Federal Register Vol. 82, No.170,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 170 (September 5, 2017)

Page Range41825-42020
FR Document

82_FR_170
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 42019 - National Preparedness Month, 2017PDF
82 FR 42008 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
82 FR 41829 - Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2017 Amendments)PDF
82 FR 41827 - Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin; Modification of Allocation of AssessmentsPDF
82 FR 41914 - Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA or Notice) for the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Demonstration Program Under Section 514, Section 515, and Section 516PDF
82 FR 41938 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment on the Issuance of Incidental Take Authorizations in Cook Inlet, AlaskaPDF
82 FR 41941 - Arbitration Panel Decisions Under the Randolph-Sheppard ActPDF
82 FR 41883 - Visas: Documentation of Nonimmigrants Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as AmendedPDF
82 FR 41867 - Waiver of Passport and Visa Requirements Due to an Unforeseen EmergencyPDF
82 FR 41935 - Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee; Notice of a MeetingPDF
82 FR 41937 - Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee; Notice of a MeetingPDF
82 FR 41939 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Generic Information Collection Request for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery; Proposed Information Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 41974 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Annual Adjustment Factors (AAF) Rent Increase RequirementPDF
82 FR 41976 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Continuation of Interest Reduction Payments After Refinancing Section 236 ProjectsPDF
82 FR 41976 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Housing Counseling Program-Biennial Agency Performance ReviewPDF
82 FR 41977 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: HUD Multifamily Rental Project Closing DocumentsPDF
82 FR 41975 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Technical Processing Requirements for Multifamily Project Mortgage InsurancePDF
82 FR 41965 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 41991 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
82 FR 41966 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 41947 - American Municipal Power, Inc.; Notice of FilingPDF
82 FR 41943 - Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Commencement of Pre-Filing Process, and Scoping; Request for Comments on the PAD and Scoping Document, and Identification of Issues and Associated Study Requests; Power Authority of the State of New YorkPDF
82 FR 41950 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 41899 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
82 FR 41893 - Safety Zone; Dredging, Shark River, NJPDF
82 FR 41946 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 42000 - Submission for Review: Reinstatement of a Previously Approved Information Collection Without ChangePDF
82 FR 41933 - Certain Tin Mill Products From Japan: Final Results of the Expedited Third Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
82 FR 41936 - High Pressure Steel Cylinders From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
82 FR 41950 - Appraisal Subcommittee; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 41980 - Incidental Take Permit Applications Received To Participate in the American Burying Beetle Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan in OklahomaPDF
82 FR 41949 - EC&R Energy Marketing, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 41947 - Bullock Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 41946 - Bladen Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 41945 - CA Flats Solar 130, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 41949 - Golden Hills North Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 41948 - Shoreham Solar Commons Holdings LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 41948 - Shoreham Solar Commons LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 41973 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program, (IHP)PDF
82 FR 41948 - Nexus Energy Inc.; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 41945 - Southampton Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 41944 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 41825 - Black Stem Rust; Additions of Rust-Resistant Species and VarietiesPDF
82 FR 41901 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and Biscayne Bay, Miami, FLPDF
82 FR 41891 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Sarasota, FLPDF
82 FR 41887 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Little River to Savannah River, Beaufort, SCPDF
82 FR 41889 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Rice Creek, Putnam County, FLPDF
82 FR 41963 - Patient Safety Organizations: Voluntary Relinquishment From the Quantros Patient Safety CenterPDF
82 FR 41959 - TaxSlayer, LLC; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
82 FR 41951 - Final Guidelines for Evaluating Joint Account RequestsPDF
82 FR 42010 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Electronic Medical Examination for Visa or ApplicantPDF
82 FR 41909 - Notice of Decision; Cold Treatment of Grapefruit From AustraliaPDF
82 FR 41982 - Notice of Public Meeting, Idaho Falls District Resource Advisory Council and Idaho Falls District Recreation Resource Advisory Council, IdahoPDF
82 FR 41981 - Notice of Public Meeting, Boise District Resource Advisory Council, IdahoPDF
82 FR 41981 - Notice of Public Meeting, Twin Falls District Resource Advisory Council, IdahoPDF
82 FR 41873 - List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1032, Amendment No. 3PDF
82 FR 41941 - Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
82 FR 41963 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
82 FR 41940 - Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
82 FR 41951 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMBPDF
82 FR 41967 - Determination That ENJUVIA (Estrogens, Conjugated Synthetic B) Tablets, 0.625 Milligrams and 1.25 Milligrams, Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
82 FR 42015 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Information Collection Renewal; Submission for OMB Review; Basel II Interagency Supervisory Guidance for the Supervisory Review Process (Pillar 2)PDF
82 FR 41885 - Transfers of Certain Property by U.S. Persons to Partnerships With Related Foreign Partners; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 41969 - Pediatric Post-Marketing Pharmacovigilance and Drug Utilization Reviews; Establishment of a Public Docket; Request for CommentsPDF
82 FR 41985 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, TNPDF
82 FR 41990 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, TNPDF
82 FR 41989 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Region, Anchorage, AKPDF
82 FR 41987 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC, and Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZPDF
82 FR 41984 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC, and Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 41983 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Denver, COPDF
82 FR 41982 - Notice of Inventory Completion: New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJPDF
82 FR 41938 - Marine Mammals; File No. 18786-02PDF
82 FR 41950 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10516-The Bank of Georgia, Peachtree City, GeorgiaPDF
82 FR 41993 - Curtis-Strauss LLC: Grant of Expansion of RecognitionPDF
82 FR 41961 - Submission for OMB Review; Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Rate, Standard Form 1444PDF
82 FR 41962 - Submission for OMB Review; Ombudsman Inquiry/Request InstrumentPDF
82 FR 41886 - Special Local Regulation; Tennessee River, Knoxville, TNPDF
82 FR 41973 - National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 41972 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
82 FR 41970 - Prospective Grant of an Exclusive Patent License: Apparatus for Microarray Binding Sensors Having Biological Probe Materials Using Carbon Nanotube TransistorsPDF
82 FR 41971 - Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; NCI Cancer Genetics Services Directory Web-Based Application and Update Mailer (National Cancer Institute)PDF
82 FR 41942 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Report of Dispute Resolution Under Part C of the Individuals With Disabilities Education ActPDF
82 FR 42010 - Delegation of AuthorityPDF
82 FR 41927 - National Defense Stockpile Market Impact Committee Request for Public Comments on the Potential Market Impact of the Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Materials PlanPDF
82 FR 41992 - Meeting of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of EvidencePDF
82 FR 41994 - ForumPDF
82 FR 42003 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade Shares of Specified Series of the Innovator Shield Strategy S&P 500 Monthly Index Series and Innovator Ultra Shield Strategy S&P 500 Monthly Index Series Under Rule 14.11(c)(3)PDF
82 FR 42008 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Section 202.06 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual To Prohibit Listed Companies From Issuing Material News After the Official Closing Time for the Exchange's Trading Session Until the Earlier of Publication of Such Company's Official Closing Price on the Exchange or Five Minutes After the Official Closing TimePDF
82 FR 42000 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 4752(d)(2)(F)(i)PDF
82 FR 41925 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; 2017-2019 Business Research and Development SurveysPDF
82 FR 41934 - U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Finance Advisory Council; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 42011 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Submission for OMB Review; Community Reinvestment Act RegulationsPDF
82 FR 42011 - Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning Russia's Implementation of Its WTO CommitmentsPDF
82 FR 42013 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Submission for OMB Review; Disclosure Requirements Associated With Supplementary Leverage RatioPDF
82 FR 41935 - Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Alignment of Final Countervailing Duty Determination With Final Antidumping Duty DeterminationPDF
82 FR 41931 - Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Italy: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty DeterminationPDF
82 FR 41929 - Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Preliminary Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, in PartPDF
82 FR 42014 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Information Collection Renewal; Submission for OMB Review; Fair Housing Home Loan Data System RegulationPDF
82 FR 41927 - Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
82 FR 41909 - Proposed Posting, Posting, and Deposting of StockyardsPDF
82 FR 41913 - Amendment to the Designation of Mid-Iowa Grain InspectionPDF
82 FR 41911 - Designation for the Montana AreaPDF
82 FR 41913 - Opportunity for Designation in the Lincoln, Nebraska, Area; Request for Comments on the Official Agency Servicing This AreaPDF
82 FR 41911 - Opportunity for Designation in the Memphis, Tennessee, Area; Request for Comments on the Official Agency Servicing This AreaPDF
82 FR 41912 - Opportunity for Designation in the Jamestown, North Dakota Area; Request for Comments on the Official Agency Servicing This AreaPDF
82 FR 41895 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan; Imperial County Air Pollution Control District; Stationary Sources PermitsPDF
82 FR 41968 - Providing Regulatory Submissions in Electronic Format-Content of the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies Document Using Structured Product Labeling; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 41903 - EPA Responses to Certain State Designation Recommendations for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard: Notification of Availability and Public Comment PeriodPDF
82 FR 41878 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) AirplanesPDF
82 FR 41994 - Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards InformationPDF
82 FR 41874 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF

Issue

82 170 Tuesday, September 5, 2017 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Patient Safety Organizations: Voluntary Relinquishment from the Quantros Patient Safety Center, 41963 2017-18707 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service RULES Allocation of Assessments; Modifications: Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin, 41827-41829 2017-18756 Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2017 Amendments), 41829-41866 2017-18758 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

See

Rural Housing Service

Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service RULES Black Stem Rust: Additions of Rust-Resistant Species and Varieties, 41825-41827 2017-18712 NOTICES Cold Treatment of Grapefruit from Australia, 41909 2017-18703 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: 2017 -2019 Business Research and Development Surveys, 41925-41926 2017-18656 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 41963-41965 2017-18697 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 41965-41967 2017-18738 2017-18740 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Little River to Savannah River, Beaufort, SC, 41887-41889 2017-18709 Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Sarasota, FL, 41891-41893 2017-18710 Rice Creek, Putnam County, FL, 41889-41891 2017-18708 Safety Zones: Dredging, Shark River, NJ, 41893-41895 2017-18732 Special Local Regulations: Tennessee River, Knoxville, TN, 41886-41887 2017-18674 PROPOSED RULES Drawbridge Operations: Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL, 41901-41903 2017-18711 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Economic Development Administration

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Basel II Interagency Supervisory Guidance for the Supervisory Review Process (Pillar 2), 42015-42016 2017-18692 Community Reinvestment Act, 42011-42013 2017-18654 Disclosure Requirements Associated with Supplementary Leverage Ratio, 42013-42014 2017-18652 Fair Housing Home Loan Data System Regulation, 42014-42015 2017-18639 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 41939-41940 2017-18746 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Rate, 41961-41962 2017-18676 Charter Renewals: Defense Policy Board, 41941 2017-18698 Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Scientific Advisory Board, 41940-41941 2017-18695 Economic Development Economic Development Administration NOTICES Trade Adjustment Assistance; Petitions, 41927 2017-18638 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Report of Dispute Resolution Under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 41942-41943 2017-18666 Arbitration Panel Decisions, 41941-41942 2017-18751 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Imperial County Air Pollution Control District; Stationary Sources Permits, 41895-41899 2017-18623 PROPOSED RULES Responses to Certain State Designation Recommendations for 2010 Sulfur Dioxide Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 41903-41908 2017-18423 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 41874-41877 2017-16568 Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes, 41878-41883 2017-18396 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: The Bank of Georgia, Peachtree City, GA, 41950 2017-18680 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program, 41973-41974 2017-18716 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Power Authority of the State of New York, 41943-41944 2017-18735 Combined Filings, 41944-41946 2017-18713 2017-18731 Filings: American Municipal Power, Inc., 41947 2017-18736 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Bladen Solar, LLC, 41946-41947 2017-18721 Bullock Solar, LLC, 41947-41948 2017-18722 CA Flats Solar 130, LLC, 41945-41946 2017-18720 EC and R Energy Marketing, LLC, 41949 2017-18723 Golden Hills North Wind, LLC, 41949-41950 2017-18719 Nexus Energy Inc., 41948-41949 2017-18715 Shoreham Solar Commons Holdings, LLC, 41948 2017-18718 Shoreham Solar Commons LLC, 41948 2017-18717 Southampton Solar, LLC, 41945 2017-18714 Federal Financial Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council NOTICES Meetings: Appraisal Subcommittee, 41950 2017-18725 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 41951 2017-18694 Final Guidelines for Evaluating Joint Account Requests, 41951-41959 2017-18705 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 41950-41951 2017-18734 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Proposed Consent Agreements: TaxSlayer, LLC, 41959-41961 2017-18706 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Incidental Take Permit Applications: American Burying Beetle Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan in Oklahoma, 41980-41981 2017-18724 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Determinations that Products were Not Withdrawn from Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: ENJUVIA (estrogens, conjugated synthetic B) Tablets, 0.625 Milligrams and 1.25 Milligrams, 41967-41968 2017-18693 Guidance: Providing Regulatory Submissions in Electronic Format—Content of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies Document Using Structured Product Labeling, 41968-41969 2017-18506 Pediatric Postmarketing Pharmacovigilance and Drug Utilization Reviews, 41969-41970 2017-18690 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Ombudsman Inquiry/Request Instrument, 41962-41963 2017-18675 Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Rate, 41961-41962 2017-18676 Grain Inspection Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration NOTICES Designations: Mid-Iowa Grain Inspection, 41913 2017-18636 Montana Area, 41911 2017-18634 Opportunities for Designations: Jamestown, ND, Area, 41912-41913 2017-18631 Lincoln, NE, Area, 41913-41914 2017-18633 Memphis, TN, Area, 41911-41912 2017-18632 Proposed Posting, Posting, and Deposting of Stockyards, 41909-41911 2017-18637 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

RULES Waiver of Passport and Visa Requirements Due to an Unforeseen Emergency, 41867-41873 2017-18749
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual Adjustment Factors Rent Increase Requirement, 41974-41975 2017-18745 Continuation of Interest Reduction Payments after Refinancing Section 236 Projects, 41976-41977 2017-18744 Housing Counseling Program—Biennial Agency Performance Review, 41976 2017-18743 HUD Multifamily Rental Project Closing Documents, 41977-41980 2017-18742 Technical Processing Requirements for Multifamily Project Mortgage Insurance, 41975-41976 2017-18741 Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Requests for Comments: National Defense Stockpile Market Impact Committee; Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Materials Plan, 41927-41929 2017-18664 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Transfers of Certain Property by U.S. Persons to Partnerships with Related Foreign Partners; Correction, 41885 2017-18691 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Italy, 41931-41933 2017-18641 Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from the Republic of Turkey, 41929-41931 2017-18640 Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China, 41935-41936 2017-18642 Certain Tin Mill Products from Japan, 41933-41934 2017-18729 High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China, 41936-41937 2017-18728 Meetings: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, 41935, 41937 2017-18747 2017-18748 Trade Finance Advisory Council, 41934-41935 2017-18655 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Wi-Fi Enabled Electronic Devices and Components Thereof, 41991-41992 2017-18739 Judicial Conference Judicial Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence, 41992-41993 2017-18663 Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Boise District Resource Advisory Council, Idaho, 41981 2017-18701 Idaho Falls District Resource Advisory Council, Idaho, 41982 2017-18702 Twin Falls District Resource Advisory Council, Idaho, 41981-41982 2017-18700 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Rate, 41961-41962 2017-18676 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Cancer Institute Cancer Genetics Services Directory Web-Based Application and Update Mailer, 41971-41972 2017-18667 Exclusive Patent Licenses: Apparatus for Microarray Binding Sensors Having Biological Probe Materials Using Carbon Nanotube Transistors, 41970-41971 2017-18668 Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 41972-41973 2017-18670 Meetings: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 41973 2017-18672 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 41899-41900 2017-18733 NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: the Issuance of Incidental Take Authorizations in Cook Inlet, AK, 41938-41939 2017-18752 Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 18786-02, 41938 2017-18681 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC, and Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 41987-41989 2017-18685 Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC, and Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; Correction, 41984-41985 2017-18684 Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Denver, CO, 41983-41984 2017-18683 Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Region, Anchorage, AK, 41989-41990 2017-18686 New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ, 41982-41983 2017-18682 Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, TN, 41985-41987, 41990-41991 2017-18687 2017-18688 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board NOTICES Meetings: Runway Incursion Safety Issues, Prevention, and Mitigation; Forum, 41994 2017-18662 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1032, Amendment No. 3, 41873-41874 2017-18699 NOTICES Applications and Amendments Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations, etc., 41994-41999 2017-17719 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories: Curtis-Strauss, LLC, 41993-41994 2017-18678 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 42000 2017-18730 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Preparedness Month (Proc. 9632), 42017-42020 2017-18951 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service NOTICES Applications: Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Demonstration Program, 41914-41925 2017-18753 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 42008 2017-18807 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 42003-42008 2017-18660 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 42008-42010 2017-18659 The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 42000-42003 2017-18658 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Delegation of Authority, 42010 2017-18665 State Department State Department RULES Visas: Documentation of Nonimmigrants Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended, 41883-41885 2017-18750 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Electronic Medical Examination for Visa or Applicant, 42010-42011 2017-18704 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Hearings: Russia's Implementation of WTO Commitments, 42011 2017-18653 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Internal Revenue Service

Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 42017-42020 2017-18951 Reader Aids

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

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82 170 Tuesday, September 5, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 301 [Docket No. APHIS-2017-0049] Black Stem Rust; Additions of Rust-Resistant Species and Varieties AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the black stem rust quarantine and regulations by adding 15 varieties to the list of rust-resistant Berberis species and varieties and 2 varieties to the list of rust-resistant Mahonia species and varieties. This action will allow for the interstate movement of these newly developed varieties without unnecessary restrictions.

DATES:

This rule will be effective on November 6, 2017, unless we receive written adverse comments or written notice of intent to submit adverse comments on or before October 5, 2017. If we receive written adverse comments or written notice of intent to submit adverse comments, we will publish a document in the Federal Register withdrawing this rule before the effective date.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments or written notice of intent to submit adverse comments by either of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0049.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2017-0049, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0049 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Richard N. Johnson, National Policy Manager, Black Stem Rust, Pest Management, PHP, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 26, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2109.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Black stem rust is one of the most destructive plant diseases of small grains that is known to exist in the United States. The disease is caused by a fungus (Puccinia graminis) that reduces the quality and yield of infected wheat, oat, barley, and rye crops. In addition to infecting small grains, the fungus lives on a variety of alternate host plants that are species of the genera Berberis, Mahoberberis, and Mahonia. The fungus is spread from host to host by windborne spores.

The black stem rust quarantine and regulations, which are contained in 7 CFR 301.38 through 301.38-8 (referred to below as the regulations), quarantine the conterminous 48 States and the District of Columbia and govern the interstate movement of certain plants of the genera Berberis, Mahoberberis, and Mahonia, known as barberry plants. The species of these plants are categorized as either rust-resistant or rust-susceptible. Rust-resistant plants do not pose a risk of spreading black stem rust or of contributing to the development of new races of the rust; rust-susceptible plants do pose such risks. Section 301.38-2 of the regulations includes a listing of regulated articles and indicates those species and varieties of the genera Berberis, Mahoberberis, and Mahonia that are known to be rust-resistant. Although rust-resistant species are included as regulated articles, they may be moved into or through protected areas if accompanied by a certificate. In accordance with the procedures described below under DATES, this direct final rule will add the following varieties to the lists of rust-resistant Berberis and Mahonia species in § 301.38-2(a)(1) and (a)(2):

B. thunbergii atropurpurea x B. xmedia H2011-085-006;

B. thunbergii `Diabolicum';

B. thunbergii “8-8-13”;

B. thunbergii H2007-001-031;

B. thunbergii Orange Torch;

B. thunbergii Red Torch;

B. thunbergii Striking Gold;

B. thunbergii UCONNBT039;

B. thunbergii UCONNBT048;

B. thunbergii UCONNBT113;

B. thunbergii UCONNBTCP4N;

B. thunbergii UCONNtrispecific;

B. thunbergii x B. sieboldii H2010-079-012;

B. verruculosa x gagnepainii x vulgaris Trispecific#2;

B. xmedia x thunbergii atropurpurea H2011-165-002;

M. eurybracteata Soft Caress (PPAF); and

M. media Marvel (PPAF).

The addition of these species is based on recent testing to determine rust resistance conducted by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at its Cereal Disease Laboratory in St. Paul, MN. The testing is performed in the following manner: In a greenhouse, the suspect plant or test subject is placed under a screen with a control plant—a known rust-susceptible species of Berberis, Mahoberberis, or Mahonia. Infected wheat stems, a primary host of black stem rust, are placed on top of the screen. The plants are moistened and maintained in 100 percent humidity. This causes the spores to swell and fall on the plants lying under the screen. The plants are then observed for 7 days at 20-80 percent relative humidity. If the rust-susceptible plant shows signs of infection after 7 days and the test plants do not, the test results indicate that the test plants are rust-resistant. This test must be performed 12 times, and all 12 tests must yield the same result before USDA can make a determination as to whether the test plants are rust-resistant. The test may be conducted on 12 individual plants, or it may be performed multiple times on fewer plants (e.g., 6 plants tested twice or 3 plants tested 4 times). The tests must be performed on new growth, just as the leaves are unfolding. Therefore, the tests are usually conducted in the spring or fall, during the growing season. All 12 tests generally cannot be conducted on the same day because of the plants' different growth stages. Based on over 30 years of experience with this test, we believe that 12 is the reliable test sample size on which USDA can make its determination. We do not know of any plant that was subsequently discovered to be rust-susceptible after undergoing the test procedure 12 times and being determined by USDA to be rust-resistant.

Dates

We are publishing this rule without a prior proposal because we view this action as noncontroversial and anticipate no adverse public comment. This rule will be effective, as published in this document, on November 6, 2017, unless we receive written adverse comments or written notice of intent to submit adverse comments on or before October 5, 2017.

Adverse comments are comments that suggest the rule should not be adopted or that suggest the rule should be changed.

If we receive written adverse comments or written notice of intent to submit adverse comments, we will publish a document in the Federal Register withdrawing this rule before the effective date. We will then publish a proposed rule for public comment.

As discussed above, if we receive no written adverse comments or written notice of intent to submit adverse comments within 30 days of publication of this direct final rule, this direct final rule will become effective 60 days following its publication. We will publish a document in the Federal Register before the effective date of this direct final rule confirming that it is effective on the date indicated in this document.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13771 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

This rule is subject to Executive Order 12866. However, for this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866. Further, because this rule is waived, it does not trigger the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

This direct final rule will amend 7 CFR 301.38-2 by adding 15 varieties to the list of rust resistant Berberis species or cultivars, and 2 varieties to the list of rust resistant Mahonia species or cultivars. The nursery and floriculture industries that may be affected by this rule are largely composed of small entities. We expect these entities to benefit from the rule, by being able to market interstate barberry species and cultivars that have been determined to be rust-resistant.

The introduction and spread of plant pests can result in damage to crops and losses to the U.S. agricultural sector. For the purpose of this analysis and following the Small Business Administration (SBA) guidelines, we note that a major segment of entities potentially affected by this rule are classified within the following industries: Nursery and Tree Production (NAICS 111421), and Floriculture Production (NAICS 111422). According to the Census of Agriculture, these two categories, along with Greenhouse production, which makes up the rest of NAICS 1114, included 52,777 farms in 2012, and represented 2.5 percent of all farms in the United States. These entities are considered small by SBA standards if their annual sales are $750,000 or less. Over 87 percent of the farms in these industries had annual sales of less than $500,000.

Barberry plants are not one of the crops tracked by the Census and therefore data on production and number of producers are not available. Nurseries producing barberry plant species and varieties will not be negatively affected. In fact, they will benefit from being able to market the 17 varieties interstate. In addition, the rule does not require any additional reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance measures beyond what is already in place.

Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12372

This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See 2 CFR chapter IV.)

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule contains no information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

Agricultural commodities, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Accordingly, 7 CFR part 301 is amended as follows:

PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES 1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

Section 301.75-15 issued under Sec. 204, Title II, Public Law 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501A-293; sections 301.75-15 and 301.75-16 issued under Sec. 203, Title II, Public Law 106-224, 114 Stat. 400 (7 U.S.C. 1421 note).

2. Section 301.38-2 is amended as follows: a. In paragraph (a)(1), by adding, in alphabetical order, 15 rust-resistant Berberis species; and b. In paragraph (a)(2)(ii), by adding, in alphabetical order, two rust resistant Mahonia species.

The additions read as follows:

§ 301.38-2 Regulated articles.

(a) * * *

(1) * * *

B. thunbergii atropurpurea x B. x media H2011-085-006

B. thunbergii `Diabolicum'

B. thunbergii “8-8-13”

B. thunbergii H2007-001-031

B. thunbergii Orange Torch

B. thunbergii Red Torch

B. thunbergii Striking Gold

B. thunbergii UCONNBT039

B. thunbergii UCONNBT048

B. thunbergii UCONNBT113

B. thunbergii UCONNBTCP4N

B. thunbergii UCONNtrispecific

B. thunbergii x B. sieboldii H2010-079-012

B. verruculosa x gagnepainii x vulgaris Trispecific#2

B. x media x thunbergii atropurpurea H2011-165-002

(2) * * *

(ii) * * *

M. eurybracteata Soft Caress (PPAF)

M. media Marvel (PPAF)

Done in Washington, DC, this 30th day of August 2017. Michael C. Gregoire, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-18712 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 930 [Doc. No. AMS-SC-16-0104; SC16-930-4 FR] Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin; Modification of Allocation of Assessments AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule implements a recommendation from the Tart Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) to increase the portion of assessments allocated to research and promotion activities from $0.005 to $0.0065 per pound of tart cherries and decrease the portion allocated to administrative expenses from $0.0025 to $0.001 per pound of tart cherries handled under the marketing order (order). This rule also corrects the allocation numbers from $0.006 per pound for research and promotion activities and $0.0015 per pound for administrative expenses as stated in the proposed rule based on a comment received. The overall assessment rate remains unchanged at $0.0075 per pound of tart cherries. The Board locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of tart cherries operating within the area of production, and one public member. Assessments upon tart cherry handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins October 1 and ends September 30. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.

DATES:

Effective September 6, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jennie M. Varela, Marketing Specialist, or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 291-8614, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Richard Lower, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule is issued under Marketing Agreement and Order No. 930, both as amended (7 CFR part 930), regulating the handling of tart cherries produced in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin, hereinafter referred to as the “order.” The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.”

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this final rule in conformance with Executive Orders 13563 and 13175. This rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action contained in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Additionally, because this rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action, it does not trigger the requirements contained in Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled, “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017, titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (February 2, 2017).

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under the marketing order now in effect, tart cherry handlers are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the order are derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate as issued herein will be applicable to all assessable tart cherries beginning on October 1, 2016, and continue until amended, suspended, or terminated.

The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling.

This rule increases the portion of the assessment rate allocated to research and promotion activities from $0.005 to $0.0065 per pound of tart cherries handled and decreases the portion allocated to administrative expenses from $0.0025 to $0.001 per pound of tart cherries handled under the order. This rule also corrects the allocation numbers from $0.006 per pound for research and promotion activities and $0.0015 per pound for administrative expenses as stated in the proposed rule based on a comment received. The overall assessment rate for the 2016-17 and subsequent fiscal periods remains unchanged at $0.0075 per pound of tart cherries.

The tart cherry marketing order provides authority for the Tart Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board), with the approval of USDA, to formulate an annual budget of expenses and collect assessments from handlers to administer the program. The members of the Board are producers and handlers of tart cherries, and one public member. They are familiar with the Board's needs and with the costs of goods and services in their local areas and are thus in a position to formulate an appropriate budget and assessment rate. The assessment rate is formulated and discussed in a public meeting. Thus, all directly affected persons have an opportunity to participate and provide input.

For the 2010-11 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Board recommended, and USDA approved, an assessment rate of $0.0075 per pound of tart cherries that would continue in effect from fiscal period to fiscal period unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Board or other information available to USDA.

The Board met on September 8, 2016, and unanimously recommended 2016-17 expenditures of $2,523,550 and an assessment rate of $0.0075 per pound of tart cherries. In comparison, last year's budgeted expenditures were $1,725,000. The total assessment rate remains unchanged by this action. However, this rule increases the portion of the assessment rate allocated to research and promotion activities from $0.005 to $0.0065 per pound of tart cherries handled and decreases the portion allocated to administrative expenses from $0.0025 to $0.001 per pound of tart cherries handled under the order. This shift in allocation will allow for expanded research and promotion activities to help market this season's above-average crop, while helping to ensure that funds held in the Board's authorized reserve are consistent with the order's limits on the reserve.

The major expenditures recommended by the Board for the 2016-17 fiscal year include $2,045,550 for promotion, $255,000 for personnel, and $106,000 for office expenses. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2015-16 were $1,150,000, $236,000, and $102,000, respectively.

The assessment rate recommended by the Board was derived by considering expected shipments of tart cherries and examining the needs of the industry with regard to research and promotion and the authorized reserve. Tart cherry shipments for the 2016-17 year are estimated at 314.7 million pounds, which should provide $2,360,250 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments, interest income, and funds from the Board's authorized reserve should be adequate to cover budgeted expenses. Funds in the reserve (approximately $894,000) will be kept within the maximum permitted by the order of no more than approximately one year's operational expenses as stated in § 930.42(a).

The assessment rate will continue in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Board or other available information.

Although this assessment rate will be in effect for an indefinite period, the Board will continue to meet prior to or during each fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider recommendations for modification of the assessment rate. The dates and times of Board meetings are available from the Board or USDA. Board meetings are open to the public, and interested persons may express their views at these meetings. USDA will evaluate Board recommendations and other available information to determine whether modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking would be undertaken as necessary. The Board's budget for future fiscal periods will be reviewed and, as appropriate, approved by USDA.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis.

The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf.

There are approximately 600 producers of tart cherries in the regulated area and approximately 40 handlers of tart cherries who are subject to regulation under the order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000, and small agricultural service firms have been defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $7,500,000 (13 CFR 121.201).

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service and Board data, the average annual grower price for tart cherries during the 2015-16 season was approximately $0.347 per pound. With total utilization at 251.1 million pounds, the total 2015-16 crop value is estimated at $87 million. Dividing the crop value by the estimated number of producers (600) yields an estimated average receipt per producer of $145,000. This is well below the SBA threshold for small producers. In 2015, The Food Institute estimated a free on board (f.o.b.) price of $0.96 per pound for frozen tart cherries, which make up the majority of processed tart cherries. Multiplying the f.o.b price by total utilization of 251.1 million pounds results in an estimated handler-level tart cherry value of $241 million. Dividing this figure by the number of handlers (40) yields an estimated average annual handler receipts of $6 million, which is below the SBA threshold for small agricultural service firms. Assuming a normal distribution, the majority of producers and handlers of tart cherries may be classified as small entities.

This rule increases the portion of the assessment rate allocated to research and promotion activities from $0.005 to $0.0065 per pound of tart cherries handled and decreases the portion allocated to administrative expenses from $0.0025 to $0.001 per pound of tart cherries handled under the order. This rule also corrects the allocation numbers from $0.006 per pound for research and promotion activities and $0.0015 per pound for administrative expenses as stated in the proposed rule based on a comment received. The overall assessment rate established for the Board for the 2016-17 and subsequent fiscal periods remains unchanged at $0.0075 per pound of tart cherries. The quantity of assessable tart cherries for the 2016-17 season is estimated at 314.7 million pounds. Thus, the $0.0075 rate should provide $2,360,250 in assessment income. Income derived from handler assessments, interest income, and funds from the Board's authorized reserve should provide sufficient funds to meet this year's anticipated expenses.

The major expenditures recommended by the Board for the 2016-17 year include $2,045,550 for promotion, $255,000 for personnel, and $106,000 for office expenses. Budgeted expenses for these items in 2015-16 were $1,150,000, $236,000, and $102,000, respectively.

This rule shifts the allocation of the assessment rate to increase the portion allocated for research and promotion, while decreasing the portion allocated for administrative costs. This adjustment will allow for expanded research and promotion activities to help market this season's above-average crop, while helping to ensure that funds held in the Board's authorized reserve are consistent with the order's limits on the reserve.

Prior to arriving at this budget and assessment rate, the Board considered production history, crop estimates, its financial statements, and the need to both reduce financial reserves and increase its marketing efforts to increase demand for tart cherries. The Board also considered not taking this action but determined that 2016-17 expenditures of $2,523,550 were appropriate, and the recommended assessment rate and allocation, along with funds from interest income, block grants, and funds from reserves, would be adequate to cover budgeted expenses.

A review of historical information and preliminary information pertaining to the upcoming crop year indicates that the average grower price for the 2016-17 season could be approximately $0.348 per pound of tart cherries. Therefore, the estimated assessment revenue for the 2016-17 crop year as a percentage of total grower revenue could be approximately 2 percent.

This action does not increase the assessment obligation imposed on handlers. While assessments impose some additional costs on handlers, the costs are minimal and uniform on all handlers. Some of the costs may be passed on to producers. However, these costs are offset by the benefits derived by the operation of the marketing order.

The Board's meetings were widely publicized throughout the tart cherry industry, and all interested persons were invited to attend the meetings and participate in Board deliberations on all issues. Like all Board meetings, the June 23, 2016, and September 8, 2016, meetings were public meetings, and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue.

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been previously approved by OMB and assigned OMB No. 0581-0177, Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. No changes in those requirements are necessary as a result of this action. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.

This rule imposes no additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large tart cherry handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. As noted in the initial regulatory flexibility analysis, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this final rule.

AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes.

A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal Register on May 25, 2017(82 FR 24080). Copies of the proposed rule were also mailed or sent via facsimile to all tart cherry handlers. Finally, the proposal was made available through the internet by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 30-day comment period ending June 26, 2017, was provided for interested persons to respond to the proposal.

One comment was received from Board staff indicating that the Board minutes stated the recommendation was for assessment allocation of $0.0065 per pound of tart cherries for promotion and $0.001 per pound of tart cherries for administration rather than the $0.006 and $0.0015, respectively, as published in the proposed rule. Accordingly, the allocation numbers were revised based on the comment received.

A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Richard Lower at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

After consideration of all relevant material presented, including the information and recommendation submitted by the Board and other available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, it is also found and determined that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because the fiscal year ends on September 30, 2017, and the change in allotment of assessments collected is necessary to ensure sufficient funds are available to cover the increase in research and promotion expenses that were incurred to help market the 2016-17 above-average crop. Further, handlers are aware of this rule, which was recommended at a public meeting. Also, a 30-day comment period was provided for in the proposed rule and no negative comments were received.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 930

Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tart cherries.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 930 is amended as follows:

PART 930—TART CHERRIES GROWN IN THE STATES OF MICHIGAN, NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA, OREGON, UTAH, WASHINGTON, AND WISCONSIN 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 930 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 601-674.

2. Section 930.200 is revised to read as follows:
§ 930.200 Assessment rate.

On and after October 1, 2016, the assessment rate imposed on handlers shall be $0.0075 per pound of tart cherries grown in the production area and utilized in the production of tart cherry products. Included in this rate is $0.0065 per pound of tart cherries to cover the cost of the research and promotion program and $0.001 per pound of tart cherries to cover administrative expenses.

Dated: August 30, 2017. Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-18756 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1205 [Doc. # AMS-CN-17-0003] Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2017 Amendments) AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations, increasing the value assigned to imported cotton for the purposes of calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. This amendment is required each year to ensure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. In addition, AMS is updating the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) statistical reporting numbers that were amended since the last assessment adjustment in 2016.

DATES:

This direct rule is effective November 6, 2017, without further action or notice, unless significant adverse comment is received by October 5, 2017. If significant adverse comment is received, AMS will publish a timely withdrawal of the amendment in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments may be submitted to the addresses specified below. All comments will be made available to the public. Please do not include personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publically disclosed. All comments may be posted on the Internet and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines. Comments may be submitted anonymously.

Comments, identified by AMS-CN-17-0003, may be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments. In addition, comments may be submitted by mail or hand delivery to Cotton Research and Promotion, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406. Comments should be submitted in triplicate. All comments received will be made available for public inspection at Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406. A copy of this document may be found at: www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Shethir M. Riva, Director, Research and Promotion, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406, telephone (540) 361-2726, facsimile (540) 361-1199, or email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background

Amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Act (7 U.S.C. 2101-2118) (Act) were enacted by Congress under Subtitle G of Title XIX of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-624, 104 Stat. 3909, November 28, 1990). These amendments contained two provisions that authorize changes in the funding procedures for the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. These provisions provide for: (1) The assessment of imported cotton and cotton products; and (2) termination of refunds to cotton producers. (Prior to the 1990 amendments to the Act, producers could request assessment refunds.)

As amended, the Cotton Research and Promotion Order (7 CFR part 1205) (Order) was approved by producers and importers voting in a referendum held July 17-26, 1991, and the amended Order was published in the Federal Register on December 10, 1991, (56 FR 64470). A proposed rule implementing the amended Order was published in the Federal Register on December 17, 1991, (56 FR 65450). Implementing rules were published on July 1 and 2, 1992, (57 FR 29181) and (57 FR 29431), respectively.

This direct final rule would amend the value assigned to imported cotton in the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations (7 CFR 1205.510(b)(2)) that is used to determine the Cotton Research and Promotion assessment on imported cotton and cotton products. The total value of assessment levied on cotton imports is the sum of two parts. The first part of the assessment is based on the weight of cotton imported—levied at a rate of $1 per bale of cotton, which is equivalent to 500 pounds, or $1 per 226.8 kilograms of cotton. The second part of the import assessment (referred to as the supplemental assessment) is based on the value of imported cotton lint or the cotton contained in imported cotton products—levied at a rate of five-tenths of one percent of the value of domestically produced cotton.

Section 1205.510(b)(2) of the Cotton Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations provides for assigning the calendar year weighted average price received by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton to represent the value of imported cotton. This is so that the assessment on domestically produced cotton and the assessment on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products is the same. The source for the average price statistic is Agricultural Prices, a publication of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the Department of Agriculture. Use of the weighted average price figure in the calculation of supplemental assessments on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will yield an assessment that is the same as assessments paid on domestically produced cotton.

The current value of imported cotton as published in 2016 in the Federal Register (81 FR 51781) for the purpose of calculating assessments on imported cotton is $0.011012 per kilogram. Using the average weighted price received by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton for the calendar year 2016, this direct final rule would amend the new value of imported cotton to $0.011510 per kilogram to reflect the price paid by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton during 2016.

An example of the complete assessment formula and how the figures are obtained is as follows:

One bale is equal to 500 pounds.

One kilogram equals 2.2046 pounds.

One pound equals 0.453597 kilograms.

One Dollar per Bale Assessment Converted to Kilograms

A 500-pound bale equals 226.8 kg. (500 × 0.453597).

$1 per bale assessment equals $0.002000 per pound or $0.2000 cents per pound (1/500) or $0.004409 per kg or $0.4409 cents per kg. (1/226.8).

Supplemental Assessment of 5/10 of One Percent of the Value of the Cotton Converted to Kilograms

The 2016 calendar year weighted average price received by producers for Upland cotton is $0.644 per pound or $1.42 per kg. (0.644 × 2.2046).

Five tenths of one percent of the average price equals $0.007101 per kg. (1.42 × 0.005).

Total Assessment

The total assessment per kilogram of raw cotton is obtained by adding the $1 per bale equivalent assessment of $0.004409 per kg. and the supplemental assessment $0.007101 per kg., which equals $0.01151 per kg.

The current assessment on imported cotton is $0.011012 per kilogram of imported cotton. The revised assessment in this direct final rule is $0.01151, an increase of $0.000498 per kilogram. This increase reflects the increase in the average weighted price of Upland cotton received by U.S. farmers during the period January through December 2016.

Import Assessment Table in section 1205.510(b)(3) indicates the total assessment rate ($ per kilogram) due for each Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number that is subject to assessment. This table must be revised each year to reflect changes in supplemental assessment rates and any changes to the HTS numbers. In this direct final rule, AMS is amending the Import Assessment Table.

AMS believes that these amendments are necessary to ensure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products are the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. Accordingly, changes reflected in this rule should be adopted and implemented as soon as possible since it is required by regulation.

As described in this Federal Register document, the amendment to the value used to determine the Cotton Research and Promotion Program importer assessment will be updated to reflect the assessment already paid by U.S. farmers. For the reasons mentioned above, AMS finds that publishing a proposed rule and seeking public comment is unnecessary because the change is required annually by regulation in 7 CFR 1205.510.

Also, this direct-final rulemaking furthers the objectives of Executive Order 13563, which requires that the regulatory process “promote predictability and reduce uncertainty” and “identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends.”

AMS has used the direct rule rulemaking process since 2013 and has not received any adverse comments; however, if AMS does receives significant adverse comment during the comment period, it will publish, in a timely manner, a document in the Federal Register withdrawing this direct final rule. AMS will then address public comments in a subsequent proposed rule and final rule based on the proposed rule.

B. Regulatory Impact Analysis Executive Order 13175

This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation would not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and would not have significant Tribal implications.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health, and safety effects; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. The Office of Management and Budget has waived review of this action. Additionally, because this rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action it does not trigger the requirements contained in Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017 titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (February 2, 2017).

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect.

The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 12 of the Act, any person subject to an order may file with the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) a petition stating that the order, any provision of the plan, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and requesting a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such person is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, the Secretary would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the District Court of the United States in any district in which the person is an inhabitant, or has his principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review the Secretary's ruling, provided a complaint is filed within 20 days from the date of the entry of the Secretary's ruling.

Regulatory Flexibility Act and Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS has examined the economic impact of this rule on small entities. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such action so that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration defines, in 13 CFR part 121, small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of no more than $750,000 and small agricultural service firms (importers) as having receipts of no more than $7,500,000. In 2016, an estimated 20,000 importers are subject to the rules and regulations issued pursuant to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order. Most are considered small entities as defined by the Small Business Administration.

This rule would only affect importers of cotton and cotton-containing products and would increase the assessments paid by the importers under the Cotton Research and Promotion Order. The current assessment on imported cotton is $0.011012 per kilogram of imported cotton. The amended assessment would be $0.01151, which was calculated based on the 12-month weighted average of price received by U.S. cotton farmers. Section 1205.510, “Levy of assessments”, provides “The rate of the supplemental assessment on imported cotton will be the same as that levied on cotton produced within the United States.” In addition, section 1205.510 provides that the 12-month weighted average of prices received by U.S. farmers will be used as the value of imported cotton for the purpose of levying the supplemental assessment on imported cotton.

Under the Cotton Research and Promotion Program, assessments are used by the Cotton Board to finance research and promotion programs designed to increase consumer demand for Upland cotton in the United States and international markets. In 2015 (the last audited year), producer assessments totaled $36.06 million and importer assessments totaled $39.42 million. According to the Cotton Board, should the volume of cotton products imported into the U.S. remain at the same level in 2017, one could expect an increase of assessments by approximately $1,548,844.

Imported organic cotton and products may be exempt from assessment if eligible under section 1205.519 of the Order.

There are no Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule.

In compliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations (5 CFR part 1320) which implement the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35) the information collection requirements contained in the regulation to be amended have been previously approved by OMB and were assigned control number 0581-0093, National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Programs. This rule does not result in a change to the information collection and recordkeeping requirements previously approved.

A 30-day comment period is provided to comment on the changes to the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations proposed herein. This period is deemed appropriate because an amendment is required to adjust the assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products to be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. Accordingly, the change in this rule, if adopted, should be implemented as soon as possible.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1205

Advertising, Agricultural research, Cotton, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, AMS amends 7 CFR part 1205 as follows:

PART 1205—COTTON RESEARCH AND PROMOTION 1. The authority citation for part 1205 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 2101-2118; 7 U.S.C. 7401.

2. In § 1205.510, paragraph (b)(2) and the table in paragraph (b)(3) are revised to read as follows:
§ 1205.510 Levy of assessments.

(b) * * *

(2) The 12-month average of monthly weighted average prices received by U.S. farmers will be calculated annually. Such weighted average will be used as the value of imported cotton for the purpose of levying the supplemental assessment on imported cotton and will be expressed in kilograms. The value of imported cotton for the purpose of levying this supplemental assessment is $1.151 cents per kilogram.

