Federal Register Vol. 82, No.191,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 191 (October 4, 2017)

Page Range46123-46368
FR Document

82_FR_191
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 46367 - Revocation of Executive Order Creating Labor- Management ForumsPDF
82 FR 46363 - Continuance of Certain Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
82 FR 46361 - Child Health Day, 2017PDF
82 FR 46359 - National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2017PDF
82 FR 46357 - National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, 2017PDF
82 FR 46355 - National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 2017PDF
82 FR 46353 - National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2017PDF
82 FR 46237 - Sunshine Act Meeting; Farm Credit Administration BoardPDF
82 FR 46289 - Report on the Criteria and Methodology for Determining the Eligibility of Candidate Countries for Millennium Challenge Account Assistance in Fiscal Year 2018PDF
82 FR 46181 - Medicare Program; Establishment of Special Payment Provisions and Requirements for Qualified Practitioners and Qualified Suppliers of Prosthetics and Custom-Fabricated Orthotics; WithdrawalPDF
82 FR 46182 - Administrative Simplification: Certification of Compliance for Health Plans; WithdrawalPDF
82 FR 46182 - Medicare Program; Part B Drug Payment Model; WithdrawalPDF
82 FR 46181 - Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Revisions to Certain Patient's Rights Conditions for Participation and Conditions for Coverage; WithdrawalPDF
82 FR 46345 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Transportation Projects in FloridaPDF
82 FR 46281 - Public Meeting of the Yakima River Basin Conservation Advisory GroupPDF
82 FR 46225 - Notice of Intent To Grant an Exclusive Patent LicensePDF
82 FR 46251 - Findings of Research MisconductPDF
82 FR 46342 - Department of State FY 2016 Service Contract InventoryPDF
82 FR 46344 - Public Notice for Land Release; Skagit Regional Airport, Burlington, WAPDF
82 FR 46309 - Notification of a Public Meeting of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (Commission)PDF
82 FR 46285 - Hearings of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of EvidencePDF
82 FR 46343 - Membership on the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife TraffickingPDF
82 FR 46342 - Delegation of Authority: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act and Atomic Energy ActPDF
82 FR 46171 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
82 FR 46226 - Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Part 216, Types of ContractsPDF
82 FR 46283 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
82 FR 46286 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability ActPDF
82 FR 46197 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Threatened Species Status for the Candy DarterPDF
82 FR 46183 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12 Month Findings on Petitions To List the Holiday Darter, Trispot Darter, and Bridled Darter; Threatened Species Status for Trispot DarterPDF
82 FR 46310 - Availability of Revised NRC Form 3, “Notice to Employees”PDF
82 FR 46343 - Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity AdjustmentPDF
82 FR 46212 - Codex Alimentarius Commission: Ad Hoc Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial ResistancePDF
82 FR 46227 - DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory PanelPDF
82 FR 46219 - Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Amended Final Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation and Notice of Second Amended Final DeterminationPDF
82 FR 46284 - Polytetrafluoroethylene (“PTFE”) Resin From China and India; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase InvestigationsPDF
82 FR 46222 - Initiation and Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review: Antidumping Duty Order on Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod From MexicoPDF
82 FR 46221 - Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) ReviewsPDF
82 FR 46217 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative ReviewPDF
82 FR 46215 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 272-Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania: Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Fuling Plastic USA, Inc. (Disposable Plastic and Paper Service Ware and Kitchenware Products); Allentown, PennsylvaniaPDF
82 FR 46216 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 127-West Columbia, South Carolina; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; BGM America, Inc.; Subzone 127C; (Sailboats, Cabin Cruiser Powerboats, Outboard Motor Boats); Marion, South CarolinaPDF
82 FR 46313 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 46313 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
82 FR 46225 - Public Availability of Fiscal Year 2016 Service Contract InventoryPDF
82 FR 46226 - Basic Energy Sciences Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 46255 - Announcement of Funding AwardsPDF
82 FR 46224 - International Trade Data System Test Concerning the Electronic Submission of Certain Data Required for the Seafood Import Monitoring ProgramPDF
82 FR 46170 - Authorization of Revised Reporting Requirements Due to Catastrophic Conditions for Federal Seafood Dealers and Individual Fishing Quota Dealers in Portions of FloridaPDF
82 FR 46227 - Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 46163 - Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities for FY 2018, SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNF Quality Reporting Program, Survey Team Composition, and Correction of the Performance Period for the NHSN HCP Influenza Vaccination Immunization Reporting Measure in the ESRD QIP for PY 2020; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 46312 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Procedures for MeetingsPDF
82 FR 46138 - Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System and Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2018 Rates; Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers; Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program Requirements for Eligible Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, and Eligible Professionals; Provider-Based Status of Indian Health Service and Tribal Facilities and Organizations; Costs Reporting and Provider Requirements; Agreement Termination Notices; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 46343 - Public HearingPDF
82 FR 46237 - Notice of Termination; 10086-Security Bank of Gwinnett County, Suwanee, GeorgiaPDF
82 FR 46288 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance ProgramPDF
82 FR 46288 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Mine Accident, Injury, and Illness Report and Quarterly Mine Employment and Coal Production ReportPDF
82 FR 46238 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
82 FR 46250 - Patient Engagement Advisory Committee; Amendment of NoticePDF
82 FR 46173 - Accuracy of Advertising and Notice of Insured StatusPDF
82 FR 46343 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “François Morellet” ExhibitionPDF
82 FR 46341 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: Exhibition of Paintings by Women Artists in Paris Between 1850 and 1900PDF
82 FR 46342 - Notice of Determinations; Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Veronese in Murano: Two Venetian Renaissance Masterpieces Restored” ExhibitionPDF
82 FR 46237 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals Submissions, and ApprovalsPDF
82 FR 46215 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Texas Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 46213 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Oregon Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 46213 - Notice of Public Meeting of the California Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 46214 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 46214 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Connecticut Advisory CommitteePDF
82 FR 46236 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 46298 - Closing the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund and Setting the Share Insurance Fund Normal Operating LevelPDF
82 FR 46297 - Request for Comment Regarding National Credit Union Administration Draft 2018-2022 Strategic PlanPDF
82 FR 46281 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
82 FR 46227 - Buckeye Power, Inc.; Notice of FilingPDF
82 FR 46232 - EGP Stillwater Solar PV II, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request For Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 46230 - Estill Solar I, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
82 FR 46232 - Bonneville Power Administration; Notice of FilingPDF
82 FR 46227 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
82 FR 46229 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 46230 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
82 FR 46285 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Release and Receipt of Imported Firearms, Ammunition and Defense Articles; ATF F 6A (5330.3C)PDF
82 FR 46287 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
82 FR 46248 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Content and Format of Labeling for Human Prescription Drugs and Biological Products; Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation LabelingPDF
82 FR 46238 - Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation and Johnson & Johnson; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
82 FR 46241 - Abbott Laboratories and Alere Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
82 FR 46243 - Moonlight Slumber, LLC; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
82 FR 46228 - KEI (Maine) Power Management (III) LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Ready for Environmental Analysis, and Soliciting Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and PrescriptionsPDF
82 FR 46234 - FirstLight Hydro Generating Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
82 FR 46231 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-505 and FERC-512); Consolidated Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
82 FR 46335 - Exemptive Relief for Individuals and Entities Affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma or MariaPDF
82 FR 46254 - Waiver of Compliance With Navigation Laws; Hurricane MariaPDF
82 FR 46329 - National Securities Clearing CorporationPDF
82 FR 46313 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq GEMX, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of Fees To Make It Clear That the Nasdaq GEMX Trades Feed Is a Free Offering of the ExchangePDF
82 FR 46325 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE American LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend NYSE American Rule 5.2E (j)(6)PDF
82 FR 46319 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Introduce the Intellicator Analytic ToolPDF
82 FR 46315 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend MIAX Options Rule 529, Order Routing to Other ExchangesPDF
82 FR 46323 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BYX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.23, Opening Process, and Rule 11.26, Usage of Data Feeds, To Reflect the Name Change of NYSE MKT to NYSE AmericanPDF
82 FR 46317 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.7, Opening Process, and Rule 13.4, Usage of Data Feeds, To Reflect the Name Change of NYSE MKT to NYSE AmericanPDF
82 FR 46338 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Withdrawal of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 2, Relating to the Listing and Trading of Shares of the Bitcoin Investment Trust Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.201PDF
82 FR 46315 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade Shares of ProShares QuadPro Funds Under Commentary .02 to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.200PDF
82 FR 46332 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Order Approving Proposed Rule Changes To Adopt the Clearing Agency Operational Risk Management FrameworkPDF
82 FR 46282 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
82 FR 46233 - Watterra Energy, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
82 FR 46234 - San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corporation and the California Power Exchange, Investigation of Practices of the California Independent System Operator and the California Power Exchange Corporation, Investigation of Wholesale Rates of Public Utility Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services in the Western Systems Coordinating Council, State of California, ex rel. Bill Lockyer, Attorney General of the State of California v. British Columbia Power Exchange Corp., Fact-Finding Investigation nto Possible Manipulation of Electric and Natural Gas Prices, Aquila, Inc., Aquila, Inc., California Independent System Operator Corporation, Investigation of Anomalous Bidding Behavior and Practices in the Western Markets, Notice of FilingPDF
82 FR 46233 - Florida Southeast Connection, LLC; Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Southeast Market Pipelines ProjectPDF
82 FR 46235 - Notice Soliciting Scoping Comments; Village of Lyndonville Electric DepartmentPDF
82 FR 46253 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request, The National Institute of Mental Health Data Archive (NDA), National Institute of Mental HealthPDF
82 FR 46253 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 46252 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
82 FR 46253 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 46252 - National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 46349 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
82 FR 46349 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 637PDF
82 FR 46247 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment Request; Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection (OMB Approval Number 0985-0042); State Grant for Assistive Technology Program Annual Progress Report (AT APR)PDF
82 FR 46246 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Public Comment Request; Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection (ICR-Rev); State Developmental Disabilities Council-Annual Program Performance Report (PPR)PDF
82 FR 46346 - Gillig, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
82 FR 46132 - Safety Zone; Upper Mississippi River, Crystal City, MOPDF
82 FR 46297 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Ad Hoc Task Force on Big Data; MeetingPDF
82 FR 46209 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Commercial Management MeasuresPDF
82 FR 46311 - STP Nuclear Operating Company; South Texas Project, Units 1 and 2PDF
82 FR 46339 - Social Security Ruling, SSR 17-4p; Titles II and XVI: Responsibility for Developing Written EvidencePDF
82 FR 46245 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 46134 - Air Plan Approval; North Carolina; Interstate TransportPDF
82 FR 46136 - Air Plan Approval; Georgia; Regional Haze Progress ReportPDF
82 FR 46286 - Meeting of the Compact Council for the National Crime Prevention and Privacy CompactPDF
82 FR 46174 - Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019; Availability of Supplemental Information and Request for Further CommentPDF
82 FR 46123 - Stage 5 Airplane Noise StandardsPDF
82 FR 46205 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 17BPDF
82 FR 46211 - Notice of Request for Renewal and Revision of the Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 46280 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Bull Mountain Unit Master Development Plan, Gunnison County, COPDF

Issue

82 191 Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Federal Crop Insurance Corporation

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Exclusive Patent Licenses; Approvals: Regents of University of California, 46225 2017-21368 Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Release and Receipt of Imported Firearms, Ammunition and Defense Articles, 46285-46286 2017-21295 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicare Program: Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System and Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2018 Rates; Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers; etc., 46138-46163 2017-21325 Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities for FY 2018, SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNF Quality Reporting Program, Survey Team Composition, and Correction of the Performance Period for the NHSN HCP Influenza Vaccination Immunization Reporting Measure in the ESRD QIP for PY 2020; Correction, 46163-46170 2017-21327 PROPOSED RULES Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Revisions to Certain Patient's Rights Conditions for Participation and Conditions for Coverage; Withdrawal, 46181 2017-21419 Medicare Program: Establishment of Special Payment Provisions and Requirements for Qualified Practitioners and Qualified Suppliers of Prosthetics and Custom Fabricated Orthotics; Withdrawal, 46181-46182 2017-21425 Part B Drug Payment Model; Withdrawal, 46182 2017-21420 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46245 2017-21249 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Arizona Advisory Committee, 46214-46215 2017-21308 California Advisory Committee, 46213-46214 2017-21309 Connecticut Advisory Committee, 46214 2017-21307 Oregon Advisory Committee, 46213 2017-21310 Texas Advisory Committee, 46215 2017-21311 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Upper Mississippi River, Crystal City, MO, 46132-46134 2017-21256 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Public Availability of Fiscal Year 2016 Service Contract Inventory, 46225 2017-21334 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Developmental Disabilities Council—Annual Program Performance Report, 46246-46247 2017-21258 State Grant for Assistive Technology Program Annual Progress Report, 46247-46248 2017-21259 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Part 216, Types of Contracts, 46226 2017-21355 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Charter Renewals: Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee, 46227 2017-21328 Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, 46226-46227 2017-21332 DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, 46227 2017-21346
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Georgia; Regional Haze Progress Report, 46136-46138 2017-21246 North Carolina; Interstate Transport, 46134-46136 2017-21247 PROPOSED RULES Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019, 46174-46180 2017-21128 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46236-46237 2017-21306 2017-21312 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 46237 2017-21487 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Stage 5 Airplane Noise Standards, 46123-46132 2017-21092 NOTICES Land Releases: Skagit Regional Airport, Burlington, WA, 46344-46345 2017-21361 Federal Bureau Federal Bureau of Investigation NOTICES Meetings: Council for National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact, 46286 2017-21184 Federal Crop Federal Crop Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46211-46212 2017-20975 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Receiverships; Terminations: Security Bank of Gwinnett County, Suwanee, GA, 46237-46238 2017-21323 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46231-46232 2017-21286 Applications: FirstLight Hydro Generating Co., 46234-46235 2017-21287 KEI (Maine) Power Management (III), LLC, 46228-46229 2017-21288 Combined Filings, 46227-46231 2017-21296 2017-21297 2017-21298 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Florida Southeast Connection, LLC, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., LLC, Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC; Southeast Market Pipelines Project, 46233-46234 2017-21269 Filings: Bonneville Power Administration, 46232 2017-21299 Buckeye Power, Inc., 46227 2017-21302 San Diego Gas and Electric Co. v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services into Markets Operated by California Independent System Operator Corp. and California Power Exchange, et al., 46234 2017-21270 Hydroelectric Applications: Village of Lyndonville Electric Dept., 46235-46236 2017-21268 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: EGP Stillwater Solar PV II, LLC, 46232-46233 2017-21301 Estill Solar I, LLC, 46230 2017-21300 Preliminary Permit Applications: Watterra Energy, LLC, 46233 2017-21271 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Transportation Projects in Florida, 46345-46346 2017-21372 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 46238 2017-21319 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Proposed Consent Agreements: Abbott Laboratories and Alere Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 46241-46243 2017-21290 Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corp. and Johnson and Johnson; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 46238-46241 2017-21291 Moonlight Slumber, LLC; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 46243-46245 2017-21289 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: 12 Month Findings on Petitions To List Holiday Darter, Trispot Darter, and Bridled Darter; Threatened Species Status for Trispot Darter, 46183-46197 2017-21350 Proposed Threatened Species Status for Candy Darter, 46197-46205 2017-21351 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Content and Format of Labeling for Human Prescription Drugs and Biological Products; Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling, 46248-46250 2017-21292 Meetings: Patient Engagement Advisory Committee; Amendment, 46250-46251 2017-21317 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Meetings: Codex Alimentarius Commission: Ad Hoc Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance, 46212-46213 2017-21347 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: BGM America, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 127, West Columbia, SC, 46216-46217 2017-21337 Fuling Plastic USA, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 272, Lehigh Valley, PA, 46215-46216 2017-21338 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

PROPOSED RULES Administrative Simplification: Certification of Compliance for Health Plans; Withdrawal, 46182 2017-21424 NOTICES Findings of Research Misconduct, 46251-46252 2017-21367
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

NOTICES Waivers of Compliance With Navigation Laws: Hurricane Maria, 46254 2017-21283
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Announcement of Funding Awards, 46255-46280 2017-21331 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Reclamation Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46349-46350 2017-21260 2017-21262 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Mexico, 46222-46223 2017-21341 Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China, 46219-46220 2017-21343 Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews, 46221-46222 2017-21340 Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 46217-46219 2017-21339 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Insulated Beverage Containers, Components, Labels, and Packaging Materials Thereof, 46282-46283 2017-21272 Certain Wafer-Level Packaging Semiconductor Devices and Products Containing Same (Including Cellular Phones, Tablets, Laptops, and Notebooks) and Components Thereof, 46283-46284 2017-21354 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin From China and India, 46284-46285 2017-21342 Judicial Conference Judicial Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Federal Rules of Evidence; Cancellation, 46285 2017-21359 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

See

Federal Bureau of Investigation

NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees: CERCLA, 46286-46287 2017-21353 Clean Water Act, 46287 2017-21293
Labor Department Labor Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program, 46288 2017-21321 Mine Accident, Injury, and Illness Report and Quarterly Mine Employment and Coal Production Report, 46288-46289 2017-21320 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Records of Decisions: Bull Mountain Unit Master Development Plan, Gunnison County, CO, 46280-46281 2017-20948 Millenium Millennium Challenge Corporation NOTICES Reports to Congress: Criteria and Methodology for Determining Eligibility of Candidate Countries for Millennium Challenge Account Assistance in Fiscal Year 2018, 46289-46297 2017-21448 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Council; Science Committee; Ad Hoc Task Force on Big Data, 46297 2017-21255 National Credit National Credit Union Administration PROPOSED RULES Accuracy of Advertising and Notice of Insured Status, 46173-46174 2017-21316 NOTICES Closing Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund and Setting Share Insurance Fund Normal Operating Level, 46298-46309 2017-21305 Requests for Comments: Draft 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, 46297-46298 2017-21304 National Drug National Drug Control Policy Office NOTICES Meetings: President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, 46309-46310 2017-21360 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Petitions for Decisions of Inconsequential Noncompliance: Gillig, LLC, 46346-46349 2017-21257 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46253-46254 2017-21267 Meetings: National Human Genome Research Institute, 46252 2017-21263 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 46253 2017-21264 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 46252-46253 2017-21265 2017-21266 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Authorization of Revised Reporting Requirements Due to Catastrophic Conditions for Federal Seafood Dealers and Individual Fishing Quota Dealers in Portions of Florida, 46170-46171 2017-21329 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Ocean Perch in Bering Sea Subarea of Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 46171-46172 2017-21356 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Shrimp Fishery of Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 17B, 46205-46209 2017-21039 Fisheries Off West Coast States: Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Commercial Management Measures, 46209-46210 2017-21254 NOTICES International Trade Data System Test Concerning Electronic Submission of Certain Data Required for Seafood Import Monitoring Program, 46224-46225 2017-21330 National Park National Park Service NOTICES National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Actions, 46281 2017-21303 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Availability of Revised NRC Form 3, “Notice to Employees”, 46310-46311 2017-21349 License Renewals: STP Nuclear Operating Co.; South Texas Project, Units 1 and 2, 46311 2017-21253 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Procedures for Meetings, 46312-46313 2017-21326 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 46313 2017-21336 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 46313 2017-21335 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Child Health Day (Proc. 9650), 46361-46362 2017-21554 National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Proc. 9647), 46355-46356 2017-21550 National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (Proc. 9648), 46357-46358 2017-21551 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (Proc. 9646), 46351-46354 2017-21549 National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (Proc. 9649), 46359-46360 2017-21552 EXECUTIVE ORDERS Committees; Establishment, Renewal, Termination, etc.: Federal Advisory Committees; Continuance (EO 13811), 46363-46365 2017-21555 Labor-Management Forums; Revocation of Executive Order To Create (EO 13812), 46367-46368 2017-21559 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Yakima River Basin Conservation Advisory Group, 46281-46282 2017-21370 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: National Securities Clearing Corp., 46329-46332 2017-21282 Exemptions for Individuals and Entitites Affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, 46335-46338 2017-21284 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BYX Exchange, Inc., 46323-46325 2017-21277 Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc., 46317-46319 2017-21276 Depository Trust Co.; National Securities Clearing Corp.; Fixed Income Clearing Corp., 46332-46335 2017-21273 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 46315-46317 2017-21278 Nasdaq GEMX, LLC, 46313-46314 2017-21281 NASDAQ PHLX, LLC, 46319-46323 2017-21279 NYSE American, LLC, 46325-46329 2017-21280 NYSE Arca, Inc., 46315, 46338-46339 2017-21274 2017-21275 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Rulings: Titles II and XVI: Responsibility for Developing Written Evidence, 46339-46341 2017-21252 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Exhibition of Paintings by Women Artists in Paris Between 1850 and 1900, 46341-46342 2017-21314 Francois Morellet Exhibition, 46343 2017-21315 Veronese in Murano: Two Venetian Renaissance Masterpieces Restored Exhibition, 46342 2017-21313 Delegations of Authority: Membership on Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, 46343 2017-21358 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act and Atomic Energy Act, 46342 2017-21357 Fiscal Year 2016 Service Contract Inventory, 46342 2017-21364 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Productivity Adjustments: Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures, 46343 2017-21348 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Meetings: Public Hearing, 46343-46344 2017-21324 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 46351-46365, 46367-46368 2017-21554 2017-21550 2017-21551 2017-21549 2017-21552 2017-21555 2017-21559 Reader Aids

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

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

82 191 Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Parts 36 and 91 [Docket No.: FAA-2015-3782; Amdt. Nos. 36-31; 91-349] RIN 2120-AK52 Stage 5 Airplane Noise Standards AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is adopting a new noise standard for certain newly certificated subsonic jet airplanes and subsonic transport category large airplanes. This noise standard, known as Stage 5, applies to any person submitting an application for a new airplane type design with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 121,254 pounds (55,000 kg) or more on or after December 31, 2017; or with maximum certificated takeoff weight of less than 121,254 pounds (55,000 kg) on or after December 31, 2020. This change will set a lower noise limit for newly certificated airplanes and harmonize the noise certification standards for those airplanes certificated in the United States with those certificated under international standards.

DATES:

This rule is effective November 3, 2017. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 3, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

For information on where to obtain copies of rulemaking documents and other information related to this final rule, see “How To Obtain Additional Information” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mehmet Marsan, Office of Environment and Energy, AEE-100, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-7703; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.

This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44715 Controlling aircraft noise and sonic boom. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to measure and abate aircraft noise. This regulation is within the scope of that authority since it would establish stricter noise limits for certain newly certificated airplanes. Applicants for type certificates and changes in type design made after the dates in this rulemaking will be required to comply with the new regulation.

I. Overview of Final Rule

This rulemaking adopts a new noise standard for newly certificated subsonic jet airplanes and subsonic transport category large airplanes. By lowering the noise limit, this standard requires quieter designs and encourages manufacturers to adopt the latest available noise reduction technology into their aircraft designs. This rulemaking adopts new noise certification standards for airplanes certificated in the United States (known as Stage 5) that are equivalent to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 16, Volume I standard known as Chapter 14.

II. Background

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled Stage 5 Airplane Noise Standards, the FAA proposed a new noise standard for certain aircraft to (81 FR 1923, January 14, 2016). A brief history of the FAA's regulation of aircraft noise since 1969 was presented in the preamble to that NPRM.

The new Stage 5 noise standard applies to any person submitting an application for a new airplane type design that has a maximum certificated takeoff weight (MTOW) of 121,254 pounds (maximum certificated takeoff mass (MTOM) 55,000 kg) or more on or after December 31, 2017; or that has a MTOW of less than 121,254 pounds (MTOM less than 55,000 kg) on or after December 31, 2020. This change reduces the noise that may be produced by newly certificated airplanes and harmonizes the noise certification standards for airplanes certificated in the United States with the standard adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization in Annex 16, Volume 1 Chapter 14, effective July 14, 2014.

Much of the development of a Stage 5 noise standard took place in the international arena through ICAO. The Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) is a technical committee of the ICAO Council. The CAEP assists the Council specifically in formulating new policies and adopting new standards for aircraft noise and emissions, and more generally on matters of the environmental impacts of aviation. The development of ICAO standards follows a structured, transparent and multi-staged process involving a number of technical and non-technical working groups. These working groups are either part of the ICAO or closely associated with it. The activities of the CAEP working groups are guided by the CAEP Steering Group as their oversight committee.

The United States is an active member in CAEP, and has at least one member on each of the five working groups of CAEP. These working groups are named for their focus areas: WG1 for Noise, WG2 for Airports and Operations, WG3 for Emissions, MDG for Modeling and Databases, and FESG for Forecast Economic Analysis Support.

In 2010, the CAEP Working Group for Noise (WG1) was tasked to develop options that would further reduce permissible airplane noise levels. The group met several times over the following two years. Representatives from WG3, the MDG, and the FESG participated in the WG1 meetings to become familiar with the noise stringency options that would be considered when future noise standards were set, and to assist WG1 in setting up databases for comparing the options for costs and benefits.

In coordination with the other participating working groups, WG1 chose five options for reduced noise limits that were more stringent than Chapter 4. The group noted that the stringencies of earlier Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 standards could be described as based on the “traditional” concept of specified reductions at each noise certification measurement point (flyover, lateral, and approach). Chapter 4, however, had adopted a “cumulative margin” concept under which reduction was expressed as a total and could be spread across the three measurement points as chosen by an applicant. The stringency options presented to CAEP for analysis continued to be based on the “cumulative margin” concept of Chapter 4. The options analyzed were cumulatively 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 decibels lower than Chapter 4 levels. As the lead technical working group, WG1 prepared the results for the 2014 CAEP meeting. In reaching a recommendation for a new noise standard for subsonic jet and large transport airplanes, the CAEP considered estimates of comprehensive costs and benefits associated with the five options.

The activities of the working groups were overseen by the CAEP Steering Group. The Steering Group met in July 2012 to review the results of the analyses prepared by the working groups in order to formulate specific recommendations on the new standard, and on applicability options that were forwarded to the full CAEP.

In February 2013, the comprehensive costs and benefits analyses for the five stringency options that were prepared by the working groups, as well as a parallel analysis of the same five options prepared by the United States, were presented at the ninth meeting of CAEP (CAEP9). After lengthy discussion, the CAEP9 agreed to an increase in stringency of 7 EPNdB 1 (cumulative) relative to Chapter 4 levels. The new standard, known as Chapter 14,2 introduced a condition in addition to the cumulative stringency requirement, one that requires a margin of not less than 1.0 dB below Chapter 3 3 limits at each certification point.

1 Effective Perceived Noise Level in decibels as described in ICAO Annex 16, Volume 1, Appendix 2, Section 4 or section A36.4.1 of appendix A to part 36.

2 The ICAO publishes its aircraft noise standards in the Standards and Recommended Practices of Annex 16, Volume 1. Each new ICAO standard is published as a new chapter, and the chapter number becomes the shorthand designation of the new stringency. In the United States, the adoption of a new standard in 14 CFR part 36 is identified as the next `Stage' number in sequence. Using this system, the U.S. and ICAO stringency levels tracked each other numerically, e.g., Stage 3 was the equivalent of Chapter 3, and Stage 4 was the equivalent of Chapter 4. However, ICAO had already used Chapter 5 for a different standard, and the next number available was Chapter 14. Accordingly, while these noise stringency standards are known as Chapter 14 by ICAO, they are being adopted in the United States as Stage 5.

3 As discussed, while Chapter 4 increased stringency, it did not contain a requirement for a minimum reduction at any of the measurement points; the gains could have been at one, two or all three points. Chapter 14 includes a minimum reduction of 1dB at each point (7dB overall), but since it was not a requirement in Chapter 4, the base level for decrease is referenced at Chapter 3 levels.

Similar to Chapter 4 requirements, the noise margins for Chapter 14 are calculated by subtracting the measured noise levels at the three microphone locations from the three corresponding noise limits in Chapter 3. However, Chapter 14 includes a mandatory minimum reduction in the noise limits applicable to subsonic jet airplanes with MTOM less than 8,618 kg (MTOW 19,000 pounds). Figure 1 is a graphical representation of the reduction of noise limits at MTOM lower than 8,618 kg for each of the three measurement points. The figure includes the modified Chapter 3 noise limits that use the same gradient of the limit line at lower masses as the higher masses, and transitions to a flat limit line for airplanes with MTOM less than 2,000kg (MTOW 4,409 pounds). This figure is not included in the regulation since the actual limits are calculated based on the MTOM of the aircraft at certification. This figure is an illustration of how the noise limits compare for airplanes of different weights under Chapter 14.

ER04OC17.009

In March 2014, the 201st Session of the ICAO Council adopted the Chapter 14 noise standards for new airplane type designs. Chapter 14 will apply to new type certificates for airplanes with an MTOM of 55,000 kg (MTOW of 121,254 pounds) or more for which applications are submitted on and after December 31, 2017. For airplanes with an MTOM of less than 55,000 kg (MTOW less than 121,254 pounds) the limits apply to certification applications submitted on and after December 31, 2020.

It was noted in the NPRM, and restated for emphasis here, that the adoption of the Stage 5 noise standard for new airplane type designs does not signal the start of any action by the FAA to change the current operational noise limits for any aircraft in the United States. The current U.S. operating rules require that jet aircraft meet at least Stage 3 noise limits (see 14 CFR 91.853 and 91.881). The current noise limit applicable to new type designs is Stage 4 (see § 36.103(c)). The adoption of the Stage 5 noise standard for new airplane type designs does not affect either of these requirements. Changes to the noise operating rules in the United States would be subject to full notice and comment rulemaking procedures, and have not been proposed. The adoption of Stage 5 does not affect either the operation of the current U.S. fleet or new type designs submitted before the applicable compliance date for Stage 5.

A. Summary of the NPRM

On January 14, 2016, the FAA proposed a new noise standard for certain subsonic jet airplanes and subsonic transport category large airplanes, to be known as Stage 5. As proposed, the new certification standard would apply to any person submitting an application for a new airplane type design that has an MTOW of 121,254 pounds (MTOM 55,000 kg) or more on and after December 31, 2017; or with an MTOW of less than 121,254 pounds (MTOM 55,000 kg) on and after December 31, 2020. The change is intended to reduce the noise produced by new airplanes and harmonize the noise certification standards for those airplanes certificated in the United States with the new Chapter 14 ICAO noise standard that was effective July 14, 2014. Failure to harmonize the standards could result in a certification applicant having to show compliance with two different standards, unnecessarily adding to the cost of noise certification without any benefit.

The proposed rule also included a change to appendix B to part 36, section B36.1(b), which allows the use of Annex 16 standards as an alternative for noise testing. The FAA found that the regulation adopted in 2005 inadvertently omitted the phrase “to paragraph (a) of this section” to designate what the Annex was an alternative to. This phrase is added into section B36.1(b) in this rule so that paragraph (b) and the new paragraph (c) (the alternative for Stage 5) will read the same.

The NPRM invited interested persons to participate in the rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. It also invited comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in the NPRM.

B. Response to Comments

The FAA received seven comments in response to the NPRM. Two commenters supported the rule as proposed, four suggested changes to the rule, and one identified a typographical error in the NPRM.

The Boeing Company and Airlines for America (A4A), an association of U.S. air carriers, supported all aspects of the proposal, with A4A including extensive comments supporting the process of working with ICAO in setting noise standards.

Two organizations, the Los Angeles International Airport/Community Roundtable (Roundtable) and the City of Culver City, California requested that the FAA include a phaseout of existing Stage 3 airplanes as part of the adoption of the new Stage 5 noise standards. The Roundtable is a voluntary organization with members from civil associations and government that work to identify and mitigate noise issues that affect the residential communities surrounding Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Culver City is a municipality in close proximity to LAX.

Culver City considered the lack of a phaseout for Stage 3 airplanes a notable omission from the NPRM, stating that the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA) mandated the implementation of Stage 3 technology by the end of 1999 along with the phase-out of all Stage 2 aircraft over 75,000 pounds. Culver City requested that the FAA promulgate a staged phaseout of Stage 3 aircraft beginning contemporaneously with the implementation of Stage 5 regulations.

The Roundtable requested the same action as Culver City, stating that a phaseout would reduce aircraft noise in a shorter time frame.

The FAA considers the requests to initiate a phaseout of Stage 3 jet aircraft to be beyond the scope of the proposed rule. The NPRM indicated that the proposed certification action was not to be considered a harbinger of a new operational standard. The previous eliminations of Stage 2 jet operations in the contiguous United States were required under two separate statutory provisions by Congress. For larger jets, the phaseout and ultimate prohibition on operation were mandated in ANCA. For jets under 75,000 pounds, Congress mandated a cessation of operations as of January 1, 2015; that statutory ban did not include a phaseout nor did it require any action by the FAA other than to enforce the operational prohibition. The NPRM noted for this rule that the proposal was limited to the adoption of a Stage 5 certification standard, in part to harmonize domestic U.S. certification standards with those of ICAO. These certification actions are sequential, reflect advances in technology, and serve to prevent backsliding by manufacturers. An operational phaseout, such as the one that took place in the 1990's following Congressional direction, is a significant undertaking affecting a different segment of the aviation industry. The ANCA phaseout had no effect on the noise certification basis of airplanes—Stage 3 had been adopted as the noise certification standard effective in 1975 (see § 36.106(b)) and was the standard included by Congress in the 1990 statute. The comments suggesting a new phaseout of Stage 3 jets did not address the significant differences between certification changes and operational restrictions, the length of time any suggested phaseout should take, nor did they present any indication of the significant costs and benefits that would necessarily form the basis of such an action. The proposed Stage 5 rule does not provide any basis to attach an operational restriction, and none is included in the final rule.

An individual commenter suggested five changes to the proposed rule. First, the commenter suggested that section B36.6 of appendix B to part 36 specify that noise tradeoffs are available only for Stage 1, 2 and 3 airplanes. The FAA disagrees in part. For a Stage 1 airplane, tradeoffs would be available only after recertification to Stage 2 (or higher) noise levels; there were no noise levels established for Stage 1 airplanes from which there could be tradeoffs. While the FAA agrees that the notation might be a helpful clarification for Stage 2 and 3 airplanes, the suggestion is outside the scope of the changes proposed in the NPRM. The FAA will keep note of the comment as a suggested change for any future cleanup rule for part 36.

The second suggestion, which was also made by an anonymous commenter, stated that regardless of the applicable noise stringency level, part 36 should specify the latest versions of referenced documents instead of one or more earlier versions.

The FAA disagrees. There are legal requirements attached to the use of non-FAA standards such as ICAO Annex 16. These requirements for Incorporation by Reference (IBR) allow for a specific document to be incorporated, and it must be submitted at the time IBR is requested. It must be identifiable, dated, and meet a certain level of availability. This ensures that a standard can be referenced as complete at the time a regulation is adopted. The IBR rules of the Office of the Federal Register do not allow for a nebulous “current version” to be referenced, since it would then depend on the time a person read a regulation and would present a shifting requirement. Changes to standards based on incorporated documents, such as a later version, can only be made by rulemaking. While this final rule makes changes to the IBR section of part 36 as discussed in the following section, no changes have been made to the final rule based on this comment. Persons interested in how IBR works can learn more by consulting the Office of the Federal Register's handbook that explains the process at https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/write/handbook.

The third suggestion by the individual commenter is to remove the proposed requirement in § 36.106 to include a Chapter 14 equivalency statement in an Airplane Flight Manual (AFM). The comment did not include any justification for this suggested change, nor state any reason it is inappropriate or ineffective in U.S. regulations. Starting with Stage 4, the equivalency statement became standard in the AFM pages. Over the years, noise-related information in the AFM (including the equivalency statements and other supporting documents) developed into an effective resource in demonstrating certificated noise levels of a U.S. registered aircraft operating outside the United States. The FAA plans to keep the equivalency statements for both Stage 4 and 5. No change was made based on this comment.

For reasons unrelated to this comment, we are amending § 36.105 to remove the reference to an IBR at the end of the paragraph. The required language for the flight manual, indicated by quotes in the rule, is not itself an IBR.

The fourth and fifth comments by the individual commenter requested changes to § 36.6, the IBR section for part 36 for matters of “presentation” and identification of ICAO Annex 16. The FAA is adopting a change to the format of § 36.6 as required by the Office of the Federal Register to update its use as a centralized IBR section. As adopted, the content of the IBR paragraph, including the order of the material as stated, complies with the publication requirements of the Office of the Federal Register. The FAA anticipates that the required update of the section will address the commenters concerns.

An anonymous commenter noted that the Web site address given for the availability of ICAO documents no longer works. The FAA will replace the Web site address in the final rule. The updated address for the ICAO Web site is: http://www.icao.int/publications/Pages/default.aspx.

The same anonymous commenter asked why Chapter 4 and Stage 4 (or Chapter 14 and Stage 5) do not have the same definitions in part 91, suggesting that they should all be referenced “as described in part 36 of this chapter.”

The U.S. regulations cannot be used to determine what Chapter 4 or Chapter 14 contains or requires. Since the standards are incorporated by reference, their definitions necessarily cite back to the official source in ICAO Annex 16. Further, the FAA is not authorized to make findings of legal compliance to Chapter 4 or Chapter 14; it only certificates aircraft to Stage 4 or 5 (for example). This has led to the IBR references and eventually to the equivalency statements in AFMs since the U.S. does not make findings under ICAO standards. These equivalency statements are meant to assist operators of U.S.-certificated aircraft when they operate in ICAO countries and need to show the noise compliance of their aircraft.

However, we did find that the addition of the definition of Chapter 14 to part 91 is not necessary since part 91 is limited to domestic operating rules and references aircraft by stage. Accordingly, we are adding that definition only to part 36.

Other than the corrections noted, no changes are being made in this final rule based on the comments received. The rule is adopted as proposed.

C. Changes From the NPRM

The FAA was notified by the Office of the Federal Register that the centralized IBR section for part 36 (§ 36.6) needed to be updated to the new format published in 2016. Accordingly, this final rule includes format changes to § 36.6 and to various sections of part 36 and its appendices that reference incorporated documents. In no case is the content or intent of any regulation to be considered changed by this reformatting. Any changes to the substantive effect of any rule would be preceded by full notice and comment rulemaking.

In revising § 36.6 we discovered materials that are no longer referenced in the regulations and have removed them from that section. Within the text of regulations, we have reformatted the identified documents, removed two IBR references that were incorrect, updated Web site references where available and corrected other minor formatting errors discovered on review.

Also, as part of this review, the FAA discovered that § 36.5 contained an outdated reference to statutory authority. That section is amended to replace the old citation to the authority with the current one.

D. Incorporation by Reference

This final rule incorporates by reference the aircraft noise standards for Chapter 14 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 16, Volume 1, Aircraft Noise, Seventh Edition, July 2014, Amendment 11-B, applicable January 1, 2015. These standards are incorporated into § 36.6, and are referenced in various sections as noted in the amendments. As explained in this document, these standards were developed by the ICAO with the participation of the United States. Airplanes that meet Stage 5 noise standards in the United States are considered equivalent of airplanes that meet the Chapter 14 standards.

The incorporated document is available for purchase through the ICAO Web site: http://www.icao.int/publications/Pages/default.aspx. Contact information for ICAO is also available on that Web site. The document may be inspected at FAA Headquarters, Office of Environment and Energy. Please contact the person listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in this document.

IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Evaluation

Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39) (Trade Act) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with the base year of 1995).

Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. If the expected impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement to that effect and the basis for it being included in the preamble if a full regulatory evaluation of the costs and benefits is not prepared. Such a determination has been made for this final rule. The reasoning for that that determination follows.

Based on the requirements in Executive Order (EO) 13771, the FAA has completed a further analysis of this rule and determined that this action is expected to be an EO 13771 deregulatory action as it will result in cost-savings. Without this rule, the industry will have to show compliance with two different noise standards—one in the United States and the other in EASA. This double noise certification standard will require revising type certification records, aircraft flight manuals, airline operational specifications that will generate unnecessary costs for both industry and the FAA.

This final rule will establish a new Stage 5 noise standard for subsonic jet airplanes and subsonic transport category large airplanes. The final noise standard will apply to new type designs for applications made on or after December 31, 2017, for airplanes with an MTOW of 121,254 pounds (MTOM of 55,000 kilograms) or more; and after December 31, 2020, for airplanes with an MTOW of less than 121,254 pounds (MTOM 55,000 kilograms).

The final noise standard will provide more stringent noise certification standards for Stage 5 airplanes certificated in the United States and will be consistent with those for airplanes certificated under the new ICAO Annex 16 Chapter 14 noise standards. Documents describing the development of the new ICAO rule in more detail, including cost analyses used by ICAO, are available in the docket. These documents include:

1. Cost-benefit Analysis of CAEP9 Noise Stringency Options, presented by U.S. CAEP Member, COMMITTEE ON AVIATION ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION (CAEP), NINTH MEETING, Montreal, 4 to 15 February 2013. 2. Report of the Ninth Meeting, COMMITTEE ON AVIATION ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION (CAEP), NINTH MEETING, Montreal, 4 to 15 February 2013.

Several airplanes currently in production that have an MTOW of more than 121,254 pounds already meet the final Stage 5 noise limits. These airplanes include the Airbus models A-380 and A-350, and Boeing models 747-8 and 787. The FAA received a comment from Boeing supporting the proposed rule.

The applicability date of December 31, 2020, for airplanes with an MTOW of less than 121,254 pounds (MTOM 55,000 kg) was adopted by the ICAO to accommodate the requests of the manufacturers of lighter jet and propeller-driven airplanes for more time to meet the new requirements. For many of the proposed airplane programs announced prior to CAEP9 (2013), analysis shows that such airplanes will be able to meet the proposed Stage 5 standard without any additional cost.

Technological advances that decrease noise are already being adopted on airplanes in the lower weight class, including the geared turbofan engine and quieter control surfaces. These technological advances support the FAA expectation that all manufacturers will be able to meet the new standards after the December 31, 2020, date. This expectation was crucial to the minimal cost determination in the proposed rule, and the FAA specifically requested comments regarding whether existing and expected technological advancements would be sufficient to achieve compliance with the provisions after December 31, 2020. The FAA received no comments on these regulatory estimates for any size airplanes. Accordingly, the FAA has determined that the final rule will have minimal cost and due to the reduced requirements from a single accepted noise certification standard, rather than two standards, this rule will lower industry and government costs. As these cost savings are clearly evident, the cost estimate of these future actions is too uncertain to provide quantified estimate.

B. Final Regulatory Flexibility Determination

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) establishes “as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objective of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the business, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation.” To achieve this principle, agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration. The RFA covers a wide range of small entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and small governmental jurisdictions.

Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA. However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. The certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be clear.

In either 2017 or 2020, depending on the maximum certificated takeoff weight of the airplane, when the more stringent noise certification requirements in this final rule become effective, all new type design subsonic transport category jet airplanes and transport category large airplanes will be required to meet the Stage 5 noise limits. In the proposed rule, the FAA stated that all manufacturers of subsonic transport category jet airplanes and transport category large airplanes would be able to meet the new noise standards at minimal cost. The FAA invited industry comments on this determination and requested that all comments be accompanied with clear and detailed supporting data. The FAA received no responses to this request for comments on this determination. Accordingly, the FAA has determined that this rule will result in minimal cost.

If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the head of the agency may so certify under section 605(b) of the RFA. Therefore, as provided in section 605 (b), the head of the FAA certifies that this rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. International Trade Impact Assessment

The Trade Agreement Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards.

The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this final rule and determined that it will reduce impediments to international trade by aligning United States standards with ICAO standards.

D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995 dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a “significant regulatory action.” The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value of $155 million in lieu of $100 million.

For the reasons stated above regarding the expected minimal cost of complying with these standards, this final rule does not contain such a mandate. Therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The more stringent noise requirements adopted in this final rule will not require any new collection of information and none is associated with this final rule. The FAA has determined that there will be no new requirement for information collection associated with this final rule.

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and has identified no differences with these regulations.

G. Environmental Analysis

FAA Order 1050.1F identifies FAA actions that are categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 5-6.6d of the Order and involves no extraordinary circumstances.

H. Regulations Affecting Intrastate Aviation in Alaska

The agency did not receive any comments, and has determined, based on the administrative record of this rulemaking, that there is no need to make any regulatory distinctions applicable to intrastate aviation in Alaska.

V. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

Executive Order (EO) 13771 titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” directs that, unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed. In addition, any new incremental costs associated with new regulations shall, to the extent permitted by law, be offset by the elimination of existing costs. Only those rules deemed significant under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” are subject to these requirements.

This rule is expected to be an EO 13771 deregulatory action. Details on the estimated costs savings of this rule can be found in the rule's economic analysis.

B. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The FAA has analyzed this final rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, and, therefore, does not have Federalism implications.

C. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

The FAA analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under the executive order and it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

VI. How To Obtain Additional Information A. Rulemaking Documents

An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained by using the Internet—

1. Search the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);

2. Visit the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ or

3. Access the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/.

Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by notice, amendment, or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9677.

B. Comments Submitted to the Docket

Comments received may be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov and following the online instructions to search the docket number for this action. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of the FAA's dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.).

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996 requires FAA to comply with small entity requests for information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its jurisdiction. A small entity with questions regarding this document, may contact its local FAA official, or the person listed under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at the beginning of the preamble. To find out more about SBREFA on the Internet, visit http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/sbre_act/.

List of Subjects 14 CFR Part 36

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Life-limited parts, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

14 CFR Part 91

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Life-limited parts, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 36—NOISE STANDARDS: AIRCRAFT TYPE AND AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATION 1. The authority citation for part 36 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701-44702, 44704, 44715; sec. 305, Public Law 96-193, 94 Stat. 50, 57; E.O. 11514, 35 FR 4247, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 902.

2. Amend § 36.1 by adding paragraphs (f)(12) through (14) to read as follows:
§ 36.1 Applicability and definitions.

(f) * * *

(12) A “Stage 5 noise level” means a noise level at or below the Stage 5 noise limit prescribed in section B36.5(e) of appendix B to this part.

(13) A “Stage 5 airplane” means an airplane that has been shown under this part not to exceed the Stage 5 noise limit prescribed in section B36.5(e) of appendix B to this part.

(14) A “Chapter 14 noise level” means a noise level at or below the Chapter 14 maximum noise level prescribed in Chapter 14 of the ICAO Annex 16, Volume 1, Seventh Edition, Amendment 11-B (Incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

§ 36.5 [Amended]
3. Amend § 36.5 by removing “49 U.S.C. 1431 (b)(4)” and adding “49 U.S.C. 44715” in its place. 4. Revise § 36.6 to read as follows:
§ 36.6 Incorporation by reference.

(a) Certain material is incorporated by reference into this part with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. All approved material is available for inspection at the locations in this paragraph (a) and may be obtained from the sources detailed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (12) of this section.

(1) The U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

(2) Federal Aviation Administration New England Regional Headquarters, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01801.

(3) Federal Aviation Administration Eastern Region Headquarters, Federal Building, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, NY 11430.

(4) Federal Aviation Administration Southern Region Headquarters, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337.

(5) Federal Aviation Administration Great Lakes Region Headquarters, O'Hare Lake Office Center, 2300 East Devon Avenue, Des Plaines, IL 60018.

(6) Federal Aviation Administration Central Region Headquarters, Federal Building, 601 East 12th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106.

(7) Federal Aviation Administration Southwest Region Headquarters, 2601 Meacham Boulevard, Fort Worth, TX 76137.

(8) Federal Aviation Administration Northwest Mountain Region Headquarters, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98055.

(9) Federal Aviation Administration Western Pacific Region Headquarters, 15000 Aviation Boulevard, Hawthorne, CA 92007.

(10) Federal Aviation Administration Alaskan Region Headquarters, 222 West 7th Avenue, #14, Anchorage, AK 99513.

(11) Federal Aviation Administration European Office Headquarters, 15 Rue de la Loi, Third Floor, B-1040, Brussels, Belgium.

(12) The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this information at NARA, call 202-741-6030 or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

(b) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Document Sales Unit, 999 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 5H7, Canada. http://www.icao.int/publications/Pages/default.aspx.

(1) International Standards and Recommended Practices, Annex 16 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Environmental Protection, Volume I, Aircraft Noise, Third Edition, July 1993, Amendment 7 effective March 21, 2002, IBR approved for § 36.1(f), and appendices A and B to part 36.

(2) International Standards and Recommended Practices, Annex 16 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Environmental Protection, Volume I, Aircraft Noise, Seventh Edition, July 2014, Amendment 11-B, applicable January 1, 2015, IBR approved for § 36.1(f) and appendices A and B to part 36.

(c) International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 3 Rue de Varembe, Case Postale 131, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland, http://www.iec.ch/standardsdev/publications/?ref=menu.

(1) Publication No. 179, Precision Level Sound Meters, (IEC 179) 1973, IBR approved for appendix F to part 36.

(2) Publication No. 561, Electro-acoustical Measuring Equipment for Aircraft Noise Certification, first edition, 1976, (IEC 561), IBR approved for appendices G and J to part 36.

(3) Publication No. 651, Sound Level Meters, first edition, 1979, (IEC 651), IBR approved for appendices G and J to part 36.

(4) Publication No. 804, Integrating-averaging Sound Level Meters, first edition, 1985, (IEC 804), IBR approved for appendix J to part 36.

(5) Publication No. 61094-3, Measurement Microphones—Part 3: Primary Method for Free-Field Calibration of Laboratory Standard Microphones by the Reciprocity Technique, edition 1.0, 1995 (IEC 61094-3) IBR approved for appendix A to part 36.

(6) Publication No. 61094-4, Measurement Microphones—Part 4: Specifications for Working Standard Microphones, edition 1.0, 1995, (IEC 61094-4) IBR approved for appendix A to part 36.

(7) Publication No. 61260, Electroacoustics-Octave-Band and Fractional-Octave-Band Filters, edition 1.0, 1995, (IEC 61260), IBR approved for appendix A to part 36.

(8) Publication No, 60942, Electroacoustics-Sound Calibrators, edition 2.0, 1997, (IEC 60942) IBR approved for appendix A to part 36.

(d) Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc. (SAE), 400 Commonwealth Drive, Warrentown, PA 15096, http://www.sae.org/pubs/.

(1) ARP 866A, Standard Values at Atmospheric Absorption as a Function of Temperature and Humidity for use in Evaluating Aircraft Flyover Noise, March 15, 1975, IBR approved for appendix H to part 36.

(2) [Reserved]

5. Amend § 36.7 by adding paragraph (e)(5), revising paragraph (f), and adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:
§ 36.7 Acoustical change: Transport category large airplanes and jet airplanes.

(e) * * *

(5) If an airplane is a Stage 3 airplane prior to a change in type design, and becomes a Stage 5 airplane after the change in type design, the airplane must remain a Stage 5 airplane.

(f) Stage 4 airplanes. (1) If an airplane is a Stage 4 airplane prior to a change in type design, the airplane must remain a Stage 4 airplane after the change in type design.

(2) If an airplane is a Stage 4 airplane prior to a change in type design, and becomes a Stage 5 airplane after the change in type design, the airplane must remain a Stage 5 airplane.

(g) Stage 5 airplanes. If an airplane is a Stage 5 airplane prior to a change in type design, the airplane must remain a Stage 5 airplane after the change in type design.

6. Amend § 36.103 by revising paragraph (c) and adding paragraphs (d) and (e) to read as follows:
§ 36.103 Noise limits.

(c) Type certification applications between January 1, 2006, and the date specified in paragraph (d) or (e) of this section, as applicable for airplane weight. If application is made on or after January 1, 2006, and before the date specified in paragraph (d) or (e) of this section (as applicable for airplane weight), it must be shown that the noise levels of the airplane are no greater than the Stage 4 noise limit prescribed in section B36.5(d) of appendix B of this part. If an applicant chose to voluntarily certificate an airplane to Stage 4 prior to January 2006, then the requirements of § 36.7(f) apply to that airplane.

(d) For airplanes with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 121,254 pounds (55,000 kg) or more, type certification applications on or after December 31, 2017. If application is made on or after December 31, 2017, it must be shown that the noise levels of the airplane are no greater than the Stage 5 noise limit prescribed in section B36.5(e) of appendix B of this part. Prior to December 31, 2017, an applicant may seek voluntary certification to Stage 5. If Stage 5 certification is chosen, the requirements of § 36.7(g) will apply.

(e) For airplanes with a maximum certificated take‐off weight of less than 121,254 pounds (55,000 kg), type certification applications on or after December 31, 2020. If application is made on or after December 31, 2020, it must be shown that the noise levels of the airplane are no greater than the Stage 5 noise limit prescribed in section B36.5(e) of appendix B of this part. Prior to December 31, 2020, an applicant may seek voluntary certification to Stage 5. If Stage 5 certification is chosen, the requirements of § 36.7(g) will apply.

§ 36.105 [Amended]
7. Amend § 36.105 by removing “[Incorporated by reference, see § 36.6].” from the end of the paragraph. 8. Add § 36.106 to subpart B to read as follows:
§ 36.106 Flight Manual statement of Chapter 14 noise level equivalency.

For each airplane that meets the requirements for Stage 5 certification, the Airplane Flight Manual or operations manual must include the following statement: “The following noise levels comply with part 36, appendix B, Stage 5 maximum noise level requirements and were obtained by analysis of approved data from noise tests conducted under the provisions of part 36, Amendment [insert part 36 amendment number to which the airplane was certificated]. The noise measurement and evaluation procedures used to obtain these noise levels are considered by the FAA to be equivalent to the Chapter 14 noise levels required by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Annex 16, Volume 1, Aircraft Noise, Seventh Edition, July 2014, Amendment 11-B, applicable January 1, 2015.”

9. Amend appendix A by revising paragraph A36.1.4, adding paragraph A36.1.5, and revising paragraphs A36.3.1.3. A36.3.7.3, and A36.3.8.1 to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 36—Aircraft Noise Measurement and Evaluation Under § 36.101 Section A36.1 Introduction

A36.1.4 For Stage 4 airplanes, an acceptable alternative for noise measurement and evaluation is Appendix 2 to ICAO Annex 16, Volume I, Amendment 7 (incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

A36.1.5 For Stage 5 airplanes, an acceptable alternative for noise measurement and evaluation is Appendix 2 to ICAO Annex 16, Volume 1, Amendment 11-B (incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

Section A36.3 Measurement of Airplane Noise Received on the Ground

A36.3.1.3 Sound incidence angle means in degrees, an angle between the principal axis of the microphone, as defined in IEC 61094-3 and IEC 61094-4, as amended and a line from the sound source to the center of the diaphragm of the microphone (incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

A36.3.7.3 The minimum standard for the one-third octave band analysis system is the class 2 electrical performance requirements of IEC 61260 as amended, over the range of one-third octave nominal midband frequencies from 50 Hz through 10 kHz inclusive (incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

Note:

IEC 61260 specifies procedures for testing of one-third octave band analysis systems for relative attenuation, anti-aliasing filters, real time operation, level linearity, and filter integrated response (effective bandwidth).

A36.3.8 Calibration Systems

A36.3.8.1 The acoustical sensitivity of the measurement system must be determined using a sound calibrator generating a known sound pressure level at a known frequency. The minimum standard for the sound calibrator is the class 1L requirements of IEC 60942 as amended (incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

10. In appendix B: a. Amend section B36.1 by revising paragraph (b) and adding paragraph (c); and b. Amend section B36.5 by adding paragraph (e).

The revision and additions read as follows:

Appendix B to Part 36—Noise Levels for Transport Category and Jet Airplanes Under § 36.103 Section B36.1 Noise Measurement and Evaluation

(b) For Stage 4 airplanes, an acceptable alternative to paragraph (a) of this section for noise measurement and evaluation is Appendix 2 to ICAO Annex 16, Volume I, Amendment 7 (Incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

(c) For Stage 5 airplanes, an acceptable alternative to paragraph (a) of this section for noise measurement and evaluation is Appendix 2 to ICAO Annex 16, Volume 1, Amendment 11-B (Incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

Section B36.5 Maximum Noise Levels

(e) For any Stage 5 airplane, the flyover, lateral, and approach maximum noise levels are prescribed in Chapter 14, Paragraph 14.4, Maximum Noise Levels of ICAO Annex 16, Volume I, Amendment 11-B (Incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

11. In appendix F, amend section F36.105 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows: Appendix F to Part 36—Flyover Noise Requirements for Propeller-Driven Small Airplane and Propeller-Driven Commuter Category Airplane Certification Tests Prior to December 22, 1988 Section F36.105 Sensing, Recording and Reproducing Equipment

(b) The characteristics of the system must comply with the recommendations in IEC 179 (incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

12. In appendix G, amend section G36.105 by revising paragraphs (b), (c), and (e) to read as follows: Appendix G to Part 36—Takeoff Noise Requirements for Propeller-Driven Small Airplane and Propeller-Driven Commuter Category Airplane Certification Tests On or After December 22, 1988 Section G36.105 Sensing, Recording and Reproducing Equipment

(b) The characteristics of the complete system must comply with the requirements in IEC 651 and IEC 561 (incorporated by reference, see § 36.6). Sound level meters must comply with the requirements for Type 1 sound level meters as specified in IEC 651.

(c) The response of the complete system to a sensibly plane progressive sinusoidal wave of constant amplitude must be within the tolerance limits specified in IEC 651, over the frequency range 45 to 11,200 Hz.

(e) The output noise signal must be read through an “A” filter with dynamic characteristics designated “slow” as defined in IEC 651. A graphic recorder, sound level meter, or digital equipment may be used.

13. In appendix H, amend section H36.113 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows: Appendix H to Part 36—Noise Requirements for Helicopters Under Subpart H Section H36.113 Atmospheric Attenuation of Sound

(b) Attenuation rates. The procedure for determining the atmospheric attenuation rates of sound with distance for each one-third octave bands must be determined in accordance with SAE ARP 866A (Incorporated by reference, see § 36.6). The atmospheric attenuation equations are provided in both the International and English systems of units in section A36.7 of appendix A to this part.

14. In appendix J, amend section J36.109 by revising paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (iv) and by adding reserved paragraph (d)(2) to read as follows: Appendix J to Part 36—Alternative Noise Certification Procedure for Helicopters Under Subpart H Having a Maximum Certificated Takeoff Weight of Not More Than 7,000 Pounds Section J36.109 Measurement of Helicopter Noise Received on the Ground

(d) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) The SEL values from each flyover test may be directly determined from an integrating sound level meter complying with the standards of IEC 804 (Incorporated by reference, see § 36.6) for a Type 1 instrument set at “slow” response.

(ii) The acoustic signal from the helicopter, along with the calibration signals specified under paragraph (e) of this section and the background noise signal required under paragraph (f) of this section, may be recorded on a magnetic tape recorder for subsequent analysis for an integrating sound level meter identified in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section. The record/playback system (including the audio tape) of the tape recorder must conform to the requirements prescribed in section A36.3.6 of appendix A to this part. The tape recorder shall comply with the specifications of IEC 561 (Incorporated by reference, see § 36.6).

(iii) The characteristics of the complete system shall comply with the recommendations given in IEC 651 (Incorporated by reference, see § 36.6) with regard to the specifications concerning microphone, amplifier, and indicating instrument characteristics.

(iv) The response of the complete system to a sensibly plane progressive wave of constant amplitude shall lie within the tolerance limits specified in Table IV and Table V for Type 1 instruments in IEC 651 for weighting curve “A” over the frequency range of 45 Hz to 11500 Hz.

(2) [Reserved]

PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES 15. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 1155, 40103, 40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 47122, 47508, 47528-47531, 47534, articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11).

16. Amend § 91.851 by adding in alphabetical order definitions for the terms “Stage 5 airplane” and “Stage 5 noise level” to read as follows:
§ 91.851 Definitions.

Stage 5 airplane means an airplane that has been shown not to exceed the Stage 5 noise limit prescribed in part 36 of this chapter. A Stage 5 airplane complies with all of the noise operating rules of this part.

Stage 5 noise level means a noise level at or below the Stage 5 noise limit prescribed in part 36 of this chapter.

17. Revise § 91.853 to read as follows:
§ 91.853 Final compliance: Civil subsonic airplanes.

Except as provided in § 91.873, after December 31, 1999, no person shall operate to or from any airport in the contiguous United States any airplane subject to § 91.801(c), unless that airplane has been shown to comply with Stage 3, Stage 4, or Stage 5 noise levels.

18. Amend § 91.855 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 91.855 Entry and nonaddition rule.

(a) The airplane complies with Stage 3, Stage 4, or Stage 5 noise levels.

19. Amend § 91.858 by revising paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:
§ 91.858 Special flight authorizations for non-revenue Stage 2 operations.

(a) * * *

(2) Obtain modifications to meet Stage 3, Stage 4, or Stage 5 noise levels.

20. Revise § 91.859 to read as follows:
§ 91.859 Modification to meet Stage 3, Stage 4, or Stage 5 noise levels.

For an airplane subject to § 91.801(c) of this subpart and otherwise prohibited from operation to or from an airport in the contiguous United States by § 91.855, any person may apply for a special flight authorization for that airplane to operate in the contiguous United States for the purpose of obtaining modifications to meet Stage 3, Stage 4, or Stage 5 noise levels.

21. Revise § 91.881 to read as follows:
§ 91.881 Final compliance: Civil subsonic jet airplanes weighing 75,000 pounds or less.

Except as provided in § 91.883, after December 31, 2015, a person may not operate to or from an airport in the contiguous United States a civil subsonic jet airplane subject to § 91.801(e) of this subpart that weighs less than 75,000 pounds unless that airplane has been shown to comply with Stage 3, Stage 4, or Stage 5 noise levels.

22. Amend § 91.883 by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
§ 91.883 Special flight authorizations for jet airplanes weighing 75,000 pounds or less.

(a) * * *

(3) To obtain modifications to the airplane to meet Stage 3, Stage 4, or Stage 5 noise levels.

Issued under authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 44701(a), and 44715 in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2017. Michael P. Huerta, Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-21092 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2017-0585] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Upper Mississippi River, Crystal City, MO AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone for all navigable waters on the Upper Mississippi River between mile marker (MM) 147.5 and MM 148.5. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life, vessels and property on these navigable waters near Crystal City, MO while construction work is completed on new power lines extending across the river. Entry of vessels or persons into this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River (COTP) or a designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 7:30 a.m. on October, 17, 2017 through 6:30 p.m. on November 1, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0585 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 LCDR Sean Peterson, Chief of Prevention, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 314-269-2332, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River 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 preceded this final rule with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2017, (82 FR 37182). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to work on power lines extending over the Upper Mississippi River in Crystal City, MO. The NPRM listed dates and times of enforcement of the safety zone. During the comment period that ended September 8, 2017, we received no comments.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying this rule would be contrary to public interest in ensuring the safety of spectators and vessels during the power line work because immediate action is necessary to prevent possible loss of life and property.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with power line work over the Upper Mississippi River will cause safety concerns. The purpose of this rule is to ensure safety of life, vessels and the navigable waters in the safety zones, before, during, and after the scheduled work.

IV. Discussion of the Comments, Changes, and the Rule

As noted above, during the comment period for our NPRM that published August 9, 2017, no comments were received. There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM.

