate documentation; or

    (3) The cost incurred appears unnecessary or unreasonable and does not reflect the actions a prudent person would take in the circumstances.

    (g) Real estate means land and buildings (including capital improvements), excluding moveable personal property.

    (h) Single purchase, single lease, and single contract mean a single order or lease of goods or a single contract for services from a single vendor.

    § 1630.3 Time.

    (a) Computation. In computing any period of time under this part, the time period begins the day following the event and includes the last day of the period, unless the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday observed by the Federal government. In those cases, the time period includes the next business day. When the prescribed time period is seven days or less, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded from the computation.

    (b) Extensions. A recipient may, within the applicable timeframe for a particular response under this part, submit a written request for an extension of time for good cause to LSC. LSC will respond to the request for extension within seven calendar days from the date of receiving the request. LSC may grant the request for extension and shall notify the recipient of its decision in writing.

    § 1630.4 Burden of proof.

    The recipient shall have the burden of proof under this part.

    Subpart B—Cost Standards and Prior Approval
    § 1630.5 Standards governing allowability of costs under LSC grants or contracts.

    (a) General criteria. Expenditures are allowable under an LSC grant or contract only if the recipient can demonstrate that the cost was:

    (1) Actually incurred in the performance of the grant or contract and the recipient was liable for payment;

    (2) Reasonable and necessary for the performance of the grant or contract as approved by LSC;

    (3) Allocable to the grant or contract;

    (4) In compliance with the Act, applicable appropriations law, LSC rules, regulations, guidelines, and instructions, the Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients, the terms and conditions of the grant or contract, and other applicable law;

    (5) Consistent with accounting policies and procedures that apply uniformly to both LSC-funded and non-LSC-funded activities;

    (6) Accorded consistent treatment over time;

    (7) Determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; and

    (8) Adequately and contemporaneously documented in business records accessible during normal business hours to LSC management, the Office of Inspector General, the General Accounting Office, and independent auditors or other audit organizations authorized to conduct audits of recipients.

    (b) Reasonable costs. A cost is reasonable if, in its nature or amount, it does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the same or similar circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost. In determining the reasonableness of a given cost, consideration shall be given to:

    (1) Whether the cost is of a type generally recognized as ordinary and necessary for the operation of the recipient or the performance of the grant or contract;

    (2) The restraints or requirements imposed by such factors as generally accepted sound business practices, arms-length bargaining, Federal and State laws and regulations, and the terms and conditions of the grant or contract;

    (3) Whether the recipient acted with prudence under the circumstances, considering its responsibilities to its clients and employees, the public at large, the Corporation, and the Federal government; and

    (4) Significant deviations from the recipient's established practices, which may unjustifiably increase the grant or contract costs.

    (c) Allocable costs. (1) A cost is allocable to a particular cost objective, such as a grant, project, service, or other activity, in accordance with the relative benefits received. Costs may be allocated to LSC funds either as direct or indirect costs according to the provisions of this section.

    (2) A cost is allocable to an LSC grant or contract if it is treated consistently with other costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances and if it:

    (i) Is incurred specifically for the grant or contract;

    (ii) Benefits both the grant or contract and other work and can be distributed in reasonable proportion to the benefits received; or

    (iii) Is necessary to the recipient's overall operation, although a direct relationship to any particular cost objective cannot be shown.

    (3) Recipients must maintain accounting systems sufficient to demonstrate the proper allocation of costs to each of their funding sources.

    (d) Direct costs. Direct costs are those that can be identified specifically with a particular grant award, project, service, or other direct activity of an organization. Costs identified specifically with grant awards are direct costs of the awards and are to be assigned directly thereto. Direct costs include, but are not limited to, the salaries and wages of recipient staff who are working on cases or matters that are identified with specific grants or contracts. Salary and wages charged directly to LSC grants and contracts must be supported by personnel activity reports.

    (e) Indirect costs. Indirect costs are those that have been incurred for common or joint objectives and cannot be readily identified with a particular final cost objective. A recipient may treat any direct cost of a minor amount as an indirect cost for reasons of practicality where the accounting treatment for such cost is consistently applied to all final cost objectives. Indirect costs include, but are not limited to, the costs of operating and maintaining facilities, and the costs of general program administration, such as the salaries and wages of program staff whose time is not directly attributable to a particular grant or contract. Such staff may include, but are not limited to, executive officers and personnel, accounting, secretarial and clerical staff.

    (f) Allocation of indirect costs. Where a recipient has only one major function, i.e., the delivery of legal services to low-income clients, allocation of indirect costs may be by a simplified allocation method, whereby total allowable indirect costs (net of applicable credits) are divided by an equitable distribution base and distributed to individual grant awards accordingly. The distribution base may be total direct costs, direct salaries and wages, attorney hours, numbers of cases, numbers of employees, or another base which results in an equitable distribution of indirect costs among funding sources.

    (g) Exception for certain indirect costs. Some funding sources may refuse to allow the allocation of certain indirect costs to an award. In such instances, a recipient may allocate a proportional share of another funding source's share of an indirect cost to LSC funds, provided that the activity associated with the indirect cost is permissible under the LSC Act, LSC appropriations statutes, and regulations.

    (h) Applicable credits. Applicable credits are those receipts or reductions of expenditures which operate to offset or reduce expense items that are allocable to grant awards as direct or indirect costs. Applicable credits include, but are not limited to, purchase discounts, rebates or allowances, recoveries or indemnities on losses, insurance refunds, and adjustments of overpayments or erroneous charges. To the extent that such credits relate to allowable costs, they shall be credited as a cost reduction or cash refund in the same fund to which the related costs are charged.

    (i) Fundraising. Costs associated with fundraising for the purpose of increasing recipient funds available to carry out the purposes of the LSC grant are allowable and allocable to the LSC grant if they meet the requirements of this section.

    (j) Guidance. The regulations of the Office of Management and Budget shall provide guidance for all allowable cost questions arising under this part when relevant policies or criteria therein are not inconsistent with the provisions of the Act, applicable appropriations law, this part, the Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients, LSC rules, regulations, guidelines, instructions, and other applicable law.

    § 1630.6 Prior approval.

    (a) Advance understandings. Under any given grant award, the reasonableness and allocability of certain cost items may be difficult to determine. To avoid subsequent disallowance or dispute based on unreasonableness or nonallocability, a recipient may seek a written understanding from LSC in advance of incurring special or unusual costs. If a recipient elects not to seek an advance understanding from LSC, the absence of an advance understanding on any element of a cost will not affect the reasonableness or allocability of the cost.

    (b) Costs requiring prior approval. (1) Without LSC's prior written approval, a recipient may not expend $25,000 or more of LSC funds on any of the following:

    (i) A single purchase or single lease of personal property;

    (ii) A single contract for services;

    (iii) A single combined purchase or lease of personal property and contract for services;

    (iv) A single purchase of real estate; and

    (v) Capital improvements.

    (2) For costs apportioned between LSC funds and one or more other funding sources, this requirement applies when the cost allocable to LSC funds is $25,000 or greater.

    (3) The process and substantive requirements for requests for prior approval are in 45 CFR part 1631—Purchasing and Property Management.

    (c) Duration. LSC's advance understanding or approval shall be valid for one year, or for a greater period of time which LSC may specify in its approval or advance understanding.

    § 1630.7 Membership fees or dues.

    (a) LSC funds may not be used to pay membership fees or dues to any private or nonprofit organization, whether on behalf of the recipient or an individual.

    (b) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to the payment of membership fees or dues mandated by a governmental organization to engage in a profession, or to the payment of membership fees or dues from non-LSC funds.

    § 1630.8 Contributions.

    Any contributions or gifts of LSC funds to another organization or to an individual are prohibited.

    § 1630.9 Tax-sheltered annuities, retirement accounts, and penalties.

    No provision contained in this part shall be construed to affect any payment by a recipient on behalf of its employees for the purpose of contributing to or funding a tax-sheltered annuity, retirement account, or pension fund.

    § 1630.10 Recipient policies, procedures, and recordkeeping.

    Each recipient must adopt written policies and procedures to guide its staff in complying with this subpart and must maintain records sufficient to document the recipient's compliance with this subpart.

    Subpart C—Questioned Cost Proceedings
    § 1630.11 Review of questioned costs.

    (a) LSC may identify questioned costs:

    (1) When the Office of Inspector General, the General Accounting Office, or an independent auditor or other audit organization authorized to conduct an audit of a recipient has identified and referred a questioned cost to LSC;

    (2) In the course of its oversight of recipients; or

    (3) As a result of complaints filed with LSC.

    (b) If LSC determines that there is a basis for disallowing a questioned cost, LSC must provide the recipient with written notice of its intent to disallow the cost. The notice of questioned costs must state the amount of the cost and the factual and legal basis for disallowing it.

    (c) If a questioned cost is disallowed solely because it is excessive, only the amount that is larger than reasonable shall be disallowed.

    (d)(1) Within 30 days of receiving the notice of questioned costs, the recipient may respond with written evidence and argument to show that the cost was allowable, or that LSC, for equitable, practical, or other reasons, should not recover all or part of the amount, or that the recovery should be made in installments.

    (2) The written notice shall become LSC's final written decision unless:

    (i) The recipient responds to LSC's written notice within 30 days;

    (ii) The recipient requests an extension of time pursuant to § 1630.3(b) within 30 days; or

    (iii) LSC grants an extension of time pursuant to § 1630.3(b) within 30 days.

    (e) Within 60 days of receiving the recipient's written response to the notice of questioned costs, LSC management must issue a final written decision stating whether the cost has been disallowed and the reasons for the decision.

    (f) If LSC has determined that the questioned cost should be disallowed, the final written decision must:

    (1) State that the recipient may appeal the decision as provided in § 1630.12 and describe the process for seeking an appeal;

    (2) Describe how it expects the recipient to repay the cost, including the method and schedule for collection of the amount of the cost;

    (3) State whether LSC is requiring the recipient to make financial adjustments or take other corrective action to prevent a recurrence of the circumstances giving rise to the disallowed cost.

    § 1630.12 Appeals to the president.

    (a)(1) If the amount of a disallowed cost exceeds $2,500, the recipient may appeal in writing to LSC's President within 30 days of receiving LSC's final written decision to disallow the cost. The recipient should state in detail the reasons why LSC should not disallow part or all of the questioned cost.

    (2) If the recipient did not respond to LSC's notice of questioned costs and the notice became LSC's final written decision pursuant to § 1630.11(d)(2), the recipient may not appeal the final written decision.

    (b) If the President has had prior involvement in the consideration of the disallowed cost, the President shall designate another senior LSC employee who has not had prior involvement to review the recipient's appeal. In circumstances where the President has not had prior involvement in the disallowed cost proceeding, the President has discretion to designate another senior LSC employee who also has not had prior involvement in the proceeding to review the appeal.

    (c) Within 30 days of receiving the recipient's written appeal, the President or designee will adopt, modify, or reverse LSC's final written decision.

    (d) The decision of the President or designee shall be final and shall be based on the written record, consisting of LSC's notice of questioned costs, the recipient's response, LSC's final written decision, the recipient's written appeal, any additional response or analysis provided to the President or designee by LSC staff, and the relevant findings, if any, of the Office of Inspector General, General Accounting Office, or other authorized auditor or audit organization. Upon request, LSC shall provide the recipient with a copy of the written record.

    § 1630.13 Recovery of disallowed costs and other corrective action.

    (a) LSC will recover any disallowed costs from the recipient within the time limits and conditions set forth in either LSC's final written decision or the President's decision on an appeal. Recovery of the disallowed costs may be in the form of a reduction in the amount of future grant checks or in the form of direct payment from you to LSC.

    (b) LSC shall ensure that a recipient who has incurred a disallowed cost takes any additional necessary corrective action within the time limits and conditions set forth in LSC's final written decision or the President's decision.

    § 1630.14 Other remedies; effect on other parts.

    (a) In cases of serious financial mismanagement, fraud, or defalcation of funds, LSC shall refer the matter to the Office of Inspector General and may take appropriate action pursuant to parts 1606, 1623, and 1640 of this chapter.

    (b) The recovery of a disallowed cost according to the procedures of this part does not constitute a permanent reduction in a recipient's annualized funding level, nor does it constitute a limited reduction of funding or termination of financial assistance under part 1606, or a suspension of funding under part 1623 of this chapter.

    § 1630.15 Applicability to subgrants.

    When disallowed costs arise from expenditures incurred under a subgrant of LSC funds, the recipient and the subrecipient will be jointly and severally responsible for the actions of the subrecipient, as provided by 45 CFR part 1627, and will be subject to all remedies available under this part. Both the recipient and the subrecipient shall have access to the review and appeal procedures of this part.

    § 1630.16 Applicability to non-LSC funds.

    (a) No costs attributable to a purpose prohibited by the LSC Act, as defined by 45 CFR 1610.2(a), may be charged to private funds, except for tribal funds used for the specific purposes for which they were provided.

    (b) No cost attributable to an activity prohibited by or inconsistent with Pub. L. 103-134, title V, sec. 504, as defined by 45 CFR 1610.2(b), may be charged to non-LSC funds, except for tribal funds used for the specific purposes for which they were provided.

    (c) LSC may recover from a recipient's LSC funds an amount not to exceed the amount improperly charged to non-LSC funds. A decision to recover under this paragraph is subject to the review and appeal procedures of §§ 1630.11 and 1630.12.

    § 1630.17 Applicability to derivative income.

    (a) Derivative income resulting from an activity supported in whole or in part with LSC funds shall be allocated to the fund in which the recipient's LSC grant is recorded in the same proportion that the amount of LSC funds expended bears to the total amount expended by the recipient to support the activity.

    (b) Derivative income allocated to the LSC fund in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section is subject to the requirements of this part.

    Subpart D—Closeout Procedures
    § 1630.18 Applicability.

    This subpart applies when a recipient of LSC funds:

    (a) Ceases to exist as a legal entity, including merging or consolidating functions with another LSC recipient when the other recipient becomes the LSC recipient for the service area; or

    (b) Otherwise ceases to receive funds directly from LSC. This may include voluntary termination by the recipient or involuntary termination by LSC of the recipient's LSC grant, and may occur at the end of a grant term or during the grant term.

    § 1630.19 Closeout plan; timing.

    (a) A recipient must provide LSC with a plan for the orderly conclusion of the recipient's role and responsibilities. LSC will maintain a list of the required elements for the closeout plan on its Web site. LSC will provide recipients with a link to the list in the grant award documents.

    (b)(1) A recipient must notify LSC no less than 60 days prior to any of the above events, except for an involuntary termination of its LSC grant by LSC. The recipient must submit the closeout plan described in paragraph (a) of this section at the same time.

    (2) If LSC terminates a recipient's grant, the recipient must submit the closeout plan described in paragraph (a) of this section within 15 days of being notified by LSC that it is terminating the recipient's grant.

    § 1630.20 Closeout costs.

    (a) The recipient must submit to LSC a detailed budget and timeline for all closeout procedures described in the closeout plan. LSC must approve the budget, either as presented or after negotiations with the recipient, before the recipient may proceed with implementing the budget, timeline, and plan.

    (b) LSC will withhold funds for all closeout expenditures, including costs for the closing audit, all staff and consultant services needed to perform closeout activities, and file storage and retention.

    (c) LSC will release any funding installments that the recipient has not received as of the date it notified LSC of a merger, change in status, or voluntary termination or that LSC notified the recipient of an involuntary termination of funding only upon the recipient's satisfactory completion of all closeout obligations.

    § 1630.21 Returning funds to LSC.

    (a) Excess fund balance. If the recipient has an LSC fund balance after the termination of funding and closeout, the recipient must return the full amount of the fund balance to LSC at the time it submits the closing audit to LSC.

    (b) Derivative income. Any attorneys' fees claimed or collected and retained by the recipient after funding ceases that result from LSC-funded work performed during the grant term are derivative income attributable to the LSC grant. Such derivative income must be returned to LSC within 15 days of the date on which the recipient receives the income.

    4. Add part 1631 to read as follows: PART 1631—PURCHASING AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Subpart A—General Provisions Sec. 1631.1 Purpose. 1631.2 Definitions. 1631.3 Prior approval process. 1631.4 Use of funds. 1631.5 Recipient policies, procedures, and recordkeeping. Subpart B—Procurement Policies and Procedures 1631.6 Characteristics of procurements. 1631.7 Procurement policies and procedures. 1631.8 Requests for prior approval. 1631.9 Applicability of part 1630 of this chapter. Subpart C—Personal Property Management 1631.10 Use of property in compliance with LSC's statutes and regulations. 1631.11 Intellectual property. 1631.12 Disposing of personal property purchased with LSC funds. 1631.13 Use of derivative income from sale of personal property purchased with LSC funds. Subpart D—Real Estate Acquisition and Capital Improvements 1631.14 Purchasing real estate with LSC funds. 1631.15 Capital improvements. Subpart E—Real Estate Management 1631.16 Using real estate purchased with LSC funds. 1631.17 Maintenance. 1631.18 Insurance. 1631.19 Accounting and reporting to LSC. 1631.20 Disposing of real estate purchased with LSC funds. 1631.21 Retaining income from sale of real estate purchased with LSC funds. Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 2996g(e).

    Subpart A—General Provisions
    § 1631.1 Purpose.

    The purpose of this part is to set standards for purchasing, leasing, using, and disposing of LSC-funded personal property and real estate and using LSC funds to contract for services.

    § 1631.2 Definitions.

    As used in this part:

    (a) Capital improvement means spending more than $25,000 of LSC funds to improve real estate through construction or the addition of fixtures that become an integral part of real estate.

    (b) LSC property interest agreement means a formal written agreement between the recipient and LSC establishing the terms of LSC's legal interest in real estate purchased with LSC funds.

    (c) Personal property means property other than real estate.

    (d) Purchase means buying personal property or real estate or contracting for services with LSC funds.

    (e) Quote means a quotation or bid from a potential source interested in selling or leasing property or providing services to a recipient.

    (f) Real estate means land and buildings (including capital improvements), excluding moveable personal property.

    (g)(1) Services means professional and consultant services rendered by persons who are members of a particular profession or possess a special skill and who are not officers or employees of an LSC recipient. Services includes, but is not limited to intangible products such as accounting, banking, cleaning, consultants, training, expert services, maintenance of equipment, and transportation.

    (2) Services does not include:

    (i) Services provided by recipients to their employees as compensation in addition to regular salaries and wages, including but not limited to employee insurance, pensions, and unemployment benefit plans;

    (ii) Insurance, including malpractice insurance provided to staff attorneys and organizational insurance (e.g., directors and officers liability insurance, employment practices liability insurance, and commercial liability insurance);

    (iii) Annual audits required by section 509(a) of Public Law 104-134;

    (iv) Services necessary to conduct litigation on behalf of clients (e.g., expert witnesses, discovery);

    (v) Contracts for services necessary to address a recipient's internal personnel issues, such as labor counsel, investigators, and mediators; and

    (vi) Contracts for employees, whether with the employee directly or with a placement agency.

    (h) Source means a seller, supplier, vendor, or contractor who has agreed:

    (1) To sell or lease property to the recipient through a purchase or lease agreement; or

    (2) To provide services to the recipient through a contract.

    § 1631.3 Prior approval process.

    (a) LSC shall grant prior approval of a cost listed in § 1630.6(b) of this chapter if the recipient has provided sufficient written information to demonstrate that the cost would be consistent with the standards and policies of this part. LSC may request additional information if necessary to make a decision on the recipient's request.

    (b)(1) For purchases or leases of personal property, contracts for services, and capital improvements, LSC will make a decision to approve or deny a request for prior approval within 30 days of receiving materials LSC deems sufficient to decide. LSC will inform a recipient within 20 days of receiving the initial prior approval request whether LSC needs additional information to make a decision.

    (2) For purchases of real estate, LSC will make a decision within 60 days of receiving materials LSC deems sufficient to decide. LSC will inform a recipient within 20 days of receiving the initial prior approval request whether LSC needs additional information to make a decision.

    (3) If LSC cannot make a decision whether to approve the request within the allotted time, it will provide the requester with a date by which it expects to make a decision.

    (c) If LSC denies a request for prior approval, LSC shall provide the recipient with a written explanation of the grounds for denying the request.

    (d) Exigent circumstances. (1) A recipient may use more than $25,000 of LSC funds to purchase personal property or award a contract for services without seeking LSC's prior approval if the purchase or contract is necessary;

    (i) To avoid imminent harm to the recipient's personnel, physical facilities, or systems;

    (ii) To remediate or mitigate damage to the recipient's personnel, physical facilities or systems;

    (iii) To avoid disruption to the recipient's client-service delivery system (e.g., an event that causes a recipient's telecommunications system to cease functioning); or

    (iv) To respond to a natural disaster (e.g., a flood washes out roads leading to the recipient's offices such that the recipient must contract for services that will enable it to contact its clients).

    (2) The recipient must provide LSC with a description of the exigent circumstances and the information described in paragraph (b) of this section within 30 days after the circumstances necessitating the purchase or contract have ended.

    § 1631.4 Use of funds.

    When LSC receives funds from a disposition of property under this section, LSC will use those funds to make emergency and other special grants to recipients. LSC generally will make such grants to the same service area as the returned funds originally supported.

    § 1631.5 Recipient policies, procedures, and recordkeeping.

    Each recipient shall adopt written policies and procedures to guide its staff in complying with this part and shall maintain records sufficient to document the recipient's compliance with this part.

    Subpart B—Procurement Policies and Procedures
    § 1631.6 Characteristics of procurements.

    (a) Characteristics indicative of a procurement relationship between a recipient and another entity are when the other entity:

    (1) Provides the goods and services within its normal business operations;

    (2) Provides similar goods or services to many different purchasers;

    (3) Normally operates in a competitive environment;

    (4) Provides goods or services that are ancillary to the operation of the LSC grant; and

    (5) Is not subject to LSC's compliance requirements as a result of the agreement, though similar requirements may apply for other reasons.

    (b) In determining whether an agreement between a recipient and another entity constitutes a contract under this part or a subgrant under part 1627 of this chapter, the substance of the relationship is more important than the form of the agreement. All the characteristics above may not be present in all cases, and a recipient must use judgment in classifying each agreement as a subgrant or a contract.

    § 1631.7 Procurement policies and procedures.

    Recipients must have written procurement policies and procedures. These policies must:

    (a) Identify competition thresholds that establish the basis (for example, price, risk level, or type of purchase) for the level of competition required at each threshold (for example, certification that a purchase reflects the best value to the recipient; a price comparison for alternatives that the recipient considered; or requests for information, quotes, or proposals);

    (b) Establish the grounds for non-competitive purchases;

    (c) Establish the level of documentation necessary to justify procurements. The level of documentation needed may be proportional to the nature of the purchase or tied to competition thresholds;

    (d) Establish internal controls that, at a minimum, provide for segregation of duties in the procurement process, identify which employees, officers, or directors who have authority to make purchases for the recipient, and identify procedures for approving purchases;

    (e) Establish procedures to ensure quality and cost control in purchasing, including procedures for selecting sources, fair and objective criteria for selecting sources; and

    (f) Establish procedures for identifying and preventing conflicts of interest in the purchasing process.

    § 1631.8 Requests for prior approval.

    (a) As required by 45 CFR 1630.6 and 1631.3, a recipient using more than $25,000 of LSC funds to purchase or lease personal property or contract for services must request and receive LSC's prior approval.

    (b) A request for prior approval must include:

    (1) A statement of need;

    (2) A copy of the recipient's procurement policy; and

    (3) Documentation showing that the recipient followed its procurement policies and procedures in soliciting, reviewing, and approving the purchase, lease, or contract for services.

    § 1631.9 Applicability of part 1630 of this chapter.

    All purchases and leases of personal property and contracts for services made with LSC funds must comply with the provisions of 45 CFR part 1630 (Cost Standards and Procedures).

    Subpart C—Personal Property Management
    § 1631.10 Use of property in compliance with LSC's statutes and regulations.

    (a) A recipient may use personal property purchased or leased, in whole or in part, with LSC funds primarily to deliver legal services to eligible clients under the requirements of the LSC Act, applicable appropriations acts, and LSC regulations.

    (b) A recipient may use personal property purchased or leased, in whole or in part, with LSC funds for the performance of an LSC grant or contract for other activities, if such other activities do not interfere with the performance of the LSC grant or contract.

    (c) If a recipient uses personal property purchased or leased, in whole or in part, with LSC funds to provide services to an organization that engages in activity restricted by the LSC Act, LSC regulations, or other applicable law, the recipient must charge the organization a fee no less than that which private nonprofit organizations in the same area charge for the same services under similar conditions.

    § 1631.11 Intellectual property.

    (a) A recipient owns all products, technologies, and software developed or improved using LSC funds, subject to any agreement the recipient may have with a third-party vendor. LSC retains a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license to use, reproduce, distribute, publish, and prepare derivative works of any LSC-funded products, technologies, and software, including making them available to other LSC grantees or the broader access to justice community and partners.

    (b) A recipient must have a written contract with vendors who develop or improve LSC-funded products, technologies, and software. The contract must include a provision disclosing LSC's royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license and prohibiting third-party vendors from denying its existence, challenging its legality, or interfering with LSC's full exercise of it.

    § 1631.12 Disposing of personal property purchased with LSC funds.

    (a) Disposal by LSC recipients. During the term of an LSC grant or contract, a recipient may dispose of personal property purchased with LSC funds by:

    (1) Trading in the personal property when it acquires replacement property;

    (2) Selling or otherwise disposing of the personal property with no further obligation to LSC when the fair market value of the personal property is negligible;

    (3) Where the current fair market value of the personal property is $15,000 or less, selling the property at a reasonable negotiated price, without advertising;

    (4) Where the current fair market value of the personal property exceeds $15,000, advertising the property for 14 days and selling the property after receiving reasonable offers. If the recipient receives no reasonable offers after advertising the property for 14 days, it may sell the property at a reasonable negotiated price;

    (5) Transferring the property to another recipient of LSC funds; or

    (6) With the approval of LSC, transferring the personal property to another nonprofit organization serving the poor in the same service area.

    (b) Disposal when no longer a recipient. When a recipient stops receiving LSC funds, it must obtain LSC's approval to dispose of personal property purchased with LSC funds in one of the following ways:

    (1) Transferring the property to another recipient of LSC funds, in which case the former recipient will be entitled to compensation in the amount of the percentage of the property's current fair market value that is equal to the percentage of the property's purchase cost borne by non-LSC funds;

    (2) Transferring the property to another nonprofit organization serving the poor in the same service area, in which case LSC will be entitled to compensation from the recipient for the percentage of the property's current fair market value that is equal to the percentage of the property's purchase cost borne by LSC funds;

    (3) Selling the property and retaining the proceeds from the sale after compensating LSC for the percentage of the property's current fair market value that is equal to the percentage of the property's purchase cost borne by LSC funds; or

    (4) Retaining the property, in which case LSC will be entitled to compensation from the recipient for the percentage of the property's current fair market value that is equal to that percentage of the property's purchase cost borne by LSC funds.

    (c) Disposal upon merger with or succession by another LSC recipient. When a recipient stops receiving LSC funds because it merged with or is succeeded by another grantee, the recipient may transfer the property to the new recipient, if the two entities execute an LSC-approved successor in interest agreement that requires the new recipient to use the property primarily to provide legal services to eligible clients under the requirements of the LSC Act, applicable appropriations acts, and LSC regulations.

    (d) Prohibition. A recipient may not dispose of personal property by sale, donation, or other transfer of the property to its board members or employees.

    § 1631.13 Use of derivative income from sale of personal property purchased with LSC funds.

    (a) During the term of an LSC grant or contract, a recipient may retain and use income from any sale of personal property purchased with LSC funds according to 45 CFR 1630.17 (Cost Standards and Procedures: Applicability to derivative income) and 45 CFR 1628.3 (Recipient Fund Balances: Policy).

    (b) The recipient must account for income earned from the sale, rent, or lease of personal property purchased with LSC funds according to the requirements of 45 CFR 1630.17.

    Subpart D—Real Estate Acquisition and Capital Improvements
    § 1631.14 Purchasing real estate with LSC funds.

    (a) Pre-purchase planning requirements. (1) Before purchasing real estate with LSC funds, a recipient must conduct an informal market survey and evaluate at least three potential equivalent properties.

    (2) When a recipient evaluates potential properties, it must consider:

    (i) The average annual cost of the purchase, including the costs of a down payment, interest and principal payments on a mortgage financing the purchase; closing costs; renovation costs; and the costs of utilities, maintenance, and taxes, if any;

    (ii) The estimated total costs of buying and using the property throughout the mortgage term compared to the estimated total costs of leasing and using a similar property over the same period of time;

    (iii) The property's quality; and

    (iv) Whether the property is conducive to delivering legal services (e.g. property is accessible to the client population (ADA compliant) and near public transportation, courts, and other government or social services agencies).

    (3) If a recipient cannot evaluate three potential properties, it must be able to explain why such evaluation was not possible.

    (b) Prior approval. Before a recipient may purchase real estate with LSC funds, LSC must approve the purchase as required by 45 CFR 1630.6 and 1631.3. The request for approval must be in writing and include:

    (1) A statement of need, including:

    (i) The information obtained and considered in paragraph (a) of this section;

    (ii) Trends in funding and program staffing levels in relation to space needs;

    (iii) Why the recipient needs to purchase real estate; and

    (iv) Why purchasing real estate is reasonable and necessary to performing the LSC grant.

    (2) A brief analysis comparing:

    (i) The estimated average annual cost of the purchase including the costs of a down payment, interest and principal payments on a mortgage financing the purchase; closing costs; renovation costs; and the costs of utilities, maintenance, and taxes, if any; and

    (ii) The estimated average annual cost of leasing or purchasing similar property over the same period of time;

    (3) Anticipated financing of the purchase, including:

    (i) The estimated total acquisition costs, including capital improvements, taxes, recordation fees, maintenance costs, insurance costs, and closing costs;

    (ii) The anticipated breakdown of LSC funds and non-LSC funds to be applied toward the total costs of the purchase;

    (iii) The monthly amount of principal and interest payments on debt secured to finance the purchase, if any;

    (4) A current, independent appraisal sufficient to secure a mortgage;

    (5) A comparison of available loan terms considered by the recipient before selecting the chosen financing method;

    (6) Board approval of the purchase in either a board resolution or board minutes, including Board approvals that are contingent on LSC's approval;

    (7) Whether the property will replace or supplement existing program offices;

    (8) A statement that the property

    (i) Currently complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or applicable state law, whichever is stricter, and 45 CFR 1624.5; or

    (ii) Will comply with the ADA, any applicable state law, and 45 CFR 1624.5 upon completion of any necessary capital improvements. Such improvements must be completed within 60 days of the date of purchase; and

    (9) A copy of a purchase agreement, contract, or other document containing a description of the property and the terms of the purchase.

    (c) Property interest agreement. Once LSC approves the purchase, the recipient must enter a written property interest agreement with LSC. The agreement must include:

    (1) The recipient's agreement to use the property consistent with § 1631.15;

    (2) The recipient's agreement to record, under appropriate state law, LSC's interest in the property;

    (3) The recipient's agreement not to encumber the property without prior LSC approval; and

    (4) The recipient's agreement not to dispose of the property without prior LSC approval.

    § 1631.15 Capital improvements.

    (a) As required by 45 CFR 1630.6 and 1631.3, a recipient must obtain LSC's prior written approval before using more than $25,000 LSC funds to make capital improvements to real estate.

    (b) The written request must include:

    (1) A statement of need;

    (2) A brief description of the nature of the work to be done, the name of the sources performing the work, and the total expected cost of the improvement; and

    (3) Documentation showing that the recipient followed its procurement policies and procedures in competing, selecting, and awarding contracts to perform the work.

    (c) A recipient must maintain supporting documentation to accurately identify and account for any use of LSC funds to make capital improvements to real estate owned by the recipient.

    Subpart E—Real Estate Management
    § 1631.16 Using real estate purchased with LSC funds.

    (a) Recipients must use real estate purchased or leased in whole or in part with LSC funds to deliver legal assistance to eligible clients consistent with the requirements of the LSC Act, applicable appropriations acts, other applicable Federal law, and LSC's regulations. If a recipient does not need to use some or all such real estate to deliver legal assistance to eligible clients, it may use the space for other activities as described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.

    (b) A recipient may use real estate purchased or leased, in whole or part, with LSC funds for the performance of an LSC grant or contract for other activities, if they do not interfere with the performance of the LSC grant or contract.

    (c) If a recipient uses real estate purchased or leased, in whole or part, with LSC funds to provide space to an organization that engages in activity restricted by the LSC Act, applicable appropriations acts, LSC regulations, or other applicable law, the recipient must charge the organization rent no less than that which private nonprofit organizations in the same area charge for the same amount of space under similar conditions.

    § 1631.17 Maintenance.

    A recipient must maintain real estate acquired with LSC funds:

    (a) In an efficient operating condition; and

    (b) In compliance with state and local government property standards and building codes.

    § 1631.18 Insurance.

    At the time of purchase, a recipient must obtain insurance coverage for real estate purchased with LSC funds which is not lower in value than coverage it has obtained for other real estate it owns and which provides at least the following coverage:

    (a) Title insurance that:

    (1) Insures the fee interest in the property for an amount not less than the full appraised value as approved by LSC, or the amount of the purchase price, whichever is greater; and

    (2) Contains an endorsement identifying LSC as a loss payee to be reimbursed if the title fails.

    (3) If no endorsement naming LSC as loss payee is made, the recipient must pay LSC the title insurance proceeds it receives in the event of a failure.

    (b) A physical destruction insurance policy, including flood insurance where appropriate, which insures the full replacement value of the facility from risk of partial and total physical destructions. The recipient must maintain this policy for the period of time that the recipient owns the real estate.

    § 1631.19 Accounting and reporting to LSC.

    A recipient must maintain an accounting of the amount of LSC funds relating to the purchase or maintenance of real estate purchased with LSC funds. The accounting must include the amount of LSC funds used to pay for acquisition costs, financing, and capital improvements. The recipient must provide the accounting for each year to LSC no later than April 30 of the following year or in its annual audited financial statements submitted to LSC.

    § 1631.20 Disposing of real estate purchased with LSC funds.

    (a) Disposal by LSC recipients. During the term of an LSC grant or contract, a recipient must seek LSC's prior written approval to dispose of real estate purchased with LSC funds by:

    (1) Selling the property after having advertised for and received offers; or

    (2) Transferring the property to another recipient of LSC funds, in which case the recipient may be compensated by the recipient receiving the property for the percentage of the property's current fair market value that is equal to the percentage of the costs of the original acquisition and costs of any capital improvements borne by non-LSC funds.

    (b) Disposal after a recipient no longer receives LSC funding. When a recipient who owns real estate purchased with LSC funds stops receiving LSC funds, it must seek LSC's prior written approval to dispose of the property in one of the following ways:

    (1) Transfer the property title to another grantee of LSC funds, in which case the recipient may be compensated the percentage of the property's current fair market value that is equal to the percentage of the costs of the original acquisition and costs of any capital improvements by non-LSC funds;

    (2) Buyout LSC's interest in the property (i.e., pay LSC the percentage of the property's current fair market value proportional to its percent interest in the property); or

    (3) Sell the property to a third party and pay LSC a share of the sale proceeds proportional to its interest in the property, after deducting actual and reasonable closing costs, if any.

    (4) When a recipient stops receiving LSC funds because it merged with or is succeeded by another recipient, it may transfer the property to the new recipient. The two entities must execute an LSC-approved successor in interest agreement that requires the transferee to use the property primarily to provide legal services to eligible clients under the requirements of the LSC Act, applicable appropriations acts, and LSC regulations.

    (c) Prior approval process. No later than 60 days before a recipient or former recipient proposes to dispose of real estate purchased with LSC funds, the recipient or former recipients must submit a written request for prior approval to dispose of the property to LSC. The request must include:

    (1) The proposed method of disposition and an explanation of why the proposed method is in the best interests of LSC and the recipient;

    (2) Documentation showing the fair market value of the property at the time of transfer or sale, including, but not limited to, an independent appraisal of the property and competing bona fide offers to purchase the property;

    (3) A description of the recipient's process for advertising the property for sale and receiving offers;

    (4) An accounting of all LSC funds used in the acquisition and any capital improvements of the property. The accounting must include the amount of LSC funds used to pay for acquisition costs, financing, and capital improvements; and

    (5) Information on the proposed transferee or buyer of the property and a document evidencing the terms of transfer or sale.

    § 1631.21 Retaining income from sale of real estate purchased with LSC funds.

    (a) During the term of an LSC grant or contract, a recipient may retain and use income from any sale of real estate purchased with LSC funds according to 45 CFR 1630.17 (Cost Standards and Procedures: Applicability to derivative income.) and 45 CFR 1628.3 (Recipient Fund Balances: Policy.).

    (b) The recipient must account for income earned from the sale, rent, or lease of real or personal property purchased with LSC funds according to the requirements of 45 CFR 1630.17.

    Dated: August 3, 2017. Mark Freedman, Senior Associate General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16764 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7050-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 79 [MB Docket No. 11-43; FCC 17-88] Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission adopts rules pursuant to Section 202 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) to expand the availability of video described programming on top-rated broadcast and nonbroadcast networks. Specifically, the document adopts the proposal to increase the amount of described programming on each “included network” carried by a covered broadcast station or multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD), from 50 hours per calendar quarter to 87.5 hours per quarter. Covered broadcast stations and MVPDs must start providing the additional hours of video described programming on “included networks” in the calendar quarter beginning on July 1, 2018. The document also provides more flexibility than exists under the Commission's current rules regarding when the additional hours of described programming may be aired. This update to the Commission's video description rules will help ensure that Americans who are blind or visually impaired can be connected, informed, and entertained by television.

    DATES:

    Effective September 11, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Maria Mullarkey, [email protected], or Lyle Elder, [email protected], of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-2120. For additional information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained in this document, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918 or send an email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Report and Order, FCC 17-88, adopted on July 11, 2017, and released on July 12, 2017. The full text of this document is available electronically via the FCC's Electronic Document Management System (EDOCS) Web site at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/ or via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) Web site at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat. This document is also available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., CY-A257, 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).

    I. Introduction

    1. In this Report and Order, we expand the availability of video described programming on top-rated broadcast and nonbroadcast networks. Specifically, we adopt the proposal to increase the amount of described programming on each “included network” 1 carried by a covered broadcast station or multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD), from 50 hours per calendar quarter to 87.5 hours per quarter. Covered broadcast stations and MVPDs must start providing the additional hours of video described programming on “included networks” in the calendar quarter beginning on July 1, 2018. We also provide more flexibility than exists under our current rules regarding when the additional hours of described programming may be aired. This update to our rules will help ensure that Americans who are blind or visually impaired can be connected, informed, and entertained by television.

    1 An “included network” is a network carried on a programming stream or channel on which a broadcaster or MVPD is required to provide video description. Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 81 FR 33642, May 27, 2016, 31 FCC Rcd 2463, 2464, n.4 (2016) (NPRM).

    II. Background

    1. In 2011, the Commission reinstated the video description regulations that previously were adopted in 2000, requiring certain television broadcast stations and MVPDs to provide video description on top-rated networks.2 Video description makes video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired through “[t]he insertion of audio narrated descriptions of a television program's key visual elements into natural pauses between the program's dialogue.” 3 These rules play a key role in affording better access to television programs for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, “enabling millions more Americans to enjoy the benefits of television service and participate more fully in the cultural and civic life of the nation.”

    2 47 CFR 79.3. See generally Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd 11847 (2011) (Reinstatement Order). See also Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 2975 (2011). Video description rules were initially adopted in 2000, but were struck down due to lack of authority. Implementation of Video Description of Video Programming, MM Docket No. 99-339, Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 15230 (2000), recon. granted in part and denied in part, Implementation of Video Description of Video Programming, MM Docket No. 99-339, Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration, 16 FCC Rcd 1251 (2001), vacated sub nom, Motion Picture Ass'n of Am., Inc. v. FCC, 309 F.3d 796 (D.C. Cir. 2002). The history of the Commission's video description rules and their reinstatement under the CVAA, as well as the current requirements under those rules, are discussed in depth in both the 2014 Report to Congress and the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding. Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010) (CVAA); H.R. Rep. No. 111-563, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 19 (2010); S. Rep. No. 111-386, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 1 (2010); Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Report to Congress, 29 FCC Rcd 8011 (2014) (2014 Report); 47 U.S.C. 613(f)(3); NPRM, paras. 3-7.

    3 47 CFR 79.3(a)(3).

    2. Currently, the Commission's video description rules require commercial broadcast television stations that are affiliated with ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC and are located in the top 60 television markets to provide 50 hours per calendar quarter of video described prime time or children's programming.4 In addition, MVPD systems that serve 50,000 or more subscribers must provide 50 hours of video description per calendar quarter during prime time or children's programming on each of the top five national nonbroadcast networks that they carry on those systems.5 The nonbroadcast networks currently subject to these video description requirements are USA, TNT, TBS, History, and Disney Channel.6 Any programming initially aired with video description must include video description if it is re-aired on the same station or MVPD channel, unless the station or MVPD is using the technology for another program-related purpose.7

    4Id. § 79.3(b)(1)-(2).

    5Id. § 79.3(b)(4).

    6Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Order and Public Notice, 30 FCC Rcd 2071, 2071, para. 1 (2015). The list of the top five networks is updated every three years in response to any changes in ratings. 47 CFR 79.3(b)(4). The next update will be in effect on July 1, 2018 based on the ratings for the time period from October 2016 to September 2017.

    7 47 CFR 79.3(c)(3), 79.3(c)(4)(i)-(ii).

    3. In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding (NPRM) (81 FR 33642, May 27, 2016), we proposed revisions to our rules that would expand the availability of, and support consumer access to, video described programming.8 Among other proposals, we proposed to increase the amount of described programming on each included network carried by a covered broadcast station or MVPD, from 50 hours per calendar quarter to 87.5, and we sought comment on whether to provide more flexibility to covered entities by allowing some amount of non-prime time, non-children's described programming to count toward the increased hours. We also sought comment on our tentative conclusion that the benefits of the proposed rules outweigh the costs, and on other issues such as appropriate timelines for the proposals. We take no action on our other NPRM proposals at this time.9

    8See generally NPRM.

    9 We also sought comment in the NPRM on proposals to increase the number of included networks carried by covered distributors, from four broadcast and five nonbroadcast networks to five broadcast and ten nonbroadcast networks; adopt a no-backsliding rule; remove the threshold requirement that nonbroadcast networks reach 50 percent of pay-TV (or MVPD) households in order to be subject to inclusion; require that covered distributors provide dedicated customer service contacts who can answer questions about video description; and require that petitions for exemptions from the video description requirements, together with comments on or objections to such petitions, be filed with the Commission electronically.

    III. Authority

    4. We conclude that we have the authority under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) to increase the number of hours of described programming on each included network by 75 percent, from 50 hours per calendar quarter to 87.5 hours per quarter. This conclusion is consistent with Section 713(f)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (“Continuing Commission Authority”),10 Section 713(f)(4) states that the Commission may not issue additional video description rules unless their benefits outweigh their costs, and “may not increase, in total, the hour requirement for additional described programming by more than 75 percent of the requirement in the regulations reinstated under” Section 713(f)(1).

    10 Section 713 of the Act was amended by Section 202(a) of the CVAA and is codified at 47 U.S.C. 613.

    5. In the NPRM, we explained that our continuing authority is limited by the express requirement in Section 713(f)(4)(A) that the need for and benefits of any new or expanded regulations outweigh their costs, as well as by the express limitations set out in subsection (f)(4)(B) with respect to total described hours and subsection (f)(4)(C) regarding the expansion of video description requirements to additional designated market areas (DMAs).11 As noted in the NPRM, the statute provides that any new requirements must be limited to programming transmitted for display on television (that is, by broadcasters and MVPDs).12 In this Order, we conclude that the new requirements we adopt herein are consistent with the limitations in the statute. We note that, as required in subsection (f)(4)(A), more than two years have passed since the completion of the CVAA-mandated report to Congress on video description “in television programming” and “in video programming distributed on the Internet.” 13 Further, the additional regulations adopted today apply only to “programming . . . transmitted for display on television.” 14 As discussed below, we also find that “the need for and benefits of” the regulations “are greater than the[ir] technical and economic costs” for the rules we adopt herein. Finally, consistent with subsection (f)(4)(B), the additional regulations do not increase the hour requirement “by more than 75 percent of the requirement in the regulations reinstated.” 15

    11NPRM, paras. 8, 13-15. The CVAA prohibits the Commission, until October 8, 2020, from phasing in additional DMAs outside the top 60. 47 U.S.C. 613(f)(4)(C)(iii)-(iv).

    12NPRM, para. 16; 47 U.S.C. 613(f)(4)(A).