(3) * * *

Import Assessment Table [Raw cotton fiber] HTS No. Conv. factor Cents/kg. 5007106010 0.2713 0.3122663 5007106020 0.2713 0.3122663 5007906010 0.2713 0.3122663 5007906020 0.2713 0.3122663 5112904000 0.1085 0.1248835 5112905000 0.1085 0.1248835 5112909010 0.1085 0.1248835 5112909090 0.1085 0.1248835 5201000500 1 1.151 5201001200 1 1.151 5201001400 1 1.151 5201001800 1 1.151 5201002200 1 1.151 5201002400 1 1.151 5201002800 1 1.151 5201003400 1 1.151 5201003800 1 1.151 5204110000 1.0526 1.2115426 5204190000 0.6316 0.7269716 5204200000 1.0526 1.2115426 5205111000 1 1.151 5205112000 1 1.151 5205121000 1 1.151 5205122000 1 1.151 5205131000 1 1.151 5205132000 1 1.151 5205141000 1 1.151 5205142000 1 1.151 5205151000 1 1.151 5205152000 1 1.151 5205210020 1.044 1.201644 5205210090 1.044 1.201644 5205220020 1.044 1.201644 5205220090 1.044 1.201644 5205230020 1.044 1.201644 5205230090 1.044 1.201644 5205240020 1.044 1.201644 5205240090 1.044 1.201644 5205260020 1.044 1.201644 5205260090 1.044 1.201644 5205270020 1.044 1.201644 5205270090 1.044 1.201644 5205280020 1.044 1.201644 5205280090 1.044 1.201644 5205310000 1 1.151 5205320000 1 1.151 5205330000 1 1.151 5205340000 1 1.151 5205350000 1 1.151 5205410020 1.044 1.201644 5205410090 1.044 1.201644 5205420021 1.044 1.201644 5205420029 1.044 1.201644 5205420090 1.044 1.201644 5205430021 1.044 1.201644 5205430029 1.044 1.201644 5205430090 1.044 1.201644 5205440021 1.044 1.201644 5205440029 1.044 1.201644 5205440090 1.044 1.201644 5205460021 1.044 1.201644 5205460029 1.044 1.201644 5205460090 1.044 1.201644 5205470021 1.044 1.201644 5205470029 1.044 1.201644 5205470090 1.044 1.201644 5205480020 1.044 1.201644 5205480090 1.044 1.201644 5206110000 0.7368 0.8480568 5206120000 0.7368 0.8480568 5206130000 0.7368 0.8480568 5206140000 0.7368 0.8480568 5206150000 0.7368 0.8480568 5206210000 0.7692 0.8853492 5206220000 0.7692 0.8853492 5206230000 0.7692 0.8853492 5206240000 0.7692 0.8853492 5206250000 0.7692 0.8853492 5206310000 0.7368 0.8480568 5206320000 0.7368 0.8480568 5206330000 0.7368 0.8480568 5206340000 0.7368 0.8480568 5206350000 0.7368 0.8480568 5206410000 0.7692 0.8853492 5206420000 0.7692 0.8853492 5206430000 0.7692 0.8853492 5206440000 0.7692 0.8853492 5206450000 0.7692 0.8853492 5207100000 0.9474 1.0904574 5207900000 0.6316 0.7269716 5208112020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208112040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208112090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208114020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208114040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208114060 1.0852 1.2490652 5208114090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208116000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208118020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208118090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208124020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208124040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208124090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208126020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208126040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208126060 1.0852 1.2490652 5208126090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208128020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208128090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208130000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208192020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208192090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208194020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208194090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208196020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208196090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208198020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208198090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208212020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208212040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208212090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208214020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208214040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208214060 1.0852 1.2490652 5208214090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208216020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208216090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208224020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208224040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208224090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208226020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208226040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208226060 1.0852 1.2490652 5208226090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208228020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208228090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208230000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208292020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208292090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208294020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208294090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208296020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208296090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208298020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208298090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208312000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208314020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208314040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208314090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208316020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208316040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208316060 1.0852 1.2490652 5208316090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208318020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208318090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208321000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208323020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208323040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208323090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208324020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208324040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208324060 1.0852 1.2490652 5208324090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208325020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208325090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208330000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208392020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208392090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208394020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208394090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208396020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208396090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208398020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208398090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208412000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208414000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208416000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208418000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208421000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208423000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208424000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208425000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208430000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208492000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208494010 1.0852 1.2490652 5208494020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208494090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208496010 1.0852 1.2490652 5208496020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208496030 1.0852 1.2490652 5208496090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208498020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208498090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208512000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208514020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208514040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208514090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208516020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208516040 1.0852 1.2490652 5208516060 1.0852 1.2490652 5208516090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208518020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208518090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208521000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208523020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208523035 1.0852 1.2490652 5208523045 1.0852 1.2490652 5208523090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208524020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208524035 1.0852 1.2490652 5208524045 1.0852 1.2490652 5208524055 1.0852 1.2490652 5208524065 1.0852 1.2490652 5208524090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208525020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208525090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208591000 1.0852 1.2490652 5208592015 1.0852 1.2490652 5208592025 1.0852 1.2490652 5208592085 1.0852 1.2490652 5208592095 1.0852 1.2490652 5208594020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208594090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208596020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208596090 1.0852 1.2490652 5208598020 1.0852 1.2490652 5208598090 1.0852 1.2490652 5209110020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209110025 1.0309 1.1865659 5209110035 1.0309 1.1865659 5209110050 1.0309 1.1865659 5209110090 1.0309 1.1865659 5209120020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209120040 1.0309 1.1865659 5209190020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209190040 1.0309 1.1865659 5209190060 1.0309 1.1865659 5209190090 1.0309 1.1865659 5209210020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209210025 1.0309 1.1865659 5209210035 1.0309 1.1865659 5209210050 1.0309 1.1865659 5209210090 1.0309 1.1865659 5209220020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209220040 1.0309 1.1865659 5209290020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209290040 1.0309 1.1865659 5209290060 1.0309 1.1865659 5209290090 1.0309 1.1865659 5209313000 1.0309 1.1865659 5209316020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209316025 1.0309 1.1865659 5209316035 1.0309 1.1865659 5209316050 1.0309 1.1865659 5209316090 1.0309 1.1865659 5209320020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209320040 1.0309 1.1865659 5209390020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209390040 1.0309 1.1865659 5209390060 1.0309 1.1865659 5209390080 1.0309 1.1865659 5209390090 1.0309 1.1865659 5209413000 1.0309 1.1865659 5209416020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209416040 1.0309 1.1865659 5209420020 0.9767 1.1241817 5209420040 0.9767 1.1241817 5209420060 0.9767 1.1241817 5209420080 0.9767 1.1241817 5209430030 1.0309 1.1865659 5209430050 1.0309 1.1865659 5209490020 1.0309 1.1865659 5209490040 1.0309 1.1865659 5209490090 1.0309 1.1865659 5209513000 1.0309 1.1865659 5209516015 1.0852 1.2490652 5209516025 1.0852 1.2490652 5209516032 1.0852 1.2490652 5209516035 1.0852 1.2490652 5209516050 1.0852 1.2490652 5209516090 1.0852 1.2490652 5209520020 1.0852 1.2490652 5209520040 1.0852 1.2490652 5209590015 1.0852 1.2490652 5209590025 1.0852 1.2490652 5209590040 1.0852 1.2490652 5209590060 1.0852 1.2490652 5209590090 1.0852 1.2490652 5210114020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210114040 0.6511 0.7494161 5210114090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210116020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210116040 0.6511 0.7494161 5210116060 0.6511 0.7494161 5210116090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210118020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210118090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210191000 0.6511 0.7494161 5210192020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210192090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210194020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210194090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210196020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210196090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210198020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210198090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210214020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210214040 0.6511 0.7494161 5210214090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210216020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210216040 0.6511 0.7494161 5210216060 0.6511 0.7494161 5210216090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210218020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210218090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210291000 0.6511 0.7494161 5210292020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210292090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210294020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210294090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210296020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210296090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210298020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210298090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210314020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210314040 0.6511 0.7494161 5210314090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210316020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210316040 0.6511 0.7494161 5210316060 0.6511 0.7494161 5210316090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210318020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210318090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210320000 0.6511 0.7494161 5210392020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210392090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210394020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210394090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210396020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210396090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210398020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210398090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210414000 0.6511 0.7494161 5210416000 0.6511 0.7494161 5210418000 0.6511 0.7494161 5210491000 0.6511 0.7494161 5210492000 0.6511 0.7494161 5210494010 0.6511 0.7494161 5210494020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210494090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210496010 0.6511 0.7494161 5210496020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210496090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210498020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210498090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210514020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210514040 0.6511 0.7494161 5210514090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210516020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210516040 0.6511 0.7494161 5210516060 0.6511 0.7494161 5210516090 0.6511 0.7494161 5210518020 0.6511 0.7494161 5210518090 0.6511 0.7494161 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Authority:

7 U.S.C. 2101-2118.

Dated: August 30, 2017. Bruce Summers, Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-18758 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 8 CFR Part 212 RIN 1651-AA97 [USCBP-2016-0006; CBP Decision No. 17-10] Waiver of Passport and Visa Requirements Due to an Unforeseen Emergency AGENCY:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule adopts as final proposed amendments to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) regulations describing the procedures for issuance of a discretionary waiver, on the basis of unforeseen emergency in individual cases, of certain documentary requirements for individuals seeking admission to the United States as a nonimmigrant. The Department of State (DOS) is issuing a parallel final rule amending a similar DOS regulation published in today's edition of the Federal Register. DHS and DOS have acted jointly in this matter.

DATES:

This rule is effective October 5, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joseph O'Donnell, Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, telephone number (202) 344-1691, or by email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State, acting jointly, in specified situations, may waive certain documentary requirements (i.e., an unexpired passport and, if required, a valid unexpired visa) for individuals seeking admission to the United States as nonimmigrants.1 See section 212(d)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(4)); see also section 212(a)(7)(B)(i) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(7)(B)(i)) (describing documentary requirements for nonimmigrants). One of these situations is where the agencies determine in individual cases that the nonimmigrant is unable to present the required documents due to an unforeseen emergency. See section 212(d)(4)(A) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(4)(A)). Regulations governing issuance of unforeseen emergency waivers are set forth at 8 CFR 212.1(g). DOS has similar implementing regulations. See 22 CFR 41.2(i).

1 Previously, the Attorney General acting jointly with the Secretary of State was authorized to waive the documentary requirements due to an unforeseen emergency. However, pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (HSA), as of March 1, 2003, functions of the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) of the Department of Justice and the legacy U.S. Customs Service of the Department of the Treasury were transferred to DHS. Specifically, pursuant to sections 102(a), 441, 1512(d) and 1517 of the HSA and 8 CFR 2.1, the authorities of the Attorney General, as described in section 212 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182), were transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the reference to the Attorney General in the statute is deemed to refer to the Secretary. Thus, the waiver authority in section 212(d)(4) of the INA now resides with the Secretary of Homeland Security acting jointly with the Secretary of State.

On March 8, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (81 FR 12032) proposing to amend 8 CFR 212.1(g). The NPRM provided a 60-day public comment period. In the NPRM, CBP proposed to reinstate a 1996 amendment to 8 CFR 212.1(g) that was invalidated by court order in United Airlines, Inc. v. Brien, 588 F.3d 158 (2d Cir. 2009). The court invalidated the 1996 amendment on procedural grounds because the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) did not coordinate with DOS in amending the regulation in violation of the joint action requirement under section 212(d)(4)(A) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(4)(A)). United Airlines, 588 F.3d at 179.

Among other things, the 1996 amendment would have removed certain language from 8 CFR 212.1(g) that precluded DHS from assessing carrier fines under section 273 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1323) when an “unforeseen emergency” waiver had been granted under section 212(d)(4)(A) of the INA and 8 CFR 212.1(g). Section 273 of the INA makes it unlawful for a carrier to bring to the United States any alien who does not have a valid passport and an unexpired visa, if a visa was required under the INA or the regulations issued thereunder, and subjects the carrier to a fine for violating this provision. The 1996 amendment of 8 CFR 212.1(g) would have removed the phrase that a visa and passport “are not required” if legacy INS (now CBP) concluded that the nonimmigrant was unable to present the required documents because of an unforeseen emergency.

The NPRM proposed to reinstate the 1996 amendment by removing the phrase “are not required” so that CBP could assess carrier fines under section 273 of the INA in appropriate cases notwithstanding that an “unforeseen emergency” waiver has been granted under section 212(d)(4)(A) of the Act and 8 CFR 212.1(g).2 The NPRM also proposed to amend 8 CFR 212.1(g) by reinstating 2002 and 2007 amendments to 8 CFR 212.1(g) that were also invalidated as a result of the court order in United Airlines. 3

2 CBP would not apply a fine if CBP granted the waiver and did not revoke it prior to the nonimmigrant alien's boarding.

3 The INS amended the regulation in 2002 to update documentary requirements, and DHS amended the regulation in 2007 to include U nonimmigrants among those who could seek a waiver. See 67 FR 71443 (Dec. 2, 2002) and 72 FR 53014 (Sept. 17, 2007).

Further background information is provided in the NPRM. On March 8, 2016, DOS published a parallel NPRM proposing amendment of 22 CFR 41.2(i). See 81 FR 12050.

Discussion of Comments

DHS received eleven comments on this rule. Two comments favored the proposed amendments, and two did not. The remaining comments criticized U.S. immigration policy or aspects of the regulation that were unchanged and are outside the scope of this rulemaking. A summary of the relevant issues raised in the comments and CBP's responses are set forth below.

Comment

Two commenters said that the proposed regulation did not clearly specify what constitutes an “unforeseen emergency” under 8 CFR 212.1(g). One of these commenters recommended the addition of more details about the criteria for qualifying for the unforeseen emergency waiver. The other commenter requested an explanation of the phrase “unforeseen emergency” and was concerned about the “lack of substantial definitions on key terms.”

CBP Response

The proposed regulation permits the CBP district director 4 to grant an unforeseen emergency waiver on an individual case-by-case basis in the exercise of his or her discretion based on the circumstances presented. CBP has determined that this discretionary case-by-case approach is preferable to establishing a specific definition of or criteria for establishing an unforeseen emergency because it is impossible to define or forecast all the various circumstances that could arise that might justify an unforeseen emergency waiver. CBP also has concluded that the inclusion of a definition or the criteria for determining an unforeseen emergency in the regulation would be too limiting.

4 The DHS regulation at 8 CFR 1.2 defines “district director” broadly. It specifies that to the extent that authority has been delegated to such official, it means asylum office director; director, field operations; district director for interior enforcement; district director for services; field office director; service center director; or special agent in charge. It further specifies that term means such other official, including an official in an acting capacity, within CBP or another DHS component who is delegated the function or authority above for a particular geographic district, region, or area. In determining eligibility for an unforeseen emergency waiver under 8 CFR 212.1(g), the term “district director” would encompass the CBP port director for the port where the nonimmigrant is seeking admission to the United States.

Comment

One commenter stated that in now proposing parallel amendments to their respective regulations, CBP and DOS have satisfied the joint action requirement. This same commenter indicated that the proposed amendment is inconsistent with the decision in United Airlines to uphold the Board of Immigration Appeals' (BIA) longstanding rule that a carrier may not be fined under section 273 for having brought an alien to the United States if that alien receives an unforeseen emergency visa waiver.

Another commenter stated that it was unclear how the Government could waive passport/visa requirements and yet retain the ability to fine airline carriers for such transport.

CBP Response

CBP agrees that DHS and DOS have satisfied the joint action requirement under section 212(d)(4)(A) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(4)(A)) by proposing and now issuing parallel regulations.

CBP disagrees that this rule is inconsistent with the decision in United Airlines. In United Airlines, the court considered the validity of the BIA rule interpreting the pre-1996 version of 8 CFR 212.1(g). See 588 F.3d at 169-70. By way of background, section 273(a)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1323(a)(1)) makes it unlawful for a carrier to bring to the United States any alien who does not have a valid passport and an unexpired visa, if a visa was required under the INA or the regulations issued thereunder. Because the pre-1996 version of 8 CFR 212.1(g) specified that a visa and a passport are not required if a nonimmigrant demonstrates an unforeseen emergency, the BIA concluded that a carrier could not be fined pursuant to section 273 when an unforeseen emergency waiver was granted under 8 CFR 212.1(g).5 See id. at 163.

5 The court also upheld legacy INS's decision to parole aliens arriving in the United States without proper documents rather than granting them a waiver, thereby preserving INS's ability to fine the carrier under section 273 of the INA. See United Airlines, 588 F.3d at 174. For further explanation about parole, see infra note 7.

However, in 1996, legacy INS amended 8 CFR 212.1(g) to remove the language that a passport and visa are not required if a nonimmigrant demonstrates an unforeseen emergency. See 61 FR 11717. Subsequently, the BIA, applying the 1996 version of the regulation, held that a carrier was subject to a fine for bringing an alien passenger to the United States without a valid nonimmigrant visa even though the passenger was subsequently granted a post-arrival waiver of the visa document requirement. See Matter of Finnair Flight AY103, 23 I&N Dec. 140 (BIA 2001).

Therefore, this final rule, which allows CBP to waive passport and/or visa requirements for a nonimmigrant due to an unforeseen emergency yet still retain the authority to fine the carrier for transporting an alien to the United States without proper documentation, is consistent with the relevant BIA precedent and United Airlines.

In fact, the court in United Airlines explicitly sanctioned the approach taken by this final rule. The court stated that if the INS (now CBP) finds that application of the BIA's interpretation of section 273 creates a disincentive for airlines to make a reasonable, good faith effort to ensure that every alien has the requisite travel and entry documents prior to arrival in the United States, it may amend the regulations so that a post-arrival waiver does not nullify the documentary requirements of section 212(a)(7)(B) of the INA. See United Airlines, 588 F.3d at 173.

Comment

Two commenters expressed the view that the rule would create an economic incentive for carriers to comply with section 273. One commenter stated that unless a carrier would receive more than $4,300 to transport an alien into the United States without proper documentation, the carrier would be disincentivized to provide such transportation due to the possibility of a $4,300 fine under section 273.6 This commenter stated that CBP's authority to assess carrier fines in such cases would force airlines and other small entities to implement more stringent practices regarding whom they transport to the United States. This commenter supported Alternative 1, the chosen proposal, which was described in the NPRM as allowing CBP to waive the requirement for individuals seeking admission as nonimmigrants to present valid documentation for entry into the United States in an unforeseen emergency while retaining the authority to fine carriers under section 273. This commenter indicated that Alternative 2, described in the NPRM as the same as Alternative 1 but with a waiver of the penalty for small entities, would remove the economic incentive to comply with section 273 and create an unnecessary safety risk.

6 Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, Public Law 114-74 (Nov. 2, 2015), on July 1, 2016, DHS issued a rule that adjusted the fine from $4,300 to $5,345 to account for inflation. See 81 FR 42987. The adjusted penalty amount became effective for penalties assessed after August 1, 2016 whose associated violation occurred after November 2, 2015. On January 27, 2017, DHS further adjusted the penalty amount for inflation from $5,345 to $5,432 for penalties assessed after January 27, 2017 whose associated violation occurred after November 2, 2015. See 82 FR 8571. Pursuant to this Act, the penalty amount will be adjusted every year.

Another commenter stated that CBP's ability to assess carrier fines, regardless of whether the undocumented passenger received a waiver, would provide an economic incentive for carriers to adhere to section 273 and dissuade carriers from attempting to determine on their own whether an undocumented passenger would qualify for an unforeseen emergency waiver.

CBP Response

CBP agrees that this rule will incentivize carriers to make a reasonable, good-faith effort to ensure that every alien has the proper documentation prior to arrival in the United States.

Conclusion

After review of the comments and further consideration, DHS adopts as final the proposed amendments published in the Federal Register (81 FR 12032) on March 8, 2016.

Regulatory Analyses A. Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866

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

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed it. As this rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017 titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs' ” (February 2, 2017).

In 1996, the legacy INS published a final rule (61 FR 11717) amending 8 CFR 212.1(g) which allowed for the waiver of required passport and visa documents for a nonimmigrant in an unforeseen emergency while still retaining the ability to fine the carrier for transporting an alien to the United States without the required documents. In 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion in United Airlines, Inc. v. Brien, 588 F.3d 158 (2d Cir. 2009), which held that the regulation amending 8 CFR 212.1(g) was improperly promulgated because DOS and the legacy INS did not jointly promulgate the rule. In its ruling, the court upheld legacy INS's decision to parole aliens arriving in the United States without proper documents rather than granting them a waiver, thereby preserving INS's authority to fine the carrier under section 273 of the INA.7 See United Airlines, 588 F.3d at 174. This has led to a situation in which carriers are being penalized inconsistently when they transport aliens to the United States without proper documentation. If an alien qualifies for parole, the carrier nonetheless is subject to a fine. If an alien does not qualify for parole but receives a waiver, the carrier is not subject to a fine. Since the carriers' underlying conduct is the same in both cases, i.e., transporting an alien to the United States without proper documentation, CBP believes the penalties should be the same.

7 An alien applying for admission may be paroled into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. Parole does not constitute an admission to the United States and is to be terminated when, inter alia, the purpose of parole is accomplished or neither humanitarian reasons nor public benefit warrants the continued presence of the alien in the United States. See INA sections 212(d)(5), 101(a)(13)(B) (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5), 1101(a)(13)(B)); see also 8 CFR 212.5(c)-(e); http://www.dhs.gov/definition-terms for information on various types of parole.

As such, DHS and DOS are now jointly promulgating final rules to allow CBP to waive the requirement to present entry documents for nonimmigrants under an unforeseen emergency while still retaining the ability to fine the carrier for transporting an alien to the United States without proper entry documentation.8

8 The maximum penalty amount under section 273 has increased from $4,300 to $5,432 as a result of multiple adjustments to account for inflation. See supra note 7.

From FY 2010-2016,9 if this rule had been in effect, carriers would have been subject to penalties averaging $1.4 million per year for 786 violations of section 273. This $1.4 million represents a transfer from violative carriers to the United States government. To avoid the penalties imposed by this rule and existing penalties, carriers may adopt further oversight. In the NPRM, CBP requested comment on any additional oversight costs that could result from this rule but no such comments were received.

9 Note that in the NPRM we used data from FY 2010-2015. Now that FY 2016 data is available, we have included it in the analysis.

CBP currently assesses penalties under this provision against any carriers that transport aliens without proper documents who are inadmissible, including when these aliens qualify for parole. Therefore, CBP will not have to set up a new process to fine carriers as a result of this rule. A penalty under this provision takes CBP approximately 2.5 hours to process. Therefore, on average this rule would take approximately 1,965 hours (2.5 hours per violation * 786 violations per year) a year for CBP to administer.

Currently, carriers are penalized for violations of section 273 inconsistently. When a carrier transports an alien without proper documentation, whether it is penalized depends not on the nature of the carrier's violation, but on whether the alien it transported qualifies for a waiver. CBP believes it is more equitable to penalize carriers who violate section 273 equally. Additionally, CBP believes that the language of 8 CFR 212.1(g), as amended in the final rule, which allows CBP to assess a section 273 penalty when a waiver is granted, provides an economic incentive for carriers to comply with the statutory requirements of section 273. Finally, we received three comments that were supportive of the rule on the basis that the rule would create an economic incentive for carriers to comply with section 273.

For additional analysis on the impacts of this rule on small entities and a discussion of alternatives, see section B, Regulatory Flexibility Act.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996, requires agencies to assess the impact of regulations on small entities. A small entity may be a small business (defined as any independently owned and operated business not dominant in its field that qualifies as a small business per the Small Business Act); a small not-for-profit organization; or a small governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer than 50,000 people).

As discussed above, DHS and DOS are finalizing parallel and simultaneous amendments to 8 CFR 212.1(g) and 22 CFR 41.2(i) respectively, that would allow CBP to waive the passport and/or visa requirements for nonimmigrants due to an unforeseen emergency while retaining the authority to impose a maximum penalty of $5,432 on a carrier for transporting an alien to the United States without proper documentation.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not specify thresholds for economic significance but instead gives agencies flexibility to determine the appropriate threshold for a particular rule. CBP believes that a maximum penalty of $5,432 may be considered a significant economic impact given the wide range of companies subject to the requirements of this rule and that it is possible that a specific small entity may receive more than one penalty in a year. Therefore, CBP is preparing this Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis under section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

It is unlawful under section 273 of the INA for any person or company to transport an alien to the United States (other than from a foreign contiguous territory) who does not have a valid passport and an unexpired visa (if a visa is required). 8 U.S.C. 1323. As such, it is possible that any person or company engaged in the transportation of aliens may be affected by this rule. Below, Table 1 presents data on the industries CBP has identified that could be affected by this rule. While CBP finds that only 19 small entities have violated section 273 from FY 2011 to FY 2016, CBP is unable to certify that a substantial number of small entities will not be affected by the final rule in the future.10 Accordingly, CBP has conducted the following Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.

10 Since November 20, 2009, CBP has been unable to impose a penalty when a section 212(d)(4)(A) waiver has been granted to an alien without proper documentation. Nevertheless, the small entities listed in Table 1 transported aliens who received such waivers. The small entities responsible for transporting the aliens were not assessed a penalty.

1. A statement of the need for, and objectives of, the rule.

In 1996, the legacy INS published a final rule (61 FR 11717) amending 8 CFR 212.1(g). The amended regulation allowed for the waiver of required passport and visa documents for a nonimmigrant in an unforeseen emergency while still retaining the authority to fine the carrier for transporting an alien to the United States without the required documents. In 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion in United Airlines, Inc. v. Brien, 588 F.3d 158 (2d Cir. 2009), holding that the regulation amending 8 CFR 212.1(g) was improperly promulgated because DOS and the legacy INS did not jointly promulgate the rule. As such, DHS and DOS are now jointly promulgating rules to allow CBP to waive the requirement to present entry documents for nonimmigrants under an unforeseen emergency while still retaining the ability to fine the carrier for transporting an alien to the United States without proper entry documentation. CBP has concluded that the language of 8 CFR 212.1(g), as amended in the final rule, which allows CBP to assess a section 273 penalty when a waiver is granted, provides the necessary economic incentive for carriers to comply with the statutory requirements of section 273.

The objective of this regulation is to allow CBP to retain its ability to fine a carrier for transporting an alien to the United States without proper entry documentation in the event it grants the alien a waiver for an unforeseen emergency. In general, nonimmigrant aliens must present an unexpired passport and, if required, a valid unexpired visa in order to be admitted to the United States. See section 212(a)(7)(B)(i) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(7)(B)(i)). The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State, acting jointly, in specified situations may waive either or both of these requirements. See sections 212(a)(7)(B)(ii) and 212(d)(4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(7)(B)(ii), 1182(d)(4)). One of these situations is when the nonimmigrant is unable to present the required documents due to an unforeseen emergency.

2. A statement of the significant issues raised by the public comments in response to the initial regulatory flexibility analysis, a statement of the assessment of the agency of such issues, and a statement of any changes made in the proposed rule as a result of such comments.

CBP received three comments on the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, published with the NPRM. Two of the commenters were supportive of both the rule and the analysis and one commenter was not. The two commenters that were supportive of the rule and the analysis agreed with CBP that this rule would encourage and incentivize carriers to confirm that every alien has the proper documentation prior to arrival in the United States. The one comment we received that was not supportive of the analysis was in favor of alternative 3, which was for CBP to take no regulatory action. We disagree with this comment because this alternative would continue the current inconsistency regarding the assessment of fines when a carrier violates section 273 for transporting an alien without proper documents based on whether the alien qualifies for parole. Under the commenter's proposed alternative, carriers who transport an alien without proper documents would be subject to a fine if the alien qualifies for parole, but would not be subject to a fine if the alien does not qualify for parole. Since CBP wants to eliminate this inconsistency, we did not make any changes to the rule as a result of the comments.

3. The response of the agency to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration in response to the proposed rule, and a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rule in the final rule as a result of the comments.

CBP did not receive any comments from the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

4. A description of and an estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule will apply or an explanation of why no such estimate is available.

It is unlawful under section 273 for any person or company to transport an alien to the United States (other than from a foreign contiguous territory) who does not have a valid passport and an unexpired visa (if a visa is required). As such, it is possible that any person or company engaged in the transportation of aliens may be affected by this rule. Below, Table 1 presents data on the industries that CBP estimates could be affected by this rule. The data include the NAICS codes of an industry, a description of the industry, and the Small Business Administration's (SBA) guidance on what qualifies an entity to be considered small in the respective industry.11 Additionally, Table 1 includes the number small entities in the respective industry that have violated section 273 from FY 2011 through FY 2016.12 Of the industries that could be affected, only six industries have had small entities that have violated section 273 from FY 2011 through FY 2016.13

11 SBA Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to small business North American Industry Classification System Codes, effective February 26, 2016, can be found here: https://www.sba.gov/contracting/getting-started-contractor/make-sure-you-meet-sba-size-standards.

12 Since November 20, 2009, CBP has been unable to impose a penalty when a 212.1(g) waiver has been granted to an alien without proper documentation. Nevertheless, the small entities listed in Table 1 transported aliens who received 212.1(g) waivers. The small entities responsible for transporting the aliens were not assessed a penalty.

13 We received data on which companies between FY 2011 and FY 2016 violated section 273 from CBP's Office of Field Operations, which assesses the penalties. We then looked up each of the violating companies on Hoovers to determine how many were small and in what industry each violating company belonged. Hoovers is a business research company that provides information on companies and industries on its Web site, www.hoovers.com.

Table 1 NAICS Industry description SBA size standard Small entities that have
  • violated Sec. 273 of the INA
  • 481111 Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation <1,500 employees 12 481112 Scheduled Freight Air Transportation <1,500 employees 0 481211 Nonscheduled Chartered Passenger Air Transportation <1,500 employees 2 481212 Nonscheduled Chartered Freight Air Transportation <1,500 employees 0 481219 Other Nonscheduled Air Transportation <$15 million in revenue 0 488119 Other Airport Operations <$32.5 million in revenue 2 482111 Line-Haul Railroads <1,500 employees 0 482112 Short Line Railroads <1,500 employees 0 483111 Deep Sea Freight Transportation <500 employees 0 483112 Deep Sea Passenger Transportation <1,500 employees 0 483113 Coastal and Great Lakes Freight Transportation <500 employees 0 483114 Coastal and Great Lakes Passenger Transportation <500 employees 0 483211 Inland Water Freight Transportation <750 employees 0 483212 Inland Water Passenger Transportation <500 employees 0 484230 Specialized Freight (except, Used Goods) Trucking, Long-Distance <$27.5 million in revenue 0 485991 Special Needs Transportation <$15 million in revenue 0 487110 Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land <$7.5 million in revenue 0 423860 Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land Transportation Equipment and Supplies (except Motor Vehicle) Merchant Wholesalers <500 employees 1 488330 Navigational Services to Shipping <$38.5 million in revenue 0 441228 Motorcycle, ATV, and All Other Motor Vehicle Dealers <500 employees 1 541614 Process, Physical Distribution and Logistics Consulting Services <$15 million in revenue 0 561520 Tour Operators <$20.5 million in revenue 1 621910 Ambulance Services <$15 million in revenue 0 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Small Business Administration, CBP, and Hoovers Inc.

    To estimate the number of small entities to which the final rule will apply, CBP needs an estimate of the total number of small entities within an industry and the number of these small entities that are, or will be, engaged in the transportation of aliens.

    The U.S. Census Bureau (Census) provides estimates of the number of entities within an industry. The Census organizes an industry by various intervals of annual revenue and number of employees.14 Using these intervals and the SBA's small entity standards, CBP can estimate the number of small entities within an industry. However, the Census intervals do not necessarily correspond exactly with the SBA's small entity size standards. As an example, as shown in Table 2 below, the SBA's small entity size standards state that an entity classified under NAICS code 481211 is small if it has fewer than 1,500 employees. The Census, however, only has the following intervals of employees: 0-4 employees, 5-9 employees, 10-19 employees, 20-99 employees, 100-499 employees, and 500+ employees. It is not possible to differentiate between the entities in the 500+ employee interval that would be considered small under SBA's small entity size standards (entities with fewer than 1,500 employees) and those entities the SBA does not consider small (entities with more than 1,500 employees).

    14http://www.census.gov/econ/susb/.

    We therefore, sought an alternative data source to supplement the Census data. Any scheduled airline with a capacity of carrying over 18,000 pounds is required to report employee information to the Department of Transportation.15 Using this data, we were able to identify carriers with over 1,500 employees, who are not considered small entities under the SBA size standards. We subtracted these airlines from the total small entities in each NAICS code to estimate the total small entities that could be affected by this rule. We note that these estimates could include businesses with over 1,500 employees that have a payload of less than 18,000 pounds or that do not offer scheduled flights. As there are a large number of small businesses with over 18,000 pounds of capacity, as shown in DOT's data, we do not believe there are many, if any, large carriers that are not included in DOT's data.

    15http://transtats.bts.gov/Employment/.

    Although CBP can use the Census and DOT data to provide an estimate of the number of small entities that have the potential to be affected by this rule, CBP cannot use the Census data to determine the number of small entities that are, or will be, engaged in the transportation of aliens within a reasonable degree of accuracy.16 As shown in both Tables 1 and 2, however, CBP's internal records show that only 19 small entities from FY 2011 to FY 2016 violated section 273 and thus would have been subject to a penalty if this rule were in effect.17

    16 For instance, CBP cannot tell which scheduled passenger air transportation entities do, or will, transport aliens and which do, or will, not transport aliens.

    17 Note that in the IRFA we used data from FY 2008-2012. We have updated the analysis to use more recent data.

    Table 2 NAICS Industry description SBA size standard Total number
  • of entities
  • Total number of small entities Small entities that have
  • violated Sec.
  • 273 of the INA
  • 481111 Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation <1,500 employees 264 239 12 481112 Scheduled Freight Air Transportation <1,500 employees 212 20,7227 0 481211 Nonscheduled Chartered Passenger Air Transportation <1,500 employees 1,479 1,396 2 481212 Nonscheduled Chartered Freight Air Transportation <1,500 employees 177 171 0 481219 Other Nonscheduled Air Transportation <$15 million in revenue 516 504 0 488119 Other Airport Operations <$32.5 million in revenue 1,149 1,085 2 482111 Line-Haul Railroads <1,500 employees not available not available 0 482112 Short Line railroads <1,500 employees not available not available 0 483111 Deep Sea Freight Transportation <500 employees 191 177 0 483112 Deep Sea Passenger Transportation <1,500 employees 54 47 0 483113 Coastal and Great Lakes Freight Transportation <500 employees 337 307 0 483114 Coastal and Great Lakes Passenger Transportation <500 employees 110 108 0 483211 Inland Water Freight Transportation <750 employees 318 294 0 483212 Inland Water Passenger Transportation <500 employees 193 191 0 484230 Specialized Freight (except, Used Goods) Trucking, Long-Distance <$27.5 million in revenue 8,100 7,927 0 485991 Special Needs Transportation <$15 million in revenue 2,627 2,567 0 487110 Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land <$7.5 million in revenue 564 553 0 423860 Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land Transportation Equipment and Supplies (except Motor Vehicle) Merchant Wholesalers <500 employees 2,149 2,082 1 488330 Navigational Services to Shipping <$38.5 million in revenue 718 694 0 441228 Motorcycle, ATV, and All Other Motor Vehicle Dealers <500 employees 6,329 6,312 1 541614 Process, Physical Distribution and Logistics Consulting Services <$15 million in revenue 6,667 6,556 0 561520 Tour Operators <$20.5 million in revenue 2,609 2,586 1 621910 Ambulance Services <$15 million in revenue 3,314 3,217 0 Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Small Business Administration, CBP, and Hoovers Inc.

    5. A description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities which will be subject to the requirement and the type of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or record.

    The regulation does not include changes to any required reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements. The objective of the rule is to allow CBP in an unforeseen emergency to waive the requirement that a nonimmigrant present proper entry documents in order to be admitted into the United States while retaining the ability to fine the carrier that did not comply with the requirements pertaining to the proper transportation of an alien to the United States. When the nonimmigrant without proper documentation is not admitted, including when he or she is granted parole, CBP already has the authority to fine the carrier that did not comply with the requirements. This rule only affects the carriers transporting aliens for whom CBP waives the document requirement due to an unforeseen emergency. As discussed above, the rule could affect any small entity that transports an alien without proper entry documentation.

    6. A description of the steps the agency has taken to minimize the significant economic impact on small entities consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, including a statement of the factual, policy, and legal reasons for selecting the alternative adopted in the final rule and why each one of the other significant alternatives to the rule considered by the agency which affect the impact on small entities was rejected.

    Alternative 1 (chosen alternative): Allows CBP to waive the requirement for nonimmigrants to present valid documentation for entry into the United States in an unforeseen emergency while retaining the ability to enforce the statutory requirement imposing a maximum penalty of $5,432 on a carrier, regardless of size, for transporting an alien to the United States without proper documentation. When the nonimmigrant without proper documentation is not admitted, including when he or she is granted parole, CBP already has the authority to fine the carrier that did not comply with the requirements.

    Alternative 2: Same as Alternative 1, but waive the penalty in Alternative 1 for small entities.

    Alternative 3: No regulatory action (i.e. the situation as it is now).

    CBP has chosen to implement Alternative 1. CBP believes that a penalty mechanism is necessary in order to enforce the statutory prohibition on transporting aliens into the United States without proper documentation. In addition, this rule would end the current inconsistency in the issuance of fines for violations of section 273. CBP believes that the language of 8 CFR 212.1(g), as amended in the final rule, which allows CBP to assess a section 273 penalty when a waiver is granted, provides an economic incentive for carriers to comply with the requirements of section 273. Finally, those who commented on the proposed rule were supportive of the chosen alternative.

    Alternative 2 would eliminate the economic impact of the proposed rule on noncompliant small entities. CBP believes that it would also eliminate the economic incentive for carriers to comply with the statutory requirements of section 273 for small entities. Furthermore, 8 CFR 273.5 sets forth the mitigation criteria for the mitigation of fines under section 273(e) and incorporates the administrative procedures provided for in 8 CFR 280.12 and 280.51. In determining the amount of the mitigation, CBP may take into account the effectiveness of the carrier's screening procedures, the carrier's history of fines, and the existence of extenuating circumstances. This mitigation is available to any carrier, including small entities.

    Alternative 3 would eliminate the economic impact of the proposed rule for all noncompliant carriers, regardless of size. In addition, the current inconsistency in fines for violations of section 273 would continue. Carriers who transport aliens who qualify for parole would be subject to a fine if they do not adhere to the requirements of section 273, but those who transport aliens who qualify for unforeseen emergency waivers would not be subject to a fine.

    C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., requires agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted for inflation), and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions are necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    D. Executive Order 13132

    This rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of Executive Order 13132, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. 3507) an agency may not conduct, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. The collections of information for this final rule are included in an existing collection for DHS Form I-193 (OMB control number 1651-0107).

    List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 212

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Immigration, Passports and visas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Amendments to the Regulations

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, DHS amends part 212 of title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR part 212), as set forth below.

    PART 212—DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS: NONIMMIGRANTS; WAIVERS; ADMISSION OF CERTAIN INADMISSIBLE ALIENS; PAROLE 1. The general authority citation for part 212 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    6 U.S.C. 111, 202, 236 and 271; 8 U.S.C. 1101 and note, 1102, 1103, 1182 and note, 1184, 1185, 1187, 1223, 1225, 1226, 1227, 1255, 1359; 8 U.S.C. 1185 note (section 7209 of Pub. L. 108-458); 8 CFR part 2.

    2. Amend § 212.1 by revising paragraph (g) to read as follows:
    § 212.1 Documentary requirements for nonimmigrants.

    (g) Unforeseen emergency. A nonimmigrant seeking admission to the United States must present an unexpired visa and passport valid for the amount of time set forth in section 212(a)(7)(B)(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(7)(B)(i), or a valid biometric border crossing card issued by the DOS on Form DSP-150, at the time of application for admission, unless the nonimmigrant satisfies the requirements described in one or more of paragraphs (a) through (f) or (i), (o), or (p) of this section. Upon a nonimmigrant's application on Form I-193, or successor form, “Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa,” a district director may, in the exercise of its discretion, on a case-by-case basis, waive either or both of the documentary requirements of section 212(a)(7)(B)(i) if satisfied that the nonimmigrant cannot present the required documents because of an unforeseen emergency. The district director may at any time revoke a waiver previously authorized pursuant to this paragraph and notify the nonimmigrant in writing to that effect.

    Elaine C. Duke, Acting Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18749 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC-2017-0089] RIN 3150-AK03 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1032, Amendment No. 3 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule; confirmation of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is confirming the effective date of September 11, 2017, for the direct final rule that was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2017. This direct final rule amended NRC's spent fuel storage regulations by revising the “List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks” to include Amendment No. 3 to Certificate of Compliance (CoC) No. 1032 for the Holtec International (Holtec) HI-STORM Flood/Wind (FW) Multipurpose Canister (MPC) Storage System.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: The effective date of September 11, 2017, for the direct final rule published June 28, 2017 (82 FR 29225), is confirmed.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2017-0089 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0089. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vanessa Cox, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-8342 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 28, 2017 (82 FR 29225), the NRC published a direct final rule amending its regulations in part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations to revise the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System listing within the “List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks” to include Amendment No. 3 to CoC No. 1032. Amendment No. 3 revises authorized contents to allow burnup credit for fuel types in the MPC-37 and revises CoC Condition 8, which has been previously incorporated in Amendment No. 2 to CoC No. 1032. In the direct final rule, the NRC stated that if no significant adverse comments were received, the direct final rule would become effective on September 11, 2017. The NRC did not receive any comments on the direct final rule. Therefore, this direct final rule will become effective as scheduled. The final CoC, Technical Specifications, and Safety Evaluation Report can be viewed in ADAMS under Package Accession No. ML17214A039.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 29th day of August, 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18699 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9517; Product Identifier 2016-NM-100-AD; Amendment 39-18984; AD 2017-16-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes; and A340-313 airplanes. This AD was prompted by the discovery of Tartaric Sulfuric Anodizing (TSA)/Chromic Acid Anodizing (CAA) surface treatment in certain bulk cargo door frame holes of certain airplanes. This AD requires inspection of the fuselage bulk cargo door frames at specific locations, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective October 10, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of October 10, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, 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 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-2016-9517.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9517; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes; and A340-313 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 28, 2016 (81 FR 95538) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by the discovery of TSA/CAA surface treatment in certain bulk cargo door frame holes of certain airplanes. The NPRM proposed to require inspection of the fuselage bulk cargo door frames at specific locations, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracks in the bulk cargo door frames, caused by TSA/CAA surface treatment in certain bulk cargo door frame holes. Cracks in the bulk cargo door frames can cause the in-flight loss of a bulk cargo door, damage to the airplane, and subsequent reduced control of the airplane.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0102, dated June 1, 2016; corrected June 7, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”); to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes; and A340-313 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    In the frame of the certification of the A330 Extended Service Goal exercise, it has been identified that Tartaric Sulfuric Anodising (TSA)/Chromic Acid Anodising (CAA) surface treatment is present in some frame holes, from aeroplane MSN [manufacturer serial number] 0400 and later MSN, following production process modification. On bulk cargo door frames (FR) 67 and FR 69 Right Hand Side, the door fitting attachment holes have this TSA/CAA treatment, which leads to a detrimental effect on fatigue behaviour. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to critical cracks in the primary structure, possibly resulting in in-flight loss of a bulk cargo door, consequent decompression and potential damage to the aeroplane that could reduce the control of the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A53L012-16 to provide instructions to inspect the fuselage bulk cargo door frames at specific locations.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive non-destructive test (rototest and high-frequency eddy-current (HFEC)) inspection or visual detailed (DET) inspections [to detect cracking] of the affected areas, and, depending on findings, accomplishment of a repair.

    This [EASA] AD is considered an interim measure, and further [EASA] AD action may follow.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9517.

    Comments

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

    Request To Remove the Reporting Requirement

    Lufthansa agrees that reporting inspection results, as proposed in paragraph (k) of the proposed AD, is beneficial to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). However, Lufthansa disagrees that reporting should be a hard requirement for operators. Lufthansa does not consider that reporting or non-reporting is an airworthiness concern for the affected aircraft. Lufthansa does not agree with the potential of having to ground an aircraft just because the reporting may be provided later than 30 days after inspection. According to Lufthansa, some layover may, in fact, take more than 30 days to complete; in such cases, the aircraft may not yet be released back into service, and the reporting as proposed could become overdue. Lufthansa considers that because of these circumstances, reporting should be a strong recommendation, but not a requirement.

    We find that reporting of inspection results for the affected aircraft is necessary. Reporting allows the manufacturer to collect airworthiness information from operators in order to fully understand the scope of the unsafe condition and to develop a final solution as a terminating action. Reporting is not intended to ground aircraft and is only required after the inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD have been completed. We have made no change to this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A53L012-16, Revision 00, dated May 30, 2016, including the following appendices.

    • Appendix 1. Technical Disposition TD_K48_S3_01755_2016, Issue B, dated May 12, 2016.

    • Appendix 2. Technical Disposition TD_K48_S3_01754_2016, Issue B, dated May 12, 2016.

    • Appendix 3. Technical Disposition TD_K48_S3_01772_2016, Issue A, dated May 12, 2016.

    • Appendix 4. Technical Disposition TD_K48_S3_01773_2016, Issue A, dated May 12, 2016.

    • Appendix 5. Appendix 4: AOT reporting sheet, undated. (Appendix 5 is incorrectly identified as “Appendix 4” on all pages.

    • Appendix 6. Advance Copy of Chapter 53-40-18, ALL_A330_NTM_534018, dated May 18, 2016, of the Airbus A330 Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Manual. (“Advance copy” indicates that the identified material will be incorporated into the NDT manual during the next manual revision. The “advanced copy” is intended to provide operators with access to the identified material quickly instead of making them wait several months until the next manual revision is released.)

    The service information describes procedures for inspections of the fuselage bulk cargo frames at the door support and latch fittings location; repair instructions; and reporting instructions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 96 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 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 per inspection cycle $0 $170 per inspection cycle $16,320 per inspection cycle. Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $8,160.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be

    required based on the results of the required inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this replacement: On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Optional door frame replacement 200 work-hours × $85 per hour = $17,000 $68,000 $85,000
    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    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 transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-16-07 Airbus: Amendment 39-18984; FAA-2016-9517; Product Identifier 2016-NM-100-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective October 10, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the following Airbus airplanes, certificated in any category, manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) 0400 and higher.

    (1) Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes.

    (3) Airbus Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

    (4) Airbus Model A340-313 airplanes.

    (5) Airbus Model A340-541 airplanes.

    (6) Airbus Model A340-642 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the discovery of Tartaric Sulfuric Anodizing (TSA)/Chromic Acid Anodizing (CAA) surface treatment in certain bulk cargo door frame holes of airplanes with MSNs 0400 and higher. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracks in the bulk cargo door frames, caused by TSA/CAA surface treatment in certain bulk cargo door frame holes. Cracks in the bulk cargo door frames can cause the in-flight loss of a bulk cargo door, damage to the airplane, and subsequent reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Initial Inspection

    At the applicable compliance time specified in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A53L012-16, Revision 00, dated May 30, 2016.

    (1) Accomplish a rototest inspection to detect cracking of the holes for the bulk cargo door support fittings at fuselage frame (FR) 67 and FR 69, and a high-frequency eddy-current (HFEC) inspection of the holes for the door latch fitting at FR 69.

    (2) Accomplish a detailed visual inspection to detect cracking in the bulk cargo door support fittings at FR 67 and FR 69 and the holes for the door latch fitting at FR 69.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (g) of This AD—Initial Inspection Total flight cycles accumulated since airplane first flight, on the effective date of this AD Compliance time 12,500 total flight cycles or more Within 200 flight cycles or 2 months, whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD. Fewer than 12,500 total flight cycles Within 200 flight cycles or 2 months, whichever occurs first, after exceeding 12,500 flight cycles. (h) Repetitive Inspections

    At intervals not to exceed the values specified in table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, as applicable, depending on the previously selected inspection method, repeat the inspection(s) specified in either paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD.

    Table 2 to Paragraph (h) of this AD—Repetitive Inspections Inspection method Inspection interval Detailed visual inspection 150 flight cycles. Rototest and HFEC inspections 2,900 flight cycles. (i) Repair

    If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD, any crack is detected, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    (j) Non-Terminating Action for Repairs

    Accomplishment of a repair on an airplane, as required by paragraph (i) of this AD, does not constitute terminating action for the inspections required by this AD for that airplane, unless otherwise specified in repair instructions approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (k) Reporting

    After the initial inspection specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, and after each repetitive inspection specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, at the applicable times specified in paragraph (k)(1) and (k)(2) of this AD: Report inspection findings, both positive and negative, to Airbus in accordance with the instructions of Airbus AOT A53L012-16, Revision 00, dated May 30, 2016.

    (1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

    (2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards 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 International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (m)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

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

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

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2016-0102, dated June 1, 2016; corrected June 7, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9517.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Section, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; fax 425-227-1149.

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

    (n) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus A330 Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A53L012-16, Revision 00, dated May 30, 2016, including Appendices 1 through 6. Except as described in paragraph (n)(2)(i)(E), none of these appendices are identified as “appendices” to Airbus A330 AOT A53L012-16.

    (A) Appendix 1. Airbus Technical Disposition TD_K48_S3_01755_2016, Issue B, dated May 12, 2016.

    (B) Appendix 2. Airbus Technical Disposition TD_K48_S3_01754_2016, Issue B, dated May 12, 2016.

    (C) Appendix 3. Airbus Technical Disposition TD_K48_S3_01772_2016, Issue A, dated May 12, 2016.

    (D) Appendix 4. Airbus Technical Disposition TD_K48_S3_01773_2016, Issue A, dated May 12, 2016.

    (E) Appendix 5. Appendix 4: AOT reporting sheet, undated. (Appendix 5 is incorrectly identified as “Appendix 4” on all pages.)

    (F) Appendix 6. Advance Copy of Chapter 53-40-18, ALL_A330_NTM_534018, dated May 18, 2016, of the Airbus A330 Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Manual.

    (“Advance copy” indicates that the identified material will be incorporated into the NDT manual during the next manual revision. The “advanced copy” is intended to provide operators with access to the identified material quickly instead of making them wait several months until the next manual revision is released.)

    (ii) Reserved.

    (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.

    (4) You may view this 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.

