Federal Register Vol. 82, No.193,

Federal Register Volume 82, Issue 193 (October 6, 2017)

Page Range46655-46891
FR Document

82_FR_193
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
82 FR 46688 - Permitting Radar Services in the 76-81 GHz BandPDF
82 FR 46810 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
82 FR 46880 - Request for Comments Concerning an Environmental Review of the Proposed Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 46831 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 46843 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 46671 - Income TaxesPDF
82 FR 46672 - Income TaxesPDF
82 FR 46839 - Sunshine Act Meeting; National Science BoardPDF
82 FR 46816 - Florida; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46812 - Florida; Amendment No. 6 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46818 - Florida; Amendment No. 7 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46820 - Puerto Rico; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 46815 - Florida; Amendment No. 8 to Notice of an Emergency DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46812 - Georgia; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46821 - Georgia; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46819 - Florida; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46816 - Georgia; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46817 - Wyoming; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46820 - New Hampshire; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46813 - Seminole Tribe of Florida; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 46818 - Seminole Tribe of Florida; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of an Emergency DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46815 - Florida; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of an Emergency DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46814 - Georgia; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of an Emergency DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46812 - Louisiana; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of an Emergency DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46818 - Virgin Islands; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46819 - Virgin Islands; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46819 - South Carolina; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of an Emergency DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46817 - Virgin Islands; Emergency and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 46813 - Virgin Islands; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
82 FR 46814 - South Carolina; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of an Emergency DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46816 - Puerto Rico; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46814 - New Hampshire; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46815 - Puerto Rico; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
82 FR 46738 - Criteria and Process for the Cancellation of Standard Instrument Approach Procedures as Part of the National Procedures Assessment (NPA)PDF
82 FR 46753 - Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 46790 - Notice of Waivers Granted Under Section 9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001PDF
82 FR 46779 - Notice of Waivers Granted Under Section 9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as AmendedPDF
82 FR 46783 - Notice of Waivers Granted Under Section 9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as AmendedPDF
82 FR 46773 - Notice of Waivers Granted Under Section 9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as AmendedPDF
82 FR 46799 - Notice of Waivers Granted Under Section 9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as AmendedPDF
82 FR 46886 - North County Transit District's Request for Positive Train Control Safety Plan Approval and System CertificationPDF
82 FR 46691 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Florida Prairie-clover), and Threatened Species Status for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades Bully), Digitaria pauciflora (Florida Pineland Crabgrass), and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (Pineland Sandmat)PDF
82 FR 46796 - Notice of Waivers Granted Under Section 8401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds ActPDF
82 FR 46805 - Production of Confidential Business Information in Pending Enforcement Litigation; Transfer of Information Claimed as Confidential Business Information to the United States Department of Justice and Party to Certain LitigationPDF
82 FR 46685 - Florpyrauxifen-Benzyl; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
82 FR 46806 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Detergent Gasoline (Renewal)PDF
82 FR 46840 - Request for Information (RFI)-Mid-Scale Research InfrastructurePDF
82 FR 46837 - Curtis-Strauss, LLC: Grant of Expansion of Recognition and Modification of NRTL Program's List of Appropriate Test StandardsPDF
82 FR 46668 - Policy on Payment System RiskPDF
82 FR 46773 - Notice of Availability of Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Disposal and Reuse of the Former Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Detachment Concord, Concord, CaliforniaPDF
82 FR 46821 - Relief From HUD Requirements Available to PHAs To Assist With Recovery and Relief Efforts on Behalf of Families Affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Future Natural Disasters Where Major Disaster Declarations Might Be Issued in 2017PDF
82 FR 46830 - Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Gold Bar Mine Project, Eureka County, NevadaPDF
82 FR 46769 - Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 46771 - Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings; CorrectionPDF
82 FR 46690 - Procedures for Commission Review of State Opt-Out Request From the FirstNet Radio Access NetworkPDF
82 FR 46754 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 265-Conroe, Texas; Authorization of Production Activity; Bauer Manufacturing LLC dba NEORig; (Stationary Oil/Gas Drilling Rigs); Conroe, TexasPDF
82 FR 46809 - Notice of Issuance of Federal Financial Accounting Technical Release 18, Implementation Guidance for Establishing Opening BalancesPDF
82 FR 46748 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on the Proposed Threatened Status for the Louisiana PinesnakePDF
82 FR 46763 - Certain Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings From Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
82 FR 46760 - Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014PDF
82 FR 46764 - Certain Lined Paper Products From India: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2015-2016PDF
82 FR 46768 - Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Turkey: Final Results of Expedited Fourth Sunset Review of Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
82 FR 46754 - Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2015PDF
82 FR 46767 - Oil Country Tubular Goods From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, in PartPDF
82 FR 46832 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
82 FR 46835 - Investigations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
82 FR 46758 - High Pressure Steel Cylinders From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Determination in Less Than Fair Value Investigation, Notice of Amended Final Determination Pursuant to Court Decision, Notice of Revocation of Antidumping Duty Order in Part, and Discontinuation of Fifth Antidumping Duty Administrative ReviewPDF
82 FR 46761 - Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan and Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Taiwan: Final Results of Expedited Fourth Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
82 FR 46770 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 46771 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Pacific Islands Region Permit Family of FormsPDF
82 FR 46808 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 46803 - Availability of the Bonneville Purchasing Instructions (BPI) and Bonneville Financial Assistance Instructions (BFAI)PDF
82 FR 46804 - Klickitat Hatchery UpgradesPDF
82 FR 46716 - Geographic-Based Hiring Preferences in Administering Federal AwardsPDF
82 FR 46772 - Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy (USMA)PDF
82 FR 46772 - Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation Board of Visitors Meeting NoticePDF
82 FR 46887 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
82 FR 46672 - Special Local Regulations; Marine Events Within the Fifth Coast Guard DistrictPDF
82 FR 46739 - Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR): Request for Public Comments Regarding Standard and Routed Export TransactionsPDF
82 FR 46753 - Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
82 FR 46882 - Buy America Waiver NotificationPDF
82 FR 46811 - Notice of Agreement FiledPDF
82 FR 46828 - Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for the San Antonio Water System's Micron and Water Resources Integration Program Water Pipelines; Bexar County, TexasPDF
82 FR 46880 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway Project in UtahPDF
82 FR 46881 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on the West Davis Corridor Project, Davis and Weber County, UtahPDF
82 FR 46749 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Essential Fish HabitatPDF
82 FR 46756 - Export Trade Certificate of ReviewPDF
82 FR 46829 - Foreign Endangered Species Issuance of PermitsPDF
82 FR 46839 - Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences; Notice of MeetingPDF
82 FR 46808 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
82 FR 46831 - Stainless Steel Flanges From China and IndiaPDF
82 FR 46666 - Prompt Remediation of Residual Radioactivity During OperationPDF
82 FR 46717 - Fire Protection Compensatory MeasuresPDF
82 FR 46880 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
82 FR 46840 - Agreement State Program Policy StatementPDF
82 FR 46877 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Exchange's Connectivity Fees at Rule 7051PDF
82 FR 46844 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Relating to ICC's Liquidity Risk Management Framework and ICC's Stress Testing FrameworkPDF
82 FR 46865 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of Fees and Charges Relating to the Listing Fees Applicable to Exchange Traded ProductsPDF
82 FR 46848 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq MRX, LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Adopt New Corporate Governance and Related Process Similar to Those of the Nasdaq ExchangesPDF
82 FR 46870 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To List and Trade Pursuant to NYSE Arca Rule 5.2-E(j)(3) Twelve Series of Investment Company UnitsPDF
82 FR 46867 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Reflect a Change to the Administrator for the London Bullion Market Association Silver Price to ICE Benchmark AdministrationPDF
82 FR 46845 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Price List To Permit Affiliated Member Organizations That Are Supplemental Liquidity ProvidersPDF
82 FR 46740 - Petition Requesting Rulemaking on Magnet SetsPDF
82 FR 46811 - Depository Library Council to the Director; MeetingPDF
82 FR 46672 - Approval of Missouri Air Quality Implementation Plans; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
82 FR 46879 - Scrap Metal Services Terminal Railroad Company (Indiana), LLC-Lease and Operation Exemption-Rail Line of Scrap Metal Services, LLCPDF
82 FR 46808 - SES Performance Review Board-Appointment of MembersPDF
82 FR 46742 - Approval of Missouri Air Quality Implementation Plans; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
82 FR 46679 - Approval of Missouri Air Quality Implementation Plans; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
82 FR 46811 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
82 FR 46741 - Approval of Missouri Air Quality Implementation Plans; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
82 FR 46890 - Departmental Offices; Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited To Secure U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration BondsPDF
82 FR 46674 - Air Plan Approval; Alabama; Cross-State Air Pollution RulePDF
82 FR 46742 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Jersey; Motor Vehicle Enhanced Inspection and Maintenance ProgramPDF
82 FR 46681 - Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 SO2PDF
82 FR 46839 - Notice of Intent To Grant Partially-Exclusive Term LicensePDF
82 FR 46809 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
82 FR 46883 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
82 FR 46884 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
82 FR 46885 - Petition for Approval of Informational FilingPDF
82 FR 46885 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
82 FR 46886 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
82 FR 46810 - Notice of Termination: 10367-Summit Bank, Burlington, WashingtonPDF
82 FR 46682 - Air Plan Approval; Florida; Permitting RevisionsPDF
82 FR 46722 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 46719 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 46669 - Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan EnginesPDF
82 FR 46727 - Airworthiness Directives; Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A., Turboshaft EnginesPDF
82 FR 46725 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
82 FR 46729 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
82 FR 46655 - Education Programs or Activities Receiving or Benefitting From Federal Financial AssistancePDF

Issue

82 193 Friday, October 6, 2017 Contents Editorial Note:

The print edition of the Federal Register for Monday, October 2, 2017, contained a typographical error on the cover and spine. The volume number listed on the cover and spine read “83,” but should have read “82.”

Agriculture Agriculture Department See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

RULES Education Programs or Activities Receiving or Benefitting From Federal Financial Assistance, 46655-46666 2017-20869
Army Army Department NOTICES Meetings: Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy, 46772 2017-21573 Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation Board of Visitors, 46772-46773 2017-21572 Bonneville Bonneville Power Administration NOTICES Bonneville Purchasing Instructions and Bonneville Financial Assistance Instructions; Availability, 46803-46804 2017-21576 Klickitat Hatchery Upgrades, 46804-46805 2017-21575 Census Bureau Census Bureau PROPOSED RULES Foreign Trade: Standard and Routed Export Transactions, 46739-46740 2017-21569 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Special Local Regulations: Marine Events Within the Fifth Coast Guard District, 46672 2017-21570 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46887-46890 2017-21571 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission PROPOSED RULES Petition Requesting Rulemaking on Magnet Sets, 46740-46741 2017-21534 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Navy Department

Education Department Education Department NOTICES Waivers: Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, 46796-46799 2017-21616 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as Amended by the No Child Left Behind Act, 46773-46803 2017-21619 2017-21620 2017-21621 2017-21622 2017-21623 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Worker Adjustment Assistance; Determinations, 46832-46835 2017-21584 Worker Adjustment Assistance; Investigations, 46835-46837 2017-21583 Energy Department Energy Department See

Bonneville Power Administration

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alabama; Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, 46674-46679 2017-21523 Florida; Permitting Revisions, 46682-46685 2017-21504 Missouri; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 46679-46681 2017-21528 Missouri; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 46672-46674 2017-21532 North Dakota; Requirements for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards; Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions, 46681-46682 2017-21520 Pesticide Tolerances: Florpyrauxifen-benzyl, 46685-46688 2017-21614 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Missouri; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 46741-46742 2017-21525 Missouri; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 46742 2017-21529 New Jersey; Motor Vehicle Enhanced Inspection and Maintenance Program, 46742-46748 2017-21521 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Detergent Gasoline, 46806-46808 2017-21609 Confidential Business Information Access: Pending Enforcement Litigation; Transfer of Information Claimed as Confidential Business Information to the United States Department of Justice and Party to Certain Litigation, 46805-46806 2017-21615 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 46808 2017-21548 Equal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission NOTICES SES Performance Review Board Membership, 46808 2017-21530 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46808-46809 2017-21578 Federal Accounting Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board NOTICES Federal Financial Accounting Technical Releases: Implementation Guidance for Establishing Opening Balances, 46809 2017-21593 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: General Electric Company Turbofan Engines, 46669-46671 2017-21345 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 46729-46738 2017-21221 Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A., Turboshaft Engines, 46727-46729 2017-21344 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 46719-46727 2017-21225 2017-21365 2017-21366 Criteria and Process for the Cancellation of Standard Instrument Approach Procedures as Part of the National Procedures Assessment, 46738-46739 2017-21626 NOTICES Petitions for Exemption; Summaries, 46880 2017-21543 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Permitting Radar Services in 76-81 GHz Band, 46688-46689 C1--2017--18463 Procedures for Commission Review of State Opt-Out Request From the FirstNet Radio Access Network, 46690-46691 2017-21596 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46809-46810 2017-21515 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46887-46890 2017-21571 Terminations of Receivership: Summit Bank, Burlington, WA, 46810 2017-21505 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 46810-46811 2017-21801 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Emergency and Related Determinations: Virgin Islands, 46817-46818 2017-21633 Emergency Declarations: Florida; Amendment No. 1, 46815 2017-21639 Florida; Amendment No. 8, 46815 2017-21648 Georgia; Amendment No. 3, 46814 2017-21638 Louisiana; Amendment No. 2, 46812 2017-21637 Seminole Tribe of Florida; Amendment No. 1, 46818 2017-21640 South Carolina; Amendment No. 1, 46814-46815 2017-21631 South Carolina; Amendment No. 2, 46819 2017-21634 Major Disaster and Related Determinations: Puerto Rico, 46820-46821 2017-21649 Seminole Tribe of Florida, 46813 2017-21641 Virgin Islands, 46813-46814 2017-21632 Major Disaster Declarations: Florida; Amendment No. 4, 46819-46820 2017-21645 Florida; Amendment No. 5, 46816 2017-21652 Florida; Amendment No. 6, 46812 2017-21651 Florida; Amendment No. 7, 46818 2017-21650 Georgia; Amendment No. 2, 46816 2017-21644 Georgia; Amendment No. 3, 46821 2017-21646 Georgia; Amendment No. 4, 46812-46813 2017-21647 New Hampshire; Amendment No. 1, 46814 2017-21629 New Hampshire; Amendment No. 2, 46820 2017-21642 Puerto Rico; Amendment No. 1, 46816-46817 2017-21630 Puerto Rico; Amendment No. 4, 46815-46816 2017-21628 Virgin Islands, 46818-46819 2017-21635 2017-21636 Wyoming; Amendment No. 2, 46817 2017-21643 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Buy America Waivers, 46882-46883 2017-21567 Final Federal Agency Actions: West Davis Corridor Project, Davis and Weber County, UT, 46881-46882 2017-21561 Utah; Proposed Highway, 46880-46881 2017-21562 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 46811 2017-21564 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Petitions for Informational Filing: Yadkin Valley Railroad, 46885 2017-21512 Petitions for Waivers of Compliance: Central Montana Rail, Inc., 46885-46886 2017-21511 Norfolk Southern Corp., 46884-46885 2017-21513 Siemens Mobility Division Rolling Stock, 46883-46884 2017-21514 Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, 46886 2017-21510 Requests for Positive Train Control Safety Plan Approvals and System Certifications: North County Transit District, 46886-46887 2017-21618 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System RULES Policy on Payment System Risk, 46668-46669 2017-21602 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46887-46890 2017-21571 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Endangered Species Status for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Florida Prairie-clover), and Threatened Species Status for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades Bully), Digitaria pauciflora (Florida Pineland Crabgrass), and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (Pineland Sandmat), 46691-46715 2017-21617 PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Louisiana Pinesnake; 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on Proposed Threatened Status, 46748-46749 2017-21591 NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Draft Habitat Conservation Plan San Antonio Water System Micron and Water Resources Integration Program Water Pipelines, Bexar County, TX, 46828-46829 2017-21563 Permits: Foreign Endangered Species; Issuance, 46829-46830 2017-21556 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Bauer Manufacturing LLC dba NEORig, Foreign-Trade Zone 265, Conroe, TX, 46754 2017-21595 Government Printing Government Publishing Office NOTICES Meetings: Depository Library Council, 46811 2017-21533 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Relief From HUD Requirements Available to PHAs To Assist With Recovery and Relief Efforts on Behalf of Families Affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, etc., 46821-46828 2017-21600 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Income Taxes; CFR Correction, 46671-46672 2017-21741 2017-21742 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan and Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Taiwan, 46761-46763 2017-21581 Certain Lined Paper Products From India, 46764-46766 2017-21588 Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires From the People's Republic of China, 46754-46756 2017-21586 Certain Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings From Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines; Final Results of Expedited Sunset Review, 46763-46764 2017-21590 Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Turkey, 46768-46769 2017-21587 Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China, 46760-46761 2017-21589 High Pressure Steel Cylinders From the People's Republic of China, 46758-46760 2017-21582 Oil Country Tubular Goods From the Republic of Turkey, 46767-46768 2017-21585 Export Trade Certificates of Review: Northwest Fruit Exporters, 46756-46758 2017-21557 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Stainless Steel Flanges From China and India, 46831-46832 2017-21547 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 46831 2017-21764 2017-21765 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Gold Bar Mine Project, Eureka County, NV, 46830-46831 2017-21599 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Intents to Grant Partially Exclusive Term Licenses, 46839 2017-21517 National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46753 2017-21624 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 46811 2017-21526 2017-21527 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Essential Fish Habitat, 46749-46752 2017-21560 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46770 2017-21580 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Pacific Islands Region Permit Family of Forms, 46771 2017-21579 Meetings: Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review; Correction, 46769-46770 2017-21598 Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Correction, 46771-46772 2017-21597 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, 46839 2017-21553 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 46839-46840 2017-21697 Requests for Information: Mid-scale Research Infrastructure, 46840 2017-21608 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Former Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Detachment Concord, Concord, CA, 46773 2017-21601 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES Prompt Remediation of Residual Radioactivity During Operation, 46666-46668 2017-21546 PROPOSED RULES Fire Protection Compensatory Measures, 46717-46719 2017-21544 NOTICES Agreement State Program Policy Statement, 46840-46843 2017-21542 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 46843-46844 2017-21755 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories: Curtis-Strauss, LLC, 46837-46839 2017-21603 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 46753-46754 2017-21568 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: ICE Clear Credit LLC, 46844-46845 2017-21540 Nasdaq MRX, LLC, 46848-46865 2017-21538 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 46845-46848 2017-21535 NYSE Arca, Inc., 46865-46877 2017-21536 2017-21537 2017-21539 The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 46877-46879 2017-21541 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Lease and Operation Exemptions: Scrap Metal Services Terminal Railroad Co., LLC From Scrap Metal Services, LLC, 46879-46880 2017-21531 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Environmental Review of the Proposed Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement; Correction, 46880 2017-21772 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

PROPOSED RULES Geographic-Based Hiring Preferences in Administering Federal Awards; Withdrawal, 46716-46717 2017-21574
Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited to Secure U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration Bonds, 46890-46891 2017-21524
Reader Aids

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82 193 Friday, October 6, 2017 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 7 CFR Part 15a RIN 0503-AA60 Education Programs or Activities Receiving or Benefitting From Federal Financial Assistance AGENCY:

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule updates the regulations required for the enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (commonly referred to as “Title IX”) for financial assistance from the Department of Agriculture. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. The regulation provides guidance to recipients of Federal financial assistance who administer education programs or activities. The changes made by this rule will promote consistency in the enforcement of Title IX for USDA financial assistance recipients.

DATES:

Effective: November 6, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David King, telephone (202) 720-3808.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The purpose of this rule is to update the regulations in 7 CFR part 15a for the enforcement of Title IX (20 U.S.C. 1681-1683, 1685-1688) as it applies to educational programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from USDA.

On April 11, 1979, USDA published a final rule (44 FR 21610) to implement USDA's Title IX regulations, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance.

On August 30, 2000, 20 Federal departments and agencies published a final rule (65 FR 52858) to provide for the enforcement of Title IX by participating Federal agencies that had not previously promulgated Title IX implementing regulations (referred to as the “common rule”). The Department of Justice coordinated development of the Title IX common rule, consistent with its responsibility under Executive Order 12250, to ensure the consistent and effective implementation of Title IX and other civil rights laws. USDA, as one of the Federal agencies that had already promulgated Title IX regulations, did not publish new rules to reflect the common rulemaking.

Upon further consideration, USDA decided to amend its Title IX regulations to adopt the language of the common rule. USDA's Title IX regulations have not been updated since 1979 and do not reflect intervening developments, including certain Supreme Court decisions, revisions by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (Pub. L. 100-259), and various Executive Orders. By harmonizing the provisions of 7 CFR part 15a with the common rule, USDA brings its regulations up-to-date, complies with Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” dated February 24, 2017, follows current guidance from DOJ, and makes it easier for recipients of USDA financial assistance to understand and comply with Title IX requirements. The revisions to 7 CFR part 15a merely conform USDA's regulations to the Title IX common rule adopted by other federal agencies and reflect changes in the law since USDA published its Title IX regulations in 1979. This rule imposes no new substantive requirements on recipients of USDA financial assistance.

As shown in the following “cross-walk” table, some of the provisions of new part 15a (renumbered to correspond to the common rule) appear in different order than in the existing regulations in part 15a:

New part 15a Existing part 15a Subpart A 15a.100 15a.1 15a.105 15a.2 15a.110 15a.3 15a.115 15a.4 15a.120 N/A 15a.125 15a.5 15a.130 15a.6 15a.135 15a.7 15a.140 15a.8 Subpart B 15a.200 15a.11 15a.205 15a.12 15a.210 15a.13 15a.215 15a.14 15a.220 15a.16 15a.225 15a.17 15a.230 15a.18 15a.235 15a.15 Subpart C 15a.300 15a.21 15a.305 15a.22 15a.310 15a.23 Subpart D 15a.400 15a.31 15a.405 15a.32 15a.410 15a.33 15a.415 15a.34 15a.420 15a.35 15a.425 15a.36 15a.430 15a.37 15a.435 15a.38 15a.440 15a.39 15a.445 15a.40 15a.450 15a.41 15a.455 15a.42 Subpart E 15a.500 15a.51 15a.505 15a.52 15a.510 15a.53 15a.515 15a.54 15a.520 15a.55 15a.525 15a.56 15a.530 15a.57 15a.535 15a.58 15a.540 15a.59 15a.545 15a.60 15a.550 15a.61 Subpart F 15a.605 15a.71 Public Comment

In general, the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking be published in the Federal Register and interested persons be given an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking through submission of written data, views, or arguments with or without opportunity for oral presentation, except when the rule involves a matter relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits, or contracts. This rule involves benefits and is therefore being published as a final rule without the prior opportunity for comments.

Executive Orders 12866, 13563, 13771, and 13777

Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasized the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” established a federal policy to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens on the American people. In line with the requirement repeal, replace, or modify regulations, this rule is modifying a regulation for consistency with other related federal regulations and to update the requirements.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designated this rule as not significant under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” and therefore, OMB has not reviewed this rule. Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” requires that in order to manage the private costs required to comply with Federal regulations that for every new significant or economically significant regulation issued, the new costs must be offset by the elimination of at least two prior regulations. This rule does not rise to the level required to comply with Executive Order 13771; it is also updating an existing regulation, therefore it is not a new regulation.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA, Pub. L. 104-121), generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to the notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act because, as noted above, it is exempt from notice and comment rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553 and therefore, USDA is not required by any law to publish a proposed rule for public comment for this rulemaking.

Executive Order 12372

Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” requires consultation with State and local officials. The objectives of the Executive Order are to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened Federalism, by relying on State and local processes for State and local government coordination and review of proposed federal financial assistance and direct federal development. This rule neither provides federal financial assistance nor direct federal development. It does not provide either grants or cooperative agreements. Therefore, this rule is not subject to Executive Order 12372.

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform.” This rule will not preempt State or local laws, regulations, or policies unless they represent an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. The rule will not have a retroactive effect.

Executive Order 13132

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 13132, “Federalism.” The policies contained in this rule do not have any substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the Federal government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, except as required by law. Nor does this rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, consultation with the States is not required.

Executive Order 13175

This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects 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.

USDA has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule does not, to our knowledge, have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under Executive Order 13175. If a Tribe requests consultation, USDA will work with the USDA Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is provided where requested.

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA, Pub. L. 104-4) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments, or the private sector. Agencies generally need to prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with Federal mandates that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more in any year for State, local, or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector. UMRA generally requires agencies to consider alternatives and adopt the more cost effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. This rule contains no Federal mandates, as defined in Title II of UMRA, for State, local, and Tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of UMRA.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA)

SBREFA normally requires that an agency delay the effective date of a major rule for 60 days from the date of publication to allow for Congressional review. This rule is not a major rule under SBREFA. Therefore, USDA is not required to delay the effective date for 60 days from the date of publication to allow for Congressional review. Therefore, the rule is effective when published in the Federal Register, as discussed above.

E-Government Act Compliance

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

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 15a

Education, Sex discrimination, Youth organizations.

For the reasons discussed above, 7 CFR part 15a is revised to read as follows: PART 15a—EDUCATION PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES RECEIVING OR BENEFITTING FROM FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE Subpart A—Introduction Sec. 15a.100 Purpose. 15a.105 Definitions. 15a.110 Remedial and affirmative action and self-evaluation. 15a.115 Assurance required. 15a.120 Transfers of property. 15a.125 Effect of other requirements. 15a.130 Effect of employment opportunities. 15a.135 Designation of responsible employee and adoption of grievance procedures. 15a.140 Dissemination of policy. Subpart B—Coverage 15a.200 Application. 15a.205 Educational institutions and other entities controlled by religious organizations. 15a.210 Military and merchant marine educational institutions. 15a.215 Membership practices of certain organizations. 15a.220 Admissions. 15a.225 Educational institutions eligible to submit transition plans. 15a.230 Transition plans. 15a.235 Statutory amendments. Subpart C—Discrimination on the Basis of Sex in Admission and Recruitment Prohibited 15a.300 Admission. 15a.305 Preference in admission. 15a.310 Recruitment. Subpart D—Discrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Prohibited 15a.400 Education programs or activities. 15a.405 Housing. 15a.410 Comparable facilities. 15a.415 Access to course offerings. 15a.420 Access to schools operated by LEAs. 15a.425 Counseling and use of appraisal and counseling materials. 15a.430 Financial assistance. 15a.435 Employment assistance to students. 15a.440 Health and insurance benefits and services. 15a.445 Marital or parental status. 15a.450 Athletics. 15a.455 Textbooks and curricular material. Subpart E—Discrimination on the Basis of Sex in Employment in Education Programs or Activities Prohibited 15a.500 Employment. 15a.505 Employment criteria. 15a.510 Recruitment. 15a.515 Compensation. 15a.520 Job classification and structure. 15a.525 Fringe benefits. 15a.530 Marital or parental status. 15a.535 Effect of state or local law or other requirements. 15a.540 Advertising. 15a.545 Pre-employment inquiries. 15a.550 Sex as a bona fide occupational qualification. Subpart F—Other Provisions 15a.605 Enforcement procedures. Authority:

20 U.S.C. 1681, 1682, 1683, 1685, 1686, 1687, 1688; 42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.; and 50 U.S.C. 2401 et seq.

Subpart A—Introduction
§ 15a.100 Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to effectuate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (except sections 904 and 906 of those Amendments) (20 U.S.C. 1681, 1682, 1683, 1685, 1686, 1687, 1688), which is designed to eliminate (with certain exceptions) discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, whether or not such program or activity is offered or sponsored by an educational institution as defined in this part.

§ 15a.105 Definitions.

As used in this part, the term:

Administratively separate unit means a school, department, or college of an educational institution (other than a local educational agency) admission to which is independent of admission to any other component of such institution.

Admission means selection for part-time, full-time, special, associate, transfer, exchange, or any other enrollment, membership, or matriculation in or at an education program or activity operated by a recipient.

Applicant means one who submits an application, request, or plan required to be approved by an official of the Federal agency that awards Federal financial assistance, or by a recipient, as a condition to becoming a recipient.

Designated agency official means the Secretary of Agriculture or any officer or employees of the Department to whom the Secretary has heretofore delegated, or to whom the Secretary may hereafter delegate, the authority to act for the Secretary under the regulations in this part.

Educational institution means a local educational agency (LEA) as defined by 20 U.S.C. 8801(18), a preschool, a private elementary or secondary school, or an applicant or recipient that is an institution of graduate higher education, an institution of undergraduate higher education, an institution of professional education, or an institution of vocational education, as defined in this section.

Federal financial assistance means any of the following, when authorized or extended under a law administered by the Federal agency that awards such assistance:

(1) A grant or loan of Federal financial assistance, including funds made available for:

(i) The acquisition, construction, renovation, restoration, or repair of a building or facility or any portion thereof; and

(ii) Scholarships, loans, grants, wages, or other funds extended to any entity for payment to or on behalf of students admitted to that entity, or extended directly to such students for payment to that entity.

(2) A grant of Federal real or personal property or any interest therein, including surplus property, and the proceeds of the sale or transfer of such property, if the Federal share of the fair market value of the property is not, upon such sale or transfer, properly accounted for to the Federal Government.

(3) Provision of the services of Federal personnel.

(4) Sale or lease of Federal property or any interest therein at nominal consideration, or at consideration reduced for the purpose of assisting the recipient or in recognition of public interest to be served thereby, or permission to use Federal property or any interest therein without consideration.

(5) Any other contract, agreement, or arrangement that has as one of its purposes the provision of assistance to any education program or activity, except a contract of insurance or guaranty.

Institution of graduate higher education means an institution that:

(1) Offers academic study beyond the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree, whether or not leading to a certificate of any higher degree in the liberal arts and sciences;

(2) Awards any degree in a professional field beyond the first professional degree (regardless of whether the first professional degree in such field is awarded by an institution of undergraduate higher education or professional education); or

(3) Awards no degree and offers no further academic study, but operates ordinarily for the purpose of facilitating research by persons who have received the highest graduate degree in any field of study.

Institution of professional education means an institution (except any institution of undergraduate higher education) that offers a program of academic study that leads to a first professional degree in a field for which there is a national specialized accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary of Education.

Institution of undergraduate higher education means:

(1) An institution offering at least two but less than four years of college level study beyond the high school level, leading to a diploma or an associate degree, or wholly or principally creditable toward a baccalaureate degree; or

(2) An institution offering academic study leading to a baccalaureate degree; or

(3) An agency or body that certifies credentials or offers degrees, but that may or may not offer academic study.

Institution of vocational education means a school or institution (except an institution of professional or graduate or undergraduate higher education) that has as its primary purpose preparation of students to pursue a technical, skilled, or semiskilled occupation or trade, or to pursue study in a technical field, whether or not the school or institution offers certificates, diplomas, or degrees and whether or not it offers full-time study.

Recipient means any State or political subdivision thereof, or any instrumentality of a State or political subdivision thereof, any public or private agency, institution, or organization, or other entity, or any person, to whom Federal financial assistance is extended directly or through another recipient and that operates an education program or activity that receives such assistance, including any subunit, successor, assignee, or transferee thereof.

Student means a person who has gained admission.

Title IX means Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Public Law 92-318, 86 Stat. 235, 373 (codified as amended at 20 U.S.C. 1681-1688) (except sections 904 and 906 thereof), as amended by section 3 of Public Law 93-568, 88 Stat. 1855, by section 412 of the Education Amendments of 1976, Public Law 94-482, 90 Stat. 2234, and by Section 3 of Public Law 100-259, 102 Stat. 28, 28-29 (20 U.S.C. 1681, 1682, 1683, 1685, 1686, 1687, 1688).

Transition plan means a plan subject to the approval of the Secretary of Education pursuant to section 901(a)(2) of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681(a)(2), under which an educational institution operates in making the transition from being an educational institution that admits only students of one sex to being one that admits students of both sexes without discrimination.

§ 15a.110 Remedial and affirmative action and self-evaluation.

(a) Remedial action. If the designated agency official finds that a recipient has discriminated against persons on the basis of sex in an education program or activity, such recipient shall take such remedial action as the designated agency official deems necessary to overcome the effects of such discrimination.

(b) Affirmative action. In the absence of a finding of discrimination on the basis of sex in an education program or activity, a recipient may take affirmative action consistent with law to overcome the effects of conditions that resulted in limited participation therein by persons of a particular sex. Nothing in this part shall be interpreted to alter any affirmative action obligations that a recipient may have under Executive Order 11246, 3 CFR, 1964-1965 Comp., p. 339; as amended by Executive Order 11375, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 684; as amended by Executive Order 11478, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 803; as amended by Executive Order 12086, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 230; as amended by Executive Order 12107, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 264.

(c) Self-evaluation. Each recipient education institution shall, within one year of the effective date of this part:

(1) Evaluate, in terms of the requirements of this part, its current policies and practices and the effects thereof concerning admission of students, treatment of students, and employment of both academic and nonacademic personnel working in connection with the recipient's education program or activity;

(2) Modify any of these policies and practices that do not or may not meet the requirements of this part; and

(3) Take appropriate remedial steps to eliminate the effects of any discrimination that resulted or may have resulted from adherence to these policies and practices.

(d) Availability of self-evaluation and related materials. Recipients shall maintain on file for at least three years following completion of the evaluation required under paragraph (c) of this section, and shall provide to the designated agency official upon request, a description of any modifications made pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section and of any remedial steps taken pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

§ 15a.115 Assurance required.

(a) General. Either at the application stage or the award stage, Federal agencies must ensure that applications for Federal financial assistance or awards of Federal financial assistance contain, be accompanied by, or be covered by a specifically identified assurance from the applicant or recipient, satisfactory to the designated agency official, that each education program or activity operated by the applicant or recipient and to which this part applies will be operated in compliance with this part. An assurance of compliance with this part shall not be satisfactory to the designated agency official if the applicant or recipient to whom such assurance applies fails to commit itself to take whatever remedial action is necessary in accordance with § 15a.110(a) to eliminate existing discrimination on the basis of sex or to eliminate the effects of past discrimination whether occurring prior to or subsequent to the submission to the designated agency official of such assurance.

(b) Duration of obligation. (1) In the case of Federal financial assistance extended to provide real property or structures thereon, such assurance shall obligate the recipient or, in the case of a subsequent transfer, the transferee, for the period during which the real property or structures are used to provide an education program or activity.

(2) In the case of Federal financial assistance extended to provide personal property, such assurance shall obligate the recipient for the period during which it retains ownership or possession of the property.

(3) In all other cases such assurance shall obligate the recipient for the period during which Federal financial assistance is extended.

(c) Form. (1) The assurances required by paragraph (a) of this section, which may be included as part of a document that addresses other assurances or obligations, shall include that the applicant or recipient will comply with all applicable Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination. These include but are not limited to: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1681-1683, 1685-1688).

(2) The designated agency official will specify the extent to which such assurances will be required of the applicant's or recipient's subgrantees, contractors, subcontractors, transferees, or successors in interest.

§ 15a.120 Transfers of property.

If a recipient sells or otherwise transfers property financed in whole or in part with Federal financial assistance to a transferee that operates any education program or activity, and the Federal share of the fair market value of the property is not upon such sale or transfer properly accounted for to the Federal Government, both the transferor and the transferee shall be deemed to be recipients, subject to the provisions of §§ 15a.205 through 15a.235(a).

§ 15a.125 Effect of other requirements.

(a) Effect of other Federal provisions. The obligations imposed by this part are independent of, and do not alter, obligations not to discriminate on the basis of sex imposed by Executive Order 11246, 3 CFR, 1964-1965 Comp., p. 339; as amended by Executive Order 11375, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 684; as amended by Executive Order 11478, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 803; as amended by Executive Order 12087, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 230; as amended by Executive Order 12107, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 264; sections 704 and 855 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 295m, 298b-2); Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.); the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (29 U.S.C. 206); and any other Act of Congress or Federal regulation.

(b) Effect of State or local law or other requirements. The obligation to comply with this part is not obviated or alleviated by any State or local law or other requirement that would render any applicant or student ineligible, or limit the eligibility of any applicant or student, on the basis of sex, to practice any occupation or profession.

(c) Effect of rules or regulations of private organizations. The obligation to comply with this part is not obviated or alleviated by any rule or regulation of any organization, club, athletic or other league, or association that would render any applicant or student ineligible to participate or limit the eligibility or participation of any applicant or student, on the basis of sex, in any education program or activity operated by a recipient and that receives Federal financial assistance.

§ 15a.130 Effect of employment opportunities.

The obligation to comply with this part is not obviated or alleviated because employment opportunities in any occupation or profession are or may be more limited for members of one sex than for members of the other sex.

§ 15a.135 Designation of responsible employee and adoption of grievance procedures.

(a) Designation of responsible employee. Each recipient shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under this part, including any investigation of any complaint communicated to such recipient alleging its noncompliance with this part or alleging any actions that would be prohibited by this part. The recipient shall notify all its students and employees of the name, office address, and telephone number of the employee or employees appointed pursuant to this paragraph.

(b) Complaint procedure of recipient. A recipient shall adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited by this part.

§ 15a.140 Dissemination of policy.

(a) Notification of policy. (1) Each recipient shall implement specific and continuing steps to notify applicants for admission and employment, students and parents of elementary and secondary school students, employees, sources of referral of applicants for admission and employment, and all unions or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or professional agreements with the recipient, that it does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the educational programs or activities that it operates, and that it is required by Title IX and this part not to discriminate in such a manner. Such notification shall contain such information, and be made in such manner, as the designated agency official finds necessary to apprise such persons of the protections against discrimination assured them by Title IX and this part, but shall state at least that the requirement not to discriminate in education programs or activities extends to employment therein, and to admission thereto unless §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 do not apply to the recipient, and that inquiries concerning the application of Title IX and this part to such recipient may be referred to the employee designated pursuant to § 15a.135, or to the designated agency official.

(2) Each recipient shall make the initial notification required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section within 90 days of the date this part first applies to such recipient, which notification shall include publication in:

(i) Newspapers and magazines operated by such recipient or by student, alumnae, or alumni groups for or in connection with such recipient; and

(ii) Memoranda or other written communications distributed to every student and employee of such recipient.

(b) Publications. (1) Each recipient shall prominently include a statement of the policy described in paragraph (a) of this section in each announcement, bulletin, catalog, or application form that it makes available to any person of a type, described in paragraph (a) of this section, or which is otherwise used in connection with the recruitment of students or employees.

(2) A recipient shall not use or distribute a publication of the type described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section that suggests, by text or illustration, that such recipient treats applicants, students, or employees differently on the basis of sex except as such treatment is permitted by this part.

(c) Distribution. Each recipient shall distribute without discrimination on the basis of sex each publication described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, and shall apprise each of its admission and employment recruitment representatives of the policy of nondiscrimination described in paragraph (a) of this section, and shall require such representatives to adhere to such policy.

Subpart B—Coverage
§ 15a.200 Application.

Except as provided in §§ 15a.205 through 15a.235(a), this part applies to every recipient and to each education program or activity operated by such recipient that receives Federal financial assistance.

§ 15a.205 Educational institutions and other entities controlled by religious organizations.

(a) Exemption. This part does not apply to any operation of an educational institution or other entity that is controlled by a religious organization to the extent that application of this part would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.

(b) Exemption claims. An educational institution or other entity that wishes to claim the exemption set forth in paragraph (a) of this section shall do so by submitting in writing to the designated agency official a statement by the highest-ranking official of the institution, identifying the provisions of this part that conflict with a specific tenet of the religious organization.

§ 15a.210 Military and merchant marine educational institutions.

This part does not apply to an educational institution whose primary purpose is the training of individuals for a military service of the United States or for the merchant marine.

§ 15a.215 Membership practices of certain organizations.

(a) Social fraternities and sororities. This part does not apply to the membership practices of social fraternities and sororities that are exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, 26 U.S.C. 501(a), the active membership of which consists primarily of students in attendance at institutions of higher education.

(b) YMCA, YWCA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Camp Fire Girls. This part does not apply to the membership practices of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, and Camp Fire Girls.

(c) Voluntary youth service organizations. This part does not apply to the membership practices of a voluntary youth service organization that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, 26 U.S.C. 501(a), and the membership of which has been traditionally limited to members of one sex and principally to persons of less than nineteen years of age.

§ 15a.220 Admissions.

(a) Admissions to educational institutions prior to June 24, 1973, are not covered by this part.

(b) Administratively separate units. For the purposes only of this section, §§ 15a.225 and 15a.230, and §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310, each administratively separate unit shall be deemed to be an educational institution.

(c) Application of §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310. Except as provided in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 apply to each recipient. A recipient to which §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 apply shall not discriminate on the basis of sex in admission or recruitment in violation of §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310.

(d) Educational institutions. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section as to recipients that are educational institutions, §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 apply only to institutions of vocational education, professional education, graduate higher education, and public institutions of undergraduate higher education.

(e) Public institutions of undergraduate higher education. Sections 15a.300 through 15a.310 do not apply to any public institution of undergraduate higher education that traditionally and continually from its establishment has had a policy of admitting students of only one sex.

§ 15a.225 Educational institutions eligible to submit transition plans.

(a) Application. This section applies to each educational institution to which §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 apply that:

(1) Admitted students of only one sex as regular students as of June 23, 1972; or

(2) Admitted students of only one sex as regular students as of June 23, 1965, but thereafter admitted, as regular students, students of the sex not admitted prior to June 23, 1965.

(b) Provision for transition plans. An educational institution to which this section applies shall not discriminate on the basis of sex in admission or recruitment in violation of §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310.

§ 15a.230 Transition plans.

(a) Submission of plans. An institution to which § 15a.225 applies and that is composed of more than one administratively separate unit may submit either a single transition plan applicable to all such units, or a separate transition plan applicable to each such unit.

(b) Content of plans. In order to be approved by the Secretary of Education, a transition plan shall:

(1) State the name, address, and Federal Interagency Committee on Education Code of the educational institution submitting such plan, the administratively separate units to which the plan is applicable, and the name, address, and telephone number of the person to whom questions concerning the plan may be addressed. The person who submits the plan shall be the chief administrator or president of the institution, or another individual legally authorized to bind the institution to all actions set forth in the plan.

(2) State whether the educational institution or administratively separate unit admits students of both sexes as regular students and, if so, when it began to do so.

(3) Identify and describe with respect to the educational institution or administratively separate unit any obstacles to admitting students without discrimination on the basis of sex.

(4) Describe in detail the steps necessary to eliminate as soon as practicable each obstacle so identified and indicate the schedule for taking these steps and the individual directly responsible for their implementation.

(5) Include estimates of the number of students, by sex, expected to apply for, be admitted to, and enter each class during the period covered by the plan.

(c) Nondiscrimination. No policy or practice of a recipient to which § 15a.225 applies shall result in treatment of applicants to or students of such recipient in violation of §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 unless such treatment is necessitated by an obstacle identified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section and a schedule for eliminating that obstacle has been provided as required by paragraph (b)(4) of this section.

(d) Effects of past exclusion. To overcome the effects of past exclusion of students on the basis of sex, each educational institution to which § 15a.225 applies shall include in its transition plan, and shall implement, specific steps designed to encourage individuals of the previously excluded sex to apply for admission to such institution. Such steps shall include instituting recruitment programs that emphasize the institution's commitment to enrolling students of the sex previously excluded.

§ 15a.235 Statutory amendments.

(a) This section, which applies to all provisions of this part, addresses statutory amendments to Title IX.

(b) This part shall not apply to or preclude:

(1) Any program or activity of the American Legion undertaken in connection with the organization or operation of any Boys State conference, Boys Nation conference, Girls State conference, or Girls Nation conference;

(2) Any program or activity of a secondary school or educational institution specifically for:

(i) The promotion of any Boys State conference, Boys Nation conference, Girls State conference, or Girls Nation conference; or

(ii) The selection of students to attend any such conference;

(3) Father-son or mother-daughter activities at an educational institution or in an education program or activity, but if such activities are provided for students of one sex, opportunities for reasonably comparable activities shall be provided to students of the other sex;

(4) Any scholarship or other financial assistance awarded by an institution of higher education to an individual because such individual has received such award in a single-sex pageant based upon a combination of factors related to the individual's personal appearance, poise, and talent. The pageant, however, must comply with other nondiscrimination provisions of Federal law.

(c) Program or activity or program means:

(1) All of the operations of any entity described in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) through (iv) of this section, any part of which is extended Federal financial assistance:

(i)(A) A department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or of a local government; or

(B) The entity of such State or local government that distributes such assistance and each such department or agency (and each other State or local government entity) to which the assistance is extended, in the case of assistance to a State or local government;

(ii)(A) A college, university, or other postsecondary institution, or a public system of higher education; or

(B) A local educational agency (as defined in section 8801 of title 20), system of vocational education, or other school system;

(iii)(A) An entire corporation, partnership, or other private organization, or an entire sole proprietorship—

(1) If assistance is extended to such corporation, partnership, private organization, or sole proprietorship as a whole; or

(2) Which is principally engaged in the business of providing education, health care, housing, social services, or parks and recreation; or

(B) The entire plant or other comparable, geographically separate facility to which Federal financial assistance is extended, in the case of any other corporation, partnership, private organization, or sole proprietorship; or

(iv) Any other entity that is established by two or more of the entities described in paragraphs (c)(1)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this section.

(2)(i) Program or activity does not include any operation of an entity that is controlled by a religious organization if the application of 20 U.S.C. 1681 to such operation would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.

(ii) For example, all of the operations of a college, university, or other postsecondary institution, including but not limited to traditional educational operations, faculty and student housing, campus shuttle bus service, campus restaurants, the bookstore, and other commercial activities are part of a “program or activity” subject to this part if the college, university, or other institution receives Federal financial assistance.

(d)(1) Nothing in this part shall be construed to require or prohibit any person, or public or private entity, to provide or pay for any benefit or service, including the use of facilities, related to an abortion. Medical procedures, benefits, services, and the use of facilities, necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman or to address complications related to an abortion are not subject to this section.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit a penalty to be imposed on any person or individual because such person or individual is seeking or has received any benefit or service related to a legal abortion. Accordingly, subject to paragraph (d)(1) of this section, no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, employment, or other educational program or activity operated by a recipient that receives Federal financial assistance because such individual has sought or received, or is seeking, a legal abortion, or any benefit or service related to a legal abortion.

Subpart C—Discrimination on the Basis of Sex in Admission and Recruitment Prohibited
§ 15a.300 Admission.

(a) General. No person shall, on the basis of sex, be denied admission, or be subjected to discrimination in admission, by any recipient to which §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 apply, except as provided in §§ 15a.225 and 15a.230.

(b) Specific prohibitions. (1) In determining whether a person satisfies any policy or criterion for admission, or in making any offer of admission, a recipient to which §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 apply shall not:

(i) Give preference to one person over another on the basis of sex, by ranking applicants separately on such basis, or otherwise;

(ii) Apply numerical limitations upon the number or proportion of persons of either sex who may be admitted; or

(iii) Otherwise treat one individual differently from another on the basis of sex.

(2) A recipient shall not administer or operate any test or other criterion for admission that has a disproportionately adverse effect on persons on the basis of sex unless the use of such test or criterion is shown to predict validly success in the education program or activity in question and alternative tests or criteria that do not have such a disproportionately adverse effect are shown to be unavailable.

(c) Prohibitions relating to marital or parental status. In determining whether a person satisfies any policy or criterion for admission, or in making any offer of admission, a recipient to which §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 apply:

(1) Shall not apply any rule concerning the actual or potential parental, family, or marital status of a student or applicant that treats persons differently on the basis of sex;

(2) Shall not discriminate against or exclude any person on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom, or establish or follow any rule or practice that so discriminates or excludes;

(3) Subject to § 15a.235(d), shall treat disabilities related to pregnancy, childbirth, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom in the same manner and under the same policies as any other temporary disability or physical condition; and

(4) Shall not make pre-admission inquiry as to the marital status of an applicant for admission, including whether such applicant is “Miss” or “Mrs.” A recipient may make pre-admission inquiry as to the sex of an applicant for admission, but only if such inquiry is made equally of such applicants of both sexes and if the results of such inquiry are not used in connection with discrimination prohibited by this part.

§ 15a.305 Preference in admission.

A recipient to which §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 apply shall not give preference to applicants for admission, on the basis of attendance at any educational institution or other school or entity that admits as students only or predominantly members of one sex, if the giving of such preference has the effect of discriminating on the basis of sex in violation of §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310.

§ 15a.310 Recruitment.

(a) Nondiscriminatory recruitment. A recipient to which §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 apply shall not discriminate on the basis of sex in the recruitment and admission of students. A recipient may be required to undertake additional recruitment efforts for one sex as remedial action pursuant to § 15a.110(a), and may choose to undertake such efforts as affirmative action pursuant to § 15a.110(b).

(b) Recruitment at certain institutions. A recipient to which §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 apply shall not recruit primarily or exclusively at educational institutions, schools, or entities that admit as students only or predominantly members of one sex, if such actions have the effect of discriminating on the basis of sex in violation of §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310.

Subpart D—Discrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Prohibited
§ 15a.400 Education programs or activities.

(a) General. Except as provided elsewhere in this part, no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education program or activity operated by a recipient that receives Federal financial assistance. Sections 15a.400 through 15a.455 do not apply to actions of a recipient in connection with admission of its students to an education program or activity of a recipient to which §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 do not apply, or an entity, not a recipient, to which §§ 15a.300 through 15a.310 would not apply if the entity were a recipient.

(b) Specific prohibitions. Except as provided in §§ 15a.400 through 15a.455, in providing any aid, benefit, or service to a student, a recipient shall not, on the basis of sex:

(1) Treat one person differently from another in determining whether such person satisfies any requirement or condition for the provision of such aid, benefit, or service;

(2) Provide different aid, benefits, or services or provide aid, benefits, or services in a different manner;

(3) Deny any person any such aid, benefit, or service;

(4) Subject any person to separate or different rules of behavior, sanctions, or other treatment;

(5) Apply any rule concerning the domicile or residence of a student or applicant, including eligibility for instate fees and tuition;

(6) Aid or perpetuate discrimination against any person by providing significant assistance to any agency, organization, or person that discriminates on the basis of sex in providing any aid, benefit, or service to students or employees;

(7) Otherwise limit any person in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity.

(c) Assistance administered by a recipient educational institution to study at a foreign institution. A recipient educational institution may administer or assist in the administration of scholarships, fellowships, or other awards established by foreign or domestic wills, trusts, or similar legal instruments, or by acts of foreign governments and restricted to members of one sex, that are designed to provide opportunities to study abroad, and that are awarded to students who are already matriculating at or who are graduates of the recipient institution; Provided, that a recipient educational institution that administers or assists in the administration of such scholarships, fellowships, or other awards that are restricted to members of one sex provides, or otherwise makes available, reasonable opportunities for similar studies for members of the other sex. Such opportunities may be derived from either domestic or foreign sources.

(d) Aids, benefits or services not provided by recipient. (1) This paragraph (d) applies to any recipient that requires participation by any applicant, student, or employee in any education program or activity not operated wholly by such recipient, or that facilitates, permits, or considers such participation as part of or equivalent to an education program or activity operated by such recipient, including participation in educational consortia and cooperative employment and student-teaching assignments.

(2) Such recipient:

(i) Shall develop and implement a procedure designed to assure itself that the operator or sponsor of such other education program or activity takes no action affecting any applicant, student, or employee of such recipient that this part would prohibit such recipient from taking; and

(ii) Shall not facilitate, require, permit, or consider such participation if such action occurs.

§ 15a.405 Housing.

(a) Generally. A recipient shall not, on the basis of sex, apply different rules or regulations, impose different fees or requirements, or offer different services or benefits related to housing, except as provided in this section (including housing provided only to married students).

(b) Housing provided by recipient. (1) A recipient may provide separate housing on the basis of sex.

(2) Housing provided by a recipient to students of one sex, when compared to that provided to students of the other sex, shall be as a whole:

(i) Proportionate in quantity to the number of students of that sex applying for such housing; and

(ii) Comparable in quality and cost to the student.

(c) Other housing. (1) A recipient shall not, on the basis of sex, administer different policies or practices concerning occupancy by its students of housing other than that provided by such recipient.

(2)(i) A recipient which, through solicitation, listing, approval of housing, or otherwise, assists any agency, organization, or person in making housing available to any of its students, shall take such reasonable action as may be necessary to assure itself that such housing as is provided to students of one sex, when compared to that provided to students of the other sex, is as a whole:

(A) Proportionate in quantity; and

(B) Comparable in quality and cost to the student.

(ii) A recipient may render such assistance to any agency, organization, or person that provides all or part of such housing to students of only one sex.

§ 15a.410 Comparable facilities.

A recipient may provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex, but such facilities provided for students of one sex shall be comparable to such facilities provided for students of the other sex.

§ 15a.415 Access to course offerings.

(a) A recipient shall not provide any course or otherwise carry out any of its education program or activity separately on the basis of sex, or require or refuse participation therein by any of its students on such basis, including health, physical education, industrial, business, vocational, technical, home economics, music, and adult education courses.

(b)(1) With respect to classes and activities in physical education at the elementary school level, the recipient shall comply fully with this section as expeditiously as possible but in no event later than one year from the effective date of these regulations. With respect to physical education classes and activities at the secondary and post-secondary levels, the recipient shall comply fully with this section as expeditiously as possible but in no event later than three years from the effective date of these regulations.

(2) This section does not prohibit grouping of students in physical education classes and activities by ability as assessed by objective standards of individual performance developed and applied without regard to sex.

(3) This section does not prohibit separation of students by sex within physical education classes or activities during participation in wrestling, boxing, rugby, ice hockey, football, basketball, and other sports the purpose or major activity of which involves bodily contact.

(4) Where use of a single standard of measuring skill or progress in a physical education class has an adverse effect on members of one sex, the recipient shall use appropriate standards that do not have such effect.

(5) Portions of classes in elementary and secondary schools, or portions of education programs or activities, that deal exclusively with human sexuality may be conducted in separate sessions for boys and girls.

(6) Recipients may make requirements based on vocal range or quality that may result in a chorus or choruses of one or predominantly one sex.

§ 15a.420 Access to schools operated by LEAs.

A recipient that is a local educational agency shall not, on the basis of sex, exclude any person from admission to:

(a) Any institution of vocational education operated by such recipient; or

(b) Any other school or educational unit operated by such recipient, unless such recipient otherwise makes available to such person, pursuant to the same policies and criteria of admission, courses, services, and facilities comparable to each course, service, and facility offered in or through such schools.

§ 15a.425 Counseling and use of appraisal and counseling materials.

(a) Counseling. A recipient shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of sex in the counseling or guidance of students or applicants for admission.

(b) Use of appraisal and counseling materials. A recipient that uses testing or other materials for appraising or counseling students shall not use different materials for students on the basis of their sex or use materials that permit or require different treatment of students on such basis unless such different materials cover the same occupations and interest areas and the use of such different materials is shown to be essential to eliminate sex bias. Recipients shall develop and use internal procedures for ensuring that such materials do not discriminate on the basis of sex. Where the use of a counseling test or other instrument results in a substantially disproportionate number of members of one sex in any particular course of study or classification, the recipient shall take such action as is necessary to assure itself that such disproportion is not the result of discrimination in the instrument or its application.

(c) Disproportion in classes. Where a recipient finds that a particular class contains a substantially disproportionate number of individuals of one sex, the recipient shall take such action as is necessary to assure itself that such disproportion is not the result of discrimination on the basis of sex in counseling or appraisal materials or by counselors.

§ 15a.430 Financial assistance.

(a) General. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, in providing financial assistance to any of its students, a recipient shall not:

(1) On the basis of sex, provide different amounts or types of such assistance, limit eligibility for such assistance that is of any particular type or source, apply different criteria, or otherwise discriminate;

(2) Through solicitation, listing, approval, provision of facilities, or other services, assist any foundation, trust, agency, organization, or person that provides assistance to any of such recipient's students in a manner that discriminates on the basis of sex; or

(3) Apply any rule or assist in application of any rule concerning eligibility for such assistance that treats persons of one sex differently from persons of the other sex with regard to marital or parental status.

(b) Financial aid established by certain legal instruments. (1) A recipient may administer or assist in the administration of scholarships, fellowships, or other forms of financial assistance established pursuant to domestic or foreign wills, trusts, bequests, or similar legal instruments or by acts of a foreign government that require that awards be made to members of a particular sex specified therein; Provided, that the overall effect of the award of such sex-restricted scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial assistance does not discriminate on the basis of sex.

(2) To ensure nondiscriminatory awards of assistance as required in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, recipients shall develop and use procedures under which:

(i) Students are selected for award of financial assistance on the basis of nondiscriminatory criteria and not on the basis of availability of funds restricted to members of a particular sex;

(ii) An appropriate sex-restricted scholarship, fellowship, or other form of financial assistance is allocated to each student selected under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section; and

(iii) No student is denied the award for which he or she was selected under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section because of the absence of a scholarship, fellowship, or other form of financial assistance designated for a member of that student's sex.

(c) Athletic scholarships. (1) To the extent that a recipient awards athletic scholarships or grants-in-aid, it must provide reasonable opportunities for such awards for members of each sex in proportion to the number of students of each sex participating in interscholastic or intercollegiate athletics.

(2) A recipient may provide separate athletic scholarships or grants-in-aid for members of each sex as part of separate athletic teams for members of each sex to the extent consistent with this paragraph (c) and § 15a.450.

§ 15a.435 Employment assistance to students.

(a) Assistance by recipient in making available outside employment. A recipient that assists any agency, organization, or person in making employment available to any of its students:

(1) Shall assure itself that such employment is made available without discrimination on the basis of sex; and

(2) Shall not render such services to any agency, organization, or person that discriminates on the basis of sex in its employment practices.

(b) Employment of students by recipients. A recipient that employs any of its students shall not do so in a manner that violates §§ 15a.500 through 15a.550.

§ 15a.440 Health and insurance benefits and services.

Subject to § 15a.235(d), in providing a medical, hospital, accident, or life insurance benefit, service, policy, or plan to any of its students, a recipient shall not discriminate on the basis of sex, or provide such benefit, service, policy, or plan in a manner that would violate §§ 15a.500 through 15a.550 if it were provided to employees of the recipient. This section shall not prohibit a recipient from providing any benefit or service that may be used by a different proportion of students of one sex than of the other, including family planning services. However, any recipient that provides full coverage health service shall provide gynecological care.

§ 15a.445 Marital or parental status.

(a) Status generally. A recipient shall not apply any rule concerning a student's actual or potential parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently on the basis of sex.

(b) Pregnancy and related conditions. (1) A recipient shall not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student's pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom, unless the student requests voluntarily to participate in a separate portion of the program or activity of the recipient.

(2) A recipient may require such a student to obtain the certification of a physician that the student is physically and emotionally able to continue participation as long as such a certification is required of all students for other physical or emotional conditions requiring the attention of a physician.

(3) A recipient that operates a portion of its education program or activity separately for pregnant students, admittance to which is completely voluntary on the part of the student as provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, shall ensure that the separate portion is comparable to that offered to non-pregnant students.

(4) Subject to § 15a.235(d), a recipient shall treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy and recovery therefrom in the same manner and under the same policies as any other temporary disability with respect to any medical or hospital benefit, service, plan, or policy that such recipient administers, operates, offers, or participates in with respect to students admitted to the recipient's educational program or activity.

(5) In the case of a recipient that does not maintain a leave policy for its students, or in the case of a student who does not otherwise qualify for leave under such a policy, a recipient shall treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, and recovery therefrom as a justification for a leave of absence for as long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student's physician, at the conclusion of which the student shall be reinstated to the status that she held when the leave began.

§ 15a.450 Athletics.

(a) General. No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, be treated differently from another person, or otherwise be discriminated against in any interscholastic, intercollegiate, club, or intramural athletics offered by a recipient, and no recipient shall provide any such athletics separately on such basis.

(b) Separate teams. Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, a recipient may operate or sponsor separate teams for members of each sex where selection for such teams is based upon competitive skill or the activity involved is a contact sport. However, where a recipient operates or sponsors a team in a particular sport for members of one sex but operates or sponsors no such team for members of the other sex, and athletic opportunities for members of that sex have previously been limited, members of the excluded sex must be allowed to try out for the team offered unless the sport involved is a contact sport. For the purposes of this part, contact sports include boxing, wrestling, rugby, ice hockey, football, basketball, and other sports the purpose or major activity of which involves bodily contact.