This rule establishes a safety zone from 7:30 a.m. on October 17, 2017 through 6:30 p.m. on November 1, 2017. The safety zone will be enforced from 7:30 a.m. through 6:30 p.m. each day. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters between mile marker (MM) 147.5 and MM 148.5 on the Upper Mississippi River in Crystal City, MO. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and participants on the navigable waters before, during, and after the power line construction work. Entry of vessels or persons into this safety zone is prohibited without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

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-year of the safety zone. This final rule establishes a safety zone will only be enforced for a period of eleven hours on each of sixteen days on one mile of navigable waters. Entry into the safety zone established through this rulemaking may be requested from the COTP or a designated representative and will be considered on a case-by-case. During the enforcement period, vessels are prohibited from entering into or remaining within the safety zone unless specifically authorized by the COTP or other designated representative. Additionally, notice of the safety zone or any changes in the planned schedule will be made via Broadcast and Local Notice to Mariners.

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 received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rulemaking. 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 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 an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

F. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting for eleven hours on each of sixteen days during daylight hours and restricts transit on a section of the Upper Mississippi River extending one mile. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) 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 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.T08-0585 to read as follows:
§ 165.T08-0585 Safety Zone; Upper Mississippi River, Crystal City, MO.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Upper Mississippi River between mile marker (MM) 147.5 and MM 148.5, Crystal City, MO.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section, a designated representative means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and a Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Sector Upper Mississippi River (COTP) in the enforcement of the safety zone.

(c) Regulations. (1) Under the general safety zone regulations in § 165.23, you may not enter the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section unless authorized by the COTP or a designated representative.

(2) To seek permission to enter, contact the COTP or a designated representative via VHF-FM channel 16, or Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River by telephone at 314-269-2332. Those persons authorized to be in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or a designated representative.

(d) Effective period. This section will be effective from 7:30 a.m. through 6:30 p.m. on October 17, 2017 through November 1, 2017.

(e) Informational broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners of the enforcement period for the safety zone as well as any changes in the dates and times of enforcement.

Dated: September 27, 2017. Scott A. Stoermer, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Upper Mississippi River.
[FR Doc. 2017-21256 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0321; FRL-9968-72-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; North Carolina; Interstate Transport AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving North Carolina's December 9, 2015, State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission pertaining to the Clean Air Act's (CAA or Act) “good neighbor” provision for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The good neighbor provision requires each state's SIP to address the interstate transport of air pollution in amounts that contribute significantly to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of a NAAQS in any other state. EPA concludes that North Carolina's SIP contains adequate provisions to prohibit emissions within the state from contributing significantly to nonattainment or interfering with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in any other state.

DATES:

This rule will be effective November 3, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0321. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ashten Bailey, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Bailey can also be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9164 and via electronic mail at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

On March 27, 2008, EPA promulgated an ozone NAAQS that revised the levels of the primary and secondary 8-hour ozone standards from 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to 0.075 ppm. See 73 FR 16436. Pursuant to CAA section 110(a)(1), within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS (or shorter, if EPA prescribes), states must submit SIPs that meet the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2). EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. One of the structural requirements of section 110(a)(2) is section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), which generally requires SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit in-state emissions activities from having certain adverse air quality effects on neighboring states due to interstate transport of air pollution. There are four sub-elements, or “prongs,” within section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) of the CAA. CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), also known as the “good neighbor” provision, requires SIPs to include provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from emitting any air pollutant in amounts that will contribute significantly to nonattainment, or interfere with maintenance, of the NAAQS in another state. The two provisions of this section are referred to as prong 1 (significant contribution to nonattainment) and prong 2 (interference with maintenance). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requires SIPs to contain adequate provisions to prohibit emissions that will interfere with measures required to be included in the applicable implementation plan for any other state under part C to prevent significant deterioration of air quality (prong 3) or to protect visibility (prong 4).

On December 9, 2015, North Carolina submitted a SIP submittal containing a certification that North Carolina is meeting the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS because, based on available emissions and air quality modeling data, emissions activities within North Carolina will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in any other state. In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on August 10, 2017 (82 FR 37371), EPA proposed to approve North Carolina's SIP as meeting the requirements of prongs 1 and 2 for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.1 The NPRM provides additional detail regarding the background and rationale for EPA's action. Comments on the NPRM were due on or before September 11, 2017. EPA received no adverse comments on the proposed action.

1 This action addresses only prongs 1 and 2 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). All other infrastructure SIP elements for North Carolina for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS were addressed in separate rulemakings. See 80 FR 68453 (November 5, 2015), 81 FR 35634 (June 3, 2016), and 81 FR 63107 (September 14, 2016).

II. Final Action

EPA is taking final action to approve North Carolina's December 9, 2015, SIP submission addressing the good neighbor infrastructure SIP requirements, section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2), for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA is taking final action to approve the SIP submission because it is consistent with section 110 of the CAA. EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather concluding that North Carolina's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 4, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: September 21, 2017. Onis “Trey” Glenn, III, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart II—North Carolina 2. Section 52.1770(e) is amended by adding a new entry “110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS” at the end of the table to read as follows:
§ 52.1770 Identification of plan.

(e) * * *

EPA-Approved North Carolina Non-Regulatory Provisions Provision State effective date EPA approval date Federal Register
  • citation
  • Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS 12/9/2015 10/4/2017 [Insert citation of publication] Addressing prongs 1 and 2 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) only.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21247 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0634; FRL-9968-71-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Georgia; Regional Haze Progress Report AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing approval of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Georgia, Department of Natural Resources, through the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD) on January 8, 2014. Georgia's January 8, 2014, SIP revision (Progress Report) addresses requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and EPA's rules that require each state to submit periodic reports describing progress towards reasonable progress goals (RPGs) established for regional haze and a determination of the adequacy of the state's existing SIP addressing regional haze (regional haze plan). EPA is finalizing approval of Georgia's determination that the State's regional haze plan is adequate to meet these RPGs for the first implementation period covering through 2018 and requires no substantive revision at this time.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0634. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Notarianni, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Notarianni can be reached by phone at (404) 562-9031 and via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    States are required to submit a progress report in the form of a SIP revision that evaluates progress towards the RPGs for each mandatory Class I federal area 1 (Class I area) within the state and for each Class I area outside the state which may be affected by emissions from within the state. 40 CFR 51.308(g). In addition, the provisions of 40 CFR 51.308(h) require states to submit, at the same time as the 40 CFR 51.308(g) progress report, a determination of the adequacy of the state's existing regional haze plan. On January 8, 2014, Georgia submitted its Progress Report which, among other things, details the progress made in the first period toward implementation of the long term strategy outlined in the State's regional haze plan; the visibility improvement measured at the three Class I areas within its borders (Cohutta Wilderness Area, Okefenokee Wilderness Area, and Wolf Island Wilderness Area) and at Class I areas outside of the State potentially impacted by emissions from Georgia; and a determination of the adequacy of the State's existing regional haze plan.

    1 Areas designated as mandatory Class I federal areas consist of national parks exceeding 6000 acres, wilderness areas and national memorial parks exceeding 5000 acres, and all international parks that were in existence on August 7, 1977 (42 U.S.C. 7472(a)). These areas are listed at 40 CFR part 81, subpart D.

    In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on August 15, 2017 (82 FR 38654), EPA proposed to approve Georgia's January 8, 2014, Progress Report. The details of Georgia's submission and the rationale for EPA's actions are explained in the NPRM. Comments on the proposed rulemaking were due on or before September 14, 2017. EPA received no adverse comments on the proposed action.

    II. Final Action

    EPA is finalizing approval of Georgia's January 8, 2014, Progress Report as meeting the applicable regional haze requirements set forth in 40 CFR 51.308(g) and 51.308(h).

    III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 4, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 21, 2017. Onis “Trey” Glenn, III, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart L—Georgia 2. Section 52.570(e) is amended by adding an entry for “January 2014 Regional Haze Progress Report” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.570 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Georgia Non-Regulatory Provisions Name of nonregulatory SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or nonattainment area
  • State
  • submittal date/effective date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * January 2014 Regional Haze Progress Report Georgia 01/8/2014 10/4/17 [Insert citation of publication]
    [FR Doc. 2017-21246 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Parts 405, 412, 413, 414, 416, 486, 488, 489, and 495 [CMS-1677-CN] RIN-0938-AS98 Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System and Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2018 Rates; Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers; Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program Requirements for Eligible Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, and Eligible Professionals; Provider-Based Status of Indian Health Service and Tribal Facilities and Organizations; Costs Reporting and Provider Requirements; Agreement Termination Notices; Correction AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects technical and typographical errors in the final rule that appeared in the August 14, 2017, issue of the Federal Register, which will amend the Medicare hospital inpatient prospective payment systems (IPPS) for operating and capital related costs of acute care hospitals to implement changes arising from our continuing experience with these systems for FY 2018.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective October 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Thompson, (410) 786-4487.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2017-16434 of August 14, 2017 (82 FR 37990) there were a number of technical and typographical errors that are identified and corrected by the Correction of Errors section of this correcting document. The provisions in this correcting document are effective as if they had been included in the document that appeared in the August 14, 2017 Federal Register. Accordingly, the corrections are effective October 1, 2017.

    II. Summary of Errors A. Summary of Errors in the Preamble

    On page 37990, we are making a conforming correction, removal of the reference to part 488, based on the removal of the regulations text for § 488.5 described in section II.B. of this correcting document.

    On pages 38067 and 38068, we are correcting technical errors in our discussion and summary of and response to public comment regarding ICD-10-PCS procedure codes describing procedures involving percutaneous insertion of intraluminal or monitoring device. Specifically, we erroneously referred to a count of 28 procedure codes describing procedures involving the percutaneous insertion of intraluminal and monitoring devices into central nervous system and other cardiovascular body parts rather than 18 procedure codes. Of the 28 codes listed in Table 6P.4b associated with the proposed rule, 10 procedure codes were duplicative, and erroneously included in the table and in the total number of codes referenced in the preamble. As indicated in the final rule, after consideration of the public comments we received, we maintained the designation of 15 procedure codes identified by the commenters. For this reason, we are also correcting Table 6P.4b associated with the final rule (as discussed in section II.E. of this correcting document) to reflect the 3 distinct procedure codes for which we finalized a change in designation, including to remove the listings of ICD-10-PCS procedure codes 00H032Z (Insertion of Monitoring Device into Brain, Percutaneous Approach) and 00H632Z (Insertion of Monitoring Device into Cerebral Ventricle, Percutaneous Approach), which we finalized to maintain as O.R. procedures for FY 2018, and are making conforming changes to the corresponding count of codes listed in that table as indicated on page 38068. Consistent with these corrections, we are also correcting the description of the proposal on page 38067 of the final rule. As a result of the corrections to Table 6P.4b associated with the final rule and the conforming corrections on pages 38067 and 38068, we have made conforming changes to the ICD-10 MS-DRG Definitions Manual Version 35 and ICD-10 MS-DRG Grouper Software Version 35 for FY 2018 to reflect the O.R. designation of ICD-10-PCS procedure codes 00H032Z (Insertion of Monitoring Device into Brain, Percutaneous Approach) and 00H632Z (Insertion of Monitoring Device into Cerebral Ventricle, Percutaneous Approach), as finalized on page 38068 of the final rule for FY 2018.

    In addition, after publication of the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule, we became aware that the logic for the ICD-10 MS-DRG Definitions Manual Version 35 and the ICD-10 MS-DRG Grouper and Medicare Code Editor (MCE) Version 35 Software erroneously designated the following ICD-10-PCS procedure code as a non-O.R. procedure rather than as an O.R. procedure as finalized on page 38072 of the final rule for FY 2018: 0BCC8ZZ (Extirpation of matter from right upper lung lobe, via natural or artificial opening endoscopic). Therefore, we also made changes to the ICD-10 MS-DRG Definitions Manual Version 35 and the ICD-10 MS-DRG Grouper and MCE Version 35 Software to correctly reflect the O.R. designation for this procedure code for FY 2018.

    We recalculated the FY 2018 MS-DRG relative weights (and associated statistics, such as average length of stay (ALOS)) as a result of the corrections to the logic for the ICD-10 MS-DRG Grouper Version 35 Software discussed above. In addition, since the MS-LTC-DRGs used under the LTCH PPS for FY 2018 are the same as the MS DRGs used under the IPPS for FY 2018 (and as such use the same ICD-10 MS-DRG Grouper Version 35 Software), we also recalculated the FY 2018 MS-LTC-DRG relative weights (and associated statistics, such as geometric ALOS) for the same reasons.

    On page 38119, we made a technical error in describing which ICD-10-PCS procedure codes will be used to identify cases involving ZINPLAVATM that are eligible for new technology add-on payments in FY 2018. Specifically, cases involving ZINPLAVATM that are eligible for new technology add-on payments will be identified by either of the ICD-10-PCS procedure codes listed in the final rule (XW033A3 or XW043A3) (rather than requiring the combination of both ICD-10-PCS procedure codes).

    On pages 38132 and 38137, in our discussion of the wage indexes, we provided incorrect values for the FY 2018 national average hourly wage (unadjusted for occupational mix) and the FY 2018 occupational mix adjusted national average hourly wage due to inadvertent errors related to the wage data collected from the Medicare cost reports of six hospitals (CMS Certification Numbers (CCNs) 240010, 420033, 420037, 420038, 420078, and 420102).

    On page 38144, we made an inadvertent error in the mailing address for the Medicare Geographic Review Board (MGCRB).

    On page 38195, in our discussion regarding disproportionate share hospitals (DSHs), we made errors in the June 2017 Office of the Actuary's estimate for FY 2018 Medicare DSH payments.

    On page 38225, we made typographical errors in our description of several Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) measures.

    On page 38249, in our response to a comment, we advertently referenced the MORT-30-PN measure, instead of the PN Payment measure.

    On page 38257 through 38259, in our discussion of the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (HVBP) Program, we made several typographical and technical errors to references and dates.

    On pages 38309 and 38310, we are correcting the MS-LTC-DRG normalization factor and the MS-LTC DRG budget neutrality factor based on the recalculation of the MS-LTC-DRG relative weights due to the corrections to the MS-DRG Grouper Software Version 35 described previously. (Because the MS-LTC-DRGs used under the LTCH PPS are the same as the MS-DRGs used under the IPPS, the corrections to the MS-DRG Grouper Software Version 35 described previously affect the MS-LTC-DRGs groupings by extension.)

    On pages 38426, 38434, 38440, and 38458, in our discussion of the LTCH Quality Reporting Program (QRP), we made technical and typographical errors including an error in our description of a quality measure.

    B. Summary of Errors in the Regulations Text

    On page 38516, we inadvertently retained regulations language from the proposed rule at § 488.5(a)(21), regarding accrediting organizations, after stating in the preamble of the final rule that we had decided not to adopt such language. In addition, on page 38509, we inadvertently retained a description of subjects set out in 42 CFR part 488 in the “List of Subjects.” We are correcting these errors by removing the description of subjects, amendatory instructions, and regulations text for part 488.

    On page 38516, in the regulations text provisions for § 495.4 (definitions for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program), we inadvertently omitted the definition of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for 2018.

    On page 38517, in the regulations text provisions for § 495.24, we inadvertently omitted an EHR measure change for eligible professionals (EPs) in § 495.24(d)(6)(i)(B)(1)(iv).

    C. Summary of Errors in the Addendum

    As discussed in section II.A. of this correcting document, we are making corrections to the logic for the ICD-10 MS-DRG Grouper Version 35 Software for three ICD-10-PCS procedure codes (0BCC8ZZ, 00H032Z and 00H632Z) that had been erroneously designated as non-O.R. procedures rather than as O.R. procedures as finalized for FY 2018. As a result, we have recalculated the FY 2018 MS-DRG relative weights after applying the changes in the Version 35 MS-DRG groupings to the FY 2016 MedPAR data used for the final rule.

    The FY 2018 MS-DRG relative weights are used to calculate the MS-DRG reclassification and recalibration budget neutrality factor when comparing total payments using FY 2017 MS-DRG relative weights to total payments using the FY 2018 MS-DRG relative weights. Additionally, the FY 2018 MS-DRG relative weights are used when determining total payments for purposes of all other budget neutrality factors and the final outlier threshold, which are discussed in this section II.C. of this correcting document.

    As discussed in section II.E. of this correcting document, we made several technical errors with regard to the calculation of Factor 3 of the uncompensated care payment methodology. Factor 3 is used to determine the total amount of the uncompensated care payment a hospital is eligible to receive for a fiscal year. This amount is then used to calculate the amount of the interim uncompensated care payments a hospital receives per discharge. Per discharge uncompensated care payments are included when determining total payments for purposes of all of the budget neutrality factors and the final outlier threshold.

    As a result, the revisions made to address these technical errors regarding the calculation of Factor 3 directly affected the calculation of total payments and required the recalculation of all the budget neutrality factors and the final outlier threshold.

    Because of the errors in the wage data for the six hospitals (CCNs 240010, 420033, 420037, 420038, 420078, and 420102), as discussed in section II.A. of this correcting document, we recalculated the FY 2018 national average hourly wages unadjusted for occupational mix and adjusted for occupational mix which resulted in the recalculation of the final FY 2018 IPPS wage indexes and the geographic adjustment factors (GAFs) (which are computed from the wage index). The final FY 2018 IPPS wage data are used in the calculation of the wage index budget neutrality adjustment when comparing total payments using the final FY 2017 IPPS wage index data to total payments using the final FY 2018 IPPS wage index data. Additionally, the final FY 2018 IPPS wage index data are used when determining total payments for purposes of the rest of the budget neutrality factors (except for the MS-DRG reclassification and recalibration budget neutrality factor) and the final outlier threshold. In addition, the final FY 2018 IPPS wage index data are used to calculate the FY 2018 LTCH PPS wage index values, certain budget neutrality factors, and the LTCH PPS standard Federal payment rate in the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule.

    Due to the correction of the combination of errors listed previously (recalculation of the MS-DRG relative weights, revisions to Factor 3 of the uncompensated care methodology and correction to the final FY 2018 IPPS wage index data), we recalculated all IPPS budget neutrality adjustment factors, the fixed-loss cost threshold, the final wage indexes (and GAFs), and the national operating standardized amounts and capital Federal rate. Therefore, we made conforming changes to the following:

    • On page 38522 and 38532, the MS-DRG reclassification and recalibration budget neutrality factor.

    • On page 38522, the wage index budget neutrality adjustment.

    • On page 38522, the reclassification hospital budget neutrality adjustment.

    • On page 38523, the rural and imputed floor budget neutrality adjustment.

    • On page 38527, the calculation of the outlier fixed-loss cost threshold, the national outlier adjustment factors, total operating Federal payments, total operating outlier payments, and percentage of capital outlier payments.

    • On page 38529, the table titled “Changes From FY 2017 Standardized Amounts to the FY 2018 Standardized Amounts”.

    On pages 38532 and 38534 through 38535, in our discussion of the determination of the Federal hospital inpatient capital related prospective payment rate update, due to the recalculation of the MS-DRG relative weights and GAFs we have made conforming corrections to the increase in the capital Federal rate, the capital outlier payment adjustment (budget neutrality) factor, the GAF/DRG budget neutrality adjustment factors, the capital Federal rate, and the outlier threshold (as discussed previously), along with certain statistical figures (for example, percent change) in the accompanying discussions.

    Also, as a result of these errors, on page 38535, we have made conforming corrections in the tables showing the comparison of factors and adjustments for the FY 2017 capital Federal rate and FY 2018 capital Federal rate and the proposed FY 2018 capital Federal rate and final FY 2018 capital Federal rate.

    On pages 38537 and 38539, we are correcting the area wage level budget neutrality factor and making a conforming change to the FY 2018 LTCH PPS standard Federal payment rate due to corrections to the wage data discussed previously.

    On page 38544, we are making conforming corrections to the fixed-loss amount for FY 2018 LTCH PPS standard Federal payment rate discharges and the high-cost outlier (HCO) threshold determined in absence of the required changes under the 21st Century Cures Act due to corrections in the MS-LTC-DRG data discussed previously.

    On page 38545, we are making conforming corrections to the fixed-loss amount for site neutral discharges due to corrections in the IPPS rates and factors discussed previously.

    On pages 38546 and 38547, we are making conforming corrections to the figures used in the example of computing the adjusted LTCH PPS Federal prospective payment for FY 2018.

    On page 38548, we have made conforming corrections to the following:

    • National adjusted operating standardized amounts and capital standard Federal payment rate (which also include the rates payable to hospitals located in Puerto Rico) in Tables 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D as a result of the conforming corrections to certain budget neutrality factors and the outlier threshold (as described previously).

    • LTCH PPS standard Federal payment rate in Table 1E as a result of the correction to area wage level budget neutrality factor (as discussed previously).

    Also, on page 38548, in Table 1E, we are correcting a technical error in our terminology by replacing “Standard Federal Rate” with `Standard Federal Payment Rate”.

    D. Summary of Errors in the Appendices

    On pages 38552 through 38560 and 38572 through 38574 in our regulatory impact analyses, we made conforming corrections to the factors, values, and tables and accompanying discussion of the changes in operating and capital IPPS payments for FY 2018 and the effects of certain budget neutrality factors as a result of the technical errors that lead to conforming changes in our calculation of the operating and capital IPPS budget neutrality factors, outlier threshold, final wage indexes, operating standardized amounts, and capital Federal rate (as described in sections II.A. and II.C. of this correcting document).

    In particular, we made changes to the following tables.

    • On pages 38552 through 38554, the table titled “Table I.—Impact Analysis of Changes to the IPPS for Operating Costs for FY 2018”.

    • On pages 38557 through 38558, the table titled “FY 2018 IPPS Estimated Payments Due To Rural and Imputed Floor With National Budget Neutrality”.

    • On pages 38559 and 38560, the table titled “Table II—Impact Analysis of Changes for FY 2018 Acute Care Hospital Operating Prospective Payment System [Payments per Discharge]”.

    • On pages 38572 through 38574, the table titled “Table III—Comparison of Total Payments Per Case [FY 2017 Payments Compared to FY 2018 Payments]”.

    On pages 38561 through 38564, we are correcting the discussion of the “Effects of the Changes to Medicare DSH and Uncompensated Care Payments for FY 2018” for purposes of the Regulatory Impact Analysis in Appendix A of the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule in light of the corrections discussed in sections II.D. and II.E. of this correcting document.

    On pages 38576 and 38578 through 38579, we made conforming corrections to the area wage level budget neutrality factor and the LTCH PPS standard Federal payment rate as described in section II.C. of this correcting document.

    On page 38579, we are making conforming corrections to “Table IV.—Impact of Payment Rate and Policy Changes to LTCH PPS Payments for Standard Payment Rate Cases for FY 2018.” We are also correcting technical errors in the terminology used in the title and column headings of Table IV by ensuring the use of “Standard Federal Payment Rate”.

    On page 38585, we made conforming corrections to the estimated increase in capital payments in FY 2018 compared to FY 2017.

    E. Summary of Errors in and Corrections to Files and Tables Posted on the CMS Web Site

    We are correcting the errors in the following IPPS tables that are listed on pages 38547 and 38548 of the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule and are available on the Internet on the CMS Web site at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/FY2018-IPPS-Final-Rule-Home-Page.html. The tables that are available on the Internet have been updated to reflect the revisions discussed in this correcting document.

    Table 2—Case-Mix Index and Wage Index Table- FY 2018. The wage data errors related to the six hospitals required the recalculation of the FY 2018 national average hourly wages unadjusted for occupational mix and adjusted for occupational mix which resulted in recalculating the FY 2018 wage indexes. Also, the recalculation of the MS-DRG relative weights, the revisions to Factor 3 of the uncompensated care payment methodology and recalculation of the FY 2018 wage index necessitated the recalculation of the rural and imputed floor budget neutrality factor (as discussed in section II.C. of this correcting document). Therefore, we are correcting the values in the column titled “FY 2018 Wage Index” for all hospitals. Additionally, for the six hospitals for which we inadvertently used the incorrect wage data (as discussed in section II.A. of this correcting document), we are correcting the average hourly wages in the columns titled “Average Hourly Wage FY 2018” and “3-Year Average Hourly Wage (2016, 2017, 2018)”.

    Table 3.—Wage Index Table by CBSA-FY 2018. The wage data errors related to the six hospitals required the recalculation of the FY 2018 national average hourly wage adjusted for occupational mix which resulted in recalculating the FY 2018 wage indexes. Also, the recalculation of the MS-DRG relative weights, the revisions to Factor 3 of the uncompensated care payment methodology, and recalculation of the FY 2018 wage index necessitated the recalculation of the rural and imputed floor budget neutrality factor (as discussed in section II.C. of this correcting document). Therefore, we are making corresponding changes to the wage indexes and GAFs of all CBSAs listed in Table 3. Specifically, we are correcting the values and flags in the columns titled “Wage Index”, “Reclassified Wage Index”, “GAF”, “Reclassified GAF”, “Pre-Frontier and/or Pre-Rural or Imputed Floor Wage Index” and “Eligible for Rural or Imputed Floor Wage Index”. Additionally, for the two CBSAs (24860 and 40340) where the six hospitals for which we inadvertently used the incorrect wage data are located (as discussed in section II.A. of this correcting document), we are correcting the average hourly wages in the columns titled “FY 2018 Average Hourly Wage” and “3-Year Average Hourly Wage (2016, 2017, 2018)”. As we described previously, we inadvertently used the incorrect wage data for the following hospitals: CCNs 240010, 420033, 420037, 420038, 420078 and 420102.

    Table 5.—List of Medicare Severity Diagnosis-Related Groups (MS-DRGs), Relative Weighting Factors, and Geometric and Arithmetic Mean Length of Stay—FY 2018. We are correcting this table to reflect the recalculation of the FY 2018 MS-DRG relative weights and associated statistics as a result of the corrections to the logic for the ICD-10 MS-DRG Grouper Version 35 Software discussed in section II.A. of this correcting document. Specifically, we are correcting the values in the columns titled “Weights”, “Geometric mean LOS”, and “Arithmetic mean LOS”.

    Table 6P.—ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Code Designations, MCE and MS-DRG Changes—FY 2018. As discussed in section II.A of this correcting document, we are correcting the list of the ICD-10-PCS procedure codes in Table 6P.4b to reflect the three ICD-10-PCS procedure codes relating to the percutaneous insertion of intraluminal or monitoring devices that are finalized as non-O.R. procedures for FY 2018.

    Table 7B.—Medicare Prospective Payment System Selected Percentile Lengths of Stay: FY 2016 MedPAR Update—March 2017 GROUPER V35.0 MS-DRGs. We are correcting this table to reflect the recalculation of the FY 2018 MS-DRG relative weights and associated statistics as a result of the corrections to the logic for the ICD-10 MS-DRG Grouper Version 35 Software discussed in section II.A. of this correcting document.

    Table 10—New Technology Add-On Payment Thresholds for Applications for FY 2019. We are correcting the thresholds in this table as a result of the corrections to the operating standardized amounts discussed in section II.C. of this correcting document.

    Table 18.—Final FY 2018 Medicare DSH Uncompensated Care Payment Factor 3. We are correcting this table to reflect revisions to the Factor 3 calculations for purposes of determining uncompensated care payments for the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule for the following reasons:

    • To apply our finalized policy of double weighting the 2013 Factor 3 instead of developing a 2014 Factor 3 using uncompensated care cost data from Worksheet S-10 for several all-inclusive rate providers.

    • To reflect mergers where data for the merged hospital were not combined with the data for the surviving hospital for purposes of calculating Factor 3 for the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS Final Rule.

    • To correct the Factor 3 that was computed for a hospital whose FY 2014 cost report in the March 2017 extract of Healthcare Cost Report Information System (HCRIS) inadvertently omitted amended uncompensated care cost data reported on an amended Worksheet S-10 that had been received timely per CR 9648 issued on July, 15, 2016, and that was inadvertently omitted from the hospital's 2014 cost report when it was uploaded into HCRIS.

    • To correct the Factor 3 that was computed for a hospital that only had Factor 3 values for two cost reporting periods, but whose Factor 3 was inadvertently calculated by dividing by three cost reporting periods when averaging the Factor 3 values.

    • To correct the misapplication of our new hospital policy, where hospitals with a CMS Certification Number (CCN) established after October 1, 2013, but before October 1, 2014, were inadvertently considered subject to that policy when calculating Factor 3. As stated in the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule (82 FR 38212), only those hospitals with a CCN established after October 1, 2014, are considered new and subject to the new hospital policy when calculating Factor 3 for FY 2018.

    We are revising Factor 3 for all hospitals to correct these errors. We are also revising the amount of the total uncompensated care payment calculated for each DSH-eligible hospital. The total uncompensated care payment that a hospital receives is used to calculate the amount of the interim uncompensated care payments the hospital receives per discharge. Per discharge uncompensated care payments are included when determining total payments for purposes of all of the budget neutrality factors and the final outlier threshold. As a result, these corrections to the uncompensated care payments impacted the calculation of all the budget neutrality factors as well as the outlier fixed-loss cost threshold for outlier payments. These corrections will be reflected in Table 18 and the Medicare DSH Supplemental Data File. In section II.D. of this correcting document, we have made corresponding revisions to the discussion of the “Effects of the Changes to Medicare DSH and Uncompensated Care Payments for FY 2018” for purposes of the Regulatory Impact Analysis in Appendix A of the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule to reflect the corrections discussed previously.

    We are also correcting the errors in the following LTCH PPS tables that are listed on page 38548 of the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule and are available on the Internet on the CMS Web site at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-ServicePayment/LongTermCareHospitalPPS/index.html under the list item for regulation number CMS-1677-F. The tables that are available on the Internet have been updated to reflect the revisions discussed in this correcting document.

    Table 11.—MS-LTC-DRGs, Relative Weights, Geometric Average Length of Stay, and Short-Stay Outlier (SSO) Threshold for LTCH PPS Discharges Occurring from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. We are correcting this table to reflect the recalculation of the FY 2018 MS-LTC-DRG relative weights and associated statistics as a result of the corrections to the logic for the Version 35 Grouper Software discussed in section II.A. of this correcting document.

    Table 12A.—LTCH PPS Wage Index for Urban Areas for Discharges Occurring from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. We are correcting this table to reflect the revisions to the LTCH PPS wage index values discussed in section II.C. of this correcting document.

    Table 12B.—LTCH PPS Wage Index for Rural Areas for Discharges Occurring from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. We are correcting this table to reflect the revisions to the LTCH PPS wage index values discussed in section II.C. of this correcting document.

    We also note that we have made conforming changes to the ICD-10 MS-DRG Definitions Manual Version 35 for consistency with the ICD-10 MS-DRG Grouper and Medicare Code Editor (MCE) Version 35 Software. First, the ICD-10-CM diagnosis code P05.18 (Newborn small for gestational age, 2000-2499 grams) was displayed in the ICD-10 MS-DRG Definitions Manual Version 35 as grouping to both MS-DRGs 793 (Full Term Neonate with Major Problems) and 795 (Normal Newborn). The correct MS-DRG assignment for diagnosis code P05.18 is only MS-DRG 795; therefore, corrections were made to the ICD-10 MS-DRG Definitions Manual Version 35 to reflect the correct MS-DRG assignment. Second, the following 9 diagnosis codes were not included in the major problem list in the MS-DRG Definitions Manual: K56.600 (Partial intestinal obstruction, unspecified as to cause); K56.601 (Complete intestinal obstruction, unspecified as to cause); K56.609 (Unspecified intestinal obstruction, unspecified as to partial versus complete obstruction); K56.690 (Other partial intestinal obstruction); K56.691(Other complete intestinal obstruction); K56.699 (Other intestinal obstruction unspecified as to partial versus complete obstruction); K91.30 (Postprocedural intestinal obstruction, unspecified as to partial versus complete); K91.31 (Postprocedural partial intestinal obstruction); and K91.32 (Postprocedural complete intestinal obstruction). We made corrections to add these 9 diagnosis codes to the major problems list for MS-DRG 793 under Major Diagnostic Category (MDC) 15 (Newborns & Other Neonates with Conditions Originating in Perinatal Period) in the ICD-10 MS-DRG Definitions Manual Version 35.

    III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking and Delay in Effective Date

    We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of the finding and the reasons therefore in the notice.

    Section 553(d) of the APA ordinarily requires a 30-day delay in the effective date of final rules after the date of their publication in the Federal Register. This 30-day delay in effective date can be waived, however, if an agency finds for good cause that the delay is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and the agency incorporates a statement of the findings and its reasons in the rule issued.

    We believe that this correcting document does not constitute a rule that would be subject to the APA notice and comment or delayed effective date requirements. This correcting document corrects technical and typographic errors in the preamble, regulations text, addendum, payment rates, tables, and appendices included or referenced in the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule but does not make substantive changes to the policies or payment methodologies that were adopted in the final rule. As a result, this correcting document is intended to ensure that the information in the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule accurately reflects the policies adopted in that final rule.

    In addition, even if this were a rule to which the notice and comment procedures and delayed effective date requirements applied, we find that there is good cause to waive such requirements. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the final rule or delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public's interest for providers to receive appropriate payments in as timely a manner as possible, and to ensure that the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule accurately reflects our policies. Furthermore, such procedures would be unnecessary, as we are not altering our payment methodologies or policies, but rather, we are simply implementing correctly the policies that we previously proposed, received comment on, and subsequently finalized. This correcting document is intended solely to ensure that the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule accurately reflects these payment methodologies and policies. Therefore, we believe we have good cause to waive the notice and comment and effective date requirements.

    Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2017-16434 of August 14, 2017 (82 FR 37990), we are making the following corrections:

    A. Corrections of Errors in the Preamble

    1. On page 37990, first column, line 8 (Part headings), the figures “486, 488, 489, and 495” are corrected to read “486, 489, and 495”.

    2. On page 38067—

    a. Second column, last partial paragraph, line 1, the figure “28” is corrected to read “18”.

    b. Third column—

    (1) First partial paragraph—

    (a) Line 7, the phrase “28 ICD-10-PCS” is corrected to read “28 (18 discrete) ICD-10-PCS”.

    (b) Line 15, the phrase “O.R. procedures. We invite public” is corrected to read “O.R. procedures. (We note that Table 6P.4b. associated with the proposed rule listed 28 rather than 18 ICD-10-PCS codes because we inadvertently included 10 duplicate codes. However only 18 discrete ICD-10-PCS codes were listed in that table.) We invite public”.

    (2) First full paragraph—

    (a) Line 3, the figure “28” is corrected to read “18”.

    (b) Line 9, the figure “28” is corrected to read “18”.

    3. On page 38068, top half of the page (between the untitled tables) first column—

    a. First paragraph, line 5, the figure “28” is corrected to read “18”.

    b. Second paragraph, line 4, the figure “13” is corrected to read “3”.

    4. On page 38119, third column, first partial paragraph, lines 25 and 26, the phrase “XW033A3 and XW043A3.” is corrected to read “XW033A3 or XW043A3.”

    5. On page 38132—

    a. Second column, first paragraph, last line, the figure “$42.1027” is corrected to read “$42.0795”.

    b. Third column, first partial paragraph, line 4, the figure $42.1027” is corrected to read “$42.0795”.

    6. On page 38137, third column—

    a. First full paragraph, last line, the figure $42.0564” is corrected to read “$42.0332”.

    b. Last full paragraph, last line, the figure $42.0564” is corrected to read “$42.0332”.

    7. On page 38144, first column, first partial paragraph, lines 8 through 10, the phrase “2520 Lord Baltimore Drive, Suite L, Baltimore, MD 21244- 2670.” is corrected to read “1508 Woodlawn Drive, Suite 100, Baltimore, MD 21207.”.

    8. On page 38195—

    a. Top of the page, third column, first full paragraph, line 19, the figure “$15.533” is corrected to read “$15.553”.

    b. Bottom of the page in the table titled “FACTORS APPLIED FOR FY 2015 THROUGH FY 2018 TO ESTIMATE MEDICARE DSH EXPENDITURES USING 2014 BASELINE” last row (FY 2018), last column (Estimated DSH payment), the entry “15.533” is corrected to read “15.553”.

    9. On page 38225—

    a. First column, last bulleted paragraph, lines 3 through 5, the phrase “(AMI-Version 8.0, HF-Version 8.0, Pneumonia-Version 8.0, COPD-Version 4.0, and Stroke-Version 4.0: 2016” is corrected to read “(AMI-Version 9.0, HF-Version 9.0, Pneumonia-Version 9.0, COPD-Version 5.0, and Stroke-Version 5.0: 2016”.

    b. Second column; first bulleted paragraph, lines 2 through 4, the phrase “(THA and/or TKA-Version 4.0, CABG-Version 2.0: 2016” is corrected to read “(THA and/or TKA-Version 5.0, CABG-Version 3.0: 2016)”.

    10. On page 38249, second column, last paragraph, lines 23 and 24, the parenthetical phrase “(for example, the MORT-30-PN measure)” is corrected to read “(for example, PN Payment measure)”.

    11. On page 38257, third column, footnote paragraph (footnote 69), last line, the date “Mar 1997” is corrected to read “Mar 1977”.

    12. On page 38258, first column, third paragraph—

    a. Lines 8 and 9, the reference “(78 FR 50074;” is corrected to read “(79 FR 50074;”.

    b. Line 9, the reference “80 FR 49588).” is corrected to read “80 FR 49558).”.

    13. On page 38259, first column, first partial paragraph, line 14, the date “June 0” is corrected to read “June 30”.

    14. On page 38309, third column, first full paragraph, line 29 the figure “1.28590” is corrected to read “1.28593”.

    15. On page 38310, first column—

    a. First full paragraph, line 29, the figure “0.9907845” is corrected to read “0.9907437”.

    b. Second full paragraph—

    (1) Line 5, the figure “1.28590” is corrected to read “1.28593”.

    (2) Line 6, the figure “0.9907845” is corrected to read “0.9907437”.

    16. On page 38426—

    a. First column, second full paragraph, line 21, the phrase “an Application of Percent” is corrected to read “Application of Percent”.

    b. Third column, third full paragraph, line 10, the phrase “criteria; however should” is corrected to read “criteria. However, the measure should”.

    17. On page 38434, in the first column, second paragraph—

    a. Line 29, the phrase “Stage 3 or 4 ulcers.” is corrected to read “Stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers.”.

    b. Line 31, the phrase “Stage 1 and 2 ulcers decreased” is corrected to read “Stage 1 and 2 pressure ulcers decreased”.

    c. Line 32, the phrase ” of Stage 3 and 4 ulcers” is corrected to read “of Stage 3 and 4 pressure ulcers”.

    18. On page 38440, third column, last paragraph—

    a. Lines 10 and 11, the phrase “That nearly one third” is corrected to read “The fact that nearly one third”.

    b. Lines 16 and 17, the phrase “LTCH, and also indicates” is corrected to read “LTCH. It also indicates”.

    19. On page 38458, third column, second full paragraph—

    a. Lines 21 through 23, the phrase (measure name) “Functional Outcome Measure: Change in Mobility Among Patients Requiring Ventilator Support (NQF #2632).” is corrected to read “Functional Outcome Measure: Change in Mobility Among Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Patients Requiring Ventilator Support (NQF #2632).”.

    b. Lines 31 through 34, the phrase (measure name) “Functional Outcome Measure: Change in Mobility Among Patients Requiring Ventilator Support (NQF #2632)” is corrected to read “Functional Outcome Measure: Change in Mobility Among Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Patients Requiring Ventilator Support (NQF #2632).”

    20. On page 38509, second column, eighth full paragraph (List of subjects 42 CFR 488), the paragraph is corrected by removing the paragraph.

    B. Correction of Errors in the Regulations Text

    1. On page 38516, in the first column, remove the part heading for part 488 and remove amendatory instructions 34 and 35 in their entirety.

    § 495.4 [Corrected]

    2. On page 38516, in the second column, after amendatory instruction 39a, add amendatory instruction a2 to read—

    “a2. In the definition of “Certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT)”:

    i. In paragraph (1)(iii), removing the phrase “for 2018 subsequent years” and adding in its place the phrase “for 2019 and subsequent years”; and

    ii. In the introductory text of paragraph (2), removing the phrase “For 2018 and subsequent years,” and adding in its place the phrase “For 2019 and subsequent years,”.”

    § 495.24 [Corrected]

    3. On page 38517, second column, sixth full paragraph, amendatory instruction 41d is corrected and amendatory instructions 41e and f are correctly added to read as follows:

    “d. Revising the paragraph (d) heading.

    e. In paragraph (d)(6)(i)(B)(1)(iv) by removing the phrase “For an EHR reporting period in 2017 only, an EP” and adding in its place the phrase “For an EHR reporting period in 2017 and 2018, an EP”.

    f. Revising paragraphs (d)(6)(i)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), (d)(6)(ii)(B)(1)(iv), and (d)(6)(ii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii).”

    C. Correction of Errors in the Addendum

    1. On page 38522 —

    a. Second column, first full paragraph—

    (1) Line 3, the figure “0.997432” is corrected to read “0.997439”.

    (2) Line 8, the figure “0.997432” is corrected to read “0.997439”.

    b. Third column—

    (1) First full paragraph, line 9, the figure “1.001148” is corrected to read “1.000882”.

    (2) Last paragraph, line 11 the figure “0.988008” is corrected to read “0.987985”.

    2. On page 38523, second column, first partial paragraph, line 2, the figure “0.993348” is corrected to read “0.993324”.

    3. On page 38527, lower two-thirds of the page (after the first untitled table), third column—

    a. First partial paragraph—

    (1) Line 4, the figure “$26,601” is corrected to read “$26,537”.

    (2) Line 5, the figure “85,942,484,975” is corrected to read “$90,203,348,168”.

    (3) Line 6, the figure “$4,618,707,285” is corrected to read “$4,600,554,656”.

    (4) Line 17, the figure “$26,601” is corrected to read “$26,537”.

    b. First full paragraph, line 13, the figure “5.16” is corrected to read “5.17”.

    c. Following the third full paragraph, the untitled table is corrected to read as follows:

    Operating
  • standardized
  • amounts
  • Capital
  • federal
  • rate
  • National 0.948998 0.948259

    4. On page 38529, top of the page, the table titled “CHANGES FROM FY 2017 STANDARDIZED AMOUNTS TO THE FY 2018 STANDARDIZED AMOUNTS”, is corrected to read as follows:

    Changes From FY 2017 Standardized Amounts to the FY 2018 Standardized Amounts Hospital submitted quality data and is a meaningful EHR user Hospital submitted quality data and is NOT a
  • meaningful EHR user
  • Hospital did NOT submit quality data and is a meaningful EHR user Hospital did NOT submit quality data and is NOT a meaningful EHR user
    FY 2018 Base Rate after removing: 1. FY 2017 Geographic Reclassification Budget Neutrality (0.988136) If Wage Index is Greater Than 1.0000: If Wage Index is Greater Than 1.0000: If Wage Index is Greater Than 1.0000: If Wage Index is Greater Than 1.0000: 2. FY 2017 Operating Outlier Offset (0.948998) Labor (68.3%): $3,993.72 Labor (68.3%): $3,993.72 Labor (68.3%): $3,993.72 Labor (68.3%): $3,993.72. 3. FY 2017 2-Midnight Rule One-Time Prospective Increase (1.006) Nonlabor (30.4%): $1,853.60 Nonlabor (30.4%): $1,853.60 Nonlabor (30.4%): $1,853.60 Nonlabor (30.4%): $1,853.60. 4. FY 2017 Labor Market Delineation Wage Index Transition Budget Neutrality Factor (0.999997) If Wage Index is less Than or Equal to 1.0000: If Wage Index is less Than or Equal to 1.0000: If Wage Index is less Than or Equal to 1.0000: If Wage Index is less Than or Equal to 1.0000: Labor (62%): $3,625.34 Labor (62%): $3,625.34 Labor (62%): $3,625.34 Labor (62%): $3,625.34. Nonlabor (38%): $2,221.98 Nonlabor (38%): $2,221.98 Nonlabor (38%): $2,221.98 Nonlabor (38%): $2,221.98. FY 2018 Update Factor 1.0135 0.99325 1.00675 0.9865. FY 2018 MS-DRG Recalibration Budget Neutrality Factor 0.997439 0.997439 0.997439 0.997439. FY 2018 Wage Index Budget Neutrality Factor 1.000882 1.000882 1.000882 1.000882. FY 2018 Reclassification Budget Neutrality Factor 0.987985 0.987985 0.987985 0.987985. FY 2018 Operating Outlier Factor 0.948998 0.948998 0.948998 0.98998. Adjustment for FY 2018 Required under Section 414 of Pub. L. 114-10 (MACRA) and Section 15005 of Pub. L. 114-255 1.004588 1.004588 1.004588 1.004588. National Standardized Amount for FY 2018 if Wage Index is Greater Than 1.0000; Labor/Non-Labor Share Percentage (68.3/31.7) Labor: $3,806.04
  • Nonlabor: $1,766.49
  • Labor: $3,729.99
  • Nonlabor: $1,731.20
  • Labor: $3,780.69
  • Nonlabor: $1,754.73
  • Labor: $3,704.65.
  • Nonlabor: $1,719.43.
  • National Standardized Amount for FY 2018 if Wage Index is less Than or Equal to 1.0000; Labor/Non-Labor Share Percentage (62/38) Labor: $3,454.97
  • Nonlabor: $2,117.56
  • Labor: $3,385.94
  • Nonlabor: $2,075.25
  • Labor: $3,431.96
  • Nonlabor: $2,103.46
  • Labor: $3,362.93.
  • Nonlabor: $2,061.15.
  • 5. On page 38532, lower two-thirds of the page (after the untitled table)—

    a. First column, second full paragraph, line 13, the figure “0.997432” is corrected to read “0.997439”.

    b. Third column, second full paragraph, line 6, the figure “1.61” is corrected to read “1.60”.

    6. On page 38534—

    a. First column—

    (1) First full paragraph—

    (a) Line 8, the figure “5.16” is corrected to read “5.17”.

    (b) Line 12, the figure “0.9484” is corrected to read “0.9483”.

    (2) Second full paragraph—

    (a) Lines 5 and 6, the phrase “outlier adjustment of 0.9484 is a 1.04 percent change” is corrected to read “outlier adjustment of 0.9483 is a 1.03 percent change”.

    (b) Line 10, the figures “1.0104 (0.9484/0.9386)” are corrected to read “1.0103(0.9483/0.9386)”.

    (c) Line 12, the figure “1.04” is corrected to read “1.03”.

    (3) Fourth full paragraph—

    (a) Line 13, the figure “0.9994” is corrected to read “0.9995”.

    (b) Line 16, the figure “0.9844” is corrected to read “0.99845”.

    b. Second column—

    (1). First partial paragraph, line 8, the figure “0.9837” is corrected to read “0.9838”.

    (2). Third full paragraph—

    (a) Line 1, the figure “0.9986” is corrected to read “0.9987”.

    (b) Line 3, the figure “0.9994” is corrected to read “0.9995”.

    c. Third column—

    (1). First full paragraph—

    (a) Line 4, the figure “1.61” is corrected to read “1.60”.

    (b) Line 15, the figure “$453.97” is corrected to read “$453.95”.

    (c) Second bulleted paragraph, last line, the figure “0.9986” is corrected to read “0.9987”.

    (d) Third bulleted paragraph, last line, the figure “0.9484” is corrected to read “0.9483”.

    (e) Last paragraph—

    (1) Line 15, the figure “0.14” is corrected to read “0.13”.

    (2) Line 18, the figure “1.04” is corrected to read “1.03”.

    7. On page 38535—

    a. Top of page—

    (1) Second column, first partial paragraph, last line, the figure “1.61” is corrected to read “1.60”.

    (2) The table titled “COMPARISON OF FACTORS AND ADJUSTMENTS: FY 2017 CAPITAL FEDERAL RATE AND FY 2018 CAPITAL FEDERAL RATE” is corrected to read as follows:

    Comparison of Factors and Adjustments: FY 2017 Capital Federal Rate and FY 2018 Capital Federal Rate FY 2017 FY 2018 Change Percent
  • change 3
  • Update Factor 1 1.0090 1.0130 1.0130 1.30 GAF/DRG Adjustment Factor 1 0.9990 0.9987 0.9987 −0.13 Outlier Adjustment Factor 2 0.9386 0.9483 1.0103 1.03 Removal of One-Time 2-Midnight Policy Adjustment Factor 1.0060 1/1.006 0.9940 −0.60 Capital Federal Rate $446.79 $453.95 1.0160 1.60 1 The update factor and the GAF/DRG budget neutrality adjustment factors are built permanently into the capital Federal rates. Thus, for example, the incremental change from FY 2017 to FY 2018 resulting from the application of the 0.9987 GAF/DRG budget neutrality adjustment factor for FY 2018 is a net change of 0.9987 (or -0.13 percent). 2 The outlier reduction factor is not built permanently into the capital Federal rate; that is, the factor is not applied cumulatively in determining the capital Federal rate. Thus, for example, the net change resulting from the application of the FY 2018 outlier adjustment factor is 0.9483/0.9386 or 1.0103 (or 1.03 percent). 3 Percent change may not sum due to rounding.

    b. Middle of page, the table titled “COMPARISON OF FACTORS AND ADJUSTMENTS: PROPOSED FY 2018 CAPITAL FEDERAL RATE AND FINAL FY 2018 CAPITAL FEDERAL RATE” is corrected to read as follows:

    Comparison of Factors and Adjustments: Proposed FY 2018 Capital Federal Rate and Final FY 2018 Capital Federal Rate Proposed
  • FY 2018
  • Final
  • FY 2018
  • Change Percent
  • change
  • Update Factor 1 1.0120 1.0130 1.0010 1.10 GAF/DRG Adjustment Factor 1 0.9992 0.9987 0.9985 −0.05 Outlier Adjustment Factor 2 0.9434 0.9483 1.0052 0.52 Removal of One-Time 2-Midnight Policy Adjustment Factor 1/1.006 1/1.006 0.0000 0.00 Capital Federal Rate $451.37 $453.95 1.0057 0.57

    c. Lower third of the page, first column, second full paragraph, last line, the figure, “$26,601” is corrected to read “$26,537”.

    8. On page 38537—

    a. First column last paragraph—

    (1) Line 22, the figure “1.0006434” is corrected to read “1.0002704”.

    (2) Line 35, the figure “$41,430.56” is corrected to read “$41,415.11”.

    (3) Line 36, the figure “1.0006434” is corrected to read “1.0002704”.

    b. Second column, first partial paragraph—

    (1) Line 5, the figure “40,610.16” is corrected to read “$40,595.02”.

    (2) Line 6, the figure “1.0006434” is corrected to read “1.0002704”.

    9. On page 38539, second column, fourth full paragraph—

    a. Line 6, the figure “1.0006434” is corrected to read “1.0002704”.

    b. Line 11, the figure “1.0006434” is corrected to read “1.0002704”.

    10. On page 38544—

    a. First column—

    (1) First partial paragraph—

    (a) Line 6, the figure “27,382” is corrected to read “27,381”.

    (b) Last line, the figure “27,382” is corrected to read “27,381”.

    (2) First full paragraph—

    (a) Line 4, the figure “27,382” is corrected to read “27,381”.

    (b) Line 27, the figure “27,240” is corrected to read “27,239”.

    (3) Second column, first partial paragraph, line 25, the figure “27,382” is corrected to read “27,381”.

    10. On page 38545—

    a. Second column, second full paragraph—

    (1) Line 14, the figure, “$26,601” is corrected to read “$26,537”.

    (2) Last line, the figure, “$26,601” is corrected to read “$26,537”.

    b. Third column, second full paragraph, line 3, the figure, “$26,601” is corrected to read “$26,537”.

    11. On page 38546, third column—

    a. Second full paragraph, line 27, the figure “$41,430.56” is corrected to read “$41,415.11”.

    b. Last paragraph, line 7, the figure “1.0547” is corrected to read “1.0553”.

    12. On page 38547, top of the page—

    a. Second column, partial paragraph—

    (1) Line 2, the figure “$41,430.56” is corrected to read “$41,415.11”.

    (2) Line 3, the figure “1.0547” is corrected to read “1.0553”.

    b. Third column, partial paragraph, line 5, the figure “$41,449.71” is corrected to read “$41,450.13”.

    c. Untitled table, the table is corrected to read as follows:

    LTCH PPS Standard Federal Payment Rate $41,415.11 Labor-Related Share × 0.662 Labor-Related Portion of the LTCH PPS Standard Federal Payment Rate = $27,416.80 Wage Index (CBSA 16974) × 1.0553 Wage-Adjusted Labor Share of LTCH PPS Standard Federal Payment Rate = $28,932.95 Nonlabor-Related Portion of the LTCH PPS Standard Federal Payment Rate ($41,415.11 x 0.338) + $13,998.31 Adjusted LTCH PPS Standard Federal Payment Amount = $42,931.26 MS-LTC-DRG 189 Relative Weight × 0.9655 Total Adjusted LTCH PPS Standard Federal Payment Rate = $41,450.13

    13. On page 38548—

    a. Middle of the page,

    (1) The table titled “TABLE 1A.—NATIONAL ADJUSTED OPERATING STANDARDIZED AMOUNTS, LABOR/NONLABOR [(68.3 PERCENT LABOR SHARE/31.7 PERCENT NONLABOR SHARE IF WAGE INDEX IS GREATER THAN 1)—FY 2018”] is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 1A—National Adjusted Operating Standardized Amounts, Labor/Nonlabor [(68.3 percent labor share/31.7 percent nonlabor share if wage index is greater than 1)—FY 2018] Hospital submitted quality data and is a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = 1.35 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital submitted quality data and is not a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = −0.675 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital did NOT submit quality data and is a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = 0.675 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital did NOT submit quality data and is NOT a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = −1.35 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor
    $3,806.04 $1,766.49 $3,729.99 $1,731.20 $3,780.69 $1,754.73 $3,704.65 $1,719.43

    (2) The table titled “TABLE 1B.—NATIONAL ADJUSTED OPERATING STANDARDIZED AMOUNTS, LABOR/NONLABOR [(62 PERCENT LABOR SHARE/38 PERCENT NONLABOR SHARE IF WAGE INDEX IS LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO 1)—FY 2018]” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 1B—National Adjusted Operating Standardized Amounts, Labor/Nonlabor [(62 percent labor share/38 percent nonlabor share if wage index is less than or equal to 1)—FY 2018] Hospital submitted quality data and is a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = 1.35 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital submitted quality data and is not a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = −0.675 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital did NOT submit quality data and is a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = 0.675 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital did NOT submit quality data and is NOT a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = −1.35 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor
    $3,454.97 $2,117.56 $3,385.94 $2,075.25 $3,431.96 $2,103.46 $3,362.93 $2,061.15

    (3) The table titled “TABLE 1C.—ADJUSTED OPERATING STANDARDIZED AMOUNTS FOR HOSPITALS IN PUERTO RICO, LABOR/NONLABOR [(NATIONAL: 62 PERCENT LABOR SHARE/38 PERCENT NONLABOR SHARE BECAUSE WAGE INDEX IS LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO 1);—FY 2018]” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 1C—Adjusted Operating Standardized Amounts For Hospitals In Puerto Rico, Labor/Nonlabor [(National: 62 percent labor share/38 percent nonlabor share because wage index is less than or equal to 1);—FY 2018] Standardized amount Rates if wage index is greater than 1 Labor Nonlabor Rates if wage index is less than or equal to 1 Labor Nonlabor National 1 Not Applicable Not Applicable $3,454.97 $2,117.56 1 For FY 2018, there are no CBSAs in Puerto Rico with a national wage index greater than 1.

    b. Bottom of the page—

    (1) The table titled “TABLE 1D.—CAPITAL STANDARD FEDERAL PAYMENT RATE [FY 2018]” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 1D—Capital Standard Federal Payment Rate [FY 2018] Rate National $453.95

    (2) The table titled “TABLE 1E.—LTCH PPS STANDARD FEDERAL PAYMENT RATE [FY 2018]” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 1E—LTCH PPS Standard Federal Payment Rate [FY 2018] Full update
  • (1 percent)
  • Reduced
  • update *
  • (−1.0
  • percent)
  • Standard Federal Payment Rate $41,415.11 $40,595.02
    D. Corrections of Errors in the Appendices

    1. On pages 38552 through 38554, the table and table notes for the table titled “TABLE I.—IMPACT ANALYSIS OF CHANGES TO THE IPPS FOR OPERATING COSTS FOR FY 2018” are corrected to read as follows:

    BILLING CODE 4120-01-P ER04OC17.000 ER04OC17.001 ER04OC17.002 ER04OC17.003 BILLING CODE 4120-01-C

    2. On page 38555,

    a. Second column, second full paragraph—

    (1) Line 6, the figure “0.997432” is corrected to read “0.997439”.

    (2) Line 14, the figure “0.2” is corrected to read “0.1”.

    b. Third column, first full paragraph, line 26, the figure “1.001148” is corrected to read “1.000882”.

    3. On page 38556, lower half of the page—

    a. First column, third full paragraph, line 6, the figure “0.988008” is corrected to read “0.987985”.

    b. Third column—

    (1) First full paragraph, line 8, the figure “0.993348” is corrected to read “0.993324”.

    (2) Last paragraph, line 5, the figure “0.993348” is corrected to read “0.993324”.

    4. On page 38557, top of the page, first column, first partial paragraph, line 20, the figure “$44 million” is corrected to read “$43 million”.

    5. On pages 38557 and 38558, the table titled “FY 2018 IPPS ESTIMATED PAYMENTS DUE TO RURAL AND IMPUTED FLOOR WITH NATIONAL BUDGET NEUTRALITY” is corrected to read as follows:

    FY 2018 IPPS Estimated Payments Due to Rural and Imputed Floor With National Budget Neutrality State Number of
  • hospitals
  • Number of hospitals that will receive the rural or
  • imputed floor
  • Percent change in
  • payments due to application of rural floor and imputed floor with budget
  • neutrality
  • Difference
  • (in $ millions)
  • (1) (2) (3) (4) Alabama 84 3 −0.3 −5 Alaska 6 4 1.4 3 Arizona 57 38 0.4 7 Arkansas 44 1 −0.3 −4 California 299 177 1.2 134 Colorado 47 4 0.4 5 Connecticut 30 7 0.1 2 Delaware 6 6 1.8 8 Washington, DC 7 0 −0.4 −2 Florida 171 17 −0.2 −16 Georgia 103 0 −0.3 −9 Hawaii 12 0 −0.3 −1 Idaho 14 0 −0.2 −1 Illinois 127 3 −0.4 −17 Indiana 85 0 −0.3 −8 Iowa 34 0 −0.3 −3 Kansas 53 0 −0.3 −3 Kentucky 66 0 −0.3 −5 Louisiana 94 2 −0.3 −5 Maine 17 0 −0.4 −2 Massachusetts 57 36 1.3 43 Michigan 94 0 −0.3 −14 Minnesota 49 0 −0.3 −6 Mississippi 60 0 −0.3 −4 Missouri 74 0 −0.2 −6 Montana 13 4 0 0 Nebraska 24 0 −0.3 −2 Nevada 23 0 −0.4 −3 New Hampshire 13 9 3.7 20 New Jersey 64 17 −0.1 −4 New Mexico 25 0 −0.2 −1 New York 154 11 −0.3 −23 North Carolina 84 0 −0.3 −10 North Dakota 6 0 −0.2 −1 Ohio 128 6 −0.3 −12 Oklahoma 84 4 −0.2 −3 Oregon 34 5 −0.3 −3 Pennsylvania 150 3 −0.4 −17 Puerto Rico 52 10 0.2 0 Rhode Island 11 10 5.0 19 South Carolina 56 0 −0.3 −5 South Dakota 17 0 −0.2 −1 Tennessee 91 3 −0.3 −8 Texas 310 4 −0.3 −22 Utah 31 1 −0.3 −2 Vermont 6 0 −0.2 0 Virginia 73 1 −0.3 −7 Washington 48 3 −0.2 −5 West Virginia 29 3 −0.1 −1 Wisconsin 66 8 −0.2 −3 Wyoming 10 0 −0.1 0

    6. On pages 38559 and 38560, the table titled “TABLE II.—IMPACT ANALYSIS OF CHANGES FOR FY 2018 ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL OPERATING PROSPECTIVE PAYMENT SYSTEM (PAYMENTS PER DISCHARGE)” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table II—Impact Analysis of Changes for FY 2018 Acute Care Hospital Operating Prospective Payment System [Payments per discharge] Number of
  • hospitals
  • Estimated
  • average
  • FY 2017
  • payment per
  • discharge
  • Estimated
  • average
  • FY 2018
  • payment per
  • discharge
  • FY 2018
  • changes
  • (1) (2) (3) (4) All Hospitals 3,292 $11,867 $12,024 1.3 By Geographic Location: Urban hospitals 2,492 12,207 12,379 1.4 Large urban areas 1,340 12,881 13,061 1.4 Other urban areas 1,152 11,477 11,642 1.4 Rural hospitals 800 8,911 8,930 0.2 Bed Size (Urban): 0-99 beds 648 9,730 9,813 0.8 100-199 beds 763 10,248 10,404 1.5 200-299 beds 441 11,079 11,245 1.5 300-499 beds 426 12,366 12,538 1.4 500 or more beds 214 15,011 15,224 1.4 Bed Size (Rural): 0-49 beds 318 7,523 7,486 −0.5 50-99 beds 282 8,487 8,372 −1.4 100-149 beds 117 8,896 8,966 0.8 150-199 beds 44 9,292 9,410 1.3 200 or more beds 39 10,514 10,679 1.6 Urban by Region: New England 114 13,125 13,303 1.4 Middle Atlantic 315 13,819 13,967 1.1 South Atlantic 404 10,783 10,952 1.6 East North Central 385 11,537 11,727 1.6 East South Central 147 10,245 10,375 1.3 West North Central 160 11,915 12,107 1.6 West South Central 378 10,948 11,134 1.7 Mountain 162 12,824 12,898 0.6 Pacific 375 15,634 15,867 1.5 Puerto Rico 52 8,851 8,947 1.1 Rural by Region: New England 20 12,091 12,166 0.6 Middle Atlantic 53 8,891 8,812 −0.9 South Atlantic 125 8,274 8,269 −0.1 East North Central 115 9,224 9,144 −0.9 East South Central 154 7,900 7,987 1.1 West North Central 97 9,736 9,794 0.6 West South Central 154 7,539 7,587 0.6 Mountain 58 10,620 10,718 0.9 Pacific 24 12,466 12,517 0.4 By Payment Classification: Urban hospitals 2,373 12,148 12,320 1.4 Large urban areas 1,354 12,867 13,047 1.4 Other urban areas 1,019 11,200 11,362 1.4 Rural areas 919 10,568 10,656 0.8 Teaching Status: Nonteaching 2,204 9,850 9,967 1.2 Fewer than 100 residents 839 11,372 11,535 1.4 100 or more residents 249 17,228 17,461 1.4 Urban DSH: Non-DSH 551 10,357 10,456 1.0 100 or more beds 1,543 12,512 12,689 1.4 Less than 100 beds 370 8,960 9,102 1.6 Rural DSH: SCH 257 9,526 9,578 0.5 RRC 293 11,384 11,568 1.6 100 or more beds 34 10,297 10,339 0.4 Less than 100 beds 244 7,035 6,764 −3.9 Urban teaching and DSH: Both teaching and DSH 863 13,579 13,766 1.4 Teaching and no DSH 92 11,410 11,522 1.0 No teaching and DSH 1,050 10,217 10,374 1.5 No teaching and no DSH 368 9,854 10,000 1.5 Special Hospital Types: RRC 263 11,165 11,360 1.8 SCH 316 10,774 10,820 0.4 SCH and RRC 131 11,265 11,362 0.9 Type of Ownership: Voluntary 1,914 12,058 12,212 1.3 Proprietary 863 10,392 10,554 1.6 Government 513 12,810 12,980 1.3 Medicare Utilization as a Percent of Inpatient Days: 0-25 554 14,910 15,115 1.4 25-50 2,149 11,728 11,890 1.4 50-65 485 9,617 9,695 0.8 Over 65 103 7,591 7,444 −1.9 FY 2018 Reclassifications by the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board: All Reclassified Hospitals 858 11,661 11,830 1.5 Non-Reclassified Hospitals 2,434 11,956 12,108 1.3 Urban Hospitals Reclassified 590 12,202 12,396 1.6 Urban Nonreclassified Hospitals 1,858 12,210 12,381 1.4 Rural Hospitals Reclassified Full Year 268 9,339 9,399 0.7 Rural Nonreclassified Hospitals Full Year 485 8,422 8,379 −0.5 All Section 401 Reclassified Hospitals: 166 12,504 12,677 1.4 Other Reclassified Hospitals (Section 1886(d)(8)(B)) 47 8,122 8,165 0.5

    7. On pages 38561 through 38564 in the section titled “Effects of the Changes to Medicare DSH and Uncompensated Care Payments for FY 2018” (which begins with the phrase “As discussed in section V.G of the preamble” and ends with the phrase “hospitals are projected to receive large increases”) the section is corrected to read as follows:

    “5. Effects of the Changes to Medicare DSH and Uncompensated Care Payments for FY 2018.