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 28, 2017. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-16568 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9521; Product Identifier 2016-NM-061-AD; Amendment 39-19018; AD 2017-18-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, CN-235-300, and C-295 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of excessive play between bushings and their respective fitting housings at certain elevator fittings. This AD requires a one-time detailed inspection and repetitive eddy current inspections of the elevator hinge fitting and bracket assembly, and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective October 10, 2017.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of October 10, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Defense and Space, Services/Engineering Support, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; fax +34 91 585 31 27; email [email protected] 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-2016-9521.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9521; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1112; fax: 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, CN-235-300, and C-295 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 5, 2017 (82 FR 1269) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of excessive play between bushings and their respective fitting housings at certain elevator fittings. The NPRM proposed to require a one-time detailed inspection and repetitive eddy current inspections of the elevator hinge fitting and bracket assembly, and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent excessive play between bushings and their respective fitting housings, which could lead to failure or detachment of any of the affected structural parts, with a possible result of reduced control of the airplane.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2016-0075, dated April 19, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, CN-235-300, and C-295 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Excessive play between bushings and their respective fitting housing was reported at Stabilizer Station (STA) 4850, affecting the outboard and inboard elevator hinge fittings and attachment fittings; and the horizontal stabilizer elevator linkage. Additionally, excessive misalignment was detected between the elevator hinge fittings and the elevator brackets during further analysis of the reported cases. Furthermore, an occurrence of an elevator hinge fitting crack was reported.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to failure or detachment of any of the affected structural parts, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

    To address this potentially unsafe condition, Airbus Defence & Space (D&S) issued Alert Operator Transmissions (AOT) AOT-CN235-55-0001 Revision 2 and AOT-C295-55-0001 Revision 2 to provide inspection instructions to detect misalignment between the elevator hinge fittings and the elevator brackets. Additionally, Airbus D&S issued AOT-CN235-55-0003 and AOT-C295-55-0003 to provide inspection instructions to detect cracking of elevator hinge fitting and attachment fitting.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time [detailed] inspection of the elevator hinge fittings and the elevator brackets, repetitive [eddy current] inspections of elevator hinge fittings and attachment fittings, and depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s) [e.g. repair(s)].

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9521.

    Comments

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

    Conclusion

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

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

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus Defense and Space S.A. has issued the following Alert Operators Transmissions (AOT).

    • Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0001, Revision 2, dated March 10, 2015. The service information describes procedures for a detailed visual inspection of the elevator hinge fitting and bracket assembly to detect excessive play between bushings and their respective fitting housings, and to detect cracks; and corrective actions if necessary.

    • Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015. The service information describes procedures for repetitive eddy current inspections to detect cracks in the elevator hinge fitting and bracket assembly, and corrective actions if necessary.

    • Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-C295-55-0001, Revision 2, dated April 9, 2015. The service information describes procedures for a detailed visual inspection of the elevator hinge fitting and bracket assembly to detect excessive play between bushings and their respective fitting housings, and to detect cracks; and corrective actions if necessary.

    • Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-C295-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015. The service information describes procedures for repetitive eddy current inspections to detect cracks in the elevator hinge fitting and bracket assembly, and corrective actions if necessary.

    These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models in different configurations. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 14 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 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 per inspection cycle $0 $170 per inspection cycle $2,380 per inspection cycle.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary repairs that will be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that might need this repair:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Repair 45 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,825 $10,000 $13,825
    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 transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-18-09 Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.): Amendment 39-19018; Docket No. FAA-2016-9521; Product Identifier 2016-NM-061-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective October 10, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (formerly known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, CN-235-300, and C-295 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55, Stabilizers.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of excessive play between bushings and their respective fitting housings at certain elevator fittings. We are issuing this AD to prevent excessive play between bushings and their respective fitting housings, which could lead to failure or detachment of any of the affected structural parts, with a possible result of reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) One-Time Detailed Visual Inspection

    Before exceeding 600 flight hours since first flight of the airplane, or within 300 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, but not before exceeding 300 flight hours since first flight of the airplane: Do a detailed visual inspection of the elevator hinge fitting and bracket assembly to detect excessive play between bushings and their respective fitting housings, and to detect cracks, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) AOT-CN235-55-0001, Revision 2, dated March 10, 2015; or AOT AOT-C295-55-0001, Revision 2, dated April 9, 2015; as applicable.

    (h) Corrective Action for Discrepancies Found During Detailed Visual Inspection

    If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any discrepancy is detected, as defined in the instructions of Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0001, Revision 2, dated March 10, 2015; or AOT AOT-C295-55-0001 Revision 2, dated April 9, 2015; as applicable: Before further flight, accomplish applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0001, Revision 2, dated March 10, 2015; or AOT AOT-C295-55-0001, Revision 2, dated April 9, 2015; as applicable. Where Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0001, Revision 2, dated March 10, 2015; or AOT AOT-C295-55-0001 Revision 2, dated April 9, 2015; specifies to contact Airbus Defense and Space S.A. for corrective actions, before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (n)(2) of this AD.

    (i) Repetitive Eddy Current Inspections—Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 Airplanes

    For Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes: Do the actions required by paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Within the applicable compliance time specified in table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD: Do an eddy current inspection to detect cracks in the elevator hinge fitting and bracket assembly, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (i)(1) of This AD—Initial Compliance Times for Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 Airplanes Manufacturer's Serial No. Elevator hinge fitting Compliance time for initial eddy current inspection (MSN) (part No.) (whichever occurs later) MSN001 through MSN154 inclusive 35-31193-0201
  • 35-31193-0202
  • Before exceeding 8,800 flight cycles since first flight of the airplane; or before exceeding the applicable flight hours since first flight of the airplane as calculated in table 2 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD; whichever occurs first Within 300 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.
    MSN155 through MSN241 inclusive 35-31193-0501
  • 35-31193-0502
  • Before exceeding 3,600 flight cycles since first flight of the airplane; or before exceeding the applicable flight hours since first flight of the airplane as calculated in table 2 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD; whichever occurs first Within 300 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.
    MSN242 through MSN999 inclusive 35-31193-0503
  • 35-31193-0504
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since first flight of the airplane; or before exceeding the applicable flight hours since first flight of the airplane as calculated in table 2 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD; whichever occurs first Within 50 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.
    Table 2 to Paragraph (i)(1) of This AD—Flight Cycles to Flight Hours Conversion Since First Flight of the Airplane CN-235 Model/version Civilian or military type certificate Flight cycles to flight hours conversion CN-235 (Commercial Identification S10) Civilian Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 0.861. CN-235-100 Civilian Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 0.861. CN-235-200 Civilian Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 0.806. CN-235-300 Civilian Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 0.861. CN-235 (Commercial Identification S10M) Military Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 0.861. CN-235-100M Military Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 2.222. CN-235-200M Military Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 2.222. CN-235-300M Military Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 2.167. CN-235-100M/IR01 Military Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 1.389. CN-235-100M/EA02V Military Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 1.389. CN-235-200M/CL02 Military Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 1.389. CN-235/EA01F (Commercial Identification S10M) Military Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 0.861. CN-235-300/SM01 Civilian Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 3.125. CN-235 -300M/CG01, -300M/GC01, -300/MM01, -300/CL04 Military Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 1 to paragraph (i)(1) of this AD × 3.125.

    (2) Repeat the eddy current inspection specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD thereafter within the applicable interval specified in table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD.

    Table 3 to Paragraph (i)(2) of This AD—Repetitive Inspection Intervals Manufacturer's serial No. Elevator attachment fitting
  • (P/N)
  • Compliance time for repetitive eddy current inspections
    MSN001 through MSN154 inclusive 35-31193-0201
  • 35-31193-0202
  • Before exceeding 1,300 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding the applicable flight hours since the most recent inspection as calculated in table 4 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD; whichever occurs first.
    MSN155 through MSN241 inclusive 35-31193-0501
  • 35-31193-0502
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding the applicable flight hours since the most recent inspection as calculated in table 4 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD; whichever occurs first.
    MSN242 through MSN999 inclusive 35-31193-0503
  • 35-31193-0504
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding the applicable flight hours since the most recent inspection as calculated in table 4 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD; whichever occurs first.
    Table 4 to Paragraph (i)(2) of This AD—Flight Cycles to Flight Hours Conversion for Repetitive Inspections CN-235 Model/version Civilian or military type certificate Flight cycles to flight hours conversion CN-235 (Commercial Identification S10) Civilian Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 0.861. CN-235-100 Civilian Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 0.861. CN-235-200 Civilian Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 0.806. CN-235-300 Civilian Flight hours since first flight of the airplane = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 0.861. CN-235 (Commercial Identification S10M) Military Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 0.861. CN-235-100M Military Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 2.222. CN-235-200M Military Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 2.222. CN-235-300M Military Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 2.167. CN-235-100M/IR01 Military Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 1.389. CN-235-100M/EA02V Military Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 1.389. CN-235-200M/CL02 Military Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 1.389. CN-235/EA01F (Commercial Identification S10M) Military Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 0.861. CN-235-300/SM01 Civilian Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 3.125. CN-235 -300M/CG01, -300M/GC01, -300/MM01, -300/CL04 Military Flight hours since most recent inspection = the applicable flight cycles from table 3 to paragraph (i)(2) of this AD × 3.125. (j) Repetitive Eddy Current Inspections—Model C-295 Airplanes

    For Model C-295 airplanes: Do the actions required by paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD.

    (1) At the later of the times specified in table 5 to paragraph (j)(1) of this AD: Do an eddy current inspection of the elevator hinge fitting and attachment fitting to detect cracks, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-C295-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015.

    Table 5 to Paragraph (j)(1) of This AD—Initial Compliance Times for Model C-295 Airplanes C-295 Model/Version Manufacturer's Serial Number
  • (MSN)
  • Elevator Hinge
  • Fitting
  • (Part Number)
  • Compliance time for initial eddy current inspection
  • (whichever occurs later)
  • C-295M/ EA03(01-10), RJ01 (01-02), PO01(01-08), AG01(01-06), BR01(01-03) MSN001 through MSN030 inclusive 95-31193-0501
  • 95-31193-0502
  • Since first flight of the airplane: Before exceeding 3,600 flight cycles; or before exceeding 5,040 flight hours; whichever occurs first Within 300 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.
    C-295M (from MSN 031) MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Since first flight of the airplane: Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles; or before exceeding 1,400 flight hours; whichever occurs first Within 50 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.
    C-295M/FI01, FI02 MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Since first flight of the airplane: Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles; or before exceeding 1,000 flight hours; whichever occurs first Within 50 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.
    C-295M/PG01 MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Since first flight of the airplane: Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles; or before exceeding 1,400 flight hours; whichever occurs first Within 50 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.
    C-295M/PG02, PG03 MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Since first flight of the airplane: Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles; or before exceeding 1,900 flight hours; whichever occurs first Within 50 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.
    C-295M/CH01 MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Since first flight of the airplane: Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles; or before exceeding 1,200 flight hours; whichever occurs first Within 50 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.
    C-295M/CH02, OM03 MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Since first flight of the airplane: Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles; or before exceeding 1,500 flight hours; whichever occurs first Within 50 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.
    C-295MW MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Since first flight of the airplane: Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles; or before exceeding 1,400 flight hours; whichever occurs first Within 50 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Repeat the eddy current inspection specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD thereafter within the applicable interval specified in table 6 to paragraph (j)(2) of this AD.

    Table 6 to Paragraph (j)(2) of This AD—Repetitive Inspection Intervals for Model C-295 Airplanes C-295 Model/version Manufacturer's serial No.
  • (MSN)
  • Elevator hinge
  • fitting
  • (part number)
  • Compliance time for repetitive eddy current inspections
    C-295M/ EA03(01-10), RJ01 (01-02), PO01(01-08), AG01(01-06), BR01(01-03) MSN001 through MSN030 inclusive 95-31193-0501
  • 95-31193-0502
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding 1,400 flight hours since the most recent inspection; whichever occurs first.
    C-295M (from MSN 031) MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding 1,400 flight hours since the most recent inspection; whichever occurs first.
    C-295M/FI01, FI02 MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding 1,000 flight hours since the most recent inspection; whichever occurs first.
    C-295M/PG01 MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding 1,400 flight hours since the most recent inspection; whichever occurs first.
    C-295M/PG02, PG03 MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding 1,900 flight hours since the most recent inspection; whichever occurs first.
    C-295M/CH01 MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding 1,200 flight hours since the most recent inspection; whichever occurs first.
    C-295M/CH02, OM03 MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding 1,500 flight hours since the most recent inspection; whichever occurs first.
    C-295MW MSN031 through MSN999 inclusive 95-31193-0503
  • 95-31193-0504
  • Before exceeding 1,000 flight cycles since the most recent inspection; or before exceeding 1,400 flight hours since the most recent inspection; whichever occurs first.
    (k) Corrective Action for Discrepancies Found During Eddy Current Inspection

    If, during any inspection required by paragraph (i)(1), (i)(2), (j)(1), or (j)(2) of this AD, any crack is detected, as defined in Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015; or AOT AOT-C295-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015; as applicable: Before further flight, accomplish applicable corrective actions in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015; or AOT AOT-C295-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015; as applicable. Where Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015; or AOT AOT-C295-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015; specifies to contact Airbus Defense and Space S.A. for corrective actions, before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (n)(2) of this AD.

    (l) Provision Regarding Terminating Action

    Accomplishing corrective actions, as required by paragraph (k) of this AD, does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (i)(2) and (j)(2) of this AD, unless explicitly stated in the approved method of compliance for the corrective action.

    (m) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0001, Revision 1, dated March 6, 2015; or AOT AOT-C295-55-0001, Revision 1, dated May 29, 2014.

    (n) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards 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. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus Defense and Space S.A.'s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (o) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2016-0075, dated April 19, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9521.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1112; fax: 425-227-1149.

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

    (p) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) AOT-CN235-55-0001, Revision 2, dated March 10, 2015.

    (ii) Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-CN235-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015.

    (iii) Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-C295-55-0001, Revision 2, dated April 9, 2015.

    (iv) Airbus Defense and Space S.A. AOT AOT-C295-55-0003, dated December 22, 2015.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Defense and Space, Services/Engineering Support, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; fax +34 91 585 31 27; email [email protected]

    (4) You may view this 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.

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 22, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18396 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 41 [Public Notice 9580] RIN 1400-AD30 Visas: Documentation of Nonimmigrants Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended AGENCY:

    Department of State.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule clarifies procedures for waiver of documentary requirements due to an unforeseen emergency for nonimmigrants seeking admission to the United States.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on October 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Megan B. Herndon, Legislation and Regulations Division, Legal Affairs, Office of Visa Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State, 600 19th St. NW., Washington, DC 20006 (202) 485-7440.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This rulemaking finalizes procedures in 22 CFR 41.2, regarding waiver of documentary requirements, due to an unforeseen emergency, for nonimmigrants seeking admission to the United States. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was published on March 8, 2016, with a 60-day public comment period. 81 FR 12050. Responses to the comments are summarized below.

    This rulemaking substantially reinstates a 1999 Department of State regulatory amendment that was invalidated by court order in United Airlines, Inc. v. Brien, 588 F.3d 158 (2d Cir. 2009). Additional background is contained in the Department of State NPRM. 81 FR at 12050. Further background is in the parallel NPRM from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 81 FR 12032. The Department is acting jointly with DHS in issuing these final rules.

    Public Comments

    The Department of State received six public comments on this rule. One was supportive. Three were criticisms of U.S. immigration policy, and thus outside the scope of this rulemaking.

    One commenter requested that the Department provide a “detailed comparison of the rule that was rejected by the Court of Appeals.” The 1994 rule that was reinstated by the Court of Appeals provided that a visa and passport are not required if, prior to the alien's embarkation abroad or upon arrival at a port of entry, the INS concludes that the alien is unable to present the required documents because of an unforeseen emergency. The 1999 rule removed that text and provided that, except in cases cited in other subsections of § 41.2, all nonimmigrants are required to present a valid, unexpired visa and passport upon arrival in the United States. The 1999 rule allowed aliens to apply for a waiver of these requirements (i.e., the requirements were waived, but not removed) if, prior to embarkation or upon arrival at a port of entry, the INS determined they were unable to present the required documents because of an unforeseen emergency. The former (1994) rule did not adequately implement section 273 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1323, which authorized the legacy INS to fine carriers that transported nonimmigrants without the appropriate documentation. The 1999 rule corrected this, and provided support for DHS to impose fines. This rule substantially reinstates the 1999 rule, which was invalidaded by the Court of Appeals only on procedural grounds relating to the way the 1994 rule was amended.

    The commenter also requested an explanation of the term, “officer in charge of the port of entry.” The term “officer in charge of the port of entry” refers to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) district director. Individuals seeking admission into the United States are inspected at ports of entry by CBP officers who determine their admissibility. The CBP officer is responsible for reviewing travel documents, visas, and other credentials. The rule has been amended to refer to the CBP district director instead of the officer in charge or the DHS district director.

    Another commenter stated that it was unclear why this rule punishes carriers for transporting individuals without proper documentation, some of whom will be admitted legally into the United States. This rule is an implementation of section 273 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1323, which provides for penalties against carriers that transport an individual without proper documentation. Under the statute, a penalty may be remitted or refunded if the Secretary of Homeland Security is satisfied that, prior to the departure of the vessel or aircraft from the last port outside the United States, the carrier did not know, and could not have ascertained by the exercise of reasonable diligence, that the individual transported was an alien and that a valid passport or visa was required. See 8 U.S.C. 1323(c). Accordingly, the eventual admission of the individual to the United States does not preclude the imposition of the fine.

    Summary

    After consideration of the public comments, the Department of State is clarifying the title of the responsible CBP official but otherwise adopts the proposed rule as final. DHS is finalizing its parallel rule in today's Federal Register.

    Regulatory Findings A. Administrative Procedure Act (APA)

    The Department of State published this rule as an NPRM on March 8, 2016, and provided 60 days for public comment. 81 FR 12050. The rule will be effective 30 days after publication, in accordance with the APA.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business

    The Department of State has reviewed this rulemaking and certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    C. The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, Public Law 104-4, 109 Stat. 48, 2 U.S.C. 1532, generally requires agencies to prepare a statement before proposing any rule that may result in an annual expenditure of $100 million or more by State, local, or tribal governments, or by the private sector. This rule will not result in any such expenditure, nor will it significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

    D. The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804, for purposes of congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and import markets.

    E. Executive Orders 12866 and 13771

    The Department of State does not assess or collect fines under INA section 273. Neither this rule, nor prior versions of this regulation, address fines against carriers. However, the November 20, 2009, opinion from the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit requires joint rulemaking by the Department of State and DHS for the DHS rule to take effect. United Airlines, Inc. v. Brien, 588 F.3d 158, 179 (2d Cir. 2009). For a full economic analysis, see the parallel DHS final rule for 8 CFR 212.1(g), RIN 1651-AA97, published in this issue of the Federal Register. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. As this rule is not a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” See OMB Memorandum M-17-21, “Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771” of April 5, 2017.

    F. Executive Order 13563

    The Department of State has considered this rule in light of Executive Order 13563 and affirms that this regulation is consistent with the guidance therein.

    G. Executive Orders 12372 and 13132: Federalism

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor will the rule have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Orders 12372 and 13132.

    H. Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    The Department of State has determined that this rulemaking will not have tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, and will not pre-empt tribal law. Accordingly, the requirements of section 5 of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to this rulemaking.

    I. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose or revise information collections subject to the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C., Chapter 35.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 41

    Aliens, Foreign officials, Immigration, Passports and visas, Students.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, 22 CFR part 41 is amended as follows:

    PART 41—VISAS—DOCUMENTATION OF NONIMMIGRANTS UNDER THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT, AS AMENDED 1. The authority citation for part 41 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 2651a; 8 U.S.C. 1104; 8 U.S.C. 1323; Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681-795 through 2681-801; 8 U.S.C. 1185 note (section 7209 of Pub. L. 108-458, as amended by section 546 of Pub. L. 109-295).

    2. Section 41.2 is amended by revising paragraph (i) to read as follows:
    § 41.2 Exemption or waiver by Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security of passport and/or visa requirements for certain categories of nonimmigrants.

    (i) Individual cases of unforeseen emergencies. Except as provided in paragraphs (a) through (h) and (j) through (l) of this section, all nonimmigrants are required to present a valid, unexpired visa and passport upon arrival in the United States. A nonimmigrant may apply for a waiver of the visa and passport requirement if, either prior to the nonimmigrant's embarkation abroad or upon arrival at a port of entry, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) district director concludes that the nonimmigrant is unable to present the required documents because of an unforeseen emergency. The CBP district director may grant a waiver of the visa or passport requirement pursuant to INA 212(d)(4)(A), without the prior concurrence of the Department of State, if the CBP district director concludes that the nonimmigrant's claim of emergency circumstances is legitimate and that approval of the waiver would be appropriate under all of the attendant facts and circumstances.

    Carl C. Risch, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18750 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9814] RIN 1545-BM95 Transfers of Certain Property by U.S. Persons to Partnerships With Related Foreign Partners; Correction AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final and temporary regulations; correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains corrections to the temporary regulations (T.D. 9814) that were published in the Federal Register on Thursday, January 19, 2017 (82 FR 7582). The regulations address transfers of appreciated property by United States persons to partnerships with foreign partners related to the transferor. The regulations override the rules providing for nonrecognition of gain on a contribution of property to a partnership in exchange for an interest in the partnership under section 721(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) pursuant to section 721(c) unless the partnership adopts the remedial method and certain other requirements are satisfied.

    DATES:

    These corrections are effective on September 5, 2017 and applicable on January 18, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ronald M. Gootzeit, (202) 317-6937 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The temporary regulations that are the subject of this correction are under section 721(c) of the Code.

    Need for Correction

    As published, the temporary regulations contain errors that may prove to be misleading and need to be clarified.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Correction of Publication

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

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

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.721(c)-1T is amended by revising paragraph (b)(10)(vi) to read as follows:
    § 1.721(c)-1T Overview, definitions, and rules of general application (temporary).

    (b) * * *

    (10) * * *

    (vi) An allocation of partnership level ordinary income or loss described in § 1.751-1(b)(3).

    Par. 3. Section 1.721(c)-6T is amended by revising the last sentence of paragraph (d)(2) to read as follows:
    § 1.721(c)-6T Procedural and reporting requirements (temporary).

    (d) * * *

    (2) * * * The partnership must also attach to its Form 1065 a Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) for each direct or indirect partner that is a related foreign person with respect to the U.S. transferor.

    Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel, Procedure and Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18691 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0691] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Tennessee River, Knoxville, TN AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary special local regulation for all navigable waters of the Tennessee River from mile marker (MM) 641 to MM 648.7. This special local regulation is necessary to provide safety for the participants of the Bridges to Bluffs marine event in Knoxville, TN. This regulation prohibits vessels from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring in the Tennessee River from MM 641 to MM 648.7 from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. on September 17, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0691 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Petty Officer Jonathan Braddy. U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Nashville at 615-736-5421, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port Ohio Valley DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.”Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is impracticable. We must establish this special local regulation by September 17, 2017 and lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing this rule.

    We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. For the reasons stated above, delaying this rule would be contrary to the public interest of ensuring the safety of participants, spectators, and vessels during the marine event.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1233. The Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) has determined the need to protect participants during the Bridges to Bluffs marine event on the Tennessee River from mile marker (MM) 641 to MM 648.7. The purpose of this rule is to protect personnel, vessels, and these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled event.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary special local regulation from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. on September 17, 2017. The temporary special local regulation will cover all navigable waters of the Tennessee River from MM 641 to MM 648.7. The duration of the special local regulation is intended to ensure the safety of waterway users and these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled event. No vessel or persons are permitted to enter the special local regulated area without obtaining permission from the COTP. The regulatory text we are establishing appears at the end of this document.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the special local regulation. The river will be closed to all vessel traffic for a seven hour period from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from MM 641 to MM 648.7. The Coast Guard will issue written Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the temporary special local regulation that is in place.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves the establishment of a special local regulation that would prohibit entry of vessels on the Tennessee River from MM641 to MM 648.7 for four hours on one day. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

    PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1233.

    2. Add § 100.35T08-0691 to read as follows:
    § 100.35T08-0691 Special Local Regulation; Tennessee River, Knoxville, TN.

    (a) Special local regulated area. The following area is a temporary special local regulation: All navigable waters of the Tennessee River between mile marker (MM) 641 and MM 648.7 Knoxville, TN.

    (b) Effective date. This special local regulation is effective from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. on September 17, 2017.

    (c) Special local regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in § 100.801 of this part, entry into this area is prohibited unless authorized by Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) or a designated representative. Vessels are not permitted to transit through or within the area while swimmers are in the water from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m.

    (d) Informational broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the enforcement period for the special local regulation, as well as any changes in the planned schedule.

    Dated: August 25, 2017. M.A. Wike, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port, Sector Ohio Valley.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18674 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0343] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Little River to Savannah River, Beaufort, SC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that governs the Lady's Island Bridge, across the Beaufort River, Mile 536.0 at Beaufort, SC. This modification allows Lady's Island Bridge to remain closed during peak vehicular traffic times. The bridge owner, South Carolina Department of Transportation, requested this action to assist in reducing traffic caused by bridge openings.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2015-0343 In the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or e-mail Ms. Jennifer Zercher at telephone 305-415-6740, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking SNPRM Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code WWM Waterways Management II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On May 10, 2016, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Little River to Savannah River in the Federal Register (81 FR 90). We received eight comments on this rule.

    On August 5th, 2015, a Temporary Deviation, entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Little River to Savannah River,” was published in the Federal Register [USCG-2015-0343] [80 FR 46492] to evaluate whether changing the bridge opening schedule would assist in reducing traffic congestion. This deviation was in effect through November 3rd, 2015.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 499.

    The Lady's Island Bridge in Beaufort, South Carolina has a vertical clearance of 30 feet at Mean High Water in the closed position. The existing drawbridge schedule can be found in 33 CFR 117.911(f).

    On February 17th, 2015, Coast Guard Sector Charleston Waterways Management (WWM) staff observed the Lady's Island Bridge operations between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. During the observation period, the staff discussed potential changes with the Bridge owner, South Carolina Department of Transportation. Additionally, WWM met with the Beaufort County South Carolina traffic manager to discuss bridge opening impacts.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard received eight comments regarding this rule. One person supported this change. One person requested that something should be done about the decibels of the horn on this bridge. This comment has been forwarded to the Bridge Owner to address. Six people are against changing the bridge schedule as being too restrictive to vessel traffic. While the Coast Guard does agree that changing this bridge regulation will be more restrictive to the boating community, based on observations, this change will be a better balance between land and water traffic.

    The Coast Guard is amending 33 CFR 117.911(f). This regulation would modify timeframes the bridge may remain closed. It would extend the morning closure period, when the bridge is authorized to remain closed, by an additional half hour and the afternoon closure period by an additional hour. It would also set an hourly opening schedule between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the Bridge will open on the hour, thereby reducing openings from twice an hour to once an hour during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. This regulation would reduce vehicle backups without unreasonably restricting vessel traffic, thereby balancing the needs of both modes of transportation. No changes to the existing regulation will be implemented during the months of April, May, October and November because higher vessel traffic volumes exist during these time periods. At all other times, this bridge will open on signal.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the ability that vessels can still transit the bridge during scheduled openings. Additionally, the modified schedule will not apply during April, May, October, and November when transient season increases vessel traffic.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

    A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. In § 117.911, revise paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 117.911 Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Little River to Savannah River.

    (f) The Lady's Island Bridge (Woods Memorial), across the Beaufort River, Mile 536.0 at Beaufort. The draw shall operate as follows:

    (1) On Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays:

    (i) From 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the draw need not open to navigation; and,

    (ii) Between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the draw need open only on the hour.

    (2) During the months of April, May, October, and November from Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, the Lady's Island Bridge (Woods Memorial) shall operate as follows:

    (i) From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the draw need not open to navigation; and,

    (ii) Between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the draw need open only on the hour and half-hour.

    (3) At all other times the draw shall open on signal.

    Dated: August 22, 2017. Peter J. Brown, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18709 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0523] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Rice Creek, Putnam County, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that governs the CSX Railroad Bridge across the Rice Creek, mile 0.8, in Palatka, Putnam County, FL. This rule will change the existing open on demand during the day and 24 hour advance notice for a bridge opening during the night, to 24 hour advance notice for an opening at all times.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0523. In the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Eddie Lawrence, Coast Guard; telephone 305-415-6946, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law §  Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On November 11, 2016 we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Operation Regulation; Rice Creek, Putnam County, FL in the Federal Register (81 FR 78952). We received 2 comments on this rule.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 499.

    The CSX Railroad Bridge across the Rice Creek, mile 0.8, in Palatka, Putnam County, FL is a swing bridge. It has a vertical clearance of 2 feet at mean high water in the closed position and a horizontal clearance of 30 feet. Presently, in accordance with 33 CFR 117.324, the Rice Creek CSX Railroad Swing Bridge is required to open on signal for the passage of vessels from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily. From 4:01 p.m. to 7:59 a.m., daily, the bridge shall open with a 24-hour advance notice to CSX.

    On May 18th, 2015, CSX Transportation, the bridge owner, requested the Coast Guard consider allowing the CSX Railroad Bridge across Rice Creek to be converted from a movable bridge to a fixed bridge. Their request was made due to the minimal drawbridge openings requested over the past several years. The Coast Guard determined that converting the bridge to a fixed structure was not reasonable to navigation, because it would restrict most vessels from using the waterway at all. CSX then requested modifying the bridge operations to 24 hour advance notice at all times. CSX provided the Coast Guard a summary of bridge opening logs that show eight openings in 2015, three openings in 2014, and three openings in 2013.

    This change will still allow vessels to pass through the bridge while taking into account the reasonable needs of other modes of transportation. This rule would implement a 24 hour advance notice to CSX for any openings. This regulatory change is justified based on the limited impact that it will have on vessel traffic as shown by the small number of openings requested over recent years. Emergency vessels and tugs with tows can still request openings at any time.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    There were two comments received during the comment period. One comment from the Sheriff's Department concerned not being able to respond to possible emergencies up-river from the bridge. This is mitigated by protocols established between the Sheriff's Department and CSX for emergency openings. The second comment was via letter from the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED). The concerns were multifold concerning; security and maintenance. These were all submitted to CSX and answered to the satisfaction of BMWED.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the continued ability for vessels to transit the bridge given advanced notice and the small amount of vessel traffic transiting the bridge in general.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

    A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise § 117.324 to read as follows:
    § 117.324 Rice Creek.

    The CSX Railroad Swing Bridge, mile 0.8, in Putnam County, FL. shall open with a 24-hour advance notice to CSX at 1-800-232-0142.

    P.J. Brown, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18708 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0330] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Sarasota, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule of four bridges across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GICW); Stickney Point Drawbridge, mile 68.6, Siesta Drive Drawbridge, mile 71.6, Cortez Drawbridge, mile, 87.4, and Anna Maria Drawbridge, mile 89.2, in Sarasota, FL. The request was made to the Coast Guard to change the operation of four drawbridges due to an increase in vehicle traffic throughout these areas at all times of the year. This rulemaking would change the bridges' operating schedules from a three times an hour opening schedule to a twice an hour opening schedule throughout the year.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0330. In the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this rule, call or email, Ms. Jennifer Zercher with the Seventh Coast Guard District Bridge Office; telephone (305) 415-6740, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register GICW Gulf Intracoastal Waterway OMB Office of Management and Budget NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On February 13, 2017, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Sarasota, FL in the Federal Register (82 FR 10444). We received 125 comments on this rule. 118 comments were in favor of this regulation change and 7 were against this change.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 499.

    Stickney Point Bridge across the GICW, mile 68.6, at South Sarasota, Florida is a bascule bridge. This drawbridge has a vertical clearance of 18 feet in the closed position and a horizontal clearance of 90 feet between fenders. Presently, in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5, the Stickney Point Bridge is required to open on demand.

    Siesta Drive Bridge across the GICW, mile 71.6, at Sarasota, Florida is a bascule bridge. This drawbridge has a vertical clearance of 25 feet in the closed position and a horizontal clearance of 90 feet between fenders. Presently, in accordance with 33 CFR 117.287(c), the Siesta Drive Bridge is required to open on signal, except that from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour, twenty minutes past the hour and forty minutes past the hour. On weekends and Federal holidays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the draw need open only on the hour, twenty minutes past the hour and forty minutes past the hour.

    Cortez (SR 684) Bridge across the GICW, mile 87.4, at Bradenton Beach, Florida is a bascule bridge. This drawbridge has a vertical clearance of 22 feet in the closed position and a horizontal clearance of 90 feet between fenders. Presently, in accordance with 33 CFR 117.287 (d)(1), the Cortez (SR 684) Bridge is required to open on signal, except that from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour, 20 minutes after the hour, and 40 minutes after the hour. From January 15 to May 15, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour and half hour.

    Anna Maria (SR 64) (Manatee Avenue West) Bridge, mile 89.2, at Bradenton Beach, Florida is a bascule bridge. This drawbridge has a vertical clearance of 24 feet in the closed position and a horizontal clearance of 90 feet between fenders. Presently, in accordance with 33 CFR 117.287(d)(2), the Anna Maria (SR 64) (Manatee Avenue West) Bridge is required to open on signal, except that from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour, 20 minutes after the hour, and 40 minutes after the hour. From January 15 to May 15, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour and half hour.

    The Metropolitan Planning Office for Sarasota and Manatee Counties, along with the concurrence of the local mayors, have requested that the Coast Guard consider changing the bridge operating regulations for four bridges in this area to accommodate a year-round increase of vehicular traffic. In the past, increased traffic was only associated with the tourist season. For this reason, the Coast Guard is modifying the four bridge schedules to provide for both the reasonable needs of navigation and those of land transportation. The bridge owner, Florida Department of Transportation, concurs with these recommendations.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    There were seven comments opposing the final rule. Six comments were against modifying the existing schedule and one comment suggested that even with this modified schedule the bridge will still open too often. Not allowing these bridges to open at least twice an hour would place an undue burden on the marine community. Two of the comments suggested the City/County/State should look into putting in higher level bridges and do a traffic management study, as the problem is traffic control, not the bridge openings. These comments were directed to the bridge owner. Four comments stated that having vessels waiting for a half-hour for the bridge to open could be a safety concern. As the timing between bridge openings has been adjusted to accommodate traveling at a no wake speed between the bridges, vessels should not have to wait for longer than 5 to 10 minutes for an opening. Of these four comments sighting safety concerns, one commenter has posted the same concern twice. No adjustments have been made to this regulation based on the comments.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the ability that vessels can still transit the bridges during the scheduled openings. Vessels that can transit the bridge in the closed position may continue to do so. Public vessels of the United States and tugs with tows may request an opening at any time.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

    A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Amend § 117.287 by revising paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 117.287 Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

    (c)(1) The Stickney Point Bridge, mile 68.6, at South Sarasota, Florida shall open on signal, except that from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, the draw need only open on the hour and half hour.

    (2) The draw of the Siesta Drive Bridge, mile 71.6, at Sarasota, Florida shall open on signal, except that from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, the draw need only open on the hour and half hour.

    (d)(1) The draw of the Cortez (SR 684) Bridge, mile 87.4, at Bradenton Beach, Florida shall open on signal, except that from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, the draw need only open on the quarter hour and three quarter hour.

    (2) The draw of the Anna Maria (SR 64) (Manatee Avenue West) Bridge, mile 89.2, at Bradenton Beach, Florida shall open on signal, except that from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, the draw need only open on the quarter hour and three quarter hour.

    Dated: August 22, 2017. Peter J. Brown, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18710 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0843] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Dredging, Shark River, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on a portion of Shark River, in Neptune City, NJ, from September 5, 2017, through September 23, 2017, while dredging operations are being conducted in the main navigational channel. This safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during dredging operations and will restrict vessel traffic from transiting the main navigational channel.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from September 5, 2017 through September 23, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to, type USCG-2017-0843 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this rule, call or email Marine Science Technician Second Class Amanda Boone, U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Delaware Bay, Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard; telephone (215) 271-4889, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking §  Section U.S.C. United States Code COTP Captain of the Port II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    Efforts to dredge the Shark River have been underway for well over a decade. After Superstorm Sandy, the need to dredge the river increased significantly due to sediment deposited by the storm, which impeded navigation within the channel.

    Mobile Dredging and Pumping Co. has been awarded the contract to restore the state channels to allow safe passage for recreational and commercial traffic. The sediment will be hydraulically dredged and piped via a secure welded pipeline to the selected dewatering locations.

    The purpose of this rule is to promote maritime safety and protect vessels from the hazards of dredge piping and dredge operations. The rule will temporarily restrict vessel traffic from transiting a portion of the Shark River while dredging operations are being conducted in the main navigational channel.

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the final details for this event were not received by the Coast Guard until August 25, 2017, and the dredging operation will begin September 5, 2017. The safety zone is needed by September 5, 2017, to ensure safe navigation of vessels transiting the Shark River, and it is impracticable to publish an NPRM and consider comments before that date. The dredge and dredge piping must be positioned in the main navigational channel in order for the dredging company to complete the proper dredging of the main navigational channel. Allowing this event to go forward without a safety zone in place would expose mariners and the public to unnecessary dangers associated with dredge piping and dredge operations. Therefore, it is imperative that there is a safety zone restricting traffic in this portion of the Shark River, in Neptune City, NJ.

    We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register for the reasons stated above. The Coast Guard expects that there will be an impact to vessel traffic during times when the navigational channel is restricted. However, there will be times throughout the project where vessel traffic is not restricted and traffic will be able to transit through the main navigational channel. Furthermore, notification of the waterway restrictions will be made by the contractor, Mobile Dredging and Pumping Co. Additionally the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Office of Marine Resources, will be conducting outreach to the local community. Notification of the safety zone and waterway restrictions will be made by the COTP via marine safety broadcast using VHF-FM channel 16 and through the Local Notice to Mariners.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP Delaware Bay has determined that potential hazards are associated with dredge piping and dredge operations from September 5, 2017, through September 23, 2017. The rule is necessary to promote maritime safety and protect vessels from the hazards of dredge piping and dredge operations.

    The rule will have an impact to vessels transiting through the Shark River main navigational channel, from latitude 40°10′54.20″ N., longitude 74°1′51.05″ W., bounded by the eastern side of the channel and the western side of the channel, north, to latitude 40°11′6.87″ N., longitude 74° 1′53.54″ W., as vessels will be unable to transit the main navigational channel during times when dredging operations are being conducted. This restriction is necessary to ensure the safety of life and protect vessel from dredge piping and dredge operations.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    On September 5, 2017, dredging will begin on a portion of the Shark River in Neptune City, NJ. The COTP Delaware Bay has determined that the hazards associated with dredge piping and dredge operations in the main navigational channel create the need for a safety zone to ensure safety of vessels transiting this portion and for workers engaged in dredging operations.

    The safety zone will close the main navigational channel on the Shark River from latitude 40°10′54.20″ N., longitude 74°1′51.05″ W., bounded by the eastern side of the channel and the western side of the channel, north, to latitude 40°11′6.87″ N., longitude 74°1′53.54″ W.; during times of dredging. Dredging of the main navigational channel is scheduled from September 5, 2017, through September 23, 2017, only from 9 a.m. on Mondays through 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this portion of Shark River during these times is prohibited. These coordinates are based on the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84) horizontal datum reference.

    The channel will be open from September 5, 2017, through September 23, 2017, from 9 p.m. on Thursdays to 9 a.m. on Mondays. During the periods when the channel is open mariners are urged to transit at their slowest safe speed, with no wake, no meeting or passing of other vessels, and proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made. Mariners must communicate clearly, and in advance, with the dredge via VHF 6 or 13.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the limited size of the zone and duration of the safety zone. Although the main navigational channel of this portion of the Shark River will be closed for periods of time throughout the dredging operation, there are designated times where the channel will be open for vessel traffic and traffic will be able transit. Vessels will only be affected 84-hours weekly, from 9 a.m. on Mondays through 9 p.m. on Thursdays, during the month of September 2017. The safety zone and channel closure will be well publicized to allow mariners to make alternative plans for transiting the affected area.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that it is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone that lasts for less than a month in duration and has designated times where the channel will be open for vessel traffic and traffic will be able to transit. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T05-0843 to read as follows:
    § 165.T05-0843 Safety Zone, Dredging; Shark River, NJ.

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section, designated representative means a Coast Guard petty officer, warrant or commissioned officer on board a Coast Guard vessel and or on board another Federal, State, or local law enforcement vessel assisting the Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay with enforcement of the safety zone.

    (b) Location. The following areas are safety zone: All waters from latitude 40°10′54.20″ N., longitude 74°1′51.05″ W., bounded by the eastern side of the channel and the western side of the channel, north, to latitude 40°11′6.87″ N., longitude 74°1′53.54″ W., in the Shark River, in Neptune City, NJ. These coordinates are based on the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84) horizontal datum reference.

    (c) Regulations. The general safety zone regulations found in § 165.23 apply to the safety zone created by this temporary section.

    (1) All vessels and persons are prohibited from entering into or moving within the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section while it is subject to enforcement, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay, or by his designated representative.

    (2) Persons or vessels seeking to enter or pass through the safety zone must contact the Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay, or his designated representative to seek permission to transit the area. The Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay can be contacted at telephone number 215-271-4807 or on Marine Band Radio VHF Channel 16 (156.8 MHz).

    (3) Vessels may transit this portion of the Shark River from September 5, 2017, through September 23, 2017, weekly, from 9 p.m. on Thursdays through 9 a.m. on Mondays. During the periods when the channel is open mariners are urged to transit at their slowest safe speed, with no wake, no meeting or passing of other vessels, and proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made. Mariners must communicate clearly, and in advance, with the dredge via VHF 6 or 13.

    (4) This section applies to all vessels except those engaged in the following operations: Enforcing laws, servicing aids to navigation and emergency response vessels.

    (d) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted by Federal, State and local agencies in the patrol and enforcement of the zone.

    (e) Enforcement periods. This section will be enforced weekly, from 9 a.m. on Mondays through 9 p.m. on Thursdays, from September 5, 2017, through September 23, 2017, unless cancelled earlier by the Captain of the Port.

    Dated: August 30, 2017. Scott E. Anderson, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Delaware Bay.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18732 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0621; FRL-9965-89-Region 9] Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan; Imperial County Air Pollution Control District; Stationary Sources Permits AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing action on a revision to the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District (ICAPCD or District) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). We are finalizing a conditional approval of one rule. This rule updates and revises the District's New Source Review (NSR) permitting program for new and modified sources of air pollution.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket No. EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0621. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although it may be 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 http://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thien Khoi Nguyen, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4120, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents Definitions I. Proposed Action II. Public Comments and EPA Responses III. EPA Action IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Definitions

    For the purpose of this document, we are giving meaning to certain words or initials as follows:

    (i) The word or initials CAA mean or refer to the Clean Air Act, unless the context indicates otherwise.

    (ii) The initials CARB mean or refer to the California Air Resources Board.

    (iii) The initials CFR mean or refer to Code of Federal Regulations.

    (iv) The initials or words EPA, we, us or our mean or refer to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

    (v) The initials FIP mean or refer to Federal Implementation Plan.

    (vi) The word or initials ICAPCD or District mean or refer to the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District, the agency with jurisdiction over stationary sources within Imperial County.

    (vii) The initials NSR mean or refer to New Source Review.

    (viii) The initials SIP mean or refer to State Implementation Plan.

    (ix) The initials TSD mean or refer to Technical Support Document.

    I. Proposed Action

    On June 12, 2017, the EPA proposed a conditional approval of Rule 207 (New and Modified Stationary Source Review; as noted in Table 1) submitted by CARB for incorporation into the ICAPCD portion of the California SIP. 82 FR 26883.1 Table 1 also lists the dates the rule was adopted by ICAPCD and submitted by CARB, which is the governor's designee for California SIP submittals.

    1 Previously, the EPA proposed a limited approval and limited disapproval of Rule 207. 81 FR 91895. (December 19, 2016)

    Table 1—Submitted NSR Rule Rule No. Rule title Adopted/revised Submitted Proposed action 207 New and Modified Stationary Source Review 10/22/13 1/21/14 Conditional Approval.

    Rule 207 satisfies the statutory and regulatory requirements for a general NSR permit program as set forth in CAA section 110(a)(2)(c) and 40 CFR 51.160—51.164, and the statutory and regulatory requirements for a nonattainment NSR permit program for moderate ozone and serious PM10, nonattainment areas as set forth in the applicable provisions of part D of title I of the Act (sections 172 and 173), in 40 CFR 51.165 and 40 CFR 51.307. For a moderate PM2.5 nonattainment area, Rule 207 mostly satisfies these requirements; however, we have determined that it does not satisfy the requirements of 40 CFR 51.165(a)(13), which requires ammonia to be regulated as a PM2.5 precursor. The state committed to revise the rule to correct this deficiency in Rule 207, and, based on those assertions, EPA proposed conditional approval of the rule.

    II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

    The EPA's proposed action provided a 30-day public comment period. During this period we received two comments, one posted anonymously and one from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). Copies of each comment letter have been added to the docket for this action and are accessible at www.regulations.gov. We have summarized the comments received and provided a response to the comments below.

    Comment 1: “keep standards in place. we all want clean air to breathe.”

    Response 1: The EPA did not propose to remove any standards. Instead, as explained in our proposed rulemaking, our action concerns ICAPCD Rule 207. Rule 207 implements a federal preconstruction permit program for new and modified minor sources of regulated NSR pollutants, and new and modified major sources of regulated NSR pollutants for which the area is designated nonattainment. This action will not remove or alter the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which are the federal standards promulgated by the EPA to protect air quality. As explained in our technical support document (TSD), dated November 28, 2016, in the rulemaking docket,2 this action will update ICAPCD's SIP-approved preconstruction permitting program, including lower emission thresholds at which projects will trigger requirements for Lowest Achievable Emission Reductions and offsets. TSD at 20. These updates to ICAPCD's preconstruction permitting program will promote air quality protection, consistent with current federal requirements.

    2 We included the November 28, 2016 TSD in the rulemaking docket in connection with our previous proposed limited approval and limited disapproval of Rule 207. See 81 FR 91895 (December 19, 2016).

    Comment 2: CBD stated that, “the EPA's conditional approval of the proposed Rule 207 is not valid because the commitment letter submitted by the District does not provide for specific enforceable measures to regulate ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor as required by 40 CFR 51.165(a)(13).” CBD stated that the District's commitment letter is neither specific nor enforceable but merely commits to revise the definitions of the terms “precursor” and “significant.” CBD stated that the District's commitment lacks information on what the revision will entail, how the revision will satisfy the mandatory requirement to include ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor, how the revision will create enforceable mechanisms to control ammonia, and how the revision will meet CAA section 110(l) requirements to not interfere with attainment and reasonable further progress of the NAAQS. CBD proposed certain specific measures and controls technologies, and stated that because the District's commitment letter did not include these measures or any other measures, the commitment measures cannot be properly enforced. CBD stated that the unspecified commitment puts the public at risk because the public cannot fully inform themselves as to whether the District is meeting its legal duties to protect public health. CBD stated that because the EPA must deny the District's Rule 207 proposal, the EPA is obligated to implement a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) that will mandate ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor and cure the Rule 207 deficiency within two years.

    Response 2: The EPA disagrees with the comment. As explained further below, the EPA believes the record supports conditional approval of Rule 207 because the State has committed to correct the deficiency in Rule 207 identified by EPA in the November 2016 TSD within one year of this final action.

    As explained in our proposed action, Rule 207 implements a federal preconstruction permit program for new and modified minor sources of regulated NSR pollutants, and new and modified major sources of regulated NSR pollutants for which the area is designated nonattainment. Rule 207 authorizes ICAPCD to issue permits that will contain emission limits, and associated monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements, consistent with the EPA's requirements for such programs as set forth in CAA sections 110(a)(2), 172 and 173, and applicable regulatory provisions such as 40 CFR 51.160-51.165 and 40 CFR 51.307.