(c) Equal opportunity. (1) A recipient that operates or sponsors interscholastic, intercollegiate, club, or intramural athletics shall provide equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexes. In determining whether equal opportunities are available, the designated agency official will consider, among other factors:

(i) Whether the selection of sports and levels of competition effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of members of both sexes;

(ii) The provision of equipment and supplies;

(iii) Scheduling of games and practice time;

(iv) Travel and per diem allowance;

(v) Opportunity to receive coaching and academic tutoring;

(vi) Assignment and compensation of coaches and tutors;

(vii) Provision of locker rooms, practice, and competitive facilities;

(viii) Provision of medical and training facilities and services;

(ix) Provision of housing and dining facilities and services;

(x) Publicity.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, unequal aggregate expenditures for members of each sex or unequal expenditures for male and female teams if a recipient operates or sponsors separate teams will not constitute noncompliance with this section, but the designated agency official may consider the failure to provide necessary funds for teams for one sex in assessing equality of opportunity for members of each sex.

(d) Adjustment period. A recipient that operates or sponsors interscholastic, intercollegiate, club, or intramural athletics at the elementary school level shall comply fully with this section as expeditiously as possible but in no event later than one year from the effective date of these regulations. A recipient that operates or sponsors interscholastic, intercollegiate, club, or intramural athletics at the secondary or postsecondary school level shall comply fully with this section as expeditiously as possible but in no event later than three years from the effective date of these regulations.

§ 15a.455 Textbooks and curricular material.

Nothing in this part shall be interpreted as requiring or prohibiting or abridging in any way the use of particular textbooks or curricular materials.

Subpart E—Discrimination on the Basis of Sex in Employment in Education Programs or Activities Prohibited
§ 15a.500 Employment.

(a) General. (1) No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in employment, or recruitment, consideration, or selection therefor, whether full-time or part-time, under any education program or activity operated by a recipient that receives Federal financial assistance.

(2) A recipient shall make all employment decisions in any education program or activity operated by such recipient in a nondiscriminatory manner and shall not limit, segregate, or classify applicants or employees in any way that could adversely affect any applicant's or employee's employment opportunities or status because of sex.

(3) A recipient shall not enter into any contractual or other relationship which directly or indirectly has the effect of subjecting employees or students to discrimination prohibited by §§ 15a.500 through 15a.550, including relationships with employment and referral agencies, with labor unions, and with organizations providing or administering fringe benefits to employees of the recipient.

(4) A recipient shall not grant preferences to applicants for employment on the basis of attendance at any educational institution or entity that admits as students only or predominantly members of one sex, if the giving of such preferences has the effect of discriminating on the basis of sex in violation of this part.

(b) Application. The provisions of §§ 15a.500 through 15a.550 apply to:

(1) Recruitment, advertising, and the process of application for employment;

(2) Hiring, upgrading, promotion, consideration for and award of tenure, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, application of nepotism policies, right of return from layoff, and rehiring;

(3) Rates of pay or any other form of compensation, and changes in compensation;

(4) Job assignments, classifications, and structure, including position descriptions, lines of progression, and seniority lists;

(5) The terms of any collective bargaining agreement;

(6) Granting and return from leaves of absence, leave for pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, leave for persons of either sex to care for children or dependents, or any other leave;

(7) Fringe benefits available by virtue of employment, whether or not administered by the recipient;

(8) Selection and financial support for training, including apprenticeship, professional meetings, conferences, and other related activities, selection for tuition assistance, selection for sabbaticals and leaves of absence to pursue training;

(9) Employer-sponsored activities, including social or recreational programs; and

(10) Any other term, condition, or privilege of employment.

§ 15a.505 Employment criteria.

A recipient shall not administer or operate any test or other criterion for any employment opportunity that has a disproportionately adverse effect on persons on the basis of sex unless:

(a) Use of such test or other criterion is shown to predict validly successful performance in the position in question; and

(b) Alternative tests or criteria for such purpose, which do not have such disproportionately adverse effect, are shown to be unavailable.

§ 15a.510 Recruitment.

(a) Nondiscriminatory recruitment and hiring. A recipient shall not discriminate on the basis of sex in the recruitment and hiring of employees. Where a recipient has been found to be presently discriminating on the basis of sex in the recruitment or hiring of employees, or has been found to have so discriminated in the past, the recipient shall recruit members of the sex so discriminated against so as to overcome the effects of such past or present discrimination.

(b) Recruitment patterns. A recipient shall not recruit primarily or exclusively at entities that furnish as applicants only or predominantly members of one sex if such actions have the effect of discriminating on the basis of sex in violation of §§ 15a.500 through 15a.550.

§ 15a.515 Compensation.

A recipient shall not make or enforce any policy or practice that, on the basis of sex:

(a) Makes distinctions in rates of pay or other compensation;

(b) Results in the payment of wages to employees of one sex at a rate less than that paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions.

§ 15a.520 Job classification and structure.

A recipient shall not:

(a) Classify a job as being for males or for females;

(b) Maintain or establish separate lines of progression, seniority lists, career ladders, or tenure systems based on sex; or

(c) Maintain or establish separate lines of progression, seniority systems, career ladders, or tenure systems for similar jobs, position descriptions, or job requirements that classify persons on the basis of sex, unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for the positions in question as set forth in § 15a.550.

§ 15a.525 Fringe benefits.

(a) “Fringe benefits” defined. For purposes of this part, fringe benefits means: Any medical, hospital, accident, life insurance, or retirement benefit, service, policy or plan, any profit-sharing or bonus plan, leave, and any other benefit or service of employment not subject to the provision of § 15a.515.

(b) Prohibitions. A recipient shall not:

(1) Discriminate on the basis of sex with regard to making fringe benefits available to employees or make fringe benefits available to spouses, families, or dependents of employees differently upon the basis of the employee's sex;

(2) Administer, operate, offer, or participate in a fringe benefit plan that does not provide for equal periodic benefits for members of each sex and for equal contributions to the plan by such recipient for members of each sex; or

(3) Administer, operate, offer, or participate in a pension or retirement plan that establishes different optional or compulsory retirement ages based on sex or that otherwise discriminates in benefits on the basis of sex.

§ 15a.530 Marital or parental status.

(a) General. A recipient shall not apply any policy or take any employment action:

(1) Concerning the potential marital, parental, or family status of an employee or applicant for employment that treats persons differently on the basis of sex; or

(2) Which is based upon whether an employee or applicant for employment is the head of household or principal wage earner in such employee's or applicant's family unit.

(b) Pregnancy. A recipient shall not discriminate against or exclude from employment any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom.

(c) Pregnancy as a temporary disability. Subject to § 15a.235(d), a recipient shall treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, recovery therefrom, and any temporary disability resulting therefrom as any other temporary disability for all job-related purposes, including commencement, duration, and extensions of leave, payment of disability income, accrual of seniority and any other benefit or service, and reinstatement, and under any fringe benefit offered to employees by virtue of employment.

(d) Pregnancy leave. In the case of a recipient that does not maintain a leave policy for its employees, or in the case of an employee with insufficient leave or accrued employment time to qualify for leave under such a policy, a recipient shall treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, and recovery therefrom as a justification for a leave of absence without pay for a reasonable period of time, at the conclusion of which the employee shall be reinstated to the status that she held when the leave began or to a comparable position, without decrease in rate of compensation or loss of promotional opportunities, or any other right or privilege of employment.

§ 15a.535 Effect of state or local law or other requirements.

(a) Prohibitory requirements. The obligation to comply with §§ 15a.500 through 15a.550 is not obviated or alleviated by the existence of any State or local law or other requirement that imposes prohibitions or limits upon employment of members of one sex that are not imposed upon members of the other sex.

(b) Benefits. A recipient that provides any compensation, service, or benefit to members of one sex pursuant to a State or local law or other requirement shall provide the same compensation, service, or benefit to members of the other sex.

§ 15a.540 Advertising.

A recipient shall not in any advertising related to employment indicate preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on sex unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for the particular job in question.

§ 15a.545 Pre-employment inquiries.

(a) Marital status. A recipient shall not make pre-employment inquiry as to the marital status of an applicant for employment, including whether such applicant is “Miss” or “Mrs.”

(b) Sex. A recipient may make pre-employment inquiry as to the sex of an applicant for employment, but only if such inquiry is made equally of such applicants of both sexes and if the results of such inquiry are not used in connection with discrimination prohibited by this part.

§ 15a.550 Sex as a bona fide occupational qualification.

A recipient may take action otherwise prohibited by §§ 15a.500 through 15a.550 provided it is shown that sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for that action, such that consideration of sex with regard to such action is essential to successful operation of the employment function concerned. A recipient shall not take action pursuant to this section that is based upon alleged comparative employment characteristics or stereotyped characterizations of one or the other sex, or upon preference based on sex of the recipient, employees, students, or other persons, but nothing contained in this section shall prevent a recipient from considering an employee's sex in relation to employment in a locker room or toilet facility used only by members of one sex.

Subpart F—Other Provisions
§ 15a.605 Enforcement procedures.

The procedural provisions applicable to title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d) are hereby adopted and applied to this part. These procedures may be found at 7 CFR 15.5-15.11 and 15.60-15.143.

Dated: September 25, 2017. Sonny Perdue, Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2017-20869 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-9R-P
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 20 [NRC-2011-0162] RIN 3150-AJ17 Prompt Remediation of Residual Radioactivity During Operation AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Discontinuation of rulemaking activity.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is discontinuing a rulemaking activity that would have required licensees to remediate residual radioactivity resulting from licensed activities during facility operations, rather than at license termination. The purpose of this action is to inform members of the public that this rulemaking activity is being discontinued and to provide a brief discussion of the NRC's decision to discontinue it. This rulemaking activity will no longer be reported in the NRC's portion of the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (the Unified Agenda).

DATES:

This action is effective October 6, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2011-0162 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this action. You may obtain publicly available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0162. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert D. MacDougall, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-5175; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents I. Background II. Discussion III. Availability of Documents IV. Conclusion I. Background

This action is the culmination of a process of evaluating operating experience and interacting with the public since 2007 to determine whether the NRC should require licensees to remediate, during facility operations, releases of residual radioactivity into the surface and subsurface of their facility sites. Such remediation during operations has come to be known as “prompt” remediation. In order to permit a site to be released for unrestricted use, licensees are currently required to remediate, before license termination, all residual radioactivity at their facility sites to levels that provide reasonable assurance that no member of the public will receive a dose from the decommissioned facility greater than 25 millirem (mrem) per year.

As a result of its evaluations and stakeholder interactions, the NRC staff recommended, and the Commission decided, to discontinue further work on a prompt remediation rulemaking. A discussion of this decision is provided in Section II of this document.

II. Discussion

The Commission first directed the staff to study the potential need for a prompt remediation rulemaking when the Commission approved the proposed decommissioning planning rule (DPR) in 2007. In its staff requirements memorandum (SRM) on that proposed rule (ADAMS Accession No. ML073440549), the Commission directed the staff to “make further improvements to the decommissioning planning process by addressing the remediation of residual radioactivity during the operational phase with the objective of avoiding complex decommissioning challenges that can lead to legacy sites.” In its subsequent Federal Register document (FRN) for the proposed DPR, published January 22, 2008, the Commission defined “legacy site” as “a facility that is in decommissioning with complex issues and an owner who cannot complete the decommissioning work for technical or financial reasons” (73 FR 3813).

Such a site could not be released for unrestricted use when the license is terminated, and would therefore require an institution, usually a government agency, to maintain and restrict access to the site to keep doses to members of the public below the individual site-specific limit approved by the NRC.

Under § 20.1402 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), the maximum dose limit for release of a site for unrestricted use by the public is 25 mrem per year. However, if the site is a legacy site requiring institutional controls on access, the Commission, assuming the eventual loss of such controls, may approve a higher limit up to 500 mrem per year under 10 CFR 20.1403. It may also approve alternative release criteria under 10 CFR 20.1404. In either case, the licensee would have to demonstrate, among other things, that doses would be as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) and the concerns of affected individuals and institutions in the community had been appropriately addressed. To minimize the future possibility of these alternatives to the unrestricted release of decommissioned sites, the objective of the proposed DPR was to “improve decommissioning planning and thereby reduce the likelihood that any current operating facility will become a legacy site” (73 FR 3812; January 22, 2008).

The final DPR, published on June 17, 2011 (76 FR 35512), retained that objective, and took effect on December 17, 2012. The DPR requires licensees to conduct their operations to minimize the introduction of residual radioactivity into the site, which includes the site's subsurface soil and groundwater. Licensees may also be required to perform site surveys to determine whether residual radioactivity is present in subsurface areas, and to keep records of these surveys with records important for decommissioning. Among other things, the rule requires licensees to report additional details in their decommissioning cost estimates (76 FR 35512; June 17, 2011).

The DPR does not, however, mandate that licensees remediate during operations. In response to a comment on the lack of such a requirement, the Commission noted in its FRN for the final rule that it “allows a licensee who detects subsurface contamination either to conduct immediate remediation or to plan for and provide funds in the form of financial assurance to conduct remediation at a later time, including at the time of decommissioning. Thus, this final rule creates a potential incentive for immediate remediation instead of an increased financial assurance obligation” (76 FR 35532; June 17, 2011).

In parallel with the development of the final DPR, and in accordance with the Commission's 2007 directive to consider a prompt remediation requirement, the NRC staff developed a draft regulatory basis for a proposed rule to address prompt remediation (ADAMS Accession No. ML111580353). An FRN published on July 18, 2011 (76 FR 42074), announced the NRC's “Consideration of Rulemaking To Address Prompt Remediation of Residual Radioactivity During Operations.”

The NRC staff held a public meeting and webinar on July 25, 2011, to discuss prompt remediation, and obtained and evaluated additional stakeholder comments for a revised draft regulatory basis for potential rulemaking (ADAMS Accession No. ML120190685). Subsequently, in SRM-SECY-12-0046, “Options for Revising the Regulatory Approach to Groundwater Protection” (ADAMS Accession No. ML121450704), the Commission directed the staff on May 24, 2012, to seek additional stakeholder comments on the draft regulatory basis for a proposed prompt remediation rule. The Commission also directed the staff to evaluate the pros and cons of moving forward with a proposed prompt remediation rulemaking.

The NRC staff held a public meeting and webinar on June 4, 2013, to obtain stakeholder comments on the ongoing prompt remediation issue. The staff then evaluated those comments and included the results in SECY-13-0108, “Staff Recommendations for Addressing Remediation of Residual Radioactivity During Operations” (ADAMS Accession No. ML13217A230). In SRM-SECY-13-0108 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13354B759), the Commission on December 20, 2013, approved the NRC staff's recommendation to collect 2 years of additional data on the implementation of the DPR. The Commission also directed that the staff, after collecting and evaluating the data and holding a public meeting with stakeholders, provide the Commission a paper “with the staff's recommendation for addressing remediation of residual radioactivity at licensed facilities during the operational phase of the facility.”

To evaluate the need for and potential benefits of additional rulemaking on prompt remediation, the NRC staff analyzed whether the manner of licensee compliance with the DPR has been adequate to prevent future legacy sites (see SECY-16-0121, “Staff Recommendations For Rulemaking To Address Remediation of Residual Radioactivity During Operation,” October 16, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16235A298)). The staff evaluated: (1) NRC inspection results; (2) licensee event reports and radiological effluent monitoring reports; (3) the financial assurance mechanisms available to support decommissioning at different types of facilities; (4) the results of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) 07-07, “Industry Groundwater Protection Initiative” (ADAMS Accession No. ML072610036) and associated groundwater contamination evaluations; (5) guidance promulgated by the NRC and industry groups such as NEI and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI); and (6) stakeholder feedback from a July 11, 2016, public webinar and other forums.

Based on these information sources, the NRC staff concluded in SECY-16-0121 that:

• Existing dose limits codified in the NRC's regulations provide adequate protection of public health and safety during operation, and an additional rule requiring prompt remediation would provide limited additional benefit.

• The current DPR requires early identification of residual radioactivity that, if allowed to spread, could prevent a site from being released for unrestricted use at license termination. The DPR also requires timely adjustments to decommissioning financial instruments to ensure that adequate funding will be available after facility shutdown to remediate any such residual radioactivity to comply with the criteria for license termination in 10 CFR part 20, appendix E. These requirements mitigate the potential that residual contamination unaccounted for in a licensee's funding for decommissioning would lead to a future legacy site.

• In some circumstances, mandated remediation during operation could adversely affect operational safety, as certain locations may be safely accessible only after operations have ceased or when operating conditions permit. This would be the case, for example, if residual radioactivity were suspected underneath a building within which a licensee was using or storing radioactive materials.

• Groundwater resources are protected from abnormal releases by effective groundwater monitoring programs, as well as industry initiatives where appropriate, to identify significant residual radioactivity early in the operating life of the facility. Examples of such initiatives are the NEI 07-07 effort and supporting EPRI guidance for evaluating potential groundwater contamination.

• Licensees are effectively complying with the DPR. The current regulations are sufficient to ensure that when a facility ceases operation, site characterization will have resulted in the appropriate identification of all significant residual subsurface radioactivity, and adequate financial resources will be available to complete decommissioning for release of the site for unrestricted use at the time of license termination. Two bases for this confidence are that no new legacy sites have been identified since the NRC's financial assurance regulations were promulgated in 1988, and no sites have had to make adjustments to their decommissioning funds due to the identification of significant residual radioactivity since implementation of the DPR.

The staff also found in SECY-16-0121 that residual radioactivity detected to date has been limited mostly to onsite areas, and there has not been a significant impact on public health and safety. Under current regulations, this is unlikely to change. In addition to complying with applicable dose standards, for example, licensees also must comply with the requirement in 10 CFR 20.1101(b) to “use, to the extent practical, procedures and engineering controls . . . to achieve . . . doses to members of the public as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA).” By requiring public doses to be ALARA, existing NRC regulations provide ample assurance that the need for a prompt remediation rule is unlikely to grow with time.

Based on these considerations, earlier assessments, and its conclusions from the 2 additional years of operating experience, the NRC staff in SECY-16-0121 recommended that further work on a prompt remediation rule be discontinued. On December 21, 2016, in SRM-SECY-16-0121 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16356A583), the Commission accepted the staff's recommendation.

From the staff's evaluation of how licensees are complying with the DPR and other NRC regulations limiting doses to members of the public, the Commission has determined that licensees are operating their facilities to minimize leaks and spills, monitor for residual radioactivity, adjust decommissioning funding to account for residual surface and subsurface radioactivity, and maintain doses to the public within regulatory limits, including ALARA requirements. Compliance with these regulations protects public health and safety and significantly reduces the potential for additional legacy sites.

III. Availability of Documents

The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons through one or more of the following methods, as indicated.

Document ADAMS
  • Accession No./
  • Federal Register
  • citation
  • Decommissioning Planning; Proposed Rule (January 22, 2008) 73 FR 3812 Decommissioning Planning; Final Rule (June 17, 2011) 76 FR 35512 SRM—SECY-07-0177—Proposed Rule: Decommissioning Planning ML073440549 Draft Proposed Technical Basis For Prompt Remediation, Rev. 4 ML111580353 Federal Register document “Consideration of Rulemaking to Address Prompt Remediation of Residual Radioactivity During Operations.” (July 18, 2011) 76 FR 42074 Draft Technical Basis For Prompt Remediation, Rev. 3 ML120190685 SRM-SECY-12-0046, “Options for Revising the Regulatory Approach to Groundwater Protection” ML121450704 SECY-13-0108, “Staff Recommendations for Addressing Remediation of Residual Radioactivity During Operations” ML13217A230 SRM-SECY-13-0108 “Staff Recommendations For Addressing Remediation Of Residual Radioactivity During Operations” ML13354B759 Nuclear Energy Institute, NEI 07-07, “Industry Groundwater Protection Initiative” ML072610036 SECY-16-0121, “Staff Recommendations For Rulemaking To Address Remediation Of Residual Radioactivity During Operation” ML16235A298 SRM-SECY-16-0121, “Staff Recommendations For Rulemaking To Address Remediation Of Residual Radioactivity During Operation” ML16356A583
    IV. Conclusion

    The NRC is no longer pursuing revisions to its regulations in 10 CFR part 20 for the reasons discussed in this document. In the next edition of the Unified Agenda, the NRC will update the entry for this rulemaking activity and reference this document to indicate that it is no longer being pursued. This rulemaking activity will appear in the “Completed Actions” section of that edition of the Unified Agenda, but will not appear in future editions. If the NRC decides to pursue similar or related rulemaking activities in the future, it will inform the public through a new rulemaking entry in the Unified Agenda.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of October 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21546 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Chapter II [Docket No. OP-1572] Policy on Payment System Risk AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    ACTION:

    Policy statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) has revised part II of the Federal Reserve Policy on Payment System Risk (PSR policy) related to the transaction posting times used for measuring balances intraday in institutions' accounts at the Federal Reserve Banks (Reserve Banks) to conform to amendments to regulations governing the use of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network by Federal agencies announced by the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service). Specifically, the amended posting rules conform to the decision of the Fiscal Service to allow Federal agencies to originate and receive same-day entries beginning September 15, 2017.

    DATES:

    This policy revision is applicable beginning on September 15, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey D. Walker, Assistant Director (202-721-4559), Jason Hinkle, Manager, Financial Risk Management (202-912-7805), or Ian C.B. Spear, Senior Financial Services Analyst (202-452-3959), Division of Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems; for users of Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf (TDD) only, contact 202-263-4869; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Board's PSR policy establishes the procedures for measuring balances intraday in institutions' accounts at the Reserve Banks by setting forth the times at which credits and debits for various types of transactions are posted to those accounts (“the posting rules”).1 The application of these posting rules determines an institution's intraday account balance and whether it has incurred a negative balance (daylight overdraft).

    1 The Board's PSR policy is available at https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/files/psr_policy.pdf.

    On September 23, 2015, the Board approved enhancements to the Reserve Banks' FedACH® SameDay Service (FedACH SameDay Service) in light of amendments to NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association's Operating Rules and Guidelines.2 The NACHA amendments, as incorporated into Operating Circular 4, become effective in three phases, beginning with same-day credits in September 2016, same-day debits in September 2017, and faster funds availability in March 2018. Next-day settlement remains available.

    2 80 FR 58248 (Sep. 28, 2015). NACHA, whose membership consists of insured financial institutions and regional payment associations, establishes network-wide ACH rules through its Operating Rules and Guidelines. As an ACH operator, the Reserve Banks, through Operating Circular 4, incorporate NACHA's Operating Rules and Guidelines as rules that govern clearing and settlement of commercial ACH items by the Reserve Banks, except for those provisions specifically excluded in the Operating Circular.

    The Board is revising the PSR policy's posting rules for same-day ACH transactions to conform to amendments to 31 CFR part 210 (part 210) announced on September 11, 2017 by Fiscal Service.3 Specifically, the amended posting rules conform to the decision of the Fiscal Service to allow Federal agencies to originate and receive same-day entries beginning September 15, 2017.4

    3 The Fiscal Service amended part 210 to address changes to the NACHA Operating Rules, including NACHA's same-day amendments. See 82 FR 42597 (Sep. 11, 2017). Part 210 governs the use of ACH by Federal agencies and incorporates the NACHA Operating Rules, with certain exceptions.

    4 31 CFR 210.2(d)(7) (as amended Sept. 11, 2017).

    Policy on Payment System Risk

    The Federal Reserve Policy on Payment System Risk, section II.A, under the heading “Procedures for Measuring Daylight Overdrafts” and the subheadings “Post at 8:30 a.m. eastern time,” “Post by 1:00 p.m. eastern time,” “Post at 5:00 p.m. eastern time,” and “Post at 5:30 p.m. eastern time,” is amended as follows:

    Post at 8:30 a.m. eastern time: +/− Term deposit maturities and accrued interest +/− Government and commercial ACH transactions, including return items 5

    5 With the exception of paper returns and paper notifications of change of prior-dated items that only post at 5:00 p.m.; and paper returns of same-day forward items that only post at 5:30 p.m.

    Institutions that are monitored in real time must fund the total amount of their commercial ACH credit originations in order for the transactions to be processed. If the Federal Reserve receives commercial ACH credit transactions from institutions monitored in real time after the scheduled close of the Fedwire Funds Service, these transactions will be processed at 12:30 a.m. the next business day, or by the ACH deposit deadline, whichever is earlier. The Account Balance Monitoring System provides intraday account information to the Reserve Banks and institutions and is used primarily to give authorized Reserve Bank personnel a mechanism to control and monitor account activity for selected institutions. For more information on ACH transaction processing, refer to the ACH Settlement Day Finality Guide available through the Federal Reserve Financial Services Web site at http://www.frbservices.org.

    +/− Commercial check transactions, including returned checks 6

    6 For the three commercial check transaction posting times, the Reserve Banks will post credits and debits to institutions' accounts for checks deposited and presented, respectively, at least 30 minutes before the posting time.

    + Treasury checks, postal money orders, local Federal Reserve Bank checks, and savings bond redemptions in separately sorted deposits; these items must be deposited by the latest applicable deposit deadline preceding the posting time + Advance-notice Treasury investments − Penalty assessments for tax payments from the Treasury Investment Program (TIP).7

    7 The Reserve Banks will identify and notify institutions with Treasury-authorized penalties on Thursdays. In the event that Thursday is a holiday, the Reserve Banks will identify and notify institutions with Treasury-authorized penalties on the following business day. Penalties will then be posted on the business day following notification.

    Post by 1:00 p.m. eastern time: +/− Commercial check transactions, including returned checks +/− Government and commercial FedACH SameDay Service transactions, including return items 8

    8 With the exception of paper returns and paper notifications of change (NOCs) of prior-dated items that only post at 5:00 p.m.; paper returns of same-day forward items that only post at 5:30 p.m.; and FedLine Web returns and FedLine Web NOCs that only post at 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., depending on when the item is received by Reserve Banks.

    + Same-day Treasury investments. Post at 5:00 p.m. eastern time: +/− Government and commercial FedACH SameDay Service transactions, including return items 9

    9 With the exception of paper returns of same-day forward items that only post at 5:30 p.m.

    + Treasury checks, postal money orders, and savings bond redemptions in separately sorted deposits; these items must be deposited by the latest applicable deposit deadline preceding the posting time + Local Federal Reserve Bank checks; these items must be presented before 3:00 p.m. eastern time Post at 5:30 p.m. eastern time: +/− Government and commercial FedACH SameDay Service return transactions 10

    10 With the exception of paper returns and paper notifications of change (NOCs) of prior-dated items that only post at 5:00 p.m.; and FedLine Web returns and FedLine Web NOCs that only post at 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., depending on when the item is received by Reserve Banks.

    +/− Commercial check transactions, including returned checks

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, acting through the Director of the Division of Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems under delegated authority, October 3, 2017.

    Ann E. Misback, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21602 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0254; Product Identifier 2017-NE-10-AD; Amendment 39-19066; AD 2017-20-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all General Electric Company (GE) CF34-8E model turbofan engines. This AD was prompted by a report that using a certain repair procedure for the fan outlet guide vane (OGV) frame could alter the strength capability of the fan OGV frame. This AD requires replacement of all fan OGV frames repaired using this procedure. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective November 13, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact General Electric Company, GE-Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, phone: 513-552-3272; fax: 513-552-3329; email: [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0254.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0254; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Bethka, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7129; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all GE CF34-8E model turbofan engines. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 8, 2017 (82 FR 26615). The NPRM was prompted by a report that using a certain repair procedure for the fan OGV frame could alter the strength capability of the fan OGV frame because the repair procedure included an improper heat cycle. The NPRM proposed to require replacement of all fan OGV frames repaired using this procedure. This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the fan OGV frame, engine separation, and loss of the airplane.

    Comments

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

    Support for the NPRM

    The Air Line Pilots Association supports the NPRM.

    Request To Change Applicability

    Horizon Air requested we include a list of fan OGV frame affected serial numbers (S/Ns) in this AD. J-Air requested that this AD include GE Service Bulletin (SB) CF34-8E-AL S/B 72-0183, Revision 3, dated March 7, 2017, for a list of affected OGV frame S/Ns known to GE. Further, the two commenters explained that operators are not necessarily aware of which repairs have been performed. The changes were requested to take the burden off the operator to determine AD applicability.

    We partially agree. We disagree that SB CF34-8E-AL S/B 72-0183 provides a list of all affected OGV frame S/Ns. The list of known affected part S/Ns is based on the best available data, but is not comprehensive. It may be possible that some OGV frames were repaired, but are not known to GE and are not included in GE SB CF34-8E-AL S/B 72-0183. Operators are responsible for checking engine records to determine AD applicability.

    We agree to unburden operators to the maximum extent possible. In the interest of aiding operators to determine affected part S/Ns, we included GE SB CF34-8E-AL S/B 72-0183 in the Related Service Information section in the preamble of this final rule, with a note that GE SB CF34-8E-AL S/B 72-0183 does not include a comprehensive list of all affected parts. GE SB CF34-8E-AL S/B 72-0183 includes a list of OGV frame S/Ns known to GE that have been repaired to GEK 112031 72-00-23, REPAIR 006.

    Conclusion

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

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

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

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

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed GE CF34-8E Engine Manual, GEK 112031, 72-00-23, REPAIR 006. The repair describes procedures for applying a dry-film lubricant to the fan OGV frame with heat curing.

    We also reviewed GE SB CF34-8E-AL S/B 72-0183, Revision 3, dated March 7, 2017. The SB provides instructions to replace the fan OGV frames repaired as specified in GE CF34-8E Engine Manual, GEK 112031, 72-00-23, REPAIR 006. However, the SB does not provide a comprehensive list of affected parts. The SB provides a list of OGV frame S/Ns known to GE that have been repaired to GEK 112031 72-00-23 REPAIR 006.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 42 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Fan OGV frame part—annual, prorated cost 0 work-hour × $85 per hour = $0.00 $12,300 $12,300 $516,600

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2017-20-09 General Electric Company: Amendment 39-19066; Docket No. FAA-2017-0254; Product Identifier 2017-NE-10-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective November 13, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all General Electric Company (GE) CF34-8E2; CF34-8E2A1; CF34-8E5; CF34-8E5A1; CF34-8E5A2; CF34-8E6; and CF34-8E6A1 model turbofan engines.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC), 7270, Turbine Engine Bypass Section.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report that using a certain repair procedure for the fan outlet guide vane (OGV) frame could alter the strength capability of the fan OGV frame. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the fan OGV frame, engine separation, and loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    (1) For engines with a fan OGV frame installed that was repaired using GE CF34-8E Engine Manual, GEK 112031, 72-00-23, REPAIR 006:

    (i) If the fan OGV frame has 24,900 cycles since new (CSN) or more on the effective date of this AD, remove the OGV frame from service within 100 cycles after the effective date of this AD.

    (ii) If the OGV frame has less than 24,900 CSN on the effective date of this AD, remove the fan OGV frame from service at the next shop visit after the effective date of this AD, or before exceeding 25,000 CSN, whichever occurs earlier.

    (2) After the effective date of this AD, do not install a fan OGV frame that was repaired using GE CF34-8E Engine Manual, GEK 112031, 72-00-23, REPAIR 006.

    (h) Definition

    For the purpose of this AD, an “engine shop visit” is the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact David Bethka, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7129; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) For General Electric service information identified in this AD, contact General Electric Company, GE-Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, phone: 513-552-3272; fax: 513-552-3329; email: [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on September 28, 2017. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21345 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 Income Taxes CFR Correction

    In Title 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 26, §§ 1.401 to 1.409, revised as of April 1, 2017, on page 235, in § 1.401(a)(9)-6, at the end of paragraph (d)(3)(i), insert the words “as of the date of purchase”.

    [FR Doc. 2017-21742 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 Income Taxes CFR Correction

    In Title 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations, § 1.1551 to end of part 1, revised as of April 1, 2017, on page 331, in § 1.6045-4, in paragraph (m), after the designation (1), the designation (i) is added.

    [FR Doc. 2017-21741 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2017-0909] Special Local Regulations; Marine Events Within the Fifth Coast Guard District AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce special local regulations for the Swim the Loop and Motts Channel Sprint on October 7, 2017, to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this event. Our regulation for marine events within the Fifth Coast Guard District identifies the regulated area for this event in Wrightsville Beach, NC. During the enforcement periods, the operator of any vessel in the regulated area must comply with directions from the Patrol Commander or any Official Patrol displaying a Coast Guard ensign.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 100.501 will be enforced for the Swim the Loop and Motts Channel Sprint regulated area listed in item d.1 in the Table to § 100.501 from 9:30 a.m. to noon on October 7, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, contact Petty Officer Matthew Tyson, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina, Wilmington, NC; telephone: 910-772-2221, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce special local regulations in 33 CFR 100.501 for the Swim the Loop and Motts Channel Sprint regulated area from 9:30 a.m. to noon on October 7, 2017. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during this event. Our regulation for marine events within the Fifth Coast Guard District, § 100.501, specifies the location of the regulated area for the Swim the Loop and Motts Channel Sprint which encompasses portions of Motts Channel, Banks Channel, Lee's Cut, and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. During the enforcement periods, as reflected in § 100.100(c), if you are the operator of a vessel in the regulated area you must comply with directions from the Patrol Commander or any Official Patrol displaying a Coast Guard ensign.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of § 100.100(f) and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide notification of this enforcement period via a Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    Dated: October 2, 2017. Bion B. Stewart, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, North Carolina.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21570 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2017-0515; FRL-9968-80—Region 7] Approval of Missouri Air Quality Implementation Plans; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision from the State of Missouri for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Section 110 of the CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each new or revised NAAQS promulgated by EPA. These SIPs are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIPs. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective December 5, 2017, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by November 6, 2017. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2017-0515, to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tracey Casburn, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7016, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following:

    I. What is being addressed in this document? II. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is being addressed in this document?

    EPA is approving the revision as meeting the submittal requirement of section 110(a)(1). EPA is approving elements of the infrastructure SIP submission from the State of Missouri received on July 08, 2013. EPA is approving the following elements of section 110(a)(2): (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II)—prevention of significant deterioration of air quality (prong 3), (D)(ii), (E) through (H), and (J) through (M). EPA is not acting on the elements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—significant contribution to nonattainment (prong 1), interfering with maintenance of the NAAQs (prong 2) or section 110(a)(2)(I). EPA intends to act on section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—protection of visibility (prong 4) in a separate action.

    A Technical Support Document (TSD) is included as part of the docket to discuss the details of this action, including analysis of how the SIP meets the applicable 110 requirements for infrastructure SIPs.

    II. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met?

    The state's submission has met the public notice requirements for SIP submissions in accordance with 40 CFR 51.102. The state held a public comment period from The MDNR held a public hearing and comment period from April 30, 2013, to June 6, 2013. EPA provided comments on May 23, 2013 and were the only commenters. A public hearing was held on May 30, 2013. The submission satisfied the completeness criteria of 40 CFR part 51, appendix V for all elements except 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2. As explained in more detail in the TSD, which is part of this docket, the revision meets the substantive SIP requirements of the CAA, including section 110 and implementing regulations.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    We are publishing this direct final rule without a prior proposed rule because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposed rule to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are received on this direct final rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information about commenting on this rule, see the ADDRESSES section of this document. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this direct final rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule.

    EPA is approving elements of the July 8, 2013, infrastructure SIP submission from the State of Missouri, which addresses the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. As stated above, EPA is approving the revision as meeting the submittal requirement of section 110(a)(1) and approving the following elements of section 110(a)(2): (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II)—prevention of significant deterioration of air quality (prong 3), (D)(ii), (E) through (H), and (J) through (M). EPA is not acting on section 110(a)(2)(I). EPA intends to act on section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—protection of visibility (prong 4) in a separate action.

    EPA is not acting on the elements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—significant contribution to nonattainment (prong 1), interfering with maintenance of the NAAQs (prong 2) because those elements were not addressed in the SIP revision submittal.

    EPA is not taking action on section 110(a)(2)(D)(I) as the agency does not expect infrastructure SIP revisions to address the element. Section 110(a)(2)(I) requires that in the case of a plan or plan revision for areas designated as nonattainment areas, states must meet applicable requirements of part D of the CAA, relating to SIP requirements for designated nonattainment areas. EPA does not expect infrastructure SIP submissions to address element (I). The specific SIP submissions for designated nonattainment areas, as required under CAA title I, part D, are subject to different submission schedules than those for section 110 infrastructure elements. EPA will take action on part D attainment plan SIP submissions through a separate rulemaking governed by the requirements for nonattainment areas, as described in part D.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the 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 and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 21, 2017. Cathy Stepp, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA is amending 40 CFR part 52 as set forth below:

    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 AA—Missouri 2. Amend § 52.1320 by adding paragraph (e)(65) to read as follows:
    § 52.1320 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Missouri Nonregulatory SIP Provisions Name of non-regulatory SIP revision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State submittal date EPA approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * (65) Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide NAAQS Statewide 7/8/2013 10/6/2017, [Insert Federal Register citation] This action approves the following CAA elements: 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II)—prong 3, (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). EPA is not acting on 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2. 110(a)(2)(I) is not applicable. EPA intends to act on 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4 in a separate action. [EPA-R07-OAR-2017-0515; FRL-9968-80-Region 7.] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-21532 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0415; FRL-9968-93—Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Alabama; Cross-State Air Pollution Rule AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving portions of the October 26, 2015, and May 19, 2017, State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions from Alabama replacing the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) federal implementation plan (FIP). Under CSAPR, large electricity generating units (EGUs) in Alabama are subject to FIP provisions requiring the units to participate in a federal allowance trading program for ozone season emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX). This action approves into Alabama's SIP the State's regulations requiring Alabama's affected units to participate in a new state allowance trading program for ozone season NOX emissions integrated with the CSAPR federal trading programs, replacing the corresponding CSAPR FIP requirements for Alabama. This state trading program is substantively identical to the federal trading program except with regard to the provisions allocating emission allowances among Alabama units. Under the CSAPR regulations, final approval of these portions of the SIP revisions automatically eliminates Alabama units' FIP requirements to participate in CSAPR's federal allowance trading program for ozone season NOX emissions. Approval also fully satisfies Alabama's good neighbor obligation under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) to prohibit emissions which will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 1997 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in any other state; and partially satisfies Alabama's good neighbor obligation under the CAA to prohibit emissions which will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS in any other state.

    DATES:

    This rule will be effective November 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0415. 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, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Bailey can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-9164 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on CSAPR and CSAPR-Related SIP Revisions

    EPA issued CSAPR 1 in July 2011 and the CSAPR Update 2 in 2016 to address the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) concerning interstate transport of air pollution for specific NAAQS. As amended (including by the 2016 CSAPR Update), CSAPR requires 27 eastern states to limit their statewide emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and/or NOX in order to mitigate transported air pollution unlawfully impacting other states' ability to attain or maintain four NAAQS: The 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, the 1997 8-hour Ozone NAAQS, and the 2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS. The CSAPR emissions limitations are defined in terms of maximum statewide “budgets” for emissions of annual SO2, annual NOX, and/or ozone season NOX by each covered state's large EGUs. The CSAPR state budgets are implemented in two phases of generally increasing stringency: The Phase 1 budgets apply to emissions in 2015 and 2016; and the Phase 2 and CSAPR Update budgets apply to emissions in 2017 and later years. As a mechanism for achieving compliance with the emissions limitations, CSAPR establishes five federal emissions trading programs: A program for annual NOX emissions; two geographically separate programs for annual SO2 emissions; and two geographically separate programs for ozone season NOX emissions. CSAPR also establishes FIP requirements applicable to the large EGUs in each covered state.3 Currently, the CSAPR FIP provisions require each state's units to participate in up to three of the five CSAPR trading programs.

    1 Federal Implementation Plans; Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone and Correction of SIP Approvals, 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011) (codified as amended at 40 CFR 52.38 and 52.39 and subparts AAAAA through EEEEE of 40 CFR part 97).

    2See 81 FR 74504 (October 26, 2016). The CSAPR Update was promulgated to address interstate pollution with respect to the 2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS and to address a judicial remand of certain original CSAPR ozone season NOX budgets promulgated with respect to the 1997 8-hour Ozone NAAQS. Id. at 74505. The CSAPR Update established new emission reduction requirements addressing the more recent ozone NAAQS and coordinated them with the remaining emission reduction requirements addressing the older NAAQS, so that starting in 2017, CSAPR includes two geographically separate trading programs for ozone season NOX emissions covering EGUs in a total of 23 states. See 40 CFR 52.38(b)(1)-(2).

    3 States are required to submit good neighbor SIPs three years after a NAAQS is promulgated. CAA section 110(a)(1) and (2). Where EPA finds that a state fails to submit a required SIP or disapproves a SIP, EPA is obligated to promulgate a FIP addressing the deficiency. CAA section 110(c). EPA found that Alabama failed to make timely submissions required to address the good neighbor provision with respect to the 1997 annual PM2.5 and 8-hour ozone NAAQS (70 FR 21147, Apr. 25, 2005), and the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS (80 FR 39961, June 13, 2015). In addition, EPA disapproved Alabama's SIP revision submitted to address the good neighbor provision with respect to the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. See 76 FR 43128 (July 20, 2011). Accordingly, as a part of CSAPR and the CSAPR Update, EPA promulgated FIPs applicable to sources in Alabama addressing the good neighbor provision with respect to these standards.

    CSAPR includes provisions under which states may submit and EPA will approve SIP revisions to modify or replace the CSAPR FIP requirements while allowing states to continue to meet their transport-related obligations using either CSAPR's federal emissions trading programs or state emissions trading programs integrated with the federal programs, provided that the SIP revisions meet all relevant criteria.4 Through such a SIP revision, a state may replace EPA's default provisions for allocating emission allowances among the state's units, employing any state-selected methodology to allocate or auction the allowances, subject to timing conditions and limits on overall allowance quantities. In the case of CSAPR's federal trading programs for ozone season NOX emissions (or an integrated state trading program), a state may also expand trading program applicability to include certain smaller EGUs.5 If a state wants to replace the CSAPR FIP requirements with SIP requirements under which the state's units participate in a state trading program that is integrated with and identical to the federal trading program even as to the allocation and applicability provisions, the state may submit a SIP revision for that purpose as well. However, no emissions budget increases or other substantive changes to the trading program provisions are allowed. A state whose units are subject to multiple CSAPR federal trading programs may submit SIP revisions to modify or replace either some or all of those FIP requirements.

    4See 40 CFR 52.38, 52.39. States also retain the ability to submit SIP revisions to meet their transport-related obligations using mechanisms other than the CSAPR federal trading programs or integrated state trading programs.

    5 States covered by both the CSAPR Update and the NOX SIP Call have the additional option to expand applicability under the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program to include non-EGUs that would have participated in the NOX Budget Trading Program.

    States can submit two basic forms of CSAPR-related SIP revisions effective for emissions control periods in 2017 or later years.6 Specific conditions for approval of each form of SIP revision are set forth in the CSAPR regulations, as described in section III below. Under the first alternative—an “abbreviated” SIP revision—a state may submit a SIP revision that upon approval replaces the default allowance allocation and/or applicability provisions of a CSAPR federal trading program for the state.7 Approval of an abbreviated SIP revision leaves the corresponding CSAPR FIP and all other provisions of the relevant federal trading program in place for the state's units.

    6 CSAPR also provides for a third, more streamlined form of SIP revision that is effective only for control periods in 2016 (or 2018 for CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 units) and is not relevant here. See § 52.38(a)(3), (b)(3), (b)(7); § 52.39(d), (g).

    7 40 CFR 52.38(a)(4), (b)(4), (b)(8); 52.39(e), (h).

    Under the second alternative—a “full” SIP revision—a state may submit a SIP revision that upon approval replaces a CSAPR federal trading program for the state with a state trading program integrated with the federal trading program, so long as the state trading program is substantively identical to the federal trading program or does not substantively differ from the federal trading program except as discussed above with regard to the allowance allocation and/or applicability provisions.8 For purposes of a full SIP revision, a state may either adopt state rules with complete trading program language, incorporate the federal trading program language into its state rules by reference (with appropriate conforming changes), or employ a combination of these approaches.

    8 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5), (b)(5), (b)(9); 52.39(f), (i).

    The CSAPR regulations identify several important consequences and limitations associated with approval of a full SIP revision. First, upon EPA's approval of a full SIP revision as correcting the deficiency in the state's SIP that was the basis for a particular set of CSAPR FIP requirements, the obligation to participate in the corresponding CSAPR federal trading program is automatically eliminated for units subject to the state's jurisdiction without the need for a separate EPA withdrawal action, so long as EPA's approval of the SIP revision as meeting the requirements of the CSAPR regulations is full and unconditional.9 Second, approval of a full SIP revision does not terminate the obligation to participate in the corresponding CSAPR federal trading program for any units located in any Indian country within the borders of the state, and if and when a unit is located in Indian country within a state's borders, EPA may modify the SIP approval to exclude from the SIP, and include in the surviving CSAPR FIP instead, certain trading program provisions that apply jointly to units in the state and to units in Indian country within the state's borders.10 Finally, if at the time a full SIP revision is approved EPA has already started recording allocations of allowances for a given control period to a state's units, the federal trading program provisions authorizing EPA to complete the process of allocating and recording allowances for that control period to those units will continue to apply, unless EPA's approval of the SIP revision provides otherwise.11

    9 40 CFR 52.38(a)(6), (b)(10)(i); 52.39(j).

    10 40 CFR 52.38(a)(5)(iv)-(v), (a)(6), (b)(5)(v)-(vi), (b)(9)(vi)-(vii), (b)(10)(i); 52.39(f)(4)-(5), (i)(4)-(5), (j).

    11 40 CFR 52.38(a)(7), (b)(11); 52.39(k).

    In the CSAPR rulemaking, among other findings, EPA determined that air pollution transported from Alabama would unlawfully affect other states' ability to attain or maintain the 1997 8-hour Ozone NAAQS.12 In the CSAPR Update rulemaking, EPA determined that air pollution transported from Alabama would unlawfully affect other states' ability to attain or maintain the 2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS and established an ozone season NOX budget for Alabama's EGUs representing a partial remedy for the State's interstate transport obligations with respect to that NAAQS; 13 determined that Alabama's previous ozone season NOX budget established in the CSAPR rulemaking as a partial remedy for the State's interstate transport obligations with respect to the 1997 8-hour Ozone NAAQS now represented a full remedy with respect to that NAAQS; 14 and coordinated compliance requirements by allowing compliance with the new CSAPR Update budget to serve the purpose of addressing the State's obligations with respect to both NAAQS.15 Alabama units meeting the CSAPR applicability criteria are consequently subject to CSAPR FIP requirements for participation in the CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program in order to address the State's interstate transport obligations with respect to both the 1997 8-hour Ozone NAAQS (full remedy) and the 2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS (partial remedy).16

    12See 76 FR 48208, 48210, 48213 (August 8, 2011). EPA also determined in the CSAPR rulemaking that air pollution transported from Alabama would unlawfully affect other states' ability to attain or maintain the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. Alabama previously submitted, and EPA previously approved, a SIP revision that replaces the CSAPR FIPs for the annual trading programs in Alabama. See 81 FR 59869 (August 31, 2016).

    13 CSAPR Update, 81 FR at 74507-08.

    14Id. at 74525.

    15Id. at 74563 n.169.

    16 40 CFR 52.38(b)(2)(iii); 52.54(b).

    On October 26, 2015, Alabama submitted to EPA a SIP revision including provisions that, if approved, would incorporate into Alabama's SIP state trading program regulations that would replace the CSAPR federal trading program regulations with regard to Alabama units' ozone season NOX emissions.17 On May 19, 2017, Alabama submitted to EPA a SIP revision that supersedes portions of the October 26, 2015, submittal to reflect changes from the CSAPR Update.18 On August 4, 2017, Alabama sent a letter clarifying the State's interpretation concerning the allowances for the Indian country new unit set aside for Alabama.

    17 As discussed above, the October 26, 2015 submittal also contained provisions related to the annual NOX and SO2 trading programs, which EPA approved in a separate rulemaking. See 81 FR 59869 (August 31, 2016).

    18 For the purposes of this rulemaking, the October 26, 2015, and May 19, 2017, submittals together may also be referred to as the “Alabama ozone season submittals.”

    In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on August 17, 2017 (82 FR 39070), EPA proposed to approve the portions of Alabama's October 26, 2015, and May 19, 2017, SIP submittals designed to replace the federal CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program. The NPRM provides additional detail regarding the background and rationale for EPA's action. Comments on the NPRM were due on or before September 18, 2017. EPA received no adverse comments on the proposed action.

    II. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of ADEM Administrative Code rules 335-3-8-.39 through 335-3-8-.70, state effective on June 9, 2017, comprising Alabama's TR NOX Ozone Season Trading Program. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information). Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.19

    19 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    III. Final Actions

    EPA is approving the portions of Alabama's October 26, 2015, and May 19, 2017, SIP submittals concerning the establishment for Alabama units of CSAPR state trading programs for ozone season NOX emissions. The revision adopts into the SIP the state trading program rules codified in ADEM Administrative Code rules 335-3-8-.39 through 335-3-8-.70.20 These Alabama CSAPR state trading programs will be integrated with the federal CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program and are substantively identical to the federal trading programs except with regard to the allowance allocation provisions. Following approval of these portions of the SIP revision, Alabama units therefore will generally be required to meet requirements under Alabama's CSAPR state trading programs equivalent to the requirements the units otherwise would have been required to meet under the corresponding CSAPR federal trading programs, but allocations to Alabama units of CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 allowances for compliance periods in 2019 and later years will be determined according to the SIP's allocation provisions at Alabama rule 335-3-8-.46 instead of EPA's default allocation provisions at 40 CFR 97.811(a) and (b)(1) and 97.812(a). EPA is approving these portions of the SIP revision because they meet the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations for approval of a CSAPR full SIP revision replacing a federal trading program with a state trading program that is integrated with and substantively identical to the federal trading program except for permissible differences with respect to emission allowance allocation provisions.

    20 Alabama's rules use the terms “Transport Rule” and “TR” instead of the updated terms “Cross-State Air Pollution Rule” and “CSAPR.” For simplicity, EPA uses the updated terms here except where otherwise noted.

    EPA promulgated the FIP provisions requiring Alabama units to participate in the federal CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program in order to address Alabama's obligations under CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) with respect to the 1997 8-hour Ozone NAAQS and the 2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS in the absence of SIP provisions addressing those requirements. Under the CSAPR regulations, upon EPA's full and unconditional approval of a SIP revision as correcting the SIP's deficiency that is the basis for a particular CSAPR FIP, the obligation to participate in the corresponding CSAPR federal trading program is automatically eliminated for units subject to the state's jurisdiction (but not for any units located in any Indian country within the state's borders).21 Approval of the portions of Alabama's SIP submittal adopting CSAPR state trading program rules for ozone season NOX substantively identical to the corresponding CSAPR federal trading program regulations (or differing only with respect to the allowance allocation methodology) satisfies Alabama's obligation pursuant to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) to prohibit emissions which will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 1997 8-hour Ozone NAAQS in any other state. This approval also partially satisfies Alabama's obligation pursuant to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) to prohibit emissions which will significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 8-hour Ozone NAAQS in any other state. Thus, the approval corrects the same deficiencies in the SIP that otherwise would be corrected by those CSAPR FIPs. The approval of the portions of Alabama's SIP submittal establishing CSAPR state trading program rules for ozone season NOX emissions therefore also results in the automatic termination of the obligations of Alabama units to participate in the federal CSAPR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program.

    21 40 CFR 52.38(b)(10); see also 40 CFR 52.54(b)(1) & (2).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. See 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. 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 5, 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, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: September 25, 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 A—General Provisions
    § 52.38 [Amended]
    2. In § 52.38, paragraph (b)(13)(iv) is amended by removing the word “[none]” at the end of the paragraph and adding in its place the word “Alabama”. Subpart B-Alabama 3. In § 52.50, the table in paragraph (c) is amended by adding the entries “Section 335-3-8-.39,” “Section 335-3-8-.40,” “Section 335-3-8-.41,” “Section 335-3-8-.42”, “Section 335-3-8-.43”, “Section 335-3-8-.44”, “Section 335-3-8-.45”, “Section 335-3-8-.46”, “Section 335-3-8-.47”, “Section 335-3-8-.48”, “Section 335-3-8-.49”, “Section 335-3-8-.50”, “Section 335-3-8-.51”, “Section 335-3-8-.52”, “Section 335-3-8-.53”, “Section 335-3-8-.54”, “Section 335-3-8-.55”, “Section 335-3-8-.56”, “Section 335-3-8-.57”, “Section 335-3-8-.58”, “Section 335-3-8-.59”, “Section 335-3-8-.60”, “Section 335-3-8-.61”, “Section 335-3-8-.62”, “Section 335-3-8-.63”, “Section 335-3-8-.64”, “Section 335-3-8-.65”, “Section 335-3-8-.66”, “Section 335-3-8-.67”, “Section 335-3-8-.68”, “Section 335-3-8-.69”, and “Section 335-3-8-.70” in numerical order to read as follows:
    § 52.50 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved Alabama Regulations State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter No. 335-3-8 Control of Nitrogen Oxides Emissions *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 335-3-8-.39 TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program—Purpose and Definitions 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.40 TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program—Applicability 11/24/2015 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.41 TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program—Retired Unit Exemption 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.42 TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program—Standard Requirements 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.43 TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program—Computation of Time 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.44 Administrative Appeal Procedures 11/24/2015 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.45 NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Budgets and Variability Limits 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.46 TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Allowance Allocations 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.47 Reserved 11/24/2015 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.48 Authorization of Designated Representative and Alternate Designated Representative 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.49 Responsibilities of Designated Representative and Alternate Designated Representative 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.50 Changing Designated Representative and Alternate Designated Representative; Changes in Owners and Operators; Changes in Units at the Source 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.51 Certificate of Representation 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.52 Objections Concerning Designated Representative and Alternate Designated Representative 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.53 Delegation by Designated Representative and Alternate Designated Representative 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.54 Reserved 11/24/2015 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.55 Establishment of Compliance Accounts, Assurance Accounts, and General Accounts 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.56 Recordation of TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Allowance Allocations and Auction Results 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.57 Submission of TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Allowance Transfers 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.58 Recordation of TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Allowance Transfers 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.59 Compliance with TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Emissions Limitation 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.60 Compliance with TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Assurance Provisions 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.61 Banking 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.62 TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program—Account Error 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.63 TR NOX Ozone Season Group 2 Trading Program—Administrator's Action on Submissions 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.64 Reserved 11/24/2015 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.65 General Monitoring, Recordkeeping, and Reporting Requirements 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.66 Initial Monitoring System Certification and Recertification Procedures 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.67 Monitoring System Out-of-Control Periods 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.68 Notifications Concerning Monitoring 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.69 Recordkeeping and Reporting 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] Section 335-3-8-.70 Petitions for Alternatives to Monitoring, Recordkeeping, or Reporting Requirements 6/9/2017 10/6/2017, [insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-21523 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0356; FRL-9968-82-Region 7] Approval of Missouri Air Quality Implementation Plans; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision from the State of Missouri for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Section 110 of the CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each new or revised NAAQS promulgated by EPA. These SIPs are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIPs. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective December 5, 2017, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by November 6, 2017. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0356, to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tracey Casburn, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7016, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following:

    I. What is being addressed in this document? II. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews. I. What is being addressed in this document?

    EPA is approving the infrastructure SIP submission from the State of Missouri received on July 08, 2013, as meeting the submittal requirements of 110(a)(1). EPA is approving the following elements of section 110(a)(2): (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II)—prevent significant deterioration of air quality (prong 3), (D)(ii), (E) through (H), and (J) through (M). EPA is not acting on the elements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—significant contribution to nonattainment (prong 1), interfering with maintenance of the NAAQs (prong 2) because those elements were not addressed in the SIP revision submittal. EPA is not acting on section 110(a)(2)(I). EPA will act on 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—protection of visibility (prong 4) in a separate action.

    A Technical Support Document (TSD) is included as part of the docket to discuss the details of this action, including analysis of how the SIP meets the applicable 110 requirements for infrastructure SIPs.

    II. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met?

    The state's submission has met the public notice requirements for the Ozone infrastructure SIP submission in accordance with 40 CFR 51.102. The state held a public comment period from The MDNR held a public hearing and comment period from April 30, 2013 to June 06, 2013. EPA provided comments on May 23, 2013 and were the only commenters. A public hearing was held on May 30, 2013. The submission satisfied the completeness criteria of 40 CFR part 51, appendix V for all elements except 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2. EPA published a document in the Federal Register, “Findings of Failure to Submit a Section 110 State Implementation Plan for Interstate Transport for the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone”.1 Missouri was included in this finding because it had not made a complete “good neighbor” SIP submittal to meet the section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2 elements. As explained in more detail in the TSD, which is part of this docket, the revision meets the substantive SIP requirements of the CAA, including section 110 and implementing regulations.

    1 See 80 FR 39961 (August 12, 2015).

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is taking direct final action to approve elements of the July 08, 2013, infrastructure SIP submission from the State of Missouri, which addresses the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2008 Ozone NAAQS. As stated above, EPA is approving the revision as meeting the submittal requirement of section 110(a)(1) and approving the following elements of section 110(a)(2): (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II)—prong 3, (D)(ii), (E) through (H), and (J) through (M). EPA will act on (D)(i)(II)—prong 4 in a separate action.

    EPA is taking no further action with respect to elements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2—because the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs) that require subject units in Missouri to participate in the Federal CSAPR NOX Annual Trading Program and the Federal CSAPR SO2 Group 1 Trading Program continue to apply and addresses emissions from subject units that may be contributing to nonattainment (prong 1) or interfering with maintenance (prong 2) of the NAAQS in another state.2 3 Additionally, on June 28, 2016, EPA took direct final action to approve Missouri's adoption of state regulations that established state-determined allocations replacing EPA's CSAPR default annual NOX and annual SO2 emissions allocation allowances for 2017 and later years as an abbreviated SIP revision.4

    2 See 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011).

    3 See 81 FR 74504 (December 27, 2016).

    4 See 81 FR 41838 (August 12, 2016).

    EPA is not taking action on section 110(a)(2)(I). Section 110(a)(2)(I) requires that in the case of a plan or plan revision for areas designated as nonattainment areas, states must meet applicable requirements of part D of the CAA, relating to SIP requirements for designated nonattainment areas. EPA does not expect infrastructure SIP submissions to address element (I). The specific SIP submissions for designated nonattainment areas, as required under CAA title I, part D, are subject to different submission schedules than those for section 110 infrastructure elements. EPA will take action on part D attainment plan SIP submissions through a separate rulemaking governed by the requirements for nonattainment areas, as described in part D.

    We are publishing this direct final rule without a prior proposed rule because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposed rule to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are received on this direct final rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information about commenting on this rule, see the ADDRESSES section of this document. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this direct final rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 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 (Public Law 104-4);

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    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. Cathy Stepp, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA is amending 40 CFR part 52 as set forth below:

    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 AA—Missouri 2. Amend § 52.1320(e) by adding entry (63) in numerical order to read as follows:
    § 52.1320 Identification of plan.

    (e)* * *

    EPA-Approved Missouri Nonregulatory SIP Provisions Name of non-
  • regulatory SIP revision
  • Applicable
  • geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State submittal date EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * (63) Sections 110 (a)(1) and 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS Statewide 7/8/13 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] This action approves the following CAA elements: 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II)—prong 3, (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2 are addressed by a Federal Implementation Plan.
  • 110(a)(2)(I) is not applicable. [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0356; FRL-9968-82-Region 7.]
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-21528 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2013-0558, FRL-9969-00-Region 8] Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards; North Dakota AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving elements of State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions from the State of North Dakota to demonstrate the State meets infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) promulgated for sulfur dioxide (SO2) on June 2, 2010, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on December 14, 2012.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on November 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2013-0558. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. The EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kate Gregory, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mail Code 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6175, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Infrastructure requirements for SIPs are set forth in section 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA. Section 110(a)(2) lists the specific infrastructure elements that a SIP must contain or satisfy. The elements that are the subject of this action are described in detail in our notice of proposed rulemaking published on June 6, 2017 (82 FR 25999).

    In our proposed rule, the EPA proposed to approve some infrastructure elements and to take no action on others for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS from the State's March 7, 2013 and August 23, 2015 certifications,1 respectively. In this rulemaking, we are taking final action to approve those infrastructure elements from the State's certifications for which we proposed approval.

    1 “Where an air agency determines that the provisions in or referred to by its existing EPA approved SIP are adequate with respect to a given infrastructure SIP element (or sub element) even in light of the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, the air agency may make a SIP submission in the form of a certification.” EPA's “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and (2),” September 13, 2013, at 7.

    II. Response to Comments

    No comments were received on our June 29, 2017 notice of proposed rulemaking.

    III. Final Action

    For reasons expressed in the proposed rule, the EPA is taking final action to approve infrastructure elements from the State's certifications as shown in Table 1. Elements we are taking no action on are reflected in Table 2.