    As discussed in section V.G. of the preamble of this final rule, under section 3133 of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals that are eligible to receive Medicare DSH payments will receive 25 percent of the amount they previously would have received under the statutory formula for Medicare DSH payments under section 1886(d)(5)(F) of the Act. The remainder, equal to an estimate of 75 percent of what formerly would have been paid as Medicare DSH payments (Factor 1), reduced to reflect changes in the percentage of uninsured individuals and additional statutory adjustments (Factor 2), is available to make additional payments to each hospital that qualifies for Medicare DSH payments and that has uncompensated care. Each hospital eligible for Medicare DSH payments will receive an additional payment based on its estimated share of the total amount of uncompensated care for all hospitals eligible for Medicare DSH payments. The uncompensated care payment methodology has redistributive effects based on the proportion of a hospital's uncompensated care relative to the uncompensated care for all hospitals eligible for Medicare DSH payments (Factor 3).

    For FY 2018, we are establishing a Factor 2 of 58.01 percent determined using the uninsured estimates produced by CMS' Office of the Actuary (OACT) as part of the development of the National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA). Although we are continuing to use low-income insured patient days as a proxy for uncompensated care, for the first time, we are using these data in combination with data on uncompensated care costs from Worksheet S-10 in the calculation of Factor 3. The uncompensated care payment methodology has redistributive effects based on the proportion of a hospital's uncompensated care relative to the total uncompensated care for all hospitals eligible for Medicare DSH payments. The change to Medicare DSH payments under section 3133 of the Affordable Care Act is not budget neutral.

    In this final rule, we are establishing the amount to be distributed as uncompensated care payments to DSH eligible hospitals, which for FY 2018 is $6,766,695,163.56. This figure represents 75 percent of the amount that otherwise would have been paid for Medicare DSH payment adjustments adjusted by a Factor 2 of 58.01 percent. For FY 2017, the amount available to be distributed for uncompensated care was $5,977,483,146.86, or 75 percent of the amount that otherwise would have been paid for Medicare DSH payment adjustments adjusted by a Factor 2 of 55.36 percent. To calculate Factor 3 for FY 2018, we used an average of data computed using Medicaid days from hospitals' 2012 and 2013 cost reports from the March 2017 update of the HCRIS database, uncompensated care costs from hospitals' 2014 cost reports from the same extract of HCRIS, Medicaid days from 2012 cost report data submitted to CMS by IHS hospitals, and SSI days from the FY 2014 and FY 2015 SSI ratios. For each eligible hospital, we calculated an individual Factor 3 for cost reporting years FYs 2012, 2013, and 2014. We then added the individual amounts and divided the sum by the number of cost reporting periods with data to calculate an average Factor 3 for FY 2018. For purposes of this final rule, as we proposed, we used the most recent data from the March 2017 update of the HCRIS database for the Medicaid days component of the Factor 3 calculation as well as for the Worksheet S-10 uncompensated care cost component.

    The FY 2018 policy of using data from hospitals' FY 2012, FY 2013, and FY 2014 cost reporting years to determine Factor 3 is based on our FY 2017 final policy (81 FR 56943 through 56973), which is in contrast to the methodology used in FY 2016, when we used Medicaid days from the more recent of a hospital's full year 2012 or 2011 cost report from the March 2015 update of the HCRIS database, Medicaid days from 2012 cost report data submitted to CMS by IHS hospitals, and SSI days from the FY 2013 SSI ratios to calculate Factor 3. In addition, as explained in section V.G.4.c. of the preamble of this final rule, we are making several additional modifications to the Factor 3 methodology: (1) To annualize Medicaid data and uncompensated care data if a hospital's cost report does not equal 12 months of data; (2) to apply a scaling factor to the uncompensated care payment amount calculated for each DSH eligible hospital so that total uncompensated care payments are consistent with the estimated amount available to make uncompensated care payments for FY 2018; (3) to apply statistical trims to the CCRs on Worksheet S-10 that are considered anomalies to ensure reasonable CCRs are used to convert charges to costs for purposes of determining uncompensated care costs; (4) to calculate Factor 3 for Puerto Rico hospitals, all-inclusive rate providers, and Indian Health Service and Tribal hospitals by substituting data regarding low-income insured days for FY 2013 for the Worksheet S-10 data on uncompensated care costs from FY 2014 cost reports; and (5) to determine the ratio of uncompensated care costs relative to total operating costs on the hospital's 2014 cost report (as of March 2017), and in cases where the ratio of uncompensated care costs relative to total operating costs exceeds 50 percent, to determine the ratio of uncompensated care costs to total operating costs from the hospital's 2015 cost report (as of March 2017) and apply that ratio to the hospital's total operating costs from its 2014 cost report to determine uncompensated care costs for FY 2014.

    We also are continuing the policies that were finalized in the FY 2015 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule (79 FR 50020 through 50022) to address several specific issues concerning the process and data to be employed in determining Factor 3 in the case of hospital mergers for FY 2018 and subsequent years, as well as continuing the policies finalized in the FY 2017 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule concerning the methodology for calculating each hospital's relative share of uncompensated care, such as combining data from multiple cost reports beginning in the same fiscal year and calculating Factor 3 based on an average of the three individual Factor 3s for FYs 2012, 2013, and 2014, determined by adding the Factor 3 values for these years, and dividing by the number of cost reporting periods with data.

    To estimate the impact of the combined effect of changes in Factors 1 and 2, as well as the changes to the data used in determining Factor 3, on the calculation of Medicare DSH payments, including both empirically justified Medicare DSH payments and uncompensated care payments, we compared total DSH payments estimated in the FY 2017 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule to total DSH payments estimated in this FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule. For FY 2017, for each hospital, we calculated the sum of: (1) 25 percent of the estimated amount of what would have been paid as Medicare DSH in FY 2017 in the absence of section 3133 of the Affordable Care Act; and (2) 75 percent of the estimated amount of what would have been paid as Medicare DSH payments in the absence of section 3133 of the Affordable Care Act, adjusted by a Factor 2 of 55.36 percent and multiplied by a Factor 3 calculated as described in the FY 2017 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule. For FY 2018, we calculated the sum of: (1) 25 percent of the estimated amount of what would be paid as Medicare DSH payments in FY 2018 absent section 3133 of the Affordable Care Act; and (2) 75 percent of the estimated amount of what would be paid as Medicare DSH payments absent section 3133 of the Affordable Care Act, adjusted by a Factor 2 of 58.01 percent and multiplied by a Factor 3 calculated using the methodology described previously.

    Our analysis included 2,438 hospitals that are projected to be eligible for DSH in FY 2018. It did not include hospitals that had terminated their participation in the Medicare program as of July 1, 2017, Maryland hospitals, and SCHs that are expected to be paid based on their hospital specific rates. In addition, data from merged or acquired hospitals were combined under the surviving hospital's CCN, and the non-surviving CCN was excluded from the analysis. The estimated impact of the changes to Factors 1, 2, and 3 across all hospitals projected to be eligible for DSH payments in FY 2018, by hospital characteristic, is presented in the following table.

    Modeled Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments for Estimated FY 2018 DSHs by Hospital Type: Model DSH $ (in Millions) From FY 2017 to FY 2018 Number of
  • estimated
  • DSHs
  • (FY 2018)
  • FY 2017 final rule estimated DSH
  • $ (in millions)
  • FY 2018 final rule estimated DSH
  • $ (in millions)
  • Dollar
  • difference: FY 2017-FY 2018
  • (in millions)
  • Percent change **
    (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Total 2,438 $9,553 $10,630 $1,077 11.3 By Geographic Location: Urban Hospitals 1,938 9,113 10,110 996 10.9 Large Urban Areas 1,043 5,717 6,377 660 11.5 Other Urban Areas 895 3,396 3,733 336 9.9 Rural Hospitals 500 439 520 80 18.3 Bed Size (Urban): 0 to 99 Beds 342 185 241 57 30.7 100 to 249 Beds 843 2,154 2,386 233 10.8 250+ Beds 753 6,775 7,482 707 10.4 Bed Size (Rural): 0 to 99 Beds 371 190 238 48 25.2 100 to 249 Beds 115 193 221 28 14.6 250+ Beds 14 56 60 5 8.2 Urban by Region: New England 91 387 415 29 7.4 Middle Atlantic 241 1,570 1,643 73 4.7 South Atlantic 316 1,724 2,037 314 18.2 East North Central 322 1,252 1,372 120 9.6 East South Central 131 566 618 53 9.3 West North Central 103 439 488 48 11.0 West South Central 257 1,165 1,448 283 24.3 Mountain 121 448 497 49 11.0 Pacific 316 1,448 1,463 15 1.0 Puerto Rico 40 116 129 13 10.9 Rural by Region: New England 12 16 21 5 32.0 Middle Atlantic 25 33 32 −1 −3.9 South Atlantic 86 92 115 23 25.2 East North Central 68 44 58 13 29.9 East South Central 136 141 150 9 6.2 West North Central 30 19 23 4 22.1 West South Central 111 72 95 23 32.1 Mountain 27 15 20 5 32.2 Pacific 5 7 6 −1 −11.4 By Payment Classification: Urban Hospitals 1,928 9,106 10,101 994 10.9 Large Urban Areas 1,043 5,717 6,377 660 11.5 Other Urban Areas 885 3,389 3,724 334 9.9 Rural Hospitals 510 447 529 82 18.5 Teaching Status: Nonteaching 1,526 2,955 3,276 321 10.9 Fewer than 100 residents 669 3,213 3,501 288 9.0 100 or more residents 243 3,384 3,853 468 13.8 Type of Ownership: Voluntary 1,434 5,971 6,533 563 9.4 Proprietary 552 1,650 1,662 12 0.7 Government 452 1,932 2,434 502 30.0 Medicare Utilization Percent: Missing or Unknown 15 1 15 14 2147.4 0 to 25 425 2,972 3,365 393 13.2 25 to 50 1,642 6,218 6,829 611 9.8 50 to 65 310 352 408 57 16.1 Greater than 65 46 11 13 2 17.4 Source: Dobson | DaVanzo analysis of 2012-2014 Hospital Cost Reports. * Dollar DSH calculated by [0.25 * estimated section 1886(d)(5)(F) payments] + [0.75 * estimated section 1886(d)(5)(F) payments * Factor 2 * Factor 3]. When summed across all hospitals projected to receive DSH payments, DSH payments are estimated to be $9,553 million in FY 2017 and $10,630 million in FY 2018. ** Percentage change is determined as the difference between Medicare DSH payments modeled for the FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule (column 3) and Medicare DSH payments modeled for the FY 2017 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule (column 2) divided by Medicare DSH payments modeled for the FY 2017 final rule (column 2) times 100 percent.

    Changes in projected FY 2018 DSH payments from DSH payments in FY 2017 are primarily driven by (1) changes to Factor 1, which increased from $10.797 billion to $11.665 billion; (2) changes to Factor 2, which increased from 55.36 percent to 58.01 percent; (3) changes to the data used to determine Factor 3; and (4) changes to the number of DSH-eligible hospitals within a given hospital type. The impact analysis found that, across all projected DSH eligible hospitals, FY 2018 DSH payments are estimated at approximately $10.630 billion, or an increase of approximately 11.3 percent from FY 2017 DSH payments (approximately $9.553 billion). While these changes result in a net increase in the amount available to be distributed in uncompensated care payments, DSH payments to select hospital types are expected to decrease. This redistribution of DSH payments is caused by changes in the data used to determine Factor 3 and changes in the number of DSH-eligible hospitals within a given hospital type.

    As seen in the above table, percent changes in DSH payments of less than 11.3 percent indicate that hospitals within the specified category are projected to experience a smaller increase in DSH payments, on average, compared to the universe of projected FY 2018 DSH hospitals. Conversely, percent changes in DSH payments that are greater than 11.3 percent indicate a hospital type is projected to have a larger increase than the overall percent change on average, a larger increase than the overall percent change. The variation in the distribution of DSH payments by hospital characteristic is largely dependent on the change in a given hospital's number of Medicaid days and SSI days for purposes of the low-income insured days proxy between FY 2017 and FY 2018, as well as on its uncompensated care costs as reported on its FY 2014 Worksheet S-10.

    Many rural hospitals, grouped by geographic location, payment classification, and bed size, are projected to experience a larger increase in DSH payments than their urban counterparts. Overall, rural hospitals are projected to receive an 18.3 percent increase in DSH payments, and urban hospitals are projected to receive a 10.9 percent increase. However, only smaller and medium-sized rural hospitals are projected to receive increases in DSH payments that are, on average, higher than the 11.3 percent change across all hospitals that are projected to be eligible for DSH in FY 2018. Rural hospitals that have 0-99 beds are projected to experience a 25.2 percent payment increase, those with 100-249 beds are projected to receive a 14.6 percent increase, and larger rural hospitals with 250+ beds are projected to experience an 8.2 percent payment increase. This trend is somewhat consistent with urban hospitals, in which the smallest urban hospitals (0- 99 beds) are projected to receive an increase in DSH payments of 30.7 percent. Medium sized hospitals (100-250 beds) and larger hospitals (250+ beds) are projected to receive increases of 10.8 and 10.4 percent in DSH payments, respectively, which are relatively consistent with the overall average.

    By region, projected DSH payment increases for urban hospitals are smaller than the overall percent change in the New England, Middle Atlantic, East North Central, East South Central, and Pacific regions. Hospitals in the South Atlantic and West South Central regions are projected to receive increases in DSH payments that are, on average, larger than the 11.3 percent change across all hospitals projected to be eligible for DSH in FY 2018. Increases in the West North Central, Mountain, and Puerto Rico regions are generally consistent with the overall average percent increase of 11.3 percent. Regionally, rural hospitals are projected to receive a wider range of increases. Rural hospitals in the Middle Atlantic and Pacific regions are expected to receive a decrease in DSH payments, while those in the East South Central region are projected to receive an increase in DSH payments smaller than the 11.3 overall percent change. Increases are projected to be substantially larger than the overall average in many regions, including New England, South Atlantic, East North Central, West North Central, West South Central, and Mountain.

    Nonteaching hospitals and teaching hospitals with fewer than 100 residents are projected to receive smaller increases than the overall percent change, at 10.9 and 9.0 percent respectively. Conversely, teaching hospitals with 100 or more residents are projected to receive, on average, larger increases than the overall percent change of 11.3 percent, with a projected increase of 13.8 percent. Voluntary hospitals are expected to receive a 9.4 percent increase, which is somewhat smaller than the overall percent change, while proprietary hospitals are expected to receive almost no change in DSH payments. Government hospitals are projected to receive a larger than average 30.0 percent increase. Hospitals with 25 to 50 percent Medicare utilization are projected to receive increases in DSH payments slightly below the overall average at 9.8 percent, while all other hospitals are projected to receive larger increases.”

    8. On page 38572 top of the page—

    a. First column, fourth bulleted paragraph—

    (1) Line 4, the figure “0.9986” is corrected to read “0.9987”

    (2) Line 5, the figure “0.9484” is corrected to read “0.9483”

    b Second column, first full paragraph—

    (1) Line 8, the figure “0.9484” is corrected to read “0.9483”

    (2) Line 9, the figure “1.04” is corrected to read “1.03”.

    c. Third column—

    (1) First partial paragraph—

    (a) Line 1, the figure “2.9” is corrected to read “3.0”

    (b) Line 4, the figure 2.0” is corrected to read “1.9”.

    (2) First full paragraph -

    (a) Line 4, the figure “3.7” is corrected to read “3.8”.

    (b) Line 9, the figure “5.2” is corrected to read “5.3”.

    (c) Line 12, the figure “1.9” is corrected to read “2.0”.

    (3) Second full paragraph—

    (a) Line 7, the figure “2.3” is corrected to read “2.2”.

    (b) Lines 10 and 11, the phrase “3.2 percent.” is corrected to read “3.2 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.”.

    (4) Last paragraph—

    (a) Line 14, the figure “1.6” is corrected to read “1.7”.

    (b) Line 27, the figure “6.6” is corrected to read “6.5”.

    9. On pages 38572 through 38574, the table titled “TABLE III.—COMPARISON OF TOTAL PAYMENTS PER CASE [FY 2017 PAYMENTS COMPARED TO FY 2018 PAYMENTS] is corrected to read as follows:

    BILLING CODE 4120-01-P ER04OC17.004 ER04OC17.005 BILLING CODE 4120-01-C

    10. On page 38576—

    a. First column, last paragraph, line 4, the figure “$41,430.56” is corrected to read “$41,415.11”.

    b. Second column—

    (1) First partial paragraph—

    (a) Line 1, the figure “1.0006434” is corrected to read “1.0002704”.

    (b) Line 12, the figure “$40,610.16” is corrected to read “$40,595.02”.

    (2) Second full paragraph, line 14, the figure “1.0006434” is corrected to read “1.0002704”.

    11. On page 38578, second column, second full paragraph—

    a. Line 21, the figure “$41,430.56” is corrected to read “$41,415.11”.

    b. Line 22, the figure “$40,610.16” is corrected to read “$40,595.02”.

    12. On page 38579—

    a. Top of the page, the table title and the table titled “TABLE IV: IMPACT OF PAYMENT RATE AND POLICY CHANGES TO LTCH PPS PAYMENTS FOR STANDARD PAYMENT RATE CASES FOR FY 2018 [Estimated FY 2017 payments compared to estimated FY 2018 payments]” are corrected to read as follows:

    BILLING CODE 4120-01-P ER04OC17.006 ER04OC17.007 ER04OC17.008

    b. Lower fourth of the page, third column, partial paragraph, line 5, the figure “1.0006434” is corrected to read “1.0002704”.

    13. On page 38585, middle of the page, first column, first paragraph—

    a. Lines 34, the figure “2.7” is corrected to read “2.5”.

    b. Line 38, the figure “$226” is corrected to read “$227”.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Ann C. Agnew, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21325 Filed 9-29-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4120-01-C
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Parts 409, 411, 413, 424, and 488 [CMS-1679-CN] RIN 0938-AS96 Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities for FY 2018, SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNF Quality Reporting Program, Survey Team Composition, and Correction of the Performance Period for the NHSN HCP Influenza Vaccination Immunization Reporting Measure in the ESRD QIP for PY 2020; Correction AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects technical errors in the final rule that appeared in the August 4, 2017 Federal Register, which will update the payment rates used under the prospective payment system (PPS) for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for fiscal year (FY) 2018.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective October 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Kane, (410) 786-0557.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2017-16256 (82 FR 36530), the final rule entitled “Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities for FY 2018, SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNF Quality Reporting Program, Survey Team Composition, and Correction of the Performance Period for the NHSN HCP Influenza Vaccination Immunization Reporting Measure in the ESRD QIP for PY 2020”, there were a number of technical errors that are identified and corrected in section IV., Correction of Errors. The provisions in this correcting document are effective as if they had been included in the document that appeared in the August 4, 2017, Federal Register (hereinafter referred to as the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule). Accordingly, the corrections are effective October 1, 2017.

    II. Summary of Errors A. Summary of Errors in the Preamble

    As discussed in the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule (82 FR 36539), in developing the wage index to be applied to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) under the SNF prospective payment system (PPS), we use the updated, pre-reclassified hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) wage data, exclusive of the occupational mix adjustment. For FY 2018, the updated, unadjusted, pre-reclassified IPPS wage data used under the SNF PPS are for hospital cost reporting periods beginning on or after October 1, 2013, and before October 1, 2014 (FY 2014 cost report data), as discussed in the FY 2018 IPPS final rule (82 FR 38130). In calculating the wage index under the FY 2018 IPPS final rule, we made inadvertent errors related to the wage data collected from the Medicare cost reports of six hospitals which are located in CBSAs 24860 and 40340. Specifically, we used incorrect wage data for these six hospitals to calculate the final FY 2018 IPPS wage indexes, the geographic adjustment factor (GAF) (which is computed from the wage index), as well as certain other IPPS factors and adjustments.

    These errors are identified, discussed and corrected in the Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System and Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2018 Rates; Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers; Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program Requirements for Eligible Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, and Eligible Professionals; Provider-Based Status of Indian Health Services and Tribal Facilities and Organizations; Cost Reporting and Provider Requirements; Agreement Termination Notices; Correction (CMS-1677-CN) that appears elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    As discussed above, we use the updated, pre-reclassified, unadjusted IPPS wage data in developing the wage index used under the SNF PPS. Due to the technical errors described above, the published FY 2018 SNF PPS wage indexes were incorrect. Thus, the use of the corrected wage data for the six hospitals required the recalculation of the final FY 2018 SNF PPS wage indexes. Additionally, as discussed on page 36543 of the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule, section 1888(e)(4)(G)(ii) of the Act requires that we apply the wage index in a manner that does not result in aggregate payments under the SNF PPS that are greater or less than would otherwise be made if the wage index adjustment had not been made. To achieve this, we apply a budget neutrality factor to the unadjusted SNF PPS federal per diem base rates. Due to the recalculation and subsequent revision of the final FY 2018 SNF PPS wage indexes, it was necessary to recalculate the FY 2018 SNF PPS wage index budget neutrality factor as well. Revising the wage index budget neutrality factor causes a change in the unadjusted SNF PPS federal per diem rates (provided in Tables 2 and 3 of the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule (82 FR 36535)), which then causes changes in the case-mix adjusted SNF PPS rates (provided in Tables 4 and 5 in the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule (82 FR 36537 through 36538), as well as the labor adjusted SNF PPS rates (provided in Tables 6 and 7 of the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule (82 FR 36541 through 36543). Finally, due to the recalculated wage indexes, we recalculated the impact analysis provided in Table 26 of the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule (82 FR 36629). The corrections to these errors are found in section IV. of this document.

    B. Summary of Errors in and Corrections to Tables Posted on the CMS Web Site

    We are correcting the wage indexes in Tables A and B setting forth the wage indexes for urban (Table A) and non-urban (Table B) areas based on CBSA labor market areas, which are available exclusively on the CMS Web site at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/SNFPPS/WageIndex.html. These tables have been updated to reflect the revisions discussed in this correcting document.

    We are republishing the wage indexes in Tables A and B accordingly on the CMS Web site at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/SNFPPS/WageIndex.html.

    III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking and Delayed Effective Date

    We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of the finding and the reasons therefor in the notice.

    Section 553(d) of the APA ordinarily requires a 30-day delay in effective date of final rules after the date of their publication in the Federal Register. This 30-day delay in effective date can be waived, however, if an agency finds for good cause that the delay is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and the agency incorporates a statement of the findings and its reasons in the rule issued.

    We believe that this correcting document does not constitute a rule that would be subject to the APA notice and comment or delayed effective date requirements. The document corrects technical errors in the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule and in the tables referenced in the final rule, but does not make substantive changes to the policies or payment methodologies that were adopted in the final rule. As a result, this correcting document is intended to ensure that the information in the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule accurately reflects the policies adopted in that final rule.

    In addition, even if this were a rule to which the notice and comment procedures and delayed effective date requirements applied, we find that there is good cause to waive such requirements. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the final rule or delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public's interest for providers to receive appropriate payments in as timely a manner as possible, and to ensure that the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule and the tables referenced in the final rule accurately reflect our methodologies, payment rates, and policies. Furthermore, such procedures would be unnecessary, as we are not making substantive changes to our payment methodologies or policies, but rather, we are simply implementing correctly the methodologies and policies that we previously proposed, requested comment on, and subsequently finalized. This correcting document is intended solely to ensure that the FY 2018 SNF PPS final rule and the tables referenced in the final rule accurately reflect these methodologies and policies. Therefore, we believe we have good cause to waive the notice and comment and effective date requirements.

    Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2017-16256 of August 4, 2017 (82 FR 36530), make the following corrections:

    1. On page 36535, TABLE 2—FY 2018 UNADJUSTED FEDERAL RATE PER DIEM URBAN is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 2—FY 2018 Unadjusted Federal Rate Per Diem Urban Rate component Nursing—case-mix Therapy—case-mix Therapy—non-case-mix Non-case-mix Per Diem Amount $177.21 $133.48 $17.58 $90.44

    2. On page 36535, TABLE 3—FY 2018 UNADJUSTED FEDERAL RATE PER DIEM RURAL is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 3—FY 2018 Unadjusted Federal Rate Per Diem Rural Rate component Nursing—case-mix Therapy—case-mix Therapy—non-case-mix Non-case-mix Per Diem Amount $169.29 $153.92 $18.78 $92.11

    3. On page 36536, third column, first full paragraph,

    a. Line 21, the figure “$443.08” is corrected to read “$442.95”.

    b. Line 26, the figure “$1,010.22.” is corrected to read “$1,009.93.”.

    4. On page 36537, TABLE 4—RUG-IV CASE-MIX ADJUSTED FEDERAL RATES AND ASSOCIATED INDEXES—URBAN is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 4—RUG-IV Case-Mix Adjusted Federal Rates and Associated Indexes—Urban RUG-IV category Nursing index Therapy index Nursing
  • component
  • Therapy
  • component
  • Non-case mix therapy comp Non-case mix component Total rate
    RUX 2.67 1.87 $473.15 $249.61 $90.44 $813.20 RUL 2.57 1.87 455.43 249.61 90.44 795.48 RVX 2.61 1.28 462.52 170.85 90.44 723.81 RVL 2.19 1.28 388.09 170.85 90.44 649.38 RHX 2.55 0.85 451.89 113.46 90.44 655.79 RHL 2.15 0.85 381.00 113.46 90.44 584.90 RMX 2.47 0.55 437.71 73.41 90.44 601.56 RML 2.19 0.55 388.09 73.41 90.44 551.94 RLX 2.26 0.28 400.49 37.37 90.44 528.30 RUC 1.56 1.87 276.45 249.61 90.44 616.50 RUB 1.56 1.87 276.45 249.61 90.44 616.50 RUA 0.99 1.87 175.44 249.61 90.44 515.49 RVC 1.51 1.28 267.59 170.85 90.44 528.88 RVB 1.11 1.28 196.70 170.85 90.44 457.99 RVA 1.10 1.28 194.93 170.85 90.44 456.22 RHC 1.45 0.85 256.95 113.46 90.44 460.85 RHB 1.19 0.85 210.88 113.46 90.44 414.78 RHA 0.91 0.85 161.26 113.46 90.44 365.16 RMC 1.36 0.55 241.01 73.41 90.44 404.86 RMB 1.22 0.55 216.20 73.41 90.44 380.05 RMA 0.84 0.55 148.86 73.41 90.44 312.71 RLB 1.50 0.28 265.82 37.37 90.44 393.63 RLA 0.71 0.28 125.82 37.37 90.44 253.63 ES3 3.58 634.41 17.58 90.44 742.43 ES2 2.67 473.15 17.58 90.44 581.17 ES1 2.32 411.13 17.58 90.44 519.15 HE2 2.22 393.41 17.58 90.44 501.43 HE1 1.74 308.35 17.58 90.44 416.37 HD2 2.04 361.51 17.58 90.44 469.53 HD1 1.60 283.54 17.58 90.44 391.56 HC2 1.89 334.93 17.58 90.44 442.95 HC1 1.48 262.27 17.58 90.44 370.29 HB2 1.86 329.61 17.58 90.44 437.63 HB1 1.46 258.73 17.58 90.44 366.75 LE2 1.96 347.33 17.58 90.44 455.35 LE1 1.54 272.90 17.58 90.44 380.92 LD2 1.86 329.61 17.58 90.44 437.63 LD1 1.46 258.73 17.58 90.44 366.75 LC2 1.56 276.45 17.58 90.44 384.47 LC1 1.22 216.20 17.58 90.44 324.22 LB2 1.45 256.95 17.58 90.44 364.97 LB1 1.14 202.02 17.58 90.44 310.04 CE2 1.68 297.71 17.58 90.44 405.73 CE1 1.50 265.82 17.58 90.44 373.84 CD2 1.56 276.45 17.58 90.44 384.47 CD1 1.38 244.55 17.58 90.44 352.57 CC2 1.29 228.60 17.58 90.44 336.62 CC1 1.15 203.79 17.58 90.44 311.81 CB2 1.15 203.79 17.58 90.44 311.81 CB1 1.02 180.75 17.58 90.44 288.77 CA2 0.88 155.94 17.58 90.44 263.96 CA1 0.78 138.22 17.58 90.44 246.24 BB2 0.97 171.89 17.58 90.44 279.91 BB1 0.90 159.49 17.58 90.44 267.51 BA2 0.70 124.05 17.58 90.44 232.07 BA1 0.64 113.41 17.58 90.44 221.43 PE2 1.50 265.82 17.58 90.44 373.84 PE1 1.40 248.09 17.58 90.44 356.11 PD2 1.38 244.55 17.58 90.44 352.57 PD1 1.28 226.83 17.58 90.44 334.85 PC2 1.10 194.93 17.58 90.44 302.95 PC1 1.02 180.75 17.58 90.44 288.77 PB2 0.84 148.86 17.58 90.44 256.88 PB1 0.78 138.22 17.58 90.44 246.24 PA2 0.59 104.55 17.58 90.44 212.57 PA1 0.54 95.69 17.58 90.44 203.71

    5. On page 36538, TABLE 5—RUG-IV CASE-MIX ADJUSTED FEDERAL RATES AND ASSOCIATED INDEXES—RURAL is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 5—RUG-IV Case-Mix Adjusted Federal Rates and Associated Indexes—Rural RUG-IV
  • Category
  • Nursing
  • index
  • Therapy
  • index
  • Nursing
  • component
  • Therapy
  • component
  • Non-case mix therapy comp Non-case mix
  • component
  • Total
  • rate
  • RUX 2.67 1.87 $452.00 $287.83 $92.11 $831.94 RUL 2.57 1.87 435.08 287.83 92.11 815.02 RVX 2.61 1.28 441.85 197.02 92.11 730.98 RVL 2.19 1.28 370.75 197.02 92.11 659.88 RHX 2.55 0.85 431.69 130.83 92.11 654.63 RHL 2.15 0.85 363.97 130.83 92.11 586.91 RMX 2.47 0.55 418.15 84.66 92.11 594.92 RML 2.19 0.55 370.75 84.66 92.11 547.52 RLX 2.26 0.28 382.60 43.10 92.11 517.81 RUC 1.56 1.87 264.09 287.83 92.11 644.03 RUB 1.56 1.87 264.09 287.83 92.11 644.03 RUA 0.99 1.87 167.60 287.83 92.11 547.54 RVC 1.51 1.28 255.63 197.02 92.11 544.76 RVB 1.11 1.28 187.91 197.02 92.11 477.04 RVA 1.10 1.28 186.22 197.02 92.11 475.35 RHC 1.45 0.85 245.47 130.83 92.11 468.41 RHB 1.19 0.85 201.46 130.83 92.11 424.40 RHA 0.91 0.85 154.05 130.83 92.11 376.99 RMC 1.36 0.55 230.23 84.66 92.11 407.00 RMB 1.22 0.55 206.53 84.66 92.11 383.30 RMA 0.84 0.55 142.20 84.66 92.11 318.97 RLB 1.50 0.28 253.94 43.10 92.11 389.15 RLA 0.71 0.28 120.20 43.10 92.11 255.41 ES3 3.58 606.06 18.78 92.11 716.95 ES2 2.67 452.00 18.78 92.11 562.89 ES1 2.32 392.75 18.78 92.11 503.64 HE2 2.22 375.82 18.78 92.11 486.71 HE1 1.74 294.56 18.78 92.11 405.45 HD2 2.04 345.35 18.78 92.11 456.24 HD1 1.60 270.86 18.78 92.11 381.75 HC2 1.89 319.96 18.78 92.11 430.85 HC1 1.48 250.55 18.78 92.11 361.44 HB2 1.86 314.88 18.78 92.11 425.77 HB1 1.46 247.16 18.78 92.11 358.05 LE2 1.96 331.81 18.78 92.11 442.70 LE1 1.54 260.71 18.78 92.11 371.60 LD2 1.86 314.88 18.78 92.11 425.77 LD1 1.46 247.16 18.78 92.11 358.05 LC2 1.56 264.09 18.78 92.11 374.98 LC1 1.22 206.53 18.78 92.11 317.42 LB2 1.45 245.47 18.78 92.11 356.36 LB1 1.14 192.99 18.78 92.11 303.88 CE2 1.68 284.41 18.78 92.11 395.30 CE1 1.50 253.94 18.78 92.11 364.83 CD2 1.56 264.09 18.78 92.11 374.98 CD1 1.38 233.62 18.78 92.11 344.51 CC2 1.29 218.38 18.78 92.11 329.27 CC1 1.15 194.68 18.78 92.11 305.57 CB2 1.15 194.68 18.78 92.11 305.57 CB1 1.02 172.68 18.78 92.11 283.57 CA2 0.88 148.98 18.78 92.11 259.87 CA1 0.78 132.05 18.78 92.11 242.94 BB2 0.97 164.21 18.78 92.11 275.10 BB1 0.90 152.36 18.78 92.11 263.25 BA2 0.70 118.50 18.78 92.11 229.39 BA1 0.64 108.35 18.78 92.11 219.24 PE2 1.50 253.94 18.78 92.11 364.83 PE1 1.40 237.01 18.78 92.11 347.90 PD2 1.38 233.62 18.78 92.11 344.51 PD1 1.28 216.69 18.78 92.11 327.58 PC2 1.10 186.22 18.78 92.11 297.11 PC1 1.02 172.68 18.78 92.11 283.57 PB2 0.84 142.20 18.78 92.11 253.09 PB1 0.78 132.05 18.78 92.11 242.94 PA2 0.59 99.88 18.78 92.11 210.77 PA1 0.54 91.42 18.78 92.11 202.31

    6. On pages 36541 through 36542, TABLE 6—RUG-IV CASE-MIX ADJUSTED FEDERAL RATES FOR URBAN SNFS BY LABOR AND NON-LABOR COMPONENT is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 6—RUG-IV Case-Mix Adjusted Federal Rates for Urban SNFS by Labor and Non-Labor Component RUG-IV category Total rate Labor portion Non-labor
  • portion
  • RUX $813.20 $575.75 $237.45 RUL 795.48 563.20 232.28 RVX 723.81 512.46 211.35 RVL 649.38 459.76 189.62 RHX 655.79 464.30 191.49 RHL 584.90 414.11 170.79 RMX 601.56 425.90 175.66 RML 551.94 390.77 161.17 RLX 528.30 374.04 154.26 RUC 616.50 436.48 180.02 RUB 616.50 436.48 180.02 RUA 515.49 364.97 150.52 RVC 528.88 374.45 154.43 RVB 457.99 324.26 133.73 RVA 456.22 323.00 133.22 RHC 460.85 326.28 134.57 RHB 414.78 293.66 121.12 RHA 365.16 258.53 106.63 RMC 404.86 286.64 118.22 RMB 380.05 269.08 110.97 RMA 312.71 221.40 91.31 RLB 393.63 278.69 114.94 RLA 253.63 179.57 74.06 ES3 742.43 525.64 216.79 ES2 581.17 411.47 169.70 ES1 519.15 367.56 151.59 HE2 501.43 355.01 146.42 HE1 416.37 294.79 121.58 HD2 469.53 332.43 137.10 HD1 391.56 277.22 114.34 HC2 442.95 313.61 129.34 HC1 370.29 262.17 108.12 HB2 437.63 309.84 127.79 HB1 366.75 259.66 107.09 LE2 455.35 322.39 132.96 LE1 380.92 269.69 111.23 LD2 437.63 309.84 127.79 LD1 366.75 259.66 107.09 LC2 384.47 272.20 112.27 LC1 324.22 229.55 94.67 LB2 364.97 258.40 106.57 LB1 310.04 219.51 90.53 CE2 405.73 287.26 118.47 CE1 373.84 264.68 109.16 CD2 384.47 272.20 112.27 CD1 352.57 249.62 102.95 CC2 336.62 238.33 98.29 CC1 311.81 220.76 91.05 CB2 311.81 220.76 91.05 CB1 288.77 204.45 84.32 CA2 263.96 186.88 77.08 CA1 246.24 174.34 71.90 BB2 279.91 198.18 81.73 BB1 267.51 189.40 78.11 BA2 232.07 164.31 67.76 BA1 221.43 156.77 64.66 PE2 373.84 264.68 109.16 PE1 356.11 252.13 103.98 PD2 352.57 249.62 102.95 PD1 334.85 237.07 97.78 PC2 302.95 214.49 88.46 PC1 288.77 204.45 84.32 PB2 256.88 181.87 75.01 PB1 246.24 174.34 71.90 PA2 212.57 150.50 62.07 PA1 203.71 144.23 59.48

    7. On pages 36542 through 36543, TABLE 7-RUG-IV CASE-MIX ADJUSTED FEDERAL RATES FOR RURAL SNFS BY LABOR AND NON-LABOR COMPONENT is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 7—RUG-IV Case-Mix Adjusted Federal Rates for Rural SNFS by Labor and Non-Labor Component RUG-IV category Total rate Labor portion Non-labor
  • portion
  • RUX $831.94 $589.01 $242.93 RUL 815.02 577.03 237.99 RVX 730.98 517.53 213.45 RVL 659.88 467.20 192.68 RHX 654.63 463.48 191.15 RHL 586.91 415.53 171.38 RMX 594.92 421.20 173.72 RML 547.52 387.64 159.88 RLX 517.81 366.61 151.20 RUC 644.03 455.97 188.06 RUB 644.03 455.97 188.06 RUA 547.54 387.66 159.88 RVC 544.76 385.69 159.07 RVB 477.04 337.74 139.30 RVA 475.35 336.55 138.80 RHC 468.41 331.63 136.78 RHB 424.40 300.48 123.92 RHA 376.99 266.91 110.08 RMC 407.00 288.16 118.84 RMB 383.30 271.38 111.92 RMA 318.97 225.83 93.14 RLB 389.15 275.52 113.63 RLA 255.41 180.83 74.58 ES3 716.95 507.60 209.35 ES2 562.89 398.53 164.36 ES1 503.64 356.58 147.06 HE2 486.71 344.59 142.12 HE1 405.45 287.06 118.39 HD2 456.24 323.02 133.22 HD1 381.75 270.28 111.47 HC2 430.85 305.04 125.81 HC1 361.44 255.90 105.54 HB2 425.77 301.45 124.32 HB1 358.05 253.50 104.55 LE2 442.70 313.43 129.27 LE1 371.60 263.09 108.51 LD2 425.77 301.45 124.32 LD1 358.05 253.50 104.55 LC2 374.98 265.49 109.49 LC1 317.42 224.73 92.69 LB2 356.36 252.30 104.06 LB1 303.88 215.15 88.73 CE2 395.30 279.87 115.43 CE1 364.83 258.30 106.53 CD2 374.98 265.49 109.49 CD1 344.51 243.91 100.60 CC2 329.27 233.12 96.15 CC1 305.57 216.34 89.23 CB2 305.57 216.34 89.23 CB1 283.57 200.77 82.80 CA2 259.87 183.99 75.88 CA1 242.94 172.00 70.94 BB2 275.10 194.77 80.33 BB1 263.25 186.38 76.87 BA2 229.39 162.41 66.98 BA1 219.24 155.22 64.02 PE2 364.83 258.30 106.53 PE1 347.90 246.31 101.59 PD2 344.51 243.91 100.60 PD1 327.58 231.93 95.65 PC2 297.11 210.35 86.76 PC1 283.57 200.77 82.80 PB2 253.09 179.19 73.90 PB1 242.94 172.00 70.94 PA2 210.77 149.23 61.54 PA1 202.31 143.24 59.07

    8. On page 36543, under Table 7,

    a. Second column, first partial paragraph, line 15, the figure “1.0013” is corrected to read “1.0010”.

    b. Third column, first full paragraph, line 16, the figure “$47,596.42” is corrected to read “$47,602.52”.

    9. On page 36543, TABLE 8—ADJUSTED RATE COMPUTATION EXAMPLE SNF XYZ: LOCATED IN FREDERICK, MD (URBAN CBSA 43524) WAGE INDEX: 0.9863 [See Wage Index in Table A] 1 is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 8—Adjusted Rate Computation Example SNF XYZ: Located in Frederick, MD (Urban CBSA 43524) [WAGE INDEX: 0.9869 (See Wage Index in Table A)] 1 RUG-IV group Labor Wage index Adjusted labor Non-labor Adjusted rate Percent adjustment Medicare days Payment RVX $512.46 0.9869 $505.75 $211.35 $717.10 $717.10 14 $10,039.40 ES2 411.47 0.9869 406.08 169.70 575.78 575.78 30 17,273.40 RHA 258.53 0.9869 255.14 106.63 361.77 361.77 16 5,788.32 CC2 * 238.33 0.9869 235.21 98.29 333.50 760.38 10 7,603.80 BA2 164.31 0.9869 162.16 67.76 229.92 229.92 30 6,897.60 100 47,602.52 * Reflects a 128 percent adjustment from section 511 of the MMA. 1 Available on the CMS Web site at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/SNFPPS/WageIndex.html.

    10. On pages 36629, TABLE 26—PROJECTED IMPACT TO THE SNF PPS FOR FY 2018 is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 26—Projected impact to the SNF PPS for FY 2018 Number of
  • facilities
  • FY 2018
  • Update wage data Total change
    Group Total 15,468 0.0% 1.0% Urban 11,008 0.1% 1.1% Rural 4,460 −0.6% 0.4% Hospital-based urban 518 0.2% 1.2% Freestanding urban 10,490 0.1% 1.1% Hospital-based rural 577 −0.7% 0.3% Freestanding rural 3,883 −0.6% 0.4% Urban by region New England 791 0.2% 1.2% Middle Atlantic 1,487 0.4% 1.4% South Atlantic 1,867 −0.2% 0.8% East North Central 2,121 0.0% 1.0% East South Central 551 −0.6% 0.4% West North Central 919 0.4% 1.4% West South Central 1,339 0.1% 1.1% Mountain 511 −0.2% 0.8% Pacific 1,417 0.5% 1.5% Outlying 5 −2.0% −1.0% Rural by region New England 137 1.5% 2.5% Middle Atlantic 215 −0.5% 0.5% South Atlantic 502 −0.7% 0.3% East North Central 937 −1.1% −0.1% East South Central 528 −0.9% 0.1% West North Central 1,076 −0.4% 0.6% West South Central 738 −0.6% 0.4% Mountain 228 −0.3% 0.7% Pacific 99 0.1% 1.1% Ownership Profit 1,045 −0.3% 0.7% Non-profit 10,822 0.0% 1.0% Government 3,601 0.0% 1.0% Note: The Total column includes the 1.0 percent market basket increase required by section 1888(e)(5)(B)(iii) of the Act. Additionally, we found no SNFs in rural outlying areas.
    Dated: September 29, 2017. Ann C. Agnew, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21327 Filed 9-29-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket Nos. 090206140-91081-03 and 120405260-4258-02] RIN 0648-XF723 Authorization of Revised Reporting Requirements Due to Catastrophic Conditions for Federal Seafood Dealers and Individual Fishing Quota Dealers in Portions of Florida AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary delay in reporting requirements; determination of catastrophic conditions.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the regulations implementing the individual fishing quota (IFQ) and Federal dealer reporting programs specific to the commercial reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), the coastal migratory pelagic (CMP) fisheries in the Gulf and the Atlantic, the spiny lobster fishery of the Gulf and Atlantic, and the snapper-grouper and dolphin-wahoo fisheries in the South Atlantic, the Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS (RA) has determined that Hurricane Irma has caused catastrophic conditions in the following Florida counties: Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, and Broward. Consistent with those regulations, the RA has authorized any dealer in the affected area who does not have access to electronic reporting to delay reporting of trip tickets to NOAA Fisheries from September 29, 2017, through October 31, 2017. The RA has also authorized IFQ participants within this affected area to use paper-based forms, if necessary, for basic required administrative functions, e.g., landing transactions, from September 29, 2017, through October 31, 2017. This temporary rule announcing the determination of catastrophic conditions and allowance of alternative methods for completing required IFQ and other dealer reporting administrative functions is intended to facilitate continuation of IFQ and dealer reporting operations during the period of catastrophic conditions. NMFS will continue to monitor and evaluate conditions. A subsequent Federal Register notice will be published, if needed.

    DATES:

    The RA is authorizing applicable Federal dealers and IFQ participants reporting within this affected area to use revised reporting methods from September 29, 2017, through October 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    IFQ Customer Service, telephone: 866-425-7627, fax: 727-824-5308, email: [email protected] For federal dealer reporting, Fisheries Monitoring Branch, telephone: 305-361-4581.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The reef fish fishery of the Gulf is managed under the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico, prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic is managed under the Snapper-Grouper FMP of the South Atlantic, prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The dolphin-wahoo fishery of the South Atlantic is managed under the Dolphin-Wahoo FMP of the South Atlantic, prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The fishery for CMP fish (king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia) is managed under the FMP for the CMP Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, prepared by both Councils. The fishery for spiny lobster is managed under the FMP for Spiny Lobster of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, prepared by both Councils. All FMPs are implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    The Generic Dealer Amendment established Federal dealer reporting requirements for federally permitted dealers in the Gulf and South Atlantic (79 FR 19490, April 9, 2014). Amendment 26 to the FMP established an IFQ program for the commercial red snapper component of the Gulf reef fish fishery (71 FR 67447, November 22, 2006). Amendment 29 to the FMP established an IFQ program for the commercial grouper and tilefish components of the Gulf reef fish fishery (74 FR 44732, August 31, 2009). Regulations implementing these IFQ programs (50 CFR 622.21 and 622.22) and the dealer reporting requirements (50 CFR 622.5(c)) require that Federal dealers and IFQ participants have access to a computer and Internet and that they conduct administrative functions associated with dealer reporting and the IFQ program, e.g., landing transactions, online. However, these regulations also specify that during catastrophic conditions, as determined by the RA, the RA may waive or modify the reporting time requirements for dealers and authorize IFQ participants to use paper-based forms to complete administrative functions for the duration of the catastrophic conditions. The RA must determine that catastrophic conditions exist, specify the duration of the catastrophic conditions, and specify which participants or geographic areas are deemed affected.

    Hurricane Irma made landfall in the U.S. near Cudjoe Key, Florida, as a Category 4 hurricane then made a subsequent landfall near Marco Island, Florida, as a Category 3 hurricane on September 10, 2017. Strong winds and flooding from this hurricane impacted communities throughout Florida, resulting in power outages and damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. As a result, the RA has determined that catastrophic conditions exist in the following Florida counties: Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, and Broward. Through this temporary rule, the RA is authorizing Federal dealers to delay reporting of trip tickets to NOAA Fisheries and IFQ participants within this affected area to use paper-based forms, from September 29, 2017, through October 31, 2017. NMFS will provide additional notification to affected participants via NOAA Weather Radio, Fishery Bulletins, and other appropriate means. NOAA Fisheries will continue to monitor and re-evaluate the areas and duration of the catastrophic conditions.

    Dealers may delay electronic reporting of trip tickets to NMFS during catastrophic conditions. Dealers are to report all landings to NMFS as soon as possible. Assistance for Federal dealers in effected areas is available from the Fisheries Monitoring Branch at 1-305-361-4581. NMFS previously provided IFQ dealers with the necessary paper forms (sequentially coded) and instructions for submission in the event of catastrophic conditions. Paper forms are also available from the RA upon request. The electronic systems for submitting information to NMFS will continue to be available to all participants, and participants in the affected area are encouraged to continue using these systems, if accessible.

    The administrative program functions available to IFQ participants in the area affected by catastrophic conditions will be limited under the paper-based system. There will be no mechanism for transfers of IFQ shares or allocation under the paper-based system in effect during catastrophic conditions. Assistance in complying with the requirements of the paper-based system will be available via the Catch Share Support line, 1-866-425-7627 Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of reef fish, CMP species, spiny lobster, dolphin-wahoo, and snapper-grouper, managed under the Gulf IFQ Programs and the Federal dealer reporting programs, as applicable, and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.

    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.5(c), 622.21(a)(3)(iii), and 622.22(a)(3)(iii), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because this temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment.

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule. Such procedures are unnecessary because the final rules implementing the Gulf IFQ programs and the Gulf and Atlantic Federal dealer reporting have already been subject to notice and public comment. These rules authorize the RA to determine when catastrophic conditions exist, and which participants or geographic areas are deemed affected by catastrophic conditions. The final rules also authorize the RA to provide timely notice to affected participants via publication of notification in the Federal Register, NOAA Weather Radio, Fishery Bulletins, and other appropriate means. All that remains is to notify the public that catastrophic conditions exist and that paper forms may be utilized by IFQ dealers in the affected area and that Federal dealers may submit delayed reports. Additionally, delaying this temporary rule to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment would be contrary to the public interest because affected participants are still fishing for and receiving these species in the affected area and need a means of completing their landing transactions. With the power outages and damages to infrastructure that have occurred in the affected area due to Hurricane Irma, numerous businesses are unable to complete landings transactions and dealer reports electronically. In order to continue with their businesses, IFQ participants need to be aware they can still complete landing transactions and dealer reports using the paper forms.

    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21329 Filed 9-29-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 161020985-7181-02] RIN 0648-XF714 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Bering Sea Subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; modification of a closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to fully use the 2017 total allowable catch of Pacific ocean perch specified for the Bering Sea subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), October 1, 2017, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2017. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., October 19, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0140, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0140, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period ends. All comments received are a part of the public record and will post the comments for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender is publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) exclusive economic zone 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.

    NMFS closed directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch (POP) in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) (82 FR 11826, February 27, 2017).

    NMFS has determined that approximately 3,800 metric tons of POP remain in the directed fishing allowance. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the 2017 total allowable catch of POP in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is opening directed fishing for POP in Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI, effective 1200 hrs, A.l.t., October 1, 2017, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2017. This will enhance the socioeconomic well-being of harvesters dependent on POP in this area.

    The Administrator, Alaska Region considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch of POP in the BSAI and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels participating in this fishery.

    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 opening of POP directed fishing in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of September 20, 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.

    Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery for POP in the Bering Sea subarea of the BSAI to be harvested in an expedient manner and in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until October 19, 2017.

    This action is required by § 679.20 and § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21356 Filed 9-29-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 191 Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Proposed Rules NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 740 RIN 3133-AE78 Accuracy of Advertising and Notice of Insured Status AGENCY:

    National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule with request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The NCUA Board (Board) proposes to revise certain provisions of NCUA's advertising rule to provide regulatory relief to federally insured credit unions (FICUs). The advertising rule requires FICUs to use NCUA's “official advertisement statement” when advertising. In addition to being permitted to use any of the three current versions of the official advertising statement, the Board proposes to allow FICUs the option of using a fourth version, namely by stating “Insured by NCUA.” To provide additional regulatory relief, the Board proposes to expand a current exemption from the advertising statement requirement regarding radio and television advertisements, and eliminate the requirement to include the official advertising statement on statements of condition required to be published by law.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods (Please send comments by one method only):

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

    NCUA Web site: http://www.ncua.gov/RegulationsOpinionsLaws/proposed_regs/proposed_regs.html. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: Address to [email protected] Include “[Your name] Comments on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Accuracy of Advertising” in the email subject line.

    Fax: (703) 518-6319. Use the subject line described above for email.

    Mail: Address to Gerard S. Poliquin, Secretary of the Board, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3428.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as mail address.

    Public inspection: You may view all public comments on NCUA's Web site at http://www.ncua.gov/Legal/Regs/Pages/PropRegs.aspx as submitted, except for those we cannot post for technical reasons. NCUA will not edit or remove any identifying or contact information from the public comments submitted. You may inspect paper copies of comments in NCUA's law library at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, by appointment weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. To make an appointment, call (703) 518-6546 or send an email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marvin Shaw, Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, at the above address or telephone (703) 518-6553.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Federal Credit Union Act (Act) requires each FICU to display NCUA's “official sign” regarding National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund insurance of the FICU's share accounts. The sign includes language that the coverage is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.1 Regulations implementing this statutory requirement are at 12 CFR part 740. Part 740 of NCUA's regulations also includes requirements relating to NCUA's official advertising statement as discussed in more detail below.

    1 12 U.S.C. 1785.

    A. Part 740 Requirements

    Part 740 applies to all FICUs. It prescribes requirements for both the NCUA's official sign that FICUs must display and the NCUA's official advertisement statement that FICUs must make when advertising. In relevant part, part 740 prohibits any FICU from using advertising 2 or making any representation which is inaccurate or deceptive or which misrepresents its services, contracts, financial condition, or the Truth in Savings requirements.

    2 This includes print, electronic and broadcast media, displays, signs, and stationary and other promotional material.

    NCUA's official advertising statement is “This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration” or the shorter version “Federally insured by the NCUA.” As a third option, the official sign may be displayed in advertisements in lieu of the advertising statement.

    Section 740.5(c) of NCUA's regulations enumerates several kinds of advertisements that, for practical reasons, are exempted from the general rule requiring the use of the official advertising statement. With respect to these exempted advertisements, the Board is focusing on the exemptions relating to radio advertisements that are less than 15 seconds in duration 3 and television advertisements that are less than 15 seconds in duration.4

    3 12 CFR 740.5(c)(7).

    4 12 CFR 740.5(c)(8).

    B. Regulatory History

    For many years, NCUA's advertising and official sign regulations were essentially the same as those of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).5 In 2011, however, the Board amended part 740 by making NCUA's advertising rules more stringent than FDIC's rules. Specifically, in 2011, while banks needed only to include the FDIC advertising statement in radio and television ads that exceeded 30 seconds, the 2011 NCUA rule change required FICUs to include NCUA's official advertising statement in radio and television ads that exceeded 15 seconds.6 This additional requirement, which the Board now believes is unnecessary, affected more FICU ads and disrupted the balance between bank and FICU regulatory burden in this context. According to some FICUs, it also made it more difficult for FICUs to produce effective ads.

    5 12 CFR 328.

    6 76 FR 30521 (May 26, 2011).

    The 2011 NCUA rule change also required FICUs to include the advertising statement on statements of condition required to be published by law, whereas banks are exempt from this. The Board also proposes to relieve FICUs from this additional burden, which the Board believes is unnecessary.

    Additionally, as a result of information we have received from the public, the Board proposes to amend part 740 to permit a fourth iteration of the official advertising statement, namely by stating “Insured by NCUA.” This change would provide FICUs with more flexibility without diminishing the purpose of the rule.

    The current part 740 addresses conventional forms of advertising such as print, radio, and television. The Board requests comment about whether the regulation should be modified to facilitate the trend in advertising via new types of social media, mobile banking, text messaging and other digital communication platforms, including Twitter and Instagram. The comments should focus on specific recommendations that balance the regulation's goal to inform the public with space and other constraints inherent in new forms of advertising.

    II. Regulatory Procedures Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires NCUA to prepare an analysis to describe any significant economic impact a regulation may have on a substantial number of small entities.7 For purposes of this analysis, NCUA considers small credit unions to be those having under $100 million in assets. The proposed amendments provide regulatory relief and thus do not impose a significant burden on small credit unions. Accordingly, NCUA has determined and certifies that the proposed rule, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    7 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”) applies to rulemakings in which an agency by rule creates a new paperwork burden on regulated entities or modifies an existing burden.8 For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the form of either a reporting or a recordkeeping requirement, both referred to as information collections. The proposed rule does not constitute a “collection of information” within the meaning of section 3502(3) and would not increase paperwork requirements under the PRA or regulations of the Office of Management and Budget.

    8 44 U.S.C. 3507(d); 5 CFR part 1320.

    Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. In adherence to fundamental federalism principles, NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order. The proposed rule would not have substantial direct effect on the states, on the connection between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. NCUA has determined that this proposed rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

    The Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999—Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    NCUA has determined that this proposed rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999.9

    9 Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998).

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 740

    Advertisements, Credit unions, Share insurance, Signs and symbols.

    By the National Credit Union Administration Board on September 28, 2017. Gerard S. Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

    For the reasons discussed above, the NCUA Board proposes to amend 12 CFR part 740 as follows:

    PART 740—ACCURACY OF ADVERTISING AND NOTICE OF INSURED STATUS 1. The authority for part 740 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1766, 1781, 1785, and 1789.

    2. Amend § 740.5 by revising paragraphs (a), (b), (c)(7) and (c)(8) to read as follows:
    § 740.5 Requirements for the official advertising statement.

    (a) Each insured credit union must include the official advertising statement, prescribed in paragraph (b) of this section, in all of its advertisements, including on its main Internet page, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (b) The official advertising statement is in substance one of the following:

    (1) This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration;

    (2) Federally insured by NCUA;

    (3) Insured by NCUA; or

    (4) A reproduction of the official sign as described in § 740.4(b) may be used in lieu of the other statements included in this section. If the official sign is used as the official advertising statement, an insured credit union may alter the font size to ensure its legibility as provided in § 740.4(b)(2).

    (5) The official advertising statement must be in a size and print that is clearly legible and may be no smaller than the smallest font size used in other portions of the advertisement intended to convey information to the consumer.

    (c) * * *

    (7) Advertisements by radio that are less than thirty (30) seconds in time;

    (8) Advertisements by television, other than display advertisements, that are less than thirty (30) seconds in time;

    [FR Doc. 2017-21316 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 80 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091; FRL-9968-70-OAR] Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019; Availability of Supplemental Information and Request for Further Comment AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Availability of supplemental information; request for further comment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides additional data and an opportunity to comment on that data and potential options for reductions in the 2018 biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes, and/or the 2019 biomass-based diesel volume under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. In a July 21, 2017 notice of proposed rulemaking, the EPA proposed certain reductions in the statutory volume targets for advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel for 2018, and requested comment on further reductions based on various considerations. This document presents additional data on production, imports and cost of renewable fuel and several options for how we may consider such data in establishing the final volume requirements using the waiver authorities provided by the statute.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 19, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091, at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julia MacAllister, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Assessment and Standards Division, Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; telephone number: 734-214-4131; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Outline of This Preamble I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? II. Overview III. Costs and Supply of Advanced Biofuel IV. Possible Further Reductions of 2018 Volume Requirements A. General Waiver Authority 1. Inadequate Domestic Supply 2. Severe Economic Harm B. Biomass-Based Diesel Waiver Authority V. Consideration of Possible Reductions in the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume Requirement for 2019 VI. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review I. General Information A. Would this rule, if finalized, apply to me?

    Entities potentially affected by the July 21, 2017 proposed rule 1 (the July proposal), should it become final, are those involved with the production, distribution, and sale of transportation fuels, including gasoline and diesel fuel or renewable fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel, and biogas. Potentially regulated categories include:

    1 82 FR 34206.

    Category NAICS 1 codes SIC 2 codes Examples of potentially regulated entities Industry 324110 2911 Petroleum Refineries. Industry 325193 3869 Ethyl alcohol manufacturing. Industry 325199 2869 Other basic organic chemical manufacturing. Industry 424690 5169 Chemical and allied products merchant wholesalers. Industry 424710 5171 Petroleum bulk stations and terminals. Industry 424720 5172 Petroleum and petroleum products merchant wholesalers. Industry 221210 4925 Manufactured gas production and distribution. Industry 454319 5989 Other fuel dealers. 1 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). 2 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system code.

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to engage in activities that may be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in the table could also be affected. To determine whether your entity would be affected by this rule, if finalized, you should carefully examine the applicability criteria in 40 CFR part 80. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of the July proposal to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    II. Overview

    On July 21, 2017, EPA proposed reductions in the statutory volume targets for advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel using the cellulosic waiver authority in Clean Air Act (CAA) section 211(o)(7)(D).2 We proposed using the maximum reduction permitted under that authority (considering the proposed cellulosic volume requirement) to reduce the 2018 volume targets for advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel to 4.24 and 19.24 billion gallons, respectively, in part by placing a greater emphasis on cost considerations than we have in the past. We requested comment on possible additional reductions in advanced biofuel (with corresponding reductions in total renewable fuel) using the general waiver authority in CAA section 211(o)(7)(A) or other authorities. Similarly, we requested comment on whether EPA should, in the final rule, reduce the 2019 volume requirement for biomass-based diesel (BBD) 3 to a level below the proposed level of 2.1 billion gallons.4

    2 82 FR 34206.

    3 Advanced biodiesel and renewable diesel with a D code of 4.

    4 We note the possibility that in light of our consideration of comments received on this document and the NPRM that the final rule could implement volume requirements that deviate further from the volume targets in the statute than the proposed levels. We believe the statutory provisions embody multiple Congressional objectives, including both increasing renewable fuels and limiting in certain circumstances the additional cost or economic impact associated with such increases. We invite comment on how to balance these objectives in exercising our waiver authorities.

    We did not specifically request comment in the proposed rule on a possible reduction of the 2018 volume requirement for BBD, which was set at 2.1 billion gallons in 2016.5 We did, however, request comment on the use of the general waiver authority or other authorities to reduce the advanced biofuel requirement for 2018, and BBD is not only nested within advanced biofuel but is also the predominant source of advanced biofuel. Therefore, considerations leading to a reduction of the advanced biofuel volume may also be relevant in reducing the 2018 BBD volume requirement. In this document we are providing additional information on renewable fuel costs and supply as well as possible options for the exercise of our waiver authorities based on these and other considerations.

    5 81 FR 89746, December 12, 2016.

    We note that the statute also provides EPA the authority to waive a portion of the BBD standard if there is a significant renewable feedstock disruption or other market circumstance that would make the price of biomass-based diesel fuel increase significantly, and to make related reductions in the advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel volume requirements.6 In light of recent developments, described below, we seek comment on whether it would be appropriate to use this waiver authority in the final rule.