    The EPA's proposed conditional approval of Rule 207 explained our determination that Rule 207 largely satisfies the statutory and regulatory requirements for an NSR permit program. We noted, however, one area in which Rule 207 was deficient. Specifically, our proposed action noted that Rule 207 does not adequately regulate ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor as required by 40 CFR 51.165(a)(13).3 Our proposed action explained that additional information on this issue could be found in our TSD.4

    3 40 CFR 51.165(a)(13) provides: “The plan shall require that the control requirements of this section applicable to major stationary sources and major modifications of PM2.5 shall also apply to major stationary sources and major modifications of PM2.5 precursors in a PM2.5 nonattainment area, except that a reviewing authority may exempt new major stationary sources and major modifications of a particular precursor from the requirements of this section for PM2.5 if the NNSR precursor demonstration submitted to and approved by the Administrator shows that such sources do not contribute significantly to PM2.5 levels that exceed the standard in the area. Any demonstration submitted for the Administrator's review must meet the conditions for a NNSR precursor demonstration as set forth in § 51.1006(a)(3).”

    4See also, 82 FR 91897.

    Our TSD explains that Rule 207, section B, contains various definitions necessary to implement the preconstruction permitting program set forth in the rule. TSD at 4. The TSD states that Rule 207's definition of the term “precursor” explicitly applies to two of four PM2.5 precursors, NOX and SOx, and indirectly applies to a third PM2.5 precursor, VOCs. Id. at 10. With respect to the fourth PM2.5 precursor, ammonia, the TSD states that the Rule 207 definition of “precursor” does not satisfy regulatory requirements. Id. at 10-11. The TSD notes that ICAPCD adopted Rule 207 in October 2013, prior to EPA's revisions to our PM2.5 regulations, including revisions relevant to the regulation of PM2.5 precursors.5 In particular, the TSD notes that Rule 207 requires regulation of ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor “if ammonia is determined to be a necessary part of the PM2.5 control strategy in the attainment demonstration approved by USEPA in the SIP.” Id. In other words, Rule 207 in its current form does not regulate ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor absent a finding by EPA that regulation of ammonia is a necessary component of ICAPCD's strategy to attain the PM2.5 NAAQS. This presumption against regulating ammonia as a precursor absent a determination that regulation is necessary for attainment was rejected by the Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit in Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) v. EPA, 706 F.3d 428 (D.C. Cir. 2013). Following the NRDC decision, EPA revised its regulatory requirements, (specifically, by promulgating 40 CFR 51.165(a)(13)), to require regulation of ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor unless EPA determines that such regulation is not necessary.6

    5See FN 3; see also, “Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standard: State Implementation Plan Requirements.” 81 FR 58010, 58151 (August 24, 2016).

    6Id.

    As explained above, our proposed conditional approval of Rule 207 applies the correct standard pertaining to ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor and appropriately identifies Rule 207's definition of precursor as deficient on the basis that it does not meet the requirements of 40 CFR 51.165(a)(13). As stated in our TSD, the remedy for Rule 207's deficient definition of “precursor” is either a revision to the definition of “precursor” or a demonstration that regulation of ammonia is not necessary to attain the PM2.5 NAAQS, consistent with the EPA's requirements for such demonstrations at 40 CFR 51.1006(a)(3). TSD at 10-11. Similarly, our proposed conditional approval of Rule 207 identified our authority under CAA section 110(k)(4) to conditionally approve a plan revision based on a commitment by the State to adopt specific enforceable measures by a date certain but no later than one year after the effective date of final action. We also explained that the enforceable measures that the State must submit are revisions that regulate ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor and that the District had in fact submitted such a letter.7

    7 The rulemaking docket for our proposed action includes the following documents relevant to the State's commitment pursuant to CAA section 110(k)(4): (1) a letter dated May 17, 2017 from Karen Magliano, Chief of the Air Quality Planning and Science Division, California Air Resources Board (CARB) to Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA Region 9; (2) a letter dated May 16, 2017 from Matt Dessert, Air Pollution Control Officer (APCO), ICAPCD to Carol Sutkus, Manager, CARB; and (3) a letter dated May 16, 2017 from Matt Dessert APCO ICAPCD to Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, EPA Region 9. CARB is the state agency responsible for adopting and revising the California SIP and for submitting SIP revisions to the EPA. We are clarifying that the State's commitment “to adopt specific enforceable measures by a date certain” pursuant to CAA section 110(k)(4) is comprised of all three documents.

    As noted by the commenter, ICAPCD's letter commits to submit a revised Rule 207 that will revise the definitions of the terms “precursor” and “significant”.8 The record for this action demonstrates that EPA identified a deficiency in Rule 207 based on the definition of “precursor” not properly regulating ammonia as far back as December 19, 2016, when EPA proposed a limited approval/limited disapproval of Rule 207 and included the TSD in the publicly available rulemaking docket.9 As explained above and in our TSD, the only reason that Rule 207 is deficient with respect to federal requirements for NSR permit programs (specifically, 40 CFR 51.165(a)(13)) is that certain definitions in Rule 207 mean that the rule does not properly regulate ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor. Therefore, the most logical approach to remedy the identified deficiency is to revise the definitions for these terms as the TSD advises. The State and the District committed to implement the changes necessary to correct the deficiency.

    8 The District also indicated its intent to revise Rule 207's definition of the term “significant.” Rule 207's definition of “significant” also fails to include ammonia, and therefore requires revision for reasons similar to those necessitating a revision to the definition of “precursor.”

    9 By the time CARB and the District submitted their commitment letters to the EPA, in mid-May 2017, the EPA's TSD for Rule 207, which explained Rule 207's deficiency as linked to the rule's definitions, was in the rulemaking docket for several months (since December 2016). See FN 2.

    We do not agree with the commenter that ICAPCD's commitment to remedy the deficiencies in Rule 207's definitions of “precursor” or “significant” are insufficiently specific or are unenforceable. The EPA's TSD explains that Rule 207's definition of “precursor” fails to include ammonia; therefore, the State and the District reasonably committed to address the deficiency by revising certain definitions.10 In addition, the District must solicit input from the public regarding the revisions to the definitions, and, as part of the public participation process for the revisions to Rule 207, interested members of the public will have the opportunity to provide input regarding the District's revised definitions and whether they meet the requirements of 40 CFR 51.165(a)(13). In addition, the public will be able to provide input as to whether the revisions provide an enforceable mechanism for regulating ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor.11

    10 We also note that ICAPCD's letter states that EPA had “informed” it that Rule 207 “contains a deficiency regarding the treatment of ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor” and that it was committing to submit a revised rule with revised definitions of these terms “to address this deficiency.”

    11 We also note that if the District does not fulfill its commitment, the conditional approval will convert to a disapproval and start an 18-month clock for sanctions under CAA section 179(a)(2). Such a failure would also trigger a two-year clock for a federal implementation plan (FIP) under CAA section 110(c)(1).

    EPA also disagrees with the commenter that the District's commitment lacks specificity because it does not explain how the revisions to Rule 207 will comply with CAA section 110(l). Once the EPA receives ICAPCD's revisions to Rule 207, the EPA will review the revised rule pursuant to CAA section 110(l) to ensure that the revisions do not interfere with any applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirements of the Act, and will take public comment on our determination regarding CAA section 110(l) along with other aspects of our action. It is therefore unnecessary for the District to provide this analysis in its commitment letter to EPA.

    CBD also provided several suggestions for measures to control and monitor ammonia emissions and concluded that the failure to commit to implement such measures in the area puts the public at risk and deprives the public of its ability to assess compliance with the statute. The EPA disagrees that the State and the District are required to commit to implement specific control measures in order to obtain this conditional approval or that the public will be deprived of the right to review the state revisions to Rule 207 or any permits issued thereunder. When the District proposes revisions to Rule 207 or is actively issuing permits pursuant to that rule, CBD and other parties may comment as part of the public participation processes for those future actions. Thus, the comments are not within the scope of our current action, and the comments do not demonstrate a flaw in the EPA's identification of the Rule 207 deficiency and revisions necessary to address it.

    Finally, because the EPA believes that the commitment of the State and the District to remedy the deficiencies identified in Rule 207 to regulate ammonia as a precursor to PM2.5 is sufficient, we disagree that EPA is obligated to implement a FIP. Our proposed action to conditionally approve Rule 207 is based on a commitment from the State and the District to submit specific, enforceable measures in the form of revised definitions for the terms “precursor” and “significant” within twelve months from the effective date of our final action. Because the State and the District provided the necessary commitments, EPA reasonably proposed to conditionally approve Rule 207 pursuant to CAA section 110(k)(4).12

    12See NRDC v. EPA, 22 F3d 1125, 1134-1135 (D.C. Cir. 1994) (concluding that the conditional approval mechanism under CAA section 110(k)(4) “is intended to provide EPA with an alternative to disapproving substantive, but not entirely satisfactory, SIPs submitted by the statutory deadlines.”)

    III. EPA Action

    As authorized by CAA section 110(k)(4), EPA is finalizing conditional approval of Rule 207—New and Modified Stationary Source Review into the ICAPCD portion of the California SIP.

    Section 110(k)(4) authorizes the EPA to conditionally approve a plan revision based on a commitment by the State to adopt specific enforceable measures by a date certain, but not later than one year after the effective date of the plan approval. In this instance, the enforceable measures that the State must submit are revisions to regulate ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor. On May 17, 2017, CARB submitted a letter dated May 16, 2017 from the District committing to submit a SIP revision that regulates ammonia as a PM2.5 precursor no later than one year from the effective date of this final action. Under a conditional approval, the state must adopt and submit the specific revisions it has committed to within one year. If the State does not comply with this commitment, the EPA's conditional approval will convert to a disapproval and start an 18-month clock for sanctions under CAA section 179(a)(2) and a two-year clock for a federal implementation plan (FIP) under CAA section 110(c)(1).

    In today's action we are also making a technical correction to our previous action approving Rule 206 into the ICAPCD portion of the California SIP.13 In that action, we provided incorrect regulatory text to effect that change. This final action includes the corrected regulatory text to approve the revised Rule 206 in the California SIP. We did not seek public comment on this technical correction because public participation requirements were satisfied as part of our action approving Rule 206 into the SIP.

    13 82 FR 27125 (June 14, 2017).

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the ICAPCD rules listed in Table 1 of this notice. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these rules generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX (Air -3), 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA, 94105-3901.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

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

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

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

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

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

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

    F. Executive Order 13175: Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175, because the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction, and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

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

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

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

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

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

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

    K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    L. Petitions for Judicial Review

    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 November 6, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements (see section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: July 31, 2017. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    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 F—California 2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(56)(i)(B), (c)(442)(i)(A)(5), and (c)(490) to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan—in part.

    (c) * * *

    (56) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) Previously approved on November 10, 1980 in paragraph (c)(56)(i)(A) of this section and now deleted with replacement in paragraph (c)(490)(i)(A)(1) of this section: Rule 207 and Rule 209.

    (442) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) * * *

    (5) Rule 206, “Processing of Applications,” revised on October 22, 2013.

    (490) An amended regulation was submitted on January 21, 2014 by the Governor's designee.

    (i) Incorporation by reference.

    (A) Imperial County Air Pollution Control District.

    (1) Rule 207, “Federal New Source Review,” revised on October 22, 2013.

    § 52.232 [Amended]
    3. Section 52.232 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (a)(1).
    § 52.233 [Amended]
    4. Section 52.233 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (a)(1).
    [FR Doc. 2017-18623 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985-7181-02] RIN 0648-XF654 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; reallocation.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from vessels using jig gear and catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 meters) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2017 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.

    DATES:

    Effective August 30, 2017, through 2400 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The 2017 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) specified for vessels using jig gear in the BSAI is 1,293 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) and one inseason adjustment (82 FR 8905, February 1, 2017).

    The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that jig vessels will not be able to harvest 1,612 mt of the remaining 2017 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(1). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A), NMFS apportions 1,612 mt of Pacific cod to the annual amount specified for catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear.

    The 2017 Pacific cod TAC specified for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear in the BSAI is 426 mt as established by final 2017 and 2018 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017).

    The Regional Administrator has determined that catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear will not be able to harvest 426 mt of the remaining 2017 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(3). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A), NMFS apportions 426 mt of Pacific cod to catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear.

    The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017) and inseason adjustment (82 FR 8905, February 1, 2017) are revised as follows: 107 mt for vessels using jig gear, 0 mt for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear, and 7,571 mt to catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the reallocation of Pacific cod specified from other sectors to catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Since the fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of August 29, 2017.

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 30, 2017. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18733 Filed 8-30-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 170 Tuesday, September 5, 2017 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0068] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes modifying the operating schedule that governs the Venetian Causeway Bridge (West) across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway mile 1088.6, Miami, FL and the operating schedule that governs the Venetian Causeway Bridge (East) across Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL. This action will extend the twice an hour opening schedule of the Venetian Causeway Bridges (East and West) across Miami Beach Channel and Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Miami, FL between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., to include weekends and Federal holidays. This action is intended to reduce vehicular traffic caused by these bridges opening on demand on weekends

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before: October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0068 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Mr. Eddie Lawrence of the Coast Guard Bridge Branch; telephone 305-415-6946, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code AICW Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway FDOT Florida Department of Transportation II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    The Venetian Causeway Bridges (East and West) currently open on signal, except that between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday except Federal holidays these bridges open twice an hour, pursuant to 33 CFR 117.269 and 33 CFR 117.261. Miami-Dade County, the bridge owner, and the Cities of Miami and Miami Beach have requested a change to the current operating schedule for both bridges to allow for scheduled openings twice an hour to include weekends as there has been an increase in both vehicle traffic and vessel traffic during these times. Bridge logs indicate these bridges open up to four times an hour or more during peak travel times, which results in frequent vehicular traffic disruptions.

    The Venetian Causeway Bridge (East) across Miami Beach Channel, Miami, FL has a vertical clearance of 5 feet at MHW in the closed to navigation position and a horizontal clearance of 57 feet between fenders.

    The Venetian Causeway Bridge (West) across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway mile 1088.6, Miami, FL has a vertical clearance of 12 feet at MHW in the closed to navigation position and a horizontal clearance of 90 feet between fenders.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR 117.261. Under this proposed regulation, the draw of the Venetian Causeway Bridge (West), at Miami, Florida would open twice an hour, once on the hour and once on the half-hour, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

    The Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR 117.269. Under this proposed regulation, the draw of the Venetian Causeway Bridge (East) would open twice an hour, once on the hour and once on the half-hour, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

    This change will still allow vessels to pass through the bridge while taking into account the reasonable needs of other modes of transportation. Emergency vessels and tugs with tows can still request openings at any time.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the continued ability for vessels to transit the bridge during the twice-an-hour opening schedule. Vessels in distress, Public vessels of the United States and tugs with tows must be passed at any time.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

    A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration and a Memorandum for the Record are not required for this proposed rule. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/privacynotice.

    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in this docket and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

    PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for Part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. In § 117.261, revise paragraph (nn) to read as follows:
    § 117.261 Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from St. Marys River to Key Largo.

    (nn) Venetian Causeway Bridge (West). The draw of the Venetian Causeway Bridge (West) mile 1088.6, at Miami, Florida will open on signal, except that from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including Federal holidays, the draw need only open on the hour and half hour.

    3. Revise § 117.269 to read as follows:
    § 117.269 Biscayne Bay.

    The draw of the Venetian Causeway bridge (East), at Miami, Florida will open on signal, except that from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including Federal holidays, the draw need only open on the hour and half hour.

    Dated: August 22, 2017. Peter J. Brown, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18711 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 81 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0003; FRL-9967-11-OAR] EPA Responses to Certain State Designation Recommendations for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard: Notification of Availability and Public Comment Period AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notification of availability and public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted on our public electronic docket and Internet Web site responses to certain state designation recommendations for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). These responses include our intended designations for the affected areas. The EPA invites the public to review and provide input on our intended designations during the comment period specified in the DATES section. The EPA sent our responses directly to the states on or about August 22, 2017. The EPA intends to make final designation determinations for the areas of the country addressed by these responses no later than December 31, 2017.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 5, 2017. Please refer to SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for additional information on the comment period.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0003, 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 our public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, Cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    The public may inspect the recommendations from the states and territories, our recent letters notifying the affected states, territories, and tribes of our intended designations, and area-specific technical support information at the following locations:

    Regional offices States Dave Conroy, Chief, Air Programs Branch, EPA New England, 1 Congress Street, Suite 1100, Boston, MA 02114-2023, (617) 918-1661 Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Richard Ruvo, Chief, Air Programs Branch, EPA Region II, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10007-1866, (212) 637-4014 New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands. Cynthia H. Stahl, Acting Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, EPA Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2187, (215) 814-2180 Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. R. Scott Davis, Chief, Air Planning Branch, EPA Region IV, Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street SW., 12th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303, (404) 562-9127 Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. John Mooney, Chief, Air Programs Branch, EPA Region V, 77 West Jackson Street, Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 886-6043 Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Alan Shar, Acting Chief, Air Planning Section, EPA Region VI, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202, (214) 665-6691 Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Mike Jay, Chief, Air Programs Branch, EPA Region VII, 11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS 66129, (913) 551-7460 Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Monica Morales, Air Program Director, EPA Region VIII, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202-1129, (303) 312-6936 Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Doris Lo, Air Planning Office, EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 972-3959 American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Navajo Nation, and the Hopi Tribe. Debra Suzuki, Manager, State and Tribal Air Programs, EPA Region X, Office of Air, Waste, and Toxics, Mail Code OAQ-107, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 553-0985 Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

    The information can also be reviewed online at https://www.epa.gov/sulfur-dioxide-designations and also in the public docket for these SO2 designations at https://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0003.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For general questions concerning this action, please contact Liz Etchells, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Policy Division, C539-01, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, telephone (919) 541-0253, email at [email protected] The following EPA contacts can answer questions regarding areas in a particular EPA Regional office:

    U.S. EPA Regional Office Contacts

    Region I—Leiran Biton, telephone (617) 918-1267, email at [email protected]

    Region II—Ken Fradkin, telephone (212) 637-3702, email at [email protected]

    Region III—Ruth Knapp, telephone (215) 814-2191, email at [email protected].

    Region IV—Twunjala Bradley, telephone (404) 562-9352, email at [email protected].

    Region V—John Summerhays, telephone (312) 886-6067, email at [email protected].

    Region VI—Dayana Medina, telephone (214) 665-7241, email at [email protected].

    Region VII—David Peter, telephone (913) 551-7397, email at [email protected].

    Region VIII—Adam Clark, telephone (303) 312-7104, email at [email protected].

    Region IX—Anita Lee, telephone (415) 972-3958, email at [email protected].

    Region X—John Chi, telephone (206) 553-1185, email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents

    The following is an outline of the Preamble.

    I. What is the purpose of this action? II. Instructions for Submitting Public Comments and Internet Web Site for Rulemaking Information III. What is the 2010 SO2 NAAQS and what are the health concerns that it addresses? IV. What are the CAA requirements for air quality designations and what action has the EPA taken to meet these requirements? V. What guidance has the EPA previously issue and how does the EPA now intend to apply the statutory requirements to determine area designations and boundaries? VI. What air quality information has the EPA used for these intended designations? VII. How do the Round 3 designations affect Indian country? VIII. Where can I find information forming the basis for the EPA's intended rule and exchanges between the EPA, states, and tribes related to this intended rule? I. What is the purpose of this action?

    The purpose of this action of availability is to solicit input from interested parties other than states on the EPA's recent responses to the state designation recommendations for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. These responses, and their supporting technical analyses, can be found at https://www.epa.gov/sulfur-dioxide-designations and also in the public docket for these SO2 designations at https://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0003.

    On June 2, 2010, the EPA Administrator signed a notice of final rulemaking that revised the primary SO2 NAAQS (75 FR 35520; June 22, 2010) after review of the existing primary SO2 standards promulgated on April 30, 1971 (36 FR 8187). The EPA established the revised primary SO2 NAAQS at 75 parts per billion (ppb) which is attained when the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations does not exceed 75 ppb.

    The process for designating areas following promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS is contained in the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) section 107(d) (42 U.S.C. 7407). After promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, each governor or tribal leader has an opportunity to recommend air quality designations, including the appropriate boundaries for nonattainment areas, to the EPA. The EPA considers these recommendations as part of its duty to promulgate the formal area designations and boundaries for the new or revised NAAQS. By no later than 120 days prior to promulgating designations, the EPA is required to notify states, territories, and tribes, as appropriate, of any intended modifications to an area designation or boundary recommendation that the EPA deems necessary.

    After invoking a 1-year extension of the deadlines to designate areas, as provided for in section 107 of the Act, the EPA completed an initial round of SO2 designations for certain areas of the country on July 25, 2013 (referred to as “Round 1”).1 Following the initial designations, three lawsuits were filed against the EPA in different U.S. District Courts, alleging the agency had failed to perform a nondiscretionary duty under the CAA by not designating all portions of the country by the June 2, 2013, deadline. In one of those cases, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on March 2, 2015, entered an enforceable order for the EPA to complete the area designations by three specific deadlines according to the court-ordered schedule.

    1 A total of 29 areas throughout the U.S. were designated in this action published on August 5, 2013 (78 FR 47191). The EPA designated all 29 areas nonattainment based on violating monitored SO2 concentrations from Federal Reference Method and Federal Equivalent Method monitors that are sited and operated in accordance with 40 CFR parts 50 and 58, and did not at that time designate any other areas.

    To meet the first court-ordered deadline, additional areas were designated on June 30, 2016, and November 29, 2016 (collectively referred to as “Round 2”).2 Pursuant to the court-ordered schedule,3 the EPA must complete SO2 designations for the remaining areas of the country by two specific deadlines: December 31, 2017, and December 31, 2020. This current third round of designations addresses all remaining undesignated areas except those where a state 4 has installed and begun timely operating a new SO2 monitoring network meeting EPA specifications referenced in EPA's SO2 Data Requirements Rule.5

    2 A total of 65 areas throughout the U.S. were designated in these actions published on July 12, 2016 (81 FR 45039), and December 13, 2016 (81 FR 89870). Of these 65 areas, seven were designated nonattainment.

    3Sierra Club v. McCarthy, No. 3-13-cv-3953 (SI) (N.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2015).

    4 In Mineral County, West Virginia, a new SO2 monitor was installed and is operated by the state of Maryland.

    5 40 CFR part 51, subpart BB (80 FR 51052; August 21, 2015).

    On or about August 22, 2017, consistent with section 107(d)(1)(b)(ii) of the CAA, the EPA notified affected states, territories, and tribes of our assessment of their recommended designations for Round 3. While we are in agreement with the recommendations for many areas, some warrant further discussion. We stand ready to assist and hope to resolve any differences regarding the proper designation for these areas within the 120-day process provided by the CAA.

    For any areas that we designate nonattainment in our final action, the CAA directs states to develop and submit to the EPA State Implementation Plans (SIPs) within 18 months of the effective date of the final rule, that meet the requirements of sections 172(c) and 191-192 of the CAA and provide for attainment of the NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable, but not later than 5 years from the effective date of the final rule.

    II. Instructions for Submitting Public Comments and Internet Web Site for Rulemaking Information A. Invitation To Comment

    The purpose of this action is to solicit input from interested parties, other than the states, territories, and tribes to which we have sent notification letters, on the EPA's recent responses to the designation recommendations for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. These responses, and their supporting technical analyses, can be found at https://www.epa.gov/sulfur-dioxide-designations and also in the public docket for these SO2 designations at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0003. Air dispersion modeling input and output files are too large to post in the docket or on the Web site and must be requested from the EPA Docket Office or the Regional office contacts listed in the beginning of this document. The EPA Docket Office can be contacted at (202) 566-1744, and is located at EPA Docket Center Reading Room, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004. The hours of operation at the EPA Docket Center are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

    CAA section 107(d) provides a process for air quality designations that involves recommendations by states, territories, and tribes to the EPA and responses from the EPA to those parties, prior to the EPA promulgating final area designations and boundaries. The EPA is not required under the CAA section 107(d) to seek public comment during the designation process, but we are electing to do so for these areas with respect to the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in order to gather additional information for the EPA to consider before making final designations for the specific areas addressed in the EPA's recent letters to states, territories, and tribes. The EPA invites public input on our responses to states regarding these areas during the 30-day comment period provided in this action. In order to receive full consideration, input from the public must be submitted to the docket by October 5, 2017. At this time, the EPA is not asking for public comments on areas beyond those areas that are the subject of this proposed action. This action and opportunity for public comment does not affect any rights or obligations of any state, territory, or tribe, or of the EPA, which might otherwise exist pursuant to the CAA section 107(d).

    Please refer to the ADDRESSES section in this document for specific instructions on submitting comments and locating relevant public documents.

    For some cases, the EPA has indicated to a state or territory that further discussion is needed—e.g., where the state recommended a designation of unclassifiable/attainment (or unclassifiable) and available air quality monitoring or modeling data show that the area may be violating the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS or contain sources that may be contributing to air quality in a nearby area that may be violating the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS. In establishing nonattainment area boundaries for a particular area, the EPA is required to include within the boundaries both the area that does not meet the standard and any nearby area contributing to the area that does not meet the standard. We are particularly interested in receiving comments, supported by relevant information, if you believe that a specific geographic area for which further discussion is needed concerning a state's recommended designation of unclassifiable/attainment or unclassifiable (and for which available air quality data would require a modification of the recommended designation) should not be categorized by the CAA section 107(d) criteria as nonattainment, or if you believe that a specific nearby area for which the EPA does agree with a state's recommended designation of unclassifiable/attainment or unclassifiable should in fact be categorized as contributing to nonattainment using the CAA section 107(d) criteria. Please be as specific as possible in supporting your views.

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

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

    • Explain your views as clearly as possible.

    • Provide your input by the comment period deadline identified.

    The EPA intends to complete designations for the areas subject to this round no later than December 31, 2017. The EPA is not yet prepared to respond to state and tribal area designation recommendations, or seek public input thereon, for areas that will be designated in Round 4 for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. The EPA is required to address those areas by December 31, 2020. Additional information on the EPA's intended approach for addressing designations for all areas can be found on the EPA's SO2 implementation Web site at https://www.epa.gov/so2-pollution/applying-or-implementing-sulfur-dioxide-standards.

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

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit CBI information to the EPA through https://www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 2. Send or deliver information identified as CBI only to the following address: Tiffany Purifoy, OAQPS CBI Officer, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Mail Code C404-02, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, telephone (919) 541-0878, email at [email protected], Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0003.

    2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

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

    • Follow directions.

    • Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

    C. Where can I find additional information for this rulemaking?

    The EPA has also established a Web site for this rulemaking at https://www.epa.gov/sulfur-dioxide-designations. The Web site includes the state, territorial and tribal recommendations, the EPA's intended area designations, information supporting the EPA's preliminary designation decisions, as well as the rulemaking actions and other related information that the public may find useful.

    III. What is the 2010 SO2 NAAQS and what are the health concerns that it addresses?

    The Administrator signed a final rule revising the primary SO2 NAAQS on June 2, 2010. The rule was published in the Federal Register on June 22, 2010 (75 FR 35520) and became effective on August 23, 2010. Specifically, the EPA established a new 1-hour SO2 standard at a level of 75 ppb, which is met at an ambient air quality monitoring site when the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations is less than or equal to 75 ppb, as determined in accordance with Appendix T of 40 CFR part 50. 40 CFR 50.17(a) and (b). Current scientific evidence links short-term exposures to SO2, ranging from 5 minutes to 24 hours, with an array of adverse respiratory effects including bronchoconstriction and increased asthma symptoms. Studies also show a connection between short-term exposure and increased visits to emergency departments and hospital admissions for respiratory illnesses, particularly in at-risk populations including children, the elderly, and asthmatics.6

    6See 75 FR 35520 at 35525, June 22, 2010.

    IV. What are the CAA requirements for air quality designations and what action has the EPA taken to meet these requirements?

    After the EPA promulgates a new or revised NAAQS, the EPA is required to designate all areas of the country as either “nonattainment,” “attainment,” or “unclassifiable,” for that NAAQS pursuant to section 107(d)(1) of the CAA. As part of these Round 3 designations, EPA is implementing its interpretation of statutory terms under CAA section 107(d) nationwide and is basing these designations on EPA's nationwide analytical approach and technical analysis, including evaluation of monitoring data and air quality modeling, applied to the available evidence for each area.

    Regarding statutory definitions and the EPA's interpretations of such, the section 107(d)(1)(A)(i) of the CAA defines a nonattainment area as an area that does not meet the NAAQS or that contributes to a nearby area that does not meet the NAAQS. An attainment area is defined by the CAA as any area that meets the NAAQS and does not contribute to a nearby area that does not meet the NAAQS. Unclassifiable areas are defined by the CAA as those that cannot be classified on the basis of available information as meeting or not meeting the NAAQS.

    In this action, the EPA defines a nonattainment area as an area that the EPA has determined violates the 2010 SO2 NAAQS or contributes to a violation in a nearby area, based on the most recent 3 years of air quality monitoring data, appropriate dispersion modeling analysis, and any other relevant information. In this action, an unclassifiable/attainment area is defined by EPA as an area that either: (1) Based on available information including (but not limited to) appropriate modeling analyses and/or monitoring data, EPA has determined (i) meets the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, and (ii) does not contribute to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet the NAAQS; or (2) was not required to be characterized under 40 CFR 51.1203(c) or (d) and EPA does not have available information including (but not limited to) appropriate modeling analyses and/or monitoring data that suggests that the area may (i) not be meeting the NAAQS, or (ii) contribute to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet the NAAQS. In this action, an unclassifiable area is defined by the EPA as an area that either: (1) Was required to be characterized by the state under 40 CFR 51.1203(c) or (d), has not been previously designated, and on the basis of available information cannot be classified as either: (i) Meeting or not meeting the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, or (ii) contributing or not contributing to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet the NAAQS; or (2) was not required to be characterized under 40 CFR 51.1203(c) or (d) and the EPA does have available information including (but not limited to) appropriate modeling analyses and/or monitoring data that suggests that the area may (i) not be meeting the NAAQS, or (ii) contribute to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet the NAAQS.

    These definitions refer to 40 CFR 51.1203(c) and (d), which are part of EPA's Data Requirements Rule. The citation to these CFR sections is in effect a reference to any area that contains a source, generally one emitting more than 2,000 tons per year of SO2 or was otherwise listed under the DRR, with respect to which the state has indicated that it will comply with the Data Requirements Rule either by establishing a new monitoring network or by submitting an air quality modeling analysis.

    This nationwide analytical approach also includes but is not limited to: (1) EPA's interpretations of other terms in the context of Round 3 of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS; (2) the appropriate basis for characterizing the air quality of an area; (3) the five-factor analysis to determine the boundaries for each air quality area under the NAAQS; and (4) the methodology for appropriately characterizing SO2 air quality through monitoring or modeling.

    The EPA notes that CAA section 107(d) provides the agency with discretion to determine how best to interpret the terms in the definition of a nonattainment area (e.g., “contributes to” and “nearby”) for a new or revised NAAQS, given considerations such as the nature of a specific pollutant, the types of sources that may contribute to violations, the form of the standards for the pollutant, and other relevant information. In particular, the EPA's position is that the statute does not require the agency to establish bright line tests or thresholds for what constitutes “contribution” or “nearby” for purposes of designations.7

    7 This view was confirmed in Catawba County v. EPA, 571 F.3d 20 (D.C. Cir. 2009).

    Similarly, the EPA's position is that the statute permits the EPA to evaluate the appropriate application of the term “area” to include geographic areas based upon full or partial county boundaries, as may be appropriate for a particular NAAQS. For example, CAA section 107(d)(1)(B)(ii) explicitly provides that the EPA can make modifications to designation recommendations for an area “or portions thereof,” and under CAA section 107(d)(1)(B)(iv) a designation remains in effect for an area “or portion thereof” until the EPA redesignates it.

    By no later than 1 year after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, CAA section 107(d)(1)(A) provides that each state governor is required to recommend air quality designations, including the appropriate boundaries for areas, to the EPA.8 The EPA reviews those recommendations and is authorized to make any modifications the Administrator deems necessary. The statute does not define the term “necessary,” but the EPA interprets this to authorize the Administrator to modify designations that did not meet the statutory requirements or were otherwise inconsistent with the facts or analysis deemed appropriate by the Administrator. If the EPA is considering modifications to a recommendation, we are required by CAA section 107(d)(1)(B)(ii) to notify the state of any such intended modifications not less than 120 days prior to our promulgation of the final designation. These notifications are commonly known as the “120-day letters.” During this period, if the state or territory does not agree with the EPA's modification, it has an opportunity to respond to the EPA and to demonstrate why it believes the modification proposed by the EPA is inappropriate. If a state or territory fails to provide any recommendation for an area, in whole or in part, the EPA still must promulgate a designation that the Administrator deems appropriate, pursuant to CAA section 107(d)(1)(B)(ii). While CAA section 107(d) specifically addresses the designations process between the EPA and states and territories, the EPA intends to follow the same process to the extent practicable for tribes that submitted designation recommendations.

    8 Tribes are invited to submit recommendations following promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but are not required to do so.

    V. What guidance has the EPA previously issued and how does the EPA now intend to apply the statutory requirements to determine area designations and boundaries?

    In the notice of proposed rulemaking for the revised SO2 NAAQS (74 FR 64810; December 8, 2009), the EPA issued proposed guidance on our approach to implementing the standard, including our approach to initial area designations. The EPA solicited comment on that guidance and, in the notice of final rulemaking (75 FR 35520; June 22, 2010), provided further guidance concerning implementation of the standard and how to identify nonattainment areas and boundaries for the SO2 NAAQS. Subsequently, on March 24, 2011, the EPA provided additional designations guidance to assist states with making their recommendations for area designations and boundaries.9 That guidance recommended, among other things, that monitoring data from the most recent 3 consecutive years be used to identify a violation of the SO2 NAAQS. This is appropriate because the form of the SO2 NAAQS is calculated as a 3-year average of the 99th percentile of the yearly distribution of 1-hour daily maximum SO2 concentrations (specifically the most recent 3 consecutive years). The EPA based the first round of final SO2 designations in 2013 solely on violating monitored SO2 concentrations for the years 2010-2012 from Federal Reference Method and Federal Equivalent Method monitors that are sited and operated in accordance with 40 CFR parts 50 and 58, and did not at that time designate any other areas.

    9See, “Area Designations for the 2010 Revised Primary Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” memorandum to Regional Air Division Directors, Regions I-X, from Stephen D. Page, dated March 24, 2011.

    In the March 24, 2011, guidance, the EPA stated that the perimeter of a county containing a violating monitor would be the initial presumptive boundary for nonattainment areas, but also stated that the state, tribe and/or the EPA could conduct additional area-specific analyses that could justify establishing either a larger or smaller area. The EPA indicated that the following factors should be considered in an analysis of whether to exclude portions of a county and whether to include additional nearby areas outside the county as part of the designated nonattainment area: (1) Air quality data; (2) emissions-related data; (3) meteorology; (4) geography/topography; and (5) jurisdictional boundaries, as well as other available data. States and tribes may identify and evaluate other relevant factors or circumstances specific to a particular area.

    Following entry of the March 2, 2015, court order setting forth the schedule for the EPA to complete SO2 designations, the EPA issued updated designations guidance.10 This guidance superseded the March 24, 2011, designation guidance for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, and identified factors that the EPA intended to evaluate in determining whether areas are in violation of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS or contribute to air quality in nearby areas that are in violation of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. The guidance also contained the factors the EPA intended to evaluate in determining the boundaries for all remaining areas in the country, consistent with the court's order and schedule. These factors include: (1) Air quality characterization via ambient monitoring or dispersion modeling results; (2) emissions-related data; (3) meteorology; (4) geography and topography; and (5) jurisdictional boundaries.11

    10See, “Updated Guidance for Area Designations for the 2010 Primary Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard,” memorandum to Regional Air Division Directors, Regions I-X, from Stephen D. Page, dated March 20, 2015.

    11 The EPA supplemented this guidance with documents first made available to states and other interested parties in 2013 and updated in 2016. See SO2 NAAQS Designations Source-Oriented Monitoring Technical Assistance Document (February 2016), available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-06/documents/so2monitoringtad.pdf, and SO2 NAAQS Designations Modeling Technical Assistance Document (August 2016), available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-06/documents/so2modelingtad.pdf.

    On March 8, 2017, the EPA issued a memo to clarify what version of the AERMOD modeling system is the most appropriate for consideration by the agency in the SO2 designations process.12

    12See “Clarification on the AERMOD Modeling System Version for Use in SO2 Implementation Efforts and Other Regulatory Actions,” memorandum to EPA Regional Air Division Directors from Richard A. Wayland, dated March 8, 2017. This memo is available at https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/scram/guidance/clarification/SO 2 _DRR_Designation_Modeling_Clarification_Memo-03082017.pdf.

    VI. What air quality information has the EPA used for these intended designations?

    For designations for the SO2 NAAQS, air agencies have the flexibility to characterize air quality using either appropriately sited ambient air quality monitors or modeling of actual or allowable source emissions.

    These intended designations are based on the EPA's application of the nationwide analytical approach to, and preliminary technical assessment of, the weight of evidence for each area, including but not limited to available air quality monitoring data and air quality modeling results. With respect to air quality monitoring data, the EPA has considered data from at least the most recent 3 calendar years, i.e., 2014-2016, as available. In most of the modeling runs available for EPA's review, the impacts of the actual emissions for one or more of the 3-year periods 2012-2014, 2013-2015, or 2014-2016 were considered, and in some cases the modeling was of recently effective or not-yet-effective limits on allowable emissions in lieu of or as a supplement to modeling of actual emissions. The 1-hour primary SO2 standard is violated at an ambient air quality monitoring site (or in the case of dispersion modeling, at an ambient air quality receptor location) when the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of the daily maximum 1-hour average concentrations exceeds 75 ppb, as determined in accordance with Appendix T of 40 CFR part 50.

    VII. How do the Round 3 designations affect Indian country?

    For areas of Indian country, there are no violating monitors. The Navajo Nation submitted modeling analyses for the areas around two SO2 emission sources located in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo Generating Station and the Four Corners Power Plant, neither of which indicated a violation of the NAAQS. The Navajo Nation and the lands of the Hopi Tribe are being designated as separate areas. No areas of Indian country are being designated as nonattainment as part of this round. Any other parts of Indian country being designated as unclassifiable/attainment or unclassifiable are being designated along with the surrounding state area.

    VIII. Where can I find information forming the basis for this intended rule and exchanges between the EPA, states, and tribes related to this intended rule?

    Information providing the basis for this intended action are provided in a technical support document (TSD) 13 included in the docket. The TSD, modeling files, technical assistance documents, applicable EPA guidance memoranda, and copies of correspondence regarding this process between the EPA and the states, territories, tribes, and other parties, are available for review at the public docket for these SO2 designations at https://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0003, at the EPA Docket Center listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document and on the agency's SO2 Designations Web site at https://www.epa.gov/sulfur-dioxide-designations. Area-specific questions can be addressed to the EPA Regional offices (see contact information provided at the beginning of this document).

    13 The single TSD for this action consists of a few sections with information that applies to all affected areas or to certain groups of areas with some common features, and many sections that are specific to individual states, territories, or tribal areas. For convenience, the term “TSD” is also used generically to refer to these state/territory/tribe-specific sections. For informational purposes, these individual state/territory/tribe-specific sections/TSDs are available for separate downloading from the indicated EPA Web site.

    Dated: August 22, 2017. Mary E. Henigin, Acting Director, Office of Air Quality Planning & Standards.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18423 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    82 170 Tuesday, September 5, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2016-0049] Notice of Decision; Cold Treatment of Grapefruit From Australia AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public of our decision to amend cold treatment schedule T107-d-3 in the Plant Protection and Quarantine Treatment Manual to include grapefruit from Australia. In a previous notice, we made available to the public for review and comment a treatment evaluation document that described the treatment schedule and explained why we have determined that it is effective at neutralizing certain target pests on grapefruit from Australia.

    DATES:

    The cold treatment schedule T107-d-3 will be authorized for use on grapefruit from Australia beginning September 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Dorothy C. Wayson, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, Imports, Regulations and Manuals, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2036.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The regulations in 7 CFR chapter III are intended to prevent the introduction or dissemination of plant pests and noxious weeds into or within the United States. Under the regulations, certain plants, fruits, vegetables, and other articles must be treated before they may be moved into the United States or interstate. The phytosanitary treatments regulations contained in 7 CFR part 305 (referred to below as the regulations) set out standards for treatments required in 7 CFR parts 301, 318, and 319 for fruits, vegetables, and other articles.

    In § 305.2, paragraph (b) states that approved treatment schedules are set out in the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Treatment Manual.1 Section 305.3 sets out the processes for adding, revising, or removing treatment schedules in the PPQ Treatment Manual. In that section, paragraph (a) sets out the normal process for adding, revising, or removing treatment schedules.

    1 The PPQ Treatment Manual is available at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/index.shtml or by contacting the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Manuals Unit, 92 Thomas Johnson Drive, Suite 200, Frederick, MD 21702.

    In accordance with § 305.3(a)(1), we published a notice 2 in the Federal Register on September 16, 2016 (81 FR 63735-63736, Docket No. APHIS-2016-0049), in which we announced the availability of a treatment evaluation document (TED). The TED recommended amending treatment schedule T107-d-3 to extend its applicability to grapefruit from Australia. The treatment would effectively mitigate the pest risk from Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt)) and provide exporters with the option to have grapefruit from Australia cold-treated at 3 °C or below for 14 days to meet U.S. entry requirements.

    2 To view the notice, the treatment evaluation document, and the comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0049.

    We solicited comments on the notice for 60 days ending on November 15, 2016. We received two comments by that date. They were from a State plant protection agency and a foreign agriculture department.

    Both commenters were in favor of amending treatment schedule T107-d-3 to include grapefruit from Australia. One commenter stated that it should be emphasized that the treatment is applicable only to fruit coming from areas free of Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly, Ceratitis capitata (Weidemann)).

    We agree with the commenter and note that treatment schedule T107-d-3 is approved for mitigation of Queensland fruit fly only. As treatment for Medfly requires a longer cold treatment to ensure mortality of all immature stages, T107-d-3 will apply only to fruit coming from Medfly-free areas of Australia.

    Therefore, in accordance with the regulations in § 305.3(a)(2), we are amending the PPQ Treatment Manual and making available a new version of the manual that reflects this addition to T107-d-3.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 30th day of August 2017. Michael C. Gregoire, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18703 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Proposed Posting, Posting, and Deposting of Stockyards AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    GIPSA is taking several actions to post and depost stockyards under the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act). Specifically, we are proposing that 11 stockyards now operating subject to the P&S Act be posted. We are also posting seven stockyards that were identified previously as operating subject to the P&S Act and deposting two stockyards that no longer meet the definition of a stockyard.

    DATES:

    GIPSA will consider comments received by October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    We invite you to submit comments on this notice. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Mail, Courier or Hand Delivery: Irene Omade, GIPSA, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 2530-S, Washington, DC 20250-3604.

    Submit Comments using the Internet: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    Instructions: All comments should refer to the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. The comments and other documents relating to this action will be available for public inspection during regular business hours.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donna Ash, Program Analyst, Litigation and Economic Analysis Division at (202) 720-0222 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    GIPSA administers and enforces the P&S Act of 1921 (7 U.S.C. 181 et seq.). The P&S Act prohibits unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent practices by livestock market agencies, dealers, stockyard owners, meat packers, swine contractors, and live poultry dealers in the livestock, poultry, and meatpacking industries.

    Section 302 of the P&S Act (7 U.S.C. 202) defines the term “stockyard” as follows: “. . . any place, establishment, or facility commonly known as stockyards, conducted, operated, or managed for profit or nonprofit as a public market for livestock producers, feeders, market agencies, and buyers, consisting of pens, or other enclosures, and their appurtenances, in which live cattle, sheep, swine, horses, mules, or goats are received, held, or kept for sale or shipment in commerce.”

    Section 302 (b) of the P&S Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to determine which stockyards meet this definition, and to notify the owner of the stockyard and the public of that determination by posting a notice in each designated stockyard. Once the Secretary provides notice to the stockyard owner and the public, the stockyard is subject to the provisions of Title III of the P&S Act (7 U.S.C. 201-203 and 205-217a) until the Secretary deposts the stockyard by public notice. To post a stockyard, we assign the stockyard a facility number, notify the stockyard owner, and send an official posting notice to the stockyard owner to display in a public area of the stockyard. This process is referred to as “posting.” The date of posting is the date that the posting notices are physically displayed at the stockyard. A facility that does not meet the definition of a stockyard is not subject to the P&S Act, and therefore cannot be posted. A posted stockyard can be deposted, which occurs when the facility is no longer used as a stockyard.

    We are hereby notifying stockyard owners and the public that the following 11 stockyards meet the definition of a stockyard, and that we propose to designate these stockyards as posted stockyards.

    Proposed facility number Stockyard name and location FL-141 Gulf Coast Livestock, Madison, Florida. KY-190 Franklin Livestock Market, Inc., Franklin, Kentucky. LA-148 Southwest Horse Sale, LLC, Bush, Louisiana. MS-182 Trade Day Auction, LLC, Philadelphia, Mississippi. OK-219 Watson's Auction Service, Maud, Oklahoma. OK-220 Daniel's Hog and Goat Sale, Howe, Oklahoma. OK-221 Glover Auction & Livestock, LLC, Lawton, Oklahoma. SC-165 Willie Hester, d/b/a Willietakeit Auctions, Pelzer, South Carolina. TN-216 Ricky Kepley, d/b/a Cumberland City Stockyards, Cumberland City, Tennessee. TN-217 Dickson Horse Sale, Dickson, Tennessee. WV-119 Parkersburg Livestock Market, Mineral Wells, West Virginia.

    We are also notifying the public that the stockyards listed in the following table meet the P&S Act's definition of a stockyard and that we have posted the stockyards. On October 17, 2016, we published a notice in the Federal Register (81 FR, 71477-71479) of our proposal to post these seven stockyards. Since we received no comments to our proposal, we assigned the stockyards a facility number and notified the owner of the stockyard facilities. Posting notices were sent to the owner of the stockyard to display in public areas of the stockyard. The table below reflects the date of posting for each stockyard.

    Facility number Stockyard name and location Date of
  • posting
  • KY-189 Blue Grass Stockyards of Albany, LLC, Albany, Kentucky 11/07/2016 MS-181 Cattlemens Stockyard, LLC, West Point, Mississippi 11/07/2016 NC-182 Walton L. Standridge d/b/a Standridge Auction, Hamlet, North Carolina 11/07/2016 NC-183 Vale Enterprises, LLC d/b/a Cleveland County Agriculture & Livestock Exchange, Shelby, North Carolina 11/07/2016 PA-164 Nicholson Livestock Market, Factoryville, Pennsylvania 11/08/2016 SD-173 Kramer's Auction, LLC, Colman, South Dakota 11/14/2016 TN-215 Alexandria Stockyard, Inc., Alexandria, Tennesse 11/08/2016

    Finally, we are notifying the public that the following stockyards no longer meet the definition of a stockyard and are being deposted. We depost stockyards when the facility can no longer be used as a stockyard. The reasons a facility can no longer be used as a stockyard may include the following: (1) The market agency has moved and the posted facility is abandoned; (2) the facility has been torn down or otherwise destroyed, such as by fire; (3) the facility is dilapidated beyond repair; or (4) the facility has been converted and its function has changed.