    Table 1—List of North Dakota Infrastructure Elements and Revisions the EPA Is Approving Approval March 7, 2013 submittal—2010 SO2 NAAQS: (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) prongs 3 and 4, (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L) and (M). August 23, 2015 submittal—2012 PM2.5 NAAQS: (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) prongs 3 and 4, (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L) and (M). Table 2—List of North Dakota Infrastructure Elements and Revisions That the EPA Is Taking No Action On No action
  • (revision to be made in separate rulemaking action)
  • March 7, 2013 submittal—2010 SO2 NAAQS: (D)(i)(I) prongs 1 and 2. August 23, 2015 submittal—2012 PM2.5 NAAQS: (D)(i)(I) prongs 1 and 2.
    IV. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

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

    Under Section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 5, 2017. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See CAA Section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 18, 2017. Suzanne J. Bohan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended to read 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 JJ—North Dakota 2. Section 52.1833 is amended by adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 52.1833 Section 110(a)(2) infrastructure requirements.

    (f) The North Dakota Department of Health provided submissions to meet infrastructure requirements for the State of North Dakota for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS on March 7, 2013 and August 23, 2015, respectively. The State's Infrastructure SIP for the 2010 SO2 and 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS is approved with respect to section (110)(a)(1) and the following elements of section (110)(a)(2): (A), (B), (C) with respect to minor NSR and PSD requirements, (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M).

    [FR Doc. 2017-21520 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0105; FRL-9968-92-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Florida; Permitting Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing approval of portions of five State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), through the Florida Division of Air Resource Management, on June 23, 1999, July 1, 2011, December 12, 2011, February 27, 2013, and February 1, 2017. Florida's SIP revisions recodify, clarify, and reorganize the State's non-title V air permitting and compliance assurance program regulations consistent with flexibility provided under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and EPA's rules which address new source preconstruction permitting. EPA is finalizing approval of Florida's SIP revisions on the basis that they are consistent with the CAA and EPA's requirements for permitting air emission sources.

    DATES:

    This rule will be effective November 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2017-0105. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, 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

    FDEP submitted to EPA for adoption into the Florida SIP five revisions, three of which were submitted on June 23, 1999, July 1, 2011, and February 27, 2013, as part of the State's efforts to clarify and streamline Florida's non-title V air permitting and compliance assurance program and to address EPA's minor source preconstruction requirements under 40 CFR 51.160-51.164. In addition, on December 12, 2011, FDEP submitted a SIP revision to add a definition of “North American Industry Classification System,” or “NAICS,” to the Florida SIP. On February 1, 2017, FDEP submitted a SIP revision to address requirements for emissions monitoring at stationary sources. The 1999 SIP submission includes amendments to 16 rule sections in the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) that were adopted by the State between 1997 and 1999 to clarify and streamline FDEP's permitting process. The 2011 SIP submission includes clarifying and corrective amendments to 11 F.A.C. rule sections affecting FDEP's permitting regulations that were adopted by the State between 1997 and 2010. In its 2013 SIP submission, FDEP updates the 1999 and 2011 SIP submissions by either resubmitting or withdrawing 12 of the 16 F.A.C. rule sections originally included in those submittals, and providing updated versions of the remaining four rule sections for incorporation into the Florida SIP.

    In a proposed rulemaking published on August 10, 2017 (82 FR 37379), EPA proposed to approve specified portions of the five Florida SIP revisions on June 23, 1999, July 1, 2011, December 12, 2011, February 27, 2013, and February 1, 2017. The details of Florida's submissions and the rationale for EPA's actions are explained in the proposed rulemaking. Comments on the proposed rulemaking were due on or before September 11, 2017. EPA received no adverse comments on the proposed action. Accordingly, in this action, EPA is finalizing action regarding the relevant regulations (or portions thereof) from these five SIP submissions.

    II. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of Florida Chapters 62-210.200 “Definitions,” which was state effective 3/28/12; 62-210.310 “Air General Permits,” state effective 6/29/11; 62-210.350 “Public Notice and Comment,” state effective 10/12/08; 62-296.100 “Purpose and Scope,” state effective 10/6/08; 62-296.405 “Fossil Fuel Steam Generators with More Than 250 Million Btu Per Hour Heat Input,” state effective 3/2/99; 62-296.406 “Fossil Fuel Steam Generators with Less Than 250 Million Btu Per Hour Heat Input, New and Existing Emissions Units,” state effective 3/2/99; 62-296.412 “Dry Cleaning Facilities,” state effective 3/11/10; 62-296.414 “Concrete Batching Plants,” state effective 1/10/07; 62-296.418 “Bulk Gasoline Plants,” state effective 3/11/10; 62-296.500 “Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)—Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) Emitting Facilities,” state effective 3/11/10; 62-296.508 “Petroleum Liquid Storage,” state effective 10/6/08; 62-297.310 “General Emissions Test Requirements,” state effective 3/9/15; and 62-297.450 “EPA VOC Capture Efficiency Test Procedures,” state effective 3/2/99. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section of this preamble for more information). Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.1

    1 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    III. Final Action

    EPA is finalizing approval of portions of the five Florida SIP revisions submitted to EPA on June 23, 1999, July 1, 2011, December 12, 2011, February 27, 2013, and February 1, 2017, on the basis that they are consistent with the CAA and EPA's requirements for permitting air emission sources.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. See 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Act. 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, these actions:

    • Are 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);

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

    • are 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.);

    • do 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);

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

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

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

    • are 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

    • do 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 5, 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 22, 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 K—Florida 2. Section 52.520(c) is amended: a. Under the heading “Chapter 62-210 Stationary Sources—General Requirements” by revising the entries for “62-210.200”, “62-210.310” and “62-210.350”; b. Under the heading “Chapter 62-210 Stationary Sources—General Requirements” by removing the entry for “62-210.920”; c. Under the heading “Chapter 62-296 Stationary Sources—Emission Standards” by revising the entries for “62-296.100”, “62-296.405”, “62-296.406”, “62-296.412”, “62-296.414”, “62-296.418”, “62-296.500” and “62-296.508”, and d. Under the heading “Chapter 62-297 Stationary Sources—Emissions Monitoring” by revising the entries for “62-297.310” and “62-297.450”.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 52.520 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Florida Regulations State citation
  • (section)
  • Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA
  • approval
  • date
  • Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 62-210 Stationary Sources—General Requirements 62-210.200 Definitions 3/28/12 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] Selected definitions are approved into the SIP. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 62-210.310 Air General Permits 6/29/11 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] 62-210.350 Public Notice and Comment 10/12/08 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] Excludes revisions state effective February 11, 1999, which added 62-210.350(1)(c) and 62-210.350(4)(a)2, and revised 62-210.350(4)(b). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 62-296 Stationary Sources—Emission Standards 62-296.100 Purpose and Scope 10/6/08 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 62-296.405 Fossil Fuel Steam Generators with More Than 250 Million Btu Per Hour Heat Input 3/2/99 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] 62-296.406 Fossil Fuel Steam Generators with Less Than 250 Million Btu Per Hour Heat Input, New and Existing Emissions Units 3/2/99 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 62-296.412 Dry Cleaning Facilities 3/11/10 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] 62-296.414 Concrete Batching Plants 1/10/07 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 62-296.418 Bulk Gasoline Plants 3/11/10 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 62-296.500 Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT)—Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) Emitting Facilities 3/11/10 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 62-296.508 Petroleum Liquid Storage 10/6/08 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] Amendments effective 10/6/08 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 62-297 Stationary Sources—Emissions Monitoring 62-297.310 General Emissions Test Requirements 3/9/15 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 62-297.450 EPA VOC Capture Efficiency Test Procedures 3/2/99 10/6/17, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2017-21504 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0560; FRL-9963-66] Florpyrauxifen-Benzyl; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of florpyrauxifen-benzyl in or on rice grain, freshwater fish, shellfish crustacean, and mollusc. Dow AgroSciences LLC requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective October 6, 2017. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before December 5, 2017, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0560, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael L. Goodis, Director, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; Main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

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

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

    C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0560 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before December 5, 2017. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0560, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of December 20, 2016 (81 FR 92758) (FRL-9956-04), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 5F8403) by Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the herbicide florpyrauxifen-benzyl (2-Pyridinecarboxylic acid, 4-amino-3-chloro-6-(4-chloro-2-fluoro-3-methoxyphenyl)-5-fluoro-, phenylmethyl ester) and florpyrauxifen (metabolite; 2-Pyridinecarboxylic acid, 4-amino-3-chloro-6-(4-chloro-2-fluoro-3-methoxyphenyl)-5-fluoro-), in or on the raw agricultural commodities rice, grain (dehulled) at 0.01 parts per million (ppm); rice, grain at 0.2 ppm; fish, freshwater at 2 ppm; shellfish, crustacean at 0.5 ppm; and shellfish, mollusk at 9 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Dow AgroSciences LLC, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA is establishing tolerance levels that vary from the petitioned-for levels for certain crops and is correcting commodity definitions, as needed, to be consistent with current EPA policy. These changes are explained further in Unit IV.C.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. . . .”

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for florpyrauxifen-benzyl including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with florpyrauxifen-benzyl follows.

    EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

    Florpyrauxifen-benzyl is not genotoxic and there were no treatment-related findings up to the limit dose (1,000 milligrams/kilogram (mg/kg)/day) or highest doses tested in the acute, short-term, sub-chronic, or chronic oral toxicity studies, two-generation reproduction or developmental toxicity studies or in the neurotoxicity study. Chronic administration of florpyrauxifen-benzyl did not show any carcinogenicity potential and did not cause any adverse effects in mice, rats or dogs even up to the highest doses tested.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by florpyrauxifen-benzyl as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document “Florpyrauxifen-benzyl: New Active Ingredient, First Food Use. Human Health Risk Assessment for the Establishment of Permanent Tolerances on Rice, Fish, and Shellfish and Registration for Uses on Rice and Freshwater Aquatic Weed Control” dated December 1, 2016 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0560.

    Because no single or repeated dose study performed by any route of exposure produced an adverse effect following florpyrauxifen-benzyl exposure, toxicity endpoints and points of departure were not selected for florpyrauxifen-benzyl exposure scenarios and a quantitative risk assessment was not conducted. Instead, a qualitative human health risk assessment has been conducted to support the proposed uses of florpyrauxifen-benzyl.

    Florpyrauxifen-benzyl is proposed for use on rice and aquatic sites. Humans could potentially be exposed to florpyrauxifen-benzyl residues in food (including fish and shellfish) because florpyrauxifen-benzyl may be applied directly to growing rice and aquatic sites. These applications can also result in florpyrauxifen-benzyl reaching surface and ground water, both of which can serve as sources of drinking water. There are no proposed uses in residential settings and there are no anticipated residential exposures.

    Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure, unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the FQPA Safety Factor (SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor. EPA considers the toxicity database to be complete and there are no residual uncertainties in the florpyrauxifen-benzyl exposure database. Because there are no threshold effects in the florpyrauxifen-benzyl database, the requirement to retain this safety factor is inapplicable to the current tolerance action.

    Based on the lack of toxicity from exposure to residues of florpyrauxifen-benzyl, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to florpyrauxifen-benzyl.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate analytical enforcement methodology which uses high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS-MS) to quantitate residues of florpyrauxifen-benzyl and florpyrauxifen is available for enforcement.

    The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has not established a MRL for florpyrauxifen-benzyl.

    C. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    Although a tolerance for rice, grain (dehulled) was requested, EPA determined that no such tolerance is required. Rice, grain (dehulled) is covered by the rice grain tolerance. Based on the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) statistical calculation applied to the field trial (U.S.) residue data, EPA determined that the appropriate tolerance level for rice, grain is 0.30 ppm. The OECD calculation procedures are globally recognized for calculating MRLs to facilitate the harmonization of regulatory limits.

    For fish-shellfish, mollusc the tolerance level is established at 20 ppm, rather than the requested 9 ppm, based on the residue data. Also, to be consistent with current EPA policy, the commodity definitions were revised as fish-freshwater finfish; fish-shellfish, crustacean; and fish-shellfish, mollusc, and the Agency added a significant figure to the tolerances for rice, grain; fish-freshwater finfish; and fish-shellfish, crustacean.

    V. Conclusion

    Despite the lack of toxicity, the EPA is establishing tolerances as requested by the petitioner for international trade purposes. Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of florpyrauxifen-benzyl, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on rice, grain at 0.30 ppm; fish-freshwater finfish at 2.0 ppm; fish-shellfish, crustacean at 0.50 ppm; and fish-shellfish, mollusc at 20 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerance in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

    This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

    VII. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule 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. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: September 8, 2017. Richard P. Keigwin, Jr., Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. Add § 180.695 to subpart C to read as follows:
    §  180.695 Florpyrauxifen-benzyl; Pesticide Tolerances.

    (a) General. Tolerances are established for residues of florpyrauxifen-benzyl, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only the sum of florpyrauxifen-benzyl (phenylmethyl 4-amino-3-chloro- 6-(4-chloro-2-fluoro-3-methoxyphenyl)-5-fluoro-2-pyridinecarboxylate) and its acid metabolite (4-amino-3-chloro-6-(4-chloro-2-fluoro-3-methoxyphenyl)-5- fluoropyridine-2-carboxylic acid) calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of florpyrauxifen-benzyl, in or on the commodity.

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Fish—freshwater finfish 2.0 Fish—shellfish, crustacean 0.50 Fish—shellfish, mollusc 20 Rice, grain 0.30

    (b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. [Reserved]

    (c) Tolerances with regional registrations. [Reserved]

    (d) Indirect or inadvertent residues. [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2017-21614 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 1, 2, 15, 90, 95, and 97 [ET Docket No. 15-26; FCC 17-94] Permitting Radar Services in the 76-81 GHz Band Correction

    In rule document 2017-18463 beginning on page 43865 in the issue of Wednesday, September 20, 2017, make the following correction:

    § 2.106 [Corrected]
    In Part 2, in § 2.106, on page 43869, the table should appear as follows: ER06OC17.004
    [FR Doc. C1-2017-18463 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 90 [PS Docket No. 16-269; FCC 17-75] Procedures for Commission Review of State Opt-Out Request From the FirstNet Radio Access Network AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) addresses the 758-769/788-799 MHz band, which the Commission licensed to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) on a nationwide basis pursuant to the provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The Report and Order adopts procedures for administering the state opt-out process as provided under the Public Safety Spectrum Act, as well delineating the specific standards by which the Commission will evaluate state opt-out applications.

    DATES:

    Effective November 6, 2017, except for § 90.532(b) and (c), which contain information collection requirements that are not effective until approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The FCC will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date for those sections.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. In addition to filing comments with the Office of the Secretary, a copy of any comments on the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained herein should be submitted to Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roberto Mussenden, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 418-1428. For additional information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained in this document, contact Nicole Ongele at 202-418-2991, or send an email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Report and Order, PS Docket No. 16-269; FCC 17-75, adopted and released on June 22, 2016. The complete text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554 and can be downloaded at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-17-75A1.pdf.

    In 2016, the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), 81 FR 64825, September 21, 2016, sought comment sought comment on implementation of the opt-out review process to be conducted by the Commission, pursuant to certain provisions of the Public Safety Spectrum Act. These included: The procedures and timing for states to notify FirstNet, NTIA, and the Commission of their opt-out elections, completing their RFPs, and for filing their alternative state plans with the Commission; the Commission review process, including timing, defining the scope of participation by interested parties, and treatment of confidential information; what criteria that Commission will use in evaluating alternative state plans; what elements states should include in their alternative state plans to demonstrate compliance with the relevant statutory criteria; and how the Commission's decisions to approve or disapprove alternative state plans will be documented.

    In the Report and Order, the Commission finds that the 90-day period states have to inform the Commission of its opt-out decision shall commence when a state has received statutory “notice” from FirstNet of the final plan for that state. The Commission also finds that within 180 days of providing its opt-out notice to the Commission, a state must have (1) issued an RFP providing for full deployment of the state RAN (i.e., the RFP must cover the actual network build, not merely development of a plan) and (2) received firm commitment bids on the RFP and selected a winning bidder. A state has 240 days from the opt-out notification date to file its alternative plan with the Commission.

    The Commission specifies that Plans filed with the Commission must, at a minimum, (1) address the four general subject areas identified in the Act (construction, maintenance, operation, and improvements of the state RAN), (2) address the two interoperability requirements set forth in sections 6302(e)(3)(C)(i)(I) and (II) of the Act, and (3) specifically address all of the requirements of the Technical Advisory Board for First Responder Interoperability.

    The Commission will treat each state opt-out application as a separate restricted proceeding under our rules. The parties to these proceedings will initially include the state filing the application, FirstNet, and NTIA. Other persons or entities seeking to participate in a proceeding may petition the Commission for leave to intervene based on a demonstrated showing of interest. The Commission further imposes a 90-day aspirational shot clock upon itself for Commission action on a properly filed alternative plan.

    The Commission will confine its review to the RAN elements of state alternative plans, which it defines as all the cell site equipment, antennas, and backhaul equipment, based on commercial standards, that are required to enable wireless communications with devices using the public safety broadband spectrum including standard E-UTRAN elements (e.g., the eNodeB) and including, but not limited to, backhaul to FirstNet designated consolidation points.

    Finally the Commission states that the full Commission will issue a separate Order for each opt-out request. Each order will provide a brief explanation of the Commission's decision based on the statutory criteria as applied to the information submitted in the record.

    This document contains new information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invited the general public to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this R&O as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, the Commission notes that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    In this present document, we have assessed the effects of state opt-out procedures and find that they have no effect on businesses with fewer than 25 employees.

    The Commission sent a copy of this Report & Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 90

    Administrative practice and procedure, Common carriers, Radio, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 90 as follows:

    PART 90—PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES 1. The authority citation for part 90 continues to read: Authority:

    Sections 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7), and Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156.

    2. Section 90.532 is amended by revising the section heading, designating the undesignated paragraph as paragraph (a), adding a paragraph heading to newly designated paragraph (a), and adding paragraphs (b) through (f) to read as follows:
    § 90.532 Licensing of the 758-769 MHz and 788-799 MHz Bands; State opt-out election and alternative plans.

    (a) First Responder Network Authority license and renewal. * * *

    (b) State election to opt out of the First Responder Network Authority Nationwide Network. No later than 90 days after receipt of notice from the First Responder Network Authority under section 6302(e)(1) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96, 126 Stat. 156 (Spectrum Act), any State Governor or the Governor's designee shall file with the Commission a notification of the Governor's election to opt out and conduct its own deployment of a State radio access network pursuant to section 6302(e)(2)(B) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. This notification shall be sent to a dedicated email address specified by the Commission or via certified mail to the Secretary's office. At the conclusion of the opt-out notification period, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau shall issue one or more Public Notices denoting which states have elected to opt out. In addition:

    (1) Such notification shall also certify that the State has notified the First Responder Network Authority and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of its election.

    (2) If such notice is filed by the Governor's designee, it shall include memorialization of the Governor's delegation of authority in writing with the notice.

    (c) Petitions for leave to intervene. Entities other than the First Responder Network Authority, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the relevant state may petition the Commission for leave to intervene. Such a petition must be made within 30 days of the Public Notice issued in conformance with paragraph (b) of this section. The petition must note the specific plan on which the filer wishes to comment and clearly detail the filer's interest in the proceeding. This includes an explanation of the filer's interest in the outcome of the particular state's application, as well as an explanation of how the filer's interests are not otherwise represented by the state, FirstNet, or NTIA, or how its participation would otherwise aid the Commission in a full evaluation of the facts.

    (d) Filing of alternative state plans by states electing to opt out. No later than 240 days after filing notice of a State's election with the Commission under paragraph (b) of this section, the State Governor or the Governor's designee shall file an alternative plan with the Commission for the construction, maintenance, operation, and improvements of the State radio access network. Alternative plans may be sent to a dedicated email address specified by the Commission or via certified mail to the Office of the Secretary.

    (e) Contents of alternative state plans. An alternative state plan shall include:

    (1) An interoperability showing, demonstrating:

    (i) Compliance with the minimum technical interoperability requirements developed under section 6203 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012; and

    (ii) Interoperability with the nationwide public safety broadband network.

    (2) Certifications by the State Governor or the Governor's designee, attesting:

    (i) Adherence to FirstNet network policies identified by FirstNet as relating to technical interoperability; and

    (ii) Completion of the state's request for proposal within 180 days of receipt of notice of the State Plan furnished by the First Responder Network Authority. Such certification may only be made if the state has:

    (A) Issued a request for proposal for the state's Radio Access Network;

    (B) Received bids for such network; and

    (C) Selected a vendor(s).

    (f) Commenting on alternative state plans. Within 10 business days of the submission of an alternative state plan the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau shall determine whether the plan is acceptable for filing under the criteria set forth under paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section. The Bureau shall issue a Public Notice identifying each plan that has been accepted for filing and initiating an abbreviated comment cycle.

    (1) The First Responder Network Authority, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and any entity granted party status under paragraph (c) of this section may file comments within 15 days of the issuance of the Public Notice set forth in this paragraph (f).

    (2) The relevant state may file reply comments within 30 days of the issuance of the Public Notice set forth in this paragraph (f).

    (3) States can file the plans, and those granted party status to each proceeding may file comments on the plan, in the specified state docket via a dedicated email address specified by the Commission or via certified mail to the Office of the Secretary.

    [FR Doc. 2017-21596 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2016-0090; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BB48 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Florida Prairie-clover), and Threatened Species Status for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades Bully), Digitaria pauciflora (Florida Pineland Crabgrass), and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (Pineland Sandmat) AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine endangered species status under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Florida prairie-clover), and threatened species status for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades bully), Digitaria pauciflora (Florida pineland crabgrass), and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (pineland sandmat). All four plant species are endemic to south Florida. This rule adds these species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    This final rule is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments and materials we received, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this rule, are available for public inspection on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person, by appointment, during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960; telephone 772-562-3909; facsimile 772-562-4288.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roxanna Hinzman, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES, above). 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 we determine that a species is 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 can only be completed by issuing a rule.

    This rule makes final the listing of Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Florida prairie-clover) as an endangered species, and Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades bully), Digitaria pauciflora (Florida pineland crabgrass), and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (pineland sandmat) as threatened species.

    The basis for our action. Under the Act, we may 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 threats to Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana consist primarily of habitat loss and modification through urban and agricultural development, and lack of adequate fire management (Factor A); and the proliferation of nonnative invasive plants, stochastic events (hurricanes, storm surge, wildfires), maintenance practices used on roadsides and disturbed sites, and sea level rise (Factor E). Existing regulatory mechanisms have not been adequate to reduce or remove these threats (Factor D).

    Peer review and public comment. We sought comments from independent specialists to ensure that our decision is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We invited these peer reviewers to comment on our listing proposal, and we received comments from three peer reviewers. We also considered all comments and information we received from the public during the comment period.

    Previous Federal Action

    Please refer to the proposed listing rule for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (81 FR 70282; October 11, 2016) for a detailed description of previous Federal actions concerning these species.

    Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the proposed rule published on October 11, 2016 (81 FR 70282), we requested that all interested parties submit written comments on the proposal by December 12, 2016. We also contacted appropriate Federal and State agencies, scientific experts and organizations, and other interested parties and invited them to comment on the proposal. Newspaper notices inviting general public comment were published in the Miami Herald and Key West Citizen. We did not receive any requests for a public hearing.

    Also, in accordance with our peer review policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinion from three knowledgeable individuals with scientific expertise that included familiarity with the four species and their habitat, biological needs, and threats. We received responses from all three peer reviewers.

    All substantive information provided during the comment period has either been incorporated directly into this final determination or is addressed below.

    Peer Reviewer Comments

    We reviewed all comments received from the peer reviewers for substantive issues and new information regarding the listing of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. The peer reviewers generally concurred with our methods and conclusions, and provided additional information, clarifications, and suggestions to improve the final rule. We reviewed all comments received from the peer reviewers for substantive issues and new information regarding the listing of the four plants. Where appropriate, we have incorporated corrections, editorial suggestions, and new literature and other information provided into the final rule. Any substantive comments are discussed below.

    Comment: One peer reviewer indicated that recent studies suggest some previously known taxonomic indicators are not reliable to distinguish between Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. reclinatum and S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense. Therefore, survey results from Big Cypress National Park (BCNP) cited in the proposed rule may have significantly underestimated S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense distribution and abundance. The reviewer also indicated that given the large number of individuals and more widespread distribution created by the recent taxonomic evaluation of this taxon, the Service does not have adequate information to support classifying this taxon as threatened.

    Our Response: We appreciate the information and agree that if taxonomic indicators do not reliably distinguish between Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. reclinatum and S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, then S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense's distribution and abundance may be greater than survey results cited in the proposed rule. We have incorporated the additional information on S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense's distribution in BCNP into this rule in the “Current Range, Population Estimates, and Status” (Table 1) section for the subspecies. However, despite recent taxonomic changes that may result in greater abundance and distribution for S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, we have determined that the subspecies qualifies as threatened. This is because sea level rise is projected to have profound negative effects on S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense and all of its habitat throughout its range in the foreseeable future, even when the additional distribution is considered. Decades prior to inundation, pine rocklands and marl prairies are likely to undergo habitat transitions related to climate change, including changes to hydrology and increasing vulnerability to storm surge, rendering these areas unsuitable for S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense.

    Public Comments

    We received one public comment with new information on the historical distribution of Chamaesyce deltaoidea spp. pinetorum; we have incorporated this information into the final rule.

    Summary of Changes From Proposed Rule

    In the Background section, we made the following changes based on peer review and public comments:

    (1) We incorporated new information on the life history, site locations, abundance and distribution of Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. Austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora,and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. Pinetorum as appropriate.

    (2) We incorporated new information on the ecology and plant species composition of pine rockland, marl prairie, coastal berm, and rockland hammock habitats.

    (3) We incorporated new information regarding ex situ conservation for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Digitaria pauciflora.

    (4) We incorporated new information on the taxonomic indicators of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense used in comparison with the similar subspecies S. reclinatum ssp. reclinatum.

    In the Summary of Factors Affecting the Species section, we made the following changes:

    (5) We incorporated new information regarding the threat of scale insects and Cassytha filiformis infestations on Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana.

    (6) We clarified our discussion of regulatory protection for State-listed plants on private lands through FAC 5B-40.

    (7) We clarified our discussion of restoration management to indicate it only be conducted by highly trained crews.

    (8) We incorporated new information regarding potential drier conditions in response to hydrological restoration within the Everglades.

    Summary of Biological Status and Threats Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades bully) Species Description

    Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense is a single to many-stemmed shrub, 3 to 6 feet (ft) (1 to 2 meters (m)) tall (Corogin and Judd 2014, pp. 410-412). The branches are smooth, slightly bent, and somewhat spiny. The leaves are thin, oval-shaped, 0.8 to 2 inches (in) (2 to 5 centimeters (cm)) long, evergreen, lance-shaped, and fuzzy on their undersides. The flowers are in axillary clusters (Long and Lakela 1971, p. 679).

    Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense is distinguished from the similar subspecies S. reclinatum ssp. reclinatum in Florida by its leaves, which are persistently pubescent (fuzzy) on their undersides, rather than smooth or pubescent only along the leaf midvein (Wunderlin and Hansen 2003, p. 603). In addition, the two subspecies are more reliably distinguished by differences in the micromorphology of the leaf epidermis, and by the extent of distribution of S. r. ssp. austrofloridense, which is limited to extreme southern peninsular Florida (Corogin and Judd 2014, p. 404).

    Taxonomy

    The genus Sideroxylon is represented by eight species in Florida. All of these plants were previously assigned to the genus Bumelia. Sideroxylon reclinatum, the Florida bully, is represented by three subspecies that range nearly throughout Florida and into neighboring states. The Everglades subspecies was first recognized by Whetstone (1985, pp. 544-547) as Bumelia reclinata var. austrofloridense, then transferred to the genus Sideroxylon (Kartesz and Gandhi 1990, pp. 421-427). Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense was made a subspecies rather than a variety (Kartesz and Gandhi 1990, pp. 421-427); in plant nomenclature, the ranks of variety and subspecies are interchangeable. Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense is used in the current treatment of the Florida flora (Wunderlin and Hansen 2016, p. 1).

    The online Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (Wunderlin and Hansen 2016, p. 1), Integrated Taxonomic System (ITIS 2016, p. 1), NatureServe (2016, p. 1), and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) (Coile and Garland 2003, p. 19) indicate that Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense is the accepted taxonomic status.

    Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense is differentiated from S. reclinatum ssp. reclinatum by a set of distinct characters at the micromorphological level (Corogin and Judd 2014, p. 408). The two taxa are also separated eco-geographically. Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense is a narrow endemic, restricted to pine rockland and marl prairie habitats in a well-defined area of extreme southeast peninsular Florida. Conversely, Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. reclinatum is more wide-ranging, occurring coastally from southern Georgia west to Louisiana, and throughout Florida as far south as Broward County in the east, and Collier and Monroe Counties in the west. The only place where plants of both species overlap is within BCNP, at the western fringe of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense's range (Corrogin and Judd 2014, p. 409).

    Climate

    The climate of south Florida where Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense occurs is classified as tropical savanna and is characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons and a monthly mean temperature above 18 degrees Celsius (°C) (64.4 degrees Fahrenheit (°F)) in every month of the year (Gabler et al. 1994, p. 211). Freezes can occur in the winter months, but are infrequent at this latitude in south Florida. Rainfall in the area where Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense occurs varies from an annual average of 153-165 cm (60-65 in) in the northern portion of the Miami Rock Ridge to an average of 140-153 cm (55-60 in) in the southern portion. Approximately 75 percent of yearly rainfall occurs during the wet season from June through September (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 238).

    Habitat

    Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense grows in pine rockland habitat, marl prairie habitat and within the ecotone between both habitats (Gann et al. 2006, p. 12; Bradley et al. 2013, p. 4; Gann 2015, p. 31). These habitats are maintained by regular fire, and are prone, particularly marl prairie, to annual flooding for several months during the wet season (Gann et al. 2006, p. 13; Bradley et al. 2013, p. 4). Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense also grows on the sunny edges of rockland hammock habitat (Gann 2015, p. 412), which is fire-resistant. Historically, fire served to maintain the boundary between pine rockland and rockland hammock by eliminating the encroachment of hardwoods into pine rocklands. Absent natural or prescribed fire, many pine rocklands have succeeded to rockland hammock (Florida Natural Area Inventory [FNAI] 2010, p. 25). Canopy cover on the interior of rockland hammock is too dense to support herbs and smaller shrub species, such as S. r. ssp. austrofloridense, that require more sunlight. For a detailed description of pine rockland, marl prairie, and rockland hammock habitats, please see the proposed listing rule (81 FR 70282; October 11, 2016).

    Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense occurs in sparsely vegetated, well-lit, open areas that are maintained by disturbance. However, the dynamic nature of the habitat means that areas not currently open may become open in the future as a result of canopy disruption from hurricanes or invasive plant management, while areas currently open may develop more dense canopy over time, eventually rendering that portion of the hammock unsuitable for S. r. ssp. austrofloridense.

    Historical Range

    The historical range of Sideroxlon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense is limited to Collier, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties, Florida. In Miami-Dade County, the plant was known from central and southern Miami-Dade County along the Miami Rock Ridge, which extends from Long Pine Key in the Everglades northward through urban Miami to the Miami River. In Monroe County, the plant is known from BCNP on the mainland, and was collected as far south as Key Largo, in the Florida Keys. In Collier County, the subspecies has been recorded only within BCNP. All known historical and current records for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense are summarized below in Table 1.

    Current Range, Population Estimates, and Status

    The current range of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense is BCNP, the Long Pine Key region of ENP, and pine rocklands adjacent to ENP (Hodges and Bradley 2006, p. 42; Gann et al. 2006, p. 11; Bradley 2007, pers. comm.; Possley 2011a and 2011b, pers. comm.; Sadle 2011, pers. comm.; Bradley et al. 2013, p. 4; Gann 2015, p. 30). The subspecies is apparently extirpated from Key Largo. Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense has not been found in surveys of pine rocklands on Key Largo, Big Pine Key, Cudjoe Key and Lower Sugarloaf Key (Hodges and Bradley 2006, p. 42). The current range is approximately 42 mi (67.5 km) (Gann et al. 2002, p. 526; Corogin and Judd 2014, p. 412).

    The largest population occurs at Long Pine Key in ENP (Hodges and Bradley 2006, p. 42; Gann et al. 2006, p. 11; Gann 2015, p. 9). The population at Long Pine Key is estimated at between 10,000-100,000 plants (Gann et al. 2006, pp. 9-11; Gann 2015, p. 29). Recent surveys of ENP have identified 14 occurrences of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense in Long Pine Key, expanding the known range in ENP (Gann 2015, p. 30).

    In Miami-Dade County, outside ENP, pine rocklands tracts are orders of magnitude smaller and exist in a matrix of agricultural, commercial, and residential development. Approximately 73 plants were observed at Larry and Penny Thompson Park, within the Richmond Pine Rocklands (Possley and McSweeney 2005, p. 1). Extant populations have been found at Quail Roost Pineland (two plants), Navy Wells Pineland Preserve (four plants), and Sunny Palms Pinelands (two plants) (Possley 2011a and 2011b, pers. comm.). The subspecies has been observed in pine rocklands at Grant Hammock and Pine Ridge Sanctuary (Bradley et al. 2013, p.1). The subspecies no longer occurs at the Nixon-Smiley Preserve.

    Surveys in the Gum Slough region of Lostmans Pines in BCNP reported finding Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense with limited distribution within the study area (Bradley et al. 2013, pp. 1-8). However, Sadle (2016, pers. comm.) suggests that additional taxonomic research on Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. reclinatum may indicate that S. r. ssp. austrofloridense is more widespread in BCNP than is currently known.

    Table 1—Summary of the Status of the Known Occurrences of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense Population Ownership Most recent population estimate (year) Status Everglades National Park National Park Service 10,000-100,000 1 (2013) Extant. Camp Everglades Boy Scouts of America Unknown Extant.2 Big Cypress National Preserve National Park Service extant (2013) 3 Extant. Larry and Penny Thompson Park Miami-Dade County 73 (2005) 4 Extant. Nixon-Smiley Preserve Miami-Dade County 0 (Unknown) 3 Extirpated. Navy Wells Pineland Preserve Miami-Dade County 4 (2011) 5 Extant. Frog Pond South Florida Water Management District 1 (2015) 1 2 Extant. Sunny Palms Pineland Miami-Dade County 2 (2011) 5 Extant. Pine Ridge Sanctuary Private Unknown Extant.3 Lucille Hammock Miami-Dade County 11-100 (2007) 3 Extant. South Dade Wetlands Miami-Dade County Unknown (2007) 3 Extant. Natural Forest Community #P-300 Private 2-10 (2007) 3 Extant. Natural Forest Community #P-310 Private 11-100 (2007) 3 Extant. Quail Roost Pineland Miami-Dade County 2 (2011) 5 Extant. Grant Hammock Unknown Unknown (Unknown) Extirpated.3 Key Largo Unknown No estimate (1948) Extirpated.6 1 Gann 2015, p. 29. 2 Lange 2016, pers. comm. 3 Bradley et al. 2013, pp. 1-8. 4 Possley and McSweeney 2005, p. 1. 5 Possley 2011a and 2011b, pers. comm. 6 Hodges and Bradley 2006, p. 42. Biology

    Life History and Reproduction: Little is known about the life history of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, including pollination biology, seed production, or dispersal (Gann 2015, p. 31). Reproduction is sexual, with new plants generated from seeds. The subspecies produces flowers from April to May, and fruit ripens from June to July (Corogin and Judd 2014, pp. 410-412). The plants can stand partial inundation with fresh water for a portion of the year, but do not tolerate salinity. Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense frequently has numerous stem galls, but these galls do not appear to cause mortality to the plant and may in fact be an important part of the subspecies' natural history (Lange 2016, pers. comm.). In addition, the stem galls are often inhabited by acrobat ants (Crematogaster spp.) (Lange 2016, pers. comm.).

    Fire Ecology and Demography: There have been no detailed studies of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense's relationship to fire; however, periodic fire is extremely important to maintaining habitat for this subspecies (Corogin and Judd 2014, p. 414). Therefore, historical declines have been partially attributed to habitat loss from fire suppression or inadequate fire management (ENP 2014, p. 173).

    Digitaria pauciflora (Florida pineland crabgrass) Species Description

    Digitaria pauciflora is a small perennial clump-grass, appearing blue-green to gray with reddish-brown stems, typically 0.5 to 1 m (1.5 to 3 ft) tall (Small 1933, p. 51). The leaves form a subtle zig-zag pattern as the leaf blades come off the stem at an angle. The flowers are dull green and very small, and are borne on wispy spikes on the ends of the leafy stems, with usually only a few flower clusters forming per clump of grass. Stolons (aboveground horizontal stems) are not present (Webster and Hatch, 1990, pp. 161-162); however, inflorescence branches have been known to produce roots infrequently at their nodes, and these have been observed producing new ramets (belowground horizontal stems) that allow for vegetative spread (Fellows et al. 2003, p. 142; Lange 2016, pers. comm.). Digitaria pauciflora is known to reproduce sexually (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 50), with fruit production in the fall (Wendelberger and Maschinski 2006, p. 3).

    Taxonomy

    Digitaria pauciflora was first described in 1928, based on specimens collected in 1903 (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 49), and was later placed in the genus Syntherisma (Small 1933, pp. 50-51). Subsequent authors (Hitchcock 1935, p. 561; Webster & Hatch 1990, p. 161; Wunderlin 1998) have retained it in the genus Digitaria (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 49). D. pauciflora was absent from collections from 1939 until 1973, when it was rediscovered in ENP (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 49).

    The online Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants uses the name Digitaria pauciflora (Wunderlin and Hansen 2016, p. 1). The Integrated Taxonomic System (ITIS 2016, p. 1), NatureServe (2016, p. 1), and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) (Coile and Garland 2003, p. 19) indicates that its taxonomic status is accepted. We have carefully reviewed all taxonomic data to determine that Digitaria pauciflora is a valid taxon. The only synonym is Syntherisma pauciflora (Hitchcock) Hitchcock ex Small (ITIS 2016, p. 1).

    Climate

    The climate of south Florida where Digitaria pauciflora occurs is classified as tropical savanna, as described above for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense.

    Habitat

    Digitaria pauciflora occurs predominantly within the seasonally flooded ecotone between pine rockland and marl prairie, although the species may overlap somewhat into both habitats (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 49; Fellows et al. 2002, p. 79). Plants can withstand inundation with fresh water for one to several months each year (ENP 2014, p. 172). These habitats are maintained by regular fire, and are prone, particularly marl prairie, to annual flooding for several months during the wet season (Gann et al. 2006, p. 13). Pine rocklands and marl prairies are described in detail in the proposed listing rule (81 FR 70282; October 11, 2016).

    Historical Range

    All known historical and current records for Digitaria pauciflora are summarized below in Table 2. The historical range of D. pauciflora consists of central and southern Miami-Dade County along the Miami Rock Ridge, from southern Miami to Long Pine Key region of ENP, a range of approximately 42 mi (67.6 km) (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 49). Specimens of D. pauciflora were collected early in the 20th century throughout Miami-Dade County. The plant then went unreported for several decades before being rediscovered at Long Pine Key in 1973. D. pauciflora has subsequently been encountered consistently within Long Pine Key (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 49).

    A single Digitaria pauciflora plant was discovered in 1995, within marl prairie habitat at the Martinez Pinelands in the Richmond Pine Rocklands, an area of Miami-Dade County that retains the largest contiguous areas of pine rockland habitat outside of the Everglades. However, this plant has since disappeared (Herndon 1998, p. 88; Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 49; Gann 2015, p. 142). Three other historical occurrences in Miami-Dade County have been documented: (1) A site between Cutler and Longview Camp (last observed in 1903); (2) Jenkins Homestead (date unspecified); and (3) south Miami (last observed in 1939) (Bradley 2007, pers. comm.). However, little is known regarding the status of these populations. The species was not found during a 2-year project to survey and map rare and exotic plants along Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) rights-of-way within Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties (Gordon et al. 2007, pp. 1, 38).

    Current Range, Population Estimates, and Status

    The current range of Digitaria pauciflora includes ENP and BCNP (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 49; Gann et al. 2006, p. 3; Gann 2015, p. 142). Ongoing surveys suggest the species occurs throughout Long Pine Key of ENP (Gann et al. 2006, p. 7; Gann 2015, p. 144) and is much wider-ranging than previously known in ENP, where populations may be characterized as abundant (Maschinski and Lange 2015, pp. 31-33).

    In 2002, Digitaria pauciflora was discovered within the Lostmans Pines region of BCNP in Monroe County (Bradley et al. 2013, p. 2). This represented the first known D. pauciflora occurrence outside Miami-Dade County (FNAI 2007, p. 191). The species is widely distributed within Lostmans Pines (Bradley et al. 2013, pp. 1-8). Subsequent surveys for the species within BCNP have documented up to nine occurrences, some of which contain an estimated 500-600 plants (Maschinski et al. 2003, p. 141). Bradley et al. (2013, pp. 1-8) conducted surveys in the Gum Slough region of Lostmans Pines and indicated that the species is widely distributed within the study area. A total of 2,365 plants were counted within pineland and sawgrass based survey plots (Bradley et al. 2013, pp. 3-4). The rangewide population estimate for D. pauciflora is 100,000 to 200,000 individuals at Long Pine Key (Maschinski and Lange 2015, p. 18) and greater than 10,000 individuals within BCNP (Bradley 2007, pers. comm.). Although its preferred habitats are fire-dependent and flood adapted, large-scale wildfire and flooding can drastically reduce the size of D. pauciflora populations. For example, in the spring months of 2016, extensive wildfires in areas occupied by D. pauciflora likely reduced populations in ENP over a greater area than managed by prescribed fire in an average year. The populations will likely rebound; however, regeneration could be severely hampered, based on the amount and duration of flooding during the region's late summer storm season. While Digitaria pauciflora populations remain abundant within ENP and BCNP, these areas represent only half of the species' historical range (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 25; Gann 2015, p. 167). While D. pauciflora was known to occur throughout Miami-Dade County, all other populations are likely extirpated.

    Table 2—Summary of the Status of the Known Occurrences of Digitaria pauciflora Population Ownership Most recent population estimate Status Everglades National Park National Park Service 100,000-200,000 (2015) 1 4 Extant. Camp Everglades Boy Scouts of America 100-1,000 (2016) 2 Extant. Big Cypress National Preserve National Park Service >10,000 (2007) 3 Extant. Martinez Pineland Miami-Dade County 0 (1999) 2 3 Extirpated. Cutler and Longview Camp Unknown Unknown (1903) 3 Extirpated. Jenkins Homestead Unknown Unknown (date unspecified) 3 Extirpated. South Miami Unknown Unknown (1939) 3 Extirpated. 1 Gann 2015, p. 142. 2 Lange 2016, pers. comm. 3 Bradley 2007, pers. comm. 4 Maschinski and Lange 2015, p. 18. Biology

    Life History and Reproduction: Little is known about the life history of Digitaria pauciflora, including pollination biology, seed production, or dispersal. Reproduction is sexual, with new plants generated from seeds (Bradley and Gann, 1999, p. 53). The species produces flowers from summer to late fall on both new and older growth, some plants have been observed to finish seeding as late as December (Fellows et al. 2002, p. 2; Gann 2015, p. 172). Plants can also spread clonally via rhizomes (Webster and Hatch, 1990, pp. 161-162). The plants can stand partial inundation with fresh water for a portion of the year, but do not tolerate salinity.

    Fire Ecology and Demography: Digitaria pauciflora population demographics or longevity have not been studied (Bradley and Gann, 1999, p. 53; Fellows et al. 2002, p. 2). There have been no studies of the plant's relationship to fire; however, periodic fire is extremely important to maintaining habitat for this species (Bradley and Gann, 1999, p. 53; ENP 2014, p. 226). Therefore, historical declines have been partially attributed to habitat loss from fire suppression or inadequate fire management. The species shows patch dynamics, colonizing new areas and undergoing local extinctions with high rates of turnover (Gann 2015, p. 142). Plants with “flashy” or “boom and bust” demographic patterns are more susceptible to stochastic extinction events. ENP has burned populations of D. pauciflora during the wet and dry season, and both appear suitable to maintain populations of the plant (ENP 2014, p. 226).

    Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (pineland sandmat) Species Description

    Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum is an ascending to erect perennial herb. The stems are hairy and often reddish. The leaf blades range from kidney-shaped or triangle-shaped and elliptic to oval. The fruit is a 2-mm broad, pubescent capsule. The seeds are 1 mm long, transversely wrinkled, and yellowish in color (Small 1933, p. 795). C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum reproduces sexually (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 25). Fruit production is year-round, with a peak in the fall (Wendelberger and Maschinski 2006, p. 2).

    Taxonomy

    Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum was first described by Small in 1905, based on specimens collected in eastern Miami-Dade County (Small 1905, pp. 429-430). Initially, Small referred to these specimens as C. pinetorum but recognized that it was closely related to Chamaesyce deltoidea. Herndon (1993, pp. 38-51) included C. pinetorum within the C. deltoidea complex, which is composed of three other taxa, two occurring farther north on the Miami Rock Ridge, and one occurring on Big Pine Key in the lower Florida Keys (Monroe County). The three taxa on the Miami Rock Ridge have distinct, but adjacent, ranges. Subsequently, Herndon (1993, pp. 38-51) has placed all four taxa at the same taxonomic level, treating each as a distinct subspecies under Chamaesyce deltoidea (C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, C. deltoidea ssp. serpyllum, C. deltoidea ssp. adhaerens, and C. deltoidea ssp. deltoidea). Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. deltoidea and C. deltoidea ssp. adhaerens occur north of known C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum populations, while Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. serpyllum is endemic to Big Pine Key. Wunderlin and Hansen (2016, p. 1) follow Herndon's treatment in using C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum. Some modern authors place the genus Chamaesyce into the genus Euphorbia sensu lato (Yang and Berry 2011, pp. 1486-1503). Gann (2015, p. 168) indicates that if placed into the genus Euphorbia, the correct name of pineland sandmat is Euphorbia deltoidea ssp. pinetorum.

    The online Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants uses the name Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (Small) Herndon (Wunderlin and Hansen 2016, p. 1). NatureServe (2016, p. 1) and FDACS (Coile and Garland 2003, p. 11) indicate that C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum is accepted. However, the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS 2016, p. 1) accepts Euphorbia deltoidea ssp. pinetorum as the scientific name for the subspecies (Gann 2015, p. 168). We have carefully reviewed all taxonomic data to determine that C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum is a valid taxon.

    Climate

    The climate of south Florida where Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum occurs is classified as tropical savanna, as described above for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense.

    Habitat

    Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum occurs in pine rocklands (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 24). Pine rocklands are maintained by regular fire, and are prone to annual flooding for several months during the wet season (Gann et al. 2006, p. 13). However, C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum generally occurs in higher elevation pine rocklands at Long Pine Key in ENP, in areas rarely subject to flooding (Gann 2015, p. 169).

    A detailed description of pine rockland habitat is discussed in the proposed listing rule (81 FR 70282; October 11, 2016).

    Historical Range

    Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum occurred historically only with the southern portion of the Miami Rock Ridge, from Homestead to the Long Pine Key region of ENP, a range of approximately 42 mi (67.6 km) (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 24). C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum has been encountered consistently within Long Pine Key, as well as several County-owned conservation lands adjacent to the ENP (Gann 2015, p. 167). All known historical and current records for Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum are summarized in Table 3, below.

    Current Range, Population Estimates, and Status

    The current range of Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum is similar to the historical range, although 98 percent of the pine rocklands (the species' only habitat) outside of the ENP has been lost to development (Kernan and Bradley 1996, p. 2). The total population size of Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum is estimated to be 14,500-146,000 individuals, with the majority of the population occurring on Long Pine Key (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 25; Gann 2015, p. 167). However, while Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum is most abundant within ENP, pine rockland fragments outside of the Everglades represent about half the subspecies' extant range (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 25; Bradley 2007, pers. comm.; Gann 2015, p. 167).

    Table 3—Summary of the Status of the Known Occurrences of Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum Population Ownership Most recent
  • population estimate
  • Status
    Everglades National Park National Park Service 10,000-100,000 (2011) 5 Extant. Camp Everglades Boy Scouts of America Unknown Extant.1 Florida City Pineland Miami-Dade County 33 (2009) 2 Extant. Navy Wells Miami-Dade County 1,000-10,000 (2007) 2 3 Extant. Navy Wells #39 Miami-Dade County 500 or more (2013) 2 Extant. Palm Drive Pineland Miami-Dade County 0 (2012) 2 Possibly Extirpated. Pine Ridge Sanctuary Private 10-100 (2011) 3 4 Extant. Rock Pit #39 Miami-Dade County 419 (2012) 2 Extant. Seminole Wayside Park Miami-Dade County 614 (2015) 2 Extant. Fuchs Hammock Addition Miami-Dade County ~20 (2011) 2 Extant. Sunny Palms Pineland Miami-Dade County 1,000-10,000 (2015) 2 Extant. John Kunkel Small Pineland Institute for Regional Conservation Present (2006) 2 3 Extant. Natural Forest Community (NFC) P-330 private 11-100 (2007) 3 Extant. NFC P-338 private 1,001-10,000 (2007) 3 Extant. NFC P-339 private 11-100 (2007) 3 Extant. NFCP-347 private 11-100 (2007) 3 Extant. NFCP-411 private 101-1,000 (2007) 3 Extant. NFCP-413 private 11-100 (2007) 3 Extant. NFCP-416 private 11-100 (2007) 3 Extant. NFCP-445 private 1,001-10,000 (2007) 3 Extant. 1 Lange 2016, pers. comm. 2 Possley 2017, pers. comm. 3 Bradley 2007, pers. comm. 4 FNAI 2011. 5 Gann 2015, p. 167.
    Biology

    Life History and Reproduction: Little is known about the life history of Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum. Reproduction is sexual, but little is known about the reproductive biology and ecology of the subspecies (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 25; Gann 2015, p. 167). Herndon (1998, pp. 13-14) found up to 88 percent of plants survived more than 3 years, showing that it is a somewhat long-lived taxon. The extensive root system of C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum also suggests that it is a long-lived plant (Maschinski et al. 2003, p. 179). Some of the plants recorded as dead during surveys may have instead been in a cryptic phase (Herndon 1998, pp. 13-14); Gann 2015, p. 167). Pollinators are unknown; some other species of Chamaesyce are completely reliant on insects for pollination and seed production, while others are self-pollinating (Maschinski et al. 2003, p. 179; Gann 2015, p. 168). Pollinators may include bees, flies, ants, and wasps (Ehrenfeld 1979, p. 95; Gann 2015, p. 168). Dispersal is unknown for Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum; however, many seed capsules in similar Chamaesyce species are explosively dehiscent, a form of dispersal that flings seeds far from the parent plant (Maschinski et al. 2003, p. 179; Gann 2015, p. 168). Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum is thought to have a similar, but reduced, level of dispersal (Lange 2016, pers. comm.). This species is known to flower and fruit year round (Wendelberger and Maschinski 2006, p. 2). Peaks in fruiting for C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum occur in the fall and are stimulated by fire (Wendelberger and Maschinski 2006, p. 2). The plants can stand partial inundation with fresh water for a portion of the year, but do not tolerate salinity.

    Fire Ecology and Demography: There have been no studies of Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum demographics. However, the subspecies is not shade tolerant, and it requires periodic low-intensity fires to reduce competition by woody species to maintain habitat (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 26; ENP 2014, p. 170). Therefore, historical declines have been partially attributed to habitat loss from fire suppression or inadequate fire management.

    Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Florida prairie-clover) Species Description

    Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana is a short-lived (less than 8 years) perennial shrub that is 2.6 to 9.8 ft (0.8 to 3.0 m) tall with a light brown woody stem and non-woody, light brown or reddish branches. The leaves are composed of 9 to 15 oval, gland-tipped leaflets, and are gland-dotted on the underside. The flowers are in small loose heads at ends of hairy, glandular stalks, less than 0.4 in long. The flower color is white and maroon; each of the petals is different lengths and shapes. The fruit is a small one-seeded pod, mostly enclosed by the hairy, gland-dotted calyx (bracts at base of each flower) (adapted from Long and Lakela 1971, p. 478; Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 42; Maschinski et al. 2014, p. 44).

    Taxonomy

    Chapman (1886, p.102) was the first to report this taxon in Florida, calling it the tropical Dalea domingensis, based on specimens collected on Key Biscayne. Small (1913, p. 89) accepted this epithet but included the taxon in the genus Parosela, making the plant P. domingensis. Rydberg (1920, p. 114) renamed the plant, calling it Parosela floridana, which was retained by Small (1933, pp. 694-695). Clausen (1946a, p. 85) reviewed the taxonomy of Florida and West Indian Dalea and considered them all to be the same species. Clausen (1946a, p. 85) also found that the name D. domingensis was a homonym of D. emphysodes, and published the name D. emphysodes ssp. domingensis. Clausen (1946b, p. 572) later discovered that his use of the name D. emphysodes was in error, and renamed the plants D. carthagenensis ssp. domingensis. Long and Lakela (1971, p. 478) accepted this usage. Barneby (1977), in a monograph of the genus, also found that Florida plants were distinct from West Indian plants, citing differences in leaf characters, naming the Florida species D. carthagenensis var. floridana. Wunderlin (1998) has followed this treatment.

    The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (2016, p. 1) indicates that the taxonomic standing for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Rydb.) Barneby is accepted. The online Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (Wunderlin and Hansen 2016, p. 1) uses the name D. carthagenensis var. floridana, as does NatureServe (2016, p. 1). FDACS uses the name Dalea carthagenensis and notes that D. carthagenensis var. floridana is endemic (Coile and Garland 2003, p. 17). In summary, there is consensus that D. carthagenensis var. floridana is a distinct taxon. We have carefully reviewed the available taxonomic information to reach the conclusion that D. carthagenensis var. floridana is a valid taxon.

    Climate

    The climate of south Florida where Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana occurs is classified as tropical savanna as described above for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense.

    Habitat

    Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana grows in pine rockland, rockland hammock, marl prairie, and coastal berm, and in the ecotones between these habitats (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 43). It occurs in sparsely vegetated, well-lit, open areas that are maintained by disturbance. However, the dynamic nature of the habitat means that areas not currently open may become open in the future as a result of canopy disruption from hurricanes or invasive plant management, while areas currently open may develop more dense canopy over time, eventually rendering that portion of the hammock unsuitable for D. carthagenensis var. floridana. Detailed descriptions of pine rockland, marl prairie, rockland hammock, and coastal berm habitats are discussed in the proposed listing rule (81 FR 70282; October 11, 2016). The species may also occur along roadsides within these habitats (Gann et al. 2006, p. 10). A detailed description of roadside habitat is presented in the proposed listing rule (81 FR 70282; October 11, 2016).

    Historical Range

    The historical range of Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana includes Miami-Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Palm Beach Counties (Gann et al. 2015, pp. 25-26). There have been no reports of this plant from Palm Beach County since 1918 (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 42). In Miami-Dade County, the plant has been extirpated from a number of historical locations, including Castellow Hammock, ENP, the Coral Gables area, pinelands south of the Miami River, and Cox Hammock (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 42-43; Bradley 2007, pers. comm.; Maschinski et al. 2014, p. 39). Gann et al. (2002, pp. 408-411) accounted for essentially every herbarium specimen and reliable sighting. D. carthagenensis var. floridana is presumed to be extirpated within ENP (Gann 2015, pp. 25-26). All known historical and current records for D. carthagenensis var. floridana are summarized below in Table 4.

    Current Range, Population Estimates, and Status

    The current range of Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana includes BCNP (Monroe and Collier Counties), three Miami-Dade County conservation areas, and three additional unprotected lands within the Cutler Bay region of Miami-Dade County (Maschinski et al. 2014, p. 39)

    In 1999, Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana was rediscovered within BCNP (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 42). Maschinski et al. (2014, p. 31) subsequently surveyed the four extant populations on BCNP, finding two of them. An area north of Oasis Visitor Center contained 236 plants (of various ages) and represents the largest extant population within BCNP. The second extant population was in the Pinecrest region (along Loop Road) of BCNP, an historical location within the Park; however, only 17 plants were encountered. D. carthagenensis var. floridana was not found at 11-Mile Road, nor at a second location along Loop Road, during the surveys.

    Extensive surveys of extant Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana populations at Charles Deering Estate, RHMP, and Crandon Park within Miami-Dade County have been conducted over the past decade (Maschinski et al. 2014, pp. 31-34). During 2003 to 2007, the population at Charles Deering Estate ranged from between 50 and 80 individuals, with the number of seedlings ranging from 3 to 54. However, beginning in 2008, studies documented pulses in seedling establishment (Maschinski et al. 2014, p. 33). In 2010, the total population size (seedlings and woody plants) was 356 individuals. The majority of these were seedlings and basal re-sprouts from a fire that affected approximately one-third of the population (Maschinski et al. 2010, p. 24). A 2014 survey found 347 plants (Maschinski et al. 2015, p. 30). However, the population declined to 164 and 170 in 2016 and 2017, respectively (Lange et al. 2016, p. 10; Possley 2017, pers. comm.).

    The population at RHMP declined from 31 plants in 2004 to just 1 woody plant and 3 seedlings in 2008. In 2009, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG) initiated reintroduction of Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana at RHMP, documenting 52 established plants from the 6,000 seeds sown (Maschinski et al. 2015, p. 30). Subsequently, those plants have reproduced, resulting in several generations of Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana within the reintroduction area. A density of 350 individuals was recorded in early 2017 (Possley 2017, pers. comm.) at this location.

    In 2003, Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana was rediscovered within coastal uplands at Crandon Park for the first time since 1966 (Maschinski et al. 2010, p. 28). The population at Crandon Park appears to be stable; however, it is highly localized to a small area of approximately 145 square miles (Possley and Maschinski 2009, p. 10). During 2007, FTBG initiated a demographic study of D. carthagenensis var. floridana. Sampling plots found 200 plants of various sizes resulting in a population estimate of 966 plants at the site (Maschinski 2007, pers. comm.; Possley and Maschinski 2009, p. 10). Subsequent surveys have shown the population to vary considerably, possibly due to a short lifespan or plant dormancy (Possley and Maschinski 2009, p. 10). Surveys at Crandon Park identified 288, 168, and 416 individuals, in 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively (Maschinski et al. 2015, p. 32; Lange et al. 2016, p. 12). Additional known populations within Miami-Dade County are summarized below in Table 4.

    Table 4—Summary of the Status of the Known Occurrences of Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana Population Ownership Most recent
  • population estimate
  • Status
    Everglades National Park National Park Service Extirpated (1964). Big Cypress National Preserve, North of Oasis Visitor Center National Park Service 236 (2014) 1 Extant. Big Cypress National Preserve, 11-Mile Road National Park Service 0 (2014) 1 Extirpated (2014). Big Cypress National Preserve, Pinecrest National Park Service 17 (2014) 1 Extant. Charles Deering Estate Miami-Dade County 170 (2017) 5 Extant. Virginia Key City of Miami 4 (2010) 2 Extant. R. Hardy Matheson Preserve Miami-Dade County 350 (2017) 2 Extant. Crandon Park Miami-Dade County 416 (2016) 3 Extant. Strawberry Fields Hammock (next to Natural Forest Community) Private 17 (2014) 4 Extant. Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services Private 21 (2014) 4 Extant. Florida Power and Light property Private 2-10 (2007) 4 Extant. Coral Gables area Private Extirpated (1967).6 Cox Hammock Private Extirpated (1930).6 Castellow Hammock Preserve Miami-Dade County Extirpated (1975).6 Pineland South of Miami River Unknown Unknown Unknown.6 Palm Beach County Private Extirpated (1918).6 1 Maschinski et al. (2014, p. 31). 2 Maschinski et al. (2015, pp. 30-33). 3 Lange et al. (2016, p. 12). 4 Maschinski et al. (2014, p. 39). 5 Possley 2017, pers. comm. 6 Bradley 2007, pers. comm.
    Biology

    Life History and Reproduction: Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana appears to be a short-lived (less than 8 years) perennial with a persistent seed bank (Maschinski et al. 2014, p. 45; Lange et al. 2016, p.15). D. carthagenensis var. floridana produces flowers from October to March and fruit ripen from November to April. The seed maturation period is January to May, with a peak in February and March. Larger plants can produce over 500 seeds. Seedling recruitment varies widely from year to year, with lower recruitment in drier years. Seedlings and juveniles experience rapid growth in their first 2 years (Maschinski et al. 2014, p. 45). The plants can withstand partial inundation with fresh water for a portion of the year, but do not tolerate salinity.

    Ongoing survey data were used from the Crandon Park population to conduct a preliminary population viability analysis (PVA) (Maschinski et al. 2014). The population at Crandon Park declined by 33 percent from 2007 to 2009. High seedling recruitment increased numbers in 2010, which stabilized the population until 2014, when a pulse of high recruitment occurred. The study indicated that 3 years had declining population growth and 4 years were stable or increasing, a cyclic pattern characteristic of short-lived species. The PVA indicated that the external cues (temperature and soil moisture) required to break dormancy positively influenced Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana population dynamics. However, if coupled with seedling mortality, serious population decline resulted. Low winter temperature coupled with average rainfall resulted in high seedling recruitment and good seedling survival; however, if high rainfall followed cold winter temperatures, as was noted for winter 2010, seedling mortality was high (Maschinski et al. 2014, p. 41).