    6 Under CAA section 211(o)(7)(E)(ii).

    III. Cost and Supply of Advanced Biofuel

    As EPA indicated in the July proposal, the cost of advanced biofuels is high on a per gallon basis compared to the petroleum fuels they replace. The expiration of the biodiesel tax credit in the U.S. at the end of 2016 has already impacted the effective price of biodiesel to blenders, as well as the price of biodiesel blends to consumers. While it does not appear that the expiration of the tax credit has had a direct impact on the price of unblended biodiesel (B100) in 2017, we expect that the expiration of the tax credit has had a significant impact on the effective price of biodiesel sold to blenders. This is because the biodiesel tax credit that expired at the end of 2016 was received by biodiesel blenders, rather than biodiesel producers. The price of biodiesel and EPA's estimated effective price of biodiesel to blenders (net the $1/gallon tax credit when applicable) from January 2016 through August 2017 are shown in Figure III-1 below.7 We also expect the price of biodiesel used in the U.S. could increase further following a recent preliminary determination by the Department of Commerce that it would be appropriate to place countervailing duties of 41% to 68% on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.8 Cash deposits against preliminary duties are currently being collected, potentially impacting prices prior to a final determination. Such duties could also affect import volumes as pointed out in a recent letter from the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).9 A final decision from the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission, which could include final countervailing duty orders, is scheduled for December 29, 2017.

    7 After January 1, 2017 the price of biodiesel and the estimated effective price of biodiesel to blenders are identical, as the tax credit expired at the end of 2016.

    8 “Commerce Preliminary Finds Countervailable Subsidization of Imports of Biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia,” available in EPA docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091.

    9 “AFPM letter on biodiesel supply in 2017,” available in docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091.

    BILLING CODE 6560-50-P EP04OC17.010 BILLING CODE 6560-50-C

    The level of imports and exports can also affect the price of renewable fuel used in the U.S., and both imports and export volumes have varied considerably over the last several years. Based on data collected on RIN generation and retirement from the EPA-Moderated Transaction System (EMTS), we have determined gross domestic production and import and export volumes for advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel for the years 2013 through 2016.10 Further details can be found in a memorandum to the docket.11

    10 The use of RIN data necessarily excludes renewable fuel import or export volumes for which no RINs were generated. RINs may not be generated, for instance, if ethanol has not been denatured or if a producer is exporting the renewable fuel. However, for advanced biofuels, RINless volumes (which would not be reflected in Tables III-1 or III-2) are expected to be an extremely small portion of all volumes.

    11 “Imports and exports of renewable fuel in 2013 through 2016,” memorandum from David Korotney to docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091.

    Table III-1—Supply of Advanced Biofuel [million RINs] 2013 2014 2015 2016 Gross domestic production 2,278 2,308 2,327 3,023 Imports 911 479 710 1,177 Exports 128 134 143 202 Table III-2—Supply of Biomass-Based Diesel [million RINs] 2013 2014 2015 2016 Gross domestic production 2,162 2,196 2,155 2,791 Imports 476 415 596 1,121 Exports 125 134 143 202

    Commenters raised concerns that along with affecting prices of renewable fuels in the U.S., imports may also have an impact on the energy independence and security status of the U.S.12 Increasing the energy independence and security of the U.S. is one of the stated goals in the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007, and the RFS program's standards affect the volumes of both domestic production and imports. EPA requests comment on whether it is appropriate to consider possible impacts of these volumes on U.S. energy independence and security in setting the applicable standards under the RFS program, insofar as they impact those factors that we are permitted to consider and evaluate under the available waiver authorities, and/or the standard-setting authority for BBD.

    12 See e.g., comments from AFPM/API, EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091-3645.

    EPA remains concerned about the high cost of advanced biofuels. As a result, and in light of the pending action on countervailing duties on imported biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia which we believe could, if finalized, further increase the cost and/or decrease the supply of advanced biofuel in the U.S., we believe it is appropriate to request further comment on appropriate ways to determine the applicable volume requirements for 2018, and the BBD volume requirement for 2019.

    IV. Possible Further Reductions of 2018 Volume Requirements A. General Waiver Authority

    Section 211(o)(7)(A) of the CAA provides that EPA, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy, may waive the applicable volumes specified in the Act in whole or in part based on a petition by one or more States, by any person subject to the requirements of the Act, or by the EPA Administrator on his own motion. Such a waiver must be based on a determination by the Administrator, after public notice and opportunity for comment that: (1) Implementation of the requirement would severely harm the economy or the environment of a State, a region or the United States, or (2) there is an inadequate domestic supply. We sought comment on the possible use of the general waiver authority in the proposal, and here are once again seeking comment in light of the data provided in Section III of this document and a possible revised interpretation of the inadequate domestic supply waiver authority, as discussed below. We also solicit further comment on our use of the general waiver authority under a determination of either inadequate domestic supply or severe economic harm to reduce volumes of renewable fuel.

    1. Inadequate Domestic Supply

    In the annual rule establishing the 2014-2016 renewable fuel standards, we determined that there would be an “inadequate domestic supply” of renewable fuel to consumers in 2016, and so exercised the general waiver authority to reduce volumes to levels we believed could be supplied.13 The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently ruled in a lawsuit challenging that rule that EPA improperly focused on supply of renewable fuel to consumers, and that the statue instead requires a “supply-side” assessment of the volumes of renewable fuel that can be supplied to refiners, importers and blenders. Americans for Clean Energy (“ACE”) v. EPA, 864 F.3d 691 (2017). Other components of EPA's interpretation of “inadequate domestic supply” were either upheld by the court in ACE (e.g., EPA's interpretation that carryover RINs are not part of the “supply” for purposes of this waiver authority) or were not challenged (e.g., EPA's consideration of biofuel imports as part of the domestic supply). In response to the proposed 2018 standards, we received comments suggesting that EPA should interpret the undefined term “domestic” in “inadequate domestic supply” to account for only volumes of renewable fuel that are produced domestically.14 As we understand this suggestion, in determining the adequacy of supply, EPA would consider only whether there was an adequate supply of domestically produced volumes to satisfy the statutory volume targets. If there were not, EPA would be authorized to reduce the statutory applicable volumes. Having made the threshold finding that there was an inadequate domestic supply, EPA could consider the availability of imports as one factor among others in determining whether to exercise its discretion to use the waiver authority.

    13 See 80 FR 77420 (December 14, 2015).

    14 See, e.g., comments from American Fuels and Petrochemical Manufacturers/American Petroleum Institute (AFPM/API) (Docket Item No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091-3645) and Valero (Docket Item No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091-3677).

    Some commenters suggested that this interpretation would rely on common dictionary definitions of “domestic,” as meaning “of, or relating to, or originating within a country and especially one's own country,” 15 or “[o]f or pertaining to one's own country or nation; not foreign, internal, inland, `home.'” 16 Commenters suggested that this interpretation could lead to volume requirements providing greater stability and certainty for obligated parties; they noted the increasing uncertainty in international trade markets for biofuels, including the potential for disruptions in supply and duties being placed on these biofuels. These commenters suggested that by basing the volume requirements on the projected domestic supply of biofuels, EPA could set volume requirements that would better ensure the availability of renewable fuel for compliance.17

    15 AFPM/API comments (citing Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

    16 Id. (citing Oxford English Dictionary).

    17 See, e.g., Comments from Valero (Docket Item No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091-3677). EPA notes that we also received comments from the biodiesel industry that reducing volumes based on imports could actually harm domestic producers, see, e.g., comments from the National Renderers Association (Docket Item No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091-3959), National Biodiesel Board (Docket Item No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091-3880).

    We note that this interpretation of the statutory phrase “inadequate domestic supply,” would not in any way limit the use of qualifying imported biofuel by obligated parties to ultimately comply with the annual percentage standards. Imported and domestically produced biofuels would still have the same opportunities to compete in the U.S. market as they do now. The interpretation would only affect the way in which EPA calculates the volumes used to set the percentage standards with which obligated parties must comply, by allowing EPA to consider the supply of domestically produced biofuels in deciding whether to use the general waiver authority. Once the standards were established, however, qualifying imported renewable fuel could still be used to comply with the established standards, exactly as it is currently.

    We request comment on whether this interpretation would comply with the Court's direction in ACE that we only consider “supply-side factors” in determining whether there is an inadequate domestic supply. Although the Court in ACE explained that EPA “may” or is “authorized” to consider renewable fuel imports as part of a supply-side assessment under this waiver authority,18 we note that these statements were made in the context of comparing supply-side considerations to demand-side considerations, and finding EPA's demand-side consideration to be impermissible. Thus, the court's statements may indicate the scope of permissible, but not required, interpretations, and not foreclose further consideration by EPA of the scope of appropriate supply-side considerations in light of the statute and the court's decision.19

    18 See e.g., ACE, 864 F.3d at 709.

    19 Moreover, EPA's interpretation of the term “domestic” in the phrase “inadequate domestic supply” and the relevance of imports to EPA's assessment was not challenged in the litigation or necessary for the court's decision, so we believe that the court's statements in this regard are dicta.

    We believe there are a number of reasons why this interpretation of the phrase “inadequate domestic supply” may be appropriate. First, as noted by commenters, this interpretation may be consistent with a straightforward reading of the term “domestic supply” as referring to volumes of domestically-produced renewable fuels. Second, as also noted by commenters, basing EPA's use of the general waiver authority on domestic supply only may better meet the energy independence and security purposes of EISA. Third, as EPA has noted in past rulemakings,20 it is extremely difficult to project volumes that can be made available in the U.S. through imports, and we believe that in light of this substantial uncertainty, that EPA could reasonably interpret the statute as allowing it the discretion to waive statutory applicable volumes on the basis of a more certain assessment of the likely supply of domestically-produced fuels.

    20 See, e.g., Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2017 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2018, 81 FR 89746, 89764-65 (December 12, 2016).

    We invite comment on this possible interpretation of the term “inadequate domestic supply,” and the possibility of applying this interpretation to reduce the final 2018 advanced biofuel volume requirement beyond the level proposed. In Section III of this document we provide data on the domestic production of advanced biofuels for 2013 through 2016. We solicit comment on data and methodologies we should use for estimating the 2018 supply of domestically-produced BBD and other advanced biofuels if we adopt this interpretation. We also invite comment on the potential impact on imports and the domestic production of advanced biofuel if EPA were to further reduce the proposed applicable volume of advanced biofuel on the basis of an interpretation of the term “inadequate domestic supply” as discussed in this section. We also request comment on whether and how EPA should consider the potential level of imports in determining whether to use its discretionary general waiver authority to reduce the required volume requirements should this interpretation be adopted.

    Considering the nested nature of the standards, we also seek comment on the appropriateness of (and possible basis for) providing a reduction in the total renewable fuel applicable volume requirement commensurate with any reduction in the advanced biofuel volume requirement that may be finalized based on a reinterpretation of the inadequate domestic supply waiver authority as discussed in this section. We note that absent a commensurate reduction, the implied volume for conventional biofuels (i.e., the difference between advanced and total volumes), would exceed the 15 billion gallon implied cap that can be discerned from the statutory tables. We note that both the cellulosic waiver authority in CAA section 211(o)(7)(D) and the BBD waiver authority in section 211(o)(7)(E) stipulate that when nested cellulosic or BBD volumes, respectively, are waived under these authorities, that reductions in the advanced and total renewable fuel volume requirements are authorized. Similarly, due to the nested nature of the standards, advanced biofuel can be used to meet the total renewable fuel requirement. This program structure, established in EISA, suggests that, in general, a reduction in a nested renewable fuel type can justify a corresponding reduction in the other renewable fuel standard or standards that the fuel can also be used to meet. We seek comment on the extent to which EPA should interpret the inadequate domestic supply waiver authority in CAA section 211(o)(7)(A) as also authorizing EPA to make a commensurate reduction in total renewable fuel volumes when waiving advanced biofuel volumes on the basis of inadequate domestic supply.

    2. Severe Economic Harm

    Section 211(o)(7)(A)(1) of the CAA provides that EPA may waive the applicable volume based on a determination that implementation of the requirement would severely harm the economy or environment of a State, a region, or the United States. We received comments from several stakeholders suggesting that EPA should reduce volumes on the basis of severe economic harm.21 We note that EPA has previously expressed an interpretation of the severe economic harm waiver in denying petitions to exercise the waiver.22 We solicit comment on the appropriateness of this interpretation, as well as rationales and data to support approaches for identifying volumes that would be associated with severe economic harm, or other means of implementing this waiver authority consistent with the statutory provision. In particular, we seek input on whether there is information indicating that severe economic harm is occurring under current standards or would occur for any volume requirement that could be established in the current rulemaking 23 and, if so, whether and how volumes should be adjusted to address such harm.

    21 See, e.g., comments from American Fuels and Petrochemical Manufacturers/American Petroleum Institute (AFPM/API) (Docket Item No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091-3645) and Valero (Docket Item No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091-3677).

    22 See e.g., 73 FR 47168 (August 13, 2008) (Notice of Decision Regarding the State of Texas Request for a Waiver of a Portion of the Renewable Fuel Standard); 77 FR 70752 (November 27, 2012) (Notice of Decision Regarding Requests for a Waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard).

    23 82 FR 34206 (July 21, 2017).

    B. Biomass-Based Diesel Waiver Authority

    CAA section 211(o)(7)(E)(ii) provides that if EPA determines that there is a significant renewable feedstock disruption or other market circumstance that would make the price of BBD increase significantly, EPA shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, and the Secretary of Agriculture, issue an order to reduce, for up to a 60-day period, the annual volume requirement for BBD by an appropriate quantity that does not exceed 15 percent. The statute also stipulates that EPA is authorized to reduce applicable volumes of advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel by the same or a lesser volume than the reduction in BBD. Also, the statute provides that EPA may provide additional 60-day waivers, with an appropriate additional reduction in the annual requirement of up to 15%, if EPA determines that the feedstock disruptions or circumstances warranting the initial waiver are continuing.

    We note that the renewable fuels standards apply on an annual basis and compliance is determined three months after the end of the year. Waiving the standard for 60 days without adjusting the annual standard would provide no relief. We thus solicit comment on whether it would be appropriate to implement the provision by waiving the annual standard (in circumstances where use of the provision is authorized) by a volume that does not exceed 15%. Alternatively, it may be possible to implement the provision by allowing each refiner or importer to subtract from its compliance obligation calculations an amount of gasoline and diesel produced or imported during a specific 60-day period, subject to a 15% limitation on the reduction in their annual RVO. We note that the statute also allows for an extension of any initial waiver for additional 60-day periods if the feedstock disruption or other market circumstance persists. We invite comment on how to interpret and implement the BBD waiver provision consistent with the text and goals of the Act.

    As described in Section III of this action, the price of biodiesel, particularly advanced biodiesel, has been impacted by the expiration of the federal tax credit at the end of 2016 and may be expected to be impacted further by the imposition of new duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.24 We seek comment on the likely result of these and any other factors on biodiesel prices, and the extent to which any expected price increases should be considered “significant” for purposes of the waiver authority in CAA section 211(o)(7)(E)(ii). We also seek comment on whether the relevant biodiesel prices are those paid by refiners, importers and blenders,25 and if so whether it is appropriate to consider the increase in the “effective price” of biomass-based diesel (net of any tax credit) to blenders for these purposes. We note that the 2018 BBD volume requirement was established by rule in 2016 at 2.1 billion gallons.26 Therefore, if EPA were to make the appropriate findings under the statute, CAA section 211(o)(7)(E)(ii) would authorize an initial waiver of up to 315 million gallons (15% as specified in the statute) of the 2018 applicable volume requirement of 2.1 billion gallon (resulting in an applicable volume as low as 1.79 billion gallons), with additional incremental reductions possible in 60 day intervals if the circumstances warranted.27

    24 Both advanced and conventional biodiesel are imported from these two countries.

    25 This approach would arguably be consistent with the focus of the ACE Court on the ability of these parties to blend the statutorily required volumes of renewable fuel.

    26 81 FR 89746, December 12, 2016.

    27 2.10 billion gallon BBD volume requirement × 15% = 315 mill gal.

    This statutory provision also indicates that EPA may reduce the applicable volume of renewable fuel and advanced biofuels requirement by the same or a lesser volume as the reduction in the BBD volume requirement. Were we to exercise this BBD waiver authority, we believe it would be appropriate to lower the advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel volumes by the same amount, since the predominant form of advanced biofuel is BBD and a reduction in the BBD volume requirement may have little or no impact on BBD prices if there is no commensurate reduction in advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel volumes. If the BBD volume requirement were to be reduced by 315 million gallons, an equivalent reduction in advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel would be 473 million ethanol equivalent RINs.28 This would bring the 2018 advanced biofuel volume requirement down from the proposed level of 4.24 billion gallons to 3.77 billion gallons and the 2018 total renewable fuel volume requirement from the proposed level of 19.24 billion gallons to 18.77 billion gallons.29

    28 In the context of calculating the applicable percentage standards from the volume requirements, one gallon of BBD is equivalent to 1.5 gallons of ethanol. The advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel applicable volumes are expressed as ethanol-equivalent volumes, whereas the BBD applicable volume requirement is expressed in terms of biodiesel equivalence.

    29 The statute does not specifically require notice and opportunity for comment prior to EPA issuance of a waiver under CAA section 211(o)(7)(E)(ii); that EPA is providing an opportunity for comment regarding EPA's possible first use of this authority at this time should not be viewed as suggesting that EPA would always do so in the future.

    We request comment on the possible use of the waiver authority provided in CAA section 211(o)(7)(E)(ii) to reduce the 2018 volume requirement for BBD by as much as 315 million gallons, and to concurrently reduce the advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel volume requirements by as much as 473 million gallons. In particular, we seek data on recent BBD price increases and expectations for additional price increases, and we seek comment on the extent to which these price increases should be considered `significant” for purposes of the CAA section 211(o)(7)(E)(ii) waiver authority and the extent of a waiver (up to 15%) that would be necessary to address or avoid a significant price increase.

    V. Consideration of Possible Reductions in the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume Requirement for 2019

    The statute establishes applicable volume targets for BBD only through 2012. For years after those for which volumes are specified in the statute, EPA is required under CAA section 211(o)(2)(B)(ii) to determine the applicable volume of BBD, in coordination with the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Agriculture, based on a review of implementation of the program during calendar years for which the statute specifies the volumes and an analysis of the following factors:

    1. The impact of the production and use of renewable fuels on the environment, including on air quality, climate change, conversion of wetlands, ecosystems, wildlife habitat, water quality, and water supply;

    2. The impact of renewable fuels on the energy security of the United States;

    3. The expected annual rate of future commercial production of renewable fuels, including advanced biofuels in each category (cellulosic biofuel and BBD);

    4. The impact of renewable fuels on the infrastructure of the United States, including deliverability of materials, goods, and products other than renewable fuel, and the sufficiency of infrastructure to deliver and use renewable fuel;

    5. The impact of the use of renewable fuels on the cost to consumers of transportation fuel and on the cost to transport goods; and

    6. The impact of the use of renewable fuels on other factors, including job creation, the price and supply of agricultural commodities, rural economic development, and food prices.

    The statute also specifies that the volume requirement for BBD cannot be less than the applicable volume specified in the statute for calendar year 2012, which is 1.0 billion gallons. The statute does not, however, establish any other numeric criteria, or specify how EPA should weigh the importance of the often competing factors, and the overarching goals of the statute when EPA sets the applicable volumes of BBD in years after those for which the statute specifies such volumes. In the period 2013-2022, the statute specifies increasing applicable volumes of cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel, but does not do so for BBD, instead specifying only a 1.0 billion gallon minimum and factors that EPA must evaluate in determining the volume requirement that EPA is to set.

    We received comments on our July proposal requesting that EPA reduce the proposed applicable volume of BBD for 2019 due to the large volume of imported biodiesel and renewable diesel in recent years (See Table 2 for import volumes of BBD),30 which could affect our analysis of several of the factors listed above. Additionally, on August 28, 2017, the Department of Commerce published a preliminary determination that countervailing subsidies are being provided to producers and/or exporters of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, and began requiring cash deposits equal to the subsidy rates.31 These subsidies ranged from 50%-64% for biodiesel from Argentina and 41%-68% for biodiesel from Indonesia.32 If finalized, the determination would have a direct impact on the cost of biodiesel imported from these countries, and could ultimately lead to increased cost to consumers of transportation fuel and the cost to transport goods, and/or could lead to reduced imports from these countries and potentially more limited supplies in the United States.

    30 See e.g., comments from AFPM/API, EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091-3645.

    31 See 82 FR 40746 and 82 FR 40748 (July 21, 2017).

    32Ibid.

    In our proposed assessment of the statutory factors listed above, we noted that the proposed BBD standard for 2019, if finalized, would not likely impact the advanced biodiesel and renewable diesel supply to the U.S. market. Instead, the higher advanced biofuel volume requirement would be the determinant, and the market would supply more advanced biodiesel and renewable diesel than the BBD standard would require. We further noted in the July proposal our expectation that the historic trend in establishing the advanced volume requirements (i.e., annual increases) would continue into 2019, and the current production levels and costs for different types of advanced biofuel led us to believe that the same volume of BBD would likely be produced and imported to satisfy the anticipated 2019 advanced biofuel standard regardless of the applicable volume of BBD we ultimately required for purposes of the 2019 BBD standard. Any differences in the production and import of BBD were expected to be marginal and uncertain as BBD competes with other advanced biofuels in meeting the 2019 advanced biofuel volume. We proposed a level that we reasoned would provide a level of guaranteed support to the BBD industry, while also ensuring an opportunity under the advanced standard for the further development and marketing of non-BBD advanced biofuels that might have superior environmental characteristics or cost implications. As noted above, we are now also soliciting comment on options for reducing the 2018 advanced biofuel volume requirement. If we determine that it is appropriate to use one of the waiver authorities discussed above to reduce the required volume of advanced biofuel in 2018, it is possible that similar considerations would lead us to provide reductions of the 2019 advanced biofuel volume requirement for similar reasons. A lower required volume of advanced biofuel in 2019 could result in the proposed required volume of BBD for 2019 (2.1 billion gallons or 3.15 billion ethanol-equivalent RINs) driving demand for advanced biodiesel and renewable diesel, and could provide insufficient room under the advanced standard for non-BBD advanced biofuels to compete for market share within the advanced biofuel category and an inappropriate level of guaranteed support to the BBD industry.

    In addition to these considerations, we seek comment on the extent to which the successful BBD industry requires the proposed level of guaranteed support, or if the advanced standard together with a significantly lower BBD standard would be sufficient for that purpose while advancing the goals of energy independence and security by providing additional encouragement for the growth of other types of advanced biofuels.

    We request comment on how EPA should take into consideration the costs of biodiesel and the factors that influence those costs, together with other relevant factors discussed above or which commenters may wish to bring to our attention, in setting the appropriate required volume of BBD for 2019. We also request comment on what the volume requirement should be, noting that it could be equal to or greater than the statutory minimum of 1.0 billion gallons.

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

    This rulemaking is a significant regulatory action that was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, as it raises novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. Any changes made in response to OMB recommendations have been documented in the docket.

    Dated: September 26, 2017. E. Scott Pruitt, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21128 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS-3302-WN] 42 CFR Part 416, 418, 482, 483, and 485 Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Revisions to Certain Patient's Rights Conditions for Participation and Conditions for Coverage; Withdrawal AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document withdraws a proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register on December 12, 2014. This proposed rule would revise the applicable conditions of participation for certain providers, conditions for coverage for certain suppliers, and requirements for long-term care facilities, to ensure that the requirements are consistent with the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor (570 U.S.12, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013)), and HHS policy. Specifically, it proposed to revise certain definitions and patient's rights provisions that currently defer to state law, in order to ensure that same-sex spouses are recognized and afforded equal rights in certain Medicare and Medicaid-participating facilities.

    DATES:

    As of October 4, 2017, the proposed rule published December 12, 2014, at 79 FR 73873, is withdrawn.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ronisha Blackstone, 410-786-6882.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On December 12, 2014, we published a proposed rule in the Federal Register entitled, “Medicare and Medicaid Program; Revisions to Certain Patient's Rights Conditions of Participation and Conditions for Coverage” (79 FR 73873). In United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S.12, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), the Supreme Court held that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional because it violated the Fifth Amendment (See Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 2695). Section 3 of DOMA provided that in determining the meaning of any Act of the Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” meant only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” could refer only to a person of the opposite sex who was a husband or a wife (1 U.S.C. 7). Following the Supreme Court's opinion in Windsor, the Federal government was permitted to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages when administering Federal statutes and programs.

    The December 2014 rulemaking proposed to revise certain conditions of participation (CoPs), conditions for coverage (CfCs), and requirements for certain Medicare- and Medicaid-participating facilities to ensure that the requirements at issue were consistent with the Windsor decision. We received 97 public comments in response to the December 2014 proposed rule. Following publication of the proposed rule, on June 26, 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges, (135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015)), the Supreme Court held that the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in other States. In light of the Obergefell decision, we have decided to withdraw the December 2014 proposed rule. We believe that the Obergefell decision has addressed many of the concerns raised in the December 2014 proposed rule.

    Accordingly, the proposed rule published December 12, 2014, at 79 FR 73873, is withdrawn.

    Dated: August 24, 2017. Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Approved: September 7, 2017. Thomas E. Price, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21419 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 424 [CMS-6012-WN] RIN 0938-AR84 Medicare Program; Establishment of Special Payment Provisions and Requirements for Qualified Practitioners and Qualified Suppliers of Prosthetics and Custom-Fabricated Orthotics; Withdrawal AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document withdraws a proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register on January 12, 2017. The proposed rule specified the qualifications needed for qualified practitioners to furnish and fabricate, and qualified suppliers to fabricate prosthetics and custom-fabricated orthotics; accreditation requirements that qualified suppliers must meet in order to bill for prosthetics and custom fabricated orthotics; requirements that an organization must meet in order to accredit qualified suppliers to bill for prosthetics and custom-fabricated orthotics; and a timeframe by which qualified practitioners and qualified suppliers must meet the applicable licensure, certification, and accreditation requirements. In addition, the proposed rule removed the current exemption from accreditation and quality standards for certain practitioners and suppliers.

    DATES:

    As of October 4, 2017, the proposed rule published January 12, 2017, at 82 FR 3678, is withdrawn.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Spiegel, (410) 786-1909.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the January 12, 2017 Federal Register (82 FR 3678), we published a proposed rule titled, “Medicare Program; Establishment of Special Payment Provisions and Requirements for Qualified Practitioners and Qualified Suppliers of Prosthetics and Custom Fabricated Orthotics” to ensure that only those who are qualified to do so can furnish, fabricate, and bill for the prosthetics and custom-fabricated orthotics addressed by the proposed rule.

    We received over 5,000 public comments in response to the January 12, 2017 proposed rule.

    In light of the cost and time burdens that the proposed rule would create for many providers and suppliers, particularly the cost and burden for those providers and suppliers that are small businesses, and the complexity of the issues raised in the detailed public comments received, we are withdrawing the January 12, 2017 proposed rule in order to assure agency flexibility in re-examining the issues and exploring options and alternatives with stakeholders.

    Accordingly, the proposed rule published January 12, 2017, at 82 FR 3678, is withdrawn.

    Dated: July 21, 2017. Demetrios L. Kouzoukas, Principal Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicare. Approved: September 7, 2017. Thomas E. Price, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21425 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 511 [CMS-1670-WN] RIN 0938-AS85 Medicare Program; Part B Drug Payment Model; Withdrawal AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document withdraws a proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2016. The proposed rule discussed our proposal to implement a new Medicare payment model under section 1115A of the Social Security Act (the Act).

    DATES:

    As of October 4, 2017, the proposed rule published March 11, 2016, at 81 FR 13230, is withdrawn.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rasheeda Johnson, (410) 786-3434.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On March 11, 2016, we published a proposed rule in the Federal Register entitled “Medicare Program; Part B Drug Payment Model” (81 FR 13230). The rule proposed the Part B Drug Payment Model as a two-phase model that would test whether alternative drug payment designs will lead to a reduction in Medicare expenditures, while preserving or enhancing the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. In the first phase, CMS would test a change to the 6 percent add-on to Average Sales Price (ASP) that is used to make drug payments under Part B such that the add-on would be 2.5 percent plus a flat fee (in a budget neutral manner). In the second phase, we would implement a collection of value-based purchasing tools similar to those employed by commercial health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, hospitals, and other entities that manage health benefits and drug utilization. We proposed to operate the model for 5 years; phase I would begin in the fall of 2016 (no earlier than 60 days after the rule was finalized), and phase II would begin no sooner than January 1, 2017. The proposed goal was to have both phases of the model in full operation during the last 3 years of the proposed 5-year duration to fully evaluate changes and collect sufficient data.

    We received 1,350 timely public comments in response to the March 11, 2016, proposed rule. Some commenters signaled their support for the proposed rule, however, a number of commenters expressed concerns about the proposed model. As we worked to address these concerns, the complexity of the issues related to the proposed model design and the desire to increase stakeholder input led us to the decision to withdraw the March 11, 2016 proposed rule. Moving forward, we want to ensure agency flexibility in re-examining these important issues and exploring new options and alternatives with stakeholders as we develop potential payment models that support innovative approaches to improve quality, accessibility, and affordability, reduce Medicare program expenditures, and empower patients and doctors to make decisions about their health care.

    Accordingly, the proposed rule published March 11, 2016, at 81 FR 13230, is withdrawn.

    Dated: July 17, 2017. Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Dated: August 25, 2017. Thomas E. Price, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21420 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary 45 CFR Parts 160 and 162 [CMS-0037-WN] Administrative Simplification: Certification of Compliance for Health Plans; Withdrawal AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document withdraws the January 2, 2014, proposed rule that would have required a controlling health plan (CHP) to submit information and documentation demonstrating that it is compliant with certain standards and operating rules adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This proposed rule would have also established penalty fees for a CHP that failed to comply with the certification of compliance requirements.

    DATES:

    As of October 4, 2017, the proposed rule published January 2, 2014, at 79 FR 298, is withdrawn.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Geanelle G. Herring, (410) 786-4466.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the January 2, 2014, Federal Register (79 FR 298), we published the proposed rule titled “Administrative Simplification: Certification of Compliance for Health Plans” which would have required controlling health plans (CHPs) to submit certain information and documentation that demonstrated compliance with the standards and operating rules adopted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) for three electronic transactions: Eligibility for a health plan, health care claim status, and health care electronic funds transfers (EFT) and remittance advice. The proposed rule would have also established penalty fees for a CHP that failed to comply with the certification of compliance requirements.

    We received approximately 72 public comments in response to the January 2, 2014 proposed rule. In light of the issues raised in the public comments received, we have decided to withdraw the January 2014 proposed rule in order to re-examine the issues and explore options and alternatives to comply with the statutory requirements. We note that the Secretary has established regulations pertaining to compliance with, and enforcement of, HIPAA Administrative Simplification standards and operating rules. The withdrawal of this proposed rule does not remove the requirements for covered entities to comply with any of those regulations codified at 45 CFR parts 160 and 162.

    Accordingly, the proposed rule published January 2, 2014, at 79 FR 298, is withdrawn.

    Dated: August 18, 2017. Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Dated: August 30, 2017. Thomas E. Price, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21424 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2017-0063; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BC16 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12 Month Findings on Petitions To List the Holiday Darter, Trispot Darter, and Bridled Darter; Threatened Species Status for Trispot Darter AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; 12-month petition findings.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list three species, the holiday darter (Etheostoma brevirostrum), the trispot darter (Etheostoma trisella), and the bridled darter (Percina kusha), all freshwater fish native to Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the trispot darter is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list the trispot darter as a threatened species under the Act. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would add the trispot darter to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to the species. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we also find that listing the holiday and bridled darters is not warranted.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before December 4, 2017. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by November 20, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R4-ES-2017-0063, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, check the Proposed Rules box to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R4-ES-2017-0063, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Public Comments, below, for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bill Pearson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alabama Ecological Services Field Office, 1208 Main Street, Daphne, AL 36526; telephone 251-441-5181; or facsimile 251-441-6222. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Act, if a species is determined to be an endangered or threatened species throughout all or a significant portion of its range, we are required to promptly publish a proposal in the Federal Register and make a determination on our proposal within 1 year. Listing a species as an endangered or threatened species and designations and revisions of critical habitat can only be completed by issuing a rule.

    This rule will propose the listing of the trispot darter (Etheostoma trisella), as a threatened species. This rule summarizes our analysis regarding status of and threats to the trispot darter.

    The basis for our action. Under the Act, we can determine that a species is an endangered or threatened species based on any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. We have determined that the trispot darter is a threatened species based on a loss of habitat and connectivity (Factor A) due to urbanization, land use patterns, and drought.

    Peer review. We have requested comments from independent specialists to ensure that we based our designation on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. Because we will consider all comments and information received during the comment period, our final determinations may differ from this proposal.

    Supporting Documents

    A species status assessment (SSA) team prepared SSA reports for all three darter species. The SSA team was composed of Service biologists, in consultation with other species experts. The SSA reports represent a compilation of the best scientific and commercial data available concerning the status of the species, including the impacts of past, present, and future factors (both negative and beneficial) affecting each species. All three SSA reports underwent independent peer review by scientists with expertise in fish or amphibian biology, habitat management, and stressors (factors negatively affecting the species). The SSA reports and other materials relating to this proposal can be found on the Southeast Region Web site at https://www.fws.gov/southeast/ and at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2017-0063.

    Information Requested for Proposed Rule To List Trispot Darter Public Comments

    We intend that any final action resulting from the proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from other concerned governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning:

    (1) The trispot darter's biology, range, and population trends, including:

    (a) Biological or ecological requirements of trispot darter, including habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering;

    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;

    (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns;

    (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and projected trends; and

    (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, its habitat, or both.

    (2) Factors that may affect the continued existence of the species, which may include habitat modification or destruction, overutilization, disease, predation, the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, or other natural or manmade factors.

    (3) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning any threats (or lack thereof) to the species and existing regulations that may be addressing those threats.

    (4) Additional information concerning the historical and current status, range, distribution, and population size of the species, including the locations of any additional populations of the species.

    (5) Specific prohibitions and exceptions to those prohibitions that may be necessary and advisable for the trispot darter's conservation. We are considering publishing a more tailored proposed rule with provisions set forth under section 4(d) of the Act for public review and comment in the future.

    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

    Please note that submissions merely stating support for, or opposition to, the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or a threatened species must be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alabama Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Public Hearing

    Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received the dates specified above in DATES. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule public hearings on this proposal, if any are requested, and announce the dates, times, and places of those hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 15 days before the hearing.

    Peer Review

    In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), and our August 22, 2016, memorandum updating and clarifying the role of peer review of listing actions under the Act, we sought the expert opinions of appropriate specialists regarding the SSA report for each species, including the report for the trispot darter that informed this proposed rule. The purpose of peer review is to ensure that our listing determination is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. The peer reviewers have expertise in fish biology, habitat, and stressors to the species. We invite any additional comment from the peer reviewers during this public comment period.

    Previous Federal Actions

    The trispot darter was one of 29 fish species included in a March 18, 1975, notice of review published by the Service in the Federal Register (40 FR 12297). On December 30, 1982, the Service announced in the Federal Register (47 FR 58454) that the trispot darter, along with 147 other fish species, were being considered for possible addition to the Endangered Species List. On November 4, 1983, the Service published a notice in the Federal Register (48 FR 50909) that a status review was being conducted for the trispot darter to determine if the species should be protected under the Act. On November 21, 1991, we added the trispot darter to the candidate list as a category 2 species on the Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR) (56 FR 58804). The holiday darter was added to the candidate list as a Category 2 species in the CNOR on November 15, 1994 (59 FR 58997). Category 2 species were those species for which listing as endangered or threatened species was possibly appropriate, but for which biological information sufficient to support a proposed rule was lacking. However, the February 28, 1996, CNOR (61 FR 7596) discontinued recognition of Category 2 species, so the trispot and holiday darters were no longer considered candidate species after that date.

    On April 20, 2010, we received a petition from Center for Biological Diversity and others to list 404 aquatic species in the southeastern United States, including the two aforementioned species as well as the bridled darter. In response to the petition, we completed a partial 90-day finding on September 27, 2011 (76 FR 59836), in which we announced our finding that the petition contained substantial information that listing may be warranted for these three darter species. We conducted a status review for each species.

    Background Trispot Darter

    A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, and ecology of the trispot darter (Etheostoma trisella) is presented in the SSA report.

    The trispot darter is a freshwater fish found in the Coosa River System in the Ridge and Valley ecoregion of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. This fish has a historical range from the middle to upper Coosa River Basin with collections in the mainstem Coosa, Oostanaula, Conasauga, and Coosawattee Rivers, and their tributaries. All known records of the trispot darter occur above the fall line in the Ridge and Valley ecoregion. Currently, the trispot darter is known to occur in Little Canoe Creek and tributaries (Coosa River), Ballplay Creek tributaries (Coosa River), Conasauga River and tributaries, and Coosawattee River and one tributary.

    The trispot darter is a small-bodied, benthic fish ranging in size from 1.3 to 1.6 inches (in) (3.3 to 4.1 centimeters (cm)) as adults. The darter has three prominent black dorsal saddles, pale undersurface, and a dark bar below the eye. Scattered dark blotches exist on the fins' rays. During breeding season males are a reddish-orange color and have green marks along their sides and a red band through their spiny dorsal fin.

    The trispot darter is a migratory species that utilizes distinct breeding and non-breeding habitats. From approximately April to October, the species inhabits its non-breeding habitat, which consists of small to medium river margins and lower reaches of tributaries with slower velocities. It is associated with detritus, logs, and stands of water willow, and the substrate consists of small cobbles, pebbles, gravel, and often a fine layer of silt. During low flow periods, the darters move away from the peripheral zones and toward the main channel; edges of water willow beds, riffles, and pools; and mouths of tributaries. In late fall, this migratory species shifts its habitat preference and begins movement toward spawning areas; this is most likely stimulated by precipitation, but temperature changes and decreasing daylight hours may also provide queues to begin migration. Migration into spawning areas begins approximately late November or early December with fish moving from the main channels into tributaries and eventually reaching adjacent seepage areas where they will congregate and remain for the duration of spawning, approximately until late April. Breeding sites are intermittent seepage areas and ditches with little to no flow; shallow depths (12 in (30 cm) or less); moderate leaf litter covering mixed cobble, gravel, sand, and clay; a deep layer of soft silt over clay; and emergent vegetation. Trispot darters predominantly feed on mayfly nymphs and midge larvae and pupae.

    Trispot darters can live a maximum of 3 years, but most individuals die after the end of their second year. Females lay approximately 300 adhesive eggs that attach to vegetation or rocky substrate. Once laid, the eggs are abandoned and incubate for 30 days. Upon hatching, the trispot darter spends approximately 41 days as larvae.

    Holiday Darter

    A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, and ecology of the holiday darter (Etheostoma brevirostrum) is presented in the SSA report.

    The holiday darter is a small, 2-in-long (5-cm-long) snubnose darter, so named because it is a colorful fish, with notable red blotches surrounded by white or yellow halos on the lower side of the body. Unique from similar species with which it co-occurs, the holiday darter has a distinct median red band across the generally blue-green anal fin in males in spawning color. The holiday darter is found in small creeks to moderate-sized rivers above the fall line in the Ridge and Valley, Blue Ridge, and Piedmont ecoregions of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. Currently, the holiday darter is known to occur in parts of Shoal Creek, Conasauga River, Talking Rock Creek, Mountaintown Creek, tributaries of the Ellijay River, Amicalola Creek, and the Etowah River. The holiday darter prefers clear streams with riffles and shallow areas of rivers that contain boulders, cobble, and gravel substrate. While no complete life-history studies of the species are available, it is likely a benthic omnivore that eats aquatic insect larvae and microcrustaceans.

    Breeding behavior begins in April and lasts through May. Females are followed by males as they select suitable spawning substrates of gravel, rock, or wood on which the pair orients vertically to spawn and attach eggs. Females have the potential to produce from 50-150 eggs over multiple spawning sites, and those eggs are then fertilized by the male, or multiple different males. No studies have been published on the lifespan of the holiday darter, but similar species live approximately 3 years.

    Bridled Darter

    A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, and ecology of the bridled darter (Percina kusha) is presented in the SSA report.

    The bridled darter is a small freshwater fish native to the upper Coosa River basin in Georgia and Tennessee. This fish's current distribution includes the main channel of the Conasauga River in Murray and Whitfield Counties, Georgia, and Bradley and Polk Counties, Tennessee, Etowah River in Dawson and Lumpkin Counties, Georgia, Amicalola Creek in Dawson County, Georgia, Long Swamp Creek in Pickens County, Georgia, and Talking Rock Creek in Pickens County, Georgia. These are all considered small rivers with good water quality. It was also known to occur in short reaches of several tributaries to both the Conasauga and Etowah Rivers. Morphological variation exists between the darters in the Conasauga River and those in the Etowah River, but genetic studies do not conclude that they are separate species.

    Adult bridled darters are about 3 in (4 cm) in length and are muted in color. Dark oval blotches are fused to form a lateral stripe. The lateral stripe merges with a dark stripe behind the eye and continues forward of the eye; these stripes resemble a horse's bridle and lend the species its common name. These darters are typically found in flowing pools and backwaters adjacent to runs in small rivers and lower reaches of tributary creeks. They are often found near submerged logs or vegetation and prefer a substrate of sand, gravel, cobble, and bedrock.

    The bridled darter is a sight feeder that has been observed to pluck food from submerged objects as well as the water column by drift-feeding. When drift-feeding, it positions itself downstream of rocks, away from fast currents, and feeds on invertebrates that are washed downstream and thrusted upward by turbulence. Feeding peaks in late afternoon before dusk. Stomach contents for individuals from the Conasauga River contained small mayfly nymphs and blackfly larvae.

    Reproduction and spawning takes place approximately mid-April through mid-July. Spawning sites are selected by females as they are followed by courting males. Competitive behavior between males for the site-selecting female has been observed, with the larger males attempting to chase away smaller males. In the Conasauga River, sneaker males (smaller males that join with a spawning pair and mate with the female) have been observed. Rapid quivering of the pair during spawning helps to bury fertilized eggs in sand. A spawning pair may undertake multiple spawning events at different locations. Females have the potential to produce up to 75 eggs per year, and their lifespan has been estimated to be approximately 3 years.

    Summary of Biological Status and Threats

    The Act directs us to determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any factors affecting its continued existence. The SSA reports document the results of our comprehensive biological status review for the holiday, bridled, and trispot darters, including an assessment of the potential stressors to the species. The SSA reports do not represent a regulatory decision by the Service on whether the species should be proposed for listing as endangered or threatened species under the Act. They do, however, provide the scientific basis that informs that decision, which involves the further application of standards within the Act and its implementing regulations and policies. The following is a summary of the key results and conclusions from the SSA reports; the full SSA reports can be found on the Southeast Region Web site at https://www.fws.gov/southeast/ and at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2017-0063.

    Summary of Analysis

    To assess viability for the holiday, bridled, and trispot darters, we used the three conservation biology principles of resiliency, representation, and redundancy (together, the 3Rs). Briefly, resiliency supports the ability of the species to withstand environmental and demographic stochasticity (for example, wet or dry, warm or cold years); representation supports the ability of the species to adapt over time to long-term changes in the environment (for example, climate changes); and redundancy supports the ability of the species to withstand catastrophic events (for example, droughts, hurricanes). In general, the more redundant and resilient a species is and the more representation it has, the more likely it is to sustain populations over time, even under changing environmental conditions. Using these principles, we identified the species' ecological requirements for survival and reproduction at the individual, population, and species levels, and described the factors influencing the species' viability.

    The SSA process can be categorized into three sequential stages. During the first stage, we used the 3Rs to evaluate individual life-history needs of all three darters. In the next stage, we assessed the historical and current condition of each species' demographics and habitat characteristics, including an explanation of how the species arrived at their current conditions. In the final stage of the SSA we made predictions about the species' responses to positive and negative environmental and anthropogenic influences. This process used the best available information to characterize viability as the ability of each species to sustain populations in the wild over time. We utilized this information to inform our regulatory decision in the 12-month findings.

    To evaluate the current and future viability of the three darters, we assessed a range of conditions to allow us to consider the species' resiliency, representation, and redundancy. U.S. Geological Survey delineated all watersheds within the United States at several different scales (or units) using a standardized system. Each hydrologic unit is identified by a unique hydrologic unit code (HUC) consisting of two to twelve digits based on six different levels of classification. For this analysis, the 10-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC 10s) were used as a spatial framework to delineate areas within the geographical range of each species for further analysis. Field collections were used to identify species presence within HUC10 watersheds. For holiday and bridled darters, populations were defined as occupied HUC10 watersheds and were used for analysis. Management units (MUs) were described for the trispot darter and are defined as one or more HUC10 watersheds that the species currently occupies. MUs were grouped using population genetics information and by expected management requirements.

    To qualitatively assess resilience, we considered seven components that broadly relate to either the physical environment (“Habitat Elements”) or characteristics about the population specifically (“Population Elements”). Habitat elements consisted of an evaluation of physical habitat, connectivity, water quality, and hydrologic regime. Population elements consisted of an estimation of approximate abundance, the extent of occurrence (total length of occupied streams), and an assessment of occurrence complexity. Representation describes the ability of a species to adapt to changing environmental conditions over time. For these darters to exhibit high representation, resilient populations should occur in all ecoregions to which they are native, and maintain some level of connectivity between populations. These occupied physiographic provinces represent the ecological setting in which the darters have evolved. Redundancy for all three darters is characterized by having multiple resilient and representative populations distributed throughout its range. Furthermore, these populations should maintain natural levels of connectivity between them. Connectivity allows for immigration and emigration between populations and increases the likelihood of recolonization should a population become extirpated. An overall resiliency condition was estimated by combining habitat and population elements. Population elements were weighted two times higher than habitat elements because they are considered direct indicators of population condition. Conditions were classified as “Low”, “Moderate”, or “High”.

    After analyzing current conditions for each species, we described how current viability of the three darters may change over a period of 50 years. As with current conditions, we evaluated species viability in terms of resiliency at the population scale, and representation and redundancy at the species scale. In the SSA report, we described three plausible future scenarios and whether there will be a change, from current conditions, to resiliency, representation, or redundancy under each scenario. These scenarios capture the range of likely viability outcomes that the darters will exhibit by the end of 2070. The future scenarios differ in two main elements of predicted change: urbanization and climate. To forecast future urbanization, we considered future scenarios that incorporate the SLEUTH (Slope, Land use, Excluded area, Urban area, Transportation, Hillside area) model. This model simulates patterns of urban expansion that are consistent with spatial observations of past urban growth and transportation networks. Regarding climate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change utilized a suite of alternative scenarios in the Fifth Assessment Report to make near-term and long-term climate projections. In our assessments, we used these projections to help understand how climate may change in the future and what effects may be observed that impact the three darter species.

    Trispot Darter

    For our analysis we considered four extant MUs: Little Canoe Creek Basin, Ballplay Creek Basin, Conasauga River Basin, and Coosawattee River Basin. Genetic research has defined distinct trispot darter populations in Little Canoe Creek, Ballplay Creek, and Conasauga River. It is unknown if trispot darters in the Coosawattee River basin are genetically distinct; however, we analyzed it as a separate MU because this river would require a distinct management strategy due to hydroelectric operations at Carters Dam. Historical collections of the trispot darter are known from Cowans Creek, a tributary to Spring Creek, which is in turn a tributary to the Coosa River, and Johns and Woodward Creeks, tributaries to the Oostanaula River. Currently, the trispot darter occupies approximately 20 percent of its historically known range.

    Current Condition of Trispot Darter

    Of the four current MUs for the trispot darter, one has resiliency ranked as “moderate,” and three have resiliency ranked as “low” in the analysis (see Table 2 below). For example, the Little Canoe Creek MU is expected to have a moderate resiliency to stochastic events because water quality is low, the abundance is qualitatively low, the occurrence complexity is high, Coosa River reservoirs remove connectivity to other MUs, and the extent of the occupied habitat is small. The Conasauga River MU has “low” resiliency due to low water quality in the middle and lower river, low abundance of fish per collection record, a small and reduced population, and overall simple occurrence spatial arrangement. A full analysis for each unit's resiliency can be found in the SSA report.

    Table 2—Current Species Resiliency Summary of the Trispot Darter Approximate abundance Occurrence extent Occurrence complexity Physical
  • habitat
  • Connectivity Water
  • quality
  • Hydrologic
  • regime
  • Overall
  • condition
  • Little Canoe Creek Low Low High Low Low Low Low Moderate. Ballplay Creek Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low. Conasauga River Low Low Low Low Moderate Low Low Low. Coosawattee River Low Low Low Moderate Moderate Low Low Low.
    Holiday Darter

    For our analysis we considered seven populations: Conasauga River, Talking Rock Creek, Ellijay River, Mountaintown Creek, Amicalola Creek, Etowah River, and Shoal Creek.

    Current Condition of Holiday Darter

    Six of the seven populations for holiday darter are estimated to have low resiliency. The exception is Amicalola Creek, where the fish is still found in 80 percent of the watershed that it occupied historically, and because it is known to occur in Amicalola Creek, Little Amicalola Creek, Cochran Creek, and Gab Creek, it has a moderate spatial occurrence complexity. The habitat elements were also ranked as moderate for Amicalola Creek, giving that population an overall condition of moderate. By comparison, the habitat elements were also moderate or high for the Etowah River, but this population had low population element rankings, leading to an estimate of low overall resiliency. A full analysis for each population's resiliency can be found in the SSA report.

    Connectivity is an important aspect of representation because it provides for the exchange of novel and beneficial adaptations and migration to more suitable habitat (should it be necessary). Currently, all historically occupied ecoregions continue to be occupied by holiday darters, so we can conclude that all known genetic, morphological, and behavioral variability are still represented across the range. However, connectivity is reduced for the species range-wide. Dams have completely isolated the seven populations into four groups. The upper Etowah River-Amicalola Creek populations are isolated by Alatoona Dam; the Talking Rock Creek population is isolated by Carters Re-regulation Dam; and the Ellijay River and Mountaintown Creek populations are isolated by Carters Dam. The Conasauga River and Holly Creek populations are prevented from dispersing to the other populations by those same dams. The Shoal Creek population is isolated by large dams on the Coosa River. Where dams do not fragment habitat, long reaches of unoccupied habitat are present between populations, indicating that migration between populations is uncommon or unlikely. Finally, all populations of holiday darter exist on the periphery of the Coosa River basin and have likely reached the upstream limits for the species. It is unlikely that individuals within a population will be able to migrate further upstream if necessary due to changes in environmental conditions, further decreasing the ability of the species to adapt to changing environmental conditions.

    We estimate that the holiday darter currently may have low adaptive potential due to limited representation in six occupied watersheds, decreased connectivity, and confinement to upper reaches of occupied watersheds. Overall representation is considered to be low. Redundancy is characterized by having multiple resilient and representative populations distributed throughout its range. Because all but one population of holiday darter exhibit low resiliency, the species is considered to also have low redundancy. All populations have experienced some declines, may have low numbers, or have low spatial complexity. Redundancy is present within the Coosawattee River, with three populations still extant, but is still classified as “low” due to low resiliency of three populations.

    In the occupied areas of the Conasauga and Etowah Rivers, the majority of the records for the species are on U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land, which is noted for having good water quality and suitable habitat for holiday darters. For our analysis, we gave populations low resilience if they had poor population elements, even if the habitat elements were moderate or high. Second, we declined to consider the species to have better than low representation and redundancy if the populations didn't have better than low resiliency. Inconsistent survey methodologies and lack of standard collection records also creates uncertainty in any analysis of trends or the ability to compare data across years. The best available data does not indicate a declining trend in abundance, and it is likely that the low abundance (and, therefore, low resiliency) indicated in our analysis is due to the species being naturally rare and difficult to detect.

    Table 3—Current Species Resiliency Summary of the Holiday Darter Approximate
  • abundance
  • Occurrence
  • extent
  • Occurrence
  • complexity
  • Physical
  • habitat
  • Connectivity Water
  • quality
  • Hydrologic
  • regime
  • Overall
  • condition
  • Conasauga River Low Low Low Moderate High Moderate Moderate Low. Talking Rock Creek Low Low Low Moderate High Low Moderate Low. Ellijay River Low Low Low Moderate Moderate Low Low Low. Mountaintown Creek Low Low Low Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Low. Amicalola Creek Moderate Moderate Low Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate. Etowah River Low Low Low Moderate High Moderate High Low. Shoal Creek Low Low Low Moderate Low High Moderate Low.
    Bridled Darter

    For our analysis of the bridled darter we considered six populations: Conasauga River, Holly Creek, Talking Rock Creek, Long Swamp Creek, Amicalola Creek, and the Etowah River.

    Current Condition of Bridled Darter

    All six populations of bridled darter were classified as having low resiliency. Although habitat conditions were moderate or high for many creeks, the low population elements (abundance, extent, and complexity) caused the overall resiliency to be low. Currently, all historically occupied ecoregions are occupied, and all historically occupied watersheds are considered extant. Although populations that exhibit the known genetic, morphological, and behavioral variability are currently extant, they do not exhibit high resiliency, and representation is therefore classified as low. Dams have completely isolated the six populations into three groups. The upper Etowah River-Amicalola Creek-lower Longswamp Creek populations are isolated by Alatoona Dam, and the Talking Rock Creek population is isolated by Carters Re-regulation Dam. The Conasauga River and Holly Creek populations are prevented from dispersing in to the other populations by those same dams. Where dams do not fragment habitat, long reaches of unoccupied habitat are present between populations, indicating that migration between populations is uncommon or unlikely. Redundancy for the bridled darter is characterized by having multiple resilient and representative populations distributed throughout its range. Because all populations of bridled darter exhibit low resiliency, the species is considered to also have low redundancy. All populations have experienced declines in extent of occupied habitat, are found in low numbers, or have low spatial complexity with reduced connectivity.

    In the occupied areas of the Conasauga and Etowah Rivers, the majority of the records for the species are on USFS land, which is noted for having good water quality and suitable habitat for bridled darters. For our analysis, we gave populations low resilience if they had poor population elements, even if the habitat elements were moderate and high. Second, we declined to consider the species to have better than low representation and redundancy if the populations didn't have better than low resiliency. Inconsistent survey methodologies and the lack of standard collection records creates uncertainty in any analysis of trends or the ability to compare data across years. The best available data does not indicate a declining trend in abundance, and it is likely that the low abundance (and, therefore, low resiliency) indicated in our analysis is due to the species being naturally rare and difficult to detect.

    Table 4—Current Species Resiliency Summary of the Bridled Darter Approximate
  • abundance
  • Occurrence
  • extent
  • Occurrence
  • complexity
  • Physical
  • habitat
  • Connectivity Water
  • quality
  • Hydrologic
  • regime
  • Overall
  • condition
  • Conasauga River Low Low Low Moderate High Low Moderate Low. Holly Creek Moderate Low Low Moderate High Low Moderate Low. Talking Rock Creek Low High Low Moderate Low Low Moderate Low. Long Swamp Creek Low Low Low Low Low Low Low Low. Amicalola Creek Moderate Low Low Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Low. Etowah River Low Low Low Moderate High Moderate High Low.
    Risk Factors Influencing Viability for Trispot, Holiday, and Bridled Darters

    As required by the Act, we considered the five factors in assessing whether the three species meet the definition of threatened or endangered species. A multitude of natural and anthropogenic factors may impact the status of species within aquatic systems. The largest threats to the future viability of the trispot, holiday, and bridled darters involve habitat degradation from stressors influencing four habitat elements: Water quality, water quantity, instream habitat, and habitat connectivity (Factor A). All of these factors are exacerbated by the effects of climate change (Factor E). A brief summary of these primary stressors is presented below; for a full description, refer to chapter 4 of the SSA reports for each species.

    Hydrologic Alteration

    Hydrologic alteration in this system has two components: Increases in storm flow frequency and intensity and a decrease in base flows, which together create a “flashy” hydrologic regime. Activities that lead to hydrologic alteration include reservoir construction and operation, water withdrawals, and an increase in impervious surfaces. In a natural forested system, most rainfall soaks into the soil and is carried into nearby streams via subsurface flow. Some evaporates or transpires, and a relatively small amount becomes surface runoff. In an urbanized system with high levels of impervious cover, such as roads, parking lots, and rooftops, this cycle is altered; most stormwater hits impervious surfaces and becomes runoff, which then is channeled quickly to streams via stormwater drain pipes or ditches. Relatively little infiltrates into the soil. As a result, storm flows in the receiving stream are higher and more frequent, although briefer in duration, and base flows are lower. The storm discharge of urban streams can be twice that of rural streams draining a watershed of similar size, and the frequency of channel-forming events can be ten times that of pre-development conditions. These flashy stream flows and frequent, smaller high-flow events negatively affect structural habitat on which the species depends. Increases in flow frequency or intensity can result in channel widening through bank erosion or deepening to accommodate the additional discharge. This results in increased downstream sedimentation and unstable beds, both of which degrade channel complexity, feeding, and refugia habitat for fish species. Increased storm flows, in addition, can cause physical washout of eggs and larval fishes, stress on adults, and negatively alter the stream's food web, affecting many fish species. There is also a decrease in channel complexity and a reduction in in-stream cover and natural substrates like boulders, cobble, and gravel. Hydrologic alteration can also lead to other stressors that negatively affect fish, such as sedimentation and a loss of connected suitable habitat.

    Sedimentation

    Sedimentation can affect fish species by degrading physical habitat used for foraging, sheltering, and spawning; altering food webs and decreasing stream productivity; forcing fish to change their behaviors; and even injuring or killing individual fish. Chronic exposure to sediment has been shown to have negative impacts to fish gills, which in addition to causing gill damage can possibly reduce growth rates. Sedimentation causes reduced visibility, impacting fishes' abilities to feed and communicate.

    A wide range of activities can lead to sedimentation within streams, including agriculture, construction activities, stormwater runoff, unpaved roads, some forestry activities if certified best management practices are not used, utility crossings, and dredging. Historical land use practices have substantially altered hydrological and geological processes such that sediments continue to be input into streams for several decades after those activities cease. Examples of these activities occurring with the range of these species include: Urban impacts in the Springville, Alabama, and Dalton, Georgia, areas; agricultural practices in the Conasauga River basin; and livestock access to streams in the Little Canoe Creek watershed.

    Reduced Connectivity

    Connectivity is a species' ability to disperse to and from habitat patches. Excess groundwater withdrawal can contribute to reduced connectivity if sections of streams become dry for parts of the year. Dams and reservoirs reduce connectivity by creating a physical barrier between fish populations and changing habitat from flowing streams to standing water, which is not suitable habitat for these three darters. Road crossings are also more prevalent in highly populated urban areas, and some road crossings have impassable culverts that reduce connectivity.

    Loss of Riparian Vegetation

    Loss of riparian vegetation means the removal of natural plant communities from the riparian zone of rivers and streams. Removal of riparian vegetation can destabilize stream banks, increasing sedimentation and turbidity; increase the contaminants and nutrients that enter the water from runoff; increase water temperatures and light penetration, which also increases algae production; and alter available habitat by reducing woody plant debris and leaf litter, which in turn decreases overall stream productivity. These fish have adapted to occupy habitats that are surrounded by vegetation, which moderates temperature by blocking solar radiation; provides a source for terrestrial plant material that forms the base of the food web and provides shelter and foraging habitat for the fishes; and helps to maintain clear, clean water and substrate through filtration. Loss of riparian vegetation decreases habitat suitability for the trispot, holiday, and bridled darters. Removal of riparian vegetation has occurred where urban and agricultural activities are prevalent such as increases in development in Dalton, Chatsworth, and Ellijay, and row crop and pastures in the Conasauga basin.

    Contaminants

    Contaminants, including metals, hydrocarbons, pesticides, and other potentially harmful organic and inorganic compounds, can be toxic to fish and are common in urban streams including those within the range of these three darters. Pesticides are frequently found in streams draining agricultural lands, with herbicides being the most commonly detected. Pesticides also are heavily used in urban and suburban areas, and many of these find their way into streams and groundwater. The contamination of the Coosa River with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) has been attributed to the General Electric facility in Rome, Georgia. Although the facility closed in 1998, contaminated sediments are still documented there. In the Coosawattee River, PCBs are also listed as a source of impairment caused by nonpoint sources. These chemicals have toxic effects to the endocrine system, nervous system, reproductive system, blood, skin, and liver of animals and have likely impacted these three darters in the Coosa and Coosawattee Rivers.

    Pesticides and herbicides are frequently found in streams draining agricultural land uses, with herbicides being the most commonly detected. Many agricultural streams still contain dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethan (DDT) and its degradation products. Glyphosates and other inert ingredients found in Roundup can be toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms, causing stress and reduced fitness; Roundup use within the range of these species is prevalent and increasing due to the adoption of “Roundup Ready” crops.

    Agriculture

    Agriculture is another predominant land use within the range of all three darters. Livestock grazing is prevalent in some areas, and poultry farming is also common.

    Poultry Litter: Poultry litter is a mixture of chicken manure, feathers, spilled food, and bedding material that frequently is used to fertilize pastureland or row crops. Each poultry house has an estimated ability to produce up to 100 tons of litter a year. Surface-spreading of litter results in runoff from heavy rains carrying phosphorus and nitrogen from manure into nearby streams. Additionally, repeated or over application of poultry litter can result in phosphorus buildup in the soil. Excess phosphorus and nitrogen in stream systems increases blue-green algae and undesirable aquatic plants that rob water of oxygen, causing fish kills. Endocrine disruptors, such as estrogen, from poultry litter have been identified as a significant stressor to the Conasauga River basin. Estrogens have been found in water and sediment samples within the watershed at concentrations high enough to be disruptive to the endocrine system in fish. Increased levels of estrogens affect reproductive biology and result in reduced breeding success In a recent study of endocrine disruptors on fishes in the Conasauga River, approximately 7.5 percent of male fishes surveyed were found to have female cells in male reproductive organs.

    Livestock access to streams: On many farms, livestock is grazed on pastures adjacent to streams and rivers and livestock is allowed free access to the water. Livestock accessing riparian buffers and, subsequently, the stream proper, leads to habitat destruction and decreased water quality. Livestock can destabilize stream banks, which as discussed above creates increased sediment loads within these small systems. Livestock farming is often confined to the river valleys within the upper Coosa River basin; therefore, on many cattle farms, livestock is grazed on pastures adjacent to streams and rivers, and in some instances livestock is allowed free access to the water. Livestock is produced in every county with streams occupied by the bridled and holiday darters.

    Urbanization

    Urbanization refers to a change in land cover and land use from forests or agriculture to increased density of residential and commercial infrastructure. Urbanization includes a wide variety of stressors on aquatic systems that affect water quantity, water quality, channel structure, and connectivity. Therefore, urbanization is anticipated to increase the magnitude of nearly all other stressors, and urbanization is expected to affect the darters across their range due to their known localities occurring in close vicinity to the growing Atlanta metropolitan area, Chattanooga, Birmingham, and intervening areas with growing human populations and increasing development.

    Weather Events

    Weather events that affect stream flows are considered to be most relevant to these species. Broadly, these events include extreme storms and droughts. Increased flows can cause physical washout of eggs and larval fishes, stress on adults, and alter the production in a stream. Within the range of these darters, extreme flows associated with hurricanes have been reported to have negative effects on stream fish populations. Reduced baseflows due to droughts can cause population declines, habitat loss, reduced water quality (decreased dissolved oxygen and temperature alteration) leading to death, crowding of individuals leading to stress, and decreased reproduction in stream fish populations. Climate models for the southeastern United States project that average annual temperatures will increase, cold days will become less frequent, the freeze-free season will lengthen by up to a month, temperatures exceeding 95 degrees Fahrenheit will increase, heat waves will become longer, and the number of category 5 hurricanes will increase. While these climate models predict wide variability in weather patterns into the future, they suggest that the region will be subjected to more frequent large storms (hurricanes) as well as low flows from droughts.