    Facility number Stockyard name and location Date posted MA-104 Crowley's Commission Sales, Inc., Agawam, Massachusetts 03/14/1972 NB-146 Kearney Livestock Market, Inc., Kearney, Nebraska 02/22/1938 Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 202.

    Randall D. Jones, Acting Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18637 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Designation for the Montana Area AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of designation.

    SUMMARY:

    GIPSA is announcing the designation of the Montana Department of Agriculture (Montana) to provide official services under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended.

    DATES:

    July 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Jacob Thein, Compliance Officer, USDA, GIPSA, FGIS, QACD, 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacob Thein, 816-866-2223, [email protected] or [email protected].

    Read Applications: All applications and comments are available for public inspection at the office above during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(c)).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the April 17, 2017, Federal Register (82 FR 18100), GIPSA requested applications for designation to provide official services in the geographic areas presently serviced by Montana. Applications were due by May 17, 2017.

    The current official agency, Montana, was the only applicant for designation to provide official services in these areas. As a result, GIPSA did not ask for additional comments.

    GIPSA evaluated the designation criteria in section 7(f) of the USGSA (7 U.S.C. 79(f)) and determined that Montana is qualified to provide official services in the geographic area specified in the Federal Register on April 17, 2017. This designation to provide official services in the specified area of Montana is effective July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2022.

    Interested persons may obtain official services by contacting this agency at the following telephone number:

    Official agency Headquarters location and telephone Designation start Designation end Montana Great Falls, MT, 406-444-3144 7/1/2017 6/30/2022

    Section 7(f) of the USGSA authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79(f)).

    Randall D. Jones, Acting Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18634 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Opportunity for Designation in the Memphis, Tennessee, Area; Request for Comments on the Official Agency Servicing This Area AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of opportunity for designation.

    SUMMARY:

    The designation of the official agency listed below will end on March 31, 2018. We are asking persons or governmental agencies interested in providing official services in the areas presently served by this agency to submit an application for designation. In addition, we are asking for comments on the quality of services provided by the following designated agency: Midsouth Grain Inspection Service (Midsouth).

    DATES:

    Applications and comments must be received by October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit applications and comments concerning this notice using any of the following methods:

    Applying for Designation on the Internet: Use FGISonline (https://fgis.gipsa.usda.gov/default_home_FGIS.aspx) and then click on the Delegations/Designations and Export Registrations (DDR) link. You will need to obtain an FGISonline customer number and USDA eAuthentication username and password prior to applying.

    Submit Comments Using the Internet: Go to Regulations.gov (http://www.regulations.gov). Instructions for submitting and reading comments are detailed on the site.

    Mail, Courier or Hand Delivery: Mark Wooden, Compliance Officer, USDA, GIPSA, FGIS, QACD, 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153.

    Fax: Mark Wooden, 816-872-1257.

    Email: [email protected].

    Read Applications and Comments: All applications and comments will be available for public inspection at the office above during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(c)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Wooden, 816-659-8413 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 7(f) of the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79(f)). Under section 7(g) of the USGSA, designations of official agencies are effective for no longer than five years, unless terminated by the Secretary, and may be renewed according to the criteria and procedures prescribed in section 7(f) of the USGSA.

    Areas Open for Designation Midsouth

    Pursuant to Section 7(f)(2) of the United States Grain Standards Act, the following geographic area in the States of Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas is assigned to this official agency.

    In Arkansas

    The entire State of Arkansas.

    In Mississippi

    The entire State of Mississippi, except export port locations within the State, which are serviced by GIPSA.

    In Tennessee

    Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Shelby, and Tipton Counties.

    In Texas

    Bowie and Cass Counties.

    The following grain elevator is part of this geographic area assignment. In Cairo Grain Inspection Agency, Inc.'s area: Cargill, Inc., Tiptonville, Lake County, Tennessee.

    Opportunity for Designation

    Interested persons or governmental agencies may apply for designation to provide official services in the geographic area specified above under the provisions of section 7(f) of the USGSA and 7 CFR 800.196. Designation in the specified geographic area in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas is for the period beginning April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2023. To apply for designation or to request more information, contact Mark Wooden at the address listed above.

    Request for Comments

    We are publishing this notice to provide interested persons the opportunity to comment on the quality of services provided by the Midsouth official agency. In the designation process, we are particularly interested in receiving comments citing reasons and pertinent data supporting or objecting to the designation of the applicant. Submit all comments to Mark Wooden at the above address or at http://www.regulations.gov.

    We consider applications, comments, and other available information when determining which applicants will be designated.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 71-87k.

    Randall D. Jones, Acting Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18632 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Opportunity for Designation in the Jamestown, North Dakota Area; Request for Comments on the Official Agency Servicing This Area AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of opportunity for designation.

    SUMMARY:

    The designation of the official agency listed below will end on March 31, 2018. We are asking persons or governmental agencies interested in providing official services in the areas presently served by this agency to submit an application for designation. In addition, we are asking for comments on the quality of services provided by the following designated agency: Grain Inspection, Inc. (Jamestown).

    DATES:

    GIPSA will consider applications and comments received by October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit applications and comments concerning this notice using any of the following methods:

    Applying for Designation on the Internet: Use FGISonline (https://fgis.gipsa.usda.gov/default_home_FGIS.aspx) and then click on the Delegations/Designations and Export Registrations (DDR) link. You will need to obtain an FGISonline customer number and USDA eAuthentication username and password prior to applying.

    Submit Comments Using the Internet: Go to Regulations.gov (http://www.regulations.gov). Instructions for submitting and reading comments are detailed on the site.

    Mail, Courier or Hand Delivery: Mark Wooden, Compliance Officer, USDA, GIPSA, FGIS, QACD, 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153.

    Fax: Mark Wooden, 816-872-1257.

    Email: [email protected]

    Read Applications and Comments: All applications and comments will be available for public inspection at the office above during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(c)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Wooden, 816-659-8413 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 7(f) of the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79(f)). Under section 7(g) of the USGSA, designations of official agencies are effective for no longer than five years, unless terminated by the Secretary, and may be renewed according to the criteria and procedures prescribed in section 7(f) of the USGSA.

    Areas Open for Designation Jamestown

    Pursuant to Section 7(f)(2) of the United States Grain Standards Act, the following geographic area in the States of Minnesota and North Dakota is assigned to this official agency.

    In Minnesota

    Traverse, Grant, Douglas, Todd, Morrison, Mille Lacs, Kanabec, Pine, Big Stone, Stevens, Pope, Stearns, Benton, Isanti, Chisago, Swift, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Wright, Sherburne, Anoka, Lac Qui Parle, and Chippewa Counties.

    In North Dakota

    Bounded on the north by Interstate 94 east to U.S. Route 85; U.S. Route 85 north to State Route 200; State Route 200 east to U.S. Route 83; U.S. Route 83 southeast to State Route 41; State Route 41 north to State Route 200; State Route 200 east to State Route 3; State Route 3 north to the northern Wells County line, the northern Wells and Eddy County lines east; the eastern Eddy County line south to the northern Griggs County line; the northern Griggs county line east to State Route 32; bounded on the east by State Route 32 south to State Route 45; State Route 45 south to State Route 200; State Route 200 west to State Route 1; State Route 1 south to the Soo Railroad line; the Soo Railroad line southeast to Interstate 94; Interstate 94 west to State Route 1; State Route 1 south to the Dickey County line; bounded on the south by the southern Dickey County line west to U.S. Route 281; U.S. Route 281 north to the Lamoure County line; the southern Lamoure County line; the southern Logan County line west to State Route 13; State Route 13 west to U.S. Route 83; U.S. Route 83 south to the Emmons County line; the southern Emmons County line; the southern Sioux County line west State Route 49; State Route 49 north to State Route 21; State Route 21 west to the Burlington-Northern line; the Burlington-Northern line northwest to State Route 22; State Route 22 south to U.S. Route 12; U.S. Route 12 west-northwest to the North Dakota State line; and bounded on the west by the western North Dakota State line north to Interstate 94.

    The following grain elevators are not part of this geographic area assignment and are assigned to: Minot Grain Inspection, Inc.: Benson Quinn Company, Underwood, McLean County and Falkirk Farmers Elevator, Washburn, McLean County, North Dakota.

    Opportunity for Designation

    Interested persons or governmental agencies may apply for designation to provide official services in the geographic area specified above under the provisions of section 7(f) of the USGSA and 7 CFR 800.196. Designation in the specified geographic area in Minnesota and North Dakota is for the period beginning April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2023. To apply for designation or to request more information, contact Mark Wooden at the address listed above.

    Request for Comments

    We are publishing this notice to provide interested persons the opportunity to comment on the quality of services provided by the Jamestown official agency. In the designation process, we are particularly interested in receiving comments citing reasons and pertinent data supporting or objecting to the designation of the applicant. Submit all comments to Mark Wooden at the above address or at http://www.regulations.gov.

    We consider applications, comments, and other available information when determining which applicants will be designated.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 71-87k.

    Randall D. Jones, Acting Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18631 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Amendment to the Designation of Mid-Iowa Grain Inspection AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is amending Mid-Iowa Grain Inspection, Inc.'s (Mid-Iowa) geographical territory to include the area previously designated to Central Illinois Grain Inspection, Inc. (Central Illinois). Mid-Iowa purchased Central Illinois effective July 1, 2017, and met the requirements specified by regulations issued under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended. The designation of Mid-Iowa is from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2020.

    DATES:

    July 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sharon Lathrop, 816-891-0415 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 7(f) of the USGSA (7 U.S.C. 71-87k) authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79(f)). Under 7 U.S.C. 79(g), designations of official agencies are effective for no longer than 5 years, unless terminated by the Secretary, and may be renewed according to the criteria and procedures prescribed in 7 U.S.C. 79(f).

    Mid-Iowa Designation

    Pursuant to Section 7(f)(2) of the USGSA, the following geographic area, in the States of Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota, is assigned to this official agency.

    In Iowa

    Bounded on the north by the northern Winneshiek and Allamakee County lines; bounded on the east by the eastern Allamakee County line; the eastern and southern Clayton County lines; the eastern Buchanan County line; the northern Jones and Jackson County lines; the eastern Jackson and Clinton County lines; southern Clinton County line; the eastern Cedar County line south to State Route 130; bounded on the south by State Route 130 west to State Route 38; State Route 38 south to Interstate 80; Interstate 80 west to U.S. Route 63; and bounded on the west by U.S. Route 63 north to State Route 8; State Route 8 east to State Route 21; State Route 21 north to D38; D38 east to V49; V49 north to Bremer County; the southern Bremer County line; the western Fayette and Winneshiek County lines.

    In Illinois Carroll and Whiteside Counties

    Bounded on the north by State Route 18 east to U.S. Route 51; U.S. Route 51 south to State Route 17; State Route 17 east to Livingston County; and the Livingston County line east to State Route 47; bounded on the east by State Route 47 south to State Route 116; State Route 116 west to Pontiac, which intersects with a straight line running north and south through Arrowsmith to the southern McLean County line; the southern McLean County line east to the eastern DeWitt County line; the eastern DeWitt County line; the eastern Macon County line south to Interstate 72; Interstate 72 northeast to the eastern Piatt County line; the eastern Piatt, Moultrie, and Shelby County lines; bounded on the south by the southern Shelby County line; and a straight line running along the southern Montgomery County line west to State Route 16 to a point approximately one mile northeast of Irving; and bounded on the west by a straight line from this point northeast to Stonington on State Route 48; a straight line from Stonington northwest to Elkhart on Interstate 55; a straight line from Elkhart northeast to the west side of Beason on State Route 10; State Route 10 west to the Logan County line; the western Logan County line; the southern Tazewell County line; the western Tazewell County line; the western Peoria County line north to Interstate 74; Interstate 74 southeast to State Route 116; State Route 116 north to State Route 26; and State Route 26 north to State Route 18.

    In Minnesota Fillmore, Houston, Olmstead, Wabasha, and Winona Counties

    The following grain elevators are not part of this geographic area assignment and are assigned to: Champaign-Danville Grain Inspection Departments, Inc.: East Lincoln Farmers Grain Co., Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois; Okaw Cooperative, Cadwell, Moultrie County, Illinois; ADM (3 elevators), Farmer City, Dewitt County, Illinois; and Topflight Grain Company, Monticello, Piatt County, Illinois.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 71-87k.

    Randall D. Jones, Acting Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18636 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Opportunity for Designation in the Lincoln, Nebraska, Area; Request for Comments on the Official Agency Servicing This Area AGENCY:

    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of opportunity for designation.

    SUMMARY:

    The designation of the official agency listed below will end on March 31, 2018. We are asking persons or governmental agencies interested in providing official services in the areas presently served by this agency to submit an application for designation. In addition, we are asking for comments on the quality of services provided by the following designated agency: Lincoln Grain Inspection Service, Inc. (Lincoln).

    DATES:

    GIPSA will consider applications and comments received by October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit applications and comments concerning this notice using any of the following methods:

    Applying for Designation on the Internet: Use FGISonline (https://

    fgis.gipsa.usda.gov/default_home_FGIS.aspx) and then click on the Delegations/Designations and Export Registrations (DDR) link. You will need to obtain an FGISonline customer number and USDA eAuthentication username and password prior to applying.

    Submit Comments Using the Internet: Go to Regulations.gov (http://www.regulations.gov). Instructions for submitting and reading comments are detailed on the site.

    Mail, Courier or Hand Delivery: Sharon Lathrop, Compliance Officer, USDA, GIPSA, FGIS, QACD, 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153.

    Fax: Sharon Lathrop, 816-872-1257.

    Email: [email protected].

    Read Applications and Comments: All applications and comments will be available for public inspection at the office above during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(c)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sharon Lathrop, 816-891-0415 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 7(f) of the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) authorizes the Secretary to designate a qualified applicant to provide official services in a specified area after determining that the applicant is better able than any other applicant to provide such official services (7 U.S.C. 79(f)). Under section 7(g) of the USGSA, designations of official agencies are effective for no longer than five years, unless terminated by the Secretary, and may be renewed according to the criteria and procedures prescribed in section 7(f) of the USGSA.

    Areas Open for Designation Lincoln

    Pursuant to Section 7(f)(2) of the United States Grain Standards Act, the following geographic area in the States of Iowa and Nebraska is assigned to this official agency.

    In Iowa and Nebraska

    Bounded on the north (in Nebraska) by the northern York, Seward, and Lancaster County lines; the northern Cass County line east to the Missouri River; the Missouri River south to U.S. Route 34; U.S. Route 34 east to Interstate 29; bounded on the east by Interstate 29 south to the Fremont County line; the northern Fremont and Page County lines; the eastern Page County line south to the Iowa-Missouri State line; the Iowa-Missouri State line west to the Missouri River; the Missouri River south-southeast to the Nebraska-Kansas State line; bounded on the south by the Nebraska-Kansas State line west to County Road 1 mile west of U.S. Route 81; bounded on the west by County Road 1 mile west of U.S. Route 81 north to State Highway 8; State Highway 8 east to U.S. Route 81; U.S. Route 81 north to the Thayer County line; the northern Thayer County line east; the western Saline County line; the southern and western York County lines.

    The following grain elevators are not part of this geographic area assignment and are assigned to: Omaha Grain Inspection Service, Inc.: Goode Seed & Grain, McPaul, Fremont County, Iowa; and Haveman Grain, Murray, Cass County, Nebraska.

    Opportunity for Designation

    Interested persons or governmental agencies may apply for designation to provide official services in the geographic area specified above under the provisions of section 7(f) of the USGSA and 7 CFR 800.196. Designation in the specified geographic area in Iowa and Nebraska is for the period beginning April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2023. To apply for designation or to request more information, contact Sharon Lathrop at the address listed above.

    Request for Comments

    We are publishing this notice to provide interested persons the opportunity to comment on the quality of services provided by the Lincoln official agency. In the designation process, we are particularly interested in receiving comments citing reasons and pertinent data supporting or objecting to the designation of the applicant. Submit all comments to Sharon Lathrop at the above address or at http://www.regulations.gov.

    We consider applications, comments, and other available information when determining which applicants will be designated.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 71-87k.

    Randall D. Jones, Acting Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18633 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA or Notice) for the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Demonstration Program Under Section 514, Section 515, and Section 516 AGENCY:

    Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Housing Service (Agency) announces the timeframes to submit pre-applications to participate in a demonstration program to preserve and revitalize existing Multi-Family Housing (MFH) projects currently financed under Section 514, Section 515, and Section 516 of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended. Under this demonstration program, existing Section 515 Rural Rental Housing (RRH) and Sections 514/516 Off-Farm Labor Housing (FLH) projects may be revitalized to preserve the ability of rental projects to provide safe and affordable housing for very-low, low, or moderate-income residents. The goal for projects participating in this program will be to extend their affordable use without displacing tenants because of increased rents. RRH projects include properties designated as senior, family, mixed, congregate and cooperative housing with currently outstanding Section 515 loans. FLH projects include only off-farm properties with currently outstanding Section 514 loans.

    This Notice does not provide any additional units of Agency Rental Assistance (RA) for projects financed under Section 514, Section 515, and Section 516.

    DATES:

    Pre-applicants selected under this Notice to submit final applications will be funded to the extent an appropriation act provides sufficient funding at the time of final application approval. The amount of funding available will be posted in the Rural Development (RD) Web site, http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housingpreservation-revitalization-demonstration-loans-grants.

    Pre-application submission deadlines for these opportunities are:

    (1) For pre-applications requesting multiple MPR funding tools [including debt deferral of eligible Section 514 or Section 515 loans] complete pre-applications as defined in this Notice must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time December 1, 2017.

    (2) For any MPR applicants requesting debt deferral only for eligible Section 514 or Section 515 loans, complete MPR pre-applications may be submitted on an ongoing basis through 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, September 28, 2018.

    The Agency will not consider any pre-application received after the closing deadlines. MPR pre-applications will only be accepted electronically. All supporting documents must also be delivered electronically in PDF format by these deadlines to be considered for acceptance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Greenwalt, [email protected], (314) 457-5933, and/or Abby Boggs, [email protected], (615) 783 1382, Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Direct Loan Division, STOP 0782, (Room 1263-S) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0782. (Please note these telephone numbers are not toll-free numbers.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Notice will be posted on the RD Web site, www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-nosas. To the extent an Appropriation Act provides funding for the MPR demonstration program, program dollar commitments will only be made to the MPR pre-applicants selected to submit formal applications. The Agency will publish, as necessary, any revisions and amendments reflecting program modifications, in the Federal Register within the period this Notice remains open.

    Expenses incurred in applying for this NOSA Notice will be borne by and be at the applicant's sole risk.

    The Agency will assign additional points to pre-applications from existing RD-financed projects based in or serving census tracts in persistent poverty counties as well as other areas with special housing needs. This emphasis supports RD's mission of improving the quality of life for Rural Americans and an ongoing commitment to direct resources to those most in need.

    A synopsis of this program and the pre-application's universal resource locator will be listed by Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number or at Federal Grants Wire at http://www.federalgrantswire.com or more specifically at https://www.cfda.gov/index?s=program&mode=form&tab=step1&id=4c4fe0f56eb9b21c e519a6c4104933bc.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements contained in this Notice have received approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Control Number 0570-0190.

    Overview

    Federal Agency Name: Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    Funding Opportunity Title: Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization Demonstration Program—Section 514, Section 515, and Section 516 for Fiscal Year 2017 and any subsequent funding appropriation of funds made available during the term this NOSA is outstanding.

    Announcement Type: Inviting responses in the form of pre-applications from interested applicants.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number (CFDA): 10.447.

    I. Funding Opportunity Description

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, Public Law 115-31, signed May 5, 2017, authorized USDA to conduct a demonstration program for the preservation and revitalization of the sections 514, 515, and 516 multi-family rental housing properties (off-farm FLH properties) to restructure existing USDA MFH loans expressly to ensure the project has sufficient resources to provide safe and affordable housing for low-income residents and farm laborers under the programs authorized by the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1484, 1485 and 1486).

    This Notice solicits pre-applications from interested borrowers/applicants of MFH projects already participating in the Agency's Section 515 MFH portfolio and Sections 514/516 FLH portfolio for the purpose of revitalization and preservation. Eligibility for MPR funding under this NOSA includes current RD borrowers that have received a loan from the Agency and eligible applicants who are applying to assume ownership and the associated presently outstanding RD loans on RD-financed MFH properties. Eligible applicants for the MPR program include individuals, partnerships or limited partnerships, consumer cooperatives, trusts, State or local public agencies, corporations, limited liability companies, non-profit organizations, Indian tribes, associations, or other entities that own or will be the owner of the project for which an application for transfer of ownership by the Agency is submitted.

    Agency regulations for the Section 515 MFH program and the Sections 514/516 FLH program are published at 7 CFR part 3560.

    The intent of the MPR demonstration program is to ensure that existing rental projects will continue to deliver decent, safe and sanitary, affordable rental housing for eligible tenants over the remaining term of any Agency loan, or the remaining term of any existing Restrictive-Use Provisions (RUP) or prohibition, whichever ends later.

    MPR funds cannot be used to build community rooms, add additional parking areas, playgrounds, or laundry rooms. MPR funds may be used to repair or renovate existing project items identified in the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) and to satisfy accessibility transition and fair housing requirements.

    To fulfill an existing need for additional affordable rental housing as documented in a market study and/or another information source acceptable to the Agency, MPR funds may be used to add new units, and/or reconfigure the present units, within the existing footprint of a project's current or previously resident-occupied structure(s) (e.g., converting the non-residential portion of mixed-used space into residential units). With Agency concurrence, MPR funds may also be used to meet the project's five (5) percent fully accessible requirement as defined by Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS).

    All pre-applications will be reviewed by the Agency using the process described in this NOSA and selected applicants will be invited to participate in the MPR demonstration program. Upon written notification to the Agency from the selected applicant of their acceptance to participate, the applicant will engage a qualified independent third-party to conduct a comprehensive Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) acceptable to RD (unless an existing CNA acceptable to the Agency was included as part of the pre-application submission) which should provide a fair and objective review of projected capital needs in any case where the applicant indicates additional MPR tools are also being requested. Applicants determined eligible to receive deferral-only MPR assistance for Exiting Projects and transfers will be processed on a continuous basis as described in this Notice so long as funds remain available. The Agency shall implement any other proposal that may be offered under this Notice through an MPR Conditional Commitment (MPRCC) with the eligible borrower/applicant, which will include all the terms and conditions offered by the Agency.

    One of the MPR tools available in this program is debt payment deferral for up to 20 years for presently outstanding Section 514 or Section 515 loans. The cash flow from the deferred RD direct loan principal and interest payment will be deposited to the RD project's reserve account or used as directed by the Agency to help meet the specific project's future physical needs, support new debt or to reduce rents, or as otherwise directed and determined by the Agency to be in the best interests of the tenants and Government.

    A. Debt deferral is described as follows:

    1. MPR Debt Deferral. A deferral for up to 20 years of the existing Section 514 or Section 515 Agency loan(s). If the term of any existing Section 514 or Section 515 loans is less than 20 years, the Agency will offer a re-amortization of the existing loans extending the term up to 20 years based on an analysis of the individual needs of the specific property. If an MPR debt deferral is necessary as part of an ownership transfer under the provisions of 7 CFR 3560.406, debt deferral only for eligible loans as described herein may be included in the transfer underwriting when:

    a. The deferral of such loans will assure the continued feasibility of preserving needed rental units based on criteria described in 7 CFR 3560.57(a)(3), and

    b. The new owner, including all principles, does not share any identity of interest (IOI) with the selling entity in any other RD properties not fully compliant with all Agency requirements and conditions for any other outstanding RD indebtedness, or

    c. In those cases where the IOI seller, including the principles of the acquiring applicant, are fully compliant on any outstanding RD approved workout agreements.

    Any questions on whether or not a loan is eligible for deferral should be directed to the local RD State Office at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices.

    2. All terms and conditions of the deferral will be described in the MPR Debt Deferral Agreement. A balloon payment of principal and accrued interest (deferral balloon) will be due at the end of the deferral period, or upon default pursuant to the terms contained therein. Interest will accrue at the promissory note rate and, if applicable, the subsidy will be applied as set out in the Agency's “Multiple Family Housing Interest Credit Agreement”, Form RD 3560-9, which is available at http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-9.PDF.

    3. At the time of the deferral balloon, RHS intends to use the available servicing tools to preserve any needed projects as affordable rental housing.

    B. Other Agency MPR funding tools are as follows:

    1. MPR Grant. A grant limited to non-profit applicants/borrowers only. The grant will be limited to the cost of correcting health and safety violations of a project, including accessibility and fair housing mandates identified by a CNA accepted by the Agency. The grant administration will be in accordance with applicable provisions of 2 CFR parts 200 and 400.

    2. MPR Zero Percent Loan. A loan at zero percent interest. This loan is not deferred. Monthly payments are required for the maximum term and amortization period will be as authorized by the respective program authority.

    a. The maximum term for the Zero Percent Loan will not extend beyond the latest maturity date of any existing Section 515 RRH or Section 514 FLH loan term already in place at the time of closing, or the modified maturity date of any current loan being re-amortized.

    b. For Section 515 RRH projects, the maximum loan term is 30 years amortized over a maximum term of 50 years.

    c. For Sections 514/516 projects, the loan will be amortized over a maximum term of 33 years.

    3. MPR Soft-Second Loan. A loan with a one percent interest rate that will have its accrued interest and principal deferred to a balloon payment. The balloon payment will be due at the same time as the latest maturing Section 514 or Section 515 loan already in place at the time of closing, or the modified maturity date of any current loan being reamortized.

    4. Other Possible Sources of Funds:

    a. Rural Development Section 515 Rehabilitation loan funds for RRH projects;

    b. Rural Development Sections 514/516 Off-Farm rehabilitation loan/grant funds for FLH projects;

    c. Rural Development Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing (GRRH) program financing;

    d. Rural Development Multi-Family Housing Preservation Revolving Loan Funds program;

    e. Third-party loans, grants, tax credits and tax-exempt financing;

    f. Owner-provided capital contributions in the form of a cash infusion. A cash infusion cannot be a loan; and

    g. Excess funds as defined by the then current respective RD program servicing regulations from the project's reserve or operating fund accounts, or donated services provided by the applicant.

    5. Transfers/Subordinations/Consolidations. Transfers, subordinations, and consolidations may be approved as part of a MPR transaction for the selected pre-applicants in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560 and the following:

    If a transfer is part of the MPR transaction, and the transfer includes a seller payment and/or an increase in the allowable Return to Owner (RTO), the transfer must first be underwritten to meet the requirements of 7 CFR 3560.406 to establish the maximum RTO amount RD will recognize for the buyer and seller. When it is in the best interests of the Government and the tenants to meet preservation goals, the transferee may request RD to reconsider the initial transfer authorization and grant use of MPR debt deferral only of all eligible RRH or FLH loans.

    Transfers using only MPR loan deferral funds in the underwriting do not require review by the RD Headquarters MPR Loan Review Committee. The RD State Office will submit these transfer requests through its HQ Review Underwriter to the Deputy Administrator, MFH for concurrence.

    a. This Notice will allow transfer transaction applicants to submit a second feasibility scenario using multiple MPR tools in addition to their primary proposal with MPR Deferral only. Applicants may include, at their own risk, MPR Zero Percent and/or MPR Soft Second loans in their transfer proposals. The combined total of the Zero Percent and Soft Second loans may not exceed the amount posted on the RD Web site at the beginning of each Round. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, if the transfer proposes a seller payment and/or an increase in the allowable Return to Owner (RTO), the transfer must first be underwritten to meet the requirements of 7 CFR 3560.406 to establish the maximum RTO amount RD will recognize for the buyer and seller. RD has added a feature to its Transfer Preliminary Assessment Tool (PAT) that provides users the ability to include the second feasibility scenario using multiple MPR tools within the same template.

    b. An applicant that chooses to include MPR Zero Percent and/or MPR Soft Second loans in their transfer proposal will formally acknowledge that they understand inclusion of those funds in the underwriting constitutes neither an approval nor a commitment of any MPR funds by the Agency. They must also submit a transfer proposal for the transaction consistent with other proposals using other types of currently available financing, so the Agency can determine the feasibility of the transfer using such alternative forms of financing (e.g., Section 538). If MPR funds are not available or the transfer is not feasible without those funds, the applicant may choose to wait for MPR funds to become available. If the applicant must move forward with the transaction and is unable to wait for MPR funds to become available, it will be the applicant's responsibility, not the Agency's, to secure additional equity and/or funding comparable to the rates and terms of the MPR loan funds from other non-Agency sources to replace the MPR tools. The applicant may also choose to modify its transaction and exclude the use of MPR funds if the transaction remains financially feasible.

    c. The Agency will evaluate all transfers applying to participate in the MPR program equally, whether they chose to use MPR tools at underwriting or not. Every transfer application, regardless of the use of MPR tool in the underwriting, applying to participate in the MPR program will be evaluated and selected in accordance to the selection process outlined in this Notice. The MPR funds amount limit [mentioned in b. above] will not apply to transfers approved by the Agency that do not use MPR Zero percent and MPR Soft Second loans in its proposal.

    MPR funds will not be used to pay equity on MFH transfers.

    d. Prior RD Headquarters concurrence is required for any transfer with equity loan payments, increased RTO, or waivers for unusual transactions that fall outside of the normal transfer transaction principles of 7 CFR 3560.406 or revitalization related policy issues not otherwise addressed.

    1. For the purposes of the MPR demonstration program, the Agency will identify transactions in four (4) categories:

    i. Exiting Project Deferral Only Transactions: These involve no change in ownership and only defer payments to the final due date authorized by statutory and program regulations unless otherwise modified under the terms of this Notice. This tool is available only to project owners where all Agency mortgages on the property are maturing on or before December 31, 2023.

    A CNA will not be required for these transactions unless the RD debt payments are being deferred to allow additional capital repairs and improvements to fund work beyond the scope of the servicing requirement for reserve account use as in servicing the annual operating budget under 7 CFR 3560.306 (g).

    Exiting Project deferral only transactions do not require review by the RD Headquarters MPR Loan Review Committee. The RD State Office will submit these transfer requests through its HQ Review Underwriter to the Deputy Administrator, MFH for concurrence.

    ii. Simple Transactions: These involve no change in ownership where the borrower is seeking one or more of the available MPR tools to meet the specific project's present and future physical need, support new debt or to reduce rents, or as otherwise directed as determined by the Agency to be in the best interests of the tenants and Government. Simple transactions involve a single project but may include the consolidation of project phases owned by the same entity into one project under 7 CFR 3560.410.

    iii. Complex Transactions: These may consist of one or more project transfers within the same market area to a single new owner processed in accordance with 7 CFR 3560.406, with or without a consolidation; or single-owner transactions requiring a subordination agreement because of third-party funds. A complex transaction may involve more than one project but results in only a single project upon closing the transaction. The applicant will submit one pre-application.

    A. If a consolidation of existing properties is simultaneously proposed, all projects being consolidated must be submitted on one pre-application and must also be located in the same market area. Market area is defined in 7 CFR 3560.11 as the geographic or locational delineation for a specific project, including outlying areas that will be impacted by the project including the area in which alternative, similar properties effectively compete with the subject property.

    B. For a MPR consolidation, all projects must be of the same type, be in a neighborhood or similar area where the properties compete for the same tenants; managed under one management plan and one management agreement; and, in sufficiently close proximity to permit convenient and efficient management of the property.

    C. Applicants should discuss proposed consolidations with the Rural Development State Office in the State where the projects are located prior to filing their MPR pre-application to ensure Rural Development concurs with the applicant's market area estimation.

    D. Removal of one or more projects from the proposal by either the Agency or the owner does not affect the eligibility of the complex transaction. To be a complex transaction, the Agency assumes only one project remains at the MPR closing.

    iv. Portfolio transactions: These include two or more projects with one stay-in owner that will not be consolidated into a single property under 7 CFR 3560.11, or two or more projects with multiple projects located in one State sale transactions to a common purchaser. A stay-in owner is defined as an existing Section 515 or Sections 514/516 borrower who owns two or more properties either as a single ownership entity, or as separate legal entities with at least one common general partner/managing member capable of securing all necessary approvals from other partners, investors, etc. as may be required in the entity's organizational documents for participation in the MPR program prior to closing. Each project in the portfolio will be submitted on a separate pre-application form unless those located in the same market area are being consolidated as defined above. Any projects being consolidated should be listed on the same pre-application form. Each pre-application must have the same portfolio name. If the owner chooses to remove one or more projects from the proposal, at least two projects must remain in order to be classified as a portfolio transaction. At the end of the transaction, the Agency assumes there will be two or more unconsolidated projects remaining. The projects of the stay-in owner or common purchaser must have at least one general partner/managing member in common capable of securing the consent of all other partners or members prior to closing the MPR in accordance with the entity organizational documents.

    6. Transactions, other than Exiting Project deferral only MPR assistance, within each category may utilize any or all MPR funding tools described above in paragraph I, “Funding Opportunity Description”. MPR tools available through the MPR demonstration program address preservation and rehabilitation needs identified in the Agency-accepted CNA, including any accessibility transition plans and fair housing requirements not previously satisfied.

    7. The total of all liens against the project, with the exception of Agency deferred debt, cannot exceed the Agency-approved security value of the project. All Agency debt, either in first lien position or in a subordinated lien position, must be secured by the project, except deferred debt, which is not included in the Agency's total lien position for computation of the Agency's security value in the MPR program. Payment of any deferred debt will not be required from normal project operations income. Payment of any deferred debt will be required from excess cash generated from project operations after all other secured debts, required reserves and operational costs are satisfied or as directed by the Agency.

    8. All exiting RD direct loans with payments being deferred will be reamortized or restructured to the maximum term allowed under the respective RRH or FLH loan program authorities prior to debt deferral.

    C. MPR Applicants

    Pre-applicants selected under this Notice to submit formal applications will be subsequently referred to as “Applicants”, and will be considered for available funding as described in this Notice subject to the availability of MPR funds or other program funds for which they may be eligible.

    D. Exiting Project Applicants

    The Agency recognizes that a number of Section 515 and Sections 514/516 properties are financed through mortgages scheduled to mature through calendar year 2023. The Agency will make an MPR debt deferral available to properties with all Agency mortgages maturing on or before December 31, 2023, that are not already being reamortized as part of an RD servicing action to extend the affordable use of the housing and continue its eligibility for Section 521 Rental Assistance. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Notice, MPR pre-applicants applying for a deferral of their eligible mortgage debt and any other MPR tools will be required to meet the continuing eligibility requirements as outlined in “Section III Eligibility Information” of this Notice. Applicants applying solely for deferral of eligible Exiting Projects will only be required to submit the MPR pre-application within the established deadlines set out in the DATES section of this Notice; no additional supporting documentation is required. The applicant will complete the MPR pre-application documenting the date the Agency loans will mature. The Agency reserves the right to approve an MPR debt deferral under this paragraph in its sole discretion, based on factors including but not limited to: the preceding 12-month average physical vacancy; analysis of current ownership; evidence the property is financially solvent; the current physical condition of the property; amount of assistance needed to meet immediate and long term physical needs of the property; and the availability of other subsidized housing within the community. The RD State Office will submit Exiting Project deferral only requests through its HQ Review Underwriter to the Deputy Administrator, MFH for concurrence.

    II. Award Information

    Pre-applications selected under this Notice that become an Agency approved application may be funded with current or future fiscal year funds subject to the availability of a funding appropriation.

    Any pre-applications selected under this Notice, will be considered withdrawn on December 31, 2018, if not approved by the Agency. This deadline will not be extended, so please plan your transaction's timeline accordingly. Applicants may reapply for funding under future rounds and/or Notices as may be made available.

    Awards under this Notice mean any loan or grant approved and obligated. Awardees receiving loans or grants under the MPR program are subject to 2 CFR 25.200. All Awardees of any nature under this Notice are subject to the applicable requirements of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-approved USDA Suspension and Debarment, and Drug-Free Workplace Certifications as prescribed under Title 2 CFR parts 417 and 421.

    Applicants are advised that the Agency has unfunded applications carried over from prior Notices that will receive priority consideration for funding approval from available fiscal year appropriations based on the terms of those Notices. If fiscal year funds available for the MPR demonstration program are fully committed before funding all remaining eligible pre-applications selected for further processing under this Notice, the Agency may continue to process pre-applications that if approved, may receive conditional commitments subject to the future appropriation and availability of MPR funds.

    Applicants are further advised that the Agency anticipates it may not have sufficient funding under this Notice to fund every approved application. If the Agency depletes the available MPR funds before funding every approved application, then every approved application not funded will be incorporated into a funding priority queue. The queue will prioritize approved applications by receipt date and score and it will be maintained by the HQ Review Underwriter Team Leader (Team Leader).

    The queue process begins when HQ Review Underwriters email approved applications to the Team Leader, who accumulates the approved applications for placement in the queue throughout the week until the weekly submission deadline of midnight Eastern Time every Thursday. The Team Leader then incorporates the approved applications received through Thursday into the queue no later than the following Tuesday (e.g., requests received from Friday, April 13, 2018 to Thursday, April 19, 2018 will be reviewed and placed into the queue in scoring order by Tuesday, April 24, 2018). To the extent that MPR funds become available, they will be allocated starting with the first approved application on the queue until all funds are exhausted. As long as MPR funds remain available or when MPR funds become available once again, the Agency will continue to allocate those funds in the manner aforementioned. However, if an application is not approved by the HQ Loan Review Committee and the application is returned to the State Office, the application will be reassigned a new place in the queue based on the [email] date and time the HQ Review Underwriter resubmits the application to the Team Leader. In the event of a tie, priority will be given to the request for the project that: First—has the highest percentage of leveraging (lowest Loan to Cost); second—is in the smaller rural community.

    In order to maximize the distribution of MPR funds among as many States as possible, the Director, MFH PDLD, may authorize a State with four (4) or less funded applications to be funded ahead of any State with five (5) or more funded applications even when the application from the State with (4) or less funded applications has a later queue date and time than the application from a State with five (5) or more funded applications.

    MPR funding tools are only for authorized purposes in the respective RRH and FLH programs in accordance with 7 CFR 3560 unless otherwise determined to be in the best interests of the government. The program will be administered within the resources available to the Agency through Public Law 114-113 and any future appropriations for the preservation and revitalization of Sections 514/516 and Section 515-financed projects. In the event that any provisions of 7 CFR part 3560 conflict with this Notice, the provisions of this Notice will take precedence.

    III. Eligibility Information

    Applicant eligibility requirements. For the purpose of this Notice, “applicant” includes the applying entity (e.g., ABC LLP) and the entity's principals (e.g., John Doe, General Partner of ABC LLP; XYZ, Inc., General Partner of ABC LLP; John Doe Jr., President of XYZ, Inc.). In the case of a single asset entity that is not a natural person, the Agency will rely solely on the qualifications of the natural person(s) managing/controlling the entity (whether directly or indirectly through other entities) to establish the applicant's eligibility.

    These eligibility requirements include substantial and verifiable favorable experience and creditworthiness, but do not require the test for other credit. Appropriate credit reports will be ordered by RD upon receipt of the MPR application selected for further processing in all cases, unless a current credit report has been included as part of a RD transfer application file. In the case of FLH applicants, eligibility requirements are included in 7 CFR 3560.555.

    1. All applicants must meet the following requirements:

    a. Be a U.S. citizen or qualified alien(s); a corporation; a State or local public Agency; an Indian tribe as defined in § 3560.11; or a limited liability company (LLC), non-profit organization, consumer cooperative, trust, partnership, or limited partnership in which the principals are U.S. citizens or qualified aliens;

    b. Be unable to obtain similar credit elsewhere at rates that would allow for rents within the payment ability of eligible residents;

    c. Possess the legal and financial capacity to carry out the obligations required for the loan or grant;

    d. Be able to maintain, manage, and operate the housing for its intended purpose and in accordance with all Agency requirements as demonstrated with its compliance with Agency servicing requirements. Non-compliance with Agency servicing requirements with other projects owned and/or managed by natural person(s) managing/controlling (whether directly or indirectly through other entities) the borrowing entity, will render the applicant ineligible to participate in the MPR program nationwide until the non-compliance event(s) is/are remedied;

    e. With the exception of applicants who are a non-profit organization, housing cooperative or public body, be able to provide the borrower contribution from their own resources (this contribution must be in the form of cash, or land, or a combination thereof);

    f. Not be suspended, debarred, or excluded based on the “List of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement and Non-Procurement Programs.” The list is available to Federal agencies from the U.S. Government Printing Office. Non-Federal parties should contact the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, (202) 512-1800;

    g. Not be delinquent on Federal debt or a Federal judgment debtor, with the exception of those debtors described in 7 CFR 3560.55 (b); and

    h. Be in compliance with the requirements of the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act (IPERIA) as applied by USDA.

    Additional requirement for applicants with prior debt. If an applicant, the managing general partner, managing member, or key principal in the organization decision-making and operational authority that may control the applicant and any sub-applicant entities involved including the actual natural person(s) of any sub-entity (i.e., other organizations, partnerships, etc.) excising management and/or financial control of an applicant borrower, as well as any affiliated entity having a 10 percent or more ownership interest, having a prior or existing Agency debt, the following additional requirements must be met:

    a. The applicant must be in compliance with any existing loan or grant agreements and with all legal and regulatory requirements or must have an Agency approved workout agreement and be in compliance with the provisions of the workout agreement. The Agency may require that applicants with monetary or non-monetary deficiencies be in compliance with an Agency-approved workout agreement for a minimum of six (6) consecutive months before becoming eligible for further assistance.

    b. The applicant must be in compliance with the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other applicable civil rights laws.

    Additional requirements for non-profit organizations. In addition to the eligibility requirements of paragraphs above, non-profit organizations must meet the following criteria:

    a. The applicant must have received a tax-exempt ruling from the IRS designating the applicant as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organization.

    b. The applicant must have in its charter the provision of affordable housing.

    c. No part of the applicant's earnings may benefit any of its members, founders, or contributors.

    d. The applicant must be legally organized under State and local law.

    e. In the case of off-farm labor housing loans and grants, non-profit organizations must be “broad-based” non-profit organizations (refer to § 3560.555(a)(1)).

    Additional requirements for limited partnerships. In addition to the applicant eligibility requirements aforementioned, limited partnership loan applicants must meet the following criteria:

    a. The general partners must be able to meet the borrower contribution requirements if the partnership is not able to do so at the time of loan request.

    b. The general partners must maintain a minimum 5 percent financial interest in the residuals or refinancing proceeds in accordance with the partnership organizational documents.

    c. The partnership must agree that new general partners can be brought into the organization only with the prior written consent of the Agency.

    Additional requirements for Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). In addition to the applicant eligibility requirements aforementioned, LLC loan applicants must meet the following criteria:

    a. One member who holds at least a five (5) percent financial interest in the LLC must be designated the authorized agent to act on the LLC's behalf to bind the LLC and carry out the management functions of the LLC.

    b. No new members may be brought into the organization without prior consent of the Agency.

    c. The members must commit to meet the equity contribution requirements if the LLC is not able to do so at the time of loan request.

    1. This Notice requires selected applicants to make the required equity contribution as outlined in 3560.63(c) for any new Section 515 loan offered as part of the MPR. Applicant funds committed under Section I, may be used to fund all or a portion of the required RD equity contribution for the subsequent direct program loan. Loan applicants will not receive any increased equity value attributed to the property since the initial RD loan closing and will not receive additional RTO for this contribution.

    2. Eligibility also includes the continued ability of the borrower/applicant to provide acceptable management and will include an evaluation of any current outstanding deficiencies. As defined in Section V of this Notice, any outstanding violations or extended open operational findings associated with the applicant/borrower or any affiliated entity having an identity of interest (IOI) with the project ownership and which are recorded in the Agency's automated Multi-Family Information System (MFIS), will preclude further processing of any MPR applications unless there is a current, approved workout plan in place and the plan has been satisfactorily followed for a minimum of six (6) consecutive months, as determined by the Agency.

    3. For Section 515 RRH projects, the average physical vacancy rate for the 12 months preceding this Notice's pre-application submission date can be no more than 10 percent for projects consisting of 16 or more revenue units and no more than 15 percent for projects less than 16 revenue units unless an exception applies under Section IV B 1(b) of this Notice. The Agency may require additional information, which may include a current market study, to assess the need of the project and its continued financial feasibility. If a project consolidation is involved, the consolidation will remain eligible so long as the average vacancy rate for each individual project meets the occupancy standard noted in this paragraph. Any individual project selected under the complex or portfolio pre-application submission that does not continue to meet the occupancy threshold at the time of filing the formal application, regardless of reason, may be withdrawn by the owner or the Agency from complex or portfolio applicant package without jeopardizing the formal application so long as the application continues to meet the eligibility conditions otherwise described in this Notice.

    4. For Sections 514/516 FLH projects, rather than an average physical vacancy rate as noted in section (ii) above, a positive cash flow for the previous full three (3) years of operation is required unless an exception applies as described section III(A)(3), above for projects with an approved work out plan.

    5. MPR tools will only be awarded if the pre-applicant will meet applicable program ownership requirements, including the ability to operate the project after the transaction is completed. In the event of a MFH transfer, the proposed transferee must submit evidence of site control together with a copy of the borrower's written request signed by both the proposed buyer and the seller describing the general terms of the proposed transfer. Evidence may include a Purchase Agreement, Letter of Intent, or other documentation acceptable to the Agency.

    6. An Agency approved CNA (for guidance refer to http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housing-preservation-revitalizationdemonstration-loans-grants) and an Agency financial evaluation/analysis must be conducted to ensure that utilization of the MPR demonstration program tools is financially feasible, and necessary for the revitalization and preservation of the project as affordable housing.

    7. Initial eligibility for any processing will be determined as of the date of the pre-application filing deadline. The Agency reserves the right to discontinue processing any application due to material changes in the applicant's status occurring at any time after the initial eligibility determination.

    8. All selected applicants must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) prior to submitting an application pursuant to 2 CFR 25.200. In addition, all entity applicants must maintain registration in the CCR database at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the Agency as required by OMB in 2 CFR 25.200 and 25.305. Similarly, all recipients of Federal Financial Assistance are required to report information about first-tier, sub-awards and executive compensation, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170. So long as an entity applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements should the applicant receive funding. See 2 CFR 170.200(b).

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    A. The general steps of the MPR application process are as follows:

    1. Pre-application: All applicants for MPR funds submit a pre-application as described in Section VI along with any supporting documentation as outlined in this Notice. Failure to timely submit all required documentation will result in an incomplete pre-application. This pre-application process is designed to lessen the cost burden on all applicants, including those who may not be eligible or whose proposals may not be feasible. Selection of a pre-application for further processing is not an award or commitment for funding, except for Exiting Project deferrals cited in Section I D of this Notice.

    Note:

    If you receive a loan or grant award under this Notice, USDA reserves the right to post all information submitted as part of the pre-application/application package, which is not protected under the Privacy Act, on a public Web site with free and open access to any member of the public.

    2. Eligible Projects: Using criteria described below in this Notice, the Agency will conduct an initial screening for eligibility. As described in Section VI, the Agency will conduct an additional eligibility screening later in the formal application process.

    3. Scoring and Ranking: All complete, eligible and timely filed pre-applications will be scored, ranked and put in potential funding categories as discussed in this Notice.