    Fire Ecology and Demography: Periodic fire is extremely important to maintaining habitat for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Maschinski et al. 2015, p. 39). The most recent surveys of RHMP indicated a stable D. carthagenensis var. floridana population, including 295 seedlings that germinated following a prescribed burn (Maschinski et al, 2015, p. 30). Therefore, historical declines have been partially attributed to habitat loss from fire suppression or inadequate fire management.

    Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    The Act directs us to determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any one of five factors affecting its continued existence. In this section, we summarize the biological condition of each of the plant species and its resources, and the factors affecting them, to assess the species' overall viability and the risks to that viability.

    Factor A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Its Habitat or Range

    Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana have experienced substantial destruction, modification, and curtailment of their habitat and ranges. Specific threats to these plants included in this factor include habitat loss, fragmentation, and modification caused by development (i.e., conversion to both urban and agricultural land uses) and inadequate fire management. Each of these threats and its specific effects on these plants are discussed in detail below.

    Human Population Growth, Development, and Agricultural Conversion

    The modification and destruction of the habitats that support Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana has been extreme in most areas of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, thereby reducing the plants' current range and abundance in Florida. The pine rockland community of south Florida, in which these species primarily occur, is critically imperiled locally and globally (FNAI 2010, p. 27). Destruction of pine rocklands and rockland hammocks has occurred since the beginning of the 1900s. Extensive land clearing for human population growth, development, and agriculture in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties has altered, degraded, or destroyed thousands of acres of these once abundant ecosystems.

    In Miami-Dade County, development and agriculture have reduced pine rockland habitat by 90 percent in mainland south Florida. Pine rockland habitat in Miami-Dade County, including ENP, was reduced to about 11 percent of its natural extent, from approximately 74,000 hectares (ha) (183,000 acres (ac)) in the early 1900s, to only 8,140 ha (20,100 ac) in 1996 (Kernan and Bradley 1996, p. 2). The largest remaining intact pine rockland (approximately 2,313 ha (5,716 ac)) is Long Pine Key in ENP. Outside of ENP, only about 1 percent of the pine rocklands on the Miami Rock Ridge have escaped clearing, and much of what is left are small remnants scattered throughout the Miami metropolitan area, isolated from other natural areas (Herndon 1998, p. 1). Habitat loss continues to occur in these plants' range, and most remaining suitable habitat has been negatively altered through human activity (illegal clearing, dumping), preclusion of fire, and introduction of nonnative species.

    Significant remaining pine rockland habitat occurs on private lands and publically owned lands that are not dedicated to or managed for conservation. The species occurring on this remaining suitable habitat face threats from habitat loss and degradation, and threats are expected to accelerate with increased development. The human population within Miami-Dade County is currently greater than 2.4 million people, and the population is expected to grow to more than 4 million by 2060, an annual increase of roughly 30,000 people (Zwick and Carr 2006, p. 20).

    Some of the known populations of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana occur on public conservation lands. Miami-Dade County has developed a network of publicly owned conservation lands within Miami-Dade County, but prescribed fire is lacking at many of these sites. ENP and BCNP actively manage their respective pine rockland habitat with prescribed fire. However, any extant populations of these plants or suitable habitat that may occur on non-conservation public or private land, such as within the Richmond Pine Rocklands, are vulnerable to habitat loss directly from development or indirectly by lack of management.

    The marl prairie habitat that also supports Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana has similarly been destroyed by the rapid development of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. At least some of the occurrences reported from this habitat may be the result of colonization that occurred after the habitat was artificially dried-out due to local or regional drainage. Marl prairie on non-conservation public or private land remains vulnerable to development, which could lead to the loss of populations of these species.

    Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense occurs in numerous pine rocklands outside of ENP within Miami-Dade County, most of which are impacted by some degree by development. Two privately owned sites in Miami-Dade County supporting Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense are vulnerable to habitat loss from development. Eight sites that support the species are public land, which provides for some management and protection. However, one population on public land, the county-owned Nixon-Smiley Preserve, is extirpated.

    Two extant populations of Digitaria pauciflora are located at ENP and BCNP, public lands managed for conservation. The third extant population is located at Camp Everglades, a property within ENP owned by the Boy Scouts of America; this property is managed, in coordination with ENP, for conservation. Outside the protected lands of ENP and BCNP, Digitaria pauciflora occurred throughout Miami-Dade County, including as recently as 1995 within remnant marl prairie habitats of the Martinez Pineland. Martinez Pineland is adjacent to several other remnant pine rocklands that form the largest contiguous area of pine rockland habitat in Miami-Dade County. However, D. pauciflora has since disappeared (Herndon 1998, p. 88; Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 49) from Martinez Pineland, and plans are being reviewed for development of private portions (see discussion of Richmond Pine Rocklands, below). Three other historical occurrences in Miami-Dade County had been documented; however, D. pauciflora is extirpated from these sites; the four historical sites comprise half of the species' historical range (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 25; Gann 2015, p. 167). Surveys did not document other extant D. pauciflora populations along FDOT rights-of-way within Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties (Gordon et al. 2007, pp. 1, 38).

    Eight populations of Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum located on private land are vulnerable to habitat loss due to development. Ten extant populations occur on public land and are largely protected from development.

    Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana has been extirpated from a number of historical locations within Miami-Dade County, including ENP for unknown reasons, and by development at Castellow Hammock, in the Coral Gables area, the pinelands south of the Miami River, and Cox Hammock (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 42-43; Maschinski et al. 2014, p. 39). In addition, there have been no reports of D. carthagenensis var. floridana from Palm Beach County since 1918, and this area is now densely developed (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 42). Six populations occur on public lands and are protected from development. Three extant populations occur on private land and are vulnerable to habitat loss from development. However, because this is a highly localized plant, which is difficult to survey for, it is possible that additional extant populations exist (Lange 2016, pers. comm.).

    Currently, there are plans to develop 55 ha (137 ac) of the largest remaining parcel of pine rockland habitat in Miami-Dade County, the Richmond Pine Rocklands, with a shopping center and residential construction (Ram 2014, p. 2). This parcel has been called the “the largest and most important area of pine rockland in Miami-Dade County outside of Everglades National Park” (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 4). Although Digitaria pauciflora is extirpated from Richmond Pine Rocklands, populations of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, along with numerous other federally listed species, still occur there. The Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) has completed a management plan for portions of the Richmond Pine Rocklands under a grant from the Service and is leading the restoration and management of the Richmond Pine Rocklands (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 4). The developer has proposed to enter into a habitat conservation plan (Ram 2014, p. 2) in conjunction with their plans to develop their portion of the site and was required by Miami-Dade County Natural Forest Community (NFC) regulations to set aside and manage 17 ha (43 ac) of pine rockland and associated habitats. A second project that would result in the loss of pine rockland habitat has been proposed for the Richmond Pine Rocklands. It includes expanding the Miami Zoo complex to develop an amusement park and commercial entities. These development projects will result in the loss of pine rockland habitat that maintains a population of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense as well as several federally listed species, and may preclude future recovery options for the four plants (such as compromising the land managers' ability to burn within Richmond Pine Rocklands).

    Habitat Fragmentation

    The remaining pine rocklands in the Miami metropolitan area are severely fragmented and isolated from each other. Habitat fragmentation reduces the size of plant populations and increases spatial isolation of remnants. The effects of fragmentation on Angadenia berteroi (pineland golden trumpet) show that abundance and fragment size were positively related (Barrios et al. 2011, p. 1062). Plant species richness and fragment size are positively correlated (although some small fragments supported nearly as many species as the largest fragment) in south Florida pine rocklands (Possley et al. 2008, p. 385). Composition of fragmented habitat typically differs from that of intact forests, as isolation and edge effects increase leading to increased abundance of disturbance-adapted species (weedy species, nonnative invasive species) and lower rates of pollination and propagule dispersal (Laurence and Bierregaard 1997, pp. 347-350.; Noss and Csuti 1997, pp. 284-299). The degree to which fragmentation negatively impacts the dispersal abilities of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana is unknown. In the historical landscape, where pine rockland occurred within a mosaic of wetlands, water may have acted as a dispersal vector for all pine rockland seeds. In the current fragmented landscape, this type of dispersal would no longer be possible for any of the Miami-Dade populations, because they exist in isolated habitat patches surrounded by miles of unsuitable habitat (agriculture and urban development) on every side. While additional dispersal vectors may include animals and (in certain locations) mowing equipment, it is likely that fragmentation has effectively reduced these plants' ability to disperse..

    While pollination research has not been conducted for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, research regarding other species and ecosystems provides valuable information regarding potential effects of fragmentation to these plants. Effects of fragmentation may include changes to the pollinator community as a result of limitation of pollinator-required resources (e.g., reduced availability of rendezvous plants, nesting and roosting sites, and nectar/pollen); these changes may include changes to pollinator community composition, species abundance and diversity, and pollinator behavior (Rathcke and Jules 1993, pp. 273-275; Kremen and Ricketts 2000, p. 1227; Harris and Johnson 2004, pp. 30-33). As a result, plants in fragmented habitats may experience lower visitation rates, which in turn may result in reduced seed production of the pollinated plant (which may lead to reduced seedling recruitment), reduced pollen dispersal, increased inbreeding, reduced genetic variability, and ultimately reduced population viability (Rathcke and Jules 1993, p. 275; Goverde et al. 2002, pp. 297-298; Harris and Johnson 2004, pp. 33-34).

    The effects of fragmentation on fire go beyond edge effects and include reduced likelihood and extent of fires, and altered behavior and characteristics (e.g., intensity) of those fires that do occur. Habitat fragmentation encourages the suppression of naturally occurring fires, and has prevented fire from moving across the landscape in a natural way, resulting in an increased amount of habitat suffering from these negative impacts. High fragmentation of small habitat patches within an urban matrix discourages the use of prescribed fire as well due to logistical difficulties (see “Fire Management,” below).

    Forest fragments in urban settings are also subject to increased likelihood of certain types of human-related disturbance, such as the dumping of trash (Chavez and Tynon 2000, p. 405) and illegal clearing. The many effects of habitat fragmentation may work in concert to negatively impact the local persistence of a species, especially in small populations (see discussion below); when a species' range of occurrence is limited, as with these four plants, threats to local persistence increase extinction risk.

    Fire Management

    One of the primary threats to Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana is habitat modification and degradation through inadequate fire management, which includes both the lack of prescribed fire and suppression of natural fires. Where the term “fire-suppressed” is used below, it describes degraded pine rockland conditions resulting from a lack of adequate fire (natural or prescribed) in the landscape. Historically, frequent (approximately twice per decade), lightning-induced fires were a vital component in maintaining native vegetation and ecosystem functioning within south Florida pine rocklands (see the “Habitat” discussion under the heading Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, above). A period of just 10 years without fire may result in a marked decrease in the number of herbaceous species due to the effects of shading and litter accumulation (FNAI 2010, p. 63). Exclusion of fire for approximately 25 years will likely result in gradual hammock development over that time period, leaving a system that is very fire resistant if additional pre-fire management (e.g., mechanical hardwood removal) is not undertaken.

    Today, natural fires are unlikely to occur or are likely to be suppressed in the remaining, highly fragmented pine rockland habitat. The suppression of natural fires has reduced the size of the areas that burn, and habitat fragmentation has prevented fire from moving across the landscape in a natural way. Without fire, successional climax from pine rockland to rockland hammock takes 10 to 25 years, and displacement of native species by invasive, nonnative plants often occurs. All occurrences of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana are affected by some degree from inadequate fire management, with the primary threat being shading by hardwoods (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 15; Bradley and Gann 2005, entire). Shading may also be caused by a fire-suppressed (and, in some cases, planted) pine canopy that has evaded the natural thinning effects that fire has on seedlings and smaller trees, for example, as is seen on the pine rockland habitat on the Miami Rock Ridge (Gann 2013, pers. comm.). Understory plants such as Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana are shaded out after just 10 years without fire, by hardwoods and nonnatives alike.

    Whether the dense canopy is composed of pine, hardwoods, nonnatives, or a combination, seed germination and establishment are inhibited in fire-suppressed habitat due to accumulated leaf litter, which also changes soil moisture and nutrient availability (Hiers et al. 2007, pp. 811-812). This alteration to microhabitat can also inhibit seedling establishment as well as negatively influence flower and fruit production (Wendelberger and Maschinski 2009, pp. 849-851), thereby reducing sexual reproduction in fire-adapted species such as Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Geiger 2002, pp. 78-79, 81-83).

    After an extended period of inadequate fire management in pine rocklands, it becomes necessary to control invading native hardwoods mechanically, as excess growth of native hardwoods would result in a hot fire, which can cause mortality of pines and destroy the rootstocks and seed banks of other native plants. Mechanical treatments cannot entirely replace fire because pine trees, understory shrubs, grasses, and herbs all contribute to an ever-increasing layer of leaf litter, covering herbs and preventing germination, as discussed above. Leaf litter will continue to accumulate even if hardwoods are removed mechanically. In addition, the ashes left by fires provide important post-fire nutrient cycling, which is not provided via mechanical removal.

    Studies on the impacts of fire on Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana are ongoing. Fire is critical in maintaining the open understory and species diversity in pine rocklands and marl prairies where these species occur, as well as to reduce populations of nonnative plant species. Fire maintains the ecotone (transition) between saw grass marsh, pine rockland, and rockland hammock habitats where S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense grows.

    It is anticipated that some natural mortality of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana may occur from fire, especially more intense fires. S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense and C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum grow in wet marl soils and soil deposits within cracks in the limestone bedrock, which provides protection to the roots and allow plants to resprout following fire. C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, in particular, possesses a well-developed rootstock that is protected from fire (ENP 2014, p. 203). Herndon (1998, p. 28) pointed out that the life history of C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum includes a cryptic stage, making interpretation of mortality of aboveground parts difficult.

    Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana demonstrate differences in mortality or long-term population impacts as a result of wet or dry season burns. Indirect evidence suggests that burning in either season is suitable to maintain populations of S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum in pine rocklands. Prescribed fire in ENP was originally conducted during the dry season. Fire management was gradually shifted to wet season burning in an effort to better mimic natural lightning ignited fire patterns. As a result, pinelands and marl prairies in ENP where S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, D. pauciflora, and C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum occur have been burned in both the wet season and dry season. Long-term maintenance of populations in those areas indicates that either practice will sustain populations of these species.

    Federal (Service, National Park Service [NPS]), State (Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)), and County (Miami-Dade, DERM) land managers, and nonprofits (Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC)) implement prescribed fire on public and private lands within the ranges of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. Even in areas under active management, some portions are typically fire-suppressed. Nevertheless, all of these sites retain a contingent of native species and a seedbank capable of responding to fire.

    While ENP, BCNP, and various Miami-Dade County conservation lands (e.g., Navy Wells Pineland Preserve) each attempt to administer prescribed burns, the threat of inadequate fire management still remains. The pine rocklands in the Long Pine Key region of ENP remained largely fire-suppressed for the past decade as ENP updated its fire management plan. Although prescribed fire was returned to Long Pine Key in early 2016, many areas retained substantial amounts of unburned understory vegetation. As a result, despite reintroduction of a fire regime, several large-scale wildfires ignited during the spring months of 2016, which burned up to 50 percent of the pine rocklands in Long Pine Key. Ultimately, this combination of prescribed burns and natural fires (if not too hot or lasting too long) is likely to improve conditions for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum populations within ENP. For example, at 3 to 6 months post-burn, these species appear to be recolonizing burned areas (Sadle 2016, pers. comm.; Salvato 2016, pers. obs.). However, this chain of events also demonstrates the threat prolonged or insufficient fire management may pose to local populations of an imperiled species, even on public conservation lands.

    While management of some County conservation lands includes regular burning, other lands remain severely fire-suppressed. Implementation of a prescribed fire program in Miami-Dade County has been hampered by a shortage of resources, and by logistical difficulties and public concern related to burning next to residential areas. Many homes have been built in a mosaic of pine rockland, so the use of prescribed fire in many places has become complicated because of potential danger to structures and smoke generated from the burns. Nonprofit organizations such as IRC have similar difficulties in conducting prescribed burns due to difficulties with permitting and obtaining the necessary permissions as well as hazard insurance limitations (Gann 2013, pers. comm.). Few private landowners have the means and/or desire to implement prescribed fire on their property, and doing so in a fragmented urban environment is logistically difficult and may be costly. One of the few privately owned pine rocklands that is successfully managed with prescribed burning is Pine Ridge Sanctuary, located in a more agricultural (less urban) matrix of Miami-Dade, which was last burned in November 2010 (Glancy 2013, pers. comm.) and retains populations of both Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum. Similarly, extant populations of Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana within the privately owned Charles Deering Estate and County-owned Crandon Park are managed with fire.

    Conservation Efforts To Reduce the Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Habitat or Range

    Miami-Dade County Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Covenant Program: In 1979, Miami-Dade County enacted the Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Covenant Program, which reduces taxes for private landowners of natural forest communities (NFCs), such as pine rocklands and tropical hardwood hammocks, who agree not to develop their property and manage it for a period of 10 years, with the option to renew for additional 10-year periods (Service 1999, p. 3-177). Although these temporary conservation easements provide valuable protection for their duration, they are not considered under Factor D, below, because they are voluntary agreements and not regulatory in nature. Miami-Dade County currently has approximately 59 pine rockland properties enrolled in this program, preserving 69.4 ha (172 ac) of pine rockland habitat (Johnson 2012, pers. comm.). The program also has approximately 21 rockland hammocks properties enrolled in this program, preserving 20.64 ha (51 ac) of rockland hammock habitat (Joyner 2013b, pers. comm.). The vast majority of these properties are small, and many are in need of habitat management such as prescribed fire and removal of nonnative, invasive plants. Thus, while EEL covenant lands have the potential to provide valuable habitat for these plants and reduce threats in the near term, the actual effect of these conservation lands is largely determined by whether individual land owners follow prescribed EEL management plans and NFC regulations (see “Local” under the Factor D discussion, below).

    Fee Title Properties: In 1990, Miami-Dade County voters approved a 2-year property tax to fund the acquisition, protection, and maintenance of natural areas by the EEL Program. The EEL Program purchases and manages natural lands for preservation. Land uses deemed incompatible with the protection of the natural resources are prohibited by current regulations; however, the County Commission ultimately controls what may happen with any County property, and land use changes may occur over time (Gil 2013, pers. comm.). To date, the Miami-Dade County EEL Program has acquired a total of approximately 313 ha (775 ac) of pine rockland and 95 ha (236 ac) of rockland hammocks (Guerra 2015, pers. comm.; Gil 2013, pers. comm.). The EEL Program also manages approximately 314 ha (777 ac) of pine rocklands and 639 ha (1,578 ac) of rockland hammocks owned by the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, including some of the largest remaining areas of pine rockland habitat on the Miami Rock Ridge outside of ENP (e.g., Larry and Penny Thompson Park, Zoo Miami pinelands, and Navy Wells Pineland Preserve), and some of the largest remaining areas of rockland hammocks (e.g., Matheson Hammock Park, Castellow Hammock Park, and Deering Estate Park and Preserves).

    Conservation efforts in Miami's EEL Preserves have been underway for many years. In Miami-Dade County, conservation lands are and have been monitored by FTBG and IRC, in coordination with the EEL Program, to assess habitat status and determine any changes that may pose a threat to or alter the abundance of these species. Impacts to habitat via nonnative species and natural stochastic events are monitored and actively managed in areas where the taxon is known to occur. These programs are long-term and ongoing in Miami-Dade County; however, programs are limited by the availability of annual funding. In particular, fire management remains inadequate at many sites.

    Since 2005, the Service has funded IRC to facilitate restoration and management of privately owned pine rockland habitats in Miami-Dade County. These programs included prescribed burns, nonnative plant control, light debris removal, hardwood management, reintroduction of pines where needed, and development of management plans. One of these programs, called the Pine Rockland Initiative, includes 10-year cooperative agreements between participating landowners and the Service/IRC to ensure restored areas will be managed appropriately during that time. Although most of these objectives have been achieved, IRC has not been able to conduct the desired prescribed burns, due to logistical difficulties as discussed above (see “Fire Management,” above).

    Connect To Protect Program: FTBG, with the support of various Federal, State, local, and nonprofit organizations, has established the “Connect To Protect Network.” The objective of this program is to encourage widespread participation of citizens to create corridors of healthy pine rocklands by planting stepping stone gardens and rights-of-way with native pine rockland species, and restoring isolated pine rockland fragments. By doing this, FTBG hopes to increase the probability that pollination and seed dispersal vectors can find and transport seeds and pollen across developed areas that separate pine rockland fragments to improve gene flow between fragmented plant populations and increase the likelihood that these plants will persist over the long term. Although these projects may serve as valuable components toward the conservation of pine rockland species and habitat, they are dependent on continual funding, as well as participation from private landowners, both of which may vary through time.

    National Park Service Lands: The NPS General Management Plans (GMP) for ENP (NPS 2015) and BCNP (BCNP 2008) serve to protect, restore, and maintain natural and cultural resources at the ecosystem level. Although these GMPs are not regulatory, and their implementation is not mandatory, the Plans include conservation measures for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, or Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. The GMPs for ENP and BCNP are both currently being implemented, specifically; prescribed fire is now being actively administered on a cyclic basis at both sites. In ENP, restoration continues throughout the Hole-in-the-Donut region of Long Pine Key, which is resulting in resurgence of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum within the Park.

    Summary of Factor A

    Habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation, and associated pressures from increased human population are major threats to the four plants; these threats are expected to increase as remaining pine rocklands and other habitats are lost to development, placing these plants at greater risk. Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana may be impacted when pine rocklands are converted to other uses or when lack of fire causes the conversion to hardwood hammocks or other unsuitable habitats. On public lands, including NPS lands and Miami-Dade County-owned lands, implementation of prescribed fire has not been sufficient because of legal constraints (permitting requirements) and inadequate funding. Any populations of these four plants found on private property could be destroyed due to development. Although efforts are being made to conserve natural areas and apply prescribed fire, most pine rocklands remain in poor fire condition, and the long-term effects of large-scale and wide-ranging habitat modification, destruction, and curtailment will last into the future, while ongoing habitat loss due to population growth, development, and agricultural conversion continues to pose a threat to these species outside of conservation lands. Therefore, based on the best information available, we have determined that the threats to Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana from habitat destruction, modification, or curtailment are occurring throughout the entire range of these species and are expected to continue into the future.

    Factor B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes

    The best available data do not indicate that overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes is a threat to Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, or Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. Threats to these plants related to other aspects of recreation and similar human activities (i.e., not related to overutilization) are discussed under Factor E, below.

    Factor C. Disease or Predation

    Scale insects (Coccoidea) and Cassytha filiformis (love vine, a parasitic plant) infestations have been noted as parasites for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Maschinski et al. 2015, p. 39) and may also influence populations of other listed pine rockland plant species. However, the best available data do not indicate that disease or predation is a threat to Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, or Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana.

    Factor D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Under this factor, we examine whether threats to these plants discussed under the other factors are continuing due to an inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms. Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act requires the Service to take into account “those efforts, if any, being made by any State or foreign nation, or any political subdivision of a State or foreign nation, to protect such species . . . ” In relation to Factor D under the Act, we interpret this language to require the Service to consider relevant Federal, State, and tribal laws, regulations, and other such binding legal mechanisms that may ameliorate or exacerbate any of the threats we describe in threat analyses under the other four factors, or otherwise enhance conservation of the species.

    Having evaluated the impact of the threats as mitigated by any such conservation efforts, we analyze under Factor D the extent to which existing regulatory mechanisms ameliorate or exacerbate the specific threats to the species. Regulatory mechanisms, if they exist, may reduce or eliminate the impacts from one or more identified threats. In this section, we review existing Federal, State, and local regulatory mechanisms to determine whether they effectively reduce or remove threats to Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum or Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana.

    Federal

    Lands managed by the National Park Service are subject to the NPS Organic Act of 1916, which provides that the “fundamental purpose” of those lands “is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations” (16 U.S.C. 1). Most units of the National Park System also have their own specific enabling legislation, but the 1970 General Authorities Act makes it clear that all units are united into a single National Park System. Furthermore, no activities shall be allowed “in derogation of the values and purposes for which these various areas have been established, except as may have been or shall be directly and specifically provided by Congress” (16 U.S.C. 1a-1).

    Populations of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana within ENP and BCNP are protected by NPS regulations at 36 CFR 2.1, which prohibit visitors from harming or removing plants, listed or otherwise, from ENP or BCNP. However, the regulations do not address actions taken by NPS that cause mortality of individuals, or habitat loss or modification to development or sea level rise. NPS regulations do not require the application of prescribed fire or voluntary recovery actions for listed species.

    Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana have no Federal regulatory protection in their known occupied and suitable habitat outside of ENP or BCNP. These species may occur (we do not have recent surveys) on Federal lands within the Richmond Pine Rocklands, including lands owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA; small portion of Martinez Pineland). There are no Federal protections for these four species on these properties. Outside of NPS lands, these plants occur primarily on State- or County-owned and private land (see Tables 1 through 4, above), and development of these areas will likely require no Federal permit or other authorization, e.g. these projects are generally not analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    State

    Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana are listed on the State of Florida's Regulated Plant Index (Index) as endangered under chapter 5B-40, Florida Administrative Code. This listing provides habitat protection through the State's Development of Regional Impact process, which discloses impacts from projects and provides limited regulatory protection for State-listed plants on private lands.

    Florida Statutes 581.185 sections (3)(a) and (3)(b) prohibit any person from willfully destroying or harvesting any species listed as endangered or threatened on the Index or growing such a plant on the private land of another, or on any public land, without first obtaining the written permission of the landowner and a permit from the Florida Department of Plant Industry. The statute further provides that any person willfully destroying or harvesting; transporting, carrying, or conveying on any public road or highway; or selling or offering for sale any plant listed in the Index as endangered must have a permit from the State at all times when engaged in any such activities. Further, Florida Statutes 581.185 section (10) provides for consultation similar to section 7 of the Act for listed species, by requiring the Department of Transportation to notify the FDACS and the Endangered Plant Advisory Council of planned highway construction at the time bids are first advertised, to facilitate evaluation of the project for listed plant populations, and to provide “for the appropriate disposal of such plants” (i.e., transplanting).

    However, this statute provides no substantive protection of habitat at this time. Florida Statutes 581.185 section (8) waives State regulation for certain classes of activities for all species on the Index, including the clearing or removal of regulated plants for agricultural, forestry, mining, construction (residential, commercial, or infrastructure), and fire-control activities by a private landowner or his or her agent.

    Local

    In 1984, section 24-49 of the Code of Miami-Dade County established regulation of County-designated NFCs, which include both pine rocklands and tropical hardwood hammocks. These regulations were placed on specific properties throughout the county by an act of the Board of County Commissioners in an effort to protect environmentally sensitive forest lands. The Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER) has regulatory authority over NFCs and is charged with enforcing regulations that provide partial protection on the Miami Rock Ridge. Miami-Dade Code typically allows up to 20 percent of a pine rockland designated as NFC to be developed, and requires that the remaining 80 percent be placed under a perpetual covenant. In certain circumstances, where the landowner can demonstrate that limiting development to 20 percent does not allow for “reasonable use” of the property, additional development may be approved. NFC landowners are also required to obtain an NFC permit for any work, including removal of nonnatives within the boundaries of the NFC on their property. The NFC program is responsible for ensuring that NFC permits are issued in accordance with the limitations and requirements of the code and that appropriate NFC preserves are established and maintained in conjunction with the issuance of an NFC permit. The NFC program currently regulates approximately 600 pine rockland or pine rockland/hammock properties, comprising approximately 1,200 ha (3,000 ac) of habitat (Joyner 2013a, pers. comm.).

    Although the NFC program is designed to protect rare and important upland (non-wetlands) habitats in south Florida, it has limitations for protection of the four plants discussed in this rule. For example, in certain circumstances where landowners can demonstrate that limiting development to 20 percent does not allow for “reasonable use” of the property, additional development may be approved. Furthermore, Miami-Dade County Code provides for up to 100 percent of the NFC to be developed on a parcel in limited circumstances for parcels less than 2.02 ha (5 ac) in size and only requires coordination with the landowner if they plan to develop property or perform work within the NFC designated area. As such, the majority of the existing private, forested NFC parcels is isolated fragments, without management obligations or preserve designation, as development has not been proposed at a level that would trigger the NFC regulatory requirements. Often, nonnative vegetation over time begins to dominate and degrade the undeveloped and unmanaged NFC landscape until it no longer meets the legal threshold of an NFC, which requires the land to be dominated by native vegetation. When development of such degraded NFCs is proposed, Miami-Dade County Code requires delisting of the degraded areas as part of the development process. Property previously designated as NFC is removed from the list even before development is initiated because of the abundance of nonnative species, making it no longer considered to be jurisdictional or subject to the NFC protection requirements of Miami-Dade County Code (Grossenbacher 2013, pers. comm.).

    Summary of Factor D

    Currently, Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana are found on Federal, State and County lands. NPS regulations provide protection at ENP and BCNP. While these regulations do not mandate active conservation measures, these two sites continue to support the largest and best managed populations. State regulations provide protection against trade, but allow private landowners or their agents to clear or remove species on the Florida Regulated Plant Index. State Park regulations provide protection for plants within Florida State Parks. The NFC program in Miami is designed to protect rare and important upland (non-wetlands) habitats in south Florida; however, this regulatory strategy has several limitations (as described above) that reduce its ability to protect the four plants and their habitats.

    Although many populations of the four plants are afforded some level of protection because they are on public conservation lands, especially Federal lands, existing regulatory mechanisms vary in strength and scope, and do not provide substantive protection of habitat at this time. They have not led to a sufficient reduction of threats posed to these plants by a wide array of sources (see discussions under Factors A and E in this rule).

    Factor E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence

    Other natural or manmade factors affect Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana to varying degrees. Specific threats to these plants included in this factor consist of the spread of nonnative invasive plants, potentially incompatible management practices (such as mowing), direct impacts to plants from recreation and other human activities, small population size and isolation, climate change, and the related risks from environmental stochasticity (extreme weather) on small populations. Each of these threats and its specific effect on these species are discussed in detail below.

    Nonnative Plant Species

    Nonnative, invasive plants compete with native plants for space, light, water, and nutrients, and make habitat conditions unsuitable for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, which prefer open conditions. The control of nonnative plants is one of the most important conservation actions for the four plants and a critical part of habitat maintenance (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 13, 71-72). However, nonnative species control efforts require that personnel be highly familiar with pine rocklands and associated habitats in order to avoid impacts (e.g., improper herbicide use, species misidentification) to native species.

    Nonnative plants have significantly affected pine rocklands and negatively impact all occurrences of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana to some degree (Bradley 2006, pp. 25-26; Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 18-19; Bradley and Saha 2009, p. 25; Bradley and van der Heiden 2013, pp. 12-16). As a result of human activities, at least 277 taxa of nonnative plants have invaded pine rocklands throughout south Florida (Service 1999, p. 3-175). Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper), Neyraudia neyraudiana (Burma reed), and Lygodium microphyllum (Old World climbing fern) affect these species (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 13, 72). Brazilian pepper, a nonnative tree, is the most widespread and one of the most invasive species. It forms dense thickets of tangled, woody stems that completely shade out and displace native vegetation (Loflin 1991, p. 19; Langeland and Craddock Burks 1998, p. 54).

    Nonnative plants in pine rocklands can affect the characteristics of a fire when it occurs. Historically, pine rocklands had an open, low understory where natural fires remained patchy with low temperature intensity. Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana thrive under this fire regime. However, dense infestations of Neyraudia neyraudiana and Schinus terebinthifolius cause higher fire temperatures and longer burning periods.

    Nonnative species occur throughout the ranges of the four plants. In ENP and BCNP, invasives tend to be fewer due to the insularity of these sites and the NPS's control programs. Nevertheless, most areas require annual treatments to remove incipient invasions. Management of nonnative, invasive plants in pine rocklands in Miami-Dade County is further complicated because the vast majority of pine rocklands are small, fragmented areas bordered by urban development. Areas near managed pine rockland that contain nonnative species can act as a seed source of nonnatives, allowing them to continue to invade the surrounding pine rockland (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 13).

    Nonnative plant species are also a concern on private lands, where often these species are not controlled due to associated costs, lack of interest, or lack of knowledge of detrimental impacts to the ecosystem. Undiscovered populations of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana on private lands could certainly be at risk. Overall, active management is necessary to control for nonnative species and to protect unique and rare habitats where these plants occur (Snyder et al. 1990, p. 273).

    Mowing

    While no studies have investigated the effect of mowing on Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, or Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, research has been conducted on the federally endangered Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter's small-flowered flax), which also occurs in pine rocklands. The study found significantly higher densities of plants at the mown sites where competition with other plants is decreased (Maschinski et al. 2007, p. 56). However, plants growing on mown sites were shorter, which may affect fruiting magnitude. While mowing did not usually kill adult plants, it could delay reproduction if it occurred prior to plants reaching reproductive status (Maschinski et al. 2007, pp. 56-57). If such mowing occurs repeatedly, reproduction of those plants would be entirely eliminated. Maschinski et al. (2008, p. 28) recommended adjusting the timing of mowing to occur at least 3 weeks after flowering is observed to allow a higher probability of adults setting fruit prior to the mowing event. With flexibility and proper instructions to land managers and ground crews, mowing practices could be implemented in such a way as to scatter seeds and reduce competition with little effect on population reproductive output for the year (Maschinski et al. 2008, p. 28). The exact impacts of mowing also depend on the timing of rainfall prior to and following mowing, and the numbers of plants in the population that have reached a reproductive state.

    Recreation and Other Human Activities

    Recreational use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) is a threat to Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana occurrences within BCNP (K. Bradley et al. 2013, p. 3). Operators frequently veer off established trails, and plants can be harmed or destroyed (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 43). BCNP updated its Off Road Vehicle Management Plan in 2012, in response to extreme resource damage caused by ORVs. BCNP manages ORV access using a permit system, regulations, and designated trails. However, there are over 1,000 miles of ORV trails in BCNP, and only one enforcement officer (Pernas 2016, pers. comm.), making enforcement of designated ORV trails a challenge. Current aerial imagery from the Lostman's Pine area of BCNP, where Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana occur, shows a criss-cross pattern of multiple ORV trails through the area. The Service is working with BCNP to determine the extent to which ORVs are affecting all three species at this site, particularly in regards to Digitaria pauciflora, since it is one of only two sites where the species is known to exist. Damage from ORV use has also been documented for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana within the Charles Deering Estate (J. Possley 2008 and 2009, pers. comm.).

    Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana at the RHMP is also impacted by illegal mountain biking (Bradley and Gann 1999, pp. 43-45). In the past, this pineland fragment was heavily used by mountain bikers. In response, Miami-Dade County has erected fencing to protect this site, which appears to have reduced this threat (Bradley and Gann 1999, p. 43).

    Effects of Small Population Size and Isolation

    Endemic species whose populations exhibit a high degree of isolation are extremely susceptible to extinction from both random and nonrandom catastrophic natural or human-caused events. Species that are restricted to geographically limited areas are inherently more vulnerable to extinction than widespread species because of the increased risk of genetic bottlenecks, random demographic fluctuations, effects of climate change, and localized catastrophes such as hurricanes and disease outbreaks (Mangel and Tier 1994, p. 607; Pimm et al. 1988, p. 757). These problems are further magnified when populations are few and restricted to a very small geographic area, and when the number of individuals is very small. Populations with these characteristics face an increased likelihood of stochastic extinction due to changes in demography, the environment, genetics, or other factors (Gilpin and Soule 1986, pp. 24-34).

    Small, isolated populations, such as those in fragmented habitat, often exhibit reduced levels of genetic variability, although the ultimate effect of these changes is dependent on a plant's specific life history, reproductive system, and interaction with pollinators and dispersal vectors (which may themselves be affected by fragmentation) (Young et al. 1996, p. 413). While research results clearly indicate that isolation/fragmentation has population genetic consequences for plants, consequences are varied and for some species there may be a “fragmentation threshold” below which genetic variation is not lost (Young et al. 1996, p. 416). No such studies have been conducted for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, so whether these plants exhibit such a threshold is not known. Reduced genetic variability generally diminishes a species' capacity to adapt and respond to environmental changes, thereby decreasing the probability of long-term persistence (e.g., Barrett and Kohn 1991, p. 4; Newman and Pilson 1997, p. 361). Very small plant populations may experience reduced reproductive vigor due to ineffective pollination or inbreeding depression. Isolated individuals have difficulty achieving natural pollen exchange, which limits the production of viable seed. The problems associated with small population size and vulnerability to random demographic fluctuations or natural catastrophes are further magnified by synergistic (interaction of two or more components) effects with other threats, such as those discussed above (Factors A and C). Tables 1, 2, 3, and 4 above, list the population sizes and the geographic ranges for S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, D. pauciflora, C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and D. carthagenensis var. floridana. For example, Table 2 lists Digitaria pauciflora as having two extant populations (ENP and BCNP), one estimated at 100,000-200,000 plants (Maschinski and Lange 2015, p.18) and the other with greater than 10,000 plants (K. Bradley 2007, pers. comm.). The Service does not consider these as small populations; however, a large wildfire or severe flooding could be catastrophic. As shown in 2016, D. pauciflora was impacted by fire in ENP and flooding in ENP and BCNP, proving that the small geographic extent of the existing populations is not sufficient to eliminate the risk posed by large-scale disturbances.

    Effects of Climate Change

    Climatic changes, including sea level rise, are major threats to the flora of south Florida, including Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. Our analyses under the Act include consideration of ongoing and projected changes in climate. With regard to our analysis for S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, D. pauciflora, C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and D. carthagenensis var. floridana, downscaled projections suggest that sea level rise is the largest climate-driven challenge to low-lying coastal areas in the subtropical ecoregion of southern Florida (U.S. Climate Change Science Program (USCCSP) 2008, pp. 5-31, 5-32).

    Global sea level has increased by 0.20 to 0.23 m (8 to 9 in) since 1880, with the rate of increase over the past 20 years doubling (Service 2017, p. 5). An average 0.08 m (3 in) increase in overall global sea level rise has occurred between 1992 and 2015 (National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory 2015, p. 2). This is equivalent to the Florida coastline subsiding at a rate of 0.04 inches a year (Service 2017, p. 6). The long-term trend in sea level rise at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Key West Station, Florida shows a 0.0024 m (0.09 in) increase per year from 1913 to 2015 of the mean high water line. The NOAA Vaca Key Station (City of Marathon) shows a 0.0035 m (0.14 in) per year sea level rise between 1971 (start of data collection) to 2015 (NOAA 2017a). Mean high water line is defined as, “The line on a chart or map which represents the intersection of the land with the water surface at the elevation of mean high water” (NOAA National Ocean Service [NOS]) 2017).

    While the sea level rise rate for Florida has been equivalent to that experienced globally, recent analysis is now indicating an accelerated rate for the eastern United States above that of the global rate (NOAA 2017b, p. 25; Carter et al. 2014, pp. 401-403; Park and Sweet 2015, entire). The global trend is currently on the higher-end trajectory of the scenarios, projecting a sea level rise of 2.5 to 3.0 m by 2100. NOAA (2017b, p. 21) is recommending the use of the higher end estimates for future projections. The accelerated sea level rise in south Florida is being attributed to shifts in the Florida Current due to: (a) Added ocean mass brought on by the melting Antarctic and Greenland ice packs, and (b) thermal expansion from the warming ocean (Park and Sweet 2015, entire article; Rahmstorf et al. 2015, entire article; NOAA 2017b, p. 14; Deconto and Pollard, 2016, p. 596). For this reason, Walsh et al. (2014, pp. 32-35) recommended adding approximately 15 percent to the earlier IPCC (2013, entire) global mean sea level rise projections when using projections for southern Florida if the projections used do not yet model the accelerated rate (Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact [Compact] 2015, p. 35; Park and Sweet, 2015, entire article).

    Other processes expected to be affected by projected warming include temperatures, rainfall (amount, seasonal timing, and distribution), and storms (frequency and intensity) (discussed more specifically under “Environmental Stochasticity,” below). The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) modeled several scenarios combining various levels of sea level rise, temperature change, and precipitation differences with human population growth, policy assumptions, and conservation funding changes (see “Alternative Future Landscape Models,” below). All of the scenarios, from small climate change shifts to major changes, indicate significant effects on coastal Miami-Dade County.

    In the United States, the average temperatures have increased by 0.77 to 1.1 °C (1.3 to 1.9 °F) since record keeping began in 1895 (Service 2017, p. 2). The decade from 2000 to 2009 is documented as the warmest since record keeping began in 1895 (Service 2017, p. 2). The average temperatures in south Florida have increased 0.83 °C (1.5 °F) or more since 1991 (Service 2017, p. 2). Because of the current condition of human-induced emissions (that is, the pattern of continued release of greenhouse gas (GHG) added to those already occurring in the atmosphere), increases in surface air temperature continue to rise. Even if there was an immediate and aggressive reduction to all GHG emissions caused by humans, there would still be expected continued increases in surface air temperature (IPCC 2013; pp. 19-20).

    Precipitation patterns are also changing. The National Climate Assessment (NCA) reports that average precipitation has increased by 5 to 10 percent since 1900 in south Florida. Shifts in seasonal rainfall events as well as increases in average precipitation are currently being documented (Service 2017, pp. 405). The south Florida dry season (November through April) has become wetter, and the rainy season (May through October) has become drier. Current projections show this trend to continue.

    Heavy downpours are currently increasing and have especially increased over the last 30 to 50 years in Florida. There is currently a 27 percent increase in the frequency and intensity of heavy downpours since the 1970s (Service 2017, p. 4). Increased inland flooding is predicted during heavy rain events in low-lying areas. With worsening storms, storm surges along coastlines become stronger and push inland further. Inundation of soils from storm surges can cause saltwater intrusion. More powerful storm surges exacerbate effects of the increased sea level along shorelines. Increased incidences of inland flooding and of low-lying areas are being documented regionally and locally (Staletovich 2016; Sheridan 2015).

    Decades prior to inundation, pine rocklands are likely to undergo vegetation shifts related to climate change, triggered by changes to hydrology (wetter), salinity (higher), and increasing vulnerability to storm surge (pulse events causing massive erosion and salinization of soils) (Saha et al. 2011, pp. 169-184). Hydrology has a strong influence on plant distribution in these and other coastal areas (IPCC 2008, p. 57). Such communities typically grade from saltwater to brackish to freshwater species. From the 1930s to 1950s, increased salinity of coastal waters contributed to the decline of cabbage palm forests in southwest Florida (Williams et al. 1999, pp. 2056-2059), expansion of mangroves into adjacent marshes in the Everglades (Ross et al. 2000, pp. 101, 111), and loss of pine rockland in the Keys (Ross et al. 1994, pp. 144, 151-155). In one Florida Keys pine rockland with an average elevation of 0.89 m (2.9 ft), Ross et al. (1994, pp. 149-152) observed an approximately 65 percent reduction in an area occupied by South Florida slash pine over a 70-year period, with pine mortality and subsequent increased proportions of halophytic (salt-loving) plants occurring earlier at the lower elevations. During this same time span, local sea level had risen by 15 cm (6.0 in), and Ross et al. (1994, p. 152) found evidence of groundwater and soil water salinization. Extrapolating this situation to pine rocklands on the mainland is not straightforward, but suggests that similar changes to species composition could arise if current projections of sea level rise occur and freshwater inputs are not sufficient to prevent salinization. Furthermore, Ross et al. (2009, pp. 471-478) suggested that interactions between sea level rise and pulse disturbances (e.g., storm surges) can cause vegetation to change sooner than projected based on sea level rise alone. Alexander (1953, pp. 133-138) attributed the demise of pinelands on northern Key Largo to salinization of the groundwater in response to sea level rise. Patterns of human development will also likely be significant factors influencing whether natural communities can move and persist (IPCC 2008, p. 57; USCCSP 2008, p. 7-6).

    The Science and Technology Committee of the Miami-Dade County Climate Change Task Force (Wanless et al. 2008, p. 1) recognized that significant sea level rise is a very real threat to the near future for Miami-Dade County. In a January 2008 statement, the committee warned that sea level is expected to rise at least 0.9 to 1.5 m (3 to 5 ft) within this century (Wanless et al. 2008, p. 3). With a 0.9 to 1.2 m (3 to 4 ft) rise in sea level (above baseline) in Miami-Dade County, spring high tides would be at about 6 to 7 ft; freshwater resources would be gone; the Everglades would be inundated on the west side of Miami-Dade County; the barrier islands would be largely inundated; storm surges would be devastating; and landfill sites would be exposed to erosion, contaminating marine and coastal environments. Freshwater and coastal mangrove wetlands will not keep up with or offset sea level rise of 2 ft per century or greater. With a 5-ft rise (spring tides at nearly +8 ft), the land area of Miami-Dade County will be extremely diminished (Wanless et al. 2008, pp. 3-4).

    Drier conditions and increased variability in precipitation associated with climate change are expected to hamper successful regeneration of forests and cause shifts in vegetation types through time (Wear and Greis 2012, p. 39). Although it has not been well studied, existing pine rocklands have probably been affected by reductions in the mean water table. Climate changes are also forecasted to extend fire seasons and the frequency of large fire events throughout the Coastal Plain (Wear and Greis 2012, p. 43). These factors will likely cause an increase in wildfires and exacerbate complications related to prescribed burning (i.e., less predictability related to rainfall, fuel moisture, and winds) or other management needed to restore and maintain habitat for the four plants. While restoring fire to pine rocklands is essential to the long-term viability of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana populations, increases in the scale, frequency, or severity of wildfires could have negative effects on these plants considering their general vulnerability due to small population size, restricted range, few occurrences, and relative isolation. Big, hot wildfires can destroy essential habitat features of pine rockland habitat. In addition, hot burns with long residence times (which are more likely under wildfire conditions) can also sterilize the soil seed bank and cause a demographic crash in plant populations.

    Alternative Future Landscape Models

    To accommodate the large uncertainty in sea level rise projections, researchers must estimate effects from a range of scenarios. Various model scenarios developed at MIT and GeoAdaptive Inc. have projected possible trajectories of future transformation of the south Florida landscape by 2060 based upon four main drivers: Climate change, shifts in planning approaches and regulations, human population change, and variations in financial resources for conservation. The scenarios do not account for temperature, precipitation, or species' habitat shifts due to climate change, and no storm surge effects are considered. The current MIT scenarios range from 0.09 to 1.0 m (0.3 to 3.3 ft) of sea level rise by 2060 (Vargas-Moreno and Flaxman 2010, pp. 1-6).

    Based on the most recent estimates of anticipated sea level rise, the upward trend in recent projections toward the higher range of earlier sea level rise estimates (discussed above), and the data available to us at this time, we evaluated potential effects of sea level rise using the current “high” range MIT scenario as well as comparing elevations of remaining pine rockland fragments and extant and historical occurrences of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. The “high” range (or “worst case”) MIT scenario assumes high sea level rise (1 m (3.3 ft) by 2060), low financial resources, a `business as usual' approach to planning, and a doubling of human population.

    The rate of sea level rise will increase as time passes. This is due to atmospheric and ocean warming and the thermal expansion properties of water. In sea level rise models, the rate of sea level rise is projected to increase dramatically around mid-century.

    Most populations of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum occur at elevations less than 2 m (6.6 ft) above sea level, making these species highly susceptible to increased storm surges and related impacts associated with sea level rise. Areas of the Miami Rock Ridge in Miami-Dade County (located to the east of ENP and BCNP) are higher elevation (maximum of 7 m (22 ft) above sea level) than those in BCNP (FNAI 2010, p. 62). However, plant communities along south Florida's low-lying coasts are organized along a mild gradient in elevation, transitioning from mangroves at sea level to salinity-intolerant interior habitats, including pine rocklands and hardwood hammocks within an elevation change of 2 m (6.5 ft) above sea level. As a result, a rise of 1 m (3.3 ft) in sea level is expected to render coastal systems susceptible to increased erosion and cause these areas to transition from upland forest habitats to saline wetland habitats. Prior to the onset of sustained inundation, there will be irreversible changes in vegetation composition within these habitats. Shifts in habitat toward hydric and saline ecosystems may occur decades in advance of full inundation, rendering the habitat unsuitable for salt-intolerant species, including S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, D. pauciflora, C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Saha et al. 2011, pp. 169-184). As interior habitats become more saline, there will be a reduction in freshwater inflows to the estuarine portions of the Everglades and BCNP, accelerating losses in salinity-intolerant coastal plant communities (Saha et al. 2011, pp. 169-184); such as S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, D. pauciflora, C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, or D. carthagenensis var. floridana.

    Actual impacts may be greater or less than anticipated based upon the high variability of factors involved (e.g., sea level rise, human population growth) and assumptions made, but based on the current “high” range MIT scenario, pine rocklands, marl prairies, and associated habitats along the coast in central and southern Miami-Dade County would become inundated. The “new” sea level would occur at the southern end of the Miami Rock Ridge (the eastern edge of the Everglades). However, in decades prior to the fully anticipated sea level rise, changes in the water table and increased soil salinity from partial inundation and storm surge will result in vegetation shifts within BCNP, ENP, and conservation lands on the southern Miami Rock Ridge. Inundation will result in pine rocklands gaining increased marl prairie characteristics. Marl prairies, in turn, will transition to sawgrass or more hydric conditions, due to increased inundation. As a result, species such as Digitaria pauciflora and Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, which are most abundant within the ecotone between pine rocklands and marl prairies, will gradually decline as these habitat types merge and eventually disappear. Under this scenario, by 2060, all extant populations of Digitaria pauciflora, as well as the largest populations of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, would likely be lost or significantly impacted by shifts in vegetation communities. Populations of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana would likely remain only at the highest elevations along the Miami Rock Ridge. In addition, many existing pine rockland fragments are projected to be developed for housing as the human population grows and adjusts to changing sea levels under this scenario.

    Further direct losses to extant populations of all four plants are expected due to habitat loss and modification from sea level rise through 2100. We analyzed existing sites that support populations of the four plants using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sea Level Rise and Coastal Impacts viewer. Below we discuss general implications of sea level rise within the range of projections discussed above on the current distribution of these species. The NOAA tool uses 1-foot increments. Our analysis is based on 0.91 m (3 ft) and 1.8 m (6 ft) of sea level rise.

    Based on a higher sea level rise of 1.8 m (6 ft), as projected by NOAA, much larger portions of urban Miami-Dade County, including both extant populations of Digitaria pauciflora in ENP and BCNP, as well as conservation areas, such as Navy Wells Pineland Preserve, will be inundated by 2100. As a result, the species would be extinct. Several extant occurrences of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana would also be lost. The western part of urban Miami-Dade County would also be inundated (barring creation of sea walls or other barriers), creating a virtual island of the Miami Rock Ridge.

    Following a 1.8-m (6 ft) rise in sea level, approximately 75 percent of presently extant pine rocklands on the Miami Rock Ridge would still remain above sea level. However, an unknown percentage of remaining pine rockland fragments would be negatively impacted by water table and soil salinization, which would be further exacerbated due to isolation from mainland fresh water flows.

    Projections of sea level rise above 1.8 m (6 ft) indicate that very little pine rockland would remain, with the vast majority either being inundated or experiencing vegetation shifts, resulting in the extirpation of all known populations of Digitaria pauciflora, Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana.

    Environmental Stochasticity

    Endemic species whose populations exhibit a high degree of isolation and narrow geographic distribution, such as Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, are extremely susceptible to extinction from both random and nonrandom catastrophic natural or human-caused events. Small populations of species, without positive growth rates, are considered to have a high extinction risk from site-specific demographic and environmental stochasticity (Lande 1993, pp. 911-927).

    The climate of southern Florida is driven by a combination of local, regional, and global events, regimes, and oscillations. There are three main “seasons”: (1) The wet season, which is hot, rainy, and humid from June through October; (2) the official hurricane season that extends one month beyond the wet season (June 1 through November 30), with peak season being August and September; and (3) the dry season, which is drier and cooler, from November through May. In the dry season, periodic surges of cool and dry continental air masses influence the weather with short-duration rain events followed by long periods of dry weather.

    Florida is considered the most vulnerable State in the United States to hurricanes and tropical storms (Stefanova et al. 2017, pp. 1-4) Based on data gathered from 1856 to 2008, Florida had the highest climatological probabilities of coastal States being impacted by a hurricane or major hurricane in all years over the 152-year timespan, with a 51 percent probability of a hurricane (Category 1 or 2) and a 21 percent probability of a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) (Klotzbach and Gray 2009, p. 28). From 1856 to 2015, Florida actually experienced 109 hurricanes and 36 major hurricanes. Given the low population sizes and restricted ranges of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana within south Florida, these species are at substantial risk from hurricanes, storm surges, and other extreme weather. Depending on the location and intensity of a hurricane or other severe weather event, it is possible that the plants could become extirpated or extinct.

    Hurricanes, storm surge, and extreme high tide events are natural events that can negatively impact these four plants. Hurricanes and tropical storms can modify habitat (e.g., through storm surge) and have the potential to destroy entire populations, physically washing them away or leaving soil too saline for them to persist. Climate change may lead to increased frequency and duration of severe storms (Golladay et al. 2004, p. 504; McLaughlin et al. 2002, p. 6074; Cook et al. 2004, p. 1015). Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana experienced these disturbances historically, but had the benefit of more abundant and contiguous habitat to buffer them from extirpations. With most of the historical habitat having been destroyed or modified, the few remaining populations of these species could face local extirpations due to stochastic events.

    Other processes to be affected by climate change, related to environmental stochasticity, include temperatures, rainfall (amount, seasonal timing, and distribution), and storms (frequency and intensity). Temperatures are projected to increase by 2-5 °C (3.6-9 °F) for North America by the end of this century (IPCC 2013, pp. 5-8, 20). These factors will likely cause an increase in wildfires and exacerbate complications related to prescribed burning or other management needed to restore and maintain habitat for the four plants. Based upon modeling, Atlantic hurricane and tropical storm frequencies are expected to decrease (Knutson et al. 2008, pp. 1-21). By 2100, there should be a 10 to 30 percent decrease in hurricane frequency. Hurricane frequency is expected to drop due to more wind shear impeding initial hurricane development. However, hurricane winds are expected to increase by 5 to 10 percent, which will increase storm surge heights. This is due to more hurricane energy being available for intense hurricanes. In addition to climate change, weather variables are extremely influenced by other natural cycles, such as El Niño Southern Oscillation with a frequency of every 4-7 years, solar cycle (every 11 years), and the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation. All of these cycles influence changes in Floridian weather. The exact magnitude, direction, and distribution of all of these changes at the regional level are difficult to project.

    Freezing Temperatures

    Occasional freezing temperatures that occur in south Florida pose a risk to Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, causing damage or death to individual plants. Under normal circumstances, occasional freezing temperatures would not result in a significant impact to populations of these plants; however, the small size of some populations means the loss from freezing events of even a few individuals can reduce the viability of the population.

    Hydrology and Everglades Restoration

    Hydrology is a key ecosystem component that affects rare plant distributions and their viability (Gann et al. 2006, p. 4). Historically, sheet flow from Shark River Slough and Taylor Slough did not reach the upland portions of Long Pine Key, but during the wet season increased surface water flow in sloughs generated a rise in ground water across the region (Gann et al. 2006, p. 4). Water flow through Long Pine Key was originally concentrated in marl prairies, traversing in a north-south direction; however, construction of the main ENP road dissected Long Pine Key in an east-west direction, thereby impeding sheet flow across this area (Gann et al. 2006, p. 4). Water was either impounded to the north of the main ENP road or diverted around the southern portion of Long Pine Key through Taylor Slough and Shark River Slough (Gann et al. 2006, p. 4). As artificial drainage became more widespread, however, regional groundwater supplies declined.

    While projects designed to restore the historical hydrology of the Everglades and other natural systems in southern Florida (collectively known as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)) are beneficial to the Everglades ecosystem, some may produce collateral impacts to extant pine rockland, marl prairies, and associated habitats within the region through inundation or increased hydroperiods. The effects of changes in regional hydrology through restoration may have impacts on the four plants and their habitats. Sadle (2012, pers. comm.) suggested various CERP projects (such as C-111 spreader canal; L-31N seepage barrier), specifically the operation of pumps and associated detention areas along the ENP boundary, may influence (through excessive water discharges) select portions of eastern Long Pine Key. Increased and longer-duration hydroperiods within the pine rockland and marl prairie habitats where these species occur may lead to a reduction in the amount of suitable habitat, a potential reduction in the area occupied and a reduction in the number of individuals found in ENP and BCNP. Conversely, Maschinski and Lange (2015, pp. 31-33) observed an increase in Digitaria pauciflora populations within ENP that may have been associated with drier conditions. In an effort to establish a baseline assessment of future hydrologic modifications, long-term monitoring transects and plots for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum were established in Long Pine Key between 2003 and 2008 (Gann 2015, p. 169).

    Conservation Efforts To Reduce Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Continued Existence

    NPS, the Service, Miami-Dade County, and the State of Florida have ongoing nonnative plant management programs to reduce threats on public lands, as funding and resources allow. In Miami-Dade County, nonnative, invasive plant management is very active, with a goal to treat all publically owned properties at least once a year and more often in many cases. IRC and FTBG conducts research and monitoring in various natural areas within Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys for various endangered plant species and nonnative, invasive species. For the four plants, monitoring detects declines that lead to small population size, changes in habitat due to sea level rise, and declines due to stochastic events. For nonnatives, monitoring is an integral part of efforts to detect and control invasive plant and animal species.

    FTBG has provided 16,908 Digitaria pauciflora seeds, 730 Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum seeds (from within ENP), and 32,703 Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana seeds (from multiple sites) to the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) for use in ex situ conservation and ecological studies (Lange 2016, pers. comm.).

    Summary of Factor E

    Threats from other natural or manmade factors to these four plants include nonnative, invasive plants; management practices (such as mowing); recreation (including ORV use), effects from small population size and isolation; limited geographic range; and stochastic events including hurricanes, storm surges, and wildfires. Additionally, these plants are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including sea level rise, as changes in the water table, increased soil salinity from partial inundation, and storm surge will likely result in vegetation shifts in the decades prior to the fully anticipated sea level rise. Some of these threats (e.g., nonnative species) may be reduced on public lands due to active programs by Federal, State, and County land managers. Many of the remaining populations of these plants are small and geographically isolated, and genetic variability is likely low, increasing the inherent risk due to overall low resilience of these plants. The threats act together to impact populations of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana.

    Cumulative Effects of Threats

    When two or more threats affect populations of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, the effects of those threats could interact or become compounded, producing a cumulative adverse effect that is greater than the impact of either threat alone. The most obvious cases in which cumulative adverse effects would be significant are those in which small populations (Factor E) are affected by threats that result in destruction or modification of habitat (Factor A), ORV damage (Factor E), or stochastic events, such as hurricanes, storm surges, wildfires (Factor E). The limited distributions and/or small population sizes of many populations of S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, D. pauciflora, C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and D. carthagenensis var. floridana make them extremely susceptible to the detrimental effects of further habitat modification, degradation, and loss, as well as other anthropogenic threats. Mechanisms leading to the decline of S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, D. pauciflora, C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and D. carthagenensis var. floridana, as discussed above, range from local (e.g., agriculture) to regional (e.g., development, fragmentation, nonnative species) to global influences (e.g., effects of climate change, sea level rise). The synergistic effects of threats, such as impacts from hurricanes on a species with a limited distribution and small populations, make it difficult to predict population viability. While these stressors may act in isolation, it is more probable that many stressors are acting simultaneously (or in combination) on populations of S. reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, D. pauciflora, C. deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and D. carthagenensis var. floridana, making them more vulnerable.

    Determination of Status

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for determining whether a species is an endangered species or threatened species and should be included on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (i.e., “listed”). 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.

    Determination of Status Throughout All of the Species' Ranges

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial data available regarding the past, present, and future threats to Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. Numerous populations of the four plants have been extirpated from these species' historical ranges, and habitat destruction and modification resulting from human population growth and development, agricultural conversion, and inadequate fire management (Factor A); competition from nonnative, invasive species (Factor E); changes in climatic conditions, including sea level rise and changes in hydrology (Factor E); and natural stochastic events, including hurricanes, storm surges, and wildfires (Factor E) are threats to the existing populations. Existing regulatory mechanisms have not led to a reduction or removal of threats impacting the four plants (see Factor D discussion, above). These threats are ongoing, rangewide, and expected to continue in the future. A significant percentage of populations of the four plants are relatively small and isolated from one another, and their ability to recolonize suitable habitat is unlikely without human intervention, if at all. The threats have had and will continue to have substantial adverse effects on the four plants and their habitats. Although attempts are ongoing to alleviate or minimize some of these threats at certain locations, all populations appear to be impacted by one or more threats.