    Other Stressors

    In our analysis of the factors affecting these species, we found no evidence of population- or species-level impacts from overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes. Also, there was no evidence of any impacts due to disease or predation.

    Conservation Actions Trispot Darter

    The trispot darter is recognized by Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee as a species of concern. This species is listed as Priority 2/High Conservation Concern by the State of Alabama, endangered by the State of Georgia, and threatened by the State of Tennessee. Priority watersheds within the range of the trispot darter have been designated as Strategic Habit Units by the Alabama Rivers and Streams Network. The Strategic Habit Unit project was developed for species restoration and enhancement. Alabama is conducting an analysis and the results are intended to contribute to restoration projects that will improve habitat and water quality for at risk and listed species. The Atlantic Coast Conservancy holds a tract of land within Ballplay Creek that could offer some protection in the watershed. Natural Resources Conservation Service's Working Lands for Wildlife partnership within the basin will help farmers develop and implement strategies to improve water quality.

    Holiday Darter

    The holiday darter is recognized by Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee as a species of concern. It is listed as Priority 1/Highest Conservation Concern by the State of Alabama, endangered by the State of Georgia, and threatened by the State of Tennessee. In general, protections accorded to the holiday darter by the States prohibit direct exploitation of the species.

    Some populations of holiday darter are known from watersheds in which a substantial percentage of lands are owned and managed by the USFS. These populations are found in the Conasauga River, upper Etowah River, and Shoal Creek. In the Conasauga River and Shoal Creek, the majority of current records for the holiday darter are within the boundary of USFS lands. Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee, Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia, and Talladega National Forest in Alabama own and manage natural resources in occupied watersheds in those portions of the holiday darter's range. Management prescriptions implemented by the USFS in areas that overlap with the range of the holiday darter are expected to benefit the species. Specifically, 4.5 miles (mi) (7.2 kilometers (km)) of the Conasauga River is eligible for Congressional Wild River designation and is managed to protect and perpetuate the features that led to the eligibility status. The river is also recognized for its aquatic biodiversity by the USFS, and management strategies employed by both Cherokee and Chattahoochee National Forests within the watershed include designated wilderness areas, recommended wild river, recommended recreational river, black bear habitat management, restoration and maintenance of rare communities, restoration and management of old growth characteristics, and scenic corridors and sensitive viewsheds. These management strategies, which emphasize natural forest communities and water quality are expected to benefit holiday darter within the Conasauga River watershed. The Chattahoochee National Forest management prescriptions within the upper Etowah River also broadly emphasize and promote natural plant communities and so are expected to benefit holiday darter within this watershed. Standards outlined in the Revised Land and Management Plan for National Forests in Alabama (2004) generally protect water and habitat quality in streams. Direct observations of Shoal Creek have found the stream to have good water quality with high levels of dissolved oxygen, stable pH levels, and low sedimentation, confirming the benefits of USFS management strategies to holiday darter habitat.

    Approximately 13.6 mi (21.9 km) of Amicalola Creek are bounded by lands owned and managed by the State of Georgia. Georgia's stated goals for this area are maintenance or enhancement of populations of sensitive species and management of riparian areas to benefit water quality, aquatic resources, and aesthetics. We expect that this provides some benefit to holiday darters in that location. Additionally, approximately 488 acres (ac) (197 hectares (ha)) of these lands were purchased with the assistance of a Recovery Land Acquisition Grant that prioritized the conservation of aquatic resources and species. Therefore, it is anticipated that State ownership and management within the Amicalola Creek watershed will benefit the long-term survival of holiday darters.

    Within the Conasauga River basin, Natural Resources Conservation Service has begun a Working Lands for Wildlife project that provides technical and financial assistance to help landowners improve water quality and help producers plan and implement a variety of conservation activities or practices that benefit aquatic species. Holiday darter may benefit in the future from water quality improvements in portions of the Conasauga River that are affected by agricultural practices as a result of the Working Lands for Wildlife project.

    Priority watersheds within the range of the holiday darter have been designated as Strategic Habit Units by the Alabama Rivers and Streams Network. The Strategic Habit Unit project was developed for species restoration and enhancement. Watersheds occupied by holiday darter that have been designated as Strategic Habit Units are the Choccolocco Creek watershed (which includes the Shoal Creek populations) and the Oostanaula River watershed (which includes the Conasauga and Coosawattee River populations).

    Bridled Darter

    The bridled darter is recognized by Georgia and Tennessee as a species of concern. It is listed as endangered by the State of Georgia. In general, protections accorded to species that are listed by the States prohibit their direct exploitation.

    Some populations of bridled darter are known from watersheds in which a substantial percentage of lands are owned and managed by the USFS. These populations are found in the Conasauga River and upper Etowah River. In the Conasauga River, the majority of current records for the bridled darter are within the proclamation boundary of USFS lands. Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia own and manage lands and natural resources in occupied watersheds in those portions of the bridled darter's range. Management prescriptions implemented by the USFS in areas that overlap with the range of the holiday darter (see discussion above) are also expected to benefit the bridled darter.

    Future Scenarios

    For the purpose of this assessment, we define viability as the ability of the species to sustain populations in the wild over time. To address uncertainty associated with the degree and extent of potential future stressors and their impacts on species' requisites, the 3Rs were assessed using three plausible future scenarios. These scenarios were based, in part, on the results of urbanization and climate models that predict changes in habitat used by the trispot, holiday, and bridled darters. The models that were used to forecast both urbanization and climate change projected 50 years into the future. Using the best available data to forecast plausible future scenarios allows the Service to determine if a species may become an endangered species in the foreseeable future. For more detailed information on these models and their projections, please see the SSA reports.

    In the Status Quo scenario, current environmental regulations and policy, land use management techniques, and conservation measures remain the same over the next 50 years. We anticipate the current trend in greenhouse gas emissions to continue and moderate impacts from extreme weather events including intense drought, floods, and storm events to occur. In this scenario, rapid urbanization will continue at the current estimated rate for the Piedmont region of the southeastern United States, which will increase demand for water resources.

    In the Best Case scenario, we predict wider adoption of conservation measures and policies, which involves watershed-scale conservation plans (Working Lands for Wildlife and watershed habitat conservation plans) and enacting a water policy for Alabama. In this scenario, we still expect rapid urban growth, albeit at a slower rate than under the other two scenarios. Under the Best Case scenario, rapidly growing urban areas would address environmental concerns and implement water conservation measures and green infrastructure. If implemented, these actions should lessen the demand on water resources (requiring fewer drinking water supply reservoirs) and minimize urban effects on streams. While large numbers of roads will still be constructed, under the Best Case scenario road crossings will be constructed that allow for fish passage. In this scenario we expect carbon emissions to peak before 2020 resulting in a lower probability of extreme weather conditions negatively affecting stream fishes, as compared to the Status Quo or Worst Case scenarios.

    In the Worst Case scenario, we anticipate major negative effects in aquatic ecosystems as a result of rapid urbanization. In conjunction with rapid urban growth, we project that there will be a general lack of conservation measures and policies being implemented at the local, regional, or national levels. Water demand will increase with population, and new reservoir construction will take place. In addition to rapid urbanization, carbon emissions are projected to continue to increase above the current levels in this scenario, resulting in a higher probability of extreme weather events that can negatively affect fish species. In areas that remain in agricultural use, there will be an increased amount of herbicide and poultry litter spreading and no protective measures implemented to address water quality issues. Under this scenario, we anticipate a general decline in available suitable habitat, population size, and abundance.

    While we consider all three of these scenarios to be plausible, we acknowledge that each has a different probability of materializing at different times. A discrete range of probabilities was used to describe the likelihood that each scenario will occur. The Status Quo scenario was seen as “very likely” to occur in 10 years and “likely” to occur at 50 years. The Best Case and Worst Case scenarios were seen as less likely to occur (ranging from “unlikely,” “as likely as not,” and “likely”). Although they were part of the analysis, and the range of possibilities considered, because of the significantly lower probability of their occurrence they are not discussed in detail below. However, a table summarizing all scenarios for each species is provided below, and a full description of all three analyses can be found in the SSA report for each species.

    Trispot Darter

    In the Status Quo scenario, two populations of trispot darter, Ballplay Creek and Conasauga River, are expected to become extirpated, while the remaining two, Little Canoe Creek and Coosawattee River, are projected to persist in low resiliency condition. Because of the loss of darters predicted for Salacoa Creek, the fish will be found only in the Coosawattee River mainstem (no longer in any tributaries), making it more vulnerable to catastrophic events. Redundancy decreases to two populations, which are completely isolated from one another due to the Weiss Dam. Genetic material will not be exchanged, reducing adaptive potential of the species. Summaries of the analysis of all three scenarios are provided in the table below.

    Table 5—Future Condition of the Trispot Darter by the Year 2070 Under Three Future Scenarios Management unit Status quo Best case Worst case Little Canoe Low Moderate Likely Extirpated. Ballplay Likely Extirpated Low Likely Extirpated. Conasauga Likely Extirpated Moderate Likely Extirpated. Coosawattee Low Moderate Likely Extirpated. Holiday Darter

    In the Status Quo scenario, three extant populations of holiday darter are expected to become extirpated, while four populations will continue to be extant 50 years in the future. This will decrease overall redundancy for the species as well as representation (the Coosawattee River will no longer be represented with the extirpation of the Talking Rock Creek, Ellijay River, and Mountaintown Creek populations). Physiographic representation is projected to decline over the next 50 years because the holiday darter's range is expected to contract to the upstream stream reaches that are owned and managed by State and Federal agencies within the Blue Ridge physiographic province. Representation is projected to remain within the Ridge and Valley of Alabama. Summaries of the analysis of all three scenarios are provided in the table below.

    Table 6—Future Condition of the Holiday Darter by the Year 2070 Under Three Future Scenarios Population Status quo Best case Worst case Conasauga River Low Moderate Low. Talking Rock Creek Likely Extirpated Likely Extirpated Likely Extirpated. Mountaintown Creek Likely Extirpated Likely Extirpated Likely Extirpated. Ellijay River Likely Extirpated Low Likely Extirpated. Amicalola Creek Low Moderate Low. Etowah River Low Low Low. Shoal Creek Low Low Likely Extirpated. Bridled Darter

    In the Status Quo scenario, two populations of bridled darter are expected to become extirpated (Talking Rock Creek and Long Swamp Creek). This will decrease overall redundancy for the species as well as representation (the Coosawattee River will no longer be represented with the extirpation of the Talking Rock Creek population). Physiographic representation is projected to decline over the next 50 years because the bridled darter's range is expected to contract to upstream stream reaches that are owned and managed by state and federal agencies within the Blue Ridge physiographic province. Summaries of the analysis of all three scenarios are provided in the table below.

    Table 7—Future Condition of the Bridled Darter by the Year 2070 Under Three Future Scenarios Population Status quo Best case Worst case Conasauga River Low Moderate Low. Holly Creek Low Low Likely Extirpated. Talking Rock Creek Likely Extirpated Low Likely Extirpated. Long Swamp Creek Likely Extirpated Low Likely Extirpated. Amicalola Creek Low Moderate Low. Etowah River Low Moderate Low. Findings and Determination

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, we may list a species based on: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Listing actions may be warranted based on any of the above threat factors, singly or in combination.

    The Act defines an endangered species as any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” and a threatened species as any species “that is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future.”

    As required by the Act, we considered the five factors in assessing whether the three species are endangered or threatened throughout all of their ranges. We examined the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats faced by the species. We reviewed the petition, information available in our files, and other available published and unpublished information, and we consulted with recognized fish experts and other Federal and State agencies.

    Bridled Darter

    Stressors identified for the bridled darter include destruction of habitat due to urbanization, channel modification and loss of riparian vegetation, decreased water quality from agricultural activities, severity of climate events like storms and droughts, contaminants, and reduced connectivity from dams, road crossings, and culverts. While the species may be exposed to some or all of these stressors, it continues to persist in all of the streams it occupied historically. Our future scenarios were developed using models that predicted out 50 years; however, the short lifespan of the species (2-3 years) and the lack of evidence of threats directly impacting the species creates uncertainty when predicting the species' response to threats into the future. Forecasting beyond eight to ten generations would be speculative, and we do not have robust population data that could predict how the bridled darter may respond to threats beyond a 20-year timeframe. Accordingly, we have concluded that 20 years is the foreseeable future for the bridled darter.

    While our analysis indicates a low abundance for the species currently, the best available data do not indicate a declining trend in abundance. Rather, it is likely that the low abundance (and, therefore, low resiliency) is due to the species being naturally rare and difficult to detect. The inconsistent survey methodology and lack of standard collection records also creates uncertainty in any analysis of trends or the ability to compare data across years. More importantly, within the occupied areas of the Conasauga and Etowah Rivers, the majority of the records for the species are on USFS land, which is noted for having good water quality and suitable habitat for bridled darters, and we expect this situation to continue into the foreseeable future. In fact, even 30 years beyond our foreseeable future timeframe, under the most likely scenario, we expect that the bridled darter will still persist in four of six populations (Conasauga River, Holly Creek, Amicalola Creek, and Etowah River).

    Our review of the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the bridled darter is not in danger of extinction nor likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all of its range.

    Because we determined that the bridled darter is not in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future throughout all of its range, we will consider whether there are any significant portions of its range in which the bridled darter is in danger of extinction or likely to become so. See the Final Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase “Significant Portion of Its Range” in the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of “Endangered Species” and “Threatened Species” (79 FR 37577, July 1, 2014). We evaluated whether there is substantial information indicating that there are any portions of the species' range: (1) That may be “significant,” and (2) where the species may be in danger of extinction. In practice, a key part of identifying portions appropriate for further analysis is whether the threats are geographically concentrated. The threats affecting the bridled darter are occurring throughout its entire range; therefore, there is not a meaningful geographical concentration of threats. As a result, even if we were to undertake a detailed “significant portion of its range” analysis, there would not be any portions of the species' range where the threats are harming the species to a greater degree such that it may be in danger of extinction in that portion. Our review of the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the bridled darter is not in danger of extinction or likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Therefore, we find that listing the bridled darter as an endangered or threatened species under the Act is not warranted at this time.

    Holiday Darter

    Threats previously identified for the holiday darter include destruction of habitat due to urbanization, channel modification and loss of riparian vegetation, decreased water quality from agricultural activities, severity of climate events like storms and droughts, contaminants, and reduced connectivity from dams, road crossings, and culverts. Our analysis shows that while the species may be exposed to some or all of these stressors, it continues to persist in all of the streams it occupied historically. While our future scenarios were developed using models that predicted out 50 years, the short lifespan of the species (3 years) and the lack of evidence of threats directly impacting the species creates uncertainty when predicting the species' response to threats into the future. Forecasting beyond eight to ten generations would be speculative, and we do not have robust population data to support a foreseeable future that could predict how the holiday darter may respond to threats beyond a 20-year timeframe. Accordingly, we have concluded that 20 years is the foreseeable future for the holiday darter.

    While our analysis indicates a low abundance for the species, the best available data do not indicate a declining trend in abundance. Rather, it is likely that the low abundance (and, therefore, low resiliency) is due to the species being naturally rare and difficult to detect. The inconsistent survey methodology and lack of standard collection records also creates uncertainty in any analysis of trends or the ability to compare data across years. For example, nearly half of the collection records for holiday darters in the Conasauga River did not provide numeric data for the number of individuals collected, so they represent only presence data. In the occupied areas of the Conasauga and Etowah Rivers, the majority of the records for the species are on USFS land, which is noted for having good water quality and suitable habitat for holiday darters, and we expect this situation to continue into the foreseeable future. We expect that, for the foreseeable future, the holiday darter will continue to have four to six populations, with only the Talking Rock Creek and Long Swamp Creek populations projected to be extirpated. We expect this scenario to continue under the `status quo' scenario to the 50-year timeframe, 30 years beyond the foreseeable future. Even under the `worst case' scenario, three populations are expected to remain extant into the future.

    Our review of the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the holiday darter is not in danger of extinction nor likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future, throughout all of its range.

    Because we determined that the holiday darter is not in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future throughout all of its range, we will consider whether there are any significant portions of its range in which the holiday darter is in danger of extinction or likely to become so. See the Final Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase “Significant Portion of Its Range” in the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of “Endangered Species” and “Threatened Species” (79 FR 37577, July 1, 2014). We evaluated whether there is substantial information indicating that there are any portions of the species' range: (1) That may be “significant,” and (2) where the species may be in danger of extinction. In practice, a key part of identifying portions appropriate for further analysis is whether the threats are geographically concentrated. The threats affecting the holiday darter are occurring throughout its entire range; therefore, there is not a meaningful geographical concentration of threats. As a result, even if we were to undertake a detailed “significant portion of its range” analysis, there would not be any portions of the species' range where the threats are harming the species to a greater degree such that it may be in danger of extinction in that portion. Our review of the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the holiday darter is not in danger of extinction or likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Therefore, we find that listing the holiday darter as an endangered or threatened species under the Act is not warranted at this time.

    Proposal To List the Trispot Darter

    Our analysis of the trispot darter's current and future conditions, as well as the conservation efforts discussed above, show that the population and habitat factors used to determine the resiliency, representation, and redundancy for trispot darter will continue to decline such that it is likely to become in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of the range within the foreseeable future.

    We considered whether the trispot darter is presently in danger of extinction and determined that proposing endangered status is not appropriate. The current conditions as assessed in the trispot darter SSA report show extant populations in four river systems (MUs), including 39 river mi (63 river km) of occupied habitat in the Conasauga River and the Little Canoe Creek population with moderate resiliency. As with the other two darter species, the best available data do not indicate a declining trend in abundance, and it is likely that the low abundance (and, therefore, low resiliency) indicated in our analysis is due to the species being naturally rare and difficult to detect. The inconsistent survey methodology and lack of standard collection records also creates uncertainty in any analysis of trends or the ability to compare data across years. The trispot darter continues to exhibit representation across its range, and extant populations remain across the range. While threats are currently acting on the species and many of those threats are expected to continue into the future, we did not find that the species is currently in danger of extinction throughout all of its range.

    After reviewing our analysis of current and plausible future conditions of the trispot darter, we concluded that the resiliency, redundancy, and representation are being impacted by threats and the species has reduced viability. While our future scenarios were developed using models that predicted out 50 years, the short lifespan of the species (2-3 years) and the lack of evidence of threats directly impacting the species creates uncertainty when predicting the species' response to threats into the future. Forecasting beyond eight to ten generations would be speculative, and we do not have robust population data to support a foreseeable future that could predict how the trispot darter may respond to threats beyond a 20-year timeframe. Accordingly, we have concluded that 20 years is the foreseeable future for the bridled darter.

    It is true that 30 years beyond our foreseeable future timeframe, the Status Quo scenario predicts the trispot darter will persist in both the Little Canoe and Coosawattee populations. However, considering this species' vulnerability to a loss of connectivity between breeding and non-breeding habitats and the effect that situation has on reproductive success, we expect negative impacts to the resiliency, redundancy, and representation of the species in the foreseeable future. The trispot darter's unique reproductive strategy of utilizing distinct areas of rivers and streams for breeding and non-breeding habitats makes the loss of connectivity especially detrimental to viability. In contrast to the holiday and bridled darters, a lack of protected lands within the current range of trispot darters creates more uncertainty regarding land use, threats, and the ability of these four populations to withstand the expected loss of one or two populations. This expected reduction in both the number and distribution of resilient populations is likely to make the species vulnerable to catastrophic disturbance, and thus put the species at an increased risk of extinction in the foreseeable future. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the trispot darter is warranted and propose to list the species as threatened in accordance with sections 3(20) and 4(a)(1) of the Act.

    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may warrant listing if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Because we have determined that the trispot darter is threatened throughout all of its range, no portion of its range can be “significant” for purposes of the definitions of “endangered species” and “threatened species.” See the Final Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase “Significant Portion of Its Range” in the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of “Endangered Species” and “Threatened Species” (79 FR 37577, July 1, 2014). While it is the Service's position under this policy that undertaking no further analysis of “significant portion of its range” in this circumstance is consistent with the language of the Act, we recognize that the policy is currently under judicial review, so we also took the additional step of considering whether there could be any significant portions of the species' range where the species is in danger of extinction. We evaluated whether there is substantial information indicating that there are any portions of the species' range: (1) That may be “significant,” and (2) where the species may be in danger of extinction. In practice, a key part of identifying portions appropriate for further analysis is whether the threats are geographically concentrated. The threats affecting the species are throughout its entire range; therefore, there is not a meaningful geographical concentration of threats. As a result, even if we were to undertake a detailed “significant portion of its range” analysis, there would not be any portions of the species' range where the threats are harming the species to a greater degree such that it may be in danger of extinction in that portion.

    Critical Habitat for Trispot Darter

    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and implementing regulations in 50 CFR 424.12, require that, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, we designate critical habitat at the time the species is determined to be an endangered or threatened species. Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as:

    (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act, on which are found those physical or biological features

    (a) essential to the conservation of the species, and

    (b) which may require special management considerations or protection; and

    (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act, upon a determination by the Secretary of the Interior that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species.

    Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent when any of the following situations exist: (1) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity, and identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the degree of threat to the species, or (2) such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species. The regulations also provide that, in determining whether a designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species, the factors that the Service may consider include but are not limited to whether the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of a species' habitat or range is not a threat to the species, or whether any areas meet the definition of “critical habitat” (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)(ii)).

    As discussed above, we did not identify any imminent threat of take attributed to collection or vandalism for the trispot darter, and there is no indication that identification and mapping of critical habitat is likely to initiate any such threats. Therefore, in the absence of finding that the designation of critical habitat would increase threats to the species, if there are benefits to the species from a critical habitat designation, a finding that designation is prudent is appropriate.

    The potential benefits of designation may include: (1) Triggering consultation under section 7 of the Act, in new areas for actions in which there may be a Federal nexus where it would not otherwise occur because, for example, it is unoccupied; (2) focusing conservation activities on the most essential features and areas; (3) providing educational benefits to State or county governments or private entities; and (4) preventing people from causing inadvertent harm to the protected species. Because designation of critical habitat would not likely increase the degree of threat to the species and may provide some measure of benefit, designation of critical habitat is prudent for the trispot darter.

    Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(2)) further state that critical habitat is not determinable when one or both of the following situations exists: (1) Information sufficient to perform required analyses of the impacts of the designation is lacking; or (2) the biological needs of the species are not sufficiently well known to permit identification of an area as critical habitat. For the trispot darter, a careful assessment of the economic impacts that may occur due to a critical habitat designation is ongoing, and we are in the process of working with the States and other partners in acquiring the complex information needed to perform that assessment. Until these efforts are complete, information sufficient to perform a required analysis of the impacts of the designation is lacking, and, therefore, we find designation of critical habitat for the trispot darter to be not determinable at this time.

    Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened species under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness and conservation by Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies, private organizations, and individuals. The Act encourages cooperation with the States and other countries, and calls for recovery actions to be carried out for listed species. The protection required by Federal agencies and the prohibitions against certain activities are discussed, in part, below.

    The primary purpose of the Act is the conservation of endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The ultimate goal of such conservation efforts is the recovery of these listed species, so that they no longer need the protective measures of the Act. Subsection 4(f) of the Act calls for the Service to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. The recovery planning process involves the identification of actions that are necessary to halt or reverse the species' decline by addressing the threats to its survival and recovery. The goal of this process is to restore listed species to a point where they are secure, self-sustaining, and functioning components of their ecosystems.

    Recovery planning includes the development of a recovery outline shortly after a species is listed and preparation of a draft and final recovery plan. The recovery outline guides the immediate implementation of urgent recovery actions and describes the process to be used to develop a recovery plan. Revisions of the plan may be done to address continuing or new threats to the species, as new substantive information becomes available. The recovery plan also identifies recovery criteria for review of when a species may be ready for reclassification from endangered to threatened (“downlisting”) or removal from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife or Plants (“delisting”), and methods for monitoring recovery progress. Recovery plans also establish a framework for agencies to coordinate their recovery efforts and provide estimates of the cost of implementing recovery tasks. Recovery teams (composed of species experts, Federal and State agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders) are often established to develop recovery plans. When completed, the recovery outlines, draft recovery plans, and the final recovery plans will be available on our Web site (http://www.fws.gov/endangered), or from our Alabama Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Implementation of recovery actions generally requires the participation of a broad range of partners, including other Federal agencies, States, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and private landowners. Examples of recovery actions include habitat restoration (e.g., restoration of native vegetation), research, captive propagation and reintroduction, and outreach and education. The recovery of many listed species cannot be accomplished solely on Federal lands because their range may occur primarily or solely on non-Federal lands. To achieve recovery of these species requires cooperative conservation efforts on private, State, and Tribal lands. If this species is listed, funding for recovery actions will be available from a variety of sources, including Federal budgets, State programs, and cost share grants for non-Federal landowners, the academic community, and nongovernmental organizations. In addition, pursuant to section 6 of the Act, the States of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee would be eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions that promote the protection or recovery of the trispot darter. Information on our grant programs that are available to aid species recovery can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/grants.

    Although the trispot darter is only proposed for listing under the Act at this time, please let us know if you are interested in participating in recovery efforts for this species. Additionally, we invite you to submit any new information on these species whenever it becomes available and any information you may have for recovery planning purposes (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as an endangered or threatened species and with respect to its critical habitat, if any is designated. Regulations implementing this interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR part 402. Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with the Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a species proposed for listing or result in destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a species is listed subsequently, section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency must enter into consultation with the Service.

    Federal agency actions within the species' habitat that may require conference or consultation or both as described in the preceding paragraph may include, but are not limited to, management and any other landscape-altering activities on Federal lands administered by the Service, USFS, and National Park Service; issuance of section 404 Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) permits by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and construction and maintenance of roads or highways by the Federal Highway Administration.

    Under section 4(d) of the Act, the Service has discretion to issue regulations that we find necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of threatened species. The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to threatened wildlife. The prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, as applied to threatened wildlife and codified at 50 CFR 17.31, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take (which includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect; or to attempt any of these) threatened wildlife within the United States or on the high seas. In addition, it is unlawful to import; export; deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any listed species. It is also illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken illegally. Certain exceptions apply to employees of the Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, other Federal land management agencies, and State conservation agencies.

    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving threatened wildlife under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.32. With regard to threatened wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following purposes: For scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species, for economic hardship, for zoological exhibition, for educational purposes, or for other special purposes consistent with the purposes of the Act. There are also certain statutory exemptions from the prohibitions, which are found in sections 9 and 10 of the Act.

    Section 4(d) of the Act specifies that, for threatened species, the Secretary shall issue such regulations as he deems necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the species. This discretion includes authority to prohibit by regulation with respect to a threatened species any act prohibited by section 9(a)(1) of the Act. At 50 CFR 17.31(a), the Service, by delegation from the Secretary, exercised this discretion to extend the take and other prohibitions set forth in section 9(a)(1) of the Act to all threatened species. The provisions at 50 CFR 17.31(c), however, also provide that the blanket prohibitions included in § 17.31(a) do not apply if the Service promulgates a rule under section 4(d) of the Act tailored to provide for the conservation needs of a specific threatened species. During the public comment period on this proposed rule, we are seeking comments on whether a section 4(d) rule is appropriate for trispot darter.

    It is our policy, as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of a proposed listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the range of the species proposed for listing.

    Activities that the Service believes could potentially harm the trispot darter and result in “take” include, but are not limited to:

    (1) Unauthorized handling or collecting of the species;

    (2) Destruction or alteration of the species' habitat by discharge of fill material, dredging, snagging, impounding, channelization, or modification of stream channels or banks;

    (3) Destruction of riparian habitat directly adjacent to stream channels that causes significant increases in sedimentation and destruction of natural stream banks or channels;

    (4) Discharge of pollutants into a stream or into areas hydrologically connected to a stream occupied by the species;

    (5) Diversion or alteration of surface or ground water flow; and

    (6) Pesticide/herbicide applications in violation of label restrictions.

    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the Alabama Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Required Determinations Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (1) Be logically organized;

    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), need not be prepared in connection with listing a species as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994 (Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available to tribes. There are no tribal lands located within the range of this species.

    References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in the SSA report is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Alabama Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Unified Listing Team and the Alabama Ecological Services Field Office.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 17.11(h) by adding an entry for “Darter, trispot” in alphabetical order under FISHES to read as set forth below:
    § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife.

    (h) * * *

    Common name Scientific name Where listed Status Listing citations and applicable rules *         *         *         *         *         *         * Fishes *         *         *         *         *         *         * Darter, trispot Etheostoma trisella Wherever found T [Federal Register citation when published as a final rule.] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: September 7, 2017. James W. Kurth, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21350 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2017-0056; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BC44 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Threatened Species Status for the Candy Darter AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; 12-month finding.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the candy darter (Etheostoma osburni) as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, as amended (Act), and to designate critical habitat. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the candy darter is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list the candy darter (Etheostoma osburni), a freshwater fish species from Virginia and West Virginia, as a threatened species under Act. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to this species. The effect of this regulation will be to add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before December 4, 2017. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by November 20, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R5-ES-2017-0056, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R5-ES-2017-0056; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Public Comments below for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Schmidt, Project Leader, West Virginia Ecological Services Field Office, 694 Beverly Pike, Elkins, WV 26241-9475; by telephone 304-636-6586 or by facsimile 304-636-7824. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Act, if a species is determined to be an endangered or threatened species throughout all or a significant portion of its range, we are required to promptly publish a proposal in the Federal Register and make a determination on our proposal within 1 year. Critical habitat shall be designated, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, for any species determined to be an endangered or threatened species under the Act. Listing a species as an endangered or threatened species and designations and revisions of critical habitat can be completed only by issuing a rule.

    This rule proposes adding the candy darter (Etheostoma osburni) as a threatened species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 17.11(h)).

    The basis for our action. Under the Act, we can determine that a species is an endangered or threatened species based on any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. We have determined that hybridization (Factor E) with the variegate darter (Etheostoma variatum) is the primary threat to the candy darter.

    Peer review. A team of Service biologists prepared a Species Status Assessment Report (SSA Report) for the candy darter. The SSA Report represents a compilation and assessment of the best scientific and commercial information available concerning the status of the candy darter, including the past, present, and future factors influencing the species. We solicited independent peer review of the SSA Report by six individuals with expertise in darters; fisheries, population, or landscape ecology; genetics and conservation genetics; and/or speciation and conservation biology; we received comments from four of the six peer reviewers. The SSA Report can be found in http://www.regulations.gov under the FWS-R5-ES-2017-0056 docket; on the Southwest Virginia Ecological Services Field Office Web site at: https://www.fws.gov/northeast/virginiafield/svfo/southwesternvirginia.html; and on the West Virginia Ecological Services Field Office Web site at: https://www.fws.gov/westvirginiafieldoffice/endangeredspecies.html.

    Information Requested Public Comments

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek new information not already included in the SSA Report concerning:

    (1) The candy darter's biology, range, and population trends, including:

    (a) Biological or ecological requirements of the species, including habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering;

    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;

    (c) Historical and current range including distribution patterns;

    (d) Historical and current population levels and current and projected trends; and

    (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, its habitat, or both.

    (2) Factors that may affect the continued existence of the species, which may include habitat modification or destruction, overutilization, disease, predation, the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, or other natural or manmade factors.

    (3) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning any threats (or lack thereof) to this species and existing regulations that may be addressing those threats.

    (4) The historical and current status, range, distribution, and population size of this species, including the locations of any additional populations of this species.

    (5) The occurrence of variegate darters within the range of candy darters and evidence of further hybridization between the two species.

    (6) The potential for, and timeframe associated with, additional introductions of the variegate darter into unaffected watersheds.

    (7) Specific prohibitions and exceptions to those prohibitions that may be necessary and advisable for the candy darter's conservation. We intend to publish, as appropriate, a more tailored proposed rule with provisions set forth under section 4(d) of the Act for public review and comment in the future. Activities we are considering for potential exemption under a section 4(d) rule include, but are not necessarily limited to, exceptions for:

    (a) Specific instream and bank habitat restoration activities that will benefit the candy darter, including revegetation of riparian corridors, natural stream channel design, and redesigning and removal of stream crossing structures;

    (b) water quality improvement actions such as stream liming;

    (c) genetic and population monitoring;

    (d) captive propagation in conjunction with a Service-approved Captive Propagation Plan;

    (e) sustainable forestry practices that primarily occur adjacent to, or upslope from, but do not occur within streams occupied or likely to be occupied by the candy darter and that are implemented according to well-defined and enforceable best management practices (e.g., Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council); and

    (f) other activities that do not:

    (i) Facilitate the spread of candy darter/variegate darter hybridization;

    (ii) increase sedimentation that negatively affects feeding, breeding, sheltering, or dispersal; and

    (iii) cause a change in water temperature that negatively affects feeding, breeding, sheltering, or dispersal.

    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

    Please note that submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is a threatened or endangered species must be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, West Virginia Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Public Hearing

    Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received within 45 days after the date of publication of this proposed rule in the Federal Register. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule public hearings on this proposal, if any are requested, and announce the dates, times, and places of those hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 15 days before the hearing.

    Peer Review

    In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we sought the expert opinions of six appropriate and independent specialists regarding the SSA Report that supports this proposed rule and received comments from four of the six peer reviewers. These peer reviewers have expertise in freshwater fisheries, aquatic ecology, and genetics. The purpose of peer review is to ensure that our listing determinations and critical habitat designations are based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. See the Executive Summary—Peer Review section above.

    Previous Federal Action

    We identified the candy darter as a Category 2 candidate species in the December 30, 1982, Review of Vertebrate Wildlife; Notice of Review (50 FR 58454). Category 2 candidates were defined as species for which we had information that proposed listing was possibly appropriate, but conclusive data on biological vulnerability and threats were not available to support a proposed rule at that time. The species remained so designated in subsequent annual Candidate Notices of Review (CNOR) (50 FR 37958, September 18, 1985; 54 FR 554, January 6, 1989; 56 FR 58804, November 21, 1991; and 59 FR 58982, November 15, 1994). In the February 28, 1996, CNOR (61 FR 7596), we discontinued the designation of Category 2 species as candidates; therefore, the candy darter was no longer a candidate species.

    In 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) petitioned the Service to list 404 aquatic, riparian, and wetland species from the Southeastern United States under the Act. The candy darter was among these 404 species. On September 27, 2011, the Service published a substantial 90-day finding for 374 of the 404 species, including the candy darter, soliciting information about, and initiating status reviews for, those species (76 FR 59836). In 2015, CBD filed a complaint against the Service for failure to complete a 12-month finding for the candy darter within the statutory timeframe. The Service entered into a settlement agreement with CBD to address the complaint; the court-approved settlement agreement specified that a 12-month finding for the candy darter would be delivered to the Federal Register by September 30, 2017.

    We will also be providing a proposal to designate critical habitat for the candy darter under the Act in the near future.

    Background

    A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, and ecology of the candy darter (Etheostoma osburni) is presented in the species status assessment (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 2017, entire; available http://www.regulations.gov under the FWS-R5-ES-2017-0056 docket). The candy darter is recognized by the American Fisheries Society (Page et al. 2013, p. 139) as a valid taxon and is listed as such in the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) database (http://www.itis.gov, 2016). We have no information to suggest there is scientific disagreement about the candy darter's taxonomy; therefore, we accept that the candy darter is a valid taxon based upon its recognition by the American Fisheries Society and its ITIS designation.

    The candy darter is a small, freshwater fish endemic to second order and larger streams and rivers within portions of the upper Kanawha River basin, which is synonymous with the Gauley and greater New River watersheds in Virginia and West Virginia. The species is described as a habitat specialist, being most often associated with faster flowing stream segments with coarse bottom substrate (e.g., gravel, cobble, rocks, and boulders), which provides shelter for individual darters and breeding habitat (see below). Candy darters are intolerant of excessive sedimentation and stream bottom embeddedness (the degree to which gravel, cobble, rocks, and boulders are surrounded by, or covered with, fine sediment particles).

    The available candy darter occurrence data, all of which were collected after the aquatic habitat in the region was degraded in the late 1800s by widespread forest clearing, indicate that the species prefers cool or cold water temperatures, but that warm water conditions may also be tolerated. The fish are opportunistic feeders, eating mostly benthic macroinvertebrates such as mayflies and caddisflies. In streams maintaining favorable habitat conditions, candy darters can be abundant throughout the stream continuum.

    Candy darters are sexually mature at 2 years of age and live to a maximum age of 3 years. They are classified as brood-hiding, benthic spawners. In this reproductive strategy, the female deposits her eggs in the pebble and gravel substrate between larger cobbles and boulders, and an attendant male simultaneously fertilizes the eggs as they are released. During spawning, males become aggressively territorial, and in all observed instances of spawning aggression, the larger male prevailed and fertilized the female's eggs. Female candy darters produce a relatively low number of eggs (average 170 per individual) as compared to other fish, with no significant deviation from 1:1 sex ratios.

    We are uncertain whether individual candy darters complete their lifecycle within single riffles or riffle complexes spanning just a few hundred meters or are capable of longer, seasonally mediated movements within suitable habitat. While data are sparse regarding the minimum habitat size and degree of genetic connectivity required for candy darter population viability, the historical distribution of the species and the fundamentals of conservation biology suggest these factors are important to the species.

    Summary of Biological Status and Threats

    The Act directs us to determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any factors affecting its continued existence. We completed a comprehensive assessment of the biological status of the candy darter and prepared a report of the assessment (SSA Report), which provides a thorough account of the species' overall viability using the conservation biology principles of resiliency, redundancy, and representation (collectively, the “3Rs”). We have used the SSA Report's assessment of the candy darter's current and potential future status, based on the factors influencing the species, framed in the context of the 3Rs, to inform our determination of whether the candy darter meets the definition of a threatened or an endangered species (see the Determination section below).

    Because we have included information below about the candy darter's 3Rs, we further define those terms here. Resiliency means having sufficiently large populations for the species to withstand stochastic events (arising from random factors). We can measure resiliency based on metrics of population health; for example, birth versus death rates and population size, if that information exists. Resilient populations are better able to withstand disturbances such as random fluctuations in birth rates (demographic stochasticity), variations in rainfall (environmental stochasticity), or the effects of human activities. Redundancy means having a sufficient number of populations for the species to withstand catastrophic events (such as a rare destructive natural event or episode involving many populations). Redundancy is about spreading the risk and can be measured through the duplication and distribution of populations across the range of the species. Generally, the greater the number of populations a species has distributed over a larger landscape, the better it can withstand catastrophic events. Representation means having the breadth of genetic makeup of the species to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Representation can be measured through the genetic diversity within and among populations and the ecological diversity (also called environmental variation or diversity) of populations across the species' range. The more representation, or diversity, a species has, the more it is capable of adapting to changes (natural or human caused) in its environment.

    In the absence of species-specific genetic and ecological diversity information, we evaluate representation based on the extent and variability of habitat characteristics within the geographical range. We define viability here as the ability of the species to persist in the wild over time and, conversely, to avoid extinction.

    In this section, we summarize the conclusions of that assessment, which can be accessed at Docket FWS-R5-ES-201X-0056 on http://www.regulations.gov, at https://www.fws.gov/westvirginiafieldoffice/endangeredspecies.html, and at https://www.fws.gov/northeast/virginiafield/svfo/southwesternvirginia.html. The SSA Report documents the results of our comprehensive biological status review for the candy darter, including an assessment of the factors influencing its continued existence. The SSA report does not represent a decision by the Service on whether the candy darter should be proposed for listing as an endangered or threatened species under the Act. Rather, the SSA Report provides the scientific basis that informs our regulatory decision, which involves the further application of standards within the Act and its implementing regulations and policies. The Act directs us to determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any factors affecting its continued existence (i.e., whether it meets the definition of a threatened or an endangered species). In this section, we review the biological condition of the species and its resources and the factors influencing the species and resources to assess the species' overall viability and the risks to that viability.

    Summary of Current Condition

    Historically, the candy darter occurred in 35 populations distributed across 7 metapopulations located in the Bluestone, Lower New River, Upper Gauley, Lower Gauley, and Middle New watersheds in the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province and the Upper New River and Greenbrier watersheds in the Valley and Ridge physiographic province.

    Within these two physiographic provinces, the candy darter has been extirpated from almost half of its historical range; (17 (49 percent) of 35 known populations and 2 (29 percent) of 7 known metapopulations), with the extirpations representing a complete loss of resiliency in those populations (or metapopulations). We qualitatively assessed the remaining (extant) populations, placing them in “low,” “moderate,” or “high” categories that represent the populations' potential to bounce back after stochastic events. These categories were based on a combination of physical habitat metrics, nonnative competition metrics, and candy darter demographic metrics (see Service 2017, pp. 45, B1-B16). Of the 18 extant populations, 6 (33 percent) have a current score of high resiliency, 6 (33 percent) have moderate resiliency, and 6 (33 percent) have low or moderate to low resiliency. The six populations with high resiliency occur in two metapopulations (the Upper Gauley in the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province and the Greenbrier in the Valley and Ridge physiographic province); the remaining three extant metapopulations (the Lower Gauley and Middle New in the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province and the Upper New River in the Valley and Ridge physiographic province) maintain populations with moderate or low resiliency. Therefore, we conclude the candy darter's populations currently have moderate to low resiliency because the majority of metapopulations fall into those categories.

    This loss of candy darter populations and the areas they represented within the species' historical range, as well as the fragmentation of extant populations, has compromised the species' ability to repatriate those areas or avoid species-level effects of a catastrophic event. Based on the species' current distribution across its historical range and the species' distribution and condition within each of the seven historical metapopulations (one with moderate to high internal redundancy, one with moderate internal redundancy, one with low internal redundancy, two with no internal redundancy, and two that have been extirpated), we conclude that the candy darter's current redundancy is moderate to low (Service 2017, pp. 27-28, 43-49).

    While the candy darter currently maintains representation in both the Appalachian Plateaus and Valley and Ridge physiographic provinces, only a single metapopulation in each province has a moderate to high resiliency score. As related to the species' occupation in a diversity of environmental settings, candy darters have lost representation from lower mainstem rivers and tributaries. Researchers have noted differences in the genetic, physical, behavioral, or developmental characteristics of some stream fish species based on the species' longitudinal position in the watershed (e.g., stream size) (Neville et al. 2006, pp. 911-913), but we have no data indicating candy darters exhibit similar differences based on their particular environmental setting. Although the candy darter retains representation in both the Appalachian Plateaus and Valley and Ridge physiographic provinces, the species has a different distribution than it had historically (e.g., its presence or absence in headwater vs. tributary streams), and likely a different ability to respond to stochastic and catastrophic events, thereby putting the species at increased risk of extinction from any such events. Therefore, we conclude that the species' representation is currently moderate to low (Service 2017, pp. 27-28, 43-49).

    The candy darter is currently distributed in five of the historical seven metapopulations. The populations within those metapopulations generally have moderate to low resiliency and redundancy scores. While the candy darter is present in the two physiographic provinces from which it is historically known, the species is absent from some ecological settings in which it once existed. This fact leads us to conclude the candy darter's representation is also moderate to low. Therefore, our analysis under the 3Rs leads us to conclude that the condition of the candy darter is currently moderate to low.

    Risk Factors for the Candy Darter

    Based on the candy darter's life history and habitat needs, and in consultation with species' experts from Virginia and West Virginia State and Federal agencies and academic institutions, we identified the potential stressors (negative influences), the contributing sources of those stressors, and conservation measures to address those stressors that are likely to affect the species' current condition and viability (Service 2017, pp. 31-43). We evaluated how these stressors may be currently affecting the species and whether, and to what extent, they would affect the species in the future (Service 2017, pp. 50-65). Water temperature, excessive sedimentation, habitat fragmentation, water chemistry, water flow, and nonnative competition likely influenced the species in the past and contributed to its current condition, and may continue to affect some individual populations in the future. Hybridization with the closely related variegate darter (Etheostoma variatum) appears to be having, and will continue to have, the greatest influence on candy darter populations and its overall viability within the next 25 years (Service 2017, pp. 50-65). While we acknowledge there is uncertainty regarding some of the scientific data and assumptions used to assess the biological condition of the candy darter, the species' experts generally agreed with the overall methodology and confirmed that the results were reflective of their observations of the candy darter and its habitat.

    As mentioned above, the primary stressor to the candy darter is hybridization with the variegate darter (Service 2017, pp. 31-36, 50), a species that is native to the Kanawha River basin below the Kanawha Falls in Fayette County, West Virginia. The Kanawha Falls serve as a natural barrier to fish dispersal from the lower Kanawha River basin (and greater Ohio River basin) upstream into the range of the candy darter in the upper Kanawha River basin. However, in the late 20th century, the variegate darter was introduced into the upper Kanawha basin, likely by “bait bucket transfer.” Since their introduction in 1982 and 2002, variegate darters have expanded approximately 3 to 9 stream miles per year over the course of the last 20 or more years within the range of the candy darter. Genetic studies have demonstrated that where variegate and candy darter ranges now overlap, the two species will hybridize, quickly resulting in “genetic swamping” (the homogenization or replacement of native genotypes) of the endemic candy darter population and eventually its complete replacement by variegate darters or hybrids (Service 2017, pp. 31-36).

    Summary of Future Conditions Analysis

    We modeled a total of five scenarios to assess the potential viability of the candy darter at a point up to 25 years in the future (Service 2017, pp. 50-65). Two scenarios were focused on habitat change (one positive and the other negative), and three scenarios were focused on variegate darter invasion. However, the habitat change scenarios, by themselves, are not plausible scenarios because variegate darter hybridization is ongoing and likely to continue (see Chapter 4 and Appendix B of the SSA Report for additional information). We chose to model all scenarios out to 25 years because we have data to reasonably predict potential habitat and variegate darter changes and their effects on the candy darter within this timeframe.

    Under the three most plausible scenarios, the predicted rate of variegate darter expansion and hybridization remains the same, and at the end of 25 years, the candy darter will likely occur in four isolated populations and maintain little resilience, redundancy, or representation. The effects of significant positive or negative habitat changes do not alter this outcome; although it is possible that, because variegate darters may be more tolerant of a wider range of habitat conditions, negative habitat changes could selectively benefit variegate darters and therefore increase the rate at which candy darters are extirpated.

    The candy darter SSA Report contains a more detailed discussion of our evaluation of the biological status of the candy darter and the influences that may affect its continued existence. Our conclusions are based upon the best available scientific and commercial data, including the expert opinion of the species' experts (fishery biologists, aquatic ecologists, and geneticists from State and Federal agencies and academic institutions). Please see the SSA report for a complete list of the species experts and peer reviewers and their affiliations).

    Determination

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, we may list a species based on: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats to the candy darter. Our analysis of this information indicates that, at the species level, hybridization with variegate darters (Factor E) is the most influential factor affecting the candy darter now and into the future. Excessive sedimentation and increased water temperatures degraded once-suitable habitat (Factor A) and likely caused historical declines of the candy darter; these factors continue to affect some of the remaining populations despite regulatory mechanisms (Factor D) to reduce or eliminate sedimentation. There may be additional infrastructure projects (e.g. roads, pipeline, etc.) that increase sediment loading within the range of the candy darter as a result of forest clearing for permanent rights of way and stream crossings. Additionally, the current level of habitat fragmentation (Factor A) isolates some populations, which reduces gene flow and limits the potential for the species to colonize or recolonize streams if habitat conditions change. Other factors such as flow alterations and water quality degradation that affect habitat (Factor A), and the stocking of nonnative species that can eat (Factor C) or outcompete (Factor E) candy darter are not expected to cause species-level effects. In addition, we have no evidence that overutilization (Factor B) or disease (Factor C) is affecting individuals or populations of candy darters.

    Hybridization with variegate darters has occurred or is currently occurring in multiple streams within the Lower New, Lower Gauley, and Greenbrier River watersheds in West Virginia (Service 2017, p. 34). Variegate darters have not yet been detected in the remainder of the candy darter's range (i.e., the Upper Gauley watershed in West Virginia and the Middle New and Upper New watersheds in Virginia). However, the risk is moderately high that the variegate darter will eventually be introduced into these watersheds and ultimately replace most candy darter populations throughout the candy darter's range.

    The Act defines an endangered species as any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” We find that an endangered species status is not appropriate for the candy darter because the species still occurs throughout approximately half of its historical range and the risk is low that the species would not persist in the near term; in other words, the risk of the candy darter significantly declining in the near term is low given that it has persisted despite historical levels of habitat loss. Further, variegate darters are not known to be present in the Virginia areas of the species' range, thus the risk of significant declines in the near term due to hybridization is low in those areas. The persistence of occupied habitat within the species' range provides redundancy, resiliency, and representation levels that are likely sufficient to sustain the species beyond the near term. Therefore, we conclude that the current risk of extinction of the candy darter is sufficiently low that it does not meet the definition of an endangered species under the Act.

    The Act defines a threatened species as any species that is “likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future.” We find that the status of the candy darter meets the definition of a threatened species. Because the risk is high that hybridization between the candy darter and the variegate darter will continue to occur, we can reasonably predict that within 20 years hybridization between the two species is likely to increase within the range of the candy darter to an extent causing the species to become in danger of extinction (see table 6 and Chapter 4 in the SSA report). We cannot precisely predict the timing of introduction of the variegate darter into additional areas within the candy darter's range, the rate of hybridization once introduction occurs, and the time at which candy darters will be replaced by variegate darters or hybrids; however, the time period over which the variegate darter has spread into the candy darter's range in the past and the documented effects of hybridization between the two species give us reasonable confidence in our determination that the candy darter is likely to experience additional effects of hybridization within 20 years to an extent that will cause the species to become in danger of extinction. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and commercial information, we propose listing the candy darter as threatened in accordance with sections 3(6) and 4(a)(1) of the Act.

    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may warrant listing if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Because we have determined that the candy darter is threatened throughout all of its range, no portion of its range can be “significant” for purposes of the definitions of “endangered species” and “threatened species.” See the Final Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase “Significant Portion of Its Range” in the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of “Endangered Species” and “Threatened Species” (79 FR 37577, July 1, 2014). While it is the Service's position under the SPR Policy that undertaking no further analysis of “significant portion of its range” in this circumstance is consistent with the language of the Act, we recognize that the Policy is currently under judicial review, so we also took the additional step of considering whether there could be any significant portions of the species' range where the species is in danger of extinction. We evaluated whether there is substantial information indicating that there are any portions of the species' range: (1) that may be “significant,” and (2) where the species may be in danger of extinction. In practice, a key part of identifying portions appropriate for further analysis is whether the threats are geographically concentrated. The threats affecting the species are throughout its entire range; therefore, there is not a meaningful geographical concentration of threats. As a result, even if we were to undertake a detailed SPR analysis, there would not be any portions of the species' range where the threats are harming the species to a greater degree such that it is in danger of extinction in that portion.

    Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened species under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness, and conservation by Federal, state, tribal, and local agencies, private organizations, and individuals. The Act encourages cooperation with the States and other countries and calls for recovery actions to be carried out for listed species. The protection required by Federal agencies and the prohibitions against certain activities are discussed, in part, below.

    The primary purpose of the Act is the conservation of endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The ultimate goal of such conservation efforts is the recovery of these listed species, so that they no longer need the protective measures of the Act. Subsection 4(f) of the Act calls for the Service to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. The recovery planning process involves the identification of actions that are necessary to halt or reverse the species' decline by addressing the threats to its survival and recovery. The goal of this process is to restore listed species to a point where they are secure, self-sustaining, and functioning components of their ecosystems.

    Recovery planning includes the development of a recovery outline shortly after a species is listed and preparation of a draft and final recovery plan. The recovery outline guides the immediate implementation of urgent recovery actions and describes the process to be used to develop the recovery plan. A recovery team (composed of species experts, Federal and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders) is sometimes established to develop the recovery plan. The recovery plan identifies recovery criteria that indicate when a species may be ready for downlisting or delisting, actions necessary to achieve recovery and their estimated costs, and methods for monitoring recovery progress. The recovery plan may be revised to address continuing or new threats to the species, as new substantive information becomes available. When completed, the recovery outline, draft recovery plan, and final recovery plan will be available on our Web site (http://www.fws.gov/endangered), or from our West Virginia Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Implementation of recovery actions generally requires the participation of a broad range of partners, including other Federal agencies, states, tribes, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and private landowners. Examples of recovery actions include habitat restoration (e.g., restoration of native vegetation), research, captive propagation and reintroduction, and outreach and education. The recovery of many listed species cannot be accomplished solely on Federal lands because their range may occur primarily or solely on non-Federal lands. To achieve recovery of these species requires cooperative conservation efforts on private, state, and tribal lands. If this species is listed, funding for recovery actions will be available from a variety of sources, including Federal budgets, state programs, and cost share grants for non-Federal landowners, the academic community, and nongovernmental organizations. In addition, pursuant to section 6 of the Act, the States of Virginia and West Virginia would be eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions that promote the protection or recovery of the candy darter. Information on our grant programs that are available to aid species recovery can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/grants.

    Although the candy darter is only proposed for listing under the Act at this time, please let us know if you are interested in participating in recovery efforts for this species. Additionally, we invite you to submit any new information on this species whenever it becomes available and any information you may have for recovery planning purposes (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as an endangered or threatened species and with respect to its critical habitat, if any is designated. Regulations implementing this interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR part 402. Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with the Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a species proposed for listing or result in destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a species is listed subsequently, section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency must enter into consultation with the Service.

    Federal agency actions within the species' habitat that may require conference or consultation or both as described in the preceding paragraph include, but are not limited to, management and any other landscape-altering activities on lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE); issuance of section 404 Clean Water Act permits by the ACOE; issuance or oversight of coal mining permits by the Office of Surface Mining; and construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, or highways by the Federal Highway Administration.

    Under section 4(d) of the Act, the Service has discretion to issue regulations that we find necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of threatened species. The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to threatened wildlife. The prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, as applied to threatened wildlife and codified at 50 CFR 17.31, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take (which includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect; or to attempt any of these) threatened wildlife within the United States or on the high seas. In addition, it is unlawful to import; export; deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any listed species. It is also illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken illegally. Certain exceptions apply to employees of the Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, other Federal land management agencies, and state conservation agencies.

    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving threatened wildlife under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.32. With regard to threatened wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following purposes: For scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species, and for incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful activities. There are also certain statutory exemptions from the prohibitions, which are found in sections 9 and 10 of the Act.

    For the candy darter, we are considering developing a rule under section 4(d) of the Act that is tailored to the specific threats and conservation needs of this species. Please see the Information Requested—Public Comments section above for a list of activities we are considering exempting under a section 4(d) rule in the future. If appropriate, we will develop and then announce the availability of a proposed tailored section 4(d) rule for public review and comment.

    It is our policy, as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of a proposed listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the range of the species proposed for listing. Based on the best available information, the following actions are unlikely to result in a violation of section 9, if these activities are carried out in accordance with existing regulations and permit requirements; this list is not comprehensive:

    • Normal agricultural practices, including herbicide and pesticide use, which are carried out in accordance with any existing regulations, permit and label requirements, and best management practices.

    Based on the best available information, the following activities may potentially result in a violation of section 9 of the Act; this list is not comprehensive:

    (1) Introduction of variegate darters into suitable candy darter habitat.

    (2) Stocking of nonnatives into suitable candy darter habitat.

    (3) Unlawful destruction or alteration of the habitat of the candy darter (e.g., unpermitted instream dredging, impoundment, water diversion or withdrawal, channelization, discharge of fill material) that impairs essential behaviors such as breeding, feeding, or sheltering, or results in killing or injuring a candy darter.

    (4) Unauthorized discharges or dumping of toxic chemicals or other pollutants into waters supporting the candy darter that kills or injures individuals, or otherwise impairs essential life-sustaining behaviors such as breeding, feeding, or finding shelter.

    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the appropriate office:

    • Southwestern Virginia Ecological Services Field Office, 330 Cummings Street, Abingdon, VA 24210; telephone (276) 623-1233; facsimile (276) 623-1185.

    • West Virginia Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Critical Habitat for the Candy Darter Background

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as:

    (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found those physical or biological features:

    (a) Essential to the conservation of the species, and

    (b) Which may require special management considerations or protection; and

    (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species.

    Conservation, as defined under section 3 of the Act, means to use all methods and procedures that are necessary to bring an endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to the Act are no longer necessary. Such methods and procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated with scientific resources management such as research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live trapping, and transplantation, and, in the extraordinary case where population pressures within a given ecosystem cannot be otherwise relieved, may include regulated taking.

    Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act through the requirement that Federal agencies ensure, in consultation with the Service, that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. Such designation does not allow the government or public to access private lands. Such designation does not require implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures by non-Federal landowners. Where a landowner requests Federal agency funding or authorization for an action that may affect a listed species or critical habitat, the consultation requirements of section 7(a)(2) of the Act would apply, but even in the event of a destruction or adverse modification finding, the obligation of the Federal action agency and the landowner is not to restore or recover the species, but to implement reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.

    Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on the basis of the best scientific data available. Further, our Policy on Information Standards Under the Endangered Species Act (published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34271)), the Information Quality Act (section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106-554; H.R. 5658)), and our associated Information Quality Guidelines, provide criteria, establish procedures, and provide guidance to ensure that our decisions are based on the best scientific data available. They require our biologists, to the extent consistent with the Act and with the use of the best scientific data available, to use primary and original sources of information as the basis for recommendations to designate critical habitat.

    Prudency Determination

    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and implementing regulations (50 CFR 424.12), require that, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, the Secretary designate critical habitat at the time the species is determined to be endangered or threatened. Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent when one or both of the following situations exist: (1) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity, and identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the degree of threat to the species, or (2) such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species.

    There is currently no imminent threat of take attributed to collection or vandalism under Factor B for the candy darter, and identification and mapping of critical habitat is not likely to increase any such threat. In the absence of finding that the designation of critical habitat would increase threats to a species, if there are any benefits to a critical habitat designation, then a prudent finding is warranted. The potential benefits of designation include: (1) Triggering consultation under section 7 of the Act in new areas for actions in which there may be a Federal nexus where it would not otherwise occur because, for example, it is or has become unoccupied or the occupancy is in question; (2) focusing conservation activities on the most essential features and areas; (3) providing educational benefits to State or county governments or private entities; and (4) preventing people from causing inadvertent harm to the species. Therefore, because we have determined that the designation of critical habitat will not likely increase the degree of threat to these species and may provide some measure of benefit, we find that designation of critical habitat is prudent for the candy darter.

    Critical Habitat Determinability

    Having determined that designation is prudent, under section 4(a)(3) of the Act we must find whether critical habitat for the species is determinable. Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(a)(2) state that critical habitat is not determinable when one or both of the following situations exist: (i) Information sufficient to perform required analyses of the impacts of the designation is lacking, or (ii) The biological needs of the species are not sufficiently well known to permit identification of an area as critical habitat.

    As discussed above, we have reviewed the available information pertaining to the biological needs of the candy darter and habitat characteristics where the species is located. Because we are seeking, through this document, additional information regarding updated candy darter occurrence records, updated documentation of variegate darter presence and risk for additional variegate darter introductions, and other analyses, we conclude that the designation of critical habitat is not determinable for the candy darter at this time. We will make a determination on critical habitat no later than 1 year following any final listing determination.

    Required Determinations Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (1) Be logically organized;

    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be prepared in connection with listing a species as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

    References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the West Virginia Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Northeast Regional Office.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245; unless otherwise noted.

    2. In § 17.11(h), add an entry for “Darter, candy” in alphabetical order under FISHES to read as set forth below:
    § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife.

    (h) * * *

    Common name Scientific name Where listed Status Listing citations and applicable rules *         *         *         *         *         *         * Fishes *         *         *         *         *         *         * Darter, candy Etheostoma osburni Wherever found T [Federal Register citation when published as a final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: September 7, 2017. James W. Kurth, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21351 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 170823802-7802-01] RIN 0648-BG82 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 17B AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 17B to the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico U.S. Waters, (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Council). This proposed rule would allow for the creation of a Federal Gulf shrimp reserve pool permit when certain conditions are met, and would allow non-federally permitted Gulf shrimp vessels to transit through the Gulf exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Amendment 17B would also define the aggregate maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and aggregate optimum yield (OY), and determine a minimum number of commercial vessel moratorium permits in the fishery. This proposed rule also would make technical corrections to the regulations that would revise the coordinates for the Tortugas shrimp sanctuary in the Gulf, and correct the provisions regarding the harvest and possession of wild live rock in Gulf Federal waters. The purpose of this proposed rule and Amendment 17B is to protect federally managed Gulf shrimp stocks while maintaining catch efficiency, economic efficiency, and stability in the fishery.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before November 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2017-0040” by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0040, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Frank Helies, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Electronic copies of Amendment 17B, which includes an environmental assessment, a Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/shrimp/2017/am17b/index.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Frank Helies, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The shrimp fishery in the Gulf is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    This document also proposes to designate the unidentified tables in § 622.55 to bring the section into compliance with the requirements of 1 CFR 8.1 and 8.2 and with the Office of the Federal Register's Document Drafting Handbook (https://www.archives.gov/files/federal-register/write/handbook/ddh.pdf) section 7.4.

    Background

    From 2003 to 2006, the Gulf shrimp fishery experienced significant economic losses, primarily as a result of high fuel costs and reduced prices caused by competition with imports. These economic losses contributed to a reduction in the number of vessels in the fishery, and consequently, a reduction of commercial effort. During that time, commercial vessels in the Gulf shrimp fishery were required to have an open-access permit. In 2006, to prevent overcapitalizing the fishery when it became profitable again, the Council established a 10-year freeze on the issuance of new shrimp permits and created a limited access Federal Gulf shrimp moratorium permit (moratorium permit) (71 FR 56039, September 26, 2006). In 2016, the Council extended the duration of the Gulf shrimp moratorium permit program for another 10 years in Amendment 17A to the FMP (81 FR 47733, July 22, 2016).

    During the development of Amendment 17A, the Council identified several other issues with the Gulf shrimp fishery that it wanted addressed. First, MSY and OY (equal to MSY), are defined individually for the three penaeid shrimp species and for royal red shrimp. Second, the number of moratorium permits has continued to decline and the Council is concerned that the decline in total permits will continue indefinitely. Finally, transit through Federal waters (Gulf EEZ) with shrimp on board currently requires a moratorium permit, which limits the ability of a state-registered vessel to navigate in certain areas of the Gulf while engaged in shrimping. Amendment 17B was developed to address these issues through revisions to management reference points and the Gulf shrimp permit program while maintaining catch efficiency, economic efficiency, and stability in the fishery.

    Management Measures Codified Through in This Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would allow for the creation of a Federal Gulf shrimp reserve pool permit when certain conditions are met and would allow non-federally permitted Gulf shrimp vessels to transit through the Gulf EEZ.

    Federal Gulf Shrimp Reserve Pool Permit

    Currently, moratorium permits are valid for 1 year and are required to be renewed annually. If the permit is not renewed within 1 year of its expiration date, the permit is no longer renewable and is terminated. A terminated permit cannot be reissued by NMFS and is lost to the fishery.