    13 47 U.S.C. 613(f)(4)(A). In particular, on June 30, 2014, the Commission submitted a report to Congress presenting its findings on the technical and creative issues, benefits, and financial costs of video description in television programming, as well as on the technical and operational issues, benefits, and costs of providing video description for IP-delivered video programming. See generally 2014 Report. See also NPRM, para. 7.

    14 47 U.S.C. 613(f)(4)(A).

    15 The requirement in the reinstated regulations is 50 hours of video description on each programming stream or channel per calendar quarter. 47 CFR 79.3(b)(1)-(2), (4). 75 percent of those 50 hours is 37.5 hours. Accordingly, 87.5 hours per quarter represents a 75 percent increase in the number of hours of video description (50 + 37.5 = 87.5). We have not expanded the number of DMAs, which we conclude we may not do until 2020 at the earliest. 47 U.S.C. 613(f)(4)(C)(iii)-(iv).

    IV. Increased Availability of Video Described Programming A. Additional Hours

    6. The CVAA provides that the Commission may increase “in total” the hour requirement by no more than 75 percent, up to a total of 87.5 hours per quarter, and we proposed to adopt such an increase in the NPRM. 16 Based on our analysis of the benefits and costs of the proposal as required under Section 713(f)(4)(A) of the Communications Act, we adopt our proposed increase in this Order.17 Thus, we will require each covered broadcast station and MVPD, on each stream or channel on which it carries an “included network,” to provide 87.5 hours of described programming, per quarter.18 Our decision to increase the number of required hours of video description per included network is supported by the record. Almost every commenter who addressed this issue supports the proposed increase to 87.5 hours per quarter,19 and only one commenter opposes it.20 Although this is the maximum increase permissible under the CVAA, the total number of hours required per included network will be limited, averaging less than one hour per day.21 We find that implementing the maximum increase at this time, rather than a partial increase, will provide the most benefit to consumers without resulting in excessive costs. As discussed below, we also provide more flexibility than exists under our current rules regarding when the additional hours of described programming may be aired.

    16NPRM, para. 18. See also 47 U.S.C. 613(f)(4)(B).

    17 Absent Congressional action, the Commission does not have authority to further increase the number of hours of video described programming required per quarter on any specific network beyond the 87.5 hours adopted today. NPRM, para. 13. However, we encourage all networks to continue to expand their video described offerings.

    18 We also delete what was formerly § 79.3(b)(1) of the rules, which specified the video description requirements that were in effect prior to July 1, 2015, and were superseded on that date. This rule is obsolete and has no current effect, and its substance is now covered by the new paragraph (b)(1) (what was formerly paragraph (b)(2)).

    19See, e.g., MPAA Comments at 1; ACB Comments at 3; AFB Comments at 1; MCB Reply at 1; ABVI Reply at 1; Barlow Comments at 1; Grossman Comments at 1; Merriweather Comments at 1; Pinto Comments at 1; Zodrow Comments at 1; Swartz Reply at 1.

    20See NAB Reply at 3-9.

    21 Thirteen weeks per calendar quarter, seven days per week, means an average of 91 days per quarter. Given that the updated requirement calls for only 87.5 hours of described programming per quarter, this averages out to less than one hour per day of described programming on any given included network.

    7. On any given day, the average American can choose to watch any program on any one of approximately 264 channels.22 That adds up to roughly 6,000 hours of linear television options, from which that average American chooses about five hours of programming to watch over the course of the day.23 Ideally, viewers who are blind or visually impaired would have the same range of options, including the same freedom to select and independently view and follow any of the programming for which they pay.24 Instead, many find that “the current amount of available audio-described content [is] significantly below demand” and indicate that they have difficulty finding programs with video description.25 Television programming is a shared piece of American culture 26 that the blind and visually impaired community is unable to fully experience without video description.27 For people with blindness and visual impairments, video description has been shown not only to increase comprehension of television programming, but also to increase opportunities to discuss television programs with sighted people.28 As a result of increased video description requirements, persons who are blind or visually impaired will be able to engage more fully in television viewing, increasing their social inclusion within community life. Nonetheless, as we noted in the NPRM, we must “seek to ensure that consumers are able to realize the benefits of video description” while “keeping in mind our Congressional directive to proceed judiciously with any expansion of the requirements.”

    22Implementation of Section 3 of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992; Statistical Report on Average Rates for Basic Service, Cable Programming Service, and Equipment, MM Docket No. 92-266, Report on Cable Industry Prices, 31 FCC Rcd 11498, 11508-09, Tbls. 4, 5 (2016) (showing an increased average of 264.4 total available channels on the most subscribed tiers of service). Close to 90 percent of American television households subscribe to MVPD service. Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming, MB Docket No. 15-158, Seventeenth Report, 31 FCC Rcd 4472, 4514, para. 102 (2016).

    23 John Koblin, How Much Do We Love TV? Let Us Count the Ways, N.Y. Times, June 30, 2016, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/business/media/nielsen-survey-media-viewing.html.

    24 Although over-the-air viewers have access to a smaller range of options, that is true regardless of whether they are blind or visually impaired. The virtue of equivalent access remains the same.

    25 ACB October 26, 2016 Ex Parte, ACB Survey Finds Need for Increased Audio Description, at 1 (ACB Survey) (reporting that over 75% of survey respondents “strongly agree that a greater amount of audio-described programming is needed,” and that 45% of survey respondents “have difficulty in finding programs with audio description”).

    26See David Carr, Barely Keeping Up in TV's New Golden Age, N.Y. Times, Mar. 9, 2014, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/10/business/media/fenced-in-by-televisions-excess-of-excellence.html.

    27See 2014 Report, para. 2. See also ACB Survey at 1 (reporting that over 75% of survey respondents “strongly agree that a greater amount of audio-described programming is needed”).

    28 Emilie Schmeidler and Corinne Kirchner, Ph.D., Adding Audio Description: Does it Make a Difference?, 95 Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness 197 (2001).

    8. As required by the statute, we find that the benefits of increasing the required number of hours of described programming by 37.5 hours per quarter are greater than the costs. The costs are minimal and represent a very small percentage of total programming expenses and network revenues.29 Although the price for adding description to television programming can vary, based on filings in the docket we estimate that the maximum cost per hour is $4,202.50.30 Because a given hour of described programming can be counted twice toward the requirements of the rules (once when initially aired, and once when rerun), any given included network would need a total of 175 hours of first-run described programming on that network per year to comply with the expanded video description requirement adopted today.31 For the nine networks required to provide 50 hours of video description per quarter, we estimate the cost of increasing the number of hours of described programming to 87.5 hours per quarter is approximately $315,000 per year.32

    29 Moreover, such costs might be partially offset by increases in advertising revenue due to additional audience reach.

    30 NAB, in a 2013 submission, estimated that the cost of one hour of video description lies between $2,500 and $4,100. NAB Sept. 4, 2013 Comments at 4. Because producing video described programming is a labor intensive task, we adjust the reported costs to reflect the change in wages in the media industry. See The Described and Captioned Media Program, DCMP's Description Tip Sheet (rev. Jan. 2012), available at https://dcmp.org/ai/227/ (visited Oct. 17, 2016). We adjust this cost estimate by 2.5 percent because the mean wage in media occupations increased by 2.5 percent between 2013 and 2015. Adjusting the NAB estimates yields a range of $2,562.50 to $4,202.50, and we use this upper bound in our calculations throughout this item. See United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics (2013, 2015), available at http://www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm. On the other hand, one commenter noted that production costs have fallen in the past five years and are expected to continue to fall due to entry by firms into the video description industry because of increased demand for video description services, and therefore the estimates given above may be high. See Dicapta Comments at 1.

    31 87.5 hours per quarter × times; 4 quarters = 350 hours, divided in half (175) because each described hour can be counted twice.

    32 37.5 additional hours per quarter × 4 quarters = 150, divided in half (75) because each described hour can be counted twice. 75 hours × $4,202.50 per hour = $315,187.5. For the currently included broadcast networks, the cost of the additional 37.5 hours of described programming per quarter would approximate one hundredth of one percent of their programming costs and net revenues. For the currently included nonbroadcast networks, the cost of the additional 37.5 hours of described programming per quarter would range from 0.02 to 0.08 percent of their programming costs, and from 0.01 to 0.04 percent of their net revenues. Programming expenses and net operating revenue come from SNL Kagan, TV Network Profile and Economics (2017). Programming expenses are defined by SNL Kagan as the direct cost of creating, acquiring, and distributing content and services. Programming expenses and net operating revenue are available for each of the four broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox) and the five nonbroadcast networks (USA, TNT, TBS, Disney Channel, and History) required to provide video description under the current rules. Programming expenses range from $2.5 billion to $3.9 billion for the broadcast networks and from $394 million to $1.6 billion for the nonbroadcast networks. Net operating revenue ranges from $3.4 billion to $5.2 billion for the broadcast networks and from $870 million to $3.4 billion for the nonbroadcast networks. Based on this data, we conclude that the costs of increasing the required number of hours of described programming by 37.5 hours will not impose an undue burden on regulatees.

    9. The benefits of additional description, while less easy to quantify than the relatively low costs of providing it, are nonetheless substantial. Longstanding evidence indicates that persons who are blind or visually impaired have television viewing habits that are comparable to those who are not.33 Studies have also shown that persons who are blind or visually impaired subscribe to MVPD services in roughly the same proportion as other Americans.34 Nothing in the current record suggests otherwise and, indeed, there is no reason to believe that those who are blind or visually impaired would not seek to access a medium of communications as central to American life and culture as television in the same way, and at the same rates, as other Americans. Estimates of the number of Americans who are blind or visually impaired range from seven million to over 23 million.35 Thus, the number of Americans who could benefit from video description is substantial.

    33 Jaclyn Packer, Ph.D. & Corinne Kirchner, Ph.D., Who's Watching? A Profile of the Blind and Visually Impaired Audience for Television and Video (1997), available at http://www.afb.org/info/programs-and-services/public-policy-center/technology-and-information-accessibility/whos-watching-a-profile-of-the-blind-and-visually-impaired-audience-for-television-and-video/1235 (Who's Watching? Report).

    34Id. (“Blind and visually impaired people . . . subscribe to cable television, to the same extent as other households.”).

    35 The Census Bureau estimates the total blind or visually impaired population is 7,333,805. United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey, Table B18103 (2015), available at http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_15_1YR_B18103&prodType=table. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 23.7 million Americans age 18 and older reported experiencing vision loss. American Foundation for the Blind, Blindness Statistics, Facts and Figures on Adults with Vision Loss (updated Jan. 2017), available at www.afb.org/info/blindness-statistics/adults/facts-and-figures/235 (citing CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, 2015 National Health Interview Survey). Of these 23.7 million, 14.4 million women and 9.3 million men report experiencing significant vision loss. Id. The National Eye Institute (NEI) estimates the blind or visually impaired population over 40 years old is 12,440,000. Varma et al., Visual Impairment and Blindness in Adults in the United States: Demographic and Geographic Variations from 2015 to 2050, 134 (7) JAMA Ophthalmology 802-809 (2016).

    10. Commenters who are blind or visually impaired emphasize the need for greater amounts of video described programming,36 as well as the substantial benefits of this service.37 There is considerable evidence that video description of television programming significantly enhances the value of television programming to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Many television programs contain visual elements that are crucial to understanding what is happening, and are missed by those who are blind or visually impaired.38 The Commission's 2014 Report found that video description greatly enhances the experience of viewing video programming because viewers who are blind or visually impaired no longer miss critical visual elements of television programming and, therefore, can fully understand and enjoy the program without having to rely on their sighted family members and friends to narrate these visual elements.39 Commenters express that this ability to watch video programming independently is an incredibly important benefit of video description. 40 The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) also note the benefits of video description to children and individuals on the autism spectrum, because it can help with the development of vocabulary.41

    36See AFB Comments at 2 (“[D]emand for, and interest in, described TV is overwhelming and can only be expected to grow.”); ACB Comments at 1 (noting that, as the “incidence of blindness” continues to significantly increase, this will “continue[] to create an increase in demand for accessible video programming”); ACB Reply at 4 (explaining that, while a wide breadth of programming is closed captioned for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, “the blindness community is relegated[sic] to a handful of hours each week during prime-time, or at odd intervals”). See also, e.g., Brack Reply at 1 (offering support for expanding the amount of video description because only “[a] relatively small portion of shows has description”); Correia Reply at 1 (stating that “many of my most favorite shows are still not available with audio description” and that the proposed increase “will mean that I will be able to enjoy many more of my favorite programs”); Crawford Reply at 1 (“There is no question that the amount of programming I watch would increase if I had a larger selection of choices [that are video described].”); Crumley Reply at 1 (stating that video description “should be expanded as much as possible”); Huffman Reply at 1 (“The number of audio-described programs remains low.”); Hunsinger Reply at 1 (urging the FCC to make more video description available); Getz Reply at 1 (“I very much enjoy the television programming [that] is currently being described, however, the shows I am able to fully enjoy is[sic] much too limited at this time.”); ABVI Reply at 1 (“Currently, only a small fraction of all television programming is required to be audio described.”); Lieberg Reply at 1 (“[W]e who rely on description have very few hours per week and very few programs from which to choose.”); Pimley Reply at 1 (noting that there are “only very, very, few hours of video description”); Swartz Reply at 1 (imploring the FCC “[i]n the strongest possible terms” to increase the number of programs with video description); Zaken Reply at 1 (requesting that the FCC make more video description available on television so “that I will be able to listen to more programs”).

    37See, e.g., Brack Reply at 1 (explaining that “[t]he added value of description to television shows . . . for a person who is blind is immeasurable” and “it offers a night-and-day difference in both understanding and enjoying programming”); Doane Reply at 1 (“[V]ideo description gives blind and visually impaired people knowledge that we can share with others in conversation and allows us to make informed opinions on the programming.”); Edwards Reply at 1 (noting that “[t]here is clearly a huge benefit to be gained” by increasing the number of hours of video description by 75 percent); Grenevitch Reply at 1 (“It is hard for me to put into words what audio description adds to programming for a visually impaired individual. You do not realize how many important details you have been missing until you hear a program described.”); Hasley Reply at 1 (“Increasing availability of such description will allow greater access to the entertainment, education, and information provided by television programming, for a large population of viewers.”); Strzalkowski Reply at 1 (“Audio description makes it possible to understand what is happening and to feel a part of the cultural experience that is television.”); Tobin Reply at 1 (stating that the “importance of audio description in my life cannot be overstated” and “the impact . . . is profound, as the narrative elements of the description make television . . . come alive for me”).

    38Who's Watching? Report (“People who have experienced video description feel that it affords important benefits, which fall into the categories of enhanced viewing, learning, and social experiences.”; “The vast majority of blind and visually impaired people who have experienced description say that it is important to their enjoyment of programming.”).

    392014 Report, paras. 14-15. See also NPRM, paras. 9-10.

    402014 Report, para. 15. See, e.g., Smith Comments at 1 (explaining that video description benefits individuals who are blind because it gives them greater independence and the ability to understand television programs); Zodrow Comments at 1 (“Having video description now is very beneficial for me as a totally blind person because now I don't have to rely on someone else that's sighted [to] explain to me what is happening on the screen. . . . I can now understand what's going on during a TV program and know what the characters are doing.”); ABVI Reply at 1 (“It means enjoying a program or movie with your spouse or family as an equal rather than someone who needs an explanation of what is happening.”); Sorenson Reply at 1 (“Watching tv with audio description gives me more understanding about the action on the screen.”).

    41 DCMP and ACB, Listening Is Learning, How Does Description Benefit Students Without Visual Impairments?, http://listeningislearning.org/background_description-no-bvi.html (last visited Oct. 12, 2016).

    11. Through its enactment of the CVAA, Congress acknowledged the value of video description. Indeed, the importance of accessibility of video programming to persons who are blind or visually impaired underlies several provisions of the CVAA. Congress mandated not only that the Commission require video description, but also that emergency information contained in video programming, as well as the user interfaces on navigation devices and other digital apparatus that allow users to navigate video programming, be made accessible to those who are blind or visually impaired.42 Furthermore, in addition to its considerable benefits to the millions of individuals who are blind or visually impaired today, television programming that is produced with video description now will continue to benefit the growing population of people with blindness or a visual impairment when it is shown again in the future, thus increasing its value. The National Eye Institute estimates that the blind or visually impaired population will double by 2050.43

    42 Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751, secs. 202, 204-205 (2010).

    43 Varma et al.

    12. Although we do not assign a specific monetary value to the benefits these additional hours of described programming will provide to the millions of persons who are blind or visually impaired,44 we find that the benefits exceed the relatively low costs.45

    44 It is difficult to quantify in monetary terms the intrinsic benefits of video description for people who are blind or visually impaired, and there are no quantitative estimates of the value of an additional hour of video described television programming for a blind or visually impaired individual. See, e.g., Brack Reply at 1 (“The added value of description to television shows . . . for a person who is blind is immeasurable.”). Even very low estimates of the value indicate that it would take only a small number of viewers who are blind or visually impaired to get more benefit from described programming than the cost of describing it. NCTA promotes on its Web site an estimate of the “viewing value by the hour” of cable programming. This estimate—$0.26 per hour—reflects the price for enjoying each hour of cable video service, which presumably is an estimate of its value. See NCTA, Industry Data, https://www.ncta.com/industry-data. Viewers who are blind or visually impaired get some value from television programming even without video description. Assuming conservatively that, without the benefit of video description, such viewers get 75 percent of the enjoyment of a sighted viewer (or $0.195 per hour), adding video description might add $0.065 of value per hour, per viewer (to equal $0.26, NCTA's estimate of the total value of an hour of programming). As discussed above, we estimate the highest potential cost for describing an hour of programming to be $4,202.50. At $0.065 per person, 64,654 viewers equal $4,202.51. Various governmental estimates place the number of persons who are blind or visually impaired at between 7,333,805 and 23,700,000. Thus, even accepting NCTA's low estimate of the value of an hour of programming for the sake of argument, benefits that reached only a fraction of citizens who are blind or visually impaired −0.3 to 0.9 percent depending on the estimate—would nonetheless outweigh costs. And this calculation does not even take into account the benefits to the friends and family of persons who are blind or visually impaired, or the benefits to networks and distributors of increases in viewership.

    45 NAB argues that the preliminary cost-benefit analysis in the NPRM forms an insufficient basis for the adoption of any new rules. NAB Reply at 3-9. As always, however, we do not adopt any rules based on the analysis in the NPRM. As discussed throughout this Order, our finding that “the need for and benefits of” the new rules “are greater than the technical and economic costs” is based on a comprehensive analysis of the available facts in the record. NAB has submitted no sound basis to reach a different conclusion here. As stated above, the total number of described hours required under our revised rules is modest (requiring an average of less than one hour of described programming per day) and accordingly will not impose a significant burden on included networks. We have designed our rules to further minimize the burden on included networks by providing flexibility on when the additional hours of described programming may be aired and allowing a given hour of described programming to be counted twice, once when initially aired and once when rerun. We thus reject NAB's argument that the new rules are not sufficiently supported by a cost-benefit analysis.

    B. Increased Flexibility

    13. In addition to increasing the required hours of video described programming, we also provide more flexibility than exists under our current rules regarding when the additional hours of described programming may be aired. Several industry commenters argue without opposition that “[t]he Commission should incorporate flexibility into any rules increasing the number of hours.” 46 MPAA argues that we should consider “whether to allow additional types of programming to count toward the hourly video description requirement if the requirement is moved from 50 hours to 87.5 hours per quarter.” 47 Time Warner “agrees with other commenters that additional flexibility is essential” if the Commission adopts such an increase.48 While commenters generally did not respond to the Commission's inquiry about changing the rule to allow some or all described programming to air between 6 a.m. and midnight, industry commenters agreed that “the Commission should [ ] consider allowing additional types of programming to count towards the rule.” 49

    46 NCTA Comments at 14-15.

    47 MPAA Comments at 12.

    48 Time Warner Reply at 4. See also NAB Reply at 18.

    49 NAB Reply at 19.

    14. We will provide flexibility regarding when the additional required hours may be aired, but retain our current rule with respect to the existing hour requirement. Specifically, although we will continue to require included networks to provide 50 hours per quarter of video described programming during prime time or children's programming,50 we will permit the additional 37.5 hours per quarter to be provided at any time between 6 a.m. and midnight.51 We noted in the NPRM that, while “we have no evidence of compliance difficulties for covered distributors or the currently-included networks” operating under the current rules, we recognize that some parties may not have sufficient eligible prime time and children's programming to meet our increased hour requirement.52 Commenters provide some examples of situations in which, they claim, certain programmers would be unable to comply with the expanded hour obligation by describing prime time or children's programming, even if they described all such non-exempt programming.53 The added flexibility provided under our new rules should alleviate this concern.54

    50 50 hours/quarter in prime time or children's programming is the amount required under the current rules. 47 CFR 79.3(b).

    51 To avoid ambiguity, the rule refers to 11:59 p.m. rather than midnight. See National Institute of Standards and Technology, Times of Day FAQs, available at https://www.nist.gov/pml/time-and-frequency-division/times-day-faqs.

    52NPRM, paras. 18-19.

    53See, e.g., Time Warner Reply at 4 (a significant amount of programming was aired with description, but had been previously aired with description and counted toward the requirements more than once); NAB Reply at 18-19 (a broadcast network carries “relatively fewer hours of children's programming”); NCTA September 19, 2016 Ex Parte (all programming was described reruns).

    54 To the extent that any individual network has problems satisfying the new hour requirement even with this flexibility, it may file a waiver request with the Media Bureau. 47 CFR 1.3, 0.283.

    15. Commenters suggest a number of additional ways to provide included networks with more flexibility to satisfy the increased hour requirement. We find that these suggested measures are unnecessary in light of the timing flexibility we are providing, as well as ill-advised. NCTA suggests permitting distributors to average their compliance across multiple quarters.55 Although unlikely, this could mean, in practice, that a network could air a year's worth of described programming in one quarter, and none at all the rest of the year. We find that the ability to vary compliance with the hour requirement in this manner would have the potential to upset consumer expectations and significantly undermine the value of video description to those who rely upon it. It would not serve the needs of individuals who are blind or visually impaired to have no video described programming on a channel for an entire quarter. NAB suggests increasing the number of times a program and its reruns can be counted toward the hour requirement, from twice to “three or four or more” times.56 This would ultimately reduce the overall amount of described programming available to consumers, because some networks might rerun the same described programming over and over. At the same time, the majority of top networks that air primarily first-run programming in prime time would continue to need to produce the same amount of new described programming, meaning this change would not give them additional flexibility. Time Warner proposes that we permit networks to count described hours provided on affiliated networks to satisfy the hour requirement for the primary network.57 This, too, would undermine the purpose of the rules, which are designed to ensure that programming on the most popular networks is described.58 While we appreciate the desire for flexibility reflected in these proposals, we decline to adopt them for the reasons explained above.

    55 NCTA Comments at 15. See also Time Warner Reply at 5.

    56 NAB Reply at 18.

    57 Time Warner Reply at 5.

    58 Other proposals are less problematic but are rendered unnecessary given the approach we have adopted. For instance, NCTA proposes to create a categorical exemption if all eligible programming in a quarter is described. NCTA Comments at 15. This does not seem likely to occur now that 18 hours a day of programming are eligible to count toward the description requirement, but, as discussed below, if it does occur we will consider that circumstance when deciding whether to grant a waiver.

    16. We recognize, however, that some networks may have a difficult time meeting the new hour requirement in specific calendar quarters, even with the additional flexibility we are providing. For example, Time Warner argues that TNT, an included network, carried a significant amount of live programming in prime time in the second quarter of 2016, and as a result just barely met the existing 50 hour quarterly requirement.59 In addition to the increased flexibility we provide to programmers to meet our hour requirement, distributors and included networks continue to be permitted to petition for waivers if needed. Some commenters argue that “potentially frequent waiver requests” under an “ad hoc waiver process” are insufficient to resolve certain problems that need to be considered “at the outset” to avoid impacting program scheduling.60 Parties made the same arguments prior to the reinstatement of the video description rules.61 As we observed in the NPRM, however, not a single waiver request has been filed in the more than five years since the rules became effective, and under the rules we adopt today, included networks will not need to provide any more description during prime time or children's programming than they do under the reinstated rules. Therefore, we do not foresee that the new rules will create any problems with program scheduling or that regulatees will have difficulty complying with our revised rules. Nonetheless, we continue to emphasize that waiver requests may be filed if our requirements are infeasible or prove to be unduly burdensome under particular circumstances.

    59 Time Warner Reply at 4.

    60See, e.g., NCTA Comments at 14; Time Warner Reply at 6. See also NCTA July 5, 2017 Ex Parte at 1 (proposing “that the Commission provide additional flexibility in its rules—either through providing a safe harbor or an appropriately-framed exemption”).

    61Reinstatement Order, para. 46.

    17. Although the record does not suggest that either broadcast stations or MVPDs will typically have difficulty complying with our revised rules, it does suggest that compliance problems could arise in two atypical circumstances.62 First, a network may be carrying an unusually large amount of live or near-live programming due to special events during a single calendar quarter (the Olympics, March Madness, etc.).63 Second, a network may be airing an unusually large number of video-described reruns during a particular quarter. Bearing these concerns in mind, we will look favorably upon waiver requests demonstrating that:

    62See, e.g., Time Warner Reply at 4-5; NCTA Comments at 14; NCTA September 19, 2016 Ex Parte.

    63See Time Warner Reply at 4. However, we note that some live programming has been provided with video description. See, e.g., NPRM, n.47 (citing articles about NBC's video-described production of `The Wiz Live!').

    • All pre-recorded programming between 6 a.m. and midnight in the relevant calendar quarter is being described, even if not all of it can be counted toward the rules 64 ; and

    64 Although we received no comments on this issue, we recognize that broadcast networks do not program a broadcast station's full day. Broadcast stations also program part of the broadcast day independently of their network, airing locally originated programming and syndicated programming. Therefore, in the case of waiver requests from broadcasters or broadcast networks, we will also look favorably on waiver requests demonstrating that all non-“live or near-live” programs provided in hours programmed by the broadcast network are described. Also, for all covered networks filing waiver requests, to the extent they have not provided video description on all pre-recorded programming they are, of course, free to make a showing that reasonable circumstances prevent their having done so.

    • The petitioner commits to provide additional hours of video description in calendar quarters other than the one for which it is seeking the waiver,65 or commits to provide the additional hours of video description in the same calendar quarter but on an affiliated network.66

    65 If a waiver were granted, the petitioners would shift some hours of video described programming to a different quarter than the one in which they would otherwise be counted. As a result, there should be no additional burden on covered parties. Although description is most beneficial when it is consistently available, additional description always provides value to consumers, both in the quarter when it airs and whenever the programming is rerun with description. 47 CFR 79.3(c)(3), (4). Finally, this potential waiver condition is distinguishable from the NCTA proposal to permit distributors to average their compliance across multiple quarters, both because it will be of limited duration and because it depends on Commission review and approval rather than the discretion of regulatees, and will consequently be easier to monitor and enforce. It also is distinguishable from the NCTA proposal because it is unlikely to lead to a scenario where a network airs no or very little video described programming during a quarter, which could happen under NCTA's proposal. That proposal would place no limits on the circumstances in which a network could move video described programming to a different calendar quarter, and would not require that any video described programming at all be aired in a particular quarter.

    66 The Commission will evaluate whether the affiliated network receives MVPD coverage and viewership sufficient to make it an adequate substitute for the network on which video description is required to be provided.

    If both of these conditions are met, we believe that it is more likely than not that consumer needs will still be met at the level contemplated by these rules without unduly burdening the industry.

    C. Timing

    18. The revised rule will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, and covered broadcast stations and MVPDs must start providing the additional hours of video described programming on “included networks” in the calendar quarter beginning on July 1, 2018. We sought comment in the NPRM on an appropriate compliance deadline for the rule. In particular, we noted that when we reinstated the video description rules in 2011, the time from their release to the full compliance date was approximately ten months, and we asked whether we should allow a similar amount of time for distributors to come into compliance.67 We also noted that July 1, 2018 is the date on which the updated list of included nonbroadcast networks will go into effect, based on the ratings period from October 2016 to September 2017, and we inquired whether the compliance deadline for the rules should coincide with this date.68 Some commenters argue for compliance to be required as soon as possible,69 while others either support a longer period to come into compliance or were silent on the issue.70 To provide sufficient time for distributors to ensure that included networks provide an additional 37.5 hours of described programming per quarter, we will give covered entities until July 1, 2018, the date of the next three-year network list update, to come into compliance.71 Given that currently covered networks already have processes in place for creating and complying with the video description requirements, we believe that giving them a one-year period to provide an additional 37.5 hours of video described programming per quarter is reasonable.72 We therefore will require that the additional hours of described programming be provided by the four broadcast and five nonbroadcast networks covered by the rules in the calendar quarter beginning July 1, 2018.

    67NPRM, para. 30.

    68Id. See AT&T Comments at 1 (stating that July 1, 2018 should be the “effective date for the modified video description network and hours requirements” to coincide with the start of the next three-year cycle for covered non-broadcast networks).

    69See, e.g., Zodrow Comments at 2; Grossman Comments at 1.

    70See, e.g., NAB Reply at 16-17 (suggesting a compliance period of two years from the effective date of the rules); NCTA Comments at 19 (requesting an 18-month compliance period). See also MPAA Comments at 14 (stating that “any significant changes in the video description rules will require additional time to implement”). Of note, the compliance timeframes cited in the aforementioned comments are based on the assumption that the Commission would adopt all of the proposals set forth in the NPRM, including the proposed expansion to new networks. Because the Commission has chosen to take an incremental approach, and this Order adopts only one of those proposals—an increased hours requirement for currently covered broadcast stations and MVPDs—we do not agree that an extended compliance period of 18 months to two years is necessary.

    71 Some commenters suggest a shorter compliance deadline of less than one year. See, e.g., Dicapta Comments at 5 (arguing for the hours increase to go into effect within one month for currently included networks). In addition, as we noted in the NPRM, the reinstated rules gave newly covered networks less than one year (approximately ten months) to begin the process of providing video description and to fully comply with the Commission's new requirements. See NPRM, para. 30. However, we believe that it is better for the compliance deadline to coincide with the next three-year update of the list of covered nonbroadcast networks than to have a shorter time frame. In particular, any of the currently covered nonbroadcast networks may fall out of the top-five based on network ratings and, if so, will no longer be subject to the requirement to provide video description as of July 1, 2018. Under such circumstances, a covered nonbroadcast network would have to take steps to increase its video described hours, only to find itself a few months later not to be subject to the video description requirement at all. This may also create an expectation in consumers that they can rely on that network for increased video described programming, only to have such requirement last for a few short months. For these reasons, we believe that it is reasonable to align the compliance deadline with the network update so that only those networks responsible for compliance as of July 1, 2018 are required to provide the additional hours of video description, though we encourage any network that falls off the list to continue to provide video description.

    72 Because a given hour of described programming can be counted twice toward the requirements of the rules (once when initially aired, and once when rerun), the total number of new hours of described programming per year needed to comply with the expanded video description requirement is actually 75.

    V. Procedural Matters A. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    1. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA) 73 an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated in the NPRM in this proceeding. The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the NPRM, including comment on the IRFA. The Commission received no comments on the IRFA. This present Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.74

    73See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601-612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Public Law 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 847 (1996). The SBREFA was enacted as Title II of the Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996 (CWAAA).

    74See 5 U.S.C. 604.

    1. Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order

    2. This Report and Order, adopts the proposal to increase the amount of video described programming on each “included network” carried by a covered broadcast station or multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD), from 50 hours per calendar quarter to 87.5 hours per quarter. Covered broadcast stations and MVPDs must start providing the additional hours of described programming on “included networks” in the calendar quarter beginning on July 1, 2018. The Report and Order also provides more flexibility than exists under the current rules regarding when the additional hours of described programming may be aired. In particular, the additional 37.5 hours per quarter of described programming can be provided at any time between 6 a.m. and midnight. This update to our rules will help ensure that Americans who are blind or visually impaired can be connected, informed, and entertained by television.

    3. Legal Basis. The authority for the action taken in this rulemaking is contained in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751, and Section 713 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 613.

    2. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

    4. No comments were filed in response to the IRFA.

    5. Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the Commission is required to respond to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and to provide a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rules as a result of those comments. The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.

    3. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will Apply

    6. The RFA directs the Commission to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that will be affected by the rules adopted in the Report and Order. 75 The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” small organization,” and “small government jurisdiction.” 76 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.77 A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.

    75Id. sec. 603(a)(3).

    76Id. sec. 601(6).

    77Id. sec. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.” 5 U.S.C. 601(3).

    7. Television Broadcasting. This Economic Census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound.” These establishments operate television broadcast studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public. These establishments also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA has created the following small business size standard for such businesses: Those having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. The 2012 Economic Census reports that 751 firms in this category operated in that year. Of that number, 656 had annual receipts of $25,000,000 or less, 25 had annual receipts between $25,000,000 and $49,999,999, and 70 had annual receipts of $50,000,000 or more. Based on this data we therefore estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities under the applicable SBA size standard.

    8. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,384. Of this total, 1,264 stations (or about 91 percent) had revenues of $38.5 million or less, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Television Database (BIA) on February 24, 2017, and therefore these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (NCE) television stations to be 394. Notwithstanding, the Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have access to information on the revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to determine how many such stations would qualify as small entities.

    9. We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as “small” under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included. Our estimate, therefore likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, another element of the definition of “small business” requires that an entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television broadcast station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive.

    10. There are also 1,965 LPTV stations, 417 Class A stations, and 3,778 TV translator stations. Given the nature of these services, we will presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

    11. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The U.S. Census Bureau defines this industry as “establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired communications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution, and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.” The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which consists of all such companies having 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2012 show that there were 3,117 firms that operated that year. Of this total, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small.

    12. Cable and Other Subscription Programming. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating studios and facilities for the broadcasting of programs on a subscription or fee basis. The broadcast programming is typically narrowcast in nature (e.g., limited format, such as news, sports, education, or youth-oriented). These establishments produce programming in their own facilities or acquire programming from external sources. The programming material is usually delivered to a third party, such as cable systems or direct-to-home satellite systems, for transmission to viewers. The SBA has established a size standard for this industry stating that a business in this industry is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. The 2012 Economic Census indicates that 367 firms were operational for that entire year. Of this total, 357 operated with less than 1,000 employees. Accordingly we conclude that a substantial majority of firms in this industry are small under the applicable SBA size standard.

    13. Cable Companies and Systems (Rate Regulation). The Commission has developed its own small business size standards for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide. Industry data indicate that there are currently 4,600 active cable systems in the United States. Of this total, all but eleven cable operators nationwide are small under the 400,000-subscriber size standard. In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Current Commission records show 4,600 cable systems nationwide. Of this total, 3,900 cable systems have fewer than 15,000 subscribers, and 700 systems have 15,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard as well, we estimate that most cable systems are small entities.

    14. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” There are approximately 52,403,705 cable video subscribers in the United States today. Accordingly, an operator serving fewer than 524,037 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate. Based on available data, we find that all but nine incumbent cable operators are small entities under this size standard. We note that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million. Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000, we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

    15. Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Service. DBS Service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic dish antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS is now included in SBA's economic census category “Wired Telecommunications Carriers.” The Wired Telecommunications Carriers industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry. The SBA determines that a wireline business is small if it has fewer than 1500 employees. Census data for 2012 indicate that 3,117 wireline companies were operational during that year. Of that number, 3,083 operated with fewer than 1,000 employees. Based on that data, we conclude that the majority of wireline firms are small under the applicable standard. However, currently only two entities provide DBS service, which requires a great deal of capital for operation: DIRECTV (owned by AT&T) and DISH Network. DIRECTV and DISH Network each report annual revenues that are in excess of the threshold for a small business. Accordingly, we must conclude that internally developed FCC data are persuasive that in general DBS service is provided only by large firms.

    4. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    16. In this section, we describe the reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements adopted in the Report and Order and consider whether small entities are affected disproportionately by these requirements.

    17. Reporting Requirements. The Report and Order does not adopt reporting requirements.

    18. Recordkeeping Requirements. The Report and Order does not adopt recordkeeping requirements.

    19. Other Compliance Requirements. The Report and Order does adopt other compliance requirements. Specifically, the new rules require each covered broadcast station and MVPD, on each stream or channel on which it carries an “included network,” to provide 87.5 hours of described programming, per quarter. Covered broadcast stations and MVPDs must start providing the additional hours of described programming on “included networks” in the calendar quarter beginning on July 1, 2018. Currently, the Commission's video description rules require commercial television broadcast stations that are affiliated with ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC and are located in the top 60 television markets to provide 50 hours per calendar quarter of video described prime time or children's programming. In addition, MVPD systems that serve 50,000 or more subscribers must provide 50 hours of video description per calendar quarter during prime time or children's programming on each of the top five national nonbroadcast networks that they carry on those systems. We do not believe that this compliance requirement will disproportionately affect small entities, but we have described ways in which the Commission's rules will minimize the impact on such entities (see discussion below).

    5. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    20. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.78

    78 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(c)(4).

    21. The obligation to provide 87.5 hours of video described programming per quarter applies to commercial television broadcast stations that are affiliated with ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC and are located in the top 60 television markets, as well as MVPD systems that serve 50,000 or more subscribers. Thus, the rules adopted in this Report and Order may have an economic impact on small entities. In formulating the final rules, however, the Commission has considered methods to minimize the economic impact on small entities. In particular, the Report and Order provides more flexibility than exists under the current rules regarding when the additional hours of described programming may be aired to reduce any potential burden that covered entities may encounter in scheduling video described programming. The new rule allows covered broadcast stations and MVPDs to provide the additional 37.5 hours per quarter of described programming at any time between 6 a.m. and midnight. The Report and Order also emphasizes that waiver requests may be filed if our requirements are infeasible or prove to be unduly burdensome under particular circumstances. This process will allow the Commission to address the impact of the rules on individual entities, including smaller entities, on a case-by-case basis and to modify the application of the rules to accommodate individual circumstances, which can reduce the costs of compliance for these entities.

    22. Overall, we believe we have appropriately considered both the interests of individuals with disabilities and the interests of the entities who will be subject to the rules, including those that are smaller entities, consistent with Congress' goal to “update the communications laws to help ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to fully utilize communications services and equipment and better access video programming.” 79

    79 H.R. Rep. No. 111-563, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 19 (2010); S. Rep. No. 111-386, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 1 (2010).

    6. Report to Congress

    23. The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, in a report to be sent to Congress pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.80 In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. The Report and Order and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.81

    80See 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    81See id. sec. 604(b).

    B. Final Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    24. This Report and Order does not contain information collections subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission previously sought specific comment on how we might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.”

    VI. Ordering Clauses

    1. It is ordered that, pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751, and the authority contained in Section 713 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 613, this Report and Order is hereby adopted.

    2. It is further ordered that part 79 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR part 79, is amended as set forth herein, and such rule amendments shall be effective September 11, 2017.

    3. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    4. It is further ordered that the Commission shall send a copy of this Report and Order in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 79

    Cable television operators, Multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), Satellite television service providers.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 79 as follows:

    PART 79—ACCESSIBILITY OF VIDEO PROGRAMMING 1. The authority citation for part 79 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 152(a), 154(i), 303, 307, 309, 310, 330, 544a, 613, 617.

    2. Amend § 79.3 by revising paragraph (b)(1), removing and reserving paragraph (b)(2), and revising paragraphs (b)(4), (c)(2), and (c)(4) introductory text.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 79.3 Video description of video programming.

    (b) * * *

    (1) Beginning July 1, 2015, commercial television broadcast stations that are affiliated with one of the top four commercial television broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC), and that are licensed to a community located in the top 60 DMAs, as determined by The Nielsen Company as of January 1, 2015, must provide 50 hours of video description per calendar quarter, either during prime time or on children's programming, and, beginning July 1, 2018, 37.5 additional hours of video description per calendar quarter between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. local time, on each programming stream on which they carry one of the top four commercial television broadcast networks. If a station in one of these markets becomes affiliated with one of these networks after July 1, 2015, it must begin compliance with these requirements no later than three months after the affiliation agreement is finalized;

    (4) Multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) systems that serve 50,000 or more subscribers must provide 50 hours of video description per calendar quarter during prime time or children's programming, and, beginning July 1, 2018, 37.5 additional hours of video description per calendar quarter between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. local time, on each channel on which they carry one of the top five national nonbroadcast networks, as defined by an average of the national audience share during prime time of nonbroadcast networks that reach 50 percent or more of MVPD households and have at least 50 hours per quarter of prime time programming that is not live or near-live or otherwise exempt under these rules. Initially, the top five networks are those determined by The Nielsen Company, for the time period October 2009-September 2010, and will update at three year intervals. The first update will be July 1, 2015, based on the ratings for the time period October 2013-September 2014; the second will be July 1, 2018, based on the ratings for the time period October 2016-September 2017; and so on; and

    (c) * * *

    (2) In order to meet its quarterly requirement, a broadcaster or MVPD may count each program it airs with video description no more than a total of two times on each channel on which it airs the program. A broadcaster or MVPD may count the second airing in the same or any one subsequent quarter. A broadcaster may only count programs aired on its primary broadcasting stream towards its quarterly requirement. A broadcaster carrying one of the top four commercial television broadcast networks on a secondary stream may count programs aired on that stream toward its quarterly requirement for that network only.

    (4) Once an MVPD as defined under paragraph (b)(4) of this section:

    [FR Doc. 2017-15526 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSIONS 47 CFR Parts 73 and 74 [MB Docket Nos. 03-185, 15-137; GN Docket No. 12-268; FCC 17-29] Channel Sharing Rules AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, the information collections associated with the Commission's decision, in Report and Order, Channel Sharing by Full Power and Class A Stations Outside of the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Context. Specifically, OMB has approved the Commission's rules that require that sharing stations: file applications for construction permit and license to implement their channel sharing arrangement (CSA); that they include a copy of their CSA with their construction permit application; and that they provide notice of their CSA to multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). OMB also approved changes to the Commission's Form 2100 Schedules A, B, C, D, E and F to implement these changes. This document is consistent with the Report and Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing OMB approval and the effective date of these rule changes.

    DATES:

    The final rules regarding 47 CFR 73.3800, 73.6028, 74.799 and FCC Form 2100, Schedules A, B, C, D, E and F published at 82 FR 18240 on April 18, 2017, are effective August 10, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information contact Cathy Williams, [email protected], (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that OMB approved the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Report and Order, FCC 17-29, published at 82 FR 18240, April 18, 2017. The OMB Control Numbers are 3060-0016, 3060-0017, 3060-0027, 3060-0837, 3060-0928, 3060-0932, 3060-1176, and 3060-1177. The Commission publishes this notice as an announcement of the effective date of the rules. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-C823, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Numbers, 3060-0016, 3060-0017, 3060-0027, 3060-0837, 3060-0928, 3060-0932, 3060-1176, and 3060-1177 in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via the Internet if you send them to [email protected]

    To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the Commission is notifying the public that it received OMB approval for the modified collection requirements contained in the Commission's rules at 47 CFR 73.3800, 73.6028, and 74.799 and in OMB Control Numbers 3060-0016, 3060-0017, 3060-0027, 3060-0837, 3060-0928, 3060-0932, 3060-1176, and 3060-1177. Under 5 CFR 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Numbers are 3060-0016, 3060-0017, 3060-0027, 3060-0837, 3060-0928, 3060-0932, 3060-1176, and 3060-1177.

    The foregoing notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.

    The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents are as follows:

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0016.

    OMB Approval Date: July 25, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: July 31, 2020.

    Title: FCC Form 2100, Application for Media Bureau Audio and Video Service Authorization, Schedule C (Former FCC Form 346); Sections 74.793(d) and 74.787, Low Power Television (LPTV) Out-of-Core Digital Displacement Application; Section 73.3700(g)(1)-(3), Post-Incentive Auction Licensing and Operations; Section 74.799, Low Power Television and TV Translator Channel Sharing.

    Form No.: FCC Form 2100, Schedule C.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 4,460 respondents and 4,460 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2.5-7 hours (total of 9.5 hours).

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement; on occasion reporting requirement; third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Section 154(i), 303, 307, 308 and 309 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 42,370 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $24,744,080.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 2100, Schedule C is used by licensees/permittees/applicants when applying for authority to construct or make changes in a Low Power Television, TV Translator or TV Booster broadcast station.

    The Commission submitted this information collection to OMB for approval which resulted from the rule provisions adopted in the FCC 17-29. On March 23, 2017, the Commission adopted a Report and Order, Channel Sharing by Full Power and Class A Stations Outside the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Context, GN Docket No. 12-268, MB Docket No. 03-185, MB Docket No. 15-137, FCC 17-29 (“Report and Order”). This document approved channel sharing outside of the incentive auction context between full power, Class A, Low Power Television (LPTV) and TV translator stations.