    Due to the stressors described in detail above, Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana is presently in danger of extinction throughout its entire range due to the immediacy and severity of threats currently impacting the species. The risk of extinction is high because there are few (9) extant populations and the majority of the populations are small and isolated, and have limited to no potential for recolonization. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and commercial information, we list Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana as an endangered species in accordance with sections 3(6) and 4(a)(1) of the Act. We find that a threatened species status is not appropriate for this species because of the contracted range and small population size of Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana and because the threats are occurring rangewide, are ongoing, and are expected to continue into the future.

    Sideroxlyon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum face threats similar to Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. However, we find that endangered species status is not appropriate for these three species. While we have evidence of threats under Factors A and E affecting the species, large populations of these three species are protected and actively managed at ENP and BCNP (Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, ENP (10,000-100,000 plants); Digitaria pauciflora,BCNP (>10,000 plants) and ENP (100,000-200,000 plants); and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum ENP (10,000-100,000 plants)). Short- and medium-term threats to these three plants in these protected areas are being addressed. However, sea level rise is projected to have profound negative effects on the habitat of these plants in the foreseeable future. Decades prior to inundation, pine rocklands and associated habitats are likely to undergo habitat transitions related to climate change, including changes to hydrology and increasing vulnerability to storm surge. In addition, many existing habitat fragments located in urban areas are projected to be developed for housing as the human population grows and adjusts to changing sea levels under this scenario. Therefore, based on the best available information, we find that Sideroxlyon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum are likely to become endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of their ranges, and we list these species as threatened species in accordance with sections 3(20) and 4(a)(1) of the Act.

    Determination of Status in a Significant Portion of the 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” and a threatened species as any species “that is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” The phrase “significant portion of its range” is not defined by the Act, and a district court has held that aspects of the Service's 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)) (SPR Policy) were not valid. Center for Biological Diversity v. Jewell, No. 14-cv-02506-RM (D. Ariz. Mar. 29, 2017) (Pygmy-Owl Decision).

    Although the court's order in that case has not yet gone into effect, if the court denies the pending motion for reconsideration, the SPR Policy would become vacated. Therefore, we have examined the plain language of the Act and court decisions addressing the Service's application of the SPR phrase in various listing decisions, and for purposes of this rulemaking we are applying the interpretation set out below for the phrase “significant portion of its range” and its context in determining whether or not a species is an endangered species or a threatened species. Because the interpretation we are applying is consistent with the SPR Policy, we summarize herein the bases for our interpretation, and also refer the public to the SPR Policy itself for a more-detailed explanation of our reasons for interpreting the phrase in this way.

    An important factor that influences the question of whether an SPR analysis is necessary here is what the consequence would be if the Service were to find that Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, Sideroxlyon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, or Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum is in danger of extinction or likely to become so throughout a significant portion of its range. Two district court decisions have evaluated whether the outcomes of the Service's SPR determinations were reasonable. As described in the SPR Policy, both courts found that, once the Service determines that a “species”—which can include a species, subspecies, or DPS under ESA Section 3(16)—meets the definition of “endangered species” or “threatened species,” the species must be listed in its entirety and the Act's protections applied consistently to all members of that species (subject to modification of protections through special rules under sections 4(d) and 10(j) of the Act). See Defenders of Wildlife v. Salazar, 729 F. Supp. 2d 1207, 1222 (D. Mont. 2010) (delisting of the Northern Rocky Mountains DPS of gray wolf; appeal dismissed as moot because of public law vacating the listing, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 26769 (9th Cir. Nov. 7, 2012)); WildEarth Guardians v. Salazar, No. 09-00574-PHX-FJM, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105253, 15-16 (D. Ariz. Sept. 30, 2010) (Gunnison's prairie dog). The issue has not been addressed by a Federal Court of Appeals.

    Consistent with the district court case law, we interpret that the consequence of finding that Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, Sideroxlyon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, or Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum is in danger of extinction or likely to become so throughout a significant portion of its range would be that the entire species would be listed as an endangered species or threatened species, respectively, and the Act's protections would be applied to all individuals of the species wherever found. Thus, the “throughout all” phrase and the SPR phrase provide two independent bases for listing. We note that in the Act Congress placed the “all” language before the SPR phrase in the definitions of “endangered species” and “threatened species.” This suggests that Congress intended that an analysis based on consideration of the entire range should receive primary focus. Thus, the first step we undertook, above, in our assessment of the status of the species was to determine its status throughout all of its range. Having determined that Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana is in danger of extinction throughout all of its range and that Sideroxlyon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, or Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum are likely to become endangered species within the foreseeable future, we now examine whether it is necessary to determine their status throughout a significant portion of their ranges.

    Because we found Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana to be in danger of extinction throughout all of its range, we do not need to conduct an analysis of whether there is any significant portion of its range where the species is in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. This is consistent with the Act because when we find that a species is currently in danger of extinction throughout all of its range (i.e., meets the definition of an endangered species), the species is experiencing high-magnitude threats across its range or threats are so high in particular areas that they severely affect the species across its range. Therefore, the species is in danger of extinction throughout every portion of its range and an analysis of whether there is any SPR that may be in danger of extinction or likely to become so would not result in a different outcome.

    Because we found that Sideroxlyon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum are likely to become in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future throughout all of their range, we do not need to conduct an analysis of whether there is any significant portion of the range where these species are in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. This interpretation is consistent with the Act for the following three reasons: (1) It ensures that the species qualifies for only one listing status; (2) it preserves a meaningful standard for when a portion of a species' range is significant; and (3) it allows the Service to apply the appropriate level of protection to the species.

    Critical Habitat 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 shall designate critical habitat at the time the species is determined to be an endangered or threatened species. 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. In determining whether a designation would not be beneficial, the factors 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.”

    Prudency of Critical Habitat

    There is currently no imminent threat of take attributed to collection or vandalism identified under Factor B for these species, and identification and mapping of critical habitat is not expected to initiate any such threat. In the absence of finding that the designation of critical habitat would increase threats to a species, we next determine whether such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species. We have determined that there are habitat-based threats to these species identified under Factor A. Therefore, we find that the designation of critical habitat would be beneficial to these species through the provisions of section 7 of the Act. Because we have determined that the designation of critical habitat will not likely increase the degree of threat to the four plant species and would be beneficial, we find that designation of critical habitat is prudent for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum.

    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 four plant 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 analysis of the impacts of the designation is lacking, or

    (ii) The biological needs of the species are not sufficiently well known to identify any area that meets the definition of “critical habitat.”

    As required by section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we use the best scientific data available to designate critical habitat after taking into consideration the economic impact, national security impact, and any other relevant impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. In accordance with the Act and our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(b), we review available information pertaining to the habitat requirements of the species and identify specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing and any specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species to be considered for designation as critical habitat. A careful assessment of the economic impacts that may occur due to a critical habitat designation is still ongoing, and we are in the process of acquiring the necessary information needed to perform that assessment. The information sufficient to perform a required analysis of the impacts of the designation is lacking. Accordingly, we find that critical habitat for these species, in accordance with section 4(a)(3)(A) of the Act, to be not determinable at this time. When critical habitat is not determinable, the Act allows the Service an additional year to publish a critical habitat designation (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(6)(C)(ii)).

    Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened 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 downlisting or 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, a recovery outline, draft recovery plan, and the final recovery plan will be available on our Web site (http://www.fws.gov/endangered) or from our South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES).

    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.

    Following publication of this final listing rule, 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 State of Florida will be eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions that promote the protection or recovery of Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. Information on our grant programs that are available to aid species recovery can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/grants.

    Please let us know if you are interested in participating in recovery efforts for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. Additionally, we invite you to submit any new information on these plants 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 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)(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 any endangered or threatened 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 these species' habitat that may require consultation as described in the preceding paragraph and include management and any other landscape-altering activities on Federal lands administered by the National Park Service (ENP and BCNP), Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security (United States Coast Guard); issuance of section 404 Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) permits by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; construction and management of gas pipeline and power line rights-of-way by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; construction and maintenance of roads or highways by the Federal Highway Administration; and disaster relief efforts conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    With respect to endangered plants, prohibitions outlined at 50 CFR 17.61 make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to import or export, transport in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial activity, sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce, or to remove and reduce to possession any such plant species from areas under Federal jurisdiction. In addition, for endangered plants, the Act prohibits malicious damage or destruction of any such species on any area under Federal jurisdiction, and the removal, cutting, digging up, or damaging or destroying of any such species on any other area in knowing violation of any State law or regulation, or in the course of any violation of a State criminal trespass law. Exceptions to these prohibitions are outlined in 50 CFR 17.62.

    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving endangered plants under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.62. With regard to endangered plants, the Service may issue a permit authorizing any activity otherwise prohibited by 50 CFR 17.61 for scientific purposes or for enhancing the propagation or survival of endangered plants.

    With respect to threatened plants, 50 CFR 17.71 provides that all of the provisions in 50 CFR 17.61 shall apply to threatened plants. These provisions make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to import or export, transport in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial activity, sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce, or to remove and reduce to possession any such plant species from areas under Federal jurisdiction. However, there is one exception for threatened plants. Seeds of cultivated specimens of species treated as threatened shall be exempt from all the provisions of 50 CFR 17.61, provided that a statement that the seeds are of “cultivated origin” accompanies the seeds or their container during the course of any activity otherwise subject to these regulations.

    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving threatened plants under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.72. A permit issued under this section must be for one of the following: scientific purposes, the enhancement of the propagation or survival of threatened species, economic hardship, botanical or horticultural exhibition, educational purposes, or other activities consistent with the purposes and policy of the Act.

    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 final listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the range of a listed species. 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:

    (1) Normal agricultural and silvicultural practices, including herbicide and pesticide use, which are carried out in accordance with any existing regulations, permit and label requirements, and best management practices; and

    (2) Normal residential landscape activities.

    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Requests for copies of regulations regarding listed species and inquiries about prohibitions and permits should be addressed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services Division, Endangered Species Permits, 1875 Century Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30345 (telephone 404-679-7140; fax 404-679-7081).

    With Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, Digitaria pauciflora, Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, and Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana listed under the Act, the State of Florida's Endangered Species Act (Florida Statutes 581.185) is automatically invoked, which also prohibits take of these plants and encourages conservation by State government agencies. However, as discussed above, these plants are already listed as endangered on the State of Florida's Regulated Plant Index. Further, the State may enter into agreements with Federal agencies to administer and manage any area required for the conservation, management, enhancement, or protection of endangered species (Florida Statutes 581.185). Funds for these activities could be made available under section 6 of the Act (Cooperation with the States). Thus, the Federal protection afforded to these plants by listing them as endangered or threatened species will be reinforced and supplemented by protection under State law.

    Based on the best available information, the following activities may potentially result in a violation of section 9 the Act; this list is not comprehensive:

    (1) Importing any such species into, or exporting any of the four plant species from, the United States.

    (2) Removing and reducing to possession any of the four plant species from areas under Federal jurisdiction; maliciously damaging or destroying Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana on any such area; or removing, cutting, digging up, or damaging or destroying D. carthagenensis var. floridana on any other area in knowing violation of any law or regulation of any State or in the course of any violation of a State criminal trespass law.

    (3) Delivering, receiving, carrying, transporting, or shipping in interstate or foreign commerce, by any means whatsoever and in the course of a commercial activity, any of the four plant species.

    (4) Selling or offering for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any of the four plant species.

    Required Determinations 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, 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. No tribal lands are affected by this final rule.

    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 South Florida Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this final rule are the staff members of the South Florida Ecological Services Field Office.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    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 § 17.12(h) by adding entries for Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum, Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, Digitaria pauciflora, and Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense, in alphabetical order under FLOWERING PLANTS to read as follows:
    § 17.12 Endangered and threatened plants.

    (h) * * *

    Scientific name Common name Where listed Status Listing citations and applicable rules FLOWERING PLANTS *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum Pineland sandmat Wherever found T 82 FR [Insert Federal Register page where the document begins]; 10/06/2017. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana Florida prairie-clover Wherever found E 82 FR [Insert Federal Register page where the document begins]; 10/06/2017. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Digitaria pauciflora Florida crabgrass Wherever found T 82 FR [Insert Federal Register page where the document begins]; 10/06/2017. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense Everglades bully Wherever found T 82 FR [Insert Federal Register page where the document begins]; 10/06/2017. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: September 7, 2017. James W. Kurth, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21617 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    82 193 Friday, October 6, 2017 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary 2 CFR Part 1201 [Docket DOT-OST-2015-0013] RIN 2105-AE38 Geographic-Based Hiring Preferences in Administering Federal Awards AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary (OST); U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notice of withdrawal of proposed rulemaking and related pilot programs.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Transportation (the Department) is withdrawing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued on March 6, 2015, that proposed to amend its regulations implementing the Government-wide Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards to permit recipients and subrecipients of certain DOT funds to impose geographic-based hiring preferences whenever not otherwise prohibited by Federal law. The Department is withdrawing this NPRM because, after review of all comments, the Department has determined that promulgating a provision to allow geographic-based hiring preferences is not practicable for the efficient and cost-effective delivery of projects. Additionally, this Notice rescinds two related pilot programs: 1. Innovative Contracting and 2. FHWA HUD Livability Local Hire Initiative.

    DATES:

    As of October 6, 2017, the NPRM “Geographic-Based Hiring Preferences in Administering Federal Awards,” published on March 6, 2015 (80 FR 12092), is withdrawn. As of October 6, 2017, the Department's two experimental contracting pilot programs—1. Innovative Contracting (Local Labor Hire) (80 FR 12557), and 2. the FHWA HUD Livability Local Hire Initiative (75 FR 36467)—are withdrawn.

    ADDRESSES:

    U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-9152.

    Electronic Access: You can view and download related documents and public comments by going to the Web site http://www.regulations.gov. Enter the docket number DOT-OST-2015-0013 in the search field.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Terence Carlson, Assistant General Counsel for General Law (OST-C10), U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-9152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On March 6, 2015, the Department published an NPRM proposing to amend the Department's regulations at 2 CFR part 1201 to permit recipients and subrecipients of certain DOT funds to impose geographic-based hiring preferences whenever not otherwise prohibited by Federal law. On March 13, 2015, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) filed a comment requesting that the Department extend the comment period for the NPRM by 30 days to May 6, 2015. The Department granted APTA's request on April 8, 2015 (80 FR 18784).

    Recipients and subrecipients at the local government level have local hiring provisions that they apply to procurements that do not involve Federal funding. However, the Department's regulations at 2 CFR part 1201, which adopted the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) revised Government-wide Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal awards to non-Federal entities at 2 CFR part 200 (Common Rule), prohibit the use of in-State or local geographic-based preferences in the evaluation of bids or proposals except where Federal statute mandates or encourages the use of such preferences. This prohibition extends to the use of geographic-based hiring preferences in contracts that are awarded by recipients and subrecipients with Federal financial assistance since such preferences could result in a competitive advantage for contractors based in the targeted hiring area.

    Under the NPRM, the Department proposed to amend Part 1201 by promulgating a provision that would have deviated from the OMB guidance by making clear that geographic-based hiring preferences might be used in certain DOT grant programs. However, the proposed deviation would have only applied to the extent that such geographic-based hiring preferences would not have otherwise been prohibited by Federal statute or regulation.

    Approximately 181 comments were filed in response to the NPRM. These comments were submitted by approximately 23 contractors, 22 contractor trade groups, 11 rolling stock manufacturers, 4 unions, 14 government agencies, 32 advocacy groups, 70 individuals, and 5 Federal and State elected officials (U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Representative Tom Reed, Georgia State Senator Nan Orrock, California State Senator Connie M. Leyva, and California State Assembly Member Cheryl R. Brown). All of the construction and rolling stock industry comments were opposed to the adoption of the proposed rule, while the advocacy groups and unions all were in favor. The individual commenters were split. States and municipalities were mostly in favor of the proposed rule. However, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Regional Transportation District in Denver (RTD-Denver), Foothill Transit, and the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority expressed concerns with the implementation of the rule. Generally, commenters agreed that transportation investments and policies can improve access to jobs, education, and goods movement, while providing construction and operations jobs. However, many commenters questioned the assertion that local and geographic-based hiring preferences led to such economic benefits.

    Discussion of Comments

    While there were comments regarding the benefits of transportation investments, commenters opposed to the Department's proposed amendments to Part 1201 expressed concerns about the unintended consequences of the NPRM, including, for example, impacts on safety, competitive bidding, the ability to maintain a well-trained workforce, and increased project costs. Some commenters supported the proposed amendments because, among other reasons, local residents would benefit from such investments. Other commenters explained that the NPRM did not go far enough and should have included other types of preferences, in addition to geographic-based.

    The Department's proposed NPRM did not make a distinction by project type (e.g., transit vs. maritime project). Many commenters, especially in the transit arena, expressed strong opposition to the application of the NPRM to rolling stock procurements because of the potential effect on existing manufacturing plants and the capital and personnel investments already made in specific parts of the country.

    Reason for Withdrawal

    The Department operates two experimental contracting pilot programs under FHWA and FTA's existing authorities: (i) Innovative Contracting (Local Labor Hire) (80 FR 12257) and (ii) FHWA HUD Livability Local Hire Initiative (75 FR 36467). The Local Labor Hire pilot is conducted under 23 U.S.C. 502 (i.e., FHWA's Special Experimental Project No. 14 (SEP-14)) and 49 U.S.C. 5312, 5314 and 5325, and the FHWA HUD initiative is conducted under SEP-14. The Department has used these research authorities to advance non-traditional contracting practices for contracts awarded by FTA and FHWA.

    Under SEP-14 and 49 U.S.C. 5312, 5314 and 5325, the Department has the flexibility to experiment with innovative approaches to highway and transit contracting. However, the Department is discontinuing these two pilot programs because of minimal interest from intended participants and the difficulty in evaluating cost effectiveness based upon objective criteria.

    For additional background, 23 U.S.C. 112 requires a state transportation department to award contracts using federal highway funds by “competitive bidding, unless the State transportation department demonstrates . . . that some other method is more cost effective.” 23 U.S.C. 112(b)(1) (2006). For a bidding process to be “competitive,” the state transportation department must award contracts for projects “only on the basis of the lowest responsive bid submitted by a bidder meeting established criteria of responsibility.” Id. section 112(b)(1). For example, a 1986 opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Department of Justice concluded that section 112 obligated the Secretary of Transportation to withhold federal funding for highway construction contracts that were subject to a New York City law imposing disadvantages on a class of responsible bidders, where the city failed to demonstrate that its departure from competitive bidding requirements was justified by considerations of cost effectiveness. See Compatibility of New York City Local Law 19 with Federal Highway Act Competitive Bidding Requirements, 10 Op. O.L.C. 101 (1986) (“Competitive Bidding Requirements”). Since that 1986 opinion, FHWA had taken the position that state or local bidding specifications or contract requirements that limit the pool of potential bidders violate section 112's competition requirement unless they directly relate to the bidder's performance of the necessary work in a competent and responsible manner.

    In 2013, OLC opined that a state or local requirement that has only an incidental effect on the pool of potential bidders or that imposes reasonable requirements related to the performance of the necessary work would not unduly limit competition. However, a requirement that has more than an incidental effect on the pool of potential bidders and does not relate to the work's performance would unduly limit competition unless it promotes the efficient and effective use of federal funds. OLC stated that generally speaking, state or local government requirements that eliminate or disadvantage a class of potential responsible bidders (and thus have a non-trivial effect on the pool of such bidders) to advance objectives unrelated to the efficient use of federal funds or the integrity of the bidding process (or to the performance of the necessary work in a competent and responsible manner) are likely to unduly impede competition in contravention of the substantive component of section 112's competitive bidding requirement. OLC further reaffirmed the view expressed in its 1986 opinion that “the efficient use of federal funds is the touchstone by which the legality of state procurement rules for federally funded highway projects is to be tested,” Competitive Bidding Requirements, 10 Op. O.L.C. at 105. In 2013, OLC did not understand section 112's competitive bidding requirement to compel FHWA to reject every state or local bidding specification or contract requirement that may have the effect of reducing the number of potential bidders for a particular contract.

    The stated purpose of this NPRM was to permit recipients and subrecipients of certain DOT grant program funds to impose geographic-based hiring preferences whenever not otherwise prohibited by Federal law. DOT agrees that the efficient use of federal funds is the touchstone by which the legality of state procurement rules, including any proposed geographic-based hiring preferences, for federally funded projects is to be tested. Here, in light of the responses to the NPRM, the lack of data on whether specific local geographic preferences would have an incidental effect on competition, the long-standing Federal government prohibition in the Common Rule on the use of in-State or local geographic-based preferences, the demonstrated minimal interest from intended participants under the two experimental programs, and the inability to evaluate cost-effectiveness based upon objective criteria under the two experimental programs, the Department has determined that promulgating a regulation that would have deviated from the OMB guidance in the Common Rule, by allowing the use of geographic-based hiring preferences in some of the Department's grant programs, is not practicable for the efficient and cost-effective delivery of projects. The comments received did not include any data that demonstrates that the claimed benefits of the proposed rule justify the costs. The Department has also determined that an additional request for public comment based on the proposed NPRM would not provide the information needed to accomplish the stated purpose.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2017. Elaine L. Chao, Secretary of Transportation.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21574 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 50 [Docket No. PRM-50-115; NRC-2017-0132] Fire Protection Compensatory Measures AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petition for rulemaking; notice of docketing and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received a petition for rulemaking dated May 1, 2017, from David Lochbaum with co-petitioner Paul Gunter, on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Beyond Nuclear (the petitioners), requesting that the NRC “promulgate regulations that establish acceptable conditions for use of compensatory measures (e.g., fire watches, surveillance cameras, etc.) during periods when fire protection regulations are not met.” The petition was docketed by the NRC on May 26, 2017, and has been assigned Docket No. PRM-50-115. The NRC is examining the issues raised in PRM-50-115 to determine whether they should be considered in rulemaking. The NRC is requesting public comment on this petition.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by December 20, 2017. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to assure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0132. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Email comments to: [email protected] If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.

    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.

    Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.

    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jessica Kratchman, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulations, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-5112, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2017-0132 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0132.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The petition for rulemaking is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML17146A393.

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

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2017-0132 in your comment submission.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

    II. The Petitioner

    The petition was filed by David Lochbaum, on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Beyond Nuclear, with one co-petitioner, Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear.

    III. The Petition

    On behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Beyond Nuclear, David Lochbaum with co-petitioner Paul Gunter request that the NRC amend its regulations to establish acceptable conditions for the use of compensatory measures (e.g., fire watches, surveillance cameras) during periods when fire protection regulations are not met.

    IV. Discussion of the Petition

    The petitioners state that the NRC's “fire protection regulations were primarily established with the issuance of Appendix R to 10 CFR part 50 in 1980 and the NFPA [National Fire Protection Association] 805 alternative regulations adopted in 2004.” The petitioners are referring to the final rule in 1980 that issued appendix R to part 50 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) and revised 10 CFR 50.48 (45 FR 76602; November 19, 1980). The 2004 final rule (69 FR 33536; June 6, 2004) further revised 10 CFR 50.48 and added alternative fire protection regulations based on National Fire Protection Association Standard 805, “Performance-Based Standard for Fire Protection for Light Water Reactor Electric Generating Plants.” The petitioners include as “Figure 1” in their petition a timeline including compensatory measure guidance documents that the NRC has issued. The NRC guidance documents from Figure 1 in the petition include the following:

    (1) NRC Bulletin 1975-004, “Cable Fire at Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Station,” March 25, 1975 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070220189);

    (2) Nuclear Steam Supply System Vendor Standard Technical Specifications (NUREG-0103, “Standard Technical Specifications for Babcock and Wilcox Pressurized Water Reactors,” Revision 0, 1976 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17266A000), Revision 1 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17266A001); NUREG-0123, “Standard Technical Specifications for General Electric Boiling Water Reactors,” Revision 0, 1976 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17266A007), Revision 1 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17266A008); NUREG-0212, “Standard Technical Specifications for Combustion Engineering Pressurized Water Reactors,” Revision 0, 1976 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17266A003), Revision 1 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17266A004); and NUREG-0452, “Standard Technical Specifications for Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactors,” Revision 0, 1976 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17266A005), Revision 1 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17266A006));

    (3) Branch Technical Position Auxiliary Power Conversion Systems Branch 9.5-1, “Guidelines for Fire Protection for Nuclear Power Plants,” May 1, 1976 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070660461), Revision 1, May 13, 1979 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070660450); and Appendix A, “Guidelines for Fire Protection for Nuclear Power Plants Docketed Prior to July 1, 1976,” August 23, 1976 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15322A269), and February 24, 1977 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070660458);

    (4) NUREG-0050, “Recommendations Related to Browns Ferry Fire,” February 1976 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070520452);

    (5) NRC Generic Letter 1980-100, “Appendix R to 10 CFR Regarding Fire Protection—Federal Register Notice,” November 24, 1980 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070220242);

    (6) NRC Generic Letter 1981-012, “Fire Protection Rule (45 FR 76602, November 19, 1980),” February 20, 1981 (ADAMS Accession No. ML031080537);

    (7) NRC Generic Letter 1986-010, “Implementation of Fire Protection Requirements,” April 24, 1986 (ADAMS Accession No. ML031150322);

    (8) NRC Generic Letter 1988-012, “Removal of Fire Protection Requirements from Technical Specifications,” August 2, 1988 (ADAMS Accession No. ML031150471);

    (9) NRC Information Notice No. 1997-048, “Inadequate or Inappropriate Interim Fire Protection Compensatory Measures,” July 9, 1997 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070180068);

    (10) NRC Bulletin 1992-01, “Failure of Thermo-Lag 330 Fire Barrier System to Maintain Cabling in Wide Cable Trays and Small Conduits Free from Fire Damage,” June 24, 1992 (ADAMS Accession No. ML031250239);

    (11) NRC Regulatory Issue Summary 2005-007, “Performance of Manual Actions to Satisfy the Requirements of 10 CFR part 50 Appendix R Section III.G.2.,” April 19, 2005 (ADAMS Accession No. ML042360547);

    (12) NRC Regulatory Guide 1.189, “Fire Protection for Nuclear Power Plants,” Revision 2, October 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. ML092580550);

    (13) NRC Regulatory Guide 1.205, “Risk-Informed, Performance-Based Fire Protection for Existing Light-Water Nuclear Power Plants,” Revision 0, May 2006 (ADAMS Accession No. ML061100174); Revision 1, December 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. ML092730314); and

    (14) NUREG/CR-7135, “Compensatory and Alternative Regulatory Measures for Nuclear Power Plant Fire Protection (CARMEN-FIRE),” Final Report, August 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15226A446).

    The petitioners assert that these guidance documents associated with the current regulations are deficient for three reasons:

    (1) They are not regulations and, therefore, convey unenforceable expectations;

    (2) They create confusion for licensees, NRC inspectors and reviewers, and the public about what constitutes an acceptable substitute for compliance with fire protection regulations following identification of a deficiency, as well as the permissible durations of the substitutions; and

    (3) They were not developed through an open process, so the public did not have opportunities to weigh in on the acceptability of various compensatory measures.

    The petitioners assert that a proposed rulemaking would ensure that compensatory measures are used appropriately following a violation in fire protection regulations, and that the rulemaking process would provide the public the opportunity to weigh in on the appropriateness of the use of various compensatory measures before the requirements are adopted as final. The petitioners also assert that a final rule would clear up any current confusion caused by the guidance documents for the NRC's licensees and inspectors and would provide enforceable requirements for the NRC.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of October 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21544 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0904; Product Identifier 2017-NM-071-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of an in-service reliability issue of a latent flow sensor failure combined with single cabin air compressor (CAC) operation. This condition resulted in reduced airflow which led to a persistent single CAC surge condition that caused overheat damage to the CAC inlet. This proposed AD would require installing new pack control unit (PCU) software for the cabin air conditioning and temperature control system (CACTCS) and new CAC outlet pressure sensor J-tube hardware, and doing related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 20, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110 SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone: 562-797-1717; Internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0904.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0904; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caspar Wang, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6414; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-0904; Product Identifier 2017-NM-071-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    Boeing Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes have two air conditioning packs, one on each side of the airplane. Each pack contains two CACs that function together under normal operating conditions. The Smarter Environmental Control System ensures that airflow is distributed equally across the CACs. If the airflow is low, a single operating CAC on a pack can be driven into an undetected surge. We have received a report of an in-service reliability issue involving a latent flow sensor failure combined with single CAC operation, which resulted in reduced airflow and a persistent single CAC surge condition. During the surge, the temperature exceeded the 450-degree Fahrenheit maximum allowable temperature and generated enough heat energy to degrade the structural integrity of the CAC inlet. The PCU software logic was only designed to detect the surge when both CACs were operating on the same pack, and therefore, it was unable to detect a persistent single CAC surge condition which led to CAC inlet overheating. This overheating condition resulted in structural degradation of the CAC inlet, fumes in the cabin and flight deck, and interruption to in-service air conditioning.

    In addition, we received a report of an in-service event involving foreign object debris in the CAC inlet and accumulation at the ozone converter that also led to a persistent single CAC surge resulting in overheat damage to the CAC inlet housing. The proposed PCU software change would redistribute the airflow to provide more flow to a single CAC, reducing the potential for a CAC surge. Reduced airflow leading to persistent CAC surge conditions and CAC inlet overheating, if not corrected, could result in structural degradation of the CAC inlet, and fumes in the cabin and flight deck, as well as causing interruption to in-service air conditioning.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017; and Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 003, dated October 20, 2016. The service information describes procedures for installing new PCU software for the CACTCS and new CAC outlet pressure sensor J-tube hardware, and doing related investigative and corrective actions. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0904.

    The phrase “related investigative actions” is used in this proposed AD. Related investigative actions are follow-on actions that (1) are related to the primary action, and (2) further investigate the nature of any condition found. Related investigative actions in an AD could include, for example, inspections.

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. Corrective actions correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 62 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Software Installation 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $5,270 Modify Left and Right Inboard and Outboard CAC Modules 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 22,821 24,521 1,520,302

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2017-0904; Product Identifier 2017-NM-071-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 20, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017 (for Model 787-8 airplanes).

    (2) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 003, dated October 20, 2016 (for Model 787-9 airplanes).

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 21, Air conditioning.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of an in-service reliability issue involving a latent flow sensor failure combined with single cabin air compressor (CAC) operation. This condition resulted in reduced airflow which led to a persistent single CAC surge condition that caused overheat damage to the CAC inlet. We are issuing this AD to prevent CAC inlet overheating leading to structural degradation of the CAC inlet, fumes in the cabin and flight deck, and interruption to in-service air conditioning.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Software and Hardware Installation

    Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD: Install new pack control unit software for the cabin air conditioning and temperature control system and new CAC outlet pressure sensor J-tube hardware, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD. Related investigative and corrective actions must be done before further flight.

    (1) For Boeing Model 787-8 airplanes: Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 003, dated March 29, 2017.

    (2) For Boeing Model 787-9 airplanes: Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 003, dated October 20, 2016.

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

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

    (1) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210075-00, Issue 002, dated May 11, 2016 (for Model 787-8 airplanes).

    (2) Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB210077-00, Issue 002, dated May 11, 2016 (for Model 787-9 airplanes).

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-Seattle-ACO-AMOC[email protected]

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Caspar Wang, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6414; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110 SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone: 562-797-1717; Internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 25, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21365 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0905; Product Identifier 2017-NM-090-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-01-02, which applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes; and Model 757-200, -200PF, and -300 series airplanes. AD 2013-01-02 requires replacing the control switches of certain cargo doors. Since we issued AD 2013-01-02, additional un-commanded cargo door operation has been reported. This proposed AD would require replacement of certain cargo door control switches with a new improved switch; installation of an arm switch in certain cargo doors; operational and functional tests; and applicable on-condition actions. This proposed AD would also add airplanes to the applicability. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 20, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone: 562-797-1717; Internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0905.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0905; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caspar Wang, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6414; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-0905; Product Identifier 2017-NM-090-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On January 4, 2013, we issued AD 2013-01-02, Amendment 39-17316 (78 FR 4051, January 18, 2013) (“AD 2013-01-02”), for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes; and Model 757-200, -200PF, and -300 series airplanes. AD 2013-01-02 requires replacing the control switches of the forward, aft, and nose cargo doors of Model 747 airplanes; and replacing the control switches of cargo doors 1 and 2 of Model 757 series airplanes. AD 2013-01-02 resulted from reports of problems associated with the uncommanded operation of cargo doors. We issued AD 2013-01-02 to prevent injuries to persons and damage to the airplane.

    Actions Since AD 2013-01-02 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2013-01-02, additional un-commanded cargo door operation has been reported. In the most recent report the switch had only been installed for 44 months. Testing of failed switches found that the cargo door control switch can remain actuated after released to the OFF position. We have determined that the replacements required by AD 2013-01-02 do not adequately address the identified unsafe condition and that new improved switches must be installed. With a new cargo door control and arm switch configuration installed, the operator must manually move both switches to operate the cargo door. Both switches are spring loaded to the off position and releasing either switch will stop the door operation.

    We have also determined that certain Model 757-200CB series airplanes and Model 747-8F and 747-8 series airplanes are affected by the identified unsafe condition and must be included in this proposed AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following Boeing service information.

    • Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2307, dated May 23, 2017, and Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2308, dated June 5, 2017. This service information describes procedures for replacement of the nose, forward, and aft cargo door control switches with new improved switches, installation of an arm switch in the forward and aft cargo doors, a nose cargo door normal operational test, forward and aft cargo door open and close functional tests, and applicable on-condition actions. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models in different configurations.

    • Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093, Revision 1, dated April 21, 2017. This service information describes procedures for replacement of the forward and aft cargo door control switches with new improved switches, installation of an arm switch in the forward and aft cargo doors, an operational test of the No. 1 and No. 2 cargo doors, repetitive functional tests of the No. 1 and No. 2 cargo doors, and applicable on-condition actions.

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

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain none of the requirements of AD 2013-01-02. This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2307, dated May 23, 2017; Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2308, dated June 5, 2017; and Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093, Revision 1, dated April 21, 2017; as applicable; except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. This proposed AD also would add airplanes to the applicability.

    For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0905.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    The effectivity of Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093, Revision 1, dated April 21, 2017, is limited to Model 757-200, -200CB, -200PF, and -300 series airplanes, line numbers 1 through 1050. However, the applicability of this proposed AD includes four additional Model 757 airplanes, variable numbers NP901 through NP904 inclusive. We have included this difference because of new findings related to these additional airplanes indicating they are subject to the identified unsafe condition. This difference has been coordinated with Boeing. Additionally, Boeing has indicated that Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093, Revision 1, dated April 21, 2017, will be revised to include the additional airplanes. We will consider including the revised service information, if available, in the final rule.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 584 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Replacement (Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2307) (14 airplanes) 78 work-hours × $85 per hour = $6,630 $12,874 $19,504 $273,056. Replacement (Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2308) (94 airplanes) 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040 980 3,020 283,880. Replacement (Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093) (476 airplanes) 51 work-hours × $85 per hour = $4,335 10,626 14,961 7,121,436. Repetitive Test (Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093) (476 airplanes) 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 per test cycle 0 255 per test cycle 121,380 per test cycle.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-01-02, Amendment 39-17316 (78 FR 4051, January 18, 2013), and adding the following new AD: The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2017-0905; Product Identifier 2017-NM-090-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 20, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2013-01-02, Amendment 39-17316 (78 FR 4051, January 18, 2013) (“AD 2013-01-02”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company airplanes; certificated in any category; as identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this AD.

    (1) Model 747-8F and 747-8 series airplanes as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2307, dated May 23, 2017.

    (2) Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2308, dated June 5, 2017.

    (3) Model 757-200, -200PF, -200CB, and -300 series airplanes as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093, Revision 1, dated April 21, 2017.

    (4) Model 757-200, -200PF, -200CB, and -300 series airplanes, variable numbers NP901 through NP904 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 52, Doors.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of un-commanded cargo door operation. We are issuing this AD to prevent failures of the cargo door control switch from allowing un-commanded movement of the cargo door, which if not corrected, could lead to injuries to persons and damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: Do the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), and (g)(4) of this AD.

    (1) For airplanes identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2307, dated May 23, 2017: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2307, dated May 23, 2017, do all applicable actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2307, dated May 23, 2017.

    (2) For airplanes identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2308, dated June 5, 2017: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2308, dated June 5, 2017, do all applicable actions identified as RC in, and in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2308, dated June 5, 2017.

    (3) For airplanes identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093, Revision 1, dated April 21, 2017: At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093, Revision 1, dated April 21, 2017, do all applicable actions identified as RC in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093, Revision 1, dated April 21, 2017.

    (4) For airplanes identified in paragraph (c)(4) of this AD: Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the nose, forward, and aft cargo door control switches, as applicable, with new improved switches, install an arm switch in the forward and aft cargo doors, do operational and functional tests, and do applicable on-condition actions, in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, FAA.

    (h) Exceptions to Service Information

    Where Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2307, dated May 23, 2017; Boeing Service Bulletin 747-52-2308, dated June 5, 2017; and Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093, Revision 1, dated April 21, 2017; specify a compliance time after “the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (g)(3) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Service Bulletin 757-52-0093, dated May 5, 2016.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Caspar Wang, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6414; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone: 562-797-1717; Internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 27, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21366 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0903; Product Identifier 2017-NM-074-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-300 and -500 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report indicating that fatigue cracks were found in the lower wing skin of an airplane with winglets installed. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections for cracking of the lower wing skin, and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 20, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Aviation Partners Boeing, 2811 South 102nd Street, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98168; phone: 1-206-830-7699; fax: 1-206-767-3355; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.aviationpartnersboeing.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0903; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lu Lu, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6478; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-0903; Product Identifier 2017-NM-074-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We have received a report indicating that fatigue cracks were found in the lower wing skin at the farthest outboard fastener of stringer L-5 between wing station (WSTA) 479 and WSTA 505 on a Model 737-300 airplane with Aviation Partners Boeing blended winglet kit installed per Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE. If not corrected, fatigue cracking of the lower wing skin common to the runout of stringer L-5 on Boeing Model 737-300 and 737-500 airplanes with winglets installed could grow and result in loss of the structural integrity of the wing, and reduced, or complete loss of, controllability of the airplane.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP737C-57-002, dated April 5, 2017. The service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections for cracking of the lower wing skin, and on-condition actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.”

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP737C-57-002, dated April 5, 2017, specifies to contact the manufacturer for certain instructions, but this proposed AD would require using repair methods, modification deviations, and alteration deviations in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

    • Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have authorized to make those findings.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 93 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Repetitive inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle $0 $85 per inspection cycle Up to $7,905 per inspection cycle.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2017-0903; Product Identifier 2017-NM-074-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 20, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-300 and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category, with blended winglet kits installed in accordance with Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report indicating that fatigue cracks were found in the lower wing skin at stringer L-5 of a Boeing Model 737-300 airplane with winglets installed. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the lower wing skin common to the runout of stringer L-5, which could grow and result in loss of structural integrity of the wing, and consequent reduced, or complete loss of, controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspection

    Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD: Do a detailed inspection for cracking of the lower wing skin external surface at the stringer L-5 location on the left and right wings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP737C-57-002, dated April 5, 2017. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6,000 flight cycles or 9,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (h) Repair

    If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD. Although Aviation Partners Boeing Service Bulletin AP737C-57-002, dated April 5, 2017, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), this AD requires repair as specified in this paragraph.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Lu Lu, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6478; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Aviation Partners Boeing, 2811 South 102nd Street, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98168; phone: 1-206-830-7699; fax: 1-206-767-3355; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.aviationpartnersboeing.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 25, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21225 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2009-0889; Product Identifier 2009-NE-35-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A., Turboshaft Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede airworthiness directive (AD) 2012-03-11 that applies to all Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A., Arriel 2B and 2B1 turboshaft engines. AD 2012-03-11 requires checking the transmissible torque between the low-pressure (LP) pump impeller and the high-pressure (HP) pump shaft on the HP/LP pump and metering valve assembly, hereafter referred to as the hydro-mechanical metering unit (HMU). Since we issued AD 2012-03-11, the manufacturer determined that incorporating Modification TU 178 is a more effective method to reduce the risk of uncoupling between the LP fuel pump impeller and the HP fuel pump shaft than the prior Modification TU 147. This proposed AD would require inspection and possible replacement of the HMU. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 20, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A., 40220 Tarnos, France; phone: (33) 05 59 74 40 00; fax: (33) 05 59 74 45 15. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2009-0889.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2009-0889; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information, regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Green, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2009-0889; Product Identifier 2009-NE-35-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We issued AD 2012-03-11, Amendment 39-16953 (77 FR 8092, February 14, 2012), “AD 2012-03-11,” for all Turbomeca S.A. Arriel 2B and 2B1 turboshaft engines. AD 2012-03-11 requires checking the transmissible torque between the LP pump impeller and the HP pump shaft on the pre- and post-Modification TU 147 HMUs. AD 2012-03-11 resulted from instances of uncoupling between the LP fuel pump impeller and the HP fuel pump shaft. We issued AD 2012-03-11 to prevent an uncommanded in-flight shutdown, which can result in a forced autorotation landing or accident.

    Actions Since AD 2012-03-11 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2012-03-11, the manufacturer determined that modification of an engine to incorporate Modification TU 178 is a more effective method to reduce the risk of uncoupling between the LP fuel pump impeller and the HP fuel pump shaft than the prior Modification TU 147. Also since we issued AD 2012-03-11, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued AD 2017-0102, dated June 13, 2017, which requires inspection and possible replacement of the HMU.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Turbomeca, S.A., has issued Alert Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) A292 73 2830, Version B, dated July 10, 2009, and Alert MSB A292 73 2836, Version A, dated August 17, 2010. Turbomeca Alert MSB A292 73 2830, Version B, is used to do the inspection for pre-Modification TU 147 HMUs. Turbomeca Alert MSB A292 73 2836, Version A, is used to do the inspection for HMUs that have incorporated Modification TU 147. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Other Related Service Information

    Safran Helicopter Engines has issued MSB 292 73 2178, Version B, dated March 23, 2017, introducing an HMU with a reinforced drive link between the LP impeller and fuel pump drive shaft (Modification TU 178). Safran Helicopter Engines has also issued MSB A292 73 2830, Version C; and A292 73 2836, Version B, both dated April 5, 2017, which exempt HMUs incorporating Modification TU 178 from the inspections previously recommended by Turbomeca.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require inspection and, depending on the results of the inspection, possible replacement of the HMU. This proposed AD would further require replacement of pre-Modification TU 178 HMUs with an HMU incorporating Modification TU 178 within 2,200 engine flight hours or 72 months, whichever occurs later, after the effective date of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 417 engines installed on helicopters of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Remove and replace the HP/LP fuel pump metering unit 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 $17,400 $17,570 $7,326,690
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2012-03-11, Amendment 39-16953 (77 FR 8092, February 14, 2012), and adding the following new AD: Safran Helicopter Engines (Type Certificate previously held by Turbomeca, S.A.): Docket No. FAA-2009-0889; Product Identifier 2009-NE-35-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 20, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2012-03-11, Amendment 39-16953 (77 FR 8092, February 14, 2012).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A., Arriel 2B and 2B1 turboshaft engines, except those incorporating Modification TU 178.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7300, Engine Fuel and Control.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by analysis that indicated the modification of an engine to incorporate Modification TU 178 provides a more effective method than Modification TU 147 to reduce the risk of uncoupling between the low-pressure (LP) fuel pump impeller and the high-pressure (HP) fuel pump shaft of the HP/LP pump and hydro-mechanical metering unit (HMU). We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HMU. The unsafe condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the engine, in-flight shutdown, and loss of the helicopter.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (1) Check the transmissible torque between the LP fuel pump impeller and the HP fuel pump shaft as follows:

    (i) For pre-Modification TU 147 HMUs, check the torque before accumulating 500 engine flight hours (FHs) since March 11, 2010 or before the next flight, whichever occurs later. Use Paragraph 2 of Turbomeca Alert Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) A292 73 2830, Version B, dated July 10, 2009 to do the check.

    (ii) For HMUs that incorporated Modification TU 147 on or before March 31, 2010, and those HMUs not listed in Figures 2 or 3 of Turbomeca Alert MSB A292 73 2836, Version A, dated August 17, 2010, check the torque before the next flight. Use Paragraph 2 of Turbomeca Alert MSB A292 73 2836, Version A, to do the check.

    (2) If the HMU does not pass the torque check, replace the HMU with a post-Modification TU 178 HMU before the next flight.

    (g) Mandatory Terminating Action

    Within 2,200 engine FHs or 72 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace any pre-Modification TU 178 HMU with a post-Modification TU 178 configuration HMU.

    (h) Installation Prohibition

    After the effective date of this AD, do not install a pre-Modification TU 178 HMU on engines incorporating a post-Modification TU 178 HMU.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, ECO Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. You may email your request to: [email protected]

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Robert Green, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency AD 2017-0102, dated June 13, 2017, for more information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2009-0889.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A., 40220 Tarnos, France; phone: (33) 05 59 74 40 00; fax: (33) 05 59 74 45 15. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on September 29, 2017. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21344 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2017-0902; Product Identifier 2016-NM-188-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2004-03-07, which applies to certain Airbus Model A320-111, -211, -212, and -231 series airplanes. AD 2004-03-07 requires repetitive inspections for fatigue cracking around the fasteners attaching the pressure panel to the flexible bracket at frame (FR) 36, adjacent to the longitudinal beams on the left and right sides of the airplane; and repair as necessary. Since we issued AD 2004-03-07, additional cracking has been found under the longitudinal beams in locations outside of the inspection areas required by AD 2004-03-07. This proposed AD would retain certain requirements of AD 2004-03-07, expand the applicability, and require an inspection of the fastener holes on the pressure panel between FR 35 and FR 36 under the longitudinal beam and modification or repair as applicable. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 20, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0902; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-0902; Product Identifier 2016-NM-188-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On January 29, 2004, we issued AD 2004-03-07, Amendment 39-13451 (69 FR 5907, February 9, 2004) (“AD 2004-03-07”), for certain Airbus Model A320-111, -211, -212, and -231 series airplanes. AD 2004-03-07 was prompted by fatigue tests which revealed cracking around the fasteners attaching the pressure panel to the flexible bracket at FR 36, adjacent to the longitudinal beams on the left and right sides of the airplane. Investigation revealed that the damage was caused by high loads in this area. AD 2004-03-07 requires repetitive inspections for fatigue cracking around the fasteners attaching the pressure panel to the flexible bracket at FR 36, adjacent to the longitudinal beams on the left and right sides of the airplane; and repair as necessary. AD 2004-03-07 also provides an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. We issued AD 2004-03-07 to detect and correct fatigue cracking around the fasteners attaching the pressure panel to the flexible bracket at the FR 36 adjacent to the longitudinal beams, which could result in reduced structural integrity and possible rapid decompression of the airplane.

    Since we issued AD 2004-03-07, additional cracks have been found under the longitudinal beams at locations that are not included in the inspection area required by AD 2004-03-07. Fatigue and damage tolerance analyses were performed and the results indicated that all the holes in the pressure panel above the longitudinal beams have to be cold worked.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0206, dated October 13, 2016; corrected October 14, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A318 and Model A319 series airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During fatigue tests, cracks were found around the fasteners connecting the pressure panel with the flexible bracket at fuselage frame (FR) 36, adjacent to the longitudinal beams on left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) sides.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could impair the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

    To address this unsafe condition, DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued [French] AD 2000-531-155(B) [which corresponds with FAA AD 2004-03-07] to require repetitive inspections of the longitudinal beams of the FR 36 pressure panel and, depending on findings, the accomplishment of a repair.

    Since that [French] AD was issued, additional cracks have been found under the beams, but in locations not covered by the required inspections. Fatigue and damage tolerance analyses were performed, the results of which indicated that all the holes in the pressure panel above all the longitudinal beams have to be cold worked.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of DGAC France AD 2000-531-155(B), which is superseded, extends the applicability to all A320 family aeroplanes and requires [a special detailed inspection of the fastener holes on the pressure panel between FR35 and FR36 under the longitudinal beam and] modification [or repair] of all the affected holes.

    This [EASA] AD is republished to correct the number of the superseded DGAC AD.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0902.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-53-1264, Revision 01, dated July 4, 2016. The service information describes procedures for a special detailed inspection (rotating probe) for cracking of the fastener holes on the pressure panel between FR 35 and FR 36 under the longitudinal beam and repair of any crack.

    Airbus has also issued Service Bulletin A320-53-1240, Revision 01, dated April 4, 2016, which describes procedures for modifying the pressure panel above the left and right longitudinal beams, including related investigative action (e.g., high frequency eddy current (rototest) inspection of all the removed fastener holes) and corrective actions (e.g., repair), by cold working the attachment holes under the longitudinal beam at FR 36 for airplanes on which no cracking was found.

    In addition, Airbus issued Service Bulletin A320-53-1263, Revision 01, dated February 29, 2016, which describes procedures for modifying the pressure panel above the left and right longitudinal beams, including related investigative actions (e.g., eddy current rotating probe inspection of the fastener holes) and corrective actions (e.g., repair), by adding a doubler and a filler, and cold expansion of the holes under the longitudinal beam at FR 36 for airplanes on which cracking was found.

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

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

    The MCAI specifies that operators can calculate revised thresholds for Model A319 and A320 series airplanes with sharklets installed (Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1193). This proposed AD does not include those calculations because the calculations could result in different inspection thresholds for each individual airplane. However, under the provisions of paragraph (o)(1) of this AD, we will consider requests for approval of alternative compliance times.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 737 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspection [Retained from AD 2004-03-07] Up to 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 per inspection cycle $0 Up to $170 per inspection cycle Up to $125,290 per inspection cycle. Inspection [new proposed requirement] 13 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,105 0 $1,105 $814,385.

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

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Modification Up to 213 work-hours × $85 per hour = $18,105 Up to $8,510 Up to $26,615. Reporting 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide a cost estimate for the on-condition repairs specified in the service information.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2004-03-07, Amendment 39-13451 (69 FR 5907, February 9, 2004), and adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2017-0902; Product Identifier 2016-NM-188-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 20, 2017.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2004-03-07, Amendment 39-13451 (69 FR 5907, February 9, 2004) (“AD 2004-03-07”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, except for airplanes on which Airbus Modification 151574 was embodied in production.

    (1) Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.

    (2) Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

    (3) Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.

    (4) Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by fatigue tests which revealed cracking around the fasteners attaching the pressure panel to the flexible bracket at frame (FR) 36, adjacent to the longitudinal beams on the left and right sides of the airplane. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking around the fasteners attaching the pressure panel to the flexible bracket at the FR 36 adjacent to the longitudinal beams, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane and possible rapid decompression of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspection and Follow-On Actions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of AD 2004-03-07, with no changes.

    (1) For Model A320-211, -212, and -231 series airplanes having serial numbers 0002 through 0107 inclusive, except those airplanes on which Airbus Modification 21202/K1432 has been incorporated in production, or on which Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1029, Revision 01, dated April 29, 2002, has been incorporated: Prior to the accumulation of 30,000 total flight cycles, do a rotating probe inspection on airplanes with a center fuel tank, or a detailed inspection on airplanes without a center fuel tank, to detect cracking around the fasteners that attach the pressure panel to the flexible bracket at FR 36, adjacent to the longitudinal beams on the left and right sides of the airplane, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1030, Revision 01, dated May 21, 2002.

    (2) If no crack is detected by the inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, repeat the applicable inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6,000 flight cycles for airplanes without a center fuel tank, and at intervals not to exceed 18,000 flight cycles for airplanes with a center fuel tank.

    (h) Retained Corrective Actions, With Specific Delegation Approval Language

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of AD 2004-03-07, with specific delegation approval language.

    (1) If any crack is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, before further flight, repair the affected structure by accomplishing all applicable actions in accordance with paragraphs 3.B. through 3.E. of the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1030, Revision 01, dated May 21, 2002. Repeat the applicable inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6,000 flight cycles for airplanes without a center fuel tank, and at intervals not to exceed 18,000 flight cycles for airplanes with a center fuel tank. For any area where cracking is repaired, the repair constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspection of that area.

    Note 1 to paragraph (h)(1) of this AD:

    Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1030 references Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1029, Revision 01, dated April 29, 2002, as an additional source of service information for certain repairs.

    (2) If Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1030, Revision 01, dated May 21, 2002, specifies to contact the manufacturer for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o)(2) of this AD.

    (i) Retained Optional Terminating Action for Paragraphs (g) and (h) of This AD, With Revised Compliance Language

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (e) of AD 2004-03-07, with revised compliance language. For Model A320-211, -212, and -231 series airplanes having serial numbers 0002 through 0107 inclusive, except those airplanes on which Airbus Modification 21202/K1432 has been incorporated in production, or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1029, Revision 01, dated April 29, 2002: Modification, before the effective date of this AD, of the structure around the fasteners that attach the pressure panel to the flexible bracket at FR 36, adjacent to the longitudinal beams on the left and right sides of the airplane, by accomplishing all applicable actions in accordance with paragraphs 3.A. through 3.E. of the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1029, Revision 01, dated April 29, 2002, constitutes terminating action for the actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    (j) New Requirement of This AD: Inspection

    For all airplanes, except for airplanes identified in paragraph (l) of this AD: At the applicable time specified in table 1 to paragraph (j) of this AD, do a special detailed inspection for cracking of the fastener holes on the pressure panel between FR 35 and FR 36 under the longitudinal beam, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1264, Revision 01, dated July 4, 2016.

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P EP06OC17.000 EP06OC17.001 EP06OC17.002 EP06OC17.003 BILLING CODE 4910-13-C (k) On-Condition Actions

    (1) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD, no cracking is found, or cracking is found that is within the limits specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1264, Revision 01, dated July 4, 2016: Before further flight, modify the pressure panel above the left and right longitudinal beams, including doing all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1240, Revision 01, dated April 4, 2016; or Service Bulletin A320-53-1263, Revision 01, dated February 29, 2016; as applicable. Do all related investigative and corrective actions before further flight. Where Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1240, Revision 01, dated April 4, 2016; and Service Bulletin A320-53-1263, Revision 01, dated February 29, 2016; specify to contact Airbus for appropriate action: Before further flight, accomplish the repair in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o)(2) of this AD.

    (2) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD, any cracking is found that exceeds the limits specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1264, Revision 01, dated July 4, 2016: Do the actions specified in, and at the compliance times specified in, paragraphs (k)(2)(i) and (k)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Before further flight, repair any cracking in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1264, Revision 01, dated July 4, 2016. Where Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1264, Revision 01, dated July 4, 2016, specifies to contact Airbus for appropriate action, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance): Before further flight, request approval of repair instructions using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o)(2) of this AD, and accomplish the repair accordingly within the compliance time specified in those instructions. If no compliance time is defined in the repair instructions, accomplish the repair before further flight.

    (ii) At the times specified in paragraph (k)(2)(ii)(A) or (k)(2)(ii)(B) of this AD, as applicable: Report any findings of cracking that exceeds the limits specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1264, Revision 01, dated July 4, 2016, to Airbus Customer Services through TechRequest on Airbus World (https://w3.airbus.com/) by selecting Engineering Domain and ATA 57-10.

    (A) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Report within 90 days after that inspection.

    (B) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Report within 90 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (l) Actions for Certain Airplanes

    For Model A319 and Model A320 series airplanes on which the actions specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1193 have been embodied and the airplane has accumulated 33,000 flight cycles or 66,000 flight hours or more since the airplane's first flight on the effective date of this AD: Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, contact the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA for approved repair instructions and within the compliance time specified in those instructions, accomplish the repair accordingly. If no compliance time is defined in the repair instructions, accomplish the repair before the next flight.

    (m) Terminating Action for Repetitive Inspections Required by Paragraph (g)(2) of This AD

    (1) Modification of an airplane as specified in paragraph (m)(1)(i), (m)(1)(ii), or (m)(1)(iii) of this AD constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspection required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD for that airplane only.

    (i) Modification of an airplane as required by paragraph (k)(1) of this AD.

    (ii) Modification of an airplane prior to the effective date of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1240, dated March 19, 2015; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1263, dated March 19, 2015; as applicable.

    (iii) Modification of an airplane using instructions obtained in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o)(2) of this AD.

    (2) Repair of an airplane as required by paragraph (k)(2) of this AD constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD for that airplane, unless specified otherwise in the repair instructions approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (n) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before March 15, 2004 (the effective date of AD 2004-03-07) using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1030, dated January 5, 2000; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1029, dated January 5, 2000.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1264, dated March 19, 2015.

    (3) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (k)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1240, dated March 19, 2015; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-1263, dated March 19, 2015; for that airplane only.

    (o) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraph (k)(2)(i) of this AD: If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

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

    (p) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2016-0206, dated October 13, 2016; corrected October 14, 2016; for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0902.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 21, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Director, System Oversight Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21221 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No.: FAA-2017-0879] RIN 2120-AA65 Criteria and Process for the Cancellation of Standard Instrument Approach Procedures as Part of the National Procedures Assessment (NPA) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed policy and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    As new technology facilitates the introduction of area navigation (RNAV) instrument approach procedures over the past decade, the number of procedures available in the National Airspace System has nearly doubled. The complexity and cost to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of maintaining the instrument flight procedures inventory while expanding the new RNAV capability is not sustainable. The FAA is considering the cancellation of certain circling procedures (to include circling-only instrument approach procedures (IAPs) and circling minima charted on straight-in IAPs). The FAA proposes specific criteria to guide the identification and selection of appropriate circling procedures that can be considered for cancellation. The circling procedures associated with this cancellation initiative would be selected from the criteria outlined below. This document is not a part of the FAA's VOR minimum operating network (MON) initiative.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0879 using any of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL- 14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this action, contact Lonnie Everhart, Aeronautical Information Services AJV-5, Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, 6500 S. MacArthur Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73169; Telephone (405) 954-4576; Email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Under 49 U.S.C. 40103(a), the Administrator has broad authority to regulate the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace. The Administrator is also authorized to issue air traffic rules and regulations to govern the flight, navigation, protection, and identification of aircraft for the protections of persons and property on the ground and for the efficient use of the navigable airspace. 49 U.S.C. 40103(b). Under Section 44701(a)(5), the Administrator promotes safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations and minimum standards for other practices, methods, and procedures necessary for safety in air commerce and national security. This action is within the scope of that authority.

    IAPs are promulgated by rulemaking procedures and are incorporated by reference pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51 into Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations; Part 97 (14 CFR part 97), Subpart C—TERPS Procedures.

    Background

    The National Airspace System (NAS) is currently in transition to a “NextGen NAS”. During this transition, the FAA is managing the technology and procedures to support both the Legacy NAS as well as the NextGen NAS. Managing two versions of the NAS requires excess manpower, infrastructure, and information management which is costly and unsupportable in the longterm. To mitigate these costs, the FAA has a number of efforts underway to effectively transition from the legacy to the NextGen NAS. One area of focus for this transition is instrument flight procedures (IFPs). The FAA seeks to ensure an effective transition from ground-based IFPs to greater availability and use of satellite-based IFPs while maintaining NAS safety.

    In early 2015, the FAA requested the RTCA's Tactical Operations Committee (TOC) with providing feedback and recommendations on criteria and processes for cancelling instrument flight procedures. Among the many recommendations provided by the TOC were criteria on how to identify circling procedures that would qualify as candidates for cancellation. As of the beginning of 2017, there are approximately 12,000 IAPs in publication, and there were nearly 10,600 circling lines of minima. Circling procedures account for approximately one-third of all lines of minima in the NAS.

    In its continued effort to right-size the NAS through optimization and elimination of redundant and unnecessary IAPs, the FAA proposes the following criteria to guide the identification and selection of appropriate circling procedures to be considered for cancellation.

    It should be noted that National Procedures Assessment (NPA) Instrument Flight Procedure (IFP) cancellation activities and associated criteria do not supersede similar activities being performed under the FAA's VOR MON Program. See 81 FR 48694 (July 26, 2016). However, NPA IFP cancellation activities have been coordinated with the FAA office responsible for the VOR MON implementation program, and its input has been thoroughly considered.

    Proposed Policy

    All circling procedures will continue to be reviewed through the established IAP periodic review process.1 As part of that review process, the FAA is proposing that each circling procedure would be evaluated against the following questions:

    1 Section 2-8 of FAA Order 8260.19 (Flight Procedures and Airspace) sets forth the minimum frequency of review of instrument procedures.

    —Is this the only IAP at the airport? —Is this procedure a designated MON airport procedure? —If multiple IAPs serve a single runway end, is this the lowest circling minima for that runway? Note: If the RNAV circling minima is not the lowest, but is within 50' of the lowest, the FAA would give the RNAV preference. —Would cancellation result in removal of circling minima from all conventional NAVAID procedures at an airport? Note: If circling minima exists for multiple Conventional NAVAID procedures, preference would be to retain ILS circling minima. —Would cancellation result in all circling minima being removed from all airports within 20 NMs? —Will removal eliminate lowest landing minima to an individual runway?