    As of December 31, 2016, there were 1,441 moratorium permits that were valid or renewable. Since the start of the permit moratorium, a total of 493 moratorium permits have been terminated. As described in Amendment 17B, when the number of valid or renewable moratorium permits reaches 1,072, then any moratorium permits that are not renewed within 1 year of expiration would be converted to a Gulf shrimp reserve pool permit. This number is based on the predicted number of active permitted vessels needed to attain aggregate OY in the offshore fishery. As explained further below, the aggregate OY accounts for relatively high catch per unit effort (CPUE) and landings while reducing the risk of exceeding sea turtle and juvenile red snapper bycatch.

    As described in Amendment 17B, the Council estimates that it could take up to 24 years to reach the threshold value of 1,072 valid or renewable moratorium permits. Therefore, any Gulf shrimp reserve pool permit that is created would not be issued until eligibility requirements are developed by the Council and implemented through subsequent rulemaking. Depending on such future Council action on eligibility requirements, Gulf shrimp reserve pool permits could be used as a method to allow new entrants into the fishery or to allow persons who previously held a moratorium permit to re-enter the fishery.

    Transit Provisions for Shrimp Vessels Without a Federal Permit

    Currently, to possess Gulf shrimp in the Gulf EEZ, a vessel must have been issued a moratorium permit. In the Gulf, there are some areas where state-only licensed shrimpers would like to transit with shrimp on board from state waters through Federal waters to return to state waters and port. However, because these state-licensed shrimping vessels do not possess a moratorium permit, they cannot legally transit through the Gulf EEZ while possessing shrimp. This results in some of these vessels spending increased time at sea and incurring additional fuel costs because of longer transit times.

    The proposed rule would allow a vessel possessing Gulf shrimp to transit the Gulf EEZ without a valid moratorium permit if fishing gear is appropriately stowed. Transit would be defined as non-stop progression through the area; fishing gear appropriately stowed would mean trawl doors and nets must be out of the water and the bag straps must be removed from the net. This transit exemption is expected to reduce the time at sea required for some shrimpers, while allowing enforcement to easily determine that the gear is not being used for fishing.

    Measures Contained in Amendment 17B but Not Codified Through This Proposed Rule

    Amendment 17B would specify the aggregate MSY and aggregate OY for the Federal Gulf shrimp fishery, and determine a minimum number of moratorium permits in the fishery.

    Aggregate MSY and OY

    After extending the duration of the Gulf shrimp moratorium permit program for another 10 years, and recognizing that the moratorium results in a passive loss of permits from the fishery, the Council decided to determine an appropriate minimum number of moratorium permits. To facilitate this determination, the Council decided to establish an aggregate MSY and OY for the Federal Gulf shrimp fishery. In Amendment 15 to the FMP, the Council established species specific MSYs and OYs for penaeid shrimp (80 FR 74711, November 30, 2015). MSY and OY were established for royal red shrimp in the original FMP (46 FR 27489, May 20, 1981). Additionally, Amendment 13 to the FMP revised the MSY and OY for royal red shrimp (71 FR 56039, September 26, 2006). However, the shrimp permit is not species specific and an aggregate MSY and OY for all federally managed shrimp species (penaeid and royal red) can be used as references points for the shrimp fishery as whole.

    In March 2016, the Council convened a working group to determine the appropriate aggregate MSY and aggregate OY for the Gulf shrimp fishery in Federal waters. To determine the aggregate MSY, the working group used the same general approach established by a 2006 working group, but included the most recent years of catch and effort data through 2014. The working group also determined that there were four important factors to consider when establishing aggregate OY: Landings, CPUE, sea turtle bycatch threshold, and juvenile red snapper bycatch. The working group concluded that the predicted effort and associated landings in 2009 balanced all of these criteria relative to observed levels in other years.

    Amendment 17B proposes using the method developed by the working group to establish aggregate MSY for the Federal Gulf shrimp fishery at 112,531,374 lb (51,043,373 kg), tail weight. Amendment 17B also would establish aggregate OY for the Gulf shrimp fishery equal to 85,761,596 lb (38,900,806 kg), tail weight, which is the aggregate MSY reduced for the ecological, social, and economic factors described above.

    Minimum Threshold Number of Gulf Shrimp Moratorium Permits

    As noted above, as of December 31, 2016, there were 1,441 moratorium permits that were valid or renewable, and, at the current rate of termination, the minimum threshold number of permits selected by the Council, 1,072 permits, will be reached in 24 years. This minimum threshold number of valid or renewable moratorium permits is based on the predicted number of active permitted vessels needed to achieve aggregate OY in the offshore fishery. Aggregate OY accounts for relatively high CPUE and landings, while reducing the risk of exceeding sea turtle and juvenile red snapper bycatch. Neither this proposed rule nor Amendment 17B actively removes any moratorium permits. The minimum threshold is only for purposes of monitoring changes in fishery participation and determining whether additional management measures should be established.

    As specified in Amendment 17B, when the number of moratorium permits declines to 1,175, the Council would form a panel to review details of the reserve permit pool and other options for management. The Council's Shrimp Advisory Panel (AP) suggested the review panel should meet when 1,300 valid and renewable permits remain, but the Council determined that the review panel should meet when the number of permits was closer to the threshold number of 1,072 permits. The panel would consist of the Council's Shrimp AP members, Science and Statistical Committee members, NMFS, and Council staff. This panel could make recommendations about how to utilize a Gulf shrimp vessel permit reserve pool. The development of additional details for the pool permits will occur through a plan amendment or framework action, as appropriate, at a later date, when additional available information about the status of the Gulf shrimp fishery may be available.

    Measures in This Proposed Rule Not Contained in Amendment 17B

    In addition to the measures described in Amendment 17B, this proposed rule would revise the coordinates for the Tortugas shrimp sanctuary in the Gulf that were established in the original Shrimp FMP; and clarify the regulations for the harvest and possession of wild live rock in Gulf Federal waters, as established in the FMP for Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico (Coral FMP).

    The original FMP established the Tortugas shrimp sanctuary on May 20, 1981, which was implemented with cooperation from of the state of Florida (46 FR 27489, May 20, 1981), and which is currently defined at 50 CFR 622.55(c)(1). Since that time, there have been numerous advances in geographical positioning systems that describe the physical locations (such as lights) used to define the boundary of the Tortugas shrimp sanctuary. NMFS and the state of Florida have determined that several positions for the points defining the boundary of the sanctuary are no longer consistent with the most recent published coordinates in Federal navigation references and current positioning systems, such as Global Positioning Systems. For example, Point N (Coon Key Light) is currently described as being located at 25°52′9″ North Latitude and 81°37′9″ West Longitude. However, using current technology that is reflected in recently U.S navigational publications, NMFS and the state of Florida have noted that this point is actually located at 25°52′54″ North Latitude and 81°37′56″ West Longitude. Therefore, this proposed rule would revise the positions for Points N, F, G, H, and P to reflect current technology, for consistency with the current U.S. Coast Guard Light List, the U.S. Coast Pilot, and the state of Florida, and for consistency in units of position. For consistency, the state of Florida is also updating these positions. Only these technical corrections for the coordinates would be made to the language of the regulations; this proposed rule would not make any substantive changes in the regulations specific to the management measures for the Tortugas shrimp sanctuary.

    This proposed rule also would revise the prohibited species regulations for wild live rock, as established in the Coral FMP. In 1994, the final rule implementing Amendment 2 to the Coral FMP established a prohibition on the harvest and possession of wild live rock in the Gulf EEZ to begin on January 1, 1997 (59 FR 66776, December 28, 1994). The following year, the final rule implementing Amendment 3 to the Coral FMP established an annual quota for wild live rock from the Gulf EEZ to apply before the prohibition would take effect (60 FR 56533, November 9, 1995). The prohibition on harvest beginning in 1997, and the quota were originally codified at 50 CFR 638.26(c) and (d), and the quota provision included prohibitions on harvest and possession and on sale and purchase when a quota closure occurs. When NMFS reorganized the 50 CFR part 622 regulations in 1996, the prohibition on harvest and possession and the quota provisions were moved to 50 CFR 622.42(b)(2) and 622.43(a)(2)(ii) (61 FR 34930, July 3, 1996). In 1999, NMFS issued a final rule for a Technical Amendment to its regulations in 50 CFR part 622 in order to revise a variety of regulations for clarity, consistency in terms, and the removal of outdated regulations (64 FR 59125, November 2, 1999). Because the harvest of wild live rock in the Gulf was discontinued at the end of 1996, the final rule for the Technical Amendment removed several provisions related to harvest, including the quota and the associated prohibitions on harvest and possession and on sale and purchase, when a quota closure occurs. That final rule also added a general restriction on sale and purchase of wild live rock from the Gulf EEZ, which remains in effect today. However, NMFS recently became aware that the rule inadvertently failed to also add the general restriction on the harvest and possession of wild live rock in or from the Gulf EEZ. In this proposed rule, NMFS corrects this error by adding the Gulf EEZ wild live rock prohibition at 622.73(c).

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Amendment 17B, the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

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

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the legal basis for this proposed rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting and record-keeping requirements are introduced by this proposed rule. Accordingly, the Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply to this proposed rule. A description of this proposed rule, why it is being considered, and the purposes of this proposed rule are contained in the preamble and in the SUMMARY section of the preamble. The objectives of this proposed rule are to establish the appropriate metrics to manage the shrimp fishery, maintain increases in catch efficiency, maintain landings at or near aggregate OY, promote economic efficiency and stability in the fishery, provide flexibility for state registered shrimp vessels, protect federally managed Gulf shrimp stocks, correct coordinates for the Tortugas sanctuary in the Federal regulations so they are consistent with published coordinates in Federal navigation references and current positioning systems, and correct the regulations to clarify that harvest and possession of wild live rock in or from the Gulf EEZ is prohibited.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. A description of the factual basis for this determination follows. Estimates in the factual basis are based on 2011-2014 data, and all monetary estimates are in 2014 dollars, consistent with the data and estimates in Amendment 17B.

    This proposed rule, if implemented, would establish an aggregate MSY of 112,531,374 lb (51,043,373 kg), tail weight, and an aggregate OY of 85,761,596 lb (38,900,806 kg), tail weight, for the Federal Gulf shrimp fishery; establish a minimum threshold of 1,072 Gulf shrimp moratorium permits; establish how the Council will respond if and when the minimum threshold is reached; and allow shrimp vessels without Federal permits to transit through Federal waters in the Gulf when they have shrimp on board. This proposed rule also would make technical corrections to the regulations that would revise the coordinates for the Tortugas shrimp sanctuary in the Gulf and clarify the provisions regarding the harvest and possession of wild live rock in Gulf Federal waters.

    The action to revise the coordinates for the Tortugas shrimp sanctuary in the Gulf is purely administrative in nature and thus would not directly regulate or affect any entities. In addition, the action to correct the regulations for wild live rock in Gulf Federal waters adds the previously established prohibition on the harvest and possession, consistent with the regulations implemented as a result of Amendment 2 and Amendment 3 to the Coral FMP. Currently, because the sale of wild live rock is prohibited under the existing regulations, harvest of wild live rock for commercial purposes, and thus by business entities, is prohibited. As such, any harvest that may be occurring as a result of uncertainty regarding the current regulations would be by individuals who are retaining wild live rock for personal use. However, individuals engaged in such activities are not considered entities under the RFA.

    This proposed rule is expected to directly regulate businesses that possess Federal Gulf shrimp moratorium permits as well as shrimp vessels that do not possess these permits but transit through Federal waters. As of January 1, 2017, there were 1,440 vessels with valid or renewable Gulf shrimp moratorium permits. Although some vessels are thought to be owned by businesses with the same or very similar individual owners, ownership data regarding the businesses that possess these permits is incomplete, and thus it is not currently feasible to accurately determine affiliations between vessels and the businesses that own them. NMFS is making changes to its permit application forms so that such determinations can be accurately made for future regulatory actions in this fishery. Also, NMFS does not possess data that would indicate how many vessels without Federal permits could harvest shrimp in the Gulf and choose to transit through Federal waters. However, available landings data in recent years indicate that as many as 3,800 vessels without Federal permits harvested shrimp in the Gulf. NMFS does not possess any ownership data for these vessels. Thus, it is not currently feasible to accurately determine the number of individual businesses these 3,800 vessels represent. While it will result in an overestimate of the actual number of businesses directly regulated by this proposed rule, for the purposes of this analysis, it is assumed that each vessel is independently owned by a single business. Therefore, this proposed rule would be expected to directly regulate 5,240 businesses.

    For vessels with Gulf shrimp moratorium permits, annual gross revenue was about $381,000 on average from 2011 through 2014, of which approximately $343,000 came from commercial fishing operations. Net revenue for these vessels was about $43,000, while net revenue from commercial fishing operations was approximately $8,300. For vessels without Gulf shrimp moratorium permits, annual gross revenue was about $85,000 on average in 2012, of which approximately $64,000 came from commercial fishing operations. Net revenue was about $16,000, while net revenue from commercial fishing operations was approximately −$5,000. From 2011 through 2014, the greatest average annual gross revenue earned by a single vessel (business) was approximately $1.85 million.

    On December 29, 2015, NMFS issued a final rule establishing a small business size standard of $11 million in annual gross receipts (revenue) for all businesses primarily engaged in the commercial fishing industry (NAICS code 11411) for RFA compliance purposes only (80 FR 81194, December 29, 2015). In addition to this gross revenue standard, a business primarily involved in commercial fishing is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, and is not dominant in its field of operations (including its affiliates).

    Based on the information above, all businesses directly regulated by this proposed rule are determined to be small businesses for the purpose of this analysis. Therefore, it is determined that this proposed rule will affect a substantial number of small businesses.

    Aggregate MSY is a biological reference point. In general, establishing biological and other reference points in fisheries does not directly regulate any entities and therefore is not expected to alter domestic prices, landings, or the harvesting behavior of vessels. As such, the action to establish aggregate MSY is not expected to directly affect any small entities in the Gulf shrimp fishery. Similarly, aggregate OY specifies the level of harvest that is expected to maximize net benefits to the Nation. Though not purely biological, aggregate OY is also a reference point. Thus, the action to establish aggregate OY does not directly regulate any entities and would also not be expected to alter domestic prices, landings, or the harvesting behavior of vessels in the Gulf shrimp fishery. As such, the action to establish aggregate OY is not expected to directly affect any small entities.

    The action to establish a minimum number of 1,072 Gulf shrimp moratorium permits would not actively remove Gulf shrimp moratorium permits from the Federal fishery. Rather, it would continue to allow a passive reduction in the number of valid or renewable Gulf shrimp moratorium permits, as permits terminate due to not being renewed in a timely manner, until the minimum number is reached. As a result, this action is not expected to directly regulate or affect any small entities.

    The action to establish the Council's response when the number of valid and renewable permits reaches or approaches the minimum number of permits is also administrative, or procedural, in nature. If the number of valid and renewable permits reaches the minimum number, any permits that are not renewed within 1 year of the expiration date on the permit will go into a reserve pool. However, these reserve pool permits will not be issued, and therefore cannot be used to harvest shrimp in Federal waters, until eligibility requirements are established. This action also establishes a requirement for the Council to convene a review panel once the number of valid and renewable permits reaches 1,175. This action would not be expected to alter domestic shrimp prices, landings, or the harvesting behavior of shrimp vessels in the Gulf, and therefore is also not expected to directly affect any small entities.

    The action to allow vessels without a Gulf shrimp moratorium permit to possess shrimp when transiting through Federal waters if the gear is appropriately stowed would be expected to directly affect these vessels. Specifically, under current regulations, these vessels are not allowed to transit through Federal waters and instead must often take a longer route between their home ports and where they harvest shrimp, resulting in longer transiting times and distances, and therefore higher fuel expenses. Although quantitative estimates of these additional fuel expenses are not available, this action would be expected to reduce fuel expenses for these vessels, which would result in direct but positive economic effects on these small entities.

    Based on the information above, a reduction in profits for a substantial number of small entities is not expected as a result of this proposed rule. Thus, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Commercial, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf, Permits, Shrimp.

    Dated: September 27, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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

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

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 622.50, revise paragraph (b)(3)(ii), and add paragraphs (b)(3)(iii) and (e) to read as follows:
    § 622.50 Permits, permit moratorium, and endorsements.

    (b) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (ii) Except as provided for in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section, a commercial vessel moratorium permit for Gulf shrimp that is not renewed will be terminated and will not be reissued during the moratorium. A permit is considered to be not renewed when an application for renewal, as required, is not received by the RA within 1 year of the expiration date of the permit.

    (iii) When NMFS has determined that the number of commercial vessel moratorium permits for Gulf shrimp has reached the threshold number of permits as described in the FMP, then a commercial vessel moratorium permit for Gulf shrimp that is not renewed will be converted to a Gulf shrimp reserve pool permit and held by NMFS for possible reissuance. Gulf shrimp reserve pool permits will not be issued until eligibility requirements are developed and implemented through subsequent rulemaking.

    (e) Gulf shrimp transit provision. A vessel that does not have a valid Gulf shrimp moratorium permit, as described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, may possess Gulf shrimp when in transit in the Gulf EEZ provided that the shrimp fishing gear is appropriately stowed. For the purposes of this paragraph, transit means non-stop progression through the Gulf EEZ. Fishing gear appropriately stowed means trawl doors and nets must be out of the water and the bag straps must be removed from the net.

    3. Amend § 622.55 by: a. Designating the table in paragraph (b) as Table 1 to paragraph (b); b. Revising paragraph (c)(1); c. Designating the table after paragraph (d)(2) as Table 3 to paragraph (d), the table after paragraph (d)(3) as Table 4 to paragraph (d), and the table after paragraph (d)(4) as Table 5 to paragraph (d); d. In paragraph (e) designating the table as Table 6 to paragraph (e).

    The revision to read as follows:

    § 622.55 Closed area.

    (c) * * *

    (1) The Tortugas shrimp sanctuary is closed to trawling. The Tortugas shrimp sanctuary is that part of the EEZ off Florida shoreward of rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following points:

    Table 1 to Paragraph (c)(1) Point North lat. West long. N 1 25°52′54″ 81°37′56″ F 24°50′42″ 81°51′18″ G 2 24°40′00″ 82°26′39″ H 3 24°34′44″ 82°35′27″ P 4 24°35′00″ 82°08′00″ 1 Coon Key Light. 2 New Ground Shoals Light. 3 Rebecca Shoals Light. 4 Marquesas Keys.
    4. In § 622.73, add paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 622.73 Prohibited species.

    (c) Wild live rock may not be harvested or possessed in or from the Gulf EEZ.

    [FR Doc. 2017-21039 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 170630616-7875-01] RIN 0648-BH00 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Commercial Management Measures AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This advanced notice of proposed rulemaking provides information on a request by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) to announce deliberations of potential accumulation limits for Catcher Processor Permit use or ownership in the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery. The Council may not count any acquisition and usage of Catcher Processor permits and/or usage of Catcher Processor allocation after the date of June 13, 2017, in any decision setting accumulation limits. NMFS invites comments on this document.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by November 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2017-0109” by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2017-0109, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Frank Lockhart, NMFS West Coast Regional Office, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Frank Lockhart, NMFS West Coast Regional Office, telephone: 206-526-6142, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) implemented the Pacific Coast groundfish trawl catch share program (Program) off Washington, Oregon and California, starting on January 11, 2011. The Program changed management of harvest in the trawl fishery from a trip limit system with cumulative vessel trip limits to a quota system in which each quota share could generally be harvested at any time during an open season. The Program has increased fishermen's flexibility in making decisions on when and how much quota to fish.

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that councils undertake reviews within 5 years after implementation of limited access privilege programs such as the Pacific Coast groundfish trawl catch share program. The Council initiated its review in 2016, and expects to recommend changes to the Program in the coming months.

    One of the issues that the Council is considering is accumulation limits for the Catcher Processor (CP) sector. In establishing the initial Program, the Council addressed accumulation limits for the ownership or control within the shoreside IFQ sector and the mothership sector, but not the CP sector. The accumulation limits were meant to prevent consolidation at levels that could result in an excessive share being acquired by a single entity. At the June 2017 Council meeting, the Council began considering whether or not similar accumulation limits on ownership or control should be applied to the CP sector as well, and it recommended that NMFS announce the start of these deliberations in the Federal Register.

    In advance of a rulemaking on changes to the Program, this document announces that the Council may not count any activities related to acquisition and usage of CP permits and/or usage of CP allocation after the date of June 13, 2017, when establishing accumulation limits for the CP sector. This is intended to discourage increased acquisition and usage of CP permits and/or usage of CP allocation for the purpose of economic speculation while the Council develops and considers changes to the Program.

    This announcement does not commit the Council or the NMFS to any particular outcome. The Council may or may not make use of this date as part of any deliberations and decisions on acquisition and usage of CP permits and/or usage of CP allocation. Fishery participants are not guaranteed future participation in the program, regardless of their entry date or level of participation in the fishery before or after June 13, 2017. It is important to note that continuation of levels of accumulation that predate June 13, 2017 are not guaranteed. The Council also may choose to take no further action.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21254 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 191 Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Federal Crop Insurance Corporation [Docket No. FCIC-17-0001] Notice of Request for Renewal and Revision of the Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Renewal and revision of the currently approved information collection.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 this notice announces the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation's (FCIC) intention to request an extension to a currently approved information collection for the submission of policies, provisions of policies, rates of premium, and non-reinsured supplemental policies under section 508(h) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act. This notice announces a public comment period on the information collection requests (ICRs) associated with the submission of policies, provisions of policies, rates of premium, and non-reinsured supplemental policies under section 508(h) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this notice will be accepted until close of business December 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    FCIC prefers that comments be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. You may submit comments, identified by Docket ID No. FCIC-17-0001, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Director, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, MO 64133-6205.

    All comments received, including those received by mail, will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, and can be accessed by the public. All comments must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information, see http://www.regulations.gov. If you are submitting comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal and want to attach a document, we ask that it be in a text-based format. If you want to attach a document that is a scanned Adobe PDF file, it must be scanned as text and not as an image, thus allowing FCIC to search and copy certain portions of your submissions. For questions regarding attaching a document that is a scanned Adobe PDF file, please contact the RMA Web Content Team at (816) 823-4694 or by email at [email protected]

    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received for any dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the complete User Notice and Privacy Notice for Regulations.gov at http://www.regulations.gov/#!privacyNotice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tim Hoffmann, Director, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, Beacon Facility, Stop 0812, Room 421, P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, MO 64141-6205, telephone (816) 926-7730.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: General Administrative Regulations; Subpart V—Submission of Policies, Provisions of Policies, Rates of Premium, and Non-Reinsured Supplemental Policies.

    OMB Number: 0563-0064.

    Expiration Date of Approval: December 31, 2017.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: FCIC is proposing to renew the currently approved information collection, OMB Number 0563-0064. It is currently up for renewal and extension for three years. Subpart V establishes guidelines for the submission of policies or other materials to the FCIC Board of Directors (Board) and identifies the required contents of a submission: the timing, review, and confidentiality requirements; reimbursement of research and development costs, maintenance costs, and user fees; and guidelines for non-reinsured supplemental policies. This data is used to administer the Federal crop insurance program in accordance with the Federal Crop Insurance Act, as amended.

    The submission's per-response time was adjusted because FCIC reviewed each line item and consulted with Risk Management Agency subject matter experts. In this review, FCIC determined the total number of product submissions were overestimated, therefore, lowering the amount of product submissions for the information collection.

    FCIC is requesting the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to extend the approval of this information collection for an additional 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public concerning this information collection. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 343 hours per response.

    Respondents/affected entities: Parties affected by the information collection requirements included in this Notice is a person (including an approved insurance provider, a college or university, a cooperative or trade association, or any other person) who prepares a submission, proposes to the Board other crop insurance policies, provisions of policies, or rates of premium, or submits to RMA a non-reinsured supplemental policy.

    Estimated annual number of respondents: 195.

    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: .67.

    Estimated annual number of responses: 131.

    Estimated total annual burden hours on respondents: 44,947.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on August 16, 2017. Heather Manzano, Acting Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-20975 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2017-0041] Codex Alimentarius Commission: Ad Hoc Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance AGENCY:

    Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are sponsoring a public meeting on November 7, 2017. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) positions to be discussed at the 5th Session of the Ad Hoc Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (TFAMR) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), taking place in Jeju, Republic of Korea, November 27, 2017 through December 1, 2017. The Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety and the FDA recognize the importance of providing interested parties with the opportunity to obtain background information on the 5th Session of the TFAMR and to address items on the agenda.

    DATES:

    The public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7, 2017, from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will take place at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Jamie L. Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 107-A, Washington, DC 20250.

    Documents related to the 5th Session of the TFAMR will be accessible via the Internet at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.

    Donald Prater, U.S. Delegate to the 5th Session of the TFAMR, invites U.S. interested parties to submit their comments electronically to the following email address: [email protected]

    Call-in-Number

    If you wish to participate in the public meeting for the 5th Session of the TFAMR by conference call, please use the call-in-number below:

    Call-in-Number: 1-888-844-9904.

    Access Code: 5126092.

    Registration

    Attendees may register to attend the public meeting by emailing [email protected] by November 3, 2017. Early registration is encouraged as it will expedite entry into the building. The meeting will be held in a Federal building. Attendees should bring photo identification and plan for adequate time to pass through security screening systems. Attendees who are not able to attend the meeting in person, but wish to participate may do so by phone.

    For Further Information About The 5th Session of the TFAMR Contact:

    The Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993, Email: [email protected].

    For Further Information About The Public Meeting Contact:

    Kenneth Lowery, U.S. Codex Office, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 4861, Washington, DC 20250, Telephone: (202) 690-4042, Fax: (202) 720-3157, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, the Codex seeks to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

    The TFAMR is responsible for:

    (a) Reviewing and revising as appropriate the Code of Practice to Minimize and Contain Antimicrobial Resistance (CAC/RCP 61-2005) to address the entire food chain, in line with the mandate of Codex.

    (b) Considering the development of Guidance on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance, taking into account the guidance developed by the WHO Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AGISAR) and relevant the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) documents.

    The Committee is hosted by the Republic of Korea.

    Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the Agenda for the 5th Session of the TFAMR will be discussed during the public meeting:

    • Matters referred by Codex and other Subsidiary Bodies;

    • Matters arising from the work of the FAO, WHO and other international intergovernmental organizations:

    (a) Progress report on the request for scientific advice on foodborne antimicrobial resistance from the FAO and WHO in collaboration with OIE.

    (b) Information on the work of the FAO, WHO, OIE and other relevant international organizations on antimicrobial resistance.

    • Proposed draft revision of the Code of Practice to Minimize and Contain Antimicrobial Resistance (CAC/RCP 61-2005); and

    • Proposed draft Guidelines on integrated surveillance of antimicrobial resistance.

    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, or to be distributed, by the Secretariat before the Meeting. Members of the public may access or request copies of these documents (see ADDRESSES).

    Public Meeting

    At the November 7, 2017, public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the agenda items will be described and discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and offer comments. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent to Donald Prater for the 5th Session of the TFAMR (see ADDRESSES). Written comments should state that they relate to activities of the 5th Session of the TFAMR.

    Additional Public Notification

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

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

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

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

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

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

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

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

    Fax: (202) 690-7442.

    Email: [email protected].

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

    Done at Washington, DC, on September 29, 2017. Paulo Almeida, Acting U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21347 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Oregon Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Oregon Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 1:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Monday, November 6, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to begin planning for a briefing focused on human trafficking in Oregon.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, November 6, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. PDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Public call information:

    Dial: 877-675-4757.

    Conference ID: 7967234.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ana Victoria Fortes (DFO) at [email protected] or (213) 894-3437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 877-675-4757, conference ID number: 7967234. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments; the comments must be received in the Regional Programs Unit within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. They may be faxed to the Commission at (213) 894-0508, or emailed Ana Victoria Fortes at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (213) 894-3437.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=270. Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda I. Welcome II. Approve minutes from September 5, 2017 III. Discuss Briefing Logistics a. Location b. Date IV. Discussion Briefing Agenda a. Speakers b. Panel Categories V. Public Comment VI. Next Steps VII. Adjournment Dated: September 29, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21310 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the California Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the California State Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time) Wednesday, October 25, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to discuss outreach strategies to circulate Voting Integrity report.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 25, at 10 a.m. PT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Public call information:

    Dial: 888-554-1429.

    Conference ID: 1923982.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ana Victoria Fortes at [email protected] or (213) 894-3437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-554-1429, conference ID number: 1923982. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments; the comments must be received in the Regional Programs Unit within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. They may be faxed to the Commission at (213) 894-0508, or emailed Ana Victoria Fortes at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (213) 894-3437.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=237. Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda I. Welcome II. Approval of August 16, 2017 Minutes III. Discussion Regarding Voting Integrity Report Outreach IV. Public Comment V. Adjournment Dated: September 29, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21309 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Connecticut Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), thata meeting of the ConnecticutAdvisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on: Wednesday, November 8, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is to review and approve (vote) on the Advisory Memorandum on Solitary Confinement.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, November 8, at 12:00 p.m. EDT.

    Public Call-In Information: Conference call-in number: 1-888-438-5448 and conference call 3640132.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Delaviez, at [email protected] or by phone at 202-376-7533.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call-in number: 1-888-438-5448 and conference call 3640132. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free conference call-in number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call-in number: 1-888-438-5448 and conference call 3640132.

    Members of the public are invited to make statements during the open comment period of the meeting or submit written comments. The comments must be received in the regional office approximately 30 days after each scheduled meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, faxed to (202) 376-7548, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376-7533.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=239; click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links.Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's Web site, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone numbers, email or street address.

    Agenda Wednesday, November 8, 2017 • Open—Roll Call • Work on Advisory Memorandum • Vote on Memorandum, if ready • Open Comment • Adjourn Dated: September 29, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21307 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Arizona Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Wednesday, November 1, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to discuss civil rights topics of study.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. PT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Public call information:

    Dial: 800-776-0487.

    Conference ID: 3255917.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ana Victoria Fortes (DFO) at [email protected] or (213) 894-3437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 800-776-0487, conference ID number: 3255917. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments; the comments must be received in the Regional Programs Unit within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. They may be faxed to the Commission at (213) 894-0508, or emailed Ana Victoria Fortes at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (213) 894-3437.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=235. Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda I. Welcome II. Approval of Minutes From September 7, 2017 Meeting III. Discussion Regarding Topics of Study IV. Next Steps V. Adjournment Dated: September 29, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21308 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Texas Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Texas Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 2:00 p.m. (Central Time) October 25, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to discuss proposal on voting rights.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. CDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Public call information:

    Dial: 888-318-7469.

    Conference ID: 3641351.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ana Victoria Fortes (DFO) at [email protected] or (213) 894-3437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-318-7469, conference ID number: 3641351. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments; the comments must be received in the Regional Programs Unit within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. They may be faxed to the Commission at (213) 894-0508, or emailed Ana Victoria Fortes at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (213) 894-3437.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=276. Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda I. Welcome II. Approval of September 27, 2017 Minutes III. Review of Voting Rights Proposal IV. Public Comment V. Next Steps VI. Adjournment Dated: September 29, 2017. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21311 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-061-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 272—Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania: Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Fuling Plastic USA, Inc. (Disposable Plastic and Paper Service Ware and Kitchenware Products); Allentown, Pennsylvania

    Fuling Plastic USA, Inc. (Fuling Plastic) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania within Subzone 272C. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on September 27, 2017.

    The Fuling Plastic facility is used for the receipt, quality control, warehousing, manipulation, testing, and production of disposable plastic and paper service ware and kitchenware products. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Fuling Plastic from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, Fuling Plastic would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Plastic Drinking Straws; Plastic Plates; Disposable Plastic Cups; Disposable Plastic Plates and Serving Dishes; Plastic Food Containers; and, Plastic Stoppers, Lids, Caps (duty rate ranges from 3.1% to 5.3%). Fuling Plastic would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: Polypropylene Resin; Polypropylene Resin (Modified Granulation with Color); Plastic Film; Plastic Bags; Paper Wrap; and, Paper Cartons, Boxes, and Cases (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 6.5%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is November 13, 2017.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Juanita Chen at [email protected] or (202) 482-1378.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21338 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-62-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 127—West Columbia, South Carolina; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; BGM America, Inc.; Subzone 127C; (Sailboats, Cabin Cruiser Powerboats, Outboard Motor Boats); Marion, South Carolina

    The Richland-Lexington Airport District, grantee of FTZ 127, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of BGM America, Inc. (BGM), located in Marion, South Carolina. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on September 27, 2017.

    The BGM facility is located within Subzone 127C. The facility is used for the production of sailboats, cabin cruiser powerboats, and outboard motor boats. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt BGM from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production (estimated 5-20 percent of production). On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/components noted below, BGM would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to sailboats, cabin cruiser powerboats with inboard engines, and outboard motorboats (duty rates range from 1%-1.5%). BGM would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include: Primers; adhesive acrylic; surface cleaning kits; liquid adhesives; spray adhesives; polyvinyl chloride profiles; plastic pipes and fittings; plastic flexible hoses; plastic tubes; plastic hoses; plastic pipes; plastic elbow fittings; wall and ceiling non-skid molding kits with adhesive backing; pavement marking tape; decal tape rolls; velcro; acrylic vessel covers; engine room foam (non-textile); plastic straps (non-textile); lamination and edge banding (non-textile); paper reinforced laminate; lavatories; plastic crates; plastic bags; plastic carboys and bottles; plastic waste bins; plastic dinnerware sets; plastic cups and serving ware; plastic kitchenware; plastic window screens; plastic doors; plastic container doors; plastic screens; plastic and woven fabric blinds; plastic boxes with lids; plastic door and cabinetry knobs; stern tube epoxy; fiberglass reinforced plastic deck parts and components; plastic wrap; plastic bushings; rubber profiles; rubber hoses with fittings; rubber hose harnesses; rubber non-skid mats; silicone gaskets and seals; rubber door stops; rubber noise dampening components; wood moldings; hardwood marine plywood with high pressure laminate outer covering; hardwood plywood veneer panels; hardwood marine plywood with hardwood veneer outer plywood; densified wood blocks; composite wood blocks; marine wood cabinetry; log books; binders and folders; watertight labels; self-adhesive labels; coated paper gaskets and washer seals; manuals; decal transfers; woven nylon strips; rubber thread and cord bungee cords; synthetic fiber braided cord cut to length; cotton netting; twine, cordage and rope safety ladders; twine and cordage rope; nylon woven ribbons; marine vinyl composed of polyvinyl chloride, polyester and cotton (coated with over 70 percent polyvinyl chloride); rubberized textile adhesive tape; textile felt seals and gaskets; synthetic fiber curtains; synthetic fiber textile blinds; synthetic fiber table covers; synthetic fiber textile wheel covers; sails of synthetic fibers; cotton dust cloths; polyester web fabric straps; abrasive deck surface coating; mirrors; nonwoven fiberglass mats; woven fiberglass with fibers; fiberglass in bulk; stainless steel threaded pipes; stainless steel support posts; stainless steel anchoring mechanisms—wire, ropes and cables; iron and nonalloy steel anchoring chains; steel nails; steel screw hooks; self-tapping steel wood screws; steel flat screws; steel bolts; steel screws; steel metal disc fasteners; steel nuts; steel finish nuts; steel spacer washers; steel cotters and cotter pins; steel nuts with flat head; iron and steel stoves; steel and iron stove parts and accessories—cooking chambers, surface panels, door assemblies, panels, windows and insulation; iron and steel sheaths for air heaters; stainless steel sinks; cast iron centerboards; steel ladders; steel flush rings; brass inserts; threaded brass reducers; copper and stainless steel pin cables; copper and stainless steel barrel bolts; brass plumbing fittings; copper hooks; aluminum tubes; aluminum pipe fittings and inserts; aluminum profiles for door and window frames; aluminum door steps; aluminum fuel tanks; aluminum blind rivets; aluminum screens; aluminum plates and castings; lead sealed in bags, used as weight; zinc thrusters; metal drill heads; metal hand tools; stainless steel kitchen utensils; base metal locks; base metal spring bolts; iron and steel interior hinges; brass hinges; iron and steel straps and buckles; iron and steel mountings, fittings, and door closers; iron and steel handles; iron and steel doorstops, chain door fasteners, door pulls and kick plates; iron and steel lid supports; iron and steel knobs and arms; iron and steel racks; iron and steel staples; marine propulsion engines; cable control gear boxes; iron and steel mountings for flaps; aluminum table legs; pumps; water pumps; air conditioner drain pumps; plastic pump fittings; inflator pumps; blowers; parts of ducting and relays that are parts of a marine air conditioning system; refrigerators; refrigerator door pivots; water purifying filters; oil and fuel filters for internal combustion engines; electric winches; winches; anchors; cast iron cover plates; sandblast guns; controls and thrusters; rudders; pressure valves; showerhead and hose valves; fresh water inlet systems; bushings; pulleys; couplings; metal glands with rubber inserts; ship propellers; electric motors (not exceeding 37.5 W); linear actuators; diesel generators; converters; regulators; inverters; tilting light signals; wiper arms; microwave ovens; water heaters; speakers; TV antenna splitters; remote controls; antennas; alarms; breakers; fuses; battery breakers; insulators; relay timers; switches; cable TV splitters; fuse holders; terminals; electrical splices; electrical couplings; junction boxes; motor control panels and controllers; switch frame out-boards; cover boxes for switches; diodes; solar panels; copper cables; coaxial cables; battery switches; HDMI cables; copper conductors; insulated plastic fittings; insulated plastic cable ducts; steering wheels; steering chains; compasses; navigation instruments; stencils; gauges; remote chain meters; electrical meters; bubble testers; water tank gauge beam parts; upholstered seats and accessories; sliding seat support system; wood furniture; plastic engine panel covers; wood and metal furniture parts; mattresses; cotton seat cushions and pillows; LED light ropes; indicator lights; wall lamps; wood touch up markers; crayons; pencil leads; and, pastels (duty rates range from free to 8.5%).

    The request indicates that solar panels are subject to antidumping/countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders and hardwood plywood is subject to an AD/CVD investigation when imported from certain countries. The FTZ Board's regulations (15 CFR 400.14(e)) require that merchandise subject to AD/CVD orders, or items which would be otherwise subject to suspension of liquidation under AD/CVD procedures if they entered U.S. customs territory, be admitted to the zone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41).

    The applicant also indicates that the following foreign-sourced materials/components will be admitted to the subzone in privileged foreign status, thereby precluding inverted tariff benefits on such items (where applicable): Plastic and woven fabric blinds; woven nylon strips; rubber thread and cord bungee cords; synthetic fiber braided cord cut to length; cotton netting; twine, cordage and rope safety ladders; twine and cordage rope; nylon woven ribbons; marine vinyl composed of polyvinyl chloride, polyester and cotton (coated with over 70 percent polyvinyl chloride); rubberized textile adhesive tape; textile felt seals & gaskets; synthetic fiber curtains; synthetic fiber textile blinds; synthetic fiber table covers; synthetic fiber textile wheel covers; sails of synthetic fibers; cotton dust cloths; polyester web fabric straps; nonwoven fiberglass mats; woven fiberglass with fibers; fiberglass in bulk; mattresses; and, cotton seat cushions and pillows.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is November 13, 2017.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Diane Finver at [email protected] or (202) 482-1367.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21337 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review AGENCY:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    Background

    Each year during the anniversary month of the publication of an antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation, an interested party, as defined in section 771(9) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), may request, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213, that the Department of Commerce (the Department) conduct an administrative review of that antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation.

    All deadlines for the submission of comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting date.

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (APO) to all parties having an APO within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Therefore, we encourage all parties interested in commenting on respondent selection to submit their APO applications on the date of publication of the initiation notice, or as soon thereafter as possible. The Department invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the review.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department finds that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of a review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to a review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete a Quantity and Value Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of a proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete quantity and value data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that requests a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that, with regard to reviews requested on the basis of anniversary months on or after October 2017, the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    The Department is providing this notice on its Web site, as well as in its “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” notices, so that interested parties will be aware of the manner in which the Department intends to exercise its discretion in the future.

    Opportunity to Request a Review: Not later than the last day of October 2017,1 interested parties may request administrative review of the following orders, findings, or suspended investigations, with anniversary dates in October for the following periods:

    1 Or the next business day, if the deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday or any other day when the Department is closed.

    Period of review Antidumping Duty Proceedings AUSTRALIA: Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products, A-602-809 3/22/16-9/30/17 BRAZIL: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, A-351-832 10/1/16-9/30/17 Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products, A-351-845 3/22/16-9/30/17 INDONESIA: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, A-560-815 10/1/16-9/30/17 ITALY: Pressure Sensitive Plastic Tape, A-475-059 10/1/16-9/30/17 JAPAN: Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products, A-588-874 3/22/16-9/30/17 MEXICO: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, A-201-830 10/1/16-9/30/17 MOLDOVA: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, A-841-805 10/1/16-9/30/17 REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products, A-580-883 3/22/16-9/30/17 THE NETHERLANDS: Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products, A-421-813 3/22/16-9/30/17 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Barium Carbonate, A-570-880 10/1/16-9/30/17 Barium Chloride, A-570-007 10/1/16-9/30/17 Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged For Sale, A-570-018 10/1/16-9/30/17 Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide, A-570-919 10/1/16-9/30/17 Helical Spring Lock Washers, A-570-822 10/1/16-9/30/17 Polyvinyl Alcohol, A-570-879 10/1/16-9/30/17 Steel Wire Garment Hangers, A-570-918 10/1/16-9/30/17 TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, A-274-804 10/1/16-9/30/17 TURKEY: Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products, A-489-826 3/22/16-9/30/17 UNITED KINGDOM: Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products, A-412-825 3/22/16-9/30/17 Countervailing Duty Proceedings BRAZIL: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, C-351-833 1/1/16-12/31/16 Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products, C-351-846 1/15/16-12/31/16 IRAN: Roasted In-Shell Pistachios, C-507-601 1/1/16-12/31/16 REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products, C-580-884 8/12/16-12/31/16 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged for Sale, C-570-019 1/1/16-12/31/16 Suspension Agreements RUSSIA: Uranium, A-821-802 10/1/16-9/30/16

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), an interested party as defined by section 771(9) of the Act may request in writing that the Secretary conduct an administrative review. For both antidumping and countervailing duty reviews, the interested party must specify the individual producers or exporters covered by an antidumping finding or an antidumping or countervailing duty order or suspension agreement for which it is requesting a review. In addition, a domestic interested party or an interested party described in section 771(9)(B) of the Act must state why it desires the Secretary to review those particular producers or exporters. If the interested party intends for the Secretary to review sales of merchandise by an exporter (or a producer if that producer also exports merchandise from other suppliers) which was produced in more than one country of origin and each country of origin is subject to a separate order, then the interested party must state specifically, on an order-by-order basis, which exporter(s) the request is intended to cover.

    Note that, for any party the Department was unable to locate in prior segments, the Department will not accept a request for an administrative review of that party absent new information as to the party's location. Moreover, if the interested party who files a request for review is unable to locate the producer or exporter for which it requested the review, the interested party must provide an explanation of the attempts it made to locate the producer or exporter at the same time it files its request for review, in order for the Secretary to determine if the interested party's attempts were reasonable, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.303(f)(3)(ii).

    As explained in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003), and Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011), the Department clarified its practice with respect to the collection of final antidumping duties on imports of merchandise where intermediate firms are involved. The public should be aware of this clarification in determining whether to request an administrative review of merchandise subject to antidumping findings and orders.2

    2See also the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/.

    The Department no longer considers the non-market economy (NME) entity as an exporter conditionally subject to an antidumping duty administrative reviews.3 Accordingly, the NME entity will not be under review unless the Department specifically receives a request for, or self-initiates, a review of the NME entity.4 In administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders on merchandise from NME countries where a review of the NME entity has not been initiated, but where an individual exporter for which a review was initiated does not qualify for a separate rate, the Department will issue a final decision indicating that the company in question is part of the NME entity. However, in that situation, because no review of the NME entity was conducted, the NME entity's entries were not subject to the review and the rate for the NME entity is not subject to change as a result of that review (although the rate for the individual exporter may change as a function of the finding that the exporter is part of the NME entity). Following initiation of an antidumping administrative review when there is no review requested of the NME entity, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries for all exporters not named in the initiation notice, including those that were suspended at the NME entity rate.

    3See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    4 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), parties should specify that they are requesting a review of entries from exporters comprising the entity, and to the extent possible, include the names of such exporters in their request.

    All requests must be filed electronically in Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS) on Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS Web site at http://access.trade.gov. 5 Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(l)(i), a copy of each request must be served on the petitioner and each exporter or producer specified in the request.

    5See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    The Department will publish in the Federal Register a notice of “Initiation of Administrative Review of Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation” for requests received by the last day of October 2017. If the Department does not receive, by the last day of October 2017, a request for review of entries covered by an order, finding, or suspended investigation listed in this notice and for the period identified above, the Department will instruct CBP to assess antidumping or countervailing duties on those entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of (or bond for) estimated antidumping or countervailing duties required on those entries at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption and to continue to collect the cash deposit previously ordered.

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the period of review.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. James Maeder, Senior Director perfoming the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21339 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-016] Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Amended Final Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation and Notice of Second Amended Final Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On September 25, 2017, the United States Court of International Trade (CIT or the Court) entered a final judgment sustaining the Department of Commerce's (Department) results of remand redetermination concerning the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires (passenger tires) from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Department is notifying the public that the Court's final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the Department's amended final determination, and is therefore amending that determination with respect to the cash deposit rate for Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd., and Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd. (collectively, Cooper), exporters and producers of subject merchandise.

    DATES:

    Applicable: October 5, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Toni Page, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1398.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On June 18, 2015, the Department published its final determination in the AD investigation of passenger tires from the PRC.1 On August 10, 2015, the Department published an amended final determination and the AD order.2 As part of the Department's amended final determination, the Department assigned a cash deposit rate of 11.12 percent to Cooper, which reflected an adjustment for export subsidies and estimated domestic subsidy pass-through from the companion countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of passenger tires from the PRC.3

    1See Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, In Part, 80 FR 34893 (June 18, 2015), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum (IDM) (AD Final Determination).

    2See Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Duty Determination and Antidumping Duty Order; and Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing Duty Order, 80 FR 47902 (August 10, 2015) (First Amended AD Final Determination).

    3See Amended AD Final Determination, 80 FR at 47904.

    On March 29, 2017, the Court remanded this case to the Department. Specifically, the Court directed the Department on remand to determine Cooper's AD cash deposit rate on the same basis as all other separate rate respondents and to inform the Court of the date by which the redetermined cash deposit rate would be put into effect.4

    4See Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, et al., v. United States, Court No. 15-00251, Slip Op. 17-32 (March 29, 2017) (Remand Order).

    On April 13, 2017, the Department issued its Results of Redetermination, 5 recalculating Cooper's AD cash deposit rate by adjusting its weighted-average dumping margin downward using the export subsidy rate of 13.53 percent. This export subsidy rate reflects the weighted average of the export subsidies received by the mandatory respondents in the CVD investigation and made applicable to the remaining non-mandatory separate rate respondents in the AD investigation. As a result of this adjustment, Cooper's recalculated AD cash deposit rate is 8.72 percent. The Department informed the Court that it intended to place this redetermined cash deposit rate into effect by means of instructions issued to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), with an effective date as of the tenth day from the date on which the Court issues a final judgment sustaining the results of redetermination.

    5See Results of Remand Redetermination Pursuant to Remand, Court No. 15-00251, dated April 13, 2017, available at: http://ia.ita.doc.gov/remands/17-32.pdf (Results of Remand Redetermination).

    On September 25, 2017, the Court sustained the Department's Results of Redetermination in full.6

    6See Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, et al., v. United States, Court No. 15-00251, Slip. Op. 17-130 (September 25, 2017).

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken, 7 as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, 8 the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) held that, pursuant to sections 516A(c) and (e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision. The CIT's September 25, 2017, judgment sustaining the Department's decision in the Results of Redetermination to re-calculate the cash deposit rate for Cooper from 11.12 percent to 8.72 percent, constitutes a final decision of the court that is not in harmony with the Amended Final Determination. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken.

    7See Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken).

    8See Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (Diamond Sawblades).

    Second Amended Final Determination

    Because there is now a final court decision, the Department is amending the Amended AD Final Determination with respect to the cash deposit rate calculated for the Cooper entities. Based on the Results of Redetermination, as affirmed by the CIT in the Cooper Remand, the revised cash deposit rate for the Cooper companies are as follows:

    Exporter/producer Cash deposit rate
  • (percent)
  • Cooper Tire & Rubber Company/Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd 8.72 Cooper Tire & Rubber Company/Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd 8.72 Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd./Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd 8.72 Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd./Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd 8.72
    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Since the Amended AD Final Determination, the Department has not established a new cash deposit rate for the above-listed companies. As a result, in accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct CBP to collect a cash deposit of 8.72 percent for entries of subject merchandise exported and produced by the above listed companies, effective October 5, 2017. Pursuant to the Court's final judgment and order, the Department will instruct CBP to issue a refund of cash deposits in the amount of 2.4 percent on entries of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires from the People's Republic of China exported and produced by the above-listed companies entered on or after August 6, 2015 and through and including the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516A(e)(1), 735(d), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Carole Showers, Executive Director, Office of Policy performing the duties of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21343 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department of Commerce (the Department) is automatically initiating the five-year reviews (Sunset Reviews) of the antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) order(s) listed below. The International Trade Commission (the Commission) is publishing concurrently with this notice its notice of Institution of Five-Year Reviews which covers the same order(s).

    DATES:

    Applicable October 1, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Department official identified in the “Initiation of Review” section below at AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. For information from the Commission contact Mary Messer, Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission at (202) 205-3193.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in its Procedures for Conducting Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 63 FR 13516 (March 20, 1998) and 70 FR 62061 (October 28, 2005). Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews is set forth in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    Initiation of Review

    In accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c), we are initiating Sunset Reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty order(s):

    DOC
  • Case No.
  • ITC
  • Case No.
  • Country Product Department contact
    A-570-828 731-TA-672 PRC Silicomanganese (4th Review) Robert James (202) 482-0649. A-823-805 731-TA-673 Ukraine Silicomanganese (4th Review) Robert James (202) 482-0649.
    Filing Information

    As a courtesy, we are making information related to sunset proceedings, including copies of the pertinent statute and Department's regulations, the Department's schedule for Sunset Reviews, a listing of past revocations and continuations, and current service lists, available to the public on the Department's Web site at the following address: http://enforcement.trade.gov/sunset/. All submissions in these Sunset Reviews must be filed in accordance with the Department's regulations regarding format, translation, and service of documents. These rules, including electronic filing requirements via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS), can be found at 19 CFR 351.303.1

    1See also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    This notice serves as a reminder that any party submitting factual information in an AD/CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.2 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives in these segments.3 The formats for the revised certifications are provided at the end of the Final Rule. The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the revised certification requirements.

    2See section 782(b) of the Act.

    3See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule) (amending 19 CFR 351.303(g)).

    On April 10, 2013, the Department modified two regulations related to AD/CVD proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301).4 Parties are advised to review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments. To the extent that other regulations govern the submission of factual information in a segment (such as 19 CFR 351.218), these time limits will continue to be applied. Parties are also advised to review the final rule concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in AD/CVD proceedings, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1309frn/2013-22853.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.5

    4See Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013).

    5See Extension of Time Limits, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013).

    Letters of Appearance and Administrative Protective Orders

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d), the Department will maintain and make available a public service list for these proceedings. Parties wishing to participate in any of these five-year reviews must file letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). To facilitate the timely preparation of the public service list, it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding submit an entry of appearance within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Because deadlines in Sunset Reviews can be very short, we urge interested parties who want access to proprietary information under administrative protective order (APO) to file an APO application immediately following publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The Department's regulations on submission of proprietary information and eligibility to receive access to business proprietary information under APO can be found at 19 CFR 351.304-306.

    Information Required From Interested Parties

    Domestic interested parties, as defined in section 771(9)(C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.102(b), wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must respond not later than 15 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation by filing a notice of intent to participate. The required contents of the notice of intent to participate are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(ii). In accordance with the Department's regulations, if we do not receive a notice of intent to participate from at least one domestic interested party by the 15-day deadline, the Department will automatically revoke the order without further review.6

    6See 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(iii).

    If we receive an order-specific notice of intent to participate from a domestic interested party, the Department's regulations provide that all parties wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must file complete substantive responses not later than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The required contents of a substantive response, on an order-specific basis, are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3). Note that certain information requirements differ for respondent and domestic parties. Also, note that the Department's information requirements are distinct from the Commission's information requirements. Consult the Department's regulations for information regarding the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews. Consult the Department's regulations at 19 CFR part 351 for definitions of terms and for other general information concerning antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at the Department.

    This notice of initiation is being published in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c).

    Dated: September 28, 2017. James Maeder, Senior Director, perfoming the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21340 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-201-830] Initiation and Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review: Antidumping Duty Order on Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Mexico AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) is simultaneously initiating and issuing the preliminary results of a changed circumstances review (CCR) of the antidumping duty order on carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod (wire rod) from Mexico to determine whether ArcelorMittal Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (AMM) is the successor-in-interest to ArcelorMittal Las Truchas, S.A. de C.V. (AMLT). Based on the information on the record, we preliminarily determine that AMM is the successor-in-interest to AMLT. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable October 4, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Keith Haynes, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5139.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On October 29, 2002, the Department published in the Federal Register the antidumping duty order on wire rod from Mexico.1 On May 19, 2016, the Department published its final results of the 2013-2014 administrative review of the Order, in which it assigned AMLT a 2.59 percent dumping margin.2 On August 15, 2017, AMM, a foreign producer of the subject merchandise, requested that the Department initiate and conduct a changed circumstance review to determine that AMM is the successor-in-interest to AMLT for the purposes of the Order. 3 On September 12, 2017, AMM filed a letter stating it conferred with counsel for interested parties to this proceeding, specifically, counsel for Nucor Corporation, counsel for Gerdau Ameristeel USA, Charter Steel, and Keystone Steel, and counsel for Deacero S.A.P.I. de C.V. and Deacero USA (a group which included domestic interested parties/petitioners to the Order), at which time they stated they would not oppose the August 15, 2017, request.4 AMM further requested that the Department initiate and conduct an expedited changed circumstances review.5

    1See Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Moldova, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ukraine, 67 FR 65945 (October 29, 2002) (Order).

    2See Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Mexico: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 81 FR 31592 (May 19, 2016).

    3See letter from AMM, “Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Mexico: Request for Changed Circumstances Review,” dated August 15, 2017 (CCR Request).

    4See letter from AMM, “Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Mexico: Supplement to Request for Changed Circumstances Review,” dated September 12, 2017 (CCR Supplement).

    5Id.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the Order is carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod. The product is currently classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) item numbers 7213.91.3000, 7213.91.3010, 7213.91.3011, 7213.91.3015, 7213.91.3020, 7213.91.3090, 7213.91.3091, 7213.91.3092, 7213.91.3093, 7213.91.4500, 7213.91.4510, 7213.91.4590, 7213.91.6000, 7213.91.6010, 7213.91.6090, 7213.99.0030, 7213.99.0031, 7213.99.0038, 7213.99.0090, 7227.20.0000, 7227.20.0010, 7227.20.0020, 7227.20.0030, 7227.20.0080, 7227.20.0090, 7227.20.0095, 7227.90.6010, 7227.90.6020, 7227.90.6030, 7227.90.6035, 7227.90.6050, 7227.90.6051, 7227.90.6053, 7227.90.6058, 7227.90.6059, 7227.90.6080, and 7227.90.6085 of the HTSUS. Although the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description remains dispositive.6

    6 For a complete description of the scope of the order, see Memorandum from James Maeder, Senior Director performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Carole Showers, Executive Director, Office of Policy, performing the duties of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Mexico Preliminary Decision Memorandum of Changed Circumstances Review,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, these preliminary results (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Initiation of Changed Circumstances Review

    Pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and the Department's regulations (19 CFR 351.216 and 351.221(c)(3)), the Department will conduct a changed circumstances review upon receipt of information concerning, or a request from an interested party for a review of, an order which shows changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review of the order. Generally, in the past, the Department has used CCRs to address the applicability of cash deposit rates after there have been changes in the name or structure of a respondent, such as a merger or spinoff (i.e., successor-in-interest, or successorship determinations).7

    7See, e.g., Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review, 81 FR 91909 (December 19, 2016) (Solar Cells PRC 2016 CCR Final).

    Specifically, AMM states that as of May 2, 2017, AMLT, which received its own cash deposit rate as a mandatory respondent in the most recently completed administrative review of the Order, entered into a purchase and sale agreement (Agreement) with AMM, under which nearly all AMLT's assets and commercial relationships were sold to AMM.8 Thus, consistent with Department practice, we find the information submitted by AMM demonstrates changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review.9 Therefore, in accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216(d), the Department is initiating a changed circumstances review to determine whether AMM is the successor-in-interest to AMLT.

    8See CCR Request at 2.

    9See 19 CFR 351.216(d).

    Preliminary Results

    When it concludes that expedited action is warranted, the Department may publish the notice of initiation and preliminary results of a CCR in a single notice.10 The Department has combined the notice of initiation and preliminary results in successor-in-interest cases when sufficient documentation has been provided supporting the request to make a preliminary determination.11 In this instance, because the record contains information necessary to support the request for a preliminary determination, we find that expedited action is warranted, and we are combining the notice of initiation and the notice of preliminary results, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(ii).

    10See 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(ii).

    11See, e.g., Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China, 81 FR 76561 (November 3, 2016), unchanged in Solar Cells PRC 2016 CCR Final.

    In a CCR, we generally consider a company to be the successor to another company for antidumping (AD) cash deposit purposes if the operations of the successor are not materially dissimilar from those of its predecessor.12 In making this determination, the Department examines a number of factors including, but not limited to, changes in: (1) Management; (2) production facilities; (3) suppliers; and (4) customer base.13 While no one or several of these factors will necessarily provide a dispositive indication of succession, the Department will generally consider one company to be the successor to another company if its resulting operation is essentially the same as that of its predecessor.14 Thus, if the evidence demonstrates that, with respect to the production and sale of the subject merchandise, the new company operates as the same business entity as the prior company, the Department will assign the new company the cash deposit rate of its predecessor.15

    12Id.

    13See Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China, 79 FR 48117, 48118 (August 15, 2014), unchanged in Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review, 79 FR 58740 (September 30, 2014).

    14Id.

    15See Solar Cells PRC 2016 CCR Final, 81 FR at 91910.

    In its CCR Request, AMM provided evidence demonstrating that its operations are not materially dissimilar from those of its predecessor, AMLT.16 Specifically, AMM and AMLT are both owned by the same parent company, and the record shows that the same employees and management control the company both before and after the acquisition.17 Further, AMM demonstrates that it simply integrated AMLT's long steel products production facilities into its company's assets and has not made any material changes to the production processes.18 Finally, the record confirms that there have not been any material changes to the company's suppliers,19 nor to the customer base,20 as a result of the merger. Based on the foregoing findings, which are explained in greater detail in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, the Department preliminarily determines that AMM is the successor-in-interest to AMLT and, as such, it is entitled to AMLT's AD cash deposit rate with respect to entries of subject merchandise. Should our final results remain the same as these preliminary results, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation of entries of wire rod products produced and/or exported by AMM at the AD cash-deposit rate applicable to AMLT, effective the date of publication of the final results.

    16See generally CCR Request.

    17Id. at 4-5 and Exhibits B and C.

    18Id. at 6-7 and Exhibit A.

    19Id. at 7-8 and Exhibit A.

    20Id. at 8-9.

    Public Comment

    Interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.21 Rebuttal briefs, which must be limited to issues raised in such briefs, may be filed not later than seven days after the date of publication of this notice.22 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this changed circumstances review are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; and (2) a brief summary of the argument with an electronic version included.23

    21See 19 CFR 321.309(c)(1)(ii).

    22See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1) and (2).

    23See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice.24 Hearing requests should contain the following information: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Oral presentations at the hearing will be limited to issues raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 in a room to be determined.25

    24See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    25See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    All submissions, with limited exceptions, must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the due date. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with the APO/Dockets Unit in Room 18022 and stamped with the date and time of receipt by 5 p.m. ET on the due date.26

    26See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures: Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Unless extended, consistent with 19 CFR 351.216(e), we intend to issue the final results of this changed-circumstances review no later than 270 days after the date on which this review was initiated or within 45 days if all parties agree to the outcome of the review. We intend to issue and publish this initiation and preliminary results notice in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216 and 351.221(c)(3) of the Department's regulations.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Carole Showers, Executive Director, Office of Policy performing the duties of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21341 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF695 International Trade Data System Test Concerning the Electronic Submission of Certain Data Required for the Seafood Import Monitoring Program AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces, in consultation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a test of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) involving the electronic submission of data, related to importation of fish products regulated by NMFS under the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), using the import Partner Government Agency (PGA) data set via the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Secure Data Portal. CBP and NMFS have developed a plan to test and assess the electronic transmission of harvest and traceability data for fish imports of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes covered by the SIMP.

    The test will involve using the above referenced methods to transmit the data required for processing imports of products specified in the SIMP. Under this test, data may be submitted for the covered fish products imported in any operational port. SIMP does not require or allow for submission of forms through the Document Imaging System (DIS). All ports are operational for the test.

    DATES:

    The test will commence after October 1, 2017, and will continue until concluded by publication of a notice in the Federal Register ending the test. Comments on the submission and processing of import data will be accepted throughout the duration of the test. On January 1, 2018 electronic submission of data under Seafood Import Monitoring Program will be mandatory.

    ADDRESSES:

    To submit comments concerning this test program, send an email to Josephine Baiamonte ([email protected]), Director, Business Transformation, Trade Transformation Office (ABO), Office of Trade. In the subject line of an email, please use, “Comment on NMFS SIMP Test FRN”.

    Any party seeking to participate in this test should contact their client representative. Interested parties without an assigned client representative should submit an email to John Handy at [email protected] with the subject heading “NMFS SIMP FRN—Request to Participate”.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions related to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) transmissions, contact your assigned client representative. Interested parties without an assigned client representative should direct their questions to John Handy at [email protected] For PGA reporting related questions, contact Emi Wallace (CBP) at [email protected] and for NMFS program related questions, contact Dale Jones (NMFS) at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background I. The Automated Commercial Environment

    ACE is an automated and electronic system for commercial trade processing, which is intended to streamline business processes, facilitate growth in trade, ensure cargo security, and foster participation in global commerce, while ensuring compliance with U.S. laws and regulations and reducing costs for CBP and all of its communities of interest. The ability to meet these objectives depends on successfully modernizing CBP's business functions and the information technology that supports those functions.

    CBP's modernization efforts are accomplished through phased releases of ACE component functionality designed to replace a specific function of the legacy Automated Commercial System (ACS) function. Each release will begin with a test and will end with mandatory use of the new ACE feature, thus retiring the legacy ACS function. Each release builds on previous releases and sets the foundation for subsequent releases.

    II. International Trade Data System

    This test is in furtherance of the ITDS, which is statutorily authorized by section 405 of the Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006, Public Law 109-347. The purpose of ITDS, as defined by section 4 of the SAFE Port Act of 2006, is to eliminate redundant information filing requirements, efficiently regulate the flow of commerce, and effectively enforce laws and regulations relating to international trade, by establishing a single portal system, operated by CBP, for the collection and distribution of standard electronic import and export data required by all participating Federal agencies.