    Although there are no changes to the FCC Form 2100, Schedule C itself, there are changes to the substance, burden hours, and costs as described herein.

    The information collection requirements contained in 47 section 74.799 (previously 74.800) permits LPTV and TV translator stations to seek approval to share a single television channel with other LPTV and TV translator stations and with full power and Class A stations. Stations interested in terminating operations and sharing another station's channel must submit FCC Form 2100 Schedule C in order to have the channel sharing arrangement approved. If the sharing station is proposing to make changes to its facility to accommodate the channel sharing, it must also file FCC Form 2100 Schedule C.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0017.

    OMB Approval Date: July 26, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: July 31, 2020.

    Title: Application for Media Bureau Audio and Video Service Authorization, FCC 2100, Schedule D.

    Form Number: FCC Form 2100, Schedule D.

    Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal government.

    Number of Respondents/Responses: 570 respondents; 570 responses.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 1.5 hours per response.

    Frequency of Response: One time reporting requirement; On occasion reporting requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 855 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $68,400.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 154(i), 301, 303, 307, 308 and 309 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extend of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Act Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: Applicants/licensees/permittees are required to file FCC Form 2100, Schedule D when applying for a Low Power Television, TV Translator or TV Booster Station License.

    The Commission submitted this information collection to OMB for approval which resulted from the rule provisions adopted in the FCC 17-29. On March 23, 2017, the Commission adopted the Report and Order, Channel Sharing by Full Power and Class A Stations Outside the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Context, GN Docket No. 12-268, MB Docket No. 03-185, MB Docket No. 15-137, FCC 17-29 (“Report and Order”). This document approved channel sharing outside of the incentive auction context between full power, Class A, Low Power Television (LPTV) and TV translator stations.

    Although there are no changes to the FCC Form 2100, Schedule D itself, there are changes to the substance, burden hours, and costs as described herein.

    The information collection requirements contained in 47 section 74.799 (previously 74.800) permits LPTV and TV translator stations to seek approval to share a single television channel with other LPTV and TV translator stations and with full power and Class A stations. Stations interested in terminating operations and sharing another station's channel must submit FCC Form 2100 Schedule D in order to complete the licensing of their channel sharing arrangement.

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0027.

    OMB Approval Date: July 26, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: July 31, 2020.

    Title: Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station, FCC Form 301; FCC Form 2100, Application for Media Bureau Audio and Video Service Authorization, Schedule A; 47 CFR 73.3700(b)(1) and (2) and 73.3800, Post Auction Licensing.

    Form No.: FCC Form 2100, Schedule A.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 3,090 respondents and 6,526 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1-6.25 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement; On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Sections 154(i), 303 and 308 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 15,317 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $62,444,288.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission submitted this information collection to OMB for approval which resulted from the rule provisions adopted in the FCC 17-29. On March 23, 2017, the Commission adopted the Report and Order, Channel Sharing by Full Power and Class A Stations Outside the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Context, GN Docket No. 12-268, MB Docket No. 03-185, MB Docket No. 15-137, FCC 17-29 (“Report and Order”). This document approved channel sharing outside of the incentive auction context between full power, Class A, Low Power Television (LPTV) and TV translator stations.

    Although there are no changes to the FCC Form 2100, Schedule A itself, there are changes to the substance, burden hours, and costs as described herein.

    The information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 73.3800 allows full power television stations to channel share with other full power stations, Class A, LPTV and TV translator stations outside of the incentive auction context. Full power stations file FCC Form 2100, Schedule A in order to obtain Commission approval to operate on a shared channel.

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0837.

    OMB Approval Date: July 26, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: July 31, 2020.

    Title: FCC Form 2100, Application for Media Bureau Audio and Video Service Authorization, Schedule B (Former FCC Form 302-DTV), Section 73.3700(b)(3) and Section 73.3700(h)(2).

    Form No.: FCC Form 2100, Schedule B.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not for profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 975 respondents and 975 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement and on occasion reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Sections 154(i), 307, 308, 309, and 319 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended; the Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999, Public Law 106-113, 113 Stat. Appendix I at pp. 1501A-594-1501A-598 (1999) (codified at 47 U.S.C. 336(f)); and the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96, 6402 (codified at 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(8)(G)), 6403 (codified at 47 U.S.C. 1452), 126 Stat. 156 (2012) (Spectrum Act).

    Total Annual Burden: 1,950 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $585,945.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 2100, Schedule B (formerly FCC Form 302-DTV) is used by licensees and permittees of full power broadcast stations to obtain a new or modified station license and/or to notify the Commission of certain changes in the licensed facilities of those stations. It may be used: (1) To cover an authorized construction permit (or auxiliary antenna), provided that the facilities have been constructed in compliance with the provisions and conditions specified on the construction permit; or (2) To implement modifications to existing licenses as permitted by 47 CFR 73.1675(c) or 73.1690(c).

    The Commission submitted this information collection to OMB for approval which resulted from the rule provisions adopted in the FCC 17-29. On March 23, 2017, the Commission adopted the Report and Order, Channel Sharing by Full Power and Class A Stations Outside the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Context, GN Docket No. 12-268, MB Docket No. 03-185, MB Docket No. 15-137, FCC 17-29 (“Report and Order”). This document approved channel sharing outside of the incentive auction context between full power, Class A, (Low Power Television) LPTV and TV translator stations.

    Although there are no changes to the FCC Form 2100, Schedule B itself, there are changes to the substance, burden hours, and costs as described herein.

    The information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 73.3800 allows full power television stations to channel share with other full power stations, Class A, LPTV and TV translator stations outside of the incentive auction context. Full power stations file FCC Form 2100, Schedule B in order to complete the licensing of their shared channel.

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0928.

    OMB Approval Date: July 27, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: July 31, 2020.

    Title: FCC Form 2100, Application for Media Bureau Audio and Video Service Authorization, Schedule F (Formerly FCC 302-CA); 47 CFR 73.6028.

    Form No.: FCC Form 2100, Schedule F.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 975 respondents and 975 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement and on occasion reporting requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 1,950 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $307,125.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: The FCC Form 2100, Schedule F is used by Low Power TV (LPTV) stations that seek to convert to Class A status; existing Class A stations seeking a license to cover their authorized construction permit facilities; and Class A stations entering into a channel sharing agreement. The FCC Form 2100, Schedule F requires a series of certifications by the Class A applicant as prescribed by the Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999 (CBPA). Licensees will be required to provide weekly announcements to their listeners: (1) Informing them that the applicant has applied for a Class A license and (2) announcing the public's opportunity to comment on the application prior to Commission action.

    The Commission submitted this information collection to OMB for approval which resulted from the provisions adopted in the FCC 17-29. On March 23, 2017, the Commission adopted the Report and Order, Channel Sharing by Full Power and Class A Stations Outside the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Context, GN Docket No. 12-268, MB Docket No. 03-185, MB Docket No. 15-137, FCC 17-29 (“Report and Order”). This document approved channel sharing outside of the incentive auction context between full power, Class A, LPTV and TV translator stations.

    Although there are no changes to the FCC Form 2100, Schedule F itself, there are changes to the substance, burden hours, and costs as described herein.

    The information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 73.6028 permits Class A stations to seek approval to share a single television channel with LPTV, TV translator, full power and Class A television stations. Class A stations interested in terminating operations and sharing another station's channel must submit FCC Form 2100 Schedule F in order to complete the licensing of their channel sharing arrangement.

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0932.

    OMB Approval Date: July 27, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: July 31, 2020.

    Title: FCC Form 2100, Application for Media Bureau Audio and Video Service Authorization, Schedule E (Former FCC Form 301-CA); 47 CFR 73.3700(b)(1)(i)-(v) and (vii), (b)(2)(i) and (ii); 47 CFR Section 74.793(d).

    Form No.: FCC Form 2100, Schedule E (Application for Media Bureau Audio and Video Service Authorization) (Former FCC Form 301-CA).

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 745 respondents and 745 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2.25 hours-6 hours (for a total of 8.25 hours).

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement; On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement; Recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 157 and 309(j) as amended; Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96, 6402 (codified at 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(8)(G)), 6403 (codified at 47 U.S.C. 1452), 126 Stat. 156 (2012) (Spectrum Act) and the Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999.

    Total Annual Burden: 6,146 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $4,035,550.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 2100, Schedule E (formerly FCC Form 301-CA) is to be used in all cases by a Class A television station licensees seeking to make changes in the authorized facilities of such station. FCC Form 2100, Schedule E requires applicants to certify compliance with certain statutory and regulatory requirements. Detailed instructions on the FCC Form 2100, Schedule E provide additional information regarding Commission rules and policies. FCC Form 2100, Schedule E is presented primarily in a “Yes/No” certification format. However, it contains appropriate places for submitting explanations and exhibits where necessary or appropriate. Each certification constitutes a material representation. Applicants may only mark the “Yes” certification when they are certain that the response is correct. A “No” response is required if the applicant is requesting a waiver of a pertinent rule and/or policy, or where the applicant is uncertain that the application fully satisfies the pertinent rule and/or policy. FCC Form 2100, Schedule E filings made to implement post-auction channel changes will be considered minor change applications.

    Class A applications for a major change are subject to third party disclosure requirement of Section 73.3580 which requires local public notice in a newspaper of general circulation of the filing of all applications for major changes in facilities. This notice must be completed within 30 days of the tendering of the application. This notice must be published at least twice a week for two consecutive weeks in a three-week period. A copy of this notice must be placed in the public inspection file along with the application.

    47 CFR 74.793(d) requires that digital low power and TV translator stations shall be required to submit information as to vertical radiation patterns as part of their applications (FCC Forms 346 and 301-CA) for new or modified construction permits.

    The Commission submitted this information collection to OMB for approval which resulted from the rule provisions adopted in the FCC 17-29. On March 23, 2017, the Commission adopted the Report and Order, Channel Sharing by Full Power and Class A Stations Outside the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Context, GN Docket No. 12-268, MB Docket No. 03-185, MB Docket No. 15-137, FCC 17-29 (“Report and Order”). This document approved channel sharing outside of the incentive auction context between full power, Class A, LPTV and TV translator stations.

    Although there are no changes to the FCC Form 2100, Schedule E itself, there are changes to the substance, burden hours, and costs as described herein.

    The information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 73.6028 permits Class A stations to seek approval to share a single television channel with Low Power Television (LPTV), TV translator, full power and Class A television stations. Class A stations interested in terminating operations and sharing another station's channel must submit FCC Form 2100 Schedule E in order to obtain Commission approval for their channel sharing arrangement.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1176.

    OMB Approval Date: July 31, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: July 31, 2020.

    Title: MVPD Notice, Section 73.3700.

    Form Number: Not applicable.

    Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 735 respondents; 735 responses.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 1-2 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One time reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 1,397 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $43,800.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 1, 4(i) and (j), 7, 154(i), 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 312, 316, 318, 319, 324, 325, 336 and 337 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Act Assessment: No impact(s).

    which adopted rules for holding an Incentive Auction. Full power and Class A stations will be reassigned to a new channel via the repacking following the auction. Other stations will submit winning bids to relinquish their channels, enter into channel sharing agreements (and move to the channel of the station they are sharing with); or to move from high-VHF to low-VHF channels or from UHF to high-VHF or low-VHF. Each of these stations are required to notify multichannel video programming providers (“MVPD”) that carry the station of the fact that the station will be changing channels or terminating operations.

    The information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 73.3700 requires that full power and Class A television stations assigned a new channel in the incentive auction repacking, relinquishing their channel or moving to a new channel as a result of a winning bid in the auction, notify MVPDs of their termination of operations or change in channel.

    On March 23, 2017, the Commission adopted the Report and Order, Channel Sharing by Full Power and Class A Stations Outside the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Context, GN Docket No. 12-268, MB Docket No. 03-185, MB Docket No. 15-137, FCC 17-29 (“Report and Order”). This document approved channel sharing outside of the incentive auction context between full power, Class A, Low Power Television (LPTV) and TV translator stations. Channel sharing stations also must notify MVPDs of the fact that stations will be terminating operations on one channel to share another station's channel.

    The information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 73.3800, Full Power Television Channel Sharing Outside the Incentive Auction, Section 73.6028 Class A Television Channel Sharing Outside the Incentive Auction and Section 74.799 Low Power Television and TV Translator Channel Sharing require that stations seeking to channel share outside of the incentive auction provide notification to MVPDs of the fact that the station will be terminating operations on one channel to share another station's channel.

    OMB Control No.: 3060-1177.

    OMB Approval Date: July 31, 2017.

    OMB Expiration Date: July 31, 2020.

    Title: 47 CFR 74.800 (redesignated 47 CFR 74.799), Channel Sharing Agreement (CSA).

    Form Number: Not applicable.

    Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 160 respondents; 160 responses.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 1 hr.

    Frequency of Response: One time reporting requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 160 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $86,400.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 1, 4(i) and (j), 7, 154(i), 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 312, 316, 318, 319, 324, 325, 336 and 337 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Act Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: Full power and Class A television stations that agree to share a single television channel in conjunction with the incentive auction and low power television (LPTV) and TV translator stations that channel share outside of the auction context are required to reduce their agreement (CSA) to writing and submit a copy to the Commission for review. There is no specified format for the CSA but it must contain provisions covering: a. Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have unrestrained access to the shared transmission facilities; b. Allocation of bandwidth within the shared channel; c. Operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description of each party's financial obligations, and any relevant notice provisions; d. Transfer/assignment of a shared license, including the ability of a new licensee to assume the existing CSA; e. Termination of the license of a party to the CSA, including reversion of spectrum usage rights to the remaining parties to the CSA and f. A provision affirming compliance with the channel sharing requirements in the rules including a provision requiring that each channel sharing licensee shall retain spectrum usage rights adequate to ensure a sufficient amount of the shared channel capacity to allow it to provide at least one Standard Definition (SD) program stream at all times.

    The Commission submitted this information collection to OMB for approval which resulted from the rule provisions adopted in the FCC 14-50 and FCC 17-29.

    On June 2, 2014 the Commission released a rulemaking titled “Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions,” GN Docket 12-268, Report and Order, FCC 14-50, 29 FCC Rcd 6567 (2014) which adopted rules for holding an Incentive Auction. Full power and Class A stations are permitted to propose to relinquish their channels in the auction and to share the channel of another station.

    The information collection requirements contain in 47 CFR 73.3700 requires that full power and Class A television stations seeking approval to channel share in the incentive auction provide the Commission with a copy of their CSA for review.

    On March 23, 2017, the Commission adopted the Report and Order, Channel Sharing by Full Power and Class A Stations Outside the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction Context, GN Docket No. 12-268, MB Docket No. 03-185, MB Docket No. 15-137, FCC 17-29 (“Report and Order”). This document approved channel sharing outside of the incentive auction context between full power, Class A, Low Power Television (LPTV) and TV translator stations.

    The information collection requirements contained in 47 CFR 73.3800, Full Power Television Channel Sharing Outside the Incentive Auction, Section 73.6028, Class A Television Channel Sharing Outside the Incentive Auction and Section 73.799, Low Power Television and TV Translator Channel Sharing require that stations seeking to channel share outside of the incentive auction provide a copy of their “CSA” to the Commission for review.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16848 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 120109034-2171-01] RIN 0648-XF471 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Small-Mesh Multispecies Fishery; Adjustment to the Northern Red Hake Inseason Possession Limit AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; inseason adjustment.

    SUMMARY:

    We announce the reduction of the commercial per-trip possession limit for northern red hake for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year. This action is required to prevent the northern red hake total allowable landing limit from being exceeded. This announcement informs the public that the northern red hake possession limit is reduced from 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) to 400 lb (181 kg).

    DATES:

    Effective August 7, 2017, through April 30, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reid Lichwell, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-675-9112.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Regulations governing the red hake fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The small-mesh multispecies fishery is managed primarily through a series of exemptions from the Northeast Multispecies Fisheries Management Plan. The regulations describing the process to adjust inseason commercial possession limits of northern red hake are described in § 648.86(d)(4) and (5). These regulations require the NMFS Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, to reduce the northern red hake possession limit from 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) to 400 lb (181 kg) when landings have been projected to reach or exceed 37.9 percent of the total allowable landings (TAL), unless such a reduction would be expected to prevent the TAL from being reached. The final rule implementing the small-mesh multispecies specifications for 2016-2017 (81 FR 41866; June 28, 2015) set the northern red hake inseason adjustment thresholds. Those thresholds were revised in the final rule implementing the 2017 northern red hake accountability measures (82 FR 21477; May 9, 2017), which reduce the inseason possession limit reduction threshold from 62.5 percent to 37.9 percent of the TAL and removed an additional threshold at 45 percent. This trip limit adjustment threshold is an accountability measure implemented because the annual catch limits (ACL) for northern red hake were exceeded in fishing year 2015.

    Inseason Action

    Using commercial landings data reported through August 3, 2017, the northern red hake fishery is projected to reach 37.9 percent of the TAL on August 7, 2017. Based on this projection, we are required to reduce the commercial northern red hake possession limit from 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) to 400 lb (181 kg) to prevent the TAL from being exceeded. On the effective date of this action, no person may possess on board or land more than 400 lb (181 kg) of northern red hake per trip for the remainder of the fishing year (i.e., through April 30, 2018).

    Classification

    This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 4, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16850 Filed 8-7-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 153 Thursday, August 10, 2017 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0713; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-199-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-12-12, for all Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, and A340-300 series airplanes; and AD 2013-16-26 for all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter, A330-200 and -300, and A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. AD 2012-12-12 requires repetitive inspections of the outer skin rivets of the cargo doors; repair if necessary; and other repetitive inspections. AD 2013-16-26 requires repetitive inspections of certain cargo doors, and repair if necessary. Since we issued AD 2012-12-12 and AD 2013-16-26, we have determined that a new inspection procedure is necessary to address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would continue to require repetitive inspections and repair if necessary. This proposed AD would add a one-time inspection and adjustment of certain hook gaps; reinforcement of the door frame structure; related investigative and corrective actions if necessary; and a modification, which would allow deferring reinforcement of the cargo door structure. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; 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.

    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-2017-0713; 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 proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-0713; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-199-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on 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 proposed AD.

    Discussion

    On June 7, 2012, we issued AD 2012-12-12, Amendment 39-17092 (77 FR 37797, June 25, 2012) (“AD 2012-12-12”), for all Airbus Model A330-200 series airplanes, Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes, Model A330-300 series airplanes, Model A340-200 series airplanes, and Model A340-300 series airplanes. AD 2012-12-12 was prompted by reports of sheared fasteners located on the outside skin of the forward cargo door and cracks on the frame fork ends, as well as cracks of the aft cargo door frame 64A. AD 2012-12-12 requires a detailed inspection of the outer skin rivets at the frame fork ends of the forward and aft cargo doors for sheared, loose, and missing rivets; repair of the outer skin rivets if necessary; and other repetitive inspections. We issued AD 2012-12-12 to detect and correct sheared, loose, or missing fasteners on the forward and aft cargo door frame, which could result in the loss of structural integrity of the forward and aft cargo door.

    On August 9, 2013, we issued AD 2013-16-26, Amendment 39-17564 (78 FR 53640, August 30, 2013) (“2013-16-26”), for all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes, Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. AD 2013-16-26 was prompted by reports of cracked adjacent frame forks of a forward cargo door. AD 2013-16-26 requires repetitive detailed inspections for cracks and sheared, loose, or missing rivets of the forward cargo door and, for certain airplanes, of the aft cargo door, and repair if necessary. We issued AD 2013-16-26 to detect and correct cracked or ruptured cargo door frames, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the forward or aft cargo door.

    Since we issued AD 2012-12-12 and AD 2013-16-26, we have determined that a new inspection procedure is necessary to address the unsafe condition. In addition, the manufacturer has released some terminating action modifications for the cargo door structure, and provided procedures that allow postponing the structural reinforcement modification, which terminate the repetitive inspections.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2016-0188, dated September 21, 2016; corrected September 22, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”); to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes; Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes; and Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Several cases of cracked forward (FWD) and aft (AFT) cargo door frames, as well as loose, lost, or sheared rivets, have been reported by operators. Investigation showed that these findings are due to the low margins with respect to fatigue requirements for the AFT/FWD cargo door internal structure. Further analysis determined that the cargo door hook adjustment is a contributing factor to this issue. In case of a cracked or ruptured (FWD or AFT) cargo door frame, the loads will be transferred to the remaining structural elements. However, the secondary load path is able to sustain those loads only for a limited number of flight cycles (FC).

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to rupture of adjacent vertical frames and consequent reduced structural integrity of the FWD or AFT cargo door, possibly resulting in a cargo door failure, decompression of the aeroplane and injury to occupants.

    To initially address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A330-52-3043 and SB A340-52-4053 and, consequently, DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued AD 2001-124(B) and AD 2001-126(B), requiring a special detailed inspection of A330 and A340 AFT cargo doors. Since those [DGAC] ADs were issued, prompted by new occurrences, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A330-52A3085, AOT A340-52A4092, AOT A330-52A3084, AOT A340-52A4091, AOT A330-A52L003-12, AOT 340-A52L004-12, AOT A330-A52L001-12 and AOT A340-A52L002-12, providing instructions to inspect the affected areas of both FWD and AFT cargo doors.

    Consequently, EASA issued AD 2011-0007 (later revised) [which corresponds to FAA AD 2012-12-12], and AD 2012-0274 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2013-16-26], to require repetitive detailed visual inspections of AFT and FWD cargo doors at specific frames and outer skin at all frame fork ends. Since these EASA ADs were issued, Airbus published SB A330-52-3087, SB A330-52-3095, SB A340-52-4095, SB A340-52-4101, SB A340-52-5020 and SB A340-52-5023, which took over the instructions of the above mentioned AOTs, and introduced revised thresholds and intervals. In addition, the inspection program was expanded to A340-500/-600 aeroplanes. Taking into account experience from inspections accomplished in accordance with the applicable Airbus SBs at original issue (listed above), Airbus issued Revision 01 of these SBs.

    Consequently, EASA issued AD 2015-0192, which superseded EASA AD 2011-0007R1 and EASA AD 2012-0274, to require for each FWD and AFT cargo door, a one-time inspection/adjustment of the hook gaps “U” and “V”, repetitive detailed inspections (DET) of all frame fork areas, frame head areas and outer skin areas to detect cracks or loose/sheared/missing fasteners, and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s). In addition, EASA AD 2015-0192 expanded the Applicability to Airbus A340-500/-600 aeroplanes.

    Since EASA AD 2015-0192 was issued, Airbus published Revision 02 of the inspection SBs, introducing high-frequency eddy-current inspection method for the frame forks structure. Airbus also determined that the interval for these repetitive inspections could be increased. In addition, Airbus released some modifications (mod) introducing reinforcements to the cargo door structure improving the fatigue characteristics. These modifications and associated SBs constitute terminating action for the required repetitive inspections. Furthermore, Airbus also published other SBs, introducing cold working after oversizing of the fastener holes as a means for structural reinforcement. Accomplishment of these SBs allows postponement of the required Point of Embodiment (Structural Modification Point) for the structural reinforcement modification SBs which terminate the repetitive inspection requirement.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD partially retains the requirements of EASA AD 2015-0192, which is superseded, and requires for each FWD and AFT cargo door initial and repetitive special detailed inspections (SDI) of all frame fork areas and detailed inspections (DET) of frame head areas and outer skin areas, and a one-time inspection/adjustment of the hook gaps “U” and “V” and, depending on findings, the accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s). Additionally, this [EASA] AD requires reinforcement of the cargo door frame structure, while accomplishment of a cold working modification allows to defer the reinforcement of the cargo door structure.

    It should be noted that additional inspections exist for the cargo doors, as specified in Airbus A330 ALS [Airworthiness Limitation Section] Part 2 task 523211-02-01 and task 523211-02-02, and in Airbus A340 ALS Part 2 Task 523211-02-01.

    This [EASA] AD is re-published to correct typographical errors when referencing Airbus SB A340-52-4118.

    Related investigative actions include detailed inspections and high frequency non-destructive test inspections. Corrective actions include reaming holes, bushing holes, replacing affected parts, and repairing cracks. Additional work includes a one-time inspection of the “U” and “V” hook gaps, and if necessary, an adjustment of the hook gaps.

    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-2017-0713.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued the following service information.

    The following service information describes procedures for inspecting and repairing the frame fork area at beam 4 and frame head area at beam 1 from frame 20B to frame 25 of the forward cargo door, and adjusting the hook gaps “U” and “V.” This service information is distinct since it applies to different airplane models.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3087, Revision 02, including Appendix 01, dated February 18, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4095, Revision 02, including Appendix 01, dated November 29, 2015.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-5020, Revision 02, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated November 27, 2015.

    The following service information describes procedures for modifying the frame fork area at beam 4 and frame head area at beam 1 from frame 20B to frame 25 of the forward cargo door frame. This service information is distinct since it applies to different airplane models and configurations.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3105, dated February 24, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3110, dated February 15, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3111, dated February 15, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4108, dated February 15, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4113, dated February 15, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4114, dated February 15, 2016.

    The following service information describes procedures for modifying the fastener holes in the forward cargo door frame structure by cold working and changing the fastener type and size. This service information is distinct since it applies to different airplane models and configurations.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3116, dated April 20, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3117, dated April 20, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3118, dated April 20, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4119, dated April 20, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4120, dated April 20, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4121, dated April 20, 2016.

    The following service information describes procedures for inspecting the frame fork area at beam 4 and frame head area at beam 1 of the aft cargo door from frame 60 to frame 64A, adjusting the hook gaps “U” and “V,” and doing corrective actions. This service information is distinct since it applies to different airplane models and configurations.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3095, Revision 02, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated February 19, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4101, Revision 02, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated November 27, 2015.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-5023, Revision 02, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated November 27, 2015.

    The following service information describes procedures for modifying the frame fork and head of the aft cargo door frame from frame 59A to frame 65. This service information is distinct since it applies to different airplane models and configurations.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3106, dated February 24, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3112, dated February 24, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3113, dated February 15, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3114, dated February 15, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4109, dated February 25, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4115, dated February 19, 2016.

    The following service information describes procedures for modifying the fastener holes in the aft cargo door frame structure by cold working and changing the fastener type and size. This service information is distinct since it applies to different airplane models.

    • Service Bulletin A330-52-3115, dated April 20, 2016.

    • Service Bulletin A340-52-4118, dated April 20, 2016.

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

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type designs.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 73 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate that it would take up to 888 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost up to $126,420 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be up to $14,738,700, or up to $201,900 per product.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    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.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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: a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-12-12, Amendment 39-17092 (77 FR 37797, June 25, 2012); and AD 2013-16-26, Amendment 39-17564 (78 FR 53640, August 30, 2013); and b. Adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2017-0713; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-199-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 25, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2012-12-12, Amendment 39-17092 (77 FR 37797, June 25, 2012) (“AD 2012-12-12”); and AD 2013-16-26, Amendment 39-17564 (78 FR 53640, August 30, 2013) (“AD 2013-16-26”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, certified in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers, except those on which Airbus Modification 202702 and Modification 202790 have been embodied in production; and the Airbus airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(3) through (c)(5) of this AD, certified in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (1) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, and -243F airplanes.

    (2) Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

    (3) Model A340-211, -212, and -213 airplanes.

    (4) Model A340-311, -312, and -313 airplanes.

    (5) Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracked forward and aft cargo door frames, and loose, missing, or sheared rivets. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracked or ruptured cargo door frames, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the forward or aft cargo door.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Affected Cargo Doors

    For the purpose of this AD, the affected cargo doors are pre-modification 202702 (forward cargo door) and pre-modification 202790 (aft cargo door), and are listed by part number (P/N) in the applicable service information identified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD. For post-modification doors, which are not affected by this AD, the P/Ns are identified as F52370900XXX (forward cargo door) and F52372315XXX (aft cargo door), where “XXX” can be a combination of any three numerical digits.

    (h) Forward Cargo Door Repetitive Inspections

    (1) Before exceeding 5,300 total flight cycles since first installation of the forward cargo door on an airplane, or within the applicable compliance time specified in table 1 to paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, whichever occurs later, except as specified in paragraph (q) of this AD: Do all applicable detailed and high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of all frame fork areas, frame head areas, and outer skin areas of each affected forward cargo door, as applicable; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraph (h)(1)(i), (h)(1)(ii), or (h)(1)(iii) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative actions and corrective actions before further flight in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraph (h)(1)(i), (h)(1)(ii), or (h)(1)(iii) of this AD, except as required by paragraph (p) of this AD. Repeat the applicable inspections of the frame fork areas, frame head areas, and outer skin areas of each affected forward cargo door thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,400 flight cycles.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (h)(1) of This AD—Forward Cargo Door Inspection Compliance Time Airplane condition
  • (on the effective date of this AD)
  • Compliance time
    Inspected only as specified in Airbus Alert Operator Transmission (AOT) A330-52A3085 or AOT A340-52A4092, as applicable Within 1,100 flight cycles after the last inspection, but without exceeding 10,600 flight cycles since first installation of the forward cargo door on an airplane. Inspected as specified in Airbus AOT A330-52A3085 and as specified in AOT A330-A52L003-12, and the last inspection was accomplished as specified in AOT A330-A52L003-12 Within 1,100 flight cycles after the last inspection as specified in AOT A330-52A3085. Inspected as specified in Airbus AOT A330-52A3085 and as specified in AOT A330-A52L003-12, and the last inspection was accomplished as specified in AOT A330-52A3085 Within 1,100 flight cycles after the last inspection as specified in AOT A330-A52L003-12. Inspected as specified in Airbus AOT A340-52A4092 and as specified in AOT A340-A52L004-12, and the last inspection was accomplished as specified in AOT A340-A52L004-12 Within 1,100 flight cycles after the last inspection as specified in AOT A340-52A4092. Inspected as specified in Airbus AOT A340-52A4092 and as specified in AOT A340-A52L004-12, and the last inspection was accomplished as specified in AOT A340-52A4092 Within 1,100 flight cycles after the last inspection as specified in AOT A340-A52L004-12. Inspected as specified in the original issue of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A330-52-3087, or SB A340-52-4095, or SB A340-52-5020, as applicable There is no compliance time for the initial inspection in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD for these airplanes, provided these airplanes comply with the actions specified paragraph (r)(1) of this AD. Inspected as specified in Revision 01 of Airbus SB A330-52-3087, or SB A340-52-4095, or SB A340-52-5020, as applicable There is no compliance time for the initial inspection in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD for these airplanes, provided these airplanes comply with the actions specified in paragraph (r)(2) of this AD. Inspected as specified in Revision 02 of Airbus SB A330-52-3087, or SB A340-52-4095, or SB A340-52-5020, as applicable Within 1,400 flight cycles after the last inspection, but without exceeding 5,300 total flight cycles since first installation of the forward cargo door on an airplane. Never inspected Within 1,100 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, but without exceeding 6,400 flight cycles since first installation of the forward cargo door on an airplane.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3087, Revision 02, dated February 18, 2016 (“A330-52-3087, R2”).

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4095, Revision 02, dated November 29, 2015 (“A340-52-4095, R2”).

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-5020, Revision 02, dated November 27, 2015 (“A340-52-5020, R2”).

    (2) Concurrently with the first inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD: Do a one-time detailed inspection of the hook gaps “U” and “V” of each affected forward cargo door for proper adjustment, and, depending on findings, adjust the hook(s), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraph (h)(2)(i), (h)(2)(ii), or (h)(2)(iii) of this AD. Do all required hook gap adjustments before further flight.

    (i) A330-52-3087, R2.

    (ii) A340-52-4095, R2.

    (iii) A340-52-5020, R2.

    (i) Forward Cargo Door Modification

    (1) Except as specified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, before exceeding 18,500 total flight cycles since first installation of the forward cargo door on an airplane, or within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Do reinforcement modifications on the frame structure of each affected forward cargo door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(vi) of this AD, except as required by paragraph (p) of this AD.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3105, dated February 24, 2016 (for certain Model A330-202, -223, and -243 airplanes; and Model A330-301, -321, -322, -341, and -342 airplanes).

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3110, dated February 15, 2016 (for certain Model A330-202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes; and Model A330-303, -323, and -343 airplanes).

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3111, dated February 15, 2016 (for certain Model A330-202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, and -243F airplanes; and Model A330-302, -303, -323, -342, and -343 airplanes).

    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4108, dated February 15, 2016 (for certain Model A340-211, -212, and -213 airplanes; and Model A340-311, -312, and -313 airplanes).

    (v) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4113, dated February 15, 2016 (for certain Model A340-312 and -313 airplanes).

    (vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4114, dated February 15, 2016 (for certain Model A340-313 airplanes).

    (2) Accomplishment of the reinforcement modifications required by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD may be deferred, provided that, before exceeding 18,500 total flight cycles since first installation of the forward cargo door on an airplane, or within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, but not earlier than 14,500 total flight cycles for Model A330 airplanes, or 12,500 total flight cycles for Model A340 airplanes, cold working is accomplished on the frame structure of each affected forward cargo door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (i)(2)(i) through (i)(2)(vi) of this AD, except as required by paragraph (p) of this AD. Modification of an airplane by accomplishment of the cold working specified in this paragraph does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3116, dated April 20, 2016 (for certain Model A330-202, -223, and -243 airplanes; and Model A330-301, -321, -322, -341, and -342 airplanes).

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3117, dated April 20, 2016 (for certain Model A330-202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes; and Model A330-303, -323, and -343 airplanes).

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3118, dated April 20, 2016 (for certain Model A330-202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, and -243F airplanes; and Model A330-302, -303, -323, -342, and -343 airplanes).

    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4119, dated April 20, 2016 (for certain Model A340-211, -212, and -213 airplanes; and Model A340-311, -312, and -313 airplanes).

    (v) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4120, dated April 20, 2016 (for certain Model A340-312 and -313 airplanes).

    (vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4121, dated April 20, 2016 (for certain Model A340-313 airplanes).

    (3) Within 18,500 flight cycles after cold working is accomplished on the frame structure of each affected forward cargo door as specified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD: Do the reinforcement modifications on the frame structure of each affected forward cargo door, 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).

    (j) Forward Cargo Door Terminating Action

    Modification of an airplane by reinforcement of the cargo door frame structure required by paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(3) of this AD constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD for that airplane.

    (k) Definitions of Pre-Modified and Post-Modified Airplanes

    (1) For the purpose of this AD, pre-modified Model A330-200 series airplanes, Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes, Model A330-300 series airplanes, Model A340-200 series airplanes, and Model A340-300 series airplanes are defined as those not having Airbus Modification 44852, or Modification 44854 applied in production, or being in pre-Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3044 or pre-Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4054 configuration, as applicable.

    (2) For the purpose of this AD, post-modification Model A330-200 series airplanes, Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes, Model A330-300 series airplanes, Model A340-200 series airplanes, and Model A340-300 series airplanes are defined as those having Airbus Modification 44852 or Modification 44854 applied in production, or modified in service as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3044 or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4054, as applicable.

    (l) Aft Cargo Door Repetitive Inspections

    (1) Before exceeding 4,000 total flight cycles for pre-modified airplanes, or 12,000 total flight cycles for post-modified airplanes, since first installation of the aft cargo door on an airplane, as applicable, or within the compliance time specified in table 2 to paragraph (l)(1) of this AD or table 3 to paragraph (l)(1) of this AD, as applicable, whichever occurs later, except as specified in paragraph (q) of this AD: Do all applicable inspections of all frame fork areas, frame head areas, and outer skin area of each affected aft cargo door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraph (l)(1)(i), (l)(1)(ii), or (l)(1)(iii) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative actions and corrective actions before further flight in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraph (l)(1)(i), (l)(1)(ii), or (l)(1)(iii) of this AD, except as required by paragraph (p) of this AD. Repeat the applicable inspections thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,400 flight cycles.

    Table 2 to Paragraph (l)(1) of This AD—Aft Cargo Door Inspection Compliance Times for Pre-Modified Airplanes Airplane condition
  • (on the effective date of this AD)
  • Compliance time
    Inspected only as specified in Airbus AOT A330-52A3084, or AOT A340-52A4091, as applicable Within 550 flight cycles after the last inspection, but without exceeding 15,800 flight cycles since first installation of the aft cargo door on an airplane. Inspected as specified in Airbus AOT A330-52A3084 and as specified in AOT A330-A52L001-12, and the last inspection was accomplished as specified in AOT A330-A52L001-12 Within 550 flight cycles after the last inspection as specified in AOT A330-52A3084. Inspected as specified in Airbus AOT A330-52A3084 and as specified in AOT A330-A52L001-12, and the last inspection was accomplished as specified in AOT A330-52A3084 Within 550 flight cycles after the last inspection as specified in AOT A330-A52L001-12. Inspected as specified in Airbus AOT A340-52A4091 and as specified in AOT A340-A52L002-12, and the last inspection was accomplished as specified in AOT A340-A52L002-12 Within 550 flight cycles after the last inspection as specified in AOT A340-52A4091. Inspected as specified in Airbus AOT A340-52A4091 and as specified in AOT A340-A52L002-12, and the last inspection was accomplished as specified in AOT A340-52A4091 Within 550 flight cycles after the last inspection as specified in AOT A340-A52L002-12. Inspected as specified in the original issue of Airbus SB A330-52-3095, or SB A340-52-4101, as applicable There is no compliance time for the initial inspection in paragraph (l)(1) of this AD for these airplanes, provided these airplanes comply with the actions specified in paragraph (r)(3) of this AD. Inspected as specified in Revision 01 of Airbus SB A330-52-3095, or SB A340-52-4101, as applicable There is no compliance time for the initial inspection in paragraph (l)(1) of this AD for these airplanes, provided these airplanes comply with the actions specified in paragraph (r)(4) of this AD. Inspected as specified in Revision 02 of Airbus SB A330-52-3095, or SB A340-52-4101, as applicable Within 1,400 flight cycles after the last inspection as specified in Revision 02 of Airbus SB A330-52-3095, or SB A340-52-4101, as applicable but without exceeding 4,000 flight cycles since first installation of the aft cargo door on an airplane, as applicable. Never inspected Within 550 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, but without exceeding 4,550 flight cycles since first installation of the aft cargo door on an airplane.
    Table 3 to Paragraph (l)(1) of This AD—Aft Cargo Door Inspection Compliance Times for Post-Modified Airplanes and Model A340-500 and -600 Airplanes Airplane condition
  • (on the effective date of this AD)
  • Compliance time
    Never inspected Within 550 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, but without exceeding 12,550 flight cycles since first installation of the aft cargo door on an airplane. Inspected as specified in the original issue of Airbus SB A330-52-3095 or SB A340-52-4101, or SB A340-5023, as applicable There is no compliance time for paragraph (l)(1) of this AD for these airplanes, provided these airplanes comply with the actions specified in paragraph (r)(3) of this AD. Inspected as specified in Revision 01 of Airbus SB A330-52-3095, or SB A340-52-4101, or SB A340-5023, as applicable There is no compliance time for paragraph (l)(1) of this AD for these airplanes, provided these airplanes comply with the actions specified in paragraph (r)(4) of this AD. Inspected as specified in Revision 02 of Airbus SB A330-52-3095, or SB A340-52-4101, or SB A340-5023, as applicable Within 1,400 flight cycles after the last inspection as specified in Revision 02 of Airbus SB A330-52-3095, or SB A340-52-4101, or SB A340-5023, as applicable, but without exceeding 12,000 flight cycles since first installation of the aft cargo door on an airplane.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3095, Revision 02, dated February 19, 2016 (“A330-52-3095, R2”).

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4101, Revision 02, dated November 27, 2015 (“A340-52-4101, R2”).

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-5023, Revision 02, dated November 27, 2015 (“A340-52-5023, R2”).

    (2) Concurrently with the first inspection required by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD: Do a one-time detailed inspection of the hook gaps “U” and “V” of each affected aft cargo door for proper adjustment and, depending on findings, adjust the hook(s) in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraph (l)(2)(i), (l)(2)(ii), or (l)(2)(iii) of this AD. Do all required hook gap adjustments before further flight.

    (i) A330-52-3095, R2.

    (ii) A340-52-4101, R2.

    (iii) A340-52-5023, R2.

    (m) Modification for Pre-Modified Airplanes

    (1) For pre-modified airplanes, except as specified in paragraph (m)(2) of this AD: Before exceeding 18,500 total flight cycles since first installation of the aft cargo door on an airplane, or within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, do reinforcement modifications, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (m)(1)(i) through (m)(1)(vi) of this AD, except as required by paragraph (p) of this AD.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3106, dated February 24, 2016 (for certain Model A330-301, -321, -322, -341, and -342 airplanes).

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3112, dated February 24, 2016 (for certain Model A330-202 and -223 airplanes; and Model A330-301, -322, -341, and -342 airplanes).

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3113, dated February 15, 2016 (for certain Model A330-223 and -243 airplanes; and Model A330-322 and -342 airplanes).

    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3114, dated February 15, 2016 (for certain Model A330-202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, and -243F airplanes; and Model A330-302, -303, -323, -342, and -343 airplanes).

    (v) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4109, dated February 25, 2016 (for certain Model A340-211, -212, and -213 airplanes; and Model A340-311, -312, and -313 airplanes).

    (vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4115, dated February 19, 2016 (for certain Model A340-212, -213, and -313 airplanes).

    (2) Accomplishment of the reinforcement modifications required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD may be deferred provided that before exceeding 18,500 total flight cycles since first installation of the aft cargo door on an airplane, or within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, but not earlier than 14,500 total flight cycles, cold working is accomplished on the frame structure of each affected aft cargo door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3115, dated April 20, 2016; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4118, dated April 20, 2016; as applicable. Modification of an airplane by accomplishment of the cold working specified in this paragraph does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD.

    (3) For an airplane on which the cold working on the cargo door frame structure is accomplished, as specified in paragraph (m)(2) of this AD: Within 18,500 flight cycles after the application of cold working, do reinforcement modifications, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information specified in paragraphs (m)(1)(i) through (m)(1)(vi) of this AD, as applicable, or using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (n) Aft Cargo Door Terminating Action

    Modification of an airplane by reinforcement of the cargo door frame structure required by paragraph (m)(1) or (m)(3) of this AD constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD for that airplane.

    (o) Optional Terminating Action Modification for Post-Modified Airplanes

    For post-modified airplanes, modification of an airplane by reinforcement of the cargo door frame structure, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (m)(1)(i) through (m)(1)(vi) of this AD, or using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA, constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD.

    (p) Exception to Service Information

    Where the service information specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (i)(1), (i)(2), (l)(1), and (m) of this AD specifies to contact Airbus for instructions or repair, before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (s)(2) of this AD.

    (q) Exception to Initial Inspection Compliance Time

    For the purposes of table 1 to paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, table 2 to paragraph (l)(1) of this AD, and table 3 to paragraph (l)(1) of this AD: As soon as a cargo door is inspected using any applicable service information specified in this AD, the previous inspections accomplished in accordance with any alert operator transmission can be disregarded for the determination of the compliance time for the initial inspection required by this AD.

    (r) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for the initial inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if that inspection was performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3087, dated August 29, 2013; Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4095, dated August 29, 2013; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-5020, dated August 29, 2013; as applicable; provided that the actions identified as “additional work” in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3087, Revision 01, dated July 9, 2014; Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4095, Revision 01, dated July 28, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-5020, Revision 01, dated July 9, 2014; as applicable; are accomplished within 1,100 flight cycles after that inspection; and provided the next inspection of all frame fork areas, frame head areas, and outer skin area of each affected forward cargo door is accomplished within 1,100 flight cycles after that inspection, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of A330-52-3087, R2; A330-52-3095, R2; or A340-52-5020, R2, as applicable.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for the initial inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if that inspection was performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3087, Revision 01, dated July 9, 2014; Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4095, Revision 01, dated July 28, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-5020, Revision 01, dated July 9, 2014; as applicable; provided that the next inspection of all frame fork areas, frame head areas, and outer skin area of each affected forward cargo door, is accomplished within 1,100 flight cycles after that inspection in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of A330-52-3087, R2; A330-52-3095, R2; or A340-52-5020, R2, as applicable.

    (3) This paragraph provides credit for the initial inspection required by paragraph (l) of this AD, if that inspection was performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3095, dated August 29, 2013; Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4101, dated August 29, 2013; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-5023, dated August 29, 2013; provided that the actions identified as “additional work” in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3095, Revision 01, dated July 28, 2014; Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4101, Revision 01, dated July 28, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-5023, Revision 01, dated July 28, 2014; as applicable; are accomplished within 550 flight cycles after that inspection, and provided the next inspection of all frame fork areas, frame head areas, and outer skin area of each affected aft cargo door is accomplished within 550 flight cycles after that inspection in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of A330-52-3095, R2; A340-52-4101, R2; or A340-52-5023, R2, as applicable.