    The following questions are applicable only to circling-only procedures:

    —Does this circling-only procedure exist because of high terrain or an obstacle that makes a straight-in procedure unfeasible or which would result in the straight-in minimums being higher than the circling minima? —Is this circling-only procedure (1) at an airport where not all runway ends have a straight-in IAP, and (2) does it have a Final Approach Course not aligned within 45 degrees of a runway which has a straight-in IAP?

    Further consideration for cancellation under this policy would be terminated if any of the aforementioned questions are answered in the affirmative. If all questions are answered in the negative, the procedure would be processed as described in the following paragraph.

    When a candidate has been identified, Aeronautical Information Services would send a notification of procedure cancellation memorandum and completed checklist to the appropriate Regional Service Area, Operations Support Group.2 The Regional Service Area, Operations Support Group would follow the same notification process used for standard IFP requests.3 Consistent with FAA procedures outlined in the procedure cancellation memorandum, comments regarding the aforementioned circling procedure would need to be submitted within 30 days of the timestamp on the communication media through which it was delivered. Comments would be directed to the Regional Service Area, Operations Support Group for dissemination to Aeronautical Information Services. Comments would be adjudicated by Aeronautical Information Services within 30 days of the timestamp on the communication media through which it was received. A final decision would be forwarded to Regional Service Area, Operations Support Group to disseminate to commenter(s). The cancellation of the part 97 instrument procedure will be published in the Federal Register.

    2 The FAA has placed sample copies of the memorandum and checklist into the docket for this notice.

    3 FAA Order 8260.43 (Flight Procedures Management Program) and FAA Order 8260.26 (Establishing Submission Cutoff Dates for Civil Instrument Procedures) contain additional information on this process. These orders are available on the FAA Web site.

    Invitation for Comments

    The FAA invites interested parties to submit written comments, data, or views. The agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from implementation of the proposed policy. Comments should explain the reason for modifying or not implementing this proposed policy. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments or, if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    The FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before the closing date for comments before acting on proposed policy. The FAA will consider comments submitted after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The agency may change this proposal in light of the comments it receives.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 22, 2017. Steven L. Szukala, Manager, Instrument Flight Procedure Group, Aeronautical Information Services.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21626 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of the Census 15 CFR Part 30 [Docket Number: 170606545-7857-01] RIN 0607-AA56 Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR): Request for Public Comments Regarding Standard and Routed Export Transactions AGENCY:

    Bureau of the Census, Commerce Department.

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of the Census (U.S. Census Bureau) is seeking public comments to perform a review of the requirements governing routed export transactions. In particular, the Census Bureau is interested in comments regarding the definition of a routed export transaction as well as the responsibilities of parties in routed export transactions. Routed export transactions are transactions in which the Foreign Principal Party in Interest (FPPI) controls the movement of the goods out of the country. There are a variety of reasons why the FPPI assumes this responsibility such as the use of a preferred carrier and the desire to not disclose the ultimate consignee to the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI), although the ultimate consignee is properly identified to the U.S. Government. Because the FPPI controls the movement of the goods in a routed transaction and cannot file Electronic Export Information (EEI), the Census Bureau requires the FPPI to authorize a U.S. authorized agent or the USPPI to file the EEI on its behalf. This ensures that the Census Bureau collects the statistical information.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before December 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please direct all written comments on this advance notice of proposed rulemaking to the Chief, International Trade Management Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 5K158, Washington, DC 20233-6010. You may also submit comments, identified by RIN number 0607-AA56, to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments received are part of the public record. No comments will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. Comments will generally be posted without change. All Personally Identifiable Information (for example, name and address) voluntarily submitted by the commentor may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. The Census Bureau will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dale C. Kelly, Chief, International Trade Management Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 5K158, Washington, DC 20233-6010, by phone (301) 763-6937, by fax (301) 763-8835, or by email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Census Bureau is responsible for collecting, compiling, and publishing export trade statistics for the United States under the provisions of Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 9, Section 301. The Automated Export System (AES), now part of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), is the primary instrument used for collecting export trade data. Through the AES, the Census Bureau collects Electronic Export Information (EEI), the electronic equivalent of the export data formerly collected on the Shipper's Export Declaration (SED), reported pursuant to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), Title 15, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 30. The EEI consists of data elements as set forth in 15 CFR 30.6 for an export shipment, and includes information such as the U.S. Principal Party in Interest's (USPPI's) name, address, and identification number, and detailed information concerning the exported product. The party responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of EEI data elements varies depending upon the type of export transaction; standard or routed. Through this notice, the Census Bureau is seeking public comments to perform a review of the requirements governing routed export transactions, a subset of export transactions, as detailed in the FTR, 15 CFR, part 30.

    Request for Comments

    The Census Bureau is soliciting comments on the clarity, usability, and any other matters related to the regulatory requirements for routed transactions. This will include the definition of a routed export transaction found in 15 CFR 30.1 as well as the general responsibilities of parties in routed export transactions as detailed in 15 CFR 30.3. Suggested questions are below; however, any pertinent feedback not captured by these questions is also welcome:

    1. If you do not think that the definition of a routed export transaction in 15 CFR 30.1 is clearly stated, then what definition of routed export transaction would you suggest?

    2. Should the Census Bureau modify the list of data elements at 15 CFR 30.3(e)(2) that the U.S. authorized agent is required to provide when filing the electronic export information? If so, what changes would you suggest?

    3. Should the Census Bureau modify the list of data elements at 15 CFR 30.3(e)(1) that the U.S. Principal Party in Interest is required to provide to the U.S. Authorized agent? If so, what changes would you suggest?

    4. The carrier's responsibilities under the FTR are the same in both standard and routed transactions. Does the FTR clearly communicate these responsibilities? If not, what clarification would you suggest?

    5. The data elements that the USPPI and U.S authorized agent are required to provide are currently located in Section 30.3(e) of the FTR. However, additional data elements are needed to complete the AES filing. Below is a list of data elements that are required to be reported but for which a responsible party is not listed. Please provide comments on which party, the USPPI or the U.S. authorized agent, should report these data elements.

    Hazardous material indicator routed export transaction indicator KPC number FTZ identifier vehicle title number related party indicator shipment reference number vehicle title state code export information code VIN/product ID filing option indicator

    6. Are the responsibilities of parties in a routed export transaction clearly stated? If not, what improvements would you suggest?

    7. How could we improve the process to authorize filing in a routed export transaction?

    8. How could the FTR be revised to align with the Bureau of Industry and Security's Export Administration Regulations on routed export transactions?

    9. What changes would you suggest in Section 30.3 of the FTR that might improve the parties' understanding of the requirements of a routed export transaction?

    10. What changes would you suggest in Section 30.3 of the FTR that might improve the parties' understanding of their roles in a routed or standard export transaction?

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Ron S. Jarmin, Associate Director for Economic Programs, Performing the Non-Exclusive Functions and Duties of the Director, Bureau of the Census.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21569 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Chapter II [Docket No. CPSC-2017-0037] Petition Requesting Rulemaking on Magnet Sets AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petition for rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC or Commission) has received a petition requesting that the Commission initiate rulemaking under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) to adopt a safety standard for high-powered magnet sets. The Commission invites written comments concerning the petition.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by December 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2017-0037, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.

    Written Submissions: Submit written comments by mail/hand delivery/courier to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. All comments received may be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal information provided. Do not submit confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information that you do not want to be available to the public. If furnished at all, such information should be submitted by mail/hand delivery/courier.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov, insert docket number CPSC-2017-0037 into the “Search” box, and follow the prompts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rocky Hammond, Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone: 301-504-6833; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On August 17, 2017, Zen Magnets, LLC (petitioner) submitted a petition requesting that the Commission initiate rulemaking to adopt a safety standard for high-powered magnet sets under Sections 7 and 9 of the CPSA (15 U.S.C. 2056, 2058) to address the hazard associated with these products if ingested, aspirated, or otherwise inserted into the body.

    The petitioner describes the product as small rare earth magnets of various shapes, sizes, and flux indices (i.e., magnetic strength) that are commonly sold as sets designed to make sculptures, provide therapeutic benefits, or serve as educational or research tools. The petitioner states that there are magnet sets on the market that are approximately 5 millimeters in diameter and have flux indices greater than 50 kG2mm2. According to the petitioner, magnet sets are not designed, marketed, manufactured, or intended for use by children under the age of 14 years.

    The petitioner asserts that high-powered magnet sets pose a risk of injury if misused in a way that results in ingesting, aspirating, or otherwise inserting more than one magnet into the body. The petitioner notes that one potential injury that can result from ingesting high-powered magnets is damage to gastrointestinal tissue.

    The petitioner requests that CPSC promulgate a mandatory safety standard that includes the following:

    Performance standards. Require individual magnets and each magnet in a magnet set that fits entirely within the cylinder described in 16 CFR 1501.4 (small parts cylinder) to have a flux index of 50 kG2mm2 or less if the product is designed, marketed, or manufactured for children under the age of 14 years. Establish standards for magnet set packaging, such as requiring packaging to be difficult for children to open and assist users in determining whether all magnets are returned to the package after use. According to the petitioner, these requirements would limit the magnetic strength of magnets so that they would not attach across internal tissue if ingested and would assist users in limiting children's access to the magnets.

    Warning requirements. 1 Require magnet sets to bear warnings that conform to specific form requirements, warn of the ingestion hazard, and indicate the product is not intended for children. Require warnings on product packaging, including in a location that requires a user to see the warning when opening the package.

    1 The petitioner also requests that the Commission require purchasers to acknowledge having read product warnings and assent to the risk of injury when purchasing magnet sets online. Under Section 7 of the CPSA, the Commission may issue only performance requirements and requirements for warnings or instructions. Therefore, the Commission lacks authority to require these additional provisions.

    Instructional requirements. Require magnet sets to include instructions that indicate how to avoid using the magnet set in a way that can lead to ingesting, aspirating, or inserting the magnets into the body and how to return magnets to the packaging.

    Age restrictions. 2 Require warnings and instructions for magnet sets to include an age recommendation of 14 years or older.

    2 The petitioner also requests the following age restriction requirements for magnet sets that do not conform to the requested physical safety standards: (1) Prohibit the sale of magnet sets to users under 14 years old, and (2) require that only adults be permitted to buy magnet sets. Again, Section 7 of the CPSA authorizes the Commission to issue only performance requirements and warning requirements. Therefore, the Commission lacks authority to adopt these restrictions.

    The Commission seeks comments concerning this petition.

    The petition is available at: http://www.regulations.gov, under Docket No. CPSC-2017-0037, Supporting and Related Materials. Alternatively, interested parties may obtain a copy of the petition by writing or calling the Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-6833.

    Alberta E. Mills, Acting Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21534 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0356; FRL-9968-81-Region 7] Approval of Missouri Air Quality Implementation Plans; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision from the State of Missouri for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Section 110 of the CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each new or revised NAAQS promulgated by EPA. These SIPs are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIPs. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA. In the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register, we are approving the state's SIP revisions as a direct final rule without a prior proposed rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by November 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0356, to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tracey Casburn, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7016, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document proposes to take action on the State of Missouri Infrastructure SIP revision for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS. We have published a direct final rule approving the State's SIP revision (s) in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register, because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no relevant adverse comment. We have explained our reasons for this action in the preamble to the direct final rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment, we will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. We would address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. We do not intend to institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information, please see the information provided in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 21, 2017. Cathy Stepp, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21525 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2017-0515; FRL-9968-79-Region 7] Approval of Missouri Air Quality Implementation Plans; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision from the State of Missouri for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Section 110 of the CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each new or revised NAAQS promulgated by EPA. These SIPs are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIPs. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA. In the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register, we are approving the state's SIP revisions as a direct final rule without a prior proposed rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by November 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2017-0515, to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tracey Casburn, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7016, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document proposes to take action on the State of Missouri Infrastructure SIP revision for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. We have published a direct final rule approving the State's SIP revision(s) in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register, because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no relevant adverse comment. We have explained our reasons for this action in the preamble to the direct final rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment, we will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. We would address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. We do not intend to institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information, please see the information provided in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 21, 2017. Cathy Stepp, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21529 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R02-OAR-2017-0101, FRL-9968-91-Region 2] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Jersey; Motor Vehicle Enhanced Inspection and Maintenance Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for New Jersey's enhanced inspection and maintenance (I/M) program. New Jersey has made several amendments to its I/M program to improve performance of the program and has requested that the SIP be revised to include these changes. Chief among the amendments the EPA is proposing to approve is New Jersey's amendment to its I/M program to discontinue two-speed idle tests on model year 1981-1995 light duty gasoline vehicles, idle tests on pre-1981 model year light duty gasoline vehicles, idle tests on heavy duty gasoline vehicles and gas cap leak testing. In addition, heavy duty gasoline vehicles equipped with on-board diagnostics (OBD) will be subject to OBD testing with this revision. The EPA is proposing approval of this SIP revision because it meets all applicable requirements of the Clean Air Act and the EPA's regulations and because the revision will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of the national ambient air quality standards in the affected area. The intended effect of this action is to maintain consistency between the State-adopted rules and the federally approved SIP.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 6, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R02-OAR-2017-0101, at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reema Loutan, Air Programs Branch, Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866, (212) 637-3760, or by email at [email protected].

    Table of Contents I. What action is the EPA proposing? II. Background Information What are the Clean Air Act requirements for a moderate 8-hr ozone nonattainment area? History of the Ozone Standard and Area Designations Clean Air Act Requirements for I/M Programs III. What was included in New Jersey's SIP submittal? IV. What are the I/M performance standard requirements and does New Jersey's I/M program satisfy them? V. What are New Jersey's I/M program benefits? VI. What are the EPA's conclusions? VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What action is the EPA proposing?

    The EPA is proposing to approve a revision, submitted by New Jersey on September 16, 2016, to the New Jersey State Implementation Plan (SIP) pertaining to New Jersey's motor vehicle enhanced inspection and maintenance (I/M) program. New Jersey provided the EPA with documentation on the emission impacts that will result from changes to New Jersey's enhanced I/M program including a comparison to the EPA I/M performance standard. The revisions submitted by New Jersey include discontinuing the two-speed idle tests on model year 1981-1995 light duty gasoline vehicles, idle tests on pre-1981 model year light duty gasoline vehicles, idle tests on heavy duty gasoline vehicles and gas cap leak testing; requiring OBD testing for heavy duty gasoline vehicles equipped with on-board diagnostics (OBD); requiring inspections for commercial vehicles; and requiring that re-inspections of all vehicles be performed at New Jersey's decentralized I/M facilities.

    II. Background Information

    What are the Clean Air Act requirements for a moderate 8-hr ozone nonattainment area?

    History of the Ozone Standard and Area Designations

    In 1997, the EPA revised the health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, setting it at 0.08 parts per million (ppm) averaged over an 8-hour period. The EPA set the 8-hour ozone standard based on scientific evidence demonstrating that ozone causes adverse health effects at lower ozone concentrations and over longer periods of time than was understood when the pre-existing 1-hour ozone standard was set. The EPA determined that the 8-hour standard would be more protective of human health, especially with regard to children and adults who are active outdoors, and individuals with a pre-existing respiratory disease, such as asthma.

    On April 30, 2004 (69 FR 23857), the EPA finalized its attainment/nonattainment designations for areas across the country, including the State of New Jersey, with respect to the 8-hour ozone standard. These actions became effective on June 15, 2004. Then on March 27, 2008 (73 FR 16436), the EPA revised the level of the 8-hour primary, health-based standard to a level of 0.075 parts per million (ppm), to provide increased protection for children and other “at risk” populations against an array of ozone-related adverse health effects such as decreased lung function and increased respiratory symptoms.

    The New Jersey portion of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area is composed of the following counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren. The New Jersey portion of the Philadelphia-Wilmington, Atlantic City, PA-DE-MD-NJ nonattainment area is composed of the following counties: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean and Salem. All of these counties in both areas were classified as moderate or above ozone nonattainment areas under the previous 1-hour ozone standard. These designations triggered the requirements under section 182(b) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for moderate and above nonattainment areas, including a requirement to submit an enhanced motor vehicle I/M program.

    CAA section 181(b)(2) requires the EPA Administrator to determine, based on an area's design value (which represents air quality in the area for the most recent 3-year period) as of an area's attainment deadline, whether an ozone nonattainment area attained the ozone standard by that date. The statute provides a mechanism by which states that meet certain criteria may request and be granted by the EPA Administrator a 1-year extension of an area's attainment deadline. The CAA also requires that areas that have not attained the standard by their attainment deadlines be reclassified to either the next “highest” classification (e.g., marginal to moderate, moderate to serious, etc.) or to the classifications applicable to the areas' design value.

    Under the original designations for the 2008 ozone NAAQS in July 2012, New Jersey was classified as marginal. However, New Jersey failed to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the applicable marginal attainment deadline of July 20, 2015. Therefore, on May 4, 2016 (81 FR 26697), the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT was reclassified from marginal to moderate for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, with a new 2008 ozone NAAQS attainment date of July 20, 2018. In that same action, the EPA determined that the Philadelphia Area and Southern New Jersey qualified for a 1-year extension of its attainment date, as provided in section 181(a)(5) of the CAA and interpreted by regulation at 40 CFR 51.1107, and granted the requested extension. The EPA established the new attainment date for the Philadelphia Area as July 20, 2016, to be based on ambient air quality monitoring data for the 2013-2015 monitoring period.

    Demonstrating Noninterference With Attainment and Maintenance Under CAA Section 110(l)

    Revisions to SIP-approved control measures must meet the requirements of CAA section 110(l) to be approved by the EPA. Section 110(l) states:

    The Administrator shall not approve a revision of a plan if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of this Act.

    The EPA interprets section 110(l) to apply to all requirements of the CAA and to all areas of the country, whether attainment, nonattainment, unclassifiable, or maintenance, for one or more of the six criteria pollutants. The EPA also interprets section 110(l) to require a demonstration addressing all pollutants whose emissions and/or ambient concentrations may change as a result of the SIP revision. In the absence of an attainment demonstration, to demonstrate no interference with any applicable NAAQS or requirement of the CAA under section 110(l), the EPA believes it is appropriate to allow states to substitute equivalent emissions reductions to compensate for any change to a SIP approved program, as long as actual emissions in the air are not increased. “Equivalent” emissions reductions mean reductions which are equal to or greater than those reductions achieved by the control measure approved in the active portion of the SIP. In order to show that compensating emissions reductions are equivalent, modeling or adequate justification must be provided. The compensating, equivalent reductions must represent actual, new emissions reductions achieved in a contemporaneous time frame to the change of the existing SIP control measure, in order to preserve the status quo level of emission in the air. In addition to being contemporaneous, the equivalent emissions reductions must also be permanent, enforceable, quantifiable, and surplus to be approved into the SIP. See Section V for information on the state's 110(l) demonstration and I/M program benefits.

    Clean Air Act Requirements for I/M Programs

    The CAA requires certain states to implement an enhanced I/M program to detect gasoline-fueled motor vehicles that exhibit excessive emissions of certain air pollutants. The enhanced I/M program is intended to help states meet federal health-based NAAQS for ozone and carbon monoxide by requiring vehicles with excess emissions to have their emissions control systems repaired. Section 182 of the CAA requires I/M programs in those areas of the nation that are most impacted by carbon monoxide and ozone pollution.

    On April 5, 2001, the EPA published in the Federal Register “Amendments to Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program Requirements Incorporating the On-Board Diagnostics Check” (66 FR 18156). The revised I/M rule requires that electronic checks of the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system on model year 1996 and newer OBD-equipped motor vehicles be conducted as part of states' motor vehicle I/M programs. OBD is part of the sophisticated vehicle powertrain management system and is designed to detect engine and transmission problems that might cause vehicle emissions to exceed allowable limits.

    The OBD system monitors the status of up to 11 emission control related subsystems by performing either continuous or periodic functional tests of specific components and vehicle conditions. The first three testing categories—misfire, fuel trim, and comprehensive components—are continuous, while the remaining eight only run after a certain set of conditions has been met. The algorithms for running these eight periodic monitors are unique to each manufacturer and involve such things as ambient temperature as well as driving conditions. Most vehicles will have at least five of the eight remaining monitors (catalyst, evaporative system, oxygen sensor, heated oxygen sensor, and exhaust gas recirculation or EGR system) while the remaining three (air conditioning, secondary air, and heated catalyst) are not necessarily applicable to all vehicles. When a vehicle is scanned at an OBD-I/M test site, these monitors can appear as either “ready” (meaning the monitor in question has been evaluated), “not ready” (meaning the monitor has not yet been evaluated), or “not applicable” (meaning the vehicle is not equipped with the component monitor in question).

    The OBD system is also designed to fully evaluate the vehicle emissions control system. If the OBD system detects a problem that may cause vehicle emissions to exceed 1.5 times the Federal Test Procedure standards, then the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) or Check Engine Light, is illuminated. By turning on the MIL, the OBD system notifies the vehicle operator that an emission-related fault has been detected, and the vehicle should be repaired as soon as possible, thus reducing the harmful emissions contributed by that vehicle.

    The EPA's revised OBD I/M rule applies to only those areas that are required to implement I/M programs under the CAA, which includes the aforementioned counties in New Jersey. This rule established a deadline of January 1, 2002 for states to begin performing OBD checks on 1996 and newer model OBD-equipped vehicles and to require repairs to be performed on those vehicles with malfunctions identified by the OBD check.

    New Jersey is required to have an enhanced I/M program pursuant to the CAA, and consequently has adopted, and has been implementing an enhanced I/M program statewide since December 13, 1999. On January 22, 2002, (67 FR 2811), the EPA fully approved New Jersey's enhanced I/M program and the State's performance standard modeling as meeting the applicable requirements of the CAA. Additional information on the EPA's final approval of New Jersey's enhanced I/M program can be found in the EPA's January 22, 2002, final approval notice.

    III. What was included in New Jersey's SIP submittal?

    On September 16, 2016, New Jersey submitted a revision to the State of New Jersey's I/M program SIP. The submittal consists of new rules and rule amendments to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's rules at N.J.A.C. 7:27-14, 7:27-15, 7:27A-3, 7:27B-4, 7:27B-5 and the Motor Vehicle Commission rules at N.J.A.C. 13:20-7.1 through 7.6, 13:20-26.12 and 26.16, 13:20-32.1 through 32.49, 13:20-33.1 through 33.50, Appendix C, N.J.A.C 13:20-43.1, 43.2 and 43.2A, 43.4 through 43.8, 43.14, 43.16, and N.J.A.C 13:20-44.2, 44.3 and 44.10.

    The changes to New Jersey's I/M program include the elimination of exhaust emission tests or tailpipe testing for all gasoline motor vehicles. OBD testing will be required for all vehicles, including heavy duty gasoline vehicles, subject to inspection and required by the EPA to be equipped with an OBD system. The two-speed idle tests on model year 1981-1995 light duty gasoline vehicles, idle tests on pre-1981 model year light duty gasoline vehicles and idle tests on heavy duty gasoline vehicles will be discontinued.

    The changes to New Jersey's I/M program also include procedures for diesel exhaust after-treatment checks, standards for fuel leak checks and replacement of the fuel cap leak test for gasoline-fueled vehicles with a visual gas cap check to ensure that the gas cap is present. NJ also submitted amendments to rules related to inspection requirements and inspection procedures. For heavy-duty diesel powered vehicles, New Jersey is repealing the rolling acceleration smoke opacity test, and the power brake smoke opacity test, and retaining only the snap acceleration smoke opacity test.

    Enforcement related amendments include authorizing inspectors of both gasoline-fueled and diesel-powered motor vehicles to fail a vehicle if it is determined that there has been tampering with the vehicle's emission controls. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection may also impose penalties for tampering with emission controls on diesel vehicles. The New Jersey Diesel Emission Inspection Center inspection forms will be replaced with daily electronic reporting of diesel inspections, and private inspection facilities will submit diesel inspection information through an electronic portal or workstation.

    New Jersey provided documentation on the emission impacts that will result from proposed changes to New Jersey's I/M program, including a comparison to the EPA I/M performance standard.

    IV. What are the I/M performance standard requirements and does New Jersey's I/M program satisfy them?

    As part of its final rule for I/M requirements, the EPA established a “model” program for areas that were required to implement enhanced I/M programs. This model program is termed by the EPA as the “I/M performance standard” and is defined by a specific set of program elements. The purpose of the performance standard is to provide a gauge by which the EPA can evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of each state's enhanced I/M program. As such, states are required to demonstrate that their enhanced I/M programs achieve applicable area-wide emission levels for the pollutants of interest that are equal to, or lower than, those which would be realized by the implementation of the model program.

    Originally, the EPA only designed one enhanced performance standard, as specified at 40 CFR 51.351, and required all enhanced I/M program areas to meet or exceed that standard. However, on September 18, 1995, the EPA promulgated the “low” enhanced performance standard. The low enhanced performance standard is a less stringent enhanced I/M performance standard established for those areas that have an approved SIP for Rate of Progress (ROP) for 1996, and do not have a disapproved plan for ROP for the period after 1996 or a disapproved plan for attainment of the air quality standards for ozone or carbon monoxide. New Jersey is currently demonstrating compliance with the CAA requirements for ROP and attainment and can therefore use the “low” enhanced performance standard. The revised performance standard modeling included as part of New Jersey's submittal is designed to show attainment of the low enhanced performance standard.

    In accordance with the EPA's final rule for I/M requirements (40 CFR part 51, subpart S), a state must design and implement its enhanced I/M program such that it meets or exceeds a minimum performance standard. The performance standard is expressed as average grams per mile (gpm) or tons per day emission levels from area-wide highway mobile sources as a result of the enhanced I/M program. Areas must meet the performance standard for the pollutants that cause them to be subject to the enhanced I/M requirements. New Jersey was required to implement its enhanced I/M program because of its non-attainment status for two criteria air pollutants, ozone (of which volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) are precursors) and carbon monoxide.

    The EPA's final rule on I/M requirements also requires that the equivalency of the emission levels achieved by the state's enhanced I/M program design compared to those of the performance standard must be demonstrated using the most current version of the EPA's mobile source emission model. The model New Jersey utilized in its analysis was MOVES2014, which was the most current version of the EPA's mobile source emission model at the time the SIP revisions were submitted.

    Table 1 below compares the Low Enhanced I/M Performance Standards with New Jersey's existing and proposed enhanced I/M programs.

    Table 1—Performance Standard and New Jersey's Enhanced Program Designs Program element Low enhanced performance standard New Jersey's existing enhanced
  • I/M program
  • New Jersey's new enhanced
  • I/M program
  • Network Type 100% centralized hybrid—70%, centralized/30%, decentralized hybrid—70%, centralized/30%, decentralized. Program Start Date 1983 1974 1974. Regulatory Class Coverage for Source types: 21, 31 and 32 1 100%, 94%, 88% 100% 100%, 97.0%, 94.0%. Overall I/M Program Effectiveness for Source types: 21, 31 and 32 2 93.12%, 87.53%, 81.95% 96% 96.00%, 93.12%, 90.24%. Test Frequency Annual Biennial Biennial. New Vehicle Exemption None 5 Years 5 Years. Model Year (MY) Coverage 1968 and later MY all vehicles not specifically exempt 1996 and later MY Vehicle Type Coverage All light-duty gasoline-fueled vehicles and trucks (up to 8,500 lbs. GVWR) All gasoline-fueled vehicles and trucks (both light and heavy duty vehicles) All gasoline-fueled vehicles and trucks except non-OBD equipped vehicles greater than 8,500 lbs. GVWR. Exhaust Emission Test Idle—1968-2050 MY OBD—1996 and later MY beginning 6/1/03, Two-Speed Idle—1981-1995 MY, Idle—pre-1981 and HDGVs OBD—1996 and later MY. Evaporative System Function Checks N/A Gas Cap Testing—1971—2000 MY inclusive (beginning calendar year 1998) None. Waiver Rate 3% 0% 0%. Compliance Rate 96% 96% 96%. Evaluation Date July 2018 July 2018 July 2018.

    I/M programs are designed and implemented to meet or exceed an applicable minimum federal performance standard. To determine whether a state's proposed program is projected to meet or exceed the relevant performance standard specified in 40 CFR 51.351, the state performed three modeling scenarios: 3 A no-I/M case, the proposed program, and the applicable I/M performance standard. More conventionally, performance standards are expressed as emission reductions, as compared to a no I/M scenario. The performance standard emission results will vary for each state due to the use of state-specific inputs such as registration distribution and fuel types. I/M jurisdictions are allowed to adopt alternate design features other than the EPA's “model” inputs and must show compliance with the applicable performance standard for the pollutant(s) that established I/M requirements.

    1 Source Types included are: 21—passenger vehicles; 31—passenger trucks; 32—light commercial trucks.

    2 Overall I/M Program effectiveness is calculated as follows: Compliance Factor = percent compliance rate × (100−percent waiver rate) × regulatory class coverage adjustment.

    3 Information on the three modeling scenarios can be found at Performance Standard Modeling for New and Existing Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Programs Using the MOVES Mobile Source Emissions Model, EPA-420-B-14-006, January 2014.

    In order to complete its performance standard and program evaluation modeling, New Jersey used the parameters and assumptions shown previously in Table 1, as well as the assumption and values in Table 2.

    Table 2—Modeling Assumptions Modeling parameters Value used for average summer runs
  • (VOC and NOX)
  • Maximum Temperature (F) 83.4. Minimum Temperature (F) 63.8. Relative Humidity range (%) 50-86.8. Activity Inputs (VMT, Speed Age Distributions, Vehicle Populations, etc.) New Jersey USEPA EIS MOVES Inputs for 2018. Early NLEV and NJ Low Emission Vehicle Program without ZEV Mandate Yes. Fuel Specifications MOVES Defaults.

    Table 3 shows the emissions reduction results from modeling the New Jersey I/M program compared to the EPA low enhanced performance standard. The emissions reductions achieved under New Jersey's new proposed I/M program meet or exceed those achieved under the performance standards.

    Table 3—Low Enhanced Performance Standard Modeling Results Program type VOC + NOX
  • (tons/day)
  • Carbon
  • monoxide
  • (tons/day)
  • USEPA Low Enhanced Performance Standard (2002) 160.3 853.1 New Jersey, No I/M Program (2018) 163.7 935.6 New Jersey Proposed I/M Program (2018) 153.4 829.1

    New Jersey has demonstrated that the changes to their enhanced I/M program will meet the performance standard requirements and will therefore continue to achieve emission reductions necessary to attain and maintain the NAAQS for all criteria pollutants. Specifically, New Jersey's modeling of the proposed I/M program resulted in emission reductions of 153.4 tons per day VOC and NOX, and 829.1 tons/day CO which exceeds EPA's performance standards of 160.3 tons/day VOC and NOX and 853.1 tons/day CO.

    EPA's Evaluation

    The EPA has reviewed New Jersey's changes to its enhanced I/M program that differ from the previous Federally approved program and has determined that those changes meet relevant performance standards and are therefore approvable into the SIP. The EPA will continue to evaluate New Jersey's enhanced I/M program effectiveness through the annual and biennial reports submitted by New Jersey in accordance with 40 CFR 51.366, “Data Analysis and Reporting.”

    V. What are New Jersey's I/M program benefits?

    For SIP revisions that will or could potentially lead to a change in emissions or ambient concentrations of a pollutant or its precursors, the section 110(l) demonstration should address all pollutants whose emissions and/or ambient concentrations may change as a result of the SIP revision. As indicated in Table 4, the I/M Program Benefits modeling performed by New Jersey and verified by the EPA shows an emissions reduction benefit shortfall of 2 tons per day between New Jersey's existing and new enhanced I/M programs for ozone precursors (VOCs and NOX), and 11.4 tons per day for carbon monoxide. Shortfall is a term of art that means there are lower projected benefits than what is currently in place. New Jersey needs to “make up” for this decrease in projected emission reductions resulting from the changes being made to the I/M program through the application of programs not already included in the 8-hour ozone SIP. The decrease in projected emission reductions from the changes in the I/M program is calculated by running the MOVES2014 model for both the existing and proposed new I/M programs for the evaluation year of 2018. New Jersey addresses the emissions benefit shortfall by using a portion of the emission benefits from the New Jersey Low Emission Vehicle Program (NJLEV). The emission benefits from the NJLEV program are quantified by additional MOVES2014 modeling that include scenarios with and without NJLEV inputs. The difference in emissions between these MOVES2014 scenarios represents the estimates of the NJLEV emission benefits. The emission reduction benefits from the NJLEV program are considered contemporaneous because a new phase of the NJLEV rules began in 2015 to incorporate more stringent evaporative and emissions standards. New vehicles sold in New Jersey are meeting these more stringent NJLEV rules ahead of EPA Tier 3 standards which are equivalent to NJLEV. Additional control measures and strategies that New Jersey is relying on to further improve air quality are:

    Control of Petroleum Storage Tanks (N.J.A.C 7:27-16.2) Electric Generating Rule (N.J.A.C 7:27-4.2, 10.2, 19.4) Portable fuel Containers (N.J.A.C 7:27-24) Voluntary Retrofits of Ferries (DERA/CMAQ Grants) Phase 2 HEDD Rule for Electric Generating Units (N.J.A.C 7:27-19.29) Continuation of the I/M Program for Diesel Vehicles (N.J.A.C 7:27-14)

    A summary of the I/M Program benefits modeling results is found in Table 4.

    Table 4—I/M Program Benefits Modeling Results—Based on 2018 Statewide Onroad Emission Data Model scenario Emission
  • reductions,
  • VOC + NOX
  • (tons/day)
  • Emission
  • reductions
  • carbon
  • monoxide
  • (tons/day)
  • A. New Jersey Existing I/M Program Without the NJLEV Program 154.0 867.2 B. New Jersey Proposed I/M Program Without the NJLEV Program 156.0 878.6 C. New Jersey Proposed I/M Program with NJLEV Program 153.4 829.1 D. NJLEV Benefits for 2009 Model Year That Were Claimed in a Previous Ozone Attainment Demonstration SIP 0.3 5.1 E. SIP Emission Benefits Shortfall (From I/M Program Changes) (B-A) 2.0 11.4 F. NJLEV Benefits (B-C) 2.6 49.5 G. NJLEV Benefits Not Previously Claimed (F-D) 2.3 44.4
    EPA's Evaluation

    Based on the above discussion and the state's 110(l) demonstration, EPA believes that the changes to the New Jersey's I/M program will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of any of the NAAQS in either the Northern or Southern New Jersey nonattainment areas and would not interfere with any other applicable requirement of the CAA, and thus, are approvable under CAA section 110(l).

    VI. What are the EPA's conclusions?

    The EPA's review of the materials submitted indicates that New Jersey has revised its I/M program in accordance with the requirements of the CAA, 40 CFR part 51 and all of the EPA's technical requirements for an approvable Enhanced I/M program. The EPA is proposing to approve the rules and rule amendments to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's rules at N.J.A.C. 7:27-14, 7:27-15, 7:27A-3, 7:27B-4, 7:27B-5 and the Motor Vehicle Commission rules at N.J.A.C. 13:20-7.1 through 7.6, 13:20-26.12 and 26.16, 13:20-32.1 through 32.49, 13:20-33.1 through 33.50, Appendix C, N.J.A.C 13:20-43.1, 43.2 and 43.2A, 43.4 through 43.8, 43.14, 43.16, and N.J.A.C 13:20-44.2, 44.3 and 44.10. The CAA gives states the discretion in program planning to implement programs of the state's choosing as long as necessary emission reductions are met.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and the EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 11, 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.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 6, 2017. Catherine R. McCabe, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 2.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21521 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2016-0121; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BB46 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on the Proposed Threatened Status for the Louisiana Pinesnake AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of the comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 6-month extension of the final determination of whether to list the Louisiana pinesnake (Pituophis ruthveni) as a threatened species. We also reopen the comment period on the proposed rule to list the species for an additional 30 days. We are taking this action based on substantial disagreement regarding available information related to the interpretation of the available survey data used to determine the Louisiana pinesnake's status and trends. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they are already incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in the final rule. We will submit a final listing determination to the Federal Register for publication on or before April 6, 2018.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the proposed rule published October 6, 2016 (81 FR 69454), is reopened. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before November 6, 2017. If you comment using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES), you must submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.

    ADDRESSES:

    Document availability: You may obtain copies of the proposed rule on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2016-0121. Copies of the proposed rule are also available at https://www.fws.gov/southeast/lafayette/.

    Comment submission: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the docket number for this proposed rule, which is FWS-R4-ES-2016-0121. Then click on the Search button. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!” Please ensure that you have found the correct rulemaking before submitting your comment.

    2. U.S. mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2016-0121; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Ranson, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Ecological Services Office, 646 Cajundome Blvd., Suite 400, Lafayette, LA; telephone 337-291-3101. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On October 6, 2016 (81 FR 69454), we published under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), a proposed rule to add the Louisiana pinesnake 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)). That proposal had a 60-day comment period, ending December 5, 2016. We also solicited and received independent scientific review of the information contained in the proposed rule from peer reviewers with expertise in the Louisiana pinesnake or similar species, in accordance with our July 1, 1994, peer review policy (59 FR 34270). For a description of previous Federal actions concerning the Louisiana pinesnake, please refer to the proposed listing rule.

    Section 4(b)(6) of the Act and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.17(a) require that we take one of three actions within 1 year of a proposed listing and concurrent proposed designation of critical habitat: (1) Finalize the proposed rule; (2) withdraw the proposed rule; or (3) extend the final determination by not more than 6 months, if there is substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the determination.

    Since the publication of the October 6, 2016, proposed listing rule (81 FR 69454), there has been substantial disagreement regarding available information related to the interpretation of the available survey data used to determine the Louisiana pinesnake's status and trends. Specifically, during the public comment period, we received multiple comments on the proposed listing and the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data used to support it. In particular, the comments reflected significant disagreement, including from one of the peer reviewers, regarding the interpretation of the available data used to determine the Louisiana pinesnake's status and trends, including the current conservation status of the Louisiana pinesnake in Louisiana and, particularly, in Texas. Therefore, in consideration of these disagreements, we have determined that a 6-month extension of the final determination for this rulemaking is necessary, and we are hereby extending the final determination for 6 months in order to solicit and consider additional information that will help to clarify these issues and to fully analyze data that are relevant to our final listing determination. With this 6-month extension, we will make a final determination on the proposed rule no later than April 6, 2018.

    Information Requested

    We will accept written comments and information during this reopened comment period on our proposed listing rule. We will consider information and recommendations from all interested parties. We intend that any final action resulting from the proposal be as accurate as possible and based on the best available scientific and commercial data.

    We are particularly interested in new information and comments regarding:

    (1) The interpretation of scientific literature in the proposed rulemaking, and whether we overlooked any scientific literature in our analysis. In particular, some commenters expressed concern that there is insufficient scientific information (survey data in particular) to adequately assess the conservation status of the species, while others expressed concern that the available scientific information supports an endangered determination.

    (2) Additional survey information, including maps, throughout the Louisiana pinesnake's range, especially for Texas.

    (3) Trapping results to determine the Louisiana pinesnake's estimated occupied habitat areas (EOHAs). During the peer review period, peer reviewers were critical of methods used to determine EOHAs and questioned the interpretation that resulted from our analysis.

    If you previously submitted comments or information on the October 6, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 69454), please do not resubmit them. We have incorporated previously submitted comments into the public record, and we will fully consider them in the preparation of our final determination. Our final determination concerning the proposed listing will take into consideration all written comments and any additional information we receive.

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

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

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

    Authority:

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: August 30, 2017. James W. Kurth, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21591 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648-BF82 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Essential Fish Habitat AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of fishery management plan amendment; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council has submitted the Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2, incorporating an Environmental Impact Statement, for review by the Secretary of Commerce. NMFS is requesting comments from the public on the Omnibus Amendment, which was developed by the Council to revise the essential fish habitat designations for each Council-managed species, designate Habitat Areas of Particular Concern, revise the system of essential fish habitat management areas, address seasonal groundfish spawning spatial management, establish Dedicated Habitat Research Areas, and identify actions that can be modified by framework and other administrative concerns relating to the Amendment. The intended effect of this action is to ensure the Council's fishery management plans comply with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act's requirements to routinely review and update essential fish habitat designations and to continue to minimize to the extent practicable the adverse effects of fishing on such designated habitat.

    DATES:

    Public comments must be received on or before December 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2017-0123, by any 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-2017-0123 click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope: “Comments on Omnibus EFH Amendment.”

    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 commenter may be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Copies of the Omnibus Amendment, including its Environmental Impact Statement, preliminary Regulatory Impact Review, and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EIS/RIR/IRFA), are available from the New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. The EIS/RIR/IRFA is also accessible via the Internet at: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Moira Kelly, Senior Fishery Program Specialist, (978) 281-9218; fax: (978) 281-9135, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 (Omnibus EFH Amendment) was initiated to review and update the essential fish habitat (EFH) designations, the habitat area of particular concern (HAPC) designations, and the habitat-related spatial management program for the New England Fishery Management Council's suite of fishery management plans (FMP). Omnibus EFH Amendment was developed over several years, with the first half dedicated to updating the EFH designations and consideration of HAPCs. The remainder of the development was focused on revising the system of year-round closed areas, which restrict some types of fishing gear in order to protect vulnerable habitat and establish a system of Dedicated Habitat Research Areas (DHRAs). Prior to consideration of management area changes, the Council determined it was important to consider revisions to the year-round groundfish closures together because of the substantial overlap with the habitat management closures.

    The Council established 10 goals and 14 objectives to guide the development of this action. Goals 1-8 were established in 2004, at the onset of the Amendment's development, and focus on identification of EFH, fishing and non-fishing activities that may adversely affect EFH, and the development of measures and management programs to conserve, protect, and enhance EFH and to minimize to the extent practicable the adverse effects of fishing on EFH. The additional goals (9 and 10) were developed after the Council voted to incorporate revision of the groundfish closures in the Amendment. These goals are focused on enhancing groundfish productivity and maximizing the societal net benefits from groundfish.

    The 14 objectives map to 1 or more of the Amendment's goals and provide more specific guidance on how to achieve that goal. For example, the objectives include identifying new data sources upon which to base the EFH designations (Objective A), developing analytical tools for EFH designation, minimization of adverse impacts, and monitoring the effectiveness of measures (Objective D; Goals 1, 3, and 5). Other objectives include modifying fishing methods to reduce impacts (Objective E; Goal 4), supporting the restoration of degraded habitat (Objective F; Goal 4), improved groundfish spawning protection, including protection of localized spawning contingents, and improved protection of critical groundfish habitats (Goals 9 and 10). Please see Volume 1, Section 3 of the in the EIS for more details on the goals and objectives of this Amendment.

    Proposed Measures 1. Essential Fish Habitat Designations

    The Council proposes to update the EFH designations for all species and all life stages for which more recent information is available. EFH is defined as those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity. EFH designations consist of two complementary elements, the text descriptions, and the map representations. Any specific area is only considered EFH if it is displayed in the EFH map and meets the conditions defined in the text description. Thus, the two components of EFH must be used in conjunction with one another when applying EFH designations to fishery management, EFH consultation, or other questions.

    A full description of the updated designations, including maps of the designations, can be found in Volume 2 of the EIS. In addition, a thorough discussion of the methods and approaches used to assemble the designations is provided in the EIS. The quality and quantity of information varied by species, so a single approach for all Council-managed species and lifestage is not possible. The Council relied upon the best available scientific information for each species.

    2. Habitat Areas of Particular Concern

    Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC) are intended to highlight specific areas of EFH that require additional consideration. HAPC designations should be based on one or more of the following criteria: (1) The importance of the ecological function provided by the habitat, including both the historical and current ecological function; (2) the extent to which the habitat is sensitive to human-induced environmental degradation; (3) whether, and to what extent, development activities are, or will be, stressing the habitat type; and (4) the rarity of the habitat type (50 CFR 600.815(a)(8)). The Council considered proposals from the public using additional criteria in designating HAPCs, including whether the designation would improve fisheries management in the exclusive economic zone, include EFH for more than one Council-managed species, include juvenile cod EFH, and meet more than one of the regulatory HAPC criteria listed above. Discussion of the areas considered and the eight criteria listed above can be found in Volume 2 of the EIS.

    The Council is recommending that the current Atlantic Salmon HAPC and the Northern Edge Juvenile Cod HAPC remain as designated because they continue to meet the criteria listed above. In addition, the Council is recommending the following areas as new HAPCs: Inshore Juvenile Cod HAPC; Great South Channel Juvenile Cod HAPC; Cashes Ledge HAPC; Jeffreys Ledge/Stellwagen Bank HAPC; Bear and Retriever Seamounts; and eleven canyon/canyon complexes (Heezen; Lydonia, Gilbert, and Oceanographers; Hydrographer; Veatch; Alvin, and Atlantis; Hudson; Toms, Middle Toms, and Hendrickson; Wilmington; Baltimore; Washington; and Norfolk). Maps and coordinates for the HAPC designations can be found in Volume 2 of the EIS.

    3. Spatial Management for Adverse Effects Minimization

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that fishery management plans evaluate and minimize, to the extent practicable, the adverse effects of fishing on designated EFH. The evaluation should consider the effects of each fishing activity on each type of habitat found with EFH. Councils must prevent, mitigate, or minimize any adverse effects from fishing on EFH, to the extent practicable, if there is evidence that a fishing activity adversely affects EFH in a manner that is more than minimal and not temporary in nature. To that end, the Council is recommending the following habitat management areas (HMA) and restrictions. Full descriptions, including maps and coordinates of the Council's recommendations, can be found in Volume 3 of the EIS.

    In the Eastern Gulf of Maine, the Council recommends establishing the Small Eastern Maine HMA, closed to all mobile bottom-tending gears.

    In the Central Gulf of Maine, the Council recommends maintaining the existing Cashes Ledge Groundfish Closure Area, with its current fishing restrictions and exemptions; modifying the existing Jeffreys Bank and Cashes Ledge Habitat Closure Areas, with their current fishing restrictions and exemptions; establishing the Fippennies Ledge HMA, closed to mobile bottom-tending gear; and establishing the Ammen Rock HMA, closed to all fishing except lobster traps.

    In the Western Gulf of Maine, the Council recommends maintaining the existing Western Gulf of Maine Habitat Closure Area, closed to mobile bottom-tending gears, and modifying the eastern boundary of the Western Gulf of Maine Closure Area to align with the habitat closure area, while maintaining the current fishing restrictions and requirements for both areas. The Council also recommends creating an exemption area within the northwest corner of those closures for shrimp trawls and designating the existing Roller Gear Restricted Area requirements as a habitat protection measure.

    On Georges Bank, the Council recommends removing the year-round and habitat closures of Closed Areas I and II and replacing them with three new areas: (1) The Georges Shoal 2 HMA, closed to mobile bottom-tending gear, with a one-year delay in closure to hydraulic clam dredges; (2) the Northern Edge Reduced Impact HMA, closed to mobile bottom-tending gear, with two exceptions described below; and (3) the Northern Edge Mobile Bottom-Tending Gear HMA, closed to mobile bottom-tending gear without any exceptions. Exemptions to the Reduced Impact HMA are scallop dredge fishing in accordance with the scallop rotational area program, and trawl fishing to the west of the existing western boundary of Closed Area II (67°20′ W. long.), in what is now the Eastern Georges Bank Special Access Program. In addition, any portions of the Closed Area II groundfish closed area north of 41°30′ N. lat. would be closed to scallop fishing between June 15 and October 31 of each year. The remainder of the existing Closed Area I Habitat and Groundfish Closure Areas and Closed Area II Groundfish Closure Area would be opened, except for seasonal spawning protection as described below.

    In the Great South Channel, the Council recommends establishing the Great South Channel HMA, closed to mobile bottom-tending gear. Closure to hydraulic clam dredges would be delayed for one year, outside of the northeast corner of the area. The Council also recommends establishing two HMAs on Cox Ledge, closed to hydraulic clam dredges, and requiring no ground cables on trawls fishing in the areas. The Nantucket Lightship Habitat Closure Area and the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area would be removed.

    4. Groundfish Spawning Protections

    In the Gulf of Maine, the Council recommends establishing the Massachusetts Bay Cod Spawning Protection Area from November through January of each year and closing statistical block 125 for the first half of April each year (the “Spring Massachusetts Bay Spawning Protection Area.”) The Massachusetts Bay Spawning Protection Area would be closed to all vessels, except those that do not have a Federal Northeast multispecies permit and are fishing exclusively in state waters; that are fishing with exempted gears (Pelagic hook and line, pelagic longline, spears, rakes, diving gear, cast nets, tongs, harpoons, weirs, dipnets, stop nets, pound nets, pelagic gillnets, pots and traps, shrimp trawls (with a properly configured grate), and surfclam and ocean quahog dredges); charter/party or recreational fishing vessels, provided that pelagic hook and line gear is used, and there is no retention of regulated species or ocean pout; and vessels that are transiting. The Spring Massachusetts Bay Spawning Protection Area would be closed to all vessels, except vessels that do not have a Federal Northeast multispecies permit and are fishing exclusively in state waters; vessels fishing with exempted gears (Pelagic hook and line, pelagic longline, spears, rakes, diving gear, cast nets, tongs, harpoons, weirs, dipnets, stop nets, pound nets, pelagic gillnets, pots and traps, shrimp trawls (with a properly configured grate), and surfclam and ocean quahog dredges); vessels participating in the mid-water trawl exempted fishery; vessels participating in the purse seine exempted fishery, sea scallop dredge gear when under a scallop day-at-sea; vessels lawfully in a scallop dredge exemption area; vessels that are transiting; charter and party vessels; and recreational vessels.

    On Georges Bank, the Council recommends converting the existing groundfish closure area, Closed Area II, and the existing habitat area, Closed Area I North, into seasonal closures. Both areas would be closed from February 1 through April 15 of each year to all commercial and recreational gears that catch groundfish, except scallop dredges, vessels fishing with exempted gears, vessels participating in the mid-water trawl fishery, and vessels that are transiting.

    5. Dedicated Habitat Research Areas

    Dedicated Habitat Research Areas (DHRAs) are intended to facilitate more focused research on fishing gear impacts on habitat or other issues related to habitat and fisheries productivity. The Council is recommending two DHRAs in this amendment. The Stellwagen DHRA would be implemented with the same restrictions as the Western Gulf of Maine closed areas described above. The Georges Bank DHRA, which is the same footprint as the current Closed Area I South Habitat Closure Area, would be closed to mobile bottom-tending gear.

    The Council is recommending these DHRAs in combination with a three-year sunset provision. If approved, three years after implementation, the Regional Administrator would initiate a review of the DHRAs and the research activity being conducted within them. If no research has been conducted or initiated to further the Council's habitat-related questions, the Regional Administrator may, after consultation with the Council, remove the DHRA designation.

    6. Framework and Administrative Actions

    The Council is recommending three administrative actions as part of the Omnibus EFH Amendment. First, additional spatial management measures, including designation or removal of HMAs and changes to fishing restrictions within HMAs, would be added to the list of frameworkable items for all fisheries. Second, a strategic process would be established to routinely evaluate the boundaries, scope, characteristics, and timing of the habitat and spawning protection areas, including a technical review that evaluates the performance of these areas at 10-year intervals following implementation. A list of questions to guide this review are provided in Volume 3 of the EIS. Third, building on what the Council learned during the review of the performance of existing closed areas and the development of new EFH management in this amendment, the Council would identify and periodically revise research priorities to improve habitat and spawning area monitoring.

    Public Comment Instructions

    Public comments on the Omnibus EFH Amendment and its incorporated documents may be submitted through the end of the comment period stated in this notice of availability. A proposed rule to implement the Amendment, including draft regulatory text, will be published in the Federal Register for public comment. Public comments on the proposed rule received by the end of the comment period provided in this notice of availability will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. All comments received by December 5, 2017, whether specifically directed to the Omnibus EFH Amendment or the proposed rule for this amendment, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the Omnibus EFH Amendment. Comments received after that date will not be considered in the decision to approve or disapprove the Amendment. To be considered, comments must be received by close of business on the last day of the comment period.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 3, 2017. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21560 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    82 193 Friday, October 6, 2017 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Agricultural Labor Survey. Revision to burden hours will be needed due to changes in the size of the target population, sampling design, and/or questionnaire length.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by December 5, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-0109, by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.

    eFax: (855) 838-6382.

    Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Hand deliver to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-4333. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS—OMB Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388 or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Agricultural Labor Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0109.

    Expiration Date of Approval: March 31, 2018.

    Type of Request: Intent to Seek Approval to Revise and Extend an Information Collection for 3 years.

    Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service is to prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, disposition, and prices. The Agricultural Labor Survey provides quarterly statistics on the number of agricultural workers, hours worked, and wage rates. Number of workers and hours worked are used to estimate agricultural productivity; wage rates are used in the administration of the H-2A Program and for setting Adverse Effect Wage Rates. Survey data are also used to carry out provisions of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. NASS intends to request that the survey be approved for another 3 years.

    Authority: These data will be collected under the authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985 as amended, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. This Notice is submitted in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320.

    NASS also complies with OMB Implementation Guidance, “Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),” Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 115, June 15, 2007, p. 33362.

    Estimate of Burden: This information collection consists of three individual surveys. In April, NASS will collect data for the January and April quarters and in October, NASS will collect data for both the July and October quarters. Following these two surveys NASS will re-contact approximately 500 operators to conduct quality control surveys to help insure the quality of the data collected. NASS also plans to conduct some cognitive testing during this renewal period. The public reporting burden for this information collection is estimated to average 5 minutes for the quality control surveys and 30 minutes per response in April and October.

    Respondents: Farms and businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 15,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 15,000 hours.

    Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information 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) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; specifically, on the benefits of collection of hourly base rate of pay, piece rate of pay, and experience level and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, technological or other forms of information technology collection methods.

    All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and be summarized in the request for OMB approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, September 21, 2017. R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21624 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed collection; comments requested.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Rural Business-Cooperative Service's (RBS) intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection in support of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by December 5, 2017 to be assured of consideration.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tony Crooks, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA, STOP 3225, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-3225, Telephone (202) 205-9322.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Rural Energy for America Program.

    OMB Number: 0570-0067.

    Expiration Date of Approval: February 28, 2018.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: REAP provides grants and loan guarantees to eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses for the purchase of renewable energy systems and the implementation of energy efficiency improvements. REAP also provides grants for eligible entities to conduct energy audits and provide and renewable energy development assistance. This notice is specific to the information collection required for REAP.

    The collection of information is vital for Rural Development to make informed decisions regarding the eligibility of applicants and borrowers, establish selection priorities among competing applicants ensure compliance with applicable Rural Development regulations, and effectively monitor the grantees and borrowers activities to protect the Government's financial interest and ensure that funds obtained from the Government are used appropriately. This information will be used to determine applicant eligibility, to determine project eligibility and feasibility, and to ensure that grantees/borrowers operate on a sound basis and use funds for authorized purposes.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 2.6 hours per response.

    Respondents: Agricultural Producers and Rural Small Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,997.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 25.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 49,925.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 129,805.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Jeanne Jacobs, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, Support Services Division at (202) 692-0040.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of USDA, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of USDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to Jeanne Jacobs, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, Support Services Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, STOP 0742, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-0742. 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.

    Dated: September 28, 2017. Chad Parker, Acting Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21568 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-44-2017] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 265—Conroe, Texas; Authorization of Production Activity; Bauer Manufacturing LLC dba NEORig; (Stationary Oil/Gas Drilling Rigs); Conroe, Texas

    On June 5, 2017, the City of Conroe, grantee of FTZ 265, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Bauer Manufacturing LLC dba NEORig, within Site 1 of FTZ 265, in Conroe, Texas.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (82 FR 30821-30822, July 3, 2017). On October 3, 2017, the applicant was notified of the FTZ Board's decision that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification was authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: October 3, 2017. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21595 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-913] Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2015 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of new pneumatic off-the-road tires (OTR Tires) from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The period of review (POR) is January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable October 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chien-Min Yang or Jack Zhao, 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) 482-5484 or (202) 482-1396 respectively.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are new pneumatic tires designed for off-the-road (OTR) and off-highway use. For a full description of the scope of this order, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.1

    1See “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the Countervailing Duty Administrative Review of Certain New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires from the People's Republic of China; 2015,” dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum) and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Methodology

    On September 4, 2008, the Department issued a countervailing duty order on new pneumatic tires designed for OTR and off-highway use.2 The Department is conducting this administrative review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we preliminarily find that there is a subsidy, (i.e., a financial contribution from an authority that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient) and that the subsidy is specific.3 For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, including our reliance, in part, on adverse facts otherwise available pursuant to sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act, see the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is provided at Appendix I to this notice.

    2See Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 73 FR 51627 (September 4, 2008) (OTR CVD Order).

    3See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine the countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    Company Subsidy
  • rate
  • (percent)
  • Guizhou Tyre Co., Ltd./Guizhou Tyre Import & Export Co., Ltd 39.10 Xuzhou Xugong Tyres Co. Ltd 91.94 Non-Selected Companies Under Review 39.10
    Preliminary Rate for Non-Selected Companies Under Review

    The statute and the Department's regulations do not directly address the establishment of rates to be applied to companies not selected for individual examination where the Department limits its examination in an administrative review pursuant to section 777A(e)(2) of the Act. However, the Department normally determines the rates for non-selected companies in reviews in a manner that is consistent with section 705(c)(5) of the Act, which provides instructions for calculating the all-others rate in an investigation. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act instructs the Department as a general rule to calculate an all others rate using the weighted average of the subsidy rates established for the producers/exporters individually examined, excluding any zero, de minimis, or rates based entirely on facts available. In this review, the preliminary subsidy rates calculated for Guizhou Tyre and its cross-owned affiliates are above de minimis and are not based entirely on facts available. Therefore, for the companies for which a review was requested that were not selected as mandatory company respondents and which we are not finding to be cross-owned with the mandatory company respondents, we are preliminarily basing the subsidy rate on the subsidy rate calculated for Guizhou Tyre. For a list of these non-selected companies, please see Appendix II to this notice.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department will disclose to parties to this proceeding the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of these preliminary results.4 Interested parties may submit written comments (case briefs) within 30 days of publication of the preliminary results and rebuttal comments (rebuttal briefs) within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.5 Rebuttal briefs must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs.6 Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.7

    4See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(l)(ii) and 351.309(d)(l).

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2).

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must do so within 30 days of publication of these preliminary results by submitting a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, using Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS system.8 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, we will inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined.9 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing. Issues addressed at the hearing will be limited to those raised in the briefs.10 All briefs and hearing requests must be filed electronically and received successfully in their entirety through ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date.

    8See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    9See 19 CFR 351.310.

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act, the Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised by the parties in their comments, within 120 days after publication of these preliminary results.

    Assessment Rates and Cash Deposit Requirement

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, countervailing duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of review.