    III. PGA Data Elements

    At this time, ACE is prepared to accept certain PGA data elements for NMFS regulated fish imports included in the test. The PGA data elements comprising the test are generally related to harvest and landing of seafood, additional information on the Seafood Import Monitoring Program is available at http://www.iuufishing.noaa.gov/.

    IV. The National Marine Fisheries Service Test

    This ITDS test is in furtherance of key CBP ITDS initiatives as provided in the SAFE Port Act of 2006. Under this test, NMFS required data will be transmitted electronically through ACE for any merchandise or combination thereof covered by any of these programs.

    For approved participants, the test may include all modes of transport and all commodities regulated under the Seafood Import Monitoring Program. The import entry filing process for NMFS will require the submission of specifically designated data/information at the time of filing entry with CBP. The transmission of the required data for NMFS will be utilized to collect the specified information that is required by NMFS. The data will be transmitted in ACE, using the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) at the time of filing an entry to CBP and it will accompany other required import data.

    Examples of the kind of data that will be transmitted as part of this test are: The International Fisheries Trade Permit number, 3-alpha species codes, and fishing area. For information regarding fish products regulated by NMFS and data, information, forms and documents required by NMFS, see the implementation guidelines for the NMFS at: https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/nmfs-simp-message-set.

    V. Test Participation Criteria and Participation Procedure

    Any party seeking to participate in this test must provide CBP, in their request to participate, their ABI filer code and the port(s) at which they are interested in filing the appropriate PGA data set. Requests to participate in this test will be accepted throughout the duration of the test. To be eligible to apply for this test, the applicant must be a self-filing importer who has the ability to file import entries or a broker who has the ability to file import entries; and the applicant files or intends to file entries for NMFS commodities that are the subject of this test. All test participants are required to use a software program that has completed ACE certification testing for import data.

    At this time, data submissions may be submitted for imports filed at any CBP port. Test participants should contact their client representative regarding import filings eligible for the test (see ADDRESSES).

    VII. Anticipated Process Changes

    A final rule establishing the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP)—was effective on January 9, 2017, and has a compliance date of January 1, 2018 (81 FR 88975; December 9, 2016). This test covers communication and coordination among the agencies and the filers for the importation of these fisheries products. The agencies will also be testing new operational processes in real time with actual ACE filings in the production environment that include test messages to communicate errors in filing and release status updates to the port and to the filer.

    VI. Confidentiality

    All data submitted and entered into ACE is subject to the Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 1905) and is considered confidential, except to the extent as otherwise provided by law. As stated in previous notices, participation in this or any of the previous ACE tests is not confidential and upon a written Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, a name(s) of an approved participant(s) will be disclosed by CBP in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Steven Wilson, Acting Director, Office for International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21330 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Public Availability of Fiscal Year 2016 Service Contract Inventory AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) is publishing this notice to advise the public of the availability of CFTC's Fiscal Year 2016 Service Contract Inventory.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions regarding the service contract inventory should be directed to Kathryn Rison, Contracting Officer, at 202-418-5419 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with section 743 of division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, Public Law 111-117, 123 Stat. 3034, CFTC is publishing this notice to advise the public of the availability of the Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2016 Service Contract Inventory. CFTC has posted its inventory documents on the agency Web site at the following link: http://www.cftc.gov/About/CFTCReports/index.htm.

    This inventory provides information on service contracts above the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($150,000), as determined by the base and all options value, that were awarded in FY 2016. CFTC's service contract inventory data is included in the government-wide inventory, which can be filtered to display the CFTC-specific data. A link to the government-wide inventory is included in the posting on the CFTC Web site, or it can be accessed directly at https://www.acquisition.gov/service-contract-inventory.

    The inventory documents posted on the CFTC Web site also include the following:

    CFTC FY 2016 Service Contract Inventory Planned Analysis (February 2017): This report provides information about the Product Service Codes (“PSC”) that CFTC plans to analyze from the 2016 inventory.

    CFTC FY 2015 Service Contract Inventory Analysis (February 2017): This report provides information about the PSCs that CFTC analyzed from the 2015 inventory.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21334 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force Notice of Intent To Grant an Exclusive Patent License AGENCY:

    Air Force Materiel Command, Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Bayh-Dole Act and implementing regulations, the Department of the Air Force hereby gives notice of its intent to grant an exclusive patent license agreement to The Regents of the University of California, a corporation of the State of California, having a place of business at 1111 Franklin Street, 5th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607-5200.

    DATES:

    Written objections must be filed no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after the date of publication of this Notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written objections to the Air Force Materiel Command Law Office, AFMCLO/JAZ, 2240 B Street, Room 260, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7109; Facsimile: (937) 255-3733; or Email: [email protected] Include Docket No. A60-170213A-JA in the subject line of the message.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Air Force Materiel Command Law Office, AFMCLO/JAZ, 2240 B Street, Rm 260, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7109; Facsimile: (937) 255-3733; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of the Air Force intends to grant the exclusive patent license agreement for the invention described in:

    —U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/445,551, filed January 12, 2017, and entitled ENDOVASCULAR PERFUSION AUGMENTATION FOR CRITICAL CARE; and —U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/488,625, filed April 21, 2017, and entitled FLOW RATE CONTROL DEVICE FOR VARIABLE INTRA-AORTIC OCCLUSION. Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 209; 37 CFR 404.

    The Department of the Air Force may grant the prospective license unless a timely objection is received that sufficiently shows the grant of the license would be inconsistent with the Bayh-Dole Act or implementing regulations. A competing application for a patent license agreement, completed in compliance with 37 CFR 404.8 and received by the Air Force within the period for timely objections, will be treated as an objection and may be considered as an alternative to the proposed license.

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21368 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System [Docket Number DARS-2017-0012; OMB Control Number 0704-0259] Information Collection Requirement; Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Part 216, Types of Contracts AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

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

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, DoD announces the proposed extension of a public information collection requirement and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. DoD invites comments on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this information collection requirement for use through December 31, 2017. DoD proposes that OMB extend its approval for three additional years.

    DATES:

    DoD will consider all comments received by December 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by OMB Control Number 0704-0259, using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]. Include OMB Control Number 0704-0259 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 571-372-6094.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and OMB Number: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Part 216, Types of Contracts, and related clauses in Part 252.216; OMB Control Number 0704-0259.

    Needs and Uses: The clauses at DFARS 252.216-7000, Economic Price Adjustment—Basic Steel, Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, or Copper Mill Products; DFARS 252.216-7001, Economic Price Adjustment—Nonstandard Steel Items, and DFARS 252.216-7003, Economic Price Adjustment—Wage Rates or Material Prices Controlled by a Foreign Government, require contractors with fixed-price economic price adjustment contracts to submit information to the contracting officer regarding changes in established material prices or wage rates. The contracting officer uses this information to make appropriate adjustments to contract prices.

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

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

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Reporting Frequency: On occasion.

    Number of Respondents: 132.

    Responses per Respondent: 4.04, approximately.

    Annual Responses: 533.

    Average Burden per Response: 4 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 2,132.

    Summary of Information Collection

    Paragraph (c) of the clause at DFARS 252.216-7000, Economic Price Adjustment—Basic Steel, Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, or Copper Mill Products, requires the contractor to notify the contracting officer of the amount and effective date of each decrease in any established price. Paragraph (d) of the clause permits the contractor to submit a written request to the contracting officer for an increase in contract price.

    Paragraph (f)(2) of the clause at DFARS 252.216-7001, Economic Price Adjustment—Nonstandard Steel Items, requires the contractor to furnish a statement identifying the correctness of the established prices and employee hourly earnings that are relevant to the computation of various indices. Paragraph (f)(3) of the clause requires the contractor to make available all records used in the computation of labor indices upon the request of the contracting officer.

    Paragraph (b)(1) of the clause at DFARS 252.216-7003, Economic Price Adjustment—Wage Rates or Material Prices Controlled by a Foreign Government, permits the contractor to provide a written request for contract adjustment based on increases in wage rates or material prices that are controlled by a foreign government. Paragraph (c) of the clause requires the contractor to make available its books and records that support a requested change in contract price.

    Jennifer L. Hawes, Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21355 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, App. 2, and the Code of Federal Regulations, and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee's (BESAC) charter will be renewed for a two-year period.

    The Committee will provide advice and recommendations to the Office of Science on the Basic Energy Sciences program.

    Additionally, the renewal of the BESAC has been determined to be essential to conduct business of the Department of Energy and to be in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Department of Energy, by law and agreement. The Committee will continue to operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the rules and regulations in implementation of that Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Harriet Kung at (301) 903-3081.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 28, 2017. Shena Kennerly, Acting Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21332 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory Panel AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, App. 2, and Code of Federal Regulations, and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP) has been renewed for a two-year period.

    The Panel will provide advice and recommendations to the Director, Office of Science (DOE), and the Assistant Director, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (NSF), on scientific priorities within the field of high energy physics.

    Additionally, the Secretary of Energy has determined that renewal of the HEPAP is essential to conduct business of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation and is in the public interest in connection with the performance duties imposed by law upon the Department of Energy. The Committee will continue to operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91), and the rules and regulations in implementation of these acts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. John Boger at (301) 903-4520.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 11, 2017. Shena Kennerly, Acting Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21346 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and in accordance with Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee will be renewed for a two-year period beginning on June 30, 2017.

    The Committee will provide advice to the Director, Office of Science (DOE), on the Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program managed by the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research.

    Additionally, the renewal of the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee has been determined to be essential to the conduct of the Department of Energy business and to be in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Department of Energy, by law and agreement. The Committee will operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, adhering to the rules and regulations in implementation of that Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christine Chalk at (301) 903-5152, [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 30, 2017. Shena Kennerly, Acting Committee Management Officer. Editorial Note:

    This document was received for publication by the Office of the Federal Register on September 29, 2017.

    [FR Doc. 2017-21328 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. NJ17-19-000] Buckeye Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on September 21, 2017, Buckeye Power, Inc. submitted its tariff filing: Buckeye Rate Schedule Filing, to be effective 9/21/2017.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant and all the parties in this proceeding.

    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 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.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 12, 2017.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21302 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1840-000.

    Applicants: Canton Mountain Wind, LLC.

    Description: Fifth Supplement to June 15, 2017 Canton Mountain Wind, LLC tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 9/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170928-5074.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/10/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2554-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2017-09-28_SA 2997 Palo Alto Wind-MidAmerican 1st Rev GIA (J529 J590) to be effective 9/14/2017.

    Filed Date: 9/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170928-5065.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2555-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Termination of Lower Valley Energy? Ancillary Services Agreement to be effective 9/30/2017.

    Filed Date: 9/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170928-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2556-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Termination of UAMPS Price Construct Agmt to be effective 11/29/2017.

    Filed Date: 9/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170928-5105.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/19/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2557-000.

    Applicants: New England Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Large Generator Interconnection Agrmnt with Wheelabrator Millbury & CEII Request to be effective 9/26/2017.

    Filed Date: 9/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170928-5132.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/19/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES17-59-000.

    Applicants: Portland General Electric Company.

    Description: Application of Portland General Electric Company for Authority to Issue Short-Term Debt Securities.

    Filed Date: 9/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170928-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/19/17.

    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: September 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21298 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2809-034] KEI (Maine) Power Management (III) LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Ready for Environmental Analysis, and Soliciting Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and Prescriptions

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Subsequent Minor License.

    b. Project No.: 2809-034.

    c. Date filed: April 28, 2017.

    d. Applicant: KEI (Maine) Power Management (III) LLC (KEI Power).

    e. Name of Project: American Tissue Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On Cobbosseecontee Stream, in the Town of Gardiner, Kennebec County, Maine. There are no federal or tribal lands within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Lewis C. Loon, Operations and Maintenance Manager—USA, KEI (Maine) Power Management (III) LLC, 423 Brunswick Avenue, Gardiner, ME 04345; (207) 203-3026.

    i. FERC Contact: John Baummer, 202-502-6837, or [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing motions to intervene and protests, comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions: 60 days from the issuance date of this notice; reply comments are due 105 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene and protests, comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2809-034.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. This application has been accepted for filing and is now is ready for environmental analysis.

    l. The existing American Tissue Project consists of: (1) A 256-foot-long, 23-foot-high cut granite, stone and brick masonry dam that includes a 61-foot-long, 26-foot-high west abutment section with 2-foot-high permanent flashboards, a 100-foot-long, 19- to 23-foot-high spillway section with 12-inch-high flashboards and a crest elevation of 122.3 feet mean sea level (msl), and a 95-foot-long, 27-foot-high east abutment section with a 34-foot-wide, 19-foot-high intake structure that includes: (a) A 17-foot-wide, 25.5-foot- high trashrack with 2-inch clear spacing, (b) a manually-operated headgate that controls flow to the penstock, and (c) three 4.67-foot-diameter low level outlets at an elevation of about 100 feet msl for releasing minimum flows to the bypassed reach; (2) an approximately 5.5-acre, 1,000-foot-long impoundment with a normal maximum water surface elevation of 123.3 feet msl; (3) a 280-foot-long, 7-foot-diameter underground steel penstock; (4) a 37-foot-long, 34-foot-wide concrete and wooden powerhouse containing a single 1.0-megawatt turbine-generator unit; (5) a 250-foot-long, 12-kilovolt transmission line; (6) a tailrace; and (7) appurtenant facilities. KEI Power operates the project in a run-of-river mode, with an average annual generation of 5,430 megawatt-hours.

    KEI Power proposes to release the following minimum flows from the dam to provide downstream passage in the bypassed reach for alewives and adult eels: 10 cubic feet per second (cfs) from January 1 to May 31; 29 cfs from June 1 to August 31; 69 cfs from September 1 to November 15; and 10 cfs from November 16 to December 31, or inflow to the impoundment, whichever is less. KEI Power also proposes to release a minimum flow of 52 cfs (or inflow, whichever is less) to the tailrace, which includes the minimum flows to the bypassed reach, to protect aquatic resources in the downstream reach. In addition, KEI Power proposes to upgrade the existing downstream fish passage facility; reduce or cease generation during nighttime hours during the downstream eel passage season if dead/injured or entrained eels are observed; and construct and operate a new upstream passage facility for American eel. KEI Power also proposes to revise the project boundary by removing most of the bypassed reach, except for a small portion of the reach necessary to accommodate the proposed upstream eel passage facility and existing downstream fish passage facilities.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    n. Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, and .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the title PROTEST, MOTION TO INTERVENE, COMMENTS, REPLY COMMENTS, RECOMMENDATIONS, TERMS AND CONDITIONS, or PRESCRIPTIONS; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, recommendations, terms and conditions or prescriptions must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    o. A license applicant must file no later than 60 days following the date of issuance of this notice: (1) A copy of the water quality certification; (2) a copy of the request for certification, including proof of the date on which the certifying agency received the request; or (3) evidence of waiver of water quality certification.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21288 Filed 10-3-17; 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: EC17-194-000.

    Applicants: Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the FPA to Acquire Jurisdictional Transmission Facilities of Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: EC17-195-000.

    Applicants: Radford's Run Wind Farm, LLC.

    Description: Application For Authorization Under Section 203 of The Federal Power Act, Requests for Waivers of Filing Requirements, Expedited Review and Confidential Treatment of Radford's Run Wind Farm, LLC.

    Filed Date: 9/28/17.

    Accession Number: 20170928-5026.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/19/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER09-1256-004; ER12-2708-006.

    Applicants: Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, LLC, PATH West Virginia Transmission Company, PATH Allegheny Transmission Company, LLC.

    Description: Response of Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, LLC and its operating companies to July 27, 2017 letter requesting additional information.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5122.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1456-005; ER11-3859-013; ER16-999-005; ER11-4634-005; ER17-436-003; ER17-437-006; ER14-1699-005; ER15-1457-005.

    Applicants: Beaver Falls, L.L.C., Dighton Power, LLC, Greenleaf Energy Unit 1 LLC, Hazleton Generation LLC, Marcus Hook Energy, L.P., Marcus Hook 50, L.P., Milford Power, LLC, Syracuse, L.L.C.

    Description: Notice of Change in Status of Beaver Falls, L.L.C., et al.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5126.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-1639-003.

    Applicants: AEP Generation Resources Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: AEP GR Deficency Letter Response to be effective 5/9/2017.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5108.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2553-000.

    Applicants: Wabash Valley Power Association, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendments to Rate Schedules—Jay REMC to be effective 11/27/2017.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5102.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following public utility holding company filings:

    Docket Numbers: PH17-4-003.

    Applicants: Starwood Energy Group Global, L.L.C.

    Description: Starwood Energy Group Global, L.L.C. submits FERC 65-B Change in Status of Waiver Notification.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5118.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    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: September 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21297 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2541-000] Estill Solar I, 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 Estill Solar I, 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 October 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: September 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21300 Filed 10-3-17; 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: EC17-192-000.

    Applicants: Pattern Energy Group LP, Pattern Energy Group Inc., El Cabo Wind LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization for Disposition of Jurisdictional Facilities and Requests for Waivers, Confidential Treatment, and Expedited Consideration of Pattern Energy Group LP, et al.

    Filed Date: 9/26/17.

    Accession Number: 20170926-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/17/17.

    Docket Numbers: EC17-193-000.

    Applicants: RE Astoria LLC, RE Astoria 2 LLC, RE Barren Ridge 1 LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Waivers, Confidential Treatment, Expedited Action and Shortened Comment Period of RE Astoria LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5062.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG17-157-000.

    Applicants: SP Cactus Flats Wind Energy, LLC.

    Description: Self-Certification of EG of SP Cactus Flats Wind Energy, LLC.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5071.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2549-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: TVA 2017 NITSA and NOA Filing to be effective 9/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5035.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2550-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: PJM submits Six Cost Responsibility Agreements re: DP&L Transfer to AES Ohio Gen to be effective 8/31/2017.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5072.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2551-000.

    Applicants: American Transmission Systems, Incorporated, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ATSI submits Engineering and Construction Services Agreement SA No. 4713 to be effective 11/27/2017.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5075.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-2552-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2017-09-28_SA 3044 Statcom on ATC MPFCA to be effective 11/27/2017.

    Filed Date: 9/27/17.

    Accession Number: 20170927-5085.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/18/17.

    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: September 27, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21296 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC17-15-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-505 and FERC-512); Consolidated Comment Request; Extension AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collections and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the requirements and burden of information collection, FERC-505 (Small Hydropower Projects and Conduit Facilities including License/Relicense, Exemption and Qualifying Conduit Facility Determination) and FERC-512 (Preliminary Permit) which will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a review of the information collection requirements.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due December 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Docket No. IC17-15-000 by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Please reference the specific collection number and/or title in your comments.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Type of Request: Three-year approval of the FERC-505 and FERC-512 information collection requirements with no changes to the current reporting requirements. Please note that each collection is distinct from the next.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden and cost of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collections; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Title: FERC-505, Small Hydropower Projects and Conduit Facilities including License/Relicense, Exemption, and Qualifying Conduit Facility Determination.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0115.

    Abstract: The Hydropower Efficiency Act amended statutory provisions pertaining to preliminary permits and to projects that are exempt from certain licensing requirements under the Federal Power Act (FPA) in order to reduce cost and regulatory burden, and in turn, promote hydropower development. Specifically, the Hydropower Efficiency Act gave the Commission authority to extend a preliminary permit once for not more than two additional years without requiring the permittee to apply for a successive preliminary permit. The Hydropower Efficiency Act also expanded the number of projects that may qualify for exemptions from certain licensing requirements under the FPA (i.e., small conduit hydroelectric facilities or small hydroelectric power projects), and allowed other projects to qualify to operate without Commission oversight (i.e., qualifying conduit hydropower facilities). While the Commission-approved revised regulations formally implement the Hydropower Efficiency Act, the Commission has complied with the Act since its enactment.

    Type of Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    FERC-505 (Small Hydropower Projects and Conduit Facilities Including License/Relicense, Exemption, and Qualifying Conduit Facility Determination) Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • number of
  • responses
  • Average burden and cost per response 2 Total annual burden and total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) FERC-505 16 1 16 273 hrs.; $20,884.50 4,368 hrs.; $334,152 $20,884.50

    Title: FERC-512, Preliminary Permit.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0073.

    Abstract: The information collected under the requirements of FERC-512, is used by the Commission to implement the statutory provisions of the Federal Power Act (FPA) 16 U.S.C. The purpose of obtaining a preliminary permit is to maintain priority of the application for a license for a hydropower facility while the applicant conducts surveys to prepare maps, plans, specifications and estimates; conducts engineering, economic and environmental feasibility studies; and making financial arrangements. The conditions under which the priority will be maintained are set forth in each permit.

    Type of Respondent: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimate of Annual Burden:1 The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    1 Burden is the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    2 Subject matter experts found that industry employment costs closely resemble FERC's wage average wage figure. FERC's 2017 average annual salary plus benefits per FTE (full-time equivalent) is $158,754 (or $76.50 per hour).

    FERC-512 (Preliminary Permit) Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • number of
  • responses
  • Average burden and cost per response 2 Total annual burden and total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) FERC-512 50 1 50 24 hrs.; $1,836 1,200 hrs.; $91,800 $1,836
    Dated: September 28, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21286 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EF17-2-000] Bonneville Power Administration; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on September 27, 2017, Bonneville Power Administration submitted a Notice of Inadvertent Error in the July 31, 2017 BP-18 Wholesale Power Rate Filing.

    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 October 27, 2017.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21299 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-2548-000] EGP Stillwater Solar PV II, 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 EGP Stillwater Solar PV II, 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 October 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: September 28, 2017. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21301 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14857-000] Watterra Energy, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On September 11, 2017, Watterra Energy, LLC (Watterra Energy) filed a preliminary permit application pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act proposing to study the feasibility of the proposed Saylorville Dam Hydroelectric Project No. 14857-000, to be located at the existing Saylorville Dam on the Des Moines River, near the City of Des Moines in Polk County, Iowa. Saylorville Dam is owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

    The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owner's express permission.

    Watterra Energy's proposed project would consist of: (1) A new 20-foot-diameter steel penstock that would be inserted into an existing 22-foot-diameter by 640-foot-long concrete conduit; (2) a new 55-foot-wide by 70-foot-long by 30-foot-high concrete powerhouse; (3) three new 5.22-megawatt (MW) turbines, with a combined generating capacity of 15.66 MW; (4) a new 70-foot-long by 55-foot-wide substation; (5) a new 7,000-foot-long, 13.8-kilovolt transmission line; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The project would have an estimated annual generation of 58 gigawatt-hours.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Craig Dalton, 220 W. Main Street, Hamilton, MT 59840; (406) 384-0080.

    FERC Contact: Tyrone A. Williams, (202) 502-6331.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14857-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the eLibrary link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14857) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: September 27, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21271 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP14-554-002; CP15-016-003; CP15-017-002] Florida Southeast Connection, LLC; Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Southeast Market Pipelines Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the Southeast Market Pipelines Project (SMP Project). The SMP Project is composed of three separate, but related, interstate natural gas transmission pipeline projects. These projects are: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC's Hillabee Expansion Project in Docket No. CP15-16-000; Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC's Sabal Trail Project in Docket No. CP15-17-000; and Florida Southeast Connection, LLC's Florida Southeast Connection Project in Docket No. CP14-554-000. Together, these projects involve the construction and operation of approximately 685 miles of pipeline and associated facilities.

    The draft SEIS has been prepared to address the August 22, 2017 Opinion issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia regarding the Commission's environmental review of the SMP Project. The draft SEIS incorporates by reference and expands upon the analysis contained within the December 2015 final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the SMP Project. The draft SEIS estimates the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the SMP Project's customers' downstream facilities, describes the methodology used to determine these estimates, discusses context for understanding the magnitude of these emissions, and addresses the value of using the social cost of carbon tool.

    As described in the executive summary of the FEIS, and based on the environmental analysis section of the FEIS and this draft SEIS, we conclude that constructing and operating the SMP Project would result in temporary and permanent impacts on the environment. We also conclude that with the applicants' implementation of their respective impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures, as well as their adherence to the measures we have required to further avoid, minimize, and mitigate these impacts, operating the SMP Project would not result in a significant impact on the environment.

    Commission staff has mailed copies of the draft SEIS to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners, other interested individuals and groups; and newspapers and libraries in the project area. Additionally, the draft SEIS is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies of the draft EIS are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Any person wishing to comment on the draft SEIS may do so. The Commission will only consider comments on the draft SEIS, and not on the FEIS or the Commission's orders in this proceeding, on which the public has already been provided the opportunity to comment. Comments on the draft SEIS must be filed on or before November 20, 2017. While the Commission makes every effort to consider all comments, it cannot guarantee that late comments will be considered.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference docket numbers CP14554-002; CP15-16-003; and CP15-17-002 with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on eRegister. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select Comment on a Filing as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket numbers (CP14554-002, CP15-16-003, and CP15-17-002) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Questions?

    Additional information about the SMP Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on General Search, and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP14554, CP15-16, and CP15-17). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676; for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription that allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: September 27, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21269 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corporation and the California Power Exchange, Investigation of Practices of the California Independent System Operator and the California Power Exchange Corporation, Investigation of Wholesale Rates of Public Utility Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services in the Western Systems Coordinating Council, State of California, ex rel. Bill Lockyer, Attorney General of the State of California v. British Columbia Power Exchange Corp., Fact-Finding Investigation nto Possible Manipulation of Electric and Natural Gas Prices, Aquila, Inc., Aquila, Inc., California Independent System Operator Corporation, Investigation of Anomalous Bidding Behavior and Practices in the Western Markets, Notice of Filing [Docket Nos. EL00-95-304], [EL00-98-276], [EL01-68-055], [EL02-71-062], [PA02-2-104], [EL03-138-011], [EL03-181-012], [ER03-746-057], [IN03-10-089]

    Take notice that on September 26, 2017, MPS Merchant Services, Inc., Aquila Power Corporation and the California Parties filed a Joint Compliance Filing in Support of a Settlement.

    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 October 17, 2017.

    Dated: September 27, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21270 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2485-076] FirstLight Hydro Generating Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Application: Application for Temporary Amendment of Minimum and Maximum Reservoir Elevation Requirement.

    b. Project No.: 2485-076.

    c. Date Filed: September 11, 2017, as supplemented on September 25, 2017.

    d. Applicant: FirstLight Hydro Generating Company (FirstLight).

    e. Name of Project: Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project.

    f. Location: The project is located on the east side of the Connecticut River, in the towns of Northfield and Erving, in Franklin County, Massachusetts.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Douglas Bennett, General Plant Manager—Massachusetts Hydro, FirstLight Hydro Generating Company, Northfield Mountain Station, 99 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA 01360. Phone (413) 659-4489.

    i. FERC Contact: Mr. Christopher Chaney, (202) 502-6778, or [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, or comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please include the project number (P-2485-076) on any comments, motions to intervene, or protests filed.

    k. Description of Request: FirstLight is seeking authorization to modify the upper reservoir's upper and lower water surface elevation limits from 1,000.5 feet mean sea level (msl) and 938 feet msl, to 1,004.5 feet msl and 920 feet msl, respectively. FirstLight proposes to use the additional storage capacity between December 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018. According to FirstLight, approval of changes in the water surface elevation limits would result in an increase in the maximum daily generation from 8,729 megawatt-hours (MWh) to 10,779 MWh, and provide Independent System Operator-New England with additional resources to address winter reliability needs.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document (i.e., P-2485). You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title COMMENTS, PROTEST, or MOTION TO INTERVENE as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to the amendment request. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21287 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2839-015] Notice Soliciting Scoping Comments; Village of Lyndonville Electric Department

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric license application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: New Major License.

    b. Project No.: P-2839-015.

    c. Date filed: May 26, 2017.

    d. Applicant: Village of Lyndonville Electric Department.

    e. Name of Project: Great Falls Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Passumpsic River, in the Town of Lyndon, Caledonia County, Vermont. There are no federal or tribal lands within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791 (a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Bill Humphrey, Village of Lyndonville Electric Department, 119 Park Avenue, Lyndonville, VT 05851; (802) 626-3366.

    i. FERC Contact: Bill Connelly, (202) 502-8587 or [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing scoping comments: October 27, 2017.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file scoping comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2839-015.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    l. The existing Great Falls Project consists of: (1) A 160-foot-long, 32-foot-high curved, concrete dam with 2-foot-high flashboards; (2) an approximately 12-acre impoundment having a storage capacity of 135-acre-feet at a normal full pond water surface elevation of 668.38 feet above mean sea level; (3) an 18.5-foot-wide headworks structure with two headgates; (4) a headworks gate house; (5) an intake structure and bypass pipe that are integral to the dam; (6) a 290-foot-long power canal; (7) two sluice gates; (8) an intake gate house with two trashracks; (9) a 200-foot-long metal penstock; (10) a 47-foot-long, 25-foot-wide powerhouse containing a 1,350-kilowatt (kW) turbine-generator unit and a 40-foot-long, 40-foot-wide powerhouse containing two 350-kW turbine-generator units, for a total capacity of 2,050-kW; (11) a 350-foot-long, 2.4-kilovolt (kV) above-ground generator lead that connects the turbine-generator units to a step-up transformer; (12) a 1.75-mile-long, 12.5-kV above-ground transmission line; and (13) appurtenant facilities.

    The Village of Lyndonville Electric Department (Lyndonville) operates the project in a run-of-river mode with an annual average energy production of approximately 3,960 megawatt-hours. Lyndonville is not proposing any changes in project operation. Lyndonville proposes to continue to release a year-round minimum flow of 10 cfs (or inflow, whichever is less) to the bypassed reach to maintain habitat for fish and aquatic organisms and release a minimum flow of 75 cfs (or inflow, whichever is less) from the powerhouse during project shutdowns to protect fish and aquatic resources in the downstream reach. Lyndonville proposes to install an automatic pond level control system to improve control of impoundment water surface level fluctuations. Lyndonville also proposes to develop a minimum flow monitoring plan to ensure adequate flow is provided to the bypassed reach and downstream of the powerhouse.

    Lyndonville also proposes to construct and maintain a new carry-in boat access trail downstream of the tailrace, on the west bank of the Passumpsic River, designate a new bank fishing area, and install a designated parking area outside of the project gates along the access road to the project. To ensure the adequacy of project recreation facilities, Lyndonville proposes to conduct a Recreation Inventory, Use and Needs Assessment within one year of completion of recreational improvements. Finally, Lyndonville proposes to develop a Historic Properties Management Plan to protect historic resources.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is available for inspection and reproduction at the address in Item H above.

    n. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    o. Scoping Process:

    Commission staff intends to prepare a single Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Great Falls Hydroelectric Project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The EA will consider both site-specific and cumulative environmental impacts, and reasonable alternatives to the proposed action.

    Commission staff does not propose to conduct on-site scoping meetings at this time. Instead, we are soliciting comments, recommendations, and information on the Scoping Document 1 (SD1) issued on September 27, 2017.

    Copies of SD 1 outlining the subject areas to be addressed in the EA were distributed to the parties on the Commission's mailing list and the applicant's distribution list. Copies of SD 1 may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or for TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: September 27, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21268 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF THE UNITED STATES [Public Notice 2017-6007] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    Form Title: EIB 11-03, Used Equipment Questionnaire.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), as a part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    This collection will provide information needed to determine compliance and creditworthiness for transaction requests involving previously-owned equipment submitted to Ex-Im Bank under its insurance, guarantee, and direct loan programs. Information presented in this form will be considered in the overall evaluation of the transaction, including Export-Import Bank's determination of the appropriate term for the transaction.

    The form can be viewed at: https://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/forms/eib11-03.pdf.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before December 4, 2017, to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on http://www.regulations.gov or by mail to Mardel West, Export-Import Bank of the United States, 811 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20571.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Titles and Form Number: EIB 11-03, Used Equipment Questionnaire.

    OMB Number: 3048-0039.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: The information collected will provide information needed to determine compliance and creditworthiness for transaction requests involving previously-owned equipment submitted to the Export Import Bank under its insurance, guarantee, and direct loan programs.

    Affected Public

    This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 1,000.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 15 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 250 hours.

    Frequency of Reporting or Use: As needed.

    Government Expenses

    Reviewing Time per Year: 250 hours.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year: $10,625 (time * wages).

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $12,750.

    Bassam Doughman, IT Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21306 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF THE UNITED STATES [Public Notice: 2017-6006] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals Submissions, and Approvals AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    Form Title: EIB 95-09 Letter of Interest Application.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Banks of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    The Letter of Interest (LI) is an indication of Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank's willingness to consider financing a given export transaction. Ex-Im Bank uses the requested information to determine the applicability of the proposed export transaction and determines whether or not to consider financing that transaction.

    The form can be reviewed at: https://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/pub/pending/95-9-li.pdf.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 4, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV or by mail to Mia Johnson, Export-Import Bank of the United States, 811 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20571.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and Form Number: EIB 95-09 Letter of Interest Application.

    OMB Number: 3048-0005.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: The Letter of Interest (LI) is an indication of Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank's willingness to consider financing a given export transaction. Ex-Im Bank uses the requested information to determine the applicability of the proposed export transaction system prompts and determines whether or not to consider financing that transaction.

    Affected Public: This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 540.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 0.5 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 270.

    Frequency of Reporting of Use: On occasion.

    Government Reviewing Time per Year: 270.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year: $11,475.

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $13,770.

    Bassam Doughman, IT Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21312 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION Sunshine Act Meeting; Farm Credit Administration Board AGENCY:

    Farm Credit Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice, Regular Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the Government in the Sunshine Act, of the regular meeting of the Farm Credit Administration Board (Board).

    DATES:

    The regular meeting of the Board will be held at the offices of the Farm Credit Administration in McLean, Virginia, on October 12, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. until such time as the Board concludes its business.

    ADDRESSES:

    Farm Credit Administration, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, Virginia 22102-5090. Submit attendance requests via email to [email protected] See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further information about attendance requests.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit Administration Board, (703) 883-4009, TTY (703) 883-4056.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Parts of this meeting of the Board will be open to the public (limited space available), and parts will be closed to the public. Please send an email to [email protected] at least 24 hours before the meeting. In your email include: name, postal address, entity you are representing (if applicable), and telephone number. You will receive an email confirmation from us. Please be prepared to show a photo identification when you arrive. If you need assistance for accessibility reasons, or if you have any questions, contact Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to the Farm Credit Administration Board, at (703) 883-4009. The matters to be considered at the meeting are:

    Open Session A. Approval of Minutes • September 14, 2017 B. New Business • Direct Final Rule—Assessment and Apportionment of Administrative Expenses Closed Session *

    * Session Closed-Exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. Section 552b(c)(2), (8) and (9).

    • Office of Secondary Market Oversight Periodic Report • Office of Information Technology Cybersecurity Update Dated: October 2, 2017. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21487 Filed 10-2-17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6705-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination; 10086—Security Bank of Gwinnett County, Suwanee, Georgia

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10086—Security Bank of Gwinnett County, Suwanee, Georgia (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the Receivership Estate of Security Bank of Gwinnett County (Receivership Estate); the Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments and deeds. Effective October 1, 2017, the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21323 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than October 30, 2017.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (William Spaniel, Senior Vice President) 100 North 6th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19105-1521. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. Lawrence Keister & Company, Scottsdale, Pennsylvania; to acquire additional voting shares of Mid Penn Bancorp, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of Mid Penn Bank, both in Millersburg, Pennsylvania.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 29, 2017. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21319 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 171 0084] Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation and Johnson & Johnson; Analysis To Aid Public Comment AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed consent agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent orders—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 27, 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: “Integra LifeSciences et al.; FTC File No. 1710084” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/integradivest by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Integra LifeSciences et al.; FTC File No. 1710084” 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:

    Aylin M. Skroejer, (202-326-2459), Bureau of Competition, 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 September 27, 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 October 27, 2017. Write “Integra LifeSciences et al.; FTC File No. 1710084” 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/integradivest 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 “Integra LifeSciences et al.; FTC File No. 1710084” 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 October 27, 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 Orders To Aid Public Comment Introduction

    The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Orders (“Consent Agreement”) from Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation (“Integra”) and Johnson & Johnson designed to remedy the anticompetitive effects resulting from Integra's proposed purchase of certain assets of Johnson & Johnson's Codman Neuro (“Codman”) division. The proposed Decision and Order (“Order”) contained in the Consent Agreement requires the parties to divest all rights and assets to Natus Medical Incorporated (“Natus”) related to Integra's intracranial pressure monitoring systems and fixed pressure valve shunt systems, as well as Codman's cerebrospinal fluid collection systems, non-antimicrobial external ventricular drainage catheters, and dural grafts.

    The proposed Consent Agreement has been placed on the public record for thirty days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty days, the Commission will review the comments received and decide whether it should withdraw, modify, or make the Consent Agreement final.

    Under the terms of the Asset Purchase Agreement signed on February 14, 2017, Integra will acquire Codman in a transaction valued at approximately $1.0 billion (the “Acquisition”). The Commission's Complaint alleges that the proposed Acquisition, if consummated, would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 18, and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 45, by substantially lessening competition in the U.S. markets for intracranial pressure monitoring systems, cerebrospinal fluid collection systems, non-antimicrobial external ventricular drainage catheters, fixed pressure valve shunt systems, and dural grafts. The proposed Consent Agreement will remedy the alleged violations by preserving the competition that otherwise would be lost in these markets as a result of the proposed Acquisition.

    The Parties

    Integra, headquartered in Plainsboro, New Jersey, is a medical device company with worldwide operations and one of the largest surgical instrument suppliers in the United States. The company has two U.S. business units: Specialty Surgical Solutions and Orthopedics and Tissue Technologies. The Specialty Surgical Solutions division offers instruments and systems for, among other specialties, neurosurgery and critical care.

    Codman, part of Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Synthes Inc. business unit, is a global medical device company that offers a diverse portfolio of neurosurgery, neurovascular, and drug delivery products, including instruments and systems for hydrocephalus management, neurointensive care, and cranial surgery, as well as implantable drug infusion systems. The proposed transaction excludes Codman's neurovascular and drug delivery businesses.

    The Relevant Products and Structure of the Markets I. Intracranial Pressure Monitoring Systems

    Intracranial pressure monitoring systems are used in intensive care units and operating rooms to measure pressure inside the skull, which can increase in the event of traumatic brain injury, hydrocephalus, intracranial tumors, and other medical conditions. An increase in intracranial pressure can severely damage the brain or spinal cord and is a common cause of death in neurosurgical patients, making quick detection of pressure buildup critical. Intracranial pressure monitoring systems use a pressure-sensitive probe inserted through the skull to send measurements via a transducer cable to a monitor at the patient's bedside. Customers would not switch to an alternative product in response to a small but significant increase in the price of intracranial pressure monitoring systems.

    Integra and Codman are the only significant suppliers in the U.S. market for intracranial pressure monitoring systems, accounting for 68% and 26% of 2016 sales, respectively. The remainder of the market is comprised of small, fringe competitors that have limited competitive significance.

    II. Cerebrospinal Fluid Collection Systems

    Cerebrospinal fluid collection systems drain excess cerebrospinal fluid and monitor pressures within the fluid. They consist of a plastic drainage bag, tubing, and other accessories that connect to a patient through an external ventricular drainage catheter. There are no viable alternatives to cerebrospinal fluid collection systems.

    Integra, Codman, and Medtronic are the only competitively significant suppliers of cerebrospinal fluid collection systems in the United States. Integra is the leading supplier with 57% of the market. Medtronic accounts for an additional 27% of the market, and Codman has a share of 14%. The next closest competitor is Möller Medical, which offers a more complex technology and only accounts for a nominal share of the market.

    III. Non-Antimicrobial External Ventricular Drainage Catheters

    External ventricular drainage catheters funnel excess cerebrospinal fluid from the brain to cerebrospinal fluid collection systems to relieve intracranial pressure. External ventricular drainage catheters are either antimicrobial or non-antimicrobial, and the two types constitute distinct antitrust markets because of the substantial differences between them. Non-antimicrobial external ventricular drainage catheters lack an antibiotic coating and are suitable for less critical patients; they also may be used to avoid the risk of antibiotic interference when diagnosing infections. They are significantly less expensive than antimicrobial external ventricular drainage catheters. Customers would not switch from non-antimicrobial external ventricular drainage catheters to the antimicrobial versions or any other product in response to a 5% to 10% increase in the price of non-antimicrobial external ventricular drainage catheters, in part because even with such a price increase, antimicrobial external ventricular drainage catheters would still be considerably more expensive.

    Integra and Codman account for 29% and 17% of the relevant market in the United States. The only other competitively significant firm is Medtronic, with a 51% share.

    IV. Fixed Pressure Valve Shunt Systems

    Shunts are the primary tool that neurosurgeons use to treat hydrocephalus, or excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid. Shunt systems redirect excess cerebrospinal fluid from the brain or spinal cord to another area of the body, usually the abdomen, for reabsorption. Shunt systems consist of three components: A ventricular catheter inserted into the brain, a valve to regulate the flow of the fluid, and another catheter that is threaded to the location where the fluid is emptied. Once implanted, the one-way valve in the shunt system regulates the pressure in the brain by governing the amount and pressure of cerebrospinal fluid passing through the catheter.

    There are two main types of hydrocephalus shunts: Fixed pressure valve shunts and programmable valve shunts. Fixed pressure valve shunts allow cerebrospinal fluid to pass through the shunt only when the pressure has exceeded some predetermined setting, which medical providers cannot adjust once implanted without another surgery. The settings on a programmable valve shunt system, which is significantly more expensive, can be adjusted non-invasively using specially designed magnetic tools. An insufficient number of customers are likely to switch to programmable valve shunts to prevent a small but significant increase in the price of fixed pressure valve shunt systems.

    Integra, Codman, and Medtronic are the only significant suppliers of fixed pressure valve shunt systems. Medtronic accounts for 55% of U.S. sales, and Integra follows at 23% share and Codman at 15% share. Aesculap and Sophysa hold small, fringe positions in the market and their products are not close substitutes to those of Integra and Codman.

    V. Dural Grafts

    Dural grafts are used to repair or replace a patient's dura mater, the thick membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and keeps cerebrospinal fluid in place. Integra leads the U.S. market with 66% share of 2016 sales. In addition, Integra manufactures approximately 77% of the dural grafts sold in the United States. Medtronic, Codman, and Stryker account for 11%, 9%, and 8% of sales, respectively. Other suppliers account for only a nominal share of the market.

    The Relevant Geographic Market

    The United States is the relevant geographic market in which to analyze the effects of the proposed Acquisition. These products are medical devices regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Medical devices sold outside of the United States, but not approved for sale in the United States, do not provide viable competitive alternatives for U.S. consumers.

    Competitive Effects of the Acquisition

    The proposed Acquisition would cause substantial competitive harm in the relevant markets. The parties are the only significant suppliers of intracranial pressure monitoring systems in the U.S. market, and two of only three significant suppliers of cerebrospinal fluid collection systems, non-antimicrobial external ventricular drainage catheters, and fixed pressure valve shunt systems in the United States. In the dural grafts market, a combined Integra/Codman would control the vast majority of the U.S. market and eliminate the close competition that exists between the parties today. Eliminating the head-to-head competition between Integra and Codman in all of these highly concentrated markets would allow the combined firm to exercise market power unilaterally, resulting in higher prices and reduced choice for customers in these markets.

    Entry Conditions

    Entry in the relevant markets would not be timely, likely, or sufficient in magnitude, character, and scope to deter or counteract the anticompetitive effects of the proposed Acquisition. New entry would require significant investment of time and money to design and develop an effective product, obtain FDA approval, and develop clinical history supporting the long-term efficacy of a product. A new entrant must also establish a sales and marketing infrastructure, have or develop a track record of service and support, and offer a robust line of neurosurgical products sufficient to convince potential customers of the viability of its new product offerings. Such development efforts are difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, and often fail to result in a competitive product reaching the market.

    The Consent Agreement

    The proposed Consent Agreement and Order remedy the competitive concerns raised by the proposed Acquisition by requiring the parties to divest to Natus all assets and rights to research, develop, manufacture, market, and sell Integra's intracranial pressure monitoring systems and fixed pressure valve shunt systems, as well as Codman's cerebrospinal fluid collection systems, non-antimicrobial external ventricular drainage catheters, and dural grafts. Integra is also required to divest its San Diego, California facility that manufactures a key component of its intracranial pressure monitoring systems. Additionally, to further ensure the divestitures are successful, the proposed Order requires the parties to supply Natus with cranial access kits for a limited time until Natus is able to secure supply of that product independently. The kit, which is often sold with the divestiture assets, includes items such as a hand drill, forceps, and sutures used during cranial surgery. The provisions of the Consent Agreement ensure that Natus becomes an independent, viable, and effective competitor in the respective U.S. markets in order to maintain the competition that currently exists.

    Based in Pleasanton, California, Natus is a global healthcare company that provides screening, diagnostic, and monitoring solutions for its three business units: Neurology, newborn care, and hearing and balance care. Its neurology business includes systems that are highly complementary to the divestiture assets and test for a variety of medical conditions, including epilepsy, head injury, tumors, Parkinson's, and sleep apnea. Natus is well positioned to restore the competition that otherwise would have been lost pursuant to the proposed Acquisition.

    The parties must accomplish the divestitures and relinquish their rights to Natus no later than ten days after consummating the proposed Acquisition. If the Commission determines that Natus is not an acceptable acquirer, or that the manner of the divestitures is not acceptable, the proposed Order requires the parties to unwind the sale of rights to Natus and then divest the products to a Commission-approved acquirer(s) within six months of the date the Order becomes final.

    To ensure compliance with the Order, the Commission has agreed to appoint a Monitor to ensure that Integra and Johnson & Johnson comply with all of their obligations pursuant to the Consent Agreement and to keep the Commission informed about the status of the transfer of the rights and assets to Natus. The proposed Order further allows the Commission to appoint a trustee in the event the parties fail to divest the products as required.

    The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the Consent Agreement, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed Order or to modify its terms in any way.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21291 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 161 0084] Abbott Laboratories and Alere Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed consent agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent orders—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 30, 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 Abbott Laboratories and Alere Inc., File No. 161-0084” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/abbottalereconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “In the Matter of Abbott Laboratories and Alere Inc., File No. 161-0084” 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:

    Aylin M. Skroejer, (202-326-2459), Bureau of Competition, 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 September 28, 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 October 30, 2017. Write “In the Matter of Abbott Laboratories and Alere Inc., File No. 161-0084” 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/abbottalereconsent 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 Abbott Laboratories and Alere Inc., File No. 161-0084” 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 October 30, 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 Orders To Aid Public Comment Introduction

    The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Orders (“Consent Agreement”) from Abbott Laboratories (“Abbott”) and Alere Inc. (“Alere”) designed to remedy the anticompetitive effects resulting from Abbott's proposed acquisition of Alere. The proposed Decision and Order (“Order”) contained in the Consent Agreement requires the parties to divest all rights and assets related to Alere's point-of-care blood gas testing business to Siemens Aktiengelsellschaft (“Siemens”), and all rights and assets related to Alere's point-of-care cardiac marker testing business to Quidel Corporation (“Quidel”).

    The proposed Consent Agreement has been placed on the public record for thirty days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty days, the Commission will review the comments received and decide whether it should withdraw, modify, or make the Consent Agreement final.

    Under the terms of the Amendment to Agreement and Plan of Merger signed on April 13, 2017, which amends the Agreement and Plan of Merger signed on January 30, 2016, Abbott will acquire Alere in a transaction valued at approximately $8.3 billion, which includes Abbott's assumption of $3.0 billion in debt (the “Acquisition”). The Commission's Complaint alleges that the proposed Acquisition, if consummated, would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 18, and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 45, by substantially lessening competition in the U.S. markets for point-of-care blood gas testing systems and point-of-care cardiac marker testing systems. The proposed Consent Agreement will remedy the alleged violations by preserving the competition that otherwise would be lost in these markets as a result of the proposed Acquisition.

    The Parties

    Abbott, headquartered in Abbott Park, Illinois, is a global healthcare company with three business units in the United States: Diagnostic, nutritional, and vascular. Its diagnostic testing division provides an expansive portfolio of instruments, tests, software, and training to hospitals, laboratories, blood banks, and physician offices.

    Alere, headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, is a global leader in rapid diagnostic testing. Alere provides diagnostic equipment, consumables, and patient self-management tools for cardiometabolic disease, infectious disease, and toxicology.

    The Relevant Products and Structure of the Markets I. Point-of-Care Blood Gas Testing Systems

    Point-of-care blood gas testing systems are small, portable medical instruments that measure a patient's blood pH, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and electrolyte levels to assess lung and kidney function, as well as whether an acute patient requires oxygen or other urgent treatment. They provide results in less than five minutes at a patient's bedside or other acute care settings where fast turnaround time is critical, and rely on single-use, disposable test cartridges. Abbott and Alere offer the only handheld point-of-care blood gas testing devices, and other firms offer portable point-of-care models that range up to ten pounds in weight. Hospitals pay a substantial premium for the convenience of point-of-care blood gas testing equipment over the closest alternative, using larger benchtop analyzers that employ multi-use packs of reagents and are typically located in a hospital laboratory or other centralized location for analysis. The vast majority of customers would not switch to benchtop blood gas testing systems in response to a small but significant increase in the price of point-of-care blood gas testing systems.

    Abbott and Alere are each other's closest competitors and the only significant suppliers in the U.S. market for point-of-care blood gas testing systems, accounting for 82% and 15% of 2016 sales, respectively. While IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. and LifeHealth LLC offer single-use, portable (but not handheld) systems, they are more distant competitors to Abbott and Alere and maintain fringe positions in the market.

    II. Point-of-Care Cardiac Marker Testing Systems

    Point-of-care cardiac marker testing systems are small, portable medical instruments that measure specific proteins released into the blood to assess whether a patient experiencing chest pains is having a myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure. They allow for quick initial diagnoses at a patient's bedside, which is critical because the time between a cardiac event and treatment increases the likelihood the patient will suffer permanent loss of heart muscle. The convenience of point-of-care cardiac marker testing systems differentiates them from larger benchtop models that can only be located in a hospital laboratory or some other central area of larger emergency departments. A small but significant increase in the price of point-of-care cardiac marker testing systems would not cause customers to switch to benchtop cardiac marker testing systems.

    Abbott and Alere are the only significant suppliers of point-of-care cardiac marker testing systems, accounting for approximately 87% and 13%, respectively, of the 2016 U.S. market. Abbott offers point-of-care cardiac marker testing on a handheld analyzer, and Alere on a two-pound portable analyzer. The next closest competitor to the parties is Response Biomedical, which offers a more complex technology and accounts for only a nominal share of the market.

    The Relevant Geographic Market

    The relevant geographic market for point-of-care blood gas testing systems and point-of-care cardiac marker testing systems is the United States. These products are medical devices regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Medical devices sold outside of the United States, but not approved for sale in the United States, do not provide viable competitive alternatives for U.S. consumers.

    Competitive Effects of the Acquisition

    The proposed Acquisition would likely result in significant competitive harm to consumers in the markets for point-of-care blood gas testing systems and point-of-care cardiac marker testing systems. In each relevant market, customers are able to leverage Abbott and Alere against each other to obtain better prices and improved products. By eliminating this direct and substantial head-to-head competition, the proposed Acquisition likely would allow the combined firm to exercise market power unilaterally, resulting in higher prices, reduced innovation, and less choice for consumers.

    Entry Conditions

    Entry in the relevant markets would not be timely, likely, or sufficient in magnitude, character, and scope to deter or counteract the anticompetitive effects of the proposed Acquisition. New entry would require significant investment of time and money for product research and development, regulatory approval by the FDA, and establishment of a U.S. sales and service infrastructure. Such development efforts are difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, and often fail to result in a competitive product reaching the market.

    The Consent Agreement

    The Consent Agreement eliminates the competitive concerns raised by the proposed Acquisition by requiring Alere to divest: (1) Its point-of-care blood gas testing business, including its Ottawa, Canada facilities, to Siemens; and (2) its point-of-care cardiac marker testing business, including its San Diego, California facility, to Quidel. Alere must divest all assets and rights to research, develop, manufacture, market, and sell its point-of-care blood gas testing and point-of-care cardiac marker testing product lines, including all related intellectual property and other confidential business information. Further, Siemens and Quidel intend to hire substantially all of Alere's employees whose responsibilities primarily relate to the research, development, manufacture, or sale of the relevant products. The provisions of the Consent Agreement ensure that Siemens and Quidel become independent, viable, and effective competitors in the respective markets in order to maintain the competition that currently exists.

    Siemens is a global conglomerate with a healthcare division that is one of the world's largest suppliers of technology to the healthcare industry and a leader in medical imaging and laboratory diagnostics. Siemens currently supplies a benchtop blood gas testing system, and Alere's handheld system will be highly complementary to Siemens' portfolio in the United States. Siemens has the expertise, U.S. sales infrastructure, and resources to restore the competition that otherwise would have been lost pursuant to the proposed Acquisition.

    Based in San Diego, California, Quidel develops, manufactures, and markets point-of-care diagnostic testing solutions globally. The company has expertise with immunoassay testing and currently focuses on infectious diseases, women's and general health, and gastrointestinal diseases. The acquisition of Alere's point-of-care cardiac marker testing business will complement Quidel's portfolio of rapid diagnostic testing solutions. Moreover, Quidel's chairman was co-inventor of Alere's point-of-care cardiac marker testing system, providing Quidel with additional understanding and background of the divestiture business.

    The parties must accomplish the divestitures no later than thirty days after the consummation of the Proposed Acquisition. If the Commission determines that either Siemens or Quidel is not an acceptable acquirer, or that the manner of the divestitures is not acceptable, the proposed Order requires the parties to unwind the sale of rights to Siemens and/or Quidel and then divest the products to a Commission-approved acquirer(s) within six months of the date the Order becomes final.

    The Commission has agreed to appoint a Monitor to ensure that Abbott and Alere comply with all of their obligations pursuant to the Consent Agreement and to keep the Commission informed about the status of the transfer of the rights and assets to Siemens and Quidel. The proposed Order further allows the Commission to appoint a trustee in the event the parties fail to divest the products as required.

    The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the Consent Agreement, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed Order or to modify its terms in any way.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21290 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 162 3128] Moonlight Slumber, 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 federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. 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 October 30, 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 Moonlight Slumber, LLC, File No. 1623128” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/moonlightslumberconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “In the Matter of Moonlight Slumber, LLC, File No. 1623128” 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:

    Amanda Kostner (202-326-2880) and Jock Chung (202-326-2984), 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 September 28, 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 October 30, 2017. Write “In the Matter of Moonlight Slumber, LLC, File No. 1623128” 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/moonlightslumberconsent 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 Moonlight Slumber, LLC, File No. 1623128” 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 October 30, 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 Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Moonlight Slumber, LLC (“respondent”).

    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 will again 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 the deceptive environmental and health claims respondent made regarding its baby mattresses. According to the FTC complaint, respondent made unsubstantiated representations that its mattresses are organic, natural, or plant-based and that its mattresses will not emit any substance, including volatile organic compounds, or off gas; claimed that testing proved that its mattresses do not emit volatile organic compounds; and represented that its mattresses have been certified by Green Safety Shield, yet failed to disclose that it has a material connection to the Green Safety Shield seal. Consumers likely interpret such seals as a claim that an independent third party certified the product. The complaint alleges that all of these claims are deceptive in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act.

    The proposed consent order contains five provisions designed to prevent respondent from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I prohibits misleading representations regarding whether any mattress, blanket, pillow, pad, foam-containing product, or sleep-related product is organic, natural, or plant-based; regarding the emissions from such product; and regarding the general environmental and health benefits of such product. The order requires respondent to possess competent and reliable evidence, including scientific evidence when appropriate, to substantiate these representations.

    Part II prohibits misleading representations regarding emissions-free and VOC-free claims. The order requires competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate that a product does not emit more than a trace level of emissions of the substance about which the claim is made. The order defines “emission” to include all emissions (not just VOCs that cause smog). This definition reflects the Commission's Enforcement Policy Statement and consumer expectations: Consumers are likely concerned about the potential health effects from exposure to chemical emissions found in indoor air, not just VOCs that affect outdoor air quality. Consistent with the Green Guides, the order defines “trace level of emissions” for claims for a substance to mean that (1) emissions of the substance do not result in inhalation concentrations of that substance higher than background levels in the typical residential home; (2) emissions of the substance do not cause material harm that consumers typically associate with that substance, including harm to the environment or human health; and (3) the substance has not been added intentionally to the covered product.

    Part III prohibits respondent from mispresenting the results of any tests or studies, or from misrepresenting that any product benefit is scientifically or clinically proven. Parts IV and V prohibit respondent from misrepresenting certifications or failing to adequately disclose a material connection to a party making a representation, e.g., an endorser.

    Parts VI through X are reporting and compliance provisions. Part VI mandates that respondent acknowledge receipt of the order, distribute the order to certain employees and agents, and secure acknowledgments from recipients of the order. Part VII requires that respondent submit compliance reports to the FTC within ninety (90) days of the order's issuance and submit additional reports when certain events occur. Part VIII requires that respondent create and retain certain records for five (5) years. Part IX provides for the FTC's continued compliance monitoring of respondent's activity during the order's effective dates. Part X is a provision “sunsetting” the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.

    The purpose of the analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed order or to modify its terms in any way.

    By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21289 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifiers: CMS-10110] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, and to allow a second opportunity for public comment on the notice. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection(s) of information must be received by the OMB desk officer by November 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting on the proposed information collections, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be received by the OMB desk officer via one of the following transmissions: OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395-5806 OR Email: [email protected]

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at Web site address at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/PaperworkReductionActof1995/PRA-Listing.html.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Parham at (410) 786-4669.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires federal agencies to publish a 30-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice that summarizes the following proposed collection(s) of information for public comment:

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Manufacturer Submission of Average Sales Prices (ASP) Data for Medicare Part B Drugs; Use: In accordance with Section 1847A of the Social Security Act (the Act), Medicare Part B covered drugs and biologicals not paid on a cost or prospective payment basis are paid based on the average sales price (ASP) of the drug or biological, beginning in Calendar Year (CY) 2005. The ASP data reporting requirements are specified in Section 1927 of the Act. The reported ASP data are used to establish the Medicare payment amounts. Form Number: CMS-10110 (OMB control number: 0938-0921); Frequency: Quarterly; Affected Public: Business or other For-profits; Number of Respondents: 180; Total Annual Responses: 720; Total Annual Hours: 9360. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Felicia Eggleston at 410-786-9287.)

    Dated: September 28, 2017. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21249 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living [OMB Control Number—0985-0033] Proposed Information Collection Activity; Public Comment Request; Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection (ICR-Rev); State Developmental Disabilities Council—Annual Program Performance Report (PPR) AGENCY:

    Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on ACL's intention to collect information necessary to determine grantee compliance with Part B of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act). Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Federal agencies are required to publish a notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the proposed action. This notice solicits comments on a proposed revision to an existing data collection related to the State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (State Councils) Annual Program Performance Report (PPR). On an annual basis, each Council must submit a Program Performance Report (PPR) to describe the extent to which annual progress is being achieved on the 5-year State plan goals. The PPR will be used by (1) the Council as a planning document to track progress made in meeting state plan goals; (2) the citizenry of the State as a mechanism for monitoring progress and activities on the plans of the Council; and (3) the Department as a stewardship tool for ensuring compliance with the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act and for monitoring and providing technical assistance (e.g., during site visits), and support for management decision making.

    DATES:

    Submit written or electronic comments on the collection of information by December 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit electronic comments on the collection of information to: [email protected] Submit written comments on the collection of information by mail to Sara Newell-Perez, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, 330 C Street SW., Room 1108B, Washington, DC 20201.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sara Newell-Perez at (202) 795-7413 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or update of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval.

    The proposed data collection represents a revision of a currently approved information collection (ICR-Rev). In compliance with the requirements of Section 506 (c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Administration on Community Living is soliciting public comment on the information collection described above. The Department specifically requests comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the function of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology. Consideration will only be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication. The proposed State Councils on Developmental Disabilities Annual Program Performance Report can be found on the ACL Web site at: https://www.acl.gov/about-acl/policy-and-regulations.

    ACL estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Burden Estimates

    The total estimated hour burden per respondent for the proposed DD Council PPR will increase from the 138 hours estimated in 2015 to 172 burden hours per response. The number of hours is multiplied by 56 State Council programs, resulting in a total estimated hour aggregate burden of 9,632.

    The increase in burden is primarily due to the incorporation of new performance measures into the FFY 2017-2021 state plan cycle. These measures will hone in on individual and family advocacy, as well as systems change advocacy. One example of these measures is a reporting of the number of promising and/or best practices improved as a result of systems change activities. The Program Performance Report (PPR) is an opportunity for Councils to report on the actual data and outcomes that resulted from carrying out the new State Plan activities. The proposed revisions to the PPR form were reviewed and pilot tested by a Performance Measures Workgroup consisting of nine (9) State Council representatives. This workgroup deemed the PPR revisions necessary to accurately capture and report on the progress of the State Councils. A separate workgroup consisting of nine (9) different State Council representatives further discussed data collection methodologies as it relates to the proposed PPR template. The new performance measures will offer a comprehensive categorization and approach to collecting data necessary to report to Congress and other interested entities.

    The burden calculation takes into account that 40% percent of the change Councils estimated for data collection burden will be pre-populated for them through their web-based reporting system, ACL Reporting. The increase of 24.6% for burden is consistent with the development of new performance measures and were approved and anticipated by the State Councils.

    Respondent/data collection activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Annual
  • burden hours
  • State Councils on Developmental Disabilities Annual Program Performance Report (PPR) 56 1 172 9,632 Total 56 1 172 9,632
    Dated: September 26, 2017. Mary Lazare, Principal Deputy Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21258 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Community Living Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment Request; Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection (OMB Approval Number 0985-0042); State Grant for Assistive Technology Program Annual Progress Report (AT APR) AGENCY:

    Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is announcing that the proposed collection of information listed above has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance as required under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA). This 30-day notice requests comments on the information collection requirements related to a proposed Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection (ICR-Rev). The revision would allow ACL to continue to collect information necessary to determine grantee compliance with Section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as Amended (AT Act).

    DATES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by November 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information: by fax at (202) 395-5806 or by email to [email protected], Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Groenendaal at (202) 795-7356 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or update of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. The proposed data collection represents a revision of a currently approved information collection. In order to comply with the above requirement, ACL is requesting approval of an update of a previously approved collection, the State Grants for Assistive Technology Program Annual Progress Report (AT APR), formerly the 572 Report (0985-0042).

    The AT APR is submitted annually by all State Grants for AT programs receiving formula funds under Section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as Amended (AT Act). The AT APR is used by ACL to assess grantees' compliance with Section 4 of the AT Act, with section 1329 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and with applicable provisions of the HHS regulations at 45 CFR part 75. The AT APR enables ACL to analyze qualitative and quantitative data to track performance outcomes and efficiency measures of the State Grants for AT programs; support budget requests; comply with the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) reporting requirements; provide national benchmark information; and inform program development and management activities. This information collection has 3 pieces: (a) Web-based system that collects data from states; (b) performance measure survey on the access and acquisition of AT devices and services that states collect from individuals; and, (c) customer satisfaction survey that states collect from individuals on their experiences accessing and acquiring AT through the State AT program. The burden table below identifies the data collection activities for the three surveys above as well as the estimates for record keeping and entry of aggregate data. In addition to submitting a State Plan every three years, states and outlying areas are required to submit annual progress reports on their activities. The data required for these progress reports is specified in Section 4(f) of the AT Act. The State Grants for AT program conduct the following state-level and state leadership activities: State financing, device demonstration, device loans, device reutilization, training and technical assistance, public awareness, and information and referral.