    (4) This paragraph provides credit for the initial inspection required by paragraph (l) of this AD, if that inspection was performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-52-3095, Revision 01, dated July 28, 2014; Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-4101, Revision 01, dated July 28, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-52-5023, Revision 01, dated July 28, 2014; as applicable; provided that the next inspection of all frame fork areas, frame head areas, and outer skin area of each affected aft cargo door is accomplished within 550 flight cycles after that inspection in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of A330-52-3095, R2; A340-52-4101, R2; or A340-52-5023, R2, as applicable.

    (s) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (t)(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: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

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

    (t) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2016-0188, dated September 21, 2016; corrected September 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-2017-0713.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact, Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 19, 2017. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16051 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0715; Product Identifier 2017-NM-073-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the fuselage crown skin panels are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections, replacement, and applicable on-condition actions for certain fuselage crown skin panels. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 25, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, 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 Standards Branch, 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-2017-0715.

    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-2017-0715; 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 NPRM, 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:

    Jennifer Tsakoumakis, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5264; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-0715; Product Identifier 2017-NM-073-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM 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 proposed AD.

    Discussion

    Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally, in widespread areas. Multiple-site damage is widespread damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Widespread damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site damage and multiple-element damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane. This condition is known as WFD. It is associated with general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

    The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

    The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.

    In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

    We have received a report indicating that an operator of a Model 737-300 series airplane reported multiple cracks of the chem-milled steps in adjacent bays of the fuselage crown skin. These cracks were discovered by visual inspection 855 flight cycles after the most recent detailed inspection. The initial visual inspection revealed three cracks varying in length from 1.8 inches to 8.5 inches. Further inspection using ultrasonic phased array revealed nine additional subsurface cracks. The airplane had 55,232 total flight cycles. Multiple adjacent cracks in the fuselage crown skin panels, if not detected and corrected, could link up and lead to decompression or loss of structural integrity of the airplane.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017. The service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections, replacement, and applicable on-condition actions for certain fuselage crown skin panels. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing 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.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, described previously, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD.

    For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0715.

    Explanation of Compliance Time

    The compliance time for the replacement specified in this proposed AD for addressing WFD was established to ensure that discrepant structure is replaced before WFD develops in airplanes. Standard inspection techniques cannot be relied on to detect WFD before it becomes a hazard to flight. We will not grant any extensions of the compliance time to complete any AD-mandated service bulletin related to WFD without extensive new data that would substantiate and clearly warrant such an extension.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 200 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection Up to 507 work-hours × $85 per hour = $43,095 per inspection cycle $0 Up to $43,095 per inspection cycle Up to $8,619,000 per inspection cycle. Replacement 304 work-hours × $85 per hour = $25,840 per skin panel 95,000 $120,840 per skin panel Up to $24,168,000.

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

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    (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.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2017-0715; Product Identifier 2017-NM-073-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 25, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017.

    (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 fuselage crown skin panels are subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the fuselage crown skin panels. Multiple adjacent cracks in the fuselage crown skin could link up and lead to decompression or loss of structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, do all applicable actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017.

    (h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD, the phrase “the effective date of this AD” may be substituted for “the original issue date of this service bulletin,” as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017.

    (2) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, specifies contacting Boeing, and specifies that action as RC: This AD requires using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (3) Part 7 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, specifies post-modification airworthiness limitation inspections in compliance with 14 CFR 25.571(a)(3) at the modified locations to support compliance with 14 CFR 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2). Although Part 7 is identified as RC, this AD does not require accomplishment of Part 7. As airworthiness limitations, these inspections are required by maintenance and operational rules. It is therefore unnecessary to mandate them in this AD. Deviations from these inspections require FAA approval, but do not require approval of an alternative method of compliance.

    (i) Terminating Action for Repetitive Inspections

    (1) Replacement of a skin panel, in accordance with Part 8 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, terminates the actions specified in Parts 1, 4, and 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, for that replaced skin panel only. To be acceptable as terminating action, the replacement may not be done prior to the applicable time specified in Table 4 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017.

    (2) Completion of a structural repair manual repair to repair cracking, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, terminates the repetitive inspections specified in Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, for that repair location only.

    (3) Completion of a “Category C repair” to repair cracking, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, terminates the repetitive inspections specified in Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, for that repair location only.

    (4) Completion of a “Change Category C Repair to SB Repair,” in accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, terminates the inspections specified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1358, dated April 27, 2017, as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, for that repair location only.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 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 certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

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

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 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 paragraphs (h)(2) and (h)(3) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as 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

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Jennifer Tsakoumakis, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5264; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 26, 2017. Jeffrey E. Duven, Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16355 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9546; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-32] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Onida, SD AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E airspace at Onida, SD. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate new special instrument approach procedures developed at Onida 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 25, 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-2016-9546; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-32, 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 Onida Municipal Airport, Onida, SD, in support of new instrument approach procedures at the airport.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. 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-2016-9546; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-32.” 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 6.4-mile radius of Onida Municipal Airport, Onida, SD, 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 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. AGL SD E5 Onida, SD [New] Onida Municipal Airport, SD (Lat. 44°42′02″ N., long. 100°06′05″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Onida Municipal Airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on August 1, 2017. Walter Tweedy, Manager (A), Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16802 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0321; FRL-9966-00-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; North Carolina; Interstate Transport AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve North Carolina's December 9, 2015 State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission pertaining to the Clean Air Act's (CAA or Act) “good neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The good neighbor provision requires each state's SIP to address the interstate transport of air pollution in amounts that contribute significantly to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of a NAAQS in any other state. In this action, EPA is proposing to determine that North Carolina's SIP contains adequate provisions to prohibit emissions within the state from contributing significantly to nonattainment or interfering with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in any other state.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0321 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from regulations.gov. 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. 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:

    Ashten Bailey, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Bailey can also be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9164 and via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On March 27, 2008, EPA promulgated an ozone NAAQS that revised the levels of the primary and secondary 8-hour ozone standards from 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to 0.075 ppm. See 73 FR 16436. Pursuant to CAA section 110(a)(1), within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS (or shorter, if EPA prescribes), states must submit SIPs that meet the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2). EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. One of the structural requirements of section 110(a)(2) is section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) which generally requires SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit in-state emissions activities from having certain adverse air quality effects on neighboring states due to interstate transport of air pollution. There are four sub-elements, or “prongs,” within section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) of the CAA. CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), also known as the “good neighbor” provision, requires SIPs to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from emitting any air pollutant in amounts that will contribute significantly to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the NAAQS in another state. The two provisions of this section are referred to as prong 1 (significant contribution to nonattainment) and prong 2 (interference with maintenance). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requires SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit emissions that will interfere with measures required to be included in the applicable implementation plan for any other state under part C to prevent significant deterioration of air quality (prong 3) or to protect visibility (prong 4). This proposed action addresses only prongs 1 and 2 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). All other infrastructure SIP elements for North Carolina for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS were addressed in separate rulemakings.1

    1See 80 FR 68453 (November 5, 2015), 81 FR 35634 (June 3, 2016), and 81 FR 63107 (September 14, 2016).

    A. State Submittal

    On December 9, 2015, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) submitted a SIP submittal containing a certification 2 that North Carolina is meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS because, based on available emissions and air quality modeling data, emissions activities within North Carolina will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in any other state.3 NCDEQ reviewed preliminary air quality modeling and data files that EPA disseminated in an August 4, 2015 Notice of Data Availability to assess interstate transport of ozone for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. 4 See Notice of Availability of the Environmental Protection Agency's Updated Ozone Transport Modeling Data for the 2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS, 80 FR 46271 (2015 NODA). NCDEQ disagrees with the 2015 NODA's preliminary projection that North Carolina emissions may impact a projected maintenance receptor in Baltimore County, Maryland. Specifically, NCDEQ asserts that the 2015 NODA modeling analysis “is associated with inaccurate emissions inventories and deficiencies in the performance of the air quality modeling.” In its SIP submittal, NCDEQ asserts that the modeled contribution from North Carolina to the maintenance receptor in Baltimore County, Maryland, should accordingly be reduced, and the State should thus not be considered “linked” to any downwind state in EPA's preliminary modeling. NCDEQ notes that the State is on track to comply and meet the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) Phase 1 and 2 annual electric generation unit (EGU) state-wide allowance trading program requirements that reduce annual emissions of NOX and SO2. 5 In addition, NCDEQ cites information related to emissions trends—such as reductions in ozone precursor emissions and back trajectories, monitored ozone values in North Carolina, SEMAP modeling, and controls on North Carolina coal plants—as further evidence that emissions from the State will not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in any other state.

    2 This submittal revises a November 2, 2012 submittal addressing other infrastructure SIP elements for North Carolina for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. See, e.g., 80 FR 68453. North Carolina previously withdrew the portions of the November 2, 2012 submittal related to prongs 1 and 2.

    3 On July 13, 2015, EPA published a final rulemaking that finalized findings of failure to submit for 24 states, including North Carolina. See 80 FR 39961. The findings of failure to submit established a 2-year deadline for EPA to promulgate a federal implementation plan to address the interstate transport SIP requirements pertaining to significant contribution to nonattainment and interference with maintenance unless, prior to EPA promulgating a FIP, the state submits, and EPA approves, a SIP that meets these requirements. Additional background on the findings of failure to submit—including North Carolina's finding—can be found in the preamble to the final rule making the finding.

    4 NCDEQ refers to this NODA as having been released on July 23, 2015, which was the signature date of the NODA's accompanying memo. In addition, the comments received on the NODA were used to inform the CSAPR Update. 81 FR at 74505.

    5 As amended (including the 2016 CSAPR Update), CSAPR requires 27 Eastern states to limit their statewide emissions of SO2 and/or NOX in order to mitigate transported air pollution unlawfully impacting other states' ability to attain or maintain four NAAQS: The 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. CSAPR achieves these reductions through emissions trading programs in two phases: Phase 1 began in January 2015 for the annual programs and May 2015 for the ozone season program; and Phase 2 began in January 2017 for the annual programs and May 2017 for the ozone season program.

    B. EPA's Analysis Related to 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS

    EPA developed technical information and related analyses to assist states with meeting section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS through SIPs and, as appropriate, to provide backstop federal implementation plans in the event that states failed to submit approvable SIPs. On October 26, 2016, EPA took steps to effectuate this backstop role with respect to emissions in 22 eastern states 6 (not including North Carolina), by finalizing an update to the CSAPR ozone season program that addresses good neighbor obligations for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (“CSAPR Update”). See 81 FR 74504. This CSAPR Update establishes statewide NOX budgets for certain affected EGUs in the May-September ozone season to reduce the interstate transport of ozone pollution in the eastern United States, and thereby help downwind states and communities meet and maintain the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The CSAPR Update includes technical information and related analysis to assist states with meeting the good neighbor requirements of the CAA for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    6 For purposes of the CSAPR Update, “eastern” states refer to all contiguous states fully east of the Rocky Mountains (thus not including the mountain states of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, or New Mexico).

    The CSAPR Update uses the same framework EPA used when developing the original CSAPR, EPA's transport rule addressing the 1997 ozone NAAQS as well as the 1997 and 2006 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. The CSAPR framework establishes the following four-step process to address the requirements of the good neighbor provision: (1) Identify downwind receptors that are expected to have problems attaining or maintaining the NAAQS; (2) determine which upwind states contribute to these identified problems in amounts sufficient to “link” them to the downwind air quality problems; (3) identify and quantify, for states linked to downwind air quality problems, upwind emissions that significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of a NAAQS; and (4) reduce the identified upwind emissions for states that are found to have emissions that significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS downwind by adopting permanent and enforceable measures in a FIP or SIP. In the CSAPR Update, EPA used this four-step framework to determine each linked upwind state's significant contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance of downwind air quality. As explained below, the CSAPR Update's four-step analysis supports the conclusions of NCDEQ's analysis regarding prongs 1 and 2 for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    In the technical analysis supporting the CSAPR Update, EPA used detailed air quality analyses to determine where projected nonattainment or maintenance areas would be and whether emissions from an eastern state contribute to downwind air quality problems at those projected nonattainment or maintenance receptors. Specifically, EPA determined whether each state's contributing emissions were at or above a specific threshold (i.e., one percent of the ozone NAAQS). If a state's contribution did not exceed the one-percent threshold, the state was not considered “linked” to identified downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors and was therefore not considered to contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the standard in those downwind areas. If a state's contribution was equal to or exceeded the one-percent threshold, that state was considered “linked” to the downwind nonattainment or maintenance receptor(s) and the state's emissions were further evaluated, taking into account both air quality and cost considerations, to determine whether any emissions reductions might be necessary to address the state's obligation pursuant to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I).

    As discussed in the final CSAPR Update, the air quality modeling contained in EPA's technical analysis: (1) Identified locations in the U.S. where EPA anticipates nonattainment or maintenance issues in 2017 for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS (these are identified as nonattainment or maintenance receptors, respectively), and (2) quantified the projected contributions from emissions from upwind states to downwind ozone concentrations at the receptors in 2017. See 81 FR 74526. This modeling used the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx version 6.11) to model the 2011 base year, and the 2017 future base case emissions scenarios to identify projected nonattainment and maintenance sites with respect to the 2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS in 2017. EPA used nationwide state-level ozone source apportionment modeling (the CAMx Ozone Source Apportionment Technology/Anthropogenic Precursor Culpability Analysis technique) to quantify the contribution of 2017 base case NOX and VOC emissions from all sources in each state to the 2017 projected receptors. The air quality model runs were performed for a modeling domain that covers the 48 contiguous United States, the District of Columbia, and adjacent portions of Canada and Mexico. 81 FR 74526-527. The updated modeling data released to support the final CSAPR Update are the most up-to-date information EPA has developed to inform the Agency's analysis of upwind state linkages to downwind air quality problems for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.7

    7See “Air Quality Modeling Final Rule Technical Support Document for the Final CSAPR Update” (CSAPR Update Modeling TSD), available at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0500-0575.

    Consistent with the framework established in the original CSAPR rulemaking, EPA's technical analysis in support of the CSAPR Update applied an air quality screening threshold of 0.75 ppb (one percent of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS of 75 ppb) to identify linkages between upwind states and the downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors. See CSAPR Update at 81 FR 74518-519. EPA considered an eastern state “linked” to a specific downwind receptor when the state's contributions to that receptor meet or exceed the threshold, in which case EPA analyzed the state's emissions further to determine whether emissions reductions might be required in order to address the downwind air quality problem. An eastern state with contributions to a specific receptor below the screening threshold is not considered linked to that receptor, and EPA thereby concludes that the state does not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS at that downwind receptor. EPA determined that one percent was an appropriate threshold to use in this analysis because there were important, even if relatively small, contributions to identified nonattainment and maintenance receptors from multiple upwind states at that threshold. In response to commenters who advocated for thresholds higher or lower than one percent, EPA compiled the contribution modeling results for the CSAPR Update to analyze the impact of different possible thresholds for the eastern United States. EPA's analysis showed that the one-percent threshold captures a high percentage of the total pollution transport affecting downwind states. EPA's analysis further showed that the application of a lower threshold would result in relatively modest increases in the overall percentage of ozone transport pollution captured, while the use of higher thresholds would result in a relatively large reduction in the overall percentage of ozone pollution transport captured relative to the levels captured at one percent at the majority of the receptors. Id.; see also Air Quality Modeling Final Rule Technical Support Document for the Final CSAPR Update, Appendix F, Analysis of Contribution Thresholds. This approach is consistent with the use of a one-percent threshold to identify those states “linked” to air quality problems with respect to the 1997 8-hour Ozone NAAQS in the original CSAPR rulemaking, wherein EPA noted that there are adverse health impacts associated with ambient ozone even at low levels. See 76 FR 48208, 48236-237 (August 8, 2011).

    EPA's air quality modeling for the final CSAPR Update projects that North Carolina's emissions are projected to contribute below one percent of the 2008 ozone NAAQS to all receptors. The modeling indicates that North Carolina's largest contribution to any projected downwind nonattainment site in 2017 is 0.51 ppb and North Carolina's largest contribution to any projected downwind maintenance-only site in 2017 is 0.50 ppb.8 These values are below the one-percent screening threshold of 0.75 ppb, and therefore there are no identified linkages between North Carolina and 2017 downwind projected nonattainment and maintenance sites. As a result of the modeling, EPA did not finalize a federal implementation plan that required NOX emission reductions from North Carolina in the CSAPR Update because EPA's analysis performed to support the final rule does not indicate that the state is linked to any identified downwind nonattainment or maintenance receptors with respect to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Rather, in the CSAPR Update, EPA took final action to determine that emissions from North Carolina will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in any other states. 81 FR 74506, 74555. Additionally, the CSAPR Update addressed a United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit remand in EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 795 F.3d 118 (D.C. Cir. 2015) with respect to the interstate transport responsibility of North Carolina under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA removed North Carolina from the CSAPR ozone season trading program beginning in 2017, prior to implementation of the Phase 2 ozone season emission budgets.9

    8 CSAPR Update Modeling TSD at Table 4-2.

    9 81 FR 74523-524.

    II. What is EPA's analysis of the North Carolina submittal?

    As discussed above, North Carolina's submittal certifies that emission activities from the State will not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in any other state.10 EPA's updated modeling for the final CSAPR Update is consistent with the State's determination. In the modeling conducted to support the proposed CSAPR Update, North Carolina was linked to one maintenance receptor in Baltimore County, Maryland (site 240053001). See 81 FR 74537-538. However, in developing the final CSAPR Update—after considering comments from North Carolina and other stakeholders in developing a revised modeling analysis—EPA no longer projects that site 240053001 in Baltimore County, Maryland, will be a maintenance receptor because the site's 2017 average and maximum design values are projected to be below the NAAQS. Id. In addition, North Carolina is not linked to any other nonattainment or maintenance receptor, based on the final rule modeling. Id. Because North Carolina is not linked to any downwind nonattainment or maintenance receptors, EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's SIP as meeting the requirements of prongs 1 and 2 for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    10 EPA notes that North Carolina submitted similar comments during the CSAPR Update rulemaking, including attaching the December 9, 2015 Submittal. See Comments by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality, available at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0500-0273. EPA accepted some of the comments provided by North Carolina, including those related to emissions projections. See Cross State Air Pollution Update Rule—Response to Comment, available at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0500-0572.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's December 9, 2015 SIP submission demonstrating that North Carolina's SIP is sufficient to address the CAA requirements of prongs 1 and 2 under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. In the CSAPR Update, EPA has already taken a final action to determine that emissions from North Carolina will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in downwind states. Accordingly, EPA proposes to find that North Carolina's SIP is consistent with this final determination. EPA requests comment on this proposed approval of North Carolina's SIP.11

    11 EPA is not reopening for comment final determinations made in the context of the CSAPR Update based on the modeling conducted to support that rulemaking.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. See 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this proposed 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 proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 28, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16826 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0204; FRL-9965-74-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Revision to Allegheny County Regulations for Open Burning AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This revision pertains to Allegheny County's portion of the Pennsylvania SIP for the purpose of updating the regulation restricting open burning with revised definitions and new restrictions and with recodified provisions. In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the Commonwealth's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2017-0204 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory A. Becoat, (215) 814-2036, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the information provided in the direct final action, with the same title, that is located in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register publication. A detailed description of the Commonwealth's SIP submittal for the revision of Allegheny County's open burning regulations and EPA's evaluation of that SIP is included in a technical support document (TSD) prepared in support of this rulemaking action. A copy of the TSD is available, upon request, from the EPA Regional Office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document and is also available electronically within the Docket for this rulemaking action at www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: July 24, 2017. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16807 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0356; FRL-9966-01-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; KY; Miscellaneous Source Specific Revisions for Jefferson County AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Kentucky State Implementation Plan (SIP), submitted by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, through the Kentucky Division for Air Quality (KDAQ), on March 21, 2011, October 29, 2013, October 28, 2016, and March 24, 2017. The proposed revisions were submitted by KDAQ on behalf of the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (District), which has jurisdiction over Jefferson County, Kentucky. The revisions include changes to Jefferson County Regulations regarding Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for two major sources of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and the removal of a volatile organic compounds (VOC) bubble rule.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0356 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from regulations.gov. 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. 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:

    Joel Huey, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960 or Andres Febres, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Huey can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-9104 or via electronic mail at [email protected] Mr. Febres can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-8966 or via electronic mail at f[email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. What action is EPA proposing?

    EPA is proposing to approve changes to the Jefferson County portion of the Kentucky SIP that were received by EPA on March 21, 2011. Approval of Kentucky's March 21, 2011, submission would: (1) Make several changes to Regulation 6.29, Standard of Performance for Graphic Arts Facilities Using Rotogravure or Flexographic Printing; (2) remove Regulation 7.57, Standard of Performance for New Graphic Arts Facilities Using Rotogravure or Flexographic Printing; (3) incorporate Amendment 4 to the Louisville Medical Steam Plant NOX RACT Board Order into the Jefferson County portion of the Kentucky SIP; (4) incorporate Amendment 3 to the Texas Gas Transmission NOX RACT Board Order into the Jefferson County portion of the Kentucky SIP; and (5) remove a VOC bubble rule for the General Electric plant in Louisville, Kentucky. This action also proposes to approve three SIP revisions received by EPA on October 29, 2013, October 28, 2016, and March 24, 2017, which modify the March 21, 2011, submittal as discussed below.

    II. What is the background and EPA's analysis for the proposed actions?

    On March 21, 2011, the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District,1 through KDAQ, submitted a SIP revision with five separate parts. The following paragraphs discuss the background and EPA's assessment of each part of that submittal as well as the three subsequent submittals that revised the third and fourth parts (the NOX RACT Board Orders for the Louisville Medical Steam Plant and the Texas Gas Transmission facility, respectively).

    1 In 2003, the City of Louisville and Jefferson County governments merged and the “Jefferson County Air Pollution Control District” was renamed the “Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District.” However, each of the regulations in the Jefferson County portion of the Kentucky SIP still has the subheading “Air Pollution Control District of Jefferson County.” Thus, to be consistent with the terminology used in the SIP, we refer throughout this notice to regulations contained in the Jefferson County portion of the Kentucky SIP as the “Jefferson County” regulations.

    (1) Regulation 6.29, Standard of Performance for Graphic Arts Facilities Using Rotogravure or Flexographic Printing

    Jefferson County Air Quality Regulation 6.29 applies to each printing line for packaging rotogravure, publication rotogravure, specialty rotogravure, and/or flexographic printing that commenced operation before February 4, 1981. Kentucky's March 21, 2011, revision adds a new Section 3.2, which specifies that compliance with the VOC limits shall be based upon materials used during a calendar-day averaging period, but that the “District may specifically authorize compliance to be based upon a longer averaging period that shall not exceed one calendar month.” Although the existing SIP-approved rule does not specify the averaging time for compliance determination, EPA understands it to be 24 hours (based upon the daily recordkeeping requirement of Section 7.1). EPA believes that the proposed averaging times for compliance determination for up to one month would not result in any change in pollutant emissions because such allowances would be authorized only for facilities that generally use materials having little variation in VOC content. In addition, EPA notes that the approach of compliance determination based on averaging periods of up to one month is consistent with EPA's federal rules regulating this industry, including the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the Graphic Arts Industry (Publication Rotogravure Printing) at 40 CFR part 60, subpart QQ, and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) for the Printing and Publishing Industry at 40 CFR part 63, subpart KK. See, e.g., 40 CFR 60.434(a)(1) and 40 CFR 63.825(b)(2).

    The March 21, 2011, revision also amends Regulation 6.29 to allow material usage recordkeeping requirements to reflect the approved averaging period rather than the daily recordkeeping requirement of the existing SIP-approved rule. The inks and coatings used during a longer time period would be prorated to the appropriate compliance period based upon a measured parameter, such as linear feet of substrate printed. In addition, while the current SIP-approved rule requires the owner or operator to keep records of materials used for the most recent two-year period, the revised rule would require that records be maintained for the most recent five-year period (revised Section 6.1).

    Regulation 6.29 has also been revised such that it applies to all rotogravure and flexographic printing lines operating within the District. Section 1 (Applicability) of the current SIP-approved rule provides that the regulation applies to each affected facility that commenced operation before February 4, 1981. “Affected facility” is defined in the current SIP-approved rule as “a printing line for packaging rotogravure, publication rotogravure, specialty rotogravure, or flexographic printing.” Under the revised rule, the Applicability section is moved to Section 2 and provides that the rule applies to each printing line for packaging rotogravure, publication rotogravure, specialty rotogravure, or flexographic printing (regardless of commencement date 2 ) and that new or modified affected facilities shall comply with all standards of the rule upon commencing operation.

    2 New printing lines of these types are currently regulated pursuant to Regulation 7.57, the proposed removal of which is discussed in Section II.(2) below.

    Another change to Regulation 6.29 is that Section 5, “Exemption,” has been deleted, and the ink and coating VOC content specifications of that section have been relocated to Section 3, Standard for Volatile Organic Compounds, such that they are recognized as material usage limits rather than exemptions to compliance requirements. Finally, several non-substantive language changes have been made to Regulation 6.29 for consistency with other current Jefferson County regulations. EPA has evaluated these requested changes believes they will not interfere with the Louisville Area's ability to attain and maintain the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). Therefore, EPA proposes to approve these changes to Regulation 6.29.

    (2) Regulation 7.57, Standard of Performance for New Graphic Arts Facilities Using Rotogravure or Flexographic Printing

    Regulation 7.57 applies to the same type of printing lines as Regulation 6.29, but it applies to “new” units, defined as those that commenced operation on or after February 4, 1981. Kentucky's March 21, 2011, submittal proposes to remove Regulation 7.57 from the SIP. As noted above, Regulation 6.29 has been revised such that it applies to all rotogravure and flexographic printing lines, regardless of their date of operational commencement. EPA has reviewed the revised Regulation 6.29 and has preliminarily determined that it regulates the sources with the same stringency as Regulation 7.57. Therefore, because Regulation 6.29 as revised will apply to all subject printing lines within the District's jurisdiction, Regulation 7.57 would be duplicative and unnecessary. EPA proposes to approve the removal of Regulation 7.57 from the SIP.

    (3) Louisville Medical Center Steam Plant—NOX RACT Board Order

    Jefferson County Air Quality Regulation 6.42 (Reasonably Available Control Technology Requirements for Major Volatile Organic Compound- and Nitrogen Oxides-Emitting Facilities) requires the establishment and implementation of RACT for certain affected facilities that are located at a major stationary source for NOX. Section 4.4 of Regulation 6.42 requires that each determination of RACT approved by the District be submitted to EPA as a site-specific revision of the Kentucky SIP. The Louisville Medical Center Steam Plant (Medical Center) operates six boilers that provide heat to buildings associated with the downtown hospital medical complex and is subject to a title V operating permit issued by the District. The initial Medical Center NOX RACT Board Order was approved by the Air Pollution Control Board of Jefferson County (APC Board-JC) on November 8, 1999, and submitted to EPA by KDAQ on November 12, 1999, as a site-specific revision of the Kentucky SIP. Amendment 1 to the Medical Center Board Order, issued on February 21, 2001, was submitted to EPA and approved into the SIP on October 23, 2001. See 66 FR 53685.

    The March 21, 2011, submittal includes the District's second amendment to the Medical Center Board Order and requests withdrawal of Amendment 1. However, on October 29, 2013, the District submitted a third amendment to the Medical Center Board Order and requested withdrawal of the second one, and on April 4, 2017, the District submitted a fourth amendment to the Medical Center Board Order and requested withdrawal of the third one. No federal approval action has been taken on the second or third amendments to the Medical Center Board Order.

    On March 19, 2008, the APC-JC Board adopted Amendment 2 to the Medical Center Board Order. Amendment 2 changed the fuel for Boiler #1 from coal to natural gas, removed the 10 percent “seasonal capacity factor” and added a 0.10 pound per million British thermal unit (lb/MMBtu) heat input limit for that boiler. On August 21, 2013, the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control Board (LMAPC Board; formerly, the APC-JC Board) adopted Amendment 3 to the Medical Center Board Order. Amendment 3 removed the 10 percent seasonal capacity factor for Boiler #3 (since the coal stoker was removed and replaced with a low NOX burner) and added a 0.20 lb/MMBtu heat input limit for that boiler.

    On January 18, 2017, the LMAPC Board adopted Amendment 4 to the Medical Center Board Order. Amendment 4 replaces the emission rate limits for Boiler #1 and Boiler #3 (0.10 and 0.20 lb/MMBtu, respectively) with new limits on total NOX emissions (a 32.8 tons annual NOX limit and a 4.0 tons ozone season NOX limit for both boilers). As shown in the District's supporting documentation included in the submittal, the new ozone season NOX limit of 4.0 tons is more conservative than the potential to emit of 4.04 tons during ozone season (based on the previous 10 percent seasonal capacity factor), and the new annual NOX limit of 32.8 tons is the same as the potential to emit of 32.8 tons per year (based on the previous 10 percent seasonal capacity factor). Thus, the Medical Center Board Order changes between Amendment 1 (the version currently approved in the SIP) and Amendment 4 for Boilers #1 and #3 result in a potential emissions reduction of 0.04 tons of NOX per boiler during the ozone season. Other changes included in Amendment 4 are clarification of the averaging period for the NOX emission limits as a 30-day rolling average; the addition of annual performance testing and record of non-routine boiler maintenance activities for Boilers #1 and #3; elimination of an obsolete requirement for the Medical Center to submit a report of daily activities and procedures by April 1, 2001; and elimination of obsolete requirements related to compliance and recordkeeping on seasonal capacity factors, which originally applied only to Boilers #1 and #3 but no longer apply.

    EPA preliminarily agrees with the District that the Amendment 4 to Medical Center Board Order achieves at least the same level of NOX emission reductions as the previously approved Amendment 1. Therefore, EPA proposes to approve the April 4, 2017, revision as Amendment 4 to the Medical Center Board Order.

    (4) Texas Gas Transmission—NOX RACT Board Order

    As discussed above, Jefferson County Air Quality Regulation 6.42 requires the establishment and implementation of RACT for certain affected facilities that are located at a major stationary source for NOX. The initial Texas Gas Transmission (Texas Gas) NOX RACT Board Order was approved by the APC-JC Board on November 8, 1999, and submitted to EPA by KDAQ on November 12, 1999, as a site-specific revision of the Kentucky SIP. Amendment 1 to the Texas Gas Board Order, issued on December 20, 2000, was submitted to EPA and approved into the SIP on October 23, 2001. See 66 FR 53685.

    The March 21, 2011, submittal includes the District's second amendment to the Texas Gas Board Order and requests withdrawal of Amendment 1. However, on October 28, 2016, the District submitted a third amendment to the Texas Gas Board Order and requested withdrawal of second one. No federal approval action has been taken on the second amendment to the Texas Gas Board Order.

    On June 17, 2009, the APC-JC Board adopted Amendment 2 to the Texas Gas Board Order. Amendment 2 removed the compressor turbine T-1 emission requirements due to the removal of the unit from the facility in 2005, added emission requirements for new compressor turbine E-22, and added a requirement that combustion performance modifications performed on the nine reciprocating internal combustion engine compressors remain in place to ensure NOX emission limits are achieved.

    On May 18, 2016, the LMAPC Board adopted Amendment 3 to the Texas Gas Board Order. Amendment 3 introduces the emission limits and work practice standards for engine E28 to bring it up to date with EPA's NESHAP for Stationary Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (40 CFR 63, subpart ZZZZ) as revised in 2013 (see 78 FR 6674); modifies the emission testing schedule for Compressor Engines El-E9 and Turbine E22; and more clearly specifies the emission limits and testing, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for each of the covered sources.

    Regarding the performance testing schedule for Compressor Engines El-E6, Amendment 3 requires the same 6-year testing period for each engine as the approved Amendment 1. For Compressor Engines E7-E9, Amendment 3 also requires a 6-year testing period for each engine, although these engines are required to be tested every three years under the approved Amendment 1. EPA believes the reduced testing frequency for Compressor Engines E7-E9 is appropriate because these units are of the same type as Compressor Engines E1-E6, which have a six-year testing requirement, and the revised schedule requires performance testing of all nine of the facility's compressor engines within each 6-year period. For Turbine E22, the performance testing schedule is reduced from every two years to every six years. EPA believes this reduced testing frequency is appropriate because new condition 7 of Amendment 3 requires the owner or operator to continuously monitor and record appropriate parameters to demonstrate that the unit is operating in low-NOX mode, as required under 40 CFR 60.334(f)(2), thus minimizing NOX emissions. Further, if any of these units, E1-E9 and E22, fails to demonstrate compliance with standards at any time, a new provision under condition 15 of Amendment 3 requires that the unit be taken out of service until maintenance has been performed and the unit has been re-tested and has demonstrated compliance. In addition, the LMAPC Board notes that units E1-E9 and E22 have shown historical emission levels are significantly less than the regulatory limits.

    EPA preliminarily agrees with the District that Amendment 3 to the Texas Gas Board Order achieves the same level of NOX emission reductions as the previously approved Amendment 1. Therefore, EPA proposes to approve the October 28, 2016, revision as Amendment 3 to the Texas Gas Board Order.

    (5) General Electric—Remove the Bubble Action Approved on January 12, 1982

    In 1982, EPA approved a revision to the Kentucky SIP that allowed an alternative emission reduction plan in the form of a “bubble rule” for the General Electric plant in Louisville, Kentucky. See 47 FR 1291 (January 12, 1982). The sources affected by that SIP revision were the Koch Plastisol Prime System and the Koch Wire Rack Prime System. The revision allowed the plant to achieve compliance with Kentucky and Jefferson County VOC regulations for existing large appliance surface coating operations. Kentucky's March 21, 2011, submittal requests removal of this bubble rule for the General Electric plant because the subject equipment has been disabled and the associated permits have been voided for the facility. EPA proposes to approve the removal of the “Bubble action at General Electric in Louisville” from the Kentucky SIP.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing the incorporation by reference of Jefferson County's Regulation 6.29, Standard of Performance for Graphic Arts Facilities Using Rotogravure or Flexographic Printing, effective August 21, 2013; “Board Order Texas Gas Transmission” NOX RACT Plan, effective May 18, 2016; and “Board Order Louisville Medical Center Steam Plant” NOX RACT Plan, effective January 18, 2017. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Proposed Actions

    EPA is proposing to approve changes to the Jefferson County Air Quality Regulations portion of the Kentucky SIP. The requested revisions were provided by KDAQ to EPA on March 21, 2011, October 29, 2013, October 28, 2016, and March 24, 2017. The changes proposed for approval would: (1) Modify Regulation 6.29, (2) remove Regulation 7.57, (3) incorporate Amendment 4 to the NOX RACT Board Order for the Louisville Medical Center Steam Plant into the Jefferson County portion of the Kentucky SIP, (4) incorporate Amendment 3 to NOX RACT Board Order for the Texas Gas Transmission facility into the Kentucky SIP, and (5) remove the VOC bubble rule for the General Electric plant in Louisville, Kentucky. EPA believes these changes are consistent with the requirements of the CAA.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 28, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16818 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0507; FRL-9965-82-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Florida: Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a portion of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of Florida, through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, on January 22, 2013, addressing the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) infrastructure requirements for the 2010 1-hour nitrogen dioxide (NO2) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure SIP submission.” Specifically, EPA is approving the portion of Florida's January 22, 2013, SIP submission addressing element B of the infrastructure requirements, which relates to monitoring requirements. EPA is proposing that Florida's infrastructure SIP submission, provided to EPA on January 22, 2013, satisfies the infrastructure requirements related to monitoring for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0507 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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. 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:

    Andres Febres of the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Febres can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-8966 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register, EPA is approving this portion of Florida's January 22, 2013, SIP revision addressing the section 110(a)(2)(B) SIP requirements for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule and incorporated herein by reference. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all adverse comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this document. Any parties interested in commenting on this document should do so at this time.

    Dated: July 26, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16808 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0547; FRL-9965-84-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; SC: Revisions to New Source Review Rules AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve changes to the South Carolina State Implementation Plan (SIP) to update new source review regulations. EPA is proposing to approve portions of SIP revisions submitted by the State of South Carolina, through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on the following dates: July 18, 2011, April 10, 2014, August 12, 2015, and January 20, 2016. These actions are being proposed pursuant to the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0547 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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. 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:

    D. Brad Akers, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Akers can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9089 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules Section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's implementation plan revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this document. Any parties interested in commenting on this document should do so at this time.

    Dated: July 26, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16811 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0105; FRL-9965-98-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Florida; Permitting Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of five State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), through the Florida Division of Air Resource Management, on June 23, 1999, July 1, 2011, December 12, 2011, February 27, 2013, and February 1, 2017. Florida's SIP revisions recodify, clarify, and reorganize the State's non-title V air permitting and compliance assurance program regulations consistent with flexibility provided under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and EPA's rules which address new source preconstruction permitting. EPA is proposing to approve Florida's SIP revisions on the basis that they are consistent with the CAA and EPA's requirements for permitting air emission sources.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0105 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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. 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:

    Michele Notarianni, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Notarianni can be reached by phone at (404) 562-9031 and via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDEP submitted to EPA for adoption into the Florida SIP five revisions, three of which were submitted on June 23, 1999, July 1, 2011, and February 27, 2013, as part of the State's efforts to clarify and streamline Florida's non-title V air permitting and compliance assurance program and to address EPA's minor source preconstruction requirements under 40 CFR 51.160-51.164.1 In addition, on December 12, 2011, FDEP submitted a SIP revision to add a definition of “North American Industry Classification System,” or “NAICS,” to the Florida SIP.2 On February 1, 2017, FDEP submitted a SIP revision to address requirements for emissions monitoring at stationary sources. The 1999 SIP submission includes amendments to 16 rule sections in the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) that were adopted by the State between 1997 and 1999 to clarify and streamline FDEP's permitting process. The 2011 SIP submission includes clarifying and corrective amendments to 11 F.A.C. rule sections affecting FDEP's permitting regulations that were adopted by the State between 1997 and 2010. In its 2013 SIP submission, FDEP updates the 1999 and 2011 SIP submissions by either resubmitting or withdrawing 12 of the 16 F.A.C. rule sections originally included in those submittals, and providing updated versions of the remaining four rule sections for incorporation into the Florida SIP. In this action, EPA is proposing to act on the relevant regulations from these five SIP submissions as summarized in section III.

    1 The June 23, 1999, July 1, 2011, February 27, 2013, and February 1, 2017, Florida SIP submissions are also referred to as the “1999 SIP submission,” “2011 SIP submission,” “2013 SIP submission,” and the “2017 SIP submission,” respectively, in this action.

    2 The December 12, 2011, Florida SIP submission is also referred to as the “NAICS SIP submission” in this action.

    II. Overview of Florida's Rule Revisions A. June 23, 1999, SIP Revision

    In Florida's June 23, 1999, SIP revision, FDEP submitted multiple amendments to four F.A.C. rule chapters—Chapters 62-210, 62-212, 62-296, and 62-297—as part of the State's work to clarify and streamline Florida's non-title V air permitting and compliance assurance program. The amendments to these four F.A.C. rule chapters affecting 16 rule sections were adopted by Florida between 1997 and 1999. FDEP requested adoption of the following 16 F.A.C. rule sections: 62-210.200, 62-210.220,3 62-210.300, 62-210.350,4 62-210.360, 62-212.400, 62-296.401,5 62-296.405, 62-296.406, 62-296.414, 62-296.570, 62-297.310, 62-297.401, 62-297.440, 62-297.450, 62-297.520.6

    3 EPA is considering action separately on the 62-210.220, F.A.C., “Small Business Assistance Program,” provision.

    4 In its February 27, 2013, submission, Florida withdrew the proposed changes to 62-210.300, F.A.C. and 62-210.350, F.A.C. included in the June 23, 1999, submission.

    5 In a supplemental letter dated June 28, 2017, Florida withdrew Rule 62-296.401, F.A.C., state effective November 13, 1997, and January 10, 2007, for proposed adoption into the Florida SIP, including its resubmissions of Florida's July 1, 2011, and February 27, 2013, submissions.

    6 FDEP included two additional rules in its 1999 SIP submittal, 62-296.417 and 62-210.920, F.A.C., for state adoption only.

    B. July 1, 2011, SIP Revision

    In Florida's July 1, 2011, SIP revision, the State submitted amendments to 11 F.A.C. rule sections. Specifically, the State proposed to clarify, update, and revise certain requests from its June 23, 1999, SIP revision. The State also provided corrective and clarifying amendments to FDEP's new source review (NSR) permitting and stationary source control strategy programs, as well as to other miscellaneous provisions. Specifically, FDEP requested adoption of amendments to F.A.C. rule sections: 62-210.200,7 62-210.220, 62-212.400,8 62-212.720,9 62-296.100, 62-296.401,10 62-296.412, 62-296.414, 62-296.418, 62-296.500, and 62-296.508. Of these 11 rule sections, FDEP resubmitted four F.A.C. rule sections (62-210.200, 62-210.220, 62-296.401, and 62-296.414) from its June 23, 1999, submission, and requested amendments for three of the four rule sections 11 into the Florida SIP.

    7 In a supplemental letter dated June 28, 2017, Florida withdrew five definitions from Rule 62-210.200, F.A.C., for proposed adoption into the Florida SIP.

    8 EPA approved revisions to Rule 62-212.400, “Prevention of Significant Deterioration,” contained in the July 1, 2011, submission into Florida's SIP on June 15, 2012 (77 FR 35862) and thus, EPA is not acting on this regulation in this action.

    9 EPA is acting on revisions to Rule 62-212.720, “Actuals Plantwide Applicability Limits (PALs),” in a separate action.

    10 In a supplemental letter dated June 28, 2017, Florida withdrew its request for EPA to approve into the State's SIP Rule 62-296.401, F.A.C., as provided in its July 1, 2011, submission.

    11 Rules 62-210.200, 62-296.401, and 62-296.414, F.A.C., were the three Florida rule sections resubmitted with subsequent amendments.

    Also in this revision, FDEP withdrew its request for EPA to approve amendments to six F.A.C. rule sections submitted in its June 23, 1999, SIP revision: 62-210.360, 62-212.400, 62-296.570, 62-297.401, 62-297.440, and 62-297.520. Additionally, FDEP reiterated its original June 23, 1999, request to approve four F.A.C. rule sections, all with state effective dates of March 2, 1999, from its 1999 SIP submission: 62-296.405, 62-296.406, 62-297.310, and 62-297.450.

    C. December 12, 2011, SIP Revision

    In Florida's December 12, 2011, SIP revision, the State submitted amendments to two of its rules—62-210.200 and 62-212.400, F.A.C.—which included the addition of one new definition, “North American Industry Classification System,” or “NAICS,” to rule 62-210.200, F.A.C.12

    12 With the exception of the definition, “North American Industry Classification System,” or “NAICS,” in rule 62-210.200, F.A.C., EPA is taking no action today on the remaining rule changes in Florida's December 12, 2011, SIP submission.

    D. February 27, 2013, SIP Revision

    In Florida's February 27, 2013, SIP revision, the State submitted amendments to four F.A.C. rule sections: 62-210.200, 62-210.300,13 62-210.310, and 62-210.350.14 Also in its 2013 SIP revision, the State withdrew its request for approval of earlier versions of two rules, 62-210.300 and 62-210.350, F.A.C., submitted as part of its June 23, 1999, SIP revision. Additionally, FDEP requested removal of 62-210.920, F.A.C., from the Florida SIP and affirmed its request in the State's 2011 SIP submission to withdraw submitted amendments to the following five F.A.C. rule sections: 62-210.360, 62-296.570, 62-297.401, 62-297.440, and 62-297.520.

    13 EPA is taking no action today on 62-210.300, F.A.C. “Permits Required.”

    14 In a supplemental letter dated June 28, 2017, Florida withdrew its request for EPA to approve the addition of 62-210.350(1)(c), F.A.C. (effective February 11, 1999) into the Florida SIP. Additionally, EPA is taking no action today on 62-210.350(4)(a)2 and 62-210.350(4)(b), F.A.C. in Florida's February 27, 2013, SIP submission.

    E. February 1, 2017, SIP Revision

    In Florida's February 1, 2017, SIP revision, the State submitted amendments to three of its rules to address requirements for emissions monitoring at stationary sources—62-297.310, 62-297.440, and 62-297.450, F.A.C.—and proposed to remove 62-297.401, F.A.C. In the submitted amendments, FDEP made several clarifications to rule 62-297.310, F.A.C.15

    15 With the exception of the revisions pertaining to 62-297.310, F.A.C., EPA is taking no action today on the remaining rule changes in Florida's February 1, 2017, SIP submission.