    4. Formal Applications: All complete, eligible and timely filed pre-applicants will receive a letter from the Agency inviting them to submit a formal application. As discussed in Section III of this Notice, the Agency will require the owner to provide a CNA, completed in accordance with the Agency's published guidance (available at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housing-preservation-revitalizationdemonstration-loans-grants) to underwrite the proposal to determine financial feasibility. Applicants will be informed of any proposals that are determined to be incomplete, ineligible, or financially infeasible. Any proposal denied by the Agency will be returned to the applicant, and the applicant will be given appeal rights pursuant to 7 CFR 11.

    5. Financial Feasibility: The Agency will use the results of the CNA to help identify the need for resources and applicant provided information regarding anticipated or available third-party financing in order to determine the financial feasibility of each potential transaction. The Agency will use tools available either through existing regulatory authorities or specifically authorized through the MPR demonstration program. A project is financially feasible when it can provide affordable, decent, safe, and sanitary housing for 20 years or the remaining term of any Agency loan, whichever ends later, by using the authorities of this program while minimizing the cost to the Agency, and without increasing rents for eligible tenants, except when necessary to meet normal and necessary operating expenses, as determined by the Agency.

    6. If the Agency determines the transaction is financially feasible, it may be able to offer the borrower a revitalization proposal, subject to available funding. This will include a requirement that the borrower execute and record, an Agency-approved Restrictive-Use Covenant (RUC) for a period equivalent to the longest term of any MPR funding being authorized, the remaining term of any non-deferred existing loans, or the remaining term of any existing RUPs, whichever ends later. The proposal will be established in the offer presented to the applicant as part of a MPR Conditional Commitment (MPRCC) using a format determined by RD.

    7. MPR Agreements: If the applicant accepts the offer, the applicant must sign and return the MPRCC. By signing the offer, the applicant agrees to the terms of the MPRCC. Any third-party lender will be required to subordinate to the Agency's RUC unless the Agency determines, on a case-by-case basis, that the lender's refusal to subordinate will not compromise the purpose of the MPR demonstration program.

    8. General Requirements: The MPR transactions are with a stay-in owner (simple) or may involve a change in ownership (complex or portfolio). Any housing or related facilities that are constructed or repaired must meet the Agency design and construction standards and the development standards contained in 7 CFR part 1924, subparts A and C, respectively. Upon completion, Section 515 MFH and Sections 514/516 FLH projects must be managed in accordance with 7 CFR 3560. Tenant eligibility will be limited to persons who qualify as an eligible household under Agency regulations. Tenant eligibility requirements are contained in 7 CFR 3560.152.

    B. The MPR application submission and scoring will be completed in two phases in order to avoid unnecessary effort and expense on the part of applicants. The two phases are as follows:

    1. Phase I—The first phase is the pre-application process. Applicants, including applicants seeking deferral only, must submit a complete pre-application by the deadline listed under the DATES section of this Notice. The applicant's submission will be classified as “complete” when the MPR pre-application is received in the correct format and place as described in this Notice for each existing property the applicant wishes to be considered in the demonstration program. When the MPR proposal involves a project consolidation, the consolidation will be completed in accordance with 7 CFR 3560.410. One pre-application for the proposed consolidated project is required and must identify each project included in the consolidation. If the MPR proposal involves a portfolio transaction (sale or stay-in owner), one pre-application for each project in the portfolio is required and each pre-application must identify each project included in the portfolio transaction. Pre-applications must include all applicable information requested on the MPR pre-application form and must be provided to be complete for consideration. Additional information that must be provided with the pre-application to be considered complete, when applicable, includes:

    a. For all transfers of ownership, evidence of site control.

    b. Current market data (defined as no more than 6 months old at time of filing) for any project not meeting the occupancy standards cited in sections III (2) and III (3) above. The market data must demonstrate there is need for the project evidenced by waiting lists and a housing shortage confirmed by local housing agencies and realtors and accepted by the Agency. The market data must show a clear need and demand for the project once an MPR transaction is completed. The results of the survey of existing or proposed rental or labor housing, including complex name, location, number of units, bedroom mix, family or elderly type, year built, and rent charges must be provided, as well as the existing vacancy rate of all available rental units in the community, their waiting lists and amenities, and the availability of RA or other subsidies. The Agency will determine whether or not the proposal has market feasibility based on the data provided by the applicant. Any costs associated with the completion of the market data is NOT an eligible program project expense.

    c. For a property that has been sold to a non-profit entity under the Sale to Non-Profit process defined in 3560, Subpart N, a copy of the recorded Deed.

    Unless an exception under this section applies, the requirements stated in Section III A(1) and (2) of this Notice must be met.

    Note:

    All documents must be received on or before the pre-application closing deadline to be considered complete and timely filed. Pre-applications that do not include valid and unexpired evidence of site control for transfer proposals, or current market data for projects that do not meet the occupancy standards of Section III A(1) and (2) of this Notice, will be considered incomplete and will be returned to the applicant without further action or appeal rights.

    2. Phase II—The second phase of the application process will be completed by the Agency based on Agency records and the pre-application information submitted. All complete, eligible, and timely-filed pre-applications will be scored and ranked based on points received during the application process. Further, the Agency will categorize each MPR proposal as being an Exiting Project Deferral, Simple, Complex, or Portfolio transaction based on the information submitted on the pre-application, in accordance with the category descriptions provided in Section I of this Notice.

    All pre-applications will only be submitted electronically. Pre-applications received electronically will be recorded by the actual date and time received in the MPR Web site and used in ranking the pre-application as discussed under section I A 3.

    Assistance with filing electronic pre-applications can be obtained from any Rural Development State Office. USDA Rural Development MFH State Office contacts can be found at http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices.

    (Note: Telephone numbers listed in the Web site are not toll-free.)

    The pre-application is in Adobe Acrobat format and will be completed as a fillable form online. The form contains a button labeled “Submit by Email” and must be clicked to receive an email indicating a pre-application has been sent to the MPR Web site and acknowledging that the pre-applicant will submit to the electronic mail box any required attachments for consideration. If a purchase agreement or market data is required, these additional documents are to be attached to the resulting email prior to submission.

    Pre-applications may be downloaded from the Agency's Web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housing-preservation-revitalizationdemonstration-loans-grants or obtained by contacting the State Office in the State the project is located to assist the pre-applicant in gathering the details necessary to complete and submit their electronic application. Additional information may also be obtained in writing by contacting Dean Greenwalt or Abby Boggs, Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Direct Loan Division, STOP 0782, (Room 1263-S), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0782.

    V. Application Review Information

    A. Pre-application ranking points will be based on information provided during the submission process, and in Agency records. Only timely, complete pre-applications requesting both debt deferral of eligible Section 514 or Section 515 loans AND other MPR funding tools will be ranked. Points will be awarded as follows:

    1. Contribution of other sources of funds. Other funds are those discussed in Section I.B, 4 “Other Sources of Funds” paragraph, items (a) through (g), above. Points will be awarded based on documented written evidence that the funds are committed, as determined by the Agency. “Commitment” means an actual award of funds evidenced by a documented approval, obligation, or another contractual agreement between a third-party funder and the borrower/applicant entity to provide funds. Commitments that include the terms such as `may' or `intend' will not be acceptable for scoring purposes. The maximum points awarded for this criterion is 30 points. These points will be awarded in the following manner:

    a. Evidence of a commitment of at least $3,000 to $5,000 per unit per project from other sources—10 points, or

    b. Evidence of a commitment greater than $5,000 to $10,000 per unit per project from other sources—15 points.

    c. Evidence of a commitment greater than $10,000 to $15,000 per unit per project from other sources—20 points.

    d. Evidence of a commitment greater than $15,000 per unit per project from other sources—30 points.

    2. Owner contribution. Points will be awarded if the owner agrees to make a contribution of at least $500 per unit to pay transaction costs. (These funds cannot be from the project's reserve, operating funds, tax credit equity or be in the form of donated services provided by the applicant.) Transaction costs are defined as those Agency approved costs required to complete the transaction under this Notice and include, but are not limited to the CNA, legal and closing costs, appraisal costs, RD MPR credit report and associated MPR document filing/recording fees. This contribution must be deposited into the respective project reserve account prior to closing the MPR transaction from the owner's non-project resources. The maximum points awarded for this criterion is 30 points. These points will be awarded in the following manner:

    a. Evidence of a contribution of at least $500 to $650 per unit—10 points, or

    b. Evidence of a contribution greater than $651to $900 per unit—20 points, or

    c. Evidence of a contribution greater than $901 per unit—30 points.

    3. Owner contribution for the hard costs of construction. (These funds cannot be from the project's reserve account or project's general operating account or in the form of a loan.) Hard costs of construction are defined as those costs for materials equipment, property or machinery required to complete the proposal under this Notice. Owner contributions under this criteria are not eligible for a Return on Investment (ROI) under 7 CFR 3560.68 if they are part of the minimum 3 percent or 5 percent initial investment required in conjunction with any Section 515 direct loan or have been contributed as any amount used to establish the RTO in a MFH transfer authorized under 7 CFR 3560.406. Owner contributions of the minimum 3 percent or 5 percent initial investment required in conjunction with any new Section 515 direct loan used toward hard costs of construction may be included in the contribution amount of this section to qualify for points. Hard costs must be itemized on Form RD 1924-13, “Estimate and Certificate of Actual Cost”. Form RD 1924-13 can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD1924-13.PDF.

    The minimum contribution required to receive these points is $1,000 per unit per project, and will be required to be deposited in the project reserve account or supervised/construction account as directed by Rural Development prior to closing. An increased RTO may be allowed for funds committed in accordance with 7 CFR 3560.406(d) (14)(ii). The maximum points awarded for this criterion is 15 points. These points will be awarded in the following manner:

    a. Evidence of a contribution of at least $1,000 to $2,500 per unit—5 points, or

    b. Evidence of a contribution greater than $2,500 to $5,000 per unit—10 points, or

    c. Evidence of a contribution greater than $5,000 per unit—15 points.

    4. Exiting Projects. Points will be awarded to properties where all existing RD loans will mature (make their final loan payment) on or before December 31, 2023, and which are also competing for other MPR tools. 25 Points

    5. Persistent Poverty Counties. Points will be awarded to projects located in persistent poverty counties. A persistent poverty county is a classification for counties in the United States that have had a relatively high rate of poverty over a long period. The USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) (http://ers.usda.gov/) is the main source of economic information and research for USDA and a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System located in Washington, DC ERS has defined counties as being persistently poor if 20 percent or more of their populations were living in poverty over the last 30 years (measured by the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses and 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-year estimates). Projects in RD designated Strike Force and Promise Zones, Colonias, tribal lands, Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone communities, or in a place identified in the State Consolidated Plan or a State needs assessment as a high need community for will also qualify for points under this priority. 15 points

    6. Points may be awarded to projects that have been adversely impacted by an event that, as determined by the Agency, directly and exclusively results from the occurrence of natural causes that could not have been prevented by the exercise of foresight or caution over the previous 24 months, or other unavoidable accident causing physical property damage or failure that is not reimbursable by property, casualty or liability insurance or any other form of third-party compensation, such as disaster loans and grants from other agencies. 25 points

    7. Age of project. For a project consolidation (including portfolio transactions) proposal, the project with the earliest operational date (operational date is the date the project initially placed in service and documented in MFIS) will be used in determining the age of the project. Since the age of the project and the date the project placed in service are generally directly related to physical needs, no pre-application will receive more than a maximum of 30 points based on the following criteria:

    a. Projects with initial operational dates prior to December 21, 1979—30 points.

    b. Projects with initial operational dates on or after December 21, 1979, but before December 15, 1989—20 points.

    c. Projects with initial operational dates on or after December 15, 1989, but before October 1, 1999—10 points.

    d. Projects with initial operational dates on or after October 1, 1999—0 points;

    8. Projects with Open Physical Findings. An “Open Physical Finding” is a physical condition to the property buildings or improvements, identified by the Agency that is not in compliance with the Agency standards published in 7 CFR 3560.103. Projects with Open Physical Findings classified “B”, “C”, or “D”, as defined below, will be awarded points in the following manner:

    Class “D” Projects

    Class “D” projects are those projects that are in default and may be taken into inventory, be lost to the program, or cause the displacement of tenants. Defaults can be monetary or non-monetary. Projects in default are those where the Agency has notified the borrower of a violation using the Agency's servicing letter process, and the borrower has not addressed the violation to the Agency's satisfaction.

    Class “C” Projects

    Class “C” projects are projects with Open Physical or Financial findings or violations, which are not associated to an approved workout and/or transition plan. This can include projects with violations where a servicing letter has been issued but 60 calendar days have not passed since the issuance of the first servicing letter.

    Class “B” Projects

    Class “B” projects indicate the Agency has taken servicing steps and the borrower is cooperating to resolve identified findings or violations by associating an approved workout plan and/or transition plan.

    For transfer proposals:

    a. For projects classified a “C” or “D” for 24 months or more. 20 points

    b. For projects classified as a “C” or “D” for less than 24 months. 15 points

    Stay-in owner proposals:

    a. For projects classified as a “B” because of a workout and/or transition plan approved by the Agency for not more than 12 months prior to the application closing dates contained in this Notice. 25 points

    b. Projects with an Agency “C” classification for 24 months or longer with Open Findings that were within the owner's ability/control to cure at the time the MPR pre-application is filed will not be eligible to participate in the MPR demonstration program.

    9. Closed Sale of Section 515 projects to non-profit/Public Housing Authority. The Agency will award 30 points for projects that have been sold to nonprofit organizations under the prepayment process as explained in 7 CFR 3560, Subpart N. To receive points, the borrower/applicant must provide a copy of the filed deed with their pre-application. 30 points

    10. Prior approved CNAs. In the interest of ensuring timely application processing and underwriting, the Agency will award up to 20 points for projects with CNAs already approved by the Agency. “Approved” means the date the CNA or an updated CNA was approved by the Agency. CNAs or updates previously approved more than 12 months prior to the pre-application submission, may not be used for MPR underwriting without an update approved by the Agency. Points will be awarded for:

    a. CNAs approved no earlier than 12 months before MPR closing date specified in this NOTICE for which the MPR pre-application is filed, 20 points

    b. CNAs approved no earlier than 24 months before MPR closing date specified in this NOTICE for which the MPR pre-application is filed, 10 points

    11. Tenant service provision. The Agency will award 5 points for applications that include new services provided by either a for-profit or a non-profit organization, which may include a faith-based organization, or by another Government agency. Such services shall be provided at no cost to the project and shall be made available to all tenants. Examples of such services may include transportation for the elderly, afterschool day care services or after-school tutoring. 5 points.

    12. For portfolio sales with project consolidations as defined in this Notice, the Agency will award the following points:

    a. Proposal does not involve a consolidation of properties 0 points;

    b. Proposal involves a consolidation of 2-4 properties 5 points;

    c. Proposal involves a consolidation of 5 or more properties 10 points.

    13. Energy Conservation, Energy Generation, and Green Property Management. Project may receive a maximum total of not more than a combined 42 points under three categories: Energy Conservation, Energy Generation, and Green Property Management. 42 Points

    a. Energy Conservation. Under the MPR Energy Initiatives, projects participating in the Green Communities program by the Enterprise Community Partners, http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/solutions-and-innovation/enterprise-greencommunities, will be awarded 40 points for any project that qualifies for the program provided at least 30 percent of the points needed to qualify for the Green Communities program are being earned under the Energy Efficiency section of the Green Communities program. Participation in Green Communities has an initial checklist indicating prerequisites for participation. Each applicant must provide a checklist establishing that the prerequisites for each program's participation will be met. Additional points will be awarded for checklists that achieve higher levels of energy efficiency certification as set forth in paragraph 2 below. All checklists must be accompanied by a signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer stating that the goals are achievable. 40 Points

    b. Other Energy Conservation. If you are not enrolling in the Green Communities program, then points can be accumulated for each of the following items up to a total of 30 points. Provide documentation to substantiate your answers below: documentation may include a signed statement agreeing to replace the items, when needed, with Energy Star rated items.

    i. This proposal includes the replacement of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment with Energy Star qualified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. 4 points

    ii. This proposal includes the replacement of windows and doors with Energy Star qualified windows and doors. 4 points

    iii. This proposal includes additional attic and wall insulation that exceeds the required R-Value of these building elements for your areas as per the International Energy Conservation Code 2012. Three points will be awarded if all exterior walls exceed insulation code, and 2 points will be awarded if attic insulation exceeds code for a maximum of 5 points.

    iv. This proposal includes the reduction in building shell air leakage by at least 15 percent as determined by pre- and post-rehab blower door testing on a sample of units. Building shell air leakage may be reduced through materials such as caulk, spray foam, gaskets, and house-wrap. Sealing of duct work with mastic, foil-backed tape, or aerosolized duct sealants can also help reduce air leakage. 4 points

    v. This proposal includes 100 percent of installed appliances and exhaust fans that are Energy Star qualified. 3 points

    vi. This proposal includes 100 percent of installed water heaters that are

    vii. Energy Star qualified. 3 points

    viii. This proposal included replacement of 100 percent of toilets with flush capacity of more than 1.6 gallon flush capacity with new toilets having 1.6 gallon flush capacity or less, and with Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Water Sense label. 2 points

    ix. This proposal includes 100 percent of new showerheads with EPA Water Sense label. 2 points

    x. This proposal included 100 percent of new faucets with EPA Water Sense label. 1 point

    xi. This proposal included 100 percent energy-efficient lighting including, but not limited to, Energy Star qualified fixtures, compact fluorescent replacement bulbs in standard incandescent fixtures and Energy Star ceiling fans. 2 points

    AND

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

    14. Energy Generation (Maximum 5 Points).

    Pre-applications which participate in the Green Communities program by the Enterprise Community Partners, or receive at least 20 points for Energy Conservation measures, are eligible to earn additional points for installation of on-site renewable energy sources. Renewable, on-site energy generation will complement a weather-tight, well-insulated building envelope with highly efficient mechanical systems. Possible renewable energy generation technologies include, but are not limited to: wind turbines and micro-turbines, micro-hydro power, photovoltaic (capable of producing a voltage when exposed to radiant energy, especially light), solar hot water systems and biomass/biofuel systems that do not use fossil fuels in production. Geo-exchange systems are highly encouraged as they lessen the total demand for energy and, if supplemented with other renewable energy sources, can achieve zero energy consumption more easily.

    Points under this paragraph will be awarded as follows. Projects with preliminary or rehabilitation building plans and energy analysis that propose a 10 percent to 100 percent energy generation commitment (where generation is considered to be the total amount of energy needed to be generated on-site to make the building a net-zero consumer of energy) may be awarded points corresponding to their percent of commitment as follows:

    a. 10 to 20 percent commitment to energy generation receives 1 point;

    b. 21 to 40 percent commitment to energy generation receives 2 points;

    c. 41 to 60 percent commitment to energy generation receives 3 points;

    d. 61 to 80 percent commitment to energy generation receives 4 points;

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

    In order to receive more than 1 point for this energy generation paragraph, an accurate energy analysis prepared by an engineer will need to be submitted with the pre-application. Energy analysis of preliminary building plans using industry-recognized simulation software must document the projected total energy consumption of the building, the portion of building consumption which will be satisfied through on-site generation, and the building's Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score.

    15. Green Property Management Credentials (5 Points).

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

    16. Sponsor Bonus.

    Pre-applications submitted solely by an Indian tribe or non-profit Organization as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11 and providing appropriate documentation with the pre-application will receive an additional 10 points.

    The Agency will total the points awarded to each pre-application and rank them according to their respective total score. If point totals are equal, the earliest time and date the pre-application was received by the Agency will determine the ranking. In the event pre-applications are still tied, they will be further ranked by giving priority to those projects with the earliest Rural Development operational date as defined under section V A 7.

    B. Confirmation of Eligibility.

    For pre-applications submitted under this Notice requesting debt deferral only of the eligible Section 515 or Section 514 loans, the Agency will conduct eligibility determinations on an ongoing basis, and eligible applicants will be authorized to proceed, subject to the availability of appropriated funds under the MPR program.

    For pre-applications submitted under this Notice, eligibility will be confirmed after ranking is completed. If one or more of the pre-applications is determined ineligible then the next highest-scoring pre-application will be confirmed for eligibility.

    If one or more of the pre-applications is a portfolio transaction, eligibility determinations will be conducted on each pre-application associated with the portfolio. Should any of the pre-applications associated with the portfolio be determined ineligible, those ineligible pre-application(s) will be rejected, but the overall eligibility of the portfolio will not be affected as long as the requirements in Section I and other provisions of this Notice are met, as determined by the Agency.

    If one or more of the pre-applications in a State is a project consolidation, and one of the projects involved in the consolidation does not meet the occupancy standards cited in Section III A (4) and (5), that project(s) will be determined ineligible and eliminated from the proposed consolidation transaction.

    1. Award Administration Information.

    A. Selection of Pre-Applications for Further Processing.

    For pre-applications submitted under this Notice and requesting debt deferral only, the Agency will complete the eligibility confirmations on an ongoing basis and authorize those applicants determined eligible to proceed, subject to the availability of appropriated funds under the MPR program.

    B. Pre-Application Selection.

    State offices will score complete pre-applications, received on or prior to the submission deadlines in the “DATES” section of this Notice, using the criteria in Section “V. Application Review Information” in this Notice. State Offices will process the pre-applications selected under this Notice to submit an application in “highest score to lowest score” order. Pre-applications selected under this Notice to submit an application that request and receive application submission extensions will not be processed in “highest score to lowest score” order. Rather, they will be processed after those pre-applications selected under this Notice to submit an application not requesting extensions and in the order their complete application is received by the State Office.

    Those eligible pre-applications that are ranked and then selected for further processing will be invited to submit a formal application on SF 424, “Application for Federal Assistance.” Applications (SF 424s) can be obtained and completed online. An electronic version of this form may be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/SF424.PDF. Refer to Section VIII of this Notice, below, for a link to all Rural Development State Offices.

    Applicants rejected will be notified that their pre-applications were not selected and advised of their appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11.

    Awards made under this Notice are subject to the provisions contained in the Agriculture, Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113235, Division E, Title 1, sections 744 and 745, regarding corporate felony convictions and corporate federal tax delinquencies. In accordance with those provisions, only selected applicants that are or propose to be corporations need submit the following form as part of their MPR formal application; such applicants must submit an executed form AD-3030, which can be found online at: http://www.ocio.usda.gov/document/ad3030.

    If a pre-application is accepted for further processing, the applicant must submit additional information needed to demonstrate eligibility and feasibility (such as a CNA), consistent with this Notice and other pertinent RRH or FLH transfer and program provisions consistent with 7 CFR part 3560, prior to the issuance of any MPR offer. In the case of transfers, the transferee must comply with the requirements of 7 CFR 3560.406 including all Agency approval and closing conditions prior to closing any of the MPR tools. The Agency will provide additional guidance to the applicant and request information and documents necessary to complete the underwriting and review process. Since the character of each application may vary substantially depending on the type of transaction proposed, information requirements will be provided as appropriate.

    Complete project information must be submitted as soon as possible, but in no case later than 45 calendar days from the date of Agency notification of the applicant's selection for further processing. MPR transfer applicants must submit a preliminary transfer request as required by 7 CFR 3560.406 (c) within 45 days of the RD notification and will be allowed a total of 180 days in which to submit the final transfer MPR application. If the State Office determines there exists compelling reasons the full transfer application cannot be delivered within the stated timeframe and upon the receipt of the applicant's written request the MPR due date may be extended for an additional period of 90 days (Section VI. B. will apply). Any extensions beyond the former must recommended by the State Office and concurred by the HQ Review Underwriter assigned to the State.

    Notwithstanding the aforementioned, any pre-applications selected under this Notice's, will be considered withdrawn on December 31, 2018, if not approved by the Agency. These deadlines will not be extended, so please plan your transaction's timeline accordingly. Applicants may reapply for funding under future rounds and/or Notices as they may be made available.

    Failure to submit the required information in a timely manner will result in the Agency discontinuing the processing of the request.

    The Agency will work with the applicants selected for further processing in accordance with the following:

    a. Based on the feasibility of the type of transaction that will best suit the project and the availability of funds, further eligibility confirmation determinations will be conducted by the Agency.

    b. If an Agency-approved CNA has not already been submitted to the Agency, an Agency-approved CNA will be required (see 7 CFR 3560.103(c) and the Agency's published “Guidance on the Capital Needs Assessment Process” available at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/housing-preservation-revitalizationdemonstration-loans-grants and the CNA Statement of Work together with any non-conflicting amendments). Agency-approved CNAs must be prepared by a qualified independent contractor, and are obtained to determine needed repairs and any necessary adjustments to the reserve account for long-term project viability.

    c. Underwriting will be conducted by the Agency. The feasibility and structure of each revitalization proposal will be based on the Agency's underwriting and determination of the MPR funding tools that will minimize the cost to the Government consistent with the purposes of this Notice.

    C. MPR Offers.

    Approved MPR offers will be presented to successful applicants who will then have up to 15 calendar days to accept or reject the offer in writing. If no offer is made or if the applicant fails to accept or reject the offer presented, the application will be rejected and appeal rights will be given. Closing of MPR offers will occur within six months of the obligation of MPR tools unless extended in writing by the Agency. All Offers are explicitly made subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Should sufficient funds not be available at any time to funds any authorized MPR offers for which funds have not been obligated, including those with only transfer debt deferral, the Agency may notify the applicant accordingly and the authorization may be cancelled.

    VI. Non-Discrimination Statement

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

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

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

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

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

    (3) email: [email protected]

    VII. Award Agency Contacts

    USDA Rural Development MFH State Office contacts can be found at: http://rd.udsa.gov/contact-us/state-offices. (Note: Telephone numbers listed are not toll-free.)

    Appropriation Act funding will be posted on the Rural Development Web site.

    All adverse determinations are appealable pursuant to 7 CFR part 11. Instructions on the appeal process will be provided at the time an applicant is notified of the adverse action.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Richard A. Davis, Acting Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18753 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; 2017-2019 Business Research and Development Surveys AGENCY:

    U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written or on-line comments must be submitted on or before November 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Michael Flaherty, U.S. Census Bureau, HQ-6H149, 4600 Silver Hill Rd., Suitland, MD 20746, (301) 763-7699 (or via the internet at [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The U.S. Census Bureau, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), plans to conduct the Business Research and Development Survey (BRDS) for the 2017-2019 survey years (collected in calendar years 2018-2020). The BRDS covers all domestic, non-farm, for-profit businesses with at least 10 paid employees. The BRDS provides the only comprehensive data on Research and Development (R&D) costs and detailed expenses by type and industry.

    The Census Bureau has conducted an R&D survey since 1957 (the Survey of Industrial Research and Development (SIRD) from 1957-2007 and the Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) from 2008-2016), collecting primarily financial information on the systematic work companies undertake to discover new knowledge or use existing knowledge to develop new or improved goods and services.

    From 2008-2015, the BRDIS collected R&D and innovation data from companies with five or more employees. In 2016, the BRDIS collected R&D and innovation data from companies with at least one paid employee. Beginning in 2017, the BRDS will no longer collect innovation data and only companies with at least 10 paid employees will be in scope. The Census Bureau will continue to collect R&D data from companies with fewer than 10 employees, and innovation data from all companies, however, beginning in 2017, these data will be collected on a different survey.

    The 2017-2019 BRDS will continue to collect the following types of information:

    • R&D expense based on accepted accounting standards.

    • Worldwide R&D of domestic companies.

    • Business segment detail.

    • R&D-related capital expenditures.

    • Detailed data about the R&D workforce.

    • R&D strategy and data on the potential impact of R&D on the market.

    • R&D directed to application areas of particular national interest.

    • Data measuring intellectual property protection activities and technology transfer.

    Domestic and foreign researchers in academia, business, and government analyze and cite data from the BRDS. Among the federal government users are the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). BEA includes R&D in the system of national accounts that measures the economic well-being of the country. BRDS data are key inputs into these accounts, which feed into the calculation of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The White House, in 2006, issued the American Competitiveness Initiative to “increase investments in research and development, strengthen education, and encourage entrepreneurship.” In support of this initiative and in response to legislative mandates, data on R&D are delivered to OSTP, primarily in the biennial National Science Board report Science and Engineering Indicators. Also, the National Science Foundation (NSF) produces a series of publications containing R&D data including the National Patterns of R&D Resources series, the S&E State Profile series, and the annual Business R&D and Innovation series. Special reports and other publications are also prepared.

    II. Method of Collection

    Beginning in 2017, the BRDS will follow a primarily electronic collection strategy. The BRD-1 form will be available on the Web site to assist respondents with gathering the required data prior to reporting online. Paper forms will also be sent to respondents upon request, however no paper forms will be included in initial mail packets. The online survey automatically skips questions that do not apply [based on previous responses] and checks for common errors. Links to detailed question-by-question instructions will be embedded in the electronic instrument. Excel spreadsheets are available to facilitate the electronic collection of information from various areas of the companies. Respondents have the capability to download the spreadsheets from the Census Bureau's Web site. A consolidator spreadsheet is also available to assist companies that need to gather information from business units and then compile the information into one company report.

    The due date will be six weeks after mail out.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0912.

    Form Number: BRD-1.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: All domestic, non-farm, for-profit (public or private) businesses with at least 10 paid employees.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 45,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 3.3 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 148,600.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost: $0.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 8(b), 131, and 182; and Title 42, United States Code, Sections 1861-76 (National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended).

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Sheleen Dumas, Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18656 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance AGENCY:

    Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and opportunity for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to section 251 of the Trade Act 1974, as amended, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of these firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firm's workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    List of Petitions Received by EDA for Certification Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance [8/15/2017 through 8/23/2017] Firm name Firm address Date

  • accepted for
  • investigation
  • Product(s) Lemfco, Inc 100 South Commerce Street, Galena, IL 61036 8/15/2017 The firm manufactures iron castings of up to 70 pounds. Twin Oaks Industries, Inc 2001 West Grand Avenue, Salina, KS 67401 8/18/2017 The firm manufactures customized metal fabricated products, primarily of carbon steel and aluminum steel. Optics Technology, Inc 3800 Monroe Avenue, Suite 6, Pittsford, NY 14534 8/16/2017 The firm manufactures micro-optics and mechanics for high resolution imaging. Mid-Mountain Materials, Inc 2731 77th Avenue Southeast, Suite 100; Box 800, Mercer Island, WA 98040 8/18/2017 The firm manufactures precision coated fiberglass fabric, high-temperature resistant textiles and thermal insulation materials. RPM Industries, Inc. d/b/a Promold Plastics 91 Main Street, Portland, CT 06480 8/23/2017 The firm manufactures custom parts and molds.

    Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice.

    Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA's regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms.

    Irette Patterson, Program Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18638 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-WH-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security [Docket No. 170802716-7716-01] National Defense Stockpile Market Impact Committee Request for Public Comments on the Potential Market Impact of the Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Materials Plan AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of inquiry; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The purpose of this notice is to advise the public that the National Defense Stockpile Market Impact Committee, co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, is seeking public comments on the potential market impact of the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Stockpile Annual Materials Plan. The role of the Market Impact Committee is to advise the National Defense Stockpile Manager on the projected domestic and foreign economic effects of all acquisitions, conversions, and disposals involving the stockpile and related material research and development projects. Public comments are an important element of the Committee's market impact review process.

    DATES:

    To be considered, written comments must be received by October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Address all comments concerning this notice to Eric Longnecker, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 3876, Washington, DC 20230, fax: (202) 482-5650 (Attn: Eric Longnecker), email: [email protected]; and Landon Derentz, Energy Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Energy Resources, 2201 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20520, fax: (202) 647-4037 (Attn: Landon Derentz), email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Parya Fenton, Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, telephone: (202) 482-8228, fax: (202) 482-5650 (Attn: Parya Fenton), email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Under the authority of the Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Revision Act of 1979, as amended (the Stock Piling Act) (50 U.S.C. 98 et seq.), the Department of Defense's Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), as National Defense Stockpile Manager, maintains a stockpile of strategic and critical materials to supply the military, industrial, and essential civilian needs of the United States for national defense. Section 9(b)(2)(G)(ii) of the Stock Piling Act (50 U.S.C. 98(h)(b)(2)(G)(ii)) authorizes the National Defense Stockpile Manager to fund material research and development projects to develop new materials for the stockpile.

    Section 3314 of the Fiscal Year (FY) 1993 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (50 U.S.C. 98h-1) formally established a Market Impact Committee (the Committee) to “advise the National Defense Stockpile Manager on the projected domestic and foreign economic effects of all acquisitions and disposals of materials from the stockpile. . . .” The Committee must also balance market impact concerns with the statutory requirement to protect the U.S. Government against avoidable loss.

    The Committee is comprised of representatives from the Departments of Commerce, State, Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Interior, the Treasury, and Homeland Security, and is co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State. The FY 1993 NDAA directs the Committee to consult with industry representatives that produce, process, or consume the materials stored in or of interest to the National Defense Stockpile Manager.

    As the National Defense Stockpile Manager, the DLA must produce an Annual Materials Plan proposing the maximum quantity of each listed material that may be acquired, disposed of, upgraded, converted, recovered, or sold by the DLA in a particular fiscal year. In Attachment 1, the DLA lists the quantities and type of activity (potential acquisition, potential disposal, potential upgrade, potential conversion, potential recovery, or potential sale) associated with each material in its proposed FY 2019 Annual Materials Plan (“AMP”). The quantities listed in Attachment 1 are not acquisition, disposal, upgrade, conversion, recovery, or sales target quantities, but rather a statement of the proposed maximum quantity of each listed material that may be acquired, disposed of, upgraded, converted, recovered, or sold in a particular fiscal year by the DLA, as noted. The quantity of each material that will actually be acquired or offered for sale will depend on the market for the material at the time of the acquisition or offering, as well as on the quantity of each material approved for acquisition, disposal, conversion, recovery, or upgrade by Congress.

    The Committee is seeking public comments on the potential market impact associated with the proposed FY 2019 AMP as enumerated in Attachment 1. Public comments are an important element of the Committee's market impact review process.

    Submission of Comments

    The Committee requests that interested parties provide written comments, supporting data and documentation, and any other relevant information on the potential market impact of the quantities associated with the proposed FY 2019 AMP. All comments must be submitted to the addresses indicated in this notice. All comments submitted through email must include the phrase “Market Impact Committee Notice of Inquiry” in the subject line.

    The Committee encourages interested persons who wish to comment to do so at the earliest possible time. The period for submission of comments will close on October 5, 2017. The Committee will consider all comments received before the close of the comment period. Comments received after the end of the comment period will be considered, if possible, but their consideration cannot be assured.

    All comments submitted in response to this notice will be made a matter of public record and will be available for public inspection and copying. Anyone submitting business confidential information should clearly identify the business confidential portion of the submission and also provide a non-confidential submission that can be placed in the public record. The Committee will seek to protect such information to the extent permitted by law.

    The Office of Administration, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, displays public comments on the BIS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Web site at http://www.bis.doc.gov/foia. This office does not maintain a separate public inspection facility. If you have technical difficulties accessing this Web site, please call BIS's Office of Administration at (202) 482-1900 for assistance.

    Dated: August 25, 2017. Richard Ashooh, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration. Attachment 1 Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Materials Plan Material Unit Quantity Footnote Potential Disposals: Beryllium Metal ST 6 Chromium, Ferro ST 23,500 Chromium, Metal ST 200 Germanium Scrap kg 5,000 Manganese, Ferro ST 50,000 Manganese, Metallurgical Grade SDT 322,025 (1) Nickel Based Alloys Lbs 150,000 Platinum Tr Oz 8,380 PGM—Iridium Tr Oz 489 Tantalum Carbide Powder Lb Ta 3,777 Tantalum Scrap Lbs 190 Titanium Based Alloys Lbs 75,000 Tungsten Metal Powder LB W 275,738 (1) Tungsten Ores and Concentrates LB W 3,000,000 Zinc ST 7,993 Potential Acquisitions: Antimony MT 1,100 Boron Carbide MT 1,000 High Modulus High Strength Carbon Fibers MT 72 Carbon Fibers m2 5,000 CZT (Cadmium Zinc Tellurium substrates) cm2 32,000 Dysprosium MT 0.5 Electrolytic Manganese Metal MT 3,000 Europium MT 35 Ferro-niobium MT 209 Lithium Ion Precursors kg 19,000 Rare Earths Elements MT 416 (3) Rare Earth Magnet Feedstock MT 100 (3) Rayon MT 600 Silicon Carbide Fibers Lbs 875 TATB (Triamino-Trinitrobenzene) LB 48,000 Tantalum Lb Ta 33,990 Tin MT 40 Tungsten Rhenium Metal kg 5,000 Yttrium Oxide MT 10 Potential Conversions (Upgrade, rotation, reprocessing, etc.): Beryllium Metal ST 5 CZT (Cadmium Zinc Tellurium substrates) cm2 32,000 High Modulus High Strength Carbon Fibers MT 72 Dysprosium MT 0.5 Europium MT 35 Germanium Scrap kg 5,000 Iridium Catalyst Lbs 50 Rare Earths Elements MT 416 (3) Silicon Carbide Fibers Lbs 875 Tin MT 804 Potential Recovery from Government Sources: Bearing Steel MT 50 E-Waste MT 50 (2) Gadolinium Oxide MT 4 Germanium (Scrap) kg 5,000 Iridium Catalyst (Scrap) Lbs 50 Lithium Ion Precursors MT 25 Magnesium Metal MT 10 Nickel Based Alloys Lbs 150,000 Rare Earth Elements—Magnets MT 100 Rhenium Metal kg 500 Permanent Magnet Alloys kg 500 Tantalum MT 10 Titanium Based Alloys (Scrap) Lbs 75,000 Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Rods (Scrap) kg 250 Zirconia Oxide MT 4 Footnote Key: 1 Actual quantity will be limited to remaining inventory. 2 Strategic and Critical Materials collected from E-Waste. 3 Excludes acquisition of yttrium, dysprosium and europium as these rare earths were requested under separate legislation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18664 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-489-832] Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Preliminary Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, in Part AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of carbon and alloy steel wire rod (wire rod) from the Republic of Turkey (Turkey). The period of investigation is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Applicable September 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Justin Neuman or Omar Qureshi, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3813 or (202) 482-7438, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    This preliminary determination is made in accordance with section 703(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on April 26, 2017.1 On June 5, 2017, the Department postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation and the revised deadline is now August 25, 2017.2 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.3 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Italy and Turkey: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations, 82 FR 19213 (April 26, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Italy and the Republic of Turkey: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Countervailing Duty Investigations, 82 FR 25771 (June 5, 2017).

    3See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from the Republic of Turkey,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is wire rod from Turkey. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the preamble to the Department's regulations,4 the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage, (i.e. , scope).5 Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice as well as additional language proposed by the Department. For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the record for this preliminary determination, and accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.6 The Department is not preliminarily modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. See scope in Appendix I.

    4See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    5See Initiation Notice, 82 FR at 19214.

    6See Memorandum, “Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, Italy, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations,” dated August 7, 2017 (Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Act. For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, the Department preliminarily determines that there is a subsidy, i.e. , a financial contribution by an “authority” that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.7

    7See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    The Department notes that, in making these findings, it relied, in part, on facts available and, because it finds that one or more respondents did not act to the best of their ability to respond to the Department's requests for information, it drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.8 For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    8See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part

    In accordance with section 703(e)(1) of the Act, the Department preliminarily determines that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of wire rod for all other exporters or producers not individually examined. For a full description of the methodology and results of the Department's analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    All-Others Rate

    Sections 703(d) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act provide that in the preliminary determination, the Department shall determine an estimated all-others rate for companies not individually examined. This rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated subsidy rates established for those companies individually examined, excluding any zero and de minimis rates and any rates based entirely under section 776 of the Act. In this investigation, the only rate that is not zero, de minimis or based entirely on facts otherwise available is the rate calculated for Habas Sinai Ve Tibbi Gazlar Istih (Habas). Consequently, the rate calculated for Habas is also assigned as the rate for all-other producers and exporters.

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following estimated countervailable subsidy rates exist:

    Company Subsidy rate Habas Sinai Ve Tibbi Gazlar Istih 2.27 percent. Icdas Celik Eberji Tersane Ve Ulasim San (Icdas) de minimis. All-Others 2.27 percent. Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(B) and (d)(2) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of entries of subject merchandise as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Further, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the rates indicated above. Because the subsidy rate for Icdas is de minimis, the Department is directing CBP not to suspend liquidation of entries of the merchandise from this company.

    Section 703(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of (a) the date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered, or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. The Department preliminarily finds that critical circumstances exist for “all other” exporters or producers of subject merchandise. In accordance with section 703(e)(2)(A) of the Act, the suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise from the exporters/producers identified in this paragraph that were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice.

    Disclosure

    The Department intends to disclose its calculations and analysis performed to interested parties in this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement, or if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, the Department intends to verify the information relied upon in making its final determination.

    Public Comment

    Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the last verification report is issued in this investigation. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.9 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this investigation are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    9 See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, limited to issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, whether any participant is a foreign national, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, the Department will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its determination. If the final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after the final determination.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: August 25, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation are certain hot-rolled products of carbon steel and alloy steel, in coils, of approximately round cross section, less than 19.00 mm in actual solid cross-sectional diameter. Specifically excluded are steel products possessing the above-noted physical characteristics and meeting the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) definitions for (a) stainless steel; (b) tool steel; (c) high-nickel steel; (d) ball bearing steel; or (e) concrete reinforcing bars and rods. Also excluded are free cutting steel (also known as free machining steel) products (i.e. , products that contain by weight one or more of the following elements: 0.1 percent or more of lead, 0.05 percent or more of bismuth, 0.08 percent or more of sulfur, more than 0.04 percent of phosphorous, more than 0.05 percent of selenium, or more than 0.01 percent of tellurium). All products meeting the physical description of subject merchandise that are not specifically excluded are included in this scope.

    The products under investigation are currently classifiable under subheadings 7213.91.3011, 7213.91.3015, 7213.91.3020, 7213.91.3093, 7213.91.4500, 7213.91.6000, 7213.99.0030, 7227.20.0030, 7227.20.0080, 7227.90.6010, 7227.90.6020, 7227.90.6030, and 7227.90.6035 of the HTSUS. Products entered under subheadings 7213.99.0090 and 7227.90.6090 of the HTSUS also may be included in this scope if they meet the physical description of subject merchandise above. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this proceeding is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Respondent Selection VI. Injury Test VII. Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances VIII. Subsidies Valuation IX. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences X. Analysis of Programs XI. ITC Notification XII. Disclosure and Public Comment XIII. Verification XIV. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2017-18640 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-475-837] Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Italy: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of carbon and alloy steel wire rod (wire rod) from Italy. The period of investigation is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Applicable September 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Yasmin Bordas or John Corrigan, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3813 or (202) 482-7438, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This preliminary determination is made in accordance with section 703(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on April 26, 2017.1 On June 5, 2017, the Department postponed the preliminary determination of this investigation and the revised deadline is now August 25, 2017.2 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.3 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix II to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Italy and Turkey: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations, 82 FR 19213 (April 26, 2017) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Italy and the Republic of Turkey: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Countervailing Duty Investigations, 82 FR 25771 (June 5, 2017).

    3See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Determination of the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Italy,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is wire rod from Italy. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix I.

    Scope Comments

    In accordance with the preamble to the Department's regulations,4 the Initiation Notice set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage, (i.e., scope).5 Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice as well as additional language proposed by the Department. For a summary of the product coverage comments and rebuttal responses submitted to the record for this preliminary determination, and accompanying discussion and analysis of all comments timely received, see the Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum.6 The Department is not preliminarily modifying the scope language as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. See scope in Appendix I.

    4See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    5See Initiation Notice, 82 FR at 19214.

    6See Memorandum, “Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, Italy, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom: Scope Comments Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determinations,” dated August 7, 2017 (Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Act. For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, the Department preliminarily determines that there is a subsidy, i.e., a financial contribution by an “authority” that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.7

    7See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    The Department notes that, in making these findings, it relied, in part, on facts available and, because it finds that one or more respondents did not act to the best of their ability to respond to the Department's requests for information, it drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.8 For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    8See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    All-Others Rate

    Sections 703(d) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act provide that in the preliminary determination, the Department shall determine an estimated all-others rate for companies not individually examined. This rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated subsidy rates established for those companies individually examined, excluding any zero and de minimis rates and any rates based entirely under section 776 of the Act. In this investigation, the Department preliminarily assigned a rate based entirely on facts available to Ferriera Valsider S.p.A. (Ferriera Valsider). Therefore, the only rate that is not zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, is the rate calculated for Ferriere Nord S.p.A. (Ferriere Nord). Consequently, the rate calculated for Ferriere Nord is also assigned as the rate for all-other producers and exporters.

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following estimated countervailable subsidy rates exist:

    9 As discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, the Department has found the following companies to be cross-owned with Ferriere Nord: FIN FER S.p.A.; Acciaierie di Verona S.p.A.; and SIAT S.p.A.

    Company Subsidy
  • rate
  • (percent)
  • Ferriere Nord S.p.A.9 1.70 Ferriera Valsider S.p.A 44.18 All-Others 1.70
    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(B) and (d)(2) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of entries of subject merchandise as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Further, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the rates indicated above.

    Disclosure

    The Department intends to disclose its calculations and analysis performed to interested parties in this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement, or if there is no public announcement, within five days of the date of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, the Department intends to verify the information relied upon in making its final determination.

    Public Comment

    Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the last verification report is issued in this investigation. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.10 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this investigation are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    10See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, limited to issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, whether any participant is a foreign national, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, the Department will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its determination. If the final determination is affirmative, the ITC will determine before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after the final determination.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: August 25, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation are certain hot-rolled products of carbon steel and alloy steel, in coils, of approximately round cross section, less than 19.00 mm in actual solid cross-sectional diameter. Specifically excluded are steel products possessing the above-noted physical characteristics and meeting the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) definitions for (a) stainless steel; (b) tool steel; (c) high-nickel steel; (d) ball bearing steel; or (e) concrete reinforcing bars and rods. Also excluded are free cutting steel (also known as free machining steel) products (i.e., products that contain by weight one more of the following elements: 0.1 percent or more of lead, 0.05 percent or more of bismuth, 0.08 percent or more of sulfur, more than 0.04 percent of phosphorous, more than 0.05 percent of selenium, or more than 0.01 percent of tellurium). All products meeting the physical description of subject merchandise that are not specifically excluded are included in this scope.

    The products under investigation are currently classifiable under subheadings 7213.91.3011, 7213.91.3015, 7213.91.3020, 7213.91.3093, 7213.91.4500, 7213.91.6000, 7213.99.0030, 7227.20.0030, 7227.20.0080, 7227.90.6010, 7227.90.6020, 7227.90.6030, and 7227.90.6035 of the HTSUS. Products entered under subheadings 7213.99.0090 and 7227.90.6090 of the HTSUS also may be included in this scope if they meet the physical description of subject merchandise above. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this proceeding is dispositive.

    Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Respondent Selection VI. Injury Test VII. Subsidies Valuation VIII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences IX. Analysis of Programs X. ITC Notification XI. Disclosure and Public Comment XII. Verification XIII. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2017-18641 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-588-854] Certain Tin Mill Products From Japan: Final Results of the Expedited Third Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of this sunset review, the Department of Commerce (the Department) finds that revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain tin mill products (tin mill products) from Japan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping at the levels indicated in the “Final Results of Sunset Reviews” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Applicable September 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Yasmin Bordas, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3813.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On May 1, 2017, the Department published the notice of initiation of the third sunset review of the antidumping duty order on tin mill products from Japan, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).1 On May 11, 2017, the Department received a notice of intent to participate in this review from ArcelorMittal USA LLC, and on May 15, 2017, the Department received a notice of intent to participate in this review from United States Steel Corporation (collectively, domestic interested parties), within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i). These domestic interested parties claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act, as manufacturers of a domestic like product in the United States.