    Comments in Response to the 60-Day Federal Register Notice

    A 60-Day notice was published in the Federal Register in Vol. 82, No. 135, pg. 32710, on July 17th, 2017. ACL received one comment from the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP), which represents 54 State Grant for AT programs. The comment noted that the proposed changes to the currently approved information collection were developed with extensive input of those it directly impacts, the State AT Program grantees. The revision process began over two years ago and grantees had multiple opportunities to discuss and make recommendations on the proposed changes, which were reviewed during numerous meetings with ATAP membership at national conferences and during online events. There is uniform support within the ATAP membership for the revisions.

    Annual Burden Estimates

    The proposed State Grants for Assistive Technology Program Annual Progress Report (AT APR) may be found on the ACL Web site at: https://www.acl.gov/about-acl/public-input. The total estimated hour burden per respondent for the proposed AT APR will decrease from the 406 hours per respondent estimated in FY 2014 to 404 hours estimated for FY 2017, an estimated reduction of two hours per respondent or 112 in total. These are in addition to reductions made during the last information collection process. The reduction in burden is a result of a data collection workgroup composed of State AT program staff that met with ACL on several occasions to suggest revisions to the current instrument. The workgroup identified minor changes in several sections of the instrument, including the reporting of state-level and state leadership activities. For example, AT Device Reassignment and Open-Ended Loan have been combined into a single line in “A. Recipient Table.” This update aligns the AT APR with the State Plan for AT structure and will streamline data reporting by grantees. A separate module has been created for all the General Information for State AT programs that is consistent between the AT APR and the State Plan for AT. Data will be entered once and from that point forward only updates will be needed, which will streamline the data entry process for grantees. The Public Awareness table with numeric data has been replaced with two narrative text boxes. Numeric data reported in this section has been historically estimated with little consistency in how data is reported between grantees. With a shift to more electronic information sharing, quantified public awareness data is difficult to report for all grantees and aggregate data is not useful. This change will allow for qualitative data that is more helpful in understanding the activities conducted. The workgroup solicited feedback from all of the grantees through face-to-face meetings and webinar presentations. The number of hours is multiplied by 56 AT State Grants programs, resulting in a total estimated hour burden of 22,624 hours.

    Respondent/data collection activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Annual
  • burden
  • hours
  • State Grants for AT Annual Progress Report (AT APR) 56 1 80.0 4,480 Performance Measure Surveys 56 1 54.0 3,024 Customer Satisfaction Surveys 56 1 54.0 3,024 Data Entry for the Instruments 56 1 208.0 11,648 Record Keeping Burden 56 1 8.0 448 Total 56 1 404.0 22,624

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 22,624.

    Dated: September 27, 2017. Mary Lazare, Principal Deputy Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21259 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-5624] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Content and Format of Labeling for Human Prescription Drugs and Biological Products; Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Federal Agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on the content and format requirements for pregnancy and lactation labeling for human prescription drugs and biological products.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by December 4, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before December 4, 2017. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of December 4, 2017. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2017-N-5624 for “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Content and Format of Labeling for Human Prescription Drugs and Biological Products; Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at https://www.regulations.gov or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on https://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-18/pdf/2015-23389.pdf.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:

    Domini Bean, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-5733, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Content and Format of Labeling for Human Prescription Drugs and Biological Products; Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling OMB Control Number 0910-0624—Extension

    This information collection supports Agency regulations regarding the content and format requirements for pregnancy and lactation labeling. In the Federal Register of December 4, 2014 (79 FR 72064), FDA published a final rule entitled “Content and Format of Labeling for Human Prescription Drug and Biological Products; Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling.” The final rule amended FDA regulations concerning the content and format of the “Pregnancy,” “Labor and delivery,” and “Nursing mothers” subsections of the “Use in Specific Populations” section of the labeling for human prescription drugs. The regulations now require, among other things, a summary of the risks of using a drug during pregnancy and lactation and a discussion of the data supporting that summary. The labeling must also include relevant information to help health care providers make prescribing decisions and counsel women about the use of drugs during pregnancy and lactation. The final rule eliminated the pregnancy categories A, B, C, D, and X. In addition, FDA eliminated the “Labor and delivery” subsection because the “Pregnancy” subsection includes information on labor and delivery. The final rule also required that labeling include relevant information about pregnancy testing, contraception, and infertility for health care providers prescribing for females and males of reproductive potential. In addition, the final rule provided for a 10-year implementation schedule for compliance with the relevant regulations. As the implementation schedule is realized, FDA plans to discontinue this separate information collection and incorporate the provisions into existing collections, as appropriate.

    The content and format requirements apply to:

    • Applications submitted on or after June 30, 2015 (§§ 314.50 (21 CFR 314.50), 314.70(b), 601.2 (21 CFR 601.2), and 601.12(f)(1));

    • amendments to applications pending on June 30, 2015 (§§ 314.60 (21 CFR 314.60), 601.2, and 601.12(f)(1));

    • supplements to applications approved from June 30, 2001 to June 30, 2015 (§§ 314.70(b) and 601.12(f)(1)); and

    • annual reports for applications approved before June 30, 2001, that contain a pregnancy category, to report removal of the pregnancy category letter in their labeling (§§ 314.70(d) and 601.12(f)(3)).

    Under 21 CFR 201.57(c)(9)(i) and (ii)), holders of approved applications must provide new labeling content in a new format—that is, to rewrite the pregnancy and lactation portions of each drug's labeling. Section 201.57(c)(9)(iii) requires that labeling must include the new subsection 8.3, “Females and males of reproductive potential.” Application holders are required to submit prior approval supplements to their approved applications before distribution of the new labeling, as required in § 314.70(b) (21 CFR 314.70(b)) or § 601.12(f)(1) (21 CFR 601.12(f)(1)).

    Under 21 CFR 201.80(f)(6)(i), holders of approved applications are required to remove the pregnancy category designation (e.g., “Pregnancy Category C”) from the “Pregnancy” subsection of the “Precautions” section of the labeling. These application holders must report the labeling change in their annual reports, as required in § 314.70(d) or § 601.12(f)(3).

    As indicated in Tables 1 and 2 of this document, we estimate that the burden associated with the information collection to be 1,598,000 hours.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Type of submission
  • (21 CFR section)
  • Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total
  • hours
  • Supplements to applications approved 6/30/01 to 6/30/15 (§§ 314.70(b), 601.12(f)(1)) 390 26 10,140 (Submitted 3rd, 4th, and 5th years after 6/30/15) 120 1,216,800 Annual report submission of revised labeling for applications that contain a pregnancy category, approved before 6/30/01 (§§ 314.70(d), 601.12(f)(3)) 320 ~17 5,500 (Submitted 3rd year after 6/30/15) 40 220,000 Total 1,436,800 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Table 2—Estimated Annual Third-Party Disclosure Burden 1 Type of submission
  • (21 CFR section)
  • Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • disclosures
  • per respondent
  • Total annual
  • disclosures
  • Average
  • burden per
  • disclosure
  • Total
  • hours
  • New Drug Applications (NDAs)/Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs)/Biologics License Applications (BLAs)/efficacy supplements submitted on or after 6/30/15, including amendments to applications pending as of 6/30/15 (§§ 314.50) 314.60, 314.70(b), 601.2, 601.12(f)(1)) 390 ~10 4,000 (Submitted during 10-year period after 6/30/15) 40 160,000 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    FDA estimates that approximately 4,000 applications containing the subject labeling will be submitted by approximately 390 applicants and repackagers and relabelers to FDA over the 10-year period beginning June 30, 2015. This figure (4,000 applications) includes labeling for approximately 800 applications submitted under section 505(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 505(b)) or section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 262), 1,200 applications submitted under section 505(j) of the FD&C Act, and 2,000 revised drug product labeling from repackagers and relabelers for approximately 2,000 applications. This estimate also includes labeling amendments submitted to FDA for applications pending as of the effective date of the final rule. FDA estimates that it will take applicants approximately 40 hours to prepare and submit the subject labeling. This estimate applies only to the requirements of the final rule and does not indicate the total hours required to prepare and submit complete labeling for these applications. The information collection burden to prepare and submit labeling in accordance with §§ 201.56 (21 CFR 201.56), 201.57, and 201.80 is approved by OMB under control numbers 0910-0572 and 0910-0001.

    In addition, during the 3rd, 4th, and 5th years after the effective date of the final rule, the Agency estimates that it will receive approximately 10,150 supplements to applications that were either approved from June 30, 2001, to the effective date or were pending as of the effective date. This estimate includes supplements for approximately 1,080 NDAs, BLAs, and efficacy supplements; 1,320 ANDA supplements; and 7,750 drug product labeling supplements from repackagers and relabelers. FDA estimates that approximately 390 application holders, repackagers, and relabelers will submit these supplements, and that it will take approximately 120 hours to prepare and submit each supplement.

    FDA also estimates that application holders will submit approximately 5,500 annual reports to FDA during the third year after the effective date for applications that contain a pregnancy category, approved before June 30, 2001. This estimate includes approximately 1,340 NDAs and BLAs, and approximately 4,160 ANDAs containing labeling changes as a result of the final rule. FDA estimates that approximately 320 application holders will submit these annual reports, and that it will take approximately 40 hours for each submission.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21292 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2017-N-0001] Patient Engagement Advisory Committee; Amendment of Notice AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing amendments to the notice of meeting of the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee. This meeting was announced in the Federal Register of July 26, 2017. The amendments are being made to reflect time changes in the DATES and Procedure sections and to add Webcast Information to the document. There are no other changes.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Letise Williams, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5441, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-8398; or FDA Advisory Committee Information Line, 1-800-741-8138 (301-443-0572 in the Washington, DC area), code PEAC. Please call the Information Line for up-to-date information on this meeting.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Federal Register of July 26, 2017 (82 FR 34681), FDA announced that a meeting of the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee would be held on October 11 and 12, 2017. On page 34681, in the third column, the DATES section is changed to reflect the time of these meetings on the announced dates.

    On page 34682, in the first column, in the Procedure section, the third sentence is changed to reflect new times for oral presentations on October 11 and 12.

    On page 34682, in the second column, a Webcast Information section is added before the last paragraph of the document. The amendments read as follows:

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on October 11, 2017, from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and October 12, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Procedure: Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled between approximately 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on October 11, 2017, and approximately 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on October 12, 2017.

    Webcast Information: This meeting will also be made available to the public via webcast. The links for the webcasts are below: October 11, 2017: “Patient Engagement Advisory Committee Meeting, Day 1,” https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1157277&tp_key=5580d0c7a5. October 12, 2017: “Patient Engagement Advisory Committee Meeting, Day 2,” Morning Session—https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1157280&tp_key=dfcde848fe; and Afternoon Session—https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1157282&tp_key=6d832a247e.

    This notice is issued under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app. 2) and 21 CFR part 14, relating to the advisory committees.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Anna K. Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21317 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary Findings of Research Misconduct AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has taken final action in the following case:

    Azza El-Remessy, Ph.D., University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy: Based on the report of an investigation conducted by the University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy (UGCP) and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Dr. Azza El-Remessy, former Associate Professor, Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, UGCP, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grants R01 EY011766, R01 EY022408, and R01 EY04618, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), NIH, grant R01 HL056259, and National Cancer Institute (NCI), NIH, grant K01 CA89689.

    ORI found that false Western blot data were included in:

    J Cell Sci. 118(Pt. 1):243-52, 2005 (hereafter referred to as “J Cell Sci. 2005”). Retraction in: J Cell Sci. 129(16):3203, 2016.

    FASEB J. 21(10):2528-39, 2007 (hereafter referred to as “FASEB J. 2007”). Retraction in: FASEB J. 31(1):421, 2017.

    PLoS One 8(8):e71868, 2013 (hereafter referred to as “PLoS One 2013”).

    As a result of its investigation, UGCP recommended that PLoS One 2013 be corrected. As a result of the investigation, J Cell Sci. 2005 and FASEB J. 2007 have been retracted.

    ORI found that Respondent intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly used the same Western blot bands to represent different experimental results. Specifically, Respondent reused and relabeled bands in:

    1. Figure 3B, J Cell Sci. 2005, to represent p38 bands from retinal cultured endothelial cells in high glucose in the absence of exogenous VEGF and also cells in peroxynitrite in the presence of exogenous VEGF.

    2. Figure 4A, J Cell Sci. 2005, to represent nitrotyrosine immunoprecipitations from retinal endothelial cells cultured in normal glucose in the presence or absence of FeTTP; the Respondent also duplicated controls for p85 immunoprecipitation by using three bands representing 2 normal glucose and 1 high glucose treatments, flipping them horizontally (mirror images) to also represent 2 high glucose and 1 peroxynitrite treatments.

    3. Figure 4B, J Cell Sci. 2005, to represent p85 immunoprecipitations from retinal endothelial cells stimulated with VEGF and also cells treated with either high glucose or peroxynitrite.

    4. Figure 4A, PLoS One 2013, to represent immunoprecipitations for phosphorylated GSK-3 (p-GSK-3) in cells with normal glucose or high glucose for day 1 and to also represent cells treated with VEGF or VEGF+VEGFI (inhibitor); the Respondent also duplicated GSK-3 controls by using the same bands to represent high glucose treatment for day 1 and day 3 treatments, flipping them horizontally, to also represent for VEGF and VEGFRI treatments.

    5. Figure 3, FASEB J. 2007, to represent phosphorylated VEGF2 (P-VEGF2) protein expression in microvascular endothelial cells in: Lanes 1 and 8, lanes 2 and 5, and lanes 6 and 7, where each lane represents different experimental conditions.

    Dr. El-Remessy entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement (Agreement) to resolve this matter without further expenditure of time or other resources. Dr. El-Remessy accepts ORI's findings of research misconduct as set forth above but neither admits nor denies ORI's findings of research misconduct. The settlement is not an admission of liability on the part of the Respondent. Dr. El-Remessy voluntarily agreed, beginning on September 12, 2017:

    (1) To have her research supervised for a period of three (3) years beginning with the effective date of the Agreement; Respondent agreed that prior to the submission of an application for U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) support for a research project on which the Respondent's participation is proposed and prior to Respondent's participation in any capacity on PHS-supported research, Respondent shall ensure that a plan for supervision of Respondent's duties is submitted to ORI for approval; the supervision plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of Respondent's research contribution; Respondent agreed that she shall not participate in any PHS-supported research until such a supervision plan is submitted to and approved by ORI; Respondent agreed to maintain responsibility for compliance with the agreed upon supervision plan;

    (2) that for three (3) years beginning with the effective date of the Agreement, any institution employing her shall submit, in conjunction with each application for PHS funds, or report, manuscript, or abstract involving PHS-supported research in which Respondent is involved, a certification to ORI that the data provided by Respondent are based on actual experiments or are otherwise legitimately derived and that the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application, report, manuscript, or abstract;

    (3) to exclude herself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant for a period of three (3) years, beginning with the effective date of the Agreement; and

    (4) that as a condition of the Agreement, Respondent will request that PLoS One 8(8):e71868, 2013 be corrected or retracted.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Director, Office of Research Integrity, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 750, Rockville, MD 20852, (240) 453-8200.

    Kathryn M. Partin, Director, Office of Research Integrity.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21367 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Human Genome Research Institute Special Emphasis Panel, SEP U24 Research Resource.

    Date: November 30, 2017.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Human Genome Research Institute, 5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 3146, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Rudy O. Pozzatti, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, 5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 4076, MSC 9306, Rockville, MD 20852, (301) 402-0838, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.172, Human Genome Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 28, 2017. Sylvia L. Neal, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21263 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Multi-site Clinical Trials.

    Date: October 19, 2017.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Shang-Yi Anne Tsai, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4228, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5842, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; NIDA Mentored Clinical Scientists Development Program Award in Drug Abuse and Addiction (K12).

    Date: October 25, 2017.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Susan O. McGuire, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4245, Rockville, MD 20852, (301) 827-5817, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00).

    Date: October 25, 2017.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Susan O. McGuire, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4245, Rockville, MD 20852, (301) 827-5817, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; (T32) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants.

    Date: October 26-27, 2017.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Susan O. McGuire, Ph.D. Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4245, Rockville, MD 20852, (301) 827-5817, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Exploring Novel RNA Modifications in HIV/AIDS and Substance Use Disorders (R01, R21).

    Date: November 1, 2017.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852,

    Contact Person: Susan O. McGuire, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4245, Rockville, MD 20852, (301) 827-5817, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Cutting-Edge Basic Research Awards (CEBRA) (R21).

    Date: November 29, 2017.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Shang-Yi Anne Tsai, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4228, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-5842, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 28, 2017. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21265 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of a meeting of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and AIDS Initial Review Group Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and AIDS Initial Review Group; Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee.

    Date: October 30-31, 2017.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Frank S. De Silva, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room #3E72A, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9834, Bethesda, MD 20892934, (240) 669-5023, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 28, 2017. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21264 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, NIDA.

    The meeting will be closed to the public as indicated below in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended for the review, discussion, and evaluation of individual intramural programs and projects conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, including consideration of personnel qualifications and performance, and the competence of individual investigators, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Board of Scientific Counselors, NIDA.

    Date: November 7, 2017.

    Closed: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate personal qualifications and performance, and competence of individual investigators.

    Place: Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus, Baltimore, MD 21223.

    Contact Person: Joshua Kysiak, Program Specialist, Biomedical Research Center, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 251 Bayview Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21224, 443-740-2465, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 28, 2017. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21266 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request, The National Institute of Mental Health Data Archive (NDA), National Institute of Mental Health AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on July 11, 2017, and allowed 60 days for public comment. No public comments were received. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30-days of the date of this publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, should be directed to the: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Regulatory Affairs, [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-6974, Attention: Desk Officer for NIH.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, contact: Melba Rojas, NIMH Project Clearance Liaison, Science Policy and Evaluation Branch, Office of Science Policy, Planning and Communications, NIMH, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, MSC 9667, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, call 301-443-4335, or email your request, including your mailing address, to [email protected] Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health, 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.

    In compliance with Section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below.

    Proposed Collection: The National Institute of Mental Health Data Archive (NDA), REVISION, OMB Control Number 0925-0667, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Need and Use of Information Collection: This REVISION request seeks approval of updates to the previously approved National Database for Autism Research Data Access Request and Data Use Certification, to include additional terms/options for data submission and access to meet the needs of the expanding resource, and to change the repository name to the NIMH Data Archive (NDA). The NDA, formerly known as the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR), is an infrastructure that allows for the submission and storage of human subjects data from researchers conducting studies related to many scientific domains, regardless of the source of funding. The NIH and NIMH developed this resource to allow for the public collection of information from: (1) Individuals who seek permission to access data from the NDA for the purpose of scientific investigation, scholarship or teaching, or other forms of research and research development, via the Data Use Certification (DUC), and (2) individuals who request permission to submit data to the NDA for the purpose of scientific investigation, scholarship or teaching, or other forms of research and research development, via the Data Submission Agreement (DSA). The extensive information stored in the NDA continues to provide a rare and valuable scientific resource to the field, and plays an integral part in fulfilling research objectives in multiple scientific domains. The NIH and the NIMH seek to encourage use of the NDA by investigators in the field of multiple scientific research domains to achieve rapid scientific progress. In order to take full advantage of this resource and maximize its research value, it is important that data are made broadly available, on appropriate terms and conditions, to the largest possible number of investigators.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 1,500.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Form name Type of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • NDA Data Submission Agreement (DSA) Researchers submitting data 250 1 90/60 375 NDA Data Use Certification (DUC) Researchers requesting access to data 750 1 90/60 1125 Total 1000 1000 1500
    Melba Rojas, Project Clearance Liaison, NIMH, NIH.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21267 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Office of the Secretary Waiver of Compliance With Navigation Laws; Hurricane Maria AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico resulting in widespread damage to its infrastructure. In light of this devastation, the Department of Defense (DoD) has requested a 10-day waiver of the Jones Act in the interest of national defense, commencing immediately.

    The Jones Act, 46 United States Code (U.S.C.) 55102, states “a vessel may not provide any part of the transportation of merchandise by water, or by land and water, between points in the United States to which the coastwise laws apply, either directly or via a foreign port” unless the vessel was built in and documented under the laws of the United States and is wholly owned by persons who are citizens of the United States. Such a vessel, after obtaining a coastwise endorsement from the U.S. Coast Guard, is “coastwise-qualified.” The coastwise laws generally apply to points in the territorial sea, which is defined as the belt, three nautical miles wide, seaward of the territorial sea baseline, and to points located in internal waters, landward of the territorial sea baseline.

    The navigation laws, including the coastwise laws, can be waived under the authority provided by 46 U.S.C. 501. The statute provides in relevant part, “On request of the Secretary of Defense, the head of an agency responsible for the administration of the navigation or vessel-inspection laws shall waive compliance with those laws to the extent the Secretary considers necessary in the interest of national defense.” 46 U.S.C. 501(a).

    For the reasons stated above, and in light of the request from the Department of Defense, I am exercising my authority to waive the Jones Act for a 10-day period, commencing immediately, to facilitate movement of all products to be shipped from U.S. coastwise points to Puerto Rico. This waiver applies to covered merchandise laded on board a vessel within the 10-day period of the waiver and delivered by October 18, 2017. Carriers or shippers who conduct transportation pursuant to this waiver should provide notice of the vessel, dates of embarkation and disembarkation, type and quantity of cargo, and port of embarkation to [email protected]

    Executed this 28th day of September, 2017. Elaine C. Duke, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21283 Filed 10-3-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-6000-FA-05; FR-6000-FA-04; FR-6000-FA-14; FR-6000-FA-29; FR-6100-FA-12; FR-6100-FA-13; FR-6100-FA-33] Announcement of Funding Awards AGENCY:

    Office of Strategic Planning and Management, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Department of Housing and Urban Development Reform Act of 1989, this announcement notifies the public of funding decisions made by the Department in competitions for funding under the Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) for the following programs: Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency Program; FY2016 Family Self-Sufficiency Program; FY2016 Jobs Plus Initiative; FY2016 Research and Evaluation, Demonstration, and Data Analysis and Utilization; FY2017 Comprehensive Housing Counseling Grant Program; FY2017 Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program; and FY2017 Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program.

    For Additional Information, Contact: Office of Strategic Planning and Management, Grants Management and Oversight Division at [email protected] or the contact person listed in each appendix.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The FY2016 Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency Program competition was announced in the NOFA published on grants.gov on March 31, 2016, FR-6000-N-05, and which closed on May 16, 2016. Applications were rated and selected for funding based on selection criteria contained in the NOFA. $31,597,607 was awarded to 115 recipients to develop local coordination of assistance under the Public Housing program with public and private resources, for supportive services and resident empowerment activities. Service Coordinators link program participants with the supportive services needed to achieve self-sufficiency or remain independent. The list of grantees selected under this NOFA are listed in Appendix A of this notice.

    The FY2016 Family Self-Sufficiency Program competition was announced in the NOFA published on grants.gov on March 21, 2016, FR-6000-N-04, and which closed on April 20, 2016. Applications were rated and selected for funding based on selection criteria contained in the NOFA. $75,158,372 was awarded to 687 recipients to coordinate the use of assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Public Housing programs with public and private resources to enable participating families to increase earned income and financial literacy, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency. The list of grantees selected under this NOFA are listed in Appendix B of this notice.

    The FY2016 Jobs Plus Initiative competition was announced in the NOFA published on grants.gov on April 11, 2016, FR-6000-N-14, and which closed on June 13, 2016. Applications were rated and selected for funding based on selection criteria contained in the NOFA. $14,397,553 was awarded to six recipients to develop locally-based, job-driven approaches to increase earnings and advance employment outcomes through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement technology skills, and financial literacy for residents of public housing. The list of grantees selected under this NOFA are listed in Appendix C of this notice.

    The FY2016 Research and Evaluation, Demonstration, and Data Analysis and Utilization competition was announced in the NOFA published on grants.gov on February 10, 2017, FR-6000-N-29, and which closed on May 11, 2017. Applications were rated and selected for funding based on selection criteria contained in the NOFA. $2,899,177 was awarded to four recipients for programs that seek to inform policy development and implementation to improve life in American communities through conducting, supporting, and sharing research, surveys, demonstrations, program evaluations, and best practices. Funding was awarded to conduct the Accessible Housing and Technology Research and Demonstration and Technical Assistance Assessment. The list of grantees selected under this NOFA are listed in Appendix D of this notice.

    The FY2017 Comprehensive Housing Counseling Grant Program competition was announced in the NOFA published on grants.gov on January 31, 2017, FR-6100-N-33, and which closed on March 17, 2017. Applications were rated and selected for funding based on selection criteria contained in the NOFA. $50,672,051 was awarded to 253 recipients to provide counseling and advice to tenants and homeowners, both current and prospective, regarding property maintenance, financial management/literacy, and other matters as may be appropriate to assist them in improving their housing conditions, meeting their financial needs, and fulfilling the responsibilities of tenancy or homeownership. The list of grantees selected under this NOFA are listed in Appendix E of this notice.

    The FY2017 Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program competition was announced in the NOFA published on grants.gov on February 7, 2017, FR-6100-N-12, and which closed on March 23, 2017. Applications were rated and selected for funding based on selection criteria contained in the NOFA. $66,448,640 was awarded to 28 recipients for units of state and local government to implement comprehensive programs to identify and remediate lead based paint hazards in privately owned rental or owner occupied housing. The list of grantees selected under this NOFA are listed in Appendix F of this notice.

    The FY2017 Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program competition was announced in the NOFA published on grants.gov on February 7, 2017, FR-6100-N-13, and which closed on March 23, 2017. Applications were rated and selected for funding based on selection criteria contained in the NOFA. $60,327,424 was awarded to 20 recipients for units of state and local government to implement comprehensive programs to identify and remediate lead based paint hazards in privately owned rental or owner occupied housing. HUD recognizes that one of the applicants selected for award, the City of Houston, TX, has been subject to devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and that the City will be facing overwhelming challenges for an extended period. Accordingly, and with the City's agreement, instead of considering obligating FY 2017/2018 funds for their grant, pending successful completion of negotiations, HUD will reserve FY 2018/2019 funds when appropriated, apportioned, and allotted, for obligation pending successful completion of negotiations in FY 2018. The FY 2017/2018 funds will be used for other lead hazard control grants, as permitted by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, specifically for additional partial funding of Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control grants to the City of Brockton, MA, and the Malden Redevelopment Authority, Malden, MA. The list of grantees selected under this NOFA are listed in Appendix G of this notice.

    In accordance with section 102(a)(4)(C) of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Reform Act of 1989 (103 Stat. 1987, 42 U.S.C. 3545(a)(4)(C)), the Department is publishing the awardees and the amounts of these awards in Appendices A-G to this document.

    Dated: September 26, 2017. Henry Hensley, Director, Office of Strategic Planning and Management.

    [FR-6000-FA-05]

    [FR-6000-FA-04]

    [FR-6000-FA-14]

    [FR-6000-FA-29]

    [FR-6100-FA-12]

    [FR-6100-FA-13]

    [FR-6100-FA-33]

    Appendix A FY2016 Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency Program

    Contact: Tremayne Youmans; 202-402-6621.

    Recipient Amount Catholic Community Service 419 Sixth Street Juneau AK 99801-1072 $224,298 Pribilof Islands Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Box 86 St. Paul Island AK 99660-0086 246,000 Housing Authority of the Birmingham District 1826 3rd Ave. South Birmingham AL 35233-1941 738,000 Housing Authority of the City of Eufaula P.O. Box 36 Eufaula AL 36072-0000 165,800 Huntsville Housing Authority 200 Washington Street Huntsville AL 35804-0486 492,000 City of Tucson 310 N. Commerce Park Loop Public Housing Auth. Division Tucson AZ 85726-7210 246,000 Bishop Paiute Tribe 50 Tu Su Lane Bishop CA 93514-8058 191,812 Housing Authority of the County of San Joaquin 448 S. Center Street Stockton CA 95203-3426 321,586 Housing Authority of the County of Stanislaus 1701 Robertson Road Housing Program Services Modesto CA 95358-0033 246,000 Housing Authority of the County of Yolo 147 West Main Street Client Services Woodland CA 95695-2914 246,000 North Lincoln Local Resident Council 1401 Mariposa Street Local Resident Council Denver CO 80204-2503 200,545 Thomas Bean Local Resident Council 2350 Cleveland Place Local Resident Council Denver CO 80205-3208 200,545 Callahan House Association 32 Smith Street Seymour CT 06483-3738 246,000 Housing Authority of the City of Meriden 22 Church St. Resident Services Department Meriden CT 06451-3256 246,000 Housing Authority of the City of New Britain 16 Armistice St New Britain CT 06053-0000 246,000 West Haven Housing Authority 15 Glade Street West Haven CT 06516-0000 246,000 Wilmington Housing Authority 400 N Walnut Street Wilmington DE 19802-1436 492,000 Housing Authority of Brevard County 1401 Guava Ave Melbourne FL 32935-0000 233,938 Housing Authority of the City of Cocoa 828 Stone Street Cocoa FL 32922-0000 246,000 Housing Authority of the City of Lakeland, Florida 430 Hartsell Avenue Lakeland FL 33815-4502 219,185 Housing Authority of the City of Winter Park 718 Margaret Square Winter Park FL 32789-1932 222,710 Jacksonville Housing Authority 1300 Broad Street North Resident Svcs Jacksonville FL 32202-3938 655,200 Manatee County Housing Authority 5631 11th Street East Bradenton FL 34203-5978 223,860 Orange Avenue United Tenants Association, Inc 1700 Joe Louis St Tallahassee FL 32304-0000 220,198 Pahokee Housing Authority 465 Friend Terrace Pahokee FL 33476-1941 192,000 Pinellas County Housing Authority 11479 Ulmerton Road Largo FL 33778-1147 242,053 Sarasota Housing Authority Agency-wide Resident Council, Inc 1300 Boulevard of the Arts Sarasota FL 34236-4967 209,612 Dublin Housing Authority 500 West Mary Street Dublin GA 31040-0036 205,689 Griffin Housing Authority 518 Nine Oaks Drive Griffin GA 30224-4169 187,614 Housing Authority of the City of College Park 2000 Princeton Avenue College Park GA 30337-2412 246,000 Housing Authority of the City of Gainesville 750 Pearl Nix Parkway Gainesville GA 30503-7016 244,000 Macon-Bibb County Housing Authority 2015 Felton Avenue Macon GA 31201-4928 410,482 Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority 117 Bien Venida Avenue Sinajana GU 96910-4643 183,606 Coeur d'Alene Tribal Housing Authority 1005 8th St Plummer ID 83851 234,144 Central Advisory Council 243 E. 32nd Street Chicago IL 60616-3974 195,990 Housing Authority of Henry County 125 N. Chestnut Street Kewanee IL 61443-0125 188,761 Peoria Housing Authority 100 S. Richard Pryor Place Peoria IL 61605-3905 246,000 Springfield Housing Authority 200 North Eleventh Street Springfield IL 62703-1004 482,094 Winnebago County Housing Authority 3617 Delaware Street Rockford IL 61102-1506 241,476 Campbellsville Housing & Redevelopment Authority 400 Ingram Ave Campbellsville KY 42718-1627 246,000 City of Lebanon dba Housing Authority of Lebanon 101 Hamilton Heights ROSS Service Coordinator Lebanon KY 40033-1369 246,000 Housing Authority of Owensboro 2161 East 19th Street Owensboro KY 42303 228,053 Lexington-Fayette Urban County Housing Authority 300 W. New Circle Road Lexington KY 40505-1428 230,727 Dillard University 2601 Gentilly Blvd Office of Community Relations New Orleans LA 70122-3043 246,000 Housing Authority of St. John the Baptist Parish 152 Joe Parquet Circle LaPlace LA 70068-0000 228,517 Brookline Housing Authority 90 Longwood Ave Brookline MA 02446-0000 246,000 Framingham Housing Authority 1 John J. Brady Drive Framingham MA 01702-2307 246,000 Malden Housing Authority 630 Salem Street Malden MA 02148-4361 246,000 Somerville Housing Authority 30 Memorial Road Somerville MA 02145-1704 246,000 Springfield Housing Authority 60 Congress Street Springfield MA 01101-1609 185,959 Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis 1217 Madison St Annapolis MD 21403-0000 246,000 O'Donnell Heights Tenant Council Inc 1200 Gusryan Street Baltimore MD 21224-5548 246,000 Bath Housing Authority 80 Congress Avenue Bath ME 04530-1542 217,679 Ellsworth Housing Authority P.O. Box 28 Bar Harbor ME 04609-0028 211,482 Housing Authority of the City of Brewer 15 Colonial Circle, Suite 1 Brewer ME 04412-1448 175,000 Melvindale Housing Commission 3501 Oakwood Boulevard Melvindale MI 48122-0000 246,000 Port Huron Housing Commission 905 Seventh Street Port Huron MI 48060 205,800 St. Louis Housing Authority 3520 Page Boulevard Business Development St. Louis MO 63106-1417 492,000 Housing Authority of the City of Meridian 2425 E Street Meridian MS 39302-870 268,009 Housing Authority of the City of Canton 120 Faith Lane Canton MS 39046-9761 245,000 Salish & Kootenai Housing Authority P.O. Box 38 Pablo MT 59855-0038 206,565 Housing Authority of the City of Goldsboro 700 North Jefferson Ave. Public Housing Goldsboro NC 27530-3135 415,388 Lenoir Housing Authority 101 Hickory Street North Wilkesboro NC 28659-3521 201,000 Housing Authority of the City of Lincoln 5700 R Street Lincoln NE 68505-2332 246,000 Housing Authority of the City of Omaha 1805 Harney Street Resident Opportunity Omaha NE 68102-1908 718,776 Kearney Housing Authority P.O. Box 1236 Kearney NE 68848-1236 135,274 Northern Ponca Tribal HA 1501 Michigan Avenue Norfolk NE 68701-5602 227,740 Atlantic City Housing & Redevelopment Authority 227 North Vermont Avenue, 17th Floor Atlantic City NJ 08401-5563 467,439 Garfield Housing Authority 71 Daniel P. Conte Court Garfield NJ 07026-2404 221,079 Housing Authority of the City of Camden 2021 Watson Street, 2nd Floor Camden NJ 08105-1866 475,150 Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth 688 Maple Avenue Elizabeth NJ 07202 492,000 Housing Authority of the City of Vineland 191 West Chester Avenue Vineland NJ 08360-5417 240,000 North Bergen Housing Authority 6121 Grand Avenue North NJ 07047-0000 246,000 City of Beacon Housing Authority 1 Forrestal Avenue Beacon NY 12508-0000 246,000 Syracuse Housing Authority 516 Burt Street Syracuse NY 13202-3934 478,000 Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority 8120 Kinsman Road Cleveland OH 44104-4310 644,851 Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority 1600 Kansas Avenue Lorain OH 44052-3317 201,319 Portage Metropolitan Housing Authority 2832 State Route 59 Ravenna OH 44266-1650 231,624 Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority 4076 Youngstown Rd. SE., Suite 101 Warren OH 44484-3397 224,185 Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County 177 Day Island Rd. Property Management Eugene OR 97401-7911 246,000 Warm Springs Housing Authority P.O. Box 1167 Warm Springs OR 97761-1167 156,000 Bradford County Housing Authority 4 Riverside Plaza Blossburg PA 16912-0000 220,153 Community Action Southwest 150 West Beau Street Washington PA 15301-4425 180,000 Community Action Southwest 150 West Beau Street Washington PA 15301-4425 180,000 Housing Authority of the City of Erie 606 Holland Street Erie PA 16501-1285 367,635 Housing Authority of the County of Beaver 300 State Avenue Beaver PA 15009-1629 447,597 Montgomery County Housing Authority 104 W. Main Street Public Housing Norristown PA 19401-4716 175,304 Philadelphia Housing Authority 12 South 23rd Street Self-Sufficiency Philadelphia PA 19103-3104 721,350 Tioga County Housing Authority 4 Riverside Plaza Blossburg PA 16912-0000 220,153 Housing Authority of Florence 400 E Pine St. Florence SC 29506-0000 143,078 North Charleston Housing Authority 2170 Ashley Phosphate Rd., #700 North Charleston SC 29406-4195 246,000 Chattanooga Housing Authority 801 N. Holtzclaw Avenue Chattanooga TN 37401-1486 417,336 Franklin Housing Authority 200 Spring Street Franklin TN 37064-3311 205,999 Memphis Housing Authority 700 Adams Avenue Memphis TN 38105-5002 713,910 Newport Housing Authority Resident Advisory Council 440 Lennon Circle ROSS Coordinator Newport TN 37821-2800 179,565 The Clarksville Housing Authority 721 Richardson Street Clarksville TN 37040-0603 235,000 Housing Authority of the City of Beaumont 1890 Laurel Beaumont TX 77701-1904 206,235 Housing Authority of the City of Bryan 1306 Beck Street Brazos TX 77803-0000 192,200 Housing Authority of the City of Wichita Falls 501 Webster Wichita Falls TX 76306 187,323 McAllen Housing Authority 2301 Jasmine Avenue McAllen TX 78501-7496 150,000 McKinney Housing Authority 1200 N. Tennessee St McKinney TX 75069-0000 218,251 Port Arthur Housing Authority 920 DeQueen Boulevard Port Arthur TX 77640-5603 229,381 Robstown Housing Authority 625 West Avenue F Robstown TX 78380-2540 168,772 The Housing Authority of the City of Dallas, Texas (DHA) 3939 N. Hampton Rd Dallas TX 75212-1630 696,316 Cedar Terrace Tenant Association 127 Cedar Place Not Applicable Danville VA 24541-3432 205,759 Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority 201 Granby Street Housing Operations Norfolk VA 23510-1820 492,000 Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority 3116 South Street Portsmouth VA 23705 404,404 Brattleboro Housing Authority P.O. Box 2275 Brattleboro VT 05303-0000 246,000 King County Housing Authority 600 Andover Park West Resident Services Tukwila WA 98188-3326 485,238 Nooksack Indian Tribe P.O. Box 157 Deming WA 98244-0157 237,539 Yakama Nation Housing Authority 611 S. Camas Avenue ROSS Grant Wapato WA 98951-0156 240,226 Appleton Housing Authority 925 W. Northland Ave Appleton WI 54914-1422 246,000 Arlington Court Resident Organization, Inc 650 W Reservoir Ave Milwaukee WI 53212-3646 240,818 Becher Court RO, Inc c/o Kenneth Barbeau, Contract Admin. HACM Public and Indian Housing Milwaukee WI 53212-3646 240,818 Riverview Resident Organization, Inc 650 W Reservoir Ave Milwaukee WI 53212-3646 240,818
    #Appendix B FY2016 Family Self-Sufficiency Program

    Contact: Tremayne Youmans; 202-402-6621.

    Recipient Amount Alaska Housing Finance Agency P.O. Box 101020 Anchorage AK 99510-1020 $267,642 Albertville Housing Authority 711 South Broad Street Albertville AL 35950-2674 21,121 Alexander City Housing Authority 2110 County Road Alexander City AL 35010-3800 38,773 Auburn Housing Authority 931 Booker Street Auburn AL 36832-2902 60,000 Bessemer Housing Authority 1515 Fairfax Avenue Bessemer AL 35020-6648 54,742 Housing Authority of the Birmingham District 1826 3rd Avenue South Birmingham AL 35233-1905 135,214 Jefferson County Housing Authority 3700 Industrial Parkway Birmingham AL 35217-5316 135,000 Florence Housing Authority 110 South Cypress St., Suite 1 Florence AL 35630-5523 52,246 Huntsville Housing Authority 200 Washington Street Huntsville AL 35804-0486 240,576 Mobile Housing Board 151 S. Claiborne Street Mobile AL 36602-2323 209,062 The Housing Authority of the City of Montgomery 525 South Lawrence Street Montgomery AL 36104-4611 109,801 Prichard Housing Authority P.O. Box 10307 Prichard AL 36610-0000 95,502 Sheffield Housing Authority 505 N. Columbia Ave Sheffield AL 35660-0429 50,212 Tuscaloosa Housing Authority P.O. Box 2281 Tuscaloosa AL 35401-2281 121,000 Housing Authority of Lonoke County P.O. Box 74 Carlisle AR 72024-0074 21,331 Fort Smith Housing Authority 2100 North 31st Street Fort Smith AR 72904-6140 52,025 Northwest Regional Housing Authority P.O. Box 2568 Harrison AR 72601-2568 41,016 Housing Authority of the City of Hot Springs 1004 Illinois Street Hot Springs AR 71901-4315 47,073 Jonesboro Urban Renewal and Housing Authority 330 Union Jonesboro AR 72401-2815 42,460 Pulaski County Housing Agency 201 South Broadway, Suite 220 Little Rock AR 72201-2338 43,974 Lee County Housing Authority 100 West Main Marianna AR 72360-2854 27,596 McGehee Public Facilities Board P.O. Box 725 McGehee AR 71654-0725 39,810 White River Regional Housing Authority P.O. Box 650 Melbourne AR 72556-0650 39,594 Conway County Housing Authority P.O. Box 229 Morrilton AR 72110-0000 39,543 North Little Rock Housing Authority 628 West Broadway, Suite 100 North Little Rock AR 72114-0000 44,295 Pine Bluff Housing Authority P.O. Box 8872 Pine Bluff AR 71611-8872 127,000 Pope County Public Facilities Board/Universal Housing P.O. Box 846/301 East 3rd Street Russellville AR 72811-846 18,026 Housing Authority of the City of West Memphis 390 South Walker Avenue West Memphis AR 72301-6013 44,900 Wynne Housing Authority 200 Fisher Place Wynne AR 72396-0552 34,340 City of Tempe Housing Services 1415 Melody Lane, Bldg. A Bisbee AZ 85282-5482 68,680 White Mountain Apache Housing Authority Mail Stop 101, P.O. Box 4008 Chandler AZ 85941-1270 58,000 Housing Authority of Cochise County 425 10th Street Douglas AZ 85603-0000 55,476 Housing Authority for the City of Yuma P.O. Box 7000 Kingman AZ 85364-2320 311,958 City of Mesa P.O. Box 1466 Mesa AZ 85211-1466 68,680 Housing Authority of Maricopa County 8910 N. 78th Avenue Peoria AZ 85345-7900 69,000 City of Phoenix Housing Department 251 W. Washington, 4th Floor Phoenix AZ 85003-2245 207,000 Chandler, City of 6535 E. Osborn Rd., Bldg. 8, Paiute Neighborhood Center Scottsdale AZ 85244-4008 121,732 Mohave, County of P.O. Box 790 Sells AZ 86402-7000 50,601 Yuma County Housing Department 8450 W. Highway 95 Suite 88 Somerton AZ 85350-2534 179,804 Tohono O'odham Ki:Ki Housing Association 3500 S. Rural Rd., 2nd Floor Tempe AZ 85634-0790 69,000 City of Tucson P.O. Box 27210 Tucson AZ 85726-7210 206,680 Douglas City of Public Housing 50 West Chinatown Street Whiteriver AZ 85607-2008 34,500 City of Scottsdale Housing Agency 420 South Madison Avenue Yuma AZ 85251-6029 68,680 Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz 700 W. Main Street Alhambra CA 95060-5709 138,000 City of Norwalk 201 South Anaheim Boulevard Anaheim CA 90650-3144 64,637 Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara 601-24th Street Front Bakersfield CA 93101-1590 201,604 Housing Authority of the County of Sacramento 264 Harbor Blvd., #A Belmont CA 95814-2404 131,615 El Dorado County Public Housing Authority 1402 D Street Brawley CA 95667-5335 59,902 Housing Authority of the County of Merced 2039 Forest Ave Chico CA 95341-6548 54,400 Vacaville Housing Authority 9770 Culver Blvd Culver City CA 95688-6824 132,424 Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino 1331 Fulton Mall Fresno CA 92408-2841 207,000 Pico Rivera Housing Assistance Agency 11277 Garden Grove Blvd. Suite #101c Garden Grove CA 90660-1016 32,500 Housing Authority of the County of Riverside 680 N. Douty, P.O. Box 355 Hanford CA 92504-2506 483,000 Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura 22941 Atherton Street Hayward CA 93001-1636 64,264 City of Santa Rosa 815 West Ocean Avenue Lompoc CA 95404-4904 68,000 City of Anaheim Housing Authority 521 E. 4th Street Long Beach CA 92805-3821 137,360 Housing Authority of the City of Napa 2600 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles CA 94559-2512 138,000 Housing Authority of the City of Long Beach 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway Lower Lake CA 90802-2502 269,723 Housing Authority of the County of Butte 205 North G Street Madera CA 95928-7042 63,600 Housing Authority of the City of Sacramento 3133 Estudillo Street Martinez CA 95814-2404 69,000 Housing Authority of the County of Kern 405 U Street Merced CA 93301-4142 251,216 Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo 1701 Robertson Road Modesto CA 94002-4017 345,000 Housing Authority of the County of Marin 1115 Seminary Street Napa CA 94903-4173 206,959 San Diego, County (DBA Housing Authority of the County of SD) 1400 West Hillcrest Drive Newbury Park CA 92123-1815 136,327 City of Oceanside Community Development Commission 12700 Norwalk Blvd Norwalk CA 92054-2823 68,680 Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles 1619 Harrison Street Oakland CA 91801-3312 690,000 Lake County Housing Commission 300 N. Coast Hwy Oceanside CA 95457-1049 34,500 The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Ana 435 South D Street Oxnard CA 92702-2030 138,000 Solano County Housing Authority 6615 Passons Blvd Pico Rivera CA 95688-6824 57,131 Madera, City of 2900 Fairlane Ct Placerville CA 93637-3512 56,720 Imperial Valley Housing Authority 505 S Garey Ave Pomona CA 92227-2117 60,641 Housing Authority of the City of San Jose 1450 Court St., Suite 108 Redding CA 95110-2330 138,000 Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara P.O. Box 496071 Redding CA 95110-2330 207,000 Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura 5555 Arlington Avenue Riverside CA 91320-2721 64,135 Housing Authority of the City of San Luis Obispo 311 Vernon Street Roseville CA 93401-4347 106,199 Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles 801 12th Street Sacramento CA 90057-3400 755,480 Housing Authority of the City of Oakland 801 12th Street Sacramento CA 94612-3307 276,000 Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara 123 Rico Street Salinas CA 93436-6526 67,327 Sonoma County Community Development Commission 715 East Brier Drive San Bernardino CA 95403-4107 69,000 County of Shasta Housing Authority and Community Action 1122 Broadway, Suite 300 San Diego CA 96001-1661 29,659 Pomona Housing Authority 3989 Ruffin Road San Diego CA 91766-3220 69,000 Housing Authority of the County of Monterey 505 West Julian Street San Jose CA 93907-2157 138,000 Oxnard Housing Authority 505 West Julian Street San Jose CA 93030-5918 136,327 Garden Grove Housing Authority 487 Leff Street San Luis Obispo CA 92843-1371 69,000 Housing Authority of the County of Stanislaus 4020 Civic Center Drive San Rafael CA 95358-0033 134,056 City of Santa Monica Housing Authority 1770 North Broadway Santa Ana CA 90405-1080 65,286 Culver City Housing Authority P.O. Box 22030 Santa Ana CA 90232-0507 33,107 Housing Authority of the City of Redding 808 Laguna Street Santa Barbara CA 96049-6071 58,717 Regional Housing Authority of Sutter and Nevada Counties 2931 Mission Street Santa Cruz CA 95993-2701 107,436 Roseville Housing Authority 1901 Main Street, Suite A Santa Monica CA 95678-2649 66,213 Housing Authority of the County of Kings 1440 Guerneville Road Santa Rosa CA 93232-0355 57,234 Vallejo Housing Authority 90 Santa Rosa Ave Santa Rosa CA 94585-5930 68,680 Housing Authority of the County of Contra Costa 448 S. Center Street Stockton CA 94553-4000 138,000 Housing Authority of Alameda County 40 Eldridge Avenue Suite 2 Vacaville CA 94541-6633 276,000 San Diego Housing Commission 40 Eldridge Ave. Suite 2 Vacaville CA 92102-5629 408,798 Housing Authority of Fresno County 200 Georgia St Vallejo CA 93721-1630 65,604 Orange County Housing Authority 995 Riverside St Ventura CA 92706-2642 259,960 Housing Authority of the County of San Joaquin 1455 Butte House Road Yuba City CA 95203-3426 191,337 Boulder County Housing Authority P.O. Box 471 Boulder CO 80306-0471 193,740 Adams County Housing Authority 7190 Colorado Blvd Commerce City CO 80022-1812 49,484 Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Housing 1313 Sherman Street, Room 320 Denver CO 80203-2288 65,000 Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver 777 Grant Street Denver CO 80203-3501 283,512 Housing Authority of the City of Englewood 3460 S. Sherman, Suite 101 Englewood CO 80113-0000 44,128 Fort Collins Housing Authority 1715 West Mountain Avenue Fort Collins CO 80521-2359 203,654 Housing Authority of the City of Grand Junction 1011 North 10th St Grand Junction CO 81501-3166 51,761 Housing Authority of the City of Pueblo 201 S. Victoria Pueblo CO 81003-3434 42,804 Ansonia Housing Authority 36 Main Street Ansonia CT 06401-0000 69,000 Bristol Housing Authority 164 Jerome Avenue Bristol CT 06010-0000 67,328 Housing Authority of the City of Derby Connecticut 101 West Fourth Street Derby CT 06418-1844 54,914 The Housing Authority of the Town of Greenwich 249 Milbank Avenue Greenwich CT 06830-6680 69,000 Connecticut Department of Housing 505 Hudson Street Hartford CT 06106-7107 206,040 Housing Authority of the City of Meriden 22 Church St Meriden CT 06451-0468 194,271 Housing Authority of the City of New Britain 16 Armistice St New Britain CT 06053-0000 138,000 Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk 24 1/2 Monroe St Norwalk CT 06856-0508 138,000 Housing Authority of the City of Stamford 22 Clinton Avenue Stamford CT 06901-0000 67,815 Trout Brook Realty Advisors 80 Shield Street West Hartford CT 06110-1920 68,680 District of Columbia Housing Authority 1133 North Capitol Street NE Washington DC 20002-7599 276,000 Wilmington Housing Authority 400 N Walnut Street Wilmington DE 19801-1436 138,000 Tallahassee Housing Authority 2333a West Glades Road Boca Raton FL 32312-0000 52,346 Hialeah Housing Authority 5631 11th Street East Bradenton FL 33010-4845 112,644 Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers 908 Cleveland Street Clearwater FL 33916-2310 160,828 Winter Haven Housing Authority 36739 S.R.52 Dade City FL 33880-0000 138,000 Orange County Housing and Community Development 211 N. Ridgewood Avenue, Suite 300 Daytona Beach FL 32801-2817 53,724 Pinellas County Housing Authority 533 South Dixie Highway, Suite 201 Deerfield Beach FL 33778-1147 133,539 Collier County Housing Authority 63 Bopete Manor Road Defuniak Springs FL 34142-5544 26,025 Sarasota Housing Authority 437 SW 4th Avenue Fort Lauderdale FL 34236-0000 34,600 Housing Authority of Lakeland 4224 Renaissance Preserve Way Fort Myers FL 33815-4502 105,738 Ocala Housing Authority 75 East 6th Street Hialeah FL 34475-0000 86,400 Palm Beach County Housing Authority 1800 Farm Worker Way Immokalee FL 33407-1844 126,633 Housing Authority of the City of Deerfield Beach 1300 Broad Street Jacksonville FL 33441-4665 47,232 Pasco County Housing Authority 430 Hartsell Ave Lakeland FL 33525-5101 32,749 Housing Authority of Pompano Beach 11479 Ulmerton Road Largo FL 33060-0000 46,107 Milton Housing Authority 4780 North State Rd 7 Lauderdale Lakes FL 32570-0000 69,000 Housing Authority of the City of Orlando 701 NW 1st Court 16th Floor Miami FL 32803-6026 24,000 Walton County Housing Agency 5668 Byrom Street Milton FL 32435-2943 30,000 Clearwater Housing Authority 14170 Warner Circle North Fort Myers FL 33755-4511 47,769 Manatee County Housing Authority 1629 NW 4th Street Ocala FL 34203-5978 31,310 Housing Authority of the City of Tampa 390 N. Bumby Avenue Orlando FL 33607-1727 424,887 Lee County Housing Authority 525 E. South Street Orlando FL 33903-3528 46,879 West Palm Beach Housing Authority 465 Friend Terrace Pahokee FL 33407-6284 127,534 Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale 321 West Atlantic Boulevard Pompano Beach FL 33315-1007 132,964 Pahokee Housing Authority 340 Gulf Breeze Avenue Punta Gorda FL 33476-1941 39,000 Miami Dade Public Housing and Community Development 269 South Osprey Ave Sarasota FL 33136-3914 218,120 Boca Raton Housing Authority 2940 Grady Rd Tallahassee FL 33431-7305 51,515 Jacksonville Housing Authority 5301 W Cypress Street Tampa FL 32202-3901 271,283 Punta Gorda Housing Authority 3432 West 45th Street West Palm Beach FL 33950-5634 26,513 The Housing Authority of the City of Daytona Beach 1715 Division Avenue West Palm Beach FL 32114-3243 86,563 Broward County Housing Authority 2653 Avenue C. South West Winter Haven FL 33319-5860 225,651 Housing Authority of the City of Albany P.O. Box 485 Albany GA 31702-0485 30,836 Housing Authority of Fulton County 4273 Wendell Drive, SW Atlanta GA 30336-1632 46,562 The Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta 230 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue, N.E Atlanta GA 30303-2421 249,000 Housing Authority of the City of Augusta 1435 Walton Way Augusta GA 30901-2609 150,695 Housing Authority of the City of Carrollton 1 Roop Street Carrollton GA 30117-4448 117,524 Housing Authority of the City of College Park 2000 Princeton Avenue College Park GA 30337-2412 133,068 The Housing Authority of Columbus 1000 Wynnton Road, P.O. Box 630 Columbus GA 31902-0630 92,254 Housing Authority of the City of East Point 3056 Norman Berry Drive East Point GA 30364-0363 69,000 Griffin Housing Authority 518 Nine Oaks Drive Griffin GA 30224-4169 69,000 Housing Authority of the City of Jonesboro 203 Hightower Street, P.O. Box 458 Jonesboro GA 302373647 84,711 Macon-Bibb County Housing Authority 2015 Felton Avenue Macon-Bibb GA 31201-4928 32,000 Housing Authority of the City of Marietta 95 Cole Street Marietta GA 30060-2090 113,764 Northwest Georgia Housing Authority 800 North Fifth Avenue Rome GA 30162-1428 87,386 Housing Authority of Savannah P.O. Box 1179 Savannah GA 31402-1179 198,000 Tri-City Housing Authority 33 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, P.O. Box 458 Woodland GA 31836-0220 69,000 Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority 117 Bien Venida Avenue Sinajana GU 96910-3643 125,718 Hawaii County Housing Agency 50 Wailuku Drive Hilo HI 96720-4295 66,204 Hawaii Public Housing Authority 1002 North School Street Honolulu HI 96817-6912 132,031 Honolulu, City and County Honolulu Hale Honolulu HI 96813-9926 189,008 Kauai, County of; DBA Kauai County Housing Agency 4444 Rice Street Suite 330 Lihue HI 96766-1340 133,000 County of Maui 35 Lunalilo Street, Suite 400 Wailuku HI 96793-2523 24,732 Region XII Regional Housing Authority 320 E. 7th, P.O. Box 663 Carroll IA 51401-0663 45,000 City of Cedar Rapids 101 First Street SE Cedar Rapids IA 52401-1205 138,000 Municipal Housing Agency of Council Bluffs 505 South 6th Street Council Bluffs IA 51501-6405 24,338 Southern Iowa Regional Housing Authority 219 N. Pine Street Creston IA 50801-2413 43,850 City of Des Moines Municipal Housing Agency 100 E Euclid Avenue Suite 101 Des Moines IA 50313-4534 201,973 City of Dubuque 350 West 6th Street Suite 312 Dubuque IA 52001-4648 132,478 Eastern Iowa Regional Housing Authority 7600 Commerce Park Dubuque IA 52002-9673 204,746 Municipal Housing Agency of the City of Fort Dodge 700 South 17th Street Fort Dodge IA 50501-5300 102,766 Central Iowa Regional Housing Authority 1201 SE Gateway Drive Grimes IA 50111-6637 57,529 Iowa City Housing Authority 410 E Washington Street Iowa City IA 52240-1826 121,721 Muscatine, City of d/b/a Muscatine Municipal Housing Agency 215 Sycamore St Muscatine IA 52761-3839 55,309 City of Sioux City Housing Authority 405 6th Street, Suite 107, P.O. Box 447 Sioux City IA 51102-0447 138,000 Northeast Nebraska Joint Housing Agency 1122 Pierce Street Sioux City IA 51105-1077 40,756 Ada County Housing Authority 1276 W River St. Suite #300 Boise ID 83702-7066 111,708 Boise City Housing Authority 1276 W River St. Suite #300 Boise ID 83702-7066 111,710 Idaho Housing and Finance Association P.O. Box 7899, 565 W Myrtle St Boise ID 83707-1899 247,402 Southwestern Idaho Cooperative Housing Authority 377 Cornell St Middleton ID 83644-9903 89,114 Nampa Housing Authority 211 19th Ave Nampa ID 83687-4402 36,342 St. Clair County Housing Authority 1790 S. 74th St Belleville IL 62223-3363 34,500 Housing Authority of the City of Bloomington 104 East Wood Street Bloomington IL 61701-6768 51,782 Macoupin County Housing Authority 760 Anderson Street, P.O. Box 226 Carlinville IL 62626-1003 42,616 Marion County Housing Authority 719 East Howard Centralia IL 62801-2606 44,747 Chicago Housing Authority 60 East Van Buren Chicago IL 60605-1241 796,565 Housing Authority of Cook County 175 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 350 Chicago IL 60604-3042 184,800 Madison County Housing Authority 1609 Olive Street Collinsville IL 62234-4909 69,000 Housing Authority of the City of East St. Louis 700 North 20th Street East St. Louis IL 62205-1814 69,000 Housing Authority of the City of Elgin 120 S. State Street Elgin IL 60123-0000 136,000 Housing Authority of the City of Freeport 1052 West Galena Freeport IL 61032-3814 69,000 Housing Authority of the County of Lake 33928 N US Hwy 45 Grayslake IL 60030-0000 222,561 Housing Authority of Joliet 6 S. Broadway St Joliet IL 60436-1735 63,898 Kankakee County Housing Authority 185 N. St. Joseph Ave., P.O. Box 965 Kankakee IL 60901-0965 43,280 Housing Authority of Henry County 125 N. Chestnut Street Kewanee IL 61443-0125 91,977 Peoria Housing Authority 100 S Richard Pryor Place Peoria IL 61605-3905 98,210 Menard County Housing Authority 101 West Sheridan Rd., P.O. Box 168 Petersburg IL 62675-1349 29,160 Rock Island Housing Authority 227 21st St Rock Island IL 61201-8819 65,000 Rockford Housing Authority 223 South Winnebago Street Rockford IL 61102-9904 200,961 Winnebago County Housing Authority 3617 Delaware Street Rockford IL 61102-1506 132,936 Springfield Housing Authority 200 North Eleventh Street Springfield IL 62703-1004 236,000 Waukegan Housing Authority 215 South Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue Waukegan IL 60085-5522 50,819 DuPage Housing Authority 711 E. Roosevelt Rd Wheaton IL 60187-5646 114,114 Housing Authority of the City of Bloomington 1007 North Summit Street Bloomington IN 47404-3712 91,953 Housing Authority of the City of Columbus, Indiana 799 McClure Road Columbus IN 47201-6610 40,377 Housing Authority, City of Elkhart 1396 Benham Ave Elkhart IN 46516-3341 86,540 The Housing Authority of the City of Evansville 402 Court Street, Suite B Evansville IN 47708-0000 116,690 Fort Wayne Housing Authority 7315 Hanna Street Fort Wayne IN 46816-0000 120,000 Housing Authority of the City of Gary 578 Broadway Gary IN 46402-0000 50,900 Housing Authority of the City of Hammond 1402 173rd Street Hammond IN 46324-2861 59,418 Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA) 1919 North Meridian Street Indianapolis IN 46202-1303 281,829 Housing Authority of the City of Kokomo 210 East Taylor Street, P.O. Box 1207 Kokomo IN 46903-1207 45,000 Marion Housing Authority 601 S. Adams St Marion IN 46953-0000 69,000 The Housing Authority of the City of Michigan City 621 E. Michigan Blvd Michigan City IN 46360-2664 21,947 New Albany Housing Authority P.O. Box 11 New Albany IN 47150-0000 162,965 Housing Authority of City of Peru 701 E Main Street Peru IN 46970-2640 31,931 Housing Authority of South Bend 501 Alonzo Watson Drive South Bend IN 46601-3715 36,748 Housing Authority of the City of Terre Haute P.O. Box 3086 Terre Haute IN 47803-0086 100,000 Housing Authority of Vincennes 501 Hart Street, P.O. Box 1636 Vincennes IN 47591-2103 43,635 NEKCAP, Inc 1260 220th Street, P.O. Box 380 Hiawatha KS 66434-0380 50,500 Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority 1600 Haskell Avenue Lawrence KS 66044-4399 238,461 Johnson County, Kansas 12425 W. 87th Street, Suite 200 Lenexa KS 66215-4524 62,736 City of Olathe 200 W. Santa Fe Street, P.O. Box 768 Olathe KS 66051-0768 54,278 Salina Housing Authority P.O. Box 1202, 469 S. 5th Street Salina KS 67401-1202 60,000 Topeka Housing Authority 2010 SE California Ave Topeka KS 66607-1444 43,580 City of Wichita Kansas Housing Authority 332 N. Riverview Wichita KS 67203-4245 176,384 Barbourville Urban Renewal & Community Development Agency 338 Court Square, P.O. Box 806 Barbourville KY 40906-0806 32,703 Cumberland Valley Regional Housing Authority 338 Court Square, P.O. Box 806 Barbourville KY 40906-0806 86,125 Housing Authority of Bowling Green 247 Double Springs Road Bowling Green KY 42101-5160 47,740 Boone County Fiscal Court Assisted Housing Department 2950 Washington Square, P.O. Box 536 Burlington KY 41005-0536 65,558 City of Covington CDA 2300 Madison Avenue, 2nd floor Covington KY 41014-1237 51,005 Housing Authority of Covington 2300 Madison Avenue Covington KY 41014-1237 69,000 City of Cynthiana (Housing Authority of Cynthiana) 148 Federal Street Cynthiana KY 41031-1420 63,291 Housing Authority of Frankfort 590 Walter Todd Drive Frankfort KY 40601-2026 48,728 Kentucky Housing Corporation 1231 Louisville Road Frankfort KY 40601-6156 102,633 Georgetown Housing Authority 139 Scroggin Park Georgetown KY 40324-2039 45,908 Housing Authority of Glasgow 111 Bunche Ave., P.O. Box 1745 Glasgow KY 42142-1745 42,904 Housing Authority of Floyd County 402 John M. Stumbo Drive Langley KY 41645-9708 69,000 Lexington-Fayette Urban County H