    A description of these collective changes to each rule section from Florida's 1999, 2011, 2013, and 2017 SIP submissions and the State's NAICS SIP submission summarized above and EPA's analysis of the proposed changes follows.

    III. What is EPA's analysis of Florida's rule revisions? A. List of Rule Amendments Proposed for Incorporation Into the Florida SIP

    Described below are the Florida rules and/or subsections of those rules which EPA is proposing to incorporate into the Florida SIP.

    1. Rule 62-210.200, F.A.C., “Definitions”

    In its July 1, 2011, SIP submission, FDEP requested approval of changes to 15 definitions in Rule 62-210.200, F.A.C., with a state effective date of March 11, 2010. EPA will act on the July 1, 2011, SIP submission rule section changes—which were resubmitted in the State's 2013 submission—in a separate rulemaking. Thus, EPA is not proposing action on these 15 definitions contained in the 2011 SIP submission and also resubmitted in the 2013 SIP submission today.

    In its December 12, 2011, SIP submission, Florida added a new definition of “North American Industry Classification System,” or “NAICS.” EPA proposes to adopt this definition (state effective on December 4, 2011) into the Florida SIP as renumbered effective March 28, 2012, on the basis that the new definition added is for administrative purposes to explain terms included in other Florida rules that have previously been approved into the SIP.

    In its 2013 submission, Florida requested approval of changes to Rule 62-210.200, F.A.C., as amended up to state effective date March 28, 2012, to include four sets of amendments adopted by the State between 2005 and 2012.16 These rule changes include: Renumbering definitions, adding 21 new definitions, revising three existing definitions, and repealing two definitions.17 The purpose of adopting the revised definitions is to improve clarity, and to support language in other F.A.C. rule sections. All definitions originally submitted for approval in its 1999 SIP submission have been resubmitted in the 2011 and 2013 SIP submissions. EPA proposes to approve these revisions into the Florida SIP because they are administrative and/or provide non-substantive clarification of other provisions already approved into the State's SIP.

    16 In addition, Florida withdrew its request to adopt an earlier version of Rule 62-210.200, F.A.C., submitted for approval in its 1999 submission.

    17 See Florida's 2013 submission, pp.7-10, for a list of the 26 definitions and FDEP's explanation for the changes.

    2. Rule 62-210.310, F.A.C., “Air General Permits”

    In its 2013 submission, Florida requested approval into the SIP changes to Rule 62-210.310, F.A.C., “Air General Permits” as amended up to state effective date June 29, 2011, which include three sets of amendments adopted by the State between 2007 and 2011. This rule section, as amended, provides 17 air general permits, or “permits-by-rule,” by which owners or operators of air emission sources can construct and operate their facilities without going through the individual permitting process, so long as certain requirements are satisfied.18 Six of the air general permits (at subsection 62-210.310(4), F.A.C.) impose operating restrictions that allow facilities to avoid major source permitting. Eleven of the air general permits (at subsection 62-210.310(5), F.A.C.) allow certain facilities to avoid the permitting process for minor source air construction and non-title V air operation permits because these sources utilize pre-manufactured equipment and thus, do not need the preconstruction engineering review incorporated into FDEP's individual source permit process.

    18 See Florida's 2013 submission, pp.20-24, for a list of all air general permits in subsections 62-210.310(4), F.A.C. and 62-210.310(5), F.A.C. adopted by Florida as of June 29, 2011.

    EPA proposes to approve the changes provided in Florida's 2013 SIP submission to Rule 62-210.310, F.A.C., with state effective dates of January 10, 2007, October 12, 2008, and June 29, 2011, into Florida's SIP on the basis that these changes are intended to further clarify, organize, and streamline Florida's permit regulations. Moreover, these changes are not inconsistent with federal law, and will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment of the NAAQS, reasonable further progress, or any other requirement of the CAA.

    3. Rule 62-210.350, F.A.C., “Public Notice and Comment”

    In its 2013 submission, FDEP requested approval into the SIP of revisions to Rule 62-210.350, F.A.C., “Public Notice and Comment” as amended up to state effective date October 12, 2008, to incorporate three sets of amendments adopted by the State between 1997 and 2008. In the submission, Florida withdrew its request to adopt an earlier version of Rule 62-210.350, F.A.C., which was included in its 1999 submission.19 Rule 62-210.350, F.A.C., establishes public notice requirements for both major and minor source air construction permits, State air operation permits, federally enforceable state operation permits, and title V air operation permits. FDEP amended this rule section to update references to FDEP's administrative procedures rule at 62-110.106, F.A.C., to allow sources to combine public notice for construction and operation permits, and clarify that if these public notices are combined, sources must comply with the requirements for both notices, and to make other non-substantive clarifying changes.

    19 In a supplemental letter dated June 28, 2017, Florida also withdrew from the 1999 and 2013 SIP submissions the addition of 62-210.350(1)(c) state effective February 11, 1999. Florida's June 28, 2017, letter is included in the docket for this action.

    EPA proposes to approve portions of the revisions provided in Florida's 2013 SIP submission to Rule 62-210.350, F.A.C. (with state effective dates of November 13, 1997, February 11, 1999, October 12, 2008) with the exception of three F.A.C. rule subsections: 62-210.350(4)(a)2, 62-210.350(4)(b), and the withdrawn revision at 62-210.350(1)(c). These changes are intended to clarify, organize, and streamline Florida's permit regulations. Moreover, these changes are not inconsistent with federal law, and will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment of the NAAQS, reasonable further progress, or any other requirement of the CAA.

    4. Rule 62-296.100, F.A.C., “Purpose and Scope”

    In its July 1, 2011 submission, FDEP submitted an amendment to Rule 62-296.100, F.A.C., which was state-effective October 6, 2008. The amendment separated the rule language into four subsections for improved readability. The amendment also added language to clarify that a facility or emissions unit subject to any new source performance standard or national emission standard for hazardous air pollutants adopted by reference at Rule 62-204.800, F.A.C., must also comply with any emission limitations that may apply in Chapter 62-296, F.A.C. EPA proposes to approve these non-substantive changes to Rule 62-296.100, F.A.C., provided in Florida's 2011 SIP submission.

    5. Rule 62-296.405, F.A.C., “Fossil Fuel Steam Generators With More Than 250 Million Btu Per Hour Heat Input”

    In its 1999 SIP submission, FDEP submitted changes to Rule 62-296.405, F.A.C., with a state effective date of March 2, 1999, which clarified the test method procedure for visible emissions that must be used in lieu of FDEP's Method 9 testing incorporated in Chapter 62-297, F.A.C. In addition, the submission clarifies which sources may use fuel sampling and analysis as an alternative test method for sulfur dioxide emissions instead of EPA Methods 6, 6A, 6B or 6C. The revisions also provide the procedures to obtain approval from the State for this alternative test method. The amendments also clarify other wording in a few parts of this rule section. EPA proposes to approve the changes provided in Florida's 1999 SIP submission to Rule 62-296.405, F.A.C. on the basis that these changes are intended to further clarify, organize, and streamline Florida's permit regulations. Moreover, these changes are not inconsistent with federal law, and will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment of the NAAQS, reasonable further progress, or any other requirement of the CAA.

    6. Rule 62-296.406, F.A.C., “Fossil Fuel Steam Generators with Less Than 250 Million Btu per Hour Heat Input, New and Existing Emissions Units”

    In its 1999 SIP submission, FDEP submitted revisions to Rule 62-296.406, F.A.C., with a state effective date of March 2, 1999, to add language to clarify that all emissions standards for new and existing small fossil fuel steam generators do not apply to units that are determined to be insignificant under Florida's title V regulations at 62-213.300(2)(a)1., F.A.C., and 62-213.430(6)(b), F.A.C.20 As relevant here, a generator is considered insignificant if two requirements are satisfied: First, the emissions unit will neither emit nor have the potential to emit five tons per year or more of particulate matter or sulfur dioxide; and second, the emissions unit will not cause the facility as a whole to emit nor have the potential to emit 100 tons per year or more of either of those pollutants. EPA proposes to approve the revisions provided in Florida's 1999 SIP submission to Rule 62-296.406, F.A.C. on the basis that these changes are intended to further clarify, organize, and streamline Florida's permit regulations, are not inconsistent with federal law, and will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment of the NAAQS, reasonable further progress, or any other requirement of the CAA.

    20 EPA approved Florida's title V permit program on October 1, 2001. See 66 FR 49837.

    7. Rule 62-296.412, F.A.C., “Dry Cleaning Facilities”

    In its 2011 submission, FDEP submitted amendments to Rule 62-296.412, F.A.C., “Dry Cleaning Facilities,” which became state effective March 11, 2010. The amendments delete a reference to ozone nonattainment areas because Florida currently has no ozone nonattainment areas. Moreover, without this change, the rule would immediately apply in newly designated ozone nonattainment areas, giving facilities no lead time to achieve compliance. If an area in Florida is designated nonattainment for the ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in the future, Florida would be required to submit an implementation plan to attain this NAAQS, and thus would need to address sources in the nonattainment area at that time. Also, the changes replace an incorrect reference to Chapter 62-275, F.A.C., with the correct rule reference to 62-204.340, F.A.C. EPA proposes to approve the changes provided in Florida's 2011 SIP submission to Rule 62-296.412, F.A.C., on the basis that these changes are intended to correct a reference in this rule, to further clarify, organize, and streamline Florida's permit regulations. Moreover, these changes are not inconsistent with federal law, and will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment of the NAAQS, reasonable further progress, or any other requirement of the CAA.

    8. Rule 62-296.414, F.A.C., “Concrete Batching Plants”

    In its 2011 SIP submission, FDEP submitted two sets of amendments to Rule 62-296.414, F.A.C., “Concrete Batching Plants,” with state effective dates of November 13, 1997, and January 10, 2007.21 These amendments clarify portions of this rule section related to rule applicability and test method references; specify the precautions that must be taken to control unconfined emissions from concrete batching facilities; identify conditions under which visible emissions testing must be conducted; and, clarify the visible emissions testing schedule for concrete batching plants based on whether the unit is operating under the authority of an air general permit or a standard air construction or air operation permit. EPA proposes to approve the changes provided in Florida's 2011 SIP submission to Rule 62-296.414, F.A.C. on the basis that these changes are intended to further clarify, organize, and streamline Florida's permit regulations. Moreover, these changes are not inconsistent with federal law, and will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment of the NAAQS, reasonable further progress, or any other requirement of the CAA.

    21 Florida withdrew its request to act on amendments to this rule originally submitted in its 1999 submission because the State re-submitted this rule in its 2011 submission.

    9. Rule 62-296.418, F.A.C., “Bulk Gasoline Plants”

    In its 2011 SIP submission, FDEP submitted amendments to Rule 62-296.418, F.A.C., “Bulk Gasoline Plants,” which became state effective March 11, 2010. The change deletes a reference to ozone nonattainment areas because Florida currently has no ozone nonattainment areas. Moreover, without this change, the rule would immediately apply in newly designated ozone nonattainment areas, giving facilities no lead time to achieve compliance. If an area in Florida is designated nonattainment for the ozone NAAQS in the future, Florida would be required to submit a plan to attain this NAAQS, and thus would need to address sources in the nonattainment area at that time. EPA proposes to approve the revisions provided in Florida's 2011 SIP submission to Rule 62-296.418, F.A.C. on the basis that these changes are intended to further clarify, organize, and streamline Florida's permit regulations. Moreover, these changes are not inconsistent with federal law, and will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment of the NAAQS, reasonable further progress, or any other requirement of the CAA.

    10. Rule 62-296.500, F.A.C., “Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)—Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) Emitting Facilities”

    In its 2011 SIP submission, FDEP submitted one amendment to Rule 62-296.500, F.A.C., “Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)—Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) Emitting Facilities,” which became state effective March 11, 2010. The change deletes reference to ozone nonattainment areas because Florida currently has no ozone nonattainment areas. Moreover, without this change, the rule would immediately apply in newly designated ozone nonattainment areas, giving facilities no lead time to achieve compliance. If an area in Florida is designated nonattainment for the ozone NAAQS in the future, Florida would be required to submit a plan to attain this NAAQS and thus would need to address sources in the nonattainment area at that time. Also, the amendment clarifies that references to air quality maintenance areas mean those areas defined at Rule 62-204.340, F.A.C. EPA proposes to approve the revisions provided in Florida's 2011 SIP submission to Rule 62-296.500, F.A.C.

    11. Rule 62-296.508, F.A.C., “Petroleum Liquid Storage”

    In its 2011 submission, FDEP submitted one amendment to Rule 62-296.508, F.A.C., “Petroleum Liquid Storage,” which became state effective October 6, 2008. The change removes an erroneous reference to EPA Method 21. EPA proposes to approve the change provided in Florida's 2011 SIP submission to Rule 62-296.508, F.A.C.

    12. Rule 62-297.310, F.A.C., “General Emissions Test Requirements”

    In its 1999 SIP submission, FDEP submitted revisions to Rule 62-297.310, F.A.C., “General Compliance Test Requirements,” which became state effective March 2, 1999. These changes include minor clarifications to wording in the rule and identify for which types of emissions units an annual compliance test for visible emissions is not required. In its 2017 SIP submission, FDEP made further revisions to Rule 62-297.310, F.A.C., (which became state effective March 9, 2015) and changed the title to “General Emissions Test Requirements.” The changes in the 2017 submission include: Modification of the emissions test procedures; clarification of the requirements for emissions tests and terminology used in the regulation; reduction in the number of annual emissions tests required for emissions units that operate infrequently or are temporarily shut down; and elimination of obsolete and duplicative language. The revision also creates an exemption from annual compliance test requirements for any unit determined to be insignificant under Florida's title V regulations at 62-213.300(2)(a)1., F.A.C., and 62-213.430(6)(b), F.A.C.22 EPA proposes to approve the revisions provided in Florida's June 23, 1999, and February 1, 2017, SIP submissions to Rule 62-297.310, F.A.C.

    22 EPA approved Florida's title V permit program on October 1, 2001. See 66 FR 49837.

    13. Rule 62-297.450, F.A.C., “EPA VOC Capture Efficiency Test Procedures”

    In its 1999 SIP submission, FDEP submitted revisions to Rule 62-297.450, F.A.C., “EPA VOC Capture Efficiency Test Procedures,” which became state effective March 2, 1999. These changes incorporate EPA Method 204 and EPA's capture efficiency test procedures. EPA proposes to approve the changes provided in Florida's 1999 SIP submission to Rule 62-297.450, F.A.C. on the basis that these changes are consistent with EPA's VOC capture efficiency test procedure guidelines.23

    23 EPA document GD-035, “Guidelines for Determining Capture Efficiency,” dated January 9, 1995, is available at: https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/emc/guidlnd/gd-035.pdf.

    B. Rule Proposed for Removal From the Florida SIP 1. Rule 62-210.920, F.A.C., “Air General Permit Forms”

    In its 2013 submission, FDEP requested that Rule 62-210.920, F.A.C., “Air General Permit Forms,” be removed from the SIP. This rule section contained Florida's air general permit registration forms, which the State has replaced with an online registration system. The State repealed this rule section with a state effective date of June 29, 2011. EPA proposes to approve removal of Rule 62-210.920, F.A.C., “Air General Permit Forms” from the Florida SIP because this rule section imposes no requirements beyond those requirements already found in Rule 62-210.310, F.A.C.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference changes to: Rule 62-210.200, F.A.C., “Definitions,” effective March 28, 2012; Rule 62-210.310, F.A.C., “Air General Permits,” effective June 29, 2011; Rule 62-210.350, F.A.C., “Public Notice and Comment,” effective October 12, 2008; Rule 62-296.100, F.A.C., “Purpose and Scope,” effective October 6, 2008; Rule 62-296.405, F.A.C., “Fossil Fuel Steam Generators with More Than 250 Million Btu Per Hour Heat Input,” effective March 2, 1999; Rule 62-296.406, F.A.C., “Fossil Fuel Steam Generators with Less Than 250 Million Btu per Hour Heat Input, New and Existing Emissions Units,” effective March 2, 1999; Rule 62-296.412, F.A.C., “Dry Cleaning Facilities,” effective March 11, 2010; Rule 62-296.414, F.A.C., “Concrete Batching Plants,” effective January 10, 2007; Rule 62-296.418, F.A.C., “Bulk Gasoline Plants,” effective March 11, 2010; Rule 62-296.500, F.A.C., “Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)—Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) Emitting Facilities,” effective March 11, 2010; Rule 62-296.508, F.A.C., “Petroleum Liquid Storage,” effective October 6, 2008; Rule 62-297.310, F.A.C., “General Emissions Test Requirements,” effective March 9, 2015; and Rule 62-297.450, F.A.C., “EPA VOC Capture Efficiency Test Procedures,” effective March 2, 1999. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information).

    V. What action is EPA proposing to take?

    EPA is proposing to approve portions of Florida's five SIP revisions submitted by the State on June 23, 1999, July 1, 2011, December 12, 2011, February 27, 2013, and February 1, 2017, as meeting the applicable requirements of the CAA and EPA's requirements for permitting air emission sources.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Act. Accordingly, this proposed 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 proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 28, 2017. V. Anne Heard Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16815 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0079; FRL-9965-81-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Florida; Interstate Transport (Prongs 1 and 2) for the 2010 1-Hour NO2 Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a revision to the Florida State Implementation Plan (SIP), submitted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), on February 3, 2017, addressing the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) interstate transport (prongs 1 and 2) infrastructure SIP requirements for the 2010 1-hour Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, commonly referred to as an “infrastructure SIP.” Specifically, EPA is proposing to approve Florida's February 3, 2017, SIP submission addressing prongs 1 and 2, to ensure that air emissions in the State do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS in any other state.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0079 at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andres Febres of the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Febres can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-8966 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    By statute, SIPs meeting the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA are to be submitted by states within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the new or revised NAAQS. EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) require states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements, and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the newly established or revised NAAQS. More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for infrastructure SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for the infrastructure SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. The contents of an infrastructure SIP submission may vary depending upon the data and analytical tools available to the state, as well as the provisions already contained in the state's implementation plan at the time in which the state develops and submits the submission for a new or revised NAAQS.

    Section 110(a)(2)(D) has two components: 110(a)(2)(D)(i) and 110(a)(2)(D)(ii). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) includes four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (prong 1) and from interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (prong 2). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (prong 3) and from interfering with measures to protect visibility in another state (prong 4). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement.

    Through this proposed action, EPA is proposing to approve Florida's February 3, 2017, SIP submission addressing prong 1 and prong 2 requirements for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. The other applicable infrastructure SIP requirements for Florida for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS have been addressed in a separate rulemaking or will be addressed separately. On March 18, 2015, EPA approved the portions of Florida's infrastructure SIP regarding the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permitting requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. See 80 FR 14019. On November 23, 2016, EPA approved the portions of Florida's infrastructure SIP regarding sections 110(a)(2)(A), prong 4 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii), sections 110(a)(2)(E)-(H), and sections 110(a)(2)(K)-(M). See 81 FR 84479. The portion of Florida's infrastructure SIP related to the ambient air quality monitoring and data system requirements of section 110(a)(2)(B) will be acted on in a separate action. A brief background regarding the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS is provided later in this preamble.

    On January 22, 2010, EPA established a new 1-hour primary NAAQS for NO2 at a level of 100 parts per billion, based on a 3-year average of the 98th percentile of the yearly distribution of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. See 75 FR 6474 (February 9, 2010). This NAAQS is designed to protect against exposure to the entire group of nitrogen oxides (NOX). NO2 is the component of greatest concern and is used as the indicator for the larger group of NOX. Emissions that lead to the formation of NO2 generally also lead to the formation of other NOX. Therefore, control measures that reduce NO2 can generally be expected to reduce population exposures to all gaseous NOX which may have the co-benefit of reducing the formation of ozone and fine particles both of which pose significant public health threats.

    States were required to submit infrastructure SIP submissions for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS to EPA no later than January 22, 2013. For comprehensive information on 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS, please refer to the Federal Register at 75 FR 6474, February 9, 2010.

    II. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “each such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of section 110(a)(1) and (2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of Title I of the CAA, “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of section 169A of the CAA, and nonattainment new source review permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, Title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.1 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

    1 For example: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; Section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of Title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of Title I of the CAA, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.2 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.3 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    2See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOX SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162 at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    3 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within section 110(a)(1) and (2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.4 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.5

    4See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” 78 FR 4337 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    5 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within section 110(a)(1) and (2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants, because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.6

    6 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2); thus, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program required in part C of Title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.7 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).8 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.9 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). EPA interprets section 110(a)(1) and (2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

    7 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    8 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    9 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d 7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations.

    As an example, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) is a required element of section 110(a)(2) for infrastructure SIP submissions. Under this element, a state must meet the substantive requirements of section 128, which pertain to state boards that approve permits or enforcement orders and heads of executive agencies with similar powers. Thus, EPA reviews infrastructure SIP submissions to ensure that the state's implementation plan appropriately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) and section 128. The 2013 Guidance explains EPA's interpretation that there may be a variety of ways by which states can appropriately address these substantive statutory requirements, depending on the structure of an individual state's permitting or enforcement program (e.g., whether permits and enforcement orders are approved by a multi-member board or by a head of an executive agency). However they are addressed by the state, the substantive requirements of Section 128 are necessarily included in EPA's evaluation of infrastructure SIP submissions because section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) explicitly requires that the state satisfy the provisions of section 128.

    As another example, EPA's review of infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to the PSD program requirements in section 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) focuses upon the structural PSD program requirements contained in part C and EPA's PSD regulations. Structural PSD program requirements include provisions necessary for the PSD program to address all regulated sources and new source review (NSR) pollutants, including Greenhouse Gases. By contrast, structural PSD program requirements do not include provisions that are not required under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 but are merely available as an option for the state, such as the option to provide grandfathering of complete permit applications with respect to the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. Accordingly, the latter optional provisions are types of provisions EPA considers irrelevant in the context of an infrastructure SIP action.

    For other section 110(a)(2) elements, however, EPA's review of a state's infrastructure SIP submission focuses on assuring that the state's SIP meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) includes, inter alia, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor NSR program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction (SSM) that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions; 10 (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (NSR Reform). Thus, EPA believes that it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.11 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

    10 Subsequent to issuing the 2013 Guidance, EPA's interpretation of the CAA with respect to the approvability of affirmative defense provisions in SIPs has changed. See “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls To Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction,” 80 FR 33839 (June 12, 2015). As a result, EPA's 2013 Guidance (p. 21 & n.30) no longer represents the EPA's view concerning the validity of affirmative defense provisions, in light of the requirements of section 113 and section 304.

    11 By contrast, EPA notes that if a state were to include a new provision in an infrastructure SIP submission that contained a legal deficiency, such as a new exemption or affirmative defense for excess emissions during SSM events, then EPA would need to evaluate that provision for compliance against the rubric of applicable CAA requirements in the context of the action on the infrastructure SIP.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in section 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of section 110(a)(1) and (2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's SIP is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.12 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.13 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.14

    12 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    13 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under section 110(k)(6) of the CAA to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062, November 16, 2004 (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    14See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (January 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    III. What are the Prong 1 and Prong 2 requirements?

    For each new NAAQS, section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA requires each state to submit a SIP revision that contains adequate provisions prohibiting emissions activity in the state from contributing significantly to nonattainment, or interfering with maintenance, of the NAAQS in any downwind state. EPA sometimes refers to these requirements as prong 1 (significant contribution to nonattainment) and prong 2 (interference with maintenance), or conjointly as the “good neighbor” provision of the CAA.

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Florida addressed Prongs 1 and 2?

    In Florida's February 3, 2017, SIP revision, the State concluded that its SIP adequately addresses Prongs 1 and 2 with respect to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. Florida provides the following reasons for its determination: (1) The SIP contains state regulations that directly or indirectly control NOX emissions; (2) all areas in the United States are designated as unclassifiable/attainment for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS; (3) maximum 1-hour NO2 concentrations in states near Florida (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina) are below the 2010 standard; (4) monitored design values for NO2 in the State are well below the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS and are trending downward; and (5) total NOX emissions in the State are also trending downward. EPA preliminarily agrees with the State's conclusion based on the rationale discussed later in this preamble.

    First, Florida notes that SIP-approved portions of the following state rules directly or indirectly control NOX emissions: Chapter 62-204, F.A.C. (Air Pollution Control—General Provisions); Chapter 62-210, F.A.C. (Stationary Sources—General Requirements); Chapter 62-212, F.A.C. (Stationary Sources—Preconstruction Review); Chapter 62-296, F.A.C. (Stationary Sources—Emission Standards); and Chapter 62-297, F.A.C. (Stationary Sources—Emissions Monitoring). The SIP-approved portions of Chapters 62-204, 62-210, and 62-212, F.A.C. require any new major source or major modification to go through PSD or NNSR permitting in order to demonstrate that emissions will not cause or contribute to a violation of any NAAQS or PSD increment in Florida or any other state and provide an analysis of additional impacts of the source or modification. All new or modified major sources of NOX emissions in attainment or unclassifiable areas will apply Best Available Control Technology (BACT) to control NOX emissions. Chapter 62-296 sets emission limiting standards and compliance requirements for stationary sources, including Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements.

    Second, there are no designated nonattainment areas for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. On February 17, 2012 (77 FR 9532), EPA designated the entire country as “unclassifiable/attainment” for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS, stating that “available information does not indicate that the air quality in these areas exceeds the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.”

    Third, maximum 1-hour NO2 concentrations in surrounding states (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina) are approximately one half of the 2010 standard.15

    15 EPA verified the design values for the surrounding states for the 2013-2015 time period. This information is available at https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values. Design values are computed and published annually by EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards and reviewed in conjunction with the EPA Regional Offices.

    Fourth, according to the 1-hour NO2 monitoring data from 2000-2015 provided in the submittal,16 the monitored design values for NO2 in the State were all well below the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS of 100 ppb during this time period and have declined by approximately 43 percent since 2000. The design values have been below 40 ppb since 2008.

    16 This information was obtained from Florida's ambient air quality monitoring network. On July 24, 2017, EPA approved the NO2 portion of Florida's latest monitoring network plan revision.

    Fifth, NOX emissions data provided in the submittal (including data from Industrial, Nonpoint, On-Road, and Non-Road Sources17 ) from 2000-2014 shows a 52 percent decrease in total NOX emissions from these combined sources (from approximately 1.2 million tons in 2000 to less than 600,000 tons in 2014).

    17 Industrial source emission data are from the Florida facility Annual Operating Report submissions; Mobile on-road source emissions are estimated from Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES2014a) model; and Nonpoint and non-road emissions data are from the EPA's National Emissions Inventory (NEI).

    For all the reasons discussed previously, EPA has preliminarily determined that Florida does not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS in any other state and that Florida's SIP includes adequate provisions to prevent emissions sources within the State from significantly contributing to nonattainment or interfering with maintenance of this standard in any other state.

    V. Proposed Action

    As described earlier, EPA is proposing to approve Florida's February 3, 2017, SIP revision addressing prongs 1 and 2 of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 26, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16819 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0364; FRL-9965-99-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; South Carolina; Cross-State Air Pollution Rule AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of a draft revision to the South Carolina State Implementation Plan (SIP) concerning the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) that was submitted by South Carolina for parallel processing on May 26, 2017. Under CSAPR, large electricity generating units (EGUs) in South Carolina are subject to Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs) requiring the units to participate in CSAPR's federal trading program for annual emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and one of CSAPR's two federal trading programs for annual emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2). This action would approve the State's regulations requiring large South Carolina EGUs to participate in new CSAPR state trading programs for annual NOX and SO2 emissions integrated with the CSAPR federal trading programs, replacing the corresponding FIP requirements. These CSAPR state trading programs are substantively identical to the CSAPR federal trading programs, with the State retaining EPA's default allowance allocation methodology and EPA remaining the implementing authority for administration of the trading program. EPA is proposing to approve the portions of the draft SIP revision concerning these CSAPR state trading programs because these portions of the draft SIP revision meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and EPA's regulations for approval of a CSAPR full SIP revision replacing the requirements of a CSAPR FIP. Under the CSAPR regulations, approval of these portions of the draft SIP revision would automatically eliminate South Carolina units' obligations to participate in CSAPR's federal trading programs for annual NOX and SO2 emissions under the corresponding CSAPR FIPs addressing interstate transport requirements for the 1997 Annual Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). Approval of these portions of the SIP revision would satisfy South Carolina's good neighbor obligation for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0364 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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. 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:

    Ashten Bailey, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Bailey can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-9164 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Summary

    EPA is proposing to approve the portions of the May 26, 2017, draft revision to the South Carolina SIP concerning CSAPR 1 trading programs for annual emissions of NOx and SO2. Large EGUs in South Carolina are subject to CSAPR FIPs that require the units to participate in the federal CSAPR NOx Annual Trading Program and the federal CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program. CSAPR also provides a process for the submission and approval of SIP revisions to replace the requirements of CSAPR FIPs with SIP requirements under which a state's units participate in CSAPR state trading programs that are integrated with and, with certain permissible exceptions, substantively identical to the CSAPR federal trading programs.

    1 Federal Implementation Plans; Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone and Correction of SIP Approvals, 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011) (codified as amended at 40 CFR 52.38 and 52.39 and subparts AAAAA through EEEEE of 40 CFR part 97).

    The portions of the draft SIP revision proposed for approval would incorporate into South Carolina's SIP state trading program regulations for annual NOX and SO2 emissions that would replace EPA's federal trading program regulations for those emissions for South Carolina units for control periods in 2017 and later years.2 EPA is proposing to approve these portions of the draft SIP revision because they meet the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations for approval of a CSAPR full SIP revision replacing a federal trading program with a state trading program that is integrated with and substantively identical to the federal trading program. Under the CSAPR regulations, approval of these portions of the draft SIP revision would automatically eliminate the obligations of large EGUs in South Carolina (but not any units in Indian country within South Carolina's borders) to participate in CSAPR's federal trading programs for annual NOX and SO2 emissions under the corresponding CSAPR FIPs. EPA proposes to find that approval of these portions of the draft SIP revision would satisfy South Carolina's obligation pursuant to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) to prohibit emissions which will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

    2 Under South Carolina's draft regulations, the State will retain EPA's default allowance allocation methodology and EPA will remain the implementing authority for administration of the trading program. See sections IV and V.B.2, below.

    The Phase 2 SO2 budget established for South Carolina in the CSAPR rulemaking has been remanded to EPA for reconsideration.3 If EPA finalizes approval of the portions of the draft SIP revision as proposed, South Carolina will have fulfilled its obligations to provide a SIP that address the interstate transport provisions of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Thus, EPA would no longer be under an obligation to (nor would EPA have the authority to) address those interstate transport requirements through implementation of a FIP, and approval of these portions of the draft SIP revision would eliminate South Carolina units' obligations to participate in the federal CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program and the federal CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program. Elimination of South Carolina units' obligations to participate in the federal trading programs would include elimination of the federally-established Phase 2 budgets capping allocations of CSAPR NOX Annual allowances and CSAPR SO2 Group 2 allowances to South Carolina units under those federal trading programs. As approval of these portions of the draft SIP revision would eliminate South Carolina's remanded federally-established Phase 2 SO2 budget and eliminate EPA's authority to subject units in South Carolina to a FIP, it is EPA's opinion that finalization of approval of this SIP action would address the judicial remand of South Carolina's federally-established Phase 2 SO2 budget.4

    3EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA (EME Homer City II), 795 F.3d 118, 138 (D.C. Cir. 2015).

    4 Although the court in EME Homer City II remanded South Carolina's Phase 2 SO2 budget because it determined that the budget may be too stringent, nothing in the court's decision affects South Carolina's authority to seek incorporation into its SIP of a state-established budget as stringent as the remanded federally-established budget or limits EPA's authority to approve such a SIP revision. See 42 U.S.C. 7416, 7410(k)(3).

    EPA is proposing to approve the draft SIP revision through parallel processing. Should South Carolina not submit a final SIP revision to EPA and/or should EPA not be able to finalize a full approval action addressing interstate transport provisions of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, EPA will undertake further reconsideration of the FIP pursuant to the judicial remand.

    Section II of this document describes the requirements and steps for parallel processing. Section III summarizes the relevant aspects of the CSAPR federal trading programs and FIPs as well as the range of opportunities states have to submit SIP revisions to modify or replace the FIP requirements while continuing to rely on CSAPR's trading programs to address the states' obligations to mitigate interstate air pollution. Section IV describes the specific conditions for approval of such SIP revisions. Section V contains EPA's analysis of South Carolina's SIP draft submittal, and Section VI sets forth EPA's proposed action on the draft submittal. Section VII addresses required statutory and Executive Order reviews.

    II. What is “parallel processing?”

    Parallel processing refers to a concurrent state and federal proposed rulemaking action. Generally, the state submits a copy of the proposed regulation or other revisions to EPA before conducting its public hearing. EPA reviews this proposed state action, and prepares a notice of proposed rulemaking. EPA's notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register during the same timeframe that the state is holding its public hearing. The state and EPA then provide for concurrent public comment periods on both the state action and federal action. If the state's formal SIP revision is changed from the draft SIP revision, EPA will evaluate those changes and may publish another notice of proposed rulemaking. A final rulemaking action by EPA will occur only after the SIP revision has been adopted by South Carolina and submitted formally to EPA for incorporation into the SIP.

    On May 26, 2017, the State of South Carolina, through South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), submitted a request for parallel processing for a draft SIP revision related to the interstate transport provisions of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. This revision was noticed for public comment by the State on May 26, 2017, and is not yet state-effective. Through this proposed rulemaking, EPA is proposing parallel approval of this draft SIP revision.

    Once the May 26, 2017, draft revision is state-effective, South Carolina will need to provide EPA with a formal SIP revision. After South Carolina submits the formal SIP revision (including a response to any public comments raised during the State's public participation process), EPA will evaluate the revision. If the formal SIP revision is changed from the draft SIP revision, EPA will evaluate those changes for significance. If any such changes are found by EPA to be significant, then the Agency intends to re-propose the action based upon the revised submission.

    While EPA may not be able to have a concurrent public comment process with the State, the SCDHEC-requested parallel processing allows EPA to begin to take action on the State's draft SIP revision in advance of the submission of the formal SIP revision. As stated above, the final rulemaking action by EPA will occur only after the SIP revision has been: (1) Adopted by South Carolina, (2) submitted formally to EPA for incorporation into the SIP, and (3) evaluated for changes.

    III. Background on CSAPR and CSAPR-Related SIP Revisions

    EPA issued CSAPR in July 2011 to address the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) concerning interstate transport of air pollution. As amended (including the 2016 CSAPR Update 5 ), CSAPR requires 27 Eastern states to limit their statewide emissions of SO2 and/or NOX in order to mitigate transported air pollution unlawfully impacting other states' ability to attain or maintain four NAAQS: The 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The CSAPR emissions limitations are defined in terms of maximum statewide “budgets” for emissions of annual SO2, annual NOX, and/or ozone season NOX by each covered state's large EGUs. The CSAPR state budgets are implemented in two phases of generally increasing stringency, with the Phase 1 budgets applying to emissions in 2015 and 2016 and the Phase 2 (and CSAPR Update) budgets applying to emissions in 2017 and later years. As a mechanism for achieving compliance with the emissions limitations, CSAPR establishes five federal emissions trading programs: A program for annual NOX emissions, two geographically separate programs for annual SO2 emissions, and two geographically separate programs for ozone-season NOX emissions. CSAPR also establishes FIP requirements applicable to the large EGUs in each covered state. Currently, the CSAPR FIP provisions require each state's units to participate in up to three of the five CSAPR trading programs.

    5 81 FR 74504 (October 26, 2016). The CSAPR Update was promulgated to address interstate pollution with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS and to address a judicial remand of certain original CSAPR ozone season NOX budgets promulgated with respect to the 1997 ozone NAAQS. 81 FR at 74505. The CSAPR Update established new emission reduction requirements addressing the more recent NAAQS and coordinated them with the remaining emission reduction requirements addressing the older NAAQS, so that starting in 2017, CSAPR includes two geographically separate trading programs for ozone season NOX emissions covering EGUs in a total of 23 states. See 40 CFR 52.38(b)(1)-(2).

    CSAPR includes provisions under which states may submit and EPA will approve SIP revisions to modify or replace the CSAPR FIP requirements while allowing states to continue to meet their transport-related obligations using either CSAPR's federal emissions trading programs or state emissions trading programs integrated with the federal programs.6 Through such a SIP revision, a state may replace EPA's default provisions for allocating emission allowances among the state's units, employing any state-selected methodology to allocate or auction the allowances, subject to timing conditions and limits on overall allowance quantities. In the case of CSAPR's federal trading programs for ozone season NOX emissions (or an integrated state trading program), a state may also expand trading program applicability to include certain smaller electricity generating units.7 If a state wants to replace CSAPR FIP requirements with SIP requirements under which the state's units participate in a state trading program that is integrated with and identical to the federal trading program even as to the allocation and applicability provisions, the state may submit a SIP revision for that purpose as well. However, no emissions budget increases or other substantive changes to the trading program provisions are allowed. A state whose units are subject to multiple CSAPR FIPs and federal trading programs may submit SIP revisions to modify or replace either some or all of those FIP requirements.

    6See 40 CFR 52.38, 52.39. States also retain the ability to submit SIP revisions to meet their transport-related obligations using mechanisms other than the CSAPR federal trading programs or integrated state trading programs.

    7 States covered by both the CSAPR Update and the NOX SIP Call have the additional option to expand applicability under the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program to include non-electric generating units that would have participated in the former NOX Budget Trading Program.

    States can submit two basic forms of CSAPR-related SIP revisions effective for emissions control periods in 2017 or later years.8 Specific conditions for approval of each form of SIP revision are set forth in the CSAPR regulations, as described in section IV below. Under the first alternative—an “abbreviated” SIP revision—a state may submit a SIP revision that upon approval replaces the default allowance allocation and/or applicability provisions of a CSAPR federal trading program for the state.9 Approval of an abbreviated SIP revision leaves the corresponding CSAPR FIP and all other provisions of the relevant federal trading program in place for the state's units.

    8 CSAPR also provides for a third, more streamlined form of SIP revision that is effective only for control periods in 2016 and is not relevant here. See 40 CFR 52.38(a)(3), (b)(3), (b)(7); 52.39(d), (g).

    9 40 CFR 52.38(a)(4), (b)(4), (b)(8); 52.39(e), (h).

    Under the second alternative—a “full” SIP revision—a state may submit a SIP revision that upon approval replaces a CSAPR federal trading program for the state with a state trading program integrated with the federal trading program, so long as the state trading program is substantively identical to the federal trading program or does not substantively differ from the federal trading program except as discussed above with regard to the allowance allocation and/or applicability provisions.10 For purposes of a full SIP revision, a state may either adopt state rules with complete trading program language, incorporate the federal trading program language into its state rules by reference (with appropriate conforming changes), or employ a combination of these approaches.

    10 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5), (b)(5), (b)(9); 52.39(f), (i).

    The CSAPR regulations identify several important consequences and limitations associated with approval of a full SIP revision. First, upon EPA's approval of a full SIP revision as correcting the deficiency in the state's implementation plan that was the basis for a particular set of CSAPR FIP requirements, the obligation to participate in the corresponding CSAPR federal trading program is automatically eliminated for units subject to the state's jurisdiction without the need for a separate EPA withdrawal action, so long as EPA's approval of the SIP is full and unconditional.11 Second, approval of a full SIP revision does not terminate the obligation to participate in the corresponding CSAPR federal trading program for any units located in any Indian country within the borders of the state, and if and when a unit is located in Indian country within a state's borders, EPA may modify the SIP approval to exclude from the SIP, and include in the surviving CSAPR FIP instead, certain trading program provisions that apply jointly to units in the state and to units in Indian country within the state's borders.12 Finally, if at the time a full SIP revision is approved EPA has already started recording allocations of allowances for a given control period to a state's units, the federal trading program provisions authorizing EPA to complete the process of allocating and recording allowances for that control period to those units will continue to apply, unless EPA's approval of the SIP revision provides otherwise.13

    11 40 CFR 52.38(a)(6), (b)(10)(i); 52.39(j).

    12 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5)(iv)-(v), (a)(6), (b)(5)(v)-(vi), (b)(9)(vi)-(vii), (b)(10)(i); 52.39(f)(4)-(5), (i)(4)-(5), (j).

    13 40 CFR 52.38(a)(7), (b)(11)(i); 52.39(k).

    On July 28, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued a decision on a number of petitions related to CSAPR, which found that EPA required more emissions reductions than may have been necessary to address the downwind air quality problems to which some states contribute. The court remanded several CSAPR emission budgets to EPA for reconsideration, including the Phase 2 SO2 trading budget for South Carolina.14 However, South Carolina has proposed to voluntarily adopt into their SIP a CSAPR state trading program that is integrated with the federal trading program and includes a state-established SO2 budget equal to the state's remanded Phase 2 SO2 emission budget.15 EPA notes that nothing in the court's decision affects South Carolina's authority to seek incorporation into its SIP of a state-established budget as stringent as the remanded federally-established budget or limits EPA's authority to approve such a SIP revision. The CSAPR regulations provide each covered state with the option to meet its transport obligations through SIP revisions replacing the federal trading programs and requiring the state's EGUs to participate in integrated CSAPR state trading programs that apply emissions budgets of the same or greater stringency. Under the CSAPR regulations, when such a SIP revision is approved, the corresponding FIP provisions are automatically withdrawn.

    14EME Homer City II, 795 F.3d 118; See also EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 696 F.3d 7 (D.C. Cir. 2012), EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., 134 S. Ct. 1584 (2014). The D.C. Circuit also remanded SO2 budgets for Alabama, Georgia, and Texas. The court also remanded Phase 2 ozone-season NOX budgets for eleven states, including South Carolina.

    15See memo entitled “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Plan for Responding to the Remand of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Phase 2 SO2 Budgets for Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas” from Janet G. McCabe, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, to EPA Regional Air Division Directors (June 27, 2016), available at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0598-0003. The memo directs the Regional Air Division Directors to share the memo with state officials. EPA also communicated orally with officials in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas in advance of the memo.

    IV. Conditions for Approval of CSAPR-Related SIP Revisions

    Each CSAPR-related abbreviated or full SIP revision must meet the following general submittal conditions:

    Timeliness and completeness of SIP submittal. The SIP submittal completeness criteria in section 2.1 of appendix V to 40 CFR part 51 apply. In addition, if a state wants to replace the default allowance allocation or applicability provisions of a CSAPR federal trading program, the complete SIP revision must be submitted to EPA by December 1 of the year before the deadlines described below for submitting allocation or auction amounts to EPA for the first control period for which the state wants to replace the default allocation and/or applicability provisions.16 This SIP submission deadline is inoperative in the case of a SIP revision that seeks only to replace a CSAPR FIP and federal trading program with a SIP and a substantively identical state trading program integrated with the federal trading program.

    16 40 CFR 52.38(a)(4)(ii), (a)(5)(vi), (b)(4)(iii), (b)(5)(vii), (b)(8)(iv), (b)(9)(viii); 52.39(e)(2), (f)(6), (h)(2), (i)(6).

    In addition to the general submittal conditions, a CSAPR-related abbreviated or full SIP seeking to address the allocation or auction of emission allowances must meet the following further conditions:

    Methodology covering all allowances potentially requiring allocation. For each federal trading program addressed by a SIP revision, the SIP revision's allowance allocation or auction methodology must replace both the federal program's default allocations to existing units 17 at 40 CFR 97.411(a), 97.511(a), 97.611(a), 97.711(a), or 97.811(a) as applicable, and the federal trading program's provisions for allocating allowances from the new unit set-aside (NUSA) for the state at 40 CFR 97.411(b)(1) and 97.412(a), 97.511(b)(1) and 97.512(a), 97.611(b)(1) and 97.612(a), 97.711(b)(1) and 97.712(a), or 97.811(b)(1) and 97.812(a), as applicable.18 In the case of a state with Indian country within its borders, while the SIP revision may neither alter nor assume the federal program's provisions for administering the Indian country NUSA for the state, the SIP revision must include procedures addressing the disposition of any otherwise unallocated allowances from an Indian country NUSA that may be made available for allocation by the state after EPA has carried out the Indian country NUSA allocation procedures.19

    17 In the context of the approval conditions for CSAPR-related SIP revisions, an “existing unit” is a unit for which EPA has determined default allowance allocations (which could be allocations of zero allowances) in the rulemakings establishing and amending CSAPR. A document describing EPA's default allocations to existing units is available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-05/documents/csapr_allowance_allocations_final_rule_tsd.pdf.

    18 40 CFR 52.38(a)(4)(i), (a)(5)(i), (b)(4)(ii), (b)(5)(ii), (b)(8)(iii), (b)(9)(iii); 52.39(e)(1), (f)(1), (h)(1), (i)(1).