    1See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews, 82 FR 20314 (May 1, 2017).

    On May 31, 2017, we received complete substantive responses for this review from the domestic interested parties within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i). We received no substantive responses from respondent interested parties, nor was a hearing requested. As a result, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2), the Department is conducting an expedited (120-day) sunset review of the order.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the antidumping duty order are tin mill flat-rolled products that are coated or plated with tin, chromium or chromium oxides. Flat-rolled steel products coated with tin are known as tin plate. Flat-rolled steel products coated with chromium or chromium oxides are known as tin-free steel or electrolytic chromium-coated steel. The merchandise covered by the order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), under HTSUS subheadings 7210.11.0000, 7210.12.0000, 7210.50.0000, 7212.10.0000, and 7212.50.0000 if of non-alloy steel and under HTSUS subheadings 7225.99.0090, and 7226.99.0180 if of alloy steel. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description of the scope of the order remains dispositive.2

    2 A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the memorandum to Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Tin Mill Products from Japan” (Issues and Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with these results and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this review, including the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping in the event of revocation and the magnitude of the margins likely to prevail if the order were revoked, are addressed in the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Final Results of Sunset Review

    Pursuant to sections 751(c)(1) and 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, we determine that revocation of the antidumping duty order on tin mill products from Japan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping, and that the magnitude of the dumping margins likely to prevail would be weighted-average dumping margins up to 95.29 percent.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to an administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    We are issuing and publishing these results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. History of the Order V. Legal Framework VI. Discussion of the Issues 1. Likelihood of Continuation or Recurrence of Dumping 2. Magnitude of the Margins Likely to Prevail VII. Final Results of Sunset Review VIII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-18729 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Finance Advisory Council; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Finance Advisory Council (TFAC or Council) will hold a meeting via teleconference on Monday, September 18, 2017. The meeting is open to the public with registration instructions provided below.

    The TFAC was chartered on August 11, 2016, to advise the Secretary in identifying effective ways to help expand access to finance for U.S. exporters, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, and their foreign buyers.

    DATES:

    Monday, September 18, 2017, from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The deadline for members of the public to register, including requests for auxiliary aids, or to submit written comments for dissemination prior to the meeting, is 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 11, 2017. The final agenda will be posted on the Department of Commerce Web site for TFAC at http://trade.gov/tfac, at least one week in advance of the meeting.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held by conference call. The call-in number and passcode will be provided by email to registrants. Requests to register (including for auxiliary aids) and any written comments should be submitted via email to [email protected], or by mail to Ericka Ukrow, Office of Finance and Insurance Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Finance Advisory Council, Room 18002, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Members of the public are encouraged to submit registration requests and written comments via email to ensure timely receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ericka Ukrow, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Finance and Insurance Industries (OFII), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce at (202) 482-0405; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On July 25, 2016, the Secretary of Commerce established the TFAC pursuant to discretionary authority and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. The TFAC advises the Secretary of Commerce in identifying effective ways to help expand access to finance for U.S. exporters, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their foreign buyers. The TFAC also provides a forum to facilitate the discussion between a diverse groups of stakeholders such as banks, non-bank financial institutions, other trade finance related organizations, and exporters, to gain a better understanding regarding current challenges facing U.S. exporters in accessing finance.

    During the meeting on September 18, 2017, TFAC members are expected to deliberate and potentially adopt a letter outlining its recommendation for Secretary of Commerce on “Increasing Credit Capacity for U.S. SME Exporters.” A copy of the draft recommendation can be made available upon request to Ericka Ukrow at (202) 482-0405; email: [email protected]

    II. Public Participation

    The meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible to people with disabilities.

    All guests are required to register in advance by the deadline identified under the DATES caption. Requests to register (including to speak or for auxiliary aids) and any written comments should be submitted, by the registration deadline, as explained under the ADDRESSES caption. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may not be possible to fill. There will be fifteen minutes allotted for oral comments from members of the public. Any member of the public may submit pertinent written comments concerning matters relevant to the TFAC's affairs at any time before or after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to Ericka Ukrow, at the contact information indicated above. To be considered during the meeting, comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 11, 2017, to ensure transmission to the Council prior to the meeting. Comments received after that date and time will be distributed to the members but may not be considered on the call. Comments and statements will be posted on the U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Finance Advisory Council Web site (http://trade.gov/TFAC) without change, including any business or personal information provided such as names, addresses, email addresses, or telephone numbers.

    All comments and statements received, including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. You should submit only information that you are prepared to have made publicly available.

    III. Meeting Minutes

    Copies of TFAC meeting minutes will be available within 90 days of the meeting.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Paul Thanos, Director, Office of Finance and Insurance Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18655 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee; Notice of a Meeting AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC) will hold a meeting on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at the U.S. Department of Commerce Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public with registration instructions provided below.

    DATES:

    November 16, 2017, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Members of the public wishing to participate must register in advance with Victoria Gunderson at the contact information below by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 10, 2017, in order to pre-register, including any requests to make comments during the meeting or for accommodations or auxiliary aids.

    ADDRESSES:

    To register, please contact Victoria Gunderson, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries (OEEI), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce at (202) 482-7890; email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Victoria Gunderson, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries (OEEI), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce at (202) 482-7890; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Secretary of Commerce established the REEEAC pursuant to discretionary authority and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), on July 14, 2010. The REEEAC was re-chartered most recently on June 9, 2016. The REEEAC provides the Secretary of Commerce with consensus advice from the private sector on the development and administration of programs and policies to expand the export competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services.

    On November 16, the REEEAC will hold the third in-person meeting of its new charter term and hold REEEAC sub-committee working sessions, discuss next steps for each sub-committee (Export Competitiveness, Market Access, and Finance), consider recommendations for approval, and hear from officials from the Department of Commerce and other agencies on major issues affecting the competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. Agenda will be made available by November 1 upon request.

    The meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible to people with disabilities. All guests are required to register in advance by the deadline identified under the DATES caption. Requests for auxiliary aids must be submitted by the registration deadline. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill.

    A limited amount of time before the close of the meeting will be available for oral comments from members of the public attending the meeting. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two to five minutes per person (depending on number of public participants). Individuals wishing to reserve speaking time during the meeting must contact Ms. Gunderson and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the comments, as well as the name and address of the proposed participant by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 10, 2017. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the meeting, the International Trade Administration may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers. Speakers are requested to submit a copy of their oral comments by email to Ms. Gunderson for distribution to the participants in advance of the meeting.

    Any member of the public may submit written comments concerning the REEEAC's affairs at any time before or after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, c/o: Victoria Gunderson, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce; 1401 Constitution Avenue NW.; Mail Stop: 4053; Washington, DC 20230. To be considered during the meeting, written comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 10, 2017, to ensure transmission to the REEEAC prior to the meeting. Comments received after that date will be distributed to the members but may not be considered at the meeting.

    Copies of REEEAC meeting minutes will be available within 30 days following the meeting.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Edward A. O'Malley, Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18748 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-054] Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Alignment of Final Countervailing Duty Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is aligning the final determination in this countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of certain aluminum foil (aluminum foil) from the People's Republic of China (the PRC) with the final determination in the companion antidumping duty (AD) investigation.

    DATES:

    September 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Corrigan at (202) 482-7438, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On March 28, 2017, the Department initiated the CVD and AD investigations of aluminum foil from the PRC.1 The CVD investigation and AD investigation cover the same class or kind of merchandise.

    1See Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 82 FR 15688 (March 30, 2017), and Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 82 FR 15691 (March 30, 2017).

    Alignment With AD Final Determination

    On August 14, 2017, the Department published the preliminary affirmative CVD determination pertaining to aluminum foil from the PRC.2 On August 10, 2017, in accordance with section 705(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), 19 CFR 351.210(b)(4)(i), and 351.210(i), the Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Group and its individual members, i.e., the petitioners, timely requested alignment of the final CVD determination with final determination in the related AD investigation of aluminum foil from the PRC.3 Therefore, in accordance with section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(4)(i), we are aligning the final CVD determination with the final AD determination. Consequently, the final CVD determination will be issued on the same date as the final AD determination, which is currently scheduled to be issued on or about December 18, 2017.

    2See Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 82 FR 37844 (August 14, 2017).

    3See Letter to the Secretary re: Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Aluminum Foil from the People's Republic of China—Petitioners' Request to Align the Countervailing Duty Final Determination with the Companion Antidumping Duty Final Determination, dated August 10, 2017.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 705(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(g).

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18642 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-978] High Pressure Steel Cylinders From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) finds that revocation of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on high pressure steel cylinders (Steel Cylinders) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy at the levels indicated in the Final Results of Review section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Applicable September 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Kennedy, Office I, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-7883.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On May 1, 2017, the Department initiated a sunset review of the CVD Order1 on Steel Cylinders from the PRC pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2 On May 8, 2017, the Department received a notice of intent to participate in the review on behalf of Norris Cylinder Company (Norris) within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1). Norris claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act because it was the petitioner in the underlying countervailing duty investigation and is the sole U.S. producer of Steel Cylinders.

    1See Certain Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses from the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing Duty Order, 75 FR 70201 (November 17, 2010) (CVD Order).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year “Sunset” Review, 82 FR 20314 (May 1, 2017).

    The Department received an adequate substantive response from the domestic industry within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i).3 The Department did not receive a substantive response from the Government of the PRC or any respondent interested party to the proceeding. Because the Department received no response from the respondent interested parties, the Department conducted an expedited review of this CVD Order, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(l)(ii)(B)(2) and (C)(2).

    3See Letters to the Department, “High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China; Notice of Appearance and of Intent to Participate on Behalf of Petitioner Norris Cylinder Company in Sunset Review of Countervailing Duty Order,” dated May 8, 2017, (The Petitioner's Intent to Participate).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the scope of the Order is seamless steel cylinders designed for storage or transport of compressed or liquefied gas (high pressure steel cylinders). High pressure steel cylinders are fabricated of chrome alloy steel including, but not limited to, chromium-molybdenum steel or chromium magnesium steel, and have permanently impressed into the steel, either before or after importation, the symbol of a U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (DOT)-approved high pressure steel cylinder manufacturer, as well as an approved DOT type marking of DOT 3A, 3AX, 3AA, 3AAX, 3B, 3E, 3HT, 3T, or DOT-E (followed by a specific exemption number) in accordance with the requirements of sections 178.36 through 178.68 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or any subsequent amendments thereof. High pressure steel cylinders covered by the Order have a water capacity up to 450 liters, and a gas capacity ranging from 8 to 702 cubic feet, regardless of corresponding service pressure levels and regardless of physical dimensions, finish or coatings.

    Excluded from the scope of the Order are high pressure steel cylinders manufactured to UN-ISO-9809-1 and 2 specifications and permanently impressed with ISO or UN symbols. Also excluded from the Order are acetylene cylinders, with or without internal porous mass, and permanently impressed with 8A or 8AL in accordance with DOT regulations.

    Merchandise covered by the Order is classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheading 7311.00.00.30. Subject merchandise may also enter under HTSUS subheadings 7311.00.00.60 or 7311.00.00.90. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise is dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum (IDM).4 The issues discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy and the net countervailable subsidy likely to prevail if the CVD Order were revoked. Parties can find a complete discussion of all issues raised in this expedited sunset review and the corresponding recommendations in this public memorandum, which is on file electronically via the Enforcement and Compliance Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    4See Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review: High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China (August 29, 2017).

    Final Results of Review

    Pursuant to sections 752(b)(1) and (3) of the Act, we determine that revocation of the CVD Order on Steel Cylinders from the PRC would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of a net countervailable subsidy at the rates listed below:

    Producer/exporter Subsidy
  • rate
  • Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd.; Tianjin Tianhai High Pressure Container Co., Ltd.; Langfang Tianhai High Pressure Container Co., Ltd 15.81 All Others 15.81

    This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to the administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely notification of return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    We are issuing and publishing these final results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(b), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18728 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee; Notice of a Meeting AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC) will hold a conference call on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. EDT The conference call is open to the public with registration instructions provided below.

    DATES:

    September 28, 2017, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Members of the public wishing to participate must register in advance with Victoria Gunderson at the contact information below by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 22, 2017, in order to pre-register, including any requests to make comments during the meeting or for accommodations or auxiliary aids.

    ADDRESSES:

    To register, please contact Victoria Gunderson, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries (OEEI), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce at (202) 482-7890; email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Victoria Gunderson, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries (OEEI), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce at (202) 482-7890; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Secretary of Commerce established the REEEAC pursuant to discretionary authority and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), on July 14, 2010. The REEEAC was re-chartered most recently on June 9, 2016. The REEEAC provides the Secretary of Commerce with consensus advice from the private sector on the development and administration of programs and policies to expand the export competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services.

    On September 28, 2017, the REEEAC will hold a conference call to potentially approve recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce informing of actions to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency industries.

    The meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible to people with disabilities. All guests are required to register in advance by the deadline identified under the DATES caption. Requests for auxiliary aids must be submitted by the registration deadline. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill.

    A limited amount of time before the close of the meeting will be available for oral comments from members of the public attending the meeting. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two to five minutes per person (depending on number of public participants). Individuals wishing to reserve speaking time during the meeting must contact Ms. Gunderson and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the comments, as well as the name and address of the proposed participant by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 22, 2017. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the meeting, the International Trade Administration may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers. Speakers are requested to submit a copy of their oral comments by email to Ms. Gunderson for distribution to the participants in advance of the meeting.

    Any member of the public may submit written comments concerning the REEEAC's affairs at any time before or after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, c/o: Victoria Gunderson, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce; 1401 Constitution Avenue NW.; Mail Stop: 4053; Washington, DC 20230. To be considered during the meeting, written comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 22, 2017, to ensure transmission to the REEEAC prior to the meeting. Comments received after that date will be distributed to the members but may not be considered at the meeting.

    Copies of REEEAC meeting minutes will be available within 30 days following the meeting.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Edward A. O'Malley, Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18747 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD900 Marine Mammals; File No. 18786-02 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application for permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the NMFS Office of Protected Resources, Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (Responsible Party: Teri Rowles, D.V.M., Ph.D.), 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 18786-01.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 18786-02 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shasta McClenahan or Amy Sloan, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject amendment to Permit No. 18786-02 is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222-226), and the Fur Seal Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.).

    Permit No. 18786, issued on June 30, 2015 (80 FR 44939), authorizes the permit holder to: (1) Carry out response, rescue, rehabilitation and release of threatened and endangered marine mammals under NMFS jurisdiction (Cetacea and Pinnipedia [excluding walrus]), and disentanglement of all marine mammals under NMFS jurisdiction, pursuant to sections 109(h), 112(c), and Title IV of the MMPA; and, carry out such activities as enhancement pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA; (2) Conduct health-related, bona fide scientific research studies on marine mammals and marine mammal parts under NMFS jurisdiction pursuant to sections 104(c) and Title IV of the MMPA and section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, including research related to emergency response that may involve compromised animals, and research on healthy animals that have not been subject to emergency response (e.g., baseline health studies); (3) Conduct Level B harassment on all marine mammal species under NMFS jurisdiction incidental to MMHSRP activities in the U.S.; and (4) Collect, salvage, receive, possess, transfer, import, export, analyze, and curate marine mammal specimens under NMFS jurisdiction for purposes delineated in numbers (1) and (2) above.

    The permit holder is requesting the permit be amended to include authorization to: (1) Increase the number of dolphins captured, handled, and released for research by 200 takes; (2) increase the number of research takes for non-ESA listed pinniped species by 200 takes for directed research and by 500 takes for sampling under other permitted research; (3) increase the number of research takes for non-ESA listed large whales by 400 takes; (4) add 10 dedicated research takes for the proposed ESA-listed Gulf of Mexico subspecies of Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni); and (5) clarify that new methods and tools may be used during emergency response.

    An environmental assessment (EA) was prepared for the original permit (No. 18786) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), to examine whether significant environmental impacts could result from issuance of the proposed scientific research permit. Based on the analyses in the EA, NMFS determined that issuance of the permit would not significantly impact the quality of the human environment and that preparation of an environmental impact statement was not required. That determination is documented in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), signed on June 29, 2017. The activities in this proposed amendment are consistent with the analyses in the original EA and no additional NEPA analysis is required for the issuance of this amendment. The original EA and FONSI are available upon request.

    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of this application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: August 30, 2017. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18681 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF665 Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment on the Issuance of Incidental Take Authorizations in Cook Inlet, Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Marine Fisheries Service announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze the environmental impacts of issuing annual incidental harassment authorizations (IHAs) pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) for the taking of marine mammals incidental to anthropogenic activities in the waters of Cook Inlet, Alaska, for the 2018 season; and its intent to continue an annual cycle for issuing MMPA IHAs in Cook Inlet such that companies planning to submit IHA applications for work to be conducted in Cook Inlet in 2018 do so by no later than October 1, 2017. We refer prospective applicants to our 2016 Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm).

    DATES:

    Applicants should submit applications to the Permits and Conservation Division in the Office of Protected Resources by October 1, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Applications should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The mailbox address for providing applications is [email protected] Applications sent via email, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. NMFS is not responsible for applications sent to addresses other than those provided here.

    Instructions: All applications received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm. All personal identifying information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sara Young, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8484.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Sections 101 (a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment for a period of one year or less, a notice of proposed authorization is provided to the public for review. The term “take” under the MMPA means “to harass, hunt, capture or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill.” Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as “any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].”

    Authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring, and reporting of such takings are set forth. NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

    Concern for Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

    Cook Inlet is a semi-enclosed tidal estuary located in southcentral Alaska and home to the Cook Inlet beluga whale, a small resident population that was designated as depleted under the MMPA and listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2008. The stock has not recovered, despite implementation of subsistence hunting regulations in 1999, and cessation of hunting in 2007. In May 2015, NMFS unveiled its “Species in the Spotlight: Survive to Thrive” initiative. This initiative includes targeted efforts vital for stabilizing eight species—including the Cook Inlet beluga whale—identified among the most at risk for extinction. The approach involves intensive human efforts to stabilize these species, with the goal that they will become candidates for recovery. NMFS issued a Federal Register Notice in January 2017 announcing availability of its ESA Recovery Plan for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale (82 FR 1325; January 5, 2017).

    Due to the reduced number of ITA requests in the region, combined with current funding constraints, NMFS' intention of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet has been postponed (79 FR 61616; October 14, 2014). Should the number of ITA requests, or anticipated requests, noticeably increase, NMFS will re-evaluate whether preparation of an EIS is necessary.

    MMPA Authorization Cycle (Application Deadlines)

    To support NMFS' efforts to prepare an EA that covers multiple MMPA incidental harassment authorizations for the 2018 open water season, NMFS is continuing an application cycle for incidental harassment authorizations that include Cook Inlet beluga whales. NMFS requests prospective MMPA incidental harassment authorization applicants for the 2018 open water season to submit their applications by October 1, 2017 (unless the activity is scheduled to occur before May, in which case they should be submitted earlier). Receipt of those MMPA applications by October 1, 2017, will aid NMFS in the development of an EA to support timely and well-informed MMPA incidental harassment authorizations.

    Dated: August 30, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18752 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Generic Information Collection Request for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery; Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has submitted a public information collection request (ICR) entitled Generic Information Collection Request for Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Copies of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by calling the Corporation for National and Community Service, Amy Borgstrom, at 202-606-6930 or email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    DATES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, by October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, by any of the following two methods by 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register:

    (1) By fax to: 202-395-6974, Attention: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service; or

    (2) By email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of CNCS, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions;

    • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Propose ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments

    A 60-day Notice requesting public comment was published in the Federal Register on June 26, 2017 at 82 FR 28830. This comment period ended August 25, 2017. No public comments were received from this Notice.

    Description: This collection was developed as part of a federal government-wide effort to streamline the process for seeking feedback from the public on agency service delivery.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.

    OMB Number: 3045-0137.

    Agency Number: None.

    Affected Public: Individuals and Households; Businesses and Organizations; State, Local or Tribal Governments.

    Total Respondents: 10,000.

    Frequency: Once.

    Average Time per Response: 10 minutes.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1,667 hours.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Dated: August 30, 2017. Mary Hyde, Director, Research and Evaluation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18746 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Renewal of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that it is renewing the charter for the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Scientific Advisory Board (“the Board”).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This committee's charter is being renewed pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2904 and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(d). The charter and contact information for the Board's Designated Federal Officer (DFO) can be obtained at http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2904(e), the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Council (“the Council”) shall refer to the Board, and the Board shall review, each proposed research project including its estimated cost, for research in and development of technologies related to environmental activities in excess of $1,000,000. The Council, pursuant to its responsibilities under 10 U.S.C. 2902(d)(1) and in an effort to enhance the Board's review process, has lowered the dollar threshold for referral by the Council to the Board to any proposed research project in excess of $900,000. The Board shall make any recommendations to the Council that the Board considers appropriate regarding such project or proposal. Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2904(a), the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall jointly appoint not less than six and not more than 14 members. Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2904(b), the Board membership shall be composed of the following: (a) Permanent members of the Board are the Science Advisor to the President and the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or their respective designees; and (b) Non-permanent members of the Board shall be appointed from among persons eminent in the fields of basic sciences, engineering, ocean and environmental sciences, education, research management, international and security affairs, health physics, health sciences, or social sciences, with due regard given to the equitable representation of scientists and engineers who are women or who represent minority groups. One such member of the Board shall be a representative of environmental public interest groups, and one such member shall be a representative of the interests of State governments. Board members who are not full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees are appointed as experts or consultants pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3109 to serve as special government employee members. Board members who are full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees are appointed pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.130(a) to serve as regular government employee members. Each member is appointed to provide advice on behalf of the Government on the basis of their best judgment without representing any particular point of view and in a manner that is free from conflict of interest. Except for reimbursement of official Board-related travel and per diem, members serve without compensation. The DoD, as necessary and consistent with the Board's mission and DoD policies and procedures, may establish subcommittees, task forces, or working groups to support the Board, and all subcommittees must operate under the provisions of FACA and the Government in the Sunshine Act. Subcommittees will not work independently of the Board and must report all recommendations and advice solely to the Board for full deliberation and discussion. Subcommittees, task forces, or working groups have no authority to make decisions and recommendations, verbally or in writing, on behalf of the Board. No subcommittee or any of its members can update or report, verbally or in writing, directly to the DoD or any Federal officers or employees. The Board's DFO, pursuant to DoD policy, must be a full-time or permanent part-time DoD employee, and must be in attendance for the duration of each and every Board/subcommittee meeting. The public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Board membership about the Board's mission and functions. Such statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned Board meetings. All written statements must be submitted to the Board's DFO who will ensure the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration.

    Dated: August 30, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18695 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Renewal of Federal Advisory Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce that it is renewing the charter for the Defense Policy Board (“the Board”).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Freeman, Advisory Committee Management Officer for the Department of Defense, 703-692-5952.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This committee's charter is being renewed in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended) and 41 CFR 102-3.50(d). The charter and contact information for the Board's Designated Federal Officer (DFO) can be obtained at http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    The Board shall provide the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, independent, informed advice and opinions concerning matters of defense policy in response to specific tasks from the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, or the USD(P). The Board shall focus on: (a) Issues central to strategic DoD planning; (b) policy implications of U.S. force structure and force modernization on DoD's ability to execute U.S. defense strategy; (c) U.S. regional defense policies; and (d) any other topics raised by the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, or the USD(P). The Board shall be composed of no more than 35 members who have distinguished backgrounds in defense and national security affairs. Members who are not full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees are appointed as experts or consultants pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3109 to serve as special government employee members. Members who are full-time or permanent part-time Federal officers or employees are appointed pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.130(a) to serve as regular government employee members. Each member is appointed to provide advice on behalf of the Government on the basis of their best judgment without representing any particular point of view and in a manner that is free from conflict of interest. Except for reimbursement of official Board-related travel and per diem, members serve without compensation. The DoD, as necessary and consistent with the Board's mission and DoD policies and procedures, may establish subcommittees, task forces, or working groups to support the Board, and all subcommittees must operate under the provisions of FACA and the Government in the Sunshine Act. Subcommittees will not work independently of the Board and must report all recommendations and advice solely to the Board for full deliberation and discussion. Subcommittees, task forces, or working groups have no authority to make decisions and recommendations, verbally or in writing, on behalf of the Board. No subcommittee or any of its members can update or report, verbally or in writing, directly to the DoD or any Federal officers or employees. The Board's DFO, pursuant to DoD policy, must be a full-time or permanent part-time DoD employee, and must be in attendance for the duration of each and every Board/subcommittee meeting. The public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Board membership about the Board's mission and functions. Such statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned Board meetings. All written statements must be submitted to the Board's DFO who will ensure the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration.

    Dated: August 30, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18698 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Arbitration Panel Decisions Under the Randolph-Sheppard Act AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice of arbitration decisions.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Education (Department) is changing the way it notifies the public of arbitration panel decisions under the Randolph-Sheppard Act. The Department will no longer publish detailed synopses of each decision in the Federal Register. Rather, the Department will publish a quarterly notice in the Federal Register listing any decisions reached in the previous three months. The full text of the decisions will be available on the Department's Web site and by request. This notice lists decisions from the first two quarters of 2017 and available decisions from 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Brinson, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5045, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7310. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service, toll-free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For the purpose of providing blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging their economic opportunities, and stimulating greater efforts to make themselves self-supporting, the Randolph-Sheppard Act, 20 U.S.C. 107 et seq. (Act), authorizes blind persons to operate vending facilities on Federal property and provides them with a priority for doing so. The vending facilities include, among other things, cafeterias, snack bars, and automatic vending machines. The Department administers the Act and designates an agency in each State--the State Licensing Agency (SLA)—to license blind persons to operate vending facilities on Federal and other property in the State.

    The Act requires arbitration of disputes between SLAs and blind vendors and between SLAs and Federal agencies before three-person panels convened by the Department whose decisions constitute final agency action. 20 U.S.C. 107d-1. The Act also makes these decisions matters of public record and requires their publication in the Federal Register. 20 U.S.C. 107d-2(c).

    The Department's long-standing practice has been to publish in the Federal Register detailed synopses of arbitration decisions rather than their full text, which are sometimes quite lengthy. This saves publishing costs for the Department and time for interested members of the public. The Department has also provided copies of full arbitration panel decisions to members of the public upon request.

    The time it took to draft these synopses resulted in a publishing backlog, however. Therefore, the Department has decided to change its practice in a way that will allow it to comply with the statutory requirement for publication and to provide the text of the arbitration panel decisions to the public more quickly and conveniently and at minimal cost to the Department.

    The Department will now make the full text of arbitration panel decisions under the Act available on the Department's Web site, and we will add older, archived decisions as they become available in the proper format and are made accessible to individuals with disabilities under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The decisions will be searchable by key terms and available for download in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. The Department will continue to provide copies of decisions to members of the public upon request to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Since the beginning of 2017, Randolph-Sheppard Arbitration panels have issued the following decisions.

    Case name Docket No. Date State Kansas Dept. for Children and Families v. Department of the Army RS 15-15 5/9/17 Kansas. Homan v. Maryland RS 15-06 3/30/17 Maryland. Texas v. The Department of the Air Force RS 16-09 2/28/17 Texas. Sheets v. California RS 13-08 2/27/17 California. Florida Dept. of Education, Division of Blind Services v. Department of the Air Force RS 15-13 2/1/17 Florida.

    The decisions are available at www.ed.gov/programs/rsarsp/arbitration-decisions.html.

    At this same site, we have posted the following decisions from 2016.

    Case name Docket No. Date State Oklahoma v. Fort Sill RS 15-10 12/23/16 Oklahoma. South Carolina v. Dept. of the Army RS 15-07 9/2/16 South Carolina. Georgia v. Fort Stewart RS 13-09 1/11/16 Georgia.

    In the future, shortly after the end of every calendar quarter-March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31-the Department will publish a notice in the Federal Register listing arbitration decisions issued in the previous three months and any older decisions when they become available and are made accessible under section 508. The notice will provide a link to the Web site where the decisions may be found and contact information for anyone, with or without access to the internet, who wishes to request a copy of a decision from the Department.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or PDF. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: August 30, 2017. Kimberly M. Richey, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18751 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED-2017-ICCD-0089] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Report of Dispute Resolution Under Part C of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2017-ICCD-0089. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 216-42, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Amanda Hoffman, 202-245-6951.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Report of Dispute Resolution Under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

    OMB Control Number: 1820-0678.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 56.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 2,240.

    Abstract: This data collection provides instructions and forms necessary for States to report the number of written, signed complaints; mediation requests; and hearing requests and the status of these actions with regards to children served under Part C of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) initiated during the reporting year. The form satisfies reporting requirements and is used by OSEP to monitor SEAs and for Congressional reporting.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18666 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 3211-009] Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Commencement of Pre-Filing Process, and Scoping; Request for Comments on the PAD and Scoping Document, and Identification of Issues and Associated Study Requests; Power Authority of the State of New York

    a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application for a New License and Commencing Pre-filing Process.

    b. Project No.: 3211-009.

    c. Date Filed: June 30, 2017.

    d. Submitted By: Power Authority of the State of New York (NYPA).

    e. Name of Project: Hinckley (Gregory B. Jarvis) Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On West Canada Creek, a tributary of the Mohawk River, at the Hinckley reservoir dam, approximately 0.5 mile upstream of the Hamlet of Hinckley in the counties of Oneida and Herkimer, New York. The project does not occupy federal lands.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR part 5 of the Commission's Regulations.

    h. Potential Applicant Contact: Mark E. Slade, Director, Licensing, New York Power Authority, 123 Main St., White Plains, NY 10601, (914) 681-6659, [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Emily Carter at (202) 502-6512 or email at [email protected]

    j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item o below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See 94 FERC 61,076 (2001).

    k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with: (a) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or NOAA Fisheries under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR part 402, and (b) the State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106, National Historic Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2.

    l. With this notice, we are designating NYPA as the Commission's non-federal representative for carrying out informal consultation, pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    m. On June 30, 2017, NYPA filed with the Commission a Pre-Application Document (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule), pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.

    n. A copy of the PAD is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site (http://www.ferc.gov), using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in paragraph h.

    Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filing and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    o. With this notice, we are soliciting comments on the PAD and Commission's staff Scoping Document 1 (SD1), as well as study requests. All comments on the PAD and SD1, and study requests should be sent to the address above in paragraph h. In addition, all comments on the PAD and SD1, study requests, requests for cooperating agency status, and all communications to and from Commission staff related to the merits of the potential application must be filed with the Commission.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file all documents using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-3211-009.

    All filings with the Commission must bear the appropriate heading: Comments on Pre-Application Document, Study Requests, Comments on Scoping Document 1, Request for Cooperating Agency Status, or Communications to and from Commission Staff. Any individual or entity interested in submitting study requests, commenting on the PAD or SD1, and any agency requesting cooperating status must do so by October 28, 2017.

    p. Although our current intent is to prepare an environmental assessment (EA), there is the possibility that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be required. Nevertheless, this meeting will satisfy the NEPA scoping requirements, irrespective of whether an EA or EIS is issued by the Commission.

    Scoping Meetings

    Commission staff will hold two scoping meetings in the vicinity of the project at the time and place noted below. The daytime meeting will focus on resource agency, Indian tribes, and non-governmental organization concerns, while the evening meeting is primarily for receiving input from the public. We invite all interested individuals, organizations, and agencies to attend one or both of the meetings, and to assist staff in identifying particular study needs, as well as the scope of environmental issues to be addressed in the environmental document. The times and locations of these meetings are as follows:

    Evening Scoping Meeting

    Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

    Time: 7:00 p.m.

    Location: SUNY Polytechnic Institute (Student Center Multipurpose Room #2), 100 Seymour Road, Utica, New York 13502.

    Phone: (315) 792-7222.

    Daytime Scoping Meeting

    Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

    Time: 10:00 a.m.

    Location: SUNY Polytechnic Institute (Student Center Multipurpose Room #2), 100 Seymour Road, Utica, New York 13502.

    Phone: (315) 792-7222.

    SD1, which outlines the subject areas to be addressed in the environmental document, was mailed to the individuals and entities on the Commission's mailing list. Copies of SD1 will be available at the scoping meetings, or may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link. Follow the directions for accessing information in paragraph n. Based on all oral and written comments, a Scoping Document 2 (SD2) may be issued. SD2 may include a revised process plan and schedule, as well as a list of issues, identified through the scoping process.

    Environmental Site Review

    The potential applicant and Commission staff will conduct an environmental site review of the project on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, starting at 11:00 a.m. All participants should meet at the Hinckley Boat Launch, located at 11740 State Route 365, Remsen, NY 13438. NYPA will provide shuttles to visit locations within the project boundary. To attend the environmental site review, please RSVP via email to [email protected] on or before September 19, 2017. Persons not providing an RSVP by September 19, 2017, will not be allowed on the environmental site review.

    Meeting Objectives

    At the scoping meetings, staff will: (1) Initiate scoping of the issues; (2) review and discuss existing conditions and resource management objectives; (3) review and discuss existing information and identify preliminary information and study needs; (4) review and discuss the process plan and schedule for pre-filing activity that incorporates the time frames provided for in Part 5 of the Commission's regulations and, to the extent possible, maximizes coordination of federal, state, and tribal permitting and certification processes; and (5) discuss the appropriateness of any federal or state agency or Indian tribe acting as a cooperating agency for development of an environmental document.

    Meeting participants should come prepared to discuss their issues and/or concerns. Please review the PAD in preparation for the scoping meetings. Directions on how to obtain a copy of the PAD and SD1 are included in item n. of this document.

    Meeting Procedures

    The meetings will be recorded by a stenographer and will be placed in the public records of the project.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18735 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC17-166-000.

    Applicants: Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation, Benson Power, LLC.

    Description: Joint Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, Request for Expedited Treatment, Waivers and Confidential Treatment of Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation, et al.

    Filed Date: 8/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170828-5176.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG17-145-000.

    Applicants: Imperial Valley Solar 3, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of EWG Status of Imperial Valley Solar 3, LLC.

    Filed Date: 8/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170828-5134.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1752-002.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Silicon Valley Power Deficiency Filing for Grizzly Agreement (RS 248) to be effective 8/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170828-5147.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2364-000.

    Applicants: St. Joseph Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market Based Rate to be effective 10/31/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170828-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2365-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Service Agreement No. 318—NTUA NITS to be effective 8/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170828-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2366-000.

    Applicants: West Penn Power Company, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., The Potomac Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: West Penn submits Borderline Agreement, Service Agreement No. 4692 with Potomac to be effective 9/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170829-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2367-000.

    Applicants: GenOn Holdco 1, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market-Based Rate Authorization and Request for Waivers to be effective 10/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170829-5095.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2368-000.

    Applicants: GenOn Holdco 3, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market-Based Rate Authorization and Request for Waivers to be effective 10/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170829-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2369-000.

    Applicants: GenOn Holdco 4, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market-Based Rate Authorization and Request for Waivers to be effective 10/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170829-5099.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2370-000.

    Applicants: GenOn Holdco 2, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market-Based Rate Authorization and Request for Waivers to be effective 10/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170829-5101.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2371-000.

    Applicants: GenOn Holdco 5, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market-Based Rate Authorization and Request for Waivers to be effective 10/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170829-5102.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2372-000.

    Applicants: GenOn Holdco 6, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market-Based Rate Authorization and Request for Waivers to be effective 10/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170829-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2373-000.

    Applicants: GenOn Holdco 7, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for Market-Based Rate Authorization and Request for Waivers to be effective 10/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/29/17.

    Accession Number: 20170829-5105.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/19/17.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18713 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2292-000] Southampton Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Southampton Solar, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18714 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2341-000] CA Flats Solar 130, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of CA Flats Solar 130, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18720 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER12-1933-008; ER12-1934-007.

    Applicants: Interstate Power and Light Company, Wisconsin Power and Light Company.

    Description: Notification of Non-material Change in Status of Interstate Power and Light Company, et al.

    Filed Date: 8/25/17.

    Accession Number: 20170825-5295.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/15/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1546-003.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation Formula Rate Compliance Filing to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 8/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170828-5106.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2110-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: Response of ISO New England Inc. to August 23, 2017 Deficiency Notice and Request for Waiver of Section 388.112 of the Commission's Regulations.

    Filed Date: 8/25/17.

    Accession Number: 20170825-5232.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/5/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2363-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2017-08-28_Termination of SA 2411 ITC-Detroit Edison E&P Agreement (J122) to be effective 8/29/2017.

    Filed Date: 8/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170828-5080.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES17-53-000.

    Applicants: Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, Inc.

    Description: Application for Authorization to Issue Short- and Long-term Debt, to Guaranty Obligations, and for Waivers of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative.

    Filed Date: 8/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170828-5099.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/18/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following public utility holding company filings:

    Docket Numbers: PH17-20-000.

    Applicants: BlackRock, Inc.

    Description: BlackRock, Inc. submits FERC 65-A Exemption Notification.

    Filed Date: 8/25/17.

    Accession Number: 20170825-5283.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/15/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF17-1404-000.

    Applicants: Kimberly-Clark Corporation.

    Description: Form 556 of Kimberly-Clark Corporation [Mobile].

    Filed Date: 8/25/17.

    Accession Number: 20170825-5297.

    Comments Due: None Applicable.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18731 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2342-000] Bladen Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Bladen Solar, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18721 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. TS17-2-000] American Municipal Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on August 28, 2017, pursuant to sections 35.28(e)(2)and 358.1(d) and Rules 101(e) and 207 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure,1 American Municipal Power, Inc. filed a petition requesting that the Commission waive reciprocity-based standards of conduct and Open Access Same-Time Information System requirements that might otherwise apply under Order Nos. 889 2 and 717.3

    1 18 CFR 35.28(e)(2), 358.1(d), 385.101(e), 385.207.

    2 Open Access Same-Time Information System (formerly Real-Time Information Networks) and Standards of Conduct, Order No. 889, 61 FR 21,737 (May 10, 1996), FERC Stats. & Regs. 31,035 (1996), clarified, 76 FERC 61,009 (1996), modified, Order No. 889-A, 62 FR 12,484 (Mar. 14, 1997), FERC Stats. & Regs. 31,049 (1997), reh'g denied, Order No. 889-B, 81 FERC 61,253 (1997), aff'd in part and remanded in part sub nom. Transmission Access Policy Study Grp. v. FERC, 225 F.3d 667 (D.C. Cir. 2000), aff'd sub nom. New York v. FERC, 535 U.S. 1 (2002).

    3 Standards of Conduct for Transmission Providers, Order No. 717, 73 FR 63,796 (Oct. 27, 2008), FERC Stats. & Regs. 31,280 (2008), on reh'g, Order No. 717-A, 74 FR 54,463 (Oct. 22, 2009), FERC Stats. & Regs. 31,297 (2009), clarified, Order No. 717-B, 129 FERC 61,123 (2009), on reh'g, Order No. 717-C, 131 FERC 61,045 (2010), on reh'g and clarification, Order No. 717-D, 135 FERC 61,017 (2011).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the eFiling link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the eLibrary link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on September 18, 2017.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18736 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2343-000] Bullock Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Bullock Solar, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18722 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2337-000] Shoreham Solar Commons Holdings LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Shoreham Solar Commons Holdings LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18718 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2336-000] Shoreham Solar Commons LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Shoreham Solar Commons LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18717 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2322-000] Nexus Energy Inc.; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding Nexus Energy Inc.'s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18715 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2345-000] EC&R Energy Marketing, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of EC&R Energy Marketing, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18723 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2340-000] Golden Hills North Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Golden Hills North Wind, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 18, 2017.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18719 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10516—The Bank of Georgia, Peachtree City, Georgia

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver for The Bank of Georgia, Peachtree City, Georgia (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of The Bank of Georgia on October 2, 2015. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: August 30, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18680 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS EXAMINATION COUNCIL [Docket No. AS17-05] Appraisal Subcommittee; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    Description: In accordance with Section 1104 (b) of Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, as amended, notice is hereby given that the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) will meet in open session for its regular meeting:

    Location: Federal Reserve Board—International Square location; 1850 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006.

    Date: September 13, 2017.

    Time: 10:00 a.m.

    Status: Open.

    Reports Chairman Executive Director Delegated State Compliance Reviews Financial Report Action and Discussion Items May 10, 2017 Open Session Minutes Appraisal Foundation FY18 Grant Proposal ○ Foundation Grant for AQB and ASB ○ State Grant for Investigator Training ASC FY18 Budget Proposal Final Rulemaking—AMC National Registry Fee Implementation Revised ASC Policy Statements for approval to repost in Federal Register for public comment Agency Reform Plan for submission to the Office of Management and Budget How To Attend and Observe an ASC Meeting

    If you plan to attend the ASC Meeting in person, we ask that you send an email to [email protected] You may register until close of business four business days before the meeting date. You will be contacted by the Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Unit on security requirements. You will also be asked to provide a valid government-issued ID before being admitted to the Meeting. The meeting space is intended to accommodate public attendees. However, if the space will not accommodate all requests, the ASC may refuse attendance on that reasonable basis. The use of any video or audio tape recording device, photographing device, or any other electronic or mechanical device designed for similar purposes is prohibited at ASC meetings.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. James R. Park, Executive Director.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18725 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6700-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than September 29, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (Adam M. Drimer, Assistant Vice President) 701 East Byrd Street, Richmond, Virginia 23261-4528. Comments can also be sent electronically to or [email protected]:

    1. CapGen Capital Group VI LLC and CapGen Capital Group V I L P, both of New York, New York; to acquire up to 7.3 percent of the voting shares of Union Bankshares, Corporation, Richmond, Virginia, and thereby indirectly acquire Union Bank & Trust, Richmond, Virginia.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Robert L. Triplett III, Senior Vice President) 2200 North Pearl Street, Dallas, Texas 75201-2272:

    1. Veritex Holdings, Inc., Dallas, Texas; to merge with Liberty Bancshares, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, and thereby indirectly acquire Liberty Bank, Hurst, Texas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 30, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18734 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMB AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) is adopting a proposal to extend for three years, without revision, the Notification of Nonfinancial Data Processing Activities (FR 4021; OMB No. 7100-0306).

    On June 15, 1984, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated to the Board authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) to approve of and assign OMB control numbers to collection of information requests and requirements conducted or sponsored by the Board. Board-approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of currently approved collections of information. Copies of the Paperwork Reduction Act Submission, supporting statements and approved collection of information instrument(s) are placed into OMB's public docket files. The Federal Reserve may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551, (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    Final approval under OMB delegated authority of the extension for three years, without revision, of the following report:

    Report title: Notification of Nonfinancial Data Processing Activities.

    Agency form number: FR 4021.

    OMB control number: 7100-0306.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents: Bank holding companies.

    Estimated number of respondents: 2.

    Estimated average hours per response: 2.

    Estimated annual burden hours: 4.

    General description of report: Bank holding companies (BHCs) submit the FR 4021 notification to request permission to administer the 49 percent revenue limit on nonfinancial data processing activities on a business-line or multiple-entity basis. These notifications, which may be submitted in letter form, should describe the structure of the requesting BHC's data processing operations, the methodology the BHC proposes to use to administer the 49 percent revenue test and the reasons why the BHC believes that the proposed methodology is appropriate. The Board will consider any request in light of all the facts and circumstances, including the interrelationships between the data processing activities conducted by the BHC's separate subsidiaries, the holding company's business or operational reasons for conducting its data processing activities in different subsidiaries, and the level of the BHC's ownership interest in the individual subsidiaries.

    Legal authorization and confidentiality: The Board's Legal Division has determined that the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1843(c)(8), (j) and (k)) authorizes the Board to collect this information and the information is required to obtain a benefit. A BHC may request confidential treatment of the information contained in the notice pursuant to exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)).

    Current actions: On May 31, 2017 the Federal Reserve published a notice in the Federal Register (82 FR 24970) requesting public comment for 60 days on the extension, without revision, of the Notification of Nonfinancial Data Processing Activities. The comment period for this notice expired on July 31, 2017. The Board did not receive any comments.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 30, 2017. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18694 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM [Docket No. OP-1557] Final Guidelines for Evaluating Joint Account Requests SUMMARY:

    Under the Federal Reserve Act (FRA), the Federal Reserve Banks (Reserve Banks) have the authority to open accounts for member banks and other eligible depository institutions (collectively, depository institutions). The Reserve Banks routinely open and maintain individual Federal Reserve accounts for eligible institutions. Joint accounts—those where the rights and liabilities are shared among multiple depository institution account-holders—have not in the past been available as a standard account option, but in limited cases the Reserve Banks have opened such accounts for specific purposes. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) has approved final guidelines for evaluating requests for joint accounts at Reserve Banks intended to facilitate settlement between and among depository institutions participating in private-sector payment systems (private-sector arrangements). The guidelines broadly outline factors that will be considered in evaluating such requests, but are not intended to provide assurance that any specific arrangement would be granted a joint account. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with the type and extent of information necessary to evaluate a particular request likely dependent on the complexity of the arrangement.

    DATES:

    September 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan V. Foley, Senior Associate Director (202-452-3596), Kylie Stewart, Manager (202-245-4207), or Ian C.B. Spear, Senior Financial Services Analyst (202-452-3959), Division of Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems; Gavin Smith, Counsel (202-452-3474), Legal Division; for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) only, contact 202-263-4869.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On December 22, 2016, the Board requested comment on proposed guidelines for evaluating requests for joint accounts at Federal Reserve Banks intended to facilitate settlement between depository institutions participating in private-sector arrangements within the U.S. payment system.1 The Reserve Banks routinely open and maintain individual Federal Reserve accounts for depository institutions. Joint accounts have not been available in the past as a standard account option, but in limited cases the Reserve Banks have opened such accounts for specific purposes.2 Currently, the Reserve Banks maintain joint accounts to facilitate settlement between users of two private-sector arrangements.3 Both of these joint accounts are long-standing, with the more recent account being established approximately 15 years ago.

    1 81 FR 93923 (Dec. 22, 2016).

    2 Section 13(1) of the FRA authorizes each Reserve Bank to receive deposits from its member banks or other depository institutions (12 U.S.C. 342). In addition, section 16(14) of the FRA authorizes the Board to direct a Reserve Bank to exercise the functions of a clearinghouse for depository institutions (12 U.S.C. 248-1).

    3 The two joint accounts currently used to facilitate settlement are operated by The Clearing House (TCH): One to facilitate wholesale payments through the Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS) and another to facilitate TCH's Universal Payment Identification Code (UPIC) service for ACH payments.

    CHIPS is a multilateral netting system that continuously settles wholesale payments between two or more participating institutions.

    TCH offers a UPIC service that enables its customer's end users to provide payment instructions to third parties without disclosing their bank account information and enables such end users to change banking relationships without needing to notify each payor of the change (the UPIC remains the same). The joint account for UPIC transactions enables the settlement of ACH credit transactions using UPICs when the transactions are sent by customers of the Reserve Banks' FedACH service and destined for participants in TCH's UPIC service.