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, the Department also intends to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties, in the amounts shown above for each of the respective companies shown above, on shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the final results of this review. For all non-reviewed firms, we will instruct CBP to continue to collect cash deposits at the most-recent company-specific or all-others rate applicable to the company, as appropriate. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    These preliminary results of review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(l) and 777(i)(l) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213 and 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: October 2, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the non-exclusive duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Use of Facts otherwise Available and Application of Adverse Inferences V. Application of the Countervailing Duty Law to Imports from the PRC VI. Subsidies Valuation VII. Interest Rate Benchmarks, Discount Rates, Input, Electricity, and Land Benchmarks VIII. Analysis of Programs IX. Disclosure and Public Comment X. Verification XI. Conclusion Appendix II Companies Not Selected for Review 1. Aeolus Tyre Co., Ltd. 2. Air Sea Transport Inc 3. Air Sea Worldwide Logistics Ltd 4. AM Global Shipping Lines 5. Apex Maritime Co Ltd 6. Apex Maritime Thailand Co Ltd 7. BDP Intl LTD China 8. Beijing Kang Jie Kong Intl Cargo Agent Co Ltd 9. C&D Intl Freight Forward Inc 10. Caesar Intl Logistics Co Ltd 11. Caterpillar & Paving Products Xuzhou Ltd 12. CH Robinson Freight Services China LTD 13. Changzhou Kafurter Machinery Co Ltd 14. Cheng Shin Rubber (Xiamen) Ind Ltd 15. China Intl Freight Co Ltd 16. Chonche Auto Double Happiness Tyre Corp Ltd 17. City Ocean Logistics Co Ltd 18. Consolidator Intl Co Ltd 19. Crowntyre Industrial Co. Ltd 20. CTS Intl Logistics Corp 21. Daewoo Intl Corp 22. De Well Container Shipping Inc 23. Double Coin Holdings Ltd; Double Coin Group Shanghai Donghai Tyre Co., Ltd; and Double Coin Group Rugao Tyre Co., Ltd. (collectively “Double Coin”) 24. England Logistics (Qingdao) Co Ltd 25. Extra Type Co Ltd 26. Fedex International Freight Forwarding Services Shanghai Co Ltd 27. FG Intl Logistics Ltd 28. Global Container Line 29. Honour Lane Shipping 30. Innova Rubber Co., Ltd. 31. Inspire Intl Enterprise Co Ltd 32. JHJ Intl Transportation Co 33. Jiangsu Feichi Co. Ltd. 34. Kenda Rubber (China) Co Ltd 35. KS Holding Limited/KS Resources Limited 36. Laizhou Xiongying Rubber Industry Co., Ltd. 37. Landmax Intl Co Ltd 38. LF Logistics China Co Ltd 39. Mai Shandong Radial Tyre Co., Ltd. 40. Maine Industrial Tire LLC 41. Master Intl Logistics Co Ltd 42. Melton Tire Co. Ltd 43. Merityre Specialists Ltd 44. Mid-America Overseas Shanghai Ltd 45. Omni Exports Ltd 46. Orient Express Container Co Ltd 47. Oriental Tyre Technology Limited 48. Pudong Prime Intl Logistics Inc 49. Q&J Industrial Group Co Ltd 50. Qingdao Aotai Rubber Co Ltd 51. Qingdao Apex Shipping 52. Qingdao Chengtai Handtruck Co Ltd 53. Qingdao Chunangtong Founding Co Ltd 54. Qingdao Free Trade Zone Full-World International Trading Co., Ltd. 55. Qingdao Haojia (Xinhai) Tyre Co. 56. Qingdao Haomai Hongyi Mold Co Ltd 57. Qingdao J&G Intl Trading Co Ltd 58. Qingdao Jinhaoyang International Co. Ltd 59. Qingdao Kaoyoung Intl Logistics Co Ltd 60. Qingdao Milestone Tyres Co Ltd. 61. Qingdao Nexen Co Ltd 62. Qingdao Qihang Tyre Co. 63. Qingdao Qizhou Rubber Co., Ltd. 64. Qingdao Shijikunyuan Intl Co Ltd 65. Qingdao Sinorient International Ltd. 66. Qingdao Taifa Group Imp. And Exp. Co., Ltd./Qingdao Taifa Group Co., Ltd. 67. Qingdao Wonderland 68. Qingdao Zhenhua Barrow Manufacturing Co., Ltd. 69. Rich Shipping Company 70. RS Logistics Ltd 71. Schenker China Ltd 72. Seastar Intl Enterprise Ltd 73. SGL Logistics South China Ltd 74. Shandong Huitong Tyre Co., Ltd. 75. Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd. 76. Shandong Taishan Tyre Co. Ltd. 77. Shanghai Cartec Industrial & Trading Co Ltd 78. Shanghai Grand Sound Intl Transportation Co Ltd 79. Shanghai Hua Shen Imp & Exp Co Ltd 80. Shanghai Part-Rich Auto Parts Co Ltd 81. Shanghai TCH Metals & Machinery Co Ltd 82. Shantou Zhisheng Plastic Co Ltd 83. Shiyan Desizheng Industry & Trade Co., Ltd. 84. Techking Tires Limited 85. Thi Group (Shanghai) Ltd 86. Tianjin Leviathan International Trade Co., Ltd. 87. Tianjin United Tire & Rubber International Co., Ltd. 88. Tianjin Wanda Tyre Group Co. 89. Tianshui Hailin Import and Export Corporation 90. Tiremart Qingdao Inc 91. Translink Shipping Inc 92. Trelleborg Wheel Systems (Xingtai) China, Co. Ltd. 93. Trelleborg Wheel Systems Hebei Co 94. Triangle Tyre Co. Ltd. 95. Universal Shipping Inc 96. UTI China Ltd 97. Weifang Jintongda Tyre Co., Ltd. 98. Weihai Zhongwei Rubber Co., Ltd. 99. Weiss-Rohlig China Co Ltd 100. World Bridge Logistics Co Ltd 101. World Tyres Ltd. 102. Xiamen Ying Hong Import & Export Trade Co Ltd 103. Xuzhou Xugong Tyres Co Ltd; Xuzhou Armour Rubber Company Ltd.; HK Lande International Investment Limited; Armour Tires Inc. (collectively “Xugong”) 104. Yoho Holding 105. Zheijiang Wheel World Industrial Co Ltd 106. Zhejiang Xinchang Zhongya Industry Co., Ltd. 107. Zhongce Rubber Group Company Limited 108. ZPH Industrial Ltd
    [FR Doc. 2017-21586 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Application No. 84-28A12] Export Trade Certificate of Review ACTION:

    Notice of Application for an Amended Export Trade Certificate of Review by Northwest Fruit Exporters, Application No. 84-28A12.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Commerce, through the International Trade Administration, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (OTEA), has received an application for an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review (“Certificate”) from Northwest Fruit Exporters. This notice summarizes the proposed amendment and seeks public comments on whether the amended Certificate should be issued.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, by telephone at (202) 482-5131 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title III of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 (15 U.S.C. 4001-21) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to issue Export Trade Certificates of Review. An Export Trade Certificate of Review protects the holder and the members identified in the Certificate from State and Federal government antitrust actions and from private treble damage antitrust actions for the export conduct specified in the Certificate and carried out in compliance with its terms and conditions. Section 302(b)(1) of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 and 15 CFR 325.6(a) require the Secretary to publish a notice in the Federal Register identifying the applicant and summarizing its proposed export conduct.

    Request for Public Comments

    Interested parties may submit written comments relevant to the determination whether an amended Certificate should be issued. If the comments include any privileged or confidential business information, it must be clearly marked and a nonconfidential version of the comments (identified as such) should be included. Any comments not marked as privileged or confidential business information will be deemed to be nonconfidential.

    An original and five (5) copies, plus two (2) copies of the nonconfidential version, should be submitted no later than 20 days after the date of this notice to: Export Trading Company Affairs, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 21028, Washington, DC 20230.

    Information submitted by any person is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). However, nonconfidential versions of the comments will be made available to the applicant if necessary for determining whether or not to issue the amended Certificate. Comments should refer to this application as “Export Trade Certificate of Review, application number 84-28A12.”

    A summary of the current application follows.

    Summary of the Application

    Applicant: Northwest Fruit Exporters, 105 South 18th Street, Suite 227, Yakima, WA 98901.

    Contact: Fred Scarlett, Manager, (509) 576-8004.

    Application No.: 84-28A12.

    Date Deemed Submitted: September 20, 2017.

    Proposed Amendment: Northwest Fruit Exporters seeks to amend its Certificate as follows:

    1. Add a definition of “export quota” to clarify that export quotas are those imposed by an authorized government entity in the receiving country. The term does not include a growers association.

    2. Add the Affiliate Contractor to the Export Trade Certificate of Review, as the Affiliate Contractor will provide management services by contract to assist Northwest Fruit Exporters in carrying out its activities authorized under the Export Trade Certificate of Review:

    3. Add a definition of “Affiliate Contractor” to recognize that the Northwest Horticultural Council (“NHC”) will be providing management services by contract to assist NFE in carrying out its activities authorized under the Export Trade Certificate of Review.

    4. Add a clarifying amendment restating that meetings at which the NFE Board of Directors may allocate quotas among its members or establish export prices shall not be open to the public or to members of NFE not represented on the NFE Board of Directors. Employees of the Affiliate Contractor are eligible to attend such meetings.

    5. Add an amendment that through the management services agreement between NFE and NHC, NHC staff may receive or have access to NFE information that is confidential or proprietary (“Confidential Information”). Employees of NHC will be required to maintain the confidentiality of the Confidential Information as is currently required of NFE employees. Failure to maintain the confidentiality of NFE's Confidential Information shall be cause for termination of employment

    6. Change the name of the following existing Member:

    • From Columbia Marketing International, LLC to CMI Orchards, LLC

    Northwest Fruit Exporter's Export Trade Certificate of Review complete amended membership is listed below:

    1. Allan Bros., Naches, WA 2. AltaFresh L.L.C. dba Chelan Fresh Marketing, Chelan, WA 3. Apple House Warehouse & Storage, Inc., Brewster, WA 4. Apple King, L.L.C., Yakima, WA 5. Auvil Fruit Co., Inc., Orondo, WA 6. Baker Produce, Inc., Kennewick, WA 7. Blue Bird, Inc., Peshastin, WA 8. Blue Star Growers, Inc., Cashmere, WA 9. Borton & Sons, Inc., Yakima, WA 10. Brewster Heights Packing & Orchards, LP, Brewster, WA 11. Broetje Orchards LLC, Prescott, WA 12. C.M. Holtzinger Fruit Co., Inc., Yakima, WA 13. CMI Orchards, LLC, Wenatchee, WA 14. Chelan Fruit Cooperative, Chelan, WA 15. Chiawana, Inc. dba Columbia Reach Pack, Yakima, WA 16. Columbia Fruit Packers, Inc., Wenatchee, WA 17. Columbia Fruit Packers/Airport Division, Wenatchee, WA 18. Columbia Valley Fruit, L.L.C., Yakima, WA 19. Congdon Packing Co. L.L.C., Yakima, WA 20. Conrad & Adams Fruit L.L.C., Grandview, WA 21. Cowiche Growers, Inc., Cowiche, WA 22. CPC International Apple Company, Tieton, WA 23. Crane & Crane, Inc., Brewster, WA 24. Custom Apple Packers, Inc., Quincy, and Wenatchee, WA 25. Diamond Fruit Growers, Odell, OR 26. Domex Superfresh Growers LLC, Yakima, WA 27. Douglas Fruit Company, Inc., Pasco, WA 28. Dovex Export Company, Wenatchee, WA 29. Duckwall Fruit, Odell, OR 30. E. Brown & Sons, Inc., Milton-Freewater, OR 31. Evans Fruit Co., Inc., Yakima, WA 32. E.W. Brandt & Sons, Inc., Parker, WA 33. Frosty Packing Co., LLC, Yakima, WA 34. G&G Orchards, Inc., Yakima, WA 35. Gilbert Orchards, Inc., Yakima, WA 36. Gold Digger Apples, Inc., Oroville, WA 37. Hansen Fruit & Cold Storage Co., Inc., Yakima, WA 38. Henggeler Packing Co., Inc., Fruitland, ID 39. Highland Fruit Growers, Inc., Yakima, WA 40. HoneyBear Growers, Inc., Brewster, WA 41. Honey Bear Tree Fruit Co., LLC, Wenatchee, WA 42. Hood River Cherry Company, Hood River, OR 43. Ice Lakes LLC, East Wenatchee, WA 44. JackAss Mt. Ranch, Pasco, WA 45. Jenks Bros Cold Storage & Packing Royal City, WA 46. Kershaw Fruit & Cold Storage, Co., Yakima, WA 47. L&M Companies, Union Gap, WA 48. Larson Fruit Co., Selah, WA 49. Legacy Fruit Packers LLC, Wapato, WA 50. Manson Growers Cooperative, Manson, WA 51. Matson Fruit Company, Selah, WA 52. McDougall & Sons, Inc., Wenatchee, WA 53. Monson Fruit Co. Selah, WA 54. Morgan's of Washington dba Double Diamond Fruit, Quincy, WA 55. Naumes, Inc., Medford, OR 56. Northern Fruit Company, Inc., Wenatchee, WA 57. Olympic Fruit Co., Moxee, WA 58. Oneonta Trading Corp., Wenatchee, WA 59. Orchard View Farms, Inc., The Dalles, OR 60. Pacific Coast Cherry Packers, LLC, Yakima, WA 61. Peshastin Hi-Up Growers, Peshastin, WA 62. Phillippi Fruit Company, Inc., Wenatchee, WA 63. Piepel Premium Fruit Packing LLC, East Wenatchee, WA 64. Polehn Farm's Inc., The Dalles, OR 65. Price Cold Storage & Packing Co., Inc., Yakima, WA 66. Pride Packing Company, Wapato, WA 67. Quincy Fresh Fruit Co., Quincy, WA 68. Rainier Fruit Company, Selah, WA 69. Roche Fruit, Ltd., Yakima, WA 70. Sage Fruit Company, L.L.C., Yakima, WA 71. Smith & Nelson, Inc., Tonasket, WA 72. Stadelman Fruit, L.L.C., Milton-Freewater, OR, and Zillah, WA 73. Stemilt Growers, LLC, Wenatchee, WA 74. Strand Apples, Inc., Cowiche, WA 75. Symms Fruit Ranch, Inc., Caldwell, ID 76. The Dalles Fruit Company, LLC, Dallesport, WA 77. Underwood Fruit & Warehouse Co., Bingen, WA 78. Valicoff Fruit Co., Inc., Wapato, WA 79. Valley Fruit III L.L.C., Wapato, WA 80. Washington Cherry Growers, Peshastin, WA 81. Washington Fruit & Produce Co., Yakima, WA 82. Western Sweet Cherry Group, LLC, Yakima, WA 83. Western Traders LLC, E. Wenatchee, WA 84. Whitby Farms, Inc. dba: Farm Boy Fruit Snacks LLC, Mesa, WA 85. Yakima Fresh, Yakima, WA 86. Yakima Fruit & Cold Storage Co., Yakima, WA 87. Zirkle Fruit Company, Selah, WA Dated: October 2, 2017. Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21557 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-977] High Pressure Steel Cylinders From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Determination in Less Than Fair Value Investigation, Notice of Amended Final Determination Pursuant to Court Decision, Notice of Revocation of Antidumping Duty Order in Part, and Discontinuation of Fifth Antidumping Duty Administrative Review AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On August 17, 2017, the Court of International Trade (CIT or Court) sustained the Department of Commerce's (Department) remand redetermination pertaining to the final determination in the less than fair value (LTFV) investigation of high pressure steel cylinders from the People's Republic of China (PRC). Because of the CIT's final decision, we are notifying the public that this court decision is not in harmony with the Department's final determination in the LTFV investigation, and we are also amending our final determination, revoking this antidumping duty order, in part, and discontinuing the fifth administrative review.

    DATES:

    Applicable August 27, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Annathea Cook, AD/CVD Operations Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0250.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    As noted above, on August 17, 2017, the CIT sustained the Department's Third Remand Redetermination pertaining to the final determination in the less than fair value (LTFV) investigation of high pressure steel cylinders from the People's Republic of China (PRC).1 In the underlying LTFV investigation, the Department found that, pursuant to section 777A(d)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (Act), “there was a pattern of prices that differ significantly by time period” for respondent Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd. (BTIC), and that “application of the standard A-to-A {(average-to-average)} methodology would result in the masking of dumping that is unmasked by application of the alternative A-to-T {(average-to-transaction)} methodology when calculating BTIC's weighted-average dumping margin.” 2 In the Final Determination, the Department calculated BTIC's estimated weighted-average dumping margin using the A-to-T comparison method, applied to all of BTIC's export sales.3 In Beijing Tianhai I, 4 the CIT held that the Department's explanation of its “meaningful difference” analysis in the Final Determination was insufficient to satisfy the explanation requirement under section 777A(d)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act, and also found that “the explanation ignores the potential use of the {transaction-to-transaction} methodology entirely.” 5 With respect to BTIC's challenge to the Department's application of the A-to-T methodology to all of BTIC's export sales as being inconsistent with 19 CFR 351.414(f), a regulation BTIC alleged had been inappropriately withdrawn, the CIT also held that “even if the Department's withdrawal of 19 CFR 351.414(f) (2007) was in violation of the APA's {(Administrative Procedure Act)} notice and comment requirement, that error was harmless as it relates to the plaintiff in this case,” and also that “the Department need not adhere to the requirements of 19 CFR 351.414(f) (2007).” 6 The Court deferred resolution of several other issues pertaining to the Department's targeted dumping analysis and application of the A-to-T comparison method when determining BTIC's estimated weighted-average dumping margin in Beijing Tianhai I. 7

    1See Beijing Tianhai Indus. Co. v. United States, Slip Op. 17-105 (CIT August 17, 2017) (Beijing Tianhai IV); see also Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Remand, High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China, Beijing Tianhai Indus. Co., Ltd. v. United States, Court No. 12-00203, Slip Op. 17-79 (CIT July 5, 2017), dated August 3, 2017 (Third Remand Redetermination); High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less than Fair Value, 77 FR 26739 (May 7, 2012) (Final Determination), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum; and High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 37377 (June 21, 2012) (Order).

    2See Final Determination, and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at 23-24.

    3Id. at 24-26.

    4See Beijing Tianhai Indus. Co. v. United States, 7 F. Supp. 3d 1318 (CIT 2014) (Beijing Tianhai I).

    5See Beijing Tianhai I, 7 F. Supp. 3d at 1331-32.

    6Id. at 1332-37.

    7Id. at 1337.

    Following the Department's First Remand Redetermination,8 the CIT in Beijing Tianhai II sustained the Department's Final Determination as to the other issues that BTIC challenged, for which the CIT had deferred consideration in Beijing Tianhai I. 9 However, with regard to the Department's “meaningful difference” analysis and the further analysis the Department provided in the First Remand Redetermination on that issue, the CIT held that “the Department has chosen a narrative rather than an explanation,” and “failed to satisfy the requirements of the statute.” 10 The Court again remanded that issue to the Department.11

    8See Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Remand, High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China, Beijing Tianhai Indus. Co., Ltd. v. United States, Court No. 12-00203, Slip Op. 14-104 (CIT September 9, 2014), dated January 7, 2015 (First Remand Redetermination).

    9See Beijing Tianhai Indus. Co. v. United States, 106 F. Supp. 3d 1342, 1352-56 (CIT 2015) (Beijing Tianhai II)

    10Id. at 1351.

    11Id.

    The Department filed its Second Remand Redetermination with the Court on February 8, 2016,12 in which the Department provided further explanation as to its “meaningful difference” analysis under section 777A(d)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act. However, while the Department's Second Remand Redetermination was pending before the CIT, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) held that the Department's 2008 withdrawal of the Limiting Regulation did not comply with the notice-and-comment provision of the Administrative Procedure Act, and that not following this provision could not be excused as harmless error.13 BTIC subsequently moved in the Beijing Tianhai CIT proceeding for the CIT to reconsider its prior holding in Beijing Tianhai I on the status of the withdrawn regulation in this case. In Beijing Tianhai III, based on Mid Continent Nail, the CIT held that the Limiting Regulation (i.e., 19 CFR 351.414(f)(2) (2007)) was in effect at the time the Department issued the final determination in the original investigation.14 The Limiting Regulation provided, in pertinent part: “Where the criteria for identifying targeted dumping . . . are satisfied, the {Department} normally will limit the application of the average-to-transaction {(A-to-T)} method to those sales that constitute targeted dumping under {19 CFR 351.414(f)(1)(i)}.” 15 On remand, the Department was ordered by the CIT to “reconsider: (1) Its determination that {section 777A(d)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act} may be satisfied by applying a `meaningful difference' analysis that relies on 100 percent of BTIC's U.S. sales; and (2) should it continue to determine that using the {A-to-T} method is appropriate, the scope of BTIC's U.S. sales to which the {A-to-T} method applies, and revise its dumping margin calculations as may be appropriate.” 16

    12 Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Remand, High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China, Beijing Tianhai Indus. Co., Ltd. v. United States, Court No. 12-00203, Slip Op. 15-114 (CIT October 14, 2015), dated February 8, 2016 (Second Remand Redetermination).

    13See Mid Continent Nail Corp. v. United States, 846 F.3d 1364 (Fed. Cir. 2017) (Mid Continent Nail).

    14See Beijing Tianhai III at 17-18.

    15See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties, 62 FR 27296, 27416 (1997).

    16See Beijing Tianhai III at 17-18.

    In accordance with the Court's instructions in Beijing Tianhai III and in light of the CIT's holding that the Limiting Regulation applied in this investigation, the Department issued the Third Remand Redetermination, which it filed with the CIT on August 4, 2017. In the Third Remand Redetermination, we reconsidered our meaningful difference analysis under section 777A(d)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act, as that analysis was explained in the Second Remand Redetermination.17 As part of reconsidering our meaningful difference analysis, we recalculated BTIC's A-to-T margin in a manner consistent with the Limiting Regulation by applying the A-to-T comparison methodology only to BTIC's targeted sales (and applying the A-to-A methodology to all other transactions), which resulted in a calculated margin of zero.18 BTIC's calculated margin using the A-to-A methodology for all transactions was also zero.19 In applying section 777A(d)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act, we found that there was no meaningful difference in BTIC's antidumping margins using the two aforementioned comparison methodologies.20 Consequently, in the Third Remand Redetermination, we explained that “the A-to-A method can account for BTIC's prices which differ significantly” and “determined that BTIC's weighted-average dumping margin is now zero.” 21 The Department also explained that “as no other aspect of our Final Determination is being challenged, we have not made changes to the margins for any other entity.” 22 The CIT sustained the Third Remand Redetermination in Beijing Tianhai IV on August 17, 2017.23

    17See Third Remand Redetermination at 6 & n. 28.

    18Id. at 6-8.

    19Id. at 7.

    20Id.

    21Id. at 7-8.

    22Id. at 7.

    23See Beijing Tianhai IV at 2.

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken, 24 as clarified in Diamond Sawblades, 25 the Federal Circuit held that, pursuant to section 516A(e) of 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 August 17, 2017, final judgment sustaining the Third Remand Redetermination constitutes a final decision of the CIT that is not in harmony with the Department's Final Determination. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements in Timken.

    24See Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337, 341 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken).

    25See Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (Diamond Sawblades).

    Amended Final Determination

    Because there is now a final court decision, the Department is amending the Final Determination with respect to BTIC:

    Exporter Producer Estimated
  • weighted-average
  • dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd 0.00 Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd Tianjin Tianhai High Pressure Container Co., Ltd 0.00 Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd Langfang Tianhai High Pressure Container Co., Ltd 0.00
    Partial Exclusion From Antidumping Duty Order and Discontinuation of Fifth Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

    Pursuant to section 735(a)(4) of the Act, the Department “shall disregard any weighted average dumping margin that is de minimis as defined in section 733(b)(3) of the Act.” 26 Furthermore, and pursuant to section 735(c)(2) of the Act, “the investigation shall be terminated upon publication of that negative determination” and the Department shall “terminate the suspension of liquidation” and “release any bond or other security, and refund any cash deposit.” 27 As a result of this amended final determination, in which the Department has calculated an estimated weighted-average dumping margin of 0.00 percent for BTIC, the Department is hereby excluding merchandise from the above three producer/exporter chains from the antidumping duty Order:28 Accordingly, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to release any bonds or other security and refund cash deposits pertaining to any suspended entries from the three aforementioned producer-exporter combinations. This exclusion does not apply beyond the three producer-exporter combinations referenced above.

    26 Section 733(b)(3) of the Act defines de minimis dumping margin as “less than 2 percent ad valorem or the equivalent specific rate for the subject merchandise.”

    27See sections 735(c)(2)(A) and (B) of the Act.

    28See Third Remand Redetermination at 8. There continues to be a countervailing duty order covering BTIC's entries. This countervailing duty order is unaffected by this Timken notice and notice of amended final determination. See High Pressure Cylinders from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 77 FR 37384 (June 21, 2012).

    We note, however, that pursuant to Timken the suspension of liquidation must continue during the pendency of the appeals process. Thus, we will instruct CBP to suspend liquidation of all unliquidated entries from the three aforementioned producer-exporter combinations at a cash deposit rate of 0.00 percent which are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption after August 27, 2017, which is ten days after the CIT's final decision, in accordance with section 516A of the Act.29 If the CIT's ruling is not appealed, or if appealed and upheld, the Department will instruct CBP to terminate the suspension of liquidation and to liquidate entries subject to the three producer-exporter combination rates stated above without regard to antidumping duties. As a result of the exclusion, the Department is discontinuing the ongoing fifth administrative review covering the period June 1, 2016, through May 31, 2017, which only pertains to BTIC's entries during that period of review,30 and the Department will not initiate any new administrative reviews of BTIC's entries pursuant to the antidumping Order. 31

    29See Drill Pipe from the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony with International Trade Commission's Injury Determination, Revocation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders Pursuant to Court Decision, and Discontinuation of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, 79 FR 78037, 78038 (December 29, 2014) (Drill Pipe).

    30See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 35749 (August 1, 2017).

    31See Drill Pipe, 79 FR at 78038; see also Certain Steel Nails from the United Arab Emirates: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony with the Final Determination and Amended Final Determination of the Less Than Fair Value Investigation, 80 FR 77316 (December 14, 2015).

    Lastly, we note that, at this time, the Department remains enjoined by Court order from liquidating entries that were exported by BTIC, and were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the period December 16, 2011, through May 31, 2016. These entries will remain enjoined pursuant to the terms of the injunction during the pendency of any appeals process.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516A(c)(1) and (e) of the Act.

    Dated: September 29, 2017. Carole Showers, Executive Director, Office of Policy performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21582 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-980] Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is amending the final results of the countervailing duty administrative review of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules (solar cells), from the People's Republic of China (PRC) to correct ministerial errors. The period of review (POR) is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.

    DATES:

    Applicable October 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gene H. Calvert, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-3586.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    In accordance with section 751(a)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(5), on July 17, 2017, the Department published its final results in the countervailing duty administrative review of solar cells from the PRC.1 On July 28, 2017, Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Changshu) Inc. and its cross-owned affiliates (collectively, Canadian Solar) timely alleged that the Department made two ministerial errors in the Final Results. 2 No other parties submitted ministerial error allegations or comments on Canadian Solar's allegations.

    1See Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, and Partial Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014, 82 FR 32678 (July 17, 2017) (Final Results) and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum (Decision Memorandum).

    2See Canadian Solar Letter, “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules from the People's Republic of China: Ministerial Error Comments,” dated July 28, 2017 (Canadian Solar Ministerial Comments).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by this order is crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates, and panels, consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including, but not limited to, modules, laminates, panels and building integrated materials. The merchandise covered by this order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.80, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030, and 8501.31.8000. While these HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope, which is contained in the Decision Memorandum accompanying the Final Results, is dispositive.3

    3See the Decision Memorandum for a full description of the scope of the order.

    Ministerial Errors

    Section 751(h) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(f) define a “ministerial error” as an error “in addition, subtraction, or other arithmetic function, clerical error resulting from inaccurate copying, duplication, or the like, and any other similar type of unintentional error which the Secretary considers ministerial.” As discussed in the Department's Ministerial Error Memorandum, the Department finds that the errors alleged by Canadian Solar constitute ministerial errors within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.224(f).4 Specifically, we made ministerial errors with regard to calculating the benefit Canadian Solar received from the “Preferential Policy Lending Program,” and in calculating the inland freight values when constructing Canadian Solar's benchmark for programs regarding the provision of inputs for less than adequate remuneration.5

    4See Memorandum, “Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, from the People's Republic of China: Ministerial Error Comments Regarding the Final Results,” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice (Ministerial Error Memorandum).

    5See the Ministerial Error Memorandum for a complete discussion of these alleged errors.

    In accordance with section 751(h) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(e), we are amending the Final Results. 6 Specifically, we are amending the net subsidy rates for Canadian Solar and for the 17 companies for which a review was requested that were not selected as mandatory company respondents (i.e., the non-selected companies).7 The revised net subsidies rates are provided below.

    6See Final Results, 82 FR at 32680.

    7 Consistent with the Final Results, for the non-selected companies, we calculated a rate by weight-averaging the calculated subsidy rates of the two mandatory respondents (i.e., Canadian Solar and Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. and its cross-owned affiliates) using their publicly-ranged sales data for exports of subject merchandise to the United States during the POR.

    Amended Final Results

    As result of correcting the ministerial errors, we determine that that the countervailable subsidy rates for the producers/exporters under review to be as follows:

    8See Final Results, 82 FR at 32680. Cross-owned affiliates are: Canadian Solar Inc.; Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Luoyang) Inc.; CSI Cells Co., Ltd.; CSI Solar Power (China) Inc.; CSI Solartronics (Changshu) Co., Ltd.; CSI Solar Technologies Inc.; and CSI Solar Manufacture Inc.

    9Id. Cross-owned affiliates are: Trina Solar Limited; Trina Solar (Changzhou) Science & Technology Co., Ltd.; Yancheng Trina Solar Energy Technology Co., Ltd.; Changzhou Trina Solar Yabang Energy Co., Ltd.; Hubei Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd.; Turpan Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd.; and Changzhou Trina PV Ribbon Materials Co., Ltd.

    Company Subsidy rate
  • (percent ad
  • valorem)
  • Canadian Solar Manufacturing (Changshu) Inc. and its Cross-Owned Affiliates 8 18.16 Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. and its Cross-Owned Affiliates 9 17.14 BYD (Shangluo) Industrial Co., Ltd 17.49 Chint Solar (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd 17.49 ET Solar Energy Limited 17.49 ET Solar Industry Limited 17.49 Hangzhou Sunny Energy Science and Technology Co., Ltd 17.49 Jiawei Solarchina Co., Ltd 17.49 Jiawei Solarchina (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd 17.49 Lightway Green New Energy Co., Ltd 17.49 Luoyang Suntech Power Co., Ltd 17.49 Ningbo Qixin Solar Electrical Appliance Co., Ltd 17.49 Shanghai BYD Co., Ltd 17.49 Shenzhen Topray Solar Co. Ltd 17.49 Systemes Versilis, Inc 17.49 Taizhou BD Trade Co., Ltd 17.49 tenKsolar (Shanghai) Co., Ltd 17.49 Toenergy Technology Hangzhou Co., Ltd 17.49 Wuxi Suntech Power Co., Ltd 17.49
    Assessment Rates/Cash Deposits

    Normally, the Department would issue appropriate assessment instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 15 days after the date of publication of these amended final results of review, to liquidate shipments of subject merchandise produced and/or exported by the companies listed above entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. However, on August 3, 8, and 17, 2017, and on September 8, 2017, the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) preliminarily enjoined liquidation of certain entries that are subject to the Final Results. 10 Accordingly, the Department will not instruct CBP to assess countervailing duties on those enjoined entries pending resolution of the associated litigation.

    10 The CIT issued the preliminary injunctions in case numbers 17-00207, 17-00198, 17-00220, and 17-00221, respectively.

    The Department intends to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties, in the amounts shown above for the companies listed above, on shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after July 17, 2017, which is the date of publication of the Final Results. For all non-reviewed firms, we will instruct CBP to collect cash deposits at the most-recent company specific or all-others rate applicable to the company, as appropriate. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves a reminder to parties that are subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to government business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    Disclosure

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed for these amended final results to interested parties within five business days of the date of the publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(h) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.224(e).

    Dated: October 3, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21589 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-351-809, A-201-805; A-580-809, A-583-814 and A-583-008] Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan and Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Taiwan: Final Results of Expedited Fourth Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Applicable October 6, 2017.

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of these sunset reviews, the Department of Commerce (the Department) finds that revocation of the antidumping duty orders on certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan and certain circular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes from Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping. The magnitude of the dumping margins likely to prevail are indicated in the “Final Results of Sunset Review” section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline Arrowsmith, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On May 7, 1984, the Department published the AD Order on certain circular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes from Taiwan.1 On November 2, 1992, the Department published the AD Orders on imports of certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Brazil, the Republic of Korea (Korea), Mexico, and Taiwan, and an amendment to the final determination of sales at less than fair value for certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Korea.2 On July 17, 2012, the Department published the notice of continuation of these AD Orders. 3

    1See Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Taiwan: Antidumping Order, 49 FR 19369 (May 7, 1984).

    2See Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Certain Circular Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Brazil, the Republic of Korea (Korea), Mexico, and Venezuela and Amendment to Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Korea, 57 FR 49453 (November 2, 1992) (Orders for Brazil, Korea, Mexico, and Venezuela and Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Korea).

    3See Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from India, Thailand, and Turkey; Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan, and Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Taiwan: Continuation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 77 FR 41967 (July 17, 2012) (Third Continuation of the AD and CVD Orders).

    On June 2, 2017, the Department published the notice of initiation of the sunset reviews of the AD Orders on circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Brazil, Mexico, Korea, and certain circular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes from Taiwan.4 The AD Order on certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Taiwan was inadvertently not included in the initiation notice. On June 16, 2017, the Department published a correction notice.5

    4See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews, 82 FR 25599 (June 2, 2017).

    5See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review; Correction, 82 FR 27690 (June 16, 2017).

    On June 30, 2017, the Department received complete substantive responses to the notices of initiation from domestic interested parties within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i). The Department received no substantive responses from respondent interested parties. As a result, the Department conducted an expedited, i.e., 120-day, sunset review of these AD Orders pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2).

    Scope of the Orders Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Brazil

    The products covered by these orders are circular welded non-alloy steel pipes and tubes, of circular cross-section, not more than 406.4 mm (16 inches) in outside diameter, regardless of wall thickness, surface finish (black, galvanized, or painted), or end finish (plain end, beveled end, threaded, or threaded and coupled). These pipes and tubes are generally known as standard pipes and tubes are intended for the low pressure conveyance of water, steam, natural gas, and other liquids and gases in plumbing and heating systems, air conditioning units, automatic sprinkler systems, and other related uses, and generally meet ASTM A-53 specifications. Standard pipe may also be used for light load-bearing applications, such as for fence tubing, and as structural pipe tubing used for framing and support members for reconstruction or load-bearing purposes in the construction, shipbuilding, trucking, farm equipment, and related industries. Unfinished conduit pipe is also included in these orders. All carbon steel pipes and tubes within the physical description outlined above are included within the scope of these orders, except line pipe, oil country tubular goods, boiler tubing, mechanical tubing, pipe and tube hollows for redraws, finished scaffolding, and finished conduit. Standard pipe that is dual or triple certified/stenciled that enters the U.S. as line pipe of a kind used for oil or gas pipelines is also not included in these orders. The Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice, provides a full description of the scope of the order.6

    6See Department Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum: Final Results of Expedited Fourth Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders on Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan and Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Taiwan,” dated concurrently with this Federal Register notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Mexico

    The products covered by this order are circular welded non-alloy steel pipes and tubes, of circular cross-section, not more than 406.4 millimeters (16 inches) in outside diameter, regardless of wall thickness, surface finish (black, galvanized, or painted), or end finish (plain end, beveled end, threaded, or threaded and coupled). These pipes and tubes are generally known as standard pipes and tubes and are intended for the low pressure conveyance of water, steam, natural gas, and other liquids and gases in plumbing and heating systems, air conditioning units, automatic sprinkler systems, and other related uses, and generally meet ASTM A-53 specifications. Standard pipe may also be used for light load-bearing applications, such as for fence tubing, and as structural pipe tubing used for framing and support members for reconstruction or load-bearing purposes in the construction, shipbuilding, trucking, farm equipment, and related industries. Unfinished conduit pipe is also included in these orders. All carbon steel pipes and tubes within the physical description outlined above are included within the scope of this order, except line pipe, oil country tubular goods, boiler tubing, mechanical tubing, pipe and tube hollows for redraws, finished scaffolding, and finished conduit. Standard pipe that is dual or triple certified/stenciled that enters the U.S. as line pipe of a kind used for oil or gas pipelines is also not included in this order.

    Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Korea

    The merchandise subject to this review is circular welded non-alloy steel pipe and tube, of circular cross-section, not more than 406.4 mm (16 inches) in outside diameter, regardless of wall thickness, surface finish (black, galvanized, or painted), or end finish (plain end, beveled end, threaded, or threaded and coupled). These pipes and tubes are generally known as standard pipes and tubes and are intended for the low-pressure conveyance of water, steam, natural gas, air, and other liquids and gases in plumbing and heating systems, air-conditioning units, automatic sprinkler systems, and other related uses. Standard pipe may also be used for light load-bearing applications, such as for fence tubing, and as structural pipe tubing used for framing and as support members for reconstruction or load-bearing purposes in the construction, shipbuilding, trucking, farm equipment, and other related industries. Unfinished conduit pipe is also included in this order. All carbon-steel pipes and tubes within the physical description outlined above are included within the scope of this review except line pipe, oil-country tubular goods, boiler tubing, mechanical tubing, pipe and tube hollows for redraws, finished scaffolding, and finished conduit. In accordance with the Department's Final Negative Determination of Scope Inquiry on Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe and Tube from Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, and Venezuela (61 FR 11608, March 21, 1996), pipe certified to the API 5L line-pipe specification and pipe certified to both the API 5L line-pipe specifications and the less-stringent ASTM A-53 standard-pipe specifications, which falls within the physical parameters as outlined above, and entered as line pipe of a kind used for oil and gas pipelines is outside of the scope of the antidumping duty order.

    Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Taiwan

    The products covered by this order are (1) circular welded non-alloy steel pipes and tubes, of circular cross section over 114.3 millimeters (4.5 inches), but not over 406.4 millimeters (16 inches) in outside diameter, with a wall thickness of 1.65 millimeters (0.065 inches) or more, regardless of surface finish (black, galvanized, or painted), or end-finish (plain end, beveled end, threaded, or threaded and coupled); and (2) circular welded non-alloy steel pipes and tubes, of circular cross-section less than 406.4 millimeters (16 inches), with a wall thickness of less than 1.65 millimeters (0.065 inches), regardless of surface finish (black, galvanized, or painted) or end-finish (plain end, beveled end, threaded, or threaded and coupled). These pipes and tubes are generally known as standard pipes and tubes and are intended for the low pressure conveyance of water, steam, natural gas, air, and other liquids and gases in plumbing and heating systems, air conditioning units, automatic sprinkling systems, and other related uses, and generally meet ASTM A-53 specifications. Standard pipe may also be used for light load-bearing applications, such as for fence-tubing and as structural pipe tubing used for framing and support members for construction, or load-bearing purposes in the construction, shipbuilding, trucking, farm-equipment, and related industries. Unfinished conduit pipe is also included in this order.

    All carbon steel pipes and tubes within the physical description outlined above are included within the scope of this order, except line pipe, oil country tubular goods, boiler tubing, mechanical tubing, pipe and tube hollows for redraws, finished scaffolding, and finished conduit. Standard pipe that is dual or triple certified/stenciled that enters the U.S. as line pipe of a kind or used for oil and gas pipelines is also not included in this investigation.

    Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Taiwan

    The merchandise covered by this order is certain circular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes from Taiwan, which are defined as: Welded carbon steel pipes and tubes, of circular cross section, with walls not thinner than 0.065 inch, and 0.375 inch or more but not over 4.5 inches in outside diameter. The Issues and Decision Memorandum provides a full description of the scope of the order.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in these reviews are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, including the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping in the event of revocation, and the magnitude of dumping margins likely to prevail if the orders were revoked. Parties can find a complete discussion of all issues raised in this review and the corresponding recommendations in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit in Room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://trade.gov/enforcement/. The signed and electronic versions of the Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Final Results of Sunset Review

    Pursuant to sections 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, we determine that revocation of the antidumping duty orders on certain circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from Brazil, Mexico, Korea, and Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping. We determine that the weighted-average dumping margins likely to prevail are up to the following percentages:

    Country Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Brazil 103.38 Mexico 7.32 Korea 1.20 Taiwan 27.65

    Pursuant to sections 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, we determine that revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain circular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes from Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping. We determine that the weighted average dumping margin likely to prevail is up to the following percentage:

    Country Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Taiwan 8.91
    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to the administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a). Timely written notification of the destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    We are issuing and publishing these results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: October 2, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, Performing the Non-exclusive Functions and Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21581 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-475-828, A-557-809, A-565-801] Certain Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings From Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Orders AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Applicable October 6, 2017.

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of this sunset review, the Department of Commerce (the Department) finds that revocation of the antidumping duty orders on stainless steel butt-weld pipe fittings (butt-weld fittings) from Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping at the rates identified in the “Final Results of Review” section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Madeline Heeren, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-9179.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published the antidumping duty orders on butt-weld fittings from Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines on February 23, 2001.1 On June 2, 2017, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department initiated sunset reviews of the antidumping duty orders on butt-weld fittings from Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines.2 On June 16, 2017, the Department received a notice of intent to participate from Core Pipe Products, Inc.; Shaw Alloy Piping Products, Inc.; and Taylor Forge Stainless, Inc. (collectively, the Domestic Interested Parties), within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i). The Domestic Interested Parties are manufacturers of a domestic like product in the United States and, accordingly, are domestic interested parties pursuant to section 771(9)(C) of the Act.

    1See Antidumping Duty Orders: Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings from Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines, 66 FR 11257 (February 23, 2001) (LTFV Orders).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews, 82 FR 25599 (June 2, 2017) (Sunset Initiation).

    On June 30, 2017, the Department received an adequate substantive response to the notice of initiation from Domestic Interested Parties within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i). The Department did not receive any timely filed responses from the respondent interested parties, i.e., butt-weld fitting producers and exporters from Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines. On the basis of the notices of intent to participate and adequate substantive responses filed by the Domestic Interested Parties, and the inadequate response from any respondent interested party, the Department conducted an expedited (120-day) sunset review of the order pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2).

    Scope of the Orders

    The product covered by the Orders is butt-weld fittings from Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines.3

    3 For a full description of the scope of the orders, See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Orders on Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings from Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines,” dated concurrently with this notice (Decision Memorandum).

    Analysis of Comments Received

    The issues discussed in the Decision Memorandum are: (1) The likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping, and (2) the magnitude of the margins of dumping likely to prevail if these orders were revoked.4 Parties can find a complete discussion of all issues raised in this review, and the corresponding recommendations, in the Decision Memorandum, which is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit in room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://trade.gov/enforcement/. The signed Decision Memorandum and electronic versions of the Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    4Id.

    Final Results of Review

    Pursuant to sections 751(c)(1) and 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, the Department determines that revocation of the antidumping duty orders of butt-weld pipe fittings from Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines would likely to lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and that the magnitude of the dumping margins likely to prevail would be 26.59 percent for Italy, 7.51 percent for Malaysia, and up to 33.81 percent for the Philippines.

    Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely notification of the return of destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    The Department is issuing and publishing these final results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218.

    Dated: October 2, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21590 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-843] Certain Lined Paper Products From India: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2015-2016 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    In response to requests from interested parties, the Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain lined paper products (CLPP) from India, covering the period September 1, 2015, through August 31, 2016. This review covers two mandatory respondents, Navneet Education Ltd. (Navneet) and SAB International (SAB) and five non-selected companies. We preliminarily find that Navneet and SAB did not sell subject merchandise at less than normal value (NV) during the period of review (POR). Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable October 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cindy Robinson or Sam Brummitt, 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) 482-3797 or (202) 482-7851, respectively.

    Background

    On November 9, 2016, the Department published a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping order on lined paper from India.1 The Department initiated this administrative review covering the following nine companies: Kokuyo Riddhi Paper Products Pvt. Ltd. (Kokuyo Riddhi), Lodha Offset Limited (Lodha), Magic International Pvt. Ltd. (Magic), Marisa International (Marisa), Navneet, Pioneer Stationery Pvt Ltd. (Pioneer), SAB, SGM Paper Products, and Super Impex.

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 81 FR 78778 (November 9, 2016) (Initiation Notice).

    On May 15, 2017, the Department extended the deadline for the preliminary results to October 2, 2017.2 From July 19, 2017, through July 28, 2017, the Department conducted cost and sales verifications of SAB.3

    2See Memorandum, “Certain Lined Paper Products from India: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2015-2016,” dated May 15, 2017.

    3See Memorandum, “2015-2016 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Certain Lined Paper Products from India: Verification of Sales Questionnaire Responses of SAB International” dated September 29, 2017 (SAB Sales Verification Report); see also Memorandum, “2015-2016 Antidumping Administrative Review of Certain Lined Paper Products from India: Verification of Cost Questionnaire Responses of SAB International” dated September 29, 2017 (SAB Cost Verification Report).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the CLPP Order4 is certain lined paper products. The merchandise subject to this order is currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4811.90.9035, 4811.90.9080, 4820.30.0040, 4810.22.5044, 4811.90.9050, 4811.90.9090, 4820.10.2010, 4820.10.2020, 4820.10.2030, 4820.10.2040, 4820.10.2050, 4820.10.2060, and 4820.10.4000. Although the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description remains dispositive.5

    4See Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Lined Paper Products from the People's Republic of China; Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, Indonesia and the People's Republic of China; and Notice of Countervailing Duty Orders: Certain Lined Paper Products from India and Indonesia, 71 FR 56949 (September 28, 2006) (CLPP Order).

    5 For a complete description of the Scope of the Order, see Memorandum titled, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Lined Paper Products from India; 2015-2016,” dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Lodha and Marisa reported that they made no shipments of subject merchandise to the United States during the POR. To confirm Lodha's and Marisa's no shipment claims, the Department issued a no-shipment inquiry to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requesting that it review Lodha's and Marisa's no-shipment claims.6 CBP did not report that it had any information to contradict Lodha's and Marisa's claims of no shipments during the POR.

    6See No Shipments Inquiry for certain lined paper products from India Produced and/or Exported by Lodha Offset and Marisa International (A-533-843), message number 6365302 (December 30, 2016).

    Given that Lodha and Marisa certified that they made no shipments of subject merchandise to the United States during the POR, and there is no information calling their claims into question, we preliminarily determine that Lodha and Marisa did not have any reviewable transactions during the POR. Consistent with the Department's practice, we will not rescind the review with respect to Lodha and Marisa but, rather, will complete the review and issue instructions to CBP based on the final results.7

    7See, e.g., Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from Thailand; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Partial Rescission of Review, Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2012-2013, 79 FR 15951, 15952 (March 24, 2014), unchanged in Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from Thailand: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Final Determination of No Shipments, and Partial Rescission of Review; 2012-2013, 79 FR, at 51306-51307 (August 28, 2014).

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Constructed export price or export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary results, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Calculation of Normal Value Based on Constructed Value (CV)

    SAB reported that it made no sales in the home market during the POR.8 Pursuant to 773(a)(1)(C)(i) of the Act, we examined SAB's third country sales and have determined that such sales do not constitute a viable comparison market (CM) within the meaning of section 773(a)(1)(B)(ii)(II) of the Act.9 Therefore, for these preliminary results, we relied on CV as the basis for calculating NV, in accordance with sections 773(a)(4) and (e) of the Act.10

    8See SAB's February 14, 2017 Section A Questionnaire Response (SAB February 14, 2017 AQR), at 3-4 and Exhibit A-1.

    9Id.

    10See Preliminary Decision Memorandum, at 18-22.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily calculated a dumping margin of zero percent for both Navneet and SAB. We are applying to the non-selected companies the rates calculated for the mandatory respondents in these preliminary results, as referenced below.11

    11See Albemarle Corp. & Subsidiaries v. United States, 821 F.3d 1345 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (Albemarle).

    Producer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Navneet Education Ltd 0.00 SAB International 0.00 Kokuyo Riddhi Paper Products Pvt. Ltd 0.00 Magic International Pvt. Ltd 0.00 Pioneer Stationery Pvt Ltd 0.00 SGM Paper Products 0.00 Super Impex 0.00
    Assessment Rate

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. If the weighted-average dumping margin for Navneet or SAB is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent), we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem antidumping duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).12 We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is above de minimis (i.e., 0.5 percent). Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties. The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review where applicable.

    12 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    In accordance with the Department's “automatic assessment” practice, for entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by each respondent for which it did not know that its merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.

    We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for respondents noted above will be the rates established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for merchandise exported by producers or exporters not covered in this administrative review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation, but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the producer of the subject merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be 3.91 percent, the all-others rate established in the investigation as modified by the section 129 determination.13 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    13See Implementation of the Findings of the WTO Panel in US—Zeroing (EC): Notice of Determinations Under Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act and Revocations and Partial Revocations of Certain Antidumping Duty Orders, 72 FR 25261 (May 4, 2007).

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department will disclose to parties to this proceeding the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of these preliminary results.14 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.15 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities.16 All briefs must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS.

    14See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    15See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    16See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, using Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS system within 30 days of publication of this notice.17 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, we will inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined.18 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing.

    17See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    18See 19 CFR 351.310.

    Unless the deadline is extended pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(2), the Department will issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised by the parties in their case briefs, within 120 days after issuance of these preliminary results.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties and/or countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and increase the subsequent assessment of the antidumping duties.

    These preliminary results of review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h) and 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: October 2, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Extension of Preliminary Results IV. Scope of the Order V. Discussion of Methodology Preliminary Determination of No Shipments Date of Sale Product Comparisons Comparisons to Normal Value A. Determination of Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis Export Price Normal Value A. Home Market Viability B. Level of Trade Navneet SAB C. Sales to Affiliated Customers D. Cost of Production Analysis 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Prices and COP 3. Results of COP Test E. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices F. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Constructed Value Margin for Companies Not Selected for Individual Examination Currency Conversion VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-21588 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-489-817] Oil Country Tubular Goods From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, in Part AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) from the Republic of Turkey (Turkey). The period of review (POR) is January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. The Department initiated this administrative review with respect to the following producers/exporters of subject merchandise: Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. and Borusan Istikbal Ticaret (collectively, Borusan); and Tosçelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi A.Ş. and Tosyali Diş Ticaret A. Ş. (collectively, Toscelik). We preliminarily find that Borusan received countervailable subsidies at de minimis levels during the POR. Additionally, as a result of the final and conclusive decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit related to the underlying CVD investigation of OCTG from Turkey, which resulted in Toscelik being excluded from the CVD order, we are rescinding the administrative review with respect to Toscelik. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Applicable October 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Shore or Aimee Phelan, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2778 or (202) 482-0697, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On September 8, 2016, the Department published a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the CVD order on OCTG from Turkey for the period January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.1 On September 30, 2016, the Department received review requests from Borusan and Toscelik.2 On November 9, 2016, the Department published a notice of initiation of administrative review for this CVD order.3 On May 17, 2017, the Department postponed the deadline for issuing the preliminary results of this administrative review until October 2, 2017.4 On September 27, 2017, the Department amended the CVD order on OCTG from Turkey to exclude Toscelik.5

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 81 FR 62096 (September 8, 2016).

    2See Letter from Borusan, “Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Turkey, Case No. C-489-817: Request for Countervailing Duty Administrative Review,” dated September 30, 2016; and Letter from Toscelik, “OCTG from Turkey; Tosçelik request for administrative review,” dated September 30, 2016.

    3See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 81 FR 78778 (November 9, 2016).

    4See Department Memorandum, Extension of Deadline of Preliminary Results, dated May 17, 2017.

    5See Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Turkey: Amendment of Countervailing Duty Order, signed on September 27, 2017 (OCTG Amended Order).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is certain OCTG, which are hollow steel products of circular cross-section, including oil well casing and tubing, of iron (other than cast iron) or steel (both carbon and alloy), whether seamless or welded, regardless of end finish (e.g., whether or not plain end, threaded, or threaded and coupled) whether or not conforming to American Petroleum Institute (API) or non-API specifications, whether finished (including limited service OCTG products) or unfinished (including green tubes and limited service OCTG products), whether or not thread protectors are attached. The scope of the order also covers OCTG coupling stock. A full description of the scope of the Order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.6

    6See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of 2015 Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission: Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Turkey,” dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Methodology

    We are conducting this administrative review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found to be countervailable, we preliminarily find that there is a subsidy, i.e., a financial contribution by an “authority” that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.7 For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content. A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is provided in the Appendix to this notice.

    7See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and, section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    Partial Rescission of Administrative Review

    As stated above, the Department initiated an administrative review of Toscelik for the period January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015.8 However, subsequent to the final and conclusive decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit related to the underlying CVD investigation of OCTG from Turkey,9 Toscelik was excluded from the CVD order. On September 27, 2017, the Department amended the CVD order on OCTG from Turkey to exclude Toscelik.10 Accordingly, we are rescinding this administrative review with respect to Toscelik.

    8 The Department determined that Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi A.S. and Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S. are cross-owned. See OCTG Amended Order.

    9See Maverick Tube Corporation v. United States, 857 F.3d 1353 (Fed. Cir. 2017).

    10See OCTG Amended Order.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    We preliminarily find that the following net countervailable subsidy rate for the mandatory respondent, Borusan, for the period January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015:

    11 The Department has determined that Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. and Borusan Istikbal Ticaret are cross-owned. See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Company Subsidy rate
  • ad valorem
  • (percent)
  • Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., and Borusan Istikbal Ticaret 11 *0.48 * De Minimis.
    Assessment Rates

    Consistent with section 751(a)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(2), upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, countervailing duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    As a result of Toscelik's exclusion from the CVD order on OCTG from Turkey, the Department will instruct CBP to terminate the suspension of liquidation of entries of subject merchandise where Toscelik acted as both the producer and exporter during the period January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015, and to liquidate, without regard to countervailing duties, all entries of OCTG produced and exported by Toscelik currently suspended. Entries of subject merchandise exported to the United States by any other producer and exporter combination involving Toscelik are not entitled to this exclusion from suspension of liquidation and are subject to the cash deposit rate for the “all others” entity. The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    In accordance with section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, the Department intends to instruct CBP to collect cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties in the amount shown above for Borusan, should the final results of this administrative review remain the same as these preliminary results; if the rate is zero or de minimis, then zero cash deposit will be required. For all non-reviewed firms, we will instruct CBP to continue to collect cash deposits at the most recent company specific or all-others rate applicable to the company. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We will disclose to parties in this review the calculations performed in reaching the preliminary results within five days of publication of these preliminary results.12 Interested parties may submit written comments (case briefs) on the preliminary results no later than 30 days from the date of publication of this Federal Register notice, and rebuttal comments (rebuttal briefs) within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.13 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2), rebuttal briefs must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs. Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.14

    12See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    13See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii); 351.309(d)(1); and 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    14See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS by 5 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.15 Hearing requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Issues addressed at the hearing will be limited to those raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the date and time for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230.16 The Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised by the parties in their comments, no later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h), unless this deadline is extended.

    15See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    16See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    These preliminary results and notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: October 2, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Rescission of the 2015 Administrative Review, in Part V. Subsidies Valuation Information VI. Analysis of Programs VII. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2017-21585 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-489-502] Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Turkey: Final Results of Expedited Fourth Sunset Review of Countervailing Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On June 1, 2017, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated a sunset review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on circular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes (steel pipes and tubes) from Turkey pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The Department has conducted an expedited sunset review of this order pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2). As a result of this sunset review, the Department finds that revocation of the CVD order is likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy at the levels indicated in the “Final Results of Review” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective October 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jolanta Lawska, 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) 482-8362.

    SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION

    Background

    The CVD order on steel pipes and tubes from Turkey was published in the Federal Register on March 7, 1986.1 On June 2, 2017, the Department initiated the fourth sunset review of this CVD order pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act.2 On June 15, 2017, we received a notice of intent to participate on behalf of the following domestic interested parties: Bull Moose, Exltube, TMK IPSCO, and Zekelman Industries (hereinafter referred to as the domestic interested parties).3 The domestic interested parties claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act, as manufacturers, producers, or wholesalers in the United States of a domestic like product.4 On June 30, 2017, the domestic interested parties submitted their substantive response.5 On July 3, 2017, the Government of Turkey (GOT) submitted its substantive response in which it expressed its intent to participate in this review as the government of the country in which subject merchandise is produced and exported.6 On July 10, 2017, the domestic interested parties submitted rebuttal comments to the GOT Substantive Response.7

    1See Countervailing Duty Order: Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipe and Tube Products from Turkey, 51 FR 7984 (March 7, 1986).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Reviews, 82 FR 25599 (June 2, 2017); see also Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Review; Correction, 82 FR 27690 (June 16, 2017).

    3See Letter from Domestic Interested Party, “Fourth Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review of Countervailing Duty Order on Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Turkey: Domestic Industry Notice of Intent to Participate in Sunset Review,” dated June 15, 2017.

    4Id.

    5See Letter from Domestic Interested Parties, “Fourth Five Year (“Sunset”) Review of Countervailing Duty Order on Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Turkey: Domestic Industry's Substantive Response,” (Domestic Interested Parties Substantive Response), dated June 30, 2017.

    6See Letter from GOT, “Response of the Government of Turkey in the Countervailing Duty 4th Sunset Review Involving Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipe and Tube from Turkey,” (GOT Substantive Response), dated July 3, 2017.

    7See letter from the Domestic Interested Parties, “Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review of Countervailing Duty Order on Certain Circulate Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Turkey: Domestic Industry's Rebuttal to the Government of Turkey's Substantive Response,” dated July 10, 2017 (Domestic Parties Rebuttal Submission).

    The Department did not receive any substantive responses from Turkish producers or exporters of the merchandise covered by this order. A government's response alone, normally, is not sufficient for the Department to conduct a full sunset review, unless the investigation was conducted on an aggregate basis.8 Because this investigation was conducted on a company-specific, rather than an aggregate, basis,9 we determined that no company respondent interested party submitted a substantive response, and thus, conducted an expedited (120-day) sunset review of this order.10

    8See, e.g., Certain Pasta from Turkey: Final Results of Expedited Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review of the Countervailing Duty Order, 72 FR 5269 (February 5, 2007), and Certain Carbon Steel Products from Sweden: Final Results of Expedited Sunset Review of Countervailing Duty Order, 65 FR 18304 (April 7, 2000).

    9See Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determinations; Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipe and Tube Products From Turkey, 51 FR 1268 (January 10, 1986).

    10See section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2).

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are certain welded carbon steel pipes and tubes with an outside diameter of 0.375 inch or more, but not over 16 inches, of any wall thickness (pipes and tubes) from Turkey. These products are currently provided for under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) as item numbers 7306.30.10, 7306.30.50, and 7306.90.10. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise is dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is dated concurrently with and adopted by this notice.11 The issues discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy and the net countervailable subsidy likely to prevail if the Order were revoked. Parties can find a complete discussion of all issues raised in this expedited sunset review and the corresponding recommendations in this public memorandum, which is on file electronically via the Enforcement and Compliance Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    11See Memorandum regarding: “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of Expedited Fourth Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Turkey,” dated concurrently with this notice.

    Final Results of Review

    As a result of this review, the Department determines that revocation of the CVD order would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy at the rates listed below:

    Producer/exporter Net
  • countervailable
  • subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • Bant Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (Bant Boru) 3.63 Borusan Group12 1.41 Erbosan13 3.63 Yucel Boru Group14 1.57 All Others 3.63
    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. Timely notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    12 The Borusan Group includes the following entities: Borusan Group, Borusan Holding, A.S., Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., Borusan Istikbal Ticaret, A.S., and Borusan Lojistik Dagitim Pepolama Tasimacilik ve Tic A.S.

    13 Erbosan includes Erbosan Erciyas Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (Erbosan AS) and Erbosan Erciyas Pipe Industry and Trade Co. Kayseri Free Zone Branch (Erbosan FZB).

    14 The Yucel Boru Group includes Yucel Boru ye Profil Endustrisi A.S, Yucelboru lhracat Ithalat ye Pazarlama A.S, and Cayirova Born Sanayi ye Ticaret A.S.

    We are issuing and publishing the final results of this review in accordance with sections 751(c), 752, and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: October 2, 2017. Gary Taverman, Deputy Assistant Secretary, for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations performing the non-exclusive functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21587 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF629 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of rescheduled SEDAR 52 assessment scoping webinar for Gulf of Mexico red snapper.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 52 assessment process of Gulf of Mexico red snapper will consist of an In-person Workshop, and a series of assessment webinars.

    DATES:

    The SEDAR 52 assessment scoping webinar will be held October 26, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julie A. Neer at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar.

    SEDAR address: 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie A. Neer, SEDAR Coordinator; (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The original notice published in the Federal Register on August 29, 2017 (82 FR 40995). The notice announces the rescheduled date of the meeting from September 21, 2017 to October 26, 2017.

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a multi-step process including: (1) Data Workshop, (2) a series of assessment webinars, and (3) A Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop is a report that compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The assessment webinars produce a report that describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The product of the Review Workshop is an Assessment Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, HMS Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and NGO's; International experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion during the assessment scoping webinar are as follows:

    Panelists will review the data sets being considered for the assessment and discuss initial modeling efforts.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 business days prior to each workshop.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 3, 2017. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21598 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: NMFS Alaska Region Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0445.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 1,139.

    Average Hours per Response: 12 minutes for VMS check-in report; 2 hours for VMS operation (includes installation and maintenance).

    Burden Hours: 5,101.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) units integrate global positioning system (GPS) and communications electronics into a single, tamper-resistant package to automatically determine the vessel's position several times per hour. The units can be set to transmit a vessel's location periodically and automatically to an overhead satellite in real time. In most cases, the vessel owner is unaware of exactly when the unit is transmitting and is unable to alter the signal or the time of transmission. The VMS unit is passive and automatic, requiring no reporting effort by the vessel operator. A communications service provider receives the transmission and relays it to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard. Enforcement of management measures, such as directed fishing closures and critical habitat no-fishing zones, relies heavily on the use of VMS.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Frequency: Annually and on occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: October 3, 2017. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21580 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Pacific Islands Region Permit Family of Forms AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before December 5, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Walter Ikehara, (808) 725-5175, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for a revision and extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Regulations at 50 CFR 665, Subpart F, require that a vessel must be registered to a valid federal fishing permit to fish with longline gear for Pacific pelagic management unit species (PMUS), land or transship longline caught PMUS, or receive longline caught PMUS from a longline vessel, within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of United States (U.S.) islands in the central and western Pacific, to fish with pelagic squid jig gear for PMUS within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of United States (U.S.) islands in the central and western Pacific, or to fish with troll and handline gear for PMUS within the EEZ around each of the Pacific Remote Island Areas (PRIA), in areas not prohibited to fishing.