    19See 40 CFR 97.412(b)(10)(ii), 97.512(b)(10)(ii), 97.612(b)(10)(ii), 97.712(b)(10)(ii), 97.812(b)(10)(ii).

    Assurance that total allocations will not exceed the state budget. For each federal trading program addressed by a SIP revision, the total amount of allowances auctioned or allocated for each control period under the SIP revision (prior to the addition by EPA of any unallocated allowances from any Indian country NUSA for the state) generally may not exceed the state's emissions budget for the control period less the sum of the amount of any Indian country NUSA for the state for the control period and any allowances already allocated to the state's units for the control period and recorded by EPA.20 Under its SIP revision, a state is free to not allocate allowances to some or all potentially affected units, to allocate or auction allowances to entities other than potentially affected units, or to allocate or auction fewer than the maximum permissible quantity of allowances and retire the remainder. Under the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program only, additional allowances may be allocated if the state elects to expand applicability to non-electric generating units that would have been subject to the NOX Budget Trading Program established for compliance with the NOX SIP Call.21

    20 40 CFR 52.38(a)(4)(i)(A), (a)(5)(i)(A), (b)(4)(ii)(A), (b)(5)(ii)(A), (b)(8)(iii)(A), (b)(9)(iii)(A); 52.39(e)(1)(i), (f)(1)(i), (h)(1)(i), (i)(1)(i).

    21 40 CFR 52.38(b)(8)(iii)(A), (b)(9)(iii)(A).

    Timely submission of state-determined allocations to EPA. The SIP revision must require the state to submit to EPA the amounts of any allowances allocated or auctioned to each unit for each control period (other than allowances initially set aside in the state's allocation or auction process and later allocated or auctioned to such units from the set-aside amount) by the following deadlines.22 Note that the submission deadlines differ for amounts allocated or auctioned to units considered existing units for CSAPR purposes and amounts allocated or auctioned to other units.

    22 40 CFR 52.38(a)(4)(i)(B)-(C), (a)(5)(i)(B)-(C), (b)(4)(ii)(B)-(C), (b)(5)(ii)(B)-(C), (b)(8)(iii)(B)-(C), (b)(9)(iii)(B)-(C); 52.39(e)(1)(ii)-(iii), (f)(1)(ii)-(iii), (h)(1)(ii)-(iii), (i)(1)(ii)-(iii).

    Units Year of the control period Deadline for submission to EPA of allocations or auction results CSAPR NO X Annual, CSAPR NO Ozone Season Group 1, CSAPR SO 2 Group 1, and CSAPR SO 2 Group 2 Trading Programs Existing 2017 and 2018 June 1, 2016. 2019 and 2020 June 1, 2017. 2021 and 2022 June 1, 2018. 2023 and later years June 1 of the fourth year before the year of the control period. Other All years July 1 of the year of the control period. CSAPR NO X Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program Existing 2019 and 2020 June 1, 2018. 2021 and 2022 June 1, 2019. 2023 and 2024 June 1, 2020. 2025 and later years June 1 of the fourth year before the year of the control period. Other All years July 1 of the year of the control period.

    No changes to allocations already submitted to EPA or recorded. The SIP revision must not provide for any change to the amounts of allowances allocated or auctioned to any unit after those amounts are submitted to EPA or any change to any allowance allocation determined and recorded by EPA under the federal trading program regulations.23

    23 40 CFR 52.38(a)(4)(i)(D), (a)(5)(i)(D), (b)(4)(ii)(D), (b)(5)(ii)(D), (b)(8)(iii)(D), (b)(9)(iii)(D); 52.39(e)(1)(iv), (f)(1)(iv), (h)(1)(iv), (i)(1)(iv).

    No other substantive changes to federal trading program provisions. The SIP revision may not substantively change any other trading program provisions, except in the case of a SIP revision that also expands program applicability as described below.24 Any new definitions adopted in the SIP revision (in addition to the federal trading program's definitions) may apply only for purposes of the SIP revision's allocation or auction provisions.25

    24 40 CFR 52.38(a)(4), (a)(5), (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(8), (b)(9); 52.39(e), (f), (h), (i).

    25 40 CFR 52.38(a)(4)(i), (a)(5)(ii), (b)(4)(ii), (b)(5)(iii), (b)(8)(iii), (b)(9)(iv); 52.39(e)(1), (f)(2), (h)(1), (i)(2).

    In addition to the general submittal conditions, a CSAPR-related abbreviated or full SIP revision seeking to expand applicability under the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 1 or CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Programs (or an integrated state trading program) must meet the following further conditions:

    Only electricity generating units with nameplate capacity of at least 15 MWe. The SIP revision may expand applicability only to additional fossil fuel-fired boilers or combustion turbines serving generators producing electricity for sale, and only by lowering the generator nameplate capacity threshold used to determine whether a particular boiler or combustion turbine serving a particular generator is a potentially affected unit. The nameplate capacity threshold adopted in the SIP revision may not be less than 15 MWe.26 In addition or alternatively, applicability under the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program may be expanded to non-electric generating units that would have been subject to the NOX Budget Trading Program established for compliance with the NOX SIP Call.27

    26 40 CFR 52.38(b)(4)(i), (b)(5)(i), (b)(8)(i), (b)(9)(i).

    27 40 CFR 52.38(b)(8)(ii), (b)(9)(ii).

    No other substantive changes to federal trading program provisions. The SIP revision may not substantively change any other trading program provisions, except in the case of a SIP revision that also addresses the allocation or auction of emission allowances as described above.28

    28 40 CFR 52.38(b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(8), (b)(9).

    In addition to the general submittal conditions and the other applicable conditions described above, a CSAPR-related full SIP revision must meet the following further conditions:

    Complete, substantively identical trading program provisions. The SIP revision must adopt complete state trading program regulations substantively identical to the complete federal trading program regulations at 40 CFR 97.402 through 97.435, 97.502 through 97.535, 97.602 through 97.635, 97.702 through 97.735, or 97.802 through 97.835, as applicable, except as described above in the case of a SIP revision that seeks to replace the default allowance allocation and/or applicability provisions.29

    29 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5), (b)(5), (b)(9); 52.39(f), (i).

    Only non-substantive substitutions for the term “State.” The SIP revision may substitute the name of the state for the term “State” as used in the federal trading program regulations, but only to the extent that EPA determines that the substitutions do not substantively change the trading program regulations.30

    30 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5)(iii), (b)(5)(iv), (b)(9)(v); 52.39(f)(3), (i)(3).

    Exclusion of provisions addressing units in Indian country. The SIP revision may not impose requirements on any unit in any Indian country within the state's borders and must not include the federal trading program provisions governing allocation of allowances from any Indian country NUSA for the state.31

    31 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5)(iv), (b)(5)(v), (b)(9)(vi); 52.39(f)(4), (i)(4).

    V. South Carolina's SIP Draft Submittal and EPA's Analysis A. South Carolina's Draft SIP Submittal

    In the CSAPR rulemaking, EPA determined that air pollution transported from EGUs in South Carolina would unlawfully affect other states' ability to attain or maintain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, and included South Carolina in the CSAPR ozone season NOX trading program and the annual SO2 and NOX trading programs.32 In the CSAPR Update rulemaking, EPA determined that South Carolina was no longer linked to any identified downwind nonattainment or maintenance receptors for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS or 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and removed South Carolina from the CSAPR ozone season NOX trading program beginning in 2017.33 South Carolina's units meeting the CSAPR applicability criteria are consequently currently subject to CSAPR FIPs that require participation in the CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program and the CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program.34 South Carolina's May 26, 2017, draft SIP revision incorporates into the SIP CSAPR state trading program regulations that would replace the CSAPR federal trading program regulations with regard to South Carolina units' SO2 and annual NOX emissions. The draft SIP submittal includes the addition of South Carolina Regulation 61-62.97, Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) Trading Program. This rule will contain two subparts: 61-62.97, Subpart A—South Carolina CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program, and 61-62.97 Subpart B—South Carolina CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program. In general, each subpart in South Carolina's draft CSAPR state trading program rule is designed to replace the corresponding federal trading program regulations. For example, South Carolina draft Regulation 61-62.97, Subpart A—South Carolina CSAPR NOX Annual Trading program is designed to replace subpart AAAAA of 40 CFR part 97 (i.e., 40 CFR 97.401 through 97.435).

    32 76 FR 48208, 48213 (August 8, 2011).

    33 81 FR 74504, 74524 (October 26, 2016). Removal of South Carolina from the CSAPR ozone season trading program beginning in 2017 addressed the portion of the D.C. Circuit's remand in EME Homer City II related to South Carolina's ozone season NOX budget for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Id.

    34 40 CFR 52.38(a)(2), (b)(2); 52.39(c); 52.2140(a), (b); 52.2141.

    With regard to form, some of the individual draft rules for each South Carolina CSAPR state trading program are set forth as full regulatory text—notably the rules identifying the trading budgets, NUSAs, and Indian country NUSA—but most of the draft rules incorporate the corresponding federal trading program section or sections by reference.

    With regard to substance, the draft rules for each South Carolina CSAPR state trading program differ from the corresponding CSAPR federal trading program regulations in two main ways. First, the applicability provisions in the South Carolina draft rules require participation in South Carolina CSAPR state trading programs only for units in South Carolina, not for units in any other state or in Indian country within the borders of South Carolina or any other state. Second, the South Carolina draft rules omit some federal trading program provisions not applicable to South Carolina's state trading programs, including provisions setting forth the amounts of emissions budgets, NUSAs, Indian country NUSAs, and variability limits for other states and provisions relating to EPA's administration of Indian country NUSAs.

    The South Carolina draft rules adopt the Phase 2 annual NOX and SO2 budgets found at 40 CFR 97.410(a)(18)(iv) and 97.710(a)(6)(iv), respectively. Accordingly, EPA will evaluate the approvability of the South Carolina draft SIP submission consistent with these budgets.

    At this time, EPA is proposing to take action on the portions of South Carolina's draft SIP submission designed to replace the federal CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program and the federal CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program with regard to South Carolina units.

    B. EPA's Analysis of South Carolina's Draft Submittal

    As described in section V.A above, at this time EPA is proposing to take action on the portions of South Carolina's draft SIP submittal designed to replace the federal CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program and the federal CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program for South Carolina units.35 The analysis discussed in this section addresses only the portions of South Carolina's draft SIP submittal on which EPA is taking action at this time. For simplicity, throughout this section EPA refers to the portions of the draft submittal on which EPA is proposing to take action as “the draft submittal” or “the draft SIP revision” without repeating the qualification that at this time EPA is analyzing and proposing to act on only portions of the draft SIP submittal.

    35 The other portions of the draft state submittal will be addressed in separate actions.

    1. Timeliness and Completeness of SIP Submittal

    South Carolina submitted its draft SIP revision to EPA on May 26, 2017, and EPA has determined that the submittal complies with the applicable minimum completeness criteria for parallel processing in section 2.3 of appendix V to 40 CFR part 51.36 The SIP submission deadline specified in 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5)(vi) and 52.39(i)(6) is defined with reference to certain separate CSAPR deadlines for submission of state-determined allowance allocations to EPA and is therefore inoperative in the case of a SIP revision that does not seek to replace the EPA-administered allowance allocation methodology and process set forth in the federal trading program rules. Because South Carolina is seeking to replace the federal trading program rules with substantively identical state trading program rules and is not seeking to replace the EPA-administered allowance allocation methodology and process, the SIP submission deadline does not apply.37

    36 The requirements of paragraph 2.1 must be met prior to publication of EPA's final determination of plan approvability. 40 CFR 51, App. V, 2.3.2.

    37See 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5)(vi) and 52.39(i)(6).

    2. Complete, Substantively Identical Trading Program Provisions

    As discussed above, the South Carolina draft SIP revision adopts state budgets identical to the Phase 2 budgets for South Carolina under the federal trading programs and adopts almost all of the provisions of the federal CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program and CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program, including the default allocation provisions. Under the State's draft rules, EPA would administer the programs and would retain the authority to allocate and record allowances.

    With the following exceptions, the South Carolina draft rules comprising South Carolina's CSAPR state trading program for annual NOX emissions either incorporate by reference or adopt full-text replacements for all of the provisions of 40 CFR 97.402 through 97.435, and the South Carolina draft rules comprising South Carolina's CSAPR state trading program for SO2 emissions either incorporate by reference or adopt full-text replacements for all of the provisions of 40 CFR 97.702 through 97.735.

    The first exception is that, as discussed below in section V.B.3, paragraphs 61-62.97.A.3 and B.3 of the South Carolina draft rules limit applicability of the rules to units located in South Carolina, excluding units located in Indian country within South Carolina's borders. This modification of the applicability provisions in the federal trading program rules is appropriate for state trading program rules which necessarily must be designed to apply only to sources subject to the State's jurisdiction.

    The second exception is that South Carolina draft rule 61-62.97 omits the provisions of 40 CFR 97.410(a) and (b) and 97.710(a) and (b) setting forth the forth amounts of the Phase 1 emissions budgets, NUSAs, Indian country NUSAs, and variability limits for South Carolina and the amounts of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 emissions budgets, NUSAs, Indian country NUSAs, and variability limits for other states. Omission of the South Carolina Phase 1 emissions budget, NUSA, Indian country NUSA, and variability limit amounts is appropriate because South Carolina's state trading programs do not apply to emissions occurring in Phase 1 of CSAPR. Omission of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 budget, NUSA, Indian country NUSA, and variability limit amounts for other states from state trading programs in which only South Carolina units participate does not undermine the completeness of the state trading programs. South Carolina's draft rules include full-text replacement provisions for the remaining provisions of 40 CFR 97.410 and 97.710 that are relevant to trading programs applicable only to South Carolina units during Phase 2 of CSAPR.

    The third exception is that South Carolina draft rule 61-62.97 omits 40 CFR 97.411(b)(2), 97.411(c)(5)(iii), 97.412(b), 97.421(h), 97.421(j), 97.711(b)(2), 97.711(c)(5)(iii), 97.712(b), 97.721(h), and 97.721(j), concerning EPA's administration of Indian country NUSAs. Omission of these provisions from South Carolina's state trading program rules is required, as discussed in section V.B.4 below.

    None of the omissions undermine the completeness of the South Carolina's state trading programs and EPA has determined that South Carolina's draft SIP revision makes no substantive changes to the provisions of the federal trading program regulations. Thus, South Carolina's draft SIP revision meets the condition under 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5) and 52.39(i) that the SIP revision must adopt complete state trading program regulations substantively identical to the complete federal trading program regulations at 40 CFR 97.402 through 97.435 and 97.702 through 97.735, respectively, except to the extent permitted in the case of a SIP revision that seeks to replace the default allowance allocation and/or applicability provisions.

    3. Only Non-Substantive Substitutions for the Term “State”

    Paragraphs 61-62.97.A.3 and B.3 of the South Carolina draft rules substitute the phrase “The following units in South Carolina (but not in Indian country within South Carolina's borders),” for the phrase “The following units in a State (and Indian country within the borders of such State)” in the corresponding federal trading program regulations at 40 CFR 97.410(a)(1) and 97.710(a)(1) and at 97.410(b) and 97.710(b), respectively. These provisions of the South Carolina draft rules define the units that are required to participate in South Carolina's CSAPR state trading programs. The substitutions appropriately exclude units located in other states and units located in Indian country within the borders of South Carolina or any other state, thereby limiting the applicability of South Carolina's state trading programs to units that are subject to South Carolina's jurisdiction. These substitutions do not substantively change the provisions of CSAPR's federal trading program regulations. The remaining South Carolina rules do not substitute for the term “State” as used in the federal trading program regulations. EPA proposes to find that South Carolina's draft SIP revision therefore meets the condition under 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5)(iii) and 52.39(i)(3) that the SIP revision may substitute the name of the state for the term “State” as used in the federal trading program regulations, but only to the extent that EPA determines that the substitutions do not substantively change the provisions of the federal trading program regulations.

    4. Exclusion of Provisions Addressing Units in Indian Country

    As discussed above in section V.B.3, paragraphs 61-62.97.A.3 and B.3 of the South Carolina draft rules explicitly exclude units in Indian country within South Carolina's borders from the applicable requirements of the state rule. In addition, as required under 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5)(iv) and 52.39(i)(4), South Carolina's draft SIP revision excludes federal trading program provisions related to EPA's process for allocating and recording allowances from Indian country NUSAs (i.e., 40 CFR 97.411(b)(2), 97.411(c)(5)(iii), 97.412(b), 97.421(h), 97.421(j), 97.711(b)(2), 97.711(c)(5)(iii), 97.712(b), and 97.721(h) and 97.721(j)). South Carolina's draft SIP revision therefore meets the conditions under 52.38(a)(5)(iv) and 52.39(i)(4) that a SIP submittal must not impose any requirement on any unit in Indian country within the borders of the State and must exclude certain provisions related to administration of Indian country NUSAs.38

    38 A FIP will remain in place for any units that are in Indian country within South Carolina's borders.

    VI. EPA's Proposed Action on South Carolina's Draft Submittal

    EPA is proposing to approve the portions of South Carolina's May 26, 2017, draft SIP submittal concerning the establishment for South Carolina units of CSAPR state trading programs for annual NOX and SO2 emissions. The proposed draft revision would adopt into the SIP state trading program rules to be codified in SC Code of Annotated Regulations at 61-62.97, “Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) Trading Program.” These South Carolina CSAPR state trading programs would be integrated with the federal CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program and the federal CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program, respectively, and would be substantively identical to the federal trading programs.39 If EPA approves these portions of the proposed draft SIP revision, South Carolina units therefore would generally be required to meet requirements under South Carolina's CSAPR state trading programs equivalent to the requirements the units otherwise would have been required to meet under the corresponding CSAPR federal trading programs. EPA is proposing to approve these portions of the draft SIP revision because they meet the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations for approval of a CSAPR full SIP revision replacing a federal trading program with a state trading program that is integrated with and substantively identical to the federal trading program except for permissible differences, as discussed in section V above.

    39 As previously discussed in sections IV and V.B.2, under South Carolina's draft regulations, the State will retain EPA's default allowance allocation methodology and EPA will remain the implementing authority for administration of the trading program.

    EPA promulgated FIPs requiring South Carolina units to participate in the federal CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program and the federal CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program in order to address South Carolina's obligations under CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in the absence of SIP provisions addressing those requirements. Approval of the portions of South Carolina's draft SIP submittal adopting CSAPR state trading program rules for annual NOX and SO2 substantively identical to the corresponding CSAPR federal trading program regulations (or differing only with respect to the allowance allocation methodology) would satisfy South Carolina's obligation pursuant to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) to prohibit emissions which will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state and therefore would correct the same deficiency in the SIP that otherwise would be corrected by those CSAPR FIPs. Under the CSAPR regulations, upon EPA's full and unconditional approval of a SIP revision as correcting the SIP's deficiency that is the basis for a particular CSAPR FIP, the obligation to participate in the corresponding CSAPR federal trading program is automatically eliminated for units subject to the state's jurisdiction (but not for any units located in any Indian country within the state's borders).40 Approval of the portions of South Carolina's draft SIP submittal establishing CSAPR state trading program rules for annual NOX and SO2 emissions therefore would result in automatic termination of the obligations of South Carolina units to participate in the federal CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program and the federal CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program.

    40 40 CFR 52.38(a)(6); 52.39(j); see also 52.2140(a)(1); 52.2141(a).

    As noted in section III above, the Phase 2 SO2 budget established for South Carolina in the CSAPR rulemaking has been remanded to EPA for reconsideration. If EPA finalizes approval of these portions of the SIP revision as proposed, South Carolina will have fulfilled its obligations to provide a SIP that address the interstate transport provisions of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Thus, EPA would no longer be under an obligation to (nor would EPA have the authority to) address those transport requirements through implementation of a FIP, and approval of these portions of the SIP revision would eliminate South Carolina units' obligations to participate in the federal CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program and the federal CSAPR SO2 Group 2 Trading Program. Elimination of South Carolina units' obligations to participate in the federal trading programs would include elimination of the federally-established Phase 2 budgets capping allocations of CSAPR NOX Annual allowances and CSAPR SO2 Group 2 allowances to South Carolina units under those federal trading programs. As approval of these portions of the SIP revision would eliminate South Carolina's remanded federally-established Phase 2 SO2 budget and eliminate EPA's authority to subject units in South Carolina to a FIP, it is EPA's opinion that finalization of approval of this SIP action would address the judicial remand of South Carolina's federally-established Phase 2 SO2 budget.

    EPA's proposed approval is contingent on South Carolina's submission of a final SIP revision to address interstate transport provisions of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Should South Carolina not submit a final SIP revision to EPA addressing interstate transport provisions of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS and/or should EPA not be able to finalize a full approval action, EPA will undertake further reconsideration of the FIP pursuant to the judicial remand. The Agency has made the preliminary determination that these proposed actions are consistent with the CAA and EPA's regulations for approval of a CSAPR full SIP revision replacing the requirements of a CSAPR FIP.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; 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 proposed rule for South Carolina does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because it does not have substantial direct effects on an Indian Tribe. The Catawba Indian Nation Reservation is located within the state of South Carolina. Pursuant to the Catawba Indian Claims Settlement Act, S.C. Code Ann. 27-16-120, “all state and local environmental laws and regulations apply to the [Catawba Indian Nation] and Reservation and are fully enforceable by all relevant state and local agencies and authorities.” However, the draft rules proposed for approval exclude units in Indian country from the applicable requirements of the draft rules and exclude federal trading provisions related to EPA's process for allocating and recording allowances from Indian country NUSAs. EPA notes this action will not impose substantial direct costs on Tribal governments or preempt Tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 28, 2017. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16902 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 271 [EPA-R03-RCRA-2014-0407; FRL-9965-86-Region 3] Delaware: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Delaware has applied to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for final authorization of revisions to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA proposes to grant final authorization to Delaware. In the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register, EPA is authorizing the revisions by a direct final rule. We have explained the reasons for this authorization in the preamble to the direct final rule. Unless EPA receives written comments that oppose this authorization during the comment period, the direct final rule will become effective on the date it establishes, and EPA will not take further action on this proposal.

    DATES:

    Send your written comments by September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-RCRA-2014-0407, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Evelyn Sorto, U.S. EPA Region III, RCRA Waste Branch, Mailcode 3LC32, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029, Phone Number: (215) 814-2123; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the “Rules and Regulations” section of this issue of the Federal Register, EPA is authorizing the revisions by a direct final rule. EPA did not make a proposal prior to the direct final rule because we believe this action is not controversial and do not expect comments that oppose it. We have explained the reasons for this authorization in the preamble of the direct final rule. Unless EPA receives adverse written comments that oppose this authorization during the comment period, the direct final rule will become effective on the date it establishes, and EPA will not take further action on this proposal. If EPA receives comments that oppose this action, we will withdraw the Direct Final Rule, and it will not take effect. EPA will then respond to public comments in a later final rule based on this proposal and after consideration of all comments. You may not have another opportunity for comment. If you want to comment on this action, you must do so at this time. For additional information, please see the direct final rule published in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this issue of the Federal Register.

    Dated: July 27, 2017. Cecil Rodrigues, Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16905 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0077; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BB34 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on the Proposed Endangered Status for Texas Hornshell (Popenaias popeii) AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of the comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 6-month extension of the final determination of whether to add the Texas hornshell (Popenaias popeii), a freshwater mussel species from New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. We are also reopening the comment period on the proposed rule to list the species, for an additional 30 days. We are taking this action to extend the final determination based on substantial disagreement regarding the status of Texas hornshell in Mexico. We will submit a final listing determination to the Federal Register on or before February 10, 2018.

    DATES:

    The comment period on the proposed rule that published August 10, 2016 (81 FR 52796), is reopened. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before September 11, 2017. If you comment using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES), you must submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R2-ES-2016-0077. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R2-ES-2016-0077; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chuck Ardizzone, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Coastal Ecological Services Field Office, 17629 El Camino Real #211, Houston, TX 77058; on the Internet at https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/TexasCoastal/; by telephone 281-286-8282; or by facsimile 281-488-5882. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On August 10, 2016, we published a proposed rule (81 FR 52796) to list the Texas hornshell as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Act is located in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 17.11(h). The publication of this proposed rule complied with a deadline established in a court-approved settlement agreement (Endangered Species Act Section 4 Deadline Litigation, No. 10-377 (EGS), MDL Docket No. 2165 (D.D.C. May 10, 2011)). That proposal had a 60-day comment period, ending October 11, 2016. We reopened the comment period for 30 days on May 30, 2017 (82 FR 24654), in order to hold two public hearings on the proposed rule. For a description of previous Federal actions concerning the Texas hornshell, please refer to the August 10, 2016, proposed listing rule (81 FR 52796).

    We also solicited and received independent scientific review of the information contained in the proposed rule from peer reviewers with expertise in Texas hornshell or similar species ecology and identified threats to the species, in accordance with our July 1, 1994, peer review policy (59 FR 34270).

    Section 4(b)(6) of the Act and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.17(a) require that we take one of three actions within 1 year of a proposed listing: (1) Finalize the proposed rule; (2) withdraw the proposed rule; or (3) extend the final determination by not more than 6 months, if there is substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the determination.

    Since the publication of the proposed rule, there has been substantial disagreement regarding the interpretation of the limited surveys that exist for Texas hornshell in Mexico. This situation has led to a significant disagreement regarding the current conservation status of the species in Mexico. Therefore, in consideration of the disagreements surrounding the Texas hornshell's status, we are extending the final determination for 6 months in order to solicit information that will help to clarify these issues. With this 6-month extension, we will make a final determination on the proposed rule no later than February 10, 2018.

    Information Requested

    We will accept written comments and information during this reopened comment period on our proposed listing rule for Texas hornshell that was published in the Federal Register on August 10, 2016 (81 FR 52796). We will consider information and recommendations from all interested parties. We intend that any final action resulting from the proposal be as accurate as possible and based on the best available scientific and commercial data.

    Due to the scientific disagreements described above, we are particularly interested in new information and comments regarding the status of and threats to any Texas hornshell population in Mexico.

    If you previously submitted comments or information on the August 10, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 52796), please do not resubmit them. We have incorporated previously submitted comments into the public record, and we will fully consider them in the preparation of our final determination. Our final determination concerning the proposed listing will take into consideration all written comments and any additional information we receive.

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning the proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing the proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Coastal Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may obtain copies of the proposed rule on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0077, or by mail from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Coastal Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: August 4, 2017. Stephen Guertin, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16887 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 32 [Docket No. FWS-HQ-NWRS-2017-0005; FXRS12650900000-178-FF09R26000] RIN 1018-BB75 2017-2018 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to increase the hunting activities available at nine National Wildlife Refuges (NWR), open one NWR to sport fishing for the first time, and add pertinent refuge-specific regulations for other NWRs that pertain to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting, and sport fishing for the 2017-2018 season.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before September 11, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, type in FWS-HQ-NWRS-2017-0005, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then click on the Search button. On the resulting screen, find the correct document and submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-NWRS-2017-0005; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: BPHC; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We will not accept email or faxes. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Request for Comments, below, for more information). For information on specific refuges' public use programs and the conditions that apply to them or for copies of compatibility determinations for any refuge(s), contact individual programs at the addresses/phone numbers given in Available Information for Specific Refuges under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine Harrigan, (703) 358-2440.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 closes NWRs in all States except Alaska to all uses until opened. The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) may open refuge areas to any use, including hunting and/or sport fishing, upon a determination that the use is compatible with the purposes of the refuge and National Wildlife Refuge System mission. The action also must be in accordance with provisions of all laws applicable to the areas, developed in coordination with the appropriate State fish and wildlife agency(ies), consistent with the principles of sound fish and wildlife management and administration, and otherwise in the public interest. These requirements ensure that we maintain the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of the Refuge System for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

    We annually review refuge hunting and sport fishing programs to determine whether to include additional refuges or whether individual refuge regulations governing existing programs need modifications. Changing environmental conditions, State and Federal regulations, and other factors affecting fish and wildlife populations and habitat may warrant modifications to refuge-specific regulations to ensure the continued compatibility of hunting and sport fishing programs and to ensure that these programs will not materially interfere with or detract from the fulfillment of refuge purposes or the Refuge System's mission.

    Provisions governing hunting and sport fishing on refuges are in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations in part 32 (50 CFR part 32). We regulate hunting and sport fishing on refuges to:

    • Ensure compatibility with refuge purpose(s);

    • Properly manage fish and wildlife resource(s);

    • Protect other refuge values;

    • Ensure refuge visitor safety; and

    • Provide opportunities for quality fish- and wildlife-dependent recreation.

    On many refuges where we decide to allow hunting and sport fishing, our general policy of adopting regulations identical to State hunting and sport fishing regulations is adequate in meeting these objectives. On other refuges, we must supplement State regulations with more-restrictive Federal regulations to ensure that we meet our management responsibilities, as outlined in the Statutory Authority section, below. We issue refuge-specific hunting and sport fishing regulations when we open wildlife refuges to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting, or sport fishing. These regulations may list the wildlife species that you may hunt or fish, seasons, bag or creel (container for carrying fish) limits, methods of hunting or sport fishing, descriptions of areas open to hunting or sport fishing, and other provisions as appropriate. You may find previously issued refuge-specific regulations for hunting and sport fishing in 50 CFR part 32. In this rulemaking, we are also proposing to standardize and clarify the language of existing regulations.

    Statutory Authority

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 [Improvement Act]) (Administration Act), and the Refuge Recreation Act of 1962 (16 U.S.C. 460k-460k-4) (Recreation Act) govern the administration and public use of refuges.

    Amendments enacted by the Improvement Act built upon the Administration Act in a manner that provides an “organic act” for the Refuge System, similar to organic acts that exist for other public Federal lands. The Improvement Act serves to ensure that we effectively manage the Refuge System as a national network of lands, waters, and interests for the protection and conservation of our Nation's wildlife resources. The Administration Act states first and foremost that we focus our Refuge System mission on conservation of fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats. The Improvement Act requires the Secretary, before allowing a new use of a refuge, or before expanding, renewing, or extending an existing use of a refuge, to determine that the use is compatible with the purpose for which the refuge was established and the mission of the Refuge System. The Improvement Act established as the policy of the United States that wildlife-dependent recreation, when compatible, is a legitimate and appropriate public use of the Refuge System, through which the American public can develop an appreciation for fish and wildlife. The Improvement Act established six wildlife-dependent recreational uses as the priority general public uses of the Refuge System. These uses are: hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation.

    The Recreation Act authorizes the Secretary to administer areas within the Refuge System for public recreation as an appropriate incidental or secondary use only to the extent that doing so is practicable and not inconsistent with the primary purpose(s) for which Congress and the Service established the areas. The Recreation Act requires that any recreational use of refuge lands be compatible with the primary purpose(s) for which we established the refuge and not inconsistent with other previously authorized operations.

    The Administration Act and Recreation Act also authorize the Secretary to issue regulations to carry out the purposes of the Acts and regulate uses.

    We develop specific management plans for each refuge prior to opening it to hunting or sport fishing. In many cases, we develop refuge-specific regulations to ensure the compatibility of the programs with the purpose(s) for which we established the refuge and the Refuge System mission. We ensure initial compliance with the Administration Act and the Recreation Act for hunting and sport fishing on newly acquired refuges through an interim determination of compatibility made at or near the time of acquisition. These regulations ensure that we make the determinations required by these acts prior to adding refuges to the lists of areas open to hunting and sport fishing in 50 CFR part 32. We ensure continued compliance by the development of comprehensive conservation plans and step-down management plans, and by annual review of hunting and sport fishing programs and regulations.

    Amendments to Existing Regulations

    This document proposes to codify in the Code of Federal Regulations all of the Service's hunting and/or sport fishing regulations that we would update since the last time we published a rule amending these regulations (81 FR 68874; October 4, 2016) and that are applicable at Refuge System units previously opened to hunting and/or sport fishing. We propose this to better inform the general public of the regulations at each refuge, to increase understanding and compliance with these regulations, and to make enforcement of these regulations more efficient. In addition to now finding these regulations in 50 CFR part 32, visitors to our refuges may find them reiterated in literature distributed by each refuge or posted on signs.

    Table 1—Changes for 2017-2018 Hunting/Fishing Season Refuge/Region (*) State Migratory bird hunting Upland game hunting Big game hunting Sport fishing Baskett Slough (1) Oregon C Closed Closed Closed. Des Lacs (6) North Dakota Closed Already Open C/D Closed. Fox River (3) Wisconsin Closed Closed C Closed. Horicon (3) Wisconsin D C/D C Already Open. Minnesota Valley (3) Minnesota C C C Already Open. Patoka River (3) Indiana C C C C. Savannah River (4) Georgia and South Carolina C/D C/D C/D Already Open. Sequoyah (2) Oklahoma Already Open C C Already Open. Siletz Bay (1) Oregon Already Open Closed Closed B. Upper Souris (6) North Dakota Closed C/D C/D Already Open. * number in () refers to the Region as defined in the preamble to this proposed rule under Available Information for Specific Refuges. Key: A = New refuge opened B = New activity on a refuge previously open to other activities C = Refuge already open to activity, but added new lands/waters or modified areas open to hunting or fishing D = Refuge already open to activity but added new species to hunt

    The changes for the 2017-18 hunting/fishing season noted in the chart above are each based on a complete administrative record which, among other detailed documentation, also includes a hunt plan, a compatibility determination, and the appropriate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) analysis, all of which were the subject of a public review and comment process. These documents are available upon request.

    Fish Advisory

    For health reasons, anglers should review and follow State-issued consumption advisories before enjoying recreational sport fishing opportunities on Service-managed waters. You can find information about current fish-consumption advisories on the Internet at: http://www.epa.gov/fish-tech.

    Plain Language Mandate

    In this proposed rule, we propose some of the revisions to the individual refuge units to comply with a Presidential mandate to use plain language in regulations; these particular revisions do not modify the substance of the previous regulations. These types of changes include using “you” to refer to the reader and “we” to refer to the Refuge System, using the word “allow” instead of “permit” when we do not require the use of a permit for an activity, and using active voice (e.g., “We restrict entry into the refuge” vs. “Entry into the refuge is restricted”).

    Request for Comments

    You may submit comments and materials on this proposed rule by any one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We will not accept comments sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in ADDRESSES. We will not consider hand-delivered comments that we do not receive, or mailed comments that are not postmarked, by the date specified in DATES.

    We will post your entire comment on http://www.regulations.gov. Before including personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that we may make your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Public Comment

    Department of the Interior policy is, whenever practicable, to afford the public a meaningful opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process. We open refuges through a series of stages, with the fundamental work being performed on the ground at the refuge and in the community where the program is administered. In these stages, we give the public other opportunities to comment, for example, on comprehensive conservation plans and compatibility determinations. The second stage is this document, when we publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register for additional comment, usually for a 30-day comment period.

    There is nothing contained in this proposed rule outside the scope of the annual review process where we determine whether individual refuges need modifications, deletions, or additions made to them. We make every attempt to collect all of the proposals from the refuges nationwide and process them expeditiously to maximize the time available for public review. A 30-day comment period, through the broader publication following the earlier public involvement, gives the public sufficient time to comment and allows us to establish hunting and fishing programs in time for the upcoming seasons. Many of these rules would also relieve restrictions and allow the public to participate in recreational activities on a number of refuges. In addition, in order to continue to provide for previously authorized hunting opportunities while at the same time providing for adequate resource protection, we must be timely in providing modifications to certain hunting programs on some refuges.

    We considered providing a 60-day, rather than a 30-day, comment period. However, we determined that an additional 30-day delay in processing these refuge-specific hunting and sport fishing regulations would hinder the effective planning and administration of our hunting and sport fishing programs. Such a delay would jeopardize enacting amendments to hunting and sport fishing programs in time for implementation this year and/or early next year, or shorten the duration of these programs.

    Even after issuance of a final rule, we accept comments, suggestions, and concerns for consideration for any appropriate subsequent rulemaking.

    When finalized, we will incorporate these regulations into 50 CFR part 32. Part 32 contains general provisions and refuge-specific regulations for hunting and sport fishing on refuges.

    Clarity of This Proposed Rule

    Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, require us to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (a) Be logically organized;

    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    Executive Order 13771—Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

    This action is not subject to Executive Order (E.O.) 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017) because it is issued with respect to routine hunting and fishing activities.

    Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rulemaking is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act [SBREFA] of 1996) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), whenever a Federal agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Thus, for a regulatory flexibility analysis to be required, impacts must exceed a threshold for “significant impact” and a threshold for a “substantial number of small entities.” See 5 U.S.C. 605(b). SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This proposed rule adds one NWR to the list of refuges open to sport fishing and increases hunting or fishing activities on nine additional national wildlife refuges. As a result, visitor use for wildlife-dependent recreation on these NWRs will change. If the refuges establishing new programs were a pure addition to the current supply of those activities, it would mean an estimated increase of 914 user days (one person per day participating in a recreational opportunity, Table 2). Because the participation trend is flat in these activities since 1991, this increase in supply will most likely be offset by other sites losing participants. Therefore, this is likely to be a substitute site for the activity and not necessarily an increase in participation rates for the activity.

    Table 2—Estimated Change in Recreation Opportunities in 2017/2018 [Dollars in thousands] Refuge Additional
  • days
  • Additional
  • expenditures
  • Baskett Slough 2 $0.1 Des Lacs 50 2.0 Fox River 5 0.2 Horicon 187 7.4 Minnesota Valley 0 0.0 Patoka River 0 0.0 Savannah River 315 12.4 Sequoyah 5 0.2 Siletz Bay 150 6.3 Upper Souris 200 7.9 Total 914 36.4

    To the extent visitors spend time and money in the area of the refuge that they would not have spent there anyway, they contribute new income to the regional economy and benefit local businesses. Due to the unavailability of site-specific expenditure data, we use the national estimates from the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation to identify expenditures for food and lodging, transportation, and other incidental expenses. Using the average expenditures for these categories with the maximum expected additional participation of the Refuge System yields approximately $36,400 in recreation-related expenditures (Table 2). By having ripple effects throughout the economy, these direct expenditures are only part of the economic impact of these recreational activities. Using a national impact multiplier for hunting activities (2.27) derived from the report “Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation” and for fishing activities (2.40) derived from the report “Sportfishing in America” yields a total economic impact of approximately $83,500 (2016 dollars) (Southwick Associates, Inc., 2012). Using a local impact multiplier would yield more accurate and smaller results. However, we employed the national impact multiplier due to the difficulty in developing local multipliers for each specific region.

    Since we know that most of the fishing and hunting occurs within 100 miles of a participant's residence, then it is unlikely that most of this spending would be “new” money coming into a local economy; therefore, this spending would be offset with a decrease in some other sector of the local economy. The net gain to the local economies would be no more than $83,500, and most likely considerably less. Since 80 percent of the participants travel less than 100 miles to engage in hunting and fishing activities, their spending patterns would not add new money into the local economy and, therefore, the real impact would be on the order of about $16,700 annually.

    Small businesses within the retail trade industry (such as hotels, gas stations, taxidermy shops, bait-and-tackle shops, and similar businesses) may be affected by some increased or decreased refuge visitation. A large percentage of these retail trade establishments in the local communities around NWRs qualify as small businesses (Table 3). We expect that the incremental recreational changes will be scattered, and so we do not expect that the rule will have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities in any region or nationally. As noted previously, we expect approximately $36,400 to be spent in total in the refuges' local economies. The maximum increase at most would be less than one-hundredth of 1 percent for local retail trade spending (Table 3).

    Table 3—Comparative Expenditures for Retail Trade Associated With Additional Refuge Visitation for 2017/2018 [Thousands, 2016 dollars] Refuge/county(ies) Retail trade in 2012 Estimated
  • maximum
  • addition from
  • new activities
  • Addition as % of total Establishments in 2012 Establ. with <10 emp in 2012
    Baskett Slough Polk, OR $377,029 $0.1 <0.01 125 89 Des Lacs Burke, ND 1,988,596 1.0 <0.01 293 169 Ward, ND 40,290 1.0 <0.01 10 6 Fox River Marquette, WI 74,141 0.2 <0.01 35 27 Horicon Dodge, WI 870,743 3.7 <0.01 234 159 Fond du Lac, WI 1,465,969 3.7 <0.01 354 225 Minnesota Valley Carver, MN 948,923 209 132 Dakota, MN 6,779,786 1,132 689 Hennepin, MN 25,012,109 4,209 2,657 Le Sueur, MN 220,214 84 58 Scott, MN 1,397,711 323 215 Sibley, MN 79,291 54 39 Patoka River Gibson, IN 582,859 120 84 Pike, IN 75,823 31 23 Savannah River Chatham, GA 4,449,471 6.2 <0.01 1,198 851 Effingham, GA 374,811 6.2 <0.01 108 79 Jasper, SC 600,879 6.2 <0.01 104 80 Sequoyah Haskell, OK 149,403 0.1 <0.01 33 22 Muskogee, OK 970,020 0.1 <0.01 258 178 Sequoyah, OK 405,258 0.1 <0.01 116 86 Siletz Bay Lincoln, OR 607,106 6.3 <0.01 241 310 Upper Souris Renville, ND 84,795 3.9 <0.01 12 10 Ward, ND 1,988,596 3.9 <0.01 293 169

    With the small change in overall spending anticipated from this proposed rule, it is unlikely that a substantial number of small entities will have more than a small impact from the spending change near the affected refuges. Therefore, we certify that, if adopted as proposed, this rule would not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities as defined under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). An initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. Accordingly, a small entity compliance guide is not required.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. We anticipate no significant employment or small business effects. This rule:

    a. Would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. The minimal impact would be scattered across the country and would most likely not be significant in any local area.

    b. Would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; individual industries; Federal, State, or local government agencies; or geographic regions. This proposed rule would have only a slight effect on the costs of hunting opportunities for Americans. If the substitute sites are farther from the participants' residences, then an increase in travel costs would occur. The Service does not have information to quantify this change in travel cost but assumes that, since most people travel less than 100 miles to hunt, the increased travel cost would be small. We do not expect this proposed rule to affect the supply or demand for hunting opportunities in the United States, and, therefore, it should not affect prices for hunting equipment and supplies, or the retailers that sell equipment.

    c. Would not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This proposed rule represents only a small proportion of recreational spending at NWRs. Therefore, if adopted, this rule would have no measurable economic effect on the wildlife-dependent industry, which has annual sales of equipment and travel expenditures of $72 billion nationwide.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Since this proposed rule would apply to public use of federally owned and managed refuges, it would not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or Tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule would not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or Tribal governments or the private sector. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

    Takings (E.O. 12630)

    In accordance with E.O. 12630, this proposed rule would not have significant takings implications. This rule would affect only visitors at NWRs and describe what they can do while they are on a refuge.

    Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    As discussed in Regulatory Planning and Review and Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, above, this proposed rule would not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement under E.O. 13132. In preparing this proposed rule, we worked with State governments.

    Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    In accordance with E.O. 12988, the Department of the Interior has determined that this proposed rule would not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. The rule would clarify established regulations and result in better understanding of the regulations by refuge visitors.

    Energy Supply, Distribution or Use (E.O. 13211)

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued E.O. 13211 on regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use. E.O. 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. Because this proposed rule would add one NWR to the list of refuges open to sport fishing and increase hunting or fishing activities on nine other NWRs, it is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866, and we do not expect it to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

    Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments (E.O. 13175)

    In accordance with E.O. 13175, we have evaluated possible effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and have determined that there are no effects. We coordinate recreational use on NWRs with Tribal governments having adjoining or overlapping jurisdiction before we propose the regulations.

    Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This rule does not contain any new collection of information that requires approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the PRA of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). OMB has approved the information collection requirements associated with regulations implementing refuge-specific hunting and sport fishing regulations and has assigned OMB control numbers 1018-0102 (expires June 30, 2017; in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10, the agency may continue to conduct or sponsor this collection of information while the submission is pending at OMB), 1018-0140 (expires May 31, 2018), and 1018-0153 (expires December 31, 2018). 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.

    Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation

    We comply with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), when developing comprehensive conservation plans and step-down management plans—which would include hunting and/or fishing plans—for public use of refuges, and prior to implementing any new or revised public recreation program on a refuge as identified in 50 CFR 26.32. We have completed section 7 consultation on each of the affected refuges.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    We analyzed this proposed rule in accordance with the criteria of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4332(C)), 43 CFR part 46, and 516 Departmental Manual (DM) 8.

    A categorical exclusion from NEPA documentation applies to publication of proposed amendments to refuge-specific hunting and fishing regulations because they are technical and procedural in nature, and the environmental effects are too broad, speculative, or conjectural to lend themselves to meaningful analysis (43 CFR 46.210 and 516 DM 8). Concerning the actions that are the subject of this proposed rulemaking, we have complied with NEPA at the project level when developing each proposal. This is consistent with the Department of the Interior instructions for compliance with NEPA where actions are covered sufficiently by an earlier environmental document (43 CFR 46.120).