    For purposes of these guidelines, a joint account is an account at a Reserve Bank where the rights and liabilities are shared among multiple account-holders (joint account holders), that is, institutions that are eligible to open an account with a Reserve Bank. The Board contemplates that under these arrangements, the joint account holders will authorize a single entity to serve as their “agent” in providing instructions to the Reserve Bank at which the account would be held (the account-holding Reserve Bank) with respect to the account. The account-holding Reserve Bank would be authorized to act on any instruction provided by the agent, consistent with the provisions of the joint account agreement. The Board also contemplates private-sector arrangements using joint accounts might also use an “operator” (which could be the agent of the joint account or a separate entity) for the running of the arrangement, which might include undertaking various steps in the payment process such as initiation, clearing, settlement, and reconciliation, or establishing rules and governance. “Participants” in the arrangement might include joint account holders, as well as other depository institutions and nondepository institutions that are directly part of the payment system established by the private-sector arrangement.

    In 2016, Board and Reserve Bank (collectively, Federal Reserve) staff received a request from an organization to open a new joint account for that organization's proposed real-time payment system. Given the ongoing evolution of the U.S. payment system, the Board believes that other potential providers may contemplate joint account arrangements, or may reconsider their options for settlement capabilities if they understand better the availability of joint accounts at Reserve Banks.4

    4 A Faster Payments Task Force (Task Force) was established in 2015 to help foster a desired outcome set forth as part of the Federal Reserve's Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System efforts for “a ubiquitous, safe, faster electronic solution.” The Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System paper is available at https://fedpaymentsimprovement.org/wp-content/uploads/strategies-improving-us-payment-system.pdf. The Task Force developed a process to assess proposals for faster retail payment systems. As part of the process, proposers were made aware that they could discuss Reserve Bank services, such as settlement options, with Federal Reserve representatives if they had an interest in using those services to facilitate their proposed faster retail payment systems.

    The Board therefore proposed to establish a set of guidelines that would be considered in evaluating requests for joint accounts intended to facilitate settlement between depository institutions participating in private-sector arrangements. The Board proposed guidelines based on the following six principles:

    (1) As a necessary condition for evaluating a joint account request, each joint account holder should meet all applicable legal requirements to have a Federal Reserve account, and the Reserve Bank will not have any obligation to any non-account holder with respect to the funds in the account.

    (2) The private-sector arrangement should demonstrate that it has a sound legal and operational basis for its payment system, including an effective legal framework for achieving settlement finality.

    (3) The design and rules of the private-sector arrangement should be consistent with the Federal Reserve's policy objectives to promote a safe, efficient, and accessible payment system for U.S. dollar transactions and be consistent with the intended use of the arrangement.

    (4) The provision of the joint account should not create undue credit, settlement, or other risks to the Reserve Banks.

    (5) The provision of a joint account should not create undue risk to the overall payment system.

    (6) The provision of a joint account should not adversely affect monetary policy operations.

    The Board requested comment on all aspects of the proposed guidelines, including whether the scope and application were sufficiently clear and appropriate to achieve their intended purpose and any other criteria or information that commenters believed may be relevant to evaluate joint account requests. The Board further sought comment specifically on the following:

    • What information, if any, about the establishment of an individual joint account should be made public?

    • How, if at all, would the possibility (1) that the account agreement with the account holding Reserve Bank may include limits on balances, require information on projected balances or volatility of balances, or restrict further joint accounts; or (2) that the joint account may be closed if warranted affect interest in establishing a joint account, or use of such an account once opened? Are there other types of restrictions or conditions that, while equally effective in attaining the same objectives, might be less burdensome if placed on joint accounts once in use?

    • Are there additional criteria or information that may be relevant to evaluate joint account requests for U.S. depository institutions to provide services to foreign clearing and settlement arrangements?

    • Should the Board or the Reserve Banks consider other steps or actions to facilitate settlement in light of market participants' efforts to develop faster retail payment solutions?

    II. Summary of Comments and Analysis on the Proposed Guidelines

    The Board received nine comments in response to its request. Comments were submitted by depository institutions, depository institution trade associations, a national payments association, service providers and payment system operators, and an individual. All nine commenters supported establishment of the guidelines. No commenter expressed opposition to any of the six proposed principles or the guidelines more broadly. Five commenters requested that the Board clarify certain aspects or consider additional elements as part of the final guidelines.

    Each of the proposed principles, the comments received, and the Board's final guidelines are described in additional detail below. Throughout the final guidelines, the Board has made changes to clarify the application of the final six principles and more specifically identify the parties to a private-sector arrangement for which individual principles and evaluation factors are relevant.

    1. Each joint account holder must meet all applicable legal requirements to have a Federal Reserve account, and the Reserve Bank will not have any obligation to any non-account holder with respect to the balance in and operation of the account.

    Unless otherwise specified by statute, only those entities that are member banks or other depository institutions are legally able to obtain Federal Reserve accounts and payment services.5 Therefore, under the first proposed principle, only an institution eligible to have a Federal Reserve account under the applicable federal statute and Federal Reserve rules, policies, and procedures is able to be a joint account holder. Consistent with Federal Reserve policies and procedures, under the first proposed principle the account-holding Reserve Bank must approve all joint account holders that are part of a proposed private-sector arrangement.6 The Board also explained that, consistent with the limits on the Reserve Banks' deposit-taking authority, an account-holding Reserve Bank's obligation with respect to any funds in a joint account will be limited to the joint account holders, and non-account holders will not have any rights against the Reserve Bank with respect to those funds.

    5 Section 13(1) of the FRA permits Reserve Banks to receive deposits from member banks or other depository institutions. 12 U.S.C. 342. Section 19(b)(1)(A) of the FRA includes as depository institutions any federally insured bank, mutual savings bank, savings bank, savings association, or credit union, as well as any of those entities that are eligible to make application to become a federally insured institution. 12 U.S.C. 461(b). In addition, there are certain statutory provisions allowing Reserve Banks to act as a depository or fiscal agent for the Treasury and certain government-sponsored entities (See i.e. 12 U.S.C. 391, 393-95, 1823, 1435) as well as for certain international organizations (See i.e. 22 U.S.C. 285d, 286d, 290o-3, 290i-5, 290l-3). In addition, Reserve Banks are authorized to offer deposit accounts to designated financial market utilities (12 U.S.C. 5465), Edge and Agreement corporations (12 U.S.C. 601-604a, 611-631), branches or agencies of foreign banks (12 U.S.C. 347d), and foreign banks and foreign states (12 U.S.C. 358).

    6 Under the first proposed principle, the designated agent or operator of the private-sector arrangement would not need to be a depository institution.

    Three commenters addressed the first proposed principle and supported the proposed principle as consistent with existing account policies regarding Federal Reserve accounts. Two of the three commenters further stated that the first proposed principle would ensure the integrity of the payment system. None of the three commenters proposed changes to the first proposed principle or its considerations.

    In the final guidelines, the Board has adopted the first principle as proposed with minor technical changes for clarity. As proposed, only an institution eligible to have a Federal Reserve account under applicable federal statute and Federal Reserve rules, policies, and procedures is able to be a joint account holder. Some institutions may be eligible for a Federal Reserve account but may present atypical risk profiles, such as uninsured institutions. In these cases, a heightened analysis of that institution's participation as a joint account holder may be performed under one or more of the other guidelines. The final guidelines now provide further clarification that under the first principle, the designated agent or operator of the private-sector arrangement would not need to be eligible for a Federal Reserve account, assuming it is not a joint account holder.7 In the final guidelines, the first principle also clarifies that no party other than an account holder shall have a claim against the account-holding Reserve Bank in connection with operation of the joint account, including any decision related to opening or refusing to open the account.

    7 The designated agent would need to enter into an agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank.

    2. The private-sector arrangement should demonstrate that it has a well-founded, clear, transparent, and enforceable legal basis in all aspects of its proposed arrangement. 8

    8 As described below, in the final guidelines the Board has clarified certain aspects of the second proposed principle. Significant changes from the proposed language are indicated in italics: The private-sector arrangement should demonstrate that it has a well-founded, clear, transparent, and enforceable legal basis in all aspects of its proposed arrangement (the second principle as proposed read “The private-sector arrangement must demonstrate that it has a sound legal and operational basis for its payment system, including an effective legal framework for achieving settlement finality”).

    Under the second proposed principle, the Board proposed that a private-sector arrangement seeking a joint account should have a sound legal and operational basis for its payment system, including an effective legal framework for achieving settlement finality. The Board explained that under the second proposed principle, requestors of a joint account would be expected to provide supporting legal analysis as well as the system's rules, agreements, and other governing documents.9 The Board also proposed that the private-sector arrangement should have established appropriate compliance procedures and have policies and procedures to minimize disruption to its system when one of its participants, the agent, or the operator fails, when fraudulent activity occurs, or in the event of operational failures. Evaluation under the second proposed principle would further consider the applicable supervisory framework for all parties to the private-sector arrangement, with the expectation that the agent and operator should be subject to the examination authority of a federal or state supervisory agency.

    9 For example, the Board explained that requestors would be expected to analyze the application of laws and regulations, such as U.C.C. 4A, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, U.S. sanction programs, Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering requirements or regulations, and other relevant laws and regulations. In addition, the arrangement would be expected to analyze significant matters that may pose legal risks, such as the attachment risk related to the funds in the joint account and the impact of participant insolvency on the account.

    Three commenters addressed the second proposed principle. All three commenters were generally supportive, stating that the expectations described under the second proposed principle reduce risks to participants and the broader payment system. Only one of the commenters, a payment system operator, suggested modifications. Specifically, the commenter suggested that joint account requests only be approved if the agent and operator are subject to federal examination authority, in particular the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's significant service provider or technology service provider programs.10

    10 The significant service provider program was formerly known as the Multi-Regional Data Processing Servicers program.

    In considering the appropriate level of supervision for an arrangement whose participants use a joint account at a Reserve Bank, the Board seeks to reduce risks for the Reserve Banks and the payment system as a whole while at the same time avoiding posing unwarranted access barriers. However, the Board does agree that, at some point in the maturity of a private-sector arrangement, federal supervision or examination may be important. For example, a successful private-sector arrangement is likely to grow over time in terms of number of participants and geographic reach (interstate or international), which may pose increasing risks to the overall payment system in light of the potential to operate on a 24/7/365 basis. The Board sees benefit in uniform supervision and examination authority for private-sector arrangements that have reached this point of maturity.

    Therefore, the Board has added to the provision that the private-sector arrangement be subject to federal or state supervision an expectation that the payment system established by a private-sector arrangement (including the operator) is also subject to the jurisdiction of a federal banking agency with the authority to examine or inspect the private-sector arrangement and take supervisory actions against the arrangement or its participants.11 This means for a payment system established by a private-sector arrangement and supervised by a state regulatory body, a federal banking agency need not be engaging in active supervision or examination, but should have the authority to do so when the risk, scope, and operations call for such supervision or examination. For example, under the Bank Service Company Act, federal banking agencies have the authority to examine third-party service providers that perform services for depository institutions that the depository institution could otherwise do itself.

    11 A federal banking agency would include the Board; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

    The Board also believes that consideration of those supervisory factors, as well as consideration of issues related to the operational soundness of the private-sector arrangement, would be more appropriately addressed under the final guidelines' third principle as part of considering the Federal Reserve's objectives to promote a safe, efficient, and accessible payment system for U.S. dollar transactions. In the final guidelines, the Board has therefore identified those elements as considerations under principle three.

    Finally, as part of the final guidelines, and as indicated above, the Board has clarified the phrase “sound legal basis” in the second principle to mean a well-founded, clear, transparent, and enforceable legal basis in all aspects of the proposed arrangement. The Board has also made other minor technical changes for clarity.

    3. The design and rules of a private-sector arrangement should be consistent with the Federal Reserve's policy objectives to promote a safe, efficient, and accessible payment system for U.S. dollar transactions.

    As explained under the third proposed principle, a private-sector arrangement using a joint account to facilitate settlement would be expected to manage risks consistent with Part I of the Board's Policy on Payment System Risk (PSR Policy), even if the private-sector arrangement is not otherwise subject to the PSR Policy. Also of relevance was (1) whether the system is widely available for use by its intended end users and is designed to minimize the risk of disruption (rejection or delay of payments) to end users and (2) whether the system creates undue inefficiencies in the payment process or undue barriers to interoperability within the U.S. dollar payment system. The Board also explained that evaluation of a joint account request would assess whether the private-sector arrangement promotes payment system improvements and innovations and the extent to which the arrangement fosters competition in the payment system. The design and rules of the private-sector arrangement, including rules relating to the funding of and disbursements from the joint account, should also be consistent with the intended use of the account. For example, the rules should not provide an incentive for a participant that is not a joint account holder and not eligible for its own individual Federal Reserve account to use its participation in the arrangement, including the funding of its obligations under the arrangement through a joint account holder, to inappropriately take advantage of the credit-risk-free nature of the joint account for purposes other than settling payments through the arrangement.

    The Board did not receive any comments suggesting modifications under the third proposed principle but did receive one comment from a national payments association related to principle five that the Board believes has implications for principle three. The commenter suggested that it would be relevant for the Board to consider the extent to which a private-sector arrangement facilitates payments as part of a transparent payment system, noting that less transparent mechanisms could reduce effective risk management of participants by providing inadequate visibility for all parties to sufficiently monitor and manage risks, which may affect the payment system more broadly. The Board believes that effective risk management will be adequately considered in the final guidelines but agrees that promoting transparency in the overall payment system is also an important policy objective. Therefore the final guidelines include under the third principle a consideration of the extent to which a private-sector arrangement promotes transparency for end users and the public more broadly (for example by making operating rules, rulemaking processes, list of participants, or certain network statistics publicly available).

    As described in the discussions regarding the Board's second and fourth proposed principles, the Board believes, based on the comments received, that several considerations proposed under those principles would be more appropriately evaluated as part of principle three, specifically factors related to supervision, operational soundness (such as policies and procedures to minimize disruption when one of its participants, the agent, or the operator fails or in the event of operational failures), and financial soundness of the operator (such as financial statements and cash flow projections). The third principle of the final guidelines also provides greater clarity on the consideration of the Board's PSR Policy, specifically that a private-sector arrangement would be expected to comply with the general policy expectations for payment systems outlined within Part I of the PSR Policy at a minimum, even if it is not otherwise subject to the policy, in addition to any supervisory obligations.12

    12 Those expectations are identified in Part I, section C of the PSR Policy, “General policy expectations for other payment systems within the scope of the policy” (as amended effective September 23, 2016). The PSR Policy is available at https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/files/psr_policy.pdf.

    The Board has also clarified that as part of the third principle, the arrangement's rules should sufficiently address the responsibilities and liabilities of the participants, agent, and operator in cases of operational disruption, or erroneous or fraudulent conduct. Lastly, the final guidelines provide additional clarity related to consideration under the third principle of the extent to which the design and rules of the arrangement are consistent with the intended use of the arrangement.

    4. Provision of a joint account should not create undue credit, settlement, or other risks to the Reserve Banks.

    The Board in its proposal explained under the fourth proposed principle that granting a request for a joint account should not create undue risks to a Reserve Bank. For instance, the Board proposed that an operator for an arrangement must be financially sound and that the agent should demonstrate an ongoing ability to meet all obligations under the joint account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank. Evaluation under this proposed principle would consider the manner in which the joint account will be used, including any anticipated use of Reserve Bank services and methods in place by the private-sector arrangement to avoid overnight and intraday overdrafts, which would not be permitted in a joint account. Under the fourth proposed principle, the agent would also need to demonstrate that it has ways to monitor the joint account and transactions into and out of the account, including the ability to avoid overdrafts and promptly cover any inadvertent overdrafts.

    One commenter, a depository institution, addressed the fourth proposed principle. The commenter suggested that evaluation under the principle should consider the contingency processing capabilities of owners, participants and operators of a private-sector arrangement. The Board agrees that contingency processing capabilities will be important when evaluating joint account requests and believes that such considerations are already accounted for under several of the principles, including consideration of the private-sector arrangement's ability to minimize disruption to its system and to meet the requirements of the PSR Policy (principle three), the agent's ability to monitor transactions originated and received by the account (principle four), and whether the arrangement poses undue risk to the overall payment system (principle five). As those considerations are included in the final guidelines, the Board does not intend to include a separate contingency assessment as part of principle four.

    The same commenter asked that the guidelines set forth a clearly defined review process for assessing the financial soundness of operators. The Board agrees that providing further information may be helpful to requestors and the final guidelines clarify that it will likely be necessary to review (among other things) the financial statements of operators, as well as cash flow projections (including capital and operating expenses). The Board also believes that those financial soundness factors would be more appropriately addressed under the final guidelines' third principle when considering the Federal Reserve's objectives to promote a safe, efficient, and accessible payment system for U.S. dollar transactions. In the final guidelines, the Board has therefore identified those elements as considerations under principle three. The Board does not believe, however, it would be appropriate to create a standardized review process for assessing the financial soundness of every operator, or to establish expectations that only certain information related to the financial condition of the operator will be relevant as part of assessing a joint account request. Ultimately, the specific considerations necessary to determine whether an operator is financially sound will vary depending on the nature of the private-sector arrangement and the individual entity.

    The final guidelines no longer discuss an assessment of the financial soundness of each participant under principle four (absent a potential for further analysis of any atypical risk presented by a potential joint account holder, as discussed under the first guideline). The Board believes that the Reserve Banks already apply appropriate controls to account holders as necessary to mitigate risks that may result from financially unsound institutions. Moreover, the financial soundness of participating depository institutions is already considered by a depository institution's supervisor. In light of these various factors, the Board does not believe it is necessary to assess each individual joint account holder's financial soundness as part of evaluating a request.

    Lastly, the explanatory paragraphs to the final guidelines provide that the account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank at the time of account opening, or any time thereafter, may include obligations relating to, or conditions or limitations on, use of the joint account as necessary to limit any operational, credit, legal, or reputational risks posed to the Reserve Banks.

    5. Provision of a joint account should not create undue risk to the overall payment system.

    Under the fifth proposed principle, a private-sector arrangement should not cause undue credit, settlement, or other risks to the efficient operation of other payment systems or the payment system as a whole. In evaluating a joint account request under this proposed principle, the Board proposed that the operational and financial interaction with, and use of, other payment systems would be relevant, as would the extent to which use of the joint account may restrict a portion of funds from being available to support intraday liquidity needs of depository institutions for other payment and settlement activity.

    Three commenters addressed the fifth proposed principle. While all three commenters were generally supportive, two of the commenters suggested modifications to the proposed principle and its considerations. As discussed above, the Board received one comment from a national payments association under principle five that the Board believed was relevant for evaluation under principle three. One depository institution commenter suggested that the principle should include an assessment of individual joint account holders' liquidity needs to ensure that the private-sector arrangement does not negatively impact the ability to meet further obligations. The Board does not believe, however, that it would be appropriate to assess the liquidity needs of each individual account holder in considering a joint account request. Joint account holders should be effectively managing their unique liquidity needs, which may change over time. Institutions participating in private-sector arrangements should ensure liquidity management is appropriately robust and quantitative in light of the nature of the arrangement, particularly where its objective is to facilitate faster payments. Moreover, the liquidity of participating depository institutions will likely already be considered by a depository institution's supervisor. However, the Board agrees that issues of liquidity will be a critical consideration in evaluating joint account requests and believes that the overall impact of the private-sector arrangement on liquidity should already be adequately assessed as part of the fifth principle, which includes consideration of the extent to which the use of the joint account may restrict a portion of funds from being available to support liquidity needs of depository institutions for other payment and settlement activity.

    In addition, the explanatory paragraphs of the final guidelines provide that the account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank at the time of account opening or any time thereafter may include obligations relating to, and conditions or limitations on, use of the joint account to limit risks to financial stability and the implementation of monetary policy (see principle six), as well as other risks that may arise.

    6. Provision of a joint account should not adversely affect monetary policy operations.

    Finally, the provision of a joint account could have important implications for monetary policy implementation, particularly if the end-of-day balances in a joint account or joint accounts in the aggregate fluctuate to the extent that they materially affect the demand for or supply of reserve balances.13 Such fluctuations would be a concern in a monetary policy framework that relies on controlling the supply of reserves and in which reserve balances are relatively scarce. Under the sixth proposed principle, a joint account would not be opened if it would adversely affect the conduct of monetary policy. The Board explained that evaluation of the potential monetary policy implications would include whether the balance in the joint account would be treated as reserves (that is, would either be available to satisfy any joint account holder's reserve balance requirement or be treated as excess reserves), the expected predictability and volatility of the aggregate end-of-day balance of the joint account, and the potential for a Reserve Bank to impose limitations on account volatility without affecting the intended function of the arrangement. The Board further identified several areas where it may be necessary for the account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank to include limits or controls, such as limiting account volatility and account size or requiring a private-sector arrangement to provide information related to such issues.14 The Board requested comment on (1) how, if at all, the possibility of such limits affected interest in establishing a joint account or use of such an account once opened and (2) whether commenters believed other types of restrictions or conditions might be less burdensome, while being equally effective in attaining the same objectives.

    13 End-of-day balances refers to the balances in joint accounts at the time the Federal Reserve's accounting system closes for a given day.

    14 An information requirement might include a notice period within which the agent must notify the Reserve Bank of shifts in account balances greater than a designated threshold. The Board further explained that if other potential conditions discussed above are ineffective at mitigating the risks identified or if the obligations, limits or controls are breached, the account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank might be restricted further or the joint account may be closed if warranted.

    Four commenters addressed these issues. One commenter suggested that the Board treat balances held in a joint account as reserves. The treatment of joint account balances, however, will depend on the nature of the private-sector arrangement, including the rights and obligations of the parties involved. Determining whether balances held in a joint account qualify as reserves therefore will be assessed for each request individually. Moreover, the determination of whether balances in joint accounts are treated as reserves will not affect the potential need to predict and limit the volatility in the joint accounts. If joint account balances are determined to be reserve balances, then these balances will affect the demand for such balances, which is closely monitored and supplied by the Federal Reserve in a scarce reserve regime. Likewise, if joint account balances are not treated as reserves, they are a factor affecting the supply of reserve balances, meaning, all else equal, movements in joint account balances have similarly sized but opposite effects on the supply of reserve balances, which the Federal Reserve will need to offset to provide the appropriate level of reserves in a scarce reserve regime.

    None of the commenters opposed the principle or objected to the potential imposition of limits or controls. One commenter stated that institutions would be able to adequately adjust to any necessary limits or controls placed on the account. Two commenters suggested that any limits or controls be identified prior to opening a joint account, or be included in the account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank to provide clarity and certainty to private-sector arrangements. While the Board agrees that providing certainty would be beneficial to private-sector arrangements, limits or controls placed on joint accounts to mitigate monetary policy implications will necessarily depend on the framework in which the Federal Reserve is conducting monetary policy. Under a monetary policy framework where the policy rate is targeted by tightly managing the supply of reserves balances, the magnitude and predictability of daily changes in joint account balances would become important for monetary policy operations, and therefore it may be necessary to limit the volatility or size of a joint account or require advance notice of significant daily changes. However, under a monetary policy framework where the supply of reserve balances far exceeds the demand for reserve balances, joint account balances are likely to have a negligible effect on monetary policy operations, and such controls may not be necessary. The Board does not believe it would be possible to identify the exact limitations and controls that will be needed in all future policy frameworks.

    As explained previously, the explanatory paragraphs of the final guidelines provide that the account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank at the time of account opening or any time thereafter may include obligations relating to, or conditions or limitations on, use of the joint account to limit risks to financial stability and the implementation of monetary policy, as well as other risks that may arise. Accordingly, the final guidelines have been modified to include only the evaluation considerations under principle six. Finally, the Board has made minor technical changes under principle six for clarity.

    7. Responses to Additional Questions Posed by the Board.

    In response to the Board's request for comment on any other criteria or information that commenters believed may be relevant to evaluate a joint account request, one national payments association commenter suggested that the final guidelines include separate elements to evaluate a designated agent or operator of a joint account.15 The Board agrees that evaluation of the agent and operator is important. The Board does not believe, however, that it would be appropriate to establish separate, distinct criteria to evaluate the agent and operator apart from the private-sector arrangement, because the roles (and corresponding risks) of an agent or operator may vary depending on the specific design of a private-sector arrangement. Evaluating a private-sector arrangement's joint account request will necessarily consider the agent and operator, and the Board believes that both entities will be appropriately evaluated as part of that process under the final guidelines. For example, the risks posed to the participants of the private-sector arrangement will be necessarily considered in determining whether the private-sector arrangement has a sound legal and operational basis under principles two and three respectively, and the risks posed to the payment system as a whole would be considered under principle five.

    15 The commenter suggested that such separate criteria include, among other things, an appropriate risk assessment addressing the risks posed to the participants of the private-sector arrangement, the safety and integrity of the particular payment system established by the private-sector arrangement, and risks posed to the payment system as a whole, and an assessment of the agent's or operator's compliance with legal requirements and regulatory oversight.

    Three commenters supported making some level of information public about joint accounts established under the final guidelines. Two commenters noted that certain information should not be made public. One payment system operator commenter stated that confidential information (such as functional, technical, or operational details) should not be made public as it may result in risk or harm to the private-sector arrangement or its participants. Another commenter, a depository institution trade association, stated that unsuccessful joint account applications should not be made public.

    In considering these comments, the Board believes that public announcement of joint accounts could be interpreted by some as an endorsement by the Federal Reserve of the private-sector arrangement or of its safety and soundness. The Board believes it is necessary to avoid any appearance of endorsing a private entity or arrangement using a joint account. The Board also believes that making the disapproval of a joint account arrangement public could result in competitive harm to the entities involved. Therefore, the Board has determined that neither it nor the Reserve Banks intend to announce the opening of individual joint accounts or the corresponding individual private-sector arrangements. The Board believes that the private-sector arrangement will provide sufficient transparency to participants and end users about the method of settlement, including the use of a joint account. This approach is generally consistent with the treatment of other Federal Reserve accounts, for which neither the Board nor the Reserve Banks publish information upon account openings, with limited exceptions.16

    16 For example, the Board's H2 release publishes actions of the Board and the Reserve Banks, including authorizations to establish accounts for designated financial market utilities in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act.

    Consistent with the foregoing, the Board has clarified in the final guidelines that establishment of a joint account by the Reserve Banks is not intended as an endorsement or approval by the Federal Reserve of the payment system established by the private-sector arrangement and does not relieve any party to the private-sector arrangement or end user from conducting its own diligence on the arrangement generally, the associated risks of using the system established by the arrangement, or the acceptability of such risks.

    Commenters were generally silent as to additional criteria or information that may be relevant to evaluating joint account requests for U.S. depository institutions to provide services to foreign clearing and settlement arrangements. The final guidelines will generally apply in the event that a request is received related to a foreign clearing or settlement arrangement, but the level of scrutiny and information necessary may vary from domestic arrangements.17

    17 Like domestic arrangements, requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis; the considerations and information to evaluate a particular request will likely be based on the complexity of the arrangement and other factors. For example, in considering a request related to a foreign clearing or settlement arrangement, the relevant supervisory and examination framework under principle three may be whether the payment system established by the private-sector arrangement is subject to a level of supervision and examination commensurate with those of domestic arrangements.

    Finally, the Board requested comment on other steps or actions the Federal Reserve should consider to facilitate settlement in light of market participants' efforts to develop faster retail payment solutions. One commenter, a payment system operator, suggested that the Board coordinate with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's initiative on evaluating national bank charter applications from financial technology companies that engage in the business of banking. The Board does collaborate with other federal banking agencies on efforts to improve the payment system. Another depository institution trade association commenter recommended that the Federal Reserve continue to foster collaboration among a wide range of payments stakeholders across a broad range of issues in the same model as the Faster Payments Task Force to facilitate payment system improvements. The Board agrees that a collaborative approach has been productive and believes that it will continue to be valuable as the Federal Reserve and industry work to achieve the desired outcomes set forth in the Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System paper.

    Another payment service provider commenter suggested that the final guidelines be applied using a risk-based approach to evaluating joint account requests so that smaller private-sector arrangements or new entrants are evaluated in light of their specific volumes and risks. The Board does not believe that it would be prudent to evaluate smaller arrangements or new entrants under less-stringent criteria; an evaluation under the final guidelines should necessarily consider the specific risks posed by each private-sector arrangement. In certain instances, that may mean a smaller private-sector arrangement presents less risk by nature of its size. In other instances, a smaller private-sector arrangement may present significant risks in spite of its size. For these reasons, evaluation under the final guidelines will consider the specific risks posed by a joint account request, regardless of size.

    One commenter, a depository institution, asked the Federal Reserve to study how new payment methods have affected the payment system. Two other commenters recommended that the Board strive to balance burdens imposed by the final guidelines against the importance of payment system developments. The Board agrees that ensuring balanced guidelines is important to further the Federal Reserve's objectives of a safe, efficient, and accessible payment system, while avoiding undue burdens that lead to unintended consequences. The Board also agrees that monitoring existing and emerging payment methods provides useful information for achieving those objectives, and Federal Reserve staff will continuously consider developments in the payment system and any corresponding implications.18

    18 Including, for example, as part of the Federal Reserve Payments Study and through the Reserve Banks' payment research groups. https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/payres_about.htm.

    II. Final Guidelines for Evaluating Joint Account Requests

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) has adopted six principles and corresponding considerations (collectively, the guidelines) to be used in evaluating requests to the Federal Reserve Banks (Reserve Banks) for joint accounts intended to facilitate settlement between and among member banks and other eligible depository institutions (collectively depository institutions) participating in private-sector payment systems (private-sector arrangements).

    For purposes of these guidelines, a joint account is an account at a Reserve Bank where the rights and liabilities are shared among multiple account holders (joint account holders), that is, institutions that are eligible to open an account with a Reserve Bank. The Board contemplates that under these arrangements, the joint account holders will authorize a single entity to serve as their “agent” in providing instructions to the Reserve Bank at which the account would be held (the account-holding Reserve Bank) with respect to the account. The account-holding Reserve Bank would be authorized to act on any instruction provided by the agent, consistent with the provisions of the joint account agreement. The Board also contemplates that private-sector arrangements using joint accounts might also use an “operator” (which could be the agent of the joint account or a separate entity) for running the arrangement, which may include undertaking various steps in the payments process such as initiation, clearing, settlement, and reconciliation, or establishing rules and governance. “Participants” in the arrangement might include joint account holders, as well as other depository institutions and nondepository institutions that are directly part of the payment system established by the private-sector arrangement.

    The guidelines broadly outline considerations necessary for evaluating requests, but are not intended to provide assurance that any specific arrangement would be granted a joint account. Every request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with the type and extent of information necessary to evaluate a particular request likely dependent on the complexity of the arrangement. The guidelines apply to both domestic private-sector arrangements and foreign clearing or settlement arrangements. In the event that a request is received related to a foreign clearing or settlement arrangement, the level of scrutiny and information necessary may vary from domestic arrangements.

    In addition to the evaluation under the guidelines, the account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank may include (at the time of account opening or any time thereafter) obligations relating to, or conditions or limitations on, use of the joint account as necessary to limit operational, credit, legal, or reputational risks posed to the Reserve Banks. The account agreement may also impose obligations relating to, or conditions or limitations on, use of the joint account to limit risks to financial stability and the implementation of monetary policy, as well as other risks that may arise. Obligations, limitations or conditions to limit risks to financial stability, the implementation of monetary policy, or other risks that may arise would be used only as deemed necessary and may include, for example, limits on the level or volatility of account balances and requirements for information on projected balances or volatility of balances. An information requirement might include a notice period within which the agent must notify the account-holding Reserve Bank of shifts in the end-of-day account balances greater than a designated threshold. If the obligations, limitations, or controls are ineffective at mitigating the risks identified or if the obligations, limitations, or controls are breached, the account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank might be restricted further or the joint account may be closed if warranted.

    Establishment of a joint account by the Reserve Banks under these guidelines does not relieve any participant in the private-sector arrangement or any end user from conducting its own diligence on the arrangement generally, on any associated risks of using the payment system established by the private-sector arrangement, or on the acceptability of such risks. Establishment of a joint account by the Reserve Banks under these guidelines is not an endorsement or approval by the Board or Reserve Banks (collectively the Federal Reserve) of the payment system established by the private-sector arrangement. Moreover, nothing in the Board's guidelines relieves any institution from compliance with obligations imposed by an institution's supervisor.

    The following will be used in evaluating requests to the Reserve Banks for joint accounts intended to facilitate settlement between depository institutions participating in private-sector arrangements:

    1. Each joint account holder must meet all applicable legal requirements to have a Federal Reserve account, and the Reserve Bank will not have any obligation to any non-account holder with respect to the balance in and operation of the account.

    ○ Only an institution that is eligible to have a Federal Reserve account under applicable federal statute and Federal Reserve rules, policies, and procedures is able to be a joint account holder. Unless otherwise specified by statute, only those entities that are member banks or meet the definition of a depository institution under section 19(b) of the Federal Reserve Act are legally able to obtain Federal Reserve accounts and payment services.19

    19 There are certain statutory provisions allowing Reserve Banks to act as a depository and fiscal agent for the Treasury and certain government-sponsored entities (See i.e. 12 U.S.C. 391, 393-95, 1823, 1435) as well as for certain international organizations (See i.e. 22 U.S.C. 285d, 286d, 290o-3, 290i-5, 290l-3). In addition, Reserve Banks are authorized to offer deposit accounts to designated financial market utilities (12 U.S.C. 5465), Edge and Agreement corporations (12 U.S.C. 601-604a, 611-631), branches or agencies of foreign banks (12 U.S.C. 347d), and foreign banks and foreign states (12 U.S.C. 358).

    ○ As part of evaluating any joint account requests, and consistent with Federal Reserve policies and procedures, the account-holding Reserve Bank must approve all joint account holders that are part of a proposed private-sector arrangement. Some institutions may be eligible for a Federal Reserve account but may present atypical risk profiles, such as uninsured institutions. In these cases, a heightened analysis of that institution's participation as a joint account holder may be performed under one or more of the other guidelines.

    ○ The designated agent or operator of the private-sector arrangement would not need to be a depository institution, assuming it is not a joint account holder.

    ○ Consistent with the Reserve Banks' deposit-taking authority, a Reserve Bank's obligation with respect to any balance in a joint account will be owed solely to the joint account holders, and no non-account holders may have any rights against the Reserve Bank with respect to the balance. No party other than an account holder shall have a claim against the account-holding Reserve Bank in connection with the operation of the joint account, including any decision related to opening or refusing to open the account.

    2. The private-sector arrangement should demonstrate that it has a well-founded, clear, transparent, and enforceable legal basis in all aspects of its proposed arrangement.

    ○ Requestors of a joint account should provide supporting legal analysis as well as the system's rules, agreements, and other governing documents. The legal analysis should consider the application of applicable laws and regulations, such as U.C.C. 4A, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, U.S. sanction programs, Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering requirements or regulations, and other relevant laws and regulations; the attachment risk related to the account; and how the operation of the account would be affected by a participant's insolvency.

    3. The design and rules of the private-sector arrangement should be consistent with the Federal Reserve's policy objectives to promote a safe, efficient, and accessible payment system for U.S. dollar transactions.

    ○ In addition to any party's supervisory obligations, a private-sector arrangement that uses a joint account approved under these guidelines will be expected to manage risks consistent with the general policy expectations for payment systems outlined within Part I of the Board's Federal Reserve Policy on Payment System Risk (PSR Policy) at a minimum.20 These policy expectations apply even if the private-sector arrangement is not otherwise subject to the PSR Policy.21 Thus, before authorizing the establishment of a joint account, the private-sector arrangement would be expected to demonstrate that it has a general risk-management framework appropriate for the risks the system poses to the operator, agent, participants, the Reserve Bank granting the joint account, and other relevant parties and payment systems.

    20 As of the date of publication of the final guidelines, those expectations are identified in Part I, section C of the PSR Policy, “General policy expectations for other payment systems within the scope of the policy” (as amended effective September 23, 2016). The PSR Policy is available at https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/files/psr_policy.pdf.

    21 The Board's PSR Policy sets forth standards regarding the management of risks that financial market infrastructures (FMIs) present to the financial system when an FMI expects to settle a daily aggregate gross value of $5 billion on a given day and when providing accounts and services to FMIs. Generally, FMIs are multilateral systems among participating financial institutions, including the system operator, used for the purposes of clearing, settling, or recording payments, securities, or other financial transactions. For the purposes of a system that uses a joint account to facilitate settlement, the standards would be applicable regardless of the daily aggregate gross value in a given day.

    ○ The private-sector arrangement should have policies and procedures to minimize disruption to its system when one of its participants, the agent, or the operator fails or in the event of operational failures. The arrangement's rules should also sufficiently address the responsibilities and liabilities of the participants, agent, and operator in cases of operational disruption, or erroneous or fraudulent conduct.

    ○ Requests for joint accounts involving a financially unsound operator would not be approved. Evaluation may include, among other things, reviewing financial statements of the operator, as well as cash flow projections (including capital and operating expenses).

    ○ Evaluation under this principle will take into account the applicable supervisory framework for the private-sector arrangement.22 The payment system established by a private-sector arrangement (including the operator) should be subject to federal or state supervision and should also be subject to the jurisdiction of a federal banking agency with the authority to examine or inspect the private-sector arrangement and take supervisory actions against the arrangement or its participants.23 This means for a payment system established by a private-sector arrangement and supervised by a state regulatory body, a federal banking agency need not be engaging in active supervision or examination, but should have the authority to do so when the risk, scope, and operations call for such supervision or examination. For example, under the Bank Service Company Act, federal banking agencies have the authority to examine third-party service providers that perform services for depository institutions that the depository institution could otherwise do itself.

    22 Nothing in the Board's guidelines should be interpreted to relieve any participant in the private-sector arrangement from compliance with obligations imposed by an institution's supervisor, including for example related to financial resources, liquidity, participant default management, and other aspects of risk management.

    23 A federal banking agency would include the Board; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

    ○ An evaluation under this principle would assess whether the system is widely available for use by its intended end users, is designed to minimize the risk of disruption (rejection or delay of payments) to end users, and promotes transparency for end users and the public more broadly (for example, by making its operating rules, rulemaking processes, list of participants, or certain network statistics publicly available). Evaluation under this guideline would also assess whether the system creates inefficiencies in payment processes or barriers to interoperability within the U.S. dollar payment system. Also of relevance is whether the private-sector arrangement promotes payment system improvements and innovations and the extent to which the arrangement fosters competition in the payment system (for example between providers of payment services).

    ○ Finally, the design and rules of the private-sector arrangement, including rules relating to the funding of and disbursements from the joint account, should be consistent with the intended use of the account, such that a participant can only use the balances for the intended purpose of settling payments in the associated system.

    4. The provision of the joint account should not create undue credit, settlement, or other risks to the Reserve Banks.

    ○ The agent and the joint account holders should demonstrate an ongoing ability to meet all obligations under the joint account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank.

    ○ The manner in which the joint account will be used in support of the private-sector arrangement and any anticipated use of Reserve Bank services should be identified.

    ○ Reserve Banks will not extend overnight or intraday credit to a joint account. The private-sector arrangement should structure its use of the joint account and Reserve Bank services in a manner that seeks to avoid intraday overdrafts. The agent also should demonstrate ways to monitor the joint account on an ongoing basis to avoid overdrafts and to promptly cover any inadvertent overdrafts.

    ○ Further, the agent should demonstrate the ability to appropriately monitor transactions into and out of the joint account.

    5. The provision of a joint account should not create undue risk to the overall payment system.

    ○ The private-sector arrangement should not cause undue credit, settlement, or other risks to the efficient operation of other payment systems or the payment system as a whole.

    ○ The operational and financial interaction with and use of other payment systems should be identified.

    ○ The extent to which the use of the joint account may restrict a portion of funds from being available to support liquidity needs of depository institutions for other payment and settlement activity will also be considered.

    6. The provision of a joint account should not adversely affect monetary policy operations.

    ○ Evaluation of the potential monetary policy implications of the use of a joint account will include whether the balance in the joint account would be treated as reserves (that is, treated as available to satisfy any joint account holder's reserve balance requirements or as excess reserves), the expected predictability and volatility of the end-of-day joint account balances, and the potential for the account agreement with the account-holding Reserve Bank to impose limitations on account volatility without affecting the intended function of the arrangement. This evaluation will occur regardless of the current monetary policy implementation framework in place.

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 9, 2017. Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18705 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 162 3063] TaxSlayer, LLC; Analysis To Aid Public Comment AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed consent agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Privacy Rule, and of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Safeguards Rule. The attached Analysis To Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 29, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write: “In the Matter of TaxSlayer, LLC, File No. 1623063” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/taxslayerconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “In the Matter of TaxSlayer, LLC, File No. 1623063” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine McCarron (202-326-2333) and Jacqueline Connor (202-326-2844), Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis To Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for August 29, 2017), on the World Wide Web, at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/commission-actions.

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before September 29, 2017. Write “In the Matter of TaxSlayer, LLC, File No. 1623063” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments.

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/taxslayerconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “In the Matter of TaxSlayer, LLC, File No. 1623063” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC. 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible FTC Web site at https://www.ftc.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else's Social Security number; date of birth; driver's license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not include any “trade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential”—as provided by Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)—including in particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the public FTC Web site—as legally required by FTC Rule 4.9(b)—we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC Web site, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request.

    Visit the FTC Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before September 29, 2017. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

    Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from TaxSlayer, LLC (“TaxSlayer”).

    The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission again will review the agreement and the comments received and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement or make final the agreement's proposed order.

    This matter involves TaxSlayer, a company that advertises, offers for sale, sells, and distributes products and services to consumers, including TaxSlayer Online, a browser-based tax return preparation and electronic filing software and service. TaxSlayer Online assists consumers, typically for a fee, in preparing and electronically filing federal and state income tax returns. In 2016, more than 950,000 individuals filed tax returns using TaxSlayer Online.

    TaxSlayer Online users create an account by entering a username and password (“login credentials”) on an account creation page. They then input a host of personal information in order to create a tax return, including but not limited to: Name, Social Security number (“SSN”), telephone number, physical address, income, employment status, marital status, identity of dependents, financial assets, financial activities, receipt of government benefits, home ownership, indebtedness, health insurance, retirement information, charitable donations, tax payments, tax refunds, bank account numbers, and payment card numbers.

    TaxSlayer Online uses this personal information to prepare tax returns on behalf of customers. Once a tax return is prepared, a customer can file the return electronically through TaxSlayer Online with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and state departments of revenue. If a customer is entitled to a refund, TaxSlayer offers the option of directing the refund into a customer's bank account, or customers may elect to receive their refunds on a prepaid debit card.

    The complaint alleges that TaxSlayer became subject to a list validation attack that began in October 2015. List validation attacks occur when attackers use lists of stolen login credentials to attempt to access accounts across a number of Web sites, knowing that consumers often reuse login credentials. In an unknown number of instances, the attackers engaged in tax identity theft by e-filing fraudulent tax returns and diverting the fabricated refunds to themselves.

    The Commission's complaint alleges that TaxSlayer failed to comply with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (“GLB”) Act Privacy Rule in two ways. First, TaxSlayer failed to provide a clear and conspicuous initial privacy notice. TaxSlayer's Privacy Policy was contained towards the end of a long License Agreement, and TaxSlayer did not convey the importance, nature, and relevance of this Privacy Policy to its customers. Second, TaxSlayer failed to deliver the initial privacy notice so that each customer could reasonably be expected to receive actual notice. For example, TaxSlayer did not require customers to acknowledge receipt of the initial privacy notice as a necessary step to obtaining a particular financial product or service.

    In addition, the complaint alleges that TaxSlayer engaged in a number of practices that, taken together, failed to provide reasonable and appropriate security for sensitive information from consumers, in violation of the GLB Act Safeguards Rule. First, TaxSlayer failed to have a written information security program until November 2015. Second, TaxSlayer failed to conduct a risk assessment, which would have identified reasonably foreseeable risks to the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information, including risks associated with inadequate authentication. Third, TaxSlayer failed to implement information safeguards to control the risks to customer information from inadequate authentication.

    The proposed order contains provisions designed to prevent TaxSlayer from engaging in practices similar to those alleged in the complaint. Part I prohibits TaxSlayer from violating any provision of the GLB Act Privacy Rule and Safeguards Rule. Part II of the proposed order requires TaxSlayer to obtain, within the first one hundred eighty (180) days after service of the order and on a biennial basis thereafter for a period of ten (10) years, an assessment and report from a qualified, objective, independent third-party professional, certifying, among other things, that: (1) It has in place a security program that provides protections that meet or exceed the protections required by Part I.B of the order, and (2) its security program is operating with sufficient effectiveness to provide reasonable assurance that the security, confidentiality, and integrity of sensitive consumer information has been protected.

    Parts III through VII of the proposed order are reporting and compliance provisions. Part III requires dissemination of the order now and in the future to all current and future principals, offers, directors, and LLC managers and directors, and to persons with managerial or supervisory responsibilities relating to Parts I through IV of the order. Part IV ensures notification to the FTC of changes in corporate status and mandates that TaxSlayer submit an initial compliance report to the FTC. Part V requires TaxSlayer to retain documents relating to its compliance with the order for a five-year period. Part VI mandates that TaxSlayer make available to the FTC information or subsequent compliance reports, as requested. Part VII is a provision “sunsetting” the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.

    The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed complaint or order, or to modify in any way the proposed order's terms.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18706 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0089: Docket No. 2017-0053; Sequence 3] Submission for OMB Review; Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Rate, Standard Form 1444 AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Rate, Standard Form (SF) 1444. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 20340 on May 1, 2017. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number 9000-0089. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0089, Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Rate, SF 1444.” Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0089, Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Rate, SF 1444” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Sosa/IC 9000-0089.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0089, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Zenaida Delgado, Procurement Analyst, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, GSA, 202-969-7207 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Purpose

    Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 22.406 prescribes labor standards for federally financed and assisted construction contracts subject to the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA), as well as labor standards for non-construction contracts subject to the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA).

    The recordkeeping requirements in this regulation, FAR 22.406, reflect the requirements cleared under OMB control numbers 1235-0023, 1235-0008, and 1235-0018 for 29 CFR 5.5(a)(1)(i), 5.5(c), and 5.15 (records to be kept by employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)). The regulation at 29 CFR 516 reflects the basic recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the laws administered by the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.

    FAR 22.406-3, implements the recordkeeping and information collection requirements prescribed in 29 CFR 5.5(a)(1)(ii) cleared under OMB control number 1235-0023 (also prescribed at 48 CFR 22.406 under OMB control number 9000-0089), by providing SF 1444, Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Rate, for the contractor and the Government to enter the recordkeeping and information collection data required by 29 CFR 5.5(a)(1)(ii) prior to transmitting the data to the Department of Labor.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Number of Respondents: 3,831.

    Responses per Respondent: 2.

    Total Annual Responses: 7,662.

    Review time per response: 0.5.

    Total Burden Hours: 3,831.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the FAR, and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requester may obtain a copy of the justification from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0089, Request for Authorization of Additional Classification and Rate, SF 1444, in all correspondence.

    Dated: August 29, 2017. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-18676 Filed 9-1-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 3090-XXXX; Docket No. 2017-0001; Sequence 3] Submission for OMB Review; Ombudsman Inquiry/Request Instrument AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of the Procurement Ombudsman (OPO), General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments regarding a new request for an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the OMB a request to review and approve a new information collection requirement regarding OMB Control No: 3090-XXXX; Ombudsman Inquiry/Request Instrument. A notice was published in the Federal Register on May 19, 2017. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before October 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for “Information Collection 3090-XXXX; Ombudsman Inquiry/Request Instrument.” Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-XXXX; Inquiry/Request Instrument.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-XXXX; Ombudsman Inquiry/Request Instrument” on your attached document.