    Regulations at 50 CFR parts 665, Subparts D and E, require that the owner of a vessel used to fish for, land, or transship bottomfish management unit species (BMUS) using a large vessel (50 ft or longer) around Guam, fish commercially for BMUS in the EEZ around the Northern Mariana Islands, or use a vessel to fish for BMUS within the EEZ around each of the PRIA, in areas not prohibited to fishing, must register it to a valid federal fishing permit.

    Regulations at 50 CFR 665, Subparts B, C, D, and E, require that a vessel used to fish for precious corals within the EEZ of U.S. islands in the central and western Pacific, must be registered to a valid federal fishing permit for a specific precious coral permit area.

    The collection is revised by merging currently approved information collections OMB Control Numbers 0648-0584, Northern Mariana Islands Commercial Bottomfish Fishery Permit, 0648-0586, Pacific Islands Crustacean Permit, and 0648-0589, Pacific Islands Pelagic Squid Jig Fishing Permit, into OMB Control No. 0648-0490 Pacific Islands Region Permit Family of Forms. NMFS approved new two-tier processing fees for most permits, resulting in revised cost estimates.

    II. Method of Collection

    Respondents have a choice of either electronic or paper forms. Methods of submittal include email of electronic forms, or online applications when implemented, and mail and facsimile transmission of paper forms.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0490.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (revision of a currently approved collection).

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations, individuals, or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 354.

    Estimated Time per Response: Hawaii longline limited entry permits: Renewal on paper application—30 minutes; renewal online—15 minutes; transfer—1 hour, closed area exemption and permit appeals—2 hours; American Samoa longline limited entry permits: Renewal and additional permit application—45 minutes, transfer—1 hour 15 minutes, permit appeals—2 hours; all other permits: Paper—30 minutes, online—15 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 169.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $14,000 in application processing fees and recordkeeping/mailing costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: October 3, 2017. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21579 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XF704 Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of time change of a public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold its 171st Council meeting to take actions on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region.

    DATES:

    The Council meeting will be held on October 17 to October 19, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The 171st Council meeting will be held at Governor H. Rex Lee Auditorium (Fale Laumei), Utulei, American Samoa, phone: (684) 633-5155.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director, Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; phone: (808) 522-8220.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The original notice published in the Federal Register on September 22, 2017 (82 FR 44382). The Public Hearing on American Samoa Fisheries originally scheduled on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. has changed to Tuesday, October 17, 2017, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

    The 171st Council Meeting will be held on October 17, 2017 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. with a Public Hearing between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.; on October 18, 2017 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. with a Fishers Forum between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.; and on October 19, 2017 between 8:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

    Agenda items noted as “Final Action Items” refer to actions that result in Council transmittal of a proposed fishery management plan, proposed plan amendment, or proposed regulations to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, under Sections 304 or 305 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. An opportunity to submit public comment will be provided throughout the agendas. The order in which agenda items are addressed may change and will be announced in advance at the Council meeting. The meetings will run as late as necessary to complete scheduled business. Background documents will be available from, and written comments should be sent to, Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director; Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, 1164 Bishop Street, Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, phone: (808) 522-8220 or fax: (808) 522-8226.

    Non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before the Council for discussion and formal Council action during its 171st meeting. However, Council action on regulatory issues will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any regulatory issue arising after publication of this document that requires emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kitty M. Simonds, (808) 522-8220 (voice) or (808) 522-8226 (fax), at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 3, 2017. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21597 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy (USMA) AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The notice of an open meeting scheduled for October 20, 2017 published in the Federal Register on September 27, 2017 (82 FR 44995) has a new start time. The time has changed to 09:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mrs. Deadra K. Ghostlaw, the Designated Federal Officer for the committee, in writing at: Secretary of the General Staff, ATTN: Deadra K. Ghostlaw, 646 Swift Road, West Point, NY 10996; by email at: [email protected] or [email protected]; or by telephone at (845) 938-4200.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    None.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21573 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation Board of Visitors Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) Board of Visitors. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The WHINSEC Board of Visitors will meet from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 2, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, Bradley Hall, 7301 Baltzell Avenue, Building 396, Fort Benning, GA 31905.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Richard Procell, Acting Executive Secretary for the Committee, in writing at USACGSC, 100 Stimson Avenue, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2301, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (913) 684-2963.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The committee meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), 41 CFR 102-3.140(c), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) Board of Visitors (BoV) is a non-discretionary Federal Advisory Committee chartered to provide the Secretary of Defense, through the Secretary of the Army, independent advice and recommendations on matters pertaining to the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, and academic methods of the Institute; other matters relating to the Institute that the Board decides to consider; and other items that the Secretary of Defense determines appropriate. The Board reviews curriculum to determine whether it adheres to current U.S. doctrine, complies with applicable U.S. laws and regulations, and is consistent with U.S. policy goals toward Latin America and the Caribbean. The Board also determines whether the instruction under the curriculum of the Institute appropriately emphasizes human rights, the rule of law, due process, civilian control of the military, and the role of the military in a democratic society. The Secretary of Defense may act on the Committee's advice and recommendations.

    Agenda: Status briefing on the Institute from the Commandant; update briefings from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy); Department of State; U.S. Northern Command; and U.S. Southern Command; presentation of other information appropriate to the Board's interests, and a public comments period.

    Public Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and subject to the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is on a first to arrive basis. Attendees are requested to submit their name, affiliation, and daytime phone number seven business days prior to the meeting to Mr. Procell, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Because the meeting of the committee will be held in a Federal Government facility on a military base, security screening is required. A photo ID is required to enter base. Please note that security and gate guards have the right to inspect vehicles and persons seeking to enter and exit the installation. Bradley Hall is fully handicap accessible. Wheelchair access is available in front at the main entrance of the building. For additional information about public access procedures, contact Mr. Procell at the email address or telephone number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Written Comments and Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the Committee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the Committee's mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Mr. Procell, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Each page of the comment or statement must include the author's name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received at least seven business days prior to the meeting to be considered by the Committee. The Designated Federal Officer will review all timely submitted written comments or statements with the Committee Chairperson, and ensure the comments are provided to all members of the Committee before the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the Committee until its next meeting. Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140d, the Committee is not obligated to allow a member of the public to speak or otherwise address the Committee during the meeting. Members of the public will be permitted to make verbal comments during the Committee meeting only at the time and in the manner described below. If a member of the public is interested in making a verbal comment at the open meeting, that individual must submit a request, with a brief statement of the subject matter to be addressed by the comment, at least three (3) business days in advance to Mr. Procell, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Requests will be logged in the order received. The Designated Federal Officer in consultation with the Committee Chair will determine whether the subject matter of each comment is relevant to the Committee's mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. A 30-minute period between 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. will be available for verbal public comments. Members of the public who have requested to make a verbal comment and whose comments have been deemed relevant under the process described above, will be allotted no more than three (3) minutes during this period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21572 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Availability of Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Disposal and Reuse of the Former Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Detachment Concord, Concord, California AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of the Navy (Navy), after carefully weighing the environmental consequences of the proposed action, announces its decision to implement Alternative 1, the Navy's preferred alternative, as described in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Disposal and Reuse of the Former Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Detachment Concord (NWS Concord), Concord, California. This decision will make approximately 4,972 acres of former NWS Concord property available to the local community for economic redevelopment.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Disposal and reuse under the chosen alternative is consistent with the City of Concord's “Concord Reuse Project Area Plan” and Public Law 101-510, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act (BRAC) of 1990, as amended in 2005. The complete text of the Record of Decision (ROD) is available for public viewing on the project Web site at http://www.BRACPMO.Navy.mil along with the Final EIS and supporting documents. Single copies of the ROD will be made available upon request by contacting: Ms. Erica Spinelli, Navy BRAC Program Management Office West, Concord EIS, 33000 Nixie Way, Building 50, San Diego, California, 92147-0001, telephone 619-524-5096, email [email protected]

    Dated: October 2, 2017. A.M. Nichols, Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21601 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Notice of Waivers Granted Under Section 9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, we announce the waivers that the U.S. Department of Education (Department) granted during calendar year 2014 under the waiver authority in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (ESEA), including waivers related to flexibilities granted to States in exchange for State-led reforms (ESEA flexibility).

    The ESEA requires that the Department publish in the Federal Register, and disseminate to interested parties, a notice of its decision to grant a waiver of statutory or regulatory requirements under the ESEA. Between 2011 and 2016, the Department granted more than 800 waivers of statutory or regulatory requirements to State educational agencies (SEAs) but neglected to comply with the ESEA's publication and dissemination requirements. This notice is intended to fulfill the Department's obligation to publicize its waiver decisions by identifying the waivers granted during each calendar year.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kia Weems, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W341, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 260-2221 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 2014, the Department granted waivers through an initiative known as ESEA flexibility to 39 States under the waiver authority in section 9401 of the ESEA, in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive State-developed plans designed to improve student academic achievement and increase the quality of instruction. We granted:

    (a) The following 10 waivers to 39 SEAs under ESEA flexibility:

    1. Flexibility Regarding the 2014 Timeline for Determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP);

    2. Flexibility in Implementation of School Improvement Requirements;

    3. Flexibility in Implementation of Local Educational Agency (LEA) Improvement Requirements;

    4. Flexibility for Rural LEAs;

    5. Flexibility for Schoolwide Programs;

    6. Flexibility to Support School Improvement;

    7. Flexibility for Reward Schools;

    8. Flexibility Regarding Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) Improvement Plans;

    9. Flexibility to Transfer Certain Funds; and

    10. Flexibility to Use School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds to Support Priority Schools.

    In addition to waiving the 10 provisions listed above, the Department granted three optional waivers under ESEA flexibility related to the following:

    1. Waivers of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) requirement to provide services during non-school hours or when school is not in session;

    2. Waivers of the requirement to make AYP determinations; and

    3. Waivers of requirements pertaining to Title I, Part A within-district allocations.

    (b) 67 waivers extending the period in which funds were available for obligation: Three waivers extending the period of availability of fiscal year (FY) 2009 SIG funds under the regular appropriation and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA); 62 waivers extending the period of availability of FY 2010, 2011, 2012, or 2013 SIG funds; one waiver related to consolidated grant funds for Insular Areas; and one waiver extending the period for the Mathematics and Science Partnerships program funds;

    (c) Eight waivers pertaining to SIG school eligibility requirements and the definition of “persistently lowest-achieving schools”;

    (d) Six waivers allowing SEAs to approve schools or LEAs identified as “in need of improvement” to become supplemental educational services (SES) providers;

    (e) 39 waivers of requirements related to State academic standards or assessments: 18 waivers of the statutory and regulatory requirements under Title I, Part A of the ESEA that required States to apply the same academic content and academic achievement standards to, and to use the same academic assessment for, all public schools and public school children in the State; 13 waivers that allowed students (except those with the most significant cognitive disabilities) to take only one assessment in each content area in 2013-2014—either the current State assessment or the full form of the field test of the new assessments aligned to college- and career-ready standards; four waivers permitting the State to assess students who were not yet enrolled in high school but who took advanced, high school level coursework with the corresponding advanced, high school level assessment alone; three waivers permitting students with the most significant cognitive disabilities within the State to take only one assessment in each content area in 2013-2014—either the current State alternate assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards or the field test of new alternate assessments; and one waiver permitting a State to administer the high school exit examination to high school students in grade 10 and the alternate performance assessment to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities;

    (f) Two waivers of the third of three annual measureable achievement objectives (AMAOs 3) under Title III, allowing States to use the same targets used to determine AYP under Title I in place of the State's AMOs;

    (g) One waiver of the requirement under Title I, Part A to provide parents notice of public school choice options at least 14 days before the start of the school year; and

    (h) 10 waivers of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) program absolute priority requirement in the notice of final priorities (NFR) that required each TIF grantee to develop a rigorous evaluation system for teachers and principals, and of one of the five core elements in the NFR.

    I. ESEA Flexibility Waivers A. Flexibility Regarding the 2014 Timeline for Determining AYP

    The Department waived the requirements in section 1111(b)(2)(E)-(H) of the ESEA that prescribe how an SEA establishes AMOs for determining AYP to ensure that all students met or exceeded the State's proficient level of academic achievement on the State's assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics no later than the end of the 2013—2014 school year. Under this waiver, an SEA no longer needed to follow the statutory procedures for setting AMOs to use in determining AYP. Instead, an SEA had flexibility to develop new ambitious but achievable AMOs in reading/language arts and mathematics in order to provide meaningful goals to guide support and improvement efforts for the State, LEAs, schools, and student subgroups.

    Provisions waived: Section 1111(b)(2)(E)-(H) of the ESEA.

    B. Flexibility in Implementation of School Improvement Requirements

    The Department waived the requirements in section 1116(b) of the ESEA for an LEA to identify for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring, as appropriate, a Title I school that failed, for two consecutive years or more, to make AYP, and for a school so identified and its LEA to take certain improvement actions. Under this waiver, an LEA was no longer required to identify respective Title I schools for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring, and neither the LEA nor its schools were required to take statutorily required improvement actions, including providing public school choice and supplemental educational services (SES) to eligible students. An LEA was also exempt from administrative and reporting requirements related to school improvement.

    Provision waived: Section 1116(b) of the ESEA, except that (b)(13) was not waived.

    C. Flexibility in Implementation of LEA Improvement

    The Department waived the requirements in section 1116(c) of the ESEA for an SEA to identify for improvement or corrective action, as appropriate, an LEA that, for two consecutive years or more, failed to make AYP, and neither the LEA nor the SEA was required to take statutorily required improvement actions. An LEA was also exempt from associated administrative and reporting requirements related to LEA improvement.

    Provisions waived: Section 1116(c)(3) and (5)-(11) of the ESEA.

    D. Flexibility for Rural LEAs

    The Department waived the requirements in sections 6213(b) and 6224(e) of the ESEA that limited participation in, and use of funds under, the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) and Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) programs based on whether an LEA made AYP and was complying with the requirements in section 1116 of the ESEA. Under the waiver, an LEA that received SRSA or RLIS funds had flexibility to use those funds for any authorized purpose regardless of the LEA's AYP status.

    Provisions waived: Sections 6213(b) and 6224(e) of the ESEA.

    E. Flexibility for Schoolwide Programs

    The Department waived the requirement in section 1114(a)(1) of the ESEA that a school have a poverty percentage of 40 percent or more in order to operate a schoolwide program. Under this waiver, an LEA had flexibility to operate a schoolwide program in a Title I school that did not meet the 40 percent poverty threshold if the SEA identified the school as a priority school or a focus school, and the LEA implemented interventions consistent with the turnaround principles or interventions that were based on the needs of the students in the school and designed to enhance the entire educational program in the school, as appropriate.

    Provision waived: Section 1114(a)(1) of the ESEA.

    F. Flexibility To Support School Improvement

    The Department waived the requirement in section 1003(a) of the ESEA for an SEA to distribute funds reserved under that section only to LEAs with schools identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. Under this waiver, an SEA had flexibility to allocate ESEA section 1003(a) funds to an LEA in order to serve any priority or focus school, if the SEA determined such school was most in need of additional support.

    Provision waived: Section 1003(a) of the ESEA.

    G. Flexibility for Reward Schools

    The Department waived the provision in section 1117(c)(2)(A) of the ESEA that authorized an SEA to reserve Title I, Part A funds to reward a Title I school that (1) significantly closed the achievement gap between subgroups in the school; or (2) exceeded AYP for two or more consecutive years. Under this waiver, an SEA had flexibility to use funds reserved under section 1117(c)(2)(A) of the ESEA to provide financial rewards to any reward school, if the SEA determined such school was most appropriate to receive a financial reward.

    Provision waived: Section 1117(b)(1)(B) of the ESEA.

    H. Flexibility Regarding HQT Improvement Plans

    The Department waived the requirements in section 2141(a) through (c) of the ESEA for an LEA and SEA to comply with certain requirements for improvement plans regarding highly qualified teachers. Under the waiver, an LEA that did not meet its HQT target did not have to develop an improvement plan under section 2141 of the ESEA and had flexibility in how it used its Title I and Title II funds. An SEA was exempt from the requirements regarding its role in the implementation of those plans, including the requirement that it enter into agreements with LEAs on the use of funds and the requirement that it provide technical assistance to LEAs on their plans.

    Provisions waived: Section 2141(a)-(c) of the ESEA.

    I. Flexibility To Transfer Certain Funds

    The Department waived the limitations in section 6123 of the ESEA that limited the amount of funds an SEA or LEA may transfer from certain ESEA programs to other ESEA programs. Under this waiver, an SEA and its LEAs had flexibility to transfer up to 100 percent of the funds received under the authorized programs among those programs and into Title I, Part A. Moreover, to minimize burden at the State and local levels, the SEA was not required to notify the Department, and its participating LEAs were not required to notify the SEA, prior to transferring funds.

    Provisions waived: Section 6123(a), (b)(1), (d), and (e)(1) of the ESEA.

    J. Flexibility To Use SIG Funds To Support Priority Schools

    The Department waived the requirements in section 1003(g)(4) of the ESEA and the definition of a Tier I school in Section I.A.3 of the SIG final requirements. Under this waiver, an SEA had flexibility to award SIG funds available under section 1003(g) of the ESEA to an LEA to implement one of the four SIG models in any priority school.

    Provisions waived: Section 1003(g)(4) of the ESEA and section I.A.3 of the notice of final requirements for SIG Grants, published in the Federal Register on October 28, 2010 (74 FR 65618).

    Waiver applicants:

    • Alabama State Board of Education • Arizona Department of Education • Arkansas Department of Education • Colorado Department of Education • Delaware Department of Education • District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education • Florida Department of Education • Georgia Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Idaho State Department of Education • Illinois State Board of Education • Indiana Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Kentucky Department of Education • Louisiana Department of Education • Maryland State Department of Education • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • Michigan Department of Education • Minnesota Department of Education • Mississippi Department of Education • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • Nevada Department of Education • New Jersey Department of Education • New Mexico Public Education Department • New York State Education Department • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction • Ohio Department of Education • Oklahoma State Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Rhode Island Department of Education • South Carolina Department of Education • South Dakota Department of Education • Tennessee Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Utah State Office of Education • Virginia Department of Education • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction K. Flexibility in the Use of 21st CCLC Program Funds

    The Department waived requirements in sections 4201(b)(1)(A) and 4204(b)(2)(A) of the ESEA that restricted the activities provided by a community learning center under the 21st CCLC program to activities provided only during non-school hours or periods when school was not in session (i.e., before and after school or during summer recess). Under this waiver, an SEA had flexibility to permit community learning centers to use 21st CCLC funds to support expanded learning time during the school day in addition to activities during non-school hours or periods when school was not in session.

    Provisions waived: Section 4201(b)(1)(A) and 4204(b)(2)(A) of the ESEA.

    Waiver applicants:

    • Alabama State Board of Education • Arizona Department of Education • Arkansas Department of Education • Colorado Department of Education • Delaware Department of Education • District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education • Florida Department of Education • Georgia Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Idaho State Department of Education • Illinois State Board of Education • Indiana Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Kentucky Department of Education • Louisiana Department of Education • Maryland State Department of Education • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • Michigan Department of Education • Minnesota Department of Education • Mississippi Department of Education • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • Nevada Department of Education • New Jersey Department of Education • New Mexico Public Education Department • New York State Education Department • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction • Ohio Department of Education • Oklahoma State Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Rhode Island Department of Education • South Carolina Department of Education • South Dakota Department of Education • Tennessee Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Utah State Office of Education • Virginia Department of Education • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction L. Flexibility Regarding Making AYP Determinations

    The Department waived the requirements in section 1116(a)(1)(A)-(B) and (c)(1)(A) of the ESEA that required LEAs and SEAs to make determinations of AYP for schools and LEAs, respectively. Instead, an SEA and its LEAs had to report on their report cards performance against the AMOs for all subgroups identified in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v) of the ESEA, and use performance against the AMOs to support continuous improvement in Title I schools.

    Provisions waived: Section 1116(a)(1)(A)-(B) and (c)(1)(A) of the ESEA.

    Waiver applicants:

    • Alabama State Board of Education • Arizona Department of Education • Arkansas Department of Education • Colorado Department of Education • Delaware Department of Education • District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education • Florida Department of Education • Georgia Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Idaho State Department of Education • Illinois State Board of Education • Indiana Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Kentucky Department of Education • Louisiana Department of Education • Maryland State Department of Education • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • Michigan Department of Education • Minnesota Department of Education • Mississippi Department of Education • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • Nevada Department of Education • New Jersey Department of Education • New Mexico Public Education Department • New York State Education Department • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction • Ohio Department of Education • Oklahoma State Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Rhode Island Department of Education • South Carolina Department of Education • South Dakota Department of Education • Tennessee Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Utah State Office of Education • Virginia Department of Education • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction M. Flexibility Regarding Within-District Title I Allocations

    The Department waived the requirements in section 1113(a)(3)-(4) of the ESEA that required an LEA to serve eligible schools under Title I in rank order of poverty and to allocate Title I, Part A funds based on that rank ordering. Under this waiver, an LEA had flexibility to serve with Title I funds a Title I-eligible high school with a graduation rate below 60 percent that the SEA identified as a priority school even if that school did not rank sufficiently high to be served based solely on the school's poverty rate.

    Provisions waived: Section 1113(a)(3)-(4) and (c)(1) of the ESEA.

    Waiver applicants:

    • Alabama State Board of Education • Arizona Department of Education • Arkansas Department of Education • Colorado Department of Education • Delaware Department of Education • District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education • Florida Department of Education • Georgia Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Idaho State Department of Education • Illinois State Board of Education • Indiana Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Kentucky Department of Education • Louisiana Department of Education • Maryland State Department of Education • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • Michigan Department of Education • Minnesota Department of Education • Mississippi Department of Education • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • Nevada Department of Education • New Jersey Department of Education • New Mexico Public Education Department • New York State Education Department • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction • Ohio Department of Education • Oklahoma State Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Rhode Island Department of Education • South Carolina Department of Education • South Dakota Department of Education • Tennessee Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Utah State Office of Education • Virginia Department of Education • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction II. Extensions of the Obligation Period

    A. Waivers to extend the period of availability of SIG ARRA funds.

    Extended the period of availability of FY 2009 SIG funds awarded under Public Law 111-5, ARRA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants:

    • Georgia Department of Education • New York State Education Department • Texas Education Agency

    B. Waivers to extend the period of availability of SIG funds.

    1. Extended the period of availability of FY 2009 SIG funds awarded under section 1003(g) of the ESEA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants:

    • Georgia Department of Education • New York State Education Department • Texas Education Agency

    2. Extended the period of availability of FY 2010 SIG funds awarded under section 1003(g) of the ESEA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants:

    • Arkansas Department of Education • Idaho State Department of Education • Illinois State Board of Education • Iowa Department of Education • Louisiana Department of Education • Mississippi Department of Education • Nebraska Department of Education • New Hampshire Department of Education • New Jersey Department of Education • New Mexico Public Education Department • New York State Education Department • Oklahoma State Department of Education • Texas Education Agency

    3. Extended the period of availability of FY 2011 SIG funds awarded under section 1003(g) of the ESEA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants:

    • Delaware Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Maine Department of Education • Michigan Department of Education • Minnesota Department of Education • Mississippi Department of Education • New Jersey Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Rhode Island Department of Education • Tennessee Department of Education • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

    4. Extended the period of availability of FY 2012 SIG funds awarded under section 1003(g) of the ESEA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants:

    • Alabama State Board of Education • Arizona Department of Education • California Department of Education • Florida Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Illinois State Board of Education • Iowa Department of Education • Maine Department of Education • Maryland State Department of Education • Michigan Department of Education • Minnesota Department of Education • Mississippi Department of Education • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • New Hampshire Department of Education • New Jersey Department of Education • New Mexico Public Education Department • New York State Education Department • North Dakota Department of Public Instruction • Ohio Department of Education • Oklahoma State Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • South Dakota Department of Education • Tennessee Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Utah State Office of Education • Virginia Department of Education • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction • West Virginia Department of Education • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

    5. Extended the period of availability of FY 2013 SIG funds awarded under section 1003(g) of the ESEA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants:

    • Alaska Department of Education and Early Development • Tennessee Department of Education • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

    C. Waiver to extend the period of availability of FY 2012 funds received under section 1003(g) of the ESEA and included in Consolidated Grant funds for Insular Areas.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicant:

    • Virgin Islands Department of Education

    D. Waiver to extend the period of availability of FY 2012 funds for the Mathematics and Science Partnerships program awarded under Title II, Part B of the ESEA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicant:

    • Illinois State Board of Education III. Waivers of School Eligibility Requirements and Definition of “Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools”

    Waivers to replace the list of Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III schools with the State's list of priority schools and to replace the definition of “persistently lowest-achieving schools” with the State's definition of “priority schools.”

    Provisions waived: Sections I.A.1 and I.A.3 of the SIG final requirements, 75 FR 66363.

    Waiver applicants:

    • California Department of Education • Connecticut State Department of Education • Delaware Department of Education • Florida Department of Education • Idaho State Department of Education • Illinois State Board of Education • New Mexico Public Education Department • South Dakota Department of Education IV. Waivers Allowing SEAs To Approve Schools or LEAs Identified as in Need of Improvement To Become SES Providers

    Waivers permitting SEAs to approve a school or LEA identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring to serve as an SES provider.

    Provisions waived: 34 CFR 200.47(b)(1)(iv)(A) and (B).

    Waiver applicants:

    • California Department of Education • Illinois State Board of Education • Montana Office of Public Instruction • North Dakota Office of Public Instruction • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction • Wyoming Department of Education V. Waivers Allowing Substitution of State Academic Standards and Assessments

    Provisions waived: Section 1111(b)(1)(B), (b)(3)(A), (b)(3)(C)(i), and (b)(3)(C)(ii) of the ESEA, and 34 CFR 200.1(a)(1).

    A. One-year waiver of the statutory and regulatory requirements under Title I, Part A of the ESEA that required States to apply the same academic content and academic achievement standards to, and to use the same academic assessment for, all public schools and public school children in the State.

    Waiver applicants:

    • California Department of Education • Connecticut State Department of Education • Idaho State Department of Education • Illinois State Board of Education • Iowa Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Maryland State Department of Education • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • Mississippi Department of Education • Nevada Department of Education • New York State Department of Education • Ohio Department of Education • Oklahoma State Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Rhode Island Department of Education • South Dakota Department of Education • Vermont Agency of Education • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

    B. Waiver permitting students (except those with the most significant cognitive disabilities) to take only one assessment in each content area in 2013-2014—either the current State assessment or the full form of the field test of the new assessments aligned to college- and career-ready standards.

    Waiver applicants:

    • California Department of Education • Connecticut State Department of Education • Idaho State Department of Education • Illinois State Board of Education • Iowa Department of Education • Maryland State Department of Education • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education • Nevada Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • South Dakota Department of Education • Vermont Agency of Education • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

    C. Waiver permitting the State to assess students who were not yet enrolled in high school but who took advanced, high school level coursework with the corresponding advanced, high school level assessment alone.

    Waiver applicants:

    • New York State Department of Education • Ohio Department of Education • Oklahoma State Department of Education • Rhode Island Department of Education

    D. Waiver permitting students with the most significant cognitive disabilities within the State to take only one assessment in each content area in 2013-2014—either the current State alternate assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards or the field test of new alternate assessments.

    Waiver applicants:

    • Idaho State Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Mississippi Department of Education

    E. Waiver permitting a State to administer the high school exit examination to high school students in grade 10 and the alternate performance assessment to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

    Waiver applicant:

    • California Department of Education VI. AMAO Determinations Under ESEA Title III

    One-year waiver to allow the SEA to use, for purposes of AMAO 3, the same targets used in the growth component of its State-developed differentiated recognition, accountability, and support system in reading, writing, and mathematics, in place of the State's AMOs.

    Provision waived: Section 3122(a)(3)(A)(iii) of the ESEA.

    Waiver applicants:

    • Nevada Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education VII. Waivers Regarding Public School Choice Notice

    Allowed a State to postpone notice of public school choice options beyond 14 days before the start of the school year to parents of eligible children attending schools that were newly identified for improvement or made AYP in the previous year, but did not exit improvement status.

    Provisions waived: Section 1116(b)(1)(E)(i) of the ESEA and 34 CFR 200.37(b)(4)(iv).

    Waiver applicant:

    • Wyoming Department of Education VIII. Waiver of Application Requirements for the TIF Program

    Waiver of two TIF requirements, permitting: (1) LEAs to use results of State assessments as the measure of student growth for the performance evaluations for teachers of tested grades and subjects, and (2) eligibility for TIF-funded performance-based compensation to be based on results of evaluations that include such a measure of student growth.

    Provision waived: Priority 2 of the TIF notice of final priorities, requirements, and definitions, published in the Federal Register on June 14, 2012 (77 FR 35785).

    Waiver applicants:

    • Achievement First (Connecticut) • Alliance Collins Family College-Ready High School (California) • Alternatives in Action High School (California) • Aspire Vanguard College Preparatory Academy (California) • Delhi Unified School District (California) • Lucia Mar Unified School District (California) • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (Virginia) • New Haven Public School System (Connecticut) • Northern Humboldt Union High School District (California) • Maine School Administrative District No. 11 (Maine)

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: October 3, 2017. Jason Botel, Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21620 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Notice of Waivers Granted Under Section 9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, we announce the waivers that the U.S. Department of Education (Department) granted during calendar year 2011 under the waiver authority of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (ESEA).

    The ESEA requires that the Department publish in the Federal Register, and disseminate to interested parties, a notice of its decision to grant a waiver of statutory or regulatory requirements under the ESEA. Between 2011 and 2016, the Department granted more than 800 waivers of statutory or regulatory requirements to State educational agencies (SEAs) but neglected to comply with the ESEA's publication and dissemination requirements. This notice is intended to fulfill the Department's obligation to publicize its waiver decisions by identifying the waivers granted during 2011.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kia Weems, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W341, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 260-2221 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 2011, the Department granted a total of 157 waivers under the waiver authority in section 9401 of the ESEA. We granted:

    (a) 67 Waivers extending the period in which funds were available for obligation: 28 waivers extending the period for ESEA State-administered formula grant programs that received fiscal year (FY) 2009 funds made available under Public Law 111-8, the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2009; 25 waivers for ESEA State-administered formula grant programs that received FY 2009 funds made available under Public Law 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA); and 14 waivers for School Improvement Grants (SIG) funds;

    (b) 30 waivers relating to SIG program requirements: Three waivers of the requirement for SEAs to carry over 25 percent of their FY 2009 funds, combine those funds with FY 2010 SIG funds, and award those funds to eligible local educational agencies (LEAs); four waivers pertaining to SEAs' requests to carry over FY 2009 and FY 2010 SIG funds and to award those funds to LEAs through a competition conducted during the 2011-2012 school year; four waivers based on the determination that an SEA would not be able to submit an approvable application prior to September 30, 2011, and, as a result, absent the waiver, its FY 2010 SIG funds would expire and the SEA would not be able to support interventions in its persistently lowest-achieving schools; and 19 waivers granting additional time to meet the teacher and principal evaluation requirement for schools in the first (2010-2011 school year) and second (2011-2012 school year) cohorts of SIG grants;

    (c) Five waivers of requirements related to State academic assessments and school improvement: Three waivers allowing LEAs to waive the requirement to use State academic assessments and other academic indicators to review progress to determine whether a school is making adequate yearly progress (AYP); one waiver of the requirement to ensure that the results of State academic assessments are available to LEAs before the beginning of the school year following the one in which the assessments were administered; and one waiver of the deadline to identify schools for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring;

    (d) 41 waivers of requirements related to supplemental educational services (SES) and public school choice: 22 waivers to permit SEAs to approve a school or LEA identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring to serve as an SES provider; 16 waivers of the requirement for LEAs to spend an amount equal to 20 percent of their Title I allocation on SES and transportation for public school choice; and three waivers of the requirement for LEAs to provide parents of eligible students with notice of their public school choice options at least 14 days before the start of the school year;

    (e) Nine waivers relating to the requirement that each State plan demonstrate the adoption of challenging academic content standards and challenging student academic achievement standards: six waivers of the annual requirement that the assessments administered be aligned with the State's academic content and achievement standards; two waivers of the requirement for States to use the same academic assessments to measure the achievement of all students and to determine AYP; and one waiver of the requirement to include all students enrolled at the time of testing in the participation rate calculations used to determine AYP;

    (f) Two waivers relating to determining eligible school attendance areas: One waiver of the requirement that an eligible school attendance area have a percentage of children from low-income families that is at least as high as the percentage of children from low-income families served by the LEA as a whole;

    (g) One waiver of the requirement that not more than five percent of funds be used to provide financial incentives and rewards to teachers;

    (h) One waiver to allow an LEA to operate a schoolwide program even though its percentage of students from low-income families is less than 40 percent; and

    (i) One waiver of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) program absolute priority requirement in the notice inviting applications (NIA) that requires each TIF grantee to develop a rigorous evaluation system for teachers and principals, and of one of the five core elements in the NIA.

    Waiver Data I. Extensions of the Obligation Period

    A. Waivers granted for ESEA State-administered formula grant programs that extended until September 30, 2012, the period of availability for FY 2009 funds awarded under Public Law 111-8, the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2009.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants, approved dates, and affected programs:

    • Arizona Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title II, Part B; Title II, Part D; and Title VI, Section 6111;

    • California Department of Education, December 19, 2011, Title II, Part D;

    • Colorado Department of Education, November 29, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part B, Subpart 3; Title I, Part C; Title II, Part A; Title II, Part D; Title III, Part A; Title IV, Part A; Title IV, Part B; and Title VI, Section 6111;

    • District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part A; Title II, Part B; Title II, Part D; Title III, Part A; Title IV, Part A; Title IV, Part B; and Title VI, Section 6111;

    • Florida Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title II, Part B; Title II, Part D; and Title IV, Part A;

    • Indiana Department of Education, November 28, 2011, Title I, Part C; Title II, Part D; and Title IV, Part A;

    • Kansas Department of Education, November 14, 2011, Title IV, Part A; and Title IV, Part B;

    • Louisiana Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part B, Subpart 3; Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part A; Title II, Part B; Title II, Part D; Title III, Part A; and Title IV, Part A;

    • Maine Department of Education, December 19, 2011, Title I, Part C;

    • Maryland Department of Education, November 21, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title II, Part B; Title II, Part D; Title III, Part A; and Title IV, Part A;

    • Michigan Department of Education, November 29, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part D; and Title IV, Part A;

    • Minnesota Department of Education, November 14, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title II, Part A; Title II, Part B; Title II, Part D; Title III, Part A; Title IV, Part A; and Title VI, Section 6111;

    • Nebraska Department of Education, November 22, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C ; Title I, Part C (Migrant Education Consortium Incentive Grants); Title I, Part C (Migrant Education Data Quality Grants); Title II, Part A; Title II, Part D; Title III, Part A; and Title IV, Part A;

    • Nevada Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A; and Title II, Part D;

    • New Hampshire Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part B, Subpart 3; Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part A; Title II, Part D; Title III, Part A; Title IV, Part A; and Title IV, Part B;

    • New Jersey Department of Education, November 28, 2011, Title I, Part C (Migrant Education Consortium Incentive Grants); Title I, Part C (Migrant Education Student Information Exchange Data Quality Grants); and Title IV, Part A;

    • New Mexico Public Education Department, December 19, 2011, Title I, Part B, Subpart 3; Title II, Part D; and Title IV, Part A;

    • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, November 14, 2011, Title I, Part C; and Title IV, Part A;

    • North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, December 19, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part B, Subpart 3; Title II, Part A; Title II, Part B; Title II, Part D; Title IV, Part A; and Title IV, Part B;

    • Oklahoma State Department of Education, November 28, 2011, Title IV, Part A;

    • Puerto Rico Department of Education, December 19, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part B, Subpart 3; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part A; Title II, Part B; Title II, Part D; Title III, Part A; Title IV, Part A; Title IV, Part B; and Title VI, Section 6111;

    • Rhode Island Department of Education, November 28, 2011, Title II, Part D;

    • South Carolina Department of Education, December 18, 2011, Title II, Part B;

    • Tennessee Department of Education, November 28, 2011, Title I, Part A (including funds reserved for State Academic Achievement Awards program authorized in section 1117(c)(2)(A) of the ESEA and school improvement activities authorized in section 1003(a) of the ESEA); Title II, Part D; and Title IV, Part A;

    • Vermont Agency of Education, December 15, 2011, Title IV, Part A;

    • Virginia Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A; Title I, Part B, Subpart 3; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part A; Title II, Part B; Title II, Part D; Title III, Part A; Title IV, Part A; and Title IV, Part B;

    • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part B, Subpart 3; and Title II, Part A; and

    • Wyoming Department of Education, December 19, 2011, Title I, Part A.

    B. Waivers granted for ESEA State-administered formula grant programs that extended until September 30, 2012, the period of availability for FY 2009 funds awarded under Public Law 111-5, ARRA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants, approved dates, and affected programs:

    • Arizona Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • California Department of Education, December 19, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Colorado Department of Education, November 29, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Florida Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Indiana Department of Education, November 28, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA);

    • Kansas Department of Education, November 14, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA);

    • Louisiana Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Maine Department of Education, December 19, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Maryland Department of Education, November 21, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Michigan Department of Education, November 29, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Minnesota Department of Education, November 14, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Nebraska Department of Education, November 22, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Nevada Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA);

    • New Hampshire Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • New Jersey Department of Education, November 28, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • New Mexico Public Education Department, December 19, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, November 14, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA);

    • North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, December 19, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Puerto Rico Department of Education, December 19, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Tennessee Department of Education, November 28, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Vermont Agency of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Virginia Department of Education, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA);

    • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, December 15, 2011, Title I, Part A (ARRA); and Title II, Part D (ARRA); and

    • Wyoming Department of Education, December 19, 2011, Title II, Part D (ARRA).

    C. Waivers of SIG Requirements.

    1. Extended the period of availability of FY 2008 SIG funds awarded under section 1003(g) of the ESEA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Alabama Department of Education, January 26, 2011;

    • Colorado Department of Education, January 18, 2011;

    • Illinois State Board of Education, January 26, 2011;

    • Maryland Department of Education, January 26, 2011;

    • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, January 18, 2011;

    • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, May 17, 2011 (second extension);

    • New Hampshire Department of Education, April 13, 2011;

    • New Jersey Department of Education, January 26, 2011;

    • Ohio Department of Education, January 26, 2011; and

    • Puerto Rico Department of Education, January 26, 2011.

    2. Extended the period of availability of FY 2009 SIG funds awarded under section 1003(g) of the ESEA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Arizona Department of Education, January 24, 2011.

    3. Extended the period of availability of FY 2010 SIG funds awarded under section 1003(g) of the ESEA.

    Provision waived: Tydings Amendment, section 421(b) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1225(b)).

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, September 20, 2011;

    • Nebraska Department of Education, July 25, 2011; and

    • Pennsylvania Department of Education, December 13, 2011.

    II. Waivers of SIG Requirements

    A. Waivers of SIG program final requirement to carry over 25 percent of FY 2009 funds. The waivers permitted applicants to combine those funds with FY 2010 SIG funds and award those funds to eligible LEAs consistent with the final requirements.

    Provisions waived: Section 1003(g) of the ESEA; 75 FR 66363.

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Minnesota Department of Education, June 13, 2011;

    • Montana Office of Public Instruction, August 2, 2011; and

    • New Mexico Public Education Department, March 28, 2011.

    B. Waivers to carry over SIG funds. The waiver allowed States to carry over their FY 2009 and FY 2010 SIG funds and to award those funds to LEAs through a competition conducted during the 2011-2012 school year because their LEAs did not have the capacity to effectively plan and implement intervention models for the 2011-2012 school year in such a short timeframe.

    Provision waived: 75 FR 66363.

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Alabama Department of Education, September 20, 2011;

    • Bureau of Indian Education, September 20, 2011;

    • California Department of Education, September 20, 2011; and

    • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, September 20, 2011.

    C. Waivers of SIG program requirement that, to receive a FY 2010 SIG grant, an SEA must have submitted an approvable application by a date certain. The waivers provided SEAs additional time to submit their applications.

    Provisions waived: Section 1003(g)(4) of the ESEA; 75 FR 66363.

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Hawaii Department of Education, September 21, 2011;

    • Rhode Island Department of Education, September 20, 2011;

    • Tennessee Department of Education, September 20, 2011; and

    • Vermont Agency of Education, September 21, 2011.

    D. Waivers granting additional time to meet teacher and principal evaluation requirements (cohorts 1 and 2 SIG schools). The waivers allowed SEAs to permit an LEA that was implementing a transformation model with SIG funds during the 2010-2011 school year to have additional time to meet the teacher and principal evaluation requirement in schools that were not able to do so that year.

    Provisions waived: Section 1003(g) of the ESEA; Section I.A.2(d)(1)(i)(B) of the SIG final requirements.

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, September 15, 2011;

    • Arizona Department of Education, September 15, 2011;

    • Arkansas State Department of Education, September 15, 2011;

    • Delaware Department of Education, October 5, 2011;

    • Iowa Department of Education, September 15, 2011;

    • Kansas Department of Education, September 20, 2011;

    • Kentucky Department of Education, September 19, 2011;

    • Maine Department of Education, November 4, 2011;

    • Montana Office of Public Instruction, September 15, 2011;

    • Nevada Department of Education, November 14, 2011;

    • New Hampshire Department of Education, November 4, 2011;

    • New Mexico Public Education Department, November 4, 2011;

    • North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, September 15, 2011;

    • Ohio Department of Education, September 15, 2011;

    • Oklahoma State Department of Education, October 5, 2011;

    • South Carolina Department of Education, September 29, 2011;

    • South Dakota Department of Education, September 27, 2011;

    • Utah State Office of Education, September 20, 2011; and

    • Virginia Department of Education, October 5, 2011.

    III. Waivers Related to State Academic Assessment and School and LEA Improvement

    A. Waivers of the Requirements to Make AYP Determinations.

    1. Waiver applicant: Tennessee Department of Education

    • Provisions waived: Section 1116(a)(1)(A) and (c)(1)(A) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.30 and 200.50(a).

    Date waiver granted: January 24, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A waiver of the requirements to use the State's academic assessments and other academic indicators described in the State plan to review progress to determine whether Harpeth High School and Houston County High School were making AYP for the 2009-2010 school year.

    2. Waiver applicant: West Virginia Department of Education

    Provisions waived: Section 1116(a)(1)(A) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.30.

    Date waiver granted: August 1, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A one-year waiver of the requirement to use results of the statewide assessment to make AYP determinations for Kenova Elementary School.

    B. Waivers of SEA Requirement to Make Academic Assessment Results Available to LEAs.

    1. Waiver applicant: Kentucky Department of Education

    Provision waived: Section 1116(a)(2) of the ESEA.

    Date waiver granted: March 25, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A one-year waiver of the requirement in section 1116(a)(2) of the ESEA that a State make available the results of State academic assessments to LEAs before the beginning of the school year following the one in which the assessments were administered.

    C. Waivers to Reverse Timeline for Offering SES and Public School Choice. The waivers allowed LEAs to offer SES to eligible Title I schools in year one of school improvement instead of public school choice, and count the costs of providing SES to these students toward the LEAs' 20 percent obligation.

    Provisions waived: Section 1116(b)(10) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.48.

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Alabama Department of Education, July 25, 2011;

    • Alaska Department of Education, May 6, 2011;

    • California Department of Education, July 25, 2011;

    • Connecticut State Department of Education, November 4, 2011;

    • Delaware Department of Education, July 25, 2011;

    • Maryland Department of Education, July 28, 2011;

    • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, June 30, 2011;

    • Minnesota Department of Education, August 15, 2011;

    • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, September 15, 2011;

    • New Mexico Public Education Department, November 4, 2011;

    • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, August 29, 2011;

    • Ohio Department of Education, August 23, 2011;

    • Oklahoma State Department of Education, September 22, 2011;

    • South Dakota Department of Education, June 29, 2011;

    • Virginia Department of Education, July 25, 2011; and

    • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, July 25, 2011.

    D. Waivers of Requirement to Identify Schools for Improvement Before the Start of the School Year.

    1. Waiver applicant: Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

    Provisions waived: Section 1116(b)(1)(B) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.32(a)(2).

    Date waiver granted: June 30, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A one-time waiver of the requirement to identify schools for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring no later than the beginning of the school year following the failure to make AYP. This waiver applied only to high schools.

    E. Waivers of Deadline Requirement for Public School Choice for Schools Identified for School Improvement. Specific LEAs were provided a one-year waiver of the requirement that they provide parents of eligible students with notice of their public school choice options at least 14 days before the start of the school year.

    Provisions waived: Section 1116(b)(1)(E)(i) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.37(b)(4)(iv).

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Colorado Department of Education, May 6, 2011;

    • Kentucky Department of Education, March 25, 2011; and

    • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, June 30, 2011.

    IV. Waivers Allowing SEAs To Approve Schools or LEAs Identified for Improvement To Become SES Providers and Waivers Permitting Certain LEAs Identified for Improvement or Corrective Action To Apply to Their SEA To Serve as an SES Provider in the 2011-2012 School Year

    Provisions waived: 34 CFR 200.47(b)(1)(iv)(A) and (B).

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Alaska Department of Education, May 6, 2011;

    • California Department of Education, July 25, 2011;

    • Colorado Department of Education, July 25, 2011;

    • Connecticut Department of Education, November 4, 2011;

    • Delaware Department of Education, July 25, 2011;

    • Florida Department of Education, September 28, 2011;

    • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, June 30, 2011;

    • Minnesota Department of Education, August 15, 2011;

    • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, September 15, 2011;

    • Montana Office of Public Instruction, July 25, 2011;

    • New Mexico Public Education Department, November 4, 2011;

    • New York State Education Department, February 10, 2011;

    • North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, June 6, 2011;

    • Ohio Department of Education, August 23, 2011;

    • Oklahoma State Department of Education, May 3, 2011;

    • Rhode Island Department of Education, June 30, 2011;

    • South Carolina Department of Education, August 1, 2011;

    • South Dakota Department of Education, June 29, 2011;

    • Twin Rivers Unified School District, April 5, 2011 (a two-year waiver to allow Twin Rivers Unified School District to be eligible to apply to serve as an SES provider in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years even though it was identified for improvement);

    • Virginia Department of Education, July 25, 2011;

    • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, July 25, 2011; and

    • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, November 4, 2011.

    V. Waiver of State Plan Requirements Relating to Academic Assessments

    A. Waivers of the Requirements that Annual Assessments Align with State Academic Content and Achievement Standards and that All Students Be Assessed in Mathematics in High School.

    1. Waiver applicant: Florida Department of Education

    Provisions waived: Section 1111(b)(3)(C)(v)(1)(cc) and (b)(3)(C)(ix) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.5(a)(2)(ii) and 200.6.

    Date waiver granted: January 19, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A one-time waiver of the requirement to assess all students at least once in grades 10 through 12 in mathematics.

    2. Waiver applicant: Kansas Department of Education

    Provisions waived: Section 1111(b)(3)(C)(ii) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.2(b)(3)(i).

    Date waiver granted: April 5, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A one-year waiver, with respect to McPherson Unified School District, of the statutory and regulatory requirements under Title I, Part A of the ESEA that required the assessments administered to be aligned with the State's academic content and achievement standards.

    3. Waiver applicant: Tennessee Department of Education

    Provisions waived: Section 1111(b)(3)(A), (b)(3)(C)(v)(II), and (b)(3)(C)(vii) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.2(a)(1), 200.5(a)(2), and 200.5(b).

    Date waiver granted: January 24, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A waiver of the requirement to assess Harpeth High School and Houston County High School students annually in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science for the 2009-2010 school year.

    4. Waiver applicant: West Virginia Department of Education

    Provisions waived: Section 1111(b)(3)(A) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.2(a)(1).

    Date waiver granted: August 1, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A one-year waiver of the requirement to assess students in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science at Kenova Elementary School, which closed during the spring 2011 testing window because of structural safety issues caused by flooding.

    B. Waivers of the State Requirements to Use the Same Academic Measurement Assessments to Measure the Achievement of All Students and to Determine AYP.

    Provisions waived: Section 1111(b)(3)(A) and (b)(3)(C)(i) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.2(b)(1).

    Waiver applicants and approved dates:

    • Kansas Department of Education, April 5, 2011 (a one-year waiver with respect to McPherson Unified School District of the statutory and regulatory requirements under Title I, Part A of the ESEA that required the State to use the same academic assessments to measure the achievement of all students and to determine AYP); and

    • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, June 30, 2011. A one-year waiver of the statutory and regulatory requirements under Title I, Part A of the ESEA that required the State to use the same academic assessments to measure the achievement of all students and to determine AYP.

    C. Waivers of the Requirement to Include All Students Enrolled at the Time of Testing in the Participation Rate Calculations.

    1. Waiver applicant: Florida Department of Education

    Provisions waived: Section 1111(b)(2)(I)(ii) of the ESEA; 34 CFR 200.20(c)(1)(i).

    Date waiver granted: January 19, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A waiver of the requirement to include all students enrolled at the time of testing in the participation rate calculations used to determine AYP. This waiver authorized Florida to exclude students who took Algebra I as 6th, 7th, or 8th graders during school years 2007-2008 through 2009-2010 from participation rate calculations used in determining AYP based on assessment results from the relevant school year.

    VI. Waivers of Eligible School Attendance Area Requirements

    A. Waivers of Requirements for Determining Eligible School Attendance Areas.

    1. Waiver applicant: Keene School District

    Provision waived: Section 1113(a)(2)(B) of the ESEA.

    Date waiver granted: June 29, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A waiver for four years, beginning in school year 2011-2012, of the requirements concerning Title I school eligibility to ensure continuity of Title I services for eligible children in Daniels Elementary School and Symonds Elementary School. This waiver enabled both schools to continue offering Title I programs to their eligible students without the interruption caused by small demographic changes that affected eligibility for Title I.

    B. Waiver of the Limitation on Reserving Funds for Financial Incentives and Rewards.

    1. Waiver applicant: Hillsborough County Public Schools

    Provision waived: Section 1113(c)(4) of the ESEA.

    Date waiver granted: August 1, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A one-year waiver of the 5 percent cap on the amount of Title I funds that an LEA reserve for financial incentives and awards so that Hillsborough County Public Schools could reserve up to 8.8 percent of their FY 2011 Title I, Part A allocation for such purposes.

    VII. Waiver of the Requirements for Schoolwide Programs

    A. Waiver of the 40 Percent Poverty Threshold for Schoolwide Programs.

    1. Waiver applicant: Aberdeen Public School District 6-1

    Provision waived: Section 1114(a)(1) of the ESEA.

    Date waiver granted: November 4, 2011.

    Description of waiver: A waiver to allow Simmons Elementary School to operate a schoolwide program even though its percentage of students from low-income families was less than 40 percent, effective for four years or until the reauthorization of the ESEA, whichever came first.

    VIII. Waivers Regarding Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) Requirements

    A. Waiver of Application Requirements for the TIF Program.

    1. Waiver applicant: Community Training and Assistance Center

    Provision waived: Section 9401 of the ESEA.

    Date waiver granted: July 11, 2011.

    Description of waiver: Waiver of two requirements of TIF: (1) Absolute Priority 1 in the NIA that required each TIF grantee to develop a rigorous evaluation system for teachers and principals that took into account student growth as a significant measure and multiple classroom observations; and (2) one of the required five core elements in the NIA, each of which was to have been in place before a grantee could make incentive payments using TIF funds (75 FR 28741).

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: October 3, 2017. Jason Botel, Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2017-21622 Filed 10-5-17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Notice of Waivers Granted Under Section 9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, we announce the waivers that the U.S. Department of Education (Department) granted during calendar year 2013 under the waiver authority of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (ESEA), including waivers related to flexibilities granted to States in exchange for State-led reforms (ESEA flexibility).

    The ESEA requires that the Department publish in the Federal Register, and disseminate to interested parties, a notice of its decision to grant a waiver of statutory or regulatory requirements under the ESEA. Between 2011 and 2016, the Department granted more than 800 waivers of statutory or regulatory requirements to State educational agencies (SEAs) but neglected to comply with the ESEA's publication and dissemination requirements. This notice is intended to fulfill the Department's obligation to publicize its waiver decisions by identifying the waivers granted during 2013.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kia Weems, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W341, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 260-2221 or by email: [email protected].

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 2013, the Department granted waivers through an initiative known as ESEA flexibility to 45 States under the waiver authority in section 9401 of the ESEA, in exchange for a rigorous and comprehensive State-developed plan designed to improve student academic achievement and increase the quality of instruction.1 The Department also granted individual waivers to certain States under the waiver authority in section 9401 of the ESEA.

    1 Additional information regarding ESEA flexibility can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/esea-flexibility/index.html.

    We granted:

    (a) ESEA Flexibility: The Department granted the following ten waivers to 45 SEAs under ESEA flexibility:

    1. Flexibility Regarding the 2013-2014 Timeline for Determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP);

    2. Flexibility in Implementation of School Improvement Requirements;

    3. Flexibility in Implementation of Local Educational Agency (LEA) Improvement Requirements;

    4. Flexibility for Rural LEAs;

    5. Flexibility for Schoolwide Programs;

    6. Flexibility to Support School Improvement;

    7. Flexibility for Reward Schools;

    8. Flexibility Regarding Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) Improvement Plans;

    9. Flexibility to Transfer Certain Funds; and

    10. Flexibility to Use School Improvement Grant (SIG) Funds to Support Priority Schools.

    In addition to waiving the ten provisions listed above, the Department granted three optional waivers under ESEA flexibility related to the following:

    1. Waivers of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) requirement to provide services during non-school hours or when school is not in session;

    2. Waivers of the requirement to make AYP determinations; and

    3. Waivers of requirements pertaining to Title I, Part A within-district allocations.

    (b) 119 waivers extending the period in which funds were available for obligation: 30 waivers extending the period for State-administered ESEA formula grant programs that received fiscal year (FY) 2011 funds under the regular appropriation or FY 2009 funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), one waiver extending the period for the 21st CCLC, 84 waivers for school improvement activities, and four waivers extending the period for the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Formula Grant Program funds;

    (c) Three waivers allowing SEAs to approve schools or LEAs identified as in need of improvement to become supplemental educational services (SES) providers;

    (d) Two waivers pertaining to school eligibility requirements and the definition of persistently lowest-achieving schools;

    (e) Eight waivers of requirements related to State academic standards or assessments: Three waivers allowing extensions of the growth model pilot; four waivers related to the substitution of standards or assessments; and one waiver permitting the use of annual measureable achievement objectives (AMOs) to make AYP determination based on assessments administered the previous year;

    (f) 45 waivers allowing SEAs to waive the carryover limitation more than once every three years for their Title I, Part A allocation; and

    (g) One waiver of the requirement that an LEA provide parents of eligible students with notice of their public school choice options at least 14 days before the start of school year.

    I. ESEA Flexibility Waivers A. Flexibility Regarding the 2013-2014 Timeline for Determining AYP

    The Department waived the requirements in section 1111(b)(2)(E)-(H) of the ESEA that prescribe how an SEA establishes AMOs for determining AYP to ensure that all students met or exceeded the State's proficient level of academic achievement on the State's assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics no later than the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Under this waiver, an SEA no longer needed to follow the statutory procedures for setting AMOs to use in determining AYP. Instead, an SEA had flexibility to develop new ambitious but achievable AMOs in reading/language arts and mathematics in order to provide meaningful goals to guide support and improvement efforts for the State, LEAs, schools, and student subgroups.

    Provisions waived: Section 1111(b)(2)(E)-(H) of the ESEA.

    Waiver Applicants:

    • Alabama State Department of Education • Alaska Department of Education and Early Development • Arizona Department of Education • Georgia Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Maine Department of Education • Nevada Department of Education • New Hampshire Department of Education • Ohio Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction • West Virginia Department of Education B. Flexibility in Implementation of School Improvement Requirements

    The Department waived the requirements in section 1116(b) of the ESEA for an LEA to identify for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring, as appropriate, a Title I school that failed, for two consecutive years or more, to make AYP, and for a school so identified and its LEA to take certain improvement actions. Under this waiver, an LEA was no longer required to identify respective Title I schools for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring, and neither the LEA nor its schools were required to take statutorily required improvement actions, including providing public school choice and SES to eligible students. An LEA was also exempt from administrative and reporting requirements related to school improvement.

    Waiver Applicants:

    • Alabama State Department of Education • Alaska Department of Education and Early Development • Arizona Department of Education • Georgia Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Maine Department of Education • Nevada Department of Education • New Hampshire Department of Education • Ohio Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction • West Virginia Department of Education • San Francisco Unified School District (California) • Los Angeles Unified School District (California) • Fresno Unified School District (California) • Sanger Unified School District (California) • Santa Ana Unified School District (California) • Sacramento City Unified School District (California) • Long Beach Unified School District (California) • Oakland Unified School District (California) C. Flexibility in Implementation of LEA Improvement

    The Department waived the requirements in section 1116(c) of the ESEA for an SEA to identify for improvement or corrective action, as appropriate, an LEA that, for two consecutive years or more, failed to make AYP, and neither the LEA nor the SEA was required to take statutorily required improvement actions. An LEA was also exempt from associated administrative and reporting requirements related to LEA improvement.

    Provisions waived: Section 1116(c)(3) and (5)-(11) of the ESEA.

    Waiver Applicants:

    • Alabama State Department of Education • Alaska Department of Education and Early Development • Arizona Department of Education • Georgia Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Maine Department of Education • Nevada Department of Education • New Hampshire Department of Education • Ohio Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction • West Virginia Department of Education • San Francisco Unified School District (California) • Los Angeles Unified School District (California) • Fresno Unified School District (California) • Sanger Unified School District (California) • Santa Ana Unified School District (California) • Sacramento City Unified School District (California) • Long Beach Unified School District (California) • Oakland Unified School District (California) D. Flexibility for Rural LEAs

    The Department waived the requirements in sections 6213(b) and 6224(e) of the ESEA that limited participation in, and use of funds under, the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) and RLIS programs based on whether an LEA made AYP and was complying with the requirements in section 1116 of the ESEA. Under the waiver, an LEA that received SRSA or RLIS funds had flexibility to use those funds for any authorized purpose regardless of the LEA's AYP status.

    Provisions waived: Sections 6213(b) and 6224(e) of the ESEA.

    Waiver Applicants:

    • Alabama State Department of Education • Alaska Department of Education and Early Development • Arizona Department of Education • Georgia Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Maine Department of Education • Nevada Department of Education • New Hampshire Department of Education • Ohio Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction • West Virginia Department of Education E. Flexibility for Schoolwide Programs

    The Department waived the requirement in section 1114(a)(1) of the ESEA that a school have a poverty percentage of 40 percent or more in order to operate a schoolwide program. Under this waiver, an LEA had flexibility to operate a schoolwide program in a Title I school that did not meet the 40 percent poverty threshold if the SEA identified the school as a priority school or a focus school, and the LEA implemented interventions consistent with the turnaround principles or interventions that were based on the needs of the students in the school and designed to enhance the entire educational program in the school, as appropriate.

    Provision waived: Section 1114(a)(1) of the ESEA.

    Waiver Applicants:

    • Alabama State Department of Education • Alaska Department of Education and Early Development • Arizona Department of Education • Georgia Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Maine Department of Education • Nevada Department of Education • New Hampshire Department of Education • Ohio Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction • West Virginia Department of Education • San Francisco Unified School District (California) • Los Angeles Unified School District (California) • Fresno Unified School District (California) • Sanger Unified School District (California) • Santa Ana Unified School District (California) • Sacramento City Unified School District (California) • Long Beach Unified School District (California) • Oakland Unified School District (California) F. Flexibility To Support School Improvement

    The Department waived the requirement in section 1003(a) of the ESEA for an SEA to distribute funds reserved under that section only to LEAs with schools identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. Under this waiver, an SEA had flexibility to allocate ESEA section 1003(a) funds to an LEA in order to serve any priority or focus school, if the SEA determined such school was most in need of additional support.

    Provision waived: Section 1003(a) of the ESEA.

    Waiver Applicants:

    • Alabama State Department of Education • Alaska Department of Education and Early Development • Arizona Department of Education • Georgia State Department of Education • Hawaii State Department of Education • Kansas State Department of Education • Maine Department of Education • Nevada Department of Education • New Hampshire Department of Education • Ohio Department of Education • Oregon Department of Education • Pennsylvania Department of Education • Puerto Rico Department of Education • Texas Education Agency • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction • West Virginia Department of Education G. Flexibility for Reward Schools

    The Department waived the provision in section 1117(c)(2)(A) of the ESEA that authorized an SEA to reserve Title I, Part A funds to reward a Title I school that (1) significantly closed the achievement gap between subgroups in the school; or (2) exceeded AYP for two or more consecutive years. Under this waiver, an SEA had flexibility to use funds reserved under section 1117(c)(2)(A) of the ESEA to provide financial rewards to any reward school, if the SEA determined such school was most appropriate to receive a financial reward.

    Provision waived: Section 1117(b)(1)(B)