    Prior to the addition of a refuge to the list of areas open to hunting and fishing in 50 CFR part 32, we develop hunting and fishing plans for the affected refuges. We incorporate these proposed refuge hunting and fishing activities in the refuge comprehensive conservation plan and/or other step-down management plans, pursuant to our refuge planning guidance in 602 Fish and Wildlife Service Manual (FW) 1, 3, and 4. We prepare these comprehensive conservation plans and step-down plans in compliance with section 102(2)(C) of NEPA, and the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations for implementing NEPA in 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508. We invite the affected public to participate in the review, development, and implementation of these plans. Copies of all plans and NEPA compliance are available from the refuges at the addresses provided below.

    Available Information for Specific Refuges

    Individual refuge headquarters have information about public use programs and conditions that apply to their specific programs and maps of their respective areas. To find out how to contact a specific refuge, contact the appropriate Regional office listed below:

    Region 1—Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Regional Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Eastside Federal Complex, Suite 1692, 911 NE. 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232-4181; Telephone (503) 231-6214.

    Region 2—Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Regional Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1306, 500 Gold Avenue SW., Albuquerque, NM 87103; Telephone (505) 248-6937.

    Region 3—Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Regional Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437-1458; Telephone (612) 713-5360.

    Region 4—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Regional Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1875 Century Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30345; Telephone (404) 679-7166.

    Region 5—Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Regional Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035-9589; Telephone (413) 253-8307.

    Region 6—Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Regional Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 134 Union Blvd., Lakewood, CO 80228; Telephone (303) 236-8145.

    Region 7—Alaska. Regional Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 E. Tudor Rd., Anchorage, AK 99503; Telephone (907) 786-3545.

    Region 8—California and Nevada. Regional Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2606, Sacramento, CA 95825; Telephone (916) 414-6464.

    Primary Author

    Katherine Harrigan, Division of Natural Resources and Conservation Planning, National Wildlife Refuge System, is the primary author of this rulemaking document.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 32

    Fishing, Hunting, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Wildlife, Wildlife refuges.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, we propose to amend title 50, chapter I, subchapter C of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 32—HUNTING AND FISHING 1. The authority citation for part 32 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 16 U.S.C. 460k, 664, 668dd-668ee, and 715i.

    § 32.7 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 32.7 by adding, in alphabetical order, an entry for “Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge” in the State of Missouri; and removing the entry for “Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge.” 3. Amend § 32.23, the entry for Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge, by: a. Removing the second, duplicate appearance of paragraph A.16; b. Adding a new paragraph A.17; c. Revising paragraphs A.18 through A.20, C.2 through C.5, C.8, and C.18; d. Adding paragraphs C.20 and C.21; and e. Revising paragraph D.1.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 32.23 Arkansas. Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    17. We prohibit the use of decoys that contain moving parts or electrical components, except that you may use manually operated `jerk strings' to simulate decoy movement.

    18. You may not utilize a guide, guide service, outfitter, club, organization, or any other person who provides equipment, services, or assistance on the refuge for compensation.

    19. We prohibit commercial guiding for the take of wildlife or fish.

    20. We allow camping only in designated sites and areas identified in the refuge user brochure/permit (signed brochure), and we restrict camping to individuals involved in wildlife-dependent activities. We limit camping on the refuge to no more than 14 days during any 30 consecutive-day period. Campers must occupy camps daily. We prohibit all disturbances, including use of generators, after 10 p.m.

    C. * * *

    2. Archery deer seasons on the North Unit are from the beginning of October until the end of January except during quota muzzleloader and quota gun deer hunts, when the archery season is closed. We provide annual season dates and bag limits in the refuge user brochure/permit (signed brochure).

    3. Archery deer seasons on the South Unit are from the beginning of October until the end of December except during quota muzzleloader and quota gun deer hunts, when the archery season is closed. We provide annual season dates and bag limits in the refuge user brochure/permit (signed brochure).

    4. Muzzleloader season for deer will begin in October and will continue for a period of up to 3 days of quota hunting and 4 days of non-quota hunting in the North Unit. We provide annual season dates and bag limits in the refuge user brochure/permit (signed brochure).

    5. The gun deer hunt will begin in November and will continue for a period of 3 days of quota hunting in the North and South Units, and 4 days of non-quota hunting in the North Unit. We provide annual season dates, bag limits, and areas in the refuge user brochure/permit.

    8. If you harvest deer or turkey on the refuge, you must immediately record the zone number (Zone 145 for the South Unit or Zone 146 for the North Unit) on your hunting license and later check deer and/or turkey through the State checking system. Outlying tracts use the same zone number as the surrounding State zone.

    18. We close the Kansas Lake Area to all entry on December 1 and reopen it on March 1.

    20. We prohibit the possession and/or use of toxic shot by hunters using shotguns (see § 32.2(k) of this chapter) when hunting.

    21. Feral hog regulations are found in the refuge brochure/permit (signed brochure).

    D. * * *

    1. Conditions A1, A9, A10, A11, A15, and A21 through A25 apply.

    4. Amend § 32.24 by: a. Revising paragraph A.3 under the entry Colusa National Wildlife Refuge; b. Revising paragraph A.3 under the entry Delevan National Wildlife Refuge; c. Revising paragraph A.3 under the entry Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge; and d. Revising paragraph C.3 under the entry Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 32.24 California. Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    3. Junior hunters age 15 or younger must be accompanied by, and remain within sight and normal voice contact of, an adult (age 18 or older) at all times while hunting.

    Delevan National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    3. Junior hunters age 15 or younger must be accompanied by, and remain within sight and normal voice contact of, an adult (age 18 or older) at all times while hunting.

    Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    3. Junior hunters age 15 or younger must be accompanied by, and remain within sight and normal voice contact of, an adult (age 18 or older) at all times while hunting.

    Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge

    C. * * *

    3. We prohibit using dogs while hunting feral hogs and black-tailed deer.

    5. Amend § 32.27 by revising the entry for Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge to read as follows:
    § 32.27 Delaware. Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

    A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow the hunting of waterfowl, coot, mourning dove, snipe, and woodcock on designated areas of the refuge during designated seasons in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. General Hunting Regulations.

    i. Anyone age 16 or older, regardless of license status, must obtain a migratory bird hunting permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2357) to hunt or enter hunt areas, except non-hunting assistants assisting disabled hunters in the disabled area. You must print and validate your permit (name/address/phone) with your signature, in ink, and retain it on your person while hunting or scouting.

    ii. You must abide by the terms and conditions outlined in the refuge hunt brochure (see § 32.2(e) of this chapter). Brochures contain information on seasons, bag limits, methods of hunting, maps depicting areas open to hunting, hunt unit reservation procedures, and the terms and conditions under which we issue hunting permits. They are available at the visitor center, at the administration office, and on the refuge's Web site (see § 32.2(f) of this chapter).

    iii. You, and those who accompany you who are age 16 or older, must possess and carry the following at all times while on refuge property: A valid Delaware hunting license or document exhibiting your License Exempt Number (LEN), all required State and Federal stamps, a valid form of government-issued photo identification, a signed refuge hunt brochure appropriate for the hunt in question, and a printed valid hunting permit. We will not accept photocopies or electronic copies of these documents.

    iv. Youths age 15 or younger must be accompanied by a supervisor age 18 or older who possesses all documents required in A.1.iii, including non-hunting assistants. All supervisors may only be accompanied by one youth. Youths must possess and carry a signed refuge waterfowl hunt brochure and an LEN or license in accordance with State law. The youth must remain within sight and normal voice contact of the supervisor at all times while hunting on the refuge.

    v. Other than using motor vehicles on designated roads, you may only access the refuge by foot, except as authorized by the refuge manager.

    vi. You may use trained dogs to assist in retrieval of harvested game.

    vii. You must notify and receive permission from a Service law enforcement officer, refuge manager, or designee if you need to retrieve game from a closed refuge area or a hunting area for which you do not possess a valid permit (see § 26.21(a) of this chapter).

    viii. You must park in designated areas. We prohibit parking in front of any gate. Parked vehicles may not impede any road traffic (see § 27.31(h) of this chapter).

    ix. You may enter the refuge up to 2 hours before legal morning shooting time. You must stop hunting by 3 p.m. and leave the hunting area or unit by 4 p.m., except when snow goose hunting, in the designated snow goose area, during the snow goose conservation order season.

    x. You must complete and return a Migratory Bird Hunt Report (FWS Form 3-2361), available at the refuge administration office or on the refuge's Web site, within 15 days of the close of the season.

    xi. We prohibit the use of natural vegetation for camouflaging blind material (see § 27.51(a) of this chapter).

    xii. We prohibit entry to designated safety zones as identified by polygons on the refuge map.

    xiii. You may access the Lottery Waterfowl hunt area by boat. The maximum horsepower allowed for boat motors is 30 horsepower (HP). You must abide by the slow, no-wake zones on designated portions of refuge waterways as depicted in maps or within the brochure.

    xiv. We allow the use of non-motorized boats within the Walk-in Hunt Area. Boats may be transported to refuge waters by hand or by the use of a cart.

    2. General and Disabled Waterfowl Draw Hunt Areas.

    i. You must obtain a Daily General or Disabled Waterfowl Draw Area Permit (signed brochure), which reserves your hunt unit/area/site in advance for a specific date using an online system. Only hunters age 16 or older may reserve a hunt unit.

    ii. You must print and validate your Daily Waterfowl Draw Area Permit (signed brochure) with your signature in ink.

    iii. You must hunt from your boat or, if applicable, provided blind. You must hunt within 75 feet (22.9 meters) of your designated site.

    iv. We allow you to have up to two additional hunters accompany you on your reserved site.

    v. Disabled Waterfowl Draw Area.

    a. All disabled hunters must possess and carry a State of Delaware Certified Hunter with Disabilities Card while hunting in disabled areas. We will not accept photocopies or electronic copies of these forms.

    b. Disabled hunters may have a non-hunting assistant who is age 18 or older. The assistant must remain within sight and normal voice contact; must not be engaged in hunting; and must possess a valid refuge hunt brochure signed in ink and a valid government-issued photo identification. Any assistant engaged in hunting must possess and carry all documents as specified in A.1.iii.

    c. We do not allow assistants to enter a designated disabled hunting area unless they are accompanied by a certified disabled hunter.

    d. We do not require assistants to maintain sight and normal voice contact while retrieving game.

    B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of rabbit, quail, pheasant, and red fox on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. A.1.i. through A.1.viii. and A.1.xii. apply.

    2. We prohibit shooting a projectile from a firearm, muzzleloader, bow, or crossbow from, down, or across any refuge road. A refuge road is any road that is traveled by vehicular traffic.

    3. You must make a reasonable effort to retrieve all wounded or killed game and include it in your daily bag limit. We prohibit leaving entrails or other waste within 50 feet (15.2 meters) of any road, parking area, trail, or refuge structure on the refuge.

    4. You must use daylight florescent orange in accordance with State regulations (see § 32.2(d) of this chapter).

    5. You may enter the refuge no earlier than 1 hour before legal morning shooting time and you must exit the refuge by 1 hour after legal sunset.

    6. We prohibit the use of centerfire and rimfire rifles.

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer and turkey on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. General Hunt Regulations.

    i. Conditions A.1.i. through A.1.v., A.1.vii., A.1.viii., A.1.xii., B2, and B3 apply.

    ii. We prohibit organized deer drives.

    iii. We allow the use of temporary tree stands and blinds for hunting. All stands and blinds left on refuge property unoccupied must be tagged in plain sight with your permit number and the years that are printed on your permit. You must remove all stands and blinds by legal sunset of a date established annually by the refuge manager. We are not responsible for damage, theft, or use of the stand by other hunters.

    iv. You may use marking devices, including flagging or tape, but you must remove them by legal sunset on a date established annually by the refuge manager. You may not use paint or any other permanent marker to mark trails.

    v. You must use daylight florescent orange in accordance with State regulations during all designated firearm and muzzleloader deer hunts (see § 32.2(d) of this chapter).

    2. General and Disabled Deer Draw Hunt Areas.

    i. Youth hunters must obtain a hunting permit before applying for a General and Disabled Deer Draw Area Permit (signed brochure). Hunters age 15 or younger must obtain a hunting permit; however, A.1.iv. still applies.

    ii. You must obtain a Daily General or Disabled Deer Draw Area Permit (signed brochure), which reserves your hunt unit/area/site in advance for a specific date using an online system.

    iii. You must print and sign your Daily Deer Draw Area Permit (signed brochure) in ink.

    3. For designated disabled hunt areas, A.2.v. applies.

    D. Sport Fishing. We allow fishing and crabbing on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Conditions A.1.i. through A.1.iv. apply for those age 17 and older.

    2. All youth age 16 or younger must be accompanied by a licensed angler age 18 or older who possesses all documents required in D.1.i.

    3. The refuge is open from 1/2 hour before legal sunrise to 1/2 hour after legal sunset.

    4. Other than using motor vehicles on designated roads, you may only access the refuge by foot, except as authorized by the refuge manager.

    5. We allow fishing and crabbing from boats and from designated areas of the refuge, on designated days, during designated times, routes of travel, waterways, and launch sites.

    i. You must remove boats from the water by legal sunset.

    ii. When on Turkle and Fleetwood Ponds, you may only propel boats manually or with electric motors.

    iii. We allow a maximum of 30 horsepower (HP) outboard or motor.

    iv. You must abide by the slow, no-wake zones on designated portions of refuge waterways as depicted in maps or within the brochure.

    6. Fishing tackle and crabbing gear:

    i. You must use hook-and-line tackle when fishing for finfish.

    ii. You may use only hand lines, crab dip nets, hoop crab nets, and/or manually operated crab traps (collapsible traps) in any combination for crabbing.

    iii. You must attend to your crabbing and fishing lines or gear at all times.

    6. Amend § 32.28 by: a. Under the entry Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraphs C.1, C.2, C.8, and C.16; ii. Adding paragraphs C.17 and C.18; iii. Removing paragraph D.5; and iv. Redesignating paragraph D.6 as D.5; b. Under the entry Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraphs A.9, A.12, and A.14; and ii. Adding paragraph D.4; and c. Under the entry Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraphs A.3 through A.6; ii. Adding paragraphs A.10 and A.11; iii. Revising paragraphs A.14, A.16, C.8, C.15, C.16, C.24, and D.3; iv. Removing paragraph D.9; v. Redesignating paragraphs D.10 through D.14 as D.9 through D.13, respectively; vi. Removing paragraph D.15; vii. Redesignating paragraphs D.16 and D.17 as D.14 and D.15, respectively; viii. Revising newly redesignated paragraph D. 14; and ix. Removing paragraph D.18.

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 32.28 Florida. Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

    C. * * *

    1. You must have a valid signed Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge Big Game Permit (signed brochure). The permits (signed brochure) are free and nontransferable, and anyone on refuge land engaged in hunting must sign and carry the permit at all times.

    2. You must obtain a State-issued Lake Woodruff Quota Hunt Permit (Quota Permit), which can be purchased through Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). You must have on your person all applicable Florida hunting licenses and permits. State requirements for hunter safety apply.

    8. Hunting areas on the refuge are seasonally closed to all public use except to permitted hunters during the season, and are marked on refuge maps. The refuge is closed between legal sunset and legal sunrise, except permitted hunters may access the refuge 2 hours prior to legal sunrise each hunting day. All hunters must leave the refuge within 2 hours of legal sunset.

    16. Archery hunters must wear a vest or jacket containing back and front panels of at least 500 square inches (3,226 square centimeters) of solid-fluorescent-orange color when moving to and from their vehicle, to their deer stand or their hunting spot, and while tracking or dragging out deer.

    17. We prohibit using dogs for tracking unless authorized by a Federal wildlife officer. Dogs must remain on a leash and be equipped with a GPS tracking device.

    18. It is unlawful to drive nails, spikes, or other metal objects into any tree, or to hunt from any tree in which a metal object has been driven (see § 32.2(i) of this chapter).

    Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    9. In addition to State hunter-education requirements, an adult (parent or guardian) age 21 or older must supervise and must remain within sight of and in normal voice contact of the youth hunter age 15 or younger. Parents or adult guardians are responsible for ensuring that hunters age 15 and younger do not engage in conduct that would constitute a violation of refuge regulations. An adult may not supervise more than two youths.

    12. We prohibit marking any tree, or other refuge feature, with flagging, litter, paint, tacks, spider eyes, or blaze.

    14. You may leave a temporary tree stand on refuge property starting 1 week before archery season, but you must remove it by the last day of hog season. All tree stands left on the refuge within the hunt season must display the hunter's name and hunting license number legibly written on or attached to the stand. We may seize and dispose of any tree stands not in compliance, according to Federal regulations. You may also use a temporary tree stand during small game season, but you must remove it by the last day of small game season.

    D. * * *

    4. We prohibit the use or possession of alcohol while fishing.

    Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

    A.* * *

    3. You must carry (or hunt within 30 yards of a hunter who possesses) a valid State-issued Merritt Island Waterfowl Quota Permit (Waterfowl Quota Permit), which can be purchased through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) while hunting in areas 1 or 4 from the beginning of the regular waterfowl season through the end of January. The Waterfowl Quota Permit can be used for a single party consisting of the permit holder and up to three guests. The permit holder must be present.

    4. During the State's waterfowl season, we allow hunting on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and the following Federal holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

    5. We allow hunting in four designated areas of the refuge as delineated in the refuge hunting regulations map. We prohibit hunters entering the normal or expanded restricted areas of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and KSC maintain the right to close any portion of the refuge for any length of time. In that case, we will not refund or reissue any permits.

    6. We allow hunting of waterfowl on refuge-established hunt days from 1/2 hour before legal sunrise until 12 p.m. (noon). Hunters must remove all equipment and check out at the refuge check station prior to 1 p.m. daily.

    10. We prohibit accessing a hunt area from Black Point Wildlife Drive, Playalinda Beach Road (Beach Road), and Scrub Ridge Trail. We prohibit launching a boat and leaving vehicles parked for hunting purposes on Black Point Wildlife Drive, Playalinda Beach Road (Beach Road), or Scrub Ridge Trail.

    11. We prohibit construction of permanent blinds or digging into dikes (see § 27.92 of this chapter).

    14. You must leave the refuge by 1 p.m. Prior to that, you must stop at posted refuge waterfowl check stations and report statistical hunt information on the Migratory Bird Hunt Report (FWS Form 3-2361) to refuge personnel.

    16. You may use gasoline or diesel motors only inside the impoundment perimeter ditch. Outside the perimeter ditch, vessels must be propelled by paddling, push pole, or electric trolling motor.

    C. * * *

    8. You are prohibited from entering the normal or expanded restricted areas of KSC. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and KSC maintain the right to close any portion of the refuge for any length of time. In that case, we will not refund or reissue any permits.

    15. We allow legally permitted hunters to scout within their permitted zones up to 7 days prior to their permitted hunts. You must carry your valid Quota Hunt Permit identifying the permitted hunt zone while scouting. You may not possess hunting weapons while scouting.

    16. We allow parking for scouting and/or hunting only along State Road (SR) 3, but not within the hunt areas or on any road marked as “Area Closed.”

    24. The bag limit and antler requirements for white-tailed deer on the refuge will follow State regulations but will not exceed two deer per hunt. We define antlered and antlerless deer according to State regulations.

    D. * * *

    3. You may launch boats for night fishing and boating activities only from Bair's Cove, Beacon 42, and Biolab boat ramps.

    14. When inside the impoundment perimeter ditch, you may use gasoline or diesel motors. Outside the perimeter ditch, vessels must be propelled by paddling, push pole, or electric trolling motor.

    7. Amend § 32.29 by revising paragraphs A, B, and C under the entry Savannah National Wildlife Refuge to read as follows:
    § 32.29 Georgia. Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

    A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of waterfowl and mourning dove on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. All hunters age 16 and older must possess and carry a signed refuge hunt permit (name/address/phone) and a State license. We charge a fee for all hunt permits.

    2. To participate in the youth waterfowl hunt, youth hunters must submit the Waterfowl Lottery Application (FWS Form 3-2355). You must pay an application fee to enter the hunt drawing.

    3. We allow temporary blinds only. You must remove decoys and other personal property from the refuge daily (see § 27.93 of this chapter).

    4. We allow shotguns for all migratory game bird hunting, but only with nontoxic shot size #2 or smaller.

    5. Youth hunters, defined as those age 15 and younger, must remain within sight and normal voice contact of an adult age 21 or older; the adult must possess a valid hunting license for the State in which they are hunting. One adult may supervise no more than two youth hunters.

    6. You may take feral hog and coyote during all refuge hunts (migratory bird, upland, and big game) with weapons authorized and legal for those hunts.

    7. You may use retrieving dogs. Dogs must remain under direct and constant control of the hunter.

    8. You must comply with all provisions of State and local law when possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on national wildlife refuges. You may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (see § 27.42 of this chapter and specific refuge regulations in part 32.)

    B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of squirrel and rabbit on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Conditions A1, A6, and A8 apply.

    2. For squirrel hunting, we allow rimfire rifles, rimfire pistols, or shotguns with nontoxic shot size #2 shot or smaller. We recommend but do not require solid copper or other nontoxic rimfire bullets. For rabbit hunting, we allow shotguns, but only with nontoxic shot size #2 or smaller.

    3. You may not hunt on or within 100 yards (90 meters) of public roads, refuge facilities, roads and trails, and railroad rights-of-way, or in closed areas.

    4. You may not use dogs for upland game hunting.

    5. During the period when upland game hunting coincides with the refuge gun hunt for deer and hogs, you must wear an outer garment containing a minimum of 500 square inches (3,226 square centimeters) of hunter-orange material above the waistline.

    6. Youth hunters, defined as those age 15 and younger, must remain within sight and normal voice contact of an adult age 21 or older; the adult must possess a valid hunting license for the State in which they are hunting. One adult may supervise no more than one youth hunter.

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer, turkey, feral hog, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Conditions A1, A6, A8, B3, and B6 apply.

    2. To participate in the gun hunt for wheelchair-dependent hunters, hunters must submit the Quota Deer Hunt Application (FWS Form 3-2354). To participate in the Youth Turkey Hunt & Learn Weekend, youth hunters must submit the Big/Upland Game Hunt Application (FWS Form 3-2356). You must pay an application fee to enter these hunt drawings.

    3. To participate in the youth-only deer or turkey hunts, youth hunters must request a free hunt permit from the refuge headquarters.

    4. You may only use bows, in accordance with State regulations, for deer, hog, and coyote hunting during the archery hunt for these species.

    5. You may only use shotguns (20 gauge or larger, slugs only), center-fire rifles, center-fire pistols, muzzleloaders, and bows, in accordance with State regulations, for deer, hog, and coyote hunting during the firearm hunts for these species.

    6. You must remove hunt stands following each day's hunt (see § 27.93 of this chapter).

    7. Hunters may take as many as five deer (no more than two antlered). There is no bag limit on feral hog or coyote.

    8. Turkey hunters may harvest only three gobblers (male turkey).

    9. We allow only shotguns with nontoxic #2 shot or smaller, and bows, in accordance with State regulations, for turkey hunting. We prohibit the use of slugs or buckshot for turkey hunting.

    10. We prohibit the use of trail or game cameras. We also prohibit the use of trail marking tacks, bright eyes, reflectors, reflecting tape, and any other markers, including biodegradable markers such as toilet paper and paper tape.

    11. We prohibit the use of dogs for big game hunting.

    8. Amend § 32.37 by: a. Revising paragraph A.19 under the entry Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge; b. Revising paragraphs A.14, C.3, C.5, and C.7 under the entry Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge; c. Under the entry Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraphs A.15, C.5, C.6, D.5, and D.6; and ii. Adding paragraph D.8; d. Under the entry Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraphs A.6, A.7, A.10, A.11, B.4, C.3, and C.8; ii. Adding paragraphs C.11 and C.12; and iii. Revising paragraph D.3; e. Revising paragraphs B.2, B.7, and C.5 under the entry Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge; f. Revising paragraph A.16 under the entry Delta National Wildlife Refuge; and g. Revising paragraph A.12 under the entry Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge.

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 32.37 Louisiana. Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    19. We prohibit the use of any type of material used as flagging or trail markers, except reflective tacks.

    Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    14. We prohibit the use of any type of material used as flagging or trail markers, except reflective tacks.

    C. * * *

    3. We allow hunting in the Centerville, Garden City, Bayou Sale, North Bend East, and North Bend West Units. We do not allow hunting within 500 feet (152.4 meters) of the Garden City parking area and boardwalk. The Bayou Sale Unit is not open for big game firearm hunts.

    5. You may take feral hogs only as incidental take while participating in the refuge deer archery hunt.

    7. During deer gun seasons, all hunters, except waterfowl hunters, must wear and display 400 square inches (2,580.6 square centimeters) of unbroken hunter-orange or blaze pink as the outermost layer of clothing on the chest and back and a hunter-orange or blaze pink cap. Deer hunters hunting from concealed ground blinds must display a minimum of 400 square inches (2,580.6 square centimeters) of hunter-orange or blaze pink above or around their blinds; this must be visible from 360 degrees.

    Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    15. We prohibit all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs).

    C. * * *

    5. You may erect temporary deer stands 2 days prior to the start of deer archery season. You must remove all deer stands within 2 days after the archery deer season closes. You may place only one deer stand on the refuge. Deer stands must have the owner's name, address, and phone number clearly printed on the stand. Hunting stands are not allowed on trees painted with white bands. You must place stands in a non-hunting position when not in use (see § 27.93 of this chapter).

    6. You may take hogs only as incidental take while participating in the refuge deer archery hunt.

    D. * * *

    5. We prohibit all commercial finfishing and shellfishing, including guiding, outfitting, lodging, club membership, or participating in a paid guided fishing trip (see § 27.97 of this chapter).

    6. Conditions A6, A8, A9, and A14 through A17 apply.

    8. You must attend to any fishing, crabbing, and crawfishing equipment at all times.

    Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    6. An adult at least age 21 must supervise youth hunters during all hunts. State regulations define youth hunter age and hunter-education requirements. One adult may supervise two youths during small game hunts and migratory bird hunts but may supervise only one youth during big game hunts. Youths must remain within normal voice contact of the adult who is supervising them. Parents or adult guardians are responsible for ensuring that youth hunters do not engage in conduct that would constitute a violation of refuge regulations.

    7. We prohibit hunting within 150 feet (45.7 meters) from the centerline of any public road, refuge road, designated or maintained trail, building, residence, designated camping area, or designated public facility, or from or across aboveground oil, gas, or electric facilities. We prohibit hunting in refuge-designated closed areas, which we post on the refuge and identify in the refuge hunt permits.

    10. You may not act as a hunting guide, outfitter, or in any other capacity whereby another individual(s) pays or promises to pay directly or indirectly for services rendered. You may not provide payment to any other person or persons for hunting on the refuge, regardless of whether the payment is for guiding, outfitting, lodging, or club membership (see § 27.97 of this chapter).

    11. We prohibit horses, trail cameras, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs), except UTVs are allowed on designated physically challenged hunt trails for big game. We provide specific size and tire pressure restrictions for UTVs in the refuge hunt permit (signed brochure).

    B. * * *

    4. All hunters in Louisiana (including archery hunters and small game hunters), except waterfowl hunters, must wear and display not less than 400 square inches (2,580.6 square centimeters) of unbroken hunter-orange or blaze pink as the outermost layer of clothing on the chest and back and a hunter-orange cap during deer gun seasons. While walking to and from elevated stands, all deer hunters must display a minimum of 400 square inches (2,580.6 square centimeters) of hunter-orange or blaze pink or a hunter-orange or blaze pink hat. All hunters in Mississippi must wear at least 500 square inches (3,226 square centimeters) of hunter-orange or blaze pink; this replaces the 400 square inches (2,580.6 square centimeters) required in Louisiana. During the dog season for squirrels and rabbits, all hunters, except waterfowl hunters, must wear a hunter-orange or blaze pink hat. Deer hunters hunting from concealed blinds must display at least 400 square inches (2,580.6 square centimeters) of hunter-orange or blaze pink above or around their blinds; this must be visible from 360 degrees.

    C. * * *

    3. We allow archery deer hunting during the open State deer archery season. You may take deer of either sex in accordance with State regulations. The State season limits apply.

    8. You may take hog as incidental game while participating in the refuge archery, primitive weapon, and general gun deer hunts and where otherwise specified. We list specific dates for the special hog hunts in February in the refuge hunt permit (signed brochure). During the special hog hunt in February, you must use trained hog-hunting dogs to aid in the take of hog. During the special hog hunt, you may take hog from 1/2 hour before legal sunrise until 1/2 hour after legal sunset. You may possess only approved nontoxic shot or pistol or rifle ammunition not larger than .22 caliber rimfire to take the hog after it has been caught by dogs. Condition A8 applies during special hog hunts in February.

    11. We prohibit using shot larger than BB lead or T steel while hunting during turkey season.

    12. We allow physically challenged big game hunters exclusive use of designated physically challenged hunt trails with limited use of UTVs in accordance with specific size and weight specifications. Specific hunt trails will be designated on the refuge hunt permit. Physically challenged hunters must pre-register hunting dates and specific location at the refuge office. An assistant may accompany the physically challenged hunter, but the assistant may not hunt.

    D. * * *

    3. We close the fishing ponds at the Pearl River Turnaround to fishing from April through the first full week of June and to boating during the months of April, May, June, and July.

    Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge

    B. * * *

    2. At the Headquarters Unit, we only allow squirrel and rabbit hunting. We set seasons annually.

    7. You may use shotguns for hunting but only with nontoxic shot and rifles .22 caliber rimfire or smaller. We prohibit possession of toxic shot when hunting.

    C. * * *

    5. We allow hunting of deer with primitive firearms during the first segment of the State season for area 1, weekdays only (Monday through Friday) and 2 days in December with these dates set annually. We allow either-sex, deer gun hunting for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving Day and for 2 days in December with these dates to be set annually.

    Delta National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    16. We prohibit the use of any type of material used as flagging or trail markers, except reflective tacks.

    Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    12. We prohibit the use of any type of material used as flagging or trail markers, except reflective tacks.

    9. Amend § 32.39 by: a. Revising paragraphs A, C, D.2, and D.3 under the entry Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge; and b. Revising paragraph C and D.4 under the entry Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 32.39 Maryland. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

    A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of goose and duck on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. You must obtain a refuge waterfowl hunting permit (signed brochure) by signing the corresponding season's refuge waterfowl hunting brochure in ink. You must abide by the terms and conditions outlined in the brochure (see § 32.2(e) of this chapter). Refuge waterfowl hunting brochures contain seasons, bag limits, methods of hunting, maps depicting areas open to hunting, hunt unit reservation procedures, and the terms and conditions under which we issue hunting permits. They are available at the refuge visitor center, administration office, and on the refuge's Web site.

    2. You must reserve your hunt unit in advance for a specific date using the call reservation system. You must be age 18 or older to reserve a hunt unit.

    3. Up to three additional hunters may accompany you on your reserved unit.

    4. You and those who accompany you must possess on your person a valid Maryland hunting license and all required stamps, a valid form of government-issued photo identification, and a printed valid hunting permit (signed brochure) at all times while on refuge property. We will not accept photocopies or electronic copies of these forms.

    5. We prohibit the use of natural vegetation for camouflaging blind material.

    6. Other than using motor vehicles on designated roads, you may only access the refuge by foot, except as authorized by the refuge manager.

    7. You may use trained dogs to assist in the retrieval of harvested birds.

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow the hunting of white-tailed and sika deer and turkey on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. General Hunt Regulations.

    i. Condition A6 applies.

    ii. You must obtain a deer or turkey hunting permit (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356 or Quota Deer Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2354). Hunting brochures, hunting application procedures, seasons, bag limits, methods of hunting, maps depicting areas open to hunting, and the terms and conditions under which we issue hunting permits are available at the refuge visitor center, administration office, and on the refuge's Web site.

    iii. You must possess on your person at all times while on refuge property: A valid Maryland hunting license and all required stamps, a valid form of government-issued photo identification, and a printed valid hunting permit (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356 or Quota Deer Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2354) issued by the refuge. We will not accept photocopies or electronic copies of these forms.

    iv. You may not hunt from a permanently constructed tree stand or blind.

    v. We prohibit organized deer drives, unless otherwise authorized by the refuge manager on designated hunt days.

    vi. You must notify and receive permission from a Service law enforcement officer, refuge manager, or designee if you need to retrieve game from a refuge closed area or a hunting area for which you do not possess a valid permit.

    vii. We prohibit shooting a projectile from a firearm, muzzleloader, bow, or crossbow from, down, or across any refuge road. A refuge road is any road that is traveled by vehicular traffic.

    viii. We prohibit parking in front of any gate. Parked vehicles may not impede any road traffic (see § 27.31(h) of this chapter).

    ix. You must make a reasonable effort to retrieve all wounded or killed game and include it in your daily bag limit. We prohibit leaving deer or turkey entrails or other waste within 50 feet (15.2 meters) of any road, parking area, trail, or refuge structure on the refuge.

    x. We allow the use of temporary tree stands and blinds for hunting. All stands and blinds left on refuge property, unoccupied, must be tagged in plain sight with your permit number and the years that are printed on your permit. You must remove all stands and blinds by legal sunset of a date established annually by the refuge manager.

    xi. We allow the use of marking devices, including flagging or tape, but you must remove them by legal sunset of a date established annually by the refuge manager. You may not use paint or any other permanent marker to mark trails.

    xii. You must wear fluorescent orange in accordance with State regulations during all designated firearm and muzzleloader deer hunts.

    xiii. You must check all deer harvested at the refuge-sponsored check station during hunt days when the refuge-sponsored check station is open. If you fail to check deer during operation hours of the check station, you must notify the hunt coordinator by noon on the day after your kill.

    xiv. You must adhere to the bag limits set forth annually in the brochure. Deer harvested on the refuge do not count toward State bag limits but must be recorded and checked with the State. Deer harvested on the refuge must be checked pursuant to the refuge hunt in which they are taken, regardless of the weapon used or corresponding State season.

    xv. The maximum speed limit on all refuge unpaved roads is 15 miles per hour (MPH).

    xvi. We prohibit the use of rimfire or centerfire rifles and all handguns, including muzzleloading pistols, for hunting.

    2. Archery Deer Hunt.

    i. We do not allow archery hunters to hunt within areas designated for the youth hunt on designated days.

    ii. Archery hunters are not required to wear fluorescent orange during State youth hunt days.

    3. Turkey Hunt.

    i. We allow you to take one bearded turkey per year; turkeys taken on the refuge count toward the State bag limit.

    ii. We allow turkey hunt permit holders to have an assistant, who must remain within sight and normal voice contact.

    a. Assistants must not be engaged in hunting; must read the turkey hunting brochure; and must sign, in ink, the permit (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356 or Quota Deer Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2354) of the person they are assisting.

    b. Assistants must possess a valid government-issued photo identification on their person while assisting.

    c. Assistants who call and/or set up decoys must possess a valid Maryland hunting license.

    4. Youth Deer and Turkey Hunt.

    i. We allow hunters to hunt on designated areas on designated days (Youth Hunt) if they meet the criteria of a “youth hunter” as defined by State law.

    ii. Youth hunters must be accompanied by an assistant consistent with the regulations established by State law.

    iii. All youth deer hunters and their assistants must wear fluorescent orange in accordance with State regulations while hunting in designated youth hunt areas.

    iv. Assistants must possess a valid refuge hunt brochure, signed in ink, and a valid government-issued photo identification.

    v. Deer taken during youth days do not count toward the State bag limit and are in addition to any other deer taken during any other hunts on the refuge.

    vi. Deer and turkey taken must be recorded and checked with the State.

    5. Designated Disabled Hunt Areas.

    i. All disabled hunters must possess a Federal Government Access pass (OMB Control 1024-0252).

    ii. Disabled hunters are required to have their Federal Government Access pass (OMB Control 1024-0252) in their possession while hunting in disabled areas. We will not accept photocopies or electronic copies.

    iii. Disabled hunters may have an assistant, at least age 18, who must remain within sight and normal voice contact.

    a. Non-hunting assistants must not be engaged in hunting and must possess a valid refuge hunt brochure, signed in ink, and a valid government-issued photo identification. Non-hunting assistants must also use fluorescent orange in accordance with condition C.1.xii.

    b. Assistants who wish to hunt deer must possess a valid hunt permit (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356 or Quota Deer Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2354) for that day for any hunt area.

    c. We do not allow assistants to enter a designated disabled hunting area unless they are accompanied by a certified disabled hunter.

    d. All refuge-provided hunt blinds are reserved for disabled hunters only; however, when a disabled hunter and their assistant occupy the same blind, both may take game.

    e. We do not require assistants to maintain sight and normal voice contact while retrieving game.

    iv. We only allow disabled hunters to operate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and off-road vehicles (ORVs); when the disabled hunter is unable to physically do so, the assistant may operate the ATV/ORV.

    a. Assistants may not operate an ATV/ORV without being accompanied on the same ATV/ORV by a disabled hunter.

    b. ATVs/ORVs must have at least one headlight and one red tail light that are operational between legal sunset and legal sunrise.

    c. Anyone who operates or rides on an ATV/ORV must wear protective headgear that meets the standards established in Transportation Article, section 21-1306, Annotated Code of Maryland, and use an eye-protective device or a windscreen that is of a type approved in Transportation Article, section 21-1306, Annotated Code of Maryland.

    d. We only allow ATVs/ORVs to be operated on established routes of travel and around field edges.

    e. We do not allow ATVs/ORVs to be operated in excess of 15 MPH.

    D. * * *

    2. We allow only fishing and crabbing from the Key Wallace roadway (bridge) across the Little Blackwater River and by boat, unless otherwise authorized by the refuge manager.

    3. You must possess a valid Maryland sport fishing license, all required stamps, and a valid form of government-issued photo identification while fishing on the refuge.

    Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer and turkey on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State hunting regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. General Hunt Regulations.

    i. You must obtain a deer or turkey hunting permit (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356). Hunting brochures contain hunting application procedures, seasons, bag limits, methods of hunting, maps depicting areas open to hunting, and the terms and conditions under which we issue hunting permits. They are available at the refuge visitor center, administration office, and on the refuge's Web site.

    ii. You must possess on your person at all times while on refuge property: A valid Maryland hunting license and all required stamps, a valid form of government-issued photo identification, and a valid hunting permit (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356) issued by the refuge. We will not accept photocopies or electronic copies of these documents.

    iii. You must display your refuge hunt parking pass in plain sight, on the dash of your vehicle during hunt and scout days.

    iv. We prohibit hunting from a permanently constructed tree stand or blind.

    v. You must notify and receive permission from a Service law enforcement officer, refuge manager, or designee if you need to retrieve game from a refuge closed area or a hunting area for which you do not possess a valid permit (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356).

    vi. Other than using motor vehicles on designated roads, you may only access the refuge by foot, except as authorized by the refuge manager.

    vii. We prohibit shooting a projectile from a firearm, muzzleloader, bow, or crossbow from, down, or across any refuge road. A refuge road is any road that is traveled by vehicular traffic.

    viii. You must park in designated areas. We prohibit parking in front of any gate. Parked vehicles may not impede any road traffic (see § 27.31(h) of this chapter).

    ix. You must make a reasonable effort to retrieve all wounded or killed game and include it in your daily bag limit. We prohibit leaving deer entrails or other waste within 50 feet (15.2 meters) of any refuge road, trail, parking area, or structure.

    x. We allow the use of temporary tree stands and blinds for hunting. All stands and blinds left on refuge property, unoccupied, must be tagged in plain sight with your permit number and the years that are printed on your permit. You must remove all stands and blinds by legal sunset of a date established annually by the refuge manager.

    xi. We allow the use of marking devices, including flagging or tape, but they must be removed by legal sunset of date established annually by the refuge. You may not use paint or any other permanent marker to mark trails.

    xii. You must use florescent orange in accordance with State regulations during all designated firearm and muzzleloader deer hunts.

    xiii. We prohibit the use of rimfire or centerfire rifles and all handguns, including muzzleloading pistols, for hunting.

    xiv. You must adhere to the bag limits set fourth annually in the brochure. Deer harvested on the refuge do not count toward State bag limits but must be recorded and checked with the State. Deer harvested on the refuge must be checked pursuant to the refuge hunt in which they are taken, regardless of the weapon used or corresponding State season.

    xv. The maximum speed limit on unpaved refuge roads is 15 miles per hour (MPH).

    2. Youth Deer Hunt.

    i. We allow hunters to hunt on designated areas on designated days (Youth Hunt) if they meet the criteria of a “youth hunter” as defined by State law.

    ii. Youth hunters must be accompanied by an assistant consistent with the regulations established by State law.

    iii. All youth deer hunters and their assistants must wear fluorescent orange in accordance with State regulations while hunting in designated youth hunt areas.

    iv. Assistants must possess a valid refuge hunt brochure, signed in ink, and a valid government-issued photo identification.

    v. Deer taken during youth days do not count toward the State bag limit and are in addition to any other deer taken during any other hunts on the refuge.

    vi. Deer taken must be recorded and checked with the State.

    3. Designated Disabled Hunt.

    i. All disabled hunters must possess a Federal Government Access pass (OMB Control 1024-0252). Disabled hunters are required to have their Federal Government Access pass (OMB Control 1024-0252) in their possession while hunting in disabled areas. We will not accept photocopies or electronic copies of the Federal Government Access pass.

    ii. Disabled hunters may have an assistant who must be age 18 or older and remain within sight and normal voice contact.

    a. Non-hunting assistants must not be engaged in hunting and must possess a valid refuge hunt brochure, signed in ink, and a valid government-issued photo identification. We will not accept photocopies of these documents. Non-hunting assistants must also wear fluorescent orange in accordance with C.1.xii.

    b. Assistants who wish to deer hunt must possess a valid refuge hunt permit (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356) for that day.

    c. We do not allow assistants to enter a designated disabled hunting area unless they are accompanied by a certified disabled hunter.

    d. All refuge-provided hunt blinds are reserved for disabled hunters only; however, when a disabled hunter and their assistant occupy the same blind, both may take game.

    e. We do not require assistants to maintain sight and normal voice contact while retrieving game.

    iii. We allow only disabled hunters to operate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and off-road vehicles (ORVs); when the disabled hunter is unable to physically do so, the assistant may operate the ATV/ORV.

    a. Assistants may not operate an ATV without being accompanied on the same ATV by a disabled hunter.

    b. ATVs/ORVs must have at least one headlight and one red tail light that are operational between legal sunset and legal sunrise.

    c. Anyone who operates or rides on a ATV/ORV must wear protective headgear that meets the standards established in Transportation Article, section 21-1306, Annotated Code of Maryland, and must use an eye-protective device or a windscreen of a type approved in Transportation Article, section 21-1306, Annotated Code of Maryland.

    d. We only allow ATVs/ORVs to be operated on established routes of travel and around field edges.

    e. We do not allow ATVs/ORVs to be operated in excess of 15 miles per hour (MPH).

    D. * * *

    4. You must possess a valid Maryland sport fishing license and all required stamps, and valid form of government-issued photo identification while fishing on the refuge.

    10. Amend § 32.43 by: a. Under the entry Hillside National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraphs A.1 and A.7; ii. Redesignating paragraph A.21 as A.22; and iii. Adding a new paragraph A.21; b. Revising paragraph B.6 under the entry Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge; c. Under the entry Mathews Brake National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraph A.7; and ii. Adding paragraph A.22; d. Under the entry Morgan Brake National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraph A.7; and ii. Adding paragraph A.21; e. Under the entry Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising introductory text in paragraph A and paragraph A.7; and ii. Adding paragraphs A.22 and C.9; and f. Under the entry Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraph A.7; ii. Adding paragraph A.20; and iii. Revising introductory text in paragraphs B and C.

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 32.43 Mississippi. Hillside National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    1. Each person age 16 and older hunting or fishing must possess a valid Theodore Roosevelt Complex Annual Public Use Permit (name/address/phone number).

    7. We prohibit the use of plastic flagging tape, reflective tacks, and other similar marking devices.

    21. Waterfowl hunters are limited to 25 shotshells per person in the field.

    Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge

    B. * * *

    6. We prohibit the use of plastic flagging tape, reflective tacks, and other similar marking devices.

    Mathews Brake National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    7. We prohibit the use of plastic flagging tape, reflective tacks, and other similar marking devices.

    22. Waterfowl hunters are limited to 25 shotshells per person in the field.

    Morgan Brake National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    7. We prohibit the use of plastic flagging tape, reflective tacks, and other similar marking devices.

    21. Waterfowl hunters are limited to 25 shotshells per person in the field.

    Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

    A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of goose, duck, merganser, coot, and dove on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following regulations:

    7. We prohibit the use of plastic flagging tape, reflective tacks, and other similar marking devices.

    22. Waterfowl hunters are limited to 25 shotshells per person in the field.

    C. * * *

    9. Limited draw hunts for persons with disabilities will be held in November, December, and/or January. We will make hunt dates and permit application procedures (name/address/phone number) available at the Theodore Roosevelt Complex headquarters.

    Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    7. We prohibit the use of plastic flagging tape, reflective tacks, and other similar marking devices.

    20. Waterfowl hunters are limited to 25 shotshells per person in the field.

    B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of squirrel, rabbit, and raccoon on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    § 32.44 [Amended]
    11. Amend § 32.44 by removing the heading “Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge”; adding in its place the heading “Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge”; and moving the entry into alphabetical order within the section. 12. Amend § 32.47 by revising paragraph A.5 under the entry Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge to read as follows:
    § 32.47 Nevada. Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    5. We prohibit boating outside of the waterfowl and youth waterfowl hunting season except in Willow Lake where we allow nonmotorized boating from July 1 to March 1.

    13. Amend § 32.49 by revising paragraph D.1 under the entry Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge to read as follows:
    § 32.49 New Jersey. Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge

    D. * * *

    1. We allow fishing in and along the banks of the Wallkill River. We allow shore fishing only in the pond at Owens Station Crossing, Vernon, New Jersey. Fishing at Owens State Crossing is catch and release only.

    14. Amend § 32.51, the entry for Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, by: a. Redesignating paragraphs A.1.xiii through A.1.xix as A.1.xiv through A.1.xx; b. Adding a new paragraph A.1.xiii; c. Revising newly redesignated paragraphs A.1.xvii and A.1.xx; and d. Revising paragraphs A.2.iii, B.1, and C.13.

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 32.51 New York. Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    1. * * *

    xiii. If you have a reservation but do not show up to hunt, and do not cancel your reservation 12 hours prior to legal shooting time, then you may be ineligible to hunt the next 3 hunt days. This decision is at the refuge manager's discretion.

    xvii. Waterfowl hunters may possess a maximum of 15 shot shells on their person or in their means of conveyance.

    xx. You must possess, carry, and present upon request to any law enforcement officer a valid daily hunt permit card (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361). You must return the daily hunt permit card at the end of hunting. You may obtain a permit at the Hunter Check Station during the check-in process, and return it to the Hunter Check Station or at the box located at the north end of the Tschache Pool dike.

    2. * * *

    iii. You must possess, carry, and present upon request to any Service law enforcement officer a valid daily hunt permit card (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361). You must return the daily hunt permit card at the end of hunting or at the end of the day. You may obtain a permit at the Hunter Check Station on State Route 89 and return it to the same location; obtaining a permit will be on a first-come, first-served basis each hunt day.

    B. * * *

    1. You must carry and present upon request to any Service law enforcement officer a valid daily hunt permit card (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356). You must return the daily hunt permit card at the end of hunting or at the end of the day. You may obtain a permit at the Hunter Check Station on State Route 89 and return it to the same location; obtaining a permit during the fall season will be on a first-come, first-served basis each hunt day.

    C. * * *

    13. We prohibit boats and canoes on refuge pools. We prohibit hunting on the open-water portions of the refuge pools until the pools are frozen; when frozen, we allow access for hunting at the refuge manager's discretion.

    15. Amend § 32.53 by: a. Revising paragraph C introductory text under the entry Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge; and b. Under the entry Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraph B introductory text and paragraphs B.1 through B.5; and ii. Revising paragraph C introductory text.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 32.53 North Dakota. Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow deer and moose hunting on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge

    B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of wild turkey during the spring season, and sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, and pheasant on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. We allow the use of dogs for hunting and retrieving of upland game birds with the exception of wild turkey. Dogs must be under immediate control of the hunter (see § 26.21(b) of this chapter).

    2. We open for sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, and pheasant hunting on Unit I during the State hunting season. Unit I includes all refuge land north of the township road that runs east of Tolley, across Dam 41 (Carter Dam), and east to State Route 28.

    3. We open for sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, and pheasant hunting on Unit II during the State hunting season, except we close from the first day of the regular State waterfowl season through the last day of State deer gun season. Unit II includes refuge land between Lake Darling Dam and Unit I.

    4. We close land south of Lake Darling Dam to sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, and pheasant hunting.

    5. We prohibit sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, pheasant, and spring wild turkey hunting in the area around refuge headquarters, buildings, shops, residences, Outlet Fishing Area, and Lake Darling Dam water control structure. We post these areas with “Closed to Hunting” signs.

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow deer and moose hunting on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    16. Amend § 32.55 by: a. Revising paragraphs A.7, A.8, B.6, C.1, C.3, and C.5 under the entry Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge; and b. Revising paragraphs B and C under the entry Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 32.55 Oklahoma. Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    7. We prohibit horse and mule use on the refuge.

    8. We provide access for hunters with disabilities.

    B. * * *

    6. We offer refuge-controlled turkey hunts. You must possess a State-issued controlled hunt letter and pay a fee for these hunts.

    C. * * *

    1. You must possess and carry a signed refuge permit (name only) for the archery deer hunt. Hunters must turn in a Big Game Harvest Report (FWS Form 3-2359) by December 31 annually. Failure to submit the report will render the hunter ineligible for the next year's limited season archery deer hunt.

    3. You may hunt feral hog during any established refuge hunting season. Refuge permits (either a signed refuge permit or a State-issued controlled hunt letter) and legal weapons apply for the current hunting season.

    5. We offer refuge-controlled deer hunts (primitive weapon, disabled primitive, and youth primitive). You must possess a permit (a State-issued controlled hunt letter) and pay a fee for these hunts.

    Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

    B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of Eastern gray and fox squirrel and swamp and Eastern cottontail rabbit on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Conditions A3, A4, A5, A8, and A12 apply.

    2. You must possess and carry a signed refuge brochure; this serves as your Upland Game Hunting Permit. The permit/brochure is available free of charge at the refuge headquarters, at various entry points to the refuge, and on our Web site. You must abide by all rules and regulations listed on the permit (see § 32.2(e) of this chapter).

    3. We prohibit hunters entering the Sandtown Bottom Unit prior to 5 a.m. during the hunting season. Hunters must leave the Sandtown Bottom Unit by 1 hour after legal sunset.

    4. We open the refuge to hunting on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. We generally open the following units: Sandtown Bottom, Webber Bottom, Girty Bottom, Possum Hollow, and Vian Creek.

    5. Season lengths and bag limits will be in accordance with State regulations with the exception that all upland game hunting will close on January 31 of each year.

    6. We only allow legal shotguns and approved nontoxic shot (see § 32.2(k) of this chapter). You must plug hunting shotguns so that they are incapable of holding more than three shells. We also allow .22/.17 rimfire rifles for hunting upland game.

    7. We prohibit squirrel and rabbit hunting in the Cook, Hi-Saw/Shelby, Delta Islands, and Haskell Management Units.

    8. Incidental take of feral hogs may occur during squirrel and rabbit hunting season.

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Conditions A8, A9, and A12 apply.

    2. You must possess and carry a hunt permit (State-issued permit), and comply with the designated refuge season, hunting methods, and location guidelines for that year.

    3. Hunters must apply to the State-controlled deer hunt drawing administered by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for selection. You must attend a pre-hunt briefing.

    4. You must pay State and Federal special deer hunting fees.

    5. Incidental take of feral hogs may occur during deer hunting season.

    17. Amend § 32.56 by: a. Under the entry Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraph A.1; ii. Redesignating paragraphs A.2 through A.11 as A.3 through A.12, respectively; iii. Adding a new paragraph A.2; and iv. Revising newly redesignated paragraph A.8; and b. Revising paragraph D under the entry Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

    The addition and revisions read as follows:

    § 32.56 Oregon. Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    1. Only hunters age 17 or younger are allowed to participate in the Youth Waterfowl Hunt. Youths must be accompanied by an adult age 21 or older.

    2. Youth must obtain a refuge waterfowl hunting permit using the Waterfowl Lottery Application (FWS Form 3-2355). All youth hunting waterfowl must do so from designated blinds.

    8. Waterfowl and goose permit hunters are required to check in and out at the Hunter Check Station (refuge office), which is open from 11/2 hours before legal hunting hours to 8 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. We prohibit hunting after 12 p.m. (noon).

    Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge

    D. Sport Fishing. We allow fishing and clamming in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. We allow recreational bank fishing from the Alder Island Nature Trail.

    2. We allow clamming on refuge lands and access across refuge lands to State-managed tidelands for clamming on the west side of U.S. Highway 101.

    3. We prohibit pets on refuge trails or other refuge lands. We allow leashed pets only in the parking lot.

    4. We allow fishing only from legal sunrise to legal sunset.

    18. Amend § 32.63, the entry for Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, by: a. Revising paragraph A.10; b. Adding paragraph A.15; c. Revising paragraph B; d. Revising paragraphs C.2, D.2, and D.4; and e. Adding paragraphs D. 15 through D.18.

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 32.63 Texas. Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    10. We prohibit airboats, hovercraft, and personal watercraft (such as Jet Skis, wave runners, and jet boats) on refuge waters.

    15. We prohibit blocking of gates and roads (see § 27.31(h) of this chapter).

    B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of squirrel and rabbit in the months of February and September on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions: Conditions A1 through A15 apply.

    C. * * *

    2. Conditions A2, A5 through A7, and A10 through A15 apply.

    D. * * *

    2. Conditions A10, and A12 through A15 apply.

    4. We allow wade fishing March 15 through October 1 annually from all areas except Refuge Road, Wildlife Drive, Plover Road, Tern Road, and Egret Road.

    15. We prohibit boats and other floating devices on all open waters of Lake Texoma, except Big Mineral Creek from October 1 through March 14 annually.

    16. At the point where Big Mineral Creek joins Lake Texoma, Big Mineral Creek becomes a year-round no wake zone to the end of upstream navigable waters.

    17. From October 1 through March 14, we allow only nonmotorized boats in Big Mineral Creek from the point where it joins Lake Texoma to the upstream end of navigable waters. You may not have any type of gas or electric motor onboard that is capable of use. You may launch boats from a boat ramp only from L Pad Road or by hand at the Big Mineral Day Use Area.

    18. We prohibit discarding fish whole or in part on refuge lands and waters.

    19. Amend § 32.65 by revising paragraphs A.1.ii, A.1.iii, A.1.iii.c, A.1.iii.d, A.1.iv.a through A.1.iv.d, A.1.iv.g through A.1.iv.i, A.1.iv.m, A.1.iv.p, A.1.v.c, and introductory text of A.1.vi. under the entry Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge to read as follows:
    § 32.65 Vermont. Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge

    A. * * *

    1. * * *

    ii. Maquam Shore Area encompasses a 30-acre area along the lakeshore of Maquam Bay and is bounded by private land on the west and a Vermont wildlife management area on the east. In the Maquam Shore Area, conditions A.1.i.a. through A.1.i.f. apply.

    iii. Saxes Pothole/Creek and Shad Island Pothole encompass Saxes Creek, Saxes Pothole, and Shad Island Pothole. This is a controlled hunting area. We stake and make available five zones (numbered 1 through 5) to five hunting parties in Saxes Pothole; zone 6 is staked and available to one hunting party in Shad Island Pothole.

    c. You may apply to a preseason lottery (Waterfowl Lottery Application, FWS Form 3-2355) to obtain a permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) for the opening day of duck hunting season through the first Sunday of the duck hunting season and for the second weekend of the duck hunting season. During the years when the State elects to have a split season, you may also obtain your permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) for the second opening day through the following Sunday through application to the preseason lottery (Waterfowl Lottery Application, FWS Form 3-2355). On all other hunt days, you must acquire a permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) through self-registration at the Mac's Bend Landing no earlier than 2 hours before legal shooting time on the day of the hunt.

    d. Hunters selected during the preseason lottery (Waterfowl Lottery Application, FWS Form 3-2355) must pay a $10 fee. The refuge must receive the fee no later than 2 days before the opening of the season or the selected hunter forfeits the permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361), which we will then make available to other hunters on a first-come, first-served basis. The fee is paid for any permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) assigned before the day of the hunt. There is no fee for any permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) obtained on the day of the hunt.

    iv. * * *

    a. Junior waterfowl hunters (ages 12-17, inclusive, at the time of the hunt), following successful completion of the annual training program (usually held the third or fourth Saturday in August), vie for blind site assignments during a lottery drawing (Waterfowl Lottery Application, FWS Form 3-2355) at the conclusion of the training. The 11 blind sites are available exclusively to these junior waterfowl hunters and their mentors during the first four Saturdays and Sundays of the duck season.

    b. During a lottery drawing (Waterfowl Lottery Application, FWS Form 3-2355) at the conclusion of the annual junior waterfowl hunter training, adult volunteers who serve as mentors to junior waterfowl hunters will vie for the use of junior hunt area blind sites on the first Wednesday following the second weekend of the season. This is known as Mentor Day, and there is no fee charged to mentors. Any junior hunt area blinds not assigned at the conclusion of the annual junior waterfowl hunter training will be available to other adult hunters via a preseason lottery (Waterfowl Lottery Application, FWS Form 3-2355). Mentors will also be permitted to hunt alongside the junior hunters on the last two Saturdays and Sundays of the junior hunt period.

    c. Following the use of the blind sites in this area by junior hunters and junior hunter mentors, all blind sites are then available to all adult hunters by permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) awarded via a preseason lottery (Waterfowl Lottery Application, FWS Form 3-2355) for the second Wednesday following the second weekend of the duck season; and on weekends following the junior hunt by a first-come, first-served basis; hunters must self-register at the Mac's Bend boat launch.

    d. Hunters, including junior hunters, with preregistered permits (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) must sign in at the Mac's Bend boat launch no later than 7 a.m. on the date of their scheduled hunt. After 7 a.m., other hunters may sign in, self-register, and use unoccupied blind sites. Only junior hunters may hunt on the first four Saturdays and Sundays of the season. Adult mentors may hunt alongside their junior hunters for the last two Saturdays and Sundays of the junior hunt period. During this time, there still can only be two hunters per blind site (one junior and one mentor, or two juniors), regardless of the number of mentees.

    g. Each adult hunter, except mentors on Mentor Day, must pay $10 for each permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) issued during the preseason lottery (Waterfowl Lottery Application, FWS Form 3-2355). Permits acquired by self-registration are free.

    h. Only junior hunters may discharge a firearm in this area during the youth weekend and the first two weekends of the season. Adult mentors may hunt alongside one junior mentee for the remainder of the junior hunt period.

    i. We allow and recommend hunting from portable blinds and boat blinds constructed and placed by the refuge at some of the junior blind sites. Junior hunters are assigned a blind location by a lottery. We prohibit permanent blinds.

    m. At the end of each day's hunt, each hunter must complete and deposit at Mac's Bend boat launch that portion of their permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) that provides the number of birds harvested and number of birds knocked down but not retrieved.

    p. A hunting party consists of the hunter named on the permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) and one guest hunter per blind site per day. Junior hunters may not invite a guest hunter unless it is another refuge-trained junior hunter. Nonhunters may accompany a hunting party.

    v. * * *

    c. Hunters selected during the preseason lottery (Waterfowl Lottery Application, FWS Form 3-2355) must pay a $10 fee. The refuge must receive the fee no later than 2 days before the opening of the season or the selected hunter forfeits the permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361), which will be made available first to standby hunters identified at the time of the drawing, and second to other hunters on a first-come, first-served basis. You must pay the fee for any permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) before the day of the hunt. There is no fee for any permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Report, FWS Form 3-2361) obtained on the day of the hunt.

    vi. Maquam Swamp Area encompasses about 200 acres (80.9 hectares) west of the Central Vermont Railroad and south of Coleman's inholding and is open to migratory bird hunting with the following special requirements:

    20. Amend § 32.66 by: a. Revising paragraphs A, C, and D under the entry Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge; b. Under the entry Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge: i. Revising paragraphs C.3 and C.5; ii. Removing paragraphs C.6, C.10, and C.11; iii. Redesignating paragraphs C.7 through C.9 as C.6 through C.8, respectively; and iv. Revising newly redesignated paragraph C.8; and c. Revising paragraph C under the entry Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 32.66 Virginia. Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

    A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of waterfowl (as defined by the Virginia Waterfowl Hunting Guide) and rail on designated areas of the refuge within Wildcat Marsh, Morris Island, Assawoman Island, and Metompkin Island Divisions in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. You must obtain a Refuge Migratory Game Bird Hunt Permit (Migratory Bird Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2357) and maintain the permit on your person while hunting on the refuge.

    2. You may only access hunting areas by boat.

    3. You may erect portable blinds and deploy decoys; however, during the regular duck seasons, you must remove the blinds and decoys at the end of each day's hunt (see § 27.93 of this chapter). We prohibit hunting from a permanent blind or pit blind.

    4. You may use trained dogs to assist in the retrieval of harvested birds.

    5. We prohibit hunting on Assawoman and Metompkin Islands' beach and dune habitats beginning March 15.

    6. We do not allow hunting on Sunday.

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer and sika in designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. General hunt information:

    i. You must possess a refuge hunt permit (Quota Deer Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2354) while hunting.

    ii. You must certify on your application you have viewed the refuge's hunt orientation.

    iii. We allow holders of a refuge hunt permit (Quota Deer Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2354) to access areas of the refuge typically closed to the non-hunting public. All occupants of a vehicle or hunt party must possess a refuge hunt permit and be actively engaged in hunting. We allow an exception to exist for those persons aiding a disabled person who possesses a valid State-issued Commonwealth of Virginia Disabled Resident Lifetime License or Commonwealth of Virginia Resident Disabled Veteran's Lifetime License.

    iv. You must sign in at the hunter registration station prior to entering your hunt zone and sign out upon exiting your hunt zone. All hunters must sign out no later than 2 hours after the end of legal shooting hours.

    v. You must check all harvested animals at the hunter registration station prior to signing out.

    vi. We prohibit the use of a boat, all-terrain vehicle (see § 27.31(f) of this chapter), or saddled animal to access hunt areas or while hunting.

    vii. We allow the use of portable tree stands, but you must remove stands at the end of each day's hunt (see § 27.93 of this chapter).

    viii. You may not hunt within 100 feet (30.5 meters) of any building.

    ix. We prohibit deer drives. We define a “drive” as four or more persons involved in the act of chasing, pursuing, disturbing, or otherwise directing deer so as to make the animal more susceptible to harvest.

    x. We prohibit hunting on Sundays.

    2. Archery hunt information:

    i. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer and sika with archery tackle, as defined by the State, in designated areas of the refuge.

    ii. You may not hunt or nock an arrow or crossbow bolt within 50 feet (15.2 meters) of the centerline of any road, whether improved or unimproved, or paved trail.

    3. Firearm hunt information:

    i. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer and sika with firearms in designated areas of the refuge.

    ii. You may not hunt or discharge a firearm on or within 50 feet (15.2 meters) of the centerline of any road, whether improved or unimproved, or paved trail. You may not shoot across or down any road or paved trail.

    D. Sport Fishing. We allow sport fishing, crabbing, and clamming from the shoreline of the refuge in designated areas of Tom's Cove, Swan's Cove, and the Atlantic Ocean in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. You may not wade or launch a vessel in any water management areas.

    2. You must attend minnow traps, crab traps, crab pots, and handlines at all times.

    3. We prohibit the use of seine nets and pneumatic (compressed air or otherwise) bait launchers.

    4. The State regulates certain species of finfish, shellfish, and crustacean (crab) using size or possession limits. You may not alter these species, to include cleaning or filleting, in such a way that we cannot determine its species or total length.

    5. In order to fish after the refuge closes, anglers must obtain an overnight fishing pass (name/address/phone) issued by the National Park Service. Anglers can obtain a pass in person at the National Park Service Tom's Cove Visitor Center.

    6. We allow only three surf fishing poles per licensed angler, and those poles must be attended at all times. This includes persons age 65 or older who are license-exempt in Virginia.

    Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge

    C. * * *

    3. We allow holders of a refuge big game hunt permit (signed brochure) to access areas of the refuge typically closed to the non-hunting public. All occupants of a vehicle or hunt party must possess a refuge hunt permit and be actively engaged in hunting. We allow an exception to exist for those persons aiding a disabled person who possesses a valid State-issued Commonwealth of Virginia Disabled Resident Lifetime License or Commonwealth of Virginia Resident Disabled Veteran's Lifetime License.

    5. We allow the use of portable tree stands, but stands must be removed daily.

    8. We only allow shotguns loaded with buckshot during the firearm season.

    Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer in designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. You must obtain a refuge hunt permit (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356) and carry it on your person while hunting.

    2. You must sign in at the hunter registration station prior to entering your hunt zone and sign out upon exiting your hunt zone. All hunters must sign out no later than 2 hours after the end of legal shooting hours.

    3. You must report all harvested animals on the sign-out sheet at the hunter registration station when signing out.

    4. We allow the use of portable tree stands. You must remove stands by the end of the hunt season (see § 27.93 of this chapter).

    5. We prohibit dogs.

    6. You must park your vehicle in designated areas.

    7. We prohibit deer drives. We define a “drive” as four or more persons involved in the act of chasing, pursuing, disturbing, or otherwise directing deer so as to make the animal more susceptible to harvest.

    21. Amend § 32.69 by: a. Under the entry Fox River National Wildlife Refuge: i. Removing paragraph C.2; ii. Redesignating paragraphs C.3 through C.5 as C.2 through C.4, respectively; and iii. Revising newly redesignated paragraph C.3; b. Revising paragraphs A, B, and C under the entry Horicon National Wildlife Refuge; and c. Revising paragraph D under the entry Leopold Wetland Management District.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 32.69 Wisconsin. Fox River National Wildlife Refuge

    C. * * *

    3. You may enter the refuge no earlier than 1 hour before legal shooting hours and must exit the refuge no later than 1 hour after legal shooting hours end.

    Horicon National Wildlife Refuge

    A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of goose, duck, and coot on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following condition: We allow only participants in the Learn to Hunt and other special programs to hunt.

    B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of wild turkey, ring-necked pheasant, gray partridge, squirrel, and cottontail rabbit on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations during the State seasons and subject to the following conditions:

    1. For hunting, you may possess only approved nontoxic shot shells while in the field, including shot shells used for hunting wild turkey (see § 32.2(k) of this chapter).

    2. We prohibit field possession of upland game species in areas closed to upland game hunting.

    3. We prohibit engaging in hunting in areas closed to upland game hunting.

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer in designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. We prohibit the construction or use of permanent blinds, platforms, or ladders.

    2. You must remove all stands and personal property from the refuge following each day's hunt. We prohibit hunting from any stand left up overnight (see §§ 27.93 and 27.94 of this chapter).

    3. You must possess a refuge permit (Big/Upland Game Hunt Application, FWS Form 3-2356) to hunt in Area E (surrounding the office/visitor center).

    4. You may only hunt in Area D (auto tour/hiking trail) during the State 9-day gun season and December antlerless-only hunts. The refuge will post these dates annually.

    5. You may enter the refuge no earlier than 1 hour before legal shooting hours and must exit the refuge no later than 1 hour after legal shooting hours.

    6. Any ground blind used during any gun deer season must display at least 144 square inches (929 square centimeters) of solid-blaze-orange material visible from all directions.

    7. We prohibit the field possession of white-tailed deer in areas closed to white-tailed deer hunting.

    8. We prohibit engaging in hunting in areas closed to white-tailed deer hunting.

    Leopold Wetland Management District

    D. Sport Fishing. We allow sport fishing on Waterfowl Production Areas throughout the District in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following condition: We prohibit the use of motorized boats.

    Dated: July 13, 2017. Virginia Johnson, Acting Assistant Secretary, Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16374 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    82 153 Thursday, August 10, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request August 7, 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 and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by September 11, 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 20503. Commentors 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) 720-8681.

    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.

    Forest Service

    Title: Interagency Generic Clearance for Federal Land Management Agencies Collaborative Visitor Feedback Surveys on Recreation and Transportation Related Programs and Systems.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0236.

    Summary of Collection: Section 1119 of Public Law 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) requires the Secretary of Transportation to implement transportation planning procedures for Federal lands and tribal transportation facilities that are consistent with the planning processes required under sections 134 and 135 of title 23[6]. The section also specifies the collection and reporting of data necessary to implement the Federal lands transportation program, the Federal lands access program, and the tribal transportation program in accordance with the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. The Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMAs) include, but are not limited to: Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Presidio Trust, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Transportation. FLMAs will collect information to help them improve transportation conditions, site-or area-specific services, programs, services, and recreation and resource management of FLMA lands.

    Need and Use of the Information: A combination of surveys, focus groups and interviews, are designed to collect information about visitors' perceptions, experiences and expectations, with respect to road and/or travel transportation conditions, services, and recreation opportunities at various FLMA locations and across areas that could include multiple locations managed by different FLMAs. This information is vital to establish and/or revise goals and objectives that will help improve transportation systems and recreation and resource management plans and to facilitate interagency coordination at area, state, regional, and/or national scales which will better meet the needs of the public and the resources under FLMA management.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents: 69,900.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 15,255.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16885 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0102] Notice of Determination of the Classical Swine Fever, Swine Vesicular Disease, African Swine Fever, Foot-and-Mouth Disease, and Rinderpest Status of Malta AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adding the Republic of Malta to the lists of regions considered to be free of swine vesicular disease (SVD), African swine fever (ASF), foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), and rinderpest, and to the list of regions considered free or low risk for classical swine fever (CSF), subject to conditions in the regulations governing the importation of certain animals and animal products into the United States. Based on our evaluation of the animal health status of Malta, which we made available to the public for review and comment through a previous notice, the Administrator has determined that Malta is free of SVD, ASF, FMD, and rinderpest, and is low risk for CSF. This action establishes the disease status of Malta with regard to SVD, ASF, FMD, rinderpest, and CSF while continuing to protect the United States from introduction of those diseases.

    DATES:

    This change in disease status will be recognized on September 11, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Chip Wells, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Regionalization Evaluation Services, National Import Export Services, VS, APHIS, USDA, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; [email protected]; (301) 851-3317.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of certain animals and animal products into the United States to prevent the introduction of various animal diseases, including classical swine fever (CSF), foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), rinderpest, African swine fever (ASF), and swine vesicular disease (SVD). The regulations prohibit or restrict the importation of live ruminants and swine, and products from these animals, from regions where these diseases are considered to exist.

    The regulations in 9 CFR 92.2 contain requirements for requesting the recognition of the animal health status of a region (as well as for the approval of the export of a particular type of animal or animal product to the United States from a foreign region). If, after review and evaluation of the information submitted in support of the request, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) believes the request can be safely granted, APHIS will make its evaluation available for public comment through a document published in the Federal Register.

    In accordance with that process, on May 13, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 29834-29836, Docket No. APHIS-2015-0102) a notice 1 announcing the availability for review and comment of our risk evaluation of the FMD, rinderpest, ASF, CSF, and SVD status of the Republic of Malta. Based on this evaluation, we determined that the animal disease surveillance, prevention, and control measures implemented by Malta are sufficient to minimize the likelihood of introducing FMD, rinderpest, ASF, CSF, and SVD into the United States via imports of species or products susceptible to these diseases.

    1 To view the notice of availability, risk evaluation, environmental assessment, and the comment we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0102.

    We also determined in our evaluation that Malta is low risk for CSF and therefore eligible to be added to the APHIS-defined European CSF region. This region is subject to the conditions in § 94.31 for pork, pork products, and swine and § 98.38 for swine semen. We also determined that the provisions of § 94.11 for import conditions for meat or meat products from ruminants or swine from FMD-free regions, and of § 94.13 for import conditions for pork or pork products from SVD-free regions, are applicable to Malta. With respect to rinderpest, the global distribution of the disease has diminished significantly. In May 2011, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) announced its recognition of global rinderpest freedom.

    We solicited comments on the notice of availability for 60 days ending on July 12, 2016, and received one comment by that date. The commenter, representing a national pork industry association, expressed concern over the risk of allowing imports into the United States of live swine, pork and pork products from Malta. The commenter stated that any incursion of FMD, CSF, ASF, or SVD into the United States resulting from such imports would precipitate an immediate and costly loss of export markets for these commodities. The comment is discussed below.

    Disease Surveillance

    The commenter disagreed with our determination that passive disease surveillance conducted by the veterinary authority of Malta is sufficient to mitigate the risk to the United States from importations of swine, pork, and pork products.

    The commenter noted that in the risk analysis, we cited Malta's “lack of capacity or intention for developing exports” to support our conclusion that passive disease surveillance would be sufficient to detect any cases of CSF, SVD, ASF, FMD, or rinderpest. In challenging our conclusion, the commenter cited two articles. One article noted Malta's efforts to improve the health and management of its pigs in order to compete with European Union (EU) pork production standards, and reported that surplus swine are exported from Malta to Sicily for finishing and producing Parma ham.2 The other article stated that Malta was engaged in discussions with other EU Member States about exporting pork.3 The commenter asked if the information contained in these articles is significant enough for APHIS to reconsider its risk evaluation and require Malta to undertake active disease surveillance of its swine before recognizing Malta as being free of SVD, ASF, and FMD and adding Malta to the APHIS-defined European CSF region.

    2 ACMC Ltd., April 18, 2011.

    3Malta Independent, March 19, 2014: http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2014-03-19/news/plans-to-export-pork-put-on-the-back-burner-4309385218/.

    We acknowledge the commenter's concerns but do not consider the information presented in the articles to be sufficient to reconsider the findings of our risk evaluation. APHIS considers both active and passive surveillance activities when evaluating the animal health system of a region.4 In the case of Malta, APHIS noted its long history of disease freedom (over 33 years) based on the results of both periodic active (most recently in 2007 and 2010) and passive surveillance; its geographic isolation and lack of land borders; movement controls based on EU Member State standards; requirements for farmers and private veterinarians to file notice of any suspected cases of diseases of concern; frequent farm visits by official veterinarians (about every 2 weeks); as well as its small livestock population and limited capacity to enlarge the scope or size of its animal and animal product export market. These factors lead APHIS to conclude that the constraints upon enlargement of the Maltese swine industry have not changed, and that a primarily passive surveillance program will be sufficient to detect incursions of these diseases early enough to avoid introduction into the United States.

    4 APHIS did cite in its risk assessment that it concludes that Malta might benefit from an active CSF surveillance program in order to limit any spread of disease within the island's swine population, but noted that this benefit might be limited if Malta's emergency response would be to completely depopulate its swine herd.

    The commenter also expressed concern about diseases of swine in Malta that present symptoms similar to those caused by FMD, CSF, ASF, and SVD. The commenter noted that Malta vaccinates swine for Circo Virus, Pig Wasting Disease, Atrophic Rhinitis, Enzootic Pneumonia, and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, and that these diseases are therefore likely to be present in Malta's pig populations. For this reason, the commenter stated that FMD, SVD, CSF, and ASF should be considered as differential diagnoses whenever case-compatible lesions and other signs of disease are observed and reported in pigs. The commenter further noted that, since 2002, the Veterinary Regulation Directorate of Malta has reported no suspicious cases with such case-compatible signs. The commenter concluded that the lack of such reports suggests that passive surveillance may not be adequate for early disease detection, as producers and veterinarians in Malta are likely seeing case-compatible lesions and other signs of disease but are not reporting them. The commenter asked APHIS if this lack of reporting warrants requiring an active surveillance program to detect FMD, SVD, rinderpest, CSF, and ASF in Malta before APHIS recognizes Malta as free of these diseases and adds it to the APHIS-defined European CSF region.

    We acknowledge that an active surveillance program provides some benefits for early detection of these diseases but have determined that passive surveillance is sufficient to ensure early disease detection in Maltese swine, particularly in combination with other factors. For instance, Maltese regulations prohibit the movement of swine that are not considered healthy regardless of whether any specific disease has been diagnosed. Furthermore, APHIS concludes that Malta has the capacity to handle initial serology screening and has a plan to obtain confirmatory testing at EU community laboratories for diseases under evaluation.

    APHIS does agree with the commenter that FMD, SVD, CSF, and ASF should be considered during passive surveillance program investigations of cases where case-compatible lesions or other signs are present. We also agree that a review of more frequent suspicious case investigations would increase confidence in the quality of Malta's passive surveillance program. However, we found no indications of failure through passive surveillance to detect FMD, SVD, CSF, and ASF.

    The commenter also raised questions about our statement in the risk analysis that we “consider the conditions in Malta to be equivalent to the conditions of other EU Member States for which APHIS imposes additional special restrictions on the importation of susceptible animals and their products.” The commenter cited a version of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code,5 which states that for domestic pigs, appropriate surveillance, capable of detecting the presence of infection even in the absence of clinical signs, is required for determining CSF status. The commenter suggested that APHIS' decision not to require an active surveillance program in recognizing Malta's CSF status is inconsistent with surveillance requirements for other countries in the APHIS-defined European CSF region. Based on this information, the commenter asked APHIS to consider requiring Malta to implement active surveillance to detect FMD, SVD, CSF, and ASF as a condition of recognizing its disease status.

    5 Chapter 15.2, Article 15.2.2, “General criteria for the determination of the CSF status of a country, zone or compartment.”

    We disagree with the commenter's point that APHIS' disease surveillance requirements for Malta are inconsistent with those required of other EU Member States. The commenter has cited surveillance requirements from an outdated version of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code. Chapter 15.2.2 of the current version 6 of the OIE manual recommends appropriate surveillance in accordance with Article 15.2.26, which states that “surveillance strategies employed for demonstrating freedom from CSF at an acceptable level of confidence should be adapted to the local situation.” We have determined that the local conditions in Malta are equivalent to those of EU Member States where APHIS imposes additional special restrictions on the importation of susceptible livestock. The application of the requirements of § 94.11 for FMD and rinderpest, § 94.13 for SVD, and §§ 94.31 and 98.38 for CSF will mitigate risk for these diseases in Malta at a level consistent with that of other EU Member States authorized to export swine, pork, and pork products to the United States.

    6 OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, 25th Edition, 2016: http://www.oie.int/index.php?id=169&L=0&htmfile=chapitre_csf.htm.

    APHIS evaluated multiple factors regarding Malta's animal health system and determined that the country's reliance primarily on passive surveillance is adequate for Malta to detect incursions of CSF. For this reason, we determined that the likelihood is low of CSF being introduced into the United States through movement of infected animals or contaminated animal products from Malta. We consider our evaluation of Malta to be consistent with the current OIE recommendation to determine that an acceptable level of confidence be adapted to the local situation.

    Waste Feeding

    The commenter also raised concerns about the risk of disease transmission from the practice of feeding garbage and other waste to swine raised for export. The commenter noted that in the risk evaluation, APHIS stated that “waste feeding, specifically, feeding FMD-contaminated meat products to swine, is regarded as the most likely pathway for exposure of susceptible livestock to imported contaminated meat products.” The commenter added that APHIS affirmed this determination again in a 2001 pathways assessment.7 The commenter asked what level of confidence does APHIS have that the assessments adequately reflect the current risk to the U.S. pork industry, and suggested that the 1995 work be repeated using more current data. The commenter also asked whether APHIS is confident that swine diseases will be detected in licensed and unlicensed garbage-feeding operations and what the estimated time is for detection in each of these operations.

    7 USDA-APHIS-VS, Pathway assessment of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) risk to the United States: An evaluation in response to international FMD outbreaks in 2001. United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health. 2001. A copy of the document can be obtained by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    We remain confident that the risk evaluations cited by the commenter provide an accurate account of risks to the current U.S. pork industry. If contaminated meat products were imported from Malta and managed to make it into plate waste, U.S. garbage feeding regulations are sufficient to mitigate that risk. Treatment of food waste fed to swine is covered under the Swine Health Protection Act 8 (SHPA) regulations in 9 CFR part 166 and supported by APHIS' Veterinary Service (VS) Swine Health Program. Under the regulations, waste feeder operations must be licensed and regularly inspected by APHIS inspectors. In addition to other safeguards, the licensing process requires that producers adequately cook the waste fed to swine using methods designed to destroy foreign animal disease agents.

    8 7 U.S.C. 3801.

    In the 1995 study cited by the commenter, we conducted a pathway analysis to estimate the likelihood of exposing domestic swine to infected waste. With 95 percent confidence, we estimated that 0.023 percent or less of plate and manufacturing waste would be inadequately processed prior to feeding to swine. Based on this percentage, less than 1 part in 4,300 of imported beef fed to swine as plate or manufacturing waste is likely to be inadequately cooked. Furthermore, the findings of the 2001 APHIS survey the commenter cited, which showed a substantial reduction in waste-feeding operations, indicated that the risk of FMD exposure via feeding of contaminated waste to swine was continuing to decline.

    We acknowledge that waste feeding continues to be a potential pathway for transmission of swine diseases and that interstate trade patterns are subject to change. We maintain, however, that the 1995 and 2001 risk findings, combined with existing SHPA requirements, indicate to us a low likelihood of exposure of domestic swine to CSF, FMD, SVD, and rinderpest from food waste originating from Malta.

    Environmental Assessment

    The commenter noted that in the supporting documents provided for this notice, the environmental assessment (EA) we used to support this notice was a May 2011 EA for the importation of swine and swine commodities from Slovakia. The commenter also noted that we used an amended finding of no significant impact (FONSI) from importation of swine and swine commodities from Slovakia as the basis for the amended finding related to Malta. The commenter asked us to explain how it is justifiable to use an EA conducted for another country to amend the finding to Malta.

    Since 2006, we have recognized the CSF, FMD, SVD, and rinderpest status for EU Member States Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, and Hungary.

    Given that the EU applies and ensures enforcement of the same disease mitigation requirements across all of its Member States, we recognized that the single-state EAs we were conducting were redundant and thus unnecessary with respect to meeting the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). After consulting with Agency specialists on NEPA compliance, we conducted an environmental impact analysis comparison of the Slovakia EA and similar proposed actions for other EU Member States. We determined that the environmental analysis of the Slovakia EA is sufficiently similar to cover the proposed action for Malta. The 2011 Slovakia EA stated that for any like or similar future regionalization actions proposed for EU Member States, APHIS would incorporate the Slovakia EA by reference in a new FONSI issued for a proposed new action for an EU Member State. That is what we have done for this action regarding Malta.

    Additionally, we determined that future proposed actions of this nature pose negligible environmental impacts to each EU Member State or country that has entered into an agricultural equivalency agreement with the EU, provided that a disease assessment finds them to be free of or a low risk for relevant diseases. As Malta is an EU Member State and because we have determined that Malta is free of SVD, FMD, and rinderpest, and at low risk for CSF, we conclude that the “like or similar action” environmental analyses approach as presented in the 2011 Slovakia EA and FONSI is appropriate to use with respect to Malta.

    Based on the evaluation and the reasons given in this document in response to comments, we are recognizing Malta as free of FMD, rinderpest, ASF, and SVD, and low risk for CSF. The lists of regions free of or at low risk of these diseases or where these diseases currently exist are available on the APHIS Web site at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-and-animal-product-import-information/ct_animal_disease_status or by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, 7781-7786, and 8301-8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 4th day of August 2017. Michael C. Gregoire, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16832 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD [Docket No. ATBCB-2017-0002] Proposed Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery AGENCY:

    Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) invites comment on the proposed extension of its existing generic clearance for the collection of qualitative feedback on agency service delivery, which expires in January 2018 (OMB Control No. 3014-0011, Expiration: Jan. 31, 2018). This information collection was developed as part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process for seeking feedback from the public on service delivery. With this notice, the Access Board solicits comments on extension of its existing generic clearance, with proposed revisions to the type (and number) of information collection activities that reflect the agency's anticipated increasing use of customer feedback surveys over the next several years to garner qualitative feedback and improve service delivery in a timely and effective manner. Following review of comments received in response to this 60-day notice, the Access Board intends to submit a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to renew its generic clearance for collection of qualitative feedback for another three-year term.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by October 10, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the directions for sending comments.

    Email: [email protected] Include ATBCB-2017-0002 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 202-272-0081.

    Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier: Frances Spiegel, Office of General Counsel, U.S. Access Board, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004-1111.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this Notice (identified by ATBCB-2017-0002). All comments received, including any personal information provided, will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. For this reason, please do not include information of a confidential nature in your comments, such as sensitive personal or proprietary information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Frances Spiegel, Attorney Advisor, Office of General Counsel, U.S. Access Board, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004-1111. Phone: (202) 272-0041 (voice). Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background

    Under the PRA and its implementing regulations (5 CFR part 1320), Federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor (e.g., contractually-required information collection by a third-party). “Collection of information,” within the meaning of the PRA, includes agency requests that pose identical questions to, or impose reporting or record keeping obligations on ten or more persons, regardless of whether response to such request is mandatory or voluntary. See 5 CFR 1320.3(c); see also 44 U.S.C. 3502(3). Before seeking clearance from OMB, agencies are generally required, among other things, to publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning any proposed information collection—including extension of a previously-approved collection—and provide an opportunity for comment. See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1).

    The Access Board initially requested OMB approval of a generic clearance for the collection of qualitative feedback on agency service delivery in 2011. See Notice and Request for Comments, 76 FR 38355 (June 30, 2011) (30-day notice); see also 75 FR 80542 (Dec. 22, 2010) (government-wide 60-day notice published by OMB). In 2014, we requested renewal of this generic clearance for another three-year term. See Notice and Request for Comments, 79 FR 61285 (Oct. 10, 2014) (30-day notice); Notice and Request for Comments, 79 FR 43709 (July 28, 2014) (60-day notice). OMB approved the renewal of our generic clearance, and this extension is set to expire at the end of January 2018.

    B. Proposed Information Collection Request

    With this notice, the Access Board provides notice of its intent to seek renewal of its existing generic clearance for the collection of qualitative feedback on agency service delivery. We anticipate seeking OMB approval for revisions to the type (and number) of information collection activities relative to our existing generic clearance that expires in January 2018. In particular, the Access Board intends to seek an increase in the number of approved respondents (and burden hours) under the generic clearance, primarily because we expect to solicit feedback from customers across a broader spectrum of agency services relating to technical assistance, training, and other education and outreach initiatives. To date, we have found the feedback garnered through qualitative customer satisfaction surveys (and similar information collections) to be beneficial, by providing useful insights in experiences, perceptions, opinions, and expectations regarding Access Board services or focusing attention on areas in need of improvement. We thus intend to seek approval for expansion of our current efforts to solicit qualitative customer feedback by seeking input from customers across a broader array of agency programs and services. Online surveys will be used unless the customer contacts the agency by phone for technical assistance or an individual otherwise expresses a preference for another survey format (i.e., fillable form in portable document format or paper survey). In addition, paper surveys may be used to garner feedback from participants at in-person trainings or similar events.

    OMB Control Number: 3014-0011.

    Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.

    Type of Review: Extension with revisions.

    Abstract: The proposed information collection activity facilitates collection of qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Federal Government's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information collections that provide useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insight into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training, or changes in operations might improve delivery of services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative, and actionable communications between the Access Board and its customers and stakeholders.

    Feedback collected under this generic clearance provides useful information, but it does not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior to fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results from such quantitatively-inclined information collections are likely to have, such collections might still be eligible for submission under another type of other generic clearance.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals and Households; Businesses and Organizations; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Burden Estimates: In the table below (Table 1), the Access Board provides estimates for the annual reporting burden under this proposed information collection. (The Access Board does not anticipate incurring any capital or other direct costs associated with this information collection. Nor will there be any costs to respondents, other than their time.)

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Burden Hours Type of collection Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of response
  • (per year)
  • Average
  • response time
  • (minutes)
  • Total burden
  • (hours)
  • Customer feedback survey: Training/Webinar 1,200 1 6 120 Customer feedback survey: Technical Assistance 2,700 1 3 135 Customer feedback survey: Compliance & Enforcement 40 1 4 3 Totals 3,940 n/a n/a 258 Note: Total burden hours per collection rounded to the nearest full hour.

    Request for Comment: The Access Board seeks comment on any aspect of the proposed renewal of its existing generic clearance for the collection of qualitative feedback on agency service delivery, including (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the Access Board's performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for the Access Board to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. Comments will be summarized and included in our request for OMB's approval of renewal of our existing generic clearance.

    David M. Capozzi, Executive Director.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16836 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8150-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Oregon 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 Oregon Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 1:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Tuesday, September 5, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to vote on a proposal on human trafficking in Oregon.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. PDT.

    Public Call Information:

    Dial: (888) 428-9505. Conference ID: 7368061. 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) 428-9505, conference ID number: 7368061. 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 (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=270. 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. Review of Proposal on Human Trafficking III. Vote on Proposal IV. Public Comment V. Next Steps VI. Adjournment Dated: August 4, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16838 Filed 8-9-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona 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 Arizona Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 1:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Thursday, September 7, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to address outstanding projects from the 2015-2017 Committee term.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 7, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. PDT.

    Public Call Information:

    Dial: (888) 737-3628. Conference ID: 8729373. 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) 737-3628, conference ID number: 8729373. 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 (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=235